Have you ever thought about starting a blog? Maybe you wanted to simply write about the things you love. Or you wanted to finally make money online blogging as so many people do nowadays. And it all seems so easy when they talk about it, right? Well, the first step is actually very easy, and I will cover it in this article. Here is how to start a WordPress blog on SiteGround and become a website owner in under 30 miuntes.
Why Should You Be Blogging At All?
In case you are new to the phenomenon of blogging and making money online, here is a quick recap for you. Building a blog is one of the most profitable ways to earn money on the internet. Moreover, it’s a very sustainable way, unlike many other get-rich-quick solutions that just stop working before you have any success (in fact, 99.9% of them are just scams and don’t work anyway).
For me, the main reasons to get into blogging were these:
- I wanted to start making money online.
- I wanted to build an online business with no limit on income potential (there are blogs out there that make 6 and 7 figures a month!!!)
- Blogging gave me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the years and, by doing so, solve problems for my readers, earning some money on the way.
- A blog is your very own business, your own real estate. And nobody can take it away from you. The work you put in is yours, forever!
If you’ve only been thinking about starting a blog so far, now is probably the right time to finally get started. There’s nothing dangerous after all.
How To Start A Blog On SiteGround - wait, why SiteGround?
Most people never get started because the first step in starting your blog is the most technical step. All further steps appear a lot easier. However, after this guide, you will own this techy part and can finally move on to the fun stuff – writing blog posts!
SiteGround is incredibly affordable
Have you been standing on the sideline because the initial cost of starting a blog scared you off? Well, there are some costs involved (if you want to get a little serious at least), but with SiteGround web hosting, you can already limit the expense tremendously. Their plans for a WordPress blog start at $3.95 per month. That’s less than one Starbucks coffee per month…
However, this price is a special deal for new SiteGround customers. The normal cost of this plan is $9.95 per month. So, if you want to save big on your web hosting in the first year, >> set up your SiteGround hosting right here. <<
SiteGround offers free SSL certificates
While this is true for most modern web hosting services, it’s still worth mentioning. Some web hosts charge you a yearly fee of $70 or more for this, while you can get it for completely free.
If you don’t know what SSL encryption is for, don’t bother. It’s a few clicks to set up, and it protects your website visitors from being spied on. This leads us to the next reason why you should go with SiteGround.
SiteGround is incredibly secure
Security is one of their main selling points which really sets them apart from their competition. They have superior systems in place that prevent your website from being hacked, such as a great backup structure and other tools.
SiteGround is incredibly fast
The second advantage of SiteGround as a web host is their effect on page speed. As you might know, page speed is measured by Google as one of their major ranking factors. That means that, if you want people to find your content via Google (which you absolutely want to make money blogging), outstanding page speed is absolutely necessary. SiteGround gives you that.
SiteGround has supreme support
You can absolutely see that they focus on user experience to make you a happy customer. Their support is super fast, and you can address them with about any technical issue you might have, anytime down the road. This is not the case with every web host, but it’s crucially important. There will come a day when you need them. I speak from years of experience when I’m saying that…
How to start a blog on SiteGround: SiteGround vs. Bluehost
The main competitor of SiteGround might be Bluehost which is also recommended by many bloggers. However, I chose to go with SiteGround due to the above-mentioned aspects. Moreover, Bluehost seems to have issues sometimes once your website starts getting traction. Their least expensive plan seems to be laid out only for smaller blogs with few readers.
You want a web host that will handle any kind of traffic. Otherwise, your page speed will suffer tremendously, which in turn will harm your Google rankings. Of course, at some point, you will need to go with a more expensive SiteGround plan as well. However, at that point, you will already be making decent money so that the few dollars more a month won’t bother you at all.
How To Start A Blog On SiteGround In 5 Simple Steps
Now, let’s get into the actual set up process. I assume you have made a decision to finally enter the online world and start your own blog. Here is how to start a blog with SiteGround.
Step 1 - Choose Your Plan
First, you need to set up your payment plan. If you create your SiteGround hosting using this link [affiliate link], you will see the screen from the picture above. To start your blogging journey, the StartUp plan on the left will be more than enough for you. Proceed to the next step by simply clicking the GET PLAN button.
Step 2 - Set Up Your Domain Name
This is the top part of the next screen you will see after clicking the GET PLAN button. Here, you give your baby a name. You should check the boxes as I did in the image above. Check “Get new hosting account” in the top box and “Register a New Domain” in the bottom box.
This is only true, of course, if you want to register a new domain. If you already have a domain and are just switching web hosts, then choose the “I already have a Domain” option. Switching servers is a different process, however, which we will not cover in this guide on how to start a blog on SiteGround.
In the “Domain Name” box, type in whatever name you have chosen for your blog. Choose the ending in the drop-down menu on the right. Don’t type the whole web address, but only the main part of it. Here’s an example:
Let’s assume you want your blog’s address to be “jennysbloggingwonderland.com”. To achieve this, you do the following:
- You ignore the www.
- In the box, you type jennysbloggingwonderland
- In the drop-down box, you choose “.com”
Complete The Form
Further down the screen, make sure you still have the StartUp plan checked. Note that for me the prices shown are in EUR because I’m currently in the EU. However, for you, it will be the currency of your country, probably USD.
Here, you choose the location of your server. For location, choose wherever you expect your main audience to come from – probably the USA. It doesn’t really make much of a difference, because you will set up a CDN later (not in this guide) to store your website on servers all around the world anyway.
For period, choose how long you want to commit to your hosting plan. They offer 12, 24 or 36 months plans. At this moment, I suggest going with the 12 months option. They also give you a one-month trial, but I would not advise you to go with that since it still has the domain registration fee. Moreover, it’s not possible to test a web host thoroughly in one month, because you will not touch any test-worthy ground during that time.
Registering your domain will cost you a one-time fee (like the 12.95 € in the screenshot above). Fees vary a bit, depending on what ending you choose (.com, .eu, .net, .io, etc.). As stated, the domain name becomes your personal property once you’ve registered it. For some reason, I think this feels pretty cool to me…
Complete the payment
At the bottom of the page, fill in your credit card details. You can use VISA, MasterCard and American Express with SiteGround. Keep in mind that this is the payment for a whole year, so you won’t be paying anything more for your hosting in the next 12 months (unless you already want to upgrade for whatever reason).
Be aware that the $3.95 per month is a welcome deal for new customers which counts for the first year. After that, you will pay the regular price of $9.95 for the StartUp plan. By then, you will probably already be making a lot more money with your blog, so that’s no big deal at all.
Click the “Pay Now” button and CELEBRATE because you are now an official owner of your very own domain (and very soon your own blog)! Let’s continue on how to set up a WordPress blog on SiteGround.
Step 3 - How To Set Up A WordPress Blog On SiteGround
SiteGround really makes it easy for you. Once you’ve set up your WordPress hosting plan with SiteGround, log into your user area. You will receive all necessary information via email after signing up.
When you log in for the first time, you are asked if you want to start a new website, transfer an existing one or don’t want to do anything right now. Choose the Start a new website option.
SiteGround will then give you a few software options to select. Since this guide is on how to start a wordpress blog on SiteGround, you obviously want to choose WordPress in this selection.
Once you do that, you will be prompted to type an admin email, a username and a password. Don’t worry, you can change all the settings later in your WordPress dashboard. Just make sure you use a valid email you have access to (your main email address will do fine), and don’t use “admin” for the username. This is just a small step to make your account a little more secure again.
Once you click on the Confirm button, you will go to the last page where you can choose some enhancements for your website. Don’t bother doing that right now. Simply check the box that you agree with SiteGrounds Terms of Service, and click the Complete Setup button.
Congratulations! That’s it! You are now an owner of a WordPress blog. You can proceed by logging in to your account. After completing this process, you should receive an email with all your WordPress login data. However, before you log in, I highly suggest one more step to start your blog on SiteGround right.
Installing an SSL certificate
Before you should log into your newly installed WordPress system, you should take one last short detour and install the free SSL certificate. This ensures that your website complies with the current security standards. If it does not, browsers like Google will show an annoying “unsafe” declaration in your browser:
To do this, log into your new SiteGround User Area (here is the link again: ua.siteground.com)
Next, choose the My Accounts tab, and near the top, click on the Go to cPanel button.
The cPanel might look overwhelming at first because you will find all the possible actions you can take with your domain there. However, for now, just scroll to the Security Area and click on Let’s Encrypt.
Then you choose the domain on which you want to install your SSL certificate. The final prompt will be this one:
Just like in the screenshot, make sure that your domain is chosen (instead of sitegroundtutorials.com), and choose the Let’s Encrypt SSL checkbox. Once you click install, the system will set everything up.
It may take a few minutes up to a few hours in some rare cases until the SSL certificate is active. To verify this, simply go to your internet browser and type in https://whateveryourdomainnameis.com (change the name accordingly!)
If you can access this address and everthing is working, then you’re good to go as far as security settings!
Step 4 - Configure Your WordPress Blog
The default version of WordPress already works, and you could start writing content right away. However, if you want to go serious (and not look like a newbie blogger who didn’t even change the default settings), here’s what you do:
How to start a blog on SiteGround - change the permalink settings
This will affect how your links look in your browser. The default version will give you some ugly URLs, and you want to change that. Moreover, it will have a beneficial effect for your search engine efforts later on in your journey!
When you’re logged in to WordPress, you have the menu with all the options on the left. Go down to the Settings area, and choose Permalinks from the sub menu.
From the options that appear here, you want to choose Post name. Check the box, then scroll down and click the Save Changes button.
How to start a blog on SiteGround - choose a theme
Your WordPress theme is responsible for your exterior design, the way your website looks for visitors from the outside. To change this, go to the Appearance section in the menu and choose the sub item Themes. You will see a screen similar to this:
In your new account, there will be multiple themes pre-installed (Twenty eighteen, Twenty nineteen, etc.). However, I suggest you go to the top and click the Add New button. This will open a new screen.
You can choose either one of the ones that are featured here or type another theme name into the search box at the top. As you’ve seen in the screenshot before, my theme of choice is GeneratePress. It comes with a free and a paid version. The free version will be totally fine in the beginning.
Should you want to go all-in from the start and get a lot more customization options, you can also get the paid version of GeneratePress. However, you won’t absolutely need it to start your blog. To go with the free version, simply type in GeneratePress into the search box. Once it appears, hover over it, click the Install button, and activate it once it’s ready.
Of course, you can go with any other theme that you like. There are thousands of WordPress themes available, both free and paid ones. Just make sure you don’t get paralyzed because you might not know how to make the right decision. This is why I suggest you go with GeneratePress. It’s one of the most thorough and best-performing WordPress themes for bloggers, and it’s what I use as well.
How to start a blog on SiteGround - plugins to boost your blog performance
Plugins add useful functionalities to your blog. There’s a lot to write about it, and at least as many opinions as there are bloggers out there. So I will just list the ones I find essential and highly useful from the beginning. Over time, you can decide yourself what further plugins you need for your individual goals.
Installing plugins works similar to installing themes. In the left-hand menu, go to Plugins and choose Add New from the sub-menu.
Then type in whatever plugin you want to use into the search box. Once it appears, click the Install Now button, and once it’s ready the blue Activate button that appears afterwards. Then, your plugin will be installed an ready to use. Here are the plugins I would use to start a WordPress blog on SiteGround:
Why Elementor Pro?
I recommend Elementor Pro, because I’m using it as my page builder. It has incredible design possibilities and works seamlessly with GeneratePress. Elementor is the #1 page builder plugin out there with well over 1 Million users using it. Especially for beginners, Elementor gives you everything you need to build a professional-looking website.
You can start with the limited free version, but I suggest investing a few bucks in the pro version. That’s what I did in the beginning. It just gives you so many more customization options and additional templates and functionalities, plus you save the money on a paid theme (which would be the alternative).
Step 5 - Write Your First Blog Post
Now you’ve taken the time to set everything up for success, you are ready to write your first blog post. And then write your next one, and your next one, and…
The only thing that’s left to do now to make money from your blog is to create content and drive traffic to that content. Many things go into this process, and it would exceed the scope of this guide on how to start a blog on SiteGround by far. So for this article, let’s cover the basics to get you going.
To write a blog post, you don’t need to do any more than go to Posts in your WordPress menu and choose the sub-item Add New. This is how it looks like for me with the plugins I use:
And that’s already it! You can start writing now. Once you have finished your blog post, hit the blue Publish button on the top right. Once you’ve done that, your blog post is live and appears on your website. The world can now read your post. (exciting, but also a little scary right?)
If you want to learn more about how to make money with your blog, these articles will go into detail with that, you can start by reading these articles:
Step 6 - Drive Traffic To Your Content
Since I assume you want people to read what you’ve so carefully written, I will incorporate this step. If you want to make money from your blog, it’s absolutely essential anyway! Driving traffic is the last step within this guide on how to start a blog on SiteGround.
Since it’s not the main focus of this post, however, I will only list a few traffic generating strategies here. If you want to dive in deeper and explore some of these strategies further, please refer to dedicated articles on the individual topics:
- Spread your content on Facebook.
- Drive traffic from Pinterest (one of the most profitable traffic generation strategies for bloggers).
- Tell your friends via email about your blog.
- Use paid Facebook ads.
- Optimize for search engines (long-term strategy).
- Post relevant and helpful articles in forums.
- Participate on Reddit and share your content in relevant subreddits (don’t spam!).
As I said, there’s a lot more to learn about traffic generation. However, the strategies listed above will get you going right from the start.
Final Words - How To Start A Blog On SiteGround
To wrap up this article, I want to give you a quick overview of the main steps you need to take to set up your WordPress blog on SiteGround. You should be very clear by now why blogging is a GREAT idea these days. If you have to share anything with the world, you can do it with your own blog. And by doing so, you can even make some great money on the side. There are many people who have even turned their blogs into 5, 6 and 7-figure businesses.
So, go on now, set up your WordPress hosting plan with SiteGround and start your blogging career! Building a business for yourself is really the best thing you can do to gain more control over your life, more self-esteem, and an overall more fulfilling perspective on your life.
Here are the main steps of the process again:
- Choose your plan.
- Set up your domain name.
- Install WordPress.
- Configure your WordPress blog.
- Write your first blog post.
- Drive traffic to your content.
If you have any more questions, please let me know in the comments section how I can help you. And of course, also let me know what you think about this guide and how it helped you.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a commission when you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please refer to my full disclaimer for more info.