Start a blog! I am a website-enabler, which means I want everyone ever to start a site. I’m working on a post that I will link to later about why exactly I think everyone needs to start one, but for now I am going to outline the easy steps to get you started with your own site.
(If you are looking for what to include in an artist website, you can find that information here.)
Whether you want a website to use as a blog or as a showcase for your art, or even just a personal landing page, you need to start by signing up for hosting, and buying a domain (your site address).
You can go here and do that now.
I would suggest plus or prime to start, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space. Do you even see how cheap the monthly hosting is!?
Once you’ve clicked on the hosting package you want, you will be sent to a window where you can choose your domain name. Make sure you have brainstormed some different ideas up front, so you don’t get the dreaded message that the domain you want is already taken.
(Incidentally I did not buy oodlez-of-poodlez.com, so as far as I know it is still available for you.)
After you create your account, you’ll look at this for a second and get all excited:
Now to set up your shiny new site:
Click on “Set Up Your Website”, and they seriously walk you through everything. It’s so lovely.
There’s even a little “Walk me Through” tab on the left side when you log into your account.
Next: Click on the orange “Install WordPress” button, and then you should see something like this next pic:
Choose your site name and click the little check boxes, and click Install! You will be taken to a page where you can peruse themes (designs) for your blog, but I have some more recommendations for themes I’ve used and love here.
Head on over to your email and you should have: an email from Bluehost asking you to confirm your email address, another email that is your receipt, another one with your Bluehost login information, and then one from Mojo Marketplace with your username, password, and link to get into your WordPress install (the back end of your site!)
Next you can choose a theme to make your site all awesome and pretty and awesome. I use and highly recommend Genesis as your theme, and then you can choose a child theme from there.
Genesis is an industry favorite. I’m not going to get into all the reasons to go with Genesis, but you can do some Googling to learn more, or just head to their site and read up a little.
While you are there, you can click the “shop for themes” button at the top of the page to get to the fun stuff.
The price you’ll see is for the theme and framework, which is Genesis and whichever lovely child theme you decide on. It’s realllllly hard to not change your child theme around every 6 months, because there are some stunning ones flying around out there.
You can click through the steps on your site, or skip them, and then you will see this:
Click the top left x to collapse this customizing screen, and hover over where it says “Appearance”, and click “themes”.
Next, click at the top on “Upload”, and then the “Upload Theme” button to upload Genesis, and then the child theme you bought.
Now you’ll want to play around with setting up your sidebar, homepage, etc. What I loved about the Foodie Pro and Pretty Creative child themes is that they included LOTS of info. and tutorials about setting up the different parts of your site.
Have fun. Get things set up how you basically want them, and you will undoubtedly tweak the look of your site. Look at other sites you like around the web for ideas for your site.
Some basic things you’ll want to include:
- Social media share buttons
- Social media follow buttons
- About me page
- Contact form or link
- Menu with links to what you write about/ categories
- Search box
P.S. There are zabillions of plugins that are things you upload to provide things on your site like social media buttons, etc.
You’ll find a link to your plugins page on the left side of your dashboard. (Keep Askimet! It will get rid of SPAM comments.)
P.P.S. If you start a site using my directions, I want to see it!!! Contact me through my social media links above, or email me!