You’ve come to the right page if you want to start your own food blog – or any blog for that matter.
Starting a blog can be quite the adventure and it can be frustrating in the beginning; especially if you are not Internet-savvy. Does that mean you can’t start a blog? Hell no! Resources are everywhere to help you create, build and maintain a blog.
This page will explain a few basics you need to know to begin your blogging project.
I plan on publishing multiple posts to teach you the basics of blogging and what can be done to have a professional looking website. Who knows, I might even go into advanced stuff the more our blog grows!
Keep in mind there isn’t a “this is how it’s done” that will get you at the same place in the same amount of time as another person that starts a blog at the same time as you with the same information. Blogging is part hard work, part patience, and part luck.
You will not grow a blog to 1 million visits in one month but if you do, please, PLEASE, tell me about it and share your secret with me!
- Blog and domain name as well as hosting
- Installing the WordPress blogging platform
- Configuring WordPress for your food blog
- Recommended plugins
- Choose a theme
- Join a community
Blog, domain name as well as hosting
Choosing a blog name is hard. Sometimes you have an idea that makes you scream “GENIUS!” only to find out it already exists or even more frustrating the domain name is registered but there is nothing on it. Remember you can’t put spaces in a domain name, and putting a lot of hyphens may seem spammy, although some people are pretty successful with domain names containing hyphens like Christine at Apple of My Eye.
Choose a name you like, that stands out and represent your blog as much as possible. If you are starting a food blog, don’t call it “Die Cast Cars in Trouble”. It doesn’t represent your subject at all. The only exception to this would be using your own name since you’ll be able to build your brand around it.
Alright, so where do you buy your domain name?
The easiest way to start is to buy your domain name where you can also buy your hosting so everything will be connected for you. You won’t have to fiddle with any of the back-end stuff so nothing will be complicated.
We recommend two hosting options: BlueHost or
Choices already??!? ARG!
Don’t get mad. I’ll tell you the differences between both, but before that, I’ll tell you their similarities:
- Unlimited bandwidth (that’s the “memory” that is used when people load your website)
- Unlimited domains
- Include one free domain
- Unlimited e-mail accounts
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
And now for the differences:
- BlueHost: Unlimited web space, ~$110 USD for one year
- StableHost: 7 GB of web space, ~$70 USD for one year
Okay, that’s cool, but what difference does it make? I can either save $70 per year or have unlimited bandwidth. What is the best option?
Well look at it this way: you can go to a pub and pay $20 for a nice, awesome meal, or you can pay $30 in an all-you-can eat restaurant where the food will vary between good and okay, depending on how much time it was left in the food bins and how they were kept warm.
How does that translate to web hosting? Well, we are looking for a cheap hosting, and cheap hostings are called “shared hosting”, which means multiple users on the same server sharing the same capabilities. Giving unlimited space to hundred of users will result in some people abusing it, and may result in slower speed for the others.
Notice that I said “may” result. It is not always the case and a lot
of people have had great success with Bluehost.
If you are not afraid of searching on Google when you have a problem, Bluehost would be perfect for you since it would give you a lot of space for multiple domains or the possibility to offer space to friends of yours if they want to try blogging as well, but to give something to StableHost apart from the cheaper price: they have an incredible support team. So if you are afraid of playing around with things and you think you may require personal help, go with them.
I recommend BlueHost if you don’t mind spending $40 more. If you want to keep the cost as low as possible, head over to StableHost.
- Click this link
- Click on “Get started now”
- Select the plan you want (I recommend the “plus” plan)
- Enter the domain name you want in the box and click “Next”
- Follow the on-screen instructions
In the followings screens, you will be asked a bunch of questions concerning options you can get with your hosting. You don’t need any of them but keep in mind that a good backup solution is always responsible to have. It can be done manually though.
Once you receive an email from your hosting provider, you are ready to setup your blog! Read on…
Installing the WordPress blogging platform
Since you’ve got your hosting and domain setup, you can say that you now have your own little space on the web.
Unfortunately, if you head over to your domain by typing it in your URL bar, you will see nothing. Well, maybe you will see the “standby” website from your hosting company but you will not see YOUR blog.
Let’s correct this.
The most used blogging platform is WordPress and, simply put, it is the best. It’s easy to setup and to modify, even with little to no coding experience. In cPanel (the control panel you have for your web hosting if you are with BlueHost or StableHost) there is an easy way to setup WordPress automatically.
Connect to your web host cPanel using your hosting provider’s instructions and look for something called Softaculous under Software/Services.
*Note: Before going further, make sure you don’t have an icon called WordPress in that section. If you have it click in and follow the instructions and don’t bother with Softaculous.
Once you click on it you will be brought to a page with scripts you can install. If you are not presented with the Top Scripts (or if WordPress isn’t there, which I’d doubt) you will find it under “Blogs” in the menu. If you have the same page as me, you will see it right at the top of the list.
Move your mouse over it and you will see two buttons appear: Install and Demo. Click on Install.
You will then be presented with a few fields to fill. Most of them don’t have to be changed but make sure you set the “Admin account” section accordingly. Use a strong password and remember it.
If you want to use your domain name directly for your blog, make sure you leave “In Directory” blank or you will have to access your blog through http://mydomain.com/subdirectory.
Once everything is filled, click on the button Install at the bottom of the page and wait for the installation to proceed.
WordPress is now installed on your domain, congrats!