So you want to start a blog? Good thinking. As a blogger, there’s no cap on your income, and you can work from anywhere with WiFi. You also get so much creative freedom, something you’ll rarely find at an office job. Setting up a blog is a straightforward process, even if you’re not techy. In this post, you’ll learn how to start a WordPress blog with Siteground in just 10 minutes. Yes, just 10 minutes is all it takes to sign up for web hosting.
This post contains affiliate links, as explained in my disclosure policy.
What is web hosting?
Every website needs an online storage space to keep files, images, code, and all the components necessary to run properly. This storage space is called web hosting. Think of it as a digital parking lot for your website. There are hundreds of web hosting companies out there that offer starter plans for $5-$10 a month. However, not all of them are created equal. Based on my experience and research, I wholeheartedly recommend Siteground and caution you to avoid Bluehost.
Siteground’s web hosting service has had the highest satisfaction rate among regular consumers for years. Entrepreneurs, web developers, small business owners, and other impartial users have plenty of great things to say about Siteground. It is consistently ranked #1 on web hosting review sites and Facebook polls. Below are polls taken in the WordPress Hosting Facebook group in 2018, 2017, and 2016.
I stress regular consumers because that’s the group you should pay the most attention to when you’re shopping for a hosting service. Bloggers make money by promoting web hosting services. That’s why it’s a good idea to see reviews from those who have nothing to gain. Don’t just take my word for it. See more of what others like you have to say about Siteground.
Consumer Advocate, a group that performs in-depth research on consumer products, tested 12 top hosting companies and found that Siteground provided the best overall value. Consumer Advocate sited Siteground’s customer service and uptime as some of the best things about the company.
You can also read my comparison of Siteground and Bluehost, one of the most popular hosting companies. I signed up for their hosting because top bloggers recommended it. Don’t make the same mistake I did! Dealing with Bluehost’s couldn’t-care-less customer service and non-stop customer tech problems for a year has given me a greater appreciation for Siteground. Now let’s talk about more reasons why Siteground is simply amazing.
Siteground has outstanding uptime
Uptime refers to the percentage of time within a given period (month or year) that your web hosting service is running. Downtime is when the web hosting service is not working, normally due to server issues or other technical problems. Every web hosting platform experiences downtime once in a while. Too much downtime, however, causes websites’ performance to suffer. Siteground has a 99.996% uptime, which means the server is down around 6 minutes during an entire year.
The Siteground customer service team actually cares about you
Siteground’s customer service is a dream to work with. The staff are very professional, responsive, and helpful. Siteground offers both chat support and phone support, which I’ve used once. I got through to a person in less than a minute. If you’re looking a support team that treats you like a person, you will not be disappointed with Siteground. Technical issues come up, and you’ll need to reach out for help. Having access to well-trained, personable customer service makes everything so much easier!
Siteground’s security is top-notch
Siteground keeps your work secure by automatically backing up your website on a daily basis. You don’t need to worry about if your backup is up-to-date. In addition, Siteground performs a security scan for your website and sends you a security status update weekly.
Siteground is recommended by WordPress
WordPress has given Siteground the ultimate seal of approval.
Now let’s go over how to sign up for Siteground hosting. Below is a step by step guide to starting a blog with Siteground.
Click here to sign up for Siteground. Then follow the tutorial below to easily set up your hosting.
Step 1: Choose a hosting plan
Web hosting is basically storage space for your website online. When you sign up for a hosting plan with Siteground, you’re telling the programmers to store all your website data on their web servers. SiteGround offers three hosting plans – StartUp, Grow Big, and GoGeek. The Basic plan has everything you need as a new blogger. I chose the Basic plan because I was I had just one website and didn’t need all the extra features of the other two plans. Now, I use the GrowBig plan because my traffic and storage have outgrown the Basic plan.
A breakdown of hosting plans
The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website who are just getting started with blogging.
The GrowBig plan is great if you have a website that gets more than 10,000 monthly page views or you manage multiple websites.
The GoGeek plan is ideal for IT professionals, e-commerce sites, and those with advanced hosting needs. It’s built to support larger websites.
Step 2: Register your domain name
After choosing a plan, you will need to register a domain name. What does that mean exactly? Your domain name is the address people will use to find your website in the blogosphere. Think of your domain name as your house and your hosting plan as your neighborhood. My ‘house’ is www.fightthecubicle.com and it’s located on a Siteground web server.
You can register your domain name with Siteground for $15.95 a year. If you already have a domain name, then you can simply select ‘I already have a domain.’ You will then need to follow a different process to migrate your site to Siteground.
Step 3: Review and complete your order
After completing steps one and two, you’ll be prompted to fill out your personal information. It’s a good idea to have your wallet with you when you sign up. That way, you can look up ID and credit card information.
In this section, you can choose how long you want your plan to be. There are four options:
- 1 month
- 12 months
- 24 months
- 36 months
If you want to test out Siteground, you can start with the 1-month plan. Then after that, you can upgrade to 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. For my first blog, I started with the 1-year hosting plan. Then, when I renewed it, I chose the 36-month plan. Choose the length of time you feel most comfortable with.
Step 4: Check your order confirmation
After you complete your purchase, you will receive an email confirmation that your account is active. It should look something like this:
Now, you’ll have access to the Siteground client area and site tools, which were renovated in September 2019. In the client area, you’ll find step-by-step instructions to get started with your blog. You can get an overview of the Siteground client area and its features in the video below:
Step 5: Set up WordPress
You’ll be using the WordPress.org content management system to manage all your blog posts, pages, and files. Siteground makes installing WordPress fairly simple. You will need to access the Siteground client area. You can do this by following the steps in the confirmation email. There is a button that says ‘Launch Wizard,’ which will take you to the Siteground Setup Wizard.
Once you’re in the Siteground user area, you’ll see an orange button at the top that says ‘Set Up Site.’ Click on it.
Next, you’ll come to a page that gives you two options: start a new website or migrate an existing website. Since you’re starting a blog from scratch, you want to choose the former. You’ll be asked to choose an application. Select WordPress. With a few clicks, you’ll have WordPress up and running and can start creating content for your site.
Step 5: Install Your SSL Certificate
This is one critical step that bloggers often skip. An SSL certificate provides a layer of security that your website absolutely needs. It verifies your site’s identity so that people can’t create a fake version of it. With an SSL certificate, your website moves from HTTP to HTTPS. This shift is important because HTTPs is not only more secure, but also more trustworthy for visitors.
Every Siteground user gets a free SSL certificate. To install it, go to your Siteground user area. Click on websites at the top. Then select ‘site tools’ next to your domain name. Then you’ll be taken to a page that has extra services you add. The SSL certificate is one of them. Click ‘add.’
Step 6: Choose a WordPress Theme
So you’ve downloaded WordPress. The next stage is getting a template for your blog and a look that complements the tone of your blog. WordPress comes with free themes, but you’ll find that they’re really basic, not customizable, and don’t come with technical support. That’s why you should go with a premium theme. I’ve used several different themes but have found The Studiopress Themes with Genesis Framework are far superior to all the others. Here’s why:
- StudioPress themes are highly customizable, which gives you the flexibility to create the look you want.
- The Genesis framework, which stores the code for StudioPress themes, is the gold standard in the market. Web developers consider it to be the most secure and reliable theme framework.
- It’s mobile responsive – these days, most people browse blogs on their phones or tablets. It’s important that your blog can adjust to different screen sizes.
Step 7: Write great content that solves a problem
After you install WordPress, you can start writing content right away. Bloggers have mixed opinions about how often you should publish content. Here’s the deal: when you first start a blog, you don’t have much of a footprint on the internet. You also don’t know the particular topics that will drive traffic to your blog. That’s why it’s important to publish often and consistently during the first year of your blog. Aim for 10-15 posts per month. This is not a hard and fast rule, just a guideline. As you’ll learn in blogging, there are really no set rules. You have to find what works best for you and your audience.
Your goal is to quickly establish yourself as an authority in your niche, rank higher on Google, and get more eyeballs on your website. That said, never compromise the quality of your writing just to publish something. All your posts need to be well-researched and must address a specific issue that people are actively searching for. This post addresses one specific issue: how to start a blog on Siteground, something new bloggers are searching for. If you write about your undying love for basket weaving, no one is going to be searching for that. Instead, you want to write posts that are relevant, specific, and actionable.