So you’ve chosen your hosting and installed WordPress. Now what? What is the next step for your blog after hosting and WordPress installation? Blog setup and maintenance!. We will be going through easy blog setup and maintenance in this post. There are a few things that you need to perform as soon as you can prior to moving on. After hosting and WordPress, I know you’re excited to write your first post, but do yourself a favor and start out right.
If you have not yet setup your hosting and installed WordPress, read the Blog Tech Checklist post first.
First, let’s talk about the difference between your hosting administration panel and your WordPress installation panel. They have different websites and sometimes different logins. To help you understand, let’s think of it this way.
cPanel vs wp-admin (Hosting vs WordPress administration)
If you want to do this for your hosting, you use cPanel. Here are a list of things you might need to do in cPanel:
Most Common cPanel Descriptions
|Backup||Most hosting services offer some type of backup and restore capabilities. You would set up your automated backups here.|
|DNS Zone Editor||Use with caution. ONLY use this if told by your hosting provider. Situations that use this would be if you purchased your domain from another site and are hosting that domain in this hosting site.|
|Domains||This will list all the domains you are hosting with this provider. If you are not hosting a domain here, but you have purchased other domains, you will need to go to that site to see the other domains you purchased.|
|Addon Domains||Most hosting sites offer you unlimited domains. Keep in mind these domains all share the same server and space, so you will need to keep an eye on that. However, if you have other domains you want to use this hosting for, you would list them here.|
|Where you set up email addresses for your domain. This is where we will spend some time in this tutorial.|
|Lets Encrypt SSL||A free SSL service that is offered by most domains.|
|Cron jobs||Usually, these are automatic, but this is the automated scheduler that comes with your hosting. You could occasionally be instructed to stop and restart your cron. You would do that here.|
|Applications||This area is used for installing WordPress on your domains or other applications (Joomla, Dolphin, and other website types)|
|Website Builders||This is used for building websites that are not WordPress, etc. It can be used for landing pages.|
|File Manager||In some cases, plugins or addons will ask you to place a file in your "home" directory. You would find that in File Manager. Use with Caution.|
Depending on who your host is, there may be some items that are different, but primarily, you’ll see the same functions regardless of your host. For an in-depth look at the cPanel on Siteground or FastComet, see our video section.
Easy Blog setup – eMail Accounts
In the next step for your blog, you will need an email address to represent your domain. Most hosting comes with unlimited email addresses, including Siteground and FastComet. I recommend starting with 4.
- Your “administrative” account. This one will get all the notifications of backups, etc. I would also use this one for things like Google Analytics. I do NOT recommend you name this account “administrator” or “admin” unless you want lots of SPAM. Name it something silly, or fun. R2D2@annierichardsonconsulting.com or firstname.lastname@example.org come to mind (no, it’s NOT my actual admin account!).
- Your emailer account. You will use this to send out automated emails to your subscribers through ConvertKit, MailerLite, MailChimp, or other services. Your name @ your domain is good for this. Mine is email@example.com.
- Your personal business account. You would use this for bank accounts, professional organizations, sponsors, etc. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com look professional.
- And last, but not least, your contact email account. This is the one you publish on your website for anyone to contact you or on your About Me or Contact pages: It is ok to call this one “contact”. So in my case, firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that you have decided what email accounts you need, let’s create them. Keep in mind, you want the accounts to all have a good, strong password. Yeah, I know they are hard to remember, but you should have an electronic vault (such as 1Password) or a blogger’s notebook that is kept in a safe place that you can record these passwords. Oh! And one last thing… you should make all the passwords different. Think about it…if someone hacks your email account with a password, and they are all the same…. We’ll talk about SPAM filters and ways to protect your website in another post, so for now, if you WANT to make them all the same, so be it.
Two Minute Blog Tech – Create Email Address
Watch the two minute blog tech videos below to see how to create your email accounts.
Email addresses – Fastcomet
Two Minute Blog Tech – Add Let’s Encrypt SSL to your Blog
Ok, next step for your blog, is to add SSL to your blog. Most hosting sites are providing this free for now.
I’ll show you how to use Let’sEncrypt SSL and set up SSL for your blog in this two minute tech tip.
WordPress Administration Login
For now, let’s move on to the administration of your blog. I want you to do a couple of things first. For the next step for your blog, let’s go to your WordPress administration page which is https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin. This is where you will perform the administration login.
You will use the login that you provided when you installed WordPress. Hopefully, you recorded the login information somewhere when you installed WordPress.
Here is a quick image of my WordPress Dashboard. I will have a video and deep dive in a later post.
It is important to backup and update your plug-ins. You should check every day or so. When you have updates that need to be installed, a number will appear beside the word “Update”.
Decide your First Theme
Let’s start with choosing our theme. If you are just starting out, don’t spend too much time choosing your theme. Trust me, it will change in a few weeks/months.
Think about what your blog is about. Is it mostly pictures? Will you be posting longer blog posts? Do you want it to be feminine? Does it revolve around sports? In any of these instances, you don’t want it to be too “busy”. More white space than not is the way to go. Remember, you will be tweaking this along the way and eventually even move to a purchased theme. If you are new to this, DO NOT PURCHASE A THEME NOW. Trust me, I speak from experience.
When I started Elite Blog Academy, I had a vision. I thought I knew all about blogging from a technical point of view. I had an idea what I wanted to blog about. Sooooo being the nerd that I am, I jumped out and bought a theme. I worked with it about a week and hated it. So I bought another one. This theme I loved and would have been fine for a long while …. until … I got in to a mentoring group.
I highly recommend Kim Anderson’s Mentored Membership Group. In that group, I learned so much. First, I finally scheduled a DISC personality assessment with Karen Bemmes. It was during the discussion of that assessment, and personally speaking with Kim Anderson and other mentors of that group, I decided my focus and niche WAS ALL WRONG for me. It wasn’t my passion. It seems teaching was my passion. So my pretty, awesome Fairy Dust Blog and theme, wasn’t going to work well in this new niche. So, what did I do? I bought ANOTHER theme.
Meanwhile, learn from my mistakes and stick with one of the freebies for a while. It will serve you well until you are certain of your niche.
Two Minute Blog Tech – Install a Theme
Next step for your blog, Your Colors, and Logo
Now please, do NOT spend days and days on this step. This step is easy to go down the rabbit hole. After you have spent some time on your blog and writing, you will want to hire someone to create your logo for you, unless you are talented in this area. For now, think about your theme colors and your message. What colors go along or contrast well with that? For example, you wouldn’t necessarily want to go with lime green if your theme was red or something like that unless you wanted to make a statement of some sort.
Are You Ready to Start Writing?
Now we are all setup and ready to go. Are you ready to write? Good! Make sure everything here is ready, post any questions you have either below or in our Facebook group, and watch for the next post! We’ll take you step by step in writing your first blog post and what to worry about. Our post on Writing an Awesome Blog Post will step you through.
If you already haven’t, don’t forget to sign up for our Resource Library where you can get all sorts of handouts and things that may help you with your blog.
Until next time, happy blogging!
Annie, Your Fairy BlogMother
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