So like us, you’ve asked yourself the question how do I start a blog for quite some time now, bus more specifically (since you’re here) how do I start a food blog, but have no idea where to start. Maybe you have the best recipe for double fudge chocolate chip cookies or the best guacamole dip. Maybe your friends and family have been raving about your cooking for quite some time now and you want to share your knowledge with the rest of Internet-land? Or maybe you love photography, lighting, and food styling and love taking awesome pictures of food and would love to get feedback or inspiration on taking photos of your awesome new recipes? Maybe you’re interesting in making money online and want to learn blogging while starting your own business?
Why wait? Get started today! Creating a food blog is easier than ever and can be one of the most fulfilling things you can ever do. Follow these simple steps to start your own website and you’ll be up and running in no time.
What we’ll cover:
Getting a Domain and Hosting with Bluehost
Picking a Theme to Make your Blog Look Great
NOTE: The Improv Oven food blog is hosted by Bluehost Web Hosting. For only $3.49 a month, Bluehost can help you set up and host your food blog. Because Improv Oven is a Bluehost affiliate partner, our readers can use this link to receive a 40% discount off the monthly price and a free domain name.
HOW TO START A BLOG OR WEBSITE: STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS WITH PICTURES
1). Getting a Domain and Hosting with Bluehost
Before you build your WordPress site, you have to make the decision of where you are going to host it. Having a self-hosted WordPress site gives you complete control over how you manage your site. A web host is where you are going to install the WordPress software; in other words, the server where your site/blog is stored. WordPress itself recommends Bluehost as one of the best web hosting services.
Click the link to Bluehost and it will bring you to the screen here:
Click Get Started Now to bring you to the hosting service plans page.
Bluehost offers one of the best website hosting service plans for as low as $3.95 per month when you pay it upfront for 36 months of hosting. This is a great cost effective option that will save you money and is the best deal they offer to get started.
The best thing when you host a new site with Bluehost is they give you a domain name for free! Picking a domain name is a very important thing to consider because it’s how someone is going to remember your site. We spent hours brainstorming the name for our site because we wanted something that was going to be memorable.
Enter your personal information and billing info…
We would also recommend clicking the domain privacy protection to shield your personal information from being viewed on the web.
Finally enter your credit card billing information and your ready to go! Congrats on your first step to building a food blog!
Next create the password for your user name and you’re all set with your login info.
2). Installing WordPress
When you think of WordPress, you may think of the word “blog” which is perfect for starting your very first food blog. WordPress is one of the world’s largest blogging platforms.
This may seem like the most complicated step, but Bluehost has worked hard to make this one of the easiest things for you to create your wordpress blog.
First let’s login to your new Bluehost account! Just go to Bluehost.com and click Login to bring you to this screen:
Enter your newly minted credentials to bring you to the cPanel.
cPanel is Bluehost’s web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site (Though this sounds technical it’s just where all the guts of your site hang out). This is where we’ll install WordPress for the first time and it takes less than 5 minutes to install!
A great feature about Bluehost is their support. You can easily call their 800 number and speak with a customer service specialist or they can even do things for you if you are completely lost in the dark.
In the cPanel in the Website Builders section, click WordPress
This will open the installation window. Click on Start a brand new installation. This is going to start the WordPress installation process, which has a few easy steps:
Choose where you want to install WordPress. This can be any domain on your account, or a subdomain or a folder for one of your domains. In this case it will be the domain you just registered.
Next click Check Domain, which will make sure the domain is assigned and pointing to your account. You may get a warning that you are overwriting files, but as long as you don’t have another website built yet, you can check the box and continue. This is mostly to make sure that you really want to install in that location. If you do have other sites built, you will want to make sure you’re not overwriting something important.
Show Advanced Options. This section allows you to set up your own username and password for your WordPress install. It is recommended to use a different username than ‘Admin’ and a very strong password. Make sure that the “Automatically Create a new database for this installation” box is checked, unless you have a database that you have already setup and want to use. In this case don’t make things more complicated and leave the box checked.
Check the box saying that you have read the terms and conditions. Then click Install Now.
Let that puppy install!
You will now see the progress page, which will show you how far along the installation is.
And you’re done! How easy was that?!
Once WordPress is fully installed, it will provide you with your Site URL, the admin login URL, your username, and password. You will get a copy of this information, except your password, in your email as well. Make sure you keep it in a safe place.
Now you can log into your WordPress food blog, by going to the admin login URL. Enter your username and password, then click Log In.
You will now be looking at the WordPress Dashboard. This is where you will control everything to do with your WordPress site, such as creating pages, writing posts, and changing the appearance.
Congratulations your WordPress food blog is officially up and running! Now the next step, let’s choose a theme.
3). Picking a Theme to Make your Blog Look Great
A good theme gives you the look and feel you want for your food blog, allowing you to design your food blog exactly how you want it to look. The best part about using themes and frameworks with WordPress is that you don’t need to be an expert coder to get the design to look how you want, you just plugin and play and the theme makes the design work a million times easier. Plus, once you purchase a theme, you own it for life. A theme has two halves: the framework (the bones) and the Child Theme (the beauty):
- Framework. There are several WordPress theme frameworks on the market, but Genesis Framework is without a doubt the best and most flexible choice. Genesis is the first half of your theme and will handle the structure and functionality of your site and even handle more complicated topics like SEO. Many themes merely handle the aesthetics of your new blog, but Genesis provides a necessary foundation for your Child Theme. Simply go to StudioPress and purchase the Genesis Framework.
- Child Theme. After you get your Genesis Framework, you’ll want to find that right Child Theme which is the design and aesthetics of your food blog. Improv Oven uses the beautiful “foodie” theme, which is available here Foodie Pro Theme through the StudioPress.com marketplace. Head on over to StudioPress.com, browse their carefully curated collection of themes, and find the design that’s right for you.
After you’ve downloaded the framework and theme, it’s time to install them to WordPress. Click the Themes tab in the Appearance menu sidebar and up on the top click “add new.” Upload your framework .zip file first followed by the Child Theme. And there you have it, now its time to customize your site and make it look pretty!