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Self Hosted Blogging and How to Get Started

Published on 2/27/2011 by

A self hosted blog is a blog that resides on a web hosting account that you pay for.  Unlike free blogging services like Blogger, with a self hosted blog you’re able to update software at will, install new blog plugins, and grow your website without being limited by file or bandwidth size restrictions.

Step 1:  Buy a domain name

Your first step into the world of blogging is to purchase a domain name.  Your domain name can be bought through your web hosting company or with a domain registrar.  There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a domain name.  Your domain name should always be:

  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to remember
  • Easy to brand

If you need help choosing a domain name, tools like DomainsBot and NameSpinster can help.

Step 2:  Purchase web hosting

Finding a reliable web hosting company is one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your blog.  If you plan to be successful and grow your blog, you’ll want to find a host who can grow with you. 

  • Be leery of unlimited web hosts.  There are limitations to all unlimited web hosting plans.
  • Read web hosting reviews.  Web hosting reviews will give you firsthand experience from previous and current customers and warn you away from hosts who don’t live up to their flashy websites or promises.
  • Understand what Terms of Service contracts are.  You’ll need to sign a Terms of Service contract before purchasing hosting so take the time to familiarize yourself with them.
  • Know how much space and bandwidth you’ll need.  If you’re just starting out, you won’t need much to begin with, so don’t feel like you need to buy the most expensive plan on the market.  It’s more important to go with a quality web hosting company than to try and see how far you can stretch your dollar.
  • Know what you want.  Do you want a control panel, software that can be installed with the click of your mouse or a web host who will backup your files for you?  Carefully compare web hosting plans and find one that fits your specific needs. 
  • Give yourself room to grow.  Choose a host who offers several packages which will allow you to upgrade or downgrade your plan as needed.

Step 3:  Install blogging software

There are several different types of blogging software you can choose from, the most popular of which is WordPress.  If you’ve chosen a web hosting company with a built-in control panel you’ll be able to install WordPress within your control panel with a few clicks of your mouse.  If your host does not offer a control panel, you’ll need to download WordPress and take care of the installation yourself.

Those are the first three steps to starting your very own blog.  Once your blog is installed, you can go to work on customizing your look and get to the business of writing.

Have fun!