As I mentioned in my last post, I recently switched servers away from Bluehost to SiteGround. The experience was a little complicated but EXTREMELY helpful in stabilizing SweetlySparta.com and learning a bit about the technical process of running and starting a blog.
After everything had settled, I felt two things about the whole process.
- There cannot be enough helpful posts on the subject of starting and switching hosts and domains for websites.
- I am blown away by the sheer amount of help and support I got from SiteGround in the complicated process.
For those reasons, I’m creating this super simple guide to starting your dream blog using SiteGround! It really is so easy, you’ll be ready to start blogging in just minutes.
This post contains affiliate links
My experience with Bluehost was lackluster at best. They took forever to get back to me when I had questions and my blog had some issues with down time on their servers. When Bluehost recently announced that they were raising their prices I knew it was time to go.
Switching to SiteGround is easily the best thing I’ve ever done for my blog!
I can’t say enough about their customer support. Not only do they have a live chat option, but whenever I’ve opened email tickets for support, they typically respond within an hour. Their support agents are so knowledgeable and savvy.
They quickly switched my domain and website for me while Bluehost dragged its feet and caused even more server trouble. I barely had to do anything at all except try to be patient!
I really do suggest going with SiteGround if you’re contemplating starting a blog. From my own personal experience, they are a much better option. Plus, at the bottom of this page is a fabulous link to a 10 page workbook that will get your blog up and running as well!
Now then! Let’s get down to business 😉
Step One: Choose a Niche and Name for Your Blog
Do you love beauty, fitness, or health? Or are you passionate about one of the hundreds of other topics and blog niches out there?
The sky is literally the limit here!
SweetlySparta, for instance, focuses on lifestyle and blog tips. What do you want to focus on?
While I didn’t follow this next piece of advice, it still is very helpful: You should work your niche into your domain name somehow. I chose not to, however I did so knowing full well that the road would be a bit more difficult for me in terms of branding the site and getting the word out about us.
It’s much easier (and helps with Google ranking!) if you fit your niche into your name somehow.
For example, Sally’s Baking Addiction is clearly about recipes. The Fitnessista is about fitness. You get the idea. Remember, this isn’t a deal breaker here, you can still make it big in the blogging biz with a vague name, it just makes it a bit easier to be succinct.
Step Two: Choose a Platform for Your Blog
There are so many platforms out there for you to start a blog or website, but I fully recommend WordPress. They’re so easy to use and so widespread that you can easily get support.
That being said, you have two options here:
Hosted: WordPress.com blogs are those sites who are hosted by WordPress. This means that you cannot place ads on these blogs and you cannot have a customized domain name. For example, our website would be SweetlySparta.wordpress.com in this case. However, because we went with a self-hosted option, we have the chance to place ads and choose a domain.
Self-Hosted: WordPress.org sites are those that require a hosting plan from an outside service (like Bluehost or SiteGround) to run. If you want to make a profit on your blog or website, this is your option.
I know it sounds confusing, but I promise it’s much easier than it seems!
Step Three: Choose Your Hosting Plan
SiteGround offers 3 wonderful plans for you to choose from.
If you’re just starting a blog, they have a lovely and affordable StartUp plan. They also have a GrowBig plan and a GoGeek plan. All three are wonderful and tailored to suit different needs.
Step Four: Choose Your Domain
Now, remember how we talked about picking a name for your website? This is where you’ll punch that in.
Here’s where things get AMAZING. SiteGround offers FREE domain registration. Yep. You read that right. Other hosts will charge you for this service. Not our buddies at SiteGround though.
Step Five: Complete Your Order!
Take a glance through all the services and extra features that SiteGround offers and then finalize your choices. You can go simple or you can go complex, it’s all very easy to understand and presented without gimmicks right in front of you.
SiteGround doesn’t force you to purchase extra services in the name of ‘extra offers’ or anything like that. You get exactly what you want, and you get it affordably and within minutes.
It really doesn’t get any better than that!
At this point you’ll have a host and domain and you’ll be ready to login in to your snazzy new SiteGround account. Navigate to the large button that says ‘cpanel’ (which is where all of your important tools are located) and then to the big button that says ‘WordPress Installer.’
If you have any questions at all, don’t forget that SiteGround support is just a live chat away. They’ll have you good to go in just a jiffy!
Whew! I know that was a whole lot of info but the hardest part is just that little push you need in the beginning to start planning out your dream blog. You can do this!
Click the banner below for access to our FREE resource library, containing this super helpful 10 page workbook!
Are you thinking about starting a blog or switching your host? What are your favorite sites to go to? Let me know if you have any questions about SiteGround or Bluehost, I’d love to hear your thoughts!