You’ve decided to go for it and start a blog. You have ideas and passions to share with the world and you want the creative freedom of blogging. Or maybe you just have a hobby and would like to document your thoughts. Instead of one post on “getting your blog off the ground in 15 minutes” or “start a money-making blog in no time”, I’m going to break it down. And this one is all about setting up a blog and what you need to know. Choosing a host and actually just getting it started.
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Setting Up A Blog
I tend to disagree with the thought that you can start a blog in 15 minutes and I was pretty disappointed when it took me longer. Especially if you aren’t incredibly tech savvy. I’m in my 40’s and I just missed the technology boat in school. I played dot matrix games and spelled “hello” with the cursor, not code writing and google docs. So, no, it wasn’t 15 minutes and bam – start creating content and watch the page views roll in. It was a learning exercise and lots of googling.
I’m going to assume you already have a blog name. If you don’t, check out this post for ideas and thoughts on that. Once you have your name secured, you need to decide on hosting. And yes, you need hosting. It’s affordable, but not free. If you ever want to take your blog seriously and not just a hobby, you are going to want it hosted somewhere. There are numerous options out there and I’ve used two of the more common ones. And I’ve got a recommendation of one over the other based entirely on one factor – customer service.
Setting Up a Blog – What you Need to Know
This is the most common hosting option that I think you’ll see when you start searching. It’s the most affordable, their website gives good and clear directions on how to do it, and millions of people have used them. So they’re obviously doing something right. It’s what I used to start my first blog, Brown Dog Vintage. But, and here’s the major factor why I wouldn’t choose them again. Customer service. You’re going to run into problems. Blogging is not a magical unicorns and cute puppies world – it has issues that you’re going to need help with.
There are two main reasons I decided to ditch Bluehost.
First: I logged into WordPress one day and noticed that every time I tried to edit one of my draft posts, it led to a 504 error and wouldn’t let me in. It just went to a blank 504 screen. At the time I was using Safari as my browser. So I started the long process of attempting to use the online help chat service with Bluehost. They informed me it wasn’t an issue on their end and I should contact WordPress. During the chat, I noticed that one of my posts also had an odd lock symbol underneath it and the words “debug is editing this post”. Wth?? Who is debug and why are they editing my posts?? So I asked in the chat if that was actually Bluehost researching my current 504 issue. They said no and then proceeded to ask me about google rankings and such. Why are you trying to go off on a google tangent when clearly there is something wrong with my site??? So that was the first straw. Not only are you not helping me, but you are trying to sell me on something.
Second – After getting nowhere with WordPress (they will only give you support if they are the ones hosting your blog, otherwise, your only option is to post in their enormous forums and hope for a response), I decided to try again with Bluehost support. A friend recommended that I check the administrator area of my site. I had an unknown user listed as an administrator in my WordPress dashboard and “it” was editing my posts! I didn’t know what to do and was panicked. Clearly my site was hacked. After nearly 2 hours and me getting so frustrated with them, I vowed to change hosts.
And I’ll tell you why. They “chatted” with me as if I was a tech guru. Like I should know exactly how and what he was referring to without further explanation. This fix involved several complicated steps that started with going into my cPanel and going down numerous paths to get to a huge list of code that I knew nothing about. And they weren’t exactly friendly when I insisted that I needed further instruction to figure out what in the hell they were talking about. So, it got fixed. But that was the last straw for me. Nearly 2 hours and I was beyond frustrated. Not to mention that their “chat” wait times are excessively long.
So I know that was very long-winded, but I want to know details when I’m choosing something important and blog hosting is important!
And I know lots of people who start with Bluehost and have no problems. There is not a one size fits all with blogging, but I’m giving you my honest experience.
That brings me to Siteground. My first experience with Siteground occurred because I was contemplating changing my original blog name. I was uncertain on how to proceed since I knew I wanted to change hosting if I did it, and I wanted to see how much help I could get. Again, not tech savvy so I need help. And ps, a total aside, I’m in awe of those tech savvy peeps that just get it. But that’s not me and it’s ok.
I contacted Siteground through their online chat found on their website. Immediate response. Immediate. Right then, I knew they were the ones for me. No waiting in queue for 15 minutes or longer before someone comes on to help. The person I chatted with had clear answers, helpful ideas, and no pressure. No selling tactics and he didn’t make me feel as if I should already know these answers. And if you decide to transfer an existing site, they will do it for free! They are a little more expensive that Bluehost but not much and the customer service so far is outstanding.
I eventually decided on starting a second blog instead of transferring my domain name for Brown Dog Vintage. My niche for BDV is home decor, DIY, and organizing, and I wanted to branch out. For me, the easiest way to do this was to start a second blog which is where you are now.
Eventually I decided to redirect all my Brown Dog Vintage content to create and find to just have one blog. This will be a post on its own because it’s a process for sure.
If you’re transferring, contact Siteground and they will walk you through the entire process. Or, if you’re also rebranding and changing names, switch hosts first and then let them help you with the domain name change.
If you’re starting from scratch, go to Siteground and they will have you up and running with excellent customer service. Choose your name, get your hosting set up and then you can move on to choosing a theme.
And if you’re convinced now that Siteground is the way to go for setting up a blog, feel free to use this link to get started!
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