So, you’ve been daydreaming about a name for your blog for weeks and have recipes and travel stories coming out your ears? What are you waiting for?!? The first step to starting a blog is to choose a hosting platform. If you’re serious about creating an awesome blog and want to be completely in control of your design you need to self-host. If we are all just renting space on the web, then using a blogging platform like blogger or wordpress.com is the equivalent of renting somebody’s sublet. Your blog’s address will have to be something like www.yourtotallyawesometravelandfoodblog.wordpress.com. If you self-host, you will have much more control over your site, and that cool domain name you’ve been dreaming about will look like www.yourtotallyawesomefoodblog.com instead! I am currently using Bluehost. The Wandering Fig is the second blog I have run on Bluehost, and I appreciate the fact that they have many affordable plans, and make it really easy to set up your site. They also have a great support team in case you have any questions.
So, you have a domain, and you’re ready to start blogging. Setting up your site is really not as difficult as you might think. The first thing you should do is install wordpress. Remember, when people say wordpress they are usually referring to one of two things–the wordpress.com accounts, where you rent a “sublet” space for your blog, and wordpress.org, blogging software for you to use on your self-hosted site. You will need to download the latest version of word press software at wordpress.org.
The next step is to make your blog look great! (Let’s be honest, there are a lot of amazing blogs these days and nobody wants to read an ugly one!) Luckily, there are hundreds of free themes that make creating an attractive blog easy for even the most computer illiterate among us.
I chose not to opt with a free theme this time, and installed the Genesis Framework. The Genesis Framework alone is not exactly a theme, but it creates a basis for your blog, which is really easy to use (even for someone who is completely unfamiliar with website design) and I love the easy SEO settings built into each post.
To fully take advantage of the Genesis Framework, you will need to download a “child theme.” Studio Press has hundreds of beautiful themes to choose from. The best part is that you can demo the web and mobile version of each of their themes right on their website. In my case, I chose the Foodie Theme by Shay Blocks, because even without a single tweak it was beautiful and perfectly suited for showcasing recipes and travel photos.
*Please note that I use all of the products recommended in this post, but I do earn a commission from some of them.