As a follow up to my previous post, Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog, I have put together a series of how-to blog posts on setting up your own WordPress blog. While some people may find it intimidating, I will do my very best to explain the process in simple terms and make it as easy as possible.
The first step would be to opt for the self-hosted WordPress installation. There are many advantages to this, and while it is paid as opposed to the WordPress hosted option, it allows you more freedom with regards to themes and plugins, and having your blog point to your unique domain rather than yourblog.wordpress.com is the more professional approach. I may be biased, but I don’t take WordPress or Blogger hosted blogs very seriously. If they aren’t willing to pay for hosting and a domain name, they can’t be serious about their blog or website, so why should their prospective audience take them seriously? WordPress can be downloaded at WordPress.org.
Next up is web hosting. There are many hosting providers that provide their services, and they should meet the WordPress minimum hosting requirements. These will change with in time with regards to PHP and MySQL versions, but the most up to date requirements can be found on the WordPress requirements page. WordPress have even provided a template to send to potential hosting providers:
I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress <http://wordpress.org/> blogging software and I was wondering if my account supported the following:
- PHP 5.2.4 or greater
- MySQL 5.0 or greater
- The mod_rewrite Apache module
WordPress have a list of recommended hosts on their hosting page. Assess your needs before hand and choose a hosting provider that meets those needs.
Choosing a domain name is next and it is a crucial step that needs some thought and planning put into it. Your domain name is your brand. It needs to be taken seriously and there are a lot of variables that need to be taken into consideration. For example, your domain name should give your potential audience an idea of what your blog is about. Some people choose to use their names, while others choose keywords for their chosen field or industry.
Your domain should be short, catchy and easy to memorise. Shorter is better, but not many of the shorter domains are available. This is where you need to be creative. I used a web app called Wordoid to create the domain for my blog about social media, Social Mediction. Wordoid helped me create a domain that sounds like a synergy of social media and addiction.
You can create wordoids that sound either natural, almost natural, or hardly natural, in either English, Spanish, French, Italian, German or any combination of the languages. I recommend having a natural sounding English wordoid.
Next you can choose to put a keyword in your wordoid, either at the beginning, end or somewhere in between. I would highly recommend putting a keyword pertaining to your field or industry.
Lastly, set the limit of the number of characters in your wordoid and press the ‘Create’ button.
The results based on your criteria also show whether the specific wordoid is available as a .com or .net domain. The search results also show how many times the particular wordoid appears on the web. If the wordoid is unavailable, you can back order it, or if the wordoid is available you can register it, right from within the results page.
Another interesting tool to consider is Domai.nr, which is a fresh and creative way of looking at domain names. You enter a keyword into the search box and Domai.nr searches all the different variants that are available for that keyword globally. It will start with top level domains such as .com, .net and .co, and search all the related domains, along with their availability.
If the domain is available, a green block appears next to it. Clicking on the available domain will also allow you to register it.
Picking a domain name can prove to be challenging. The reason that I’ve included Wordoid and Domai.nr in this post is to help you look at the challenge from a fresh perspective, instead of giving up when you discover that your domain is taken. Remember, your domain is your brand.
Have you got any questions or information to share? Let us know in the comments.