In this article, I will show you how you can start your WordPress Blog on SiteGround one of the best-shared hosting services that you can find.
If you hard about blogging and you want to start then in this tutorial you will find everything you need to know and do to start your own blog or website.
No matter of the niche you choose this tutorial will help you set up your WordPress blog with everything needed. At the end you have a video with everything you need to do in case you are a beginner.
SiteGround is one of the best-shared hosting services that you can use as is offering good performance, is easy to use and it has good support. It is voted the first option in multiple FaceBook groups:
As you can see is not only me that is saying SiteGround is the first hosting choice when it comes to hosting a blog.
What SiteGround has :
- Siteground has an incredible uptime.
- Great customer service 24/7. The team is not just supportive but they are also helpful in giving you an accurate solution with whatever problem you have.
- Siteground gives a blazing speed to load websites.
- Instant WordPress Support.
- Affordable price
- Free site transfer
- Free SSL certificate
- Automated daily backups
Performance Tests on Siteground
Below I thought that it would be nice to test how SiteGround is doing and why everyone thinks is the best. For a test, I have installed Astra Theme and added an article with 3 images. No other plugins except the default cache one. The results are extraordinary I say. In the same region we get:
As you can see in the above pictures the load time is under 1 second without any customization done. The post has text and pictures, basically, everything you need. The performance grade is above 90 which means it has everything optimized for best performance.
1. What Exactly is Needed to Have a Blog
1.1 What Is Web Hosting
If you are new into online you may not know what web hosting is, well web hosting is the place that is keeping all the files and stuff that are needed to host a blog. When having a blog you may need to add images, text, videos to an article and the web host is the place where all of these are stored. Depending for what you are using your blog and CMS used you may need a database, some email accounts, and an SSL to secure your site. SiteGround is the one that is offering all of this for you.
1.2 Domain Name
A domain name is a name that you enter in a browser to access different websites. In my case such a name is wpdoze.com. The name is doing the translation between the IP ( what the hosting providers offer) and the name. Basically, when you enter the URL address in a browser it tells where to go and load the blog with the files. This is what a domain name is doing.
1.2.1 Where you get Domain Names
Domain names are bought ( there are also some free options but are not recommended) and the price may vary in function of the domain extension. There are multiple extensions like .com .org .net that can be used but the king is still .com. SiteGround it is offering also an option to buy a domain name but you can use also other services like NameCheap or GoDaddy where you have more control over the names and settings. I personally use NameCheap and I host more than 10 domains already for various sites.
1.2.2 What Domain Name to Choose
The next thing to be decided is the domain name for your blog. It is better to choose the perfect domain name from the start than regret after. A good domain name is a short one that can be easily remembered and branded. If you take my example I have chosen wp from WordPress and doze from dose ( just with a z) to sound like WordPress Dose. It’s up to you the name you want to use. To receive help and see some of the domain names that you can have you can use a service like NameBoy to have suggestions.
1.3 CMS (Content Management System)
To easily upload the articles with the pictures and have easily some of the futures like SEO, design, email marketing you need a CMS. The perfect CMS for this is WordPress. WordPress is used by more than 30% of the entire web so it has a large community. Because it is used on a large scale there are a lot of modules developed that can help you implement the exact features you need.
WordPress is fast if the right modules are used and easy to use. There are a lot of tutorials for beginners that can help in understanding it. There are other CMS out there but the King of them is WordPress. Because it is used a lot it has also some disadvantages like that are targeted by hackers. If you are not properly securing it and install a lot of plugins you may have surprises. In my long years of using it, this is a major disadvantage I have seen in WordPress.
2. How to Start a WordPress Blog On SiteGround
2.1 Choose the hosting plan:
SiteGround it is offering 3 WordPress hosting plans from which you can choose. Go to SiteGround and you will see the 3 planes called: Startup, GrowBig, and GoGeek. In function of the plan you can:
- Host Multiple Websites/Blogs
- Have more server power
- Advanced Backups
- WordPress SuperCache
If you are planning to have multiple domains/blogs then you should go with the GrowBig as it lets you host multiple sites. In case the visitor number is increasing over time you can move to the next plan where you have more resources. The monthly visits are just a number to see how many visitors the server it is configured. As you see in the picture the price is reduced but is only reduced from the first invoice. So if you choose 1 year in the next you will be billed with Regular price which is a lot higher.
If you have money at the beginning you can choose 2 years to take advantage of the discount.
If we compare the price with other companies that are known like Hostgator
You see that with similar money you get unlimited domains at a very good price on SiteGround and performance is better. I don’t even want to touch the Hostgator Shared hosting because it is very bad. I have used it for some of my clients and I had the Business plan which was very slow.
SiteGround prices are not very high and not that low, they are somewhere between. There are some hosting options that are cheaper like iPage but you should choose them only if the budget is really an issue. The performances are not that good and you need the blog to move well and have good uptime to benefit from good SEO and have a good user experience.
2.2 Choose your domain name
Option 1 Buy a New Domain with SiteGround
For this you just need to input the name in the below field and SiteGround will do the rest and register the domain for you:
Option 2 Buy a New Domain with Other Company or Use an Existing One
In case you already have a domain and want to point it to this hosting plan you just need to change the name-server with the ones that SiteGround will send to you. You need to choose option 2 I already have a domain name
After you finish everything you will need to modify your nameserver with the ones from SiteGround it will look something like below in NameCheap :
2.3 Configure your SiteGround Account Info
Account information and payment details
After you have chosen the domain and hit proceed you will move to a new section where you need to complete your details with the name, email, address, etc in the first section and payment details in second just as below:
Configure Hosting Details
Next, you will see a window where you can see the plan you choose, the data-center, period and the extra services. At the end you will have the sum with the total amount that you will need to pay.
Some hints for this area:
- Data Center – in case your blog will address the users from a specific country or continent then choose the data center from that region. If you are making a France blog and you choose the US data center your user will see a more slow site then if you choose a Europe data center. Same if you addressing the US market
- Period – the price is reduced only from the first invoice so a longer period can result in lower prices for years to come.
- Extra Service– SG Site Scanner is not needed as you can install some free plugin that can do the same thing- WordFence
After you choose everything you just need to hit pay now and SiteGround will proceed in setting up everything.
2.4 Install WordPress on SiteGround
After the process is finished you should be promoted to follow a wizard that will guide you thru the installation process. This is for first users. It should look something like below:
All you need to do is click on the live chat option at the top of the page and ask the customer service rep to set up your site. You just go to support tab and choose WordPress Install and enter the details for access as in the below picture:
You put the directory like name of the site, email, the admin user and password.
I prefer this way as you have more control . You just need to go into the cPanel area and do the below:
After you choose the following:
- Once there, click on the blue “WordPress Installer” icon under WordPress Tools.
- Next, click on the blue “Install” tab.
You will have the following values to fill in on the screen:
- Version: Choose the latest
- Choose Protocol: HTTPS
- Choose Domain: Pick your domain name from the list.
- In Directory: Leave this blank.
- Site Name: Write the name of your site (can be changed later).
- Site Description: Write a description for your site (can be changed later).
- Admin Username: You will use this to log-in to your blog.
- Admin Password: You will use this to log-in to your blog.
- Admin Email: Enter your email address.
- Select Language: Choose your preferred language (English, Spanish, etc.)
- Select Plugin(s) – none as you can install them after.
Click Install! Wallah! You have a WordPress blog!
2.5 Install Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate on SiteGround
SSL certificates are very important as it is offering trust for the visitors and helps in ranking better in search engine + you will have a performance increase for your blog as it is working with HTTP/2.
On SiteGround you can have free certificates from Let’s Encrypt with an easy step, you just need to go into cPanel and search in Security for Let’s Encrypt as below:
After you click Get Wildcard:
Now after a while you will have the certificate and you can go in your administration area and install a theme and some plugins to start with your blog. Some small configurations will also need to be done to have everything set up.
3. WordPress Settings with Plugins and Themes
Now you have your WordPress site installed with an SSL certificate. Next, you need to login into the admin area with the user and password and do some basic configurations and have the theme and plugins installed. To go into the admin area you just type wp-admin after the name of your blog in my case I have https://wpdoze.site/wp-admin
3.1 Basic Configs
Change the site name: You need to set your site name and have your tag line you want. To do this go to Settings – General and modify them as you like:
After modify the permalink structure. This is the area where you choose how the articles URL will be displayed. WordPress by default is not having nice ones and you need to change them. Is important for your visitors and SEO:
3.2 Install the Theme
A WordPress theme is what your site will look like. There are a lot off free themes from which you can choose in function of what you like. My recommendation is to use Astra Theme because is Free, looks nice, is fast and can be customized.
To install it go in the Appearance – Theme and click Add New from the top bar. After search by Astra and activate it as below:
Now you have a theme for your site, you just need to customize it. You can check the documentation or Youtube where there are a lot of tutorials.
3.3 Install Essential Plugins
After you have the theme installed you need some plugins to help you with various activities. To do this you go under Plugins – Add New and search for the below plugins:
- SEO: Yoast SEO
- Social Share: Sassy Social Share
- Cache: WP Super Cache
- Security: WordFence Security
- Backup: UpDraft Plus ( Check this Video for Setup)
This are the essential plugins that you can use for the start, in function of your needs you can choose more.
Video with How to Start a WordPress Blog on SiteGround
Other hosting alternatives to SiteGround
In case you are a beginner, then SiteGround is the perfect host for you as it comes with everything without doing any effort. If you are a more technical person and you may want to experiment more and learn new things then you can try a VPS hosting where you have your own server. There you have the liberty to do whatever you want, but it comes with a cost ( you need to do it yourself). The price is smaller than SiteGround and the performance better if you know what you are doing. You can start with only 5$ and have several websites hosted. A service like this is called DigitalOcean
You can check the review here: DigitalOcean Review
For some tutorials that will get you going on DigitalOcean you can check: