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Tech Biz Gurl was launched a week before my 30th birthday in about an hour. My goal was to start something – I felt the need to create a safe, approachable practical space for women to pursue their dreams without technology holding them back. I wanted women to feel that they COULD do it. That it wasn’t just a man's world.
And I wanted it to be fun and reflect who I was: a technologist, a businessperson, and a woman. Tech. Biz. Gurl.
So I took the blogging plunge and this was the beginning of a time of transformation for me. It has changed my life, connected me to some amazing people and has really set the stage for my most recent career move. But most of all, this process has made me a better writer.
How about you? Is blogging one of the things on your bucket list? Something you want to do?
You can start one right now. In fact, go ahead and click here to get started, then come back to this post for next steps!
Step 1: Purchase a domain name
The domain name of my site is TechBizGurl.com. This is where people go to find me on the web. Your domain can either be your name or your company name.
The hosting company I will recommend in the next step gives you the ability to add a free domain name as part of the hosting plan. This way you can get everything in one shot and in one place.
Note on domain names: Choosing a good domain name can be tough but don't get stuck overthinking it. It can be changed in the future if you want. But go with whatever feels right. For me, I didn’t want to use my name because how many “Jessica Williams” are out there in the world? A LOT. So I wanted to call my site something unique and memorable. As I often say, there are many “Jessica Williams” but only ONE “Tech Biz Gurl”. 🙂
Step 2: Get hosting
Hosting is the place that your website lives. To think of it another way, if your domain name is your home address, hosting is your actual home.
There are many hosting services to choose from, but I personally use and recommend Bluehost. It’s affordable, easy to use and has great customer service.
Bluehost is one of the top web hosting companies in 2016 and you can start your blog with them for as low as $3.49 a month. Also, if you sign up using my link, you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan.
Note: If you sign up for Bluehost and get stuck for any reasons or have questions, please send me an email and I'll be happy to help you out!
Start by clicking here to go to Bluehost.
Click the Get Started Now button.
Step 3: Select your plan
Next you can select your plan. As this is your first blog, you can go with the “Basic” plan. I purchased the “Plus” plan which is a couple dollars more per month, but I like this option because it gives me the ability to have unlimited space, websites and email addresses.
Keep in mind that even if you start with the Basic, you can upgrade later if you find that you need more space or more options. Click one of the Select buttons to move on to to the next step.
Step 4: Choose a domain
At this step, if you do not already have a domain, enter your new domain on the left. If you've already purchased your domain from somewhere else, enter it on the right. Click the Next button.
Step 5: Complete your account information
Enter your account information.
Step 6: Select your package
Under Package Information, choose the package you want based on how far in advance you want to pay. If you want to pay for a year at a time for example, make sure to select the 12-month option. Bluehost bills a year at a time but it works out to a reasonable monthly amount. If you sign up for a 36-month plan, the price works out to $3.95 a month. If you sign up for 24 months, then the price is 4.45 a month. If you sign up for 12 months, then the price is $4.95 a month. It's still extremely affordable and a great plan to choose. This is the option I chose for myself.
If you're a new blogger and still feeling a little unsure, I recommend going with a 12 month plan. It's still affordable at about $59 for the year! Also keep in mind that there is no contract so you can cancel and get a refund at any time.
There are some other options offered throughout this process, but you really don't need any of them at this point. You can add domain privacy protection for only $0.99 per month. This option helps protect your identity if someone looks up the owner of your domain. This is not something I have activated on my account, but it's completely up to you.
Step 7: Enter your billing information
Enter your billing information here. Click next.
Complete your order and pay. If you get asked for additional upgrades, you can skip those.
Once your order is complete, check your email as you will have one from Bluehost that includes information on how to login to your control panel (or cpanel).
Step 8: Login to your cpanel
Once you are done with the setup of your hosting account, you can install WordPress on your site. This part isn't hard at all. Bluehost makes this really easy which is another reason why I love them.
Head back to Bluehost. Click the Login button.
Enter the login information that you received in email from Bluehost.
Step 9: Install WordPress on Bluehost
Once you are logged into your cpanel, click on Install WordPress under the Website section.
Step 10: Continue installation of WordPress
Click on the Install button.
Step 11: Choose where to install WordPress
Choose your domain name from the dropdown menu if it’s not already there. Leave the directory field blank. Click Check Domain.
Step 12: Enter WordPress information
Check the box to “Show advanced options”. This is where you can enter your Site Name or Title. My site Name is Tech Biz Gurl.
Choose a username and password for your site. (Do not use “admin” as your username.) This will be the information you use to log in to your site once WordPress is installed.
Check the box to make sure you have read the terms. Click Install Now.
Step 13: Note your WordPress credentials
After WordPress has been installed, you will see the “Status: success” notice. Take note of the information to access your new site. This information will also be sent to you in an email.
Step 14: Log in to Your WordPress Site
After getting WordPress installed, you can log into the site and begin blogging.
You will receive your admin URL in email. It'll look something like this:
http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin (where yourdomain.com is the domain name you selected earlier)
Once you head to that URL you will be prompted to login. Enter the username and password that you chose in Step 12.
Click Log In.
Step 15: Start using WordPress
Once you log in to your site, you will see the WordPress dashboard. This is where you can add new pages, new posts and start building your site.
A default theme is already installed. So you can start blogging right away. The “theme” is the design (and look) of your website and there are hundreds of free and paid options out there.
Some tips on navigating WordPress:
- You can add and create new posts by clicking on “Posts” on the left-hand side f your Dashboard. If you want to add a page, click on “Pages”. To add images, you can click on “Media”.
- You can go to “Appearance”, then “Widgets” to add items to your sidebar and your footer.
- If you are looking for more theme ideas, in addition to the free themes in WordPress, Studiopress themes are very popular and I used one of them on an earlier version of techbizgurl.com. Another option is Bluchic. They both provide fun and feminine premade designs.
Congratulations! You have officially set up your blog.
This is only the beginning.
Now you can start writing. Start sharing your blog posts. And then you'll start getting clarity on your topics. You will start building a community. And you'll discover that somewhere in there, you’ve developed a voice. Your voice.
So if you've been waiting to start a blog, now is the time to go do it!
Jessica, you have laid it all out very simply. I guess setting it all up from your instructions could be the easiest part of the blogging experience.