Starting a blogging website in 2022
Starting a blogging website in 2022? Before starting a blogging website there are several steps you need to think through, like choosing a website host that will have your website on their servers. Thinking of a niche that you want to blog about. The niche should be something that interests you.
The blogosphere is flooded with lifestyle gurus, cooks and book review blog sites. It would be good if you can think of something that interests you. Maybe astronomy, photography. Maybe you want to write a book on a website and have different blog sections as different chapters on your blogging website. when it comes to writing blog posts you can be as imaginative as you want.
Are you thinking of starting a blogging website in 2022? I first ventured out to create a blog website was in 2016, I thought it would be as simple as opening a notebook and writing down my thoughts and if I wrote them then people would come flooding in to read them? I was wrong!
from what I have read most bloggers are passionate about the things they write.
When choosing a name think creatively
When thinking of a name for your blogging website make it simple, easy to remember and short. Your website name will be what is called your Domain name and often you will have to live with that name for a very long time. The name of your website will become what is known as your domain name. So if you decided to blog about different flavours of ice cream then you might choose a domain called rumandraisin.com or iscream.com. Be creative with the name and make sure you are happy with it before committing to it.
Most web hosts and also Google have a website where you can type in the name you are looking for to see if it is taken. I chose to use Google Domains.
to look for a domain name, but you can decide where you want to register your domain. Many web hosts will allow you to register a domain name for free for the first year then a reoccurring cost each year.
Google charges around £10 which is quite cheap for an annual cost of a domain name. www.rumandraisin.com is available if you want it.
On reflection, if I was to start a blogging website again, I would not have chosen www.reviewinglifeexperiences.com I would have chosen something shorter and more memorable like Reviewing Life or Life Experiences!
Finding your niche
Before you decide to name your blogging website or purchase a web host decide what you want to write about. Before I started my blog I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to write about.
My main thought was that I wanted to blog about the experiences I have had in life. Both good things and things that weren’t so good. From holidays, divorce to things I had seen heard, read and listened to. Me, at that time I felt that a good name for my website was Reviewing Life Experiences. When I decided on that domain name it didn’t occur to me that the domain name may be too long or not very memorable.
So before committing to a domain name ask yourself what do you want to tell people. What do you want to write that people would come back again and read and subscribe to your blog. All bloggers want an audience and a subscribing, a returning audience is the best.
My daughter has recently started her blog, which is called www.bookatitagain.com and from the title of her blog, you can see she reviews books that she has read. My daughter’s website is hosted on WordPress.com and you might want to have a look to see what a WordPress.com hosted website looks like.
The essentials of starting a blog
When I first started Reviewing Life Experiences, I didn’t have a clue where to start. I remember asking a college friend how they started their blog. It was my college friend that pointed me towards WordPress, from there I started looking up WordPress on search engines and youtube to find out what it was all about. I am the kind of person that does research before committing myself to anything.
There are many different platforms you can use to write your blog, it is what I referred to earlier as your notebook. The technical term is Content Management System (CMS) and it helps you to build pages and posts.
I automatically went for WordPress and I believe that was what was recommended to me. I was familiar with other CMSs. When I signed up for my first web host it came installed. But I love WordPress and what you can do in it., one of the world’s biggest platforms for bloggers, software companies and online shops. It is used widely throughout the internet to create websites.
I would not want to move to another CMS as for me the learning curve might be too much and I just want to get on with writing blog posts.
WordPress is a free platform to create your blog
One of the main reasons WordPress is so popular is that it is free and very easy to use right away, but it can be as easy or complicated as you want to make it.
There are different CMSs that you might want to explore before setting up your first website. One of the alternatives that are advertised that is widely used is Wix. Wix is both a web host and a site builder in one and some people may be looking for that.
The other platforms that I have heard of are Joomla, Drupal and Blogger, which is owned by Google. It wouldn’t be fair for me to comment on them as I have never used them.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
It may surprise some people that are new to setting up a website or a blog site that there are two different versions of WordPress. One is WordPress.com and the other is WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is the commercial side of WordPress. When you set up an account with WordPress.com it comes with a cost, that isn’t a bad thing because just about every website that is created comes at a price.
The advantages of WordPress.com
When you register for a WordPress.com does start at a free tier but this comes with adverts. The next tier currently starts at £6 a month for personal use and £13 for a premium account, this goes down significantly if you chose to pay annually and then it is £3 a month for personal and £7 for premium. I am self-hosted, and I pay less than that currently, I will talk about self-hosting later.
If you decided that WordPress.com is the platform that you want to use for your blog, then when you log in everything will be set up for you to get started writing your first blog.
You may want to choose one of the themes that WordPress.com has installed for you, which will help you decide what colours, the typeface you want to use on your blog when you publish your posts to the internet. But once a post has been published on the Internet you can always go back in a tweak it to look the way you want it to.
The disadvantages of WordPress.com
WordPress.com comes with its limitations considering you are paying for those limitations and on the personal account you get a free domain.
There is a lot of things that you can’t do with WordPress.com that you can do with WordPress.org. You can’t monetise your website by placing ads on your website, the kind you see on the right-hand side of my webpage. That is called monetising, which WordPress.com doesn’t allow unless you pay the top price, which you can see on their website.
You can’t use premium themes, so if you wanted a different theme that offers more customisation around colours, typography and style then you can’t do that with wordpress.com
You can’t upload videos unless you are prepared to pay the premium price. Videos are great for making a website more interesting and informative, as well as attractive if used properly.
It does also imply that you can’t install any plugins onto your WordPress CMS which can help to extend what you can produce on your website. I use a lot of plugins on my site to extend the functionality, security, speed and look of my website.
would suggest that you check out the WordPress.com website to see the current price and limitations for yourself. The limitations and less control over how I manage my website would not be any good for me.
My advice would be if you want a website that you can customise as much as you want then choose WordPress.org over WordPress.com.
Advantages of WordPress.org
The advantages of WordPress.org outweighs any disadvantages. I have not found one disadvantage.
Using WordPress.org you will need to host yourself with a Web Hosting company. The prices are comparative if not better than the prices of WordPress.com. I will speak about Hosting later in this post.
Using WordPress.org you will have full control over what your website looks like. As I have said WordPress.org is a free CMS. You can choose any theme you wish for your website. I personally like OceanWP. There are hundreds of other themes out there both free and premium that will help your website stand out.
You can choose what plugins you have on your WordPress site. A plugin is a small piece of software that places code into your website/web page to help it become faster, more secure, more interactive and more attractive.
honestly haven’t found any disadvantages of WordPress.org. the great thing too is that WordPress is being updated all the time with more and more functionality. The time will come when you won’t need anything else to build a website except for the WordPress CMS.
Plugins that I find essential for my website
Below is the WordPress plugins that I feel are essential to my website, and I find them invaluable.
Vaultpress by Automaticc
The most useful plugin I have on WordPress is Vaultpress, and I have used it for a long time. VaultPress is created and managed by a company called Automattic, the people behind WordPress. Vaultpress allows me to restore my website to a previous date if I make a change that can’t be undone or if I do something to break my site. I used it recently after installing a plugin that messed up my site and I was able to fully restore my WordPress website to how it was the previous day.
CleanTalk has also been a lifesaver for my website. CleanTalk is a security plugin that stops spam, spam comments and also brute forces attacks on my website by hackers. I get daily reports on spam and brute force attacks. It automatically blocks malicious websites and computers from attacking my website.
The support from CleanTalk, they are very quick to respond to emails and are very helpful.
CleanTalk is relatively cheap to use, it cost around £5.88 ($8.00) a year, plus by posting something about CleanTalk on your website you do get a few months added to your subscription. I would not be without and that isn’t an advert to get a few more months on my subscription.
To view details or subscribe to CleanTalk click on the affiliate button below
I have recently been using WP Rocket to help speed up my website as sometimes you can lose people if your website takes too long to load. I have found that WP Rocket has given my website that extra speed boost.
WP rocket can also speed up your blogging site by optimising your images using something called lazy load. Which loads any pictures on your website when the visitor comes to your website, and they scroll down or up to them
To view details or subscribe to WP Rocket click on the affiliate link below.
Other plugins I use on my WordPress site
I also use a plugin to create a Table of Contents within my posts.
I have a plugin to create a Cookie banner at the bottom of my website, which many see and use every day. A proofreading plugin to check my spelling as I type but I also have a Grammarly extension on my browser that not only checks spelling but grammar too.
Many plugins are free or are free, but you can buy the Pro version of it. Before getting and using a plugin I would research first to see how many people use it, the more the merrier. What are the reviews like, how many stars does the plugin have? do they slow down your website? If you are happy with all that then you are good to go.
Self-Hosting your own blogging website
The cost of running a website can be expensive. One of the biggest outlays initially when starting your blogging site is the cost of a WebHost.
On TV adverts, YouTube and just searching on google will bring up several different Webhosting providers and it is difficult to decide which one to go for.
There are a few things to consider, the cost of setting up your website on a hosting provider. How long is the contact for? What is the renewal price? What is customer support like? Do they host WordPress?
The last question may be the easiest to answer. First, most Web hosts will host and support WordPress. One word of caution, when you are looking at a Host some will offer Managed WordPress hosting, though this is more expensive.
monthly and over the lifetime of the contract. When looking at Managed Hosting ask yourself “Do I need it”?
I have no idea about coding a website and I have had one since 2016 and I have been able to manage a Website without that level of hosting. The hosting I have paid for the technical support people have been helpful.
I have always treated web hosting in the same I treat car insurance, home insurance and utilities, that is to shop around. You don’t have to stay with the same company if the price is too high once your contract is up for renewal.
I have always migrated my website to a different host if I thought it is too expensive and on one occasion because the hosting site was too slow and I didn’t like the customer support.
The Webhosts I have used
over the years I have used Siteground, Godaddy, 1 to 1 now known as Ionos, Hostgator and currently Hostinger.
Cost of self-hosting
Prices change very often with Hosting companies. Below are the current prices for Web Host at the time of posting and prices do change. Also, remember that the price you pay initially will go up once your first contact ends at the end of how many years you subscribe for.
This post does contain some affiliate links. if you do decide to click on them and sign up for a service I will receive a small commission that will help me to keep Reviewing Life Experiences maintained. Thank you if you do use the affiliate links.