A while back I create a post on why you should start a sports card blog. I hinted at a few hosted blogging platforms that are free to use. Now, I will tell you how to get your own self hosted WordPress blog started.
First, the different between a hosted and self hosted blog. A hosted blog, like at blogger and wordpress.com means they take care of the setup and hardware. This is nice to have, but in return they get control of your content. If they decided to put ads on your site, they can.
A self hosted blog is when you pay for hosting and run the site yourself. It requires more work, but allows you to have control over your site and content
So why WordPress? I chose WordPress because I use it every day and feel comfortable with it. With WordPress you can buy a domain and web hosting, then install it yourself with little technical knowledge.
Step 1: Find a good web host
Most of the time a shared host will do just fine. Being on a “shared” server means you share hardware resources (CPU, memory, and bandwidth) with other websites. Shared hosting is the cheapest option and will serve you well up to a couple thousand hits (probably more) a day. Shared hosting can run you from $4 to $10 a month.
Personally, I use DreamHost. DreamHost has served me well for the last seven years with no complaints. I also recommended SiteGround as they have had a great reputation hosting WordPress sites.
If your traffic goes beyond shared hosting, you will need to graduate up to managed hosting. Managed hosting will significantly increase the response time of your site along with dynamically managing your resources on the fly. The price for managed hosting will run $30 or more per month.
Step 2: Find a good theme
All I can say about themes is to use a good theme framework. I highly recommend Studio Press.
Avoid page builder themes like the plague. These are themes that let you design your site with drag-and-drop tools. Page builders will cause issues down the road if you ever want to change your theme or add additional functionality.
Step 3: Find good plugins
This step is optional. You do not have to use plugins, but you will eventually need them.
Not all plugins are the same. I repeat; Not all plugins are the same. The great thing about WordPress is that it allows someone with little to no programming knowledge to create a plugin. The bad thing about WordPress is that it allows someone with little to no programming knowledge to create a plugin.
Before using a plugin, check the reviews and use some “google fu” to do some research. There are probably people out there who wanted to do the same thing as you and found a better solution.
This is only advice and you can do what you want with it. The advice I give is from witnessing mistakes and growing pains over the years. Hopefully it will help you save some time.
Now get out there and show of that collection.