Welcome to the PassiveIncomeTrek.com how to Start a Blog Tutorial.
Before you start following the start a blog tutorial I recommend you prepare a list of suitable domain names that you would like for your blog. If you have any questions please leave them in the comment box at the end of the tutorial, Ask me on Twitter (@PassiveInTrek) or send me an email via the contact page.
Start a Blog – Step One – Registering a Domain
First things first lets buy your domain name. Head on over to 123Reg, in the search box in the middle of the homepage, go ahead and type the first domain name from your preprepared list of possible domain names. If your first choice shows up as available – happy days. Of course it may not be available, It depends how generic and popular the domain and subject is. If your first choice TLD (.com, .co.uk, .uk. net .org etc.) doesn’t come up as available, perhaps consider one of the alternative TLD’s If none of the alternative TLD’s take your fancy then go ahead and check the next domain’s on your list etc.
Once you have decided on a suitable available domain add it to your basket and click proceed to checkout. At this point 123Reg will try to offer you all sorts of extras such as web hosting (which we are sorting out later with TSOHost,) email hosting and domain privacy. I generally ignore all of them and just click through to register with 123reg and then to enter your Credit or Debit card details. Once thats sorted your domain name will show up in your account within a few minutes.
Start a Blog – Step Two – Registering a TsoHost Account
So for step two we are going to go to TSOHost, Once the page is loaded hover over the hosting button at the top and then select WordPress hosting. Select View Prices and Plans and then the basic package and click Buy Now. The Cart will appear on the right, select view cart and then Continue. This will then ask you to login if you already have an account or to create one. As we are assuming you are a new customer select create new account and fill in the details including the security details on the right. The next page will ask you for your payment details so fill in the card details and then away you go. You will then shortly after receive a welcome email from TSOHost with your login for the hosting control panel. Keep that handy!
Start a Blog – Step Three – Pointing the Domain at TsoHost
Now that you have your domain name registered and the hosting account setup. You need to point the domain name’s DNS at your TSO hosting account. You can do this in one of two ways. By using “DNS A Records” or by setting the “DNS NameServers”. Neither method is any better then the other although the NameServer option is slightly easier. I generally use the A Record method, Reason for this is I know the 123reg DNS control panel, I know how to set my DNS properly and I also use other services which also need DNS records setup. Such as Google Domain Apps and ZenDesk.
For both methods you will need the IP address from the TSOHost control panel. So we will start there. Head to https://control.gridhost.co.uk and login with the credentials TSOHost emailed to you after you signed up for the hosting account. At the top it should say Add New Website button. Click that and then enter your domain name. The second page asks you what operating system you would like, Linux, the default is fine. The next page gives you a whole heap of options and information but for now the one bit we are interested in is on the right hand column. In my case it says Web IP: 220.127.116.11. Yours maybe slightly different. Make a note of it as we will need it in a moment. This has provisioned your domain name with your hosting account. Now we just need to point the domain at the IP Address.
A Record Method
Head over to 123Reg, Select the control panel button at the top and then push the manage button next to the dropdown menu (If this is a new account you will only have the one domain in there.) You should then have an option about halfway down that says manage Manage DNS (A, MX, CNAME, TXT, SRV). Select that and then the advanced Tab. Here you will see a page that you need to the push the pencil button’s on the right of the records you want to edit. So select the pencil next to the “*” DNS Entry. Edit the IP address and copy in the one you wrote down earlier from your TSOHost Account. You need to save this with the tick button and then do the same for the WWW and @ Record. Then you simply need to wait 24-48 Hours for the DNS to propagate.
If you wish for the easier setup and only plan on using TSO’s services for email etc. Then this is the easier option. Do the same as above navigating to the Manage domain menu but this time select Change Nameservers. Then you type in (ns1.tsohost.co.uk, ns2.tsohost.co.uk and ns3.tsohost.co.uk) into each box, hit save and again wait 24-48 Hours for DNS to Propagate.
Start a Blog – Step Four – Installing and login into WordPress
For this step we are back over in the GridHost control panel. So head over there and login. At the top it should say your website address that we configured in step three. Hover over the website name and then it should show you the manage website option which you should select. This is now where you can manage everything from Email Accounts, FTP access, MySQL databases to installing prebuilt software such as WordPress. Scroll to the bottom of the page and it says Install Applications. The top option is then WordPress. Click install and then Install Application.
After a few seconds you will then see the information message saying Application Installed message with a temporary username and password. You should login using the details and immediately create a new administrator user with a very strong password. You should write both the username and password down somewhere as you are going to login as that new user in the next step.
Start a Blog – Step Five – Configuring WordPress Security
WordPress powers roughly 20% of the internet’s website’s. Keeping it secure and patched is key. Therefore we recommend that you login to the back end of your WordPress site as the new admin user you created in step four. Go to the plugins section and then click install plugins. At this point you will have a selection of the popular plugins in the list and a search box. I recommend that you install the following plugins at this stage by searching for them in the search box.
WordFence – WordFence acts as a firewall and AntiVirus for your website. It puts restrictions on logins etc and you can configure it so that the login is disabled at times when you are not likely to be working.
Block Referer Spam – This plugin not only stops a fair few spamming websites from connecting with your site, it also keeps your Google Analytics clean from spam Referer’s.
Start a Blog – Step Six – Other recommended WordPress configurations and plugins
This section is going to be constantly updated as I find more recommended config options that work. For this you will need to install more plugins as the previous step – Again if you use the tweet to download these plugins will be included in the download.
The Following Plugins are all part of the Passive Income Trek base setup for WordPress. These are plugins I install on every site we put online.
Yoast SEO – This plugin gives you a whole heap of SEO options in order to maximise your websites SEO possibilities.
Maintenance Mode – This Plugin I install whilst i am developing a website. It keeps it from prying eyes but lets you work on the site.
Which Template File – This Plugin shows you which template file is currently being used on a page. So if you want to make a few changes to the layout or functionality of the page. You know where to make it.