Just like your house has an address, your website needs a domain name. In other words, a domain name is the address of your website online. If you’re not sure how to get your very own domain name for your website, be sure to watch the video tutorial I made on how to do just that. There are many websites, called “domain name registrars”, where you can register your domain name. For my website, I used Namecheap. They always have great deals to offer new and existing customers, and their website is very user-friendly. It’s also important to note that you want your domain extension (i.e. .com, .ca, .net) to be .com since it’s pretty much industry standard. It’s also been around for so long that it even ranks higher in search engines. That’s definitely something you want for your website.
Once you purchase your domain name, you must purchase web hosting. Think of web hosting as the physical “house” for your domain name. A really great web hosting provider is BlueHost. When you’re just starting out on your blogging journey, purchasing a shared hosting plan is inexpensive. The shared hosting plan would have more than enough storage for your blog files and the minimal content you’ll probably have during your first year of blogging. Once your blog starts growing, you’ll want to look into purchasing a VPS (virtual private server) for additional power and storage.
CMS (Content Management System)
Now that you’ve setup your domain and web hosting, it’s time to choose a CMS for your blog. This might come to no surprise, but WordPress is the best one out there, and for good reason! It’s free, super easy to install via your BlueHost cPanel. Not to mention, some of the best blogs, like TechCrunch, Adobe, I Love Typography, and more, all use WordPress to power their blogs.
Website Design / Theme
Once you’ve setup your WordPress blog, you’ll want to use an attractive theme. There are tons of free themes in the WordPress theme directory, but you can also purchase some great WordPress themes on Themeforest. If you’re super talented, you can even design your own WordPress theme. If you don’t have the time for that (it is pretty time consuming), you could always look for a web designer who’ll be more than willing to do it for you, for a fee of course. Having a custom theme to meet your exact wants and needs for your website is great. You’ll never have to worry about another website having the exact same look. After all, who want’s to be a copy? Just in case you’re wondering, XO PIXEL is a custom theme that I developed from scratch and I’m super happy with it!
In order to have a successful web design blog, there are a few tools that I think you should really think about using (or learning how to use):
- Adobe Photoshop —for creating pretty images, blog graphics, gifs, website layouts etc.
- Grammarly — for editing your spelling and grammar as you type (Click here for more free writing apps)
- Brackets — a free code editor if you plan on writing about code
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help promote your blog
- DSLR Camera – If you want to take photos for your blog, using a high-quality camera is a must
What Should You Write About?
- Web Design – design inspo, tutorials
- Web Development – latest coding news
- Trends – the latest in web design, web development, UX design
- Reviews – review web design books, tools, software
- Tech – reviews, software, tips, tricks
The Myths — Debunked!
“Blogging is expensive”
You can start a blog for less than $5 a month. That’s less than the amount most people spend on coffee each month! Why not fund your passion?
“Blogging is oversaturated— it’s hard to stand out”
Yes, there are many blogs out there. There’s also a lot of people that probably applied for a certain job you wanted, but that didn’t stop you from applying, right? Be unique, do something no one else is doing, it’s a tried and true method for standing out. Don’t let a little competition scare you!
“If you can’t write well, you can’t blog”
This is definitely the biggest myth of all. I’m not the best writer by any means. Has that stopped me from blogging? Heck no! Let’s be real, thanks to many free tools that help improve your writing, it’s now easier than ever before to write readable content.
Starting a successful web design blog is easy. There’s no need to feel like it’s something you can’t do. I always get emails from readers who would like to start their own blog but are very hesitant. So, if you’ve ever wanted to start you own web design blog, I truly hope this article gave you the confidence and motivation to do so. Now, what are you waiting for? Give it a go!
Also, let me know in the comments below if you have any additional question or comments in regards to starting a successful web design blog.
Image via #WOCinTech