12 Best Resources to Start a Blog
Would you like to start a blog to share your thoughts and experiences, connect with awesome like-minded people, or make money? We have good news for you: you can build a professional looking blog in a just few days, without any coding skills. There is a free blogging platform that was created just for people like you.
We’re talking about WordPress. It is an open source CMS (content management system) that allows you to create beautiful blogs, websites and web applications.
Below are 12 resources to help you start a blog using WordPress.
It might be obvious, but if you want to start a blog on WordPress you should start with WordPress.org. Here you can download the latest version of your favorite blogging platform and find lots of other helpful stuff. For example, thousands of free WordPress themes and plugins as well as documentation. It is also the right place to get support from the community members. And if you need some inspiration, you can check a showcase of websites that were created using WordPress. Also you might want to check the blog at WordPress.org for the latest news, WordPress development, and code changes. And if you feel you can help improve WordPress, be sure to visit the Make WordPress section. Actually, WordPress.org is a must-visit resource for any WordPress user.
WordPress Codex is the online manual for WordPress, and it’s a part of wordpress.org. Here you can find first-hand WordPress information and documentation, from basic tips to get you started to detailed articles on website development. In short, WordPress Codex has the most essential information you need to know about WordPress and this information is up to date and well structured. Apart from WordPress features and installation tips it offers numerous guides on blogging, designing, theme and plugin development, etc. Some other topics include WordPress site maintenance, troubleshooting, translation, etc. With WordPress Codex it’s easy to learn how to start a blog and how to use WordPress effectively.
Creating a blog is actually an easy task but the first step is to sign up for a web hosting account. And how do you choose a web hosting service that meets your needs? Maybe you have your own criteria, but in most cases it’s important to consider the following options: cost, bandwidth, storage, scalability, reputation, security, and support.
Still, with so many web hosts on the market it may be difficult to determine which one is the right fit for your website/blog. To help you navigate through the many options, we recommend you to check a comprehensive WordPress Hosting Guide. It offers a comparison of 9 web hosting companies that are currently popular in the WordPress community.
Now when you know the top 3 resources to start a blog on WordPress it’s time to think about quality blogs that can help you improve your knowledge. WpKube is a must read destination for beginners and experienced WordPress users looking for some tips, inspiration or advice on WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, WordPress hosting, WordPress security or WordPress SEO. The topics covered are comprehensive in nature and extremely detailed. Also, the blog features essential tips and tutorials for WordPress beginners. Here are just a few of the many articles you can find at WpKube:
- How To Install WordPress: The Complete WordPress Installation Guide
- How To Improve The Speed Of Your WordPress Site
Dedicated to long form content, WpKube is the place to go for in-depth reviews, web design guides, and other WordPress related content.
DesignBombs features the latest tips, tricks, trends, and standards of not only WordPress but design and development in general. Also it reviews WordPress hosting companies, WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, and other WordPress goodies. DesignBombs has many interesting posts, but there is one that deserves a special attention. It’s a comprehensive guide on How to Start a WordPress Blog.
Frequently updated and always informative, this is a great place to find advice, inspiration and learn about different WP tools you’re thinking about using for your website. In fact, this blog is also a nice place to find great WordPress coupons and deals.
If you’re a WordPress enthusiast, web designer or developer, then you can’t skip this awesome blog.
After installing WordPress you’ll see that your blog has a very basic design. But if you want it to look different, you should install a WordPress theme.
There are many websites where you can find free or premium WordPress Themes. WordPress.org is the most authoritative resource to download free WP themes. And if you want to use a premium WP theme, you should visit ThemeForest. It is a leading marketplace for WordPress themes and other web design products, founded by Envato. Currently there are over 8,000 WordPress themes to choose from.
In case you are not sure which theme is the best option for you, we recommend you to read an in-depth guide on how to choose a WordPress theme. It includes the tips you should consider to be totally sure you have chosen the perfect theme for your WordPress website/blog.
7. WooCommerce.com (eCommerce)
Read this only if you want to sell some products on your blog.
Most online retailers will tell you that the choice of eCommerce platform is a top consideration when starting your own web business. You have to carefully balance your needs against the platform’s various features, functions, prices, and unique selling propositions. You’ve got to ask questions. What sets one platform apart from another? Which can best handle the tasks you’ll have to accomplish most often? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
If you’re looking for the best ecommerce platform to accompany your WordPress website, then be sure to check out WooCommerce.com. It is one of the most popular and the most scalable WordPress plugins for building an online store. What else should you know about WooCommerce? It’s free to download and use and as of now it powers 30% of all online stores. Learn more about it and see if it’s right for your online business.
8. Yoast (SEO)
Building a website/blog is not enough, even if it is beautiful and easy to navigate. What’s the point of having a blog if nobody can find it? And here is where SEO (search engine optimization) steps in. SEO is a critical factor for driving traffic to your blog. It is mainly about improving your search rankings. And the higher your blog ranks in Google and other search engines, the more traffic it will get.
Luckily, there are some great tools that can help you with SEO. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced WordPress user, you will definitely appreciate Yoast SEO. It is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily optimize your WordPress website/blog. The plugin is easy to use and it has an intuitive interface. Btw, it is available in two versions: free and premium. Of course, the free version of the plugin is a great way to improve your site’s SEO, and if you want more features and support, then consider the premium version.
WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast seems to be a great SEO solution for your blog. Check it out and see for yourself.
9. Pixabay (Stock Images)
If you want to start a blog and you agree that visuals are an important part of website design, then you will have to find cool images for your blog. You might want to use background images, portraits or product images to represent your brand.
There is a growing tendency to use custom photography now. At the same time there are many websites where you can find stock images. For example, you can visit Pixabay. The site offers stock images and videos which you can use for personal or even commercial purposes. Look through 860,000 free stock photos, vectors and illustrations and download the ones that fit your WordPress blog.
10. Contact Form 7
It’s hard to imagine a website/blog without a contact page that connects the visitor and the website owner. But unfortunately, not every WordPress theme comes with a built in contact form. Luckily there are many Contact Form Plugins for WordPress that provide this important feature. And you can easily find the one that’s right for you.
One of the most popular options is Contact Form 7. It is a free WordPress plugin for building forms. Contact Form 7 is a feature rich tool that allows you to place your contact form anywhere on your blog using a short code. You can download this plugin from the official WordPress website.
11. W3 Total Cache (Site Speed)
Website speed matters. It affects your user experience, search ranking, traffic and conversions. If you want your blog to load fast, you should install a WordPress caching plugin.
Of course you can choose any one you like, but we would highly recommend you to use the W3 Total Cache plugin. It has such features as Page Cache, Browser Cache, Database Cache, CDN (content delivery network) integration and more. The plugin is trusted by millions of WordPress users all over the globe and it seems to be the best way to speed up your blog.
12. ManageWP (Manage Multiple WordPress Sites)
You’re a busy person if you have a few WordPress sites or you manage many client sites because it takes a lot of time to update them all one by one.
If you cherish your time, consider using a premium tool like ManageWP to help you. ManageWP is an ultimate software for managing WordPress sites. The service is perfect for web design agencies and those of you who manage several sites. It can help you use your time and efforts more effectively. By the way, you can sign up for the free version and see how you like it. Check out ManageWP.com to learn more.
There can be many reasons why you want to start a blog, but if you feel WordPress is the right platform for your project, now you know the most informative resources to help you on your way.