If you are looking for a way how to start your own blog in South Africa for 2021 and beyond. Then, you have definitely come to the right place. I will show you in simple steps, how you can create your very own website and start blogging in under a day.
How To Start Your Own Blog In South Africa Today With 5 Easy Steps
Many people are often scared to undergo starting their own blog. And, this is because it is often perceived to be a complicated process. However, that might’ve been the case 15 years ago. But, today, building your own website blog has never been easier. Without wasting time, let us get started with the first few steps.
- Step#1 – Register a domain name
- Step#2 – Sign up for web hosting
- Step#3 – Set up your hosting account
- Step#4 – Install WordPress
- Step#5 – Create your blog in WordPress
Step #1 – Register A Domain Name
The first thing you need to have is a domain name. A domain name will be the name of your page in an Internet browser which typically ends with .co.za, .com, .net or .org. For instance, the domain name on my page which you are on now, is seojohannesburg.co.za. Remember, The domain name you select has to be available and not in use.
Head over to HostGator here and pick your domain name like in the image below.
Step #2 – Sign Up For Web Hosting
If you’re wanting to learn how to start your own blog in South Africa the way the professionals do. Then you’re going to need hosting. It may sound daunting. But trust me, if you follow my steps, you’ll see web hosting in South Africa is not too difficult.
In addition to a domain, you need a web hosting plan. This is where your Internet pages are being saved. I recommend using Hostgator and the Baby Plan. Hostgator is a leading provider of web hosting that I have good experience with myself. They are my top web host in South Africa With the Baby Plan you can host unlimited amounts of websites. That means that if you want to set up a second website or blog, you only have to pay for a new domain name and link it to your hosting accounƒt. This is very easy to do inside Hostgator’s customer portal.
Step #3 – Set up Your Hosting Account
Click Sign Up Now! in the image above and you will open Hostgator’s order form page:
Enter your preferred domain name and check that it is available if you haven’t already done that. If you already own a domain name you want to use, click “I Already Own This Domain” and enter your domain name.
You can select to pay one month at a time. But if you want to save some money, select 12 months billing cycle or more and you can save up to 40% on your monthly cost. I would recommend at least selecting the 12-month billing cycle. You probably want to have your new site up for more than a year anyway.
Select a username and a security pin.
If you are creating a simple web page or a blog, I would unselect all the additional services to save money. But if you want to make a professional site or an online store, I would consider at least the hacker protection and the site backup. As well as the SSL certificate.
Check “I have read and agree to the Terms of Service”. and click Checkout Now!
You have bought yourself a domain name and a hosting plan.
Step #4 – Install WordPress
Once we have purchased a domain name and set up hosting it is now possible for us to install WordPress.
Setting up WordPress is very easy. The first thing you need to do is logging in to Hostgator Customer Portal with your username and password. This is done by clicking Customer Portal in the heading on top of the page.
Then click on Hosting on the top. And then on Hosting Dashboard. At the bottom of the screen click Launch QuickInstall which will bring up a new page.
Click on WordPress on this page to start setting up your WordPress site.
On the new page that shows up, you have to select the domain name that you want to install WordPress on. But, You don’t need to enter anything into the directory text box. Unless you want your blog or site to be in a subdirectory like this: setup-webhosting.com/myblog. However, If the box is blank, you will get to your WordPress site just by entering the domain name (like seojohannesburg.co.za). I typically leave the directory text box blank. Click NEXT.
In the Install Setting page, enter the title of your blog (can be changed later). Then, enter a username for login, your name and an email address. Check the two checkboxes and click INSTALL to setup your WordPress site. When the install is finished, be sure to note down the username and password that is given to you for your new WordPress site as you will use this to log in to WordPress.
You have now set up your WordPress site in a few clicks. It is not difficult, but if you don’t want to do this yourself, you can pay HostGator to do this job for you.
To log in to your new site, enter your domain name + “/wp-admin” in your web browser like in this example:
and you are asked to enter your username and password for your WordPress site.
After logging in you will use the easy-to-use WordPress editing platform and you don’t need to know any coding to create your pages. WordPress is a widely used tool for creating web pages, and you can find free guides about how to use it all over the Internet.
Step 5 – Create Your Blog
Now we’ve come to the exciting part. It is time to create and customize your very own South Africa blog. Below are some more sub-steps to help you to follow so you can get started today.
The first thing I normally do when I want to set up a new site or blog is to select a theme to decide how your page will look. After you have logged in to the WordPress dashboard, you have a menu on the left side. On this menu select Appearance and then Themes:
You are then presented with the standard themes in WordPress:
These three presented themes are probably not what you want to use for blogging, so click the Add New Theme box at the bottom of the page:
In the next window write a blog in the Search Themes text box and wait for the page to refresh:
You now have several good-looking blogging themes to select from. Remember that most themes can be configured in many ways to suit your needs, so they don’t have to look exactly like on the picture, but it gives you an idea how your page can look like. If you are making a blog in a special niche like travel or food, you can also search for those specific terms.
After you have selected a theme, click the Install button on your theme:
After the theme is installed, it has to be activated to be your active theme.
Click Activate in the window:
Click View Page on the top menu to see how your theme now looks like. The page will most likely look kinda boring because none of the graphics or text is usually there. You have to add your flavour to the page.
Customize Your Blog Theme
You can now customize your theme if you like by clicking Appearance and Customize. There is a lot of things you can do, but what you probably at least should do is create an image with your logo or the picture you want on the top of your blog. The customize controls that pop up when you select Customize, will act differently for the different themes but look something like this:
In the General Settings tab, you can select to upload an image file as a logo or the header picture of your blog. You can also do this step later.
What I usually also configure at some point is the primary widget area which on most blogs is on the right (or left) side of the main page. This area has a default setup decided by your theme. But if you click Primary Widget Area and add a widget by clicking “+ Add a Widget” you can add typical things like the archive of posts, categories, list of your pages, or recent posts, etc by clicking on them and you can reorder them on the side area as you want. Remember to click “Save & Publish” if you want to save your changes.
The most important aspect of a blog or any web page is to create content. Since you are creating a blog, you most like will create new posts with your blog content. Posts are often used for daily or weekly updates or short things you want to say to the world, while Pages are usually used more for static content like a page about yourself.
To create a new blog post, click Posts in the main menu and click Add New at the top. Where it says “Enter title here” you enter the title of your post, for instance, “Welcome to my new blog!” and write some text in the text area. For the blog post to be visible for everyone, remember to click the Publish button on the right side of the page when you are finished writing.
Click View Page on the very top menu and you can see how your blog looks like with your new blog post.
I hope you enjoyed this detailed guide on how to start your own blog in South Africa. There are many ways to configure your WordPress blog and I will not go through everything today, but now you have a starting point on how to set up your blog and get it online.
Because there are so many different themes and settings in WordPress, you have to familiarize yourself with the menus and your theme’s settings. As mentioned before, there are hundreds if not thousands of pages and videos online that explain how to do specific things in WordPress and different tips and tricks. I wish I could get to them all today but I will in due course. Please, if you have any questions and would like help, feel free to contact me.
Good luck with your blogging and I hope you found my page helpful