Creating Your Self-Hosted WordPress Blog

Many people sign up for a free blog at or They’ll typically have domains such as While that’s fine, why not take the next step and host your blog yourself. It gives you more control and allows you to make custom modification. Additionally, your data is stored on your space instead of some company’s servers.

Consider this: pictures, videos, and text posted on Facebook and free blogs resides on someone else’s space. How easy can you take that data with you. Try it. It may be very difficult or impossible. With a self-hosted blog, you can back up your database, download it, and take it with you.

Here is a step by step on how do create your own blog. It’s not meant as a comprehensive guide to everything because that would be replicating tutorials that already exist. Google it.

Step 1. Choose a Web Host

There are thousands of different web hosts out there that will provide you with web disk space and access to your files. Some range from the very simplistic while others host hardware that you own. I personally recommend Dreamhost and have been a customer since 2004. They provide unlimited disk space (for web files), 50GB of personal backup space, automatic backups, great technical support, and one-click installs. The latter will come in handy when you’re trying to install WordPress. The Dreamhost one-click version allows you to follow a simple form to install WordPress. You can even choose to have Dreamhost update the software for you without manual intervention.

You’re free to choose whichever host you prefer. If you’d like to go the Dreamhost route, I’m offering a $59.40 discount coupon code 5BUCKS12. Just enter that when signing up and get one full year for only $60, that’s $5 a month. In full disclosure, I receive $97 from Dreamhost when you sign up. The coupon I’m offering takes $59.40 away from my revenues and gives it to you in the form of a coupon.

Step 2. Register for a Domain Name

Finding a domain name that’s available can be difficult. Almost any dictionary word out there has been already registered by someone. However, many are still available. Have a brainstorming session to figure out what you can register, then go to Domize for real time search. I don’t have a specific recommendation but there are a number of sites that specialize in helping you find domain names. Do a Google search. It’s usually easier to find a obscure domain name, something with numbers, or misspellings of common words.

Once you find your domain name, you’ll want to register it with your host. You can also register it with a number of other registrars out there such as I recommend keeping your domain names registered with your host for ease of setup.

Step 3. Install WordPress

You can download WordPress by going to Instead, I suggest you find a webhost that will install it for you. In this example, Dreamhost has WordPress as a “one-click” install. After filling in a short form, Dreamhost will automatically install WordPress and even automatically update for you as new updates come.

The form will ask you to create a new database. What is that? The database is a SQL (Structured Query Database) database. Don’t get too caught up on the technical aspects of that. It’s simply a repository for all the data you will be generating. Each post, each image, each category, title, etc. will be stored in that database.

Step 4. Creating Your First Blog

Once you follow the steps, that’s it. Your blog is live. It’ll start out with a first post of sorts. Play around with the themes, pick one that you find visually attractive. Don’t worry too much on making it pretty yet. Start thinking of the following:

  • Structure – how do you want to organize your blog. Will you have categories of topics? Will you use tags to sort your posts? Will you use pages for static information? I suggest drafting a design before hand. For example, in my blog, I have a set of categories I use to organize my posts. I don’t use tags as a decision I made a long time ago. If I were to want to use tags today, I would have to either go back and tag all my posts, or choose to only tag going forward. That is why you should design your structure before going too far ahead. Changes down the road will be labor intensive.
  • Layout – Do you want one column, two, or three? Do you need a sidebar?
  • Comments – Will you allow people to post comments? Who can post? Do you want to moderate the comments before they’re published?

Step 5. Maintaining Your Blog

Maintaining your blog is a matter of creating a schedule and plan to write your articles or posts. How often do you want to write? Consider using a calendar to schedule your posts. On the matter of security, be careful with using plugins. Some can expose your site to risks. Update your WordPress often. Finally, use a secure password. Don’t let hackers break into your site and spam or destroy your site.

Published by Daniel Hoang

Daniel Hoang is a visual leader, storyteller, and creative thinker. As an experienced management consultant, he believes in a big picture approach that includes strong project leadership, creative methods, change management, and strategic visioning. He uses a range of visual tools to communicate business challenges, solutions, and goals. His change strategy is to build "tribes" of supporters and evangelists to drive change in culture and organization. Daniel is an avid technologist and futurist and early adopter.

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