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In the blog post What Is a Blog I explained what a blog is and its fundamental importance in today’s businesses, as well as showing you “WordPress,” the world’s most famous platform for effectively creating and managing a blog.

In today’s blog post, we’ll explore how to create a blog from a technical perspective, looking at how to install it within the web domain you’ve purchased.

Before writing a single word for your first blog post, there are several preliminary steps to complete.

These steps will enhance the effectiveness of your blog and ensure it is organically found by potential clients.

At this point, I recommend that you read the upcoming lessons with someone experienced in PCs, as these technical operations may pose difficulties for some readers.


Installing and Setting Up WordPress

How to Set Up WordPress

What I am about to write is a technical lesson that I am already apprehensive about because, as you know, program interfaces change, and this lesson may become obsolete by the time you read it.

Unfortunately, while there are official tutorials for all the programs I listed, there is no official one for WordPress, underscoring the significance of this lesson.

The commands I am providing are accurate and will remain so for a long time; what may change are the names of the options.

If I instruct you to navigate to “Settings,” they might rename this option to “Configuration” in the future, and regrettably, I cannot update this lesson in real-time.

Endeavor to grasp the theory, and if you have any doubts about the practice, feel free to contact me via email.

HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS

The first step to start a blog is installing WordPress within the domain we’ve purchased.

If you followed my advice and bought the domain on SiteGround, you can find a step-by-step guide with images on how to install WordPress at this link: How to Install WordPress.

If you chose another provider, there will surely be a step-by-step guide available; you just need to search for it.

WORDPRESS GENERAL SETTINGS

To access the WordPress settings, type

[YOUR_WEBSITE]/wp-admin/

in your web browser’s address bar, log in, and access the platform.

[YOUR_WEBSITE] is, of course, the domain name you have chosen.

For instance, mine would be “thebusinesshomepage.com/wp-admin/.”

Example of the syntax for a link to access WordPress
Example of the syntax for a link to access WordPress.



General

The first thing to do is to check the general settings.

So, in the left menu, click on “Settings,” and then select “General.”

Set the page like this:

  • Site Title: Enter the name of your company or your name and surname if you have chosen a personal brand.
  • Tagline: Write the slogan of your business.
  • Administration Email Address: Enter your company email or the email you created on SiteGround.
  • WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL): Here, you need to write the name of your site, replacing HTTP:// with HTTPS://.
  • Membership: If there is a checkmark in this box, remove it. If you leave it checked, anyone will be able to register on your blog, and your email inbox will be flooded with notifications from bots that sign up, leaving their SPAM messages.

Check and modify the site’s time zone, date, and language according to your preferences.


Reading

Skip the “Writing” menu item as there is nothing significant there, and click on “Reading.”

Our blog should consistently encourage lead generation, so we need to display our Landing Page as the homepage of the entire blog.

To do this, following this process:

  • Open ClickFunnels and copy the link to your Landing Page.
  • Create a page for your blog, where you will use the title of your lead magnet as the title, and add the following text: <iframe src=”[CLICKFUNNEL LINK]” width=”100%” height=”1000″>
  • If the page breaks, adjust the “height” attribute.

Go to “Reading” in your blog settings and change “Your latest posts” to “A static page,” which will be your Landing Page.

Another change I recommend you to make is to type “5” in the “Blog pages show at most” and “Syndication feeds show the most recent” text boxes, and also select the “Excerpt” checkbox just below.


Discussion

Make sure the three boxes at the top of the page under the “Default post settings” section are selected:

  • “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the post”
  • “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new posts”
  • “Allow people to submit comments on new posts”

Regarding the “Other comment settings” section, ensure only the “Comment author must fill out name and email” box is selected; leave the rest as they are.

Scroll down, and in the “Email me whenever” section, select the boxes for:

  • “Anyone posts a comment”
  • “A comment is held for moderation”

Just below, in the “Before a comment appears” section, select the box that says “Comment must be manually approved” and uncheck the box that says “Comment author must have a previously approved comment.”

While comments are vital for good SEO ranking on YouTube, Google doesn’t give much importance to blog comments.

That’s why it’s best to have only positive comments: approve the positive ones and delete the negative ones.


Permalink

Skip “Media” as it is already set correctly and click on “Permalink.”

The latest versions of WordPress should already be updated, but it’s better not to take anything for granted: check that “Post name,” which is the penultimate option, is selected on the Permalinks page.

Leave everything else as it is.

WIDGET/RIGHT SIDEBAR

In the right sidebar, you will insert the so-called “Widgets,” which are links to functions of our blog that demonstrate that our blog is constantly updated (there’s nothing sadder than seeing a blog whose latest post dates back two years).

The first step is to remove all of them to create an empty space that we can fill with the widgets I will recommend.

Here you can find the step-by-step official WordPress tutorial on how to add or remove widget.

Now, here are the Widgets I recommend you include, listed in order:

  • Social buttons
  • Search button
  • Custom HTML to insert an image and a link to the Landing Page
  • Categories
  • Latest posts

MENU

Now, let’s discuss the main menu of your blog, which will contain various pages.

The purpose of these pages is to provide general information to the reader and encourage them to become your lead or, even better, your paying customer.

Here you can find the step-by-step official WordPress tutorial on how to create a menu.

Edit the first page under Menu Settings as follows:

  • Deselect “Automatically add new top-level pages to this menu”
  • Deselect “Top”
  • Select “Primary”

I recommend including the following pages in your menu, listed in this order (from left to right):

  • Blog: A page where people can view your latest 5 blog posts.
  • About/Start Here: a page where you can share your personal story and explain what your blog is about, with a final CTA.
  • Sales Page
  • Testimonials
  • Contact Us/Me

FOOTER

In the footer – the bottom bar that almost no one in the world ever checks – I recommend only inserting links to the pages for privacy and cookies.

Add a Terms and Conditions page if you are creating an e-commerce site or if your blog will include products for purchase.

Here you can find the step-by-step official WordPress tutorial on how to edit the footer.

HEADER

The header of a blog is like the “head” or “face” of a newspaper or magazine.

It’s the top part of the blog that appears on every page and usually contains the blog’s name, logo, navigation menu, and other graphic or informative elements.

The header helps give an identity to the blog, allowing visitors to recognize it easily and find the main sections of the site.

Insert the logo if you have one; otherwise, you can design one and include it.

However, it’s essential to write the name of the blog, whether it’s your company or your name and surname.

As an example, if you visit the website of Douglas Elliman, one of the most famous and significant real estate agencies in the United States, you can observe that their header image comprises a small logo (a light green circle with a D and an E) alongside the text “DouglasElliman.”

Nothing complicated or excessive.

Keep in mind that your blog should primarily be viewed on mobile devices, and if the image is too large, people won’t see the menu.


Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, and Purchase Terms


Depending on your country (although I believe it might be necessary worldwide), it is essential to create a privacy and cookie policy on the homepage of your blog.

Furthermore, if you sell directly from your blog, you must also include terms and conditions for purchases.

It is crucial to ensure that the homepage contains a link to these three modules.

On my blog, you can find them located in the bottom left corner.

The website we utilize to create all these modules is called Iubenda.

HOW TO SET UP IUBENDA

Setting up Iubenda doesn’t require much creativity; it’s primarily a practical matter.

Unfortunately, Iubenda’s guidance is rather lacking and doesn’t offer in-depth tutorials.

Therefore, it’s advisable to search for more specific videos on YouTube simply by typing “how to set up iubenda step by step”.


Technical Blog Advice


Now that we’ve installed WordPress, let’s make some technical changes to enhance the security and speed of our blog.

These are two things that Google values highly when it comes to getting our blog noticed in search engine results.

SSL Protocol

The first step is to ensure our blog’s security by implementing the SSL protocol (Secure Sockets Layer).

This security system is used on websites to protect the data exchanged between the site and its visitors.

To explain how it works, imagine going to a store to buy something and handing your credit card to the cashier for payment.

If the cashier were to copy your credit card data without your permission, they could steal your money.

Even though financial transactions today require multiple confirmations before being processed, it’s still unsettling to have someone copy our credit card information, right?

The SSL protocol acts as a virtual safe.

When you visit an SSL-protected website, the information exchanged between you and the site (such as your name, email, or payment details) is encrypted and protected by a secret key known only to the site and your computer.

This way, if someone intercepts the information while you are browsing the site, they wouldn’t be able to decipher it and use it against you.

In essence, the SSL protocol helps you navigate the internet securely, protecting your personal and financial data.

By installing an SSL certificate, the address (URL) of your blog will change from HTTP to HTTPS.

Now, you might wonder why I’m emphasizing this and why it’s such an essential operation.

The reason is that various web browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla often block sites that don’t have this protocol.

Failure to install SSL could render your blog inaccessible.

So, how do you install it?

If you’re using SiteGround as I recommended, the certificate is already installed for free.

You just need to “force” your blog to enable it.

SiteGround has created a step-by-step guide to force the SSL certificate within WordPress.

Email Configuration

The second fundamental step is to create your business email address.

I presume you already have an email address, but I highly recommend creating one that ends exactly with your blog’s domain.

This appears much more professional compared to using one that ends with gmail.com or yahoo.com.

For instance, my blog’s address is www.thebusinesshomepage.com, and my email is info@thebusinesshomepage.com.

To create and set up an email address, simply access the SiteGround administration panel and follow these detailed instructions.

I suggest setting up two mailboxes:

  • “Info” for all general communications.
  • “Your name” (example: alessandro@thebusinesshomepage.com) for clients with whom you are more familiar and who may need to contact you personally.

To the best of my knowledge, unless there have been changes of which I am not yet aware, you can create unlimited email addresses.

This feature could be particularly useful if you have employees who need to manage their communications independently.

Once you have created all the email addresses you desire, you can configure them using your preferred mail client.

For example, I use Microsoft Office’s Outlook.

Here you can find a SiteGround guide that explains how to configure Microsoft Outlook.

WordPress Blog Theme

Now we will discuss WordPress themes, which represent the first graphical modification you need to make to your blog.

A theme is the visual design that determines the graphical appearance of your blog, including layout, colors, text fonts, and styles.

It is a collection of files and code that work together to give your blog an appealing look and a pleasant user experience.

In short, a theme is like clothing for your blog.

Once installed, WordPress already presents three themes to choose from, but each one is uglier than the other.

Apart from aesthetics, all three themes proposed by WordPress are extremely difficult for our users to navigate.

The theme should allow your visitors to read blog posts, move quickly between pages, contact you, and download your free ebook or watch your free webinar, among other things.

All these actions are difficult to perform within the current themes, which is why they need to be changed.

You can find the detailed procedure in this comprehensive tutorial on WordPress themes.

Which theme to choose?

As mentioned earlier, the theme you choose should be user-friendly for your visitors.

I recommend installing the Divi theme, which is the same one I use.

Divi is a widely renowned WordPress theme, as it has already been selected by millions of bloggers across various niches.

This theme is the best in the business industry as it is optimized for mobile devices, fast, and customizable in every aspect.

Moreover, it is consistently updated to stay abreast of Google’s algorithm improvements.

WordPress Plugins

After you’ve installed WordPress and customized the theme, the next step involves adding plugins.

Plugins are software that enhances the functionality of your blog, improving both the user experience and SEO performance.

There are millions of plugins available for various purposes, such as contact forms, photo galleries, and much more.

However, exercise caution because installing too many plugins can slow down your blog’s loading speed, which Google penalizes heavily with a lower indexing score.

Now, I will show you a selection of plugins that can add functionality to your blog without sacrificing speed and performance.

One piece of advice: enable automatic plugin updates immediately after installing them, so they can update automatically without bothering you with WordPress notifications.

SPEED OPTIMIZER

Speed Optimizer is a pre-installed plugin provided by SiteGround if you’ve followed my recommendations and purchased a domain through their service.

Open the plugin and make sure to activate all the recommended features, as they will significantly enhance your blog’s loading speed.

WPFORMS

WPForms is perhaps the most powerful plugin in the world for contact forms on a blog.

I’ve been able to replace ClickFunnels and even create funnels with this plugin, which costs me a third of the price and is much more organized.

Install it following the official WPForms tutorial and then create a simple contact form following these instructions.

WPCODE

This plugin allows you to install third-party codes, such as Iubenda’s privacy and cookie policy or Facebook’s pixel code when dealing with Facebook Ads.

Here you’ll find all the documentation related to the operation of WPCode, authored by official sources and constantly updated.

YOAST SEO

Yoast is a tool that improves the SEO score of your blog posts.

Despite what everyone may think, installing Yoast will not give you an SEO score, mainly because it wouldn’t make sense.

The Yoast plugin is meant to correctly communicate the topics and keywords of our blog posts to Google.

Install it following this Yoast tutorial for installation and configure it with the help of this configuration guide for Yoast SEO.

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