Learn how to start a WordPress blog on BigScoots. It’s an extremely easy process and the BigScoots team is one of the most responsive out of all of the businesses I’ve dealt with online. Because I am extremely satisfied with my BigScoots experience, I will recommend them to anyone who wants to start a WordPress blog. I joined their affiliate programme and I will receive a commission if you sign up through my referral link.
In previous articles I mentioned the importance of creating a website for your business. I’ve been blogging on Odd Cents since 2011 and I have only used WordPress to host my websites. Initially, I was with another host, but I cancelled my account when I went on a blog hiatus to complete my MBA. But when I started back blogging, I decided to look for a new hosting company.
My love for blogging, as I have realised through the years, is due to my love for research. I have the freedom to research whatever I want and write about the things that interest me. And because it’s so easy to get a website up and running, I’ve started way too many blogs on the topics that I love. You can ask me anything about Caribbean travel, disaster management, Caribbean architecture, online education and agriculture. There is a blog for that.
My love for the online business model is two-fold. It’s a great feeling to know that I’m putting information out there that someone can use. And then there is the possibility of adopting this as a full time job, where I can work from home. The COVID-19 experience has cemented that this is the life for me and I am currently transitioning to working from home as a full-time entrepreneur.
How to Choose the Right Blog Host
I’ve realised that the key to being successful with an online business is to have solid systems in place. This includes everything from ensuring that your business is registered; to having a solid business plan for your business; to ensuring that your website is paired with a reliable host. If you have an online business and your website is down, you are at a huge disadvantage. Website down is equal to no money which is equal to unpaid bills which is equal to drama.
When I made the decision to start back blogging, I took the unusual step of researching as many blog hosts as I possibly could. I could have gone back with the previous host, but something just told me to pause on that idea. I made to the decision to use shared hosting again, because I’ve used it before without any issues. Additionally, I was going to be blogging on a budget and the previous host did not offer monthly plans. If I had used them, I would have had to pay for a full year and I was not prepared to do that.
So, in my search, one of the requirements for a blog host was the option to pay monthly. I was willing to spend $10 a month and not a cent more. This is pricey, but I was willing to pay more for a great experience and top notch service. I also felt like I needed to try a new host with excellent reviews. There were too many horror stories about hosts who never responded to questions or made crazy changes to their terms and conditions mid-contract. This is how I found BigScoots.
How to Start a WordPress Blog on BigScoots
BigScoots is the best web hosting company and you can start your WordPress blog for as low as $7.95 a month. With their lowest tier shared hosting plan, you can host up to five (5) domains. You get free backups, free SSL certificates and 24/7/365 technical support. Because your website will eventually become a method through which you can earn some money, you should go the self-hosting route.
Although you may be tempted to start a blog using a free service (e.g. Tumblr, Blogger, Wix, WebFlow), you should be aware of the limitations of using them. With the free website services, you may find it difficult to monetise your site and earn money. There is also the fear that your site could be shut down at any time without warning. When you own your own domain and use shared hosting, you have more control over your website.
There are a few key steps that are required to start a WordPress blog on BigScoots:
- Register a domain name
- Choose a shared hosting plan
- Connect your domain to your hosting plan
- Install WordPress on BigScoots
- Activate your SSL certificate
1. Register a Domain Name
If you’re going to buy a domain, I highly recommend Namecheap. They’ve been around for almost twenty years; they have millions of customers and I have never had any issues with them. I have registered several dot com domain names in the last couple of years and I bought most of them on sale. If you are buying a domain name, do everything in your power to get a dot com domain. One of the perks of using Namecheap is that they offer free domain privacy, so your contact information remains private.
2. Choose a Shared Hosting Plan
As I mentioned, you should opt for the lowest tier plan in the Shared Hosting plans. It’s a great plan that will get your website up and running. If you think that you need a bit more capacity, you can upgrade to a bigger plan. If you choose to pay monthly, you will pay $7.95 a month. However, if you pay for the entire year you pay a nice $5.95 a month, which is billed monthly. This is an amazing deal for the benefits that you will get when you start a WordPress blog on BigScoots.
To get started, use this steps to choose your shared hosting plan.
- Go to the Big Scoots website and hover on the Managed Web Hosting in the top menu and click on “Shared”.
- Scroll down on the page and select the plan that you are interested in. For starters, I recommend the first plan which is $6.95 a month for the 12 month billing and $5.95 for the 24 month billing.
3. Connect Your Domain to Your Hosting Plan
If you buy your domain from Namecheap (or any other domain registrar), you will have to connect your domain to your hosting account. For Namecheap, there is a helpful guide that you can follow to change your name servers (DNS) so that they point to BigScoots.
- Log into your Namecheap account and click on “Domain List” in the left menu
- When you domain appears on the page, click “Manage”
- Click the arrow to open the drop down menu and select “Custom”
- Enter ns1.bigscoots.com on the first line
- Enter ns2.bigscoots.com on the second line
- Click the green tick to save the name servers
4. Install WordPress on BigScoots
To install WordPress, follow the steps outlined in the How to Install WordPress guide. Although there are companies that offer this set-up as a service, it’s so easy you can do it on your own. It is essentially a one-click process that does all of the heavy lifting.
- On your BigScoots account page, navigate to cPanel and log in (See this guide)
- Click on the WordPress icon
- Click “Install Now”
- Select the options on the next screen. I recommend chatting with a BigScoots representative about how you should select options
- Click Install
Now you’re ready to install your WordPress theme and publish your first post! Since you are just starting out, you can use a free theme to start designing your websites.
5. Activate Your SSL Certificate
Your SSL certificate is like a badge of security for your website. It ensures that your data is safe and it signals to your customers that your site is secure. To activate your SSL certificate, you can follow the steps outlined in the How to Issue a LetsEncrypt SSL From Inside cPanel. To be honest, I contacted the Technical Support team and they set it up for me:
Step 1: Go to the cPanel main page and select SSL/TLS Status under the Security section
Step 2: For each line item, there should be a green lock. If there is a red lock or a no-entry symbol, click the “Run AutoSSL” button.
Step 3: If after the AutoSSL check is completed and you are still seeing either of the red icons, you should contact the Technical Support team.
I hope that you found this little tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog on BigScoots useful. I’m definitely not an expert and I made several mistakes along the way with installing WordPress. But as time went on, I learnt more about how it works and became more comfortable with the platform.