Miner Phil

The place where I unearth useful bits


Tutorial: A Blog?! How You Do Dat?!

A friend recently asked me how I started my own blog. Good question!

Before you even think about starting a website, figure out what it is you’re wanting to do. You could start a blog, manage a forum, sell your vintage tube socks, the sky’s the limit!

I decided on a blog because that best suited how I was going to use it. I write posts, categorize them by subject matter, and publish them. This doesn’t mean I can’t change my blog into a forum later, but it does give me a direction to start moving in.

  1. First thing I did was acquire a domain name. “Minerphil.com” was the one I picked, but you can pick “whatevertheblazesIwant.com”.
    • Personally, I go through GoDaddy.com, which puts me out $10 annually. Not bad, huh?
    • Buuut, I can actually go cheaper. For $9.95 annually I can go through my web host and get a bunch of additional features as well, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! :)
  2. Next, I searched for a suitable web host.
    • A web host is a company who will host your website on the interwebs. (Note that you can do this on your own, but it’s a little more complicated–perhaps for a different tutorial)
    • Back in the olden days, that’s all a web host did for you. But now-a-days, web hosts have all sorts of fancy gadgets and newfangled wizardry to help you out.
    • For instance, my particular web host is FreeHostia.com. I went through them because:
      • The base hosting plan is free (and by free, I mean completely free)
      • No banners or advertisements (as you can see)
      • The ability to install applications such as WordPress (like you see here) and other applications that do forums, allow me to sell stuff, etc
      • And just to satisfy my inner nerd, it comes with an FTP account, a few email accounts, a sizable MySQL database, and enough PHP to get me into trouble!
    • I’m sure other web hosts have similar qualities at a similar cost, but for this post, I’ll be limiting my scope to FreeHostia
  3. Create your website!
    • It doesn’t have to be a blog if you don’t want it to be one, in the future, I may add a forum or a shopping section, who knows!
    • With FreeHostia, all I had to do was install WordPress (sounds complicated, huh?)
    • Fortunately, FreeHostia has a special installer that does all the heavy lifting for you, which they’ve dubbed the Elefante installer.
  4. Add your content!
    • For a blog, such as WordPress, you may want to, um… I don’t know, create, like, a post or somethin? :cool:
    • For a forum, you may start your first thread
    • For a shopping site, add something to your inventory for sale
    • In most applications, you can draft what you do before it goes public, just read up on it and take your time! This site took me a good portion of a day to build, and that’s including changing my son’s diapers!

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