A Blog from Scratch (Part 1)

26 Feb

For the longest time now I’ve been trying to convince Jenn (my wife) to start a blog and share some of the stuff she makes or wants to make with other people out here on the internet.

Finally she has come around to the idea of running a blog of her own and sharing some of the great stuff she does, so I thought I would write a series detailing what I’m going to do to get it all set up for her so she’s ready to just focus on her blog.

There are a few things required to get started with a self hosted blog. You can always set up a free one on WordPress.com or Blogger.com but for the sake of total control and simplicity going forward, we will be self hosting this blog.

What we’re going to need:

  • A domain name.
  • Cloudflare
  • A server
  • WordPress
  • A theme
  • Adsense (to start with)
  • Analytics (stat tracking)

The domain name has already been purchased and set up with Cloudflare.

Dedicated Server

I opted to get a dedicated server for a couple of reasons.

  1. I wanted to host my blog and my wifes blog on a single machine.
  2. Dedicated resources where we don’t have to worry about CPU / Memory abuse.
  3. Ability to use whatever database and caching we want.
  4. More reliable than a shared host. (No noisy neighbor problems.)

The dedicated server we went with is from Hudson Valley Host. Their pricing is fantastic and they have a diverse selection of locations.

Stat Tracking

Setting up a google adsense and analytics account is pretty straight forward. This information will come in super handy to see things like what your most popular content is and what your readership is like.

WordPress + Theme

I usually recommend people look at the free themes offered at WordPress.org/themes first to get an idea of what they want and whats available. You can also look around at places like ThemeForest for more advanced paid themes.

Once you’ve made all of your choices and set up all of your accounts, you’re ready to get your blog going!

Up next: Setting up a dedicated server to host a WordPress site.