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Getting Started with Your Blog

When setting up your blog for the first time, you are looking at a simple process that should take less than 15-20 minutes. After setting your blog up for the first time, it’s a process you won’t need to go through again. Best of all, when it comes to installing WordPress, it’s as easy as a few clicks of a button — and we’re going to walk you through this whole process in our 7-step ‘how to start a blog’ tutorial.

Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog

Before actually going live with your site or blog, you will first need to select a domain name for your site. If you already have a domain name, you can skip down to the next section below.

A domain name is the URL or address that someone will type in to access your site. Think of it as your own little piece of real estate on the internet.

When choosing a domain name, it should be one that is easy to remember, spell and relevant to the type of content you are going to create on your site. I would also recommend that you try and stick with a .com, .net or .org name. In most cases, the domain name you probably first select will probably be taken, as once a domain name is registered, it’s usually registered for life. This simply means that you might need to get a little creative when coming up with your new domain name.

If you wanted to create a cooking blog and your name was Tabitha, you might want to go with a name like CookingWithTabitha.com. Another good rule of thumb is to try and register your personal name as a domain, before someone else does.

A domain name typically costs $15 per year, and renews annually. However, through our partnership with A Small Orange, we’re able to offer you a free domain name when you setup your own web hosting package (as described below).

To see if your domain name is available, click here.

Go with a Reliable Web Hosting Service

After picking a domain name for your site, you will also need to setup your blog’s web hosting. A web hosting service is used to house your blog content and information on it’s domain, this way the data is accessible to anyone throughout the world. While this may seem a bit complicating at first, all you need to know is that once you have web hosting, you are good to go and won’t need to mess around with it again.

Our recommended web host of choice is A Small Orange, as they are one of the most cost effective and reliable hosting solutions around. They also make it easy for anyone in the world to setup their hosting, while not limiting them based on their geographic location and method of payment.

Speaking of payment, part of our deal with A Small Orange is that we get 20% off all of their hosting packages and pass these savings onto you.

In addition to getting a free domain name with a full year of web hosting, you will also have the comfort in knowing that you are hosting your site with a reliable and well-respected service that’s already hosting millions of other web sites and blogs.

To secure your free domain name and get 20% off your web hosting package, click here to get started.

Step 2: Setting Up Your Blog

In the next section of our ‘how to create a blog’ series, we are going to walk through the process of how to connect your domain and web hosting together, while also installing WordPress in just a few simple clicks of a button.

Shared Hosting Plans

When setting up a web site or blog, shared hosting is definitely the best way to go. Not only will you have your own web hosting, but you will also have the ability to add as many domain names and sites to your hosting as you like, while also saving a lot of money in the process.

The concept of shared hosting is simple. Instead of buying your own server or leasing one out just to run your own site, you can get a shared server with A Small Orange for around $5 per month. Since A Small Orange is already hosting thousands of web sites and have a massive supply of servers, it makes sense for them to put multiple sites on each server. This saves space for them, while also providing you with all of the hosting necessities required to run your site.

All A Small Orange shared hosting packages include the following features:

  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Screaming Fast Solid State Drive (SSD) Servers for 15x Performance
  • 24/7/365 Expert Support Based in the USA
  • Unlimited Domains*
  • Unlimited Email Accounts and Mailing lists

Ordering Shared Hosting for Your Site

When you are ready to order the shared hosting for your account, you will have a few options to choose from. The Small plan is they best option, which is only $5 per month and included unlimited domain usage. The Tiny Plan is the cheapest, but you are limited to only 1 domain name for your account.

You can also use coupon codes ASO20 to save 20% off your initial order or coupon code ASO5 to save an instant $5 off your first month’s purchase. Since each coupon is good on your initial purchase only, it makes the most sense to use the “ASO20” coupon to save 20%, but to also pay for at least a year in advance. This will bring your hosting to under $5 per month, which is a great deal!

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Benefits of A Small Orange Shared Hosting Plans

The goal at A Small Orange is for them to be able to provide you with the best hosting and customer support possible, without having you spend a lot of money in the process. It’s also important to note that all shared hosting servers are at the highest level of quality possible, which are Intel Xeon E5 Dual Hex Core processors and fully solid-state-drive (SSD) driven storage in redundant (RAID 10) arrays. The following features are also included with each of their shared hosting pages.

– CPANEL INCLUDED

Once setup with your shared hosting, you can access all of your site details through cPanel, which is the world’s best server site management software. With cPanel, everything you could possibly want to setup or manage on your blog can be done with just a few clicks of a button.

– EMAIL

You may already have a personal or business email address, but if you would like to set one up for your site as well, it’s no problem! A Small Orange gives their site owners the ability to setup and access email through POP3, IMAP, and webmail access. Spam and virus filtering, mailing list creation, email forwarding, auto-responders, filtering and alias capabilities are also built in the email management system.

– SECURITY + RELIABILITY

Having your web site or blog up and running it a top priority at all times. This is why A Small Orange can guarantee a 99.9% uptime, which also features daily backups, with multiple restore points. Other advanced featured include password-protected directories, IP-blocking, and hotlink/leech protection.

– SOFTWARE INCLUDED

Through the use of Softaculous script installer, all sites hosted through A Small Orange can implement powerful software applications like WordPress into their site with just a few clicks of a button. This means you will no longer need to download software, upload, create a database and install it on your own — Softaculous does all the work for you!

– WEEBLY WEBSITE BUILDER

Weebly is one of the most well known site builders online and A Small Orange is the first to integrate their site building platform in their shared hosting. With an easy to use drag and drop system, anyone can create a fancy looking site of their own, without the need to ever tough a line of code or using a graphic design program. One free website is included with each shared hosting plan.

 

 

Domain Registration

Domains names are what makes the internet special. They are the real estate of a virtual world, yet mean everything to the web sites, blogs and brand they represent.

A domain name is the URL or site address that an internet user puts in to access your site from anywhere in the world. When you register a domain name, you own it for life (until you let it expire). The cost for a domain name is usually in the $10-$20 range per year depending on your registrar.

When setting up a hosting account with A Small Orange, you have the option to register a new domain name or provide one that you may have previously registered elsewhere. Should you need to register a new domain name, the cost is $15 per year. You can see a list of TLDs and their registration and renewal rates below.

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When choosing a domain name for your site, you should choose one that represents the concept of your business or the type of content found on your site. You should also stick with a .com, .net or .org domain name.

Another option when registering your domain name is to register it for several years in advance, or to simply setup auto-renewal. This way you won’t have to worry about your domain name expiring and potentially losing it year after year when it’s up for renewal.

You can also protect your personal information by setting up a Whois-Protection for your domain. Since your contact information is publicly displayed through Whois and most domain registrars, anyone can look up who owns a specific domain, should they need to contact them. This upgrade usually costs between $1-$10 per domain / per year, depending on where you register through.

As mentioned, there are lots of options for your domain name, but to make the process easiest, we recommend you register your domain name at the same time you are setting up your web hosting through A Small Orange. Be sure to use our most recent coupon codes and discounts to save the most on your hosting plans.

5 Steps to Building a Successful Web Site

Millions of web sites and blogs are going live every day. What makes some sites more successful than others? In most cases it comes down to the pre-planning and preparation before actually going live with your site.

In the “5 Steps to Build a Successful Web Site” infographic below, we are going to break down the five steps that every site owner or blogger should take before actually going live with their site and publishing content to the internet. If you follow these five steps in detail, you will not only find that your site has a much better foundation and purpose, but that you will also quickly surpass the other millions of sites on the internet with no real focus or value.

How to Prepare for the Launch of Your Site

When someone gets an idea for a web site or blog, they will usually go register a domain name, setup their hosting and start publishing content all within just a few minutes. The problem with this is that people are getting too overly excited and not thinking about the future of their sites before they even get started.

Instead, we recommend that you follow these five simple tips and write down your future plans for your site before you get started. This will allow you to have a much better idea of where you are headed and how you want to prepare content for your site in the coming weeks.

Plan Your Site

The first step to creating a successful web site is to plan out why you are starting a site in the first place, what it’s content focus is going to be and what audience is going to be most interested in the content you are publishing.

By knowing who your audience is, it will make it that much easier for you to consistently create content that provides value for them. This will also tie into the longterm success and growth of your site. The more niche and focused all of your content is, the easier it will be for you to become an authority within your space and also rank higher in the search results for relevant terms.

Build Your Site

There are many ways to build a web site or blog. One of the most common and valuable methods is through the use of WordPress, which is a free software content management system.

Through WordPress you can easily create content from within the dashboard of your site while also fully customizing how your site looks and feels. With thousands of WordPress themes and plugins to choose from, anyone can make a great looking site within just a few minutes.

Best of all, most web hosting solutions will provide one-click WordPress installation, which means you will never need to install any software.

Choose Web Hosting

Every web site and blog needs to have web hosting associated with their site. Your web hosting is where your text content, images, video and everything else on your site will be stored. It sounds complicating at first, but once it’s setup, you will never really have to mess around with it again.

Web hosting costs are usually under ten dollars per month. We recommend going with A Small Orange, which currently has hosting plans for under $5 per month, which also allows you to setup unlimited web sites and domains on your server.

As mentioned earlier, A Small Orange also offers one-click WordPress installation — which means you can have your web site up and running in just a few minutes time.

Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is the URL or address that people will type in to find your site. For example, our domain name is “ASOCoupons.com”. No matter where you are located in the world, if you have access to the internet and go to that address, you will end up on our site.

A domain name usually costs between $10-$20 per year and are renewed on an annual basis. Your domain name is also connected to your web hosting service, so the two can connect with each other.

When choosing a domain name for your site, try to choose one that explains what your site is about and is both easy to remember and spell. Also be sure to stick a with a .com, .net or .org domain name. There are many other domain TLDs (extensions) to choose from, but the three mentioned are the best ones to go with.

Publish Your First Content

With everything mentioned now in place, it’s time to put everything together and publish the first content for your site.

Once you have your web hosting and domain name purchased, you can log into your hosting account and have WordPress installed with just a few clicks. After installation is complete, you can login to your WordPress dashboard and start adding content to your site.

It’s important to note that growing a successful web site or blog does take a lot of time. Don’t get discouraged in the beginning and be sure to always focus on providing value with your content.

5 Steps to Starting a Successful Web Site