A walk-trough of setting up this blog

So I thought it would be nice to take you on a walk-trough on how this blog has been set up in case you might be might be interested in starting one yourself. In the post I will not go into details about the different configurations of the blog software but more into hosting, domain and how to actually get it online. In each step I will tell you a little about why I have chosen for example a specific service.

 

So lets get started.

1. Domain

For me, choosing a domain name for the blog was easy, actually I bought it long before this blog was even thought of. Popeen is my nickname both online and offline so it just feels natural to me that it should also be my home on the web. When I first wanted to register it back in 08 it was already taken but I kept my eye on it and when suddenly it became available I rushed to buy it. And here is the part you are probably here for, where did I buy it? I bought it from a company called Loopia and since then I have kept it there. A couple of other domains I had at Loopia I have actually moved over to GoDaddy, not because they are better in some way but because they where cheaper at the time the domain  needed renewal. So for buying a domain go for what is cheapest at the moment, just make that you pick a serious company and that they will allow you to change the nameservers yourself, if you are unsure go with Loopia. When its time for renewal, have a look and see if things have changed or keep using what you choose in the first place if you don’t care for a couple of bucks here and there and are happy with what you got. If you decide to switch just remember that there often is a transfer fee from your new registrar.

 

2. Hosting

When it comes to hosting there are a ton of alternatives out there and probably just as many opinions. But in my case I have one host that I use for everything and that I love, Inleed. The speed of the host is good and so is the price tag. At the moment prices start at 19SEK/month, that is less then $3. But speed and price in all honor, where Inleed really shines is the support. It’s not often that I have had to contact them about something but when it has happened the response has been blazing fast even at very uncomfortable office hours. An example of this was this new years eve when I contacted them by email in the evening, in three minutes I had a response and in five the problem was solved. They are always quick to help and you feel like they really care about you. I’m sure there are other hosts out there that are just as good but there are also a lot of them that are really bad so why take the chance, so I say go for Inleed. If you go for something other then Inleed make sure that they support PHP & mySQL and that you will have FTP access to the server.

 

3. DNS

DNS? What? Isn’t that included in my domain you may say, and yes, it usually is, although it actually costs extra for Loopia users if you want to use theirs (this is probably true for some other registrars as well). But the thing is, you don’t want to use their DNS. You want to use a service called CloudFlare. Why would I want to use that you are probably saying now, well there are a lot of reasons for it and it would take up at least a full blog post to mention them all so lets just summarize them with that CloudFlare makes your website faster, more secure and that the base plan is free. If you want to read more about it you should have a look at the CloudFlare overview page. When you have registered your domain at CloudFlare you will get two nameservers back, they look something like this:

betty.ns.cloudflare.com
sri.ns.cloudflare.com

Keep in mind that yours will probably not be the same as the ones above. Once you have yours you head over to where you registered your domain and head into the domain settings. Since this is a bit different for every registrar I can’t tell you exactly how it will look but what you want to do is find where to change the nameservers and then set them to the ones you got from CloudFlare, if you cant find the settings ask the support and they will help you.

 

4. Software

Now we are getting in to my favorite part, the software. First of all you will be needing an FTP Client so that you can upload your files to the server, I recommend the FileZilla Client, it’s really good and it’s free. Secondly you will be needing your blogging software, for this we will use WordPress. If your host comes with a One-Click Setup you could use that but to be sure that you get the latest version I would recommend you install it by yourself. Installing it is really easy and I will be putting together a blog post on how to do it soon and add a link here but for now if you need help you can have a look at the wordpress support site.

 

5. Themes and Plugins

If you have been reading this post to set up a blog on your own and following along then first of all shame on you, you should always be reading the complete instructions before starting, secondly congratulations on your new blog. While the blog is technically finished it might be a good idea to install a custom theme on it to make it look a little better. You can find a lot of both free and paid themes by using google or you can head to the theme section on the wordpress website

 

Thats it, now you know how this blog is set up and how to do it yourself should you ever want to set up your own blog.

 

Credits:
The top photo in this post was taken by Torkild Retvedt and is released under the CC-BY-SA Licence. It has been cropped a bit and the original is available on this flickr page.

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