WordPress is an extremely powerful and flexible blogging platform that will
allow you to take your blogging as far as you want to go. The tips provided in
this book will give you a very basic level of functionality and security, but it is
enough to get you off the ground and writing.

Writing is the key to finding your voice and growing your blog. Pretty designs
are nice - and I encourage you to explore designing an interesting-looking
blog, but strive to keep your primary focus on writing. You may find that you
prefer to post every day, or once a week, but as people become interested in
what you have to say, they will expect a certain amount of regularity - so try not
to disappoint them.

Blogging has given voice to millions of people across the world. There are few
rules and even fewer boundaries, so let your hair down and express yourself!

Selecting a hosting company is one of the first, and most critical, decisions that you need to make. The three most critical factors in selecting a good hosting company are:

  1. Performance
  2. Security
  3. Functionality

The scope of this section will be limited to shared server hosting, because it is the most economical option for your new blog.

What is shared hosting?

Shared server hosting means that a number of websites, usually several thousand, all reside on the same web server. This can present problems, from a performance and security standpoint, but the price differential between shared hosting and dedicated hosting is so great, that it is really the only option unless your blog is generating enough monthly revenue to cover the expense.

Dedicated hosting is typically about $100 per month. There are many choices, when it comes to shared hosting companies. One quick way to whittle-down the field is to realize that bigger is not better, when it comes to shared hosting companies. Google "shared hosting hacked" and you will find:

  • Network Solutions
  • Godaddy
  • DreamHost

Among numerous others. One large hosting company that does not seem to have security problems is HostGator. There are also a number of mid-tier hosting companies that offer a good mixture of security and performance:

  • Downtown Host
  • eVerity
  • PowerMonster
  • MDDHosting

Benefits of a Dedicated IP

Basic shared hosting accounts always include a
shared IP address, meaning that your blog's address on the web will be the same as
many other websites. Functionally, this is not a problem, since the hosting company will handle the routing.

From a search engine's perspective, though, your blog could be penalized for
sharing IP addresses with an undesirable website. Also, if you ever plan to sell anything
on your blog, you will need an SSL certificate, which requires a dedicated IP address. For these reasons, paying a few more dollars each month, for a dedicated
IP address, is worth the expense.

Benefits of Cpanel

CPanel is an administration interface to your server. Some hosting companies use proprietary interfaces, which work just fine, but will trigger a learning-curve if you ever change hosts. Sticking with a standard, like CPanel, means that you only have to learn one interface.

Choosing a domain name for your new blog is an important part of an overall branding strategy. In addition, the name you choose plays in important roll in search engine results, which can affect how easily people can find your new blog.

Ideally, your domain name will help describe what your blog is all about. For instance, if you Google "knitting secrets", two of the top-five results use that term in their domain name.

Notice that Google does not penalize the sites for not including a hyphen between the two words. This gives you a lot of flexibility in choosing a domain name, even for crowded blog categories.

Another strategy is to use your own name, or a derivative of it. This can be effective if the goal of your blog is self-promotion. Just realize that you will have to rely on other tactics for driving search engine traffic, unless a lot of people Google
your name.

Your domain can be registered with the same company that hosts your blog, or it can be registered at a different company. When you create a new hosting account, the company will provide you with a primary and alternate nameserver that points to your site. If your domain name resides with a different company, you can use their domain management control panel to associate the nameserver address with the domain name.

Installing WordPress

Many hosts, including those mention in this article, have an automated installation scripts for adding WordPress to your website. These scripts follow a very generic installation routine, that is not very secure, but these issues can be fixed once WordPress is installed.

If all this information is beginning to cloud up your head, then you've got options. There are several companies that provide a WordPress Installation Service.  Additionally, the video below is a good guide for installing WordPress.