How To Start A WordPress Blog

Starting a new wordpress blog is fairly simple, this tutorial will teach you how to set up a wordpress blog with siteground.

We do not recommend using as it’s exremely limited and pricey, plus, it doesn’t give you the ability to upload a wordpress theme making customizing your blog very difficult.

Setting up a self hosted blog is fairly simple and with the right hosting and support you are on your way to a successful career in blogging. Follow the steps below to get started!

Step 1 

Click Here and navigate to the wordpress hosting section, click “Get started”.

Step 2

Pick a hosting plan that is right for you, if you have a small blog just meant for family members and close friends, I recommend the StartUp plan, if you plan to grow your blog and earn money, I recommend the GoGeek plan.

Once you have decided on a plan, click on “Get plan”.

Step 3

Register your domain name or add your current domain name by clicking “I already have a domain”.  Hit proceed.

Step 4

Enter your billing information on Siteground. You will also see a section at the bottom with extras which may be checked, I recommend purchasing domain name privacy to keep your personal information private from the public. SG Scanner is optional but we don’t recommend it.

Once you have filled out all of your information, hit the “Pay now” button.

Step 5

Once your order is complete, click on “Proceed to the customer area” button. You will then be redirected to the siteground set up wizard which will install WordPress for you.

Select, start a new website in the set up your website area and choose wordpress as the option.

Follow the steps on siteground to complete your installation!


  • Decide on a username that isn’t “admin” and maybe your first name or a nickname that will show up in blog posts.
  • Use a password you will remember but make sure it’s not too easy for others to guess.

Should you have any questions about your install or need further assistance, Siteground has an amazing live chat function that will connect you to one of there assistant who can further guide you with any questions you might have.

Congratulations, you are on your way to creating an amazing blog!

Set Up Instructions V13

Congratulations on Purchasing your new theme!

You will need the genesis framework to use this theme, if you don’t already own it, click here to download it, do NOT update the genesis framework until you have followed all steps below and completed the set up. Once you have completed everything below, go make sure to update it!

First of all, unzip the file you downloaded to your computer (not the genesis framework, the theme you purchased), all of your theme files are inside.

Before you get started with the install, here are a few things to note.

You will need photoshop to edit the blog header.  You will also need to download and install the fonts provided in the theme installation folder. If you do not have photoshop, click here to contact us and request your blog header.

Now, On to the fun stuff!   Click on each step below to install your new wordpress theme.

Step 1 - Install the theme and Genesis Framework

Log into your wordpress dashboard, click on appearance > Themes.

At the top of the page, click on “Add New”

Then click on “Upload Theme”

In the box that opens up, click on “Choose File” and upload the file.

NOTE: (If you are using a mac or safari and you can’t find the file after downloading it and it’s showing you a variety of different files instead of one zip file, you will need to disable safari automatically unzipping your files and redownload genesis. Click here to learn how to disable that feature.)

Activate it and if it asks you to update it, then go ahead and do so.

Next, upload your theme, when you purchased your theme you should have downloaded a zip file, unzip that file and inside it is your wordpress theme and all of the extras.  Your theme file should be named something like and it’s in a zip file.  Upload that and activate it.

Step 2: Install Your Header

Click on Appearance > Customize

On the page that opens up, click “Header Image” on the left side of the screen.

Then click on “Add New Image”

In the box that opens up click on “Upload Files”

Upload the blog header you edited in photoshop or if you didn’t have photoshop, upload the header I sent over.  On the next page press the “Skip Cropping” button, then hit “Save and Publish”.

Step 3: Set up your navigation menu

First of all, you will need to have your pages and categories created, if you don’t already have these created, click the links below for a tutorial on adding pages and categories.

How to add a page.

How to add Categories.

Now that your pages and categories have been created you can go ahead and create your navigation menu, the primary menu is the top menu above your header, so set it to primary navigation. If you wish to use a secondary navigation menu below the header area, create a new menu and set the new one to secondary Navigation Menu.

If you are unsure how to create and arrange your navigation menu click here for a tutorial.

Step 4: Set up your widgets

First of all, install your plugins located in the plugins folder of your theme files that you downloaded from us. If you are unsure how to add plugins and install widgets, read the following tutorials –

How to upload and update Plugins

How to add Widgets to wordpress

Social Media Icons 

Upload and update the Simple Social Icons plugin in your theme plugins folder, navigate to appearance widgets and drag the Simple Social Icons plugin into the Primary Sidebar widget area, remember you can drag and drop your widgets to rearrange them once you have them all set up!

In your theme folder, you will find a PNG file named SOCIAL ICON SETTINGS for your theme, it will give you the color codes and icon sizes needed for your icons.  You need to add this information into the box that shows up and makes sure it’s exactly the same.

Once you have your colors and icon sizes set up, scroll down a bit and add the links to your social media sites into the spaces provided.

Make sure to add http:// before any social media URL  and make sure to add mailto: before your email address with no space in between.

Once you have everything added and set up, hit “SAVE” at the bottom of the widget.

Adding a Welcome Image

Locate the plugin named “Image Widget” in your plugins folder and upload it. Navigate to appearance > widgets

Drag the widget titled “Image Widget” over to the “Primary Sidebar Area” and set it up like below, then hit “Save”. I recommend a size of 300 x 300px for image widgets.

Add an instagram widget to the Top or Bottom of your blog

Upload the plugin, “Instagram Feed” from your theme plugins folder, activate it.

Then click on “Instagram Feed” to the bottom left of your wordpress admin panel.

On the page that opens up, click the big blue button that says log in and get my access token and ID, authorize it then it will take you back to wordpress.

Copy the access token and ID that has shown up into the boxes below where it says “Access token and Show Photos from – User id”.

Once that’s done scroll down and hit “save changes”. Next click on “Customize” at the top of the instagram feed page.

In the customize section make sure the first area of settings are as shown below.

Once you do that, scroll down a little more and uncheck the following boxes “Show the Header”, “Show the Load More Button” and “Show the Follow Button”. Hit save.

Next click on “Display Your Feed” which is right next to the customize button.

Copy the code in the box that looks like this –

Click on “Appearance > Widgets” and drag a “Custom HTML” widget into the widget area that says Instagram Feed, paste the shortcode from above into that area then hit save.  Your instagram feed should now show up perfectly at the top, (Note: set your instagram to public, if it’s private images won’t show up.)

Social Share buttons at bottom of posts

Upload the plugin named “Genesis Simple Share” and activate it. Next, navigate to Genesis > Simple Share

In the page that opens up, make sure the settings look exactly like they are shown below, then hit “Save”.

Pinterest Widget

Install, activate and if needed up date the GS Pinterest Portfolio Plugin from your plugins folder.

Click On Appearance > Widgets, drag the GS Pinterest Profile Widget (There are 4 different widgets make sure it’s the profile one) into the primary sidebar area.  Set it up like the screenshot below but change the username to your pinterest username.

Subscribe, facebook and twitter Widget

Make sure Jetpack is installed and activated. (Click here for a tutorial on activating jetpack).

Drag the subscriptions widget, facebook widget and twitter widget into the primary sidebar area, set them up as you wish or for facebook and twitter, here’s a screenshot of the demo settings (replace url’s and usernames with your own).

Shop My Style Widget

To use this widget you need to sign up for an affiliate network

Once you are accepted in they will provide further instructions on widget installation.

Step 5: Genesis Theme Settings

To set up your posts so they show a “Read More” button and a featured image like the example template, click on Genesis > Theme Settings

Change your Content Archive settings so they look exactly like the screenshots below.

When you create a new post you will need to set a featured image for your theme to show up like the demo, there is no specific featured image size, images will stretch to fit the section.

Install your slider

Step 1

Go to Plugins > Add New and Locate “Genesis Responsive slider” in your theme plugins folder, upload it and activate it.

Step 2

Go to Appearance > Widgets and drag the “Genesis Responsive Slider” Widget into the “Home Slider” Area, It should look like this: –

Don’t give it a title, just hit “Save”.

Step 3

Click on Genesis > Slider Settings and set up your slider the exact same way as shown below, make sure everything is the same.

Hit Save!  Congratulations, your slider is now installed!

Customize Theme Colors

This is completely optional but if you would like to change your theme colors, go to your wordpress admin area, click on appearance > customize > colors and from there you will see a list of areas with dropdowns, you can change the colors of your theme using this customizer (Some elements such as background images and the blog header cannot be customized using this.)

Change Theme Layout

Overall Layout Options

To change the overall layout of your theme to full width or have the sidebar on the left, go to appearance > customize > site layout, then you will see a dropdown menu with 3 different options.

Single Post and Page Options

If you only want to change the layout for a single page or a single post, go to your pages or posts area, click on the page or post you want to edit.  Scroll down until you see “layout settings” and click on the layout diagram you want to use, then save your page. (Don’t worry about the sections under it).

Category Layouts

To change the way a certain category archive looks, go to Posts > Categories then click on the category you wish to edit then scroll down to the bottom until you see the layout section again.

Instagram landing Page

Click Here and learn how to set this up!