How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners

Blog Champs is reader-supported. By following through with a purchase, I may earn a commission at no expense to you. Thank you for your support.

EDIT: This article is OUTDATED! I no longer recommend SiteGround.

For an even better and faster WordPress experience, check out my new article here: How to Install WordPress the Easy Way

Are you wondering how to create a blog with SiteGround?

In this guide, I will show you how to create a lightning-fast blog for dirt cheap and optimize it to pass Google's Web Core Vitals, Pingdom, and GTmetrix!

What does all that mean?

It means that your website will be ultra-fast and SEO optimized for higher Google rankings.

All without expensive hosting, themes, and plugins too!

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | google pagespeed score
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

This is achievable with a FREE theme, a FREE optimizer plugin, and cheap shared hosting.

And just so you know…

This isn't just an article; this is a guide. I will guide you through the entire process – step by step.

Steps are accompanied by screenshots and easy-to-understand technical explanations that anyone can understand regardless of experience level.

And by the end of this guide, you'll be blogging like a champion! So, if you're ready to start your blog, let's go!

Before we begin, let's review a few common questions about blogging.

Common Questions About Blogging

You probably have a few questions swimming around in your head as you consider creating a blog.

You need not worry – that is quite normal.

As a matter of fact, there are several questions that almost every new blogger asks, which is why I will answer them here upfront so that you know what to expect.

1. Is it necessary to be a tech guru to start a blog? 

Nope! As long as you are comfortable using a computer, you should have no problem. No special knowledge is required.

2. Approximately how long does it take to start a blog? 

Choosing a blog topic is hard, but once you know what you want to write about, you can have a blog up and running in just 20-30 minutes. You'll be surprised how easy it is!

3. What are Google's Core Web Vitals?

Google has created a set of specific web vitals that it considers integral to the overall usability of a webpage. Specifically, Core Web Vitals comprises three different page speed measurements designed to increase user interaction: the largest contentful paint, the first input delay, and the cumulative layout shift. 

These measurements are used to optimize your website to create a better user experience, thus reducing your bounce rate, leading to a better Google Pagerank.

And this guide wouldn't be complete if I didn't show you how to pass!

4. Why can't I start a blog on one of those free platforms? 

The use of free platforms is appropriate for hobby blogs, however, there are several reasons why I do not suggest going this route.

Here's why:

  • Your blog will be at the website owner's discretion, meaning your blog could be removed and lost forever, all without warning.
  • Your blog could have ads, even if you don't want them. And they can distract your readers!
  • Your blog will have minimal revenue-generating capabilities.
  • Free blogging websites likely have limited storage capacity, features, design options, and customer support.
  • They may still cost money for premium features. Yes, I've actually seen this before!
  • Your search engine optimization efforts will be much more difficult.

If you want your blog taken seriously, free options are just inferior. And to be honest, it doesn't even cost much to create a professional blog anyway. Just follow my instructions below.

How to Create a Blog in 6 Steps

Step 1. Choose a Niche

A website niche is an online resource that focuses on a particular topic of interest common to a narrow group of people in a much larger audience. There are an endless amount of niches to choose from.

For example, instead of a website dedicated to basketball in its entirety, its primary focus is on basketball coaching styles. While basketball is a fine idea, drilling in on a specific topic means less competition and makes it easier to build authority.

When it comes to choosing a niche, there are two options to consider.  You can select a topic of personal interest OR a popular topic that other people want to read.

If monetization is your only goal, the second option will look very tempting. While not a bad idea by any means, I suggest your topic be somewhat personally enjoyable; otherwise, you may lose focus and give up.

If you plan on hiring writers, then the second option is hands down the best of the two.

How do you get ideas?

If you need ideas on a niche, type a broad subject into Google and scroll down to the bottom. There, you'll find related search results to your original subject.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | google related search
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

You can click on those links and again scroll down to see more related search results. Continue until you've found something of interest.

After you've chosen a topic, it is a good idea to conduct a little research to find out if it is worth blogging on your chosen topic. To do this, ask yourself these questions:

Are there any other blogs on your chosen topic? If you can't find any, it's because the subject isn't popular. Lack of blogs on a particular subject doesn't necessarily mean it is a blue ocean. More than likely, it means that nobody wants to read about it.

The goal isn't to find a topic nobody wants to read about but to find a popular topic and outcompete your competitors. 

Are there any Facebook groups on your chosen topic? If so, how many and how big are they? You're looking for groups with thousands of followers.

Are there any popular books in your chosen niche? How many, and how many reviews do they have? If there are few to no reviews, choose a different niche.

You can also use Google Trends to check how your topic's interest over time on Google. The higher the interest, the better.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | google trends
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

After you've decided on your topic, it is time to choose a blogging platform.

Step 2. Choose a Platform

Hands down, WordPress.org is the best platform for blog creation. It is the ideal platform for beginners and advanced users alike.

Why?

Besides powering this blog, WordPress is also a key component of 33% of all websites online. Yup! WordPress powers more than one-fourth of all websites you visit.

I can almost guarantee that you've used a website powered by WordPress at some point in your life, whether you've heard of WordPress or not.

Regardless of WordPress' impressive market share, here are some real, concrete reasons why WordPress is the best platform for starting a blog:

  • It's free! You only need to pay for hosting.
  • WordPress is extremely easy to use and configure.
  • There is a HUGE community, so you can easily find assistance if you have any difficulties.
  • It is easy to change how your blog looks and functions without needing specific technical knowledge using themes and plugins. And there are thousands of themes and plugins from which you can choose!

So, if you're ready to start blogging with WordPress, then you can move on to the next step.

Step 3. Choose a Hosting Provider

Website hosting is vital for your blogging journey. It is the place where your website lives on the internet. It is where all of your website files are stored. Without hosting, you will have no blog.

There are many hosting providers to choose from, but only a few that matter.

For the purpose of this guide, we'll be using SiteGround.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground banner copy
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

Why?

There are several reasons for choosing SiteGround:

  • One-click WordPress install
  • Great for beginner bloggers
  • Top-rated customer support in the industry
  • Fast NGINX servers
  • Great value!

Now, you might be wondering about other popular hosting providers.

Many affiliate marketers refer their readers to crappy hosts like Bluehost and Hostgator.

Here's the catch…

This is likely attributed to their very generous affiliate program for affiliate marketers. However, they are notorious for their poor support and slow servers!

And to be honest…

I used Bluehost for many years before switching to SiteGround, and wish I had done it sooner. Their support has been very helpful and friendly over the years.

And as you will see, your site will be lightning-fast without spending a fortune!

Step 4. Choose a Domain Name

Your blog will require a domain name before it can go live.

Your domain name is the address of your website. For example, www.blogchamps.com is ours.

This is an important decision! So, you might be wondering then how to choose a blog name?

What makes a great domain name?

A great deal of this is a matter of personal preference and branding.

Here are some good guidelines you can follow to get started:

Choose a relevant topic. The name of your website must reflect the topic of your website so that visitors can better understand your content.

Avoid hyphens and numbers. Don't use hyphens or numbers in an attempt to get creative. People have trouble remembering things like this!

Use a .com if possible. Despite the popularity of other domain extensions, it is still preferable to choose a .com domain name if possible.

Most importantly, make it brandable. The goal is to have something easy to brand so that people will remember your blog (so that they can easily come back!).

How to find available domain names

Domain names can be tricky. Only one individual can own a domain name at a time. This is fair because If anyone could purchase Google.com, the internet would be in chaos.

Therefore, to purchase a domain name, you need to find one that is available. That is, you need to find a domain name that no one else owns.

Fortunately, there are several tools to simplify the process and help with great blog name ideas.

Using Instant Domain Search is one of the easiest ways to check if a domain name is available. Enter your desired domain name into the tool, and the application will instantly let you know if it is available or not.

If your domain name is taken, Instant Domain Search also provides suggestions to similar available domains. Great!

Now, If you're still wondering how to create a blog, I won't hold you up any longer.

Once you have chosen your domain name, you are ready to proceed. 

Step 5. Create a Blog in 5 Minutes

To get started, check for all current SiteGround deals and then follow along.

1. Select and purchase the plan that best suits your needs. Click on “Get Plan,” as seen in the image below.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog one
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

2. Once you've purchased your hosting, click on the websites tab from the top.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog two
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

3. Click the “Add New Site” button.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog three
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

4. Select the “New Domain” option.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog four
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

5. Type in your chosen domain name and hit enter.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog five
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

If you are on this step and can't decide on a name, you can select the temporary domain option and change it later.

As a side note, if you decide later that you don't like your chosen domain name, you can always purchase another domain and point your blog to the new one, so don't sweat it too much. 

In the next step, you will now purchase your domain name.

6. After you've purchased your domain, you'll have the option to install WordPress. Select the “Start New Website” option, select the “WordPress” option, and create your credentials. 

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog six seven eight
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

7. Click Continue.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog nine
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

8. Add any extras and click the “Finish” button. Skip the SG Site Scanner, though. There are better and cheaper plugins.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog ten
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

9. Wait for your website creation to finish.

After your website creation finishes, click the “LOGIN IN ADMIN” button. Alternatively, you can access your website's admin panel by adding /wp-admin to the end of your websites' URL (domain name).

For example,

www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin

From here, you can select a free theme and continue through a setup wizard.

Congratulations! Your website is now live.

Step 6. Customize Your Theme

Preface:

Before we begin, I need to address something.

Most WordPress websites are not slow because of “poorly written code.” No, they are slow because website owners can't control themselves, installing and activating everything under the sun.

Forget using a “multi-purpose” theme and Elementor, for that matter.

Multi-purpose themes are widely popular because they have hundreds of design features, making it easy to configure and tailor websites for a client's needs.

This also makes them extremely bloated and slow!

And you are not a client. You are here, creating a website yourself.

The same goes for Elementor as well.

These page builders are only helpful in designing and managing websites for clients. They allow for rapid design and control but are also slow and can be hard to optimize.

Why?

There are two main reasons:

  1. Over time, all of the extra code it adds will slow down your website.
  2. If you decide to ditch it, it will be nearly impossible.

So, I highly suggest you put in the extra work now so that you aren't kicking yourself in the butt later!

What about other plugins?

Not every plugin is built for speed. Many of them have high memory usage and site drag.

It doesn't matter how many plugins you use, but how big and bloated they are.

Use WP Hive's Chrome extension to check plugin speed before installing them.

The ever-so widely popular plugin Yoast is a prime example.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | wp hive yoast
https://wphive.com/plugins/wordpress-seo/

Also, notice the average page speed time it adds is 0.18s.

Compare that to Rank Math now:

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | wp hive rank math
https://wphive.com/plugins/seo-by-rank-math/

Here, you can see much smaller memory usage and an average added load time of 0.02s.

So you see, it is wise only to install what you actually need.

Don't be worried about installing too many plugins; just make sure they aren't bloated and slow.

Consider this:

Let's say you need a plugin to implement a minor feature.

Don't add .20s load time to your website by installing the big fat plugin with a million features and downloads just for that one thing.

Install a more lightweight plugin explicitly designed to accomplish the feature you're after that adds only 0.01s. It's 20x FASTER than that big fat popular plugin.

Or even better, check to see if it can be accomplished using a few lines of CSS.

With that said, we are going to avoid expensive multi-purpose themes and page builders altogether. They will only slow you down, and we're going for speed, remember?

So, for the purpose of this guide, we are going to be using the free Astra theme.

Why?

Because it's incredibly lightweight, and the free version gives us all the features we need (except for a sticky header, but a little CSS fixes that in 1 second).

Expand to view CSS for sticky header

Yes, that is the actual code I am using for this website. And the Gutenberg block plugin I used to add that code is puny in terms of memory and site drag.

See for yourself: https://wphive.com/plugins/accordion-blocks/

Why not use Astra Pro?

The pro version will only add more bloat and website load time. You'll also be tempted to activate every bell and whistle, further increasing load time and performance. Please don't do it!

I'm not using the pro version, and I do not plan to either.

The free version gives me just enough control to quickly change core design elements if I need to. Everything else can be implemented through simple CSS code (such as my sticky header you see at the top).

Follow the method below to install Astra:

How to activate a theme in WordPress:

  1. From the WordPress dashboard, select Appearance > Themes
  2. At the top of the page, select “Add New.”
  3. From here, you can search, install and activate different themes.

Search Astra and click “Install.” Then click “Activate.”

Now that you have your theme installed and activated, it's time to configure it for speed!

How to install WordPress plugins

What are plugins, you say? WordPress plugins are apps that add and extend functionality to your website. For every need you may have, there is likely a plugin for it.

Let's review the two methods for installing WordPress plugins.

Method 1:

This method is the easiest method for installing plugins. It's helpful when you aren't quite sure what plugin you need.

For example, let's say you need a plugin for accepting donations. You can search for “donations” and then browse the plugins in search of the right one for you.

This method is also helpful when you know which specific plugin you require, as you can search for its exact name.

To use this method for installing plugins, follow the instructions below:

  1. From the WordPress dashboard, select Plugins > Add New.
  2. Use the search bar to search for plugins.
  3. Once you've found a plugin you'd like to try, click the “Install” button, and then click the “Activate” button.

Method 2:

This method is best when you already have the plugin downloaded to your computer.

For example, you downloaded the plugin directly from a different website such as wordpress.org. Plugins are usually in the form of a ZIP file.

If this is the case, follow these steps for installing and activating your plugin:

  1. From the WordPress dashboard, select Plugins > Add New.
  2. At the top of the page, click “Upload Plugin.”
  3. Click “Choose File” and select your plugin (alternatively, you can drag and drop your ZIP file right onto the button).
  4. Click “Install Now.”
  5. Click “Activate Plugin.”

Install essential plugins

For this guide, we only need one plugin; SG Optimizer.

This plugin comes already installed with SiteGround hosting, so if you've been following along, you should see it in your WordPress dashboard, on the left-hand side.

Before configuring the plugin, though, we need to check a couple of options within SiteGround itself.

How to configure SiteGround settings

1. Sign in to your SiteGround account.

2. Click on the websites tab at the top.

3. Underneath your website, click on “SITE TOOLS.”

4. On the left-hand side, go to Speed > Caching.

5. Check to make sure NGINX is ENABLED.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground cache
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

6. Check to make sure Memcached is ENABLED.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground cache two
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

Now, before we configure the plugin, we need to do one more thing before we leave.

How to configure HTTPS

You need to configure your website to use HTTPS because Google requires it. If you don't, Google will tell your visitors that your website is insecure.

To do this, follow the steps below:

1. From SITE TOOLS on the left-hand side, click “GO TO MY ACCOUNT.”.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground account
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

2. Click the websites tab at the top.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground creating blog two
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

3. Under your website, click “MANAGE.”.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground manage
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

4. Click to add SSL.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground add ssl
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

5. Select your SSL and click “ACTIVATE.”.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground add ssl two
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

6. Select “Let's Encrypt” from the dropdown, and click “GET.”.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground add ssl three
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

7. Wait a couple of minutes for it to configure.

8. And now make sure HTTPS is always enforced.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground add ssl four
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

Great! Now, you're ready to configure SG Optimizer from the WordPress dashboard!

How to properly configure the SG Optimizer plugin

If you've forgotten how to get to your WordPress dashboard, remember to simply add “wp-admin” to the end of your website.

For example,

www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin

Follow these instructions to configure SG Optimizer properly.

  1. Sign in to WordPress.
  2. On the left-hand side, click “SG Optimizer.”.
  3. Use the images below for proper configuration.

SUPERCACHER SETTINGS

  • Dynamic Caching
  • Automatic Cache purge
  • Memcached
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground optimizer
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

ENVIRONMENT OPTIMIZATION

  • HTTPS
  • WordPress Heartbeat Optimization
  • Scheduled Database Maintenance
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground optimizer two
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

FRONTEND OPTIMIZATION

Enable everything under this tab!

MEDIA OPTIMIZATION

Enable everything here as well.

I recommend using the default settings for Optimization Type.

How to Create a Blog With SiteGround For Beginners | siteground optimizer three
How to Create a Blog With SiteGround

And that's it! You've created your first blog and optimized it for speed!

Wrapping up

Thanks for reading! Below, you will find some important resources.

Customizing your theme

https://wpastra.com/docs/ – Astra's online documentation

Popular blogging tools

Here are some of the tools that I use:

Pretty Links: This plugin enables you to quickly and efficiently manage all of your affiliate links on your blog in one dashboard by allowing you to auto attach links, update links, fix links, track link clicks, and more! Seriously, this is such a time-saver.

Google Analytics: This tool from Google provides insight into your blog's traffic and user behavior to enable you to grow your blog. Set up Google Analytics on your site easily with MonsterInsights.

Google Search Console: This tool will help you understand how Google looks at your site in search results. You will also be informed of any errors.

BuzzSumo: Use this tool to find popular topic ideas by finding influencers in your niche. Their free account is quite powerful.

SpyFu: One of my absolute favorite SEO tools! Use SpyFu to increase your Google Pagerank through keywords and backlink building.

Brave: Increase your email list by creating popups and other campaigns. Use this plugin to increase subscribers, leads, and sales using the traffic that you already have!

MonsterInsights: This is the most popular plugin for integrating Google Analytics with WordPress. By analyzing how visitors land on your site and interact with it, you can focus on what's working and what's not. Integrate it with your blog in just a few simple clicks.

CAOS: Pair this with MonsterInsights to host Google Analytics locally to improve your Google Insights score and decrease your page load time. It's free and easy too!

Photo of author

About the Author

Forced out of Colorado because of the housing market, Kyle now writes WordPress guides out of his Florida apartment, hoping one day to return to the mountains from which he came.
Why I Left SiteGround and How I Found My Next Hosting Provider

After many years with SiteGround, I finally made the switch, and I'm glad I did. Read the full story here.

Leave a Comment