Hey, Dustin here!
We used to do a series called, “How To Start A Food Blog.” The goal was to help people who wanted to start their own food blog or to improve an existing one. We realized that, while some of this information was great, we actually needed to kick it up a notch. We weren’t getting specific enough. Some of the questions we got were more technical, like people needing more hand-holding through some of the tricky parts of setting up a blog.
With that in mind, we are completely revamping our food blog guide. With this first tutorial, we will walk you through the first steps to setting up your food blog.
Let’s get started building your blog!
FYI, we are an affiliate of some of the below links. However, all these suggestions are based on our experience and extensive research.
How To Start A Food Blog
We will do a deep dive into setting up your first food blog. This whole process takes no time at all (10-20 minutes, tops!) and we will walk you through it below with images. Once we are done, you will be able to start creating posts on your new food blog. Yay!
Domain Name and Hosting Using bluehost
When you start a food blog, you will need to set up and choose a domain name. Here are some helpful tips on how to pick a domain name. To buy and set up a domain name, you will need to use a service like bluehost which you can also use to set up your hosting. If you’re asked to pick your plan level I suggest going with the the Starter Plan. This is paid in one lump sum instead of monthly, but you’ll save the most money going with it.
Bluehost gives you your domain name for free if you host with them so that saves you 10-20 bucks.
All you have to do is input the domain name you want to use in the text box with the red circle around it and bluehost will see if it is available. Assuming it is available, you will see a screen that looks like this:
Setting Up WordPress
Once you have your domain name and hosting, you can move onto installing WordPress on your site. If you went with bluehost, we have a step-by-step set of instructions for you. First, look for the section that says “Website,” then press the button that says “Install WordPress.” It’s super simple.
Then it goes to a loading screen that checks to make sure everything looks good, like the one below:
After the loading screen, you should see a page that looks like this:
You will want to click the “Start” button. Then, choose what domain you want to install it on. This should be the one you just picked. Mine is dustinbaier.com as you can see in the example below:
Click on “Check Domain.” You will see a page that asks if you want override the files. Click “Continue.”
First, click on the “Advanced Options” and make sure your username and password are what you want. Then, click that you understand the terms. Finally, press the “Install Now” button.
Once the installation is complete, you will want to test and make sure that you can log into your new site. Up at the top right, there will be a progress bar. When it is done, click on “View Processes.” Then, click “View Credentials.” This will take you to a page that looks like this:
Click on the “Admin URL” to go to the admin page of your new WordPress site. Use your credentials to log in. Congrats, you now have your food blog!
At this point, you are good to go if you want to use the basic theme that comes with WordPress. However, if you want some help installing a more advanced theme, we discuss that in the next section.
Setting Up Thesis
Once you have your WordPress blog, it looks something like this:
If you are wanting a more customized and polished look to your blog, you can start by either looking for your own free theme here. If you want to choose a premium theme, here are the ones we recommend:
- Thesis Theme – This is the theme that we use. I highly recommend it as it comes with a lot of things built in like SEO, favicon, easy Google Analytics, Google Authorship, etc. A lot of good stuff here. If you go the route of Thesis, then you may want to check out Thesis skins like Themedy.
- The Genesis Framework – A slightly cheaper option and still very good. If you go the Genesis route, you should check out their StudioPress Themes.
The way both of these work is that they have a lot of core functionality built into the main frameworks and then smaller visual skins on top of these that you can choose. To give you a good example, here is a step-by-step tutorial on installing Thesis and a skin for it:
First, you need to purchase and download the Thesis zip file.
Once you have downloaded the file, go to “Appearance,” then the “Themes” page in your WordPress admin panel.
This will take you to the Themes page in the admin panel. From here, we need to click the “Add New” button to add a new theme.
At this point, we are ready to install Thesis. Click the “Choose File” button.
Once you choose the Thesis zip file you downloaded earlier, you can click the “Install Now” button. This will install the Thesis version you downloaded earlier.
Now that we have installed Thesis, we need to activate it. Click on the “Activate” link.
After this, you should see your Thesis admin page which looks like this:
Congrats! Thesis is now installed along with the basic theme they provide. Your site should look similar to this:
Much better, right?
Setting Up A Skin
Now, you have all the benefits of Thesis and can choose a free Thesis skin, build your own, or buy a premium one. If you choose the premium route, I recommend Themedy. We use Themedy for ASPC and have used them for other sites as well. For an intro on setting up a skin, there is a step-by-step below.
To change your skin, you go to the Thesis Admin Menu and choose “Manage Skins.”
Here, you can see all the skins you have. If you have purchased or downloaded a free one, click the blue “Upload Skin” button.
A pop-up will appear and ask you to choose a file. Navigate to your desired skin, select it and then press “Add Skin.”
Finally, activate your skin by clicking on the green “Activate Skin” button, shown below:
Depending on the skin, you will have a nice semi-custom-looking site. From here, you can make lots of changes to your site fairly easily since Thesis and skins are so flexible.
Hopefully, this guide will help you get started and create your own food blog. When you do, feel free to leave a comment below and we will go check out your new food blog.
If you are looking for more info on the products we use, check out our Resources page.