If you’re thinking of starting a stay at home dad blog there are a few things to consider.
Not only will it need your time but more than likely your money too.
But it all depends on what you want from blogging in the longer term.
And that will determine how you go about setting up a blog.
Free Vs Paid
You can get up and running in a matter of minutes and be writing articles to your hearts content.
There are a couple of things to think about when using a free site for your blog though.
One important thing is that you don’t own the content when you use a free site. They do.
At any point WordPress or Google could suspend or delete your blog and you’d lose everything.
Another consideration is that you don’t have much scope for customising your blog.
You can’t add custom plugins for example so you’re limited to what WordPress provide.
That’s why it’s worth starting out with your own domain and web hosting account in the first place.
With a self-hosted blog you first need to get yourself a domain name.
I recommend Namecheap for this as you can pick up a domain name for under £10 per annum in most cases.
I used my name for the name of my site but you might want to think up something more original!
If you go to your favourite search engine and look up “dad bloggers” you’ll find some examples.
Once you’ve come up with an idea for your stay at home dad blog, search for your preferred domain name on Namecheap and buy it if you can.
If it’s already taken, you’ll need to think up some more domain names and keep searching on Namecheap.
I usually go for the .com version but there are now many other domain extensions available.
Now that you have your domain name, you can set about finding the right web host.
I’ve used a few over the years but my current web host is Siteground.
It’s not often that things surprise me these days but so far they’ve exceeded my expectations.
I have a GrowBig account and it offers a lot for the money.
I’m particularly impressed with their Supercharger caching plugin which can give you premium speed.
I’ve tried other caching plugins on my account but so far I’ve not been able to better it.
Siteground also offer:
- Cloudflare support with Railgun included;
- free Let’s Encrypt SSLs to make your site secure, and;
- they keep up to 30 backups of your site should anything go wrong.
As an alternative to using a provider like Namecheap, you can also get a domain name through Siteground when you first set up your hosting account.
If you use Namecheap or another domain name provider, you’ll need to point your nameservers to your new hosting account.
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Your web host will provide you with details of two nameservers and you add these to the account you hold with your domain registrar.
If you use Siteground as your domain registrar this step shouldn’t apply.
Nowadays, most web hosts provide easy installation of WordPress so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities.
Siteground offer the following ways of installing WordPress:
- via the cPanel on your web hosting account through Softaculous;
- via the SiteGround Wizard when you first log in to the Customer area; or,
- via manual installation.
The first two are the easiest ways of getting set up and take a matter of minutes.
If you want a bit more of a challenge though, you could always opt for manual installation.
To make your stay at home dad blog look good, you need to choose a WordPress theme.
I started out with a free theme but came to realise that if you need any help with it, that’s hard to come by.
You also need to be wary of any malicious code or hidden branding that has been inserted into a free theme by unscrupulous developers.
When it comes to WordPress themes, you get what you pay for.
I soon came to realise that if I wanted to take control over the design of my blog I’d need to buy a premium theme.
And that’s why eventually I moved over to the Genesis Framework.
It’s a solid foundation to any website and I then have the Dynamik Website Builder child theme plugged into it.
That allows me to change as many aspects of my website design as I’d possibly want.
If you want to extend the WordPress core functionality, you’re going to need plugins.
There’s lots of free ones which you’ll find in the WordPress repository.
That’s the first place to look for any plugins you want to add to your site.
You need to be careful though because some plugins haven’t been updated in quite some time.
That’s not automatically a bad thing but it may mean it’s easier for hackers to exploit the code.
You don’t want to find all your hard work disappear when hackers come to visit.
Incidentally that also applies to any free themes you might like the look of on the WordPress repository.
Out of the 14 plugins I have installed only five are free. The rest are premium plugins that I’ve paid for.
You need to consider whether you want to add functionality with plugins such as:
- social media sharing buttons;
- SEO functionality;
- caching to improve loading speed, and;
- opt in forms for email marketing;
Are You Ready To Start Your Stay At Home Dad Blog?
Are you raring to go with your blog? Will you choose to set up a free blogging account or go down the self-hosted route?
Are there any questions you have about setting up your blog?