How to Start a Blog And Earn the Senior Web Designer Badge

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I know many of you look at the web designer badge for Senior Scouts and fear how complex building a website could be. I have gotten emails from readers asking for help getting started with a website and how to teach their girls how to put together a blog of their own.

In the next few months I will have a full Web Design training series ready for you to use with your girls. It will be complete with how to set up a wordpress site from scratch, understanding everything involved in managing and running a wordpress website, and even some advance techniques that will in the end give your girls all the tools they need to earn the Senior web designer badge. The best part it is also great for you as Leaders as well, if you have always wanted to learn how to build a site, or even create a site for your troop this training series will be great for you. It will include videos as well as be a printable PDF so you can learn in the style that works best for you! Send me a email at jodicarlson@leaderconnectingleaders.com if you want to be notified personally when the training is available.

In the mean time if you are like me and I just want to jump in and get started, figure it out as I go. Today Ill share with you the first steps to get a blog/website up and running. It is true if you follow these simple steps below in less than 20 minutes you will have a website that you can start using today.

Before jumping into how to build you’re website I want to quickly share a example of how you’re girls can make their blog about anything. This is an example of a blogger who has built a blog from scratch using WordPress sharing her passion of fashion and beauty, here is her website.

  • Where do I Start?

    To start with you will need a place to host your website. There are 100s of hosting companies out there, but for a WordPress site, and for ease of use, SiteGround is at the top of my list.  There are many reasons I choose SiteGround:

    • Number 1 reason the outstanding customer service and technical support – I called them with issues and they walked me through everything I needed to do to set up my WordPress site the first time (But of course you wont need that because I am going to give you all the steps)
    • You are under no contract so you can cancel anytime which is great with the unknown of having a troop and not knowing if girls will want to continue with website or with program.
    • And the price so affordable, if you sign up for hosting through this blog post you get a special offer of hosting at  $3.95/month for 12 months. But the best part for leaders who just want to build a site with your girls and then delete it you can buy one month instead of paying for the 12 months up front. 
    • Two other quick reasons I would tell you to choose them is because they have a 1-click WordPress Installation is perfect for beginners and a 30-day money back guarantee – no risk!

    To set up your hosting account with SiteGround and installing WordPress, follow the steps below.

    Set Up Your Hosting Account

    Go over to SiteGround‘s home page, and click on web hosting.

  • You will want to pick the package that will be most suitable for your troop. If you are just going to work together building and customizing one site the “Startup” plan is right for you. But if you want to create multiple websites for each girl then you will want to choose the “Growbig” plan.

 

 

Next, you need to choose a domain name for your troop site or for your Senior girl’s site.

 

Once you’ve entered a domain name, you’ll fill in your personal information and select the server location. You will want to choose the server closest to where your majority of your readers will be. For example if 75% of readers will be in USA be sure to choose a USA server.

 

At end fill in your payment information and at end you will receive a confirmation page asking you to proceed to customer area. You will also receive a welcome email.

Installing WordPress

 

 

Now you can go to the customer area and set up your website. A pop up will come up asking if you want to install WordPress. Click on “Get WordPress Pre-Installed On This Account” and follow the account setup assistant.

If you don’t see pop up you can also get to install by selecting  “My Account” > “Access My Cpanel” > Under Pre-installers, click on WordPress. That’s your 1-click installation process.

When the installation is complete you can access your WordPress Admin dashboard by going to www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (just replace “yourdomain” with your URL) and input your credentials you created during install.

If you have any issues the best feature of SiteGround is there support, contact them and they will guide you through everything.

I know it seemed like a lot but you can totally handle the technical side of blogging– don’t let it stop you from doing this with your girls, once you have done it once you will be amazed how easy it comes to you! Sure, you will do a lot of learning as you go along, but once you have the basic building blocks in place, you are a lot closer to getting to do the fun stuff: which is creating amazing content!!

I know you want to do this and help your Senior girls earn their web design badge, Start your own troop website with SiteGround here.

If you sign up for SiteGround, but you are still super confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.), you can always send me an email at jodicarlson@girlscoutleaderconnect.com and I can help you out. That’s what I’m here for so don’t be afraid to send me an email it will also help me know what everyone is struggling with to provide more helpful resources.

Now You Have The WordPress Website Now What?

Below are a few helpful hits to get you started building a amazing website for your Troop and/or for the Seniors to earn the web design badge

  • Once you have your site, save the WordPress login information that you receive in a separate email. You will receive this email after you complete the process of downloading WordPress.  This email will include your WordPress login URL (your URL is separate from everyone else’s and it’s the only way you can access your WordPress account), your username, and your password. You want to keep this email safe.
  • Navigating the site:
    • You can add and create new posts by clicking on “Posts” on the left-hand side when you are logged in. If you want to add a page, simply click on “Page” works the same.
    • If you want to add an image, click on “Media” on the left-hand side.
    • You can go to “Appearance,” then “Widgets” in order to add items to your sidebar, footer, and so on.
  • If you are looking for a way to send newsletters or emails to your readers, I recommend mailchimp its easy to use and offers some great features to customize templates and set up automatic emails.
  • There are a number of free themes you can get under “Appearance” then “Themes” but if I were choosing the best theme out there for ease of use and no need to learn any code I would recommend DIVI WordPress Theme which you can get from Elegant themes, when you buy the one theme you get access to all 87 themes they have available which is a great value if your girls want to try different themes.

More Resources For My Leader Readers 

I get asked a lot what other resources are out there on the internet for Leaders.  I have done some digging over the years and have used many of the resources myself. I compiled a list of some great companies that sell patches, programs and also other bloggers offering amazing resources that may fit your needs even better than my site did.   Checkout what I found.