How to start a food blog (Step by step guide)

So, do you love food/cooking?
Do you want to share your kitchen experience with others?
Do you want to make money through food blogging?
Do you want to start a food blog but don’t know where to start?
If answers are YES, you are at the right place.

How to start a food blog (Step by step guide)

In 2012, I started this food blog with very minimal investment. In the beginning, it was like a hobby. But with my dedication, commitment and passion, I took it to the professional level. Now I make living from this blog. Yes, it is possible in your case too. So don’t wait and start your own food blog today.

All you need is 15 minutes and below shown easy step by step instructions !! Your don’t have to be a technical expert.

So let’s start..

The 6 basic steps to start a food blog

  1. Choose a blogging platform
  2. Create a blog file
  3. Choose a domain name
  4. Choose a web hosting company
  5. Install WordPress
  6. Install a WordPress theme & start posting recipes

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. I only recommend companies or products I use and trust.


Step 1: Choose a blogging platform


There are many different platforms or services you can use to start a food blog or website. Some are free platforms while some are paid.

Let’s check out the free option first. In this category, popular one is blogger.com or blogspot (powered by google). Since it is free, there are some limitations. I am not going into details. But the basic point is – If you are not serious blogger, don’t want to make money and want to just write/share recipes as a hobby, then go for this. The biggest down-point (in my opinion) is that your site link will looks ugly e.g.www.yoursitename.blogspot.com I do not recommend this.

Second is WordPress self-hosted platform. I use WordPress myself and highly recommend that. I like it’s flexibility, ease of use and functionality.

CAUTION! WordPress has two options. Hosted (WordPress.com) and Self-hosted (WordPress.org) Today’s tutorial is on how to create self-hosted WordPress food blog.


Step 2: Create a BLOG FILE


This is where you will keep all the usernames, passwords, codes, URL’s, instruction or anything else related and important to your blog. So that you can reference them whenever needed. I know you can bookmark the links and use password management tools to save passwords. But keeping all the blog related things at one place is good idea. From the beginning stay organized, this is the key to stay efficient.

I know this step looks silly, but I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. Trust me it will be a real help in future. Just create a word file or text file, save it in your desktop or hard drive or google drive. Just copy and paste needed info as we go.


Step 3: Choose a domain name


OK, this part is the hardest as well as fun.

A domain name represents you, your blog, your brand. In short, it is a web address. For example, spiceupthecurry.com

Few tips for choosing domain name for your blog:

  • Make it short, easy to spell, easy to remember
  • Choose .com always (not .net or .org)
  • Do not include numbers, hyphens or confusing words
  • Choose the name that describes your blog topic

Once you are done with brainstorming, shortlisted few names, go to domainr and check that it is available or not.


Step 4: Choose a web hosting company


Next, you need to choose the best web hosting company to register domain name and sign up for the hosting account to host your new food blog online.

A host provides server space for your site. There are many hosting companies available. I recommend Bluehost because their customer service is very good. I am using this from beginning and I have no complains.

Let’s start by clicking here to go to Bluehost (This will open in new tab, and refer below screen-shots, instructions and continue.)

Once the page opens, click on the green button “get started now”
Image shown here may be slightly different than what is on your screen, because bluehost always keep updating and keep improving their site. But the main purpose is to start with general registration process.

Getting started with bluehost

Then select your plan.

As a beginner, I would start with basic plan. As the site grows, you can upgrade at any moment. (I have started with shared hosting, once my site reached 20k+ pageviews per month I upgraded to Kinsta managed WordPress hosting)

Click on the green “select” button of the basic plan.

select bluehost plan

Now to enter the domain name,

grab the domain name that you have chosen at step 3.

Enter that domain name on left box (New domain). Make sure to choose ‘.com’ option.
Then click the blue button “next”.

Sign Up Now with bluehost

Enter your account info

Carefully enter all your account information. Make sure to use live/working email address. This is where you will get confirmation email with your login information.

enter account information

Select the account plan/terms

In the package information section, you can select 12 months, 24 months or 36 months account plan. If you are serious about blogging, then choose longer term. Or choose 12 months plan, it is up to you.

Also select the ‘Domain Privacy Protection’ $0.99/month. This will protect your address and phone number being displayed in public. This is highly recommended this if using your personal information to register. If using your business info/address then you can skip this.

You can skip other add-ons.

The total is the one you will be paying it once and that is today.select account plan

Enter your billing information

Fill in your credit card information, check the box that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, then click submit.

enter billing information

Confirmation page

Then it will redirect you to the confirmation page. Of course you will receive the email also. If are you asked to add any upgrades, just skip that.
Click on “Create password” and continue.

confirmation page (Welcome to bluehost)

Once done, check your email. You will find a email from Bluehost with Control panel (cpanel) login info. You may want to copy and paste that or username/password in BLOG FILE for future reference.

set password

Log in to your Bluehost cpanel

Go to Bluehost and click the login button located at the top right corner. (Or you can use the cpanel link from your welcome email)

log in to bluehost cpanel

Enter your login info (make sure that hosting tab is selected.) Once logged in, there might be a pop-up asking that if you need any help. Click on ‘I can do it’. Why would you pay them when you can do it yourself within next 5 minutes?

enter log in credentials


Step 5: Install WordPress


Once you are logged into your cpanel, Click on “Install WordPress” icon.

install WordPress from bluehost cPanel

On next page, click on “Install” under ‘Do it yourself’.

click on install wordpress

Then select the domain, leave the Path or directory empty. 
Click on “Check domain”.

select domain to install WordPress

Last step, You’re almost there

Next, You will see two check-boxes. First is show advanced options. You can click and check all the information there (Admin email, Blog title, Admin user, First name and Last name). You don’t have to do anything here.

Check the box where you accept the terms and conditions.
Click on “Install Now”.

Last step to install wordpress

During the installation you will see the progress bar. Once the installation process is done, you will see the message that says ‘Your install is Complete’. Now you will click on “View Credentials” button.

wordpress Install complete

Next you will see URL, Admin URL, Username and password. You may also receive an email with this info, too.
URL – this is your site link.
Admin URL – this is the link where you will do all the configuration and management, in short most of the the back end stuff will be done there.
Username and Password – Use this to log into your Admin URL

You may want to bookmark those URLs. Also I would suggest that copy and paste this all information into the BLOG FILE.

At this point, if you go to your site’s URL, you will see something like ‘Site coming soon..’

Now go to your Admin URL and open that, you will see below. Enter your credentials and click “Log in”.

WordPress Login

Once you log in to your Dashboard, You may see a message saying ‘Your site is currently displayed as “Coming Soon” page. Once you are ready to launch your site click here.’ Click on that link.
Then you will see a message ‘Congratulations, your site is now live’

Now you can open your Site URL and see your live website or blog. Yaayy!! You will see default site name, blog post saying ‘Hello world!’ It looks pretty simple, let’s make it beautiful and pretty.


Step 6: Install a WordPress theme


Depending on which WordPress theme you choose, it will determine the feel and look of your blog. So pick wisely and good one!!

There are free and premium themes available. You can start with free theme, you can browse here. But there are few cons of free themes e.g. may be poorly coded, no support, no updates to be compatible with new/latest version of WordPress.

If you are serious about your food blog, please choose the premium theme or hire someone.

For my blog, I started with free theme and within next few months I installed Premium Thesis Theme and currently I have Foodie Pro Theme installed.

Few important things to consider while choosing a good theme:

  • Responsive layout – meaning it is built to provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices (desktop, tablet, mobile)
  • Well designed – meaning it should be coded well and by the experts. Messy code or poorly coded site meaning it will take too much time to load and gives bad user experience. So choose the theme which is coded by well known or experienced person.
  • User friendly – meaning it should have clean design with only needed customization built-in design options. More options meaning more codes may results into slower site.
  • Clear navigation – meaning it is should not be confusing. Any beginner or first time visitors will find it very easy to navigate your food blog
  • Enough white space – White space will pop out your food photos and will make it look attractive and beautiful.

Recommended premium WordPress themes

Genesis Framework + StudioPress Themes: It has good collection of great themes. All are designed well with clean and clear look. My favorite are Foodie Pro, Glam Pro, Modern Studio Pro, Magazine Theme, Daily Dish Pro Theme. These are suitable for food blogs.

Thesis Theme: I have used it before and it was really good. Thesis 1.8.5 version was pretty cool and easy to manage. Then they made the huge update with version 2.0 which is little complicated and it requires some technical knowledge. So think before choosing this one.

— Elegant themes: It has huge collection of good themes. They are easy to customize and provide few different options. Take a look and see if it fits your match.

How to install new WordPress theme?

Once you have decided which premium theme you want to use, download its .zip file.

Then go to the Dashboard → Appearance → Themes

appearance --> themes

Then click on “Add New”

add new theme

On the next page, you can browse all the free themes. And check out the previews.
To install the premium theme, you have .zip file ready. Click on “Upload theme”.

click on upload theme

Next Choose the file from your desktop where you have saved .zip for your theme. And then click “Install Now” button.

upload theme to WordPress

Then go to Dashboard → Appearance → Themes, you will see your newly installed theme. Hover the mouse over it and click on “Activate”.

Now refresh or go to your blog URL and check your site. You will have new look of your food blog.

So, now your food blog is ready. 

Before you start posting new recipes, make these 8 important WordPress settings. This is not must, but it is good idea to do so.

For more resources Check out this page.

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