How to Start a Football Website or Blog
So you’ve always wanted to launch your own website or blog dedicated to the beautiful game but maybe didn’t know where to start, or found there were too many resources to keep track of the steps.
While it can be a complex task, we’ve outlined a few of the basics, with providers who can offer real-time assistance with the specialties of their offerings.
Choose and Buy a Domain Name
The www (world wide web) address that’s typed into internet address bars to access websites, domain names should be as close to your chosen brand’s name as possible while also being memorable and easy to type out.
Domain names can be searched and bought on website platforms and registrars such as HostGator, Siteground or GoDaddy.
These sites are also where you can purchase the hosting for your website.
Purchase Web Hosting
For your convenience, hosting platforms typically offer packages including said hosting plus domain names, customized email addresses, unmetered bandwidth (how much traffic your site can handle at once), site security options, and more for a discounted price.
Such web hosting can be purchased on platforms including those mentioned in “Choose & Buy a Domain Name.”
Once you have web hosting, any actions you want to take in regard to the hosting part of your website would be located in the CPanel. Here, you want to install WordPress onto your hosted website.
Think of your domain like the property sign and your web hosting as the actual property; the WordPress install is the foundation on your property from which the website is built.
For example, in HostGator, you’d go to your CPanel, locate the Softaculous Apps Installer under Software, click “Install” under WordPress, pick your domain name under Installation Name and leave the In Directory box blank.
Then, under Site Settings, enter your website or blog’s name and a description or tagline. This description is seen by the public, so think of it as a one-line introduction of what your site or blog offers. It can also be your slogan, if applicable.
Next, under Admin Account, enter a username. This is the username you will use as an administrator to log into your website, not the hosting platform but your individual website. Then, enter your desired password in the password box below it and a current, accessible email address under Admin Email.
All good? Click Install!
After a successful installation, you can typically access your website and its administration by going to http://<enteryourdomainname.com>/wp-admin.
Pick a Design (aka Theme)
One of the most common ways to build and upkeep a website is through having a WordPress-based one. With WordPress, so much is already set up for you; media (photo, video) storage, blog/article posting, contact forms and countless other tools.
The use of WordPress themes, pre-made website designs, also means you don’t have to have any professional experience in web design or coding to get started.
There are many resources out there for free and paid designs from which you can pick and customize one for your own website.
Once you have a theme picked and downloaded, log into your website and in your left sidebar menu, there will be an option that says Appearance. Under Appearance, select Themes.
At the top of the page, you’ll see Add New. Click that, followed by the Upload Theme button on the next page. Next, click the Choose File button and select the theme you downloaded which should be in your downloads as a .zip file. Click Install Now.
Once you see “Theme installed successfully,” click Activate.
Further customization of your theme can be done by going to Appearances > Customize.
Optional: Set Up an Under Construction Landing Page
Don’t want the world to see your website before it’s truly ready? We highly recommend installing Under Construction, a plugin that allows you to turn on (and off) a temporary, pre-built landing page explaining the website is Under Construction or Coming Soon, complete with add-on social or contact buttons if you’d like to lead users elsewhere in the meantime.
In your website’s WordPress menu, locate Plugins and select Add New. Type Under Construction in the Search Plugins box on the right. Click Install Now when you locate the plugin, then Activate. Further settings and how-tos will be provided by the plugin provider.
Pick Your Permalink Format
An underrated step, the Permalinks section is where you select how your individual website URLs will look, mainly what goes after your main domain name (http://<yourdomainname.com>/what-you-picked-for-permalink-formatting%EF%BB%BF)
In your website’s WordPress menu, go to Settings, then Permalinks, select your desired format from the options given and Save Changes.
Write Your First Post
To post your first piece of content on your website, go in the WordPress menu to Posts and then Add New. Your title goes in the first box, the content body in the second.
If you’d like to categorize posts, you can create a new category in the right sidebar. Categories are also accessible in your website’s main WordPress menu under Posts, then Categories.
Next, select a Feature Image. This image will be a visual representation of the post, including on any URL shares on other platforms, like the imagery-filled links you see on Facebook or other news feeds.
Is your post ready? Hit Publish. It’s alive!
Install Your Football APIs
To provide your audiences with up-to-date football information and statistics you don’t have to enter or update yourself, you’ll want to install a Live Score API.
These APIs offer real-time updates of scores, standings, matches and fixtures, goal scorers, match history, club head-to-head comparisons and more right on your webpage.
To help with the learning process, a free 14-day trial is available here.
APIs for individual leagues across the globe are available as well as competition-specific APIs such as World Cup 2022, African Cup of Nations 2022, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and more.
Share, Share, Share
Is your website ready for public view? Deactivate Under Construction under Plugins (if applicable) and share your domain name with the world. Be your personal hype person.