So you’re ready to dive into the world of self-hosted blogs, but are finding the process of setting up a WordPress blog a bit confusing. Trust me, a ton of bloggers do! That’s why I’ve written this step-by-step guide on how to start a blog on WordPress using Bluehost.
For some background, I recommend Bluehost because it’s inexpensive and an easy to set up entry into having a self-hosted WordPress blog. They were the first host I used when switching from Blogger to WordPress, and continued using for over a year! While I did have some issues with my website going down early on, that didn’t matter enough to me in the early stages of my blog to consider switching. At less than $5 a month, some downtime should be expected, and in my opinion it’s a trade off for such a great entry price! I found their website easy to navigate, and their customer service always responded quickly to me, so overall I think they’re a great host to start and grow your blog with.
First off, let’s get some vocab straight.
Self-hosted – a self-hosted blog is one where you’ll be taking care of your website’s hosting yourself. Unlike Blogger, where Google hosts your blog, you’ll have to find a different service. In this case, we’re using Bluehost.
WordPress – we’re using the WordPress.org version of WordPress, aka the self-hosted version. This is different from WordPress.com, so make sure you know which one you’re trying to set up! WordPress.org is a platform that gives you unlimited design options and total control of your blog, which is why so many people love it!
Domain – if you already have a blog, there’s a good chance it’s a subdomain, like yourdomain.blogspot.com. On WordPress, you have to use a regular domain, like yourdomain.com. We’ll be setting that up in one of the first steps!
How to Start A Blog On WordPress
1. Setting Up Your Hosting + Domain
First, go to the Bluehost website and select the get started now button. You’re probably only going to need one website, so I’d recommend choosing the starter plan.
If you already have your own domain name (you purchased it from a different site), type it into the provided text box. I purchased my domain name through Namecheap so that my domain and hosting would be maintained through separate companies. That way if something goes wrong with one of them, you still have control of the other! Otherwise, you can get a domain name through Bluehost as well.
Now you can select some add-ons for your site. I use the Domain Privacy Protection, but choose as many as you want depending on how much security you’re looking for!
As for the number of months you want to pay for, that’s totally up to you. The more you purchase, the lower the monthly rate is, so if you know you’ll be using WordPress for a while I’d suggest paying for more!
Once you filled out that info, follow the rest of the Bluehost instructions until the installation is done.
2. Setting Up WordPress
Go to your Bluehost dashboard and click Install WordPress. Then choose Install from the free installation section.
Make sure the domain you want to use is selected and click Check Domain. You can just leave the extra text box blank!
Open the advanced options section and type out your info, then click Install Now.
And that’s it! Once it’s finished installing, you should be sent an email with all of your installation info. Write this information down somewhere in case you need it again.
Now you can login to your new website. Head to your WordPress dashboard by going to http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin. I’d recommend bookmarking this!
3. Installing Your Design
If you’ve already found a theme for your site, you’re one step ahead! Otherwise, visit this post for some tips on finding one. I’m using a custom design I made on the Genesis Framework If you’d like to learn more about that and custom designs, feel free to message me!
Now that you have a theme, go to your WordPress dashboard and select Appearance > Themes. Then click Add New and Upload Theme. Upload the .zip file for your theme you, and click Install Now.
Congrats, you’re finished! If you need some help getting started, check out the posts I’ve listed below or visit my archives, where you’ll find a condensed list of all my posts, including over 40 related to blogging!
Do you have a WordPress blog? Leave a link in the comments so everyone else can see what the possibilities with WordPress are! ☺️
Disclaimer: Some of the links used in this post are affiliate links, meaning I’ll make a commission if you make a purchase using them. I only use affiliate links for products that I have experience with. There’s no additional cost to you for using them!