You can get a WordPress site up and running with Bluehost in as little as 10 minutes by following the steps in this guide, even if you don’t know the first thing about building a website.
Step #1: Sign Up for Website Hosting
From a technical standpoint, a website is simply a collection of files — text, code and images — all the “stuff” that makes up the web.
If you want your website to be available to the public, you have to store those files on a computer that’s connected to the internet so that visitors can access it on demand.
That’s what a web hosting provider does: it gives you a physical home for your website and ensures people can access it 24/7/365.
Of course, you could host your website yourself. But you’d need to install specialized software, keep your computer turned on and connected to the internet day and night, and worry about security and downtime.
Given how inexpensive good web hosting is, you’re better off paying a few dollars a month and letting the pros handle it.
My Web Hosting Recommendation
There are thousands of different hosting service providers and many different hosting plans. When you’re first getting started, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.
That’s why I recommend beginning bloggers use Bluehost to host their website.
It’s a great option when you’re launching your blog because:
- Bluehost is extremely inexpensive.
- Out of all the hosting companies I’ve researched and worked with, Bluehost has the simplest way to install WordPress.
- You get a free domain name (which normally costs around $15).
- They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
How to Get Started With Bluehost
Head over to Bluehost.com’s homepage and click “Get Started.”
For now, you only need the basic blog hosting plan (it’s easy to upgrade later):
Step #2: Choose Your Domain Name
Upon choosing the basic plan, the next screen prompts you to pick your new domain name.
With Bluehost, you get a new domain name for free if you sign up for a 12-month plan.
When choosing your domain name, it’s important to first think about your blogging niche. That’s the overall theme or subject you’ll be focusing on.
Your niche will guide the content you produce, the audience you attract, and the partnerships you form. A well-chosen domain name should resonate with your niche, making it instantly clear to visitors what your blog is about and establishing a strong brand identity from the outset.
In my case, my long-term vision was to build a site around all things money. That included topics like saving money, making money, investing, etc.
Because of that broad scope of coverage, I picked a domain name with a broad meaning.
Now, compare that to a site that features content mostly about retirement investing. A domain name like The Ways To Wealth would be a bad choice because it doesn’t tell visitors what the site is about.
If you’re not 100% sure of your niche, take the topic you’re thinking about and choose a domain name around that topic’s broader niche.
For example, say I was thinking about starting a blog focused on dairy-free cooking. Instead of choosing a domain name like dairyfreceipes.com, I’d pick a domain name like allergyfreecooking.com.
That way, you allow yourself to cover additional niches in the future.
Here are five more tips for selecting a good domain name:
- Pick something that lets your visitors know exactly what the website is about.
- Make sure it’s easy to spell.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens.
- The shorter, the better!
- Select a .com domain name.
Don’t be surprised if you have to spend time researching options. Most of the “obvious” domain names are already owned by other people, and you’ll probably need to think of something that combines two or three words to find a domain that’s available. (Avoid anything longer than three words.)
How to Choose a Bluehost Package
After finding an available domain name, you’ll be taken to a screen to set up your account.
After filling in your account information (name, address, etc.), you’ll choose your hosting package information.
If you’re starting a personal project, such as a blog, I suggest choosing a 12-month service term. This allows you to save money upfront while seeing if blogging is right for you.
If you’re setting up a website for your business that you’re confident will be around long-term, I suggest 36 months. This way, you lock in your hosting costs for the next three years.
In the screenshot above, none of the available package extras are selected. In most cases, you don’t need those extras when you’re first getting started.
Next is simply setting up your payment information, then clicking submit.
Step #3: Install WordPress
Once you’ve input your payment information, you can set up your blog with WordPress.
Think of WordPress as your blog’s operating system and Bluehost as the hard drive.
WordPress is where you create new posts, manage existing content, configure your site’s design and settings, and install plugins (which are add-ons that extend your site’s functionality).
WordPress powers about 30% of the websites on the internet. It’s incredibly intuitive. If you’ve ever used Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages, you can use WordPress.
What’s great about Bluehost is that your web hosting plan comes with WordPress pre-installed.
That means you don’t have to manually install WordPress, a process that can be difficult for new bloggers.
Upon submitting payment, you’ll be taken to a “Welcome Page” screen that asks you to log in to WordPress. From there, you can start a business or a personal site (this doesn’t matter, so I’d go with business).
Next, you’ll be asked to create your account with Bluehost. Of course, make sure you save your username and password for future logins.
Bluehost provides you with a temporary domain name. So, expect to see something random when you create your account in the domain name box.
Your new domain name will eventually pop up; it just takes about 24 hours.
Save this domain name for now, as you’ll need it temporarily for logging in.
Once your account is created, hit “Create Your Website” on the next page:
And from there, I suggest choosing “Skip This Step,” as the next step in the process can be done more efficiently outside of Bluehost’s step-by-step guidance.
You’ll be next asked to install a theme. But again, I suggest skipping this step as there are much better themes than what Bluehost recommends here.
And from there, Bluehost will install WordPress!
Step #4: Select and Install a Professional Looking WordPress Theme
The default WordPress template is a basic design.
But one of the best aspects of WordPress is that you can change how your site looks with just a couple of clicks (and without knowing a single line of CSS or HTML).
In WordPress, site templates are called themes. Picking a new theme allows you to quickly and easily upgrade the look and functionality of your blog.
When it comes to switching WordPress themes, you have three options.
- Choose a free theme from the WordPress database.
- Choose a professionally-designed theme that’s sold for a set price.
- Hire a website designer to create a custom theme just for you.
In my opinion, since you’re just starting, hiring a website designer would be overkill — you’ll spend thousands of dollars on a design you may want to change in the not-too-distant future when you have a better understanding of your blog and your business goals.
With the Astra theme and Elementor page builder, it’s possible to create a professional-looking site that runs well with little experience.
The Astra theme has hundreds of templates to help you create a beautiful and fast blog right out of the gate.
The Elementor page builder then allows you to open up a page, click “Edit,” and have drag-and-drop capabilities to revise individual design elements.
This way, you don’t need to know any code and can easily make changes.
Setting Up a New Blog: You’re Done!
I hope this step-by-step tutorial on how to set up your blog with Bluehost has helped.
Getting a new WordPress site up and running can seem highly technical, but once you do it, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is.
From choosing a plan to choosing your domain name to hassle-free WordPress installation, Bluehost makes the whole process fast and simple. You can go from aspiring blogger to actual blogger in just a few minutes. It’s then all about leveraging proven strategies to turn your blog into a genuine income source.
Ready to get started?