Many people who want to start a blog get bogged down with all the technological jargon and complicated processes involved. If you had a chance to create a beautiful blog without all the hassle wouldn’t you?
CMS solutions like WordPress make it easy for anyone to share their message around the world. The beauty of WordPress is that all you need to do is dive in and start developing. Most WordPress beginners choose the free hosting option, which is a great starting point. It’s a great way to get attention, build authority, and stay visible.
Setting up a self-hosted blog sounds technical but is, in fact, easy to do. And yes, I think it’s worth investing a little money into having full control over your website. I’m going to show you exactly what you need to do (if you already have a blog set up like this, feel free to share this post with a friend). Starting a blog is the easiest and least inexpensive way to build a platform.
You can choose “free hosting” options on sites like WordPress or Blogger to create a basic blog with limited options. If you want more options and control, then you can go for a self-hosted option. WordPress has some very affordable options when it comes to self-hosting. Today we are going to show you how to set up a self-hosted WordPress site with Bluehost.
You may think it takes a lot of time and effort to set up a domain and get your site running. The truth is that it isn’t much harder than installing the free version of WordPress. Setting up a self-hosted domain in a short amount of time and isn’t very complicated. In less than 20 minutes you can setup your domain and start posting.
Benefits of Bluehost
Why did we choose Bluehost? Bluehost is specifically designed to work with WordPress and offers some great managed hosting options. They are a large company that has strong support, 99.9% uptime and good customer reviews. We have built multiple sites using Bluehost, and all our experience with support has been positive. Since 2005 WordPress has officially recommended Bluehost and currently they host over 1 million WordPress websites.
WordPress Recommended — Bluehost specializes in WordPress specific hosting. They make it super easy and fast to set up a blog and start posting. It’s easy to link multiple blogs to a single domain with forwarding, mapping or masking. The best thing about Bluehost is that you will experience very few compatibility problems with the file structure of WordPress and your hosting provider. With Bluehost, WordPress works exactly as you’d expect.
Service — Service is probably the number one thing to consider when shopping for a host. Customer support is very strong, even their phones support. We all know calling is not as efficient as taking out a ticket, but it’s nice to know that they have plenty of phone operators standing by in case you need them. The reps are knowledgeable and helpful. Every time I’ve called they answered promptly and helped me resolve my issue.
Unlimited storage and Domains — There is no limit to the amount of domains you want to add to your Bluehost account. You can install up to 200 sites on one account. While this is probably not the best idea because you would have very slow loading sites, it’s nice to have the option to do so. This way you can add and delete sites from your account quickly. Your bandwidth is also unlimited. Remember though, you will probably have to upgrade if your site is getting extremely heavy traffic.
Reliability — There are over 2 million accounts on Bluehost. They have a first class data center that is designed for speed and scaled for growth.
Price — The price is probably the lowest you will find for monthly hosting. Starting from, $3.49-$13.95 per month, you will be hard pressed to find a better deal anywhere else. You can probably find something a little cheaper but you will losing out on better customer service and performance.
If you set up your host and realize that this is not the service for you, you can get a full money-back guarantee. You will typically get a full refund within a couple hours of requesting it. There is really no risk other than the 20 minutes it takes to setup your site.
We have created a step by step guide that anyone can follow. We will go through the entire process with you one step at a time. Following are the steps to launching your WordPress blog.
Warning: If you get any error messages or your session is somehow interrupted (time-outs, power failure, accidentally close browser) don’t worry. If this happens you can try to refresh or go back to the page. If worse comes to worse you can contact the support line at 1-888-401-4678.
Step 1: What you need to have ready:
- A domain name
- A credit card
- 15-20 minutes
It’s easier and cheaper if you haven’t registered a domain name yet. You can get one for free by following this guide. To see if the domain you want to use is up for grabs before you start the process go to whois.com and check, otherwise just let Bluehost search for you. If you already have a domain name, you will need to do one additional thing to link it to your site. We will go over this at the end of the guide.
Step 2: Set up a hosting account
This is the physical space where your blog will reside. You will rent this space from Bluehost and they will save all your sites data on a server in their cloud (remote computer). Don’t be frightened, this is as easy as clicking your mouse. The first place you need to go is the Bluehost home page.
From the homepage, click on the “Get Started Now” button.
Next you will need to choose a plan. I suggest that you use the Plus Plan. This is the most popular choice for Bluehost customers. It costs basically the same as the Starter Plan, but you have the capability to host as many sites that you want on one account. For 50 cents more, there’s really no reason why shouldn’t go with the plus plan.
No matter what plan you choose, the instructions are the same for all 3 choices. Continue to the next page by clicking “Select.”
Now you need to either choose a new domain name, or add on that you already registered. If you have a previously registered domain name, skip to the end of the guide to learn what to do. If you don’t, enter your desired domain name in the box on the left and choose the appropriate extension (.com, .info, etc.). If the domain name you want is already taken, you will be brought to the following page. You will need to pick a new name that isn’t registered.
Here is what you will have to pay up front based on the packages you choose:
- 12 months at $5.95 per month is $71.40 per year and $71.40 upfront.
- 24 months at $4.95 per month is $59.40 per year and $118.80 upfront.
- 36 months at $3.95 per month is $47.4 per year and $142.20 upfront.
If the domain name that you chose is available, you will be taken to the following screen. Click “Next”The next page is the billing information and plan details page. You will notice that the price will range from $3.95 to $5.95. This will depend on how long of a term you choose. Keep in mind that you will have to pay the annual rate in advance.
Fill out your billing information and confirm that you agree with the terms of service. Click the “submit” button and wait while your credit card information is verified. After everything has gone through you will see the following page. Bluehost will ask you if you want to upgrade. Just click “no thanks” at the bottom of the page to move on.
After a minute or two you will see the page below, which shows your account information and plan info. Click the “create your password” button to create your password.
Use the password generator to create a strong password or create your own. Make sure and create a password that can’t be easily hacked. Once you have done that click the “create” button. You have now created a Bluehost account. You’ll be brought to your account homepage and see this screen offering to upgrade your service. For now I suggest that you just click “I can do it” and proceed to your account. You can always upgrade later.
Once that window closes you will see your home page. This is the Control Panel, also known as the cPanel where you will manage your website.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Now it’s time to install WordPress and put your site up. Don’t be intimidated by the cPanel. Installing WordPress is very easy. In the past it was harder and you had to understand more about software and hosting. Now anyone who can play candy crush can install WordPress.
Scroll down to the “Website” section and click “Install WordPress.” Wait for the page to load, this may take a few minutes.
You will be taken to a page that will once again give you some more managed hosting options. For now click “Install” on the do it yourself option.
Now select the domain that you will want to install WordPress on. The one you created earlier should be the default section. Click the “Check Domain” button.
Now you will be taken to a page that says “Last step, you’re almost there!” Click the “Advanced Options” button. Type in the name of your site. Don’t worry you can always change this later on. Click the terms of agreement tick box, and enter the username and password of your choice if you don’t like the one generated.
Click the “Install Now” button. The process will start immediately. This may take a moment or two to finish. You may see a few annoying ads from Bluehost for upgrades (again!), just close those. When y ou are done you’ll be brought to the mojo marketplace page with a notification on the top letting you know that your install is complete. Click “View Credentials” to see all your information.
You are almost done setting up WordPress! You will be taken to a the account index page where everything on your Bluehost account can be viewed including Blog URL, Login URL, username and password. Bluehost will also send you an email to notify you that you are done setting up your account. Make sure and save your password and account info in a safe place for further reference. Now we are all finished with the hardest part of the process. All you need to do now is login to WordPress and setup your site. Click “View” and you will see all your info.
Step 4: Login to WordPress
Click on the admin URL link… Mine is blanked out in the example. On the login page use your username and password to login. Click “remember me” so you don’t have to enter in your username and password every time you login. Once you have logged in you will be taken to the WordPress “Dashboard.” This is also commonly referred to as the “backend.” The front end is what your visitors will see, and the backend is for administrators and curators.
Publish your first post
Locate the Post item in the menu and select “add new”
In the post editor, add a title and something in the body. Click “Publish” to publish the page. The default publishing settings will immediately publish the page.
To see what you’re new post looks like, click on the “Preview” button. That’s all there is to it! You will want to visit your blog so make sure to bookmark the front end and the backend. Get to know the WordPress dashboard and start developing your blog.
Look into premium themes
You may have noticed that the default blog template is pretty basic. WordPress has a lot of different tools to help you find the right design. Beginners love WordPress because it’s easy to use and developers love it because it makes life easier. Using themes and plugins makes customizing your site as easy as drag and drop. Themes are powerful tools for designing as well as maintaining your website. Check out our theme reviews to get the scoop on themes to create all types of websites.
The best thing about WordPress is all the features and functions it has that no other CMS offers. You can easily build a site for business, non-profits, personal portfolios, entertainment and much more. Now that you have installed WordPress and setup your domain, you will want to make your site more noticeable. There are many free and premium themes you can choose to get the look you want. There are also tons of plugins and tools available to enhance your website. If you have an existing WordPress blog, and you want to move it to your new domain, checkout this article on moving your blog.
If you want to learn more about WordPress do some research and start playing around with plugins. In our guide section we have some interesting and useful tips for setting up WordPress. Consider getting a free or premium theme. Visit our theme section on this blog, where we review all sorts of useful awesome themes for WordPress.
What if you already have a registered domain?
For step 2 when choosing your domain, choose the option that says “I have a domain name.” Enter in your domain name in the box.If you already have a domain registered on Godaddy or some other service it’s not a big problem. You will need to remap your DNS servers from your account with the host provider. This will vary slightly depending on where you have your host registered. Our article on Here we have outline the process of mapping your nameservers to WordPress.Get Bluehost