While the idea of starting your own blog may seem overwhelming, especially if you aren’t the most technology savvy person, it can be surprisingly easy. By following a few simple steps, you can have your blog up and running in 20 minutes or less. Ready to get started?
1. Choose a Hosting Service
A hosting service provides your website with space on the internet. While there are free services that will allow you to post and maintain a blog, they do not offer technical support and put limits on what you can do with your blog. For just a few dollars a month, you can pay a reputable hosting service and enjoy 24/7 access to customer service and technical support and complete control of your site.
While there are a variety of affordable hosting services available that offer similar benefits, Bluehost stands out as the best choice. Not only does it offer fast loading times, excellent service and affordable pricing, it is also one of the few hosting services that has been especially designed for and endorsed by WordPress. Choosing Bluehost will start your blog off on the right foot and provide you with a a solid foundation and support system.
2. Visit Bluehost and Choose a Hosting Plan
Now that you have made the excellent decision to use Bluehost as your hosting service, it is time to visit the site and set up your WordPress blog. Visit the Bluehost homepage and click on the green “get started now” button.
The very next screen will present you with 3 hosting plan options. The Starter Plan is the best option for beginning bloggers and costs just $3.49 per month if you register for 3 years of service. Although you are limited to one site, you can always upgrade later if you want to create additional websites. In addition, you can cancel your plan at any time, so even if you register for 3 years, you aren’t locked into a contract.
3. Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog
Once you have selected your hosting plan, it is time to create a domain name. This will serve as the address for your site, which means that you want to pick something that is simple for visitors to remember, spell and type. You will also notice that you have the option of choosing among several suffixes for your address. The default setting is .com and in the vast majority of cases, this will be the right choice for your blog.
Type your domain name in the “New Domain” box and hit the next button. If your first choice for a domain name is available to purchase, you will move onto the next step. However, if your domain name has already been taken, Bluehost will provide a list of suggested variations and you can choose a new option.
4. Enter Account and Billing Information
This next step is pretty straightforward. Simply fill in your account and credit card information so that Bluehost can process your order. The one area you should pay attention to is the middle section under the heading “Package Information.” Make sure to verify that the correct hosting plan is selected and I would also recommend that you uncheck the other boxes in this section. By default, they will already have been selected, but you don’t necessarily need these extra add-ons.
5. Create a Bluehost Username and Password
Once you enter your billing information, your order will be processed in a matter of seconds. The next screen that will appear will notify you that a payment confirmation email has been sent to your inbox and it will ask you to create a password. Click on the blue “create your password” button.
While you are free to create your own password, I highly recommend using the Bluehost password generator tool to create a unique password that will be virtually impossible to hack. Enter your password and click the green “Create” button.
6. Log into Your Hosting Control Panel
Enter your username and the password that you just created in order to log into your Bluehost control panel where you can download WordPress and start to build your blog site.
7. Download WordPress to your Bluehost Blog
Now that you are logged into your Bluehost control panel, it is time to locate the WordPress download icon. There are a few different ways to navigate to the icon, but the easiest route is to make sure that you are looking at your home screen and scroll down the page till you find the section labeled “SimpleScript Installations.” You will see the WordPress icon under the heading “Site Builders.” Click on the icon and hit the green “Install” button that appears on the next screen.
8. Check Domain WordPress Installation Screen
After you click install, you will be asked to select the domain that you would like WordPress installed on. If you only have one site, it should appear as the only choice and you can click “Check Domain.”
After WordPress checks your domain, you will get a warning message about overwriting files. Don’t panic. Just hit okay and continue. This warning doesn’t apply to your situation, so there is no need to worry.
9. Create a WordPress Log In
The final step before WordPress is officially installed is to create a username and password for WordPress. Again, I recommend staying away from passwords that you have used for other accounts. Choose unique log in information to protect your account and ensure that your site is as secure as possible. Once you have entered your information, click “Install Now” and sit back and relax for a few seconds while the installation process is completed.
Congratulations! You have successfully chosen a hosting service, purchased a domain and downloaded the world’s most popular blog publishing platform.
10. Visit Your New Blog
To access your blog and begin publishing posts, simply type in the domain name you created into you browser’s navigation bar. Then enter the WordPress log in credentials you just created. This will take you to the WordPress dashboard where you can started customizing your site, writing and publishing posts, and building a loyal following of readers.
To learn more about simple ways you can customize your blog, visit How to Setup and Configure Your WordPress Blog. Setting up your blog took less than 20 minutes and in just a few more minutes you can learn the basic functions of WordPress.