Start a blog with WordPress in 30 minutes or less? One that doesn’t require any coding knowledge?
To start a Blog with WordPress & Bluehost hosting is easy with minimal effort and only takes about 30 minutes (or less). Starting a blog for your business is pretty integral to the success of your business. From the largest businesses like Microsoft to the smallest home business – they all have blogs. Customers like to see new products, events, projects, and the behind the scenes of your business.
I started my first blog in 2006 – I actually had to visit the web archive website to figure that one out. Back then it wasn’t as easy to start a blog. For a self-hosted blog you needed to know coding and how to set up a web database. It just wasn’t a user-friendly system. You had to hire someone or use one of the blog services out there like Blogger. I personally don’t like to hand over control of my content which is why a self-hosted blog is the answer.
Below is a step by step tutorial with simple instructions on starting a WordPress blog with Bluehost. Follow along and you will have your WordPress blog set up in no time.
Step One: Purchase your hosting.
Go to Bluehost.com. With your hosting package, Bluehost gives you a free domain. So if you don’t have your domain name purchased already, you can do this all at the same time. Click the Get Started Now green button.
Next, select your choice of plans. Your selection will depend on what your blog is about. For the small price difference, I recommend the Plus plan as you get unlimited storage, unlimited subdomains and email storage, and you get $200 worth of marketing offers that you can use to run ads on Google Adwords or Bing. I think it’s worth it. You can always select the basic and upgrade later if you need the extra website space, emails, or parked domains.
Step 2: Select a Domain
On the next page, you will be taken to the Sign Up Now screen. On this page, you select the URL for your site. Try to stay with a .com URL as these are the most popular and people remember them. Getting .com domain names is a bit harder since so many are taken now but there are still plenty available. Choose something memorable and not too long or complicated to remember. Click next after adding selecting your domain.
Step 3: Account Information, Package Information & Billing Information
On the next screen, add your name/address info, select the options for your hosting account and input your payment information.
You have the option of 12, 24, or 36 month plans. The lowest price available is paying for 36 months at once. Don’t worry, if you decide a blog isn’t for you Bluehost will refund you a pro-rated amount for the unused hosting time. If you cancel within 30 days, they will refund you in full (minus the charge for the domain name).
There are also options for adding:
- Constant Contact – Email newsletter service.
- Domain Privacy – Hides your personal name and address on the Whois info. I recommend this.
- Site Backup Pro – Automatic online backups and Site Restore.
- Search Engine Jumpstart – Gives you a jump on being indexed on search engines.
- Sitelock Security – Online website security & verifies your credentials for customers.
You can find more detailed information on each of the optional add-ons by clicking the more information link on the Bluehost page.
Step 4: Login to your Account & Access Your Hosting Dashboard
Once your selections are made and payment information is added, Log In to your new hosting account. While creating this tutorial, I was also creating a new blog for my husband at FloridaBackyardGarden.com.
Once you’re logged in, you will see the screen below. Click out of the Welcome pop-up message.
Step 5: Install WordPress
On your hosting home page, under the website section, click Install WordPress.
Click the Green Install button on the WordPress selection.
Here you select the domain for your WordPress blog. If you don’t have a selection yet in the drop-down for the domain you selected (or you have a bunch of numbers), your domain purchase is still being processed. It takes about 10 minutes to process your new domain. Keep refreshing the page and when you see your new domain in the drop down – your good to get started.
If you want your new WordPress blog to be the first thing someone sees when they come to your website, leave the directory area blank. If you have another website, like an eCommerce site on the main domain and want the blog to be secondary, input the directly of your choice – like blog. If you use a directory, your reader would need to go to www.yoursite.com/blog to see the blog content.
Click Check Domain.
On the next screen, click the checkbox that you have read the terms and conditions. Then, select the green Install Now button.
On this next screen, click the show advanced options checkbox. Add your site name – this will be what your blog’s title is. Don’t worry, you can change it later if you change your mind as to what exactly you want it called.
Select your username and password. DO NOT use admin for your username. Select a unique username and for your password – make sure you use a combination of uppercase and lower case letters, numbers, and at least one special character.
Be sure to write down your username and password as this will be what you need to log-in to your new WordPress blog.
Check the checkbox for Bluehost to automatically install the database and that you read the terms and conditions.
Click Install Now.
A minute or two later and WordPress Installation is complete. You have a new WordPress blog. On the screen you will see your login information for your next step – Logging In.
Step 6: Login to Your New WordPress Blog Website
To log-in to your new WordPress blog, go to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin. Replace yourdomainname.com with the domain you selected. You will see the screen below. Type in your username and password you selected during the installation process and click Log In.
That’s it! Your good to go. As a bonus below, I have added how to install a WordPress Theme.
Step 7: Install Your Theme
I am sure you have a specific idea of how you want your blog to look and function. There are a lot of WordPress Themes out there too choose from and a lot of designers. A word of warning, avoid using the free themes you find on random websites. They don’t provide support for the theme (a biggie) and often contain malicious or encrypted code. You want to make sure the theme is supported. WordPress is updated quite frequently and often times your theme will break with new updates. A supported theme will be updated frequently to keep your site secure and working properly.
A few WordPress theme companies I support which are reliable and supported.
- Elegant Themes: I personally love ET. I have been a subscriber for years and years. For one price ($69), you get access to all 87 themes including their popular DIVI theme – a super customizable theme and what I use on multiple WordPress blogs – including this one. You also have access to their additional plug-ins like Bloom (an email opt-in box creator) and Monarch (a social media sharing plug-in). I use both of these plug-ins on this blog and they are super easy to use. They have a support forum which is very helpful and supported by staff. They, of course, frequently update the themes to stay on top of the new releases.
- Studio Press (Genesis Framework Themes): I had heard such great things about Studio Press and the Genesis Framework which is why I recently became a customer myself. So far, I am super impressed. It’s a bit more expensive than Elegant Themes but works similarly. For one price, right now $499.95, you get access to 85+ themes including the Genesis Framework. They are moving to a yearly subscription price starting April 1, 2016.
- Creative Market: I ♥ Creative Market. You can find all sorts of graphics, themes, and fonts on the site. If your looking for something a bit more unique, check out Creative Market WordPress Themes. Just make sure you select a designer that is active on the site and supports his/her themes. It’s also a great place to find a designer if your looking for something custom for your new WordPress blog.
- ThemeForest: Similar to Creative Market, Themeforest has a lot of WordPress Themes by individual designers. Similar recommendations as above – make sure the theme is updated regularly and supported by the designer.
Once you have your theme .zip file saved on your computer, navigate to Appearance > Themes. Click Themes.
As you can see below, the theme I am using on my husband’s site is the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes. Because I have made changes to some files within the theme, to make updating easier I have added the Child Theme. If your using Elegant Themes, installing a child theme is super easy and directions can be found here.
Click Upload on the Themes page.
The next screen you see will be where you upload your theme.
Click Browse and select the .zip file which holds your theme. Do not unzip this file – keep this file zipped. Once selected, click Install Now.
You started your new blog today!