Hello, my lovelies!
So you want to start your own WordPress blog but need a little help right? Well, you're in the right place! The following will be a step-by-step guide that will get you on your way to having your very own blog! Let's dive right in!
First Things First
First, let's clarify some terminology. You have WordPress.org and you have WordPress.com. There is a HUGE difference between the two!
WordPress.org is basically where you can get the WordPress software and then go host your blog/website on another server.
WordPress.com is where you can get the WordPress software and host your blog/website on WordPress's server...for free. BUT, there's a catch. You have to abide by WordPress's Terms of Service, which means you may not be able to change/adjust your blog in the manner that you want to.
Most professional websites and blogs are self-hosted. We will be dealing exclusively with WordPress.org (not WordPress.com). The freedom that you get with WordPress.org allows you to:
- Customize your blog to match your brand
- Choose your own hosting platform
- Advertise the products of YOUR choosing
Choosing a Web Host
So, the next thing you need to decide is who is going to host your blog. A host is a company that stores your blog on their server. You want a host that you can trust and has a great reputation. I spent weeks researching which host to choose and I finally chose what I think is the best one: Bluehost.
- Low Start Up Costs! Just $3.95/month (billed annually)
- As many email accounts, domain names, websites as you need...all for one price!
- No contracts!
- Stable and Reliable Servers! You don't want your website to be going "offline" all the time!
- One-click WordPress installation...that's it!
- Expert, in-house technical support provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
And to sweeten the deal even more, if you sign up through this tutorial, you’ll get a special offer of shared hosting at $3.95/month for 36 months, as well as a free domain name for a year!
To set up your hosting account with Bluehost, follow the steps below.
Set Up Your Hosting Account
Choose a Domain Name
Next, you need to choose a domain name for your site. If you already own a domain name, you can enter it here, and you will just have to go through a few extra steps to make sure you get your DNS pointed to Bluehost. If you don’t already have a domain name, you can purchase one from right in the sign up process, and the best part is, it comes free with your new WordPress hosting account purchase.
Once you’ve entered a domain name, fill in your personal information.
Then, choose which hosting package you want. To get the best price, choose the 36-month plan (that's the plan I have!).
There are a few other offers provided at sign up and it's up to you which ones, if any, you choose. I do recommend Domain Privacy, to keep all of your information private.
After you’ve filled in your information and chosen your hosting package, click the “Next” button to complete your purchase. You’ll then be asked to create a password for your account. It is required to have both capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character (?!#, etc.).
Now that you are all signed up and are able to log into your account, you can get started installing WordPress!
This may seem like the most complicated step, but Bluehost has worked hard to make this one of the easiest things for you to do.
- Sign into your Bluehost account.
- Go to your cPanel.
- Scroll to the section titled “MOJO Marketplace”.
- Choose the “One-Click Installs” button.
- This will take you to a page inside MOJO Marketplace called Scripts and Platforms.
- The blog section is at the very top, so all you have to do here is click on the "WordPress" icon.
7. This will open the installation window. Click on the green “Start” button that will start the WordPress installation process, which has a few easy steps.
Choose where you want to install WordPress. This can be any domain on your account, or a subdomain or a folder for one of your domains. Next, click on “Check Domain,” which will make sure the domain is assigned and pointing to your account. You may get a warning that you are overwriting files, but as long as you don’t have another website built yet, you can check the box and continue. This is mostly to make sure that you really want to install in that location. If you do have other sites built, you will want to make sure you’re not overwriting something important.
Show Advanced Options. This section allows you to set up your own username and password for your WordPress install. Make sure that the “Automatically create a new database for this installation” box is checked.
After you’ve read the terms and conditions, check the box indicating that you’ve done so, then click “Install Now.”
Now you’ll see the progress page, which will show you how far along the installation is. Once WordPress is fully installed, it will provide you with your site URL, the admin login URL, your username, and password. You will get a copy of this information, except your password, in your email as well. Make sure to keep it in a safe place.
Now you can log into your WordPress site by going to the admin login URL. Enter your username and password, then click “Log In.” This will take you to your WordPress dashboard. From here, you can control everything to do with your WordPress site. This is where you actually design your blog! (Be on the lookout for tutorials for this in the future!).
From the dashboard, you can browse through tons of free and premium themes for your blog. Let me save you some time (and money in the long run). I highly recommend skipping all of that and going straight to getting a Genesis framework and then getting a Genesis child theme. (Be on the lookout for tutorials for these as well!)