If you’ve been blogging for at least a couple of months, you’ve probably heard of WordPress by now. It’s a hugely popular platform that offers loads of features and customisation options to create blogs and websites. And the good news? I’m going to show you how you can get started using BlueHost in under 15 minutes with this express guide.
Ready? Let’s go!
In this express guide I’ll cover:
1. Getting a domain name and host
2. Using the cPanel (control panel)
3. Logging in and setting up
(Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for BlueHost, and have been using them to host this site for the last four years. I’ve found them very reliable and professional, and their live-chat feature means help is only ever a mouse-click away!)
Now, start scrolling for the three simple steps to get you going with WordPress!
(Side note: If you’d prefer to learn WordPress in a more in-depth way you like the Beginner WordPress E-course – currently FREE for a limited time! And also, you can always do both!)
PART 1: Registering a domain name and hosting
Step 1. Head to the BlueHost website and click “get started” this will take you to their page of packages:
Step 2. I use the plus plan, but for most people the starter will be just fine (and you can always upgrade later on if need be!).
Step 3. This is the fun part! Enter your desired domain name (ideally as a .com) or the domain name you’ve already registered elsewhere.
Step 4. If the domain name is available… congrats! You can proceed!
If the domain name is not available… simply try again!
And if you entered a domain name that you’ve already registered elsewhere, you’ll see this:
Step 5. Start filling in your account information, and when you get to the part about privacy protection, know this: it’s recommended! The length of the plan is up to you, and the rest is optional. Once you’ve entered your billing info and confirmation of reading the terms and conditions, you can click “submit” and proceed.
Step 6. On the next screen you’ll be presented with optional upgrades. Take a look through and see if there’s anything you need (though I don’t recommend anything else at this stage – but it’s up to you!).
Step 7. Success! You’re almost there – you just need to choose an account password! You’ll receive all of your account details via e-mail.
Remember to pick something that’s secure!
Part 2: Installing WordPress
Step 1: Log into BlueHost and head their cPanel (control panel) for this part. Look for the WordPress W logo and click that.
Step 2: Next, you’ll be taken another website called Mojo Marketplace. Here, you’ll click the install button to begin!
Step 3: On the next screen you get to select from the dropdown box where (which domain) you’d like to install WordPress. For most people, there’ll only be the option of one domain here, BUT you get the choice of selecting with the “www” or without (I recommend without but this is optional). You don’t need to type anything into the directory field (unless you want your site to live at, for example myblogname.com/blog – but it’s probably not necessary). Click check domain.
If your chosen domain name is currently in use elsewhere (or you’re yet to update your name servers – which you probably don’t have to worry about right now), you can select Temp Domain, finish the set up process, and adjust some settings later when you’re ready to let go of the site it’s currently being used on.
Step 4: In this screen you’ll see you’re at the last step! You could just click the terms and conditions box and be done, but I recommend clicking advanced options first – it’s for security reasons. A new area will appear, where you get to type in your blog’s name. You’ll also see a pre-populated field for Admin Username – it will have your e-mail address listed, but I recommend changing that as your e-mail address can probably be guessed. It will also have a pre-populated (and very secure) Admin Password. You can keep that if you like, but if you’re wanting something easier to remember, now’s the time to change it (just make sure it’s also secure). Leave the “Automatically create a new database for this installation” checked, and once you’ve ticked confirmation of the terms and conditions, you can click Install Now.
Step 5: On the next page, it’s just a matter of waiting patiently until your installation is complete (it shouldn’t be more than a minute or so)! Once that’s done, it’s time to login. Congratulations, you’ve just set up WordPress! It’s time to login!
Part 3: Logging in and setting up
Step 1: Once installation’s complete, your login details will appear. If not, select “view processes” or check your e-mail. Your login URL looks a bit like: http://yourname.com/wp-admin. Type this in your browser and enter your username and password. You’ll then be taken to a screen that looks like this:
Step 2: Welcome to your new site! Your new login profile is for the “admin” user role, which means you’ve got access to all WordPress features. You’ll see many options down the left-hand side of your screen. At minimum, scroll down to Settings > General and update “Site title” with your blog’s name, and “Tagline” with your tagline. Also go to “Permalinks” and select the “post name” option.
Step 3: Themes and plugins. It’s time to make your new blog fancy! In fashion speak, themes are your blog’s outfit, and plugins are its accessories. Both are uploaded as zip files, in the dashboard: themes via Appearance > Themes, and plugins via Plugins > Add New.
* Free plugins: Checkout WordPress.org. I recommend starting with Akismet, Pinterest Pin It Button, CommentLuv and Google Analytics for WordPress.
*Paid plugins: I recommend BackupBuddy. Always have a back-up plan in place so you don’t lose your work!
And that’s it, you’re on your way with WordPress! Need more information? Check out my beginner WordPress e-course (currently free!).
*I recommend confirming the pricing with provider before signing up as they are subject to change.