Do you want to start a blog?
Blogging is a great way to convey your thoughts, help others, use as a portfolio, or start a business.
There are many platforms available online where you can start a blog for free such as Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com. But because they’re free, these sites only provide you with a subdomain which means that your blog is hosted on their site. You don’t have full control of your site and you can’t fully customize it just the way you want to.
*This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. However, all views and opinions are my own and I only recommend things that I personally love and enjoy using.
If you want something professional, a little place on the Internet that you can call your own, and the ability to customize your site entirely, you’re going to need to purchase your own domain and be self-hosted. I would highly suggest going this route.
Today, I will show you just how simple it is to start a blog with your own domain using WordPress. All it takes is a few easy steps!
1. Purchase Web Hosting
The first thing to do when you start a blog is to sign up with a web hosting service. My preferred choice is Bluehost and so far I’ve been very pleased with their service.
I’ve hosted 2 different sites so far with Bluehost (this blog included) and I’ve never had any hiccups. Their service is extremely affordable and reliable. My website is consistently up and running, which is very important when choosing a web host service.
I also like their customer service because they’re always available and ready to help you if you have any questions. The last thing you want is to have your site crash and burn while being ignored by your web host when you need help the most!
The best part is that you can try Bluehost for 30 days and if you don’t like it, you can always request a refund.
Now let’s get on to the tutorial.
First, click here to go to Bluehost. Then click on the Get Started Now button.
Now, pick a web hosting plan that suits your needs. If you start a blog from scratch for the first time, you will most likely only need their Basic Plan.
The prices below are what you would pay per month for 36 months. If you purchase a plan that’s only 12 months long, it will be a little more expensive but still extremely affordable. Again, you can always cancel your account if you don’t like their service within 30 days after signing up.
2. Register A Domain
The first domain is totally free when you sign up with a Bluehost web hosting plan if you purchase a web hosting plan that is 12 months or longer! This is awesome for those who want to start a blog and want to test it out for the first time.
If you want to take advantage of the free offer, decide on the domain name you would like to register and input it into the box on the left.
If you already own a domain name from an external source, you can enter it into the box on the right. You will still qualify to register a free domain from Bluehost but you can set it up at a later date.
After clicking Next, fill out your account information in the next window. Underneath that, you will see the summary of your package information that you chose.
One important thing that you need to pay attention to in the summary is Domain Privacy Protection. I highly suggest that you pay for this (for an extra $0.99 per month) if you choose to receive the free domain from Bluehost because it will protect your personal information from the public.
All that’s left now is to input your payment information and click Submit. You can now proceed to step #4 if you chose to register a free domain. If you only purchased web hosting, proceed to the next step.
3. Purchase A Domain (Optional)
As I said earlier, Bluehost gives you a free domain with the purchase of 12 months or more of web hosting. However, you can choose to purchase your own domain if you’re not interested in taking the free domain.
Some say it’s a better choice to have a domain hosted on another site in case something goes wrong with the web hosting site and both your domain and hosting goes down. It’s really a personal choice and there’s no right or wrong.
I decided I wanted the freedom of being with an external company when I started my site. I’m currently with Namecheap and would totally recommend them if that’s the route you are interested in going.
4. Install WordPress
After you get your welcome email from Bluehost, you’ll be able to login to your cPanel at http://yourdomain.com/cpanel. This is the main hub where you will manage your site.
The first thing to do is to click Install WordPress. Bluehost includes a handy link for quick installation which comes with web hosting.
Next, Bluehost will lead you through the installation of WordPress. Click Continue Installation.
You will now see a drop-down menu on the left that says Domain. You will have the choice of choosing either:
- http://www.yourdomain.com, or
- http://yourdomain.com (I personally like using this shorter version more)
On the right where it says Directory, this allows you to input the location of where you want to install WordPress.
- You can either leave it blank, so that when you enter http://yourdomain.com, WordPress automatically loads at the root directory, or
- You can enter a subdirectory name such as blog, so that your blog address is http://yourdomain.com/blog
Now enter your admin and site information for WordPress. Make sure you are using another username other than Admin with a complex password so that hackers won’t be able to take control of your site in the future! The more complex the admin name and password, the better. Also, ensure that “automatically create a new database for this installation” is checked off. Then click Next.
The installation will then begin and should last around a minute. Now you’re all done! You’ll be able to log in to WordPress at http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin with your account details you entered in during the installation process.
5. Start Blogging
After you log in to WordPress, you will see your Dashboard. This is where you will be able to write new posts, moderate comments, change the appearance of your blog by installing and customizing themes, and add plugins.
Well that was easy, wasn’t it?