How To Start A WordPress Blog
The biggest mistake made by beginners when they start to blog is selecting the wrong blogging platform. Fortunately you are reading this article, so you won’t make this mistake.
For around 95% of all users, using WordPress.org, which is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress, will make the most sense. Why is that? Because you can use it for free, you can customize the design of your site, install plugins and most important of all, earn money from your website without any restrictions.
You might have heard before that it is free to use WordPress. You may be wondering why it’s free and what the catch is? There isn’t any catch. The reason it is free is because you need to do your own setup and host it on your own.
You will need to get web hosting and a domain name. The domain name is what individuals type into their browsers to get over to your website. It is the address for your website on the internet. So for example, bestwebhostingforbloggers.com or google.com.
Your website lives on its web hosting. It is the house for your website on the internet. All websites need to have web hosting.
Typically, the most affordable hosting companies start around $1.99 per month and a domain name costs around $14.99 per year. That can be a lot of money for some beginners who are just getting started.
Fortunately, Bluehost, which is an officially recommended hosting provider for WordPress, has agreed to offer new users 60% on their web hosting and a free domain name.
Bluehost is one of the older web hosting companies, that began in 1996 (even before Google). For WordPress hosting, they are the largest brand name, since they hosting millions of different websites (including a number of sites that we own and run).
Since 2005, Bluehost has worked with WordPress, and they are fully committed to giving something back. That is why they have made the promise that if you are unable to get your blog launched online in 30 minutes through following the tutorial, our experts will get the process completed with you without a charge. We will be compensated by them, so you won’t have to pay us. For free help with your blog setup contact us.
Before you continue reading, go buy your domain and hosting plan (you can click here for a special discount) from Bluehost so you can follow these steps.
Step 1. Choose Your Domain Name & Get Hosting
After you fill in your account information, be sure to get your package information finalized in order to get the process completed. On that screen, there are optional extra options you can choose to buy. It is completely up to you whether you want to buy them or not, but in general we don’t recommend that you buy them. You can add them later in the future if you decide you need to have them.
After you have completed the process, you will get an email that includes details on how to get logged into your web hosting’s control panel (cPanel). That is where you will be managing everything from emails, support, and many other things. Most important of all, that is where you will be installing WordPress as well.
Step 2. Install WordPress
Inside of cPanel, there are dozens of different small icons for various features and services. That can be somewhat overwhelming, so you should just ignore 95% of these since you won’t be ever using them.
In the website section, scroll down and then click on the WordPress icon.
Installing WordPress from cPanel
Next you will be redirected over to the Bluehost Marketplace’s Quick Install WordPress screen. Then you will need to click on the Get Started button.
You will choose your domain name on the next screen. Go to the dropdown and choose your domain and then click on Next.
WordPress Setup – Enter Domain Name
Next you will need to enter in your username, password and Site Name for your website. All of the checkboxes will need to be checked and then click on Install.
Bluehost Marketplace – Install WordPress
The QuickInstall starts to install WordPress. Then you will be prompted by the marketplace to browse through WordPress themes, as WordPress is being installed.
You don’t need to do this right now. In the next step we will be showing you how you can get free WordPress themes.
After WordPress is done installing, the success notice will show up in the top header bar.
Completion of Bluehost WordPress Installation
Click on the link for Installation Complete, and it takes you over to the screen for your WordPress password and login URL.
WordPress login details – Bluehost Marketplace
Your WordPress site is now created. Congratulations! That wasn’t so bad.
Your WordPress login URL is going to look something like the following:
To login to your dash, click on the WordPress login link.
At this point we are ready to get your site’s appearance customized and start to blog.
Step 3. Choose your WordPress Theme
Themes are what controls what your WordPress blog looks like. When you visit your blog for the first time you will see the default WordPress theme.
For most people that isn’t very appealing.
One of the most rewarding and exiting aspects of getting your WordPress website crated it customizing your blog’s look and feel.
There are thousands of WordPress themes that are pre-made and available for you to get installed on your website. Some of them are paid themes and some are free.
In order to change your them, go into the WordPress dashboard on your site and click on Appearance > Themes.
Installing WordPress Themes
Click on Add New button.
Then on the next screen, you can search through around 4,100 free WordPress themes that the WordPress.org official themes directory has available. You can sort them by features, latest, popular or other feature filters (layout, industry, etc).
Choose a Theme
Once you have found a theme that you want to use, just hover your mouse over it, and the click on the Install button. Then just wait for the theme to get installed. Then an Activate button will replace the install button. Then click on Activate on the theme.
Installing and Activating Your WordPress Theme
After your theme is installed, you can get it customized by going to the Appearance menu and click on the Customize link.
After you choose your WordPress theme, you can then get your first blog post created.
Step 4. Create Your First Blog Post
In order to get your first blog post written, click on Posts > Add New Menu inside of your WordPress dashboard.
There will be an editor area to write your blog post in.
WordPress Blog Post Editor
After you have finished writing, then click on the Publish button to get your first blog post published.
There are several other sections on the posts screen like Tags and Categories. These can be used for organizing your blog posts.
Step 5. Customizations and Plugins
After your first blog post is written, you will most likely want to get started by adding some other elements on your website like an about page, contact form and more.
To customize WordPress even further and to add features such as sliders, galleries, contact forms and more, you will need to use some WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugins are apps that let you add some new features to your site. There are more than 46,000 WordPress plugins that are currently available for you to use.