A lot of people get nervous when it comes to setting up their first website, it seems daunting when you don’t know what you are doing and people just shy away instead of getting what they really want: a self-hosted website. For beginners I have been recommending BlueHost for over a year now because they have low rates ($6.95/month), are accessible for a lot of users and have a very straight forward offering. Now if you start getting a ton of traffic, BlueHost doesn’t have many options (read: none) for big users – but for those just starting out this hosting plan is pretty ideal and comes with the domain for free (typically $10-12/year by itself).
So first thing’s first, you are going to have get some hosting through them which you can do so here. Feel free to look through this guide without buying, or using with whatever hosting provider you already have but this is written with the idea that you are trying to get setup using BlueHost.
After clicking “Sign Up Now”, you are going to be directed to a page where it will ask to you to either create a new domain name (which is what you want if you have never had a website before), or to transfer a domain name if you want to use BlueHost instead of your current hosting provider.
Spend some time on this step since this will be your web brand moving forward. There is a good chance the domain you want is already taken so be creative and keep trying until you find something you like that is also available.
After finding a domain that is available, you will be taken to the page where you will need to fill out your information so they know who to bill, who they should be giving support to and the initial setup information for your website. One thing to note is that I personally don’t feel that the added features of hiding your WHOis information etc is really necessary since someone (like me) might want to buy your site off you in the future and need a way to contact you 🙂
I suggest that you start with just a year of hosting to keep your cost down since you can always renew later. If you are afraid of their rates going up or just want security for a longer period of time then feel free to upgrade to their 2 or 3 year hosting package.
After you finish filling out your payment information, you will be getting an email from BlueHost with your initial login information. This will log you into the control panel, otherwise known as the “CPanel”. Don’t fret, you won’t be here very often – it will just be for setting up WordPress at this point and won’t take very long so hang in there with me.
As soon as you login you are going to see a big list of things to click on, but you only need to pay attention to the area illustrated here, you are about 5 clicks away from having WordPress installed!
This is so much easier than you have probably been thinking it will be. After clicking the “Word Press” icon under “Software/Services” you are going to be taken into your installation options which will look something like this, just go ahead and click install while leaving all the defaults in place.
Can you feel that? That is the feeling of having installed WordPress with just a few simple clicks. Once you have finished, it is time to get logged in, make your life easier and publish your first post!
Logging into WordPress
Once you get everything installed, it will be time to login for your first time. BlueHost will provide you with your user name and password, but the following information will always be true for you.
BlueHost default username: admin
Login page: http://DOMAIN.com/wp-admin
Replace “domain.com” with whatever domain you purchased in the earlier step. This web address will never change so long as you are using a hosted version of WordPress, so you can type that in from any browser to get to your login screen. The password will be a randomly generated string of letters and numbers that I am about to show you how to change so it is something that is easier to remember.
Once you get logged into WordPress on your shiny new website, you will want to first change your password to something you can remember as opposed to a confusing string of letters and numbers. Follow the left menu until you find “users”, then find your user name (in this case you will be looking for “admin”) and then clicking edit.
Just remember that you will be using this new password from now on when you go to http://domain.com/wp-admin to add things to your website. Seriously, make a note of this somewhere.
Doing a Post
Now that you have all of the hard parts done – it is time for you to publish your first post! From your dashboard you are just going to want to click “New Post” in the top right hand corner to start showing the world your content.
Now that you know how to get everything setup, what are you waiting for? Go get started with BlueHost here.