If you ever wanted to start your own blog but haven’t because you think it would be too difficult or expensive, you’re about to be pleasantly surprised! Setting up WordPress blog hosting is not only easy, but affordable, too. We will give you five quick and easy steps to get you started with a self-hosted site! Sure, you can create a free blog on WordPress.com, but there are advantages to a self-hosted site:
- No advertisements
- Unlimited themes
- Unlimited plugins
- Custom analytics and tracking
- Make money!
- And more!
With all these advantages, and hosting under $15 per month, we recommend a self-hosted site. While you have many options, in this walk-through we will be using bluehost.
Step 1: Gather Your Resources
Gathering your resources can be easy if you already have media that complements your topic. Otherwise, you may need to visit sites where you can download content. There are many sites that offer images in every category imaginable. One example is Dollar Photo Club where high quality images or videos are only $1. A web search will offer many more options. Wherever you get your images, be sure that you have the rights to use them. You can’t just grab a picture from anywhere and use it as your own. There are very strict copyright laws that protect digital property.
If you don’t already have a domain name, you will need to acquire one. Since we will be using bluehost to set up hosting, we recommend you register your domain there (it is free with your hosting account).
Step 2: Choose Your Hosting Plan
Most hosting companies have a variety of hosting packages available. At BlueHost, you have three initial options:
While shared hosting is arguably the most affordable option, and will meet the needs of any WordPress site, we recommend the optimized WordPress hosting. With 24/7 support, and a money-back guarantee, you will love the “blogger” package that allows up to five WordPress sites.
Once you select the blogger package from your list of options on the WordPress hosting page, you are redirected to the Sign Up page where you will choose your new domain name (or provide your existing name if you have one).
Finally, you’ll be taken to the account page where you’ll complete your personal and billing information.
Step 3: Install WordPress
If you provided a new domain name in the above setup process, WordPress should already be installed for you; otherwise, simply go to your cPanel, click on the WordPress icon, choose your domain name from the drop-down list box, and install. Bluehost has a thorough walkthrough online for its users on this exact process so we won’t repeat it here.
Step 4: Choose a Theme
You now have the option of customizing your sites format with the use of themes. Thousands, if not millions, of WordPress themes are available for you to choose from. There are many free themes that may suit your needs, and many paid themes that offer more robust solutions with technical support. While there is no shortage of marketplaces for themes, we recommend CyberChimps. They are fully responsive, provide premium support, and are affordable.
Once you have chosen a theme, it’s easy to tell WordPress which to use. If you end up not liking it, it’s just as simple to repeat these steps and choose a new theme. Simply click Appearance from your WP Admin Panel and the themes you have installed will appear. Choose any theme by hovering your mouse over the preview of the theme and then clicking on the Activate button.
Add new themes by clicking “Add New” at the top of the page. You can then browse the featured, most popular, and latest themes, or you can search for a specific theme name. You can add purchased themes by clicking on “Upload Theme” and selecting the .zip file provided by your vendor.
Step 5: Publish
Your WordPress installation automatically installs some default plugins, posts, and comments to your blog so you can immediately view your site. Just hover your mouse over your site name at the top of your WP Admin Panel and then click “Visit Site”. You can now see your site displayed with your chosen theme.
To start writing your first blog, click on Posts, “Add New”, and start blogging! When you are finished with your page, simply click “Publish” and the new page will be visible on your site.
That’s it! Simply gather your resources, choose your hosting plan, install WordPress, choose your theme, and publish! You now have a fully functional WordPress blog. We would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below letting us know about your new blog!
Written for WordCandy.