How to Start a WordPress Blog with Bluehost: 6 Easy Steps!

By Ian | Blogging

Been reading monthly income reports for the highest-earning bloggers? Do you find yourself wanting to start blogging, too? Well, there’s no better time to start a blog than now. After all, you won’t go anywhere if you never get your foot in the door.

Since you’re here, you probably already know that the two main requirements to start a blog are securing hosting and registering a domain name. And you’re probably considering Bluehost as your hosting provider — good choice!

 

“Why Bluehost?”

 

Well, let me give you a brief overview of Bluehost. Bluehost was one of the most reputable and reliable hosting companies for a long time — until the ownership changed. The great support system they were known for basically deteriorated overnight and became incompetent.

After a few months like this, the new owners hired more experienced members and completely restructured the support system. Since then, Bluehost has never been better.

You made the right choice for using Bluehost for blogging. They offer the cheapest yet most value rates out there. Bluehost is even recommended by the top blogging software, WordPress.

 

Let’s Talk About Free Blogging Platforms

Let me start off by differentiating WordPress.com from WordPress.org.

WordPress.com was founded by Matt Mullenweg, who also co-founded WordPress.org. However, the two platforms are not directly related. WordPress.com is a free platform that doesn’t require you to pay for anything to start a blog. The website is basically handed to you on a silver platter.

With WordPress.org, even though the software itself is free, you’ll need to secure hosting to create a website on this platform — wherein WordPress.com handles everything for you.

Free platforms are convenient to use because they take care of everything for you, but they come with significant disadvantages and greatly limit your blog’s potential.

Here are the major drawbacks to using a free blogging platform:

 

  • You don’t own your website. Free blogging platforms can shut your website down at any time for any reason. If they think your blog violates their Terms & Conditions, better bid goodbye to your website. This happens more often than you think.
  • Your website URL will contain the name of the free platform you’re using. For example, if you use WordPress.com, your URL would look like this: wordpress.com. A URL like this prevents your website from appearing in search engine results pages, which is the main source of traffic for most blogs.
  • Monetization options are limited. A free platform’s URL is considered unprofessional in the blogging industry, causing potential business partners to avoid your blog. You also won’t be making money through ads as free platforms place their own ads on your website (which you don’t earn anything from).
  • Limited access to themes and plugins. One of the defining factors of WordPress.org is the abundance of free themes and plugins to choose from. By contrast, free platforms hide most good themes and plugins behind a paywall.

 

If you’re really serious about blogging, then buying hosting through Bluehost and using WordPress.org (which I’ll be referring to as WordPress from this point forward) for your content management system is the best choice as proven by numerous successful bloggers who have chosen the same path.

WordPress is used by millions of people, which has resulted in an overwhelming support community. Any problems that you might encounter or any questions you have, the WordPress community has answers.

The only drawback to using WordPress is that you’ll need to secure hosting yourself, but this can easily be done for less than $60 a year.

 

How to Start a Blog with Bluehost and WordPress

At this point, I’m assuming that you already have a niche. If that’s not the case, read this article on how to find your perfect blog niche.

 

Step 1: Register a Domain Name

Choosing and registering a domain name is a crucial step in creating a blog. Once you’ve registered a domain name, it’ll be extremely difficult and expensive to change it.

Therefore, you’ll need to put serious thought into it. If it takes several hours or days to pinpoint the right domain name, that’s perfectly fine! This is not the step you want to find a shortcut for

When brainstorming a domain name, keep the following guidelines in mind:

 

  • Memorable and Easy to Spell. Pick a domain name that can easily define what your blog is about – something that people can easily remember and spell.
  • Relevant to Your Niche. Pick a domain name that is closely related to your niche. If your niche is related to sports, don’t pick a domain name about fishing — a bit of an exaggeration, I know, but you’d be surprised at how often this happens.
  • Short and Simple. Again, you want people to remember your domain name so they can easily find it again if they decide to come back.
  • Be Creative. Come up with something that is unique and sets you apart from your competition.
  • Don’t Use Hyphens and textspeak. Hyphens and textspeak make your website address hard to remember. It may make your domain name creative, but also easy to forget and difficult to spell (e.g., “Roots-4-u.com”).

 

Once you’ve settled on a domain name, it’s time to check it’s availability using a domain registrar — a company that is authorized to register a domain name on the internet.

There are two options available when registering a domain name: the hosting company itself (Bluehost) or through a domain registrar.

 

Registering a Domain Name with the Hosting Company (Bluehost)

When registering a domain name through a registrar that isn’t the hosting company, you’ll have to connect the domain name to the hosting company. It’s a technical process that only takes 5 minutes, but purchasing a domain name with Bluehost eliminates that “technical process” for a much more straightforward process.

Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year when you secure hosting with one of their plans. While this might be considered a sweet deal, you WILL start paying for that domain name once that first year is over. Domain names on Bluehost can cost up to $23.87 a year (with Domain Privacy included).

 

buying domain name in bluehost

 

What Domain Privacy Is (and Why You Need It)

When you register a domain name, your personal information (e.g., full name, home or company address, phone number, and email) is saved on a public database called WHOIS.

The fact that your personal data can be accessed by ANYONE on the internet shouldn’t sit well with you. Having your personal information floating around on the internet leaves you susceptible to hacking and fraud, which will cost you a lot of money.

 

Purchasing a Domain Name with a Domain Registrar

There are tons of domain registrars out there, but the one that offers the lowest rates is Namecheap. We’ve made a deal with Namecheap to provide you the lowest available price for a domain name when you register through our affiliate link.

You’ll see that the prices Namecheap offers are much more cost-efficient compared to what other domain registrars offer.

 

buying a domain name in namecheap

 

I recommend going with Namecheap if you’re in this for the long haul.

The average price of a “.com” domain name is $9/year through Namecheap, and that includes free Domain Privacy forever.

 

Step 2: Buy Hosting for your Blog

Bluehost really is the best option for cheap hosting. But now that you’ve decided on Bluehost, which one of their hosting plans should you choose?

We’ve secured a deal with Bluehost (affiliate link) that lets you start your very own website for as low as $59.40. Everything is paid upfront, which is a common practice among web hosting companies.

The prices you see below are what’s available when you register for a 36-month plan through our affiliate link. Here’s a breakdown of each plan:

 

hosting plan in bluehost from basic to choice plus

 

  • Basic Plan: The most cost-friendly option available. The Basic hosting plan starts at $59.40 for a 12-month plan, which translates to $4.95/month. If you stretch it to a 36-month plan, you’ll pay $106.20 upfront, which translates to $2.95/month. I normally don’t recommend this plan, but if you’re on a tight budget, then this plan is a good option.
  • Plus Plan: The most valuable option and the one I recommend above the others. The Plus hosting plan starts at $89.40 for a 12-month plan, which translates to $7.45/month. A 36-month plan will cost you $196.20, which translates to $5.45/month. This hosting plan offers hosting for unlimited websites, which is handy if you ever decide to start a new website in a new niche from scratch.
  • Choice Plus Plan: You may consider opting for this option in lieu of the “Plus” hosting plan because they’re both the exact same price. However, the extras offered won’t really be needed because you already get domain privacy for free if you registered with Namecheap.

Once you pick your preferred plan, you’ll be redirected to this page.

 

setting up a domain after buying a hosting plan in bluehost

 

If you decide to opt for the free domain name in the first year with Bluehost, enter your chosen domain name on the left side of the page under “Create a new domain.”

If you decided to register with Namecheap, enter your registered domain name on the right side of the page under “Use a domain you own.”

You’ll then be redirected to the checkout page. It’s important to note that you should uncheck any upsells before checking out.

After check out, you will receive a payment confirmation in your inbox as well as a supplementary email containing vital information about your website. Print that email and keep it somewhere safe because it contains important information you’ll likely need while you’re with Bluehost.

 

Step 3: Connect Your Domain Name to Bluehost

Feel free to skip this section if you decided to take advantage of the free domain name with Bluehost.

This step will only take 5 minutes.

Your domain name is your web address and the web hosting provider provides the space for your actual website files to be saved. Your domain and hosting server need to be connected in order for your website to function properly. Otherwise, no one will ever see your website!

To connect your domain and hosting server, you need to update the nameservers in your domain registrar. The nameservers for your domain are already provided by Bluehost.

Updating the nameservers points your domain to Bluehost by telling it to connect to your website when someone searches for your domain name.

Complicated? Not really. This is a simple and necessary process that makes your website visible to everyone.

To locate and update your domain’s nameservers:

  1. Log in to your Namecheap account and click the “Domain List” tab in the menu on the left.
    namecheap account homepage
  2. Click the “Manage” button on the right-hand side of the screen.
    namecheap account domain list page
  3. In the “Nameservers” section (encircled in green), click the dropdown menu and select Custom DNS (encircled in red).
    namecheap account domain list page - nameservers section - custom dns
  4. Once you’ve selected “Custom DNS,” input the following:
    • ns1.bluehost.com
    • ns2.bluehost.com
  5. Here’s what the result should look like:
    namecheap account domain list page - nameservers section - changed to bluehost dns

That’s basically it! All you have to do now is install your blogging software (WordPress) and get started on your first blog post.

 

Step 4: Install WordPress on Bluehost

Bluehost has made installing WordPress quick and easy! It’s come to be known as “the 5-minute WordPress install” because the entire process takes five minutes (or less).

If you purchased a domain with Bluehost, skip this step. Bluehost already has WordPress installed by default. But, if you’ve decided to purchase a domain name with Namecheap, follow these steps to install WordPress:

  1. Log in to your Bluehost account and click the “My Sites” tab on the left-hand side of the dashboard. You should see a screen similar to this.
    bluehost account after logging in
  2. Once you’ve clicked “My Sites,” you’ll be redirected to a screen that prompts you to enter your site name and its tagline. Enter that information and click “Next” to proceed.
    add site name and site tagline
  3. On the next screen, click the domain name of the website you want WordPress set up on. Leave the “Directory” field blank and make sure to uncheck any “Free Plugins” WordPress is offering because you won’t need them.
    add domain name for your wordpress site
  4. Once that’s done, Bluehost will start installing WordPress. This should only take a few moments.
    wordpress site is setting in bluehost

Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up a WordPress blog on Bluehost!

 

wordpress installation completed in bluehost

 

Step 5: Pick a WordPress Theme

Your instinct might be to instantly go for a premium WordPress theme. The truth is, you don’t need a premium theme right now. A free and simple theme will accommodate all your needs in the first 6-12 months.

Keep these pointers in mind when picking a theme:

 

  • Keep it Simple. Nobody likes a website that’s cluttered. It’s an eyesore and really puts people off.
  • Mobile-Responsive. With the easy access to mobile devices nowadays, most of your visitors will probably access your site from a mobile phone. You want to make sure their user experience is just as seamless on a mobile device as it is on a desktop. The mobile-responsiveness of a theme can easily be checked by using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. All you have to do is enter the demo URL of the theme.
  • Easy to Navigate and Fast. Going through a website that’s difficult to explore and slow to load is an excruciating experience.
  • Check the Reviews. Of course, before proceeding, always check what other people are saying about the theme before trying it out.

 

Step 6: Prepare to Write Content

Now that you’ve got your blog all set up, it’s time to start filling it with content. Not just any content, mind you — but high-quality content. This is one of the most important factors that’s going to drive your blog’s success.

 

How to Create High-Quality Content

There’s a lot that goes into writing high-quality content. It requires research, experimentation, and hard work. Here are some important points to remember when writing high-quality content:

 

  • Provide Value to your Readers. This is the MOST important factor in writing high-quality content. You must be able to provide your readers with valuable insight. They should feel that they’re learning something crucial every time they read one of your blog posts.
  • Study Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the practice of optimizing your content to guarantee better chances of appearing on the first page of search engine page results. Learn more about the basics of SEO in this post.
  • Do Keyword Research. Keyword research is the practice of finding the best viable keywords to rank for and works hand-in-hand with SEO. Learn how to do keyword research by reading this post.
  • Use Images. Let’s be honest – an article that’s all text can get boring. That’s why you should spice things up with colorful and relevant images. Images also help break paragraphs up so that your text doesn’t feel cluttered.
  • Create Attractive Headlines. People will judge your article and decide whether or not it’s worth their time by the quality of the headline. Popular headline styles include “How To” and “Step-by-Step Guide,” but feel free to experiment and get more creative. However, make any promises you can’t back-up. The last thing you want readers to feel is that they’ve been bait-and-switched.

 

All Set Up and Ready to Go!

Congratulations on taking the first step towards success! You now have a much better chance at success than 99% of people using a free platform.

It’s important to manage your expectations. Blogging isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme. Blogging requires hard work and dedication. But once you’ve got it going, you’ll never look back. If you’d like to know more about blogging myths, check out this post.

I’m really glad I found Bluehost when I first started. It really helped cut costs without sacrificing quality, an important thing if you’re trying to stay under budget because your blog isn’t quite generating an income yet.

 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Do you need further help? Do you have questions? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author

I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>