Last Updated on February 25, 2020 by Fabrizio Van Marciano
Are you completely new to blogging? Looking for a beginner-friendly guide to creating your first WordPress blog with an affordable and reliable hosting company? This starter-guide will show you how to start your blog with Bluehost.
To complete your blog creation, I'll also take you through some quick steps for installing a theme and some plugins.
Are you ready? Let's go.
Skip this step if you don't need to know what a blog is.
A blog is an online journal where you can write and publish articles about any topic you wish.
Blogging has been around for quite some time now, it is not new. However, it's grown into quite the powerhouse. For some bloggers, their blogs represent their business.
Blogging is also an effective content marketing tactic. Companies also use blogging to help them increase awareness about their brand, products, and services.
A blogger is an individual who manages a blog. Managing a blog involves writing and publishing blog posts regularly, creating other forms of online content and marketing, creating products and services to offer through the blog, growing a community and serving the target audience of the blog.
A blog can be anything you want it to be. If you want to start a blog as a hobby, then that's fine. If you want to start a blog as a business venture, then even better.
There are over 600 million blogs worldwide. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You'll have your work cut out to compete with that many blogs.
But that should not put you off because not all blogs are created equally.
The answer to that question cannot simply be answered in a few paragraphs. I wish it could.
I've been blogging for almost 10 years myself, and I'm still learning how to build a successful blog.
You see, blogging is a lifetime journey, education, and experience. If you're only going to commit to blogging for a few months, then do not start a blog.
To be successful, you need just a few critical ingredients -
Passion - Because you've got to love what you do in order to commit to it for life.
Check out this post for tips on finding the best niche for blogging.
Smart work - You have to approach blogging like a business. You don't need to slave hours in front of the computer to build a successful blog, you just need to work at it smartly.
This pro blogging workbook will help you become a smarter and more organized blogger.
Patience - Like anything in life that's worth waiting for, as long as you're working towards your goal, you have to be patient.
Blogging will NOT give you instant results. You WON'T be able to quit your job to blog fulltime in a few months. It takes time to build a successful and profitable blogging business, so be patient.
Let's finally go through the steps of starting your blog. The first thing you will need is some web hosting.
There are quite a few web host providers around, these days. I've used quite a few of them myself over the years. In this tutorial, we'll look at creating a WordPress blog with Bluehost.
Bluehost is a hosting company that's been around for a long time. Over the years, they've built up a decent reputation and have been the top choices for WordPress for a long while.
Bluehost was my first web hosting experience when I began back in 2010. OK, let's get cracking.
Related Post: How To Set Up A WordPress Blog with SiteGround
First, head over to Bluehost here to start your blog set up process.
Take a look around the website if you wish to learn more about the company. When you're ready, hit the green button on the homepage of their website to begin.
Special Offer: At the time of writing this tutorial, Bluehost is offering a special introductory offer and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Now, as you are creating your first ever blog, you're not going to need every resource under the sun. So, you can save money by simply taking out the most basic plan available. That's my personal recommendation. I would not recommend anything more.
The basic plan offers affordability and enough resources to start you off. You also get a free domain name included and free SSL. You can use the free domain name to create your blog. We'll talk more about the domain name in just a second.
By the way, you can always upgrade your plan later, as your blog starts to grow.
OK, so let's say you have picked the Basic Plan for the sake of this tutorial. Next, you'll need to set up your hosting/domain.
You can either create a new domain or set up a domain that you already use somewhere else. For this tutorial, we'll create a new domain with our hosting plan.
So as I already mentioned, for new Bluehost accounts, you get a free domain name for the first year.
Take some time to think about what you want your blog to be called as this can be used for your domain name too.
Recommended Post: Check out this post for more tips on selecting the perfect domain name for your blog.
Next, you'll need to fill in all the obligatory fields to complete your web hosting account signup. These include -
This is where you add your personal information such as name and address.
Here you can review the account plan you have selected. You will notice the longer duration you select for your hosting plan, the more money you can save. For example, a 36-month basic plan will set you back less money than a 12-month basic plan.
This is where you can select additional services from Bluehost. These include -
Of course, this is where you add in your payment information.
Once you have entered all the details carefully and accurately, simply agree to Bluehost's terms and hit Submit.
Boom, you've paid for your hosting plan. Next, you'll need to set up your account. To do this, you'll need to enter a username and password. When you're ready, hit the Create Account button. See the image below.
Now you have your domain and hosting taken care of, and your account set up, it's time to log into your hosting account to set up your WordPress blog.
So, once you're logged in, the first thing you will see is the setup page. You will need to go through the short steps to set up your WordPress blog successfully.
The First step, give your blog a name and tagline.
Don't forget to slide the toggle to add a blog. Your posts will be displayed on whatever page you pre-select. Then hit Continue. See the image above.
In Step 2, you'll need to check a few boxes that apply to your online goals. Then hit Continue to Theme Selection. See the image above.
Here you can choose a theme of your choice and Bluehost has quite a few to choose from. However, I personally would recommend using a premium quality theme purposely designed for bloggers, like the Genesis Theme Framework by StudioPress.
StudioPress makes beautiful themes for blogs and small business websites. Their themes are well-coded, secure, optimized for SEO, and simple to customize.
So, in this instance, you can just click on Skip This Step and WordPress will begin to install into your domain name. The installation process shouldn't take too long. See the images below.
You've successfully set up your web hosting and WordPress blog with Bluehost.
You can now head over to My Sites and Log in to WordPress to access your blog. See the image below.
Next, and from your WordPress dashboard, you can install a theme of your choice and some essential plugins.
First, let's go through the steps of installing a theme and for this tutorial we'll use the Genesis Theme Framework.
Skip this if you don't need to know what a theme is.
A theme is also known as a skin, and it is what makes each WordPress blog unique and different.
On its own, WordPress is just a content publishing/management platform. By default, your blog will have the Twenty Nineteen theme installed depending on how you set WordPress up.
I've created a quick video tutorial here on how to install the Genesis theme into your brand new WordPress blog. The video is almost 8 years old now, but the process of installing this theme software into WordPress hasn't changed at all.
The next step is installing some plugins.
What are plugins?
Skip this step if you don't need to know what a plugin is.
Thanks for plugins, you can create a WordPress blog and make it do whatever you want it to do.
Plugins enhance and expand the functionality of WordPress.
For example, if you need an online store for your blog, then there's a plugin for that called WooCommerce.
Or, if you need to create an online course, then there's a plugin for that called Thrive Apprentice (This is a premium plugin).
You can find a wide range of functional plugins in the WordPress repository here for free. There are currently over 50,000 to choose from.
I recommend using a combination of quality free plugins and premium plugins where possible.
From your WordPress dashboard head over to plugins in the side menu.
From Plugins, you can click on Add New. See the image below.
Your dashboard will look a lot different from the image above, that's because the WP dashboard has changed over the years, but the navigation and process have not changed.
Once you're on the plugins page you can then search for a plugin you want to install, or, upload one that you've downloaded from the WordPress repository into your site. See the image below.
The plugins that I'd recommend installing for a new blog are as follows -
#1. WordPress SEO by Yoast - This is by far the most powerful and complete on-page and site-wide SEO plugin available for WordPress. It has over 5 million downloads to date so you're not alone. I am currently using this plugin here on Magnet4Blogging.
If you're looking for something a little more advanced, with additional features, I'd also recommend trying SEOPressor Connect. However, this is another premium subscription-based plugin.
#2. WP Super Cache - This plugin will generate a static HTML file from your WordPress blog. After an HTML file has been generated, your web server will actually serve that file instead of processing the heavier WordPress PHP scripts. All this simply means your blog will load faster. Your users will see cached versions of your pages.
#3. Google ReCaptcha plugin - This plugin is 100% free and you can use it to help reduce comment and contact form spam as your blog begins to get popular.
#4. Monster Insights for WordPress - A must-have plugin to help you install the Google Analytics tracking code into your blog. Google Analytics is used to monitor your blog traffic growth.
#5. Social Snap - This is a powerful, lightweight, fast loading social sharing plugin that will help your site visitors share your awesome content on social media. There are a free version and premium options for using this plugin.
So, those are just a few of the essential plugins I would recommend you install when setting up your first WordPress blog using Bluehost.
So, there you have it, a step-by-step guide to kick-starting your blog WordPress hosted blog using Bluehost. Hopefully, you found this tutorial useful, let me know if you did not and I'll try to make it better.
Please do check out the recommended links for additional tips and tutorials below.
Affiliate Disclaimer: The opinions of the Bluehost Web Hosting Company and their services, in this review, are purely my own expressed, and based on my past and present experiences with the company. The links to Bluehost Services in this post are affiliate links. This means if you purchase hosting or domain plans with Bluehost, I will be paid a small commission, at no additional cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclaimer here.