How to Start a Blog

One of the scariest things about starting a blog, is actually getting your site up and running. Today I’m teaching you how to set up a WordPress blog in three easy steps on Bluehost. Hosting companies can be confusing, but it’s actually quite simple. Follow these easy steps on how to start a blog or website and get your hosting set up, WordPress installed and the basic steps to make it beautiful!

STEP ONE: Domain Hosting

You’ve probably already thought about what to call your website, but if not, take some time to think it through and brainstorm. Go to Bluehost and click that big green button to get started. To check if your domain is available, type it in the left hand box and Bluehost will let you know. By the way, Bluehost gives you a FREE domain name with the purchase of your hosting plan!

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After you’ve selected a plan, you’ll follow Bluehost’s instructions. Select your package details and any other special deals you want to include. Personally, the only thing I need is domain privacy — it keeps your personal details private and unlisted. Follow the remaining instructions and soon you’ll have hosting!

STEP TWO: Install WordPress

Hosting is set up, so let’s get WordPress installed! Thankfully, Bluehost makes it very simple. Navigate to the hosting tab at the top of the page and then click on “WordPress” under “Website Builders”. Next, you’ll click on “Install a brand new instance” and then select the domain you’d like to install it on and click “Check Domain” (you can leave the “directory” part blank).

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Sometimes you may get an error message that says there are files already there. Unless you already have website files there that you want to keep, you can click “Overwrite”.

For the final step, select the drop down for Advanced Options. You can name your blog title here (you can always update this later) and choose your WordPress login and password. Check the box to creating a new and then hit “Install Now.”

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You can watch the install process at the top of the page and when it’s ready, a box will show up in the top right corner that says “View Credentials” — click on that and write these down somewhere safe so you can refer back to them to log in to your site. You’ve installed WordPress, congrats! Easy, right?

STEP THREE: Make it Look Nice

Now that you’ve set-up WordPress, it’s time to make your site beautiful! Login to your site by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin (or by following the link from your credentials). You’ll see this page that will log you in to the backend of your site!

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Let’s make this thing pretty! Most likely, you’ll want to select a new theme since the ones that come with WordPress for free are pretty basic. You can hire a designer (like me!) to design you a custom theme or you can find a beautiful theme elsewhere and install it yourself. The second option is definitely more budget friendly and seriously, there are so many gorgeous options out there now! Here’s a few great places to start looking:

1. StudioPress Themes: gorgeous, minimalist themes built on a great framework (This site was built on a StudioPress Theme – News Pro)

2. Themeforest: one of the biggest sites to buy a theme, literally anything you want, you can most likely find it here

3. Thesis Themes: Eye-catching blog themes, attractive and aesthically pleasing with good SEO

Quick Bonus Tip

Under your blog’s “Settings”, you can customize some basic things to make your blog look more professional. Under “General” Set your blog name and tagline — the default one is not what you want. You can also select how dates are shown here as well.

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Under “Reading”, you can make your homepage static to look more like a website and select a different page where your blog posts will appear. For traditional blogs, you’ll probably just want to leave this as is!

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And lastly! Permalinks. I highly recommend that you change your permalinks to the Post Name structure. It’s better for SEO purposes and looks much cleaner than the basic one!

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Questions? Feel free to leave below and I’ll do my best to answer!