Want to know how to start a blog? Well, you’re not alone. If I’ve been asked once, I’ve been asked a hundred times, “How do I start a blog?”
So, today you’ve come to the right place! I’m going to tell you how to start a blog in twenty minutes or less.
Most people when they think of starting a blog, they think free. It’s true – you can start a blog for free. There are several free options like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Typepad.com, etc.
But if you’re looking to work from home, become a published author, or broaden the reach for your business, you’re going to want a self-hosted blog, and you’re going to want it on WordPress.org. It is what I use here at IntentionalByGrace.com and what many others who are serious about blogging use and recommend.
It took me years to make the leap into a self-hosted WordPress blog. I thought it was going to be hard. However, the tools available today make starting a self-hosted blog easy and simple.
The following steps walk you through how I have built my own website (and others I’ve created). You can have a self-hosted WordPress blog in less than twenty minutes. It’s no longer hard or scary to get up and running with the vision the Lord has placed on your heart! How cool is that?
Step 1: Choose a host
Your host will provide server space for your site. There are several host companies out there, but I have been a paying customer of Bluehost for several years now. I’ve built several sites and have always preferred Bluehost.
Why do I like Bluehost?
- Customer service is amazing. We’ve talked with them a few times, and their support is always professional, thorough, and friendly.
- Easy to use. Their interface is the easiest I’ve used. They work hard to keep their service simple and straightforward. For non-techies like me, this is a must!
- Connects easily with WordPress. Again essential for non-techies like me.
- Unlimited domains. I have several domains that I use. I can link them all to my Bluehost account and call it a day.
- Affordable. Their packages are one of the most affordable available! If you’re just getting started, this is a great option.
Get started with Bluehost by clicking here.
Note: I am a Bluehost affiliate, which means they pay me a commission every time someone signs up via one of my links. But as I stated before, I’m also a paying customer. I recommend Bluehost because that’s what I use and love.
Once you’re on the Bluehost site, click on the Get Started Now button.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
Next you’ll want to enter your domain name (like IntentionalByGrace.com) either on the right or left.
If you haven’t already registered a domain name with another registration service (e.g., GoDaddy.com, Dreamhost.com), then you can use the box on the left. If you’ve already registered your domain name, use the box on the right-side. Then see the additional instructions at the bottom of this post. Make sure to choose the correct extension you want in the drop down box.
Then, click the blue Next button.
Some thoughts on choosing a domain name:
- Choose .com whenever possible
- Make it easy to remember
- Keep it short and sweet
- Use keywords when possible
- Don’t use hyphens, numbers, or other crazy characters
Step 3: Enter your account information
Once you’ve found an available domain name, enter your account information.
You want to use a working email address because all future communication will be sent to this email including your login information.
Step 4: Select your hosting package
When you scroll down, you’ll see there are a few options for hosting packages. As you can see, the account plans are very reasonably priced. Choose the package that fits your needs.
I generally skip the other stuff. The Whois option is highly recommended if you want to protect your personal information. If you’ve registered your domain elsewhere, this option will not be available here. You’ll need to set this up with the company you’re registered with.
Step 5: Fill in your billing information
Next enter your billing information. Review the Bluehost terms of service and check the box indicating you’ve read everything. Then click Next.
Step 6: Determine if you want any upgrades
Once your billing information has been processed, you’ll be asked if you want to make any upgrades. I would skip them all and click on the Complete button at the bottom of the page.
Step 7: Choose a password for your account
Now you need to choose a password for your account. Click on the Create your password link. Choose a difficult, hard to hack password. Then click the Create button. This creates your new Bluehost account!
Step 8: Check your email
After completing these steps, check your email. You should find a welcome email from Bluehost with your control panel (cpanel) login info. Keep this information for future reference.
Step 9: Login to your cpanel
Follow the link in your email, or go back to Bluehost and click the login button in the top right corner to login to your cpanel.
Enter your login information and click Login.
Step 10: Install WordPress
Once you’re logged in, make sure you are on the cpanel tab. Then click the WordPress icon under Website Builders.
Next you might get confused because it will mention something about a Mojo account. Just click WordPress under blogs and keep moving. Mojo is a normal occurrence. 🙂
Then you’ll see a window like this. Click the Start button to begin the WordPress installation process.
Next choose where you want your domain to install too. This should default to the domain you’ve chosen already. Click Check Domain.
You’re almost there!
You want to check the box for Advanced Options.
- Enter your site name or title (e.g., Intentional By Grace).
- Choose an admin username (do not use “admin” as your username!) and password
- Enter a working email address (login information will be sent here)
- Read the terms and check the box
Click the Install Now button.
Step 11: Revel in Your Success!
You’ve now officially started a blog! Get excited!
You’ve set up your blog, but you’re not very fancy yet. That’s okay! There are hundreds of themes to choose from. I will walk you through how to choose a theme and what I use in a future post. So stay tuned!
Step 12: (Optional) If you used an existing domain in Step 2
If you used an existing domain in Step 2, then your existing domain will not display your new site until you change your name servers to point to Bluehost. You will need to do this wherever your domain is currently registered.
To change the name servers where your domain is currently registered, first note your new Bluehost name server information:
Changing your name servers to point your domain to this new site varies. Bluehost describes the process here. You need to go to the registrar where your existing domain is currently registered (e.g., GoDaddy, Dreamhost, etc.). You will need to enter the above information in the appropriate place. Usually a simple search on their site “how to change name servers” will take you to the information you need. If not, then I suggest calling them for more information.
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