In this tutorial, I’m going to walk through the process of starting a blog with Bluehost. They’re a very beginner-friendly, inexpensive hosting provider and can be a great option if you’re looking for hosting for your first website.
If you’re just looking for a simple hosting provider, Bluehost is a great option.
Starting a blog with Bluehost – what you need to know
Bluehost makes the process pretty easy for beginners, and they’re also really competitively priced. If you’re looking for hosting for just one website especially, you’re going to find it very cheap here.
However, there are certain things to be aware of before you sign up with Bluehost, as well as things to pay attention to during the checkout process. I will walk you along each step.
Step 1. Get started and choose your hosting plan
The first thing you’ll need to do is go to Bluehost.com and get started.
Something you need to be aware of is the price they advertise upfront is the price if you pay for 3 years (at once).
While it’s still really cheap if you don’t want to commit yourself to 3 years of hosting you are going to end up paying a bit more.
This is a common thing that hosting companies will do because they want to keep their customers for as long as possible. I think it’s important to understand that before you get started so you’re not in shock when you see the prices during the checkout process.
These are all the pricing options you’ll have. If you only want ONE website, you can go ahead with the basic subscription. If you are going to be hosting multiple websites, I think the plus account is probably enough (even though they recommend the choice plus).
You’ll see it’s the same price now, but your renewal price will be higher with choice plus if you look at the normal rates below. (Bluehost plus is normally $10.99 per month, while the choice plus is 14.99 per month)
Step 2. Figure out your domain (you can do this later though)
The next part of the process is to create a domain (or use your own domain if you already own one).
Considering you’re following a first blog tutorial, I’m going to go ahead and assume you don’t have a domain yet.
Bluehost provides your first domain and SSL certificate free for the first year, so that’s a nice bonus.
Pro tip: You can skip this step and figure it out later if you’re unsure, Bluehost will give you a domain credit.
If you’re ready to create a domain, you can go ahead and type it in here. It’ll let you know if the domain is available or not. If the name you want isn’t available, they’ll give you alternative suggestions.
Pro tip: They may suggest some weird extensions like .online or .biz – I wouldn’t recommend you choose those. I would suggest you pick another name until you can grab a .com or .net.
Step 3. Buying the domain/hosting
Here’s where you’re going to need to pay attention.
First, they are going to automatically select the 36-month contract pricing at $2.95/month for you. You can select the drop-down box and change this to 12 months or 24 months, which will raise the price a bit.
Secondly, they’re going to tack on extra charges for “Sitelock security” and “Codeguard basic”
Here’s what Sitelock security is, according to Bluehost:
I would not recommend you bother with this right now. Unless you’re going to be selling your own products and dealing with transactions directly on your website, you don’t really need this service.
Most blogs will make sales through ads or affiliate links, and even if you do sell your own products you can make use of third party payment platforms.
Here’s what Codeguard basic is, according to Bluehost:
In this case, I do recommend you get this service IF you don’t plan on doing your own website backups. You can do these with WordPress plugins or manually. Whatever you choose, you’re going to NEED a back-up option because you never know when your website could run into problems and you don’t want to lose your entire website.
If it were me, I’d purchase this service just for peace of mind.
Make sure you uncheck boxes you don’t want, and then go ahead and purchase your hosting plan.
Step 4. Set up WordPress
Bluehost makes it REALLY easy to start a blog with WordPress. You’re basically walked straight through the entire process. This is way different than most other hosting companies.
First, you’ll be able to pick a theme! If you aren’t sure which one you want, it’s not a big deal. You can totally change your theme at any point later on after you have your WordPress site up and running, so just pick something for now and move on.
After you select your theme, they’ll automatically install WordPress for you.
Step 5: Access your Bluehost C-Panel dashboard and launch WordPress
You’re almost done. After Bluehost finishes installing WordPress for you, now you’ll be able to simply click “log in to WordPress” from your c-panel dashboard.
From your c-panel is where you’ll be able to access all your websites (if you have multiple sites), and fully control everything.
Well, sorta. At least you got the first part set up! Now it’s time to build out your website!
If you haven’t already, you can sign up here to access Bluehost and start creating your very first blog.
If you’re looking for more guidance, step-by-step training, and tools to help you learn how to make money with your blog, check out my full review of Wealthy Affiliate, or follow along with my step-by-step tutorial on how to launch your first website on their platform.