How to Start a Blog on WordPress from Scratch ~ A Step by Step Guide
“Start a blog on WordPress” was my best decision I have ever made. Having an own blog is like you have a property online.
I make a full-time income through blogging. It was not easier me to make a blog on WordPress online.
However, today, I will show you how to create a WordPress blog in or less than 15 minutes. It is very easy to make a WordPress blog. I will guide you step-by-step.
After 15 minutes ends, you will have a BRAND new WordPress blog.
Here let’s start creating your very first WordPress blog!
How to Start a Blog on WordPress -The Step-by-Step Guide
Step #1: Pick up your Hosting – Sign up for BlueHost WordPress hosting
I am here aligned with BlueHost because it is my very first WordPress hosting service I have used and still using Bluehost to host a number of my own websites and blogs.
I have negotiated with BlueHost to offer a very special discount for Pitiya readers. So, if you buy BlueHost web hosting through my link, you get up to 63% OFF discount. (you can get up to 83% off Bluehost coupon if you are very lucky)
Disclosure: Some links on this page are referral links. That means, when you click those links and purchase any product or service, I will get a very small commission as a little thank of referring you to them, at no additional cost to you. In fact, you will get maximum discounts when you purchase any product through my links.
Go to BlueHost.com exclusive WordPress page over here and click on “Get Started Now” button as shown in below screenshot.
BlueHost, Your WordPress Blog Host?
Why Should You Choose BlueHost To Start a Blog?
I have an experience over one and half year of using BlueHost. BlueHost’s shared hosting is the most affordable and cheapest WordPress hosting package for ANY beginner.
Here are a few reasons why I selected BlueHost to start a WordPress blog.
Step #2: Select your WordPress hosting package
In the next page, you will be asked to choose the hosting package you want to host your WordPress blog. When I started to make a WordPress blog on Bluehost, I chose “Plus” web hosting plan. I would recommend it for you too.
You can host an unlimited number of WP blogs, and also you receive unlimited disk space to host your content. BlueHost’s “Plus” shared hosting plan is the perfect for any beginner.
Click on “Select” button under “Plus” plan and you are ready to go next step.
Step #3: Pick up your domain name – The first step to making your WordPress blog
As you are going to make WordPress blog on Bluehost, they will offer you a free custom domain (.com domain) which is worth $14.99.
So, type a name to find the availability of the domain.
Here are a few tips to select a perfect domain:
- 1Always try to get a .com domain: As you know, more people trust and like to visit websites that have .com domains. When you get a .com top-level domain (TLD), you can target international people and drive more traffic to your site. Also, some advertisers and publishers do not like to launch advertising campaign on domains with country specific domains.
- 2Choose a short and unforgettable and easy-to-spell name: Do not use fancy words and hard-to-spell words as your domain.
- 3Select domain name according to your needs: If you want to start a blog for the sake of business purposes, make sure your brand is laid out in the domain name. Ex: mybusinessblog.com
- 4Find a keyword rich domain if you want to target a specific traffic: Not too ordinary, but matters in rare occasions. Do not stuff keywords in domain name. A good practice of choosing a perfect domain name is a mix of keyword-rich and non-keyword-rich words into the domain. Ex: SEOmoz.com, SearchEngineJournal.com
- 5Don’t use stopping words: overuse or misuse of stopping terms such as “the” will prolong your domain name. So, make sure your domain does not include those prepositions, conjunctions and stopping words.
- 6Don’t use numbers, hyphens in the domain: Which would you like to visit further? Pro-blog-tricks.com? Or ProBlogTricks.com? The second one, right? So, don’t ever use hyphens in your domain.
- 7Use a branded name if you're going on long term: If you have long term plans, always select a branded domain name. ex: Pitiya.com, Quicksprout.com, Appsumo.com
You can use one of these domain name search tools to find available domain names that suit to your brand name and business.
If you are like me, don't know or can't find a good domain name for your new WordPress blog, then use your name for it! Yes, use the personal name as your custom domain name. For instances, priyadarshana.com, NeilPatel.com
Personal branding is perfect when you want to make a personal blog on WordPress.
After you selected a perfect domain for your new WordPress blog, move to the fourth step to create your WordPress blog.
What if I already have a domain?
If you have bought domain from a domain registrar like Godaddy, NameCheap, you can type your domain under the field of “I have a domain name”.
Then log into your domain DNS manager and change name servers to below ones. Learn more…
Caution: Once you pointed name servers to Bluehost, people will be able to visit your blog. So, if your existing domain already receives traffic (in a case like you want to migrate from Blogger (hosted blogging platform from Google) to WordPress.org (Self-hosted content management system), then you should not yet point name servers.
You can use the temporary URL which you received through email to login to WordPress admin area and make necessary changes. (more about WordPress administrative panel in 6th step)
If you didn’t receive the temporary login URL from Bluehost, contact them and ask for a new temporary URL.
Once you have set up your new WordPress blog and ready to go, point name servers to BlueHost.
Step #4: Create Your Hosting Account – Set up personal information, billing information
In the next page, you can see a few text fields to fill out.
Account information: Fill real information. Your name, email and phone number should be real ones. You will receive messages about your account to the email address provided. So add a working email address.
Package information: You can select account plan you would like to opt-in. Personally, I chose 36-month billing circle, because I can save $217.44 (which is 54% cut off total!) and I never want to worry about rebilling. Bluehost offer VAS (Value Added Services) or extra features such as SiteLock Security, Site BackUp Pro, and Search Engine Jumpstart. You can deselect these features. However, I recommend you to purchase SiteLock security. If you run a personal blog, you should buy this one because, anyone can reverse lookup your domain (on Whois directories) and find your personal details such as name, home address, and phone number.
Note: Domain privacy shows up only if you get domain from BlueHost. If you already bought a custom domain, you should enable domain privacy (SiteLock) setting through your domain registrar.
Payment information: You can buy Bluehost hosting through credit/debit cards. Bluehost currently supports all credit and debit cards that support international shopping.
After you bought Bluehost WordPress hosting, you are ready to move to the next step; account activation.
Step #5: Account activation – Log Into Your Bluehost CPanel
After your successful payment, BlueHost will send you a welcome message to the email address you provided in above.
It will include various details such as your login credentials to BlueHost Cpanel.
cPanel is the engine of your web hosting account. It is not too much complicated. In fact, it has been made to ease web hosting arrangements; set up forums, websites, social networks, etc.
Once you clicked on that link on the email, you will be redirected to a page where you can log into your account.
Alternatively, you can follow these simple steps to log into your BlueHost cPanel.
Go back to Bluehost.com and click on “Login” tab upper-right corner.
Enter cPanel info from the welcome email. Select the “Hosting” tab if it is not selected already.
Now move to the best part of this tutorial; install WordPress on Bluehost!
Step #6: Install WordPress on BlueHost – One-click Install WordPress
When you first visit your BlueHost dashboard, you will get a few notification messages. Some are welcome messages, while others are promotions like this one.
As you see, Bluehost will install WordPress for you for $99+. You should not purchase these promotions. I will guide you on how to create a blog in WordPress step by step without hiring ANYONE.
In your cPanel, you can see tens of icons. Don’t get overwhelmed. Now we are going to install WordPress securely using a script provided by Bluehost.
Scroll down the page and locate “WordPress install” icon under “Website” section. Once you found it, click on “WordPress Install” icon.
#6.1: Start the WordPress Install
In the next page, you will be redirected to “WordPress Installation Startup” page. Just click on “Get Started” button bottom right corner.
In next page, you would be asked to select the domain name that you want to install WordPress on. Select the desired domain from the drop down menu.
Again at the bottom of the page, you would see the promotion message which informs that BlueHost will manually set up WordPress blog for you. Don’t even look at them! You are going to set up WordPress blog yourself.
After selecting the domain you want to install WordPress, you can also select the directory of WordPress installation.
For an example, if I want to set up a new separate installation of WordPress to my personal blog like this www.priyadarshana.com/deals, the new directory should be “deals.” So every post, page or any video I post through this WordPress installation will locate at www.priyadarshana.com/deals
This is very useful if you want to create a website for your business. You may name directory as “Blog.”
If you do not want to make things mess around and want a simple WordPress blog set up, under the root domain, then leave directory field alone and click on “Next” button.
#6.2: Set up WordPress Installation Settings
Here you will start making a WordPress blog on Bluehost. Before installation process starts to begin, you need to specify your website or blog site title, Admin Username, and Admin password.
Now let’s learn what these terms are one by one
- 1Site Name: This is your website’s title. People will find your site in search engines knowing this name. So be aware and specified with the website title. It is very good to use your domain or brand as Website title. Ex: www.priyadarshana.com/deal ⇒ site name: Best Deals & Discounts by Chamal Priyadarshana www.pitiya.com ⇒ site name: Pitiya – Converting Dreams into Realities
- 2Admin Username: The first most important info about your WordPress website. Don’t ever use ‘admin’ as the Admin username. You will use this one when logging into your WordPress admin area. You can use a complex or a hard-to-guess name.
- 3Admin Password: The second most important info about your WordPress website. Don’t ever use a name, a phone number or pet names as admin password. A good practice to make a unique password to your WordPress blog is adding a mixture of simple form & capital form characters, symbols, numbers and spaces (yes, it is!).
Check those two boxes “I understand that installing on the same domain will overwrite any files” and “I have read the terms and service GPLv2”.
Don’t forget to write down WordPress admin username and password of your new blog in a paper. Don’t ever save it on your computer. I do not need to explain why it is, right?
Once you are done setting up website title and admin login credentials, you are ready to install WordPress on Bluehost server. Just click on “Install” button.
Wait a few seconds for that AWESOME message…
You have a brand new blog!
Just click on the link to get login credentials.
That is all. Now you have successfully created a new WordPress blog on BlueHost.
#6.3: Log into WordPress Admin Area
You can log in to your WordPress admin panel and make necessary changes.
Here is how to log in to your blog’s WordPress admin panel or control panel.
Visit the admin login page. It should be something similar to this: http://www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin
Enter your blog admin login details which you saved in sixth step. Click on “Log in” button.
At first view, you will see a screen slightly similar to this one.
Now enter your blog address in to address bar and press “Enter” button.
You can see your brand new WordPress blog live on the Internet. Here’s mine.
Here are a few essential steps you should follow after making a website on WordPress.
- 1Install a WordPress security plugin: Forget about SEO or any other plugins other recommend for you. You have many times to play with them. Just for now, install a WordPress security plugin such as WordFence. Many of those security plugins provide various tools to strengthen the security of your WP blog. Ex: change WordPress login address, restrict visiting directory files, save your website from DDoS attacks and hacking vulnerabilities.
- 2Use a Two-factor authentication plugin (optional): Two-factor authentication plugins or PIN verification plugins such as Google Authenticator will build another strong security level for your blog by requiring time-based PIN in WordPress Admin login page.
- 3Prevent search engines crawling and indexing your website (optional): This might be your very first WordPress blog. Now you have set up a blog and you are expecting when search engines will list your blog on SERPs. I understand your concern, but it is a right to prevent search engines from crawling your “under constructing” blog. You can buy an eye-catching “under construction” theme for your blog on Themeforest or use one of Under Construction templates in Thrive Architect (Read Thrive Architect review here). Make sure the option, “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is checked by in “Reading” section under blog “Settings” page.
Now What? You have started a WordPress blog
Starting a new blog online is actually easy, and you can do it within 15 minutes. However, what is tough is maintaining your blog continuously. You need to make a few essential things to run an excellent blog and make money through blogging.
- 1Install a premium theme: Yes, this is the first thing you should do right after starting a blog. My very first theme was Genesis by StudioPress. It is very professional WordPress theme used by millions of bloggers worldwide. I recommend you to check out StudioPress and select one of their themes if you're looking for clean, beautiful and lightweight WP theme. However, I recommend most of bloggers to use ThriveThemes for their blogs. Because it comes with lots of options such as SEO settings, image compression and advanced settings. I have listed more websites to buy WordPress themes here. Alternatively, you can also buy premium WordPress themes from Themeforest too. You can find thousands of premium themes for different niches such as traveling, cookery, photography.
- 2Start Building your list from the very first day: Just do it as I tell you. You might ignore this step. But, someday at anywhere, you will tell yourself that your biggest mistake you have EVER done is NOT building your list from the very first day. Yes, it is true. Most blogger regret about NOT start building their email list from the very first day. I recommend you to select GetResponse as your email marketing program. Personally, I have used GetResponse to build my list. They offer 30 days free trial with no credit card required. So, you are very lucky to test everything in your first few days of blogging. Alternatively, you can use an all-in-one marketing automation and messaging tool like ConvertFox. Read my ConvertFox Guide to learn more about it.
- 3Analyze your competitors: Don’t have a clue from where to start? What to write about and how to get traffic? Don’t worry. I have a good solution. Use a competitor analysis software such as SEMrush to find competitors SEO strategies and techniques. I have explained how to use SEMrush to identify competitors SEO strategies here in this review article and this competitor research tutorial. Go and check them out. If you have no time, bookmark these article and check them out later. They are very helpful to start blogging online.
Over to you
Starting a blog online was not an easy job in past years. But, now you can build a blog on WordPress without ANY experience easily and quickly.
With a small investment and using a low cost, renowned web hosting company such as Bluehost you can start building a WordPress website from scratch.
The real works start after your created your WordPress blog. You have write content, select a theme, optimize it for search engines, social networks, and mobile users and grow your business.
I have written dozens of articles, tutorials and guides on Blogging, SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing on Pitiya. Do a search and you'll find a relevant guide.
If you have any question, please share them in the comment form below. I am very glad to help you with anything from making a WordPress blog on Bluehost to even make money with it!