You can approach these two steps interchangeably, but for your website to go live, you’ll need to complete both steps.
The web hosting provider you choose will depend on your specific website needs.
Basically, you want to choose a hosting service that provides all the features you require, without any compromises. You’ll also want to pick a web host provider that promises top-notch customer support.
If you’ve never started a website before, this can be an overwhelming experience. You’re trying your best not to mess anything up and ruin your first website, and there are many web hosts to choose from (all claiming to be the best):
For most websites and businesses, you should feel confident to choose one of these well trusted and tested web hosting service providers:
The exceptions would be if you’re thinking about choosing a website builder, or if you’re setting up an eCommerce store and don’t code (you’ll probably want an eCommerce site builder like Shopify or BigCommerce).
While at first glance, most hosts look like a good fit, it’s still important to look at the features each offers and compare that with your needs before you pick one.
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to sign up with Bluehost, which is one of the leading web hosting services available out there. No matter where you’re located in the world, Bluehost is a suitable option for anyone looking to start a blog or website.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the sign up process, let’s talk about why you should sign up with Bluehost for your website hosting. Because, believe me, I know how it feels to be told, “here’s a list. Look at your unique needs and pick one.” Almost never helps.
When you select Bluehost as your web hosting provider, you get to register your domain at no cost. That domain you want will come for free. Yes, you’ll need to renew it later. But for someone starting out, I’m guessing you could use a few extra dollars.
This is beneficial to anyone without a registered domain at the time of signing up. If you already have an existing domain that you want to create a website for, you’ll get a free domain transfer from your current host.
To keep your website or blog up and running without any hitches, you’ll need a hosting provider that you can trust. The last thing you want is to be selling a product or service to your readers only for your website to suddenly be inaccessible for long periods of time. You would lose both money and web traffic.
Bluehost provides 24 hours of technical support every day of the week. So whether you need technical assistance on a Monday or Sunday, you can be assured of getting the help you need.
You don’t have to be a tech guru to start a website or blog with Bluehost. You also don’t need to go through long tutorials explaining how to build a website. At least not when you’re using a web hosting service that does most of the hard work for you.
Bluehost provides its users with a one-click feature to get started with their WordPress site. You also get a similar feature for Joomla or Drupal website builders. I’ll explain more on this later in the guide.
For now, let’s get into the sign up process. I’m planning to make it as easy for you as possible. If you still have questions at the end, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
To get the ball rolling, visit Bluehost.
Once on the page, you’ll see information on the benefits of using Bluehost. Among these will be the 1-Click WordPress install I mentioned above, 24 hours support, free domain and a promise for 30-day money back guarantee.
Below all that you will see a rectangular green button with the words “get started now”. Click on this button.
When you click on the “get started now” button, it will lead you to a page showcasing the different hosting plans. Currently, Bluehost provides 4 different hosting plans including Basic, Plus, Prime and Go PRO.
Here’s what you’ll see:
Each plan is priced differently and the higher the price, the more features included. However, this is not to mean that the cheaper option is any less of a plan. In fact, the basic plan is a great choice when you’re first starting out. You get to save money, and can still enjoy top notch hosting from Bluehost.
So, based on your budget and website needs, choose the plan that you feel is right for you. And then when your website traffic and needs grow beyond what your plan offers, you can always upgrade to a better one.
Once you have selected an ideal hosting plan for your site, you’ll be redirected to the domain page:
Here, you’ll be required to choose a domain for your website. The domain is basically what you want your site URL to read, for example Bluehost.com, ClownsAreSuperScary.com or WhyIGetBoredEasily.net.
As you can see below, you’re not restricted to a .com website. You can have a .net, .tech, .store, .biz or any other.
If you have an existing domain, use the box to your right written “I have a domain name”. This facilitates for easy domain transfer. Bluehost will provide further instructions on how to make the transfer.
If you don’t have a domain name yet, don’t worry. You can easily register under the “new domain” box. Bluehost will let you know whether your domain name is available for registration or whether it’s already taken.
For an easier process in domain registration, have different domain name ideas ready before beginning the process. This will help you register a domain you love, rather than pick one because it’s recommended.
And if you are not ready to pick a domain yet, no worries, you can always proceed to sign up without it.
After choosing a domain and clicking next, the next step is to create an account.
You can do so by using your Google account or by filling in your details in the form provided. Like any other business, Bluehost needs to know who they’re doing business with.
Also, it’s easier to help you when they have your personal details. These include your name, address, email address, phone number, country, etc.
Fill in the required details to continue to the checkout step. Before checking out, scroll down to confirm the hosting package you want. More on this in Step 5 below.
Like the hosting plans you selected in Step 2 above, Bluehost offers different hosting packages.
This means that you can choose to pay for a yearly (12 months) package, biannual (24 months) package, 3 years (36 months) option or the 5 years (60 months) option.
Again, you can decide on a hosting package based on your budget. If you wish to pay for a longer term, you’ll get a cheaper monthly rate. On the other hand, if you go for the shorter term of one year, the monthly rate will be slightly higher.
Also, pay attention to the extra charges involved in the hosting package. For instance, while a package for 12 months totals to about $59 dollars, the total amount you pay will differ. This will depend on the add-ons you select.
The more add-ons you tick, the more money you’ll pay. So only tick what you and your website really needs. My advice, take your time to do the math carefully and correctly to avoid going over budget.
When you’re sure that you’ve selected the right package and confirmed the total price (at the very bottom), scroll down to confirm your purchase. Fill in your credit card details or select an alternative payment method.
After you confirm your payment information, accept the terms and conditions, and click on the green “Submit” button.
Bluehost will let you know if any information was left out, which will be highlighted in red. If there are no mistakes, you’ll then be prompted to create a password for your account. After which, you will gain access to your cPanel (control panel).
And just like that, you have officially signed up with Bluehost as your web hosting provider!
The cPanel is where you can proceed to install WordPress or your website builder of choice. It’s also where you can create an email(s) associated with the website or blog. And make changes regarding your account, the website you created or other changes in future.
You did it, congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a shiny new hosting account.
Once you’ve signed up with Bluehost, you’ll gain immediate access to your hosting service, along with a welcome to Bluehost message:
So now what?
This means that you don’t need to be a professional website developer to start your website or blog. All you have to do is follow a couple of simple steps.
In the beginning of this guide, I gave you a few benefits of signing up with Bluehost. One of those benefits was access to free website content management system (where you design and develop your site). The main options include WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. In the example below, we’re going to walk through the most popular choice – WordPress.
To remind you and calm you down (also because it feels good to repeat) let me say again that you don’t have to worry about technical expertise. You don’t need it.
Here is a quick 6-step guide on how to install WordPress.
Step 1 – Login to your new Bluehost account to access your cPanel.
Step 2 – In your control panel (cPanel), scroll down to the Website section. While here, click on “Install WordPress”. This action will direct you to another page with more information on WordPress.
Step 3 – On this page, to your right will be two buttons. One says “Install” or “Start” and the second one says “Import”. Click to start a brand new install.
Doing so will take you to a page requesting your domain information. This is to prompt you for the domain name you’d like to create a website for.
Step 4 – Input the domain you registered in the signup process above and click on “Check domain” and thereafter click on “Next” to continue the installation. The “check domain” is basically to confirm that your registered domain is pointing to your account and is already assigned.
Step 5 – After checking your domain, click on Advanced Options. This next step is for your site title, password and username.
Now, please note that these are different from the Bluehost account you created earlier. These will be your WordPress login details; what you’ll use to access the backend of your website or blog. Make sure to create a strong password.
Step 6 – Accept (read first, of course) the Terms and Click on “Install Now”. This is the final step and defining moment. It will start the WordPress installation, which will be obvious through a dialogue box showing the progress.
Wait until completion to receive your new installation credentials; the site URL, admin URL, Username and password. The same will be sent to your email address, less the password of course. Make sure to keep a copy of all of this information handy for the next time you need to log in to your site.
Access your WordPress Website
When the installation process is done and you have the login credentials, it’s time to log in and begin the journey with your new website. This URL is provided to you, and should look something like www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin (change out “yourwebsite.com” with your actual domain). This will take you to your website’s WordPress login page.
Enter your login credentials, and you’ll be redirected to your WordPress dashboard.
Now you’re ready to start customizing your website! Your WordPress dashboard is where you design and create your website for the world to see.
Check out this WordPress customization guide, explaining how to choose a theme, customize the site, adjust the settings and start posting content.
See? It’s not really that hard to sign up with Bluehost. I hope this guide has accomplished what I hoped it would: To give you the complete process of signing up with Bluehost and present it in a way that makes you realize how easy it actually is.
If you’re thinking of starting a website, Bluehost is one of the few hosting providers that won’t leave you disappointed.
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