If it seems like everyone you know these days has a website, it’s because they probably do.
Regardless of the purpose, whether it be blogging, ecommerce, or just general info, creating a website has never been easier.
One of the top website building platforms today is WordPress. Known for its versatility, with tools in place to create pretty much any website you can think of, its an excellent choice for both experienced users and tech novices.
So Where to Begin?
To start your website build on WordPress, you’ll first need to identify and register with a web host, get your domain name, and then install the WordPress software onto one of your host’s servers.
If that sounds complicated, trust us, it’s not.
In fact, it’s incredibly easy, and we’re going to show you how with one of the best web hosting services for WordPress, Bluehost.
Why Choose Bluehost?
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.
- Free domain registration
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.
- 24 hour technical support
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.
- A One Click installation for WordPress
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.
How to Sign Up with Bluehost (5 Steps)
Step #1: Visit the Bluehost website to get started
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.
Step #2: Pick a Web Hosting Plan
Now that you’re at Bluehost.com, click the big, green get started now button.
On the select your plan page, you’re given a few options from which to choose: basic, plus, and prime.
We recommend the basic plan as you can always upgrade later should the need arise. Plus, our readers receive a special monthly rate of $2.95 per month for choosing the entry-level option. A 63% discount off the regular rate!
Go ahead and pick select under the basic plan to move on to the next step.
Step #3: Choose Your Domain Name
First things first, if you have a domain name that you purchased from another registrar, simply enter it in the right-hand box titled “i have a domain name,” click next, and move on to step three.
If you don’t have an all-important domain name, read on, as this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your website.
We strongly suggest not rushing through this part. Make sure you choose a name that will not only satisfy your needs but also serves the needs of your website.
A few useful tips to consider when choosing a domain name:
- Keep it short and easy to type. In other words, something familiar but catchy that’s both easy to remember and even easier for people to find. The more memorable, the more traffic wanting to check out your site.
- Avoid special characters. Numbers or hyphens can unnecessarily complicate an otherwise simple name. It’s also very easy for some to misplace where a character belongs in your domain name. Stick with letters, and if you must have a number, type it out.
- Keep your theme and business in mind. If your website is meant to sell t-shirts, don’t name it ShooFlyShoo, since that’s easily associated with footwear. You may think this limits your creative side a bit, but when generating traffic to your site, being a bit on the nose is perfectly acceptable.
- Finally, use the right extension. In most cases, the .com extension is perfectly okay. However, if yours is a non-profit, ecommerce, other non-standard website, several other extensions might be of better use to you.
Once you’ve decided on a name, enter it in the “new domain” box and click enter.
If the name is in use, Bluehost lets you know immediately, and you’ll be prompted to enter a new domain. Just remember if you’re looking for something popular or currently trendy, there’s a good chance it’s already spoken for, so have a couple of options ready just in case.
One more thing, if you’re having trouble coming up with a domain name, that’s no problem. You can finish your registration and come back later to determine the perfect name for your website. Bluehost credits your account, so you still receive the free domain name promotion.
Step #4: Enter Your Account Information
Now you’ll be asked for your name, address, and contact numbers and email.
After that’s entered, you’ll confirm your package selection. There are several additional items that you have the option of adding to your account. A few details are listed below:
- Domain Privacy Protection: For an additional $0.99 per month, this feature ensures you’ll keep your personal data private and the ownership of your domain anonymous.
- SiteLock Security – Find: For $1.99 a month, this feature verifies your information to customers and can help you confirm your legitimacy. This can be particularly helpful if you’re running an ecommerce site.
- Codeguard Basic: For $2.99 a month, this supplies added security by offering you the ability to backup your site. It’s by no means a necessity but is a useful add-on to have.
- Bluehost SEO Tools Start: For $2.99 a month this is meant to improve your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings.
Of these, we do recommend the Domain Privacy Protection. The other three options are not immediate requirements (although you should consider the SiteLock if you plan to run an ecommerce site) and you can uncheck them for your initial registration. You do have the option to add them later if necessary.
After that, you’ll fill out the payment info section, agree to the Bluehost terms and click submit.
Step #5: Install WordPress
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.
What to Do After You Sign up with Bluehost
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.
How to Install WordPress from Your New Bluehost Account
To remind you and calm you down (also because it feels good to repeat) let me say 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.
Step 2 – Pick your theme
If this is your first time signing in, you’ll be directed to choose a theme for your website. Themes (also sometimes referred to as templates) help you quickly build out a website with the tools and features necessary to create a dynamic internet presence.
The best part is that these themes are free.
You can always change your theme later, so don’t spend too much time worrying about which theme to pick. Choose the one that fits your design style, and select your choice.
Step 3 – Start building with WordPress
Once you select your theme, you’ll get taken to a screen with a large blue button that says “Start Building”. I’d suggest clicking this o start customizing your WordPress website. If you’d rather wait, you can click “Or go to my Bluehost account” to visit your Bluehost cPanel.
Step 4 – WordPress Admin Dashboard
Now you’re inside your WordPress dashboard. This is where you’ll customize your website, add posts, pages and much more. Bluehost offers two main options, from their Bluerock experience, to help you speed up the site building process.
You’ll see the prompt “What kind of site can we help you set up?”, with a button for Business and another for Personal. You can choose the most appropriate option, or click “I don’t need help” to set things up manually instead.
Step 5 – Get familiar with Bluehost’s admin panel inside of WordPress
In the left sidebar of the WordPress dashboard, there are several links. At the top, you’ll see one that says “Bluehost”.
This is only added for Bluehost customers, which serves to help make integrations and website setup quicker and easier. Take a few minutes to check out the options that are available, such as selling products with WooCommerce, adding blog posts and much more.
You can opt not to use this, and customize WordPress without Bluehost’s helper.
Step 6 – Create your website’s title and description
If you chose to use Bluehost’s helper in the last step, you would have clicked either the Business or Personal button.
In both cases, you’ll now be asked to enter in your website’s title and a brief description of what your site’s all about.
Access your WordPress Website in the Future
If you ever need to login to your WordPress website, you can do this pretty quickly by visiting 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.