Today, we’re going to show you how to start a blog on WordPress step-by-step in 15 minutes or less. If you’re new to the blogging world you may be rolling your eyes at me right now as you stare into your computer screen that has approximately 47,255,864 tabs open across the top of your browser.
Now before we start I want to assure you that while starting a blog, especially a blog on WordPress, may seem daunting at first it really is anything but! In fact, because WordPress is one of the most used platforms in the world for blogging the process has been simplified to nearly effortless by major hosting and domain services vying for your business. With that in mind I’m going to walk you through step-by-step exactly what you need to do to start your very own blog using WordPress. (Please note: this post is intended to help you start a blog in 2017. While we will try and update this as new information exists, please recognize that some slight variations may occur as time goes on. Overall though, this tutorial should stand the test of time).
We’re going to give you two pathways to start your blog on WordPress. First, we are going to walk you through the process with SiteGround. Second, we will walk you through the process with Bluehost. Both of these services come with our complete confidence. We have personally researched, used, and talked with others about both of these services and so we love that we get to recommend them to you. Need to learn more about hosting providers? Check out our post “How to pick a hosting provider: Godaddy vs Bluehost vs SiteGround vs HostGator”). Okay okay, that’s enough.
PATHWAY #1: WordPress With SiteGround
Get Ready: Before You Start
Starting an awesome blog on WordPress will cost money, but I assure you it’s money you will not regret spending. You may be thinking, “Can’t I just use a free service?” Sure there are free services out there but when you think about the long-term goals of your blog I highly recommend you invest in WordPress and the small cost that comes with it. There are so many options that become available to you when you use WordPress instead of other services like Blogger or Medium or something else. So have a credit card handy to make a couple valuable investments!
Step 1: Pick A Subject Matter
You might be looking to start your blog because you have professional experience in a certain area. Maybe you are a finance expert or a entrepreneur. Maybe you have a hobby that leaves you wanting to tell others everything about it.
Both Jaimee and I have blogged about a whole range of subjects over the past decade ranging from theology to photography to business and blogging and interior design. If you can think it, you can blog it. Be creative, but remember, unless you’re passionate about what it is you start to blog about, it will be hard to stay excited about it as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months.
Once you have your subject matter…
Step 2: Choose a SiteGround Hosting Level
SiteGround is one of the top hosting providers of 2017 and has three plans and you can sign up for and each of them come with a tremendous discount through our website. You will be able to start your WordPress site for as little as $3.95/month!
Since this is probably the first site you are starting and don’t have the needs of someone starting a lot of websites at one we definitely recommend that you go with the StartUp level.
Step 3: Choose a Domain Name
This may be simultaneously the most fun and most difficult part of the whole process. You see, so many unique names have already been taken by the millions of people online. But when you finally think of one that is short enough to be memorable and creative enough to not be taken you literally feel like you’ve conquered a major feat.
With Siteground you can purchase a brand new domain name or you can connect an existing one. This comes in handy if you’ve already bought a domain elsewhere that you aren’t using yet. Now, we try and be as transparent as possible and because of that I want to make sure you recognize that a domain through Siteground may cost you $14.95. This is around $5/year more than you may pay elsewhere, but to me it’s worth the extra few dollars to have everything for your site in one place. So, go ahead, pick your domain name. This is the custom web address that your WordPress blog will have so pick something you love!
Step 4: Pick A Term Length and Purchase
One of the biggest things I love about SiteGround is their customer service commitment. They always look out for you! This is seen in their huge discount for all term lengths. Most hosting services only give you their largest discounts with a 4 or a 5 year commitment, but with SiteGround you get the same great discount with a 1 year term!
In addition to choosing the length of your term, you can also choose any extras that you may want. Domain registration is free for the first year. You also have the option of adding Domain Privacy and/or HackAlert Monitoring to your account. Currently these services cost an additional $12 each per year.
Domain Privacy will make it so that your personal information – like your address and phone number – don’t show up when people look at your domain information. Domain information is public by default so without Domain Privacy people can easily get ahold of private information about you. HackAlert lets you know if your website has been hacked. This is available by other means later on within WordPress.
You don’t need either of these, but Domain Privacy is a nice feature if you want to keep your personal information as secure as possible
Done! You’ve now completed this part of the process. Now that you have your own hosting and domain we just need to install WordPress. Only about 5 minutes left and you’ll be done!
Step 5: Install WordPress with SiteGround
As soon as you finish the purchase you will be sent immediately to the SiteGround Setup Wizard. Simply follow the prompts and select “WordPress” when it asks which software you will use.
Next you will create WordPress login information. Select a username and password that you will remember but let us stress to you the importance of selecting a secure password. One hacker could take down your entire site so pick your password very carefully.
Step 6: Choose Your Website Theme
SiteGround comes standard with several free theme options. You can select one of these and then within WordPress you change it to one of their free ones if you find one you like better.
If none of the free themes are up to your standard we love Station 7 and currently use multiple themes from them for our several websites. If you’re looking for a more feminine feel we also LOVE the great people over at Restored316 Designs. Grab one of their themes here.
If you do choose to purchase a premium WordPress theme for your new blog you will need to upload it by logging into your WordPress dashboard and selecting Appearance > Themes > Add New. Here you will be able to upload the zip file that you purchased.
For more advanced information on uploading your premium theme check out this blog post focusing on WordPress themes.
Step 7: Complete WordPress Blog in 10 Minutes!
And just like that you have a WordPress blog ready to use. Just a note for you at this point. Some people forget how to login to their new WordPress site after this first session is completed. Never fear! This is very easy. To login just type in your new url followed by “/wp-admin” (http://yournewdomain.com/wp-admin).
We hope you enjoy your new site and we truly hope you love working with SiteGround. We would never recommend a product to our readers that we weren’t sure was going to be a great tool for them. If you have any further questions or concerns please comment below and we will try our best to answer each and every request.
Pathway #2: WordPress with Bluehost
Step 1: Purchase your WordPress hosting package
Maybe after reading our first option about starting a new WordPress site with SiteGround you’ve decided you much prefer to do business with a name you’ve probably heard of. This isn’t uncommon and really we don’t think it’s a bad idea either. Although BlueHost isn’t our first choice for overall satisfaction and performance we still recommend it because we’ve used it and we think it gets the job done with very minimal effort and for the cheapest possible!
So, first, open up BlueHost in a new window and follow along with this step by step guide to starting your new blog with BlueHost.
First, click the green “Get Started Now” button at BlueHost.
You can add unlimited websites and blogs to your BlueHost account so don’t worry too much if you’re not totally sold on your current domain name idea.
As you can see below, the same screen has some optional extras. It is up to you whether or not you purchase these but I would generally recommend you buy the Domain privacy. This keeps your personal details private. We’ve already mentioned why our family believes this is a worthwhile extra investment.
Step 2: Install WordPress from your cPanel
Now that you have purchased your domain name and hosting package you will get given access to something called a cPanel. This is the dashboard of your hosting and has dozens of options and features that you can setup. For now don’t worry about most of them. We’re only interested in one thing right now: How to get started on WordPress.
Scroll down until you find the icon that says Install WordPress. In just a couple of clicks WordPress will be set up on your new site.
And now you’re done!
Once it has finished the installation it will give you a confirmation screening showing you your unique WordPress login URL that will look like this:
Copy this and bookmark it and make sure you write down your username and password on a piece of paper. Never write this information down on your computer. This URL is where you go when you want to write posts, change WordPress themes, etc.
Step 3: Change your theme and start blogging!
The final step in the process is to select your theme. We’ve already mentioned that we love Beautiful Dawn Designs as well as Tesla themes. If none of these are for you then definitely check out ThemeForest as they have thousands and thousands of options for blog themes.
To change your theme simply login to your WordPress dashboard using the URL we got above and go APPEARANCE > THEMES > ADD NEW and then use the search box to find a theme that suits your needs. There are literally thousands to choose from.
Now you are ready to start blogging on your new WordPress blog! The whole process from sign up to installing a theme can literally be finished in ten minutes or less. Just follow this tutorial and if you run in to any problems you can ask one of BlueHost’s amazing live support crew for help. They are there 24 hours a day. Or feel free to reach out to me in the comments section of this blog post. I will do my best to answer each one.
We love seeing what our readers create, so please reach out and comment below with your website’s url!