WordPress.com is a free blog hosting service, built on the WordPress software platform that allows anyone to start a blog or website. No technical skills are required and it will only take you 5 minutes to set up your free blog. Treat it as your own and have as much fun with it as you like – we don’t mind!
Start your free blog on WordPress.com and not only do we host it but there are plenty of themes to make it look great. Post about your travels, family, home or business using the blogging software that has earned 400+ MILLION DOLLARS in sales. Easy to use and made for everyone from the casual user to the advanced tech expert.
The biggest mistake beginners make when building a blog is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Thankfully you’re here, so you won’t be making that mistake.
For 95% of users, it makes more sense to use WordPress.org also known as self-hosted WordPress. Why?
Because it is open source meaning 100% free to use, you can install plugins, customize your blog design, and most importantly make money from your blog without any restrictions (see the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).
WordPress is also the number one website platform used by all successful blogs. To put in perspective, 42% of all websites on the internet use WordPress!
Now you might be wondering why is WordPress free? What’s the catch?
There’s no catch. It’s free because you have to do the setup and host it yourself.
In other words, you need a domain name and web hosting.
A domain name is what people type to get to your website. It’s your website’s address on the internet. Think google.com or wpbeginner.com
Web hosting is where your website files live. It’s your website’s house on the internet. Every website needs web hosting.
A new domain name typically costs around $14.99 / year, and web hosting plans normally costs $7.99 / month.
That’s a lot of money for beginners who are just starting out.
Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies on the internet. They are also the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting because they host millions of websites including many of our own.On top of all this, Bluehost has been working with WordPress since 2005, and they are committed to giving back. That’s why they have promised us that if you cannot get your blog online within 30 minutes by following this tutorial, then our expert team will complete the process for you without any cost. They will compensate us, so you don’t have to. Contact us for free blog setup help.
NOTE: At WPBeginner we believe in transparency. If you sign up with Bluehost using our referral link, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). We would get this commission for recommending just about any WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend products that we use personally use and believe will add value to our readers.
Let’s go ahead and purchase your domain + hosting.
Open up Bluehost in a new window and follow along.
First thing you need to do is click on the green Get Started Now button to get started.
On the next screen, select the plan that you need (basic and plus are the most popular).
After that, you will be asked to enter the domain name for your website.
Lastly, you will need to add your account information and finalize the package info to complete the process. We recommend going with the 36-month plan because that’s the best value. It lets you extend the first-year savings to 3 years.
On this screen, you will see optional extras that you can purchase. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you purchase these, but we generally don’t recommend purchasing them right away. You can always add them later on, if you decide that you need them.
Once completed, you will receive an email with details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you manage everything from support, emails, among other things. But most importantly, this is where you install WordPress.
Install the free WordPress software
If you want to create a WordPress blog, you’re going to, unsurprisingly, need to install the WordPress software.
We know this might sound a little intimidating – but we think you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to install WordPress.
When you completed the sign-up process in the previous step, you should have received an email from Bluehost with details on how to log in to the Bluehost Customer Area.
Go ahead and log in to Bluehost.
As soon as you log in for the first time, Bluehost will give you a simple wizard that takes you through the process of installing WordPress on your new site.
Don’t see the setup wizard? No worries, it’s still really easy to install WordPress with Bluehost. Just go to the My Sites area and click the Create Site button to launch the wizard:
Then, you’ll be able to fill in all the important details for your site’s name and the username/password that you’ll use to manage your WordPress blog:
Once you finish the install process, you can access your new blog’s dashboard by going to
Confirm email and Activate Blog
Once you are done with step 1, you would be able to see a screen like the below one, which will ask you to confirm your E-mail Address.
Head over to your email and Click on Activate Blog! in order to confirm the Address. The email you get would look like the one shown below.
Selecting Your WordPress Theme
The visual appearance of your WordPress blog is controlled by blog themes. When you first visit your blog, it will look something like this:
This is not very appealing to most people.
Customizing the look and feel of your blog is by far one of the most exciting and rewarding part in the journey of creating your WordPress blog.
There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can install on your site. Some of them are free themes, while others are paid premium themes.
You can change your theme by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Appearance » Themes.
Go ahead and click on the Add New button.
On the next screen, you will able to search from 9,100+ free WordPress themes that are available in the official WordPress.org themes directory. You can sort by popular, latest, featured, as well as other feature filters (i.e industry, layout, etc).
You can take your mouse over to a new theme, and you will see a Preview button. Clicking on it will open the theme preview where you can see how the design would look on your website.
The preview of your theme may not look exactly as shown in the screenshot, which is normal as you will get to customize and set it up later. What you need to look for is design, colors, typography, and other elements.
The best tip to select the perfect WordPress theme is to strive for simplicity in design. It helps you keep things clean and clear while offering a good experience to your users.
If you need help selecting a theme, then please refer to our guide on 9 things you should consider when selecting a perfect WordPress theme.
When you have found the theme that you like, simply bring your mouse on it, and it will show the Install button. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. After that, the install button will be replaced with an Activate button. You need to click on it to Activate the theme.
Once you have installed your theme, you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu.
Depending on the theme you choose, there will be built-in widgets and customization options that lets you tweak your blog design.
These plugins give you more design control than what you get with Wix or Squarespace, while giving you the full freedom of the powerful WordPress content management system.
Once you have selected your WordPress theme, you are now ready to create your first blog post.
Pick A Plan
Once you have completed the basics steps above (including your blog name), you need to click on the “Select Free” button.
There is no need to use the paid version since it’s quite expensive and does not give you many advantages. In fact, you can get the exact same service for less with my preferred host here.
Create your account
E-mail Address: That’s obviously the e-mail address you are using the most. In my case, it would be a Gmail account.
Username: Doesn’t really matter. I tried to use my personal name, but unfortunately, it was taken. If your desirable username is not free, then add some numbers until it’s unique. Don’t worry, this will not be your blog name.
Password: Strong one! I suggest you use special characters like “^^” or “(/&#” and different numbers. There are lots of ugly hackers trying to break into blogs lately.
The easiest way to begin writing your blog is to first start a free blog in WordPress. Whether you are new to blogging or already have a blog, WordPress can host it for free. This article shows you how to start your own free blog on WordPress