WordPress is the ultimate tool for starting your own registration-free blog. And no blog style or look is complete without a selection of plugins, from the light and informational to the game-changing and innovative. Try WordPress free today and enjoy a full year of WordPress.com VIP’s premium support and services.
We’ve been talking about WordPress a lot around here lately, and getting started is easier than it looks. Whether you’re an old hand at blogging or new to the whole idea of setting up a blog, this guide will take you step-by-step through the process of getting your WordPress blog up and running, including adding a theme and your very first post.
Purchase hosting and your domain name
You’ve already decided on your blog niche? Great, then making your free WordPress blog accessible to people around the world or ready for search engine optimization requires two things:
- Hosting – this is the engine that powers your site. While you don’t “see it,” every single website on the internet has a hosting provider powering it.
- Domain – this is your blog’s permanent address. For example, ours is
themeisle.com. Check out this post if you need help coming up with a good name and finding out how custom domains work.
You can purchase your blog hosting and domain at the same time – so don’t worry too much about the nitty-gritty details right now. But before you can do that, you need to choose a WordPress host. Because of WordPress’ popularity, there are a huge number of WordPress hosts.
We’ve personally tested the performance and reliability of many hosting companies. With the results of all these experiments in mind, we can recommend Bluehost to new bloggers in the WordPress world.
- It’s affordable. You can host your site for the price of a small latte each month – it’s just $2.75 per month for your first 12 months.
- You get a free domain name when you sign up. This ties in with affordability – your own domain would otherwise cost $10+.
- You can easily install WordPress. With just a few clicks, you can launch the WordPress software and have a working blog. No tech knowledge needed!
- It has enough performance to get you started. When you’re just starting out, Bluehost offers plenty of performance to keep your site loading.
All in, it will cost you about $33 to host your blog at Bluehost for the entire year, which includes your free domain name. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check if your domain is available
Here’s a quick tool you can use to find out if the exact domain name you’re interested in is available:
That’s about as cheap as it’s going to get if you want to create a WordPress blog.
How to sign up for WordPress hosting at Bluehost
To get started, click here to go to Bluehost and unlock their special offer for Themeisle users ($2.75/mo). Then click on “Get Started Now” button. You’ll be taken to Bluehost plans.
For beginners, we recommend the cheap Basic plan because it packs plenty of power for your fledgling blog. Click the SELECT button to start the process:
On the next screen, enter the domain name you want to use for your blog in the new domain box and click Next. Your blog name should truly reflect the scope of your interest and be pretty straightforward. If you are not quite sure about it, Bluehost has a FAQ dedicated to the topic. Remember – you get this for free:
One click and you land on the final screen, where you’ll need to enter basic account and billing details at the top:
As you scroll down, you’ll see a Package Information section at the bottom. Here, you can choose how many years of hosting service to purchase, as well as any add-ons that you want. While Bluehost will check some of these add-ons by default, you can safely de-select them:
All in, you should pay around ~$35 for your domain name and one year of a hosting plan.
Once you’ve filled in all the information, click SUBMIT at the bottom to complete your purchase.
All right! Now, you can install all you need for your new blogging platform.
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.
Best for…non-techies who want some “regular website” functionality along with a blog.sponsored Wix is a free website builder that can be totally managed from the front-end. The main characteristic of this platform is that it comes with drag-and-drop options, so you don’t have to handle anything in the back-end. The design is very intuitive and modern, which can be used by both beginners and advanced.
The nice thing about Wix is that it has free hosting included, so you just need to arrange the layouts, pick a template, and you’re all set. It provides a nice collection of free and premium themes and templates for different purposes, including blogging.
To launch a Wix blog, just sign up and make a choice: you can either let the Wix ADI create a site for you based on a questionnaire or build your blog yourself – which includes selecting a template and arranging the layouts via the WYSIWYG editor. If you go with the second option, all you need to do is to find a beautiful template and start customizing everything on the front-end, in a live preview mode.
You can add multiple elements to your pages, from multimedia widgets to backgrounds, menus, typography, forms, video boxes etc. When you think the site is ready, click Publish and start blogging your stories. After publishing, you can return anytime to edit the content blocks.
Who would guess that you can create a blog to share your stories with the world — completely free — in less than five minutes? Start blogging right now just by clicking the button below.