WordPress is the next-generation blogging software. It’s easy to use, feature-packed, and requires no technical skill to operate. You’ll be able to install your blog in minutes and upgrade with a single click. WordPress is versatile too – with a simple arrangement of widgets you can promote your writing, show off your pictures and put up a calendar of events or news items.
WordPress has transformed the way people communicate on the internet. You can blog by using its easy to use software applications. It also serves as a shopping cart system and is great for information websites among many other uses.
Set Up Your Web Hosting and Domain Name
The first things you need before you start building your WordPress blog are a domain name and web hosting. Without these two things, there’s nowhere to install WordPress and have a website that lives on the internet.
To keep things simple, your domain name (or your web address) is what people will type into the address bar to access your website. While your web host is where you’ll store your website’s files. When someone types your domain name into the address bar, their web browser communicates with the server and displays your website’s files. In this case, those files will be your WordPress blog!
BONUS! If you buy a web hosting package for 1 year or longer, HostGator will give you a FREE domain for the first year.
Alright, let’s pick up a domain name and hosting account. Need help choosing the best domain name for your blog? Check out this article.
First, head over to the HostGator Managed WordPress Hosting page. You’ll see that there are a ton of different packages to choose from:
Generally, it’s a better idea to go with the Standard or the Business plan, as these plans give you the freedom to add more domains to your hosting account and also come equipped with more advanced features.
Once you’ve decided on your plan, click on the ‘Buy Now!’ button. On this next screen, you’ll be able to add a domain to your order.
The domain search feature is built into the signup page, so the tool will perform a search on any domain you enter and show you which domain name extensions are available.
Once you’ve found the perfect domain, then you can enter your payment information to complete your purchase and officially register it!
After you’ve finished signing up, you’ll receive an email from HostGator that contains your cPanel link. This control panel is what we’ll be using to install WordPress, so keep an eye out for this email before you proceed with the next step.
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
Choose and Customize Your WordPress Theme
Now you have the foundation laid. Your domain and hosting are purchased, and WordPress is installed on your site. But, you can’t start customizing your site just yet, to do that you’ll need to install a WordPress theme.
Themes are how WordPress handles site customization and adding new features to your site.
To install a new theme on your site, we’re going to first login to your WordPress dashboard. To do this, you’ll be using a link that looks something like ‘mywebsite.com/wp-admin.’ On this screen you’ll enter your username and password, and click ‘Login.’
This will bring you to your WordPress dashboard, which will be your home base for customizing your site. It’ll look more or less like the image below:
By default, our site will be using a basic WordPress theme, but you’ll probably want to change this out to a theme that better suits your site.
To do this navigate to Appearance>Themes on your left-hand navigation bar, then click ‘Add New.’ On the next screen, you’ll be able to choose between thousands of different free themes available from the WordPress themes repository.
You can sort themes via popularity, publish date, or even use the feature filter, or search for a specific name or keyword. We’re going to filter by most popular and see what kind of themes are available.
After a little scrolling, we found the ‘Escapade’ theme. This travel blog theme is perfect for an aspiring travel blogger. Once you’ve found a theme you like, you can click the ‘Preview’ button to get an idea for what the theme will look like, or go for it and click ‘Install.’
Once you click ‘Install’ WordPress will install the theme for you, all you have to do is click the ‘Activate’ button once the installer is complete.
Now, this theme will be the new face of your WordPress blog. You can further customize your site by navigating to Appearance>Customize. Here you’ll get a series of customization options like changing your site color scheme, adding a background image, changing your logo, and a lot more. The customization options you have will depend on the theme that you installed.
Feel free to spend time playing around with the Customization menu until you have a blog design that you’re happy with.
Go ahead and write your first blog post – you earned it!
Now that you learned how to create a WordPress blog, you’re probably excited to get to blogging!
We’ll show you how to change how your blog looks and functions in a second. But first, let’s go over just how easy it is to start blogging on your new website.
When you first log in to your blog’s WordPress dashboard, you should see a screen like this:
To write a blog post:
- Hover over Posts
- Click Add New
This will launch the WordPress Editor, which lets you write your blog posts using a really intuitive block system.
To add text, you just click and type. For other content – like an image or an embedded YouTube video, you can add new “blocks.” To help you use the editor, you can follow our detailed guide here or our more high-level guide here.
Create a Site Menu for Your WordPress Blog
To make site navigation easier, you’re going to need to create a site navigation menu. Your theme might have already created a basic menu for your site. But, if not, here’s how you get to your menu section and create a new menu.
Within your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Appearance>Menus.
On this screen, you’ll be able to create new menu items, rearrange your menus, choose from existing pages, and assign your menus to different locations on your site.
Here’s how to change how your blog looks
When you create a WordPress blog, one of the major benefits that you get is access to WordPress’ huge collection of themes and plugins. Here’s a quick overview of the two:
Themes – these change how your free WordPress blog looks
Plugins – these add functionality to your blog
We’ll cover the former in this section.
As soon as you create a WordPress blog, you already have a theme active. This is either the default WordPress theme or the theme that you chose during the Bluehost Setup Wizard.
But there are actually thousands of blog themes available for WordPress sites (many of them are open source like WordPress itself), so you’re by no means limited to that small selection that Bluehost shows you initially.
Add New Pages to Your WordPress Blog
WordPress treats your pages in a similar fashion to your posts. But, in our case, our pages will be things like our home page, about page, contact page, and more.
Almost every kind of website will need these standard pages. They might have come pre-created when WordPress was installed. But, if not, then you’ll want to create these yourself.
To do this navigate to Pages>Add New.
Then, once you’re satisfied with your page, click ‘Publish’ and you’re good to go.
To manage all of your website pages and see which ones you’ve published you can navigate to Pages>All Pages, and this will give you a list of every page you’ve created so far:
As you can see from the image above, there are duplicate pages that can be deleted.
WordPress.com is the easiest way to create a beautiful website or blog. We’ll host it for you. You can build your site on your own schedule and with no technical expertise.