So you want to know how to start a WordPress blog! Perfect. I’ll guide you through, step by step, on how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog.
WordPress is incredibly popular and a top choice to go with if you want it to have the best chance of blogging success from the beginning. Being “self-hosted” means you own all your blog content and you can create the exact type of blog that YOU want.
I originally created Blog Pixie for free at Blogspot.com. Everything changed when I decided to move to self-hosted WordPress… it was one of the best decisions I’ve made and I wish I’d done it sooner!
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. I will always only recommend brands I trust and ones I think you’ll love too.
We need to get your blog happening! The platform I recommend most if you want a successful blog is self-hosted WordPress. This is different from creating a blog (free or paid) at WordPress.com
Benefits of Self-Hosted WordPress
- You can create an inspiring website/blog
- You can make money with your blog and run your very own online store
- When you purchase hosting you can get your domain for free and it’s automatically added to your blog
- You can install custom WordPress themes (something free WordPress doesn’t let you do!)
- You can install easy-to-use Plugins to your blog to add functionality rather than messing around with HTML
- You can easily boost your SEO and rank higher in Google
- It’s the best platform if you’re working towards having a successful blog.
I highly recommend creating your blog with WordPress, as you can make your blog a stunning website, rather than “just a blog”. You will be able to run your own business and make money with your blog. Blog Pixie is a self-hosted WordPress blog. It’s the best investment I’ve made and I now have a beautiful, interactive website (and you can too)!
When you’re just starting out there are some blogging terms that may seem a bit confusing, so I’ll try and make it easy for you:
Domain – Your domain is your web address, your home on the internet. When people type your domain into the web address bar, they’ll land on your blog. The domain for Blog Pixie is www.blogpixie.com, so your domain would be www.whateveryouwant.com
WordPress – WordPress is a web-creation platform which is installed to your hosting account. It’s where you go to run your blog, just like opening a program on your computer. It allows you to create a blog, change the look of it, publish posts, pages and run an online store.
Hosting – Web hosting is the service that makes your blog appear live online at your domain. If you didn’t pay for web hosting and went straight to your domain, nothing would be showing there. All your website files (your theme, posts, images, content) that you upload to WordPress are pushed live by your hosting.
All three of the above are required to have your own online space, and the best thing is that you can organise all of them in one go. Instructions below!
You can get everything you need at Bluehost. This is the #1 recommended hosting website for WordPress blogs and websites and it’s so fast and easy to set up.
If you sign up for hosting with Bluehost, they’ll include your domain for free and connect it with your blog straight away – you don’t have to worry about purchasing your domain somewhere else and any other complicated technical steps. They also install WordPress for you as you’re signing up. Everything is done for you in one go!
Go to Bluehost and you will land on their home screen, where you’ll see this banner. Click on the green ‘get started now’ button.
Next you need to select your plan. If you’re just starting out, the first package has everything you need.
The basic plan includes:
- Your domain
Make your blog look professional from the beginning with a web address (www.yourblogname.com) instead of yourblog.blogspot.com or yourblog.wix.com
Paying for the space to keep all your blog content safe and making it appear live online
- The perfect amount of hosting space
Lots of space to upload all your blog images, products and content
- 5 email accounts
So you can have firstname.lastname@example.org as a stylish email address, instead of a gmail or hotmail address
Now you’ll need to choose your domain (www.yourblog.com). This can take some time, trying to find one that hasn’t already been taken. Try and find the closest domain you can to your blog or business name (need help choosing a blog name?). The shorter it is, the more memorable it will be.
Once you’ve clicked next, you’ll land on a page where you have to fill your info in. This is your main information for your Bluehost account. Make sure your email address is correct, as this will be the email Bluehost uses to contact you.
On the same page, you’ll need to confirm your plan and account information.
Next to Account Plan, choose exactly which one you’d like (I know, again!), and it will let you know next to ‘Hosting Price’ what the total for that package comes to.
The extra options with checkboxes underneath aren’t necessary, but it’s up to you. Read ‘more information’ besides each one to see if you want them. Otherwise, uncheck all.
At the bottom you will see the total amount you’ll be paying to Bluehost (depending on which account plan you’ve chosen).
Down the bottom of the same page, is the area where you fill in your payment details. Have a read of their Terms Of Service and Cancellation Policy, and then click Submit.
Next you will need to create your Bluehost password.
You can see your menu on the left which has all the sections you need, including Posts (to publish blog posts), Pages (to create your About and Contact pages) and Appearance (to change your theme).
5. Install a Blog Theme
Now we’re at the fun part. Installing a blog theme changes the appearance and layout of your blog/website. It’s all the complicated coding done for you, in one file which you simply have to upload to your blog. You don’t need to hire a web developer to design it all for you if you install a theme.
There are so many different themes to choose from – some with a side bar, some just a header and body section. When you preview themes, ignore what content is currently in the preview. Imagine your content (logo, posts, photos, writing) in there. A theme just organises where your content is going to be displayed on your blog.
The best theme to start off with is one of my own – Cassidy. If you’re just getting into WordPress, you should want your blog to look professional yet be easy to run and change things yourself.
Cassidy for WordPress has an easy installation guide, it’s very simple and perfect for new bloggers. You can add your own header image, menu and widgets in the side bar. You can also change the main color of the theme to any color you like.