April 22, 2016 Blogging TipsHow to Start a Blog in 5 Minutes or Less I think we can all agree that one of the hardest things about blogging is actually getting started. The thought of launching a website with no web experience can be incredibly daunting and enough to make you change your mind. A few years ago we found ourselves in the very same place. Hosting? Domain names? FTP? Huh?!?! Thankfully we learned that all those big words aren’t nearly as scary as they sound and that launching a WordPress blog is a simple as taking 5 minutes out of your day and committing to doing it. If you’re debating which platform (we know, there are so many) to start your blog on, let us give you a little advice — start with WordPress! There are actually two versions of WordPress and we highly suggest you go the self-hosted route! You can read about the differences here. Self-hosted WordPress is the most versatile and is the only version where you actually own your site. Every serious blogger we know has their site on WordPress, and those who started on Blogger and SquareSpace tell us their only regret was not starting on WordPress first. Why? Transferring your site down the line can be a hassle and lead to headaches and at worst, lost content. Yes, the self-hosted version is slightly more complicated, but ever so slightly! Today, we’re walking you through how to launch your own self-hosted (100% owned by YOU!) WordPress blog with hosting from Bluehost. Jess and I both use Bluehost for our personal blogs and this site is also hosted on Bluehost! Over the years, I’ve worked with so many different bloggers on different hosts and Bluehost continues to be the very best option for affordable and reliable hosting. If you have any questions about Bluehost, simply leave a comment below and we’ll answer! Let’s get started, shall we?! STEP ONE: HOSTING PLAN Chances are you probably already know what you want to call your blog, if not, make sure to figure that out before you get started! Head over to Bluehost and click on the big green button that says ‘Get Started Here’! You’ll land here and be prompted to select a plan. We recommend the ‘Plus’ plan to start because of that unmetered website space (blogs with lots images can get big fast!). As your site grows, you can easily upgrade to Pro or even other more specialized plans when necessary! STEP TWO: DOMAIN NAME After you select your plan, you’ll land here to either use a domain you own or pick a new one. Fun fact: Bluehost gives you a free domain when you purchase hosting, so if you haven’t bought one yet, hold off until this step! If you bought a domain on a different website, that’s okay. You can easily transfer it later on! Hit next and you’ll be guided through the purchase process. Once that’s all done, we’ll install WordPress! STEP THREE: INSTALL WORDPRESS When you’re logged into your hosting panel, you should see this screen. It may look slightly different, but in general it should look the same! You’ll notice various sections under here — find ‘Website’ and then click on the icon that says ‘Install WordPress’. Once you’re here, Bluehost gives you two options — set up WordPress by yourself or have them do it for you. You could have them do it, but that money is better spent on a pretty design or fancy new lens! The good news is that the DIY option is insanely simple. Plus, you’re a girl boss, so let’s get to it! Hit the big ‘Install’ button under the ‘Do it Yourself’ option. STEP 4: SELECT DOMAIN Click on the drop down menu and select which URL you want to install WordPress on and hit ‘Check Domain’ and move onto step 5! *If you’re not seeing your domain, don’t fret! Sometimes a domain doesn’t get assigned when you first create it. If this is the case, go back to your cPanel and click on ‘Domains’ on the top tab. Then find your domain in the list. If you only have one, then it should be easy. To the right side of the domain it will say ‘Add-On, Parked or Unassigned’, click on this link! If you only have one website/domain on your hosting account, you can make it a ‘Parked’ domain. If you have multiple sites that you host on the same account, make it an ‘Add-On’ domain and let Bluehost create a new directory for you. Once that’s done, you can go back to installing WordPress — almost done! STEP 5: ADVANCED OPTIONS After checking your domain, a box will pop up and give you the option to select ‘Advanced Options’ — check that box and these options will appear! Fill them in appropriately and agree to the terms and conditions before hitting ‘Install Now’. STEP 6: WAIT PATIENTLY Once you hit ‘Install Now’ you’ll be taken to this screen where it shows the progress of your install at the top. It typically takes just a few seconds! Your site is installed! Click on the ‘View Credentials’ button. From here you can view your credentials by clicking the ‘View’ button. Make sure to memorize these or write them down and put them somewhere safe as they disappear from the backend after 12 hours. Well, congrats! You did it! Easy, right? All that’s left is logging in and writing that first post! BONUS STEP: LOGIN TO YOUR BLOG I remember being so confused on how to actually log in to my WordPress blog, but it’s actually super easy. Go to your domain and then add the extension /wp-login.php, like this: yourdomainname.com/wp-login.php. Use your login credentials here and you’re in!