If you’re thinking of starting your own blog to share your thoughts with the world, then you are in the right place. This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through everything you need to do to get started and set up your own self hosted WordPress blog in under 20 minutes. Let’s get started…
Here are the topics that will be covered:
- Choose a Blog topic
- Choose a domain name
- Register a domain name
- Get a web hosting account
- Point domain name to web host
- Install wordpress
Tools needed to start a Self hosted WordPress Blog
- Domain name
- Web hosting account
- Blogging software
Step 1: Choose a Niche Topic
A niche blog is one that focuses on one specific topic.
First, you need to think about what the purpose of your blog is. It helps you stay focused on your content and help your visitors to understand what your blog is about. Some example blog niches are lifestyle, tech, fashion, photography, travel and health.
There is no absolute necessity that you should come up with a niche topic but it will definitely help you to connect with like minded people that share the same interests as you.
Must Read: How to choose niche topic for your blog
Step 2: Choose a right domain name for your Blog
A domain name is basically your web address that people will use to find your blog on the internet. There are few things to keep in mind before you rush out and purchase a domain name. Here are a few tips to choose a right domain name for your blog.
- Must Read: 9 Tips to choose a good domain name
Also ensure that there will be no legal problems with the domain name you choose. The wrong domain selection can get you into trouble and cause you much difficulty later on. You need to consider several factors before registering your domain name, so you won’t have any regret afterwards.
- Must Read: 4 Things to consider before registering a Domain name
Step 3: Register a Domain Name
Once you have chosen the domain name you want, it’s time to get it registered with a reliable domain name registrar.
There are a lot of places to buy your domain name from. However, Godaddy and NameCheap are the two most popular and reputable domain name registrars out there. I personally recommend GoDaddy as your domain registrar because they are cheap and their customer support is top notch. Note that I do not recommend them for their hosting services.
1. Go to Godaddy.com
2. Enter the domain name you would like to register and click on the ‘Search’ button.
3. If the domain is available for registration, click on Continue to Cart.
4. On the next screen, you will be presented with few add-ons such as privacy protection, Hosting and email storage. You can opt for “privacy protection” if you want to hide your personal info from being displayed to the public. Ignore the remaining options for now and click on “Continue to Cart”.
5. Next, you will be asked to review your purchase. Here you can choose how many years you wish to register the domain name for. I recommend you select 1 year registration length for your first domain.
If you have a coupon code, scroll down the page to where it says “Have a Promo code?”, then click on it and apply your code. Once you apply this promo code, your cart will update with the lower price applied. Review your order, then click ‘Proceed to Checkout’.
6. Next you are required to fill in your Billing Information, Account Information and Payment Information as prompted. Make sure that you use an email address that you check frequently. That way you will always be able to receive notifications on the status of your domain.
7. Once done, click on Continue to complete your purchase.
That’s it! You are now the proud owner of a brand new domain name. You will receive an email with important information as soon as the purchase is complete.
Step 4: Get A Web Hosting Account
Once you get a domain name, you’ll need a web hosting account to upload your web pages, images, videos, etc… I recommend going with a web host that is reputable and specializes in hosting WordPress websites/blogs.
For this tutorial, I am using bluehost.com because it’s reliable, inexpensive, and also the official recommended hosting provider by WordPress. You can read an in-depth review of Bluehost here.
1. Go to Bluehost and click “get started now”.
2. BlueHost has 3 different plans to choose from: basic, plus and pro. The “basic” and “plus” plans are more than enough for most of the people.
For newbie bloggers, I recommend choosing the basic plan because it’s the least expensive and offers everything you’ll ever need to get started. The “Plus” plan allows you to host Unlimited Sites along with Unlimited Bandwidth, space and email accounts. Note that you can upgrade your plan at any time.
Choose the hosting package you want and click “select”.
3. Enter your domain name on right if you already have one.
4. Account, Package & Billing information
Fill in your account information on required fields.
Next, choose your account plan wisely. To help you save a lot of money on your subscription, I highly recommend you sign up for 36 months instead of a shorter one.
After you’ve filled in your billing information, click the “Next” button to complete your purchase.
That’s it. You should now receive an email from BlueHost containing all your account and login details.
Step 5: Point your Domain to your web host
Because you bought your domain name from Godaddy and hosting account from Bluehost, you need to tell your domain to point to your web host’s servers.
To do this, first you need to know the name servers of your web host. Bluehost’s nameservers are ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com. You will then need to add these info into your domain registrar’s account.
Follow these steps below and it is very easy!
1. Log in to your Godaddy account.
2. Hover over your name in the upper right corner and click on “My Products”.
3. In the “Domains” section, select the domain you wish to point to Bluehost nameservers and click on “Manage DNS”.
4. In the “Nameservers” section, hit the “Manage” button.
5. Be sure the radio button next to “Custom” is selected and click “Edit Nameservers”.
6. Replace the existing nameservers listed in each box with the nameservers provided below:
7. Save your changes and you’re done! Your domain will be connected to your hosting account in a matter of minutes – sometimes it may take up to 24 hours or more.
8. The next step is to assign this domain name to your hosting account. Go back to bluehost.com and login to your control panel using the credentials you received by email from them earlier.
9. Once you’re logged into cPanel, click on the Domains tab at the top of the screen.
10. Under Shortcuts menu, click on the “Assign a domain to your cPanel account” link.
11. On this page, type in the new domain name under “Use a domain that is not already associated with your account” and Bluehost will verify that your DNS is correctly pointed to Bluehost’s servers. If you have any error in this step, then wait for few hours until DNS propagation finishes.
12. In the next step, you need to choose between either an Addon Domain or a Parked Domain. Since we are going to host a brand new domain, we need to select “Addon domain”.
13. Under step 4, Select “Create a new directory” and type in the name of your domain.
14. Next “click assign this domain” to complete the process and you can see your new domain listed in the domain list tab.
Step 6: Install WordPress with Bluehost 1-click install
Now that you have your domain name and hosting account, the next step is to install WordPress. For those of you who don’t know, WordPress is a software that helps you create and manage your own blog or website.
To install WordPress with Bluehost, follow the steps below.
1. In your cPanel, click on the Install WordPress under “Website Builders”.
2. Click the Install button to begin the installation process.
3. Choose the domain you want to install WordPress on (you can leave the “directory” field blank). I always prefer to use non-www version of domain. Then click “Check Domain” to proceed.
4. Check “Show advanced options” and enter in your site title, admin username and password fields. It is recommended to use a unique admin username and a strong password for security purposes.
5. Make sure “Automatically create a new database for this installation” and “I have read the terms and conditions” boxes are checked. Then click Install Now button. You’ll see the progress of the install at the top of the page.
After the installation is complete, click “View Credentials” to see all of your login information. These information will be used to login to the backend of your WordPress blog. So it’s a good idea to save these details somewhere safe. You will also receive an email with your login information as soon as the installation is complete.
Congrats, you now have your own blog. You can access your WordPress dashboard by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin in your browser.
Wait, you’re not yet ready to start working on content. There are still some checklist of things you need to do after installing WordPress to improve the user experience and SEO of your website or blog. I recommend checking out my post on Things to do after installing WordPress before you do anything else on your blog.
If you have any questions with this process, feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.