Step 2: Get Your Blog Online – Domain Name and Hosting
You’ve made it this far already, good job!
Now that you have the topic and the name for your blog figured out, it’s time to pull out the big guns: let’s get your blog online next.
I know this part can feel a bit technical and even scary at first, but don’t worry. I’m here to walk you through it.
Getting the technical stuff right in the beginning is critical when you start a blog from scratch. But you can use a few simple tricks to setup everything properly, even with no experience.
In this part, I’ll share with you the best tips for making sure your blog has a robust technical setup from the beginning.
Follow This Guide to Save Hundreds of Hours of Work
When I first started my very first blog, I made heaps of rookie mistakes that would have been really easy to avoid. But I was just getting started with blogs and websites, so I knew nothing about domains, hosting, or web servers.
I learned from each mistake I made and wrote this guide for you so that you can relax and be sure that you’ll get everything right the first time around.
Just follow the guide below carefully, take one step at a time and you’ll have your very own blog online in just 15 minutes!
Getting your blog online is easier than you think, trust me!
Please note: This guide contains affiliate links to products I use, trust, and recommend. If you choose to purchase a product using these links, I may receive a small commission for referring you – at no extra cost to you.
5 Steps For Starting Your Blog:
How to Get Your Blog Online: Domain Name Registration and Hosting
Ok, so this step is the most technical one when you’re starting a blog. So, if it feels difficult at any point, just remember that this guide is here to help you.
In just 10 minutes, you’ll already be done with the whole thing!
Let’s start with a couple of questions and answers first:
What is a domain name?
To get your blog online, you will need to register a domain name for it. Your domain name is simply what people type into their browser to find and visit your blog.
For example, my blog domain name for Blogging Explorer is “bloggingexplorer.com”:
What is blog hosting?
Your blog consists of files and data stored on a web server. This server is like a home for your blog, where all the files live. Your web hosting provider is the landlord for your blog, renting web server space for you and making your website accessible.
Without a domain name, your website visitors won’t have a memorable way to get to your website. And without a hosting account, there won’t be a website to go to.
You must have a web hosting account in order to create your blog. Also, you will need a blogging software to write your blog.
The best blogging software for you: WordPress.org
There’s one more big tool you’ll need: a blogging software.
A blogging software is a program that your blog hosting provider will install for you. It’s the system you use to create and manage your blog. You write your blog posts and customize the design of your blog using the blogging software.
If this all sounds too technical, don’t worry. I’ll show you exactly how to get started with the most popular blogging software worldwide.
In this beginner’s blog setup guide I will show you how to create and setup a blog using the WordPress.org blogging software.
WordPress is the easiest software to use – therefore it’s also the most popular one.
As of late 2018, almost 60% of all blogs worldwide used WordPress as their blogging software. Knowing there’s a big global community using WordPress means it’s not going anywhere. You can blog using WordPress now, in 3 years, and probably in 10 years, too.
What is the best blog hosting provider for beginners?
As for the domain name and hosting, you are free to choose between the different providers out there. To make things easier for you, I suggest you get your domain name and hosting from the same provider.
The blog host I recommend in this guide is called Bluehost.com.
In the step-by-step tutorial below, I will show you how to create your blog with them from scratch.
I use Bluehost for my web projects (including this one) because:
- They register your blog name and domain name for you for free.
- Their signup process is easy and quick – I’ll show you how it works in just a second.
- They offer a free, automatic installation of the WordPress blogging software I just mentioned above.
- Their helpful and friendly customer service is there for you 24/7 for any questions you may have.
- They offer a money-back-guarantee if you choose to cancel your account for any reason.
In short: with Bluehost, there really is no risk.
Exclusive Blog Hosting Deal for My Readers
As if Bluehost wasn’t amazing enough already, there’s more:
I know you don’t want to spend more money than necessary when you’re starting your first blog. That’s why I’ve negotiated a special deal for you with Bluehost.
With Blogging Explorer, you get access to an exclusive blog hosting plan starting at just $2.95 per month! That’s less than a coffee at Starbucks!
You can easily claim your discount by clicking on any Bluehost link in this article 😉
Start a WordPress Blog – Beginner Tutorial: How To Start a Blog In 10 Minutes on Bluehost
1: How To Get a Bluehost Blog Hosting Account
First of all, click here to get to Bluehost to get started.
The page will look like this:
Once you’re there, click that beautiful blue button that says “Get Started”.
On the next page, you’ll see the following web hosting plan options to choose from:
When you are just starting out with your first blog, it’s perfectly OK to pick the Basic plan.
Especially if you’re on a budget and you’re not expecting to earn that much with your blog. Besides, you can always upgrade later in the future.
However, keep in mind that your blog can quickly become an actual business, especially if your main goal is to build a profitable and successful blog to earn money from the comfort of your own home (or a tropical island!).
When I first started building my online business, the initial investment in web hosting and domains felt like a big buck.
However, it is a small price to pay for the potential you will unleash with an online presence.
Professional blog hosting is simply a necessary investment that allows you to have full control over your blog from day 1. Trust me, you will make that money back with your blog or business soon enough.
So, once you have chosen a web hosting plan (Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, or Pro), click “Select” and you will land on the next page where you can choose your domain name.
2: Register a Free Domain Name For Your Blog
You can register a free domain name for your Bluehost WordPress blog under “Create a new domain”:
Simply type in the name of the domain name that you would like to have for your blog. Mine is bloggingexplorer.com, for instance.
Use the field under “Create a new domain” and click “Next”.
If your domain name isn’t available, you can either try another idea you have or (what I suggest) skip this step and choose your domain name later. Simply click “I’ll create my domain later” at the bottom of the screen.
You can take some time to brainstorm new ideas after getting the rest of your account set up. It’s just easier to take time to think the name through that way.
After creating your domain name or choosing to select it later, you’ll be taken to the final page for creating your account, finishing up the Bluehost signup process. (I told you this would be easy!)
3: Finish Your Signup and Registration
First, fill in your account information:
Second, choose the duration of your Bluehost web hosting plan:
The longer the plan, the cheaper it is on a monthly level.
Since you’re just starting with your WordPress blog, it’s probably a good idea to start with a 12-month plan first. Of course, if you’re in it for the long run, don’t hesitate to get a 24-month plan or longer.
(As a general guideline: if you’re committed to your blogging goals, you should be prepared to actively run and maintain it for several years. Also, the longer the plan you choose, the longer you can be sure that your yearly price will remain constant.)
Thirdly, you can choose some additional services for your blog under Package Extras:
Now, if you ask me, you don’t necessarily need any of them. The price can go up quite a bit if you choose to buy some, so the decision is yours.
I always choose Domain Privacy Protection for my projects. Coincidentally, it’s also the most affordable add-on available.
Finally, just enter your payment information, read and accept the terms and hit “Submit”:
Congratulations! You’re now officially a happy member of the Bluehost community with your very own domain name and web hosting plan!
Next, let’s walk through the final steps of setting up your WordPress installation so you can start your WordPress blog on Bluehost right away!
4: Log In To Your Bluehost.com Account and Setup Your WordPress Blog
Luckily, Bluehost nowadays installs WordPress automatically on your account during the signup process. So there’s not much left to do here, really.
Once you’ve completed your payment process, you’ll see a warm welcome message from Bluehost:
To get started with your WordPress blog, click on the bright green button that says “Create your password”.
You will be taken to a page where you set your password for your Bluehost hosting account:
Type in your desired password and click “Next”.
You know what? You’re done!
That’s right – your WordPress blog has now been installed in the background and you can start creating content right away!
In the next screen, though, you can choose a WordPress theme for your blog already if you wish (feel free to skip this step, I’ll show you how to choose a theme for your WordPress blog in a bit):
If you’re not quite sure about it yet, simply skip the step by clicking the blue button at the bottom of the screen.
Finally, you will be directed to your Bluehost account dashboard, where you can manage your sites, domains, and settings:
You see your WordPress blog right there in the center of the screen.
To start blogging, simply click “Log in to WordPress” to get going with your awesome new WordPress blog!
Alternatively, you can access your WordPress website by typing in your domain name into your web browser using your personal URL and adding “/wp-admin” to it. So, if your domain is “myblog.com”, simply type
into your browser’s address bar. Then just hit Enter and you’ll be taken to the login screen of your WordPress blog:
Simply enter your login details, click “Log In”, and there you go!
How To Find Your Bluehost Username and Password For Logging In
If you are unsure of your login name or password, check the email that you just received from Bluehost for your login details to your hosting account:
You are now ready to start designing and customizing on your WordPress blog to conquer the world – just follow along to the next section!
Next Up: How to Customize the Design of Your WordPress Blog – Choose a WordPress Theme
Ok, you’re all set for success now with your domain name and hosting all set up, great job!
The next step towards a successful blog is to pick a design template that you like. In WordPress, these templates are called “Themes”, and you have thousands of options to choose from.
To learn how to choose a great theme for your WordPress blog, follow along to the next part of this blogging tutorial.