SETTING UP YOUR FIRST WORDPRESS BLOG OR WEBSITE
Skip to this section, PART 2 - Theme Selection, if you already have this all set up.
If you are still with me, it means you are literally at step 1 of launching your first WordPress Blog or Website. You are probably better off for it as it means you haven’t lost hours of time trying to figure out how WordPress works and what you are supposed to do next. The first thing you need to do is set up your hosting.
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Setting up your Hosting
This is where your site is going to live. As Jess Catorc puts it: “Think of hosting as your cyberspace landlord, you want to deal with a landlord that is reliable, easy to deal with, and always available if something goes wrong”. This is where Bluehost comes in, they have an easy to use interface, a quick automatic install for wordpress.org and 24-hour online support. I recommend them because I use them for my own site and their 24-hour support has kept me from throwing my computer out the window in the past. Hopefully I can help you enough, though, that you don’t get to that point!
*The above link is an affiliate link for Bluehost. I recommend them because I am a proud client of theirs and only recommend products I believe in.
As you can see below, some of the top perks of going with Bluehost are:
- 1 Free Domain
- Free Site Builders
- 1-Click WordPress Install
- 24/7 Support
Next, you are going to need to select the plan that best suits your needs. If you are just starting out, you likely only need the basic plan. There are three plan options available and you can always add extras to your plan down the road. One thing to note is Bluehost does also offer a money back guarantee which you can find right at the bottom of their homepage by clicking here.
Now you get to choose your domain name - WOO HOO!!! My biggest suggestion here is to choose something that isn't too long or complicated to either say or type. Try and make it easy for people to remember and find you. Also try and choose a name that will resonate with the type of blog or business you are going to be doing, this will again make it easier for people to remember you.
Once you have selected your domain name, you are ready to set up your account with Bluehost. Enter in all of your information, and then select any of the extras you think are appropriate. I'm not here to encourage you to spend more money, especially at the beginning so I'll let this be your call. Feel free to click on the "more information" button for each to learn what they are about.
I didn't choose the Site Backup Pro to begin with but then was able to go back once my site was up and running and add it in, because I wanted to make sure all my hard work was protected. The Domain Privacy Protection feature is mandatory in my books. This feature protects you from potential unsafe happenings, as it won’t display any of your personal information to anyone looking for it.
Enter in your billing information, and once you hit "submit", you are officially registered with Bluehost and very close to launching your first WordPress blog or website! YAY! Now it's time to create your password for Bluehost. Make sure you pick a good one so no one can guess it and access your site. DO NOT PICK ADMIN as your admin login name, that is the number one username hackers try when they attempt to break into a site. Sadly, once you becoming amazing and super known in the blogging world, you will inevitably have people trying to hack into your site. And even brand new sites get automatic hacking attempts.
Once you have entered in all of your information, you’ll receive a welcome email with your control panel/cPanel login info. Now it's time to go back to Bluehost and log in for the first time.
Once you have selected "hosting login" on the homepage, this is where you will end up. Here is where you are going to use the login information you received in the confirmation email from Bluehost. Make sure the you are under the "Hosting Login" and not the "Webmail Login". Select Submit once you are ready to go. You're now going to find yourself in your Bluehost Control Panel and you only have a few more steps before you finally have WordPress installed on your domain and we can start to talk about the fun stuff.
Click on the "Install WordPress" button - see arrow - to start the installation of WordPress on your domain.
WordPress is downloaded through the MOJO Marketplace so you will need to click "Continue Installation" in order to get WordPress.
The next page is going to ask you to enter the domain name you just purchased from Bluehost so that WordPress can be installed on that site. Your domain name may already be listed there or you might need to select it from the drop down menu. You may be asked to enter a directory, leave this blank. Once you have it there, click Log in to WordPress and the install will start. Once it's complete, you will be brought to your WordPress Dashboard that looks like this:
On the left hand side are all of the dashboard options you have and where you will go to make changes to your site. As mentioned before, right now you technically have a site but if you look at it on the front end, there isn't much to see.... YET. Before I finish up and lead you to my next post on how to chose the BEST WordPress theme for your site, I want to point out a few quick items on your Dashboard to get you started.
If you go under appearance and then "Themes" you will see three FREE themes listed there for you to chose from. Chances are that you are already using the FREE 2017 theme by default. As you can see, mine has additional themes as I'm using a pre-designed premium theme that I paid for. Don't get me wrong, you still have to take the time to set up and customize a premium theme, but it's well worth it. One last thing to note is in the top left hand corner you will see your site name with a little "house" icon, and clicking this will bring you to the front view of what your site looks like. This is currently what everyone would see if they went to your domain, and it's not much. We ARE going to change that as painlessly as possible!
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Check out my next post: PART 2 - Choosing the best WordPress Theme for your Blog or Website, to learn how to choose, upload and set up a premium theme to start you off on the right foot. I also offer you some really valuable tips to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for in a theme and to make sure you don't waste any time and money like I did!
See you soon!
HAPPY BLOGGING PEOPLE!