There are many ways to start your own blog and many different providers you can go to for hosting. Choosing how to get started can be an incredibly overwhelming decision. But it doesn’t have to be, because there’s a one popular combination for personal blogs that just makes sense, and that is setting up a WordPress blog with Bluehost.
Why do we recommend this combination?
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system for running a blog, so that’s an easy choice to make. It’s easy to install, fairly easy to learn to use, it’s customization, it’s free, and it’s used by so many people that just an easy Google search will often net your answers to even the most daunting tasks you might want to perform on your site. If you’re new to blogging or running a website, WordPress is definitely the choice you should make.
Choosing your Web Hosting Provider is a bit more difficult. There are many providers out there, and many heated opinions of their service floating around, plus they all sort of look the same on paper, so how to do you decide which is best for you? I recommend that any new blogger host their site with Bluehost.com.
When you’re starting a new blog, with little or no money to put into its creation, Bluehost is an easy-to-use, well-priced option that will provide everything you need for a fledgling blog. There’s a reason more people choose Bluehost. They are cheap, they have a solid uptime record, and it’s super easy to get started.
In fact, Bluehost has some of the industry’s lowest prices for web hosting and they give a free one-year domain registration with a hosting package. If you find that it’s not performing up to your expectations, they offer a full money-back guarantee within 30 days, so you really have nothing to lose in giving them a try.
You may read reviews saying not to use Bluehost, but I firmly believe those are mostly coming from users whose sites are too big for the shared hosting platform they’re likely paying for. Something for you to remember for the future, you can’t continue paying $3.95 a month forever. When your traffic grows, so does the price you must pay for speed.
Bluehost provides many different options to suit your needs. It also allows you to start out at a basic level and then expand and upgrade your service very easily when your audience grows or your needs change.
I have used Bluehost since I started my travel blog in 2014. It was a great, and cheap, solution for my blog. While I have had a few issues with downtime and outages over the years, these issues were quickly resolved, and I never felt like the issues were greater than would be expected from any larger hosting provider. Let’s face it, it’s the internet and things go wrong occasionally. I’ve also switched plans on Bluehost, upgrading to better service as my blog grew. The transition is smooth and I felt that I was getting what I paid for in site speed.
It wasn’t until my site expanded beyond the capacity that is recommended for the shared server plans on Bluehost that I transferred to a different service that offered a private network that could handle my traffic.
To set up Bluehost.com, follow these easy steps:
1. Select Your Plan
It seems like a daunting decision, but it’s not because you can change your plan whenever you want. I suggest going with the Basic plan because it gives you all you’ll need when just starting out.
2. Set up your domain
Bonus! When signing up for bluehost, they will register your domain for free for the first year. You will have to pay to renew it every year. If you’ve already purchased a domain, enter it here.
3. Create your account and complete the package and billing information.
Under package information, you will choose how to pay for your hosting. Yon can pay for 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. While choosing a longer period does save some money, when you’re just starting out, I recommend only paying for a year. If you decide blogging isn’t for you, you won’t have shelled out extra money for nothing.
Also under package information, you’ll see a few other options. It is up to you whether to add those extras. I would recommend adding Domain Privacy Protection, but the others are really optional.
Once you’ve submitted your information, you’ll be given a login for bluehost, where you will get started building your site.
4. Download WordPress
The next step in creating your blog is to download WordPress.
SIDE NOTE: Initially, you might have some confusion about WordPress versus WordPress.com. These are two separate things. WordPress.com is a commercial site and they host your blog for free, but there are limitations. Your domain will be yoursite.wordpress.com. If you want a professional-looking blog, it needs to be self-hosted and have a domain of yoursite.com. Also, your creativity will be limited because you can only use the tools and templates provided by WordPress.com.
With WordPress.org you install a copy of the WordPress content management system for free onto your hosting platform and this allows you to have complete control of your site, so you can tailor it to your heart’s content. However, you do have to pay for your hosting platform (thus the need for Bluehost), and it is more work to set up. This really is the only way to go if you want to compete with other blogs.
To download the WordPress CMS, follow these easy steps:
1. Log in to your bluehost account.
2. On the dashboard, you’ll see a section called Website, under which you’ll see a button called “Install WordPress”. Click that.
3. You will then see a green button that says “Start a brand new install”. Click that.
4. You will be asked to select which domain you would like to install for. Select your registered domain name and click the Check Domain button.
Click Show Advanced Settings.
- Enter your site name.
- Enter your admin username – the username you want to be associated with this account. Example: Savored Journeys
- Enter a password for your account.
- Enter your admin email address. Example: [email protected]
- Click the box next to “Automatically create a new database for this installation.
- Click the box after you’ve read the terms and conditions.
- Click Install Now.
You now have a WordPress site where you can login and get started building your site.
To log in, go to your new domain and add /wp-admin/ to the end of the URL, like this: www.mydomain.com/wp-admin/.
You will be presented with a login screen, which is where you will paste in the admin username and password that you created when installing WordPress in the last step.
Now on to the fun part – designing your travel blog!
For more information on how to continue building your blog, check out our full guide on how to start a travel blog. It includes information how to choose a theme and design your blog, plus what plugins you should be using.
Starting a blog is a really big adventure and a lot of fun. I hope you’ll get started off on the right foot by setting up a WordPress blog with Bluehost. You won’t regret the choice. But do be prepared to work hard, because although setting up a blog isn’t difficult, running a blog requires a lot of hard work! Good luck!
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to Bluehost. Being an affiliate has not altered my opinion of Bluehost.)
Laura Lynch is the creator and writer of Savored Journeys, an avid world traveler and lover of great food and wine. She has been a travel writer for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.