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How To Start a WordPress Site

I have been working with more and more brand new small business owners, so it’s time for an updated tutorial on how to start a website/blog. There are many blogging platforms, with WordPress and Blogger being two of the most popular. If you haven’t read my previous post on WordPress vs. Blogger, that’s a good place to start. For the majority of new bloggers I’ve worked with recently, WordPress has been the clear answer so this WordPress tutorial is focused on how to start a new self-hosted site. As always, I am happy to help you set up and customize your new site through my website design services if you get stuck on any of these steps.

how to install and start a self-hosted wordpress website

Disclosure: Some of the links on my site are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase from Bluehost in this post.

Step 1: Find a Host and a Service Plan

Unlike Blogger, WordPress requires you to have a hosting service. I personally started with Bluehost for its ease of use and affordability. You can click here to sign up with Bluehost in a new window so that you can continue following the instructions here while setting up your new site. You’re going to click that bright green button to get started.

Then you’ll need to select a service plan. While the basic plan will definitely get you covered for starting out, there are a few nice features in the other plans that are worth pointing out. First of all “unlimited” is always nice, right? But the main thing I like about the Prime plan is something I pay extra for with domains that I’ve purchased for other projects… domain privacy! If you don’t currently own a domain (www.yourwebsite.com), then you may not realize that buying that domain means your contact information becomes public. Then you get a bunch of spammers trying to contact you to sell you extra services (that you don’t need) to go with your new domain. If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the basic plan though.

Step 2: Pick Your Domain

Your domain is your unique personal website address, like mine is www.ChristiFultz.com. If you already have a domain name, you can connect it to your new Bluehost account to use with your WordPress site. If you don’t already have a domain name, one is included in your Bluehost plan. Hooray!

Step 3: Get Out Your Wallet

Now it’s time to pay for your new plan. Note that Bluehost bills in annual installments.

Step 4: Create Your Password and Login

This is an easy one. Set up your new password, write it down somewhere safe, and then click to log in to your new account.

Step 5: Pick a Theme

This is where things start to get really fun! For now, just to get your site up and running you can choose to SKIP THIS STEP at the bottom of the screen. Your new site will come pre-installed with a default theme that will work to get you going. To get the most out of WordPress, you will need a better theme for your site. I actually wrote a separate post for this because it’s a major step in branding your new website. For help with that, you can see this post: How To Select a WordPress Theme. For now though, just skip selecting a theme to finish this tutorial and set up your site.

Step 6: Start Building

Now you’re ready to rock-and-roll with your new WordPress site. If you purchased a brand new domain, it can take 24-48 hours to register. Don’t panic! You can still begin to explore your new site and Bluehost will automatically connect your new domain when it’s ready. If you already had your own domain, you will need to connect it to your new site yourself. This is something I can do for my blog customers, or you can contact Bluehost for help.

This is what your site will look like when it’s brand new. You can choose to click through and have WordPress help you set up your site, or you can skip straight to the sections on the far left in black if you prefer to explore yourself. This is where a website designer can really come in handy! I help my clients select the perfect theme, do all of the installation/configuration of that theme, and provide custom design work to bring their vision to life.

Step 7: Bluehost Tools

Bluehost has really simple tools to start adding content to your site. You’ll simply click LAUNCH in blue to get started with a name and description for your site. You can also add new posts and pages here. You’ll also want to add your navigation menu, which is the top bar that displays all the important links for your site (like home, about, contact, shop, etc.).

Step 8: Enjoy your new site!

If I can help you at all, please send me an email. Helping clients develop their new websites is truly a passion of mine. I offer the complete Bluehost/Wordpress installation as shown above along with installing the Genesis theme for you in my WordPress Start Up package. You can also browse my site to see all of my other Blogger, WordPress, and Branding services.

Posts may contain affiliate links in accordance with my website terms of use.

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Click here to read other posts in the Launch Your Site in 30 Days Guide.

Related Services

Custom wordpress website or blog design
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client love

Working with Christi was a dream. She was incredibly knowledgeable and timely every step of the way with questions, resources, tips, and advice. I was so pleased with how well she captured my style... Now I have a branded online presence that feels “like home” on all of my platforms.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2020-06-07T20:34:05-04:00
Working with Christi was a dream. She was incredibly knowledgeable and timely every step of the way with questions, resources, tips, and advice. I was so pleased with how well she captured my style... Now I have a branded online presence that feels “like home” on all of my platforms.
Choosing to work with Christi was the best decision I could have made for my website. She helped me make my dream a reality. Christi made me feel listened to every step of the way and was so fast at getting the work done!

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2020-06-08T12:07:57-04:00
Choosing to work with Christi was the best decision I could have made for my website. She helped me make my dream a reality. Christi made me feel listened to every step of the way and was so fast at getting the work done!
I am absolutely in love with my new Wordpress website. Her pricing was fair and included so many things I couldn't get with other developers. Christi delivered me a professional and stylish branding package. Thank you Christi, I would work with you again in a heartbeat!

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
5
2020-08-16T20:50:31-04:00
I am absolutely in love with my new Wordpress website. Her pricing was fair and included so many things I couldn't get with other developers. Christi delivered me a professional and stylish branding package. Thank you Christi, I would work with you again in a heartbeat!
I really don’t know if I can put into words how grateful I am! When I was a brand new blogger trying to get my business off the ground, she delivered! She is insanely easy to work with, highly-talented, and a true professional. I cannot recommend her enough.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2019-12-24T15:46:19-05:00
I really don’t know if I can put into words how grateful I am! When I was a brand new blogger trying to get my business off the ground, she delivered! She is insanely easy to work with, highly-talented, and a true professional. I cannot recommend her enough.
Working with Christi was an absolute dream. She was prompt, responsive, and incredibly helpful for a client who is largely uncomfortable with web and graphic design. She made me feel comfortable asking questions, and handled suggested revisions with welcome input and ease.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2019-12-24T15:50:30-05:00
Working with Christi was an absolute dream. She was prompt, responsive, and incredibly helpful for a client who is largely uncomfortable with web and graphic design. She made me feel comfortable asking questions, and handled suggested revisions with welcome input and ease.
I have hired Christi, over a number of years, to design various projects, from rebranding to blog design. She truly is my go-to designer. She knows what questions to ask, always communicates promptly and professionally and is infinitely patient throughout the process.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2019-12-24T15:50:53-05:00
I have hired Christi, over a number of years, to design various projects, from rebranding to blog design. She truly is my go-to designer. She knows what questions to ask, always communicates promptly and professionally and is infinitely patient throughout the process.
Working with Christi has saved me so much time and frustration. If you are debating if it’s worth the money like I was, I’m in the other side of it to say it was worth every penny. I highly recommend her and plan to use her services again.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2019-12-24T15:52:08-05:00
Working with Christi has saved me so much time and frustration. If you are debating if it’s worth the money like I was, I’m in the other side of it to say it was worth every penny. I highly recommend her and plan to use her services again.
It was an absolute pleasure to have Christi give my website a new, improved look. She took what seemed like an overwhelming process and broke it down into easy to understand steps. Her communication skills were flawless. She consistently responded quickly and professionally, while also remaining friendly and personable.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2019-12-24T15:52:50-05:00
It was an absolute pleasure to have Christi give my website a new, improved look. She took what seemed like an overwhelming process and broke it down into easy to understand steps. Her communication skills were flawless. She consistently responded quickly and professionally, while also remaining friendly and personable.
Christi is such a breath of fresh air! If you’re in need of a new design or even just stuck on problems with your website, she’s the go to person! I have worked with other designers before and she is the only one who put up with my constant e-mailing.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2019-12-24T15:53:14-05:00
Christi is such a breath of fresh air! If you’re in need of a new design or even just stuck on problems with your website, she’s the go to person! I have worked with other designers before and she is the only one who put up with my constant e-mailing.
From the very first email, she was professional and thorough. Christi was patient and helped us to understand all of the critical steps in getting the end website that we dreamed of. She went above and beyond to make sure that she worked quickly and diligently.

Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
2019-12-24T15:53:53-05:00
From the very first email, she was professional and thorough. Christi was patient and helped us to understand all of the critical steps in getting the end website that we dreamed of. She went above and beyond to make sure that she worked quickly and diligently.
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Design by Christi Fultz // Website Design + Branding for Entrepreneurs
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