Transferring my blog to WordPress involved learning a lot of fancy lingo, mostly about web hosting. I knew that WordPress was “self-hosted” but I didn’t know exactly what that entailed. I’m a big Wordpress advocate now but I still think it’s important to understand web hosting before you dive in.
So what is a web host and why do you need it? Your web host provides server space on the internet for your website to live. Some platforms have all-inclusive hosting. Blogger, for example, is owned by Google. So Google houses all of your files. Squarespace is another platform that includes hosting and deals with the backend files so you don’t have to.
And then there is WordPress. Good old WordPress.
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which allows you to edit, publish, and organize your content from a simple interface. Behind the scenes, your website is made up of a bunch of files that live in your web host’s server. Most web hosts give you access to these files which comes in handy when you really need to customize the heck out of your site. One of the reasons WP works best for me is because having control over my files basically lets me do whatever I’d like with my design.
To run your website through WordPress, you first have to sign up for hosting with one of the many web hosting companies out there. I’m a big fan of Bluehost and have been using it for the past few years now. Their customer service is out of this world. True story – the other day I did something dumb and accidentally overwrote this entire website, including the design, all of the posts, everything. All I had was a bland layout and a sample post. Well, lucky for me Bluehost has a handy feature called Site Backup Pro so they were able to fix it in just a few minutes! Thank goodness.
Anyway, today I’m going to walk you through the steps of installing WordPress with Bluehost in a way that is quick and uncomplicated. If you use a different hosting company, the process will probably still be similar.
1. First visit Bluehost.com and choose a hosting plan. Right now the starter plan is $3.95 a month which is an amazing deal. That includes one website, 100 GB of website space, 100 email accounts, and $50 in marketing offers. If you’re just managing one site, the starter plan is the way to go! Otherwise, check out the plus and business pro plans.
2. If you already have a domain, transfer it over to Bluehost following these instructions. If not, create a new free domain.
3. From your Bluehost Home Page, scroll down to the website section and click “Install WordPress”.
4. This will take you to the Mojo Marketplace, home of a bunch of great themes, plugins, and graphics for websites. You can pay to have WordPress installed but doing it yourself is suuuper easy. Click that big green “INSTALL” button:
5. Next, you’ll be prompted to choose what domain you would like to install WordPress to.
6. Click “Show Advanced Options” to set your username and password, and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Then click “Install Now.”
7. The Mojo Marketplace will do its thing and install your website. After that you can view your credentials and log into WordPress! (Your WP dashboard URL will be yoursiteaddress/wp-admin.)
That’s it! Installing WordPress with Bluehost is as simple as that. If you have any questions, please let me know. In the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing more WordPress-related posts about themes, plugins, etc.
Hope you’re enjoying your week!