Registering Domain Name & Blog Hosting: Installing WordPress

Now that you understand WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org and the difference between Self Hosting and free platforms, let's dive into getting you setup with a Self Hosting account.

 

What You Will Learn

  • Website Lingo – Hosting, Website & Domain name
  • Picking your domain name
  • How to setup your domain name and blog hosting account
  • Installing WordPress

Hosting

Hosting is like a house before you first move in. There's no furniture, appliances or electronics… it's completely empty. The sole purpose of a house is to provide shelter and a space to securely store all “your stuff.”

Hosting is like a empty house… your own space on the web.

Website

A website is built from a series of multiple folders and files. For it to work properly and be seen by others, you need a place to store all this information.

Essentially, a website is like your furniture, appliances, electronics…(“your stuff”).

Domain

A domain name (website URL) is like your house address. When people type www.yourblogname.com within their browser, they get sent to the location of where your website is hosted (aka the house with all your stuff).
To sum it up:

Hosting = House (a place to store your stuff)
Website = Your stuff in the house
Domain name = House address

In other words, a website is stored on a hosting plan and can be accessed via a domain name.

Blogger, WordPress.com, and other free blogging platforms

Here is where things can get a little confusing.

These are blogging platforms, which mean companies (websites) offer a free blogging service for those wanting to start a blog without the monetary investment. They let you use their hosting and website design features to start your blog.

To follow the theme of our previous example:

Blogging Platforms could be viewed as an extended stay hotel. Meaning, a fully furnished room (not your furniture) to store a few of your things.

Conclusion

In my experience, owning my own site (with domain and hosting) has given me the flexibility and creative control to make my blog exactly how I want it.

If you have not started a blog yet, BlueHost (Hosting) is reasonably priced and easy to setup. It will also be the hosting provider used within these tutorials. Click Here to get your own domain and hosting setup via BlueHost.

If you are looking to make the switch from Blogger or other various blogging platforms, please send me an e-mail ([email protected]) as each situation is different. It's alot of work, but if you are looking to get onto WordPress.org, you will need to switch over and I can give you more specific advice depending on your need.

 

Picking Your Domain Name

Hopefully you've read my post on finding your niche, as it would point you in the right direction on figuring out the main theme of your blog. Once you have strategically planned the idea of your blog, now comes the fun part, picking out a name!

I remember it was Thanksgiving week 2013, my husband and I were on the couch at his parents house in Texas throwing around the idea of starting a blog and thinking of names for fun. I knew what I wanted as far as my niche, but had a hard time coming up with a name. I wanted to be original but also something that would be rather easy to remember. LOL the first names I came up with were all jokes and super lame- it was definitely a fun (and entertaining process!

You may already have your name, but for those who are stuck…here's a fun little exercise:

1. Write down the first 5 keywords that come to mind when you think of your blog.

For me:

– Thrift Stores
– Affordable fashion
– Budget friendly
– Vintage clothes
– Affordable style

2. Find synonyms for those keywords.

Use Thesaurus.com, it will give you some quick ideas.

thrift = saving, frugality, thriftiness,
affordable = cheap, low-cost, bargain, steal
budget = cost, funds, allowance
vintage = classical, mature, rare, classic, prime
clothes = attire, clothing, wardrobe, rags
fashion = fad, vogue, look,

3. Come up with a catchy, yet memorable name using the keyword or a combo of the keywords you found.

I like to incorporate some alliteration, but you don't necessarily have to. List as many names that come to mind:

– cheapchick.com (sounds like chapstick? Not so much)
– classicandcheap.com (the irony)
– bargainbabe.com
– vintagevogue.com
– stealfunds.com (lol not sure if this would be a style blog or a crime forum?)

You get the idea, just “blogstorm” … to quote one of favorite podcast episodes.

Obviously I ended up with thriftsandthreads.com :) Some examples of other blog names using alliteration:

– Damsel in Dior
– Pink Peonies
– Song of Style
– Who What Wear

Have fun with it and always keep in mind:

  • Is it easy to read and spell?
  • Does it clearly state my blog's message?
  • Do I set myself apart from other Blogger names? (for example, Song of Savings might be too close for comfort)

 

Configuring your domain name and hosting

There are so many companies out there when it comes to picking out a domain and hosting service provider, but for beginners we recommend…

BlueHost

Having a husband who is very knowledgeable in web design and coding, he recommended I start with BlueHost. He was originally using GoDaddy for hosting other sites we created at the time and even though their customer service is awesome, the overall performance with regards to website speed seemed below par. Also BlueHost offers a free domain name with their hosting plan, GoDaddy does not.

I started with BlueHost initially but as my blog traffic grew, I decided to move over to Synthesis for increased website speeds, which I only recommend using once your traffic grows because it's a more advance hosting system.

BlueHost is a great beginner option at the best price.

The following outlines the costs for BlueHost so you can get an idea of the cost of Self Hosting:

bluehost plans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went with the “Popular” option as it's only a $3.00 difference between the two plans, yet you get so much more. But the “Starter” option is fine as well.

That's $7/month for your own blog that you have complete control over!! (includes domain and hosting) I almost spend that much on coffee everyday…oh Intelligentsia just take my money :)

Now there's a reason why there's an asterisk next to the $6.95/month. It's that cost if you commit for 36 months. I know that seems like a big commitment and at this stage you are unsure if you would even be blogging for the long. No problem, you can commit for 24 months at $7.96/mo or 12 months at $8.95/mo. Just don't go out to lunch for one day out of the month and it's paid for!

Step-by-Step using BlueHost

So that I walk alongside you during this process, I will be creating a brand new website from scratch. My husband is really starting to get more involved in photography and would like to have an online portfolio, so I thought it would be fun to create him a killer blog and that way we can walk through the steps more in detail together as this series continues over the next few weeks.

Here is what I did, step by step (super easy):

1. Go to www.bluehost.com

2. Select your plan option. I would go with the “Plus” package, better value.

3. Now enter in the Domain name you decided to go with. He decided on www.anthonyrxavier.com

Make sure to have a few options just in case the one you want is already taken. We got lucky and his was available.

domain name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Enter in all your account and payment information. You want your “Package Information” to look like the screenshot below:

Obviously if you want your package longer than 12 months to save some money, change it.

I want to briefly describe what you see above:

  • Constant Contact: Email Marketing service that we will go over in a later post.
  • Domain Privacy: Protects all your information and keeps it private. Highly suggest this.
  • Site Backup Pro: We will install a plugin later, so no need for this service.
  • Search Engine Jumpstart: I will discuss SEO more in depth later.
  • SiteLock Security: Install a plugin later, no need.

5. Skip all the Extras and scroll to the bottom and hit “Complete”.

6. You will be asked to create a password, go ahead and create one.

7. You will then be presented with two options: “I can do it” or “Do it for me”

bluehost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Select “I can do it” and then you will be taken to your dashboard, which is the backend of your website.

And there you have it!

You just created a website! See, it wasn't that hard :)

Now if you visit my husband's site www.anthonyrxavier.com, you will see a BlueHost landing page. Don't worry, it's normal. At this point I don't have WordPress installed nor any website templates.

Overview

Ok soooo… (I promised in a recent Snap that I would stop using that phrase, but can't help it) let me just reiterate, I didn't know anything about blogging when I first started. I was lucky to marry a guy that is totally techie obsessed and taught himself how to code via friends and online tutorials, but that's not the case with most of you and I get it.

You don't need a techie hubs or to have a degree in computer science to do this. After learning from him and literally falling in love with all things website building- I realized it can seem overwhelming at first but it's really not if you take the time to go through it step by step. And that's what I am going to show you.

 

Installing WordPress

Just a quick and simple clarification before we get started…

WordPress.com = Free blogging platform service

WordPress.org = A CMS (Content Management System) that will be installed on your hosting plan and used to run your blog. It makes running a blog so much easier and has a very similar setup to WordPress.com with more customization/features. It's also what I use.

Let's get started!

1. Log in to your hosting account – BlueHost Server Login

You should have received your login information via email.

bluehost login info
2. Scroll down and under “Website” click “Install WordPress”.

wordpress installation button

3. Click the BIG GREEN install button.

bluehost green button install

4. Since this new hosting account is really meant to store one website, I will install WordPress in the root directory and leave the directory blank.

root directory

5. Click “Show advanced options” and change Site Name, Username and Password. Agree to the terms and click “Install Now”.

login credentials

Installation will begin and once installed, you will be sent an email with your login URL and credentials for WordPress.

6. Log into WordPress!

The URL to access WordPress will look something like this:

www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin

Then use the credentials you entered in on the previous step. Your dashboard will look like the below.

wordpress dashboard

And there you have it, your own WordPress blog!

Resources: Website Hosting – BlueHost
Next week the post will be quite a bit longer, as I will be diving into all things WordPress (yay!…my fav) discussing how to use it, proper setting configuration and installing my favorite plugins.

Per usual, feel free to leave comments below and I will answer as best as I can!

Happy blogging!
xx Brittany

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39 Comments

  1. Melissa August 18, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Loved it, such great tips to have! I’m actually on squarespace right now and pretty happy with it because it’s just so simple to use at this point in time.

    Reply
  2. Audrey August 18, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    This is AMAZING! I just found your blog via Bloglovin’ and am already obsessed with both a) your blog itself and b) your openness and willingness to help your readers do their own blog thangs (and essentially become your business competition haha)! I am in the process of blogstorming right now, and I so, so wish I stumbled upon your how-tos last week. I already bought my WordPress.COM domain and $90/year premium account before I even knew a thing about .org! Of course, I want my blog to be a house and not an extended stay (great analogy, by the way), so I’m wondering if you know if there are any fixes for this? I assume .com and .org are owned by the same WP company; do you think they’d just let me scoot myself on over to .org? ANY help would be so appreciated!

    Reply
    1. maryam January 27, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Audry, I know im late to this post but im just reading through them. I was wondering if you got the answer to your question. I have the same problem. Any information will be helpfull.

      Reply
  3. Angela August 19, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Omg! You are AMAZING! Thank you so much for making this little series. I’ve been wanting to switch over to WordPress.org for so long now but haven’t found any tutorial in-depth/informative enough (until yours!) as I’m still hesitant to pay someone. Cannot thank you enough! xx

    Angela | The Sunday Chapter

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 19, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Aw you’re welcome! :)

      Reply
  4. Alissa August 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Really loving this series! Hoping to learn more about SEO & affiliate networks. Hope you’re having a good day!

    xo
    Alissa

    Reply
  5. Katie August 20, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I just switched my wordpress theme and really loving it. However, I’m still a novice and could use some help on how to customize my site and make it even better. Any tips greatly appreciated! Looking forward to the next post!

    Reply
  6. Shannon August 24, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Brittany, I wanted to thank you so much for this post/series! I am working on getting my blog up and literally your posts and tutorials are what got me up and running. I was so lost on word-press and hosting for a month. I bought hosting (from Blue Host) because I knew I was supposed to, but no idea really on why. After some google searches on it, I found your blog and you are literally what got me going. Thank you so much for simplifying this! It is amazing how it was once so complicated but now I just get it through your tutorials. Things I would love to see are recommended plug-ins. Before, it was a foreign language to me, but now that I am in, I get it, and they make life easier! Also, some thoughts on web design – how to even start with that, etc. Anyways, I just wanted again to thank you for this series. It 100% was what helped me go from mass confusion to launched with a coming soon page. It goes without saying, but you have my vote! xx

    Reply
  7. Pingback: How To Start a Blog: WordPress, Domain and Hosting | Thrifts and Threads

  8. Gracious Store August 24, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I just completed these processes of installing WordPress and starting my blog in less than two week. It is quite fulfilling to do so.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: How to Start a Blog: Wordpress 101 | Thrifts and Threads

  10. Andrea August 31, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    WOW – these instructions were literally dummy proof and so easy to follow. I literally completed this in like 10 minutes. You are AMAZING.

    Reply
  11. No Rule, Just Style September 2, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Another great post! I must admit that this is very intimidating because I do not have experience with hosting, etc. I just know about writing and tapping into my creative self. Ha! I’m definitely going to look into having more control of my website as it has become my “baby”. Since I’m not too sure about doing everything myself, I will reach out for help (expert). However, I will learn everything I should know along the way. Thanks for sharing!

    A| https://norulejuststyle.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  12. Pingback: How to Transfer Your Wordpress.com Blog to Self Hosted Wordpress.org

  13. Nyuta October 6, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Oh, I’m so happy to find your blog! It’s so helpfull! Really!
    So many interesting info!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Betty November 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Hello! This post was very helpful, but seeing some videos I noticed that this process creates a site from scratch BUT I already have a wordpress blog running and I’d like to transform it in a blog with a shopping section. I’m not sure about following these steps, I don’t wanna lose my posts, comments and people are arriving through organic search. Is there a way I can “transfer” the existing blog to the hosted website?

    Reply
    1. Julie March 22, 2016 at 3:13 am

      Hi Betty, I was wondering if you found a solution to your question? My blog already exists and I want to switch to self host etc. For now I’m on WordPress Premium and I’m so confused how to move things over.

      If you managed to do it or have some advise I’d really appreciate it :)

      Julie

      Reply
      1. Gabriela February 8, 2017 at 10:05 am

        i have the same problem do you guys know how to fix it already?

        Reply
  15. Stephanie January 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Just wanted to say thank you. Your blog was sooooo helpful. I couldn’t have done it without you. Only snafu is I didn’t read ahead and paid for all of those plug ins that I guess I didn’t need!

    Reply
  16. Destini April 14, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Just wanted to say that this post was very helpful! I have been back and forth for a while on which site builder to use. I have a question regarding the payment for your BlueHost site. Does that $7 come out of your account monthly or is it all paid in full when you start your site? Please let me know! And thanks again for the helpful posts!

    Reply
  17. Pearl April 19, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Hi I ran across your blog and this is very helpful. I’ve completed all the steps in your process and even after the domain transfer and having the name servers point to Bluehost, when I login using the admin url bluehost gave me, it points me back to my WordPress.com login. Have you ran into these issues?

    Reply
  18. Shiloh May 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Appreciating ALL of this as I get started with my first blog…

    On the Bluehost page where I select the package I want and the cost is tallied, it gives me a total price but does it charged all at once or monthly?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Brittany May 22, 2016 at 11:37 am

      It does charge it all at once, I believe it’s around $70-$80/year.

      Reply
  19. Lucia June 8, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Hi Brittany!
    So i love everything about your website! I found it through bloglovin’ as well:) Great pictures, contect and writing! I am starting out my own blog and have a question, ifyou dont mind answering it! I have ehost as my hosting site but do I still need to install wordpress as well? I didnt realize you have to have both set up so any advice would be greatly appreciated:)

    THANK YOU!!!!
    XOXO

    Reply
  20. Germana Lewis July 3, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    This was so incredibly helpful! I’ve been thinking of starting a blog for awhile but just never took the plunge, then i took some really amazing pictures today and decided it was time. Thank you so much for this!

    Reply
  21. Cynthia Rojas July 20, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Hi Brittany!

    Quick question.. you suggested to get the “domain privacy protection” in addition to the hosting service with Bluehost, however it doesn’t appear as an option. I picked the 24 month plan (for 7.95) and wanted to add that feature, but it doesn’t appear as an option. Is this something I can add later? How crucial is it that I have this added?

    Thank you! :)
    Cynthia

    Reply
    1. Brittany July 20, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Hi Cynthia! Good question, yes it is something that you can always add later. It’s not crucial, but it does provide a sense of privacy.

      Reply
  22. MrDemsy July 29, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Hi Brittany,

    Its very information and helpfull… thank you :)

    Reply
  23. Konstancja August 15, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this post and many more! I have just started my own blog and your tips have been very helpful!

    https://vogue-ish.com/

    Reply
  24. Sina August 27, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Hi, I really loved this post! In fact it gave me the little push I needed to get started with my own blog. Thank you so much :)

    Reply
    1. Brittany August 31, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      You’re welcome Sina! Glad I was able to help get you started.

      Reply
  25. Sarah Nolan September 8, 2016 at 10:38 am

    This is very informative! I’ve been going back and forth with starting a blog (I actually have one) but have been wanting to commit more time and effort to it. Just didn’t really know where to start. Thanks for this!

    Reply
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  27. Vivian September 14, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Oh my goodness! Literally this was a life saver. Before this I was going to just have a blogspot domain because I didn’t think I would be able to start my own personal domain. You made it so easy for me! THANK YOU :)

    Reply
  28. Lauren Dailey October 26, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Brittany,

    Thank you for such a helpful post! I wish I would have found it when I started my blog two years ago!

    Please continue to do the Blogger How-To’s that you do… I love to hear about all the behind the scenes you do!

    Love,
    Lauren

    http://www.bohemianbythebay.com

    Reply
  29. Catalina Zimmerman November 15, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I currently have a free blog page through WordPress.com – if I buy a domain on Bluehost & download WordPress.org, do you know if my posts from my currently free blog can be transferred over? Or do I end up starting new? Also, if the posts are unable to transfer over, do I use my current WordPress credentials to log in after downloading it through Bluehost? Thanks so much! Love your blog

    Reply
    1. Brittany November 15, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Hi Catalina! That’s a good question. Once you install WP onto your new hosting, you will be able to export your posts from WordPress.com and import them into the WP you downloaded (there are a few good articles on Google that shows the process step-by-step). Bluehost will provide new login credentials for the new WP you will be setting up.

      Reply
  30. Kritsida January 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    This is so helpful! I’ve been figuring out the back end of things on my own for so long, and it’s definitely super frustrating! I can’t wait to read the WordPress post.

    xoxo
    – kritsida

    http://www.aperfectcanvas.net

    Reply

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