Before you can begin using WordPress to start a blog, build a business website or create an online store as a beginner, you will first need to install WordPress.
In this tutorial for beginners, you will learn how to install the WordPress software on your own domain name and (affordable) WordPress optimised web hosting server, allowing you the freedom to build what ever you want, WITHOUT any limitations.
WordPress.com OR WordPress.org?
Here’s a couple of things you need to know before we get started…
There are two different sides to WordPress:
First of all, on WordPress.com there are way too many strict limitations on this free service which will have you handcuffed to using certain ugly looking themes and plugins as they don’t allow you to install your own premium themes or plugins.
Secondly, you are also limited to how you can monetise your content and are governed by their strict terms of service which puts your business at risk as they can delete your content without any warning, which is shocking.
This I don’t recommend.
If you want 100% control and ownership over the design, files and database of your website/blog/store and decide how you monetise your own content, then you need to use WordPress.org, which most popular web hosts offer.
By removing all the limitations you can also install ANY premium WordPress theme or WordPress plugin that you want to build and run your business.
This I recommend.
Maybe you are not fussed about the limitations of free WordPress hosting and that’s OK for some people who are just getting started, but if you are serious about this, then you need to build a solid and secure foundation before you do anything.
The website you are reading right now is built on WordPress.org, with my own domain name and WordPress optimised web hosting, which means I have 100% control and ownership of my domain and my content, which is what you need.
WordPress optimised hosting for beginners
Without a doubt, the best way for you to install WordPress as a beginner is to buy the best affordable WordPress optimised web hosting from a reputable company that already comes preloaded with the software.
This means that even if you have ZERO technical experience and have never even used WordPress before, you will still have no problems, as the WordPress software and database will be automatically installed for you.
The best WordPress optimised web hosting for beginners would have to be no other than Bluehost, as by the time you have signed up for an account, Bluehost will have installed WordPress automatically on your domain, so it’s ready to use immediately.
With Bluehost you don’t have to worry about:
- Uploading WordPress files via FTP
- Creating & connecting MySQL database
- Running the installation process
Ordering your WordPress hosting from Bluehost is a simple step by step process which Bluehost will walk you through and they will also offer you a free domain name registration for one year, as well as setup WordPress for you automatically.
Let’s go through the Bluehost signup process, so you will know exactly what to do, as it literally takes less than 10 minutes to get your WordPress website online.
How to install WordPress automatically
STEP 1: Visit Bluehost’s website.
The first place you will need to start is on the correct page over on Bluehost which explains more about the shared web hosting services that are specifically optimised for customers like you and me that want to build a website on WordPress.
If you click the “Start My Website” button as shown on the image above, this will scroll you down to the 3 different plans available for the WordPress website, blog or online store that you are going to build in the future.
STEP 2: Choose WordPress hosting plan.
The plans you will find are called “Basic” (ideal for hosting just 1 website), the “Plus” plan (ideal for hosting unlimited websites) and “Choice Plus” (which offers additional features such as automated backups).
Once you have decided on the plan that’s best for you, simply click the green button as shown in the image above to start to process of purchasing the plan.
STEP 3: Domain name options.
If you are registering a new domain name then you will be pleased to know that it comes free with any WordPress web hosting package you buy from Bluehost for the 1st year (if you are registering a domain name extension they support).
In the first box you see in the image above you would enter the domain name without the domain extension (.com,.net,.co), you then click the downward facing arrow on the box to the right to select your domain extension, then click the “next” button.
Already have a domain name registered with another company? To use an existing domain name you would leave the first box empty and enter your existing domain within the box to the right with the title “I have a domain name”.
STEP 4: Create your hosting account.
The domain name you have decided on must be available to register and that will be confirmed by Bluehost on this step, as shown below, so keep searching for different domains until you find one that’s available.
As you are new to Bluehost, you will need to create your account as this information will be used for ownership of your domain name and your contact details will be required to send you invoices and welcome emails.
To make the creation of your account even easier, Bluehost offer a Google single sign-on feature that you can use to speed up this process by clicking on the “Sign in with Google” button as shown in the image above.
STEP 5: Hosting package info and extras.
The cost of your web hosting can be massively reduced if you commit to a longer term with Bluehost, with the cheapest requiring a term of 36 months which is reasonable if you are serious about building your blog.
At the time of updating this post, if you were to commit to 36 months, you can reduce the already discounted monthly fee by 40% from $4.95/month, down to just $2.95/month, so it’s worth thinking about the benefits of long term.
When you click the drop down selector on the account plan within the “package information” section, you can select a 12, 24 or 36 month hosting term and as mentioned previously, the longer you decide to commit, the more discount you will be rewarded with.
In the “package extras” section, you will find a selection of optional extras that you can order to improve your experience, although the only one that is really necessary in my opinion is the “Domain Privacy Protection”, so your personal information remains private online.
If you don’t add “Domain Privacy Protection”, then your full name, address, phone number and email will be made visible online, so anyone who searches your domain name on a website such as whois.net can access it, where as with this option, the details are replaced with information from Bluehost.
Other extras are simply bought based on your own personal preference, although most of what is on offer here, the same features can be achieved using the free WordPress plugins we will be installing later, which are related to improving SEO, Security and Backups.
STEP 6: Hosting agreement & payment.
To finish things off you simply enter your payment information, make sure the ticks are activated by clicking on the small boxes as shown in the image above to accept all agreements and then click the green “submit” button that you will find further down the page.
If you want a different method of payment, then you can click the “more payment options” link as shown in the image and this will give you a different options.
You would select the second box if you do not want Bluehost to send you emails related to additional special offers, new products or services, although if you leave this unchecked, you can revoke your consent anytime by the unsubscribe link in the emails Bluehost send you.
STEP 7: Bluehost onboarding.
Once your payment is complete, you will now be placed through a simple step-by-step on-boarding process from Bluehost, which will help you setup the most basic settings for your new account and your WordPress blog.
First up will come the confirmation that your payment was successful, the details of your purchase will be sent to the email address you entered when you completed the signup process earlier and your receipt will also be visible below.
To setup your new password that will be used to access the Bluehost portal, you can click on the green “set password” button as shown on the image above.
Double check that the domain name you registered is listed correctly within the “Domain Name” section at the top and then choose a suitable, hard to crack password that you are most likely to remember.
Bluehost require a password of at least 8 characters that must include both numbers and a special character, so keep that in mind when trying to create yours, as the green tick icons must be visible before you are allowed to continue.
That is pretty much all there is to do on the first stage of the Bluehost on-boarding process and once you have hit this point, you can click the blue “go to login” button to gain access to your new hosting account.
When you login to Bluehost, they will automatically select the hosting login option and enter the domain name you registered when you created your account, so all that leaves you to do is enter the new password you created earlier and click the blue “Log In” button to proceed.
You are now on the WordPress section of the Bluehost on-boarding process where you can setup the basic settings for the new blog you are starting in this tutorial.
First you can choose the name for your blog, which would usually be the domain name, then you add a tagline that will be visible in search engines (something that explains what your blog is about).
Click the selector that says “Do you want a blog?” and select that your blog displays blog posts on the homepage as shown in the image above (we can change all of these settings in future when required, so it’s not too important right now).
You are not creating an online store in this specific tutorial, so leave that selector unchecked and now you can click the blue “continue” button to move on.
So Bluehost can recommend the best plugins and extensions for your website, you will now see a simple quiz to give Bluehost a better idea of what you are trying to achieve with your new blog, so they can customize your experience.
As you are learning how to start a blog, the first option which is “share my ideas, photos, stories or videos” will more than likely be the best option and then choose how comfortable you are with creating websites.
On the last stage of the WordPress on-boarding process, you are given the option to choose from a selection of free WordPress themes that Bluehost think are suitable for you based on the previous settings you entered.
Although in this tutorial we can click the “skip this step” link as shown in the image above (unless you find something you really like and know how to edit it), as this WordPress installation tutorial is for beginners, so we’ll keep the default theme.
Congratulations, you have now finished the process of installing WordPress automatically on your own domain and WordPress optimised web hosting, I bet that was far easier than you thought, am I right?
When you login to WordPress for the first time, it will look like the image shown above and is where you will manage every aspect of building your new blog including themes, plugins and content which we will cover later on.
STEP 8: Additional Hosting Information.
When you first setup your domain, hosting and WordPress, your blog will not be available online when you visit your domain name right away, as it can take some time for the domain to be registered and connect to your new hosting.
If you do visit your domain name right away, you may see something like this:
When I created this tutorial and went through the exact same process, my new domain was available within less than 30 minutes, but even if the domain is not yet connected, you can still access your WordPress admin and edit your site on the temporary domain without any issues (as shown above).
If you followed this tutorial exactly, then you will know when your domain name is registered and live online as when you visit your domain name, it will load the default “Coming Soon” page as shown in the image above.
PLEASE NOTE: The above “Coming Soon” page will only load for your website visitors until you launch your blog from within the Bluehost Portal, which we will do later on, after you have published your first post.
When you are logged into the WordPress admin panel and you visit your domain name, you will NOT see the same “Coming Soon” page as you are “Admin”.
You will see what your website really looks like before you go live to the public so you can get everything setup correctly. You will see the default theme that will look the same as the image above (if you followed me step by step).