This tutorial will show you how to make a blog with WordPress and Bluehost in 5 minutes.
Note: I am going to assume you already have a domain name. If you do not have one, please read How to Get a Domain Name in 5 Minutes first.
- Create a Bluehost Account
- Login and Go to WordPress
- Install WordPress
- Select Domain
- Get Admin Username and Password
- Install WordPress Theme
- Install WordPress Plugins
Step One (How to Make a Blog): Create a Bluehost Account
First, sign up for a Bluehost account. I have tried hosting with Host Gator, iPage and GoDaddy but have concluded that Bluehost is the best web host. Most other website owners and Internet entrepreneurs I know who make their living online agree. For only $6.95 a month, Bluehost sets you up with the following:
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited bandwidith
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited email accounts
- Unlimited email storage
- Probably the most reliable service and helpful support team I have come across
You can signup for a Bluehost account here.
I think it is a steal and you probably will too.
Step Two (Starting a Blog): Login to Your Bluehost Account and Click on the WordPress Icon
Once you have a Bluehost account, login here: Login to Bluehost
Upon logging in, you will be taken to your Control Panel (screenshot below). Click on the ‘Wordpress icon’.
Step Three (Making a Blog): Click Install
You will then see the following screen. Click the large ‘Install’ button.
Step Four (How to Set Up a Blog): Select Domain
Next, you will see a list of domains you have transferred to Bluehost. Select the domain and click ‘Check Domain’
Step Five (How to Start a Blog): Click Install Now
You will see then the following screen.
Check both boxes. After you check the box ‘Show Advanced Options’, you will see a drop down with a default username and password. Take note, of this username and password or change it to something you can remember, as you will need this later.
Then, click Install Now. Bluehost’s installer will then install wordpress to the directory you specified.
To access your blog, go to [http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin] and log in with the username and password from the first part of this step.
That’s it! Your brand new blog hosted on WordPress is now ready. The five steps till now on how to make a blog should have taken you no more than five minutes.
To learn how to customize your site fully, read on.
(Optional for Setting Up a Blog) Step Six: Install a WordPress Theme
You probably want to change the appearance of your blog after setting it up – the default WordPress theme looks a little ugly. To change the theme you are using, click ‘Appearance’ on the left sidebar → ‘Themes’. Here, you can search for free themes to install or use a professional theme such as Thesis, one of the Best WordPress Themes.
Thesis is a professional theme with the following key benefits:
- Optimizes your website for speed and performance – traditional WordPress themes typically have bloated code that slows down your website significantly. You will find a significant improvement in your pageload speeds after using Thesis. This is a Google search engine ranking factor that will help you improve your rankings
- Improved customizability – Thesis allows you to customize every aspect of your site appearance, from the positioning of your website columns to the menu bars and the author information box below the start of each post
- Looks professional and clean – Thesis-built websites look professional and clean. This increases user interaction with your site. This will increase your Average Time Spent on Site and reduce your bounce rate, both are which also affect your search engine rankings.
How much does Thesis cost
Thesis costs $87 for a basic account (installation on one domain) and $197 for a professional account (installation on unlimited domains). I suggest you get a basic account to start with as you can always upgrade to a professional account at any time with no additional fees.
You can get your copy of Thesis here: Get Thesis Now
(Optional for Creating a Blog) Step Seven: Install WordPress Plugins
The final step involved is installing WordPress plugins. WordPress plugins extend the functionality of WordPress in various ways and makes it easy for you to do many things including:
- Improve site optimization, performance and load speeds
- Add advertising (eg. Adsense) code to all pages
- Manage redirects for your affiliate links
- Add social media sharing buttons
- Submit a sitemap to Google and ping the major search engines automatically each time you add new content to your blog
- One click functionality to add Google Analytics, Google Authorship and other tracking scripts to your website
I do not recommend installing too many plugins as this will slow down your blog. However, here are the key plugins I would highly recommend (all of them are free!):
Free WordPress Plugins to Install as You Create a Blog
- Google Analytics For WordPress By Joost de Valk – this allows you to add Google Analytics tracking to all your pages automatically. If you already have Thesis, you can simply add your Google Analytics tracking ID here: Thesis → Site → Google Analytics
- Quick Adsense By Quicksense – great way to add Adsense code to all your pages easily. You can specify where the code block will appear (first paragraph, after X paragraphs, last paragraph, etc.)
- Akismet By Automattic – great plugin to protect your blog from comment spam
- Broken Link Checker By Janis Elsts – tells you when you have broken links on your blog. Broken links will hurt your search engine rankings so best to find out as early as possible
- Google XML Sitemaps by By Arne Brachhold – Creates and updates XML sitemaps automatically and helps you submit to search engines
- pTypeConverter By Brian D. Goad – If you need to convert a page to a post or a post to a page, this is a godsend. There is currently no easy way to do this in WordPress without creating a new post or page, so use this plugin if you ever need to do this.
- Sharebar By By Monjurul Dolon – Allows you to add social media buttons such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and more to your website easily. Creates a ‘sticky’ vertical bar to the left of your blog
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin By Adknowledge – Plugin that generates a list of the 5 most relevant posts to your current posts. Easy, quick way to add links to relevant content and improve internal linking, another important ranking factor
- Search Regex By John Godley – Very helpful if you need to search and replace a text string across your blog. For example, if you want to replace an affiliate link URL across your blog, this is the fastest way to do it.
- W3 Total Cache By By Frederick Townes – WordPress performance plugin that improves load speeds by implementing a variety of caching techniques at the browser, page and database levels.
And that’s it! Hope this tutorial on how to make a blog in 5 minutes was helpful. Watch out for a follow-up post on how to write a blog to really get things going.