The very first thing you’ll need to do is register a domain name and set up your web hosting for your blog. This is where your blog will “live” online. So, we’ll start by heading over to Bluehost and registering your account using my 50% discount:
When you get to the Bluehost homepage, click on the “Get Started Now” button:
Here, you’ll see the various plans Bluehost offers. I recommend the Plus Plan because it’s very affordable and comes with unlimited websites, domains, bandwidth, etc. It’s what you’ll want to grow your blog over time. Just hit the “Select” button on the plan you want:
Now, here’s where you need to specify if you have a domain already or not. If you don’t, simply enter your desired domain name in the “New Domain” box. If you do have a domain, then simply enter it in the “Transfer Domain” box.
If you’re not sure what your domain name should be, just start with your name. In fact, I’d say unless you have an established brand name or already have one you know you’re going to use, your name is the best route to go.
Because, people like interacting with people more than brands.
But, mostly, don’t dwell on it too much.
Just pick something and keep moving.
You’ll also notice the “note” in the “Transfer Domain” box says Bluehost will provide you with instructions on transferring your domain. This is a small extra step you’ll need to take if you already have a domain. But, it’s really simple and Bluehost will walk you through it:
Next, you’ll need to enter your contact information. Pretty standard stuff here:
Then, you’ll be offered add-ons for your hosting package. Again, pretty standard offerings. SiteLock and Site Backup are two I would consider heavily.
SiteLock essentially makes sure nobody can steal your domain (I’ve had it happen) and Site Backup helps you backup and restore your site if something breaks.
I strongly recommend a service like this. If not here through Bluehost, then somewhere.
The others aren’t something I’d use… unless you have some reason you need the privacy protection. But, most people don’t and you probably already know if you do.
Also, you’ll be asked what plan you’d like. I recommend doing the 36-month plan. It just locks in your domain and hosting for the next three years, so you don’t have to think about. Also, it locks in the discounted price you get from me.
Once you’ve selected your plan, enter your billing information and continue on:
At this point, Bluehost has a few additional offers they’ll walk you through. Like additional domain names and such.
Generally, I don’t find that kind of thing necessary but if you wanted to snatch up all the variations of your domain name, you could. I never do. But that’s me.
Once you’re done with the payment process, you’ll see a Welcome screen like this:
Click on the “Create Your Password” button and you’ll see a page where you can set your password, like this:
Please, please, please use the Password Generator here and do NOT use a password that you’ve used anywhere else or that’s “easy to remember”. Speaking from experience… if you do you will get hacked at some point.
Once done setting your password, hit “Create” and you’ll be taken to the Bluehost login where you can login with your new credentials:
Once logged in, you’ll see a welcome pop-up. Just go ahead and hit the “I Can Do It” button:
And now, you’ve fully registered your domain, creating your hosting account and got everything set up and ready to go. Next, is to install WordPress and get your blog up and running. We’ll do that in the next lesson.