he easiest way to build a platform in today’s world is to start a blog. While you can do this with free hosted options like WordPress.com, TypePad.com, and Blogger.com, you will get the most control by using self-hosted WordPress. This is what most serious bloggers use.
However, this is where many people get stuck. They assume that the process of setting up a hosting service and installing WordPress is complicated and time-consuming. It’s not.(By the way, if you are not sure about the difference between hosted and self-hosted WordPress, check out this helpful infographic.)
In the video above, I show you how to setup your blog in twenty minutes or less. As a bonus, I explain to you how to write and publish your first blog post. If you don’t need this information yourself, perhaps you know someone who does. Please feel free to pass along the link to this post.
The good news is that you won’t need any technical expertise to setup your blog. This tutorial is simple. I walk you through the process, once click at a time.
If you prefer to read about the process rather than watch a video, you can do that too. I have written down all the steps here. This will also save you the trouble of taking notes as you watch the video.
Please understand: you can get everything you need just by watching the video above. The written material below is optional.
You can launch your blog by following these seven steps:
- Gather your resources. To set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, you will need:
- A domain name
- A credit card
- 20 minutes (give or take)
It’s easier if you haven’t already registered your domain. It’s also cheaper. I will show you how to get one for free, using the service I recommend in Step #2.
However, if you have already registered your domain, no sweat. You will simply need to add an additional step. I will explain the process at the end of this post.
- Set up a hosting account. This is where your blog will “live.” This is a server in the cloud (i.e., a remote computer), where you will rent space to install the WordPress software and manage your blog. It’s far easier than it sounds. Stay with me.There are a hundreds of hosting services available—perhaps thousands. However, based on my experience and research, I recommend Bluehost. I believe it is the best option for most people for the following seven reasons:
- Reason #1: Support. Bluehost has great 24–7 support via phone, e-mail, or chat. I have personally used it several times and found the support staff to be courteous, professional, and helpful. All of the company’s support staff are located in the U.S.
- Reason #2: Reliability. Bluehost is super reliable. It boasts an uptime average of 99.9%. That’s about as good as it gets.
- Reason #3: Ease of Use. Bluehost is super easy-to-use (as you can witness in the above video). In fact, shockingly so. They have worked hard to make it simple for non-geeks.
- Reason #4: WordPress. Interestingly, WordPress itself only officially recommends three hosting services. Bluehost is number one. It hosts over 850,000 WordPress blogs.
- Reason #5: No Limits. Bluehost offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains (i.e., you can host multiple blogs or sites on one account), and unlimited e-mail accounts.
- Reason #6: Affordability. Bluehost is inexpensive—about $4.95 to $6.95 a month, depending on which plan you select. The longer you are willing to commit, the cheaper it is.
Note: Bluehost is now offering a special for my readers for $3.95 a month. This is honestly a steal. Get it while you can. But be sure to use one of the links in this post to get this special offer.
- Reason #7: Values. In its Terms of Service (see Section 10.03, Bluehost prohibits pornography, nudity, and other adult content. It strictly enforces this standard and deletes sites that violate it. Personally, I don’t want my blog sitting on the same server as some pornographer. If you feel the same way, you may be surprised to know that almost all of the most popular hosting services allow pornography on their servers.
Note: I am a Bluehost affiliate, which means the company pays me a commission every time someone signs up via one of my links. But this didn’t influence my recommendation, because all hosting services have similar programs. I recommend Bluehost because I honestly believe they offer the best hosting available.
You should also know that I do not use Bluehost for MichaelHyatt.com. My site is too big and complicated. It requires a dedicated server with a mirrored backup. However, I have my other sites on Bluehost, as do several of my family members and friends. Bluehost specializes in shared servers and it is the right choice for 95 percent of bloggers.
By the way, Bluehost offers a thirty-day, money-back guarantee, which is written into their Terms of Service. I have personally tested this and got my money back within a few hours. So there’s really no risk on your part.
Okay, so if you are still with me, go to the Bluehost home page. Click on the Sign Up Now button.
Now you need to decide whether you need a domain name or you already have a domain name. I’m going to assume that you haven’t previously registered a domain, using some other domain registration service (e.g., GoDaddy.com). If you have, I will explain what to do at the end of this post.
Now enter your domain name in the left-most box, choose the appropriate extension (com, net, biz, whatever) and click on the Next button.