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Build your website and digital home for only $4/month. That costs less than one grande Starbucks latte!

You have probably heard it before. Get self-hosted. It’s all good and if you’re reading this, you already have a blog that’s hosted on WordPress.com or the infamous Blogger.com. But once you begin to settle in on the idea of having a blog, you run into the next problem. So here’s how to start a blog the REAL WAY without tech experience.

You can’t change up the look of your blog and it looks like that cookie-cutter tablecloth you bought at the $1 store you called interior decor for your home.

Ouch.

I don’t mean to use that analogy, but it’s obvious when you land on someone’s website and they are using a template. You know that person is blogging for herself and not to build an audience. And I was one of those WordPress.com users way back when I started my first blog.

I wonder how many people took my blog seriously back then, ha.

Now there might be a few reasons why you might not want to get hosted with Bluehost. Does this sound like you?

  • You’re a hobby blogger
  • You’re writing for yourself (I still have a blog that’s set to private that only I can read)

In this case, this article probably isn’t for you.

But for the rest of you who are looking to get real about building an audience and creating content that’s helpful, you want to begin by giving people that awesome user experience.

And it’s hard to be awesome when someone has to remember your URL as

http://johndoe.wordpress.com.

Why get self-hosted when you can write on your blog for free?

When I was 16 and started my first website ever, I had no idea what it means to get self-hosted. I coded my first website from scratch — and I had tons of fun back then, but I’m never doing that again.

As I got more into blogging and even moved onto other niches over time, there are lots of things that you can’t do if you’re on WordPress.com. Imagine all these cons:

  • You spent hours, months, and years writing content, but you don’t even own your own website!
  • You can’t customize the look and feel of your website and guide the user experience and journey when there are so many restrictions

These are the major cons of not getting self-hosted and to be real with you, the first reason is enough for want me to get hosted. Let’s say you poured hours into writing content that’s helpful for others… but at the end of the day, you realize that another company (WordPress) actually owns everything on your website.

It’s like building your home on someone else’s land or living under a roof that’s actually your landlord’s.

And you might not know this yet, but when you’re hosted on WordPress.com, you’re only restricted to use a few themes they have.

So if you’re going to take your blog seriously, you want to learn to do like a boss. You want your blog to be built on your own land (hosting that you pay only $4/month for) and you want to be able to design it the way that floats your boat and rocks your brand.

Who is Bluehost good for?

  • Anyone who wants to monetize their blogs
  • Anyone who wants to build a genuine audience

What does it mean to get self-hosted?

The term “self-hosted” may not really mean anything to you right now. But it boils down to knowing a few things:

  • You pay a tiny monthly fee of about $4/month and get your own domain name (if you use Bluehost, you also get a free domain name= yay!)
  • You get to access the behind-the-scenes of your blog. This is equal to the Control Panel on your laptop.
  • Once you pick your hosting plan, you will be able to choose and design your theme and all the fun stuff around building an audience!

How much does it cost? I’m on a tight budget, can I afford it?

The simplest plan starts at $4/month, but you can get their 3-year plan which is $144, which is very affordable. I do this and do recommend this plan because you save $1/month and blogging goes by really fast. Before you know it, it’s already one year and you really don’t want to have to deal with renewing each year.

Trust me, once you start growing, you don’t want to be bogged down by this insignificant admin stuff.

VIDEO TUTORIAL: HOW TO SIGN UP FOR BLUEHOST

If you prefer the written step-by-step instructions:

  1. How to sign up for your hosting plan
  2. Go to Bluehost.com
  3. Under “hosting”, go to “shared hosting”
  4. Select a plan (Basic, Plus, or Prime). I’m currently on the Plus plan, but I started with the Basic plan. That’s what I’ll recommend and you can always upgrade through customer service. It’s very easy!
  5. You get a free domain if you don’t already have one! Make sure you have your blog name before you get to this step. (I couldn’t take advantage of this because I actually paid $18 for a domain before I got self-hosted before.)
  6. Click “next”
  7. Fill out your account information and payment info; select the package you want
  8. Click “submit”

You should get an email from Bluehost about your purchase. It should give you your login details. Remember or keep these login details at a safe place.

And voila! You have just purchased hosting.

Now you’re ready to move onto installing WordPress on your website. It’s a one-click install if you use Bluehost.

How to Log Into Bluehost & Install WordPress

If you prefer the written step-by-step instructions:

  1. Go back to Bluehost.com
  2. On the top menu, click “login”
  3. Sign in with your domain and password
  4. Click “submit”
  5. Under “Hosting” >> “Home” >> “Website” >> click “Wordpress install”
  6. Select the domain you want to install WordPress to. You should only have one domain since you’re new.
  7. Click “next”
  8. Fill out your site name, email, username, and password. Note: The username and password are what you’ll use to sign into your WordPress account so make sure you take note of this.
  9. Click “next”

Give it a minute while it installs itself. You should see a blue bar at the top that shows you the progress.

Once your installation is successful, you should get an email from Bluehost with your login details.

In case you don’t find it, your WordPress login URL is going to be your

“yourdomainname.com/wp-admin”

Of course, if you didn’t choose .com, then it’s going to be whatever extension you choose.

What if you run into a tech glitch?

I knew you’ll ask about that. Here’s my experience with their customer service.

I had to call tech support immediately the next day so I feel qualified to give you my review of their customer service. Here’s my experience:

I love how they have an online chat. Sometimes it can take up to 15 minutes for the next available agent but I’m never in that much of a rush that I can’t wait. So take the chance to hone in on your patience or practice meditation while you wait. Or dance.
They almost always either resolve my issues immediately or a few days later. I’ve worked for a tech company before and sometimes there are tiny tech glitches that even the company itself has little control over. It just takes 2-3 days for the action to take effect.

And a tip of advice. It’s much easier to sign up for Bluehost if you’re not moving a blog or domain from WordPress.com. If you are though, there’s one extra tech step involved where you have to move the DNS to point to Bluehost instead of WordPress.com. It’s not hard to do, but it takes a few days for the action to take into effect. And that’s where I got impatient.

If you chat with customer service, they’ll happily walk you through it like they did with me.

Now Bluehost isn’t perfect. So how can it be better?

It’s a bit slow, but that’s not a problem unless you begin to have five or six figures in traffic. When you’re paying for your own hosting, you’re sharing Bluehost’s server with other bloggers who are also using it. Because it’s so cheap to get self-hosted, this is what comes with the price.

You can always use Google Page Speed Insights to see how you can make your website load faster. It gives you a good breakdown of what you can fix. You’re not going to get it at 100% and that’s okay.

What’s next?

Once you’re self-hosted and installed WordPress, the next step is to hunt for a nice WordPress theme. It might take a few days to make a decision, but you want to ask yourself if you want a website-type theme or a blog-type theme.

Starting a blog without tech experience isn’t difficult at all right?The most challenging and fun part is creating the real content — and doing so consistently.

Happy blogging!

I’ll be seeing you over on other threads and articles about blogging if you decide to get self-hosted and launch your blog!

Author: Ju

Ju is a copywriting ninja for creative entrepreneurs. She also helps bloggers with their content strategy to grow their audience, customers, and online presence.