How to Start a Website using BlueHost
In today’s fast-moving, global information economy, establishing a well-rounded online presence is essential for your business success. And by well-rounded we mean not only a presence on the main social media platforms but also your own domain and website.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a geek to do it yourself. There are a lot of tools out there that can help you create your own website.
Why would you want a website?
- more flexibility in structuring and developing your content (you decide what and how to publish);
- better ability to sell your products or services directly to customers.
- you offer your readers or customers a more professional and legit image of your brand and your services.
So why would you bother with any of the “free” but restrictive offers out there, when you can have the freedom to do your own thing for the price of a cup of coffee once a month?
How should you go about creating a professional website?
1. Define your goals.
Identify and describe what exactly you want to do with your website. What is its purpose? Who will you be directing your content towards? What services or products will you be publishing on it?
This is the most important step because all future decisions you make depend on this one point. Failing to establish clear goals can lead to unfocused content and confusion in the later stages. No pressure, though! 🙂
2. Name your website.
Your website will need a name/address to be found on the internet. You know… www.SOMETHING.com. This is called your domain name.
Depending on your decisions in the previous, goal-defining stage, you should be able to figure out a good domain name for your future website. You can’t go wrong with something ending in .com, but, if you have other ideas, you can use .net, .org, .me, .sport, or any other domain ending that suits your fancy and is available.
Beware that some domain names might not be available, or could be available for stellar prices, in which case, you will probably need to think of a different name. Also, try to go for something easy to remember and to write into the address bar. If possible, avoid using hyphens, unless the name has to contain them to make sense.
3. Find a home for your website.
Now that you know what the website is about, and you have the perfect name for it, you need to choose a home for it on the internet, preferably with a reliable and respectable hosting provider, like BlueHost. Be sure to signup to Bluehost here: www.bluehost.com/track/
Usually, professional hosting companies also offer domain registration and maintenance services, so you don’t need to freak out about all the technicalities involved. Let the pros do their job. You just take care of the website content.
4. Rent the home for your website.
This means buying the domain name and a hosting plan from your chosen hosting provider and accessing your account. You’re almost there.
When choosing the hosting plan, you need to consider your goals again. Will you try the new website out for an initial, short period of time before investing more resources into it? Or will you go the distance, and evaluate your options for this from the start? You might also want to sign up for additional traffic or security options from your hosting provider.
5. Set up your website.
Using the tools available in your hosting account, set up your website and start filling it with content.
Hosting providers usually offer standard website-building and deployment apps (like Softaculous Installer, or a WordPress auto-installer). By using these tools, you can, without prior IT knowledge, design and configure your website’s structure, build new pages from scratch or choose from a wide range of templates, upload media and text content, administer your databases.
All this complicated-sounding action happens in something called a content management system (CMS), an interface designed in such a way that you can clearly understand what is going on and what is expected of you.
We recommend just using WordPress, as we do with 90% of our websites, and Bluehost makes it easy.
As you can see, creating your own website is not such a technically-difficult process. The most difficult parts (figuring out what you will be using the website for, and thinking up an appropriate domain name for it) depend more on your creativity than your IT knowledge.
In addition, if you decide to use BlueHost as your hosting provider and domain registrar, here’s what you need to do to set it all up.
How do you set up a website on BlueHost?
- Use this link [bluehost.com/track/overthinkacademy] to access the BlueHost shared hosting section.
- Select your hosting plan. If this is your first foray into owning a website, go with the BASIC plan. You can change it later, depending on your future needs.
- Select your desired domain name (new domain), or let BlueHost know if you already own the domain name you intend to use (transfer domain). If your domain is elsewhere, you can just point the nameservers to Bluehost, it’s not a big deal.
- Fill in your personal information, including billing data. This is basically your BlueHost registration form.
- Now you will need to select which, if any additional hosting options you want. Don’t feel compelled to select any of them if you don’t need them, but do pay attention to what’s on offer. Then, enter your payment information.
- It is time to set up your BlueHost account-access password. When setting the password, don’t forget that is should be at least 10 characters long, it should contain caps, symbols and numbers in a relatively random fashion. It’s best to first write the password down on paper, then enter it in the form field. Don’t forget to keep your password for future reference, preferably somewhere safe. You can also use the “suggest password” function on BlueHost.
- You can now log into your BlueHost account, using the password you previously set up.
- With the BlueHost website builder tool, you can now start building your own presence online. One of the most popular platforms used to quickly and painlessly set up a website is WordPress. And there’s a reason for that: it’s a very user-friendly platform, which offers a variety of templates for most of your website and blogging needs.
- If you decide to go with WordPress, you’ll have to select the default WordPress theme for your website. A theme (or a template) is like a skeleton, a structure meant to hold all your content. BlueHost makes a few theme choices available to you but, if you’re pickier, you can browse the WordPress.org repository for a truly varied selection.
- After choosing the theme for your WordPress installation, you will log into your WordPress dashboard, where a “Welcome” message will be waiting for you. At this point, you can select a theme, or upload your own.
- By clicking the BlueHost button in the upper-left corner of the WordPress dashboard, you will gain access to a multitude of tools created to help you build your website. When you are ready to publish something online (a.k.a. make your website visible for the rest of the internet), all you need to do is tap the “Launch” button.
That’s it. Your website is all set up with Bluehost.
From here on, you can start experimenting with the WordPress platform to learn how to make changes to your content, to upload and edit text, photos, videos and whatever content you feel best matches your goals. It’s actually quite fun if you give it a chance.