So you really want to make a website today?

Sounds good – I like people who take action.

Here’s your first step: Sign up with a web host and register a domain name (in case you haven’t already).

I’m using Bluehost as a hosting and domain name provider in the example below. You can use any other hosting provider (if you want), but Bluehost is super-reliable, user-friendly and they offer a FREE domain for a limited time.

If you already have a domain name, don’t worry. You can still use Bluehost as your hosting, even if you bought your domain name from somewhere else (GoDaddy). The registration process shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes.

Once you’ve signed up with Bluehost, I’ll show you how to install WordPress (free platform to build a website) through the Bluehost control panel. 

I’ve also included guides for Joomla & Drupal (if anyone needs it).

P.S.: When you are setting up/making a website; a domain name and hosting are necessary. Otherwise you’ll be unable to set up your website for others to read and browse.

Step ONE – Sign up

Go to www.Bluehost.com and click on the “Get started now” button. If you use this link, you’ll be able to get a FREE domain, too.

This discount applies to all websitesetup.org visitors (Yay!).

Bluehost homepage

Step Two.

Choose the cheapest (basic) plan and a domain name for your website. It doesn’t have to end with .com, so you can also use different endings (such as: .net, .org or even .co.uk) if your first choice isn’t available.

If you already have a domain name (i.e you bought it from somewhere else), use the second form at the left – ‘I have a domain name’.


choose_domain_name_bh

Step Three.

Enter your personal details to complete the registration process. Add you name, address, e-mail address, and choose a payment type (Credit card or PayPal).

bluehost_domain_signup

Step Four.

Choose a suitable hosting package. The Basic option is perfect for brand new websites. The Plus and Business Pro aren’t really needed unless you’re getting millions of visitors from day one (and best of all, you can save some cash too). Now sign up for 12, 24 or 36 months.

Don't go crazy with addons

Don’t go crazy with add-ons.

The add-ons that Bluehost provides are great, but most aren’t required.

However, there are few decent, optional ones to consider:

  • Domain privacy – this will hide your personal information (name & address) to help reduce the number of unsolicited marketing emails you receive. If you want to keep your website/domain fully anonymous, tick that option. If you don’t want to stay anonymous, untick that option and you’ll save $0.99 per month.
  • Site Backup Pro – While WordPress is quite secure, it’s wise to sign up for Site Backup Pro just in case. If you are scared that you’ll mess something up, tick that one to start receiving regular backups of your site. (However if you don’t choose it, you are able to sign up for less than $60/year.)

Once you have signed up with Bluehost, you are now able to start making/building websites on your domain name. Just log in to your control panel and choose WordPress, Joomla or Drupal as your website builder.

How to Install WordPress (or Joomla & Drupal) on Bluehost’s ‘One-click-installation’

Bluehost provides a ‘one-click-installation’ option for beginners so that you can get a WordPress, Joomla or Drupal website up-and-running with just a few seconds.

Just click on your preferred website software below and the guide will expand (with images).

WordPress one-click-installation tutorial

Joomla one-click-installation tutorial

Drupal one-click-installation tutorial

Once you have a domain name, web hosting and website platform installed, you can go ahead and start reading my more in-depth guides for editing your website, adding new content and making it really work.

Guide by Robert Mening

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102 comments

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  1. Thanks for this. It’s finding the notification which is tricky – eg on Mojo site – but it was really useful to know that we should expect one for login.

  2. This is a really good tutorial, I love how you included all the one click installations as toggled content, I wasn’t expecting that at all, nice one!
    I am currently building a website which may be considered very similar to yours (only I will only be concentrating on WordPress, not the others like Drupal etc).

    Wish me luck 🙂
    Martie

  3. If I am building a business website and taking on-line do I need to purchase the dedicated web hosting option through wordpress? Or, can I start with the cheaper web hosting options and work up to the dedicated hosting later?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Great question. If you are just starting out then shared hosting is actually more than you need. If your site grows bigger, let’s day 1 million views / month, then it’s probably wise to move onto dedicated host (which is more expensive, though).

  4. Domain privacy protection means BH does not make information about me, the owner of the website, public? This is for avoiding unsolicited marketing to “help” me get my business going, correct? Or is it something different altogether?

    Another question, the Backup Pro, is that the only backup solution available? If my site is fairly static and I only want a backup in case I need to recreate it, is there a one-time backup option? Something I could do on my own, update it if major site changes were made? Doesn’t make sense to backup monthly if the site does not change often.

    • Hey Shannon,

      Great questions!

      1) You’re right. If you tick the “privacy protection” you’ll reduce the spam/unsolicited marketing that you’ll get to your email.
      2) Backup PRO is a great add-on, but at first you don’t need. Just google for “WordPress backup plugins” – this should do the trick 🙂

  5. Hi Rob!

    Arising from your response to Lisa’s question, I don’t seem to know much about SHARED HOSTING, and sadly, not much information about it is furnished by BlueHost (except perhaps I haven’t searched well enough).

    • Hi Ejiro,

      Good question. I’ll do a quick recap for both of you.

      1) Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting solution (usually below $5 / month)
      2) Shared hosting is owned by 10 or so different users, but they all have their own “personal space” which shouldn’t be affecting you.
      3) Rule of thumb here: If you’re starting out, you don’t need more than shared hosting. If your site(s), start to generate 100k+ monthly visits, then it’s wise to move on see if there’s anything better out there. The next step is usually VPS or Dedicated hosting which is roughly $50 per month. Personally. I don’t see a point paying that much for a brand new site hosting.

      • I would like to buy the package from bluehost, but unfortunately I don’t have credit card. Is there any other way to make payment?

        • As far as I know most web hosting providers only accept credit cards – it’s just to avoid any frauds. However, I think Bluehost also accepts Paypal 🙂

  6. Thank you so much. You have been great help. I have put off building a website for years because I told myself I needed money to pay an expert. But 15 minutes ago, I had an aha! moment. I taught myself to publish my book on createspace and even laid the book out inside myself… and it looks pretty good, with a few sales so far… i think I can teach myself to create a website too.

    I googled “how to create a website with wordpress” and your website was number 4 on the search results list. And here I am.

    You make it sound and look very easy. I am getting my website up and running by end of this week. Thank you.

  7. Hi,

    thanks for all the helpful info. I’ve clicked install and now it gives me the option of ‘show advanced options’ not sure what to do here.

  8. Am I correct in assuming that WordPress is not downloaded to my PC?
    That being the case the website can be accessed for updates from any PC.

    • Hi Bob,

      You’re right 🙂 You don’t need to download WordPress to your computer. You’ll modify and update WordPress website via your web hosting (Bluehost for example). All you need is computer and internet access.

  9. You say on your first page that starting up is “less than a coffee”. But when I get to Bluehost, it seems that I need to buy hosting as well, which adds more to the cost depending on my needs. So there are different “plans” and different “products” available at Bluehost. Do I need both a plan and a product?

    Also, if I start asking them questions via their live chat option, they’ll soon realize how ignorant I am about the whole process. Are they like car dealers when they find an ignorant customer, with giant gold dollar signs lighting up in their eyeballs? Will they try to sell me lots of crap that I don’t need?

    Apologies if I sound like a cynical old man who has been screwed too many times by the 21st century service industry, but that’s only because I’m a cynical old man who’s been screwed too many times by the 21st century service industry.

    • Hi RJ,

      Great questions. When I say “less than a coffee” – I’m thinking about the monthly fee of Bluehost hosting which is less than $4. So in general, to set up a website, you’ll need hosting & domain. You can get them both from BH (I don’t think there’s much cheaper options available).

      Bluehost doesn’t have much upsells, and when you go to their customer chat they don’t usually start “selling”. They try to be helpful and give out some information about their hosting in general. So if you’ve any questions, feel free to get in touch with them. If you run into trouble, get in touch with me.

  10. Hi, your tutorial is great! But I have a question regarding installation of WordPress.
    I’m with Bluehost. The version 4.2.2. is offering “Do it yourself – Install” button and other option “Let us do it for you (Recommended)”. These two options are not connected? ”Do it yourself” option is still free?

    Thanks you very much for your time to answer!

    Dinka

    • Hi Dinka,

      You can do it yourself, it’s just one click and then you need to fill your website details (email and site name). There’s no need to ask Bluehost to do the install for you. I’m sure you can make it yourself – this guide should help you get going 🙂

      Robert

  11. Hi Robert,
    This site you have is AWESOME!! I’m wanting to start up a type of social media website with question, answer, topic forums I guess it would be. I’m wondering what add-ons, plug-ins, etc I would have to use to input this style into my website? I am as new and uneducated about this stuff as one can be but I feel I have a pretty good idea and figure wth. Also do you think the pro version 1 or 2 yr plan would be the way to go? In case (with any luck) I have lots of traffic? Any advice would be great.

  12. Hi,
    If I was too early in my business idea to actually implement and put stuff on the internet, is there a way to use wordpress and start designing/building a website without actually reserving/paying for domain and hosting service?

  13. Hi, I have been trying to set up a blog website through BH but find that because I am a UK resident (I think that is the reason anyway) I need a VAT registration number. It seems silly when I am not intending on selling anything. Is there anyway round this?
    Thanks in advance.

  14. Hello,
    Your site has been a Godsend! Quick question: I’m getting hung up on the Sitelock Security option while selecting my bluehost package. I know I obsess too much, but is that one really necessary when you’re just starting out? I’ve gotten suckered into different security packages for my pc so I am bit wary about any add-ons.
    Thanks!

    • Hi McKellon,

      It’s optional. If you’re just starting out, I doubt you’ll need that. But if you site/blog grows bigger, it’s wise to tighten up your security.
      Cheers

  15. Hi Robert,
    Your site and step by step guide is much helpful for a newbie like me…I am stuck at a point deciding to use www. or not in my domain name. Can you please help me pros n cons of using/not using www while installing ?
    Thanks

    • Hey Pari,

      It’s completely up to you. I tend to use without www. (see websitesetup.org). However, I know many webmaster who take www. over non .www.
      To be honest, there aren’t any cons/pros of using one or another.

  16. Hey Robert- what’s the difference between using the free hosting on WordPress and paying for it through a service like BlueHost?

    Also, what do you think of buying the domain through something like Google Domains at $12/yr to get the free privacy, email and other services Google Domains offers?

    • Hi Wolf,

      Free hosting on WordPress will be VERY limited and only giving you a subdomain (yoursite.wordpress.com) – this isn’t very professional, thus I’d suggest you to avoid that. Also, when you want to upgrade from free WordPress to paid WordPress – it’ll become very expensive (around $12/month). So it’s wise to start off with a self-hosted WordPress, with your own domain via Bluehost.

      As far as I know, BH also throws in a free domain, where you can also add free privacy.

  17. Hi Robert,

    Great blog. First time of me reading something like this and feeling hopeful. Can I ask if I choose a domain name through BH, is it possible to change the domain name some time later? Would it cost me something to change it? Thanks!!

    • Hey Jean,

      Choose your domain name carefully as you won’t be able to “change” it. You can, though – buy another/new one if you decide it’s not something you’d want to keep holding onto 🙂

      Robert

  18. I already have a domain with Namecheap.com, but no hosting. Can I transfer my domain to Bluehost.com for hosting and it is difficult to do?

  19. Hi! Mr. Mening,
    I have just gone through your blog and I think it is really superb – it is very helpful, simple yet informative. It is easy to follow, even for a 60-yo absolute beginner like me.
    I have not started building my website – gone through the steps – but when I do, I will not look up any other guide but yours.
    Thank you very much for this tutorial/guide.

    Yusuf
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    • WordPress themes are mostly free. There are certain ‘premium’ themes that aren’t free, you can find them on themeforest.net

  20. Thanks for the awesome tutorial and the website!

    But still I have a bit of confusion, so it’ll be a lot of help if you can clear it out!

    What I wanted to know is, when we are registering our domain name via Bluehost, are we only getting a valid domain name, email etc (things that are mentioned in their package) by paying $3.49 ? Such that afterwards, when we go on to install the CMS of WordPress in our website, will we need to make further payment to WordPress for that, or is it free ?

    • Hi Arnab,

      You don’t need to pay for WordPress install. WordPress is free. But in order to set it up, you’ll need a host and a domain name. Once you have a domain/hosting from Bluehost you’re all set. You’ll just need to install WordPress through their (Bluehost) control panel which is fairly easy – I’ve also shown this on this page 🙂

  21. Hi Robert, thank you for putting this together.
    I am confused with the place where I buy my domain name and the hosting site.
    Why are we not doing everything from one site, as wordpress? Why using bluehost?

    • Because if you buy hosting directly from WordPress.com or WordPress.org it’ll cost you much more (around $10/month). Plus, there are some limitations that Bluehost doesn’t have 🙂

  22. Hi! This has been really helpfull because I’m planning to build an online store. However I don’t have any knowledge about how online payments work. Does wordpress have a tutorial or something on how I can add payment options on my website? Thank you!

  23. when I log-in to my.bluehost.com it ask me to enter password but i do not know what is my password..
    Because I didn’t mentioned any password.

    Thank You!

    • They usually send you an email where you can set up yourself a password 🙂 If not, just get in touch with their live customer support.

  24. Hello, and thank you for all you’re help. I have not done anything yet, but you make it sound so simple that I might just try and give it a shot. Quick question or two though:
    1. If you use bluehost for domain and hosting and then wordpress to build your site (basically following your instructions on how to do all this) and decide to let ads go on your website by, for example, “adsense”, or google ads, or whatever; do you get to keep the revenue from this or does Bluehost take some or all of it? And if yes, then how do you prevent that from happening?
    2. Also, say you do all this and build your website- now how do you market your business and website and have it show up in google searches, or any internet search engine for that matter?
    Thank You,
    Tony

    • Hi Tony,

      #1. When you sign up with Bluehost or any other web hosting provider, you’ll be the FULL owner of your site. Meaning that no-one can take down your site or add unwanted ads (like Wix or Weebly does). You are feel to add Google Analytics, Banner ads or whatever you fancy.

      #2. I assume you are referring to SEO, more information on this can be found on backlinko.com – He teaches you how to get more traffic from search engines.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  25. Hello,

    Great Article! I had a couple of questions for you. I already have my own domain which I purchased from another provider.
    (1) Do you have to switch the domain over to Bluehost in order to have the web hosting plan from Bluehost? Or can I keep it with the place I originally purchased the domain from?
    (2) If I went with the plan with the free domain, but wanted to sign up with my current domain. Can you get the free domain at a later time?
    (3) Finally, if you have two websites and they are both under Bluehost under the unlimited websites plan. Do you pay double the amount for Bluehost? Or is it the same plan for the unlimited websites?

    Thank you for your time! I am new to all of this. I have a blogger website that I’m looking to switch over to WordPress.org and it feels overwhelming.

    • Hey Sara,

      Good questions, I’ll answer them 🙂

      #1: You can keep your CURRENT domain with your CURRENT domain registrar. Once you’ve signed up with Bluehost, all you need to do is to change domain nameservers (https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/1)

      #2: From Bluehost you’ll get a free domain. So pick something you might want to use later (in case you already have one).

      #3: No, you only need to pay one fee (unlimited domains/website), no need to pay double.

      Hope that helps.
      Robert

      • Hi Robert – may I ask you to expand on this a bit? I purchased a domain name on GoDaddy (boy, I wish I had found your site first!), and there does not seem to be a way to access WordPress for free. It sounds like I should go to Bluehost and change the domain server as you said. My question – will Bluehost let me choose the domain name I already bought? Thank you so much – this site is fantastic!

  26. Before I found websitesetup.org, I was wandering through the setup jungle alone. It took me 2 weeks to sort out my web hosting and domain name! Now I feel able to take the next steps using your guide – you truly understand that there are people who know NOTHING about setting up websites – can’t thank you enough.

  27. If I select the privacy option am I giving Bluehost the rights to my domain? It certainly seems as though I am with all information being in their name.
    Thanks

  28. Hi Robert,

    I already have a domain which is registered through domain.com and when I am installing wordpress I get a message stating, “We noticed the domain you are installing at is not set up yet with your hosting provider.
    We can still install this, then once your domain is set up you will be able to see your installation.”
    What does this mean and what should be done next?

    • Get in touch with Bluehost live chat – I’m sure they’ll help you out 🙂
      You’ll just need to merge your current domain with Bluehost account.
      Robert

  29. hello, im currently trying to set up a website but i am abit confused. if i use and pay for bluehost, does that include the wordpress? or do it still need to pay the wordpress fees AND the bluehost fees altogether?

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    Thanks for the really informative tutorial!

  30. Hi Robert,

    Very nice instructions! Like most people here I have my own burning question. When you register a domain, whether free or not, are you then the sole owner of that domain until the end of time, or are you actually renting the domain for a period of time? If you walk away from these particular companies in the future, what control do you have or the your domain? Is there any prof of purchase indicating ownership.

    Sorry if this sounds a bit fundamental to some, but I’d to clarify what your rights are when registering.

    Kind Regard,

    Chorf.

    • Chorf,

      You’ll be the sole owner of your domain as long as you pay for it. You can move your domain between different registrars, too (if needed).

  31. I really like WordPress and i want to learn how i can create a website but now the challenge is how to get a domain because i don’t have any payment method, what do i do? please help, thanks

    • Unfortunately, you’ll need Credit Card or PayPal account. I don’t know any other hosting provider either that doesn’t require CC or PP.

  32. I signed up with WordPress yesterday before being here at your site. I have a domain name but no host. Really a newbie at this. Should a domain name be copyrighted?

    • Hi Lorna,

      It’s a shame that you bought a domain because you can get one free from Bluehost (just use the link at the top of my article). But don’t worry, all you need know is web hosting. Once you have it you can connect your domain with it. And no, in 99,99% of the cases you don’t need a copyright to your domain name.

  33. Thanks for a great intro to the world of websites and blogging, Robert – this is the best guide I’ve read 🙂

    I’m just about to set up a professional website so that I can share my research with interested parties. As some of the research findings are only for participants at the moment, and so not open access, I was wondering if it is possible to have two layers of access to the site? In other words a front page with information and downloads that anyone can access, then a ‘member only’ password protected section for approved users? I see that there are lots of potential plugins that might offer this, but your advice (and recommendation) would be gratefully received. Thanks again 🙂

  34. Very great information! Very helpful to me. I was worried about the huge cash I would pay Website designers before I found your article. I will soon start building my blog. Thanks a lot.

  35. Great write up and perfect for what I might use. Looking to build a VFW website to get more interests from younger vets. I am volunteering this work to help them out and become a member of course. Thank you so much on this. Booked marked and will read more into it soon.

  36. This is really helpful. Can I create a free website on WordPress and then host it with BlueHost, or do I have to get BlueHost service first and then install WordPress before creating my website?

    • Hey Preston,

      First sign up with Bluehost (or any other web hosting that is reliable and offers FREE/ONE-CLICK WordPress install) and THEN install WordPress. No need to go to WordPress.com/WordPress.org. You can start everything from Bluehost :).

  37. Thanks a LOT, Robert! I got my website up and running. It took 20-30 minutes till I started to see my website/domain, but now it’s up.

  38. Honestly, this is the most straight-forward free tutorial online. I went through so many sites and they left me more confused than when I started. You made it very simple. Thank you!

  39. Hello Robert

    Thank you for the tutorial. I am setting up a website for my photography, with a view to making it an ecommerce site. Is it possible to set the website up using BlueHost and WordPress, and add the ecommerce option at a later date? Does this make the annual cost of the website much more? Many thanks for you help.

  40. Hi Robert. Thanks for this guide. Really helpful. I have completed all the steps up to installing WordPress. I am now being asked to pay for a theme. Should I be getting a free starter theme as part of my $118 domain name and basic hosting package or do I now have to pay for a theme on top? If so I’m not sure what theme to go for. The website is to promote an eBook I’m about to write and I’d like people to be able to pay for and download a copy from the website. Thanks. Hannah

    • Hey Hannah,

      No need to buy a premium theme right away. Explore with free ones first. If you can’t find anything good (which I highly doubt), head over to themeforest.net (there’s plenty of premium WordPress themes).

  41. Thank you for the tutorial. We really appreciate it! This was informative enough to get us started but not overwhelming to where we felt intimidated. Quick question, it appears there is a shift towards https vs http whether you’re taking payments or not. Is this easy to set up and if so do you have a tutorial on that?

    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Donzell,

      Setting up a payment system is fairly easy. I haven’t put together a tutorial yet, but will do so soon. If you need more information, get in touch with me.

      Cheers,
      Robert

  42. Hi Mr. Robert,
    Thanks so much for this useful tutorial, God bless you!!!
    I’ve been willing to create/build a website to express my longtime idea, but I got stucked as am not a developer by profession. But with this tutorial I believed I’m good to go

    Question;
    What type of package it require and procedures if I want to build a website based on either of the following;
    1- Social network; where people can chat, share file & as well make call.
    2- A football soccer website; where I can predict upcoming matches to be play for my fans. Ahead of match day
    3- Online store website; where people can place their order

    Thank you for your response in advance

    Regrads,
    Emmanuel S

    • Hello Emmanuel, here’s my take in response to your question.

      You can use either the “plus” or “prime” package if you’re planning to build those three websites, because with those packages, you get an unlimited number of parked domains, meaning you can host unlimited websites on your server.

      As for 1) Social networks are complicated, especially the part where people could connect, communicate and share files, but I believe there are WordPress plugins out there that could help you achieve this.

      2) For the football-soccer website, you can do this with the same approach as creating a blog, since you only need to post updates of incoming games and predict the winners. To make it look more than an ordinary blog, you can choose themes to something you think would fit a sports blog. Read more on how to create a blog.

      3) For online store websites, you only need the basic WordPress setup, and an e-commerce plugin for WordPress.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

      Rol John
      Website Setup Tech Team

  43. Hi Robbert,

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful step-step guide, so interesting and helpful.

    I’ve got some question to ask as a beginner to build website, and will like to hear your advice as well. What is the best package to chose and procedure to follow if I want to build my website based on either of the following areas:

    1- A football soccer website, which I can able to predict matches result before been play for my fans to see. (It’ll also be able to show live scoreline when the match is playing)

    2- An online store website, where people can able to search, preview and place order for they like to buy

    3- A social network website, that people can own their logIn account to communicate by chat and as well make call through internet

    Thank you once again,
    Emmanuel S.

  44. Hi Robert,

    I do have two question, let say I want to build something like the Research gate or Facebook, If I go for Bluehost is that mean I’m losing/sharing my copyright of the idea or any expected profits? Is Bluehost got any access for my visitors database?

    Thanks in advance

  45. Hi Robert,

    When choosing a domain name how do I pick one that will have the best chance of showing up on the first page of a search engine?

  46. When my partner and I are creating our site, can we sign up as our LLC or do we need to use one of our names for the first and last name sections? We are newbies to this so I am sure that we will be asking many questions.
    Thanks for your time and information.