How to Start a WordPress Blog in 10 Minutes – Step by Step

By: Ramsay | 75 intelligent opinions, add yours

how to start a wordpress blog

So you want to learn how to start a WordPress blog in around 10 minutes? Easy.

As I mentioned in my latest blog hosting review, starting a WordPress blog is super simple with BlueHost. In fact, it only takes a few clicks.

One of my goals here at Blog Tyrant is to make things simple for new and old bloggers alike.

And as I am constantly asked about how to start a blog I decided to do a step by step tutorial on how to install WordPress on your own host so I can refer readers to it when needed.

Let’s get it right the first time around!

Note: I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you buy a hosting package from one of my links. Thanks for your support! Please make sure Blue Host is right for your needs before choosing them.

Click here to open BlueHost in a new window (and get a free domain name when you buy a hosting package) and then follow the tutorial below. It will take you through the setup process – step by step. It should take around 10 minutes.

Step 1: Get your free domain name and hosting from BlueHost

BlueHost is where I first got started and they currently they have an incredible low rate of $3.95 per month (billed annually) for Blog Tyrant readers and they throw in a free domain name for a year. If you want to learn more about why I recommend BlueHost for new bloggers you can read this post.

Click the green Get Started Now button at Blue Host to get started.


Then you will be taken to a page where you have to enter in the domain name that you’d like to use. Remember, you can add unlimited websites and blogs to your Blue Host account so don’t worry too much if your not totally sold on your current domain name idea.


The next step is easy – just fill out all your contact details and payment information (billed annually). Make sure you use your real details because if you ever lose access to your account you might need to prove that you are the owner in order to get back in.

As you can see below, that same screen has some optional extras. It is up to you whether or not you purchase these but I would generally recommend you buy the Whois privacy. This keeps your details private.


Step 2: Install WordPress from your cPanel inside Blue Host

Now that you have purchased your domain name and hosting package you will get given access to something called a cPanel. This is the “engine” of your hosting and has dozens of different icons that link to all the different services and features that are available inside your hosting account. At first it will seem a little overwhelming but don’t worry, you can ignore 95% of them.

IMPORTANT: I’m going to show you how to do a WordPress install by yourself but you can always ask BlueHost to do it for you. This is a message you’ll see when you first get cPanel access.

do it for me

We’re going to click “I can do it!” because we’re awesome!

Scroll down until you find the icon called Install WordPress. This is the amazing new software that lets you install WordPress on your host in just a few clicks.

Install WordPress

Now, the next scree has a few options but is actually really simple.


First, give your site a name but don’t worry as you can change it later.

Second, choose a complicated username and write it down on paper.

Third, choose a complicated password that you don’t use anywhere else.

Fourth, add your email address incase you need to reset your password.

Fifth, select the box to create a new database.

Lastly, accept the terms and then hit the Complete button.

And you’re done!

Once it has finished crunching the installation it will give you a confirmation screening showing you your unique WordPress login URL that will look like this:

http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin

Copy this and bookmark it and make sure you write down your username and password on a piece of paper. Never write this information down on your computer.

This URL is where you go when you want to write posts, change WordPress themes, etc. You can virtually forget about the Blue Host area for most blogging tasks these days.

Step 3: Change your theme and start blogging!

The final (and most rewarding) step in the process is where you install a beautiful new theme design and start writing your first posts!

To change your theme simply find APPEARANCES in the left sidebar and then then click THEMES. Up the top will be a tab called INSTALL THEMES – click that one.

Once you are here, use the search function to find a theme that suits your needs. There are literally tens of thousands to choose from.

Once you have found a theme that you like you can preview it or just install it. Click the link and all the work is done for you!

Now you are ready to start blogging on your new WordPress blog! That whole process from sign up to installing a theme can literally only take five minutes to do. Just follow this guide and if you run in to any problems you can ask one of BlueHost’s amazing live support crew for help. They are there 24 hours a day.

Why would you want to start a WordPress blog?

If you’re still not convinced about starting a blog on WordPress I have done a quick video on why I think it is the best option for new bloggers.

Any other tips on how to start a WordPress blog?

Do any of the more experienced crowd have any tips for new bloggers who are installing WordPress for the first time? Please leave a comment.



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75 Comments

  • Excellent post! This is very easy to understand, concise and helpful. Anyone can do it if they follow your instructions exactly. Thanks for posting something so easy to understand and follow.

    Deb :)

    • Ramsay

      Thanks Deb. I’m really glad you think so.

      • Yeah very simple instructions for new bloggers. This will calm them down while they are putting their site up.

  • You should also have mentioned must install wordpress plugins. Few plugins are like mandatory as soon as you create a blog on wordpress.

    • Ramsay

      That is very true Abhishek. Security plugins probably should be installed right away.

      Thanks!

      • Having once spent an entire month fighting off a hacker, I second this. I always install security plugins as soon as I set up a new site.

        Here are some security plugins I recommend:

        WordPress Firewall 2 — Best protection against hacks. Blocks attacks, e-mails you notifications whenever someone tries to break into your site, gives a description of the type of attack, and traces the hacker’s IP address! I block bad IP’s in cPanel’s “IP Deny Manager.”

        Limit Login Attempts — This prevents “brute-forcing” where a malicious program runs through every word in the dictionary to guess your password. It also logs the IP addresses of hackers, like WP Firewall 2.

        Secure WordPress — This one patches the little things that you’d otherwise have to do by diving into the code. For example, hiding what WordPress version your site is running and stuff like that. In the settings, check the box next to “Error Messages” to deactivate the tooltip and error messages at login. Hackers use error messages from failed logins to guess your password.

        There are a couple of “all in one” security plugins out there like Bullet Security, Wordfence Security, and Better WP Security. I find them too heavy and prefer to use individual plugins. Hope these help.

        • René

          We all know there is no 100% solution to secure any software. Assume someone compromised your wp installation and when he is clever you don´t recognize it! The attacker would had enough time to copy your database and the thing that is most valuable, your entire user and customer data! Wouldn´t it the best to be notified in realtime by any modification a attacker would do on your entire system? Take a look at iwatch http://iwatch.sourceforge.net/index.html It´s a perl script which is able to run as a daemon on your linux system. It uses the inotify api of the kernel and is able to send you a message or email when there is only a byte modified. In that case you have time to do what is necessary- shutdown the server etc. I grant that is something for a more advanced user but as far as i know you find a similar plugin in the wp plugin repository (not secure as iwatch because it is working with cronjob in intervals and not realtime, but a good thing nevertheless) . If someone needs help implementing iwatch i like to give support.

          Regards, René

        • I’ve used WordPress for a couple years and, being a non-techie, I hadn’t thought about the security aspects. What a mistake! Luckily, my sites have never been hacked. But I’ve installed the three plug-ins you recommended above for my sites as well as for my clients. Much thanks for the info!

  • Shlomo

    My advise when choosing a hosting company: make sure they have support people available via live chat 24/7.

    Eventually something will go wrong and you will want help NOW. Waiting for someone to respond to your email support ticket is too frustrating.

    Shlomo

    • Ramsay

      Yep totally agree.

      That is one of the main reasons I recommend Blue Host. They are there every moment of the day – live!

      Thanks Shlomo.

    • Rene

      24/7 would be unpayable for a blog kickstarter and much more expensive than 3$/month. Be more realistic and expect services within regular business hours.

      René

      • Ramsay

        Hi Rene.

        I was saying that Blue Host has those services for bloggers – not that bloggers should provide them.

        Sorry for the confusion.

    • I don’t use BlueHost so I’ll let Ramsay speak for them. Hostgator has excellent and almost immediate support. They are wonderful to work with and will gladly help EVEN when I do something wrong and mess up my site.

      I have had sites with them for quite some time now. I got hacked this summer on two of the sites and HostGator jumped right in… saved the site and fixed all the issues the hacker caused.

      • Ramsay

        That’s great to hear! Love good customer service.

  • With other hosts, it may be different. If you are hosting with Hostgator, you can click on the Fantastico icon, then WordPress on the left side menu. For GoDaddy, when you launch the hosting manager, there’s a WordPress button directly on the main page you can click on.

    • Ramsay

      Fantastico sometimes seems to not have the most up to date version of WordPress. Have you noticed that too?

      Simple Scripts is lovely!

  • Good article. Here goes:

    1.(optional) I like to keep my domains and hosting separate (as in different companies). Why? Because changing hosting providers becomes much simpler (and you never know what might happen, right?).

    2. Add a step for people who already own a domain, but have no website. Stuff like how to set up nameservers at domain registrar level (such as ns1.bluehost.com/ns2.bluehost.com – or whatever nameservers your hosting provider gives you).

    3. Add a step for people using Fantastico instead of Simple Scripts. It’s basically the same, but not every hosting provider offers Simple Scripts. A lot of newbies get really confused with all the cPanel settings.

    There’s more, but those three things (especially #2 and #3) I get asked about over and over again.

    • Ramsay

      Hey Mantas.

      Yeah – I thought about going in to the DNS stuff but thought maybe it would complicate the process too much. You reckon I should add it for people who have a domain and no hosting?

      • It’s not really that complicated. 2-3 screenshots and you’re done. :)

        I mean, setting up name servers was like one of the first things I learned when setting up my first website. I believe that most new webmasters are going to run into this sooner or later.

        And tell your readers to always Google for coupons when getting a new domain – there’s tons of them out there. I reckon I probably save $1000+ a year in domain reg/renewal fees alone with this. :)

        • Ramsay

          You make an excellent point.

          • steve wyman

            I agree with coupons mantas and also I suggest you dont only use godaddy as others many times have specials as well.

            Although i do use godaddy most of the time.

            The DNS thing is a bitter tougher though as they do tend to differ in how they do it.

            still good points

  • Hi, Ramsay,

    Maintenance of one’s blog is critically important. Security plugins have been mentioned, of which my current favorite is WordFence, however, a large part of security is making sure the site is backed up reliably. There are free and paid plugins which automate the process and can store the backups off the server (Amazon S3, for example).

    When evaluating backup plugins, keep in mind that backing up is only half the equation. The backups need to be easily restorable to be useful. It is also critical to test backups periodically to be sure they are valid. That’s not something you want to be doing when you need it!

    Thanks,

    John

  • Ramsay, after installing wordpress you could advice the reader to have the next look at the beginners tutorial at WP: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Lessons

    Then, he is able to use WordPress with all the power it offers.

    The tutorials were extremly helpful when i made my first steps with wp.

    Regards, René

  • I was terrified to break things in the beginning. I’m still terrified to break things but at least I know now that having your blog broken is a great motivator. You’ll learn a lot more about how to make your blog work when it breaks than at any other time.

    Don’t panic. Google is your friend :)

    • Ramsay

      I am exactly the same.

      Something goes wrong > heart rate rises > support fixes it

      It’s never as good or as bad as you think it’s going to be!

      I hope.

  • I just did a similar post but I like your use of images. Seems like you made it simpler than I did. Going to have to go back and make some revisions.

  • Although this is not related to the set up of WordPress, it is related to security…

    As bloggers we inevitably are going to end up with TONS of logins with different usernames and passwords. I would suggest for a new blogger to get a password manager like Roboform to help manage those unique and strong passwords.

    • Ramsay

      Yeah I know a few people who use that. Totally safe?

  • Ramsay, you’ve put a great guide together. Well done!

    To add to the plugin love, wp-backup is a must for me. I set it up to email me a backup once a day for all of my (and my friends) installations.

    If you wanted to get into SEO, I set my permalinks structure to %postname% as soon as I set up. Maybe that’s something for WordPress 102 ;)

    • Ramsay

      Does that one take up heaps of room on your server Laura?

      • I use a backup plugin as well, and I have it set to backup weekly. The file goes to my DropBox account, so no server issue. I occasionally go in a delete the oldest files. Mine is called BackWPup.

  • I love this post. It is clear and written to me, not a complete newbie but close. Thank you for making this doable.

  • Bill Harper

    The one thing I found using the cPanel installation option is sometimes the WordPress updates can take a while to filter through. I much prefer installing WordPress the non-scripted way so I can update WordPress as soon as a new version comes out rather than waiting for cPanel to provide the update.

    Bill.

    • Ramsay

      Hey Bill.

      You can update WP from in the Dashboard now. One click.

  • Ah yes, that was quite an ordeal, especially changing over from a non-paid to paid account. Glad I did it though!

    • Ramsay

      Yeah that is a really important move.

      • Why? Why is it better to have a paid wp site than a non-paid one?

        • Ramsay

          Hi Roz.

          The main thing is control. With your own host and domain name you are free to add and change whatever you want.

          And then there is the issue of ownership. If you are using a free host who owns the site? You or them?

          Lastly, Google doesn’t rank free blogs as well.

          Hope that helps.

  • Great post, with excellent graphics.

    One note. Bluehost, which I also use and recommend, has a WordPress install script directly under SimpleScripts Installations, which saves a step for your readers.

    Also, it might be great to go over just a few initial settings in WordPress (e.g., Site Title, Permalinks, etc.) and a few essential plugins.

    I recently wrote an ebook about all of this in detail. If your readers are interested, they can get it free at my website using discount code “powwow”.

  • Hmm.. one tip… let me think… it seems so long ago…

    You’d probably be hard pressed to find a host that didn’t have a “one click install” nowadays – but I’ll mention it anyway.

    It’s still worth checking, because manually installing software on a server for a non technical person is a real barrier to entry.

    So check what blogging software your hosting provider offers!

    Good thing BlueHost has this covered :-)

  • Great tips, and love the screenshots. Even though I’m not with Blue Host, you’ve created a great tutorial for new bloggers.

    For new bloggers, my add on tip would be not to be afraid of WordPress.org or installing it. With screen shots like those you provide, it really is as simple as just following instructions – you don’t need tons of experience, or back up technical know-how.

    As a writer, I had zero technical skills when I started blogging just over two years ago. I was very afraid that I would do something wrong or screw something up. My hosting company, Go Daddy, were excellent and didn’t “pooh hoo” my dinosaur ways and talked me through anything I didn’t understand, as I’m sure Blue Host do too.

    • Ramsay

      Yeah it’s hard to get past the fear but really is worth it. Thanks Jo!

  • When I first installed WordPress I wasn’t lucky enough to have a webhost who offered a quick install feature in my admin panel, I have to do it the hard way and pulled out a large amount of my hair. :)

  • Self hosted can give you the total control, the freedom for your blog. Naming your domain is also an advantage of the self hosted blog. You can choose for either which extension .com or .net. And lastly profitability, blog is like an investment for in case someone gets interested with your blog you have the option to sell it for them.

  • It looks like a complete post for newbie who want to install a new wordpress blog.

    Great explanation by Ramsay, another thing like about Ramsay is he response and appreciate every reader.

    Well, it’s complete info about how to install a wordpress blog, Looking forword to next version about plugins and extensions

  • What an awesome post…you made it look like child’s play! I wish that I had found this before I scoured through the internet to find a decent set of instructions!

  • Parley

    So when are you going to get those Blog Tyrant Themes going for us?

    • Zach

      What do you mean Parley? This theme is so simple

      • Parley

        Ramsay had promised that he would design some themes and make them available to his subscribers. This was a while ago. I was just wondering if he was still planning on doing that.

  • Hey Ramsay

    I wish I had this information when I first started blogging. It’s a great walk-through guide.

    Others have mentioned them but I also use Hostgator as my web host. They have always been really supportive and I’ve never had any issues.

    I would also recommend the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin that someone else mentioned above for backing up your blog. You get a free account with 2GB of space as standard.

    If you love comments, a must have is also the CommentLuv plugin.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Tim

  • Fantastic post! I found the step-by-step instructions and screenshots to be super helpful. I just made the big switch from WordPress.com to self-hosting this week. Thanks so much!

  • Nice clear and easy to follow tutorial on setting up a blog.

    Its amazing how far blogging has come. The other day i looked up the keyword “blog” vs “website”, and according to the Google keyword tool “blog” has way more monthly searches.

  • Hi Ramsay,Thanks a lot for posting great contents.I am at your doorstep,Can you give me a feedback about my blog which is related to Technology.

    Thanks a lot.

  • Gavin

    What theme do you use and recommend?