Choosing a Hosting Plan
With any hosting, there are typically a few different types of hosting plans to choose from. All you need when you’re just starting out is a shared hosting plan. It is very affordable, and all that means is that your website files will be stored on the same server as other websites. (A server is a type of computer that “serves” files to other computers. The internet is made up of thousands of connected servers. Every time you go to a website, you’re connecting to a server and downloading the website to your browser.)
But don’t worry, other people won’t have access to your website files, and you won’t have access to theirs. A shared hosting plan is an affordable way to share resources to get your website started. I have all of my sites hosted on shared servers.
If you’d prefer to follow a step by step video tutorial, you can pick up in the video right where I start talking about how to set up Bluehost at (2:23).
- Click here to go to Bluehost. (If you use this link, I’ll get credit for the referral at no additional cost to you which will help support me so I can continue to create free tutorials.)
- Click on Get Started Now. This will bring you to the three shared hosting plan options.
- Choose a plan – The first option only allows you to have one website, whereas the second option lets you add an unlimited number of websites to your account. I have the Plus account, and that’s what I recommend. As you build your business, there are many reasons for you to build additional websites for products or courses you create, landing pages, side projects, etc. This one account will allow you to host an unlimited number of websites, you just need to purchase the domains and link them to your account in order to launch them.
- Claim your domain name – Your hosting plan includes one free domain name. Type in the domain you want and select the extension from the drop-down menu. Read my recommendations on domain names here.
- Fill in your info – Fill out your account contact information. Make sure you use your primary email address, because your login details will be sent to this email.
- Billing Period – You have to pay for a certain number of months up front for your hosting, and you get a discount depending upon which package you choose. If you buy 3 years of hosting, you only pay $6.95/mo, whereas if you buy 1 year of hosting, you end up paying $8.95/mo. (Plus Account).
- Optional services – You don’t need to buy any of the additional services offered on the signup page. The only one you might want to consider as a personal choice, is the Domain Privacy Protection. This will hide your name and contact info from showing up in domain registration records. If you are concerned about privacy, you might want this service. Personally, I do not pay for this service, and anyone can find my contact info if they do a WHOis search on my domain. You can read more about the additional services by clicking “More Information”, but in my opinion, they are not necessary.
- Billing Information – Grab your credit card, and type in your billing info. (Read the fine print), then click next.
- Password – Once you submit your billing information, you’ll get a confirmation the your payment went through, and before you can login to your dashboard, you’ll be prompted to create a password. Click Create your Password.
- Create Password – You’ll notice they are rather particular about how you construct your password, but that’s because they want your website to be secure, and that starts with a really strong password. Follow the instructions on the page, and type your password in twice, click the check box for the terms and conditions, then click Create.
- Login – You’re now ready to login to your Bluehost dashboard. You can use your domain name for the username, and type in the password you just created. If you’ve forgotten or lost your login information, check your email for a message from Bluehost.
- Popups – You might experience a few popups, trying to sell you additional products or services… You don’t need them. Just look for a close button or a “do not show this to me again”.
Don’t get overwhelmed at the number of icons you see when you log into Bluehost. You’ll never use most of them, and most of the time when working on your website you’ll log in directly to your WordPress dashboard, not your Bluehost account. We’ll come back here later to set up your email address, and configure your backup.
For now, let’s set up your WordPress site.