Lesson 1 – building a WordPress website

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to build your own WordPress website on Bluehost hosting.

Preparing to build your WordPress website

  • Create a separate Gmail account for using with your new website.
  • Using the new Gmail account, sign up for a new Bluehost.com account, based on your needs.
  • A basic account is CA$ 3.90 /month, but heir regular rate of CA$ 10.56 will apply upon renewal.
  • Choose a three year term to maximize your savings.

Find a suitable domain for your WordPress website

WPTRENCH.COM is a good companion for my site.
  • 🍳 Log into your Bluehost Portal under your new Bluehost account.
  • Search for a domain name that would meet your vision and your budget, this could take a while, be creative and patient.
  • 🎈 Since I wanted to name my new website “WP Trench”, WPTRENCH.COM seemed like a good domain for me.

Buy a domain for your WordPress website

Opt out of all additional offers.
  • 💥 Bluehost will attempt to upsell you on some things, such as domain privacy for instance.
  • While that is indeed a valuable service, I recommend unchecking all extra line items when you buy a new domain, but…
  • 💡 If you foresee using your future website for real, then privacy protection will prevent spammers from looking up your contact information.
  • 💥 If you opt out of domain privacy, be prepared for ongoing unsolicited offers in the future.
  • These will include offers to make a logo or build a website for you, and to do SEO optimization which you can learn to do yourself.
  • 🎈 If you had created a separate Gmail account upfront for your new website, your dedicated email will catch emails from Bluehost, WordPress, website contacts and of course, spammers.
  • Using Gmail Filters, you can automatically file incoming email and manage spammers to avoid seeing distractive messages in your Inbox.
  • Once you complete your domain purchase, you now own the name that you searched for, and it can now start working for you…

Assign your domain to Bluehost

  • 🎈 Since I had bought my new domain via Bluehost, it was “already associated” with my Bluehost account.
  • Therefore, I picked the top selection (under step 1 of “Assign Domain”) and selected my new domain from the dropdown list.
  • If I already owned the domain, I could have opted for “not already associated”, and then transferred the domain to Bluehost, or
  • I could have edited the DNS of my domain if I did not want to transfer it yet, which may come up in future lessons on our journey.
  • 🎈 I picked “Addon Domain” and under (under step 2 of “Assign Domain”).
  • 🎈 I left the suggested “wptrench” string intact, to create my new site’s directory under the “public_html” folder.
  • In the previous clip, you will notice that a “wptrench.mrit.me” sub-domain is about to be created…
  • That is so, because the very first domain I bought via Bluehost, was “mrit.me”.
  • Once your initial Bluehost domain is purchased (and created), all your future domains will be added underneath your first domain.
  • In my case, the “mrit.me” domain was instated as the “wptrench.mrit.me” sub-domain.
  • If you have just bought your very first Bluehost domain (to follow along and make your own website), then your website will not be located inside a sub-domain.

Create your new WordPress site

Click to create your new WordPress site.

Once you click on Create Site, you have initiated the creation process…

Provide descriptive values.
  • Don’t fret if you cannot provide a descriptive “Site Tagline” value to go with your “Site Name”.
  • You can leave that field blank or type “I like to learn” in the field, to start off the WordPress creation wizard.
  • 🎈 We will revisit this when we configure and optimize your new website, in future lessons on our journey.

Select your new domain from the list

  • Depending on where you are on your journey, you may notice strange domain names in the dropdown list, in your Bluehost Portal.
  • 🍳 Just select the name of the domain that you purchased!
  • 💡 While the proposed “helpful free plugins” are indeed valuable once you get to know them, I recommend unchecking all of them.
  • 💡 You will see some of them being implemented in future lessons, but as a rule: always remove inactive WordPress plugins.
  • 💥 There is no good reason to keep unused themes or plugins around, as they require updates and increase your site’s footprint.

Confirm your new WordPress website is up

Upon completion, this announcement came up.
  • 🎈 In my case, an email from wordpress@wptrench.com was sent to the dedicated Gmail account for my website.
  • The message confirmed that my Username is: WP Trench.
  • It also invited me to either: 1) set up a new password, or 2) to log in with my existing password at https://wptrench.com/wp-login.php.
  • Since I had noted (and saved) the new WordPress password (earlier), I chose option #2.
  • The screen shown below, came up next for me.
Login screen for Admin Panel.

At this point, you have effectively built a WordPress website on Bluehost hosting.

Your first login as the Admin user on your WordPress website

🎈 After logging into your Admin Panel successfully, your browser’s address bar should show: your_domain_name/wp-admin.

The Admin Panel for my new website.
  • The first thing that caught my eye, and probably yours as well, is the “Coming Soon Active” message.
  • That is Bluehost’s way of providing cover from public scrutiny while you build your website.
  • 💡 If you feel it is important that you have your site ready before it is seen by the public for the first time, then leave this in place.

View your WordPress website as a visitor

When “Coming Soon Active” is enabled
  • 🍳 If your website is purely for your personal growth (at this point), I recommend disabling “Coming Soon Active”.
  • 🎫 We will do that in the next lesson, and even discuss how you can turn it on/off as needed.
  • 🤞If you can see your website live at this point, congratulate yourself for being great at following the instructions in this lesson.
  • 🎈 To recap, disabling “Coming Soon Active” allows you to see your website as it truly looks to the public, at any given time.

Reflect on building your WordPress website on Bluehost

  • 💡I prefer to edit a website in my default browser (Chrome), and view it separately in Firefox.
  • The benefit of viewing it in a secondary browser is that I have peace of mind by separating editiong from viewing.
  • So, while Chrome allows me to tinker with my WordPress website, Firefox shows me what public visitors see, live, as I make changes.
  • While this strategy is not necessary, it highlights issues related to being pre-authenticated to certain resources you may be ignoring.
  • 💥 It may seem like viewing your live site in incognito mode, or a private tab, can provide you the same results, but that is not true.
  • 🎈 For instance, your website would expect browser cookies to be enabled, since that is how visitors would normally view it…
  • 🎫 We will also cover website caching in the next lesson.
  • 💥 Not turning off server-side caching (while tinkering with your site) causes frustration when you cannot view changes that you know you have made!
  • 💥 While that goes a long way to seeing your changes live, there is more you need to do to limit slamming your desk and spilling your coffee on your keyboard.

🎬 See you in lesson 2 of how to build your own WordPress website on Bluehost hosting.

Norman (MrIT.ca)