So you’re thinking about building a website. Our WordPress Hosting guide can help.
Or you might want to improve the one you already have. Either way, the good news is, learning WordPress is not as complicated as you may think. All you need is to read this guide and follow our step-by-step instructions to create a fully functioning and well-designed website.
Where do you begin?
Which hosting plan do you select?
Will you have support along the way?
Luckily, much of the world
has already asked these questions
and figured out the best solution
for you, and we can prove it
with one statistic:
– 43.1% of the world’s
by WordPress. –
You’ve found the right WordPress handbook and guide to
learning all about WordPress:
what it is, how it works,
why it’s great, terms you
should know, and loads more.
WordPress has revolutionized
what it means to “easily get
online”, and you’re about to learn
how to take the reins for yourself.
Read on if you are ready to start learning everything you need to know about the world’s #1 choice for getting online with our WordPress beginner guide.
What is WordPress?
Simply put, WordPress is the world’s most popular platform for building a website.
Why? It’s easy to get started, simple to use, and unbelievably flexible. From stunning portfolios to online stores to simple WordPress blogs, everyone can build the site of their dreams (whatever it may be) and with hardly any help along the way. But we’ll get more into all that in a moment with our WordPress guide.
The Ultimate Content Management System
WordPress is a content management system, or CMS for short, which means that while you provide all the content that makes up your site (such as images, text, videos, etc.), the platform does all the coding and organizing for you — so you don’t have to be experienced to build a beautiful, functional website.
Open Source, Open Use
Since WordPress is open source, that means you’re free to modify and build upon its software. Thousands of volunteers the world over work to improve the platform every day, and it’s free to use without paying a licensing fee.
Evolution & History
Since its birth in 2003, WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging tool to the most popular content management system on the web, running over a quarter of the world’s websites.
|May 2003||WordPress is launched by college freshmen Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.|
|Aug 2006||The first WordCamp is held in San Francisco, CA.|
|Dec 2008||WordPress reaches 500,000+ downloads|
|Nov 2011||WordCamp grows to 52 events worldwide.|
|Dec 2011||WordPress.org claims 22% of all new and active domains.|
|Dec 2012||The WordPress.org community grows to 20,000+ people.|
|June 2014||25 million downloads.|
|Oct 2014||WordPress is published in 120 languages.|
Why Use WordPress?
WordPress is Powerful and Accessible
Most WordPress themes can be set up and customized with zero coding required. With an incredibly intuitive dashboard, no WordPress developer is necessary for you to make the updates you need.
Whether you’re building an online store or a private WordPress blog, this platform provides thousands of themes and plugins to make your site look and function exactly how you’d like.
Quick WordPress Installation
It only takes a few minutes and Bluehost’s one-click install to use WordPress. That way, you can start creating your website as soon as you have the inkling to build it.
A website that’s not responsive may as well be invisible. With WordPress, most themes are optimized to work well and look good on all types of devices.
WordPress is open source, which means its source code is available to you free of charge. You still need a place to store and run the code, but the code itself is free and keeps your costs down.
…and Everything Else
From updating your site on the WordPress mobile app, to assigning specific permission levels to your site’s contributors – WordPress has all your needs covered.
Choosing a theme for your new website can be the most exciting part of the building process. Looking for a design that’s simplistically modern? Check. More colors and images? Check. With thousands of free and premium themes to choose from, you can be certain there’s a theme for that.
Templates are easily modified too. Fonts, colors, headings, images, or the content itself — all can be easily changed within the intuitive WordPress dashboard. For more specific needs, you can build custom themes too. From online stores to blooming blogs to stunning portfolios, it’s easy to find the right style solution for your unique website.
On top of looking good, WordPress provides you with the ability to expand your site’s overall functionality through plugins.
For example, you may be looking to set up an online store for your business. Or you may need to capture someone’s contact address via a form. A myriad of available plugins can help you add these (and many more) capabilities to your site.
What Can Plugins Do?
- Check comments for spam
- Improve your SEO
- Display media such as
slideshows, galleries, and sliders.
- Speed up your site
- Subscribe visitors to an email list
- Help you set up an online store
- Connect your account with Google Analytics
- Add more advanced navigation
- Protect your site against hackers
- Build and run multilingual sites
Let the Numbers Speak for Themselves
are published every
second on WordPress
sites around the world.4
websites — and counting —
are a part of the WordPress community and use WordPress as their CMS.1
global Google searches
for “WordPress” are
made per month. 4
of all WordPress websites has WooCommerce installed.2
of all websites in the world run on WordPress.2
people view websites on WordPress.com
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
What’s the difference? You’re not alone if you’ve ever been confused about this one. So let’s get straight to it:
The biggest difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com comes down to who is hosting your site.
With WordPress.org, you host the site yourself — meaning you download the WordPress software and install it on your own web server, wherever that may be. With WordPress.com, the hosting is provided for you right on WordPress’s own servers.
There are more differences than simply who is hosting your site of course, so we broke them down for you in this quick guide:
|Free Account||WordPress software is still free, |
but you need to pay for a web host.
|Hosted with WordPress||Hosted with your web host of choice.|
|Free & Premium Themes Available||Free Themes + Premium Themes + |
Custom Themes + Build Your Own
|Limited Functionality||Unlimited Functionality |
through the use of Plugins
|Limited Customization||Fully Customizable|
If you’re interested in creating a simple, no-frills blog, WordPress.com is a great solution — but you’ll be limited in your ability to tweak its appearance and functionality.
If you want to take full advantage of all WordPress has to offer — such as a personalized domain name, plugins, and custom themes — WordPress.org is clearly the way to go. You simply need to install WordPress on your own hosting server, like the kind you get at Bluehost.com. This gives you free rein to personalize and grow your site exactly how you’d like.
Learn more about hosting your WordPress site with Bluehost >
Ready to Get Started?
Setting up a basic WordPress website is remarkably easy. In fact, most people can go from start to finish in about 30 minutes — without any advanced tech skills or special training. This series of WordPress guides will walk you through everything you need to set up and operate an effective website.
WordPress Walkthrough Series
First, Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is hassle-free with Bluehost’s one-click-installation feature. This post guides you through the steps to get started with building a WordPress site.
Part 1: Get to Know Your
WordPress Admin Area
In this post, you’ll learn how to log into your administration area — where you control everything about your website — and get to know the admin tools.
Part 2: Post vs Page, Category vs Tag, Understand the difference
Don’t get confused by these terminologies. This post will explain to you the differences between a “post” and a “page”, as well as a “category” and a “tag” in WordPress.
Part 3: How to Add Pages and Images in WordPress
The instant you install WordPress, you have a fully functional website — all you need to do is add content and images. This post will show you how to add pages and images to your website.
Part 4: How to Use Plugins on
Your WordPress Website
Now that you know how to add content, this guide will teach you about the basics of plugins. Plugins automatically add features like contact forms, image galleries, shopping carts, discussion forums, and just about anything else you can imagine to make your site a useful, dynamic experience.
Part 5: How to Install a Theme on
Your WordPress Website
Themes are design templates that you can assign to your website to instantly change its appearance, and sometimes its functionality as well. This post will guide you on how to choose and install themes.
Part 6: How to Keep Your
WordPress Website secure
Security is an important aspect of every website. This post will guide you through some of the basic steps to take to secure your WordPress site
Part 7: How to Use WordPress
If you’re a business owner, you probably have more important things to do than manage the site, and would rather assign that to one or more of your employees. If so, then you’ll want to create user accounts for them. This post will explain the various types of WordPress users and help you decide which are best for your business model.
Part 8: How to Set Up Your Online Store
Now that you understand how a WordPress site works, it’s time to turn it into an online store! This ultimate guide takes you by the hand and walks you step-by-step through the process of creating an online store on WordPress.
Part 9: Index Your New WordPress Website and Work on Your SEO
Congratulations on finishing this WordPress walkthrough series. You now know everything you need to create a beautiful blog or a functional online store. But it doesn’t end here! You need to make your website findable so people can find and visit it. This post will help you get your site indexed by Google. It’s also good to learn about the basics of SEO to get that top spot in the search results page.
20 Terms You Should Know
Not everyone can be a web expert, but it helps to at least know the basics. Here’s our list of the top 20 web-related terms you are most likely to stumble upon as you enter the world of WordPress.
A replica of your website that is either stored on your server or in another location. Creating frequent backups is always a good idea should your site ever become infected with malware.
CMS stands for content management system, which is a fancy way of describing a software application or tool that one can use to design, manage, and publish a website without having to know how to code.
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a style language that is used to write formatting instructions or rules that tell your browser how your content should look in terms of layout and style.
The first screen you see when logging into your WordPress account. This is where the magic happens — you can quickly access all your site’s content, user permissions, account settings, plugin management, and more.
Just a fancy word for your website’s address, or URL; e.g. www.yourwebsite.com
A Google-powered service that gives you insight into 1) the performance of your website (such as how long visitors stick around, what pages are most popular, etc.) and 2) the nature of your visitors (such as geographic location, traffic sources, etc.). Google Analytics is a popular plugin that can be added to your WordPress account.
HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is written in tags (for example:)
and is the language in which your website is written. This “hidden” code can take months to learn and is one of the reasons so many people use a content management system, such as WordPress, to build their site as it saves them from ever having to learn code.
Any software that is intended to harm your computer system, whether it’s a virus, spyware, worm, or other forms of harmful bug.
Any images, videos, or recordings that you upload to be used on your WordPress website are kept in the media library, accessible through your dashboard.
Any single page of content that lives on your website. Pages typically have their own place in the navigation and common examples include the “About Us”, “Contact Us, etc. sections of your website.
A permanent link that always directs visitors to the same page. In blogging, for example, much content is posted directly on the homepage, pushing older posts down. Once these posts are archived, a permalink provides an alternate and permanent way to view the post on its own separate page.
A software that can be integrated with your WordPress account to extend your website’s functionality. Learn more about plugins >
As opposed to a page, a post (in WordPress terms) is specifically relevant to blogs and makes up the majority of their content. Every time you publish a new content entry, this is considered a post.
If you’re starting an online store, an SSL certificate is necessary to reduce the risk of your customers’ credit card information (and other private data) being stolen.
Stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the strategy of increasing the amount of traffic to your website by boosting its rank on search result pages. There is no exact formula for how to rank higher, but there are plenty of agreed-upon tactics that are known to help.
Allows you to group related blog posts together based on their content, such as “recipes”, “travel tips”, or “products I love”.
Themes allow you to change the look and style of your website without changing the underlying content or software. You can choose from thousands of WordPress themes — from simple to ornate — to find one that best matches your style, or just custom build one yourself. Learn more about themes >
A web host like Bluehost stores the files that make up your website on high-powered computers, called servers, so you don’t have to. Hosting your site on a server keeps your website working 24/7 and connected to the rest of the internet.
Widgets, like plugins, add functionality to your website — specifically on your sidebar. Examples of widgets include a calendar, search bar, tag cloud, and more.
Is WordPress Right for Me?
WordPress for Bloggers
Bring your blog to life with easy-to-manage dynamic content. Custom layouts, themes, plugins, and more can be easily added to provide the creative flexibility you need. Plus WordPress is SEO-friendly to ensure your blog is found by the right people.
WordPress for Designers
Go above and beyond your client’s expectations, no matter their requests. WordPress provides unlimited templates, plugins, and other resources that allow you to hand over a beautifully designed yet easily managed website. Take advantage of the huge open-source community to help tackle any roadblocks you encounter along the way.
WordPress for Developers
Developers will appreciate the flexibility WordPress offers. That’s because the ways you can extend it are nearly endless. On top of that, creating a custom plugin is incredibly easy.
WordPress for Ecommerce
WordPress is not just a blogging solution. It’s a powerful content management system designed to turn any website into a fully functional online store. Taking credit cards and processing orders will be a breeze. Plus, you can choose from a myriad of themes that will help make any store look vibrant and drive performance.
WordPress for Small Businesses
Your site doesn’t have to be complicated to communicate to customers. WordPress has a simple dashboard that makes updating your menu, hours of service, or company blog a breeze. Find and tweak a template to match your brand and add professionalism to your company in no time.
What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
With WordPress.org, you must host the site yourself — meaning you download the WordPress software and install it on a web server. When you use WordPress.com, however, the hosting is provided by WordPress.
How do I create a blog with WordPress?
It’s easy! Use this step-by-step guide to get your WordPress blog up and running in three steps.
How can I drive more traffic to my WordPress site?
One of the best ways to get more traffic is to focus on search engine optimization. SEO will help your site show up higher on Google’s results page, meaning more potential customers will find your site when they type in related keywords. If you need help putting together an SEO strategy, give Bluehost a call at 866-757-1828.
Is WordPress right for my type of site?
Short answer: yes! WordPress is an ideal solution for a wide range of sites. Whether you’re looking to create a blog, build a site for your business, or start an online store, WordPress is the right tool for the job.
What makes WordPress different from other content management systems?
Community-driven innovation. When you build your website with WordPress, you’re leveraging the knowledge and experience of thousands of WordPress experts around the world. That makes WordPress secure, scalable, and responsive to your needs.
And it’s easy to get started! Since the user interface is simple, novices too can immediately build and manage a website. And if you’re a pro, advanced features and increased flexibility can easily be unlocked by adding plugins.
Do I have to know how to code to build my site on WordPress?
How do I get started with installing WordPress?
First, you’ll need to get space on a server to install WordPress. Hosting is available for WordPress.com users on WordPress’s servers.
If you’re using WordPress.org, you can rent space on a server from a web hosting company like Bluehost. In addition to offering a one-click WordPress install, we’ve been recommended by WordPress for more than ten years. If you’re ready to get started, follow this step-by-step guide to set up your WordPress website.
Resources to Help You Get Started
The following links have been curated to help you get started with building (or optimizing) your very own WordPress site. They contain more detailed information about a topic, such as plugins for your website’s security, or plugins that an ecommerce site needs. Have a read-through, you’ll definitely get a lot of takeaway from them!
- How to Choose a Domain Name
- How to Build a Blog in 3 Simple Steps
- 10 WordPress Setting Changes to Optimize Your Site’s Performance
- 7 Best WordPress Security Plugins
- 5 Essential Plugins for an Ecommerce Website
- The New Website Owner’s Guide to SEO
- What is My Page Speed and How Do I Improve It?
- [Infographic] 35 Common Web Hosting Terms, Defined
- How To Create a Good Contact Page For Your Website
- [Video] 5 Best Practices for Designing a Timeless Website
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