If you’ve decided to use Bluehost’s hosting and website building service- congratulations! You’ll be joining a community of 2 million websites hosted by Bluehost. We’ve long been proud partners of WordPress, supporting and contributing to the development of the platform!
So, you’ve bought our hosting plan and gone through the onboarding process. After which, you’ll be taken to my.bluehost.com. This is basically the Bluehost hosting control panel, sometimes referred to as the Bluehost dashboard or the “Bluerock”. These terms will be used interchangeably throughout the article. The dashboard is where you can control and make changes regarding hosting and website setup. Whether it’s adding a new website to Bluehost’s hosting or building a new website with Bluehost Website Builder, you use this dashboard to navigate everything you do with Bluehost.
Now, we’ve tried to simplify this dashboard to make it as straightforward as possible. However, this is never an easy thing to do. There are quite a lot of buttons and links to click, where do you click to find the things you need? Frankly, website hosting and website building have become much more accessible nowadays, but it’s not as simple as creating a Word document. Even with a Word document, you would need to learn and use the software multiple times before getting the hang of it.
Therefore, we’ve created this article to help you navigate the Bluehost dashboard. You’ll learn about the various buttons and links on the dashboard. And hopefully, you’ll get an idea of how to use the dashboard to start your website-building journey.
The Bluehost Dashboard introduction
Welcome to the Bluehost dashboard. This is what you’ll see when you access my.bluehost.com. Let’s take a look at a few elements on the dashboard.
The left navigation menu
This menu consists of:
1: Home. This is your home button. Clicking on it will take you back to the main dashboard (which you can see in the screenshot above).
2: My site. Lets you easily see all the websites you have hosted with Bluehost. You can add a new website by creating a website or initiating the migration process from another host.
3: Marketplace. This is the place to find additional services and resources for your WordPress website. There’s an arrow pointing down, if you click on the arrow a drop-down menu will appear with more navigation options.
4: Email & Office. Go to this section to choose your email provider and access your mail server.
5: Domains. Every control and purchase option regarding domains can be found here. You can buy new domains or add new domains to your Bluehost account.
6: Marketing tools. As the name suggests, you can browse and purchase tools (specifically for WordPress websites) that can assist you in your marketing efforts.
7: Advanced. This section dives deeper into the more advanced, technical setup of your website. The control options here might be overwhelming if you’re new to website building. So, you don’t need to dive deep into this section if you feel that you lack the knowledge.
Buttons and other links on the dashboard
1: Log into WordPress. This button will take you to the classic WordPress admin control panel, also known as WordPress backend. You have the most control over your website in the WordPress admin control panel.
2: Customize your design. The Customize site link takes you to a new screen where you can customize the design and appearance of your website. If you have purchased the Bluehost Website Builder plan, you can start building and customizing your website in this section. We’ll discuss the builder later on in this article.
3: Write your first blog post. Clicking on Start writing takes you to a different screen where you can create a new post in WordPress. You should only think about writing a blog post after you’ve properly set up your WordPress website.
4: Get Blogger resources. Clicking View resource center takes you to the Bluehost resource center where you can find a wide range of informative articles about website building. Building a new website is not an easy assignment, especially for beginners. So, we’ve created the resource center to provide you with guides and how-to articles. For instance, if you don’t know what content you should have on your “About” page, then you can go to the resource center and search for “about us.” The search result page will show you a few articles on this topic.
5: Update or add plugins. The Go to plugins link takes you to the plugin sections where you can manage or add new plugins to your website. You don’t need to consider this part if you haven’t properly set up your website yet. And if you don’t know what plugins are and how to use them, we recommend checking the resource centers for informative articles such as this one on what WordPress plugins are.
6: Tips & tricks. The Learn more button takes you to our WordPress hosting guide. This is your handbook and guide to learning all about WordPress: what it is, how it works, the possibilities it offers and the terms you should know.
Diving into the left navigation menu
The My Sites section lets you manage websites hosted by Bluehost as well as add new sites to your Bluehost account. Add site lets you choose between creating a new site or migrating a current site to Bluehost.
Clicking on Manage site for one of your existing websites opens a new screen where you can access the site management tools. You can see an overview of how many themes and plugins you have installed on each website, or how many users you have on your site.
There are other tabs in this overview screen:
1: Marketing center. You can view your Google my business profile and your Google ads performance here (if you have set them up).
2: Backups. Lets you choose your website backup options. There’s a FAQ section at the bottom of this tab to help you better understand website backup.
3: Performance. Mostly about settings regarding your website caching. If you don’t know what caching is, we have this article that explains how WordPress caching works.
4:Security. Some very basic security settings such as enabling/disabling SSL Certificate.
5: Settings. General settings for your website such as selecting automatic update for your plugins or allowing comments on your blog.
The Marketplace section is your one-stop shop to find the perfect set of services and resources for your website. Here, you can explore different themes, discover new plugins for your website and install them with a single click. Next to that you can browse through various WordPress services or upgrade your hosting plan at any time in this section. If you want to seek professional service from Bluehost, you can go to Pro services. We help you build a new website, migrate to a new site or run your online advertisement.
Most options in your left navigation menu under Marketplace can be found in the Featured Products section in Marketplace Home.
Email & Offices
This section helps you choose your email provider. There are 2 options: Google Workspace or Microsoft 365.
You can use a purchased domain for your personalized email addresses. Having a custom email address gives your business credibility and shows you have a well-established company. After you’ve created your personalized email account, you can connect it to a third-party email provider like Gmail or Microsoft. You do this to use your domain-based email with the tools and benefits provided by email providers.
A domain name is the address people type into a browser to reach a site, but you probably know this already. In this menu you’ll find everything regarding domains. You can:
1: Manage your domain settings such as domain renewal, DNS, security in My Domains.
2: Purchase new domains.
3: Assign existing domains to your Bluehost account and assign domains to websites.
4: Create redirects. There is a FAQs section to help you better understand redirects.
5: Transfer domains.
6: Create subdomains. There is a FAQs section to provide you with more information about subdomains.
If you’ve finished setting up your new website, the next step is to drive traffic to the site. In the Marketing Tools section you can find several marketing tools to support your online marketing efforts.
For instance, you can start advertising your website with Google Ads. Or you can create your Google Business Profile and optimize your website for search engines using Bluehost SEO.
Next to that, there are additional services to facilitate your website’s purpose. For instance, if you want to run an online store on your WordPress website, you can find information about WooCommerce Subscriptions here as well.
In order to build a working website, there are actually a lot more considerations other than website design, themes, plugins. You would need to consider other website configurations and elements such as database, file manager, security. All of which can be found in the Advanced section.
There are tons and tons of advanced tools and resources for you to explore. It’s perfectly normal if you feel overwhelmed coming into this section, as you would need a lot of knowledge and experience to understand what’s going on here. Even people with years of website building experience might not fully grasp all the information in this section.
The first thing you should do in this tab when you’ve created your new site is to create an email account. This is why it’s recommended in our Welcome section. Other than that, it’s better to not mess with other tools and settings if you don’t know what you’re doing. And if you have questions about certain aspects of managing your website, you can access our extensive knowledge base. Here you’ll find straight-to-the-point answers to your questions.
Customize your site with the Bluehost Website Builder
Bluehost offers an easy-to-use drag and drop builder for those who are new to WordPress. You will still have full access to WordPress, but this provides a guided experience for designing a website specific to your website’s purpose and topic.
One of the most important advantages of Bluehost Website Builder is that you can switch back and forth between using the builder and traditional WordPress block editor without breaking your design. You do this by clicking on WP Admin in the left menu of your builder. Then you’ll be taken to the WordPress environment where you can continue building your website with the block editor.
This is extremely helpful in many cases. For instance, you may have built a website yourself using the builder. But later on, when your website grew larger, you might have hired a dedicated designer who prefers working in the traditional WordPress environment.
If you want to build a new site using the Bluehost Website Builder, go to My Sites, then select Create New Site -> Start building. After that, you’ll be taken to the onboarding flow where you answer a few questions such as what website you are building. Then you choose some more customization options such as page color, design layout. This is a very fast and smooth process to allow the builder to generate a base for your site. Then you can go on and customize your site with a variety of tools included in the builder.
We hope after reading this article you’ll have a better understanding of the various elements in the Bluehost dashboard. It can be quite overwhelming to look at all these buttons, links and tools when you’re new to Bluehost. But with more time spent in the dashboard (and reading this article), you’ll become more familiar and know how to use the dashboard to your advantage!
If you have any questions about any aspects of website building, website management, you can access our knowledge base. For more in-depth guides and how-to articles, our resource center is your best friend. And our support team is available 24/7 to help with any concerns you have.