Thinking of signing up with Bluehost but not sure how beginner-friendly the process is? In this step-by-step tutorial, we guide you through the whole thing and show you how to sign up with Bluehost from start to finish.
We cover how to pick your ideal hosting plan, how to fill out all the forms and, finally, how to install WordPress on your new server.
1. How to sign up with Bluehost
The main homepage at Bluehost.com is quite straightforward and doesn’t leave users much room to wander around when they’re looking for how to sign up with Bluehost.
To begin, all you need to do is click on the big Get Started Now button.
2. Pick your hosting plan
This step is where you’ll have to make your most important decision on your way to sign up with Bluehost.
Which web hosting plan should you choose?
Here are some factors to consider:
Do you want to build just one website or more?
Bluehost offers hosting plans of all shapes and prices, and they can accommodate basically all common usage scenarios.
The first thing you should therefore consider is whether you’re going to be launching just one website or perhaps more of them. Also, put yourself in the shoes of future you. Maybe all you need today is one site, but what about in three months?
If you’re positive that it’s still just a single site, get the entry-level setup at $2.75/mo.
Do you plan on publishing large media files?
High-quality photos or videos can consume a lot of disk space. And it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about your local hard drive or your web server.
In short, the more high-quality media you have on your site, the faster you’ll run out of disk space and bandwidth (the amount of allowed monthly transfer).
The entry-level hosting plan at Bluehost allows you to consume 50 GB in total. This is more than enough for a small business website that’s mostly text based with occasional images here and there.
However, if you’re going to be creating a photographer’s portfolio or you’re going to be publishing video content, then you should think of upgrading to at least the Plus plan that doesn’t limit your disk space.
Do you need pro-level features?
Apart from disk space and bandwidth limitations, you should also consider other features that might come in handy, although they might not be as obvious at first.
- Domain name privacy. Every domain name requires the owner’s information on file. If you don’t have the domain privacy upgrade, this means that all your personal info is going to be out there in the open. With this upgrade, the domain registrar will display their own info there – making your data private. Bluehost bundles in domain privacy for free with its Choice Plus and Pro plans. On other plans, it’s $15/year.
- Dedicated IP. Important if you’re planning to start an ecommerce store. By default, Bluehost will host your site on a shared IP address. If you want a dedicated IP for free, it’s bundled in with the Pro plan. On other plans, it’s $5.99/mo.
- Advanced spam protection by SpamExperts. SpamExperts is a service that helps you protect your email accounts from spam. It’s included for free in the Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro plans.
- Automated backups. Backups are a key element of your website security. While you can always do them by hand, it’s easier if they happen on autopilot. Bluehost adds this feature for free on the Choice Plus and Pro plans.
With all this information, you should be able to make an informed decision as to which of the hosting plans to pick.
When you’re ready, click on the select button under the plan that you want to get.
⚠️ For the purpose of this guide, we’re going to go with the entry-level plan at $2.75/mo. It’s the most common choice for users who want to launch just one website.
3. Pick a domain name
Every website needs to have a domain name, which is the website’s unique address on the internet.
The good news is that Bluehost will give you a domain name for free for the first year. This means that you don’t have to go to a third-party domain registrar to get the domain and then connect it somehow to your Bluehost hosting setup. Getting everything in one place is just a much simpler route.
How to pick a good domain name?
There’s a lot of theory on this, but let’s simplify things to the bare “must knows.”
- Your domain name should be short. Under 14 characters is good.
- Avoid dashes.
- Avoid numbers unless they’re part of your business name.
- Try to include related keywords in the domain name. For example, if you’re building a site for your pizza restaurant, it would be good to have the word “pizza” somewhere in the domain name.
- Avoid deliberate use of typos and misspellings.
- Go for one of the popular domain extensions, like
.store, or a localized extension when doing business abroad, like
Enter your desired domain name in the box on the left (see screenshot above), and click on Next. If the domain name is available, Bluehost will redirect you straight to checkout.
If not, Bluehost will show you some suggestions. You can click on the one you like to proceed or enter another domain idea by hand, using the same form as before.
If you already own an existing domain name, just enter it in the field on the right where it says Use a domain you own.
When you’re ready, click on Next.
4. Enter your personal details
It’s time to give Bluehost some of your personal info in order to finalize the setup.
The first section of the form is pretty straightforward. You’ll see similar forms on most ecommerce sites.
5. Customize your package
The next section of the form deals with your hosting package details.
There are two important parts to this section:
- Package Information
- Package Extras
Let’s start with the former:
Package Information is where you can decide on the contract length that you want to sign up for.
Generally, the longer you’re willing to commit to, the cheaper the monthly price. Here’s how things play out for each of Bluehost’s pricing plans:
|Plan||12 months||24 months||36 months|
The important detail is that you’re going to have to pay for the entire term right on day one.
The other section – Package Extras – is where you can pick what else you want to have on your setup.
However, keep in mind that none of these extras are mandatory. However, you should at least know what they’re about so that you can make an informed decision whether to get them or not.
- CodeGuard Basic. A security upgrade. It handles automated daily backups, daily checks for file changes, and gives you one-click restorations if needed. It’s $2.99/mo.
- Bluehost SEO Tools Start. It submits your site to Google and other search engines. Also gives you suggestions on keywords and your overall SEO strategy. It’s $1.99/mo.
- Single Domain SSL. This is a premium SSL certificate. Useful if you want to build an ecommerce store. It’s $3.33/mo. Bluehost already gives you a free SSL bundled in.
- SiteLock Security. Additional protection from malicious attacks on your site. It’s $2.99/mo.
With your upgrades selected (or not), you can proceed to the last section of the sign-up form.
6. Enter your payment info
This last step is rather straightforward. All that’s needed to finalize the purchase is your credit card info.
Once you provide that and click on the submit button, you’ll get access to your fresh new hosting setup.
That being said, here are two more things to keep in mind about how payments work with Bluehost:
- There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that you have up to 30 days to experiment with your setup, see if you like it and decide if you want to keep it long term.
- All plans are set to auto renewal. This means that after your initial contract period is up, Bluehost will renew your plan automatically.
7. Install WordPress
Now that you know how to sign up with Bluehost, most people will want to install WordPress on their new Bluehost account. WordPress is the most popular website engine of them all, and, at the same time, it’s very approachable and easy to use.
To begin, log in to your Bluehost profile.
⚠️ You might have gotten a WordPress website pre-installed on your setup from the get-go. It depends on the time when you signed up with Bluehost and through which specific referral link.
If you do indeed have WordPress pre-installed, you’ll see a screen similar to this one in your Bluehost dashboard:
Or this one:
If that’s the case, job done, you didn’t even have to install WordPress on your own! You can access the WordPress dashboard by clicking on Log into WordPress (screenshots above).
🤔 No WordPress website in sight? No worries, you can install one easily. Here’s how:
Click on My Sites in the sidebar. Next, click on Add site and then Create New Site:
Set your site name and tagline:
Bluehost will suggest a couple of starter plugins that you might consider getting. By default, all boxes will be selected, but you can deselect the ones you don’t need. From our experience, WP Forms (for contact forms) and Monster Insights (for enabling Google Analytics) are quite useful. The other two you can disable.
Also, don’t forget to pick the right domain name from the dropdown above the plugins.
Click on Next when you’re ready.
After a minute, you should get the login details to your new WordPress site.
If you click on Login to WordPress, you will be redirected to the main WordPress dashboard of your new site.
Alternatively, you can also manage your site from the Bluehost panel. To do that, go back to the Bluehost dashboard and click on My Sites in the sidebar. You should see your new site there:
If you’re not quite sure where to begin with your site customizations, you can go back to the Home section of the Bluehost dashboard. There’s a nice onboarding sequence there with recommended actions:
That’s it on how to sign up with Bluehost!
You can pat yourself on the back. You’ve just learned how to sign up with Bluehost, set up your new hosting account, and even install WordPress on top of it.
You now have a functional website that you can use for your business or whatever other purpose you have in mind!
👉 Check out our other guides on how to customize your WordPress site so that it can match your needs hand in glove!