How To Create a Self Hosted WordPress Blog for Beginners – 2017 (Video Guide Below with Setup Screenshots)

How To Create a Self Hosted WordPress Blog for Beginners – 2017 (Video Guide Below with Setup Screenshots)

If you’re wondering how to make a self hosted WordPress blog then know this: You are not alone. This is a question I get here at Dear Blogger several times each week, each day, sometimes each hour. WordPress is “the hard one”.

You need to “self-host” to use it.

It costs a bit of money (however I’ll show you how to get a great discount, and really, wouldn’t you rather pay a small amount to own your website than leave it up to some free service?)

The fact that WordPress, the same software pow ering CNN, NYTimes, Mashable and thousands of sites you read every day is available for you and I to use, from home, on our own is pretty amazing. So, let’s get started!

Make a Self Hosted WordPress Blog (aka a website or site)

The first step on your journey to create a self hosted WordPress blog is actually just to install the blog software. is originally a blogging software, but over time it has become incredibly flexible for websites. And it’s this flexibility that has lead brands like Time, Ariana Grande, Vogue, Tech Cruch, Forbes and more to use this software for their massive websites.

You can download the most current version at, but we’ll actually use our own web host to download/install it for us (hence, no coding) a bit further down in this article.

In other words…
A person creating a WordPress website and a self hosted WordPress blog start out going through the same, beginner-friendly process or installing the same It’s the Theme (WordPress speak for template/design) you choose that will determine if your site is a blog or a website, because the theme decides how your site looks.

Does that make sense?

Let’s get a domain name, some inexpensive web-hosting, then install, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

Full Length Make a Blog Video Out Now

You can now watch one of our video tutorials for full guided walkthrough on how to make a self hosted blog. The video below takes you through it all – getting a domain name, registering hosting, how to correctly install, how to login, making changes, choosing a theme and ultimately making this pretty awesome blog.

Enjoy, and let me know any setup questions below!

More reasons why joining WordPress is a must

self hosted wordpress blog

No list of WordPress qualities ever seems complete, but here are three that stand out:

— WordPress has helped thousands of bloggers including yours truly make a living online from our homes and the opportunities only appear to be increasing. In short, join in.

— WordPress offers designs (they’re called “themes” in WordPress language) that can make your simple blog into a massive self hosted blog community, where you can start an entire community or online business of your own.

— WordPress has been winning a landslide victory over the past 10 years in terms of beginner support. You can always find an answer, either through Google, the WordPress codex, or best yet, right here πŸ™‚

But the reality most often is none of us start blogging on WordPress because it is the harder one. We go for an easier outlet like Blogger, Tumblr or even Weebly.

As someone who showed up to his first blog conference on the West Coast with a Blogger blog to realize everyone else had WordPress I can relate. I moved my site and all my posts, readers, links and other belongings within about two weeks.

But if you’re up to a bit more of a challenge – and have a few bucks to invest each month – then I hope you’ll enjoy the simple guide to WordPress we’ve laid out right here. Let’s breeze through a few common questions, then step by step, holding hands, setup an entire self hosted WordPress blog.

What exactly is web-hosting?

WordPress is a free, open-source software that must be installed onto a server. This server is also known as web-hosting, and to be completely thorough, you are going to be getting some web-hosting server space. You basically put WordPress onto a server like you’d put a condo onto a plot of land.

Unless you know someone at Google, you’ll have to pay for your server space. To be clear, this space is what we WordPressers pay for. The WordPress software itself will always be free, and the newer versions that come out every few months are also free. Cool, huh? Think of this server like a computer that’s online 24/7, where you upload files just like you upload pictures to Facebook.

When you hear people talk about bandwidth and uptime, this all has to do with hosting website on a server. You want more bandwidth and 99.9% uptime, period.

The way we’ll set it up below is the most common route, and thankfully for us it involves no coding or tech know how besides basic internet knowledge and the ability to follow directions.

Okay, so where do I get hosting?

Time for another potential headache.

There are a lot of web hosts out there these days. Everyone seems to want our business, while (if you’re like me) we just want something simple to understand that will always work.

I’ve written about this more on our Ultimate Guide and in a Huffington Post column I stop by from time to time, but let me save you some time.

Your best choice today is going to be HostGator.

I’ve helped hundreds of readers setup WordPress with HostGator. Their QuickInstall is phenomenal, the backend is easy to look at, and we’re always happy with the result.

As they say, no host is perfect, but HostGator comes darn close and makes it fun in the process.

Prices are cheap, too, and the support is among the web’s best.

For example, a few months back I was working with a client who needed all of his articles and images moved from one self hosted WordPress blog to another. It was the dreaded domain name switch. I pulled up the live chat at HostGator, and a tech support rep spent two hours with me explaining the process. We cleared things up then and there, but he even let me know when he was going to be working again, so I could request him.

Most of us picture tech support as being awful and boring but it’s the opposite at HostGator, and that says a lot about what they value.

After doing some research, I found some more reviews here at Pinterest.

For example, one time I needed to move all of my self hosted WordPress blog content (logo, posts, menus) to a whole new site with a new domain name.

What about my domain name?

A domain name is something like or, and you get to choose a domain name all to yourself when you setup a self hosted WordPress blog or website (again, there are the same).

This domain won’t be a subdomain name like, it will be your own, unique, fully-brandable address on the web.

You could also get a .org like I’ve done, or a .net, .biz, .co or whatever else is available.

You can register a domain name at HostGator, or use a domain name you already have, from GoDaddy for example.

What’s the cost of it all?

As I said, a big reason for my decision on hosting was that HostGator has low prices and sound support. I haven’t tried out all the other hosting options out there (there are hundreds) but was more eager to begin building the blog. HostGator’s most common shared hosting plan costs $5.56 per month, and unlike other blog hosts, you can get new user discounts too. The current discount is 20-33% off, however you can use our Dear Blogger coupon “BIGBONUS” to get 50-65% off your first order. I understand how money is tight on a new-blog budget, so definitely try this coupon if you’re using HostGator and enjoy saving a bit of money.

Tip: this discount applies to your first purchase, whether it’s for 1 month or 36 months, so you should estimate how long you want hosting (some folks keep it forever) and factor this in to maximize your savings.

Let’s get this started, shall we?

Alright, in the steps below we’ll setup a complete blog at HostGator. To be clear, the setup always starts at a blog host, and ends with you logging into your new blog.

Additionally, at response to popular demand, I’ve posted an under 10-minutes video below where we actually setup a complete blog then change some features.

Good lucky, and remember to ask any questions in the comments area.

Before we begin, know this….
A blog and a WordPress website are the same thing when you start out! You start with the blog template, like 2016 or 2017, then can use “themes” to make your blog look like virtually any sort of website if you want. But as far as what you set up initially, it’s the same thing.

So rest-assured, by the time you’re done here, you’ll have your own WordPress site up for all your friends and family to see. Well, once you’re done designing it, that is!

(The video even covers some crucial WordPress design features like themes, plugins, images, links and publishing a new post.)

Okay, here’s the guide itself! (with plenty of visuals so you don’t get lost)

How To Setup a Self Hosted Blog: Easy, No Code & Awesome 2017 Discounts for Beginners (with screenshots)

If you skipped through the rather lengthily background above and just want to make a self-hosted blog of your own now, welcome! This will show you exactly the best way to create a self-hosted blog for the cheapest cost using the best tools. I’ve just updated this in January, 2017 and it’s the same process I use myself. You’ll need about an evening’s time to complete this. In this tutorial we use HostGator to register both the domain name and web hosting your self hosted blog needs. However if you already purchased a domain name from GoDaddy (or a similar registrar like NameCheap) which you’d like to use, please follow this tutorial.

Please note: If you sign up to HostGator through our affiliate links below you can get a better discount and this blog earns a small credit for referring you at zero cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Part A) Register hosting

Let’s begin! Head over to to get increased discounts on the Hatchling or Baby plans, which are the best options and the most common choices for your first blog or website.

You’ll see the “Welcome DearBlogger Visitors” message at the top, which means you’re in the right place.

If you’d rather not go through our affiliate link that’s fine! Just visit and click on Web Hosting in the upper left and you’ll get to the same options as our link above. Then follow the exact same process below. But the affiliate link guarantees you get the better discount described in detail below…so you should know about it!

Click on the yellow Get Started Now button.

Note: If your self hosted WordPress blog is part of your business, you can write off 100% of web-hosting and domain name costs in your annual taxes.

Now we are in the HostGator Order Form. There are 6 simple steps to register hosting. I’ll walk you through each of these steps now.

1. Choose a Domain


You can register a new domain name for $5.99/year or click I Already Own This Domain name and then pay HostGator nothing for your domain name. To do this you must have already registered a domain name at GoDaddy or another registrar.

In other words, this tutorial has you covered whether you have a domain name already or need to get one now. I’ve done it both ways (use a GoDaddy domain, and bought from HostGator). The HostGator option is a little cheaper now at $5.99 and it’s nice to have everything in the same place, so I recommend doing that, but either way is fine with your domain name!

If someone already has the domain name you selected, you’ll get an error message. It’s okay, try again. No harm done.

Once you have successfully entered your domain name, scroll down an uncheck Domain Privacy Protection because it’s an unnecessary cost.

Step 1 is done.

2. Choose a Hosting Plan

In Step 2 it’s time to choose your hosting plan. The best two options for your first blog are Hatchling and Baby, the only difference being the Baby plan lets you host multiple blogs, like your friend’s blog, your small business website, your blog about another subject, etc. The Business plan is less common and mainly a good choice for large corporations with larger budgets.


If you will build your first self hosted blog here, I strongly recommend the Hatchling plan to keep costs as low as possible while still getting an unbeatable hosting service.. The “Hatchling Plan” is great for beginners and it’s exactly where I started when I created my first self-hosted WordPress blog. You can always upgrade later on, as I did to a Baby plan so I could host more blogs and websites.

Once you choose your plan, click on the Billing Cycle drop down menu and select 12 months. Again just a personal choice — I believe you need to give your blog at least 12 months to have a real chance at blogging for a living!

Next, enter a Username and Security Pin. These will log you into HostGator’s billing portal should you need to later on.


3. Enter Your Billing Info


Just like any purchase from Amazon, eBay, Apple, Netflix, or wherever you like shopping online.


4. Add Additional Services


Or rather, do not add them! I recommend you uncheck everything here to keep our budget tight and move on. Remember, you can add any additional services or features at any time later on through HostGator’s live customer chat portal.

5. Enter a Coupon Code


Make sure to enter the coupon code ‘BIGBONUS’ to get the largest possible discount (we test several coupons regularly!) HostGator offers a regular promotional coupon of 20-33% off but this coupon will save you on average 50-65% off! Again I check regularly with HostGator to see if there are any seasonal offers. So if it’s available, you’ll hear about it here.

If the coupon ‘BIGBONUS’ is already entered, you’re all set.

Disclaimer: Using our coupons gives us credit for referring you which allows me to keep making more free tutorials. Thanks!

Done and done.

6. Review Order Details


Make sure you have no Hosting Addons or Additional Services, you may have to scroll up again to uncheck them. Then, reference the above scenario for an example of what your prices might look like! I’ve setup countless blogs and accounts at HostGator just to help folks, and have selected a common example to walk through: In this screenshot example we have a domain name for $5.99 and hosting for $37.59, perfect. These two numbers combine to make the red number of $43.58, which is a great deal. Based on your Hosting Plan, Billing Cycle and choice of a domain name your prices may vary slightly. Let me know any questions in the comments.

Once you’re happy with your order details, check the box for I have read… and then take a deep breath, get ready to surpass 1000s of bloggers who run on free networks and don’t get the amazing tools WordPress offers, and then once you’re ready click Checkout Now.

Great job!!!


You’ll get a screen like this one welcoming you to the HostGator family (nice!) and it’s now time to check your email to continue.


In your inbox, after a couple minutes, you’ll see two emails from HostGator. Open up the one titled Your Account Info.

Part B) Change your nameservers


This is just a sample from a previous blog I made, but your email will look just like this one. You now want to write down your Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2. We’ll use these to connect your domain to your hosting.

If you bought both domain and hosting from HostGator, we’ll need to connect your domain to your hosting now. It’s very easy and I’ll show you how now. If you visit your new site, you’ll see something like this.


Click on where the arrow points.

Back in your inbox, open up the second email from HostGator titled Thank you for choosing HostGator! Use the Login name and Password in this email to login to your Billing Portal.

Once in the Billing Portal, click on the Domains tab, then click on the gear icon beside your domain name.


You will see this screen above, and it’s time to enter those Nameservers from the first HostGator email. Then save them. After a couple more moments, you’ll see this screen on your site.


This means it’s time to begin installing WordPress! Great job so far!

Part C) Installing

Note: If you bought your domain name elsewhere, for example at GoDaddy, you need to enter your HostGator nameservers there now before proceeding.

Once you’re done entering in your new nameservers, head back to the email titled Your Account Info. Click on the link called Your Control Panel to get to where we will WordPress.


Clicking on the Control Panel Link will take you to the screen right below. Login to cPanel using the Username and Password from your Your Account Info email.

Note: Got any questions so far? Drop a comment or consult the live chat feature at HostGator.

So you’re now inside the brand new HostGator cPanel called Paper Lantern! Beautiful, isn’t it? I think so, I’ve seen several generations of cPanel!

Ok, enough reminiscing, let’s move forward.


Click on the link at the top that says WordPress Installer.

self hosted wordpress blog

Choose your domain name from the drop down list, then leave the white box to the right of it blank. Click Next.


Next, enter in some basic blog info. You can change most of this later, but make sure to get your email correct and pick a good username – this will be your new WordPress username!

Make sure your screen looks exactly like mine above (except with your own information) then click Install Now.


Great job! You’ve just installed your own copy of WordPress for free and it’s the same thing the pros use.

You can go celebrate now if you’d like for about 15 minutes. Then come back and click the link in the upper right that says My Installs.


Change your WordPress password. Save.


Now click on the link that says Admin Login.

self hosted wordpress blog

Then, bookmark your login link (which is always now before you forget it. I prefer having it on the browser bookmark tabs, but up to you.

Login to WordPress for the first time using your new password you just made, and your Username. Welcome to WordPress! You did it!

Part D) Adding Blog Content for Free

You now have completely setup a WordPress self hosted blog, and you’ve got a blank canvas with the most powerful content management system in the world at your finger tips, right under the hood.

So, what will you make?

It’s a good idea to learn how to create a blog post, change the blog title, and add a plugin.

But because there’s so many directions you could take your new WordPress blog, we’ve produced several beginner friendly video tutorials (check them out on our YouTube Channel here) each with a different theme and end result for you blog. We’ve helped thousands and thousands of bloggers and website owners setup sites, and would love to help you create free blog content too.

Here’s one example of what you could do next!!

Remember, you can do anything with your new WordPress, don’t get stuck on a theme that doesn’t work or editing small details when you could be creating new content. You’re a pro now, so act like one πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

Conclusion: Welcome to!

And as usual, thanks for using another Dear Blogger guide!

Lastly, while I tried to be super exhaustive I know you still have some questions, so post those in the comments. Someone from the community is always handy to help out, and you’re guaranteed to learn something new.

If you want to learn more about designing your new blog and adding blog features, go here.

To create a professional business website out of it instead, go here.

On my YouTube channel you can find tons of free advice on WordPress design, SEO, monetization and more. I hope you can subscribe!

p.s. If you did find this guide helpful for your blog or business, it would be cool if you could hit share (Like, Tweet, whatever!) to help a few more readers learn WordPress blogging and setup a self hosted WordPress blog! Cheers and best of luck — Greg

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171 Responses to "How To Create a Self Hosted WordPress Blog for Beginners – 2017 (Video Guide Below with Setup Screenshots)"

  1. Hi Greg. I’d purchased a domain name from @HostGator in April 2017. I configured up the nameservers which went on OK. I’ve taken sometime since without any activity to complete the website setup. Am now not able to see a cpanel like the one you’ve displayed above showing the softwares including wordpress. \i cant proceed to install WordPress. Kindly help.

  2. Hi Greg,
    Thanks for putting together these steps – they are great, Thank you again for giving us an excellent knowledge it is helpful for all wordpress lovers. it is very easy process by you.

  3. I am very disenchanted with the whole WordPress thing!! I’ve been trying for days to get it up and running, but I can only seem to install — which is what this blog post directs people to, as opposed to

    Why don’t they give them different names? Am I the only one with trouble surrounding the different wordpress sites?
    Thank you for listening.

    1. Dear Chrissy,

      Did you end up installing Let me know, I’m super curious how your blog ended up and I bet others are stuck too.

      Where does this post direct people to install

      I speak AARRGGHH. Happy to listen πŸ™‚


  4. I loved this post! Have been reading your blog for a while now and your always
    putting out some great articles. I shared this on my instagram and my followers loved it!
    Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  5. Hey Greg,
    I have been having some trouble setting up a blog. I wanted a .ca domain name which I couldnt get on hostgator so i created it on wordpress. I thin switched it to hostgator but with the wordpress install it wont let me add plug-ins without paying $300/year to buy the wordpress business plan, any advice would be appreciated!!

  6. Hello,

    I am using your 2017 video on seting up hosting/blog site with WordPress. It’s great! A few minor things have changed from the video, but it was obvious what to do, no problem. I am stuck at Theme Junkie. When you say go to the themes page, and click on ‘show more’ to take you to theme junkie, I honestly don’t see anything that looks like that. Please help if you can!!

    1. Hi! I think Theme Junkie’s site is down now. I’m looking at a 503 error now, but that may not be what you saw. Which theme are you looking to download? Any other issues currently? Let me know and we’ll solve it. Thanks for using one of our tutorials!! πŸ™‚

  7. Greg! Your blog tutorial is wonderful but I hit a snag! I am in the FeedBurner section of the tutorial (around 1.05min) but I can’t get a feed created. This error shows up: The URL does not appear to reference a valid XML file. We encountered the following problem: Error on line 1: The entity “mdash” was referenced, but not declared. I have checked to make sure my web address is correct – which it is – and now I do not know how to continue. Your support would be much appreciated so that I can continue with setting up my blog. Thanks so very much.

  8. I am building a new WordPress site on a low budget and this is exactly the kind of information I need. And, this is the clearest explanation of the word β€œleverage” that I have read. Thank you. I will put this good information to use. NBA 2K18 MT

  9. Thank you so much Very interesting and applicable. The one point I really like is the one about infographics. You produce one infographic and get plenty links from it but also traffic. I am yet to find some example of highly successful infographics, but I used this method a number of times for my blog– I hope you’ll continue with providing us with great posts like this. Thanks again Neil.

  10. What I found when it comes to getting traffic, conversions and sales (because this is the main reason to get traffic) the simplest things are the best.

    Now, the thing also is that very often we don’t believe that they can work or we aren’t consistent to use these simple steps or methods. NBA 2K MT

    I didn’t use all of the ways that you mentioned here but what I know is that what I use, works.

    But like I wrote and in my eyes the key here is consistency because it always wins in a long time.

    Awesome blog post(as always)

  11. Hi Greg,

    I just followed your tutorial to start my first blog (still a work in progress) and found your video extremely helpful! Thanks so much.

    I do have one question I thought I’d see you can help me with. I installed the beginner theme from TJ and want to make my featured images much larger than what is the current default size because right now they are too small to see on the mobile platform – it’s a food blog so the pics are the main focus.

    I tried going into settings – media — featured_image size and changed the defaults to max width 3000; max height 4000 to get a large pic but nothing changed.

    Do you have any idea on how to change the featured image size?
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks Matt and unofficially, welcome!

      Sounds like that tutorial helped you make a good blog which is always great to hear!

      The featured images with those new settings will be uploaded larger, if the file size allows, but won’t be inserted bigger because that is controlled by default theme settings in the code.

      Any way you can paste a link to your blog at and we can tackle it there? With some custom css we could probably get the job done.

      You could also ask at the TJ forum, I’ve gotten tons of answers there.

      Let me know any other pressing issues too!


  12. Hey!

    I wasn’t sure about starting a blog and had been pondering over the idea for months until I saw your YouTube tutorial. Your tutorials and Blog Posts made my Blog possible. Thank You so much!
    I haven’t shared my blog yet. Still working on creating a few more posts before publicising.
    It is a travel blog intended for young solo travellers-

    I have a few queries:

    1) How many more posts would you suggest me to write? (I have 5 posts and an about page as of now.)

    2) How do I get more people to know of my website when I launch? (I have not monetised it yet. Just looking to create a good reader following.)

    3) I haven’t bought the Akismet plugin. Is there a free plugin alternative to it for the meanwhile, until, I gain some blog traffic and get funds to spend on the blog?

    1. Hi Prachi,

      Sorry for the delay responding to your comment! Your site isn’t showing up for me πŸ™ I would write 3-5. Make one post a controversial topic to shake up your niche. Guest posting is best. Use free Akismet for now just get an activation key and the free plugin.

      Btw, please continue stopping by our YT channel to keep up with my blogging activity! This video is a good intro to what we’ll be making soon!


  13. Hi Greg! I just went through your YouTube tutorial. It was so helpful – thank you! (Check out my site – created in less than 24 hours, thanks to you! I have two questions:

    1. The feedburner process did not work for me. When I copied my URL into the feedburner site, I got an error message (certain code is not available for them to check). Any idea if something has changed?

    2. I didn’t realize my WordPress username would be visible each time I post something. Is it possible to change the username (I think the answer is no), OR is it possible to somehow transfer my URL to a different WordPress username?


    1. This looks great Jennifer! Your blog reminds of Pick The Brain Blog. 24 hours might be a record, I’ll have to check!

      1. If it’s the error saying no valid XML file, try deactivating your plugins one by one and re submitting to Feedburner. A plugin can easily mess up the code Feedburner needs to check at your site.

      2. If you go to Users > your name you can change your Nickname, then Display name publicly as will have that new option. You can also create a new user and assign posts to that new person. I would do one of those options.

      Thanks for the awesome feedback and welcome to!

  14. Really interesting to read this post. I learned a lot of things from this article. I have one small doubt I registered my domain name on the famous registrar, but I bought Hostgator. How to connect my domain to Hostgator? I have previously installed WordPress on same domain registrar. Therefore it would not create a problem for me.

    1. No problem. I always do GoDaddy domain and HostGator hosting. Just enter your HostGator nameservers at GoDaddy to connect the two. You can leave your old wordpress install intact.

  15. Hi Greg

    I recently took over a website that was built in dreamweaver 12 years ago and hosted with godaddy. I deleted the site(it was very primitive nothing much there) and installed WordPress as I am quite familiar using it I thought I would have a new site up in no time.

    So basically when I try to install certain plugins I get internal server error. I thought it was not enough php as it is an economy package. But long story short after multiple customer support calls all trying to get me to move from window to linux for $100 I have decided to switch hosting to Hoat Gator.

    After using this tutorial and discount to set up another site the ease of use and zero errors makes me want to move host. So I am thinking just to delete the current wordpress on the godaddy hosting(as there is nothing done due to errors) and start afresh on hostgator.

    My question is do I still need to do some migration even though I am starting afresh or do I just do as in this tutorial and insert the domain name??


  16. Hi Greg, thanks for a clear and transparent tutorial. I’m a newbie in blogging and currently setting up a site. My blog will be mainly focussing on sharing inspirations e.g. recipe, travel, photography and other hobbies. In case of extending my blog to a more professional site, providing services or promote advertising, I read about SEO and WooCommerce – does Sydney support these features? Another theme I’m considering is Sparkling, seems they have a lot of features in supporting a site. If you can recommend on my blogging activities, which theme would you recommend for a newbie to this technical environment?


    1. Hi Denise!

      Sydney is more of a business or portfolio website theme. Though it’s magnificent I wouldn’t personally use it for a main blog, just for a corporate blog as part of a larger website. For your blogging activities, Theme-Junkie themes have always served me best for my blogs (like Dear Blogger, which is Daily theme customised) and I love ‘Beginner’ which we did a demo on recently: How To Make a WordPress Blog – 2017

      TJ is a slightly smaller suite of products / brand so they offer really good premium support. The small community there has helped us grow big here!

      Basically you want a great homepage blog post layout with the snippets and images, you want different ways to showcase posts like sliders, featured content, menus and you want easy to access social media for your growing following. If Sparkling accomodates this then awesome! Otherwise, try Theme-Junkie, they are my fav πŸ™‚ And SO good for newbies.

      Keep me posted of course!

  17. Hi Greg, thanks for a clear and transparent tutorial. I’m a newbie in blogging and currently setting up a site. My blog will be mainly focussing on sharing inspirations e.g. recipe, travel, photography and other hobbies. In case of extending my blog to a more professional site, providing services or promote advertising, I read about SEO and WooCommerce – does Sydney support these features? Another theme I’m considering is Sparkling, seems they have a lot of features in supporting a site. If you can recommend on my blogging activities, which theme would you recommend for a newbie to this technical environment?


  18. Hi again,
    Can you clarify if your coupon is still valid? (Dec 09, 2016)? It seems like a really good offer but for some reason it is not going through.

  19. Hi Greg,
    Re – Hatchling plan you recommended above with HostGator – unfortunately the bonus (BIGBONUS) does not apply when I entered my credit card registered in Europe (Ireland) giving me a total of $147.10 instead of $43.58. Is there any reason for that? Can you help/explain?

    1. Oh just saw this Marketa. Apologies for the difficulty you’re having. Also try DEARBLOGGER2015 and TAKE30OFF and FREEUPGRADE3. The coupons should work abroad, I’ve actually never heard of a problem…what did you end up going with? I love Ireland, just visited in September!

      1. Yay good to know it’s valid in Ireland, I plan to start my own site and rejuvenate my Dad’s over Christmas! Do you still recommend vantage template?
        I have had numerous issues this week with templates that violate the worpress theme rules! like Zerif Lite and OnePage-I literally had all the info input into the sections and One Page had an update that eliminated most of the sections ;( it makes more sense to build in pages so you dont encounter exactly this!

        I’m hoping third time lucky when if I Vantage won’t let me down, thanks fo rthis in depth tutorial even though I am used to working with Worpress I hadnt encountered site origin page builder which is similar to the avada fusion builder but FREE πŸ™‚

        Ps Glad you liked Ireland lots of photos in my blog for you to reminisce!

      2. Hi Greg, I’m having the same issue as Marketa. Tried all promo codes and also get a total of more than $136 (36months). Some codes are giving a higher price. It doesn’t get cheaper if i take 12/24 months. Can you help on the best deal? Thanks

        1. BIGBONUS is a hostgator coupon for 57% off at the 36 month term… it’s the best hostgator promo code I know of currently!

          I remember when I signed up the best hostgator coupon was 25% off lol.

          Oh you can always ask their Live Chat too and maybe they’ll cough up a discount πŸ™‚

  20. He, Greg! We are building, a small online tv station in a town without any other tv. Our intentions are really good but our online presence supersucks! Tutorials and videos from u are fabulous! But, can we easily update news with WordPress? We’re ready to sign up but have come to value your opinion greatly! Thanks so much!

  21. Hi Greg,

    Appreciate the post and it would be very cool to see an updated version of this. I think an updated version would help a lot of beginners that are just starting out. And maybe you could also do some tutorials for other website builders and compare them against WordPress.


    1. mhm yes. its a bit confusing that they call it a framework but i think it means you can use their entire system with hosting and themes, or just install a theme once you’ve installed wordpress at a different host (like hostgator).

      see that i’m delayed here though – what did you end up going with?

  22. Thanks for Guidance. WordPress an easy way to build a website within a limited time period and we can try it for free at initial stage to understand its functions. Althoug their are some limitations in free version.

  23. Hi Greg,
    thanks for the great step by step guide on YouTube!
    I have on e questionfor you about the vantage theme:
    In the horizonta menu bar i would like more room for my menu buttons. Now it moves to a second line after 6 buttons. Is there somewhere i can contol and increase this.
    Would be great if you could help me as i cant seem to find where i can change this.
    thanks very much,


    Siert Vos
    The Netherlands

  24. I am new to all of this. I have never created a website and feel like a complete moron.

    I used iPage instead of Host Gator. I am hoping that does not make too much of a difference.

    I received the log in information for WordPress, logged in, activated the Vantage theme, however when I go to view my page I am getting a default “Under Construction” page with no theme at all. What have I done wrong???

  25. Hi Greg! I have to start a new blog. I want to be a blogger. I have searched in google and read many post about making new blog. But Today I got your blog on the First page of google. You have described every thing in very simple. Nice guide for starting a blog. There is any discount coupon on hosting? where I can get maximum discount please tell

  26. Hi Greg,

    Nice article and excellent guide for a newbie to set up hosting and create wordpress.. Between can you tell me the difference between Hostgator and Bluehost. can we go with either of two or is there any specific reason for Hostgator ?


  27. Hi Greg,
    Thank God I ‘found’ you!
    Just shared your Youtube video on Affiliate Marketing. (Thanks again for your insight!)
    More than likely will share more of your suggestions/tips on other topics as well.
    Blogging and Affiliate Marketing go hand-in-hand. The market is big enough for everybody. There’s a large audience out there for you to choose from. So, please take advantage of that!
    To the community: if anyone is interested in joining affiliate programs, please check our partners at
    Thanks, and good luck!

  28. Hi

    Your video was so helpful! Thank you so much for this. The best tutorial I have ever taken… I had one question – I launched pagebuilder and set up the homepage but can’t get rid of a default homepage that shows up when you launch the site…and somehow I can’t add the contact form 7 – wordpress says I already have it = maybe from a prior theme?


  29. Hello Greg,

    I,ve learned a lot with DearBlogger. Thank you very much. πŸ™‚
    I want to start blogging but iΒ΄m not sure which platform to choose…

    Would you recommend or to start?

    I read your article about “The Best Places to start a Blog” but iΒ΄m still doubtful about it…

    I will appreciate your Help. :). Thanks.

  30. I have set up through a web design company for the purpose of creating blogs to help visitors with questions pertaining to home improvement projects and sell tools.

    The site was set up to market as an Amazon Affiliate, but after a month they cancelled my site because my site was in violation of the Amazon Associates operating agreement. I had improper logos and the content was the same as available on the Amazon site and the pricing was incorrect.

    I had the designer remove the improper logos, personalized over 200 tools, added more blogs with the impression that we had solved the problems. I contacted Amazon Associates by phone and was rejected again for some of the same reasons.
    I would appreciate your assistance by checking out my site.
    I was set up with wordpress and was told to use woozone to import Amazon products into my site. Now Amazon says that I did it improperly and the images are being used in a way that goes against their trademark guidelines. I used wordpress to transfer these images as instructed by the web designer.

    I honestly don’t know where to turn. Can you help?

    Thanks, Dave

    1. Would you please send me a note that you received my earlier questions? This is the first time I have ask for assistance and don’t know how soon to receive a response. I really need help.


  31. Hello,
    I currently have a website on Webstarts which is a combined host and builder. It seems they do not have the WordPress plug-in option or even the capability. I have watched the video and see how I can use HostGator, but I’m afraid to use my domain name in fear that my current site content will be deleted or cause issues with more than one host. What can I do?

    1. Hey! Hmm do you know if webstarts lets you point your domain towards another host, or lets you change your nameservers, or enter a new IP? all these would be solutions if you wanted to use wordpress with another host like hostgator, and content is usually not deleted.

  32. Grateful for the information and thanks for the opportunity to ask a question: I’m researching blog info and keep running into complex discussions of WordPress’s Genesis framework software and child themes. You don’t mention them. Is this old technology or just too complicated for beginners? Perhaps Quick Install has made Genesis obsolete (though that seems unlikely given all the rave reviews).

    1. nah Genesis isn’t old or obsolete. it’s really good. i still think it’s overpriced though and i feel like it might limit what you do after the setup, because you’re using a very niche host at that point as opposed to a large host with lots of resources.

      i DO think child themes are becoming more pointless, and they are neither easy nor necessary for beginners

      1. Sounds like solid advice. I conclude that just following your instruction for Quickinstall is the path of least resistance.

        One more question. You say elsewhere regarding the difference between a website and a blog:
        “It’s the Theme (WordPress speak for template/design) you choose that will determine if your site is a blog or a website.”

      2. [Previous post was sent prematurely. This is the whole thing:]

        Sounds like solid advice. I conclude that just following your instructions for Quickinstall is the path of least resistance.
        One more question. You say elsewhere regarding the difference between a website and a blog:
        β€œIt’s the Theme (WordPress speak for template/design) you choose that will determine if your site is a blog or a website.” I think I’ll need the functionality of a website, since I want the ability to set many internal links (i.e., to take readers to different locations/pages within my own website as opposed to URL hyperlinks to external websites. Will I need help from WordPress techs or will the setup itself offer enough guidance to be able to make the right choices?

        1. you can probably do it yourself. if you have wordpress people in your community for live help that’s always good, but the codex is a mess.

          here’s one of my tutorials that could be helpful to the website feel going:

          let me know how it goes or any more Qs!

          oh yeah and with the theme comment of mine. basically 2012, 2013, 2015 all these are generic blog themes you start with on wordpress. then there are themes which are more commonly used for websites because of how they display content. there are also blog+website themes.

  33. Hey greg,
    I am hosting a website by the name and i am hosting it using hostgator. Its like an year old. I was previously using basekit site builder to build the site but the features are pretty crappy. Recently ive installed wordpress via quickinstall pn cpanel. But it doesnt show up on cpanel(probably because of lack of space). Is there any way to access it via cpanel(like i access basekit) also, ive installed it on the link but i want to switch over from the basekit site to the wordpress site. How do i do that. I didnt install it on the main site becuse i guess that would delete my website. So can i transfer the site from to
    Thanx in advance

  34. Greg, thank you so much, you’re amazing.

    Question: just created a domain on hostgator following your instructions. I received an email from them asking a scanned copy of my passport and credit card in order to continue with the set up.

    Is this normal/safe?

    1. Thanks Florence! πŸ™‚ Yeah this can happen if you’re in another country or using a small credit card company. I have heard of this before though so you should be ok.

    2. The same thing just happened to me now, i sent my ID and bank card, only to receive another mail that i should explain what my intended content on MY DOMAIN will look like…

      i do not know whether this has happened to any one before, but i feel i should not have used hostgator in the 1st place, i never knew i will have to go through all of these just because i patronized them.

  35. Hi Greg,
    thank you for your valuable tutorial, i followed your post and got domain and hosting, wordpress in my platform. My new website is all about bollywood and i named it as… πŸ™‚
    hey please check if get time.. πŸ™‚

  36. Hi Greg,

    You are doing a great job ,Thanks for sharing all these I have some doubts

    1.After I buy a domain name /website , is it totally mine means..does wordpress has any sort of control on my webpage
    2. I want to write blogs on educational subjects. so per say i want a interactive session with other people convenience will it be
    3. To run a exam portal like a online exam ,will i be able to build pages as per my requirement

    1. Dear Rakesh,

      1) You own WordPress 100% the moment you download/install it. You can set it to update automatically or not. You also own your design.

      2) Interaction is huge for me. You can do a forum, live comment stream, or a webinar format.

      3) You can build as many pages as you want for free. How do you see your exam running?

      Hope this helps.

  37. Hi Greg,

    Thanks for the amazing tutorial! I followed all the instructions, got the domain, paid for registration, installed wordpress but my domain is still unavailable and nothing loads on both the website and the wp admin link. It’s been over 30 mins. Can you check for me?

  38. A little confused (and sorry for the long post)
    Yesterday I made the switch from Blogspot to (which is scary!!!) Anyways, I already bought my domain name with GoDaddy about a year ago, and used Host Gator as my self host provider and used their quick install for I already changed the Nameserver at GoDaddy to point to Host Gator. I know that it can take up to 78 hours for the change to take place. But, and here comes my confusion. At first would load up my blogspot blog (I just changed the nameserver, so no biggie) about 10 hours later, it now shows the HostGator starting page, but not my wordpress blog I just spend the better part of the morning to see what I missed while I did the move, but came up blank. I did everything as prompted….Is it just because the change hasn’t taken fully place yet…BTW I can load my wordpress admin panel with no problem!

    1. Dear Victoria,

      Right, so during that 72 hr propogation period you might see the old site or the new site. This is particularly peculiar because like you said you can access the admin panel (back end), but not fully load the new site on the front end. Try deleting your browser cache.

      It sounds like you did every step as needed but to be sure:

      1. Did you change both nameservers to the ones HostGator sent to you via email?
      2. Did the QuickInstall green bar reach 100%?
      3. Can you view posts, images and other things you’re publishing?

      I’m seeing the HostGator page when I click your domain name. Do not worry though, this often fixes itself!

      The Blogger

      1. Thanks for taking the time to calm my nerves! To answer your questions, 1. yes, 2. I’m pretty sure, and 3. I was able to import my blog from blogger to wp, and can see my posts through wp admin link. Is that a good sign that the move went smooth? I just have the feeling that I missed something because it was very easy to do πŸ™‚ Anyways 72 hours seems like a long time, but that gives me enough time to edit my 67 imported posts to fit with the new theme!

        1. Good Morning
          Just a little update! HostGator contacted me and asked for a copy of photo ID. I already sent them a copy, but now I can’t even access my wpadm site πŸ™ It tells me my account is suspended. I hope they are going to confirm my account asap, so I can get back to blogging. I also don’t like how now my domain is taking you to some site that does have the host gator logo on top but then only takes you to some random sites that does have nothing to do with Host Gator nor with my blog (or even the niche of my blog)!!!

          1. Apologies for the delay. It was a busy week to run a blogging community. How are things now? That’s good you had a theme selected. Did HostGator respond positively?

            1. No worries, it all worked out! Hostgator needed ID verification. After that I had to change my root directory. And now I am oh so happy with the move over to! Looking forward to learn more from you, so I can improve my blog

  39. Hi Greg

    Thank you for your really easy-to-follow tutorial. I have finished installing and was ready to jump in my new blog but for some reason the link doesn’t work!!! Have you seen this before? Does anyone have the same problem?

    Here is the link

    I’m not sure if it is because I am from outside the US and hostgator is still verifying my purchase. They sent me an email asking me to send in ID photo and a picture of credit card (which I did)

    My credit card has already been charged.

    Looking forward to hearing from you

    Again thank you for your work.

    1. Dear Linh,

      Good job! Don’t worry, your WordPress files are just propogating, which means they are settling into place before you can login and start blogging. How’s everything now?


      1. It’s verified now. Thanks! πŸ™‚

        Btw, have you done a review on WP review plugin? I’m trying to build a review site and wondering which plugin to use…

        Thanks so much

  40. Hello Greg,

    Thanks for the guide! This is the best tutorial I’ve come upon after an entire day of browsing online! I’m still really confused of the ACTUAL steps I have to take though. Do I register on FIRST and then enter my domain name in Hostgator? Does that mean I have money going out to first to WordPress for the domain name, and then Hostgator as well?

    1. Dear Jenn,

      It is confusing. I was totally lost at first. The easiest and most travelled route our readers use nowadays is to get your domain and hosting at the same place. HostGator offers this and it works great. Check this out:

      You actually setup AFTER you get your domain and hosting plan. With a couple clicks you “put” WordPress onto your hosting, then visit your domain name to see what you’ve made! Then WordPress emails you a login and you can blog or make a website as you wish. You don’t pay WordPress, you just pay a hosting provider.

      How’s that sound?

      — Greg

      p.s. Why thank you!

  41. Hi Greg! Great articles! I hope I get to use all these knowledge. I about to start my own blog but I wouldn’t like to invest in a domain and hosting until I have generated a solid traffic to my content. Do you think my approach is correct? If so, then later, would it be possible to transfer the content from my free wordpress blog to a paid one? Thank you in advance!

    1. Good thinking, common thinking but not efficient Mauricio. You do double the work there, and free blogs have a hard time being taken seriously these days. Bottom line you don’t own it. So while your work could be superb, you won’t build a good reputation as quickly. With the complete WordPress you get good designs, ads, and a huge community. If I were you I would do for a cheap HostGator hosting plan and domain – it’ll be about $5 per month. Drop any more questions!

  42. Hey it’s this was great to get me started but I’m stuck on the last step to create the word press…I click install now but nothing happens. Thoughts?!

  43. Hi Greg!
    Loved the article! Been wrestling with creating a blog for awhile now… I have 3 subjects that I could write about, but they don’t really go together… so I just don’t do anything. (I know, I know…) here’s my real question…

    At the end of the article you seem to be singing Google plus’s praises, with no “cons”… would you recommended that to a new blogger?

    I sometimes have to use voice text from my phone due to chronic pain… would anything work with that?

    1. Hi Andre! Thanks for stopping by. Question: which of those three topics could you write on day in and day out? I recommending just choosing that one and not all three. You can always blend more topics into a newsletter, maybe your about page or a Twitter feed or more but it’s after a blog launch.

      Yes, you should start on Google plus yesterday. Regarding voice text, I’m not positive, but given how big WordPress has become I wouldn’t doubt there’s a working solution..

      Does this help?

  44. I followed all of your steps, unfortunately it now says that my domain name doesn’t exist and that WordPress is already installed. I can’t seem to get past this point. :/ The payment was already taken out of my account so I know that I have infact already created and paid for everything. I waited on hold for customer service for over 25 minutes and am kind of concerned!

    1. Hey Katie! You sometimes have to wait 5-10 minutes for WordPress to setup and settle into place. What’s your site’s link I’ll take a look?

      1. Hey Magic!

        The above steps show you how to build a website using WordPress. It’s also how to build a self-hosted blog using WordPress.

        1. Sidengo and are more short term solutions that are generally less customizable. You can do a lot more in WordPress and do it for free once you setup your own hosting.

          Lemme know your questions!

        2. Thanks Greg!

          After following everything, I have been directed to Sidengo dashboard..because thats where I signed up and then cancelled my account. I registered my domain with them as well..what do I do? πŸ™


          1. Ok..I have deleted everything on Sidengo and changed my domain name on hostgator but it has led me to someone else’s site..It does not lead me to wordpress at all..

                1. If you registered your domain name with Sidengo then you’ll need to enter HostGator nameservers there, to point the site to HostGator servers.

                  Did you get the HostGator your account info email?

  45. Hey there. I’m looking for a style or wordpress plugin that could possibly handle this problem. Please share if you have any suggestions.
    Brief dilemma that’s totally off of issue.
    Have you figured out making an internet site cell hospitable? My web page appears to be bizarre when surfing from my cellphone.

  46. hi, i went first and registered a domain name on go daddy. then i signed up on Host gator. How do I get off of go daddy and just have my name hosted on host gator and then setup my blog on wordpress? i am so confused!

    1. Hi Brenda!

      We have to change your nameservers (not hard). Shoot a comment over if you’re there and I’ll help you in “real” time.


  47. Hi Greg, nice meeting you here and thank you for all the tips and information you’ve shared. I’ve just read two posts and have learned so much. I own a self hosted blog under a friends hosting company (I plan to transfer) and want to learn how to take care of the blog – backup/security – I feel that I’ve neglected that part and had been hacked twice last year. Once I understood and got that covered I’ll move on to exploring customizing themes. I will try to do all these while preparing meals to my two rascals. This comment is way too long already.

    1. Never too long πŸ™‚

      Hi Abigail, nice to meet you here too. You’re very welcome. I’m glad the posts helped. Would one on “best plugins for a new blog” be useful too? Power to ya pursuing blogging with your rascals. It’s more responsibility that I have, even though running a community is difficult.

      — Greg

  48. Hi Greg! I am a beginner setting up a website and this guide was so helpful. The only comment I have is that you might want to make a lot more clear the point about having to change name servers if you purchase your domain elsewhere (like from go daddy or register). I did that, and then had to contact Host Gator and figure out my site was not functioning because I had not changed name servers. As a total beginner, your instructions were flawless otherwise and thank you so much!

    Do you have a subsequent post of instructions of how a beginner can start using word press once they have set up their site? I am sure you must have it somewhere on here πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Kim – You’re very welcome! Great point about the nameservers. Definitely good job navigating that successfully.

      Well aside from the whole blog πŸ˜‰ I go over changing WordPress themes, installing a plugin, images, publishing and more around the 6minute mark here:

      Would love to help with any more questions here or on YouTube, let me know.

  49. I discovered your blog site on google and checked a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good content. I just made a personal blog and an electronic cigarette blog as well!

  50. Thanks for the guide, it’s extremely helpful! I just set up hosting through hostgator like you suggested. I went ahead and installed WordPress too. Whenever I click on my admin link, my Internet says my domain doesn’t exist…does it take hostgator a few days to get my domain up and running? Thanks for help!

      1. Nope, Admin URL and Public URL still don’t work…I was wondering if I had to activate anything else through hostgator but I don’t see anything. I received all of the confirmation emails.

              1. I’m trying to but they don’t recognize my existing account for the hosting so I would have to create a new one. That doesn’t work because they won’t let me use my email twice haha. I might just give them a call here.

      1. Free sites limit you, generally run slow, don’t have good support and will run their own ads on your site. They are also hard to seo. They also tell your customers that you cannot be trusted and you won’t be around for long.

  51. Thanks for the step-by-guide. I could really use this for when I set up my blog. I’ve been wrestling back and forth in my head about whether to get a wordpress or blogger and this really helped. Is anyone having the same dilemma as me?

    1. Glad this helped! I’d go for WordPress, more longevity there.
      Also Google may integrate blogger blogs with G+ soon, which could annoy lots of people.


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