I Think, Therefore, I Blog!
(That’s me 😄)
Hi, you’re such a cool friend! Thank you for visiting me! You prove that my free blog set-up tutorial (which is the most popular tutorial in my blog) still works, as it did in the past, helping a number of folks without prior knowledge set up their blogs/websites.
Note that; Before we go further, beginners always face budget shortages that’s the reason I advise you to check out different tutorials, compare costs to suit your budget better. Check out this tutorial HOW TO START A WRITING BLOG It is currently the cheapest of all.
So, you want to start your own blog? Great! I will guide you how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog with HostGator using some simple steps that you can follow to make a blog like mine in just 30 minutes or less.
I wish if someone showed me this guide 2 years ago when I started blogging. I learned by trial and error, wasting a lot of time and money online. But you’re lucky, you can avoid all the challenges and the pain I endured.
Like how Albert Camus said; “You cannot create an experience. You must undergo it” It’s not fluke, forget everything else, I know what works and what doesn’t.
Let me first answer these questions ringing in your head;
But wait, a self-hosted WordPress blog/website isn’t free!
Note that; If you’re looking for an easy to follow guide on how to start a FREE blog click here
With self-hosted WordPress blogs you will need to buy a Domain (This is like an Internet Address you will use to brand your self online) . Your hosting account (This is like a building in which your office is in the internet). Your MasterCard, ATM Card from CRDB, NBC, NMB and other banks can help you here. Your PayPal Account can serve you also.
In this free guide, hosting account will cost you from 92,000 Tsh (41.4$) per year depending on the plan you choose.
In this tutorial I will guide you how to start a blog with HostGator.
Don’t want to use HostGator?
I also have a tutorial on How to Start a Blog with Web Hosting Hub or you can use BlueHost
I have put BlueHost and HostGator together since are brands of the same company Endurance International Group and opening a blog on BlueHost is even easier. So, if you understand well the steps in this tutorial, you can surely start your own blog on BlueHost
Normally to buy web hosting services from BlueHost we pay $7.99 monthly charges. To use BlueHost special Discount offer you don’t need to use any Blue Host coupon code. When you click on this link (The link charges $3.45 monthly) you will be moved to BlueHost home page. All you have to do is click on Get Started Now button. What a saving!
*Disclosure Policy; In this free guide, I share my HostGator Affiliate Link and when you make a purchase through the link, I get a commission (at no extra cost to you ) to support my work. But this didn’t influence my recommendation, because all hosting services have similar programs. I recommend HostGator because I have personal experience with them and to my best knowledge and belief; they offer amazing service. I appreciate the trust you have in me. You rock!
How to start a Blog with HostGator in 8 easy steps:
Step 01: Choose Your Hosting Plan
Go to HostGator’s Home Page (The link will open in a new window so you can follow along). Then click on the “Web Hosting” tab on the menu above or choose Get Started Now! You will be brought to the page where different hosting packages are shown as below.
You now have three choices between; A Hatchling Plan, A Baby Plan, or A Business Plan. If you are not a business, you will most likely go with the Hatchling Plan or the Baby Plan.
The only difference between the two is;
The Baby Plan allows for unlimited Domain names where as the Hatchling Plan allows for one Domain name only.
So, if you only want one blog/website and don’t plan on making multiple blogs/websites then you can go with the Hatchling Plan. In my opinion for beginners; Hatchling Plan is perfect!
But, if you think you will make more than one blog/website, then just go with the Baby Plan.
In this tutorial I’m going to use Hatchling Plan. But you are free to choose the plan you want, the steps will be similar. So don’t worry! Hit Sign Up Now! on the plan of your choice.
Step 02: Choose a Domain Name
Once you hit Sign Up Now! button in step 01, you will be taken to the page below. In the first box, fill your Domain name. For example, mine is juliuskessy.com, you may want your blog/website to be yourname.com or whatever your mind plans. If the Domain Name is taken, you cannot use it. It will tell you “Not available”. There you know someone has already registered it. Make sure the “Register a New Domain” tab is clickable!
Most domain names (especially if you choose .com) cost $12.95 per year which gets added onto your total cost at the end.
Check these tips for choosing a domain name;
1) Make it easy to remember
2) Use .com it’s the most used extension and people will easily remember it.
3) Shorten the Domain. For example, if you are making a blog for your speaking engagements and your name is David Bill instead of “DavidBillspeaker.com“ you can shorten it to “dbspeaker.com“
Wow! The Domain Name “goodwritings.com” was available as of the writing of this tutorial 😀
Step 03: Enter Your Hosting Information
Yes, this section is for you to fill your hosting package information. You can change your hosting plan here if you like.
Note a very important thing you should focus on; most folks don’t tell this. It’s the “Billing Cycle“; The more months you pay for, the cheaper you rate per month”. For example when I started My Writers Bureau, I paid for 36 months. It gave me the cheapest rate per month. If you want to pay for shorter period (1 or 2 years) you can but keep in mind you will pay more per month also.
*HINT*; I have been able to get a “Coupon Code” It’s a discount for my readers to use. It will give you 30% off rather than 20% off. This saves you some extra cost. I will give it out to you in a moment
Note that; In this section you will have to create a “username” and a “security pin“ This will be the username that you will use to login to your HostGator Account in case you were to forget everything, this will be the back end of your site.
Step 04: Enter Your Billing Information
In this box, fill out all the spaces for your billing information. This includes information such as email, name, address, state, and whether you are paying with a credit card or PayPal.
Step 05: Choose Your Hosting Add-ons
Look at the page above; There are some extra add-ons to put to your site. In my opinion “Domain Privacy Protection“is the only one worthy. It will protect your personal information. All of the features that the remaining add-ons provide you can get them by downloading free plugins (Plugins are softwares that increase functionability of your site) for your WordPress once your site is up and running. There is no point in paying extra for these add-ons so uncheck all of the boxes except “Domain Privacy Protection“. The cost of all the unchecked add-ons will be deducted from your grand total.
But why is “Domain Privacy Protection” important?
The “Domain Privacy Protection” add-on protect you from WHOIS look up on your site. If you register a domain without this any folk can look your personal information. It’s what hackers do. If you have the “Domain Privacy Protection” no one can track you. They will just see generic information.
Without Domain Privacy
Dar es salaam
Tell +255 752 656 781
With Domain Privacy
ID#12539, P.O Box 9012
Dar es salaam
Step 06: Enter Your HostGator Coupon Code
You are almost done!
Before you confirm the payment and create your account. I have a Coupon Code which will give you 25% off rather than 20% that they offer. Make sure you enter “MyWritersBureau1” as a coupon code in the blank box below. That’s how they offer discount to my readers!
Hit validate! on your coupon code. You’ll notice an additional 5% is deducted off your total at the bottom.
Step 07: Review Your Order Details and Create Account
After the completion of all steps, review your order details. You will have 24/7/365 Phone, LiveChat and Email support for free! You get also 45 Days Money Back Guarantee. So, if you decide blogging isn’t for you within 45 Days you contact HostGator team and get your money back.
Note; In this tutorial you will be paying for only three things;
1) HostGator Domain Registration- Yearly fee to own a Domain Name
2) HostGator Hosting Plan- 25% discount with coupon code
3) HostGator Hosting Add-ons (if applicable)- In this free guide, it’s Domain Privacy Protection
Once you are comfortable with all that, read HostGator General Terms of Service and tick the box that says”I have read and agree to the terms of Service, etc…” then hit the Checkout Now! button. You will receive emails with URLs to access your Control Panel (something like https://gatorXXX.hostgator.comXXX) and a password to get in. KEEP THIS INFO!
Step 08: Install WordPress
Now it’s a step of installing WordPress onto your site. Go to HostGator’s Home Page click the HostGator’s Customer Portal in the top-right of the page.
Fill your billing information in the login. Your username is the email address that you got your billing information sent to. Your password would be included in one of the emails you received after you created your account in Step 07.
Once you are logged into the portal, you will see a number of tabs on top such as “My Account”, “Billing”, “Hosting”, etc. Click on the Hosting tab. Once that loads up, you should see an option below under “Special Offers” that says Get Started with WordPress Today.
Click on that link.You will be directed to the page called “QuickInstall“. Click on “Continue“ button under the bar written “WordPress“. You will be presented with few text fields to fill out.
Make sure your domain name is choosen in the “Application URL“ section. There is a box after the slash, leave it blank. Tick the box that says; “Enable Auto Upgrades“
Fill your Admin email and Blog title. For example; my blog title is “My Writers Bureau“ . Admin user can be whatever you want it to be. “NEVER EVER make your Admin User be “admin”. It should be something unique.
Lastly, fill in your first name and last name, then click “Install Now“ button.
You will see the progress bar as WordPress installs. Once it is completed, the above screen will appear. There, they give you information where to access your WordPress login, your username and a randomly generated password to sign in. Your WordPress page can be found at http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Go to that URL and sign in.
Congratulations 😄! You have successfully purchased your own domain, your site is up and running with WordPress.
Publish your first post!
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Founder and Editor in Chief at My Writers Bureau
Hi, I'm Julius, a writer by heart and a blogger by passion, a researcher by day and an avid reader by night, I eat and drink books everyday. I like writing well, and here at My Writers Bureau blog, I help others do so. Feel free to browse around and leave a comment. I'll be happy to reply to you. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.