Quick Start Website Guide Step-by-Step

Today we’re going to be quickly building a website step-by-step. When we finish this first section, we will have our own domain name, a web hosting account, and WordPress will be set up complete with a theme. You can either watch the video, or read the text portion of this tutorial down the page.

Be sure to click this link that will take you to the BlueHost website, where you will be able to follow along. Note: we do have an affiliate relationship with BlueHost and are compensated when our followers establish their web hosting on their service.

Quick Start Website Building Guide

Our first step once we are at the BlueHost website here is to choose WordPress hosting.

The benefit of using that selection is that they are going to install WordPress automatically for us into our website.

BlueHost WordPress Web Hosting

Along with the WordPress hosting and installation, they are also going to include the automated updates, free SSL certificate, and a free domain name for a year.

BlueHost WordPress Hosting Features

Domain Name

One preliminary task that we need to complete is to determine the domain name that we would like to use for our website. We also need to make sure that the domain name that we have in mind is available to be registered. You can use a tool like Go Daddy to do that check.

GoDaddy Domain Name Search

The domain name that I came up with is ironcladheating.com. But, even though I checked the domain name at Go Daddy, I don’t want to buy it or register it with them, because BlueHost is going to give me the domain for free for the first year. That is worth $12.00!

Since I know which domain name I’m going to go with, I’m now ready to choose my hosting plan from the BlueHost WordPress hosting section. 

Choose a Hosting Plan

Bluhost WordPress Hosting Plans

You’ll see the lowest-priced option, which is the “Basic” plan is for one website. Then you get the “Plus” plan for unlimited sites and in the choice has some other marketing and code guard and things like that.

Go ahead and pick the plan that fits your needs. I’m going to choose the Basic plan.

Since I know that the domain name I want is available, I’m going to enter it under “Create a new domain.” If you already have a domain name registered someplace else, you can enter it under “Use a domain you own”, or you can always click the skip this step link and come back to it later.

Enter Your Domain Name

I’m going to enter ironcladheating.com, and they’ll check it for me once again to make sure that it is still available. Once we get the green confirmation bar, we will scroll down to the order form and complete our order.

Domain Available

This is a matter of just filling in the information.

We will need to select the term of our plan. If we go out to 36 months, it’s only $2.95 per month, two years is $3.95 per month, and one year is $4.95 per month.

Select your plan term

Then scroll down and select which of the additional options that we want.

Choose additional plan options

I usually uncheck all of them, but you can go ahead and check those that fit your needs. Choosing domain privacy is supposed to keep your name and email address out of the spammers’ hands. But they’ll usually find it some other way, anyway.

Click the button to submit your order, once it’s complete we will receive a “Your purchase was a success!” message.

Create Your Website Account

Now we’ll need to click the blue “Create Account” button.

Set up your account

Then we’ll need to enter a password.

Be sure to read the privacy policy and terms of service and agree to those.

Set your password and agree to terms

Then click on the white “Create Account” button.

You will then see a screen that your account is ready to go with a button that says go to login.

And now, you can go ahead and login with your account information.

Login to your new account.

After logging in, you will be asked a few questions to complete the setup process. You can also choose to skip this step and do it later.

Answering a few questions about our hosting account

Once we click on continue a couple of times, we’re going to select our theme.

Choose a theme.

I’m going to pick the Astra theme.

And then they will begin installing WordPress for us.

As soon as the WordPress installation is completed, you’ll see your welcome screen.

We’ll go ahead and click the get started button.

Get Started

When you first log into your BlueHost dashboard, you will see a temporary domain is being used for the website while we wait for the domain name to fully propagate.

Temporary Domain

You can go ahead and use that temporary domain, but I like to wait and login after a little while and use my real domain name after it’s been provisioned.

After waiting a while, let’s go ahead and log into our BlueHost account. We have two options here hosting login and webmail login.

Signing into our account

We’re going to do the hosting login for now

Now that we’ve waited for a while, instead of our temporary URL, we can see that we are using our permanent domain name.

Our real domain name is being used.

Let’s take a look at this dashboard real quick.

We have the “My Sites” section. This is a list of the websites that you would have in your account.

Manage Sites

We only have the one which is our Ironclad Heating.

When we hover over that tile, we can choose to either log into our WordPress administrative area, or we can manage the site properties.

When we choose to manage the site properties, you can see that we can manage themes, plugins, or we can update anything that needs to be updated right here from the BlueHost dashboard without logging into the website itself.

In the marketplace, we can order add-ons for our site.

The BlueHost Marketplace

Email and Office

Under email and office, we can choose either Microsoft or G Suite as an email provider. But you can also select a basic email option which we’ll set up below. Once you have a basic email account set up within BlueHost, then you will see an option here to manage that email account.

Email Providers

Domain Names

Under Domain Names is a list of our registered domain names. We can manage those as far as our contact information, redirects, transfers, subdomains, etc.

Domain Names

Advanced Control Panel

Advanced takes us to the control panel that some of us recognize as cPanel. This is where you can manage your email accounts and several other options. We will get into those other options later.

Advanced Control Panel

Email Accounts

Let’s go to the email section in the control panel by clicking Advanced and then Email Accounts

Email Account Setup

We can just add an email account that we want from here. Click on the +Create button. We’re going to create an address called adminsupport and it will be @ironcladheating.com. Let the system generate a password for and copy that password into a safe place.

Set the storage limit. We’re going to use the 100 meg limit for now.

And I don’t need an email to be sent with instructions to set up our email client.

Now I can go ahead and click on “Check Email mail here.

Check Email

It will take us to a page where we can pick our email Application that we can use to send and receive email. We can pick either Horde, Roundcube, or Squirrel Mail. I just use Roundcube. You can also set up a mobile app on Android or IOS, Outlook, Thunderbird, or any other email app that you’re accustomed to using

Now, let’s go back to the control panel and then click on “Email and Office”, you’ll see that we can manage our email right here from the email and office option.

Manage Email Accounts

Log Into WordPress

Let’s click on the home option and then select WordPress to log into the dashboard of our WordPress site.

Log Into WordPress

As you can see, when we log in, there is a whole mess of messages on the dashboard.

Wordpress Dashboard

We’ve got messages from Monster Insights, WP forms, Optin Monster, and the Astra theme. We can go ahead and dismiss those, and we’ll be left with the WordPress dashboard.

Now let’s go ahead and clean up a few other things.

Go to installed plugins. We can deactivate and delete any of the plugins besides JetPack, which we’ll leave for now.

Wordpress Installed Plugins

Now let’s go through some of the preinstalled sample information that they have on the site itself.

Go into our posts.

Wordpress Delete Sample Post

This is our blog post section, and you’ll see that there is already a blog post which is titled “Hello World,” along with its accompanying comment. We can go ahead and just trash that

Go to pages.

Wordpress Delete Sample Page

We can trash the sample page because we don’t need that. The privacy policy page we will leave for later.

Now let’s go into categories.

Wordpress Update Category Name

One of the things that I don’t like is to have a category called “uncategorized.” I like to change that to “General.” To me, “uncategorized” just sounds like an error.

Then go down to the settings section and go to General.

Wordpress General Settings 1

We do want our website to be titled our business name.

We want to make sure that it’s HTTPS because BlueHost is giving us a free SSL certificate.

We enter the same thing for site address

Change the time zone to your local area. Mine is Mountain time.

Select the date format you like as well as the first day of your week.

Wordpress General Settings 2

We’ll leave the other items set as is.

Then we hit “Save Changes”.

Next, we’ll come down to the Writing section.

Wordpress Writing Settings

We’ll leave everything set as is, except we’re going to take Ping O-Matic out of the Update Services for now. We don’t want to update that service every time that we add or change a page or post as were building the site up.

Now hit “Save Changes”

Now we’ll go to the reading section.

Wordpress Reading Settings

I leave the top two boxes set at 10. This is the number of blog pages that are shown. This is when you’re doing an RSS feed. This is the number of posts that are shown in the feed itself.

Then you can set it to be the full text of the post, or you can set it to just the summary. We’ll leave that set to full text for now.

If it was going to take a while to build out our site, we would check the box to discourage search engines from indexing our site. But as difficult as it is to get indexed into the search engines the way we want to, I will not be messing with that will leave that unchecked.

We’ll leave these other two settings alone and then hit “Save Changes”.

Let’s go into the Discussion Section

Wordpress Discussion Settings 1

First, we won’t choose to notify any blogs that we’ve linked to from our posts.

We’ll uncheck allow Pingbacks and Trackbacks.

We are going to disable the comments on posting. We can enable them one by one if we want to.

If we do allow commenting, they need to fill out their name and their email address.

We will select the box to automatically close posts older than 20 days.

We’ll allow the in threaded nesting of comments it’s easier to read.

We will be notified anytime somebody posts a comment. If we’re holding comments for moderation, we will be notified of those too.

I put a checkmark for comments that need to be manually approved so that nobody can just come along and leave comments on the page automatically. And we’ll also leave the set that up to where the author must have previously approved comments.

Wordpress Discussion Settings 2

We will leave the avatars to show.  And we will have the default image to be the mystery person.

Then we can leave the two Jetpack options checked for following the blog and following the comments.

Then click on “Save Changes”. 

Now let’s go to Media settings

Wordpress Media Settings

I leave these as-is, but I do uncheck the sort by date because I don’t want my uploads sorted by month and year.

Next is Permalinks

Wordpress Permalinks

 I want all of my posts to be set to post name so that I can have the title of the post instead of the numeric ID or the date.

And then click “Save Changes”.

On to Privacy Settings

Wordpress Privacy Page Settings

This is set to the page that was already created under the “Pages” section. We’ll leave this as is and click “Use This Page”.

Now let’s go to Sharing

Wordpress Jetpack Sharing

I don’t change anything under the Jetpack sharing settings. Mostly because I will be removing Jetpack a little later in the project.

So that is the completion of the foundation of our website.

We have a theme installed, which is our Astra theme.

We have cleaned up everything that pretty much needs to be cleaned up, and we’ve configured everything under each of our settings.

Right now, we have the Coming Soon Page active.

Wordpress BlueHost Coming Soon Page

If you visit the website while you are logged in, you won’t see the Coming Soon page. You will need to be logged out to see it. Another option is to open the site in an Incognito browser window. Over over your Home Icon, then right-click on “Visit Site”, then choose “Open link in icognito window”

Wordpress BlueHost Open Coming Soon Page in Incognito Window

So the general public is seeing a coming soon page until we are ready to publish the site.

In our next section, we will start adding pages, posts, and media to the website. (Coming Soon)

We will see you then.