You have just purchased a new domain name via NameCheap, setup your Bluehost web host and installed WordPress on it and have successfully pointed your domain name to your WordPress installation, now it’s time to get blogging!
Writing and publishing a post in WordPress is pretty straightforward. But first I’ll show you how to take care of some basic housekeeping tasks before you start publishing.
Log in to your Bluehost account
Go to Bluehost.com to log in to your account. Utilize the primary domain name and password associated with your account, which can be found in a Welcome to Bluehost! email in your inbox.
Enable CodeGuard Backup
Once on your Bluehost account homepage, click on My Sites on the left-hand side menu. Then click the Backups tab and Add site to CodeGuard. CodeGuard will store a daily backup of your WordPress installation and content, which you can easily restore your site from in case of a technical issue. It is free if you purchased a Bluehost Prime plan, otherwise, you will be given the option to finalize the purchase for this add-on, which I highly recommend.
Enable the Free SSL Certificate
Next, go to the Security tab and turn on the Free SSL Certificate. An SSL Certification ensures the data flowing from your site and a visitor’s computer is encrypted and secure. This is very important when your site sends or receives personal data such as payment information or passwords, but it’s also good to have this enabled for all of your content.
Modify the Basic Settings
Next, go to the Settings tab and turn off all of the Automatic Updates sliders. I recommend disabling these, because as a website owner you always want to be in control of what is happening to your site. Auto updates have the potential to “break” your site, so you want to be able to update your site after you have a better understanding of how they may impact your site.
I recommend turning off the Disable Comments for Old Posts, because you never want to restrict a visitor from interacting with your content no matter how old it is.
And finally scroll down to the bottom and turn off the Coming Soon Page. This will remove the temporary placeholder page that you see when you go to your domain name and will make your WordPress installation 100% visible to the outside world.
Update your WordPress Admin Email and Password
Before you start modifying things within the WordPress interface itself, it is important that you update the email address and password associated with your admin WordPress account.
You can do this by going to the Users tab and expanding the menu on the right-hand side next to your Admin username and clicking on Edit Profile.
You will land on the Users page for the admin user where you can update the email address and password. You may receive some emails asking you to confirm the email and/or password changes before these changes are finalized.
Moving forward, you will be able to access your WordPress installation directly by going to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin (in my case www.markkim00.com/wp-admin). This will save you the extra step of having to log in to your Bluehost account every time you want to work on your WordPress site.
Delete the Pre-Installed Plugins
Plugins are add-on tools that offer a whole host of different features and abilities for your WordPress site. But you should be very selective about the plugins that you install and activate since they take up CPU power to run and can incrementally slow down your site. The default Bluehost WordPress installation have a few plugins pre-installed, which you can deactivate and delete by clicking on Plugins on the left-hand side menu and then selecting, deactivating and deleting the pre-installed plugins.
Choose your Permalink Structure
Choosing the right permalink structure for your site is one of the most important optimization settings because it will directly impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The Bluehost WordPress installation has the Day and name permalink structure selected as the default, but I recommend you select the Post name option. You can read my in-depth thoughts on why I recommend the Post name permalink structure here.
To find your permalink settings, go to Dashboard>Settings>Permalinks on the left-hand side menu in your WordPress interface.
Delete the Placeholder Hello World Post
Go to Posts>All Posts on the left-hand side menu to see all of the posts currently saved on your site. You will see one post already here, which is the default WordPress Hello World! post. Go ahead and Trash that post since it is just a placeholder for your new site.
Finally Start Writing
Finally, it’s time to start writing. You can create a new post by going to Posts>Add New in the left-hand side menu. Alternatively, you can hover over the + New link in the top menu and choose Post from the drop-down menu that appears or click on the Add New button on the All Posts page.
You will be brought to a blank template, which has buttons similar to a standard word processing software. For the purposes of this exercise, go ahead and type in a title for your post and add some text content. Once you have done that you can see how the post looks on your site by clicking the Publish button and then navigating to your site.
Don’t worry about how basic your site currently looks. Your site is currently utilizing the default WordPress theme, but you have the ability to change pretty much any aspect of your site’s design and features via the WordPress interface.
Start playing around and publishing new placeholder posts with different formatting and features to see how they look on your website; add in Media, assign a Category and/or Tags to your posts, create lists, etc.
The easiest way to learn how to use WordPress is by trial and error. The interface for publishing and updating posts and pages is very straightforward, so just dive in and mess around and see how everything impacts your live website.
Now that you are starting to publish content on your blog, you can start to customize the look and feel of your site. The most dramatic change you can make to the design of your WordPress site is by updating the Theme.
Take a look at this step-by-step guide on how to find and install a new Theme for your WordPress site.