I'm regularly asked with the question "How can I have my own website? What do I need to do?" so I decided to post it here to help those who have the same question. If you are one of them, this step by step guide is for you!
To get started you will need a domain name and a web hosting company to host your domain. For starters, a domain name is commonly known as the website address or plainly for some the website. Take this site as an example, my domain name is tuggub.com. Domain names can get be bought for as low as 10 USD per year. A web hosting is needed to host your domain, you can actually host your own domain but you will need to setup your own server and do all the complex tasks necessary to keep your server up and running 24/7.
In this guide, I will show you how to sign up for a Bluehost account. I have used other web hostings in the past but now decided to settle with this company since the service is excellent and you don't have to worry about the numerous upsells others companies put out during registration which confuses newbies and ending up buying more than what they really needed. Bluehost gives you a free domain when signing up for a hosting account and they also allow you to host unlimited number of domains under one hosting account. Let's get started!
Choose your domain name
It is always best to already have a domain name in mind before signing up for a web hosting. If you already have one in mind, go to betterwhois.com and check if it is available. If you have no idea about choosing a name, you can check out "Tips on Choosing a Domain Name" at Tuggub.com.
Sign up for your web hosting account
Once you found an available domain name that you like to use go to Bluehost and start signing up for your web hosting account. Remember you get a free domain which saves you 10 USD! Go ahead and click on the "Sign up now" button
Submit your preferred domain name
In the screen capture below, you are given two options. I'm assuming you don't have any domains yet so under the "I need a domain name" section enter the domain name you have chosen after doing step one then press "Next" button. On the next page you will be prompted with "Congratulations, the domain you requested, yourdomain.com, is available". If it is unavailable, choose a different domain name and try again. If you already have an existing domain which you bought from another company and you want to use it, enter your domain name under the "I have domain name" section then press "Next" button.
Submit your account information
Be sure to fill all the boxes that has an asterisk next to it. Make sure the information you are providing is accurate and up to date.
Choose your package plan
I recommend choosing a package plan of 2 or 3 years. Aside from the convenience of securing your site you also save money. If available, uncheck Sitelock Domain Security and Site Backup Pro you won't be needing this for now. Optionally, you can also uncheck the Domain Whois Privacy. To learn more about this option click on the "More information" link.
Provide your billing information
Fill in all the necessary information using your own credit card information. CCV2 code is the 3-digit code found at the back of your credit card. If you want to pay using Paypal, click on "More payment options" link. Read the "Terms of Service" then check "I confirm I have read..."
Congratulations! Now you have successfully signed up for a web hosting plan. A confirmation email will be sent to your registered email address.
Create your password
Click on the link to open the password page. Enter your desired password and make sure you meet the criteria written in red. Retype the password and click "Change Password" button.
Login to your new account
You will be redirected to the login page. To login, type in your domain name and password in the respective fields then click "Login" button. If you forgot your password, you can always request for a new one by clicking on the "Forgotten Password" link.
Welcome New User
After logging in, you will be prompted with the Welcome New user window. To learn more about your Bluehost account click on the "Get Started Now" button or if you have any difficulties in the future, you can have a live chat with one of their technical representatives to help you out.
That's it! I hope this tutorial has helped you. I would recommend getting a web hosting plan from companies like Bluehost or Hostgator. They will host your domain for a reasonable annual fee which will save you all the headache of setting up your own server, backing-up your files, securing your connections, keeping your site online without down times, and a lot more.