Whether you want to set up a website for your business or a blog for your creative endeavors, you’re going to need two things: a domain name, and web hosting. Bluehost provides both. In addition to being one of our Recommended Web Hosts on our Best Web Hosting Services page, it’s even among hosts recommended by WordPress.org, and it’s not hard to see why: getting a WordPress site up and running with Bluehost is simple.
I can understand why. In fact, recently a longtime client, friend and self-proclaimed moron-when-it-comes-to-technology (and pen hater) recently set up such a site himself. He raves about the support he got, and how simple it was to set up WordPress. I was so impressed I didn’t even mind not getting paid for the project.
Why was the process so easy? Let’s go over it. Keep reading, because we’re giving away ten 1-year accounts with free domain name registration for the first year (transfered domains are also free for one year).
Shared Hosting From Bluehost
Bluehost offers shared hosting, VPS and dedicated hosting – this review is all about the shared hosting. This service includes unlimited space for your site (50,000 files), unlimited MySQL databases, and one free year of domain name registration. As MakeUseOf readers, you benefit from exclusive rates: $5.95/month on a 12-month plan, $4.95/month on a 24-month plan and $3.95/month on a 36-month plan.
With that out of the way, let’s get my site set up.
Setting Up My Site: JustinPot.com
While testing this giveaway I thought I’d migrate my personal site: JustinPot.com. It’s basically a place I dump my random thoughts, things from my personal journal I think other humans might be interested in. I also use it as a sort of online resume.
So it’s not a site that’s constantly flooded with traffic, but it’s also a site I’d like to keep up – and one I’ve long hosted it using the shared GoDaddy server space of a former employer. I’ve had troubles: the service was hard to manage, and my site’s been hacked. I’ve long known I needed to switch hosts, but migrating an existing site is frustrating.
I shouldn’t have worried: Bluehost’s backend made it easier. Much, much easier than my experience with other services – GoDaddy included. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with what you’ll see after signing up for a site with Bluehost.
Setting Up A Site With Bluehost
Get started with the service and you’ll see the welcome screen above. With these easy steps, just about anyone can set up a site. It really doesn’t matter what your preferred CMS is – odds are, Bluehost can set it up for you. Easily. My tool of choice is WordPress, and lucky for me it was one of the very first options presented by Bluehost after registering:
So if you want WordPress, don’t worry: you’ll be set up in no time. But even if you prefer some other CMS, like Joomla or Drupal, you’ll find one-click installers for them and much more over at Mojo Marketplace, which also offers online software for everything from running your own classifieds site to online CRM systems. The step-by-step guides mean you can get your site running in no time, even if you’re not confident when it comes to web management.
I decided to try out the chat support. Wait time was estimated at 14 minutes, during peak hours, though it only took five minutes before I was talking to someone. They helpfully answered my intentionally stupid question – “how do I charge people for looking at my site?”.
It’s exactly the answer we thought we’d get – and we got it quickly. It’s good to know there are people to talk to if needed.
Migrating My Site To Bluehost
Back to my site. I was migrating an existing site. I had a working backup thanks to BackupBuddy. So I knew what I needed to do, and happy to see Bluehost offers a complete cPanel for doing so.
Organization is the key here – all the features you need to access while managing your site are in one place. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. If not, there are easy-to-follow step-by-step guides.
In my case, I needed to:
- Create a MySQL Database
- Upload my backup files
- Restore my backup to Bluehost
- Repoint my DNS records
I made myself a MySQL database – very easily done – then used the web-based FTP server to upload my backup file. That didn’t work well, so I fired up my preferred FTP client – Cyberduck – and looked for the FTP settings. Bluehost offers a one-click configuration file for it and other common FTP clients, including Filezilla and Cyberduck:
It’s not a huge deal, but a nice touch. Kudos.
The upload was fast, and I was able to get my backup software to connect to the database. I now had a working copy of my blog working on Bluehost. Next I needed to migrate the domain.
Doing this can be confusing, but Bluehost’s step-by-step instructions were easy to find and easy to follow – the only hiccup was getting the needed numbers from my previous domain holders. The transition, for me, was seamless.
My new site’s been up on Bluehost for five days, and so far I’m impressed. In fact, the service has already detected and deleted leftover malware in my install – a relic from GoDaddy I’m more than happy to leave behind.
At $3.95/month for a 36-month plan, we’d highly recommending signing up with Bluehost. But if you’d like to try your luck in our giveaway, we have ten 1-year plans to offer!
How do I win a copy?
We have a new giveaway procedure in place, which will hopefully make participating much easier. You may enter by submitting your name and email address. You’ll receive one entry simply by doing so.
After that, you’ll also be offered various methods to earn additional entries. They range from sharing a link to this giveaway on social networks; to commenting or visiting a specific page. The more you participate, the higher your chances of winning!
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EXTENDED: This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, July 12th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.