How to Start a Website in 5 Minutes with WordPress

How to Start a Website in 5 Minutes with WordPress thumbnail

When you think about starting a blog or website, you might immediately think of WordPress. And with good reason! Since its initial release in 2003, WordPress has worked hard to be the best blogging platform on the web, and as of 2019, WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. It powers more than 30% of the web!

Pretty impressive.

So it’s no wonder why you want to start a WordPress site, and the good news? It’s super easy. In fact, here at DreamHost, we can pre-install WordPress when you sign up for hosting, making it possible for you to launch a website in no time — OK, about five minutes.

Wondering How to Start a WordPress Site?

Partner with DreamHost! We'll make sure your WordPress website is fast, secure and always up so your visitors trust you. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

Still Not Sold on WordPress? Here’s Why You Should Be

Besides the fact that WordPress is the most widely used CMS on the planet, why else should you use it for your website?

For starters, is open-source software. This means that anyone anywhere can download and use the software. It is also incredibly customizable, allowing users to change, enhance, and extend its capabilities with website themes, plugins, HTML, and more. You can start with a basic theme and turn it into pretty much whatever you want. You control 100% of the look and feel of your website. Now that is power.

Another reason to use WordPress: the software is completely free. While you’ll have to pay for WordPress hosting and can choose to splurge on premium themes and plugins, you never need to pay any licensing fees to the software publisher, and that is a huge plus.

Last but not least, WordPress is very easy to set up. Of course, there is an expansive learning curve for those who want to deeply customize their website, but the initial setup and execution of building a site is super simple.

So whether you want to learn how to start a blog; create an online resume or portfolio to showcase your work; make a website for your community, business, or organization; or build a simple and effective online store, WordPress can get the job done well.

And did you know? DreamHost is officially recommended by WordPress. You’re genuinely stacking the deck in your favor when you pair the internet’s most popular CMS with the world’s best hosting provider.

OK, ready to set up your WordPress site? There’s no need to fuss about hundreds of step-by-step instructions. In this article, we’ll explain how to create a website in just five minutes.

Get Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox

Subscribe to our blog and receive great content just like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Starting a Blog or Website in 5 Minutes: Everything You Need to Know

First, you need a domain name for your website. If you don’t have one, it’s quick and easy to register a URL of your own. You can choose from one of the many services that offer domain registration, but we’d recommend using DreamHost to get your domain and web hosting all in one go. There are actually a lot of benefits when you keep your domain registration and web hosting under one roof. Here’s how to do it.

Visit DreamHost’s WordPress Hosting page and choose the right plan for you. Shared Hosting is an affordable way to get a site up and running quickly. However, if you’re looking for more robust resources and increased performance, check out our DreamPress or VPS plans.

After identifying the best hosting plan for your goals, click “Sign Up Now.” Since most beginners opt for WordPress Basic (or Shared Hosting), we’ll focus on it throughout the rest of this tutorial.

WordPress Hosting
DreamHost offers a variety of WordPress-optimized hosting plans to fit your needs.

Next, you’ll be asked to pick your term or how often you’d like to be billed for hosting: monthly, annually, or every three years. The longer your term, the greater the discount you’ll receive.

You’ll also need to choose between DreamHost’s Starter Shared and Shared Unlimited packages. Starter Shared is the most cost-effective option, but you’ll miss out on professional email @yourdomain. Shared Unlimited, on the other hand, gives you everything you need to thrive online for just a few dollars more a month.

DreamHost Shared Hosting Plans
DreamHost offers two Shared Hosting services: Starter Shared and Shared Unlimited.

Next, you’ll be able to register a free domain (included with all annual terms), or you can enter a domain that you already own. If time truly is of the essence, you can also skip choosing a domain at this stage and come back to add it later.

Click “Register a new domain,” and type your proposed URL into the search box. We’ll pull up all the available domain names related to your search so you can select the ideal Top-Level Domain (TLD) for your site. Remember to keep search engine best practices for domains in mind when making your decision.

You’re nearing the end of the setup process! Add your billing information and then take a moment to review your hosting package. Most importantly, to get your site up and running quickly (we’re aiming for five minutes, after all), make sure the box next to “Pre-Install WordPress” is checked.

Enter your billing information and make final selections for your hosting account.

At this point, you’ll also need to decide if you’d like to add DreamShield, our in-house Malware Remover, to your hosting account. For just $3 a month, DreamShield scans your site to identify malicious code, out-of-date software, and broken file permission to help keep you safe online.

Once you’ve reviewed your account selections, choose your payment method — DreamHost accepts all major credit cards and PayPal. Once you’ve entered your payment information, click “Submit Order” at the bottom of the screen.

Congratulations! You have just registered your domain and signed up for web hosting, which means you’ve got your very own WordPress website. Boom.

It will take a couple of minutes for the installation to your website’s database to fully complete. In the meantime, you’ll be sent an email with additional instructions on configuring your new WordPress software, including a link to create your WordPress password. If you run into any snags during any part of this process, don’t hesitate to contact DreamHost.

Guide to Your New WordPress Blog (3 Things to Explore)

Now that you have set up a WordPress site in five minutes — less time than it takes to chug a cup of coffee — you’ll notice that your website looks pretty bare. That is because you need to choose a theme and start blogging (filling your site with content). Here are a few tips to get your new WordPress website started on the right track.

1. Log Into the WordPress Dashboard

Log into the WordPress backend by visiting: [yourdomainhere].com/wp-login.php using the WordPress login credentials you established post-installation.

Now, you will find yourself in the WordPress dashboard, where the world is your oyster. From here, you can make a title for your blog and choose an overall theme for your website.

2. Choose a WordPress Theme

Choosing the right theme is critical; it will establish how your website looks and feels for the end user. Thankfully, the WordPress Theme Directory has thousands of free, mobile-friendly themes to choose from — whether you need a design for blogging, a special event, or a small business.

To find the right theme for you, click on “Appearance” from the left-hand side menu, click “Themes,” then click the “Add New” button. From here, you can explore and preview a plethora of different blog layouts and color and font schemes. Once you choose a theme you like, simply click on the “Install” button to implement it.

3. Write Your First Blog Entry

Now that you have chosen the look for your blog, it’s time to populate it with content. You need to see your site’s theme brought to life with words, so it’s a good idea to get something substantive up there as soon as you can.

To start blogging, click on “Posts” from the menu, and then select “Add New.” From here, you can write and format your blog post. When your post is ready to be published, click “Preview” on the right-hand side of the screen to see how it will look live on your site. If you are satisfied, click the blue “Publish” button.

Voilà! You just wrote and published your first blog post.

Another WordPress Website Success Story

For now, that should be enough of a start to get your website up and running. Have fun exploring the WordPress dashboard and experimenting with the form and function of your new website or blog. When you feel you’ve mastered the basics we covered above, consider:

Interested in taking your site to the next level? DreamPress is specifically designed for optimum WordPress usage and performance. With automatic updates and strong security defenses, DreamPress takes server management off your hands so you can focus on creating great content.

Photo of Jason Cosper
About the Author:

Jason is DreamHost’s WordPress Product Advocate, based out of Bakersfield, CA. He is currently working on making our DreamPress product even better. In his free time, he likes to curl up on the couch and watch scary movies with his wife Sarah and three very small dogs. Follow him on Twitter.