How to Install WordPress on Bluehost (2018 Edition)

There can be many reasons, you may want to install WordPress on Bluehost after your initial setup.

One reason could be that you were playing around until now. You have learned a few tricks and now you want to start afresh.

Another reason could be that you don’t want to install a Bluehost customized version of WordPress, but you want standard WordPress installation, which is available on WordPress.org.

The 3rd reason could be that you want to install either a Bluehost customized version or standard WordPress version on a subdomain or an add-on domain.

In this article, we will cover how you can install Bluehost provided, a customized version of, WordPress either on your primary domain or sub-domain. We will cover the installation of the standard version of WordPress (available on WordPress.org) in our upcoming article on this website.

But, before we get down to the installation process, let us briefly understand various domain types in the context of Bluehost as your web hosting provider. The process will remain the same for any other web hosting provider of your choice.

Bluehost is our preferred choice of hosting provider. This article will cover the steps for Bluehost. But, you can apply this procedure for other hosting providers like Namecheap, Hostgator, SiteGround, or Dreamhost. (Disclosure: As an affiliate, with no additional cost to you, we may receive compensation if you purchase through these links. In fact, you may get special pricing or discount when you use these links).

First, let us understand various domain types in the easiest way possible.

The different domain types

Primary Domain

When you create an account with any hosting provider, you may also register for a domain name along with your hosting plan. This newly registered domain name becomes the primary domain for your hosting account.

If you don’t register a new domain and you already have a domain registered with another domain registrar, then you can link existing domain as your primary domain for your hosting account.

If you don’t want to register a domain initially, then some hosting providers like Bluehost give you a temporary domain (e.g. https://abc.xyz.bluehost.me). Until you register a domain, this temporary domain will be considered as your primary domain.

Logically speaking, you can’t have a hosting account without any domain registration. If you own multiple domains, then you can link any domain as your primary domain. It does not matter.

Add-on Domain

If you are a beginner, then it will not matter. As you will start with one single website or domain name initially.

But, as you become experienced, you might be running more than one websites. If you want to, you can run different websites with different hosting providers. But, usually, this is not economically advisable.

So, you want to have a single hosting account with any hosting provider of your choice. You will maintain all the websites with the same hosting provider. That’s when you need add-on domains.

When you purchase a basic (lowest-price) hosting plan with any hosting provider, you can only link one domain/website with your hosting account. For example, Bluehost only offers 1 website with the basic plan. But, if you go with Namecheap, then Namecheap offers 3 websites with the basic plan. This means that you can host 3 different websites at the same time.

You can link any domain name as primary and other domains with the same hosting providers are called add-on domains.

For example, we have 3 different websites https://www.blogcandor.com (this one), https://www.digitalprivacywise.com (this is our niche site for cyber-security and online privacy) and https://www.extremedivergence.com (this is not yet operational).

All these domains are registered with Godaddy, but only 2 of them are hosted with Namecheap. DigitalPrivacyWise.com is the primary domain and blogcandor.com is an add-on domain.

Parked Domain

When you are registering your primary domain for the very first time and if you are running a big business, then you may want to protect the brand name of your business.

Few examples: leadpages.com and leadpages.net are two different domains owned by 2 different people or organizations. Similarly, appster.com and appster.net.

But if you are a big brand like Microsoft, then you may not want microsoft.net to be owned by someone else. right? That’s when you purchase multiple domain names with the same name but different extensions. When you key in microsoft.net in the address bar of your browser, it will take you to microsoft.com.

Now, in this case, microsoft.net is a parked domain. You don’t want to create an independent website running on these parked domains. They will be pointing to existing website content only. That’s what happens when you hit microsoft.net, it actually points to microsoft.com.

You may also want to do the same. You can purchase your domain name with all the key extensions like your-domain.com, your-domain.co.uk, your-domain.us, your-domain.co.in, your-domain.in, your-domain.co, yourdomain.net, and yourdomain.org.

Now, all these different domains name will point to the content of the same website, which is hosted at the address your-domain.com. Because, you want your visitors to be redirected to your-domain.com, even if they enter any other domain extension either by choice or by mistake.

These additional purchased domain names are treated as parked domains. They don’t have their own website, but they point to the existing one.

Bluehost offers 5 parked domains along with the basic plan.

Unassigned Domain

Any domains names, which you might have purchased, not falling into any of the above categories, are treated as unassigned domains. This means that neither these domains have their own website content nor they are pointing to an existing website.

Sub-domain

This is the special type of domain address. This type of domains can run it’s own fully functional websites. The best example is:

Google.com is a primary domain. Now refer to these examples:

All these are examples of a sub-domain. Inbox, Contacts, Hangout, Calendar, and Photos are sub-domains of main domain google.com. Each of these sub-domains is a completely different website in itself and they are fully independent of each other in terms of features and functionalities.

Bluehost offers 25 sub-domains with the basic hosting plan.


Now we have understood different domain types. You also know that you will never install WordPress either on Parked Domain or Unassigned Domain because they are not is use. Your hosting provider will not even give you the option to install anything against this type of domains until you convert them to other domain types.

You are left with the options to install WordPress on Bluehost either on your Primary domain (mostly this will be the case) or a sub-domain.

If you have purchased the basic hosting plan with Bluehost, then you will not have an add-on domain. If you want to have add-on domains then, you need to upgrade your basic hosting plan to higher plans.

We will go into the details of installing WordPress on Primary and Sub-domain one by one. This is the guide for the latest version of Bluehost and cPanel. We will explain how to manually install WordPress on Bluehost in 2018 from scratch. We will cover everything step-by-step with pictures.

Install WordPress on Bluehost on a Primary domain

We will assume that you already have WordPress website installed on your primary domain. First, we will start with deleting your website and then start with a fresh install using Mojo Marketplace provided by Bluehost.

Step 1# Log in to your Bluehost Hosting Account

Go to bluehost.com to log in to Bluehost’s web hosting account. You will see the below screen where you need to click on the Login link on the top right corner of the screen.

Clicking on the login button will take you to the next screen, where you will log in

Enter the username and password and hit the submit button. If you have enabled two-factor authentication, then you will see the next screen.

Enter your two-factor authentication code from Google Authenticator or any other authenticator application and hit the “login” button. If you have not enabled two-factor authentication, then you will anyways be taken to the next screen directly.

This is Bluehost’s customized cPanel control panel screen. If you already have a WordPress installed on your primary domain, then you will see it on this screen. On this screen, you will notice that blogCandor Demo WordPress website is installed on primary domain i.e. ygt.dcw.bluehost.me. This is because we have installed this website on a temporary domain, as we have not registered any domain for the demo purpose.

Step 2# Go to your existing website and delete

Click on “My Site” on the left-hand sidebar, which will take you to the next screen.

When you roll-over your mouse to your site name, you will see the option for “Manage Site”. Hitting the button will take you to the next screen, where you can manage various options for your site.

Click on “Settings”, which will take you to the next screen.

Well, here you go. You see the RED color button. Clicking on this button will delete the entire WordPress website hosted your primary domain. Go ahead and click that button, so that you can start with a clean installation of WordPress.

Warning: This will delete everything including the WordPress database. If you have already spent effort and time in customizing your website and added some contents and posts, then you will lose everything. The purpose of this tutorial is to have a clean start.

If you want to take a backup and restore your old site, then this article is not for you. Be very, very, very careful, because you will lose everything, means everything. You should click on DELETE only if you don’t care to lose whatever you have done so far. After hitting DELETE, there is no roll-back and you have to start afresh. that’s what the whole purpose of this article is.

After hitting the “Delete” button, even Bluehost will show you the “warning” message.

If you understand the consequences, go ahead and hit the delete button. If you are unsure and need further clarifications, either contact Bluehost’s 24×7 support or feel free to reach out to us at contact@blogcandor.com or use the Contact Us page.

Once you hit the “Delete” button, Bluehost will take you back to the “My Sites” page.

As you notice, on this screen, you will see the domain address, but no website or any WordPress installation. All done. Now you can start with a fresh installation of WordPress installation.

Step 3# Create a new site and install WordPress

At this stage, you have two choices. You can install WordPress using Mojo Marketplace provided by Bluehost. This will be the customized version of WordPress provided by Bluehost.

If you don’t want the customized version of WordPress, then you can install the standard WordPress installation provided by WordPress.org. But, if you can never ever seen standard WordPress.org version, then we would recommend going with Bluehost’s version, which you can install using Bluehost Controls Panel only.

In this article, we will use Bluehost provided version of WordPress.

In the next section, we will install WordPress on add-on and sub-domain, we will use WordPress.org. The steps to manually install WordPress on Bluehost will remain the same, whether you want to install it on a primary domain, add-on domain or sub-domain.

Now, assuming that you are still on the previous screen, you can hit the “Create Site” button, as shown in the following screenshot.

Hitting the “Create Site” button will take you to the next screen.

On this screen, you can key in the name of your website and the Tagline of your choice. I have entered the details as below:

  • Site Name: blogCandor Demo
  • Tagline: Part 1 of the demo

Once you have entered your details, you can click on the “Next” button. You will see the next screen.

A couple of things you need to note on this screen, which will help you in other sections of this article as well.

  • The domain name drop-down. We don’t have any domain registered with Bluehost, therefore it shows the temporary domain name provided by Bluehost. In your case, it must be your primary domain you have registered or linked with your account.
  • If you see multiple options in this drop-down, then it must be add-on domains or sub-domains. For example, sub-domains will start with your sub-domain-name.primary-domain-name.com. (you can ignore this point, if you don’t see anything in this drop-down or if you have never added any sub-domain or add-on domain before.)
  • Add-on domains can be anything you registered with Bluehost or linked with Bluehost (in case if you have purchased the domain from somewhere else than Bluehost.)
  • By default, Bluehost will select the primary domain here, which is fine, because we are going to install WordPress for Primary domain only.
  • 2nd field on this screen is a text-box for the directory. If you are installing WordPress for your primary domain, then you don’t need to enter anything. And you should NOT. Bluehost will install WordPress in the primary domain’s root directory (folder name called public_html). If you don’t know what the root directory or public_html folder is, just don’t bother.
  • Next part on this screen is about a few free plugins. It’s your choice if you want to install them or not. They are free. But, we would suggest unchecking these if you don’t know what they are. You can add these anytime, even later.
Remember: If you enter the directory name on this screen, then Bluehost will create a directory (or sub-folder) with that name under public_html folder. Bluehost will install WordPress in this sub-folder. What will happen if you do that?
For the purpose of explanation, let us assume that you key in the directory name as “my-directory“. Bluehost will install WordPress in the directory “//public_html/my-directory/“. After installation, when you go to the address of “your-website.com“, you will not see anything working plan. Why? because, there are no files in the root directory “public_html“, so Bluehost doesn't know what to do. There is no file to tell Bluehost that it should look into “my-directory” sub-folder. You website will work fine when you type-in the address as “https://your-website.com/my-directory/
You don’t want your site-address to be like this. Right? So, you should leave the directory field blank. By default, Bluehost will install WordPress in the root directory “public_html“.

Finally, you can click on the next button. I have unchecked all the free plug-ins before clicking “Next”.

As soon as you click on the “Next” button, Blueshot will start installing WordPress and will show you the below screen after a few seconds.

On this screen, note down your website address, link to WordPress Admin Page, your username, password (which is the old password you entered during the Bluehost sign-up process. If you don’t remember it, then you can click on the “show” button and note down somewhere safe. Except for password, every other information will also be emailed to your registered email id with Bluehost.

Step 4# Start customizing your new website

On this screen, clicking on “Go back to My Sites” will take you back to the following screen:

You are already familiar with this screen.

On the previous screen, if you click on “Login to WordPress”, then you will see the below screen:

From this point onwards, you already know the drill. If not, then you can follow through our another post How to Start a WordPress Blog with Bluehost and you will find the next steps.

Install WordPress on Bluehost on Sub-domain

Installing WordPress on a sub-domain is no different than installing it on a primary domain. If you want to install Bluehost provided customized version of WordPress, then all the steps mentioned in the previous section will still apply AS IS with only one exception.

In Step #3, when it comes to choosing the “Domain” on the following screen, you will select the sub-domain from the drop-down.

If you have not created your sub-domain already, then first you need to create a sub-domain before you can see it in this drop-down. We will look at how to create a sub-domain in the following paragraphs of this article.

Other than the creation of a sub-domain and selecting it from the drop-down, there is no difference at all, if you are using Bluehost’s customized version of WordPress.

Also, we have seen earlier, how you can delete your existing website. If you already have a website set-up on a sub-domain, you can use the same process to delete it to start afresh. Just remember to choose the correct website (which is installed on a sub-domain) on the “My Sites” screen shown below.

If you already have multiple websites hosted, one on a primary domain and another on sub-domain, then you will see multiple websites on this screen with their website addresses, which will help you select the correct website you want to delete.

Let us look at how you can create a sub-domain on Bluehost.

How to create a sub-domain on Bluehost

After logging into your Bluehost hosting account, go to home page of Bluehost portal as shown in the screenshot below and click on “Domains” in the left-hand sidebar.

Once you click on the “Domains”, you will see the below screen.

On this screen, select “Subdomains” option under the expanded sub-menu options for “Domains”. Selecting “Subdomains” will take you to the next screen:

Enter the details for the sub-domain you want to create. For example, we are going to create a subdomain “Support” for our website. So, your sub-domain address will be “support.my-website.com”.

Once you enter the name of the sub-domain, Bluehost will automatically select the home (or document root) folder for the sub-domain. You can change it if you want to. Once done, click on the “Create” button.

Clicking on the “Create” button will take you the confirmation screen:

It’s all done. You can click on the green button “Return to Subdomains”, which will take you back to the “Subdomains” page as shown below, where you will notice the recently created sub-domain is listed.

Now, you should be able to see the sub-domain “support.your-website.com” in the drop-down during the installation of WordPress.

We hope that this article will help install WordPress from scratch either on a primary domain or sub-domain. You can contact Bluehost’s 24×7 Support or feel free to reach out to us at contact@blogcandor.com or via Contact Us page. Additionally, you can ask your questions in the comments section.

We will also publish the video version of this article soon and will update it with the link.

in our next article, we will talk about the installation of the standard version of WordPress (available on WordPress.org) on both Primary and Sub-domains.