What is BADNET?
BADNET is a service designed for people who have never had their own self-hosted blog that is fully under their own control. Our goal is to reduce the initial hesitation most people feel about starting their own blog because they aren't tech savvy or fear that learning how to use WordPress will be too overwhelming.
We are not a hosting provider. We do not host your website files or retain access after the initial setup process.
We provide assistance in getting set up, documentation to help first-timers learn WordPress at an easily digestible pace, and ongoing consulting support.
Is BADNET really free?
Yes. When you sign up for Bluehost through our link our fees are paid by Bluehost. You make no payments to us.
What exactly does BADNET do after I sign up for hosting with Bluehost?
After signing up for hosting with Bluehost the first order of business is to submit your setup request to us.
Once we receive your request we will complete your setup request within 24 hours. That includes:
- Installing WordPress if you did not do so during your initial Bluehost account
- Adding SSL (secure socket layer) to your website
- Cleaning up unnecessary plugins installed by Bluehost's WordPress installer
- Removing unnecessary sample pages, posts and comments that are added during WordPress installation
- Adding and configuring 10 plugins we have narrowed down as essential for all levels of blogging whether you are a beginner or pro. These plugins will help keep your site secure, aid search engines in indexing your site (SEO), and optimize your site to keep your database lightweight and reduce page loading times.
- We will also create a new account for the private BADNET client area where you can access private support as well as download our Quick-Start Guide and Blogging reports to help you get started with your new blog.
What if I want the documentation and BADNET client area access but I want to handle the setup on my own?
No problem. You can opt out of having us do the setup for you by simply checking the appropriate option on the request form indicating you'll do it yourself. You will still be required to submit the request so we can verify your account and create a login for you to access the BADNET client area but you won't need to provide access to your Bluehost account to us.
The documentation in the client area covers all of the plugins we install so if you are a strict do-it-yourselfer you can still install the plugins and set things up much like our staff would in a normal client requested setup.
What is a hosting account and why do I need one?
A hosting account is where the files for your website are stored and served to visitors. You need a place to install the files for the WordPress platform as well as the database that will store all of the site's data. In addition to being the file server/ web server your hosting account also acts as an email server so you can set up email accounts using your domain name. All of the hardware and software required to accomplish these things are owned and maintained by the hosting provider and on shared hosting accounts no technical expertise is required.
Most of the time you will be logging into your WordPress Dashboard rather than directly into Bluehost but should you ever need to log into Bluehost for something other than billing such as using File Manager or setting up email addresses you are provided a GUI (graphical user interface) which makes the experience easy, intuitive and again, requires no technical expertise.
What is a shared hosting account?
Shared hosting accounts like the ones offered at Bluehost (they do offer VPS and dedicated servers as well) are the most common entry level hosting accounts offered. Shared accounts allow multiple users to pool resources on the same server hardware thus reducing overall costs for each user.
Is a shared hosting account powerful enough for my website?
For someone just starting out shared hosting is ideal. There is really no reason to pay more for more hardware until you need to. Without bandwidth and storage restrictions you are able to get started with little upfront and ongoing costs compared to renting dedicated hardware.
There is one drawback, if it can even be called that. Because you are sharing resources it is imperative that your site and any software you are running doesn't bog down the server thus reducing service to all of the other paying customers that are sharing it with you. A properly running and optimized WordPress site should not cause an issue but as your site grows and gets more traffic it may use more server resources until finally there could come a day when you simply outgrow the option of using shared hosting. Of course, accounts can be upgraded, files can be moved and life moves along.
What options should I choose when signing up for hosting at Bluehost?
This is a question that is asked often so we've created a guide that explains each part of the sign up process and each of the optional features that we recommend. You can view the Signup Helper Guide here.
I already have a hosting account. Can I still sign up with BADNET?
If you already have a hosting account and have already started using WordPress then BADNET is not really designed for you. BADNET is designed with the first time WordPress user in mind. To be eligible for BADNET you MUST sign up for Bluehost through our link. If you really want to gain access to BADNET services there is nothing to stop you from signing up with Bluehost and moving your existing blog (we can aid in migrating WordPress or WordPress.org blogs) or just starting a new one.
I already have a free blog at WordPress.com, Blogger (or similar service). Can I move it to Bluehost?
If you are interested in moving a WordPress.com blog to Bluehost this is the easiest transition to make since WordPress on Bluehost is a very similar platform and export/import can be done easily using tools provided by WordPress. We can assist such migrations.
Some other CMS systems such as Blogger can be exported and imported as well so semi-automatic migrations are possible however we don't assist with those. Information is available online for migration procedures for many different platforms to self-hosted WordPress.
If you have any questions about migrating your site feel free to contact us.
I already have a domain name. Can I use it with Bluehost?
Yes! If you have used another registrar you can point that domain to your new Bluehost account and use it there. Visit your domain registrar for details on changing nameservers/dns. Most registrars have information on setting up custom nameservers in their support area.
Should I transfer my existing domain to Bluehost or just change the nameservers at my domain registrar?
Bluehost excels at offering great value for hosting plans however they don't offer competitive pricing for domain registration and domain privacy. Bluehost annual domain renewal is $14.99 and domain privacy is $10.98 per year. Compare these prices to your current registrar. If the recurring fees are less on your current registrar are lower than Bluehost then there is no incentive to transfer your domain aside from being able to manage your files and domains from one account.