There are many different hosting companies you can choose to host your blog in 2018. Over the years, I’ve tried running my blogs on several different hosting plans. And while some of them were okay, there are two that I recommend to people over and over again.
If you’re a brand new blogger, I would recommend Bluehost. It’s cheap, reliable, and very easy for beginners to use.
Some people hate on Bluehost, but I still recommend it because for new blogs, it’s plenty powerful. Also, when your blog is brand new, you’re barely getting any traffic. Unless you’re a seasoned marketer who can build traffic quickly, there’s no downside to hosting your blog on a cheaper solution until you need something more advanced.
Once your blog grow larger, around 20,000 visitors and up, I would suggest you upgrade to a hosting plan from WPX.
This is exactly what I did with RankXL. It started out on Bluehost because all I needed was to put up the website and once it started to grow larger, I moved it over to WPX Hosting. And that’s where my hosting is today.
What about free blogging platforms?
Here’s the thing about blog hosting. Whoever owns the hosting technically owns the blog.
Free blogging platforms like WordPress.com and Blogger might seem attractive at first glance. But you’ll have a lot of restrictions as you grow. Everything from how you can monetize, the design, and even what kind of content you can publish.
And if you ever grow the blog into a money-making business, it’s not your business. It technically belongs to whoever owns the hosting.
So I always, always encourage new bloggers to build their blogs on a self-hosted platform – preferably WordPress.org.
Your blog must be self-hosted if you want to use WordPress.org
WordPress.org is only available to self-hosted blogs. And apart from you having sole ownership of your blog, there are many other advantages of having a self-hosted blog on WordPress.
1. You have much more flexibility on design. Firstly, WordPress.org blogs have a much larger selection of WordPress themes. Also, a self-hosted blog means you have no restrictions on which files you can edit. That means that you can make your blog look however you want using HTML and CSS.
2. You can add functionality in a single click. There are plugins for just about everything you need. If you want to add a contact form, just install a contact form plugin. If you want to add the ability for people to write reviews on your blog, just install a plugin. No need to spend days hand coding things like this. It’s all available in their plugin library.
3. WordPress is one of the largest open source projects in the world. Thousands of the world’s best developers are working on making the platform better, faster, and more secure. You’ll get access to multiple free updates every single year.
How much does a self-hosted blog cost?
The biggest cost in the beginning will be blog hosting. Fees can range from a few dollars per month all the way to thousands of dollars per month. It really depends on the hosting company you choose to go with.
However, again, if your blog is brand new, there’s no reason to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per month to a web host.
A low-cost hosting solution like Bluehost will only cost you $3.95/month.
Plus, they’ll even throw in a free domain name. Domain names, if purchased separately, are usually around $10/year.
Why Bluehost is my most recommended blog hosting platform
Like I said before, for a new blog (and especially for beginners) it’s not necessary to get expensive hosting. Every new blog starts out with zero traffic anyways.
For a low-cost blog hosting solution, Bluehost is by far the most popular. Millions of bloggers use Bluehost for their blogs.
There are a lot of different options out there, but few offer the features that Bluehost offers:
1. One-click WordPress installation. Because Bluehost is so popular amongst bloggers, they are constantly working on making it easier and easier to install WordPress. Installing WordPress via something like an FTP is too technical for most people. But fortunately, they’ve made it easier than ever in 2019. All you need to do is click a button that says “Install WordPress” and you’re done.
2. Their live chat is super helpful. If you’re using Bluehost, you can take advantage of their live chat support. They are open 24/7 everyday of the year. This is way faster, and much more convenient, than email support. All you need to do is open their live chat and ask for help and you’ll be speaking to a customer support representative within minutes. For new bloggers, this is a must-have no matter what blog hosting you choose.
3. Unlimited blogs, domains. This is a big one. If you choose their Plus plan, you’ll be able to host as many blogs as you want on their hosting. If you didn’t have this option, you would have to purchase a new hosting plan for every new blog you start. What I recommend is getting their Plus plan for all your new blogs. And if any of them grow past 20,000 visitors per month, you can move those ones over to WPX Hosting.
4. Get custom email addresses. For any blog you connect to your Bluehost account, you can create custom email addresses for them. For example, you could set up [email protected] as your email address. That is much more professional than using a Gmail address as your site’s contact. And the best part is, they offer unlimited email addresses so you can create as many as you need.
5. Reliable uptime. Bluehost is one of the cheapest blog hosting solutions out there. However, their reliability and uptime is better than a lot of more expensive solutions. Bluehost is a huge company, and they’re one of the best when it comes to keeping your site running nice and smooth.
Get started with your blog hosting
If you’re ready to get started, click here to view the step-by-step guide on starting a self-hosted WordPress blog.
It will guide you through the entire process of registering and setting up your blog on Bluehost, and then installing WordPress and equipping it with essential themes and plugins.