Alright so you’ve got your niche picked out, you’ve decided on a good blog name and have picked up your domain, and now you need to find the best place to host a blog. Well, it just so happens that I can help you out with that.
For those of you who are new, this is the third installment in our multi-part series about starting a blog from the ground up (the right way!) with no experience. A blog that will be profitable enough for you to live off of. If you haven’t already done so, you need to:
- Pick a niche for your blog : A niche that will get traffic and bring in some money along the way.
- Choose a name for your blog : See how to choose the best name for your blog and get a free .com domain in the process.
With those two steps out of the way, you’re ready to dive in and learn all you’ve ever wanted to know about hosting a blog.
What is a hosting company? Your blog is going to need a place to store all of its files. The content you write, the pictures you upload, and even the software that powers your blog. These files are stored at a hosting company. Whenever you type in someone’s domain name, that domain names tells your web browser “Hey, pull the files from the web host located at ###”
“Can’t I Just Host My Blog Anywhere?”
You most certainly can! But, where you host your blog can literally affect your rankings in Google. Where you host your blog can make the difference between a blog earning $18 per month and a blog earning $18K per month.
Also, as a former computer hacker, let me say this: I used to love it when people put important websites on shitty web hosts. I was able to steal data and, in many instances, hold these websites hostage for ransom payments.
Our Russian and Chinese malware colleagues would LOVE for you to host your blog with some random no-name web host.
Seriously, blog hosting is super cheap. The industry is so competitive. You just have to know where to go so that you can get the best quality, NOT the best price. They’re all going to be cheap.
Free vs. Paid Blog Hosting
A lot of new bloggers are happy to learn that there are free blog-hosting platforms available. These platforms are great for certain types of people. If you’re reading this guide I can already assure you that you’re not one of those people.
Oftentimes free blog hosting is just a ruse to get a ton of money out of you in the near future. Yes, free blog hosting will cost you more in the long run than a good paid-hosting plan.
With free blog hosting you’re going to be very limited in many ways:
- Advertisements – You are often stuck with their ads on your blog.
- No Monetization – You probably can’t even run your own ads.
- Customer Service Sucks – Let’s hope you don’t run into any problems when using a free blog host.
- Whose Content? – The content you post is owned by the free blog host.
- Whose Readers? – All of your visitors and readers belong to the free blog host.
- Limited Bandwidth – If you start to get popular, or even get a small influx of visitors from social media, they’re going to ask you to pay to upgrade to a more robust account.
- Stupid Domains – You don’t even get to use your own domain name. You’re stuck using something like yourname.theirsite.com
If you build up a following and want to break away from their platform, you will have to pay them money. So, unless you simply want a free blog to jot down your thoughts and not worry about anyone reading them, you need paid hosting.
Why Should You Pay For Blog Hosting?
Well, I’m so glad that you asked! Aside from the exact opposite of the reasons listed above in the list of issues with free hosting, here’s why you should pay for blog hosting with a reputable company. (We’ll suggest some good companies towards the end of the article).
Paid Hosting SEO: Google Will Rank Your Blog Higher
There are a number of factors that come into play with SEO, and we’ll go over those for you later on in the guide. But some of these SEO factors are directly attributed to the hosting company that is hosting your blog.
Page & Blog Loading Speed
Google undoubtedly gives priority to blogs that load faster. There’s even a slew of tools made by Google for webmasters to monitor page speed. Sites on the first page of Google results will oftentimes load 4/10ths of a second faster than sites on the other pages of Google (which only 3%-7% of people check anyways.. Seriously, who goes to page 2 or even 3 of Google?)
Google carefully monitors the speed at which your blog loads. They’re not going to redirect people to websites and blogs that load slowly. Google’s job is to deliver answers to queries as fast as possible. A paid host will ensure a faster load time. A faster load time will ensure Google ranks you better.
There’s a number of reasons why security should be important to your blog. One of those main reasons is that Google will give secure sites preference over unsecured or less-secured websites and blogs.
Have you ever noticed how some websites have a tiny little lock icon by the address bar? Or some websites may say Not Secure? If you look, the addresses of the secure sites have httpS as opposed to just http.
This is a form of security that Google loves. Whenever Google has a user searching for something, they want to make sure the blog or website they send this user to is as secure as possible.
Paid web hosts allow you to use SSL certificates with your domain names to get that S in the httpS for a secure connection. The web hosts we recommend below include FREE SSL certificates, otherwise we wouldn’t be recommending them.
Paid Hosting Has Better Support
Whenever you pay for blog hosting you will be given access to support that doesn’t come with freely-hosted blogs. If you’re reading this guide it means that you’re likely pretty new to blogging. If you’re new to blogging you might need some help. Paid hosting offers that help.
What would you do if your blog was getting 25,000 people to it per month, bringing in $7,000 in profit every few weeks, and then BOOM you couldn’t post all of a sudden. Or, worse, your blog failed to load. You call up the 24/7 support line and, within minutes, have someone fix the issue for you.
Paid Blog Hosting Is More Powerful and Versatile
I could go on and on about why spending a few bucks per month is good for your blog, but eventually you would get bored. So, I’m just going to say this. Paid hosting is super powerful and versatile.
You’re not going to really run out of storage. You’re not going to be limited to how many people visit your site or blog. More importantly, you own all of your visitors. Ad space is owned and controlled by you.
Paid hosts are also just super easy. The ones we recommend have this step-by-step WordPress install process that takes like 60 seconds to get set up, if that.
Where Is The Best Place To Host A Blog?
Those of you that have read my story know that I’ve been making money online for over 20 years now. I’ve gone through A LOT of different web hosts. Some of my favorites from the past have closed down. Some of my previous favorites have fizzled out.
Here are the two places that I would recommend you use for blog hosting.
Blog hosting If you don’t have a domain name yet:
HostGator – These guys have been around for almost 20 years now. You’re going to see a lot of professional bloggers recommend them. They’re the real deal. Here’s why I like them:
- Hosting as low as $2.75 per month
- FREE domain name (.com, .net, .org, etc..)
- Free SSL certificate (to get https, not http)
- 60-Second WordPress installation
- The absolute BEST customer service, hands down.
- $100 Free Google & Bing advertising credits.
Use coupon code: WCMSAVES at HostGator for an even bigger discount.
Blog hosting If you do have a domain name:
NameCheap – They’re almost as good as HostGator and are a little bit cheaper. Although they only offer heavily discounted domains and not free ones. So if you don’t have a domain name yet, just go with HostGator. Otherwise, here’s why I like them:
- Hosting as low as $1.75 per month
- 50%-80% off of domain names
- Free SSL certificate
- 60-second WordPress installation
- They also have amazing customer service.
What about: BlueHost, WP Engine, Siteground?
If you’ve done past research about starting a blog then you’ve probably come across these three hosting providers. Do you want to know why everybody recommends these three companies?
Because professional bloggers get paid an assload of money to recommend these hosting companies to you. Seriously. For example, BlueHost will pay some bloggers $65-$100+ every time they get one of their readers to buy a $3 hosting plan.
These bloggers don’t truly give a shit about those hosting companies. They’re merely getting paid to recommend them.
Look, I’ll be honest, I might make a few bucks off of recommending the two hosts above to you, but I genuinely use and like those companies. I don’t recommend them to you solely for the affiliate commissions. Otherwise I’d be spouting the same BlueHost gospel that other bloggers do.
Blogging 101: Installing & Setting Up Your Blog
Okay guys, you now have a niche, have a name and domain name, and know what to look out for with hosting. The next step is to install and set up your blog. Our next installment is going to go over which software to use, how to install it in 60 seconds with no experience, and how to get it all set up.
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