One of the things that confused me most when I started blogging was web hosting.
Which one should I choose? (They all looked the same)
Is the cheaper one just as good as the others?
Why are some hosting plans so expensive when they seemingly offer the same features?
And many more…
There were so many companies around and so many conflicting reviews that I couldn’t decide.
If you’re in this situation, then I’m here to help.
That’s because I’ve tried over 15 popular web hosting services around. And, I’ll show you which ones you should choose depending on what stage you’re in as a blogger.
What is a Web Hosting Site and Why Your Blog Needs One?
In order to set up your blog you need three things.
- Domain Name
- A Blogging Platform
- A Web Host
Your domain name is simply your blog name.
- Google’s domain name is google.com
- Facebook’s is facebook.com.
Domain names are much like your home address.
It has to be UNIQUE… in the entire world (or in this case, the entire internet).
That way anyone who types in your blog name into their browser will find your website. And not anyone else’s.
Easy peasy, right?
Next up, your blogging platform and web host.
These are the hardware (the webhost) and software (blogging platform) components your blog needs to get up and running.
More importantly, you need both components in order for your website to be see on the internet by other people.
The setup is very similar to that of your computer. You need:
- A computer (desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone) = the host (BlueHost)
- Your computer’s operating system (Windows, Mac OS, Android or iOS ) = the blogging platform (WordPress)
You need both to start working on your machine.
Altogether, these 3 components make up your blog setup.
So what do they do?
… And why do you need them?
As far as platforms go, most bloggers use WordPress.
WordPress is what’s called a CMS or Content Management System.
That’s because it lets you manage content (your blog posts) without having to worry about HTML or any kind of programming to design or format your articles for the web.
But, it’s more than that.
It allows you to design the look of your site, including its colors, fonts, layout, and photos.
It also lets you easily add features like contact forms, email subscription forms, menus, sidebar widgets and others. All without having to know or use any programming.
Finally, it makes writing, editing, formatting and publishing blog posts quick and simple.
This is why over 30% of the all websites use WordPress.
This goes by many names: Blog Host, Web Host, Website Hosting, Web Hosting Sites, Blog Hosting Sites, and many others.
But you get the point.
They all mean the same thing.
In simple terms, your web host is the set of servers where your blogging platform and all the other files related to your website and its contents are saved. As such, they work very much like your home computer or laptop.
The biggest difference is that these servers are designed allow your blog to be seen online (on the internet).
That’s not something your home laptop can do. At least, not unless you go through all the technical details of setting a webserver, software, and all the network connections.
As a blogger, that’s not worth your time and money.
This is why we all use web hosts.
For example, BlueHost only costs $2.75 a month. That’s all you need to get your blog up and running.
Best Blog Hosting Sites for Making Money
If you look around, you’ll notice that there are LOTS of blog hosting companies around. And at first glance, they will all look like they offer the same thing.
Because to a certain degree they do.
But, where they different are the types of hosting plans they offer, their pricing and what you actually get (ie. do they deliver or not on their promises).
And from experience, I can tell you that web hosting performance varies considerably.
That’s because I’ve used lots and lots of web hosting services. Actually, more than I care to admit.
And of all the ones I’ve used, these are the ones I highly recommend (depending on what stage of blogging you’re in.
Best Web Host for Beginner Bloggers: BlueHost
BlueHost is one of the most popular blog hosting services around. It’s my #1 choice for anyone looking to start a blog.
That’s because it’s simple to use, offers great performance and customer support. Plus, it’s very affordable.
More importantly, it has all the features you need to get your website up and running within 15 minutes.
…All without having to do any coding or technical stuff.
For the most part, you’ll be just clicking 1 or 2 buttons at a time to set different features up.
Here are the hosting plans available with BlueHost.
- Basic Plan: $2.75 a month. This is all you need when getting started. It comes with 1 website and a free domain. Plus, you get 50GB of storage for your files which is more than you’ll ever need unless you’re uploading videos. Additionally, you’ll be able to create branded domain email addresses which will make your emails you send out more professional.
- Plus Plan: $5.95 a month. This is another option if you want to start more than 1 website. With it, you’ll get unlimited storage space so you can create as much content for your websites as you want without having to worry about running out of space.
- Pro Plan: Costs $13.95 a month. This is similar to the Plus Plan in many features. But, you get better performance and security. That means faster speed and less downtime.
Like most blog hosts, you’ll need to pay for the entire year. That makes it a little more costly which is why I like BlueHost.
The extra $2 or $5 a month that other web hosts cost can really add up when you pay them annually up front.
In addition to what I’ve mentioned above, you also get:
- Free domain registration
- Free SSL certificates
- 24/7 customer support service
- Money back guarantee (if you aren’t satisfied with their service)
- Unlimited branded email accounts
Pro Tip: You’ll also want to spend an extra $0.99 a month on domain privacy when registering your blog name. This keeps your personal information safe by not showing it whenever anyone searches for your domain information. With it you keep your name, home address, phone number and email address from prying eyes.
Best Web Host for Beginner and Intermediate Bloggers: SiteGround
SiteGround is my top choice for bloggers who:
- Have 1 year or more of blogging experience
- Are getting more than 75,000 pageviews per month
From my experience,
- It offers faster speeds which means your blog load in less time
- There’s less down time so visitors don’t see the gray “site can’t be reached” page on your browser
- Customer support is the BEST I’ve seen (24/7 chat with super knowledgeable and PATIENT staff)
The downside, it’s more expensive than BlueHost.
That’s why I recommend BlueHost when you’re starting up. This lets you save the extra bucks for other blogging costs, especially in your first year when you aren’t making a lot of money yet.
These are their 3 hosting plans.
- Startup Plan: $3.95 per month. This is ideal for beginners or blogs with up to 10,000 or so monthly visitors. It allows 1 website and comes with 10 GB of storage space.
- GrowBig Plan: $7.95 per month. This is their intermediate plan. It lets you set up more than 1 website in it. And also offers extra storage for a total of 20GB. It’s ideal for blogs that have around 25,000 monthly visitors.
- GoGeek Plan: $14.95 per month. This is their advanced plan. It’s suited for blogs with 100,000 monthly visitors. And, offers more space at 30GB of storage.
The biggest issue with SiteGround is that their renewal rates jump up significantly. So, you’ll want to “lock in” your initial prices by signing up for their 3-year term which lets you save a lot more money.
That said, SiteGround is what I recommend you move to when your blog gets to about 75,000 monthly visitors.
You don’t need to worry about the technical details of doing so because they’ll move your website for FREE. (They’re willing to do so because they’re getting your business in the process)
That makes the process super simple!
Best Web Host for Intermediate and Advanced Bloggers: BigScoots
Once your blog outgrows the bandwidth limitations of SiteGround, you’ll want to move to BigScoots.
Like SiteGround, BigScoots will transfer your blog for free. This makes it easy to move up to them when the time comes.
As with the others above, they also offer 3 hosting packages. But, have the capability to go up even more should your blog grow to become huge.
- 105 CC (Beginner Plan): This is $5.95 a month. It’s their most basic plan, which allows you to set up 5 websites. You also get 5GB of storage space and 100GB bandwidth.
- 155CC (Intermediate Plan): At $8.95 a month, you can set up unlimited websites, have 10GB of storage and 200GB bandwidth. The latter allows for more traffic on a monthly basis.
- Turbo Diesel (Advanced Plan): At $17.95 a month, you get unlimited websites and 20GB of storage along with extra speed (turbo) and a free dedicated IP. This allows your blog to load faster since it has the resources of the server all to itself.
One of the biggest differences between BigScoots has with BlueHost and SiteGround is that you can pay on a monthly basis. It costs a few extra bucks more to do so. But, you won’t need to pay an entire year’s worth up front.
So Which Should You Start With If You Want to Make Money Blogging?
BlueHost is my top recommendation when you’re starting a blog.
Of course, it all depends on what part of the blogging journey you’re on. But, for most beginners, BlueHost offers you the best balance of performance and cost.
This saves you a lot of money, considering that you’ll need to pay your hosting bill for the year up front. And in doing so, you’ll be able to use that extra cash to grow your blog in the meantime.
The best part about BlueHost is that everything is very easy.
- Installing WordPress
- Setting up email addresses
- Adding a new site (if you want to make test sites or start another blog)
- And just about everything else
… are all done via one-click.
So all you need to do is press a button and choose the settings. No programming or coding needed.
And, whenever you have any questions, you can ask their 24/7 customer support team.
Why Do You Need to Change Web Hosting Services as Your Blog Grows?
Last but not least, always be ready to move to a “higher” host when it’s time.
I learned this the hard way with my earlier blogs.
I refused to move even when traffic exceeded the resources of my current web host. In part because I was afraid of change:
- Will the new host perform as well
- Will there be any problems when I migrate (move) my site
- Can I lose traffic when doing so
- Is the customer support just as good there
- And a few other things
Plus, not wanting to do the technical stuff, which involved moving the files.
As a result, my sites suffered. They slowed down and didn’t load properly along with a few other issues.
Bottom line, move when it’s time to do so, ie. your blog has outgrown your current web host’s capacity.
It’s a good sign. That is your blog’s going in the right direction.
The key is to choose the right web host to go to (see above).
As for the migration, they’ll be happy to move your site for free. The good hosts will be able to do that in an hour, which minimizes downtime.
Web hosting is the foundation of your blog. If it goes down, your website goes down.
That means nobody will be able to access it.
If you’re making money from your blog, that’s lost revenue.
The best web hosting service for bloggers really depends on what stage of the blogging journey you’re in.
The hosting providers I’ve listed above are those I know offer excellent service, so you can use them with confidence.