Choosing a platform, hosting package, and domain name can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
We had a nightmare blog hosting situation in our first few months of blogging that almost cost us thousands of dollars.
It was unbearably frustrating, and we were SO lucky that we switched to another hosting company when we did.
Because just a few weeks later, we had a MASSIVE flood of traffic due to a viral pin.
Enough traffic that our website would have crashed with the previous hosting plan we were on.
I will tell you more about exactly what happened below, but first here’s what we are going to cover in this article:
And for all of you preferred video learners out there, here is a quick video on this income report from our YouTube Channel below.
Why You Should Avoid Free Blog Hosting
There’s a basic economic theory that is as true for blogging as anything else in life:
“There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
While starting with a “free” hosting platform may sound alluring, it’s often just a guise to get your money later on.
Think about it. That company needs to make money somehow or they’d go out of business.
Here’s why not to use them (including non-financial reasons):
- Unwanted Ads – “Nothing better than big ads on a website!” – No One Ever. Many of the free sites put ugly unsightly ads on your website.
- Limited Features – Often, these websites limit common features and offer them only for more money. Very similar to a free app with things you buy once inside.
- Limited Bandwidth and Speed – Much more limited than paid hosting plans.
- Pay Money to Move Your Website – “Got an influx of Pinterest traffic and our server can’t handle it? Great! You can move your blog for a nominal fee!”
- No True Domain Name – Nothing looks less trustworthy to me than an article written by politicaltruths.blogspot.com. With most free hosts, you don’t get a full domain name.
- Customer Support – It’s hard to have great customer support when running free websites. Most of the support for these websites ranges from abysmal to non-existent.
- Much more, but I feel like you’re getting the point…
In other words, free hosting is not for you want these things:
- A fast website
- Great, helpful customer service.
- Full control over how your blog looks without paying extra
- The ability to get a large audience to your website
- No unsolicited ads
- Your own domain name
- A successful blog
Soooooo… like… pretty much everybody???
The bottom line is that free hosting plans are more for hobby bloggers — not people looking to turn their blog into a full-time, money-making business.
Before we talk about which hosting plan you SHOULD use, we need to address another question first…
What platform should you use?
Why WordPress.org is #1 for Bloggers
Different platforms come with different options for hosting plans.
Because this article is more about blog HOSTING, we’re going to cut to the chase and tell you that WORDPRESS is the best platform you can use as a blogger!
For More Details: 6 Best Blogging Platforms (Blog Sites) for Bloggers
Here are the basics in this blog hosting review of why every newbie should use WordPress.org to self-host their own blog.
There are a few reasons that 75.6 million (and counting) bloggers use the platform.
1. It’s the most powerful platform on the market.
As your blog grows, you are going to want certain features and added capabilities to support your blog growth.
WordPress, by far, has the widest selection of add-on features, tools, plugins, and other software to help you with everything from page speed to traffic to monetization.
Most bloggers who DON’T start with WordPress usually (inevitably) run into this problem at some point:
Squarespace and Wix users will hear about a cool new plugin through an online tutorial that will help them do something awesome for their blog…
Only to realize that it’s only available for WordPress.
It sucks but is likely going to happen if you go elsewhere. It happens to many of our course students that are blogging on other platforms.
2. It has a clean content editor.
The content editor for WordPress is constantly being upgraded.
With their release of their Gutenberg editor, you can now make more customizations than ever in your posts and pages!
It’s incredibly easy to use, edit, and publish beautiful WordPress blog posts.
3. You’ll have access to resources for daysss.
Because millions of bloggers use Wordpress, support forums and free WordPress training are beyond abundant on YouTube and other platforms.
When you buy online courses for blogging or research any online tutorials for various blogging related help topics online, you’ll almost always come across quick fixes that involve downloading a WordPress plugin.
I know for a fact that there are tons of plugins recommended for these common issues:
- Page speed
- Image optimization
- Pinterest traffic
- Comment management
- Contact forms
- Search engine optimization (for Google traffic)
- Social media
And soooo much more!
There are new and easy-to-use resources that are added and updated ALL the time!
Like our article on the best plugins for blogs — that will help you out with most of the issues we just described above.
4. It’s what we use to run both of our six-figure blogs.
Just speaking from personal experience here…
WordPress is what we have used since day 1 to turn both of our blogs into successful, six-figure, money-making machines.
Take a look at any other six-figure blogger out there… Almost guaranteed they are using WordPress.
Most of the Internet is using WordPress.
Do you get how important WordPress is yet!?
Good, because now it’s time to move on to blog hosting!
Top 4 Blog Hosting Sites Rated and Reviewed From Experience
We have personally used all of these hosting companies for various websites in the past.
Below is a brief review of each based on our experiences.
Host Gator: Spent a good amount of time using this service in the beginning of my journey with online entrepreneurship. Found the site speed particularly slow and everything quite overrated. 3.5/5
WP Engine: Good service, but the backend is a little more complex than need be. For a beginner, this can be a real time-sink. 4/5
Siteground: Service was fine UNTIL we started doing well. Then everything went to sh%$. They wanted us to pay an extra $300/month to handle the influx of traffic we were receiving. More on that in a bit… 3/5
Bluehost: By far the best and most reliable service we have used (and somehow also the most affordable). It’s easy to use and set up and the customer support is GREAT!
Why Bluehost is the Best Hosting Company for Beginner Bloggers
Bluehost is what we used to take both of our blogs to six figures.
We’ve worked with them for a long time and even met some of their team in Austin. We have nothing but awesome things to say about them.
That being said, I do want to give you the full and honest truth.
While we still use Bluehost to run several websites, we are currently using another hosting provider, BigScoots, to run our two main blogs.
The reason for is that that we now pay $100/month for hosting EACH blog for a private hosting plan for handle more bandwidth.
Don’t worry — you don’t need this and should NOT pay for it as a beginner blogger!
We only made this upgrade after the first couple of years when we were already making six figures and could well afford it.
Bluehost is still our #1 recommendation for new bloggers, and we’re going to tell you exactly why below.
1. Bluehost really saved us in a pinch.
Our website just kept crashing…
Every evening when we had higher amounts of traffic to our website (because most U.S. Pinterest users were home from work), it would basically blow up for an hour.
That was fun…
Our website would just completely crash intermittently for an hour or two during peak time.
Translation: lost readers, subscribers, and sales.
We called our hosting company and asked what the heck was going on.
They said that our plan was too cheap to handle the higher bandwidth of users trying to access our site at once.
That’s understandable… More traffic is a good thing, right?
But they wanted us to pay an extra couple hundred dollars a month to upgrade…
I’m sorry, WHAT!?
We couldn’t afford that at the time. So, we were forced to look into other options…
Finally, I decided to give a call to Bluehost. I explained everything that was going wrong and how desperate I was for help. The rep I talked to was ridiculously helpful.
They walked me through everything that was happening, why it was happening, assuring me they could fix it, and I ended up signing up for their service that night.
After we went through the pain of moving our website to a different host, everything immediately got better.
Thank goodness, because literally just a couple weeks after this happened…
We had 97,000 people visit our website in a single day and made over $40,000 in a single month because of it.
It was absolutely crazy.
If we had still been with our old host, the server would have failed and it would have ended up costing us thousands of new subscribers and thousands of dollars in sales.
Your hosting provider matters, y’all.
We don’t want you to have to switch to a new plan six months later. It’s a hassle, and ain’t nobody got time for that!
2. Bluehost is super affordable for bloggers on a budget.
First of all, it’s super affordable — one of the most affordable plans out there.
You can get started with Bluehost for as low as $2.75/month with our affiliate discount.
Full disclaimer: You do have to pay for at least a year upfront (2-3 years if you want the biggest discount).
BUT here’s the thing that a lot of other people don’t realize… The other competing plans that do allow you to pay monthly cost 4x or more what Bluehost does.
It will end up costing you hundreds of dollars more to go with a monthly plan.
We also think that paying it upfront is the best way to make an investment and a commitment to your new blogging business.
3. It’s incredibly easy to get started and set up.
It’s so easy a blindfolded baby could do it!
Okay, maybe not THAT easy — but for real, it’s super simple!
It even has a one-click install to get WordPress set up.
You can watch the process to get started on this video from our YouTube channel:
If videos aren’t your thing, you can also get started with our written step-by-step tutorial here.
4. They have awesome, 24-hour customer support.
Got or problem or need some help? Having trouble with the “techy” stuff?
You can chat with the Bluehost customer service team any time of day, rain or shine. Online or on the phone.
I prefer the online chat system because I travel a lot and generally hate speaking on the phone, but the important thing is that you can communicate with them in whichever way that you prefer.
They’ll help you fix any problem or issue you come across!
Also, you can get a native English speaker on the phone pretty easily!
Getting website help from someone who is not a native English speaker, for me, is like trying to type a message with sausages for fingers.
It’s frustrating my friends.
Calling and being able to speak with someone in the States for me is an incredibly underrated delight.
5. You can have unlimited domain names, blogs, and email addresses.
Your basic hosting plan comes with a free domain name with Bluehost.
You can also upgrade to other plans (for just a couple more dollars per month) that allow you to have multiple domain names and blogs.
This is what we have on our Bluehost plan because we have multiple websites hosted through it.
6. It’s easy to create your own customized email addresses for your domain.
This is really great because it’s not super easy to do with some hosting companies.
A domain email address is simply a custom email address that includes your domain name.
i.e. The email that we use for our customer service on this website is “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
You can create multiple domain addresses for various team members or areas of your business, including customer service, sales, admin help, etc.
You can do this within just a few minutes with Bluehost, and you can always reach out to their customer service team if you have any issues.
They also have help articles that will walk you through the process.
Getting started today with WordPress and Bluehost is incredibly simple and easy to do!
To wrap up this blog hosting review, let’s summarize how to get started:
Step 1. Click here and go to Bluehost.
If you enjoyed this article on blog hosting or have any questions for us, please leave them in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you![do_widget text]