Creating your own blog can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. On one hand you are super happy to begin your blogging journey, but on the other hand, you are clueless as to where to start. Finding the right WordPress hosting platform is only one of the many questions you might ask yourself. There are so many hosting platforms out there, that seem to offer the same thing, but differ in their set-up, prices, and reviews. This article is here to help you make sense of all the information provided and successfully choose and set-up a hosting platform.
Disclosure: Because I find Bluehost to be a great hosting platform for new bloggers, all links to Bluehost in this article are referral links. If you use this link to purchase a subscription I’ll earn a small commission. This helps me to work in Ministry full-time and cover the expenses of this blog.
At this stage of your blogging career, you might not yet make an income from your blog and wonder if investing in your blog will pay off. You also might not yet see how you will be able to monetize it in the long run. That’s okay! However, you can already decide, whether you would like to earn money with your blog in the future. That’s an important aspect to think about because it will simplify your decision making in the following points.
Free vs. Self-hosted blog
The first question you will have to answer when setting up your blog is if you will use a self-hosted or a free blogging platform.
As a new blogger, a free blogging platform can be very attractive. It is free (duh!) and definitely easier to use, because of their simple set-up and design. The existing systems don’t require much technical or design knowledge and already offer plugins and website themes in their package. However, they also include a lot of setbacks. A free blogging platform is usually quite limited. Website capabilities, bandwidth as well as advertising options are all restricted and connected to the platform design. While a free blogging platform might be useful for a hobby blogger, a professional blogger will have to move his blog to a self-hosted platform sooner or later.
With a self-hosted platform, on the other hand, you have full control and ownership of your blog. You get to design and brand your online appearance as you like and can expand the capabilities whenever needed. Nevertheless, a self-hosted platform will require an initial investment of time and money. Such as finding a third-party host, paying for themes, plugins and security and of course implementing and maintaining the site.
Different hosting Platforms
I know! Life would be so much easier if there weren’t so many hosting platforms. Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator and many more all promise the same results as providers. As a new blogger, it is oftentimes hard to make sense of the different options. Luckily most hosting sites will cost as little as $5 a month.
However, if the price is your primary concern, then you should go with Bluehost, who offers a 2-year plan for only $3 per month. Another benefit of Bluehost is that it’s one of the easiest ways to install your WordPress blog. It meets the technical requirements of a web host and is one of the few hosting platforms directly recommended by WordPress themselves. Last but not least upon signing up with Bluehost you receive one domain name for free, which will save you some money.
When I launched both of my blogs I decided to use GoDaddy, quite frankly I don’t remember why but I never regretted it. While it may not differ much from other providers, they offer an amazing customer service that enabled me to build my websites from scratch. They also allow you to increase your website capabilities according to your needs, which means that you won’t outgrow the system quickly.
Even though I wish I could give you a detailed list of all the different hosting platforms I can’t. As I have only used GoDaddy and Bluehost before and don’t want to recommend a host that I haven’t tested myself yet.
Signing-up for a host
Before you sign-up for your hosting company, you need to think of a Domain name. A domain name is your unique address online and the name people will use to find you. To come up with your domain name you should brainstorm your theme. What is your blog about? What will people find on your blog? How do you want them to feel? That is something you should already have worked out, if not I recommend you sign up for my 5-Day Email Devotional to becoming a Christian Blogger in which I talk about the purpose of blogging.
Once you picked out a domain name it is time to sign-up for your hosting platform. Thankfully, I just recently helped a client set-up her blog and can now illustrate the simple steps on how to sign-up for Bluehost. It costs as little as $3.95/month and takes less than 5 minutes.
To get started, go to https://www.bluehost.com/ and click on the green “get started now” button in the lower half of the screen. Now you will be taken to the next page, on which you can choose your hosting plan. Their basic plan which is only $3.95/month is a great option for new bloggers and even includes a free domain name. So save your bucks and go with the cheapest package for now!
Next step is your domain. Of course, by now you prayed and thought about it so that you can easily fil it in. If not, go back to square one and join the 5-Day Email Devotional to becoming a Christian Blogger for guidance. No worries Bluehost allows you to decide on a free domain name later.
The next step is to fill in your details on the “create your account” page. Here you will be prompted to submit your personal information, such as name, address, e-mail, and payment authorization.
Lastly, you will be asked to select your Bluehost package. You can choose between a 12, 24, 36 or 60-months subscription. Because a lot can happen in the blogging world during a year I suggest you sign up for a 12-months plan. That will give you the motivation to pursue God’s plan for your life wholeheartedly, but also allow you the flexibility to change a few things along the way.
Note that Bluehost will offer you multiple add-ons to your plan. Such as Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, and SiteLock Security. While you won’t need most of them at the beginning I highly recommend purchasing the Privacy Protection Plan. This will hide your personal information from hackers and spammers on the internet (trust me, I learned the hard way).
And voilá you’re done! Now you successfully signed-up for Bluehost.
Love & Light