Choosing hosting for your WordPress blog is a minefield if you don’t know what you’re looking for. When I started this blog, Simply Hatch, I struck lucky with my hosting company.
If your hosting is unreliable, you risk losing your income. I learned the hard way. When your blog goes off-line for several days you can lose thousands of dollars.
Unless you want sleepless nights and ruined holidays remember that cheap isn’t the only factor when it comes to choosing blog hosting. As this blogging 101 guide will demonstrate, you get what you pay for...
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If your blog goes down you don’t make any money. If it’s too slow, customers don’t stick around.
Speed, security, and reliability are the three amigos of website hosting.
Ignore them at your peril!
Choose the Best WordPress Hosting For Your Blog
The needs of a large established blog are going to be totally different from a new blogger or someone blogging for a hobby. Now you may be at the start of your blogging journey but I’m assuming you’re here, reading this blog post, because you want to make money.
Free WordPress Hosting
Making money rules out free web hosting. It’s unreliable, usually involves running someone else’s banner ads on your site and it’s almost impossible to monetize. Just don’t go there.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re really short of cash or you just want to try out a few ideas before starting your blog for real. In which case Blogger is your best option. I suggest you avoid WordPress.com. Yes, they have a free version, but you’ll quickly be sucked into their paid plans. These are both restrictive and expensive.
The Best Blog Hosting
We’ll take a look at the best blog hosting plans for needs of different bloggers.
- Bluehost – Affordable WordPress Hosting For Beginner Bloggers
- Hostgator – Flexible WordPress Hosting With A Monthly Payment Plan
- WP Engine – Recommended For Larger Or Rapidly Growing Blogs
✅I recommend Bluehost if you’re looking for the best affordable option for beginners starting at just $2.95/month. It comes with a free domain name which is really helpful when you’re starting your first blog.
Every blogger has different needs and expectations. A beginner blogger is looking for a simple solution to get their blog up and running as quickly as possible.
More experienced bloggers, with an income-generating blog, have higher traffic loads. Speed is a priority. They need blog pages to load quickly even when they have a viral post.
Bluehost – Blog hosting
Top of the list of ‘WordPress Officially Recommended’ hosting provider is Bluehost. They’re a winner for affordable hosting if you’re new to blogging.
One of the big advantages with Bluehost is you get a Free Domain with even their Basic startup plan. This makes Bluehost a good choice if you’re on a tight budget.
With 24/7 support, a free SSL certificate and an easy to use site builder, Bluehost wins out for beginner bloggers.
- PROS Affordable hosting for beginners starting at just $2.95/month.
- PROS Top recommended WordPress hosting provider
- PROS FREE Domain Name + FREE SSL + 24/7 Support
- PROS Automatic WordPress install and updates
- PROS 30-day Money Back Guarantee
- CONS Support can sometimes be a little slow
Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Pricing Plans – Perfect For New Bloggers
Reasons To Choose Bluehost Best Blog Hosting
Starting you first blog can quickly become overwhelming. There’s so much to take in and deal with when all you really want to do is start writing your first posts.
Bluehost’s blog hosting packages recognise the needs of beginners. They’ve streamlined the start up process so that even the most technically challenged new bloggers can launch their blogs quickly and easily.
I use Bluehost for all my brand new blogs. It’s perfect when your blog has a small amount of content and low traffic.
All blogs start off this way. When your blog grows you can choose to upgrade to a better hosting plan with Bluehost or migrate for free to another provider such as Hostgator or WP Engine.
HostGator – Blog Hosting
HostGator are a giant in the industry hosting over 2 million domains. They’re a top choice if you’re looking to start with an affordable plan and grow your blog quickly.
HostGator is known for excellent support and will migrate over an existing site for free. Advantages include a free SSL certificate, 1-click WordPress install and for a limited time period, they’re offering a free domain.
- PROS Top choice for a growing business
- PROS FREE Site Migration
- PROS FREE SSL, One-Click Installs + 24/7 Support
- PROS Monthly Payment Option
- PROS Excellent Support
- CONS Renewal fees are higher
The best selling point with Hostgator is you can start on a very affordable monthly plan and upgrade your plan as your blogging income starts to grow.
Hostgator like to say: Start with Hostgator, stay with Hostgator. They have so many different options there’s always a plan to suit the needs of your blog.
WP Engine – Blog Hosting
WP Engine provides Managed WordPress Hosting. It’s excellent for bloggers who’ve outgrown their start-up hosting plans.
WP Engine takes care of all the technical stuff. They optimize your blog for performance, protect your site against attacks make sure your site is safe, and provide all the tools you need to design your blog.
Recommended for growing business blogs. WP Engine is for bloggers who are obsessed with speed and performance.
Here are the benefits…
The problem with cheap hosting is that your blog will be hosted on a shared server and these servers become overloaded. Your site speed becomes slower and slower…
Not the case with WP Engine. Their platform is built for speed plus they only host WordPress sites making them practically the authority on WordPress. They have their own custom built user portal, dedicated to WordPress, where you can check your page performance and get tips and advice for improvements.
WP Engine provides a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for FREE. A CDN is a collection of servers located around the World. It caches static content on your website and sends it to the network of servers. When someone visits your site, they’re served content from the nearest server.
For example, if your website is hosted in London, a customer in Washington will view your website from a server in the US rather than waiting for a version from London to load.
If this sounds complicated don’t worry. All you need to know is that CDN makes your blog super fast.
Unless you’ve been living on a different planet recently, you’re probably aware that cybersecurity has become a huge issue. With WP Engine you can relax. The platform has some advanced security features that other hosts don’t offer. I could get very technical here but I won’t.
Just accept that these guys know what they’re doing. I had a problem with a third party trying to hack my user login recently. The WP Engine support team helped me shut it down.
WP Engine has a list of Disallowed Plugins which will be automatically disabled by their system scanner. Some people see this as a downside to WP Engine’s managed hosting but for me, it’s a big plus. The plugins on the disallowed list affect performance or security. Why wouldn’t you want this?
They also include an SSL certificate for FREE. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a key that encrypts all transmitted data. You need this to reassure your customers and get the secure padlock symbol on browsers when customers visit your site. WP Engine makes installing an SSL certificate super easy.
You can be set up with a secure https URL address from the word go. (The full web address for Simply Hatch is https://simplyhatch.com. This means my whole site is secure and visitors don’t get any “site not secure” warnings in their browsers).
There is nothing worse than site downtime caused by your hosting platform. Believe me, I know from bitter experience. Since launching this blog my up-time with WP Engine has been 100%.
You’re running a business – you need your business to be open online 24/7.
WP Engine has fantastic support. (They have 6 Stevie Awards for Customer Service). It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night or how technical your problem, just jump on LiveChat and get an immediate answer. Yes, I did say “immediate”.
With WP Engine you don’t have to make sure you’ve got plenty of time to spare before contacting support. Their LiveChat hooks you up with someone who knows what they’re talking about straight away.
You won’t be palmed off with someone following a set list of answers. WP Engine support staff are all technical experts. I have been blown away by how good their support is.
WP Engine is built around giving you the best support system. They take care of backing up your site daily and when you install updates you get a little reminder to back up your system first. This back up on-demand facility is usually an expensive extra cost for most hosting platforms.
Free StudioPress Themes
When you sign up for WP Engine you get the entire set of StudioPress Themes plus the Genesis framework they run on for FREE. That’s about $2000 in value and a huge saving when you’re starting out.
Just about every blog will invest in a theme and if you’re like me you’ll test out different themes until you find one that really suits your needs. This gets expensive!
With WP Engine you can test out all 35 of the StudioPress Themes at no extra cost. (I’m not suggesting you do this but it’s good to know you can).
Including the StudioPress Themes with WP Engine is a deal maker for a new business blogger. Their StartUp plan is $35/month and you get 2 months FREE with annual prepay.
If you’re serious about your business that’s about the cost of 10 cappuccinos at your favourite coffee house. Think of it as renting a shop on the Worldwide High Street for just $35/month.
Unlike other hosting platforms, their StartUp plan gives you access to all benefits such as CDN, terrific server architecture, SSL certificates and on-demand backups at no extra cost. Add all these extras up and you’re getting far more bang for your buck.
You won’t regret it.
- PROS Excellent Support, Super Fast, Secure & Reliable
- PROS FREE Site Migration, FREE SSL, FREE Backups
- PROS FREE StudioPress Themes
- CONS No FREE Domain and Expensive for Beginners
Ready to start your blog?
Hop over to my Set-Up Guides: