Note: Post updated on June 26th, 2015.
The first step to setting up a professional looking blog is to:
- Register a domain; and,
- Host it on a web host.
I will discuss these two elements and give specific recommendations in this page.
Domain Name: How to get one?
A domain is the name of your website or blog. A domain name is not something physical that you can touch or see; it is just a string of characters that give your blog an identity.
For examples, WebHostingSecretRevealed.net is a domain name. So are Google.com and Yahoo.co.uk.
To have your own domain, you will need to register your domain with a domain registrar.
Where to register a domain?
Web Hosting: Where to host your blog?
For newbies, I always recommend to start with a low-cost shared hosting. Below are the specific web hosting services I recommend if you are just starting out.
Why start your blog at iPage?
- Affordable ($2.25/mo after discount) – WHSR’s #1 Budget Hosting Pick.
- Host unlimited blogs in one account.
- Reliable – our record shows that iPage uptime is constantly above 99.9%.
- For more info, read my iPage review here.
Get Started (Promo Link)
Why start your blog at InMotion Hosting?
- Premium hosting – in most time InMotion is hitting 100% uptime.
- Special discounts (only at WHSR) – save 55% on your first bill.
- FYI, this site is hosted on InMotion Hosting.
- Learn more at InMotion review here.
Get Started (Promo Link)
Secured hosting – innovative solutions to WordPress security issues. Important to know – SiteGround renewal price starts at $14.95/mo, which is 2X higher than current signup price.
Learn more at SiteGround Hosting review here.
Pinnacle – Pressidium custom-built WordPress platform, loads WP site faster + automated backup. Important to know – Pressidium is extremely new (established 2014).
Read Pressidium review here.
“Jerry, Just Tell Us Who Is The Best Blog Hosting!”
Truth is, there is no such thing as the “Best Blog Hosting”.
One of the most popular questions I receive from new bloggers is which hosting option is best; my answer to this question is consistently (and always will be), “It depends.”
As with anything in life, there is no one size fits all solution – every blog is different and each organization has its own unique sets of needs and preferences. Not to go to apple and oranges references, but it’s like a fruit basket – if you ask which one is best, you’re likely to get weird looks (one, because you’re asking about the quality of fruit baskets and, two, because it’s so largely based on opinion and need).
Best WordPress Hosting, according to WordPress
Thankfully, there is no shortage of options out there through external sites to host your WordPress blogs. WordPress itself offers hosting recommendations, including BlueHost, Dream Host, and Laughing Squid.
According to WordPress, these hosting providers are:
…in our opinion, the hosts below represent some of the best and brightest of the hosting world.
But are these hosting providers “the” best WordPress hosting for real? We will see.
BlueHost promises several great benefits, such as unlimited disk storage and monthly data transfers and to make WordPress updates within 24 hours of rollout. On paper, it looks great. However, they are known for CPU throttling and are typically not suitable for WordPress sites with lots of traffic.
This one offers a two-week free trial, which sounds great – but keep in mind that if you choose not to continue after your trial, you better have another option already lined up so that you don’t break service. They do offer unlimited disk space,
however, do not offer any live chat support. (Correction: DreamHost does offer live chat support from user dashboard. Credit to Erik Soper for pointing out my mistake.)
This provider can be a good option if you are well versed in code, open source, and programming. Many things need to be done manually, including the initial WordPress installation – definitely not the best WordPress hosting for non-techy or beginners.
One man’s meat is another man’s poison
So these are out there, but the question remains – are they the best hosting options for blog?
That is really up to you to determine as, in truth, there is (again) no such thing as best WordPress hosting.
The best hosting option for your site depends on your need – perhaps you’re on a shoestring budget or need integrated email hosting. The best hosting for your WordPress site really depends on your needs – and only you know what that means for your site and business.
What about free blogging platforms like Blogger.com?
Free hosting platform is a a great place to start your blog if all you care about blogging are writing your thoughts and sharing ideas. Listed below are three platforms that I recommend.
Free platforms NOT recommended if your wish to monetize your blog
Note that, however, I do not recommend running your blog if you wish to make money (or use it to expand your business) in later stage. There are way too many limitations and disadvantages on a free platform. For instances, Blogger.com disallow its users to post non-Google ads. WordPress.com, on the other hand, does not allow image ads and imposes various limitations on sponsored posts and affiliate marketing.
Owned by Google, Blogger.com is a very popular and free blogging service. The reason why Blogger is very popular is because it is easy to use and the set-up is almost instant. In less than 15 minutes, you can go from blog-less to publishing your first blog post. Blogger supports drag-and-drop template editing, dynamic updating, geo-tagging for location based blogging and you can also publish easily thanks to editing tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Word and Windows Live Writer. The free blogging platform also supports up to 100 users, so you can expand easily once you grow your blog.
With Tumblr, you will see an interesting combination between a blog and a Twitter feed. Also known as micro blogging, this different style of blogging is focused on shorter and more frequent posts than on a conventional blog. This style of blogging appeals to a lot of people who are on the go and like to get short updates. This entire set up and style of blog makes it a less time consuming blog to manage. Check out the About Us section of Tumblr and you will see what makes micro blogging an interesting alternative.
WordPress is an open source blogging platform where you can either set up a blog on your own server for free or create a WodPress-hosted blog at WordPress.com. You can get a huge range of themes, plug-ins and gadgets of all the possible stripes thanks to the humongous number of followers and developers. Once you are set up, you will have an almost infinite number of options, configurations and plug-ins to choose from.
Learn More and Important Disclaimers
Please note that all hosting recommendations are based on my personal preferences and test results.
Also, it is my duty to inform you that outgoing links on this page are mostly affiliate links. This means if you purchase via the links above, I will be credited as your referrer and get paid. This is how I keep this site alive for more than 7 years and add more free hosting reviews based on real test account – your support is highly appreciated.
Buying via my link doesn’t cost you more – instead in most cases (like InMotion Hosting for example), I can guarantee that you’ll get the lowest possible price (hence, save you money). You can learn more about my hosting review policy and the special affiliate deal here.