Some quick blog hosting facts
Here’s some facts about blog hosting and this review’s contents:
- Over 2,000,000 people use Bluehost to host their blogs.
- Avoid free hosts and blogging platforms if you want to succeed with your new blog or make money.
- Installing WordPress on Bluehost only takes a few clicks. (Here is a step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog with Bluehost)
- Bluehost is the recommended host by WordPress itself.
- Bluehost is where I started my professional blogging career.
The rest of this review is going to go into detail as to why I still recommend them for new bloggers who want to get set up the right way. It’ll give you everything you need to make a confident choice about where to host your blog.
Disclosure and quick interruption – I started my first blog on Bluehost and have now partnered with them to get you a big discount rate. If you purchase hosting through one of the links on this post I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. They are a great place to start and I’m happy to promote them!
About this blog hosting review
Now I’m sure there are going to be readers who disagree with my praise of Bluehost in favor of their own host, and I am more than happy for them to do that. The reason I am calling Bluehost the “best blog host” in this hosting review is because they have been the best for me.
My goal with this post was not to do a review of all the options out there. My goal was to give new bloggers confidence that they are making a good decision. I hope that after reading this post people might stop the search for a host, sign up with Bluehost and get on with the real important tasks like blogging, social media marketing and building an email list.
Remember, Bluehost is used by over 2,000,000 bloggers and is even recommended by WordPress themselves. Sometimes you just need to know that someone else has already done what you are attempting to do. A little confidence boost can really help people along.
Should you use a free or paid blog hosting setup?
Let’s look at the difference between a free and paid blog hosting setup. Here’s a quick graphic example we made that shows you the basic difference between WordPress.com (the free one) and WordPress.org (the one we’re going to install on Bluehost).
Now let’s dive deeper in to some background information about the debate between a free blog and one that you host yourself.
What is a free hosted blog?
The free hosted blogs are the ones that most people turn to when they want to give blogging a try. The common ones include Blogger, WordPress.com (very different from self-hosted WordPress), Tumblr, Live Journal, etc. You sign up for an account and they give you a blog.
What are the advantages of a free blog host?
These blogs are nice if you are really really early on in your career and you want something that is free and easy to use with minimal chance of mucking it up. Tumblr especially has other advantages like being able to re-blog other people’s posts. Each of these sites does have its own advantages and will work well for some people. However, I have always believed that their limitations far outweigh their benefits.
Why do free blogs fall short?
If you want to grow a blog or a website to make money or grow a business then I believe you need your own domain name and self-hosted blog. The main reasons for this include:
- Very limited control
Most free blogs don’t allow you to tweak the coding which makes up the framework of the site. This might sound a bit daunting for a beginner but one day you will need to get in there and change the code (or pay someone to) in order to add new features and updates.
- You often don’t own it
The biggest drawback for me is that you don’t really own your blog – the provider does. Why would you want to spend years building up an asset that you don’t fully own or control? That is a deal breaker for me, especially if you can’t migrate your content to move it elsewhere.
- Not as good for Google rankings
It is well known that Google doesn’t give as much weight to free blogs on their search results. Why? Because they don’t rate them as being as authoritative. By hosting your own blog with your own domain name you are signalling to Google that you mean business.
- Limited design options
On a self-hosted blog you can upload your own themes, hire designers, etc. You can tweak the layout and change the total look and feel. With a free blog you often can’t. You are normally stuck with whatever the free blog host offers which means that your blog will look like a lot of others.
- Bad for branding
Something a lot of people don’t realize is how important it is to have your own domain name. Now, you can do this on some of the free hosts now but it is mostly the area of self-hosted blogs. This is very important for building up your brand over the years.
That being said, there are a lot of bloggers out there who love their free host. And while I don’t think they are the optimal solution, I do admit that they’re fine for some uses.
Are there any disadvantages to a self-hosting?
The main disadvantage is that you have a little bit of a steeper learning curve because you have to install the blog yourself. This only take a few clicks nowadays, but managing your own self-hosted blog is a little bit more robust that opting for a free option. Here are some common FAQs about self-hosting a blog that might help you out.
What are the costs of a self-hosted blog?
The beauty of this is that it is really, really cheap to host your own blog. All you need is a domain name and a hosting package from Bluehost for $2.75 a month. This is a special discounted rate Bluehost has given Blog Tyrant readers. There are some added extras that you can include if you like, but the basic annual cost is very affordable.
My blog hosting recommendation for all new bloggers
A lot of new bloggers ask me about the best place to host a blog. The video up the top is an overview of the three elements you need to start a blogproperly but it essentially it works like this:
Sign up at Bluehost > Get a domain name > Install WordPress > Start blogging
So why choose WordPress as our blogging software?
- It’s the most popular
WordPress is used by more bloggers that any other platform – millions of them. You know that it is good.
- It’s open source
This means that thousands of coders around the world are constantly improving WordPress for free. You get new features and security upgrades several times a year.
- It’s damn easy
I set people up on Bluehost all the time and they pick it up right away. It’s no more difficult than sending an email.
- Beautiful templates and thousands of free plugins
The main advantage of WordPress is the tens of thousands of beautiful templates and free plugins available. If you want your blog to do something new just find the right plugin and away you go.
Remember, we are talking about WordPress.org here. Not WordPress.com. The latter is a free blog that you don’t own while the former is free software that you install on your own host like Bluehost. That’s what you want.
Why Bluehost is the best host for your WordPress blog
I have personally used Bluehost for close to a decade to host dozens of blogs and websites and online projects.
My experience with them over the years has been such that I feel very comfortable openly promoting them on Blog Tyrant which is something that I very rarely do. I am not afraid to disclose my partnership with them – I earn a commission whenever someone signs up through my link but I also get you a large discounted rate.
Note: Blog Tyrant is now hosted on a more advanced server set up and is thus no longer with Bluehost. This doesn’t at all take away from my recommendation of them as a great host for new/intermediate bloggers as the set up I’m currently on is far too complicated and unnecessary for new sites.