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How To Start A Blog In 2024 [Step-By-Step]

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  1. The Basics Of Blogging [Start Here]
    8 Topics
  2. How To Research & Select A Blogging Niche
    3 Topics
  3. How to Come Up With A Blog Name: An Easy, Proven Formula
    8 Topics
  4. Choosing a Tech Stack [The Right Way]
    9 Topics
  5. How To Set Up & Configure Your Blog [Step-By-Step]
    6 Topics
  6. How To Create The Most Important Blog Pages
    2 Topics
  7. How To Create A Professional Brand & Design
    5 Topics
  8. How To Create Blog Content
    6 Topics
  9. How To Publish A Blog Post: Optimization & Going Live
    1 Topic
  10. How To Get Your Blog Noticed [Quickly & Effectively]
    4 Topics
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vector graphic showing an illustration of how to choose a hosting provider

Your blog has two components that make it run: a domain and hosting.

  • Your domain is your blog’s online address (URL), and we covered that in a previous lesson.
  • Your hosting is what stores and organizes your blog’s files, databases and storage.

There are hundreds of options for blog hosting, and many of them are good. You’ll see a lot of bloggers recommend Bluehost because it’s super popular and they have a good affiliate program.

Instead, (as I covered in my previous tech stack roundup) I use WP Engine. It’s a managed WordPress host host that pretty much takes all of the hassle and confusion out of hosting your blog.

I host all of my own websites, projects, and client website on WP Engine because I believe so much in the efficiency, ease of use, and hassle-free experience that it provides.

Again, if you do go with Bluehost, you’ll be totally fine – they’re like the Walmart of website hosting. But if you’re the type that wants more customer support, great service and few technical issues, I’d highly recommend WP Engine.

Types of Hosting Available to Bloggers

When you first start a blog, you’ll likely run into quite a few different types of hosting. It’s important to pick the right one from the start, as it is easy to cause needless headaches by going with the cheapest one, but it’s also possible to overpay by getting one that’s more powerful than you need.

1. Shared Hosting

With shared hosting, your blog lives on the same server as many (tons) other websites. Resources like CPU, memory, and disk space are shared among all the websites on that server.

Shared hosting is the most budget-friendly option, usually around $5-10 per month, and is heavily promoted to beginners by brands like Bluehost, DreamHost, and GoDaddy.

While this is a great option for new bloggers or small blogs with little to just a moderate amount of traffic, it brings many different headaches like slow load times, insecure tech setups, and overall lack of host features that make things easier to build your website with.

Many bloggers promote this to their audience simply because these companies usually pay the biggest affiliate commissions. I’ve used shared hosting and it’s not really worth the headaches it brings.

2. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

VPS hosting divides a server into virtual servers, where each website feels like it’s on its own dedicated server, but it’s actually sharing the server with a few other users. Expect to see the popular shared hosting brands like GoDaddy, DreamHost, and Siteground sell this type of plan.

It’s like a shared hosting plan on steroids, but still at a cost that’s less than a dedicated server. Typically, these types of plans are around $10-20 per month.

A VPS is great for blogs that have outgrown shared hosting, but don’t quite need the power that a dedicated server provides. They offer more resources at what I believe to still be a very budget-friendly price point.

Like shared hosting, however, these plans are usually devoid of helpful features. If you don’t really know what you’re doing with a website, you can get overwhelmed fairly quickly.

3. Dedicated Server Hosting

This type of hosting provides a dedicated server solely for your blog, offering maximum control, configuration possibilities, and resources. Most hosting providers offer dedicated servers, but the most reputable brands include Liquid Web, Rackspace, and InMotion.

Since this is the most powerful type of server, also expect it to be the most expensive. For a very standard configuration lacking most features, expect to pay anywhere from $35-100/mo, but for a more powerful, tuned server, expect it to cost far more.

These are usually reserved for huge websites with high traffic volumes or those requiring specific server customizations that are not possible with shared or VPS hosting.

4. Cloud Hosting

As technology has continually made a push toward the cloud, cloud hosting has become more and more popular. This type of hosting offers scalable resources on a cloud infrastructure, meaning blog can easily handle sudden spikes or changes in traffic by adjusting the resources allocated to it.

Lots of companies offer cloud hosting, but the two most well-known providers are Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. The cost for cloud hosting varies wildly, as it is usually billed based on how many resources are consumed during a time period – usually a month.

I usually only recommend cloud hosting for website owners looking for flexible billing based on resources used rather than a flat monthly fee. Use cases usually include if you’ve built a tool that you’re hosting on your site.

5. Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is hosting that is specifically designed for WordPress sites. This type includes server configurations optimized for WordPress, with added services like automatic updates, expert support, and enhanced security.

WP Engine and Kinsta are the two most well-known hosts in this area, but there are smaller providers like Pressable and Pressidium that offer similar offerings as the big guys.

Managed WordPress hosting is usually billed based on how many sites you’re hosting, and how much traffic those sites get. For example, WP Engine (my favorite host) offers a base-level plan for $20/mo that includes one website that can get 25,000 visits per month, and handle 50GB bandwidth/month.

All of the services mentioned above offer entry-level plans around the same price, but the noticeable differences start appearing when traffic numbers jump to around 500,000 users/month. WP Engine’s dedicated servers start around $600, but can easily jump to become much more expensive.

Bloggers who prefer to focus on content creation rather than server management and technicalities usually love this host and are happy to pay a little bit more for it. It saves so much time, especially if you’re new to blogging and don’t fully understand your way around complicated tools like cPanel, SFTP, and more.

Why WP Engine?

Managed WordPress hosting – particularly through WP Engine – is the only type of host that I recommend to anybody running a WordPress site.

It offers superior performance, security, and support, while being specifically tailored to WordPress, meaning that you can sleep at night knowing you’re in good hands.

Here’s why WP Engine stands out:

  • Performance: WP Engine offers server environments specifically optimized for WordPress, ensuring fast loading times even under heavy traffic, which is crucial for SEO and user experience.
  • Security: With daily backups, threat detection, and managed WordPress updates, WP Engine provides a secure environment for bloggers, minimizing the risk of hacks and data loss.
  • Support: Access to expert WordPress support can significantly reduce the technical burden on bloggers, allowing them to focus more on content creation and less on troubleshooting.
  • Scalability: WP Engine’s infrastructure is designed to grow with your blog. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re managing a site with millions of visitors, WP Engine can accommodate your traffic needs.
  • Developer-Friendly Tools: For those who like to tinker or have custom requirements, WP Engine provides staging environments, Git integration, and other developer-friendly features.

Key Takeaway

The type of hosting you choose should align with your blog’s size, traffic, and your own technical expertise.

WP Engine is recommended because it offers a balanced mix of performance, security, and ease of use, specifically for WordPress users. It’s an excellent choice for bloggers who prioritize quality and reliability and are planning to scale their blog over time.