There are more than five billion Internet users worldwide. Whether you are selling a product, championing a cause, or just sharing your thoughts with the world, this vast audience holds tremendous potential.
Blogging can be a powerful tool for tapping into this vast audience, generating visitor traffic, building an engaged following, establishing subject matter authority, and cultivating symbiotic partnerships. For your blogging efforts to be successful though, they must have a solid foundation. One of the most important blogging decisions is determining the method you use to make the blog available online and at the core of that is your choice of hosting.
Different ways you can make your blog available
There are four main ways you can make your blog available to the online audience – blogging platforms, website builders, private third-party websites, or your own domain. We take a brief look at the first three and then proceed to get into the details of the fourth option, which is what this article will cover.
A blogging platform is a free or paid broadcast-like web application that allows users to create, publish and manage blog content ranging from opinions and reviews to analysis and articles.
Examples: Blogger, Medium, LinkedIn, WordPress.com.
A website builder can be used to create various types of websites, including e-commerce stores, business portals, and yes, blogs too.
Examples: Squarespace, Wix, Web.com, Weebly.
You can blog on a private website as a guest contributor. This is often referred to as guest posting or guest blogging. Many websites have a blog section, and quite a few of them do accept guest posts. There’s, however, intense competition for guest posting slots on the more popular websites.
Examples: BusinessInsider.com, Forbes.com, INC.com, HuffPost.com
What do I actually need for my blog?
Before we get into the fourth method (your own domain), what do you actually need for your blog overall? The more detailed your plan is before setting up and publishing your blog, the greater your chances of success. Irrespective of the method you choose to make your blog available, you will need to do the following.
Why having your own domain and hosting is best?
While blogging platforms, website builders, and private third-party websites have their advantages, the best choice is to blog on your own domain. Here are some of the main reasons why:
7 Best options for hosting a blog
Blogs are a relatively simple class of websites when compared to more sophisticated categories such as e-commerce stores and corporate portals. Nearly any entry-level web hosting plan can be used to run a small starter blog. That said, web hosts are not created equal. A select few stand out in the quality and performance available from their blog hosting plans. Here’s a look at the seven companies that we evaluated and rated as most ideal for hosting a blog.
|Visit InMotion Hosting|
Bluehost is one the better-known brands in the web hosting space, and we ranked it the best blog hosting provider. The company stands out for offering unmetered bandwidth as well as having one of the industry’s highest measured average uptimes.
All hosting plans include unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, free domain registration (first year), and free access to Cloudflare CDN. The entry-level plan comes with 10 GB SSD storage, one website, and 20 databases.
Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customers have access to 24/7 support through phone and live chat.
A veteran in the hosting industry, HostGator is ranked second for not just providing unmetered bandwidth and unmetered storage for all plans but also free digital advertising credits. The credits can be helpful in lifting your blog’s visibility and can really help people who are just starting out.
All plans include unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage, free SSL certificates, free domain registration (first year), free access to Cloudflare CDN, free domain/website transfer, free digital advertising credits, and regular courtesy backups. The entry-level plan is limited to one website.
HostGator has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customers have access to 24/7 support via live chat, social media, and phone.
There’s probably no other name that has become as synonymous with the hosting industry as GoDaddy. As the world’s largest domain registrar, GoDaddy’s outsized reputation is just part of the reason we have ranked the company third. It stands out for the unmetered bandwidth and the use of ultra-fast NVMe SSD server storage.
All plans include unmetered bandwidth, automatic daily backups, free domain registration (first year), and free SSL certificates. Its entry-level plan comes with 25 GB NVMe SSD storage, one website, and ten databases.
GoDaddy has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customers have access to 24/7 support via phone.
DreamHost takes fourth place for its unmetered bandwidth, free domain privacy, 100 percent uptime commitment, an industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee, and extensive knowledge base. The company’s overarching mission and vision are to give customers control and true ownership over their online presence.
All plans include unmetered bandwidth, automated daily backups, pre-installed WordPress, free WordPress migration, free SSL certificate, and free domain privacy. The entry-level plan comes with one website, 50 GB SSD storage, and six databases.
DreamHost plans are covered by a 97-day money-back guarantee. Customers have access to 24/7 support via live chat, help desk tickets, and an extensive knowledge base.
5. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting ranks fifth best for its cutting-edge infrastructure, unmetered bandwidth, free digital advertising credits, and its bold 90-day money-back guarantee.
All plans include unmetered bandwidth, automatic backups, free SSL certificates, and the proprietary UltraStack server configuration. The entry-level plan comes with 100 GB SSD storage, 2 websites, 10 email addresses, and 40 databases.
InMotion Hosting has a 90-day money-back guarantee. Customers get 24/7 support via live chat, help desk tickets, and phone.
SiteGround is the sixth best for providing unmetered bandwidth, eco-friendly hosting, and exceptional customer service. Its infrastructure runs on Google Cloud for industry-leading performance.
All SiteGround blog hosting plans include unmetered bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, unlimited databases, free SSL certificates, free access to Cloudflare CDN, automated daily backups, and an in-house caching service. Its entry-level plan comes with 10 GB SSD storage space and one website.
SiteGround has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customers have access to 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and help desk tickets.
GreenGeeks rounds up our best seven for offering unmetered bandwidth, built-in caching, and the liberty to choose the GreenGeeks data center location you want your blog hosted. The company's best-of-breed hardware, software, and network infrastructure delivers scalable, fast, and eco-friendly blog hosting.
All GreenGeeks blog hosting plans include unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate, free domain registration (first year), managed WordPress, automated nightly backups, free access to Cloudflare CDN, built-in caching, and unlimited databases. The entry-level plan comes with 50 GB SSD storage space, 50 email accounts, and one website.
GreenGeeks has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customers have access to 24/7 support via live chat, phone, email, and help desk tickets.
How to figure out what you need from your hosting provider
Aside from the general hosting capabilities of a web hosting provider, you need to drill down further and find out how well your preferred web host can position your blog for success. Pay attention to the following six factors:
The question of monetization
Not all blogs are monetized. Actually, the majority of them aren’t. If you want to monetize your blog, however, your web host’s ability to facilitate this becomes a major consideration.
Ease of use
If you are just starting out on blogging, chances are you want to keep things as simple as possible. You likely do not have a budget to hire a third-party person to update and maintain your blog. So ease of use is key.
Flexibility and customization
It’s unlikely that your blog idea is completely fleshed out from the get-go. For that reason, you need the freedom to change direction as you deem fit. A good hosting provider gives you the flexibility to continuously customize and make changes as and when required.
You start a blog hoping for growth in visitor traffic. Though an exponential surge in visitors is the exception, it's vital that you work with a hosting provider that can accommodate both gradual and rapid growth in traffic. Ideally, settle on a web host that either offers unmetered bandwidth but make sure to read the fine print.
Measuring your blog’s performance is essential. Virtually every web host will provide some means of tracking your blog’s performance. The more relevant and diverse the metrics, the better. These statistics would provide useful insights into what blogging strategies are working, which ones aren’t, and what areas you can make improvements on
Hosting perks are all the extra products and services a web host provides to make your blog and blogging experience better. These extras vary from host to host. Examples of blog hosting perks include free SSL certificates, digital advertising credits, free email addresses, free databases, caching services, access to a CDN, and 24/7 support.
Building a blog can feel daunting, especially if you have not done it before. Yet, it is well worth the effort. A successful blog can be a means to connect to an interested audience, a platform to grow subject matter authority, an avenue for building symbiotic partnerships, and even a source of income.
You have a better shot at achieving these goals when you choose the right blog hosting provider. The seven web hosts we have highlighted have proven significantly more adept than their peers in consistently delivering top-quality blog hosting.