D o I need a host for my blog? If you’re wondering about the answer to that question, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll explain why you need web hosting for your WordPress blog and share expert tips to help you choose the best option.
When beginners are creating a WordPress blog for the first time, they often ask us whether they need web hosting or not.
The short answer is yes. If you want to create a blog, you need web hosting.
We also get asked if there are any free web hosting services available. While there are free blog hosting sites you can use, they aren’t the best choice if you want to start a professional, profitable blog. Instead, we recommend creating a self-hosted blog with a paid hosting company like Bluehost.
To find out why, keep reading. We’ll go into more detail about why you need web hosting, how a self-hosted WordPress blog can set you up for success, and much more.
Question 1: Can You Start a Blog Without Web Hosting?
As we briefly mentioned earlier, if you want to create a blog, you need web hosting. So, no, you cannot start a blog without web hosting.
You can build a blog on your computer without a hosting service. In that case, all of your website files would be stored on your computer and nobody would be able to see your website except for you.
But to get your blog online, you need web hosting servers to store your website files in a space on the internet. That way, everyone on the internet will be able to see them.
A web hosting service is what allows people to type your domain name, like www.BlogTyrant.com, into the address bar of their browser and instantly view your blog.
So, web hosting is essential if you want people from all over the world to be able to visit your website and read your blog posts.
Question 2: Is There a Free Hosting Service?
While there are blog sites that will host your blog for free, like Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, or WordPress.com, we don’t recommend using them because there are a lot of limitations.
For example, with free blog hosts, you won’t get a custom domain name like www.MyBlog.com. Instead, you’ll have to stick with a domain name like www.Tumblr.com/myblog, which isn’t as professional.
You’ll also have limited customization options so you won’t be able to design your blog exactly the way you want to.
Plus, free blog hosts don’t allow you to monetize your blog. That means you won’t be able to make any money from the content you work so hard on.
Question 3: What Blog Hosting Setup Do You Recommend?
For anyone who wants to take their blogging seriously and maybe one day treat it like a business, we recommend getting your own domain name and installing WordPress.org on a paid hosting account with a company like Bluehost. This is known as a self-hosted blog.
This combination is very robust, flexible, and powerful while still being so simple that almost anyone of any experience-level can set it up in a matter of minutes.
Important: Be careful not to confuse the free blog host WordPress.com with WordPress.org. WordPress.org is also free but you can only use it on a paid, self-hosted server. And unlike WordPress.com, WordPress.org comes with tons of customization options, you can monetize your blog in any way you want, and you have full ownership of your website.
Here’s a quick overview comparing WordPress.com to WordPress.org:
We’ll explain more about creating a self-hosted blog in the next section…
Question 4: What is a Self-Hosted Blog?
Simply put, a self-hosted blog is when you pay a web hosting company, like Bluehost, to host your WordPress.org blog on the internet.
Blogs are hosted on servers which contain all of your files, databases, images, etc. These servers are literally just PC towers that are housed in big, cold warehouses somewhere usually in the USA.
When someone types in your domain name, your server gets called up and shows them your blog with all it’s text, design, etc.
Many web hosting providers specialize in shared servers which means you share those towers with other bloggers. There are also options like VPS (Virtual Private Server) which is like the next step up in terms of speed, server access, and resource allocation.
This all might seem too complicated, but it’s actually not. All you have to do is sign up with a hosting company like Bluehost, choose a domain name, and install WordPress.org.
You can have a self-hosted blog set up in just a few clicks. Follow this tutorial for step by step instructions.
Question 5: Why Do You Recommend WordPress?
WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform. When you install WordPress on your hosting provider, you are installing a very powerful engine that allows you to do nearly anything you want with your blog or website.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of free WordPress themes, and an equal number of plugins that change the look, feel and function of your blog in seconds. With WordPress, you can easily start an eCommerce site, blog, website, photo gallery, membership site, or a combination of all of them with a few plugins! You can keep your blog very simple or choose to delve into the back-end code and change it as much as you wish.
WordPress is a very simple platform to use but is still the choice of the some of the biggest websites in the world. It is regularly evolving and the team of developers are constantly adding new features and security updates.
Question 6: Why Do You Recommend Bluehost to New Bloggers?
Bluehost is one of the most popular blog hosting services on the market, used by over 2 million websites worldwide. It’s also officially recommended by WordPress.org themselves as the top WordPress provider.
Creating a blog or website with Bluehost is super simple. And if you ever get stuck, Bluehost offers fantastic 24/7 customer support.
They have 99.99% uptime, lightning-fast loading speeds, and free website migration if you’re switching from another web hosting company.
Plus, Bluehost is cost-effective, allowing you to get started for as little as $2.75 per month.
You can learn more about Bluehost in our review of the best blog hosting services.
Question 7: What is the Bare Minimum I Need to Start a Self-Hosted Blog?
The absolute bare minimum is a domain name (also called a URL or web address), a server (web host), and a blogging platform like WordPress.
If, however, you want to take your blogging to the next level you’ll also want to get some WordPress plugins to add extra features and functionality to your site.
Here are a few of our recommendations:
- WPForms – The best drag and drop form builder to create contact forms, newsletter signup forms, surveys, registration forms, and more.
- MonsterInsights – The most popular Google Analytics plugin to track your website traffic and activity right from your WordPress dashboard.
- OptinMonster – Easily convert website visitors into email subscribers and customers using OptinMonster’s drag and drop popup campaign builder.
- SeedProd – The best drag and drop website builder for creating custom WordPress themes, page layouts, and high-converting landing pages, no coding required.
- Easy Digital Downloads – Monetize your blog by selling ebooks, templates, PDF files, and much more using the best digital eCommerce plugin.
You can find more recommendations in our list of the best WordPress plugins for bloggers.
Question 8: How Much Does Bluehost Cost?
Bluehost is currently offering Blog Tyrant readers a special discount rate of 60% off of blog hosting. That means you can get Bluehost web hosting for just $2.75 per month rather than $9.99 per month for your first year.
Plus, it comes with a free domain name, free SSL certificate, 1-click WordPress installation, and more.
Simply click the link below to claim this discount:
Exclusive offer for BlogTyrant readers
We have partnered up with Bluehost to get 60% off for our readers! You also get to register a FREE domain for a year which normally costs around $14.99 per year.Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer
There are also some additional addons like privacy protection which you can choose to purchase or ignore.
If you purchase for 12 or 36 months you get different levels of discount. The 36-month account plan will give you the best value. You can get all the details on their site by talking to a sales representative to make sure it’s exactly what you need.
Question 9: How Long Does it Take to Set up a WordPress Blog?
You can follow our step-by-step guide on installing WordPress, and the whole process will take you around 5-10 minutes. Once you have purchased your web hosting package, it literally only takes a few clicks to install WordPress.
After that, you’re ready to write your first blog post, add images, change the design, and more.
Check out our launching a blog checklist so you don’t miss any steps in the blog setup process.
Question 10: Will Self-Hosting Be Too Complicated For Me?
We have seen people from all over the world of different ages and experience levels start a self-hosted blog. There are even a few bloggers in the 75+ age range who email us and are successfully blogging!
Generally speaking, we say that if you can navigate your way around Google, send emails, and have opened your own Facebook account, then you have more than enough experience to start a WordPress blog.
If you can’t do that without feeling overwhelmed, it might be better to get a free blog and build up your confidence.
These days self-hosted WordPress blogs require zero coding knowledge, but it can still be a bit overwhelming if the internet is new to you.
If you’re having trouble though, you can always read one of the many resources or tutorials that are available on the web, including the ones on Blog Tyrant. You can also check out this guide on how to learn WordPress for free in a week.
Question 11: What Do I Do If I Don’t Want to Pay for Anything?
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do. We understand that money is tight for many people, but starting a blog is much like starting a business – it is an investment in your future. If you don’t want to pay for anything at all, then starting a business might not be for you.
If, however, you want to start a blog as a fun hobby and you’re on a budget, then perhaps consider starting a WordPress.com blog and building up a content base and experience. Then, you can migrate your WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog when you have the money.
Question 12: I Already Have a Blog and Want to Migrate, What Do I Do?
If you already have a blog and want to migrate it to a self-hosting environment, then you’ll need to be a bit careful.
The safest thing to do is talk to the support staff at your destination host and ask for advice for your particular situation. Most companies will offer a migration service for either a small fee or for free.
The main thing to consider is that your permalink structure is likely to change. For example, if you have a post called www.yourblog.blogspot.com/hello/ and you migrate it to your own domain name, it will then be something like wwww.yourblog.com/hello/, which means that people who visit the old link will see an error.
To prevent this from happening, you can easily set up a full site redirect with a plugin like All in One SEO. Its powerful redirection manager allows you to redirect users to a new domain without losing your SEO rankings.
See this tutorial on how to do a full site redirect in WordPress for step-by-step instructions.
All in One SEO also has powerful features like TruSEO on-page analysis, smart XML sitemaps, rich snippets schema, an automatic link assistant, and much more. Read our All in One SEO review for more details.
Question 13: Is the Self-Hosted WordPress Setup Secure?
Despite what some people say, WordPress is pretty secure by default. And as a hosting company, Bluehost regularly updates servers and is remarkably quick at emailing customers if there is an obvious security threat.
That being said, everything on the web is open to abuse. Even big websites run by top companies or politicians have problems occasionally.
Luckily, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of ways to secure your WordPress website.
You can start by using a complicated username and password (something like AJSADONON##*@*!110811). To help you come up with a strong password, you can use our free password generator tool.
You can also install anti-virus protection on your computer, add some WordPress security plugins, as well as follow these basic tips for improving WordPress security. Remember, always make sure you keep your WordPress software and plugins up-to-date. It only takes one click!
Question 14: Can I Have My Own Self-Hosted Email Address?
If you want an email address like email@example.com, which looks professional and helps you build trust with your audience, it’s super easy with Bluehost. Plus, Bluehost will give you a professional email address for free when you sign up for web hosting.
Simply log into your hosting account dashboard and click on the Advanced tab. Then, click on Email Accounts under the Email section.
From there, you can choose a username and password to create your first professional email address.
For step-by-step instructions, follow our guide on how to create a professional email address for your blog.
Question 15: I Want to Start a Self-Hosted Blog, What Should I Blog About?
It’s important to decide what your blog will be about before you create it. After all, there is no point paying for hosting and spending all that time getting set up if you don’t like writing the articles and you’re not going to stick with it.
At Blog Tyrant, we have a few guides that will help you choose a blogging niche and come up with blog ideas that you and your audience will love. Check them out below:
- 89 Blog Niche Ideas (+ How to Choose the Right One)
- 10 Types of Blogs That Make Money (with Examples)
- 19 Different Types of Blog Posts That Work for Any Niche
Question 16: If I Want to Start a Second Blog, Do I Need a New Hosting Account?
Most of the plans you can buy with decent web hosting companies allow you to host an “unlimited” amount of websites.
Of course, that definition has limits because, over time, the amount of storage space you use will begin to slow things down. But for the most part, you are free to add new websites within your existing hosting account.
If you’re using Bluehost, you can go to Domains » Purchase Domain from your hosting account dashboard. Once you purchase a second domain by following the prompts, simply install WordPress again on the new website.
That’s a wrap! We hope this article answered all of your questions about web hosting and why you need it for your blog.
If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out our ultimate guide of 101 blogging tips for beginners.
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