What is blog hosting?
Blogging can be an easy profession to break into, but you have to know what you are doing and how you are doing it.
Hosting a blog and self-hosting a website requires research. But before the research, you need to understand what blog/blogger hosting is.
A blog host is a company or individual that provide a blog platform to store your blogs – making them accessible to anyone online. The blogging or self-hosted blogging platforms are free (but limited).
What to Look for in a Blog Hosting platform?
Features to consider are:
- A low-cost or free domain name;
- Efficient and effective customer support;
- If you need to build your site, then you need to ensure the platform offers a free site builder software;
- A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate – this is an encrypted link between the web server and web browser (a security protocol);
It’s also imperative that the site has adequate storage space for your files and email accounts. You may not need unlimited space (as blogs are not very big files) – but better safe than sorry!
As aforementioned, there is research that you need to do before you set up your website. Choosing a platform’s free or ‘basic’ plan may be limiting if you want to make your blog platform your primary source of income. You may not be able to remove ads, add plug-ins, custom design your website to fit your ‘aesthetic’ (if you have one). Free blog hosting platforms do not offer script installation or database configuration either.
If you want to create and curate your site/platform to be your primary source of income and your portfolio, especially for ‘influencers’, then paying for a website would be a good investment for your career.
By paying for your account, you will have your domain, more options to customize your blog to fit and appeal to your target audience/market! If you want to run ads on your site, you will be the one who keeps the income generated. On a paid site/plan you will get access to the insight feature.
The insight feature allows you to get a better understanding of your audience and their engagement with your posts.
If you are not looking to make your blog your main source of income, then you should opt for a self-hosting platform like WordPress.com or even Medium. Some bloggers want to create the blog for fun, personal reasons or to have the intended audience be family and friends
Blog Hosting websites to consider
Whether free or paid, it is imperative to choose a ‘good’ website for a starting point (in your blogging career).
Here are a few websites to consider:
- Constant Contact Website Builder
You should choose a company’s basic plan in case you change your mind about the website. If you do not change your mind about the plan then you can, always, upgrade the package at a later date.
What are the steps I have to follow with blog hosting?
1. You must first get a Domain Name:
Some sites allow you to get a free domain name, NameCheap, being one such site. You can also purchase a blogging platform for a year (or more depending on the site’s terms and your required services).
2. Next, you must get a Web Hosting platform/plan:
HostGator offers beginner packages from 3.95 US dollars a month. After you purchase a web hosting platform/plan you will receive an email with your Domain Name Servers (DNS). The purpose of the DNS is to connect your domain name to your web hosting platform.
Although it may seem complicated when broken down, blog hosting can be an easy industry to ‘break into and understand. So, if you are asking yourself whether or not you should start self-hosting the answer