If you are new to blogging there are various free platforms that you should explore. If you have tried popular free blogging platforms like Tumblr, Weebly, or wordpress.com for some time, sooner or later you will realize that you should switch to self-hosting platforms to unlock more opportunities.
In this article, I will try to help my fellow new bloggers who have recently joined the blogging community and looking forward to sharing some knowledge and earn some money too from it.
Hosted platforms like wordpress.com, Weebly & Tumblr do provide great opportunities but they are limited in many ways. You don’t have complete control over certain aspects plus earning is almost impossible. That’s why it is best to switch to self-hosted platforms where you can manage each and every aspect of your blog and make use of various earning opportunities.
Hosted vs Self Hosted Blogging Platforms
Hosted Blog is a one-stop solution. You get a second-level Domain from the host company (example – 32packets.wordpress.com or 32packets.weebly.com). The name of your blog plus files is managed by the same company. Although it is a very simple and easy blogging option, it is also restrictive. You are totally dependent on the parent company. The company has complete control over your blog’s content, earning opportunities, etc.
If at some point that company feels you have violated their terms of service, your blog will get deleted without prior notice and all of your hard work is taken from you just like that. The sad thing is that you can’t do anything at that point. That’s why it is always better to have control over things.
Self Hosted Blog
Self Hosted blogging gives you complete control. You are free to do things on your own. First of all, you need to buy a domain name (the name for your blog). This will be a unique, first-level name totally independent of any other company, totally opposite to the hosted blogging case.
Once you have the domain name finalized, you need to get some space for your blog. This space will be used to keep your blog’s files. Technically, it is known as hosting. So, in order to keep all the files related to your blog, you need to get hosting too.
Once you have domain & hosting, the next important thing to do is installing software for your blog. This software is technically known as CMS (Content Management System). It will be the front end of your website. There are lots of free CMS available in the market but till now the clear winner is “WordPress”. wordpress.org is the most popular CMS to date and if you need security, simplicity, and flexibility, you must continue with it.
Buying your First Domain name
The word “Domain” is a technical word for the name of your blog. A domain is in the format ABC.(extension) where ABC is blog name of your choice and extension could be .com , .net , .co , .org etc. Currently, there are hundreds of extensions to choose from. The global & most popular extension is .com
To buy the domain name of your choice, you must visit a Domain Registrar’s website. There you will see a search box from where you search and find if the domain name of your choice is available or not. If it is available, you can buy it by simply creating your account and making the payment online.
Most Popular Domain Registrars
Considering that you are a new blogger, it is advised that you start with the cheapest and best hosting solution. As a new blogger, your blog will not require high resources immediately so it is best practice to spend less money on hosting initially. With time your blog will grow and require more resources, then you can upgrade your existing hosting package.
What a new blogger should Look for while Buying Hosting :
In order to choose the best web hosting for newbie bloggers in 2021, we compared 3 companies. We focused on three points – Pricing, Customer Support, Uptime.
Here are our findings:
Hostinger Hosting >> Hostinger has gained the trust of people due to its quality customer service and very reasonable pricing. Also, the uptime is very high. That’s why Hosting Web Hosting is our #1 Choice
Hostinger offers specialized WordPress hosting solutions at a very reasonable price. There are multiple packages you can choose from depending on your requirements. The package for a single starter blog starts from $1.99 per month. Other packages range from $2.99 to $11.59 per month. The $11.59 per month plan is called WordPress pro and can handle a high traffic WordPress blog with 300 WordPress installations.
Godaddy.com >> Godaddy.com doesn’t need any intro. This is a very popular company with an extensive list of services. There are multiple hosting plans available that are suitable for new bloggers. Pricing & Uptime are great but the company needs to work on Customer support.
Bluehost >> Bluehost is another big player in this industry. Although the customer service is good and prices are great, users do get performance-related issues sometimes.
There are various other options available but we don’t want you to get confused and waste your money. Once you establish your blog and get a decent number of visitors, I will share a detailed guide on the Best WordPress hosting for High Traffic websites. So, it is highly recommended that you choose any one of the above three hosting solutions for a start.
Once you have purchased the domain and hosting, then in order to start your blog, you need to configure some settings.
If your Domain Name Company & Hosting Company are the same then there are fewer settings for you to do. If they are different, then you need to devote some extra time.
Case 1 : When your Domain Name Registrar & Hosting Company are Same
In this case, just log in to your account, select the domain name and go ahead with the installation of CMS (WordPress). It will hardly take more than 5 minutes. Once WordPress is installed, you can log in to your blog and start your awesome blogging journey with complete control.
Case 2 : When your Domain Name Registrar & Hosting Company are Different
When Domain Name company & Hosting companies are different, you need to point your domain to your hosting. In simple words, you need to tell your domain company that your domain name should navigate to your hosting address.
For this, you need to Login into your Domain Registrar account & Go to “DNS Settings”
In the DNS Settings section, you can do one of these two things :
Either Change the nameservers
Add A Record
How to Change/Add Nameservers in your Domain Account ?
Once you buy a domain from any company be it Godaddy, Hostinger, or any other, you usually get an email containing the details of the nameservers. You need to keep those nameservers a safe place. Then, log in to your domain account, go to DNS Settings. There you will see the “Nameservers” option. Click on Change or ADD and then add the received nameservers in the space provided. Then finally update and save them.
Wait for 15-20 minutes for changes to occur.
How to Add “A Record” in your Domain Account?
In some cases, rather than nameservers, IP Address is provided to the domain buyer. In such a case, you need to go to DNS Settings and click on Add A Record. Then you will be asked to provide a name or alias & then an IP address. The name will be your domain name or “@” symbol then enter the received IP address in the IP section and save, Wait for 15-20 minutes for changes to occur.
After setting up nameservers or A Record and waiting for few minutes for changes to take place, you are ready to install CMS which would be WordPress in this case. To install WordPress, Login to your hosting account and look for the “WordPress” option. Click on install to start the installation process. Once installed, you will get your username and password and start using your Blog.
I hope you now understand the complete process of setting up your new blog on the Cheapest yet best Hosting platform. Feel Free to ask questions below.
Related Questions and Answers
Self hosted platforms like weebly.com, tumblr.com etc. offer free hosting what they do have some restrictions. The name of blog will be a second level URL plus monetization is very difficult. That’s why it is recommended to buy hosting and start a hosted blog.
Considering you are a beginner, it is advised that you start with Shared hosting plans or smallest wordpress hosting plan. With time, if there is good response, you have the option to upgrade the hosting.
This is not the case. Top companies like Hostinger, godaddy etc. offer cheap hosting plans for beginners and they deliver excellent services.
Yes, it is usually recommended to purchase both of these from same company under same account. This saves a lot of time and makes things easy for newbies.