What is the best blog hosting for beginners? I see this question in many lifestyle Facebook groups. The other common question is: “How do I choose the best hosting provider for a self-hosted blog?”
If you’re asking yourself these questions, rest assured, you’re not alone. Many who are planning to start a blog are in the same situation as you.
You’ve heard that going self-hosted with WordPress is the way to go. It may seem confusing, but it’s a rite of passage any serious blogger will undertake.
I made the mistake of starting a blog with a free platform – Blogger – for a few years. Once I started a self-hosted blog, so many options opened up for me!
So, what are the best options for self-hosting your blog in 2024?
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.
Bookmark this post on Pinterest for future reference.
Getting Started With A Self-Hosted Blog
There are hundreds of hosting options out there. You may have heard of some of them in Facebook groups.
In this post, I’ll share tips on choosing a hosting provider that’s right for you and your blog goals.
Blogging with a self-hosted WordPress blog requires a financial investment. Making a choice that you don’t regret in a few months’ time is important.
I’ll share with you four hosting options that I have experience with that are great for new bloggers.
So grab a cup of coffee, a notepad and a pen, and let’s get to choosing the right hosting provider for you!
The Basics: WordPress.com VS WordPress.org
Before I start answering your burning questions about the best options for blog hosting for beginners, let’s talk about WordPress.
There’s often much confusion as to the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
If you’ve read about self-hosting your blog, and you’re blogging with the free version of WordPress (from WordPress.com), upgrading to a plan within the platform isn’t going to cut it.
WordPress.com offers paid “hosted” plans. But this is not the route you want to go for ultimate control of your site. There are still limitations when it comes to customization and options for unleashing the full potential of WordPress.
When you search WordPress.org you learn about the content management system, and you learn that you’ll need hosting for it.
This is where hosting providers come in. Hosts such as SiteGround, NameHero, BigScoots and more.
You want to be using the free WordPress.org platform that comes as part of the hosting package with hosting providers.
WordPress + Self-Hosting = Blogging For Success
So, although it looks easy and simple to blog with WordPress.com, don’t limit yourself!
There is a learning curve with a self-hosted WordPress site, but with all of the resources out there, you can learn to use it successfully.
What Is A Self-Hosted Blog?
When you see the word “self-hosted blog” the meaning is this: it’s a site with a specific domain, with content that resides on a third-party hosting provider such as Bluehost and others.
The content management system (CMS) is WordPress, which is almost always provided by the hosting provider for free. If not, you can download it from WordPress.org at no extra cost.
I strongly recommend any of my coaching clients or students choose a self-hosted WordPress blog as their blogging platform. The key reason for this is that the benefits outweigh any of the alternative blogging options.
Your blog also comes across as professional, as you’re investing in the best tools and platforms for your online business success.
| RELATED: How To Make Your New Blog Look Professional From The Beginning
The Benefits Of A Self-Hosting For You Blog
I know you’re eager to jump ahead to my tips on blog hosting for beginners, but let’s talk self-hosting for just a moment longer.
So, why do I recommend a self-hosted blog?
Free blogging platforms greatly limit your opportunities to monetize your blog. While there are some platforms that offer you e-commerce solutions (Squarespace, etc.), they still have limitations.
The greatest benefit of using a self-hosted WordPress site is the ability to monetize in a number of ways.
Having a self-hosted blog means it’s so much easier to:
- Work with brands on sponsored product reviews
- Sell digital products
- Offer services such as online coaching
It’s easier to also turn a hobby blog into an online business. Instead of moving platforms, all you need to do is start integrating elements that help you monetize.
But there are more benefits of self-hosting a blog:
- Ownership. You own the site and aren’t reliant on the decisions of a site platform as to what happens to your content.
- Professional. When you don’t invest in your own self-hosted site, the perception you create is that you aren’t investing in your business (including your blog business!). Free website and blog platforms may be more likely to advertise free accounts on YOUR site. This is usually found in the footer (the bottom) of the page.
Technically, the benefits are great too!
- Customization options. You can create the site you want with thousands of plugins, widgets, formatting platforms and more.
- Integrations. WooCommerce, email service providers, sales funnel solutions, etc.
- Security. You have control over your security settings.
- Analytics. Gain better insights when you set up your site with Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
So, as you can see, working with a hosting provider to self-host your blog is one of the best blog investments you’ll make.
| RELATED: Why I Switched From Google Analytics To Fathom Analytics
What Do Hosting Providers Do?
Blog hosting for beginners may seem like a strange science, but it’s pretty straightforward. Learning about this technical stuff can really help you when it comes to issues.
When I was learning to blog, I scoured the internet to learn as much as I could (without overwhelming my non-tech blogger brain) about what hosting is about.
Here’s what it is:
Hosting providers give you a place to store your content and connect it to the web.
You can set up your own servers. However, it’s better when a professional hosting service manages servers, security, and all the protocols that connect your content to the Internet.
There are several types of hosting:
- Shared hosting (most commonly used by beginner bloggers, less expensive)
- VPS hosting (virtual private server)
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
Shared hosting is the most cost-effective, so it’s often the one new bloggers choose in the beginning.
How To Choose A Web Hosting Provider For Your Blog
Let’s talk about strategies for choosing blog hosting for beginners.
To make it easier, I’ve created a checklist of what you need to consider when choosing a web hosting provider for new your blog.
These factors are:
- Cost – your budget: note that usually cost goes up after the first year (can you handle it?)
- Your needs – is your blog going to be simple, or visually heavy?
- Uptime scores: how often it’s down, security, – it is a reliable hosting provider?
- Page load time: how fast are the servers in loading your site
- Customer support
- Bandwidth and storage
- SSL certificate
- Site backup options
- Ability to add more websites – domains/subdomains
This last part is a bonus because many bloggers start one blog, and then decide to start a new one.
One thing you need to also consider is what your blogging plans will be long-term.
Do you plan to expand it into a business? Are you serious about blogging and turning it into a source of income? Are you ready to deal with obstacles as they come along?
For some, working with an eco-friendly company is important. We’ll look at one hosting provider that is offering this type of hosting service.
Best Blog Hosting For Beginners: Four Options
It’s time to look at options for choosing a hosting provider for your self-hosted blog!
I’ve broken it down into a few categories, and I’m keeping the list short. There are other great hosting providers such as Big Scoots, but for new bloggers, the cost is an important factor.
The reality is, that entry-level plans are very limiting.
I always recommend looking at the next step or two up as they offer more options (like the opportunity to have more than one website if you so choose).
NOTE: Almost all plans have “first-year pricing”, a discount for new customers. Be aware of the price jump after the first year. This is why I recommend monetizing your blog in your first year – even if it’s just generating a passive income from affiliate marketing. You’ll be able to cover the costs of hosting your blog.
Here are my recommendations, starting with the most cost effective quality hosting (NameHero), and two others you should consider.
NameHero: Quality With Fast Servers And Excellent Customer Service
My top recommendation for blog hosting for beginners is NameHero. I use it for this blog.
A little bit more expensive than other entry hosting providers many others recommend), it’s an independently owned hosting provider is consistently a favourite of many top bloggers.
It’s a great hosting provider for new bloggers because of fast server speed, and the top-notch customer service.
When you’re starting out, issues will arise. You want fast, helpful customer service. NameHero has a strong reputation for exactly this.
The basic plan starts at $2.15/month for the first year – a bit less than other top hosting providers. However, the more advanced packages are a touch pricier. They do offer so much more though!
What you get with NameHero is:
- Fast servers, making load speed superior to many other hosting providers in the range
- Consistent uptime, which means fewer headaches of having your site being down
- Excellent customer service available 24/7 365 days
- Free and automatic SSL certificate
- Free domain on packages 2 years+
- Free CDN to serve your site faster to visitors around the world
- Nightly and weekly backups
- Unlimited email accounts (webmail)
- Free migration services if you’re moving from another hosting provider
The best option is the Turbo Cloud package, with unlimited websites, a free domain for 24- or 36-month terms, and much more space.
SiteGround: Mid-Range With Great Service
A great option for blog hosting for beginners who want to grow their site and are seeking great customer service is SiteGround.
has a long reputation for being one of the best hosting providers for new bloggers.
What you get with SiteGround:
- Starting at 10 GB web space; upgrades get more.
- Includes a free SSL certificate
- Free CDN service to speed up delivery of your site
- Enhanced security via custom web application firewalls
- Has good uptime and very good performance
- Free unlimited email (webmail)
- The best option is the GrowBig plan, giving you more space, the ability to host up to 25,000 visitors a month and to have more than one website on your plan.
- Automatic backups are standard; on-demand backups are available for advanced plans
- Speed is one of the key things SiteGround prides itself on, however, it’s not as fast as it used to be.
- It uses its own panel versus C-Panel, which is most common with other hosting providers. Many instructions you’ll find on the web are for things you can do with a C-Panel. However, their own panel seems to be very intuitive and fairly easy to use.
SiteGround is fairly expensive in comparison to the two other options I’ve included above. However, it does offer fairly good service and is overall reliable. Although the company has scaled back some of its offerings, it’s still a good choice for anybody planning to blog long-term.
GreenGeeks: Eco-Friendly Hosting Provider
GreenGeeks is the best choice for blog hosting for beginners who value companies doing good things for the environment.
The company touts on their company page that “your GreenGeeks account will have a positive energy footprint on the environment as we replace, with wind power credits, 3 times the amount of energy your website will use.”
Here’s what you get with GreenGeeks:
- Eco-friendly hosting
- 50 GB web space, unlimited for upgraded packages
- 50 email accounts (Lite package), unlimited for upgraded packages
- Free domain for the first year
- Free SSL certificate
- Free nightly backup
- Unlimited websites for upgraded packages (Pro, etc).
- Free website migration
- Great customer service
The consensus from reviews is that GreenGeeks needs to improve it’s speed and performance. However, it’s a great option if you’re eco-conscious and don’t have a huge budget.
Which Hosting Provider Is The Best Choice?
Ultimately, if I was choosing a hosting provider as a beginner blogger, and I knew what I know now, I’d choose NameHero.
Working with an independently-owned company that prides itself on providing fast servers, exceptional uptime and quality service is so important.
The stress of dealing with technical issues that sometimes result of what a hosting provider is doing on their end can lead to burnout. I’ve seen it almost happen with a few of my blog coaching students.
However, if you are on a shoestring budget and don’t mind the hassle of eventually migrating to a better hosting provider, choose Bluehost. Note though, that even this hosting provider is increasing rates.
Are You Ready To Start A Blog?
Now that you have all of this information, are you ready to take the next step and start a blog?
My free Launch It: Start A Blog Course & Toolkit takes you through all of the steps – from choosing your blog niche to what you need to do after you launch your site.
READY TO START A BLOG?
Learn step-by-step how to start your own self-hosted WordPress blog,
and get on the road to making money blogging!
| RELATED: Top 10 FREE WordPress Plugins To Grow Your Blog
Launch Your Site And Keep Going!
It’s your move now!
You’ve got the information, and I know you’re going to check each of these options out for yourself.
Once you have your blog niche and your domain figured out (read this post on how to start a blog which covers this), get your hosting confirmed.
You will have challenges – these never end. But it’s a hell of a ride learning everything and watching your blog grow into a success.
And the most fun thing will be to write and publish your first blog post.
Join my Facebook group – The Blog It Better Society – if you’re stuck and need support! We have a nice group of people in similar situations who help each other out.
QUESTION: In your opinion, what is the most confusing thing about blog hosting for beginners?