It’s true to say that everyone and their mama seems to be online nowadays. According to World meters website, you can see how many blog posts are being published in real-time. I thought this was pretty cool when I stumbled across it. Figuring out what blogging platform and hosting to pick can sometimes be a headache, but I’m here to guide you through the headache so you won’t need aspirin.
*Some of my links are affiliate links. I only recommend products and/ or services I trust.
Free Blogging Platforms and Monetization
There are free blogging platforms, which you can use freely, and when you use these platforms, your blog is being hosted on their site for you, which comes with some disadvantages, but only if you want to advertise or monetize your blog, which means the ability to generate revenue, and that is what blogging is all about right?
Your Web site or blog monetization can be from affiliate programs, electronic commerce, premium content, advertising, or any form of revenue generation. You can stay with the free site as well, and all of them have an upgrade option so that you can monetize your website.
When I started to look into where to start my blogging journey, I really had no idea where to start other than Google. There is a ton of information on how To’s.
I will give you some of the platforms that I checked out before I finally decided to stick with WordPress.org. WordPress is great but has a bit of a learning curve with all of its plugins and customization.
I want to give you more options just in case you don’t want to deal with all of the frustrations, which are great alternatives, but with all of the advice I have found, wordpress.org will give you the best option for getting your website ranked in Google.
I will give you some hosting sites that you can have your blog hosted on, if you choose to, which is usually cheaper than upgrading. This is called self-hosting.
What exactly is a self-hosted blog? When you’re talking about blogs, there are usually two options. The first is a free blog host like Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress.com (WordPress.org is also free, but you can only use it on a paid self-hosted server.)
Blogger has a help forum and the option to get a free domain. Create a beautiful blog that fits your style. Choose from a selection of easy-to-use templates – all with flexible layouts and hundreds of background images – or design something new.
Tumblr has the ability to not only create what you want but will allow you to follow others, and when you follow others, their posts show up on your dashboard.
WordPress.com gives you plenty of themes to choose from. If you decide to go with free, you will have their advertising on your blog. They have different plans to choose from without advertising as well.
Wix is actually the one that I was going to use because it was super simple and easy to use. Wix is an easy drag-and-drop website that shows you every step of the way. Unlimited pages and a lot of storage. They have plans starting at $5 dollars a month. This platform is great for anyone that wants a very easy, user-friendly experience.
Ghost has what they consider an unusually fair billing policy that states that you only pay for what you actually use, never worrying about traffic spikes. Their pricing starts at $19 a month if billed annually.
Weebly is also a drag-and-drop website builder and guided setup. No coding is needed. Their pricing starts at $8 a month if billed annually. That is for personal use as a blog or portfolio. You get a free domain.
Joomla.com is a free, open-source software created and maintained by an amazing community. Open source basically means created by a group of people, maintained by a group of people, and they don’t own it. It is a software developed by and for the user community.
Joomla.org is If you prefer to download the Joomla! CMS yourself and start a self-hosted website. Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS) which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease of use and extensibility, have made Joomla! The most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla! is an open-source solution that is freely available to everyone.
Type Pad is fully customizable and used by many bloggers. You get a 14-day free trial. Pricing starts at $ 8.95 per month. You can blog, sell products or services and run ads on your blog.
Bluehost gives you a free domain. 1 click WordPress install. 24/7 support. This is what I use currently. Money-back guarantee, and over $150 in offers from Google, Bing, and other leading sites to help grow your business – all included. Starting at $2.95/month
Host Gator is very affordable, with a plan starting at only $3.95 per month. They have 24/7/365 technical support. They also have a dedicated migration team that will help you transfer your existing content from a prior host and help configure it to perform optimally. They also transfer domain registrations from other registrars in order to provide you with complete management. With a 99.9% uptime and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
A2 is what I used to use. I switched to Bluehost to simplify things. Their plans start at $3.92 a month. They have an anytime money-back guarantee. I have had questions regarding SSL, and someone was very quick to answer any of my questions. I once had a question about a subdomain, and they went ahead and just did it for me. I cannot say enough great things about A2!
Green Geeks is pretty cool for those that are concerned about green energy or conserving energy; they say: Your Green Geeks 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. You get unlimited space, transfer, and email. You can also get a free domain and marketing package starting at $3.95/ month, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Dream Host is also a website builder; you can easily create your own website using Remixer, you choose your theme and customize it, and it basically does it for you. I do like one feature on their website, though. You can easily search to see if a domain name you like might be available. Dream Host claims to have 100% uptime. The Remixer standard is as low as $4.95 a month, and the all-access Remixer is as low as $7.95 a month. The all-access is the ability to use other applications (e.g., WordPress) and mail forwarding.
Site Ground’s web hosting plan for one website with 10 GB of web space starts at $3.95/ month. This is their startup plan. Free SSL, which is security for your site. Not all web hosting options will have this option and 30 days of money back.
Host Papa also has a starter plan at $3.95/month. They allow you two websites with the starter plan. Free SSL certificate. Up to 25 subdomains. Free website migrations .99.9% uptime guarantee and 30-Day money-back guarantee.
Rounding It All Up
Whether you want to blog, start a portfolio, write an online journal, share recipes, or a place to display your pictures, the possibilities are endless.
Only you can decide how you want your website to look. With so many options, it’s hard to choose. I’d suggest starting with what you want first, a free domain, maybe?
Or maybe you’d like the drag-and-drop options. It gets hard to know when you might not totally understand. I know for me, it was discovering and learning what blogging was all about that made me dig deeper.
Check a couple out; you don’t need to pick one and stick to it. You might want to bounce around and see your options before you decide to keep one. Go for it, and good luck!