This post is for all those newbies who are planning to start a blog. If you want to create a blog, you can even do it for free. There are few good blogging platforms like www.blogger.com, www.wordpress.com and www.typepad.com. You can choose any of them to create a blog for free.
However, there is a downside to using a free blogging platform. If you want to just test your blogging and writing skills then these are great. But if you want to be a serious blogger and also make money blogging, then it’s not recommended to use a free blogging platform.
The problem with free blogging platforms is that they don’t allow you much customization. You won’t even get your own domain name.
Instead, they will give you a subdomain name that doesn’t look professional. It will be difficult to build credibility with a blog name such as yourblogxyz.blogger.com as compared to www.yourblogxyz.com. These days, some of the free blogging platforms allow you to purchase a domain name and link it with your free blog. But the limitations in customization of blog still exists.
Get a Self Hosted WordPress Blogs
So the best option to create a blog is self hosted blog powered by WordPress.org software. This is what most of the big bloggers prefer. For that, you need a web host, a domain name ‘linked’ to your web hosting account, WordPress.org software, cool looking theme of your choice and few plugins to add some functionality. You will be up and running within a couple of hours.
How Much Do I have to Pay to Start a Blog?
Following is the amount that these services are charging their customers at the time of writing this post. Check out the links as well so that you can validate the same and get to know if anything has changed.
Cost of Web Hosting
Bluehost – Usually they charge USD $7.99 USD per month but currently they are running a promotional campaign and offering web hosting USD $3.95 per month. You have to pay for three year fees at the time of sign up. So that’s around USD $142.2 for 3 years. Cheap and best! Check BlueHost banner on right sidebar for even more discounts!
Hostgator – Hostgator charges $5.56 per month for their web hosting service. For 1 year, you have to pay $66.72. If you sign up for 3 years, they will charge you at $3.96 per month ie $142.56 for 3 years.
My choice:- I use Bluehost for several years and don’t feel the need to change it.
Cost of Domain Name
A .com domain name will cost you between $10-$12 per year. However, when you sign up with Bluehost, you get a free domain name. Till the time you keep renewing your web host account, you don’t have to pay separately for the domain name.
Just in case, you want to register your domain name separately ie not with your web host, in that case, GoDaddy is the best domain name registrar.
My choice:- I have registered domain name with Bluehost as well as few with Godaddy.
Cost of Blogging Software
WordPress.org provides The Best and completely free blogging software. Yes, you don’t have to pay anything. If you get a web hosting account with Bluehost or Hostgator, you can install WordPress with a couple of clicks.
Cost of WordPress Theme
There are plenty of free themes available on Internet. You just have to search it on your favourite search engine. Though there are few premium themes as well.
Thesis – Thesis is a premium theme. It costs you $87 and has several features. I will keep the details for another day and publish a separate article on that.
Genesis Framework – If you can spend around $80, Genesis framework + child theme is a great option. They look beautiful and are well coded.
My choice:- I am a proud Genesis user!
Cost of Plugins
There are plenty of free plugins and you can get gowing with those free ones. Even I am not using any premium plugin till date. This is the list of plugins that you would need to install on your WordPress blog.
(Free/Paid) Blog Setup Service
Either you can set up blog on your own (if you are DIY kind of person) or You can hire an expert to set up the blog properly for you, so that you can focus on content and other things.
We offer a free WordPress installation service for our readers (no tricks here). Click here to find out more about Free WordPress Installation service.
You can also check our services if you are looking for more. Click here to find out more about WordPress services that we offer.
To sum up, here are the following costs involved:
Domain Name ~ $10/year
Hosting ~ $60 per year
Premium Theme (Optional) ~ $25 to $80 (One time)
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