Before I dive into which hosting provider to choose, I’ll let you know, there is an option to create a WordPress blog for free that doesn’t require you to sign up for a hosting account. That’s through wordpress.com. It might be ok for practice, but keep in mind, their free account sucks.
Why? For a number of reasons, such as the following:
- You’ll end up with a domain such as “www.yoursite.wordpress.com”
- WordPress has the right to freely advertise on your site
- WordPress has the right to display its branding on your site
- Far fewer WordPress themes to choose from
- Minimal storage space
- You cannot integrate and track your website activity with Google Analytics
- You cannot integrate your site with Google Adsense and earn money through Google PPC
- And so on…
Their paid accounts aren’t great either. Unless you spend $32.42 / month CAD (at the time of writing this). That’s what you’ll need to cough up if you want your site integrated with Google Analytics. And trust me, Google Analytics is a wise choice.
The Alternative route
Pay a few dollars per month for a hosting company and upload WordPress through your cPanel for free. You’ll have complete control over your website with no WordPress ads or branding and you can integrate your site with Google Analytics for free. Its all super easy. You can even call me at 250-661-2661 and I would help walk you through it for free.
So which hosting provider should I go with?
Now you might be wondering where to start with hosting. With all the different hosting providers out there, claiming to be the best and offer the best rates, how do you know which one to go for?
This can be especially difficult if you’re just planning on starting your first blog and have no experience with any of the options.
Im assuming you want the setup to be as simple as possible. Well, you’re in luck because most hosting companies (at least the more popular ones) make the process very easy.
Most of them will have a promotional offer on their homepage with a CTA (Call to Action) to get you to buy now. This is the starting rate for their shared hosting packages, which should be all you need. Click the button and it will either take you to a page where you can choose your package or a page to choose your domain. It will give you the option to host a domain that you already own or let you choose a new domain for free when you sign up with them.
I’ve used about 20 different hosting providers. Some of them I really like, some are alright and some I would never use again and wouldn’t recommend to anyone.
My absolute, all time favourite is ideahost. It is, by far the best bang for your buck. They have a great promo offer, the renewal price doesn’t jump too much, awesome customer service, easy to use control panel and they are SEO friendly.
The renewal price is something you need to watch for with most hosting companies. It often jumps by about 3 times the price.
Then there is Bluehost. You’ve probably heard of it. People are promoting it all the time. They do have good services and a good reputation, hosting over 2 million websites but the renewal prices aren’t that friendly compared to others. I would recommend this company to others but only if they didn’t mind spending a little more and only after I had recommend a few different hosts.
The first thing I wanted to highlight was the renewal price.
As you can see, with Bluehost, it jumps from $2.75/month to $7.99/month once your initial term expires. To get the rate at $2.75/month, you need to commit to a 3 year term and you will be billed a lump sum of $99.00 ($2.75 x 36). Pretty good for 3 years. Upon renewal, you will be billed a lump sum of $287.64 ($7.99 x 36). Still not too bad considering it’s for 3 years but hurts a little when it’s paid all in one go. Not everybody knows about this jump.
With ideahost, you’ll only be expected to sign up for 2 years to get the promo at $2.99/month ($71.76). Upon renewal, it will only jump by about 25% – $3.98/month ($95.52). **If you sign up for ideahost, while checking out, you may get a higher discount offer if you “threaten” to exit the page.
The next thing I wanted to highlight was the number of websites.
This is the number of websites that you are allowed to host within one account. With ideahost, if you want, you’ll be able to host as many websites as you want at no extra hosting charge. With Bluehost, it’s just the one. This might not matter to you as lots of people just want the one site, but nice to have the option.
Keep in mind, both of these hosts are popular, reputable companies with great customer service. It just mostly comes down to how much are you willing to spend? and how many websites might you want to create in the future?
Hope this helps. Good luck with your website / blog!
If you need a hand, call me at 250-661-2661
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