Do I Need A Domain Name To Start A Blog?

Do I Need A Domain Name To Start A Blog

Do I need a domain name to start a blog? The short answer is no you do not need a domain name to start a blog however, if you’re serious about making it a successful blog then then answer is definitely ‘yes’.

Going hand-in-hand with buying a domain name is also purchasing web hosting for your site; there’s little point in having one without the other.

Below we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of buying a domain name and hosting but before we do that lets find out exactly what a domain name is.

What Is A Domain Name?

Simply put a domain name (URL) is the address of your blog/website that people use to find your site online. Think of it as your online address; you wouldn’t build a house and then not register an address and its the same online.

Readers will type your domain name into their web browser to be directed to your website and its content.

What Is A Web Host?

A web host is where your website lives and takes shape. Think of it as the land where you build your house on except it also provides all of the plumbing, electricity, gas, telephone etc. Without it, your website wouldn’t be live.

A web host will store all of your site’s content (words, photos, videos etc) and keep them live.

Should I Pay For A Domain Name?

There a range of options for creating your domain name and hosting your blog. The main difference between the options is whether they are paid or free.

There are a number of places online where you can get your blog created and hosted for free.

When it comes to domains it generally works as follows:

Sub-domains are typically free. Sub-domains are those that include the overall blog platform in the address of your own blog. For example

Top-Level Domain are paid for. Top-Level domains are those that are completely customised according to your desires and what’s available e.g.

Some of the most notable free blog platforms include the following:

The free programs on the above will each allow you to setup a free blog with a sub-domain. In addition to a free domain they will also host your blog for free on their platform.

Although when you are first starting out this may sound tempting, lets take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Free Domain and Hosting: Pros

Let’s take a look at some of the pros free domain and hosting below:-

It’s Free

So the first one is obvious; it’s free! There’s nothing quite like a free lunch and with a free plan you get a sub-domain and hosting all for nothing. This is quite useful when you’re first starting out and you don’t quite know what you’re doing.

You Can Experiment

As you’re not paying for the website and hosting, you are free to experiment without any real pressure. This can be a great tool for learning and experimenting with different blog styles as well as writing.

Free Domain Name and Hosting: Cons

Now let’s take a look at some of the cons for free domain and hosting:-

You Won’t Have Full Control

The biggest drawback of free domain name and hosting plans is the fact that you do not have much control over your blog. Firstly you can’t pick the exact name you want for your website. This is a major issue in terms of developing a long-term reputation. You may also find that although a purchased domain you might want is available that particular username may already be taken on the platform so you could end up with a random sub-domain name like as an example.

You will also have to sign up to the platforms terms and conditions with regard to your content

You Won’t Be Able To Fully Customise

Another major drawback is the fact that you will not be able to fully customise your blog to the extent you could with a paid hosting plan.

A significant boost with a paid hosting plan with a provider such as You Can’t Develop A Brand

When you’re just starting out you need to try build a reputation and credibility with your prospective readers and customers. It is difficult to do that when your website has not been fully branded in your image.

When potential customers or readers see that you have not been able to get a paid hosting plan and your own domain it can make them doubt the seriousness of your operation.

You’ll Struggle To Monetise

Monetising a free domain and hosting blog can be difficult as you will not get control of advertising. Typically one of the conditions with free platforms is that they can post their own adverts within your blog.

This can make it difficult to monetise your own traffic for example imagine if you’re writing to promote one particular product but your platform provider is advertising a competing product. You would have no control over this.

In addition, with some providers will not permit you to have a free website for commercial purposes.

Should I Buy A Domain and Hosting?

As you’ve seen although opting for a free domain and hosting plan sounds like a win at first when you delve deeper it’s clear that this is not always the best option for you.

If you have ambitions to grow your blog into a business then you’ll definitely want to look at paid hosting plans.

When buying your domain you don’t have to purchase it from the same place that will host your website. You can purchase a domain from domain registrars like and then choose to host it on a separate platform like Bluehost or HostGator.

When you do this you’ll have a domain name of your choosing hosted on a platform that allows you to fully customise your blog. Having your own domain name will give you a much better chance of ranking on Google and driving traffic to your website from search engines.

You’ll also want to install a Content Management System (CMS) once you’re setup on a host platform.

The most popular CMS is WordPress (it’s also what we use for all of our sites). WordPress is automatically installed when you sign up to Bluehost which is one of the many reasons Bluehost is so popular.

Remember that you don’t have to host your website from the same place you bought the domain. For example for one of our sites we bought the domain from GoDaddy but then host it on Bluehost. This can sometimes work our cheaper though at the moment Bluehost include a free registered domain as part of their plans.

You also always have the option of switching the domain to the hosting provider which is simple enough. Where Can I Get A Domain and Hosting?

There are a number of places you can go to find domain names and hosting plans. Below we take a look at some of the best options we’ve come across.

Best Hosting and Domain Name Provider

” class=”rank-math-link”>Bluehost – this is who we use for our websites and we’ve found them excellent. It’s super easy to get setup and the automatic WordPress install makes things all the better from the outset. They work well whether you’re planning to register a domain through them or elsewhere.

A massive bonus with Verdict

So do I need a domain name to start a blog? If you’re serious about blogging as more than just something to pass the time away then a paid hosting plan with a custom domain is really the only way to go.

It will give you the control, customisation and monetisation potential needed to help you grow your blog from a pass-time to a business.

With paid hosting you have a range of options so finding the best solution for yourself is just about knowing what your priorities are and how much you can afford to spend.

As a beginner we’d look no further than