If you’ve been setting up a website, you may have come across the term SSL Certificate and are wondering is an SSL Certificate worth it? The short answer to your question is that an SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is most definitely worth it and is now something that is seen as a norm in terms of website security.
Below we’ll take a look at various factors to answer the following questions:
What Is An SSL Certificate?
Is An SSL Certificate Necessary?
Is An SSL Certificate Worth It?
Note: Please feel free to use the above image for your own purposes however, please do reference this page via a link.
What Is An SSL Certificate?
An SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) essentially enables a secure connection between a website and a user’s browser. Any information exchanged is encrypted and is therefore protected from unauthorised access.
This is important with any website but particularly so for those that exchange user logins, email address, personal details and bank details.
You can tell if a website offers SSL data protection as it will usually have a padlock symbol next to the URL or simply state “Secure”.
The other way to tell is that sites with SSL will start with HTTPS whilst those without remain with HTTP.
Is An SSL Certificate Necessary?
There are many reasons why SSL Certification is now essentially a must-have for website operators.
Data Protection Is A Visitor Priority
Data security and protection is a visitor priority now more so than ever before. Data breaches can result in serious consequences for users and website owners alike.
The SSL certification tells your visitors that you value their data security and are taking the necessary steps to try to protect it.
It provides an automatic seal of legitimacy and professionalism whether you’re a big or small site.
Google Sees It As a Must Have
Google, Firefox and other browsers have essentially made SSL Certification a must have by displaying the “Not Secure” warning on URL’s that are not encrypted with SSL.
This red flag can put off visitors immediately and keep them away.
In addition, Google will de-prioritise sites without HTTPS. Without it you will not be able to access some features that users come to expect as standard from their online experience such as geolocation.
That means if you don’t have SSL Certification for your website you’re likely to see your ranking negatively impacted and with it traffic to your site.
Match Your Competitors
There are many fields in which it literally pays to stand out amongst a crowded field. This is not one of them. You do not want to be one of the only operators in your chosen niche to not have an SSL Certificate.
This would give potential customers who have an endless list of choices a quick way to eliminate you as an option no matter how good your content is. Why bother take a risk with you when a competitor has this base covered?
According to Google, Chrome and Mac users spend over 90% of their online time on HTTPS pages demonstrating how imperative SSL Certification is for your website.
Is An SSL Certificate Worth It?
By now it’s probably clear why an SSL Certificate is most definitely worth it for your site.
The benefits outweight the actual cost of an SSL quite significantly. It’s very easy and relatively inexpensive to get an SSL Certificate for your webiste.
This is a great question but can be tricky to answer if you’re new to this game. Below we will help you answer this question by taking a look at the plans available from Bluehost and seeing which may be best for you as a beginner.
Whilst some beginners decide on free hosting plans, if you are serious about making your website successful and monetising it then a paid hosting plan is definitely your best best.
Bluehost is one of the best and most popular shared web hosting providers around. Powering over 2 million websites worldwide, website owners know they’re in good hands with Bluehost.
Which Bluehost plan is best for beginners? Based on the factors above it’s clear that the best Bluehost plan for beginners is the Basic package. It’s the cheapest, lets you focus on 1 website which is advisable as a beginner and will give you all the tools and support you need.
Below we take a look at why Bluehost is so highly recommended and do a closer comparison of the 4 shared hosting plans Bluehost has to offer.
Why Is Bluehost So Highly Recommended?
There are several reasons why Bluehost is so highly recommended and Blog So Easy’s favourite web hosting provider:
Brilliant Technical Support
As Blog So Easy can testify, Bluehost’s 24/7 technical support team is excellent. They are on-hand literally anytime to not only answer your queries but to actually carry out technical tasks your stuck on.
This is one of the biggest reasons why Bluehost is such a great choice for beginners and this level of technical support is available on all plans, including the Basic plan.
Powering over 2 million websites worldwide does not come by accident and this is largely due to the fact that Bluehost provides a 99.99% uptime for their sites. Expectations of 100% uptime is never possible due unexpected events that’s why Bluehost’s record is so impressive.
Awesome But Cheap
When you’re just getting started often you’re looking for the best possible web hosting services you can get for the cheapest price.
Bluehost delivers on this front especially with their Basic Plan which is as low as $3.95 per month across a 36 year term.
It will be difficult to find a plan this cheap AND a hosting provider quite as good as Bluehost especially for beginners.
Whilst as a beginner the Bluehost Basic plan is definitely your best bet, as your website grows you can adjust your plan to grow with it.
This means you never have to worry about the limitations of your web hosting provider as your website traffic grows and the demands placed on its services grow with it.
As well as more advanced Shared hosting plans Bluehost also offer VPS (Virtual Private Server) and Dedicated hosting options which could cater for your needs as you expand your website.
Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans Review: Basic Plus – Choice Plus – Pro
When it comes to comparing various web hosting plans there are a few key factors that make a big difference.
Number of websites you can host
This is a big one as it will determine how many websites you can launch and host on any given plan. As a beginner, you only really need a plan with 1 website. This limits your costs whilst making sure that you focus entirely on your first project. As your experience grows and you want to start other sites you can always switch to more advanced plans.
The storage (usually displayed in GB) is the amount of data that can be held for your website. This will include all of the content, media and supporting information you create when building your file.
As a beginner you don’t need too much and indeed you can always get more as your site expands.
Simply put bandwith describes the rate at which data can be transferred between a website and computer devices connected to it within a specific time frame.
Usually in web hosting packages it is calculated monthly and it tells you the capacity of the connection.
Bluehost Basic Plan Review: Best Bluehost Plan For Beginners
The Bluehost Basic plan offers an excellent starting point for beginners. At just £3.08 ($3.95)/month equivalent on a 36 month term, it offers great value and you’re unlikely to find web hosting at this kind of price and with all the brilliant benefits offered by Bluehost.
The Basic plan comes with the ability to host 1 website which is really all that you need when you are starting out. As well as making it much cheaper than having multiple websites, it also means you have no choice but to focus on your main project.
In terms of storage you get an ample 50GB of data to play with for your website.
The main things you need as a beginner is excellent technical support which you get with Bluehost 24/7 and a cheap overall price, which is also provided.
Here are the main features of the Bluehost Basic shared hosting plan:
50 GB of storage
Free SSL Certificate
1 Domain included
5 parked domains
24/7 technical support
This is really the perfect plan for beginners with one website as you can easily upgrade to a more loaded package as your website grows. Get started here.
This is a great plan if you would like to experiment with various types of blogs or websites as you pay once and you can manage as many websites as you need with as many domains and associated storage.
This plan has pretty much everything you might need as a blogger and comes at a great price (currently £4.64/month or $5.95/month).
Here are the main features of the Bluehost Plus shared hosting plan:
Free SSL Certificate
Unlimited parked domains
1 Office 365 Mailbox – Free For 30 Days
24/7 technical support
Given the flexibility this is an excellent plan, especially if you are a blogger who wants to explore multiple ideas.
The Bluehost Choice Plus Plan has everything the Plus plan has but with a few notable extras. Most significantly it comes with Domain Privacy and Protection which is key for keeping your personal information and that of your website secure. However, bear in mind that you can also get domain privacy and protection elsewhere if you purchase domains elsewhere.
Here are the main features of the Bluehost Choice Plus Plan:
Free SSL Certificate
Unlimited parked domains
Domain Privacy + Protection
Site Backup – CodeGuard Basic
1 Office 365 Mailbox – Free For 30 Days
24/7 technical support
This plan is probably best suited to bloggers who are quite advanced in their journey however, the main two differences to the Plus plan are the Domain Privacy + Protection as well as the Site Backup – CodeGuard Basic. If you need the features of the Plus plan and consider domain privacy important then this may be the right plan for you.
Bluehost will backup your site at its discretion and you can also backup your sites manually so you may want to consider whether this is worth the extra you pay though it’s great having the peace of mind.
The Bluehost Pro plan offers all of the features of the Choice Plus plan plus a Dedicated IP address, higher performance and 2 Spam Experts.
If your needs are at this kind of level it is worth considering Bluehost’s VPS Hosting options to see if they may suit your needs better. This plan would definitely not be suitable if you’re only just starting out.
Here are the main features of the Bluehost Choice Plus Plan:
Conclusion – Which Bluehost Plan Is Best For Beginners?
After all the above which Bluehost plan is best for beginners? The Basic package stands out as being the best Bluehost plan for beginners. It has everything you would need when you are just starting out on your blogging journey and is topped off with excellent 24/7 technical support as well as offering great value for money.
Is 2gb bandwidth sufficient for a website? When you’re getting started on your website journey or even if you’re more established figuring out how much bandwidth you need for your website can be tricky.
Get it wrong and it could cost you way more than it should or potentially run you into problems in terms of site performance and more importantly user exeperience.
Below we’ll take a look at how you can figure out how much bandwidth might be needed for your website.
What Is Bandwidth?
Bandwidth in terms of web hosting describes the rate at which data is transferred from your website and computer devices connected to it within a specific time frame.
Typically hosting packages will calculate bandwidth on a monthly basis and display in terms of Gigabytes (GB).
Think of bandwidth a bit like a straw; a small diameter straw means you can only get a small amount of your beverage through to your mouth whilst a large diameter straw allows lots of liquid to pass through at one time. Bandwidth works in the same way; a small amount of bandwidth means you are limited in how much data can be transferred whilst a large limit means you can get a lot more data transferred in any given time period.
Why Is Bandwidth Important?
Bandwidth determines how quickly your website can deliver data to your users. This can have a significant impact on your user experience and whether they’ll continue using your site or decide to go elsewhere.
What Is Unlimited Bandwidth?
“Unlimited bandwidth” doesn’t actually exist in the way the term suggests. Web host providers have to pay for the bandwidth they offer as such there’s no way they could truly offer unlimited bandwidth for all their users. What they effectively rely on is an assumption that the sites on a given server will never use up all of the available bandwidth.
Rather than get into the details about what bandwidth usage might actually look like from customer to customer, most web hosting companies will simply state “unlimited bandwidth” and know they can cater to the majority of small customers.
Although unlimited bandwidth sounds great in theory, always be aware that there are likely usage limits that you need to stay within. Be sure to look out for this when shopping around for a hosting package.
Go to your Bluehost account home page and scroll down to advanced. Then under “Metrics”. click “Bandwidth”
You should then see a page that looks like this:
Even if you’re not on Bluehost, most web host providers provide similar information on their control panels – if you can’t find it just get in touch with your support team.
Is 2gb Bandwidth Sufficient For A Website?
Figuring out how much bandwidth is needed for your website is crucial. If you get too much in a lot of cases you’ll be overpaying whilst if you make it too low you could find your website taken offline.
The amount of bandwidth your website will need will depend on:
The average size (KB) and number of your web pages
The number of visitors you get
The number of views each visitor has
So is 2gb bandwidth sufficient for a website? For a new website with not too many visitors 2gb of bandwidth should be sufficient. Just be sure to keep a close watch on how much bandwidth you are consuming each month, especially if you start to experience large traffic increases. If you do find the amount of bandwidth you have is insufficient you can simply adjust your hosting plan to cater to your needs.
How Can I Calculate How Much Bandwidth My Site Needs?
Estimating how much bandwidth your website needs is pretty straightforward. Let’s show you how and then run an example.
To calculate bandwidth you need to do the following:
Estimate the average page size for your website in Kilobytes (KB). If you don’t know this you can look it up on Pingdom and take the average page size of a few of your pages.
Multiply the above (1) average page size by the average monthly number of visitors.
Multiply the above (2) by the average number of page views per visitor.
Below is a table outlining how much bandwidth would be needed depending on the number of page views, assuming your average page size is 2MB:
Average Page Size
Number of Pages
Number of Monthly Page Views
When calculating how much bandwidth you need from a web provider, remember to leave some room for traffic growth and spikes. A 50% contingency should give you enough head room in case you experience a sudden growth in traffic.
What If I Exceed My Bandwidth?
If you exceed your bandwidth allowance you’ll most likely be warned of it in the first instance. However, one of the following may occur thereafer:
The host may suspend your website, though this will only likely come after some warnings
You may be charged over-usage fees
You may upgraded to the next plan up to deal with your additional bandwidth
It is worth checking the terms and conditions that your host offers if you’re worried about exceeding your bandwidth limit.
How Can I Reduce My Bandwidth?
If you want to try and reduce your bandwidth instead, you may be able to by reducing the amount of data on your website. Here are a few ways you may be able to do so:
Compress images on your site
Reduce the size of large videos/downloads (e.g. try embedding videos from YouTube rather than uploading the raw file)
Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to store your files separating for faster loading on your website
Conclusion: Is 2gb Bandwidth Sufficient For A Website?
So is 2gb bandwidth sufficient for a website? The answer as we have seen is that it depends on the size of your web pages (KB) as well as the number of views you get each month. How much bandwidth a website needs will vary from one to the next so make sure you know the specifics of your website before you go ahead and make a decision on what type of hosting plan to use.
Does having a blog make you money? If you’ve ever thought about making money online then it’s quite likely you’ve asked yourself this question. The simple is yes having a blog can make you money.
However, simply having a blog doesn’t guarantee you’ll make money. A money making blog is just like any other business – if it’s not done correctly, it won’t make you any money; do it well and could make you plenty.
But be aware from the outset; it’s not an easy or quick route to making money. There are plenty of internet marketers who will tell you they hold the secret that will make you buckets of cash if you just pay them and follow their trusted formula. It’s not to say that none of them are to be trusted as there are plenty of great tutors out there but the best ones will always be upfront about the amount of effort required to get a blog off the ground and generating income.
There’s a lot of things to learn and integrate in order to create a successful blog but the great thing is you don’t need to learn all of them at once and you don’t need to implement everything all at once. Get the core basics right and you’ll be on the right track.
If you’re still reading and are still keen on starting a blog then congratulations because if you can persist with it, blogging still offers one of the best ways to make money online.
Below we’ll take a look at:
How you can monetise your blog
The steps you need to take to start your blog
How Can You Monetise Your Blog?
A blog can be a great tool for making you money through driving users to your content.
There are 5 main ways that you can monetise your web traffic with a blog and make money:-
1 – Affiliate Marketing
One of the most popular ways to monetise blog traffic is via affiliate programs. These programs will pay out a certain $ amount when you refer them customers who purchase their products or services. Possibly the most well known affiliate program is Amazon’s with stories abound of people making life changing money referring shoppers to Amazon products.
They’re not the only game in town however, with plenty of other networks out there offering good commissions for referrals to their products.
Clicks are tracked via cookies and when someone buys after clicking on your link you get paid a commission.
One of the best things about this form of monetisation is that you can (theoretically) start making money with very few visitors especially if they already plan to buy
For example if you had a blog about cycling you could write a series of posts about your favourite types of kit (e.g. lights, bags, cycling shoes) and then link to them on Amazon.
2 – Advertising
Another major way you can monetise your blog is via advertising. There are several platforms out there that will pay you a fee everytime someone either clicks onto an advert on your website or simply sees the ad.
In most cases ads will also be relevant to your content so for example in the cycling blog example if you wrote an article about a recent road trip to Austria, you may find adverts being displayed relevant to that location or products related to cycling tours like insurance.
The most well known ad platform is perhaps Google Adsense where advertisers compete for ad space on your website.
Google Adsense’s own calculator estimates you could make as much as $4k – $7k per month if you have a page that gets at least 50,000 views.
The one major barrier at least at the start for most bloggers is the number of page views you need to start making any real money. However, there’s also nothing stopping you from signing up from day one with zero traffic and seeing the ad revenues grow alongside your blog.
In addition, it’s probably better for your readers to get used to ads from the beginning rather than introducing them later on.
3 – eCommerce
Selling your products or services through an online store is another great way to monetise your blog. This is one of the oldest models but still one of the very best as just about everyone now shops online.
When it comes to physical products you can create your own or sell other companies’ stuff. One of the best ways to sell other company products without having to pay for the inventory upfront is via dropshipping. This is where you display products stocked by others on your website and only order them once a customer actually pays you. It’s a great way to make sure that you don’t invest any money unwisely as you only respond to actual customer demand.
For example in our cycling blog, you might setup a t-shirt dropshipping shop on your site that sells clothing related to cycling and your adventures.
The margins aren’t always too large for dropshipping which is why developing your own product can be attractive if you can find the right item.
4 – Subscriptions
Another alternative source of revenue for your blog could be to offer subscription services for users of your site. This is where you charge a monthly or yearly fee for readers to have access to content or tools or materials that others do not have access to at a price. Think of a newspaper or magazine that has a paywall for certain content.
This can offer a steady and consistent revenue stream as you know how much you’ll get each month for each user you can sign up.
On the cycling blog you might offer a paid subscription service for users to receive exclusive tips on the best riding locations, best upcoming events, exclusive content and how-to videos on different elements of maintaining and handling their bikes.
With a model like this one of the main things to make sure is that you’re offering your subscribers real value.
5 – Coaching
An increasingly popular form of monetisation for your blog is via offering coaching or training services.
If you are in a category that easily lends itself to providing training material on various topics then this could be a good way to add a revenue stream to your blog.
With this avenue, you offer users training material through videos, how-to articles and tools on particular topics. In our cycling blog, this could be courses on advanced riding techniques for example.
Creating learning material can take a lot of effort upfront but if you pick the right topic and you have an engaged audience it could be a revenue earner for some time.
What Steps Do You Need To Take To Start A Blog?
Now you know the 5 main ways you can monetise your blog, let’s take a look at what steps you need to take to actually start your blog.
Step 1 – Decide On A Topic (Niche)
The first thing you need to do is pick a topic for your awesome new blog. The main driving force behind your blog is good quality content. So ideally you want to pick something that will keep you interested and prepared to write consistently.
When deciding on a niche, as well as thinking about a topic that interests you, try to make sure it’s something that will have a big enough audience to make it viable.
A good way to make sure there’ll be enough potential traffic for your new site is to do some keyword research. Simply put keywords are words and phrases in your blog’s content that make it easier for users to find your material via search engines. Keyword optimisation is a big part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you can find the right keywords from the start of your blogging journey it will make it much easier to rank highly on Google and other search engines like Bing, driving a good level of organic traffic to your website.
There are plenty of tools out that can help you find keywords that have a good level of search volume and won’t be too competitive. One of our favourite ones is KWFinder by Mangools:-
Step 2 – Select A Great Domain Name
Once you have your niche selected, it’s time to find a domain name for your blog. A domain name (URL) is the address that users type into their browsers to find your website. Think of it as the address for your house.
When selecting a domain name try make sure:
It’s less than 15 characters long
It does not contain any hyphens (associated with spammy sites)
Step 3 – Select A Web Host
Once you have a domain selected, it’s time to choose a web host. Selecting a web host is possibly the biggest decision you’ll have to make as it can make or a break a web site in the long term.
Web hosts provide the necessary infrastructure to make your site live and visible to customers. Think of the web host as the land your house sits on (except it also comes with connections to the utilities). Web hosts allow you to rent out server space alongside other websites typically for an annual or monthly fee.
There are plenty of options out there but our favourite and the one we recommend is Bluehost because:
WordPress is one of, if not the, most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world. A CMS is a fancy way of basically saying a website builder.
Most blogs setup today will be powered by WordPress. It’s so popular because it’s so easy to use and does its job very well.
The great thing with Bluehost (step 4) is the fact when you are setting up your account, it will automatically install WordPress for you. This means as soon as you’re signed up you can get cracking with designing your website.
Step 5 – Get Writing
Now that you’re all setup the only thing left to do is to create great quality content.
The more you write, the easier it will become. Some people manage to get blogs up and running posting one or two articles a week; others with more.
Whatever you decide, just make you keep it consistent.
Does Having A Blog Make You Money?: Tell us what you think.
How do I start my own blog and make money? It’s a question you may have asked yourself a 100’s of times over and if you are reading this are asking it again.
The fact is blogging is one of the best ways to create an income stream online these days and has been so for some time.
Let’s get one thing straight though, making money online via blogging is more than possible but it’s not easy.
There are plenty of places online that will tell you it’s easy as signing up to their course or just a matter of doing it. But it’s not that straightforward; if it was everyone you know would be doing it.
The likelihood is though you’re in a minority. This is mainly because people fear they simply wouldn’t know where to start.
Starting your own blog and making money is not easy but it is definitely SIMPLE.
How Do I Start My Own Blog and Make Money: 6 Steps
To see how simple it is, let’s walk through the 6 (six) steps we’ve followed to start our blogs and what you’ll need to do.
Step 1 – Select A Topic
The first step is critical – selecting a topic. There’s plenty of advice which suggests it’s a good idea to pick a topic you’re “passionate” about. Whilst this is all well and good, the topics you’re passionate about won’t necessary be the topics that will drive visitors to your website and allow you to monetise that traffic.
If you can find a topic that you find interesting and is also popular with readers than great otherwise aim for a topic that you wouldn’t mind writing about and is popular.
Ultimately at this stage you need to decide if what you’re after is a passion project or a business. While it is quite possible to have both, if this is your first blog you may want to think about what is likely to keep you motivated more; writing about your passion or making money.
A great way to find out how much interest there is in your potential topic is by seeing how many people are searching for it on Google. This is particularly important if you’re hoping to drive the majority of your traffic from search engines. Head over to Ubersuggest.com which is a great free tool for doing high level keyword research.
Step 2 – Select A Platform
Once you have your topic, it’s time to think about which blogging platform you want to use to actually build and write the blog.
This platform is sometimes termed as a Content Management System (CMS) is the place that will be the hub of your blog.
Possibly the most popular CMS in the world is WordPress and it’s what we use to build our websites and also recommend to anyone who asks.
We’re big fans because it’s so simple and intuitive to use when you’re beginner but has a ton of depth that you can use to grow your blog as your level of expertise and experience increases.
WordPress is automatically installed when you sign up to Bluehost (step 4) which also another plus.
Step 3 – Pick A Domain Name
To get to your blog, readers will need a unique and catchy address to be directed to. Your domain name (URL) is your blog’s address on the web and what your brand will be based on.
It is a big decision but it shouldn’t be daunting a task if you follow some simple recommended best practices:-
i – Keep it short (ideally 15 characters or less)
ii – Make it easy to remember
iii – Make it easy to pronounce
iv – Keep it relevant to your topic
v – Avoid hyphens as these are more associated with spamming
Step 4 – Pick A Hosting Provider
Now you’re ready to make another big decision; selecting a web host for your blog.
A web host provides you with a place to store all of your blog’s data that’s needed for it to run and keeps it online. They typically rent out server space to you and lots of other websites. Think of the web host as providing you with the land and all the utilities you need to build your house (your blog).
There’s a whole bunch of choice out there when it comes to selecting a hosting platform for your blog.
We recommend Bluehost which is one of the most popular options on the market. It’s what we’ve used to create all our websites and enjoy the simplicity of the setup process as well as the friendly pricing. The 24/7 tech support that Bluehost also offers is a a real must if you’re a beginner or don’t have more of the technical background you might need for some issues. I’ve often used the chat function at midnight on a weekend!
Whichever hosting provider you choose make sure you pick one that gives you the right level of technical support, guarantees good uptime and suits your budget.
Step 5 – Get Writing
Once you’re all setup on your new hosting platform, it’s time to get writing!
If this is your first blog or even if it isn’t, you might be worried about making your first articles perfect. For now don’t worry so much about that as much as you should just focus on writing regularly.
If you can commit to writing every day especially in the first 90 days you’ll give yourself a much better chance of sticking to it.
Step 6 – Find A Reason To Keep Writing
Whilst the first few days and weeks will seem like fun there may come a time early on where you’ll be discouraged for one reason or another.
When that inevitably happens, try to remind yourself of why you started your blog in the first place. Stick with it through those early rough patches and give it a chance to grow.
Keep reminding yourself of your goal and that should see you through any early obstacles.
To wrap it up – we’ve seen what you need to do to get your blog up and running towards making you money.
If you’ve made the decision to start your blog already or just now; do not wait. Sign up right away whether that’s with Bluehost or somewhere else. Don’t let another week, month or year go by without you taking the action you’ve been dreaming about for so long.
Do you have to pay for web hosting? The short answer is no but if you are serious about making your blog or website successful then the answer is most definitely yes. There are some critical reasons why this is the case that we get into below.
But before we do that let’s just make sure we know what the options are.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that stores and operates your website’s online presence. Think of it as rented accommodation for your website.
It’s what allows your website to exist, operate and be found online by your users.
Free Web Hosting
So do you have to pay for web hosting? As we mentioned the simple answer is no you do not have to pay for web hosting. There are plenty of free website options out there that mean you won’t need to pay for hosting. Let’s take a quick look at a few:
WordPress.com:– They’ll let you setup a website for free and they’re one of the most popular platforms around.
Wix.com: You can setup a free website with their slick looking templates and be up and running quickly.
There are plenty of others out there but these two are the ones we’ve had personal experience with.
What Are The Pros of Free Web Hosting?
You guessed it – top of the list is the fact your web hosting comes completely free. We mention this again because it allows you the freedom to play around with different ideas and start to get used to building out websites without having to spend any money.
You Can Experiment
Theres no real limit on how many free websites you can start and play around with which is great for you fleshing out ideas. My free WordPress dashboard is littered with short-lived experiments. If I get started with something for free on WordPress that I think has legs I switch across to Bluehost which is a paid for web host that includes WordPress automatically.
What Are The Cons of Free Web Hosting?
You Don’t Get The Full Package
As you might expect, with free web hosting you do not get the full benefits that a hosting platform has to offer. The area you may feel this the most is for example not being able to install plugins for WordPress which will severely limit your ability to optimise your website’s performance. Though this may not seem like much of a concern when you’re just starting out, it will very quickly limit your ambitions of you hope to grow your site beyond a little hobby.
You Won’t Be Able To Brand It
A major drawback of free hosting plans is that you’ll be very limited in terms of branding. As the hosting platform is giving you the service for free they’ll also be free to plaster their brand across your site as they see fit – typically this in the form of advertising.
You Can’t Name Your Baby
Perhaps the most pressing issue for you if you’re trying to develop a brand and following is the fact you won’t get a custom domain name. Your site will carry the name of the provider so for example mysite.wordpress.com. This will make it very difficult for you to try and build credibility with an audience.
You Won’t Be Able To Fully Monetise Your Site
Another significant downer with free hosting plans is that you won’t be able to fully monetise your site. The biggest limitation will come in advertising; your web hosting provider will be able to display their own ads on your site. In many cases they may even restrict you from displaying your own ads. This will hamper your efforts to create a revenue stream from your web traffic if you get to those levels.
What Are The Benefits Of Paid Hosting Plans?
You Get Full Control
The biggest benefit of a paid hosting plan over a free plan is the fact you get absolute full control over your website. You don’t have the many restrictions that you get with free plans meaning you can grow your site as you need to and make use of all the tools available on platforms like Bluehost and WordPress.
You Can Use Your Own Domain Name
Another major plus of paid hosting plans over free ones is the fact you can use your own unique domain name for your website. You have the option of purchasing your domain separately from places like GoDaddy.com or getting them as part of a paid hosting plan with providers like Bluehost. This will give you more credibility with potential customers and a better chance of ranking highly on Google to generate your search engine traffic.
You Can Fully Monetise Your Site
If like a lot of people you want to make money from your website then a paid web hosting plan is really the only way to go. As you have complete control you can pick and choose what advertising goes onto your website rather than not being able to advertise at all. There are also no restrictions on actually making money on your website that you get with a lot of free plans.
What’s The Best Web Hosting Platform?
It’s clear that there are many major advantages to paid web hosting plans. Once you’ve made the choice to go the paid route, you then need to decide which one to go for.
We recommend Bluehostbecause of its excellent service, brilliant technical support and affordable pricing. We also recommend as it’s what we use for our websites and it’s been awesome. Check it out here to get a free domain included with your setup.
So in summary, do you have to pay for web hosting? The quick answer is no but if you want to grow your website from a little hobby to something that makes an impact and has the potential to make you money then a paid hosting plan really is the only way.
Do You Have To Pay For Web Hosting?: Tell us what you think!
Do I need a web host to start my blog? The short answer is yes you do need a web host to start your blog. Simply put you can have a blog or website live on the internet without a web host.
If you intend to build a solid foundation for your blog or website then you’re better off investing in a reliable web hosting partner from the off.
Let’s take a look at what web hosting actually is, why it’s important and some of the potential options you have.
What Is Web Hosting?
Simply put web hosting provides a home for your website. It’s where all of your websites content and data is stored (written content, media files, HTML, CSS and much more). Web hosting stores all of the things that allow your website to operate and stay live on the internet. Without a host, you wouldn’t have a place for your website to take shape.
Web hosting companies offer server space for you to rent for your website. In exchange for a fee they’ll provide everything necessary for your website to function and be found by anyone on the World Wide Web.
But in order for your website to be found, it needs to have any address. That’s where a domain name comes in. A domain name is like the address in your rental property – whenever someone types in the address they will be directed to your website.
There’s not much use having a hosted site without a domain and likewise having a domain name without a place to host your website is also pretty useless.
When it comes to creating websites and blogs you always have the option of choosing free platforms as well as paid.
Do I Need A Web Host To Start My Blog?
So now we know what web hosting is; do you really need it? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it’s important to have a web host.
1 – Complete Control
One of the most important reasons for hosting your website on a platform like Bluehost is that you have full control of your blog or website.
When you opt to launch on a free platform in order to carry on operating you have to abide their terms and conditions.
If for whatever reason you inadvertently break one of their rules you could find your website taken offline and losing visitors as well revenues in the meantime.
2 – Take The Hassle Out Of Web Hosting
When you sign up to a web hosting package you are getting rid of the headaches that would come with trying to host a website on your own. If you don’t have a highly technical background and the experience to match it, hosting your own website would be near enough impossible to do well. If you’re just starting out on your online journey then signing up with a web host like Bluehost is the best option.
3 – Brand Recognition
When you sign up for a free blog hosting platform in most (if not all) cases you won’t be able to create your own unique website name. You’ll have to take whatever name is available from their list and then add the platforms overall address in the URL (web address). So for example if you wanted to started a blog about flavoured teas you might find only flavouredteas21.platform.com (platform = the provider). This may result in visitors not taking you seriously. It will also mean you can’t develop a brand image as easily separate from the overall platform. This not only hurts your credibility but will also limit how much you can customise your site.
It also often means you’ll have whatever adverts they want running on your website. This will limit your own ability to earn ad revenues as the site grows. With some free options you won’t be able to place your own adverts at all.
In addition, as you don’t pick the adverts that run on your blog they may go counter to the message or articles your trying to promote.
When you have your own paid hosting plan you’ll be able to fully customise your website and opt only for the type of advertising you wan.
4 – Full Access To Plug-Ins
A major plus for having your own hosted package for your website is the complete access you get to plug-ins. On free options you’ll only get limited access to plug-ins. This can seriously impact your site’s ability to grow in all kinds of ways. For example there are certain plug-ins that will help you to optimise your site for search engine traffic (SEO); a lot of these aren’t made available on the free hosting options and this could make or break your efforts.
With a full hosting package from Bluehost for example you get WordPress installed automatically and have access to its full range of plug-ins.
What Type of Web Hosting Do I Need?
Once you’ve made the decision to purchase web hosting services, you’ll notice there are a number of different types of plans available.
What would be best for you will depends on what you’ll need in terms of technical knowledge required, storage, technical support, speed and how much you want to spend.
Let’s take a look at the types of web hosting available.
Shared hosting is usually the cheapest option available and the one that requires the least technical knowledge upfront. Because of this it’s probably the best option for you if you’re just starting out with little or no previous experience of setting up a blog or website.
Shared hosting is based on website owners sharing server space with lots of other site operators space from a web host. A server is shared amongst all of the websites on that particular server.
For the price you pay and the little technical knowledge needed, it’s where we’d recommend you get started if you’re new in this space.
Shared hosting works best for static websites (e.g. blogs and information sites) that don’t require much interaction. If you need to load high quality files and media eg image galleries etc then you may want to look at a VPN option.
Best Shared Hosting Provider
#1 – Bluehost: They get our vote as the best shared hosting providers. They’re the only webhost we use and they proven to be great for our needs.
Cloud based hosting is a setup where your site is hosted on a network of servers. Simply put your site uses the resources from a collection of servers for its needs.
The collection or cluster of servers is termed as the “cloud”.
This can be a good option for websites that expect to get a high level of traffic.
This is because the load of your server is distributed over a number of different servers.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting plan is based on a certain number of users sharing a server but each having allocated resources to share between them. Whereas on a shared hosting plan multiple users share server space with no guarantee of resources, on a VPN plan users share allocated memory, space and hardware.
Each user as part of a VPN has their own virtual machine running a copy of an operating system.
This type of web hosting is well suited to website owners who have outgrown a shared hosting plan but don’t want to pay for a dedicated server for hosting.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Hosting via a dedicated server is the ultimate form of hosting if you want complete control and customisation.
Unlike the other hosting types, with dedicated server hosting you site is the only one on the server. This gives you access to more resources and a higher level of performance than the other types of hosting.
This is the most expensive type of web hosting and tends to suit websites that have high levels of traffic (think millions of visitors a month) and need significant resources to run at their best.
There are many reasons why people love BlueHost so much and there are plenty of reasons why I have to agree! Having used BlueHost for all of my major website endeavours I can personally testify to how awesome it is. Here are the top 3 reasons why I think BlueHost is the best of the crowded bunch:
1 – It’s Very Easy To Use
For me this makes it top of the list; Bluehost is super simple to use. Even when I was an absolute beginner some 4 odd years ago in the blogging and website space, Bluehost was stunningly easy to get my head around.
2 – It’s Great Value For Money
One of the best things about Bluehost is the fact that their services do not feel overpriced considering everything you get included. This is important as it’s likely that you won’t want to spend too much on your website in the early days (or ever for that matter!).
3 – It Will Help You Get Started
You pay for webhosting with Bluehost in one lump sum when you sign up. Whilst this might put some people off I found this exhilarating as I was fully invested from day one for at least one year with no escape button. If I was paying monthly with the ability to abandon the project at any time, there’s more chance of me bailing when things get tough (which they do all the time). As I know I’ve invested a sizeable amount upfront I have a far greater commitment to pushing through the hard times when traffic is slow or I’m struggling to write new content.