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
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.
Do I Need A Web Host To Start My Blog?