Starting an online blog is quick, fun and easy. It allows you to share your opinions with a massive audience, and potentially generate a profit along the way. Many people who try to start blogs get caught up with the technical aspect of web hosting, domain name purchases, and SSL certificates. While it may sound confusing (and potentially offsetting to non-technical people), there are several services that make setting up an online blog as easy as 1-2-3. This post will review my top 2 picks for domain names and online hosting in 2019.
💲💲 As per the policy of this blog, I notify readers whenever I have affiliate links in a post. Both services linked in this post are affiliate links, but I’ve used each service extensively for both commercial and personal projects.
Namecheap and EasyWP has recently jumped to the top of my list when answering the question “How do I start up an online blog?”.
Namecheap has developed an all in one system to buy and hold domain names and connect them with a very easy and simple hosting service. Here’s what you do to start a blog with this service.
First, get your domain name.
Namecheap has some of the lowest rates (in the long run) for domain names that I’ve found. Dot-com addresses will cost $8.88 per year, and the service will suggest other domains that you can bundle with your purchase to save even more.
When buying the domain name, you have the option to add EasyWP to your order. EasyWP is the one click hosting platform that Namecheap offers. It costs around $3 per month, and you can pay as you go (monthly), or pay in advance (yearly). Of all of the hosting platforms that I’ve used over the past few years it is one of the cheapest and easiest to use.
Here are some of the features I love:
- You can easily backup your blog.
- Hosting is extremely speedy for a budget provider.
- Integration with Namecheap is seamless.
- It’s a fairly new service, so it’s modern and simple.
After purchasing both the hosting and domain name, you connect the domain name to the host.
The service automatically sets everything up, and next thing you know, your blog is up and running. I host this blog with Namecheap/EasyWP, and cannot recommend it enough.
Now, with that being said, there are some drawbacks to this service (specifically EasyWP, I’ve had no problems with Namecheap). It’s still in Beta, meaning that there may be some bugs that have not been caught yet. Personally, while trying to connect a SSL certificate to the domain name through EasyWP, I came across an issue that froze my dashboard. I chatted with online support (they have amazing customer support), and the issue was fixed quickly, but keep in mind that you may need to deal with that while using this service as well. Also, because it’s so low cost, I’d expect it to slow down when more users visit a website. Email service is not included with the domain and hosting, unlike some other services.
Verdict: Namecheap is handsdown the best (and cheapest) domain provider I’ve used. EasyWP is a great budget option that is simple and easy to use, with some issues as it’s still in beta.
If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful (but almost as cheap), then take a look at Bluehost when setting up your blog. Like Namecheap, Bluehost manages domains and hosting under one platform. I’ve used Bluehost for the past two years on various web design projects and blogs and have had an amazing experience with the company.
The first thing to do is set buy a domain name.
As you buy the name, like Namecheap, you can bundle them to save, and also include the hosting service.
While more expensive, Bluehost hosting has a lot of features for what you pay. What I like about the company is that they include the SSL certificate and automatically attach it to your domain name. For non technical people, this is great because attaching a SSL to a domain name can be a fairly complicated process. For hosting, I’ve used and will recommend the Choice Plus Plan.
Keep in mind, to get the lowest rates with Bluehost, you may need to pay in advance for 12 or 24 months. While you may be paying $5.95 a month, your upfront costs may range from $120-$300.
After purchasing everything, It’s a one click installation, to which you connect the domain name. What’s neat about Bluehost is that you have have unlimited sites under one hosting plan (but with each additional site, service slows down).
They also include email and Cpanel access without any additional Charges, making it much easier for developers to work with.
Verdict: If you need some more functionality then use Bluehost. They’re cheap, but keep in mind, less simple and easy to use then EasyWP.
Both of these services are great in their own respects. For simplicity, use EasyWP. For functionality and value, use Bluehost.
When setting up a blog, I’d recommend using Bluehost to host the website, and using Namecheap to hold and own the domains. This method is the cheapest and easiest in my eyes. If you have any question about the technical aspects of starting a blog, feel free to shoot me an email at James@25millionaire.com, or leave a comment down below. I’d be happy to help!