Or $13 A Year
Yup, you read that right. How much does it cost to start a blog? $13 a year.
For me. Hosting my own blog is the cheapest and safest way of blogging.
Sure, Wordpress.com offered free blogging service, but the website is not yours. Your website domain name will have a .wordpress.com behind it. You can have your own domain name there but it will cost you at least $48 a year. Plus, you cannot put in ads and there is a lot of restriction to it.
I will break down what makes a blog into four components and how much do they cost. I like to think of a blog as a store. Make that a house to get that homely feel. You will need:
- Domain Name. The address to your house.
- Web hosting. The foundation on which your house is built.
- Content Management System (Blogging Software). The structure of your house.
- Theme and plugins. The furnishing of the bells and whistles in your house.
Note: I used affiliate links in this post.
Domain Name – $8 A Year
Luyungterd.com is a domain name. It is what people typed in to find your site. That is why, if your blog is a house, your domain name is the address for that house.
Always get a .com address. People had long associated the default domain name to end in .com and you must play to that expectation.
There is no such thing as a free domain. If there is, look into the terms and conditions. Chances are that you have paid for it in some way or it did not belong to you in the first place.
There are a number of registrars that you can buy your domain name but the best place to buy your domain name for me is at Namesilo.com.
It is cheap and offered free WHOIS protection, which is the biggest selling point to me. At other registrars, it ranged from $3/year (Namecheap) to $8/year (GoDaddy). When you registered a domain name, your personal details will be listed under WHOIS for public view. If you are fine with it, then great. Otherwise, get WHOIS protection to protect your privacy.
Here are some price comparisons taken from Namesilo’s Competitors Comparison page.
But wait? It is showing $8.99 here for a domain name, but I claimed that it was $8. Did I lie?
No. Namesilo’s pricing is cheaper than others, and it also offered coupon that is valid all year long.
Here. Use this to get $1 off the domain name when you are registering.
Namesilo Coupon Code: BLOGME
This code has unlimited uses. Share the code with others to help them get a cheaper price too.
Web Hosting – $5 A Year
Web hosting is serious business and a host provider will do whatever it takes to earn your business. Many bloggers would recommend you to use Bluehost but I disagreed. You can get cheaper options elsewhere. Bluehost is a generous commission payer. It paid $65 for each referred customer and paid $5 million in commission last year (it’s actually in 2015).
You don’t need to start with expensive hosting. Start cheap. Start small. Then scale up when necessary. Use the extra money for something else.
In fact, I am currently hosting this site in Buyshared and using the $5 a year plan.
I recommend that you try out Impactshared.
Why not Buyshared like I am using now? You can try but for Buyshared, it involved a bit of luck (rub your rabbit foot and crossed your finger) due to limited availability. They opened up spaces now and then, but will close the openings once all the spaces were snagged up. Which is actually great because they know they have limited space and they do not oversell hosting. It is no fun hosting a website on a shared server with 2000 other neighbors when the server could only afford 200 places.
If your blog went viral and you had a ton of visitors coming in that you exceeded the limit, congratulations. Just upgrade to the next limit, which cost only $10 per year.
Note: I am also using affiliate links in this post just like the others promoting Bluehost. But, while others earned $65, I got maybe two quarters out of Buyshared/Impactshared. ($100 vs $5 on your first bill)
And that $5 is not a promo price. That is the regular price because the price is so low that they do not offer discounts. The monthly price of many other hosting jumped after your promo period ended but not with these two.
Content Management System – Free
Yup. WordPress.org is the software I would use to power your blog and it is free. You never have to pay for it.
If you have to pay for WordPress, that is WordPress.com and it is not a self-hosted option.
WordPress powered 29% of all websites. It is a solid frame for your house on which you can put in the next component, the furnishing.
Theme and Plugins – Free to Unlimited
All the websites running on WordPress had the same solid framework (WordPress) behind them. And yet, these sites all looked different from one to another.
The reason for this are the furnishings placed on top of WordPress. These are the theme that you see and all the little plugins by the side that added more features to the blog.
You can achieve a lot of things starting out with using just the free options. So, if you started your blog and someone said you should pay for a premium theme or paid plugin, ignore the person and focused on writing good content. What is the use of beautiful bells and whistles if there is nothing good to read on your blog?