Did you have a GeoCities page when you were younger? Pretty much everyone at my school did. In the time before Facebook and even MySpace, a lot of us used free services like GeoCities to build our own little personal spaces online. And yes, it is true that the vast majority of these ended up being a wild mess of blinking gifs, sparkly backgrounds, and dancing sprites congregated to the 8-bit tune of “Crawling” by Linkin Park. However, a handful of my friends used their pages as a kind of makeshift blog. Of course, nothing hosted on GeoCities went anywhere. Even if some of the users took their pages seriously, nobody else did. Things may have gone differently if they took the time, effort, and investment to create a legitimate blog from the start.
So, how much does a blog cost? It seems like such a simple question. Oddly enough, it can be a little confusing to figure out the cost of running a blog. Initially, it comes down to your intentions. If you only want a place to act as a kind of public diary that goes nowhere, then services like BlogSpot are here for you. But if you want to take it seriously, you need to put in a little more effort and build your own blog with WordPress and secure your own domain and hosting.
Okay, then, so how much does it cost to set up a WordPress blog with hosting and such? Well, use the table of contents below and find out.
Table of Contents
Initial Cost of Running a Blog
There are a few ways to start a blog from scratch. The first thing you will need to do is build it. For most of us, that means getting a CMS (content management system). A CMS is a service or software that gives you a platform for building webpages. The cost associated depends on which CMS you choose.
The best thing about running a blog is that the best CMS for blog posting is absolutely free. WordPress, the most popular website CMS out there, got its start by being a blog creation tool. Today, they are still known as the best outlet for building blogs. So right off the bat, the cost of getting started is free. As far as designing your blog, any cost will be associated with if you want to spend on a premium theme or plugins.
How Much Does Blog Hosting Cost?
So, straight up, how much money are we looking at here? Honestly, it depends on which route you go. You cannot figure out how much money to save to host a blog until you know how you want to host it in the first place.
Self-hosting gives you absolute control over the hosting of your website. What is the cost of hosting a blog yourself? Strangely, it is higher than you might think at first. First, when you want to host your own website, you have to provide the hardware. Depending on how much performance you want for your website, the parts could run you a couple of thousand dollars.
After that initial cost, though, you do not have to pay a monthly subscription. However, that also means that you are not paying someone to monitor and maintain the hosting for your website. You are responsible for the security of the hosting server. You also have to apply the updates and make sure all of your plugins are still compatible with that update. Failing to do any of this can result in your website operating poorly or coming down altogether. Speaking of websites coming down, without appropriate backups, a simple power outage can bring your entire site offline.
The more common option is to pay a subscription for a service to host your website for you. How much does third-party blog hosting cost? Managed hosting services can range from around $10 to hundreds of dollars per month. The range of price is based on the number of websites you need hosting for, how much data you want to be hosted on the site, how many visitors you expect to regularly access your site, and how much activity (like downloading data or streaming content) your users perform. It takes many more resources to host a site streaming HD video than it does to host a webpage featuring a text blog post.
I say “managed” hosting because there are usually a couple of options for free hosting hanging around. In general, free hosting is a bad idea. These services make their money by putting bulky ads on your site and selling your data. And some are even fronts for hacking activity. Regardless, the best-case scenario is that nobody running the server cares if your site runs well and stays active.
The Best Web Hosting for Blog Cost
So, what does a year of hosting cost for a blog? The best way to look at this is to compare a few of the key players. Let’s take a look at three of the top WordPress hosting services. At their base levels, which is perfectly suited for blogs, we have the following.
- WP Super Host – $21 per month
- WPEngine – $25 per month
- Flywheel – $25 per month
The prices are pretty close at first glance, but keep in mind this is a monthly subscription. Down the line, an extra $4 every month can eat away a bit of cash. Still, though, it is important to look at the features each host offers. It could be that WPEngine and Flywheel offer more than $4 per month of quality over WP Super Host.
All three of these hosts’ packages include one website. Again, this works out just fine for wanting to start a blog. However, there are differences in the quality offered. Below, we break down how many monthly visitors your website can support with each host.
- WP Super Host – 30,000
- WPEngine – 25,000
- Flywheel – 25,000
Again, the numbers are fairly close. It might not be a normal thing to expect your visitors to range between 25,000 and 30,000. However, that extra wiggle room past 25,000 might make you feel a little more comfortable as your numbers grow. That extra bump could also help you save money by letting you wait another month or two before having to pay for the next package so your site can support more visitors.
The number of visitors is correlated with the performance each host provides. However, it is not a 1:1 ratio. For example, let’s look at the same three packages in regard to the available bandwidth.
- WP Super Host – 100 GB
- WPEngine – 50 GB
- Flywheel – 50 GB
Here is where we see the most substantial difference. WP Super Host offers twice the bandwidth of the competitors at this package level. This actually helps your blog quite a bit. With less bandwidth, it is likely that you will have to link to certain videos and images instead of letting visitors view it on your own blog. Else, you could chance having a throttled connection before the end of the month. Sometimes, asking your users to leave your blog to view content somewhere else gives them a chance to exit your blog for good.
Another aspect to look at is storage. While it is great to have the bandwidth for users to view the content on your site, you need to have space for that content in the first place. Let’s see how storage compares with all three hosts.
- WP Super Host – 5 GB
- WPEngine – 10 GB
- Flywheel – 10 GB
The other hosts do offer more storage than WP Super Host. At double the rate here, you would have 5 GB more of assets you can store for your website. However, keep in mind that having it on your site is not all you need. This does not do you any good if your users exceed your bandwidth limit and force your performance to the ground. But it is still important to keep this in mind when looking for a blog host. In the end, you will want to make sure your host can satisfy all of your requirements.
Your best choice
After learning all of this, what can a company do to offset the cost of running a blog? Honestly, the best way in how to save money on a blog is to find the best host. The comparison in the previous section makes the choice pretty clear. For the vast majority of features, WP Super Host outperforms the competition. We allow more visitors, provide more bandwidth, and offer a lower price. When it comes to WordPress hosting, the right call is WP Super Host. And when compared with our competitors, it is clear to see the best value. Take a moment to look at the different hosting packages we offer to find the one that is right for you.
Now, we should all have an understanding of the cost of running a WordPress blog. While building a blog with WordPress is initially free, it has to be hosted somewhere. Even if you do not have a demanding blog that needs a lot of resources, finding the best, paid hosting is the best way to get great quality and save some of the cost of running a blog.