Web Hosting for New Bloggers
We’re breaking down everything you need to know about choosing the best web hosting for WordPress to launch your new blog. Find out which hosting features are most important for bloggers, as well as which hosting company we recommend when starting a new blog.
Starting a new blog is scary! There’s so much to learn, and it can be overwhelming. I’ve been there!
One of the first steps to getting your new site up and running is choosing a web host. This post breaks down everything you need to know in order to pick the best host for your WordPress site.
Everything You Need to Know About Choosing A Web Host for WordPress
(Affiliate links are provided below for convenience. For more information see my disclosure, here.)
When we first started Joyfully Growing Blog, I did a ton of research comparing web hosting companies. Along with a recommendation from a trusted veteran blogger, we chose to launch the blog with Bluehost.
I’m so glad we did because the recommendation was perfect. Bluehost was an excellent choice and served us well for many years.
(If you want to start a blog of your own, I recommend downloading my free blogging guide – How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps.)
Now that Joyfully Growing Blog has been operating for several years, I’ve learned exactly what features are important to look for in a web hosting company (and what isn’t important). Armed with this knowledge, I decided to write a detailed post to help others see if Bluehost is still the best web hosting provider for new bloggers using WordPress.
Spoiler alert: It is.
If you don’t love nerding out over all the details and just want a great recommendation – done! We highly recommend Bluehost to new bloggers because of their unbeatable value. If you’re ready to go check them out, head to their website to learn more.
If you want to know exactly how to get everything set up, I wrote a step by step Bluehost Tutorial that shows you exactly how to get started. The tutorial includes screenshots to make the startup process as simple as possible!
What Is Web Hosting?
A web host is the company that provides space on its servers to store your blog content and connects it to the internet.
Which web hosting features are most important?
Interested in all the nitty-gritty details? Below is a list of all the features that I think are most important for new bloggers when considering which web host to go with for your site.
1: Site Speed for User Experience
Your web hosting company has the #1 biggest impact on site speed and page-load times. All websites should be fast! Picking the best web host for WordPress is the easiest way to make sure your site is super fast!
Fast and responsive websites are great for user experience.
Imagine someone trying to read one of your blog posts and the page has been loading for 5 seconds with no content showing. If this person is your best friend or your mom, they’ll probably stay and wait.
However, most of your views will come from Pinterest and Google Search. A random internet user is much less likely to stick around waiting for a slow page to load. You only have 1-2 seconds to catch your readers attention!
If your site is slow, you’ll lose potential readers before you have a chance to wow them with your content.
2: Site Speed for SEO
Site speed is also extremely important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines, like Google and Pinterest, use proprietary algorithms to rank pages for certain search queries.
Site speed and page load times are small factors that get plugged into the search engine’s algorithm to determine whether your content is useful.
Because algorithms are always changing, its hard to say exactly how much weight site speed carries, but it DOES matter. Simply stated: having a super fast site will help you to rank higher in Google searches!
As a blogger, you want to be constantly growing your audience and readership, and having your blog posts rank higher on Google is a great way to get your content in front of new readers.
3: Customer Service
Great customer service is an important quality to look for in a web hosting company. If your host has problems, your site has problems.
It’s important that customer service can be reached quickly and easily. Many cheaper hosting companies have sub-par customer service in order to keep their costs down. I recommend choosing a web host with great customer service.
4: Domain Registration
Domain registration is what connects a URL (ex: joyfullygrowingblog.com) to the server that hosts a website.
Think of it like an internet phonebook for websites. Domain registration is like paying to get your URL into into the phonebook.
Not all hosts provide domain registration with your plan. There’s companies (like godaddy.com and others) that offer domain registration services, but not web hosting.
If you choose to use Bluehost to host your website, they will provide free domain registration! This makes things really simple. And trust me, when you’re trying to figure out how this whole blogging thing works, anything to simplify the process is appreciated!
5: SSL Certificate
Have you ever noticed a little grey lock symbol before the URL of a website? If the site is fully secure, the URL will show up like this:
Websites that aren’t fully secure will look like this:
These symbols are an industry standard security measure that are designed to let users know if the site they are viewing is safe or not.
SSL Certificates and secure https:// URL addresses are a relatively new thing. Websites that were started several years ago all had http:// website addresses.
It’s becoming increasingly important to have a fully secure site. Trying to transition a website from ‘Not Secure’ to ‘Secure’ can be a serious pain! But, because you are most likely starting a website from scratch, you’re lucky! With a little bit of planning, you can start with a secure site from the beginning and never have to worry about making the switch.
How does this relate to choosing a web host? Some hosting companies include a free SSL certificate with their hosting packages, while others will charge extra or not even offer the SSL certificate at all.
Bluehost offers a free SSL certificate with every one of their hosting plans – even the basic plan which starts at $3.95/month. This is an awesome benefit!
Which Plan To Choose
The most important features for choosing a web host are: site speed, customer service, domain registration, and SSL Certificate. Bluehost checks all the boxes, and excels in all the categories!
Each one of their plans include free domain registration, and a free SSL certificate. Bluehost offers an excellent balance of price and features. I recommend Bluehost’s Basic Plan ($3.95/month) to bloggers that are interested in getting a new website up and running. This plan offers their best value.
While Bluehost isn’t the cheapest or the absolute fastest, we’ve had a great experience with them and believe they offer the best web host for WordPress, especially for new bloggers.
Want An Upgrade?
As you know by now, I’m a huge proponent of Bluehost, but they do have their limitations. For the absolute fastest speeds, and higher traffic sites, Bluehost just isn’t the best option. Joyfully Growing Blog is currently hosted on Flywheel, and it’s crazy fast & awesome!
(Can you tell I’m kind of a hosting nerd? ?)
Is Flywheel right for your site?
While I love having Flywheel as our host, I want to be very clear about this: if you are starting from ground zero with a new blog, Flywheel is overkill and unnecessary. Growing a blog takes time! If you fall inside the ‘normal’ statistical bell curves, it will take years, not months, to get tons of traffic to your site.
Using Bluehost for the first few years can save you a few hundred bucks, which makes it the perfect choice for many new sites.
However, if you have the need for speed and don’t mind paying a little more from the beginning, then I can’t recommend Flywheel enough! We’ve been using their services for a few years now and couldn’t be happier.
Flywheel plans start at $15/month, and they’re insanely fast. (Tip: if your pet peeve is slow computers and slow internet, then do yourself a favor and choose Flywheel!)
Their customer service is one of my favorite features. They have short wait times for customer service, and an extremely knowledgeable staff that’s based in the USA! You’ll end up contacting your host’s support much more often than you might think (and not because you site is down, they can be extremely helpful with a ton of issues or technical difficulties that you might be having with your website).
Personally, if I was starting another website, I would choose Flywheel’s Tiny Plan ($15/month). The extra cost would be worth it to me. Plus, eventually having to upgrade from one host to another can be a pain. Starting with Flywheel eliminates the hassle of upgrading later on. In my opinion, Flywheel is the best web host for WordPress.
If this sounds like you’re kind of web hosting provider, head to their website to learn more.
I hope this post made it easier for you to choose the best web host for WordPress. If you’re looking to start a blog for cheap, then Bluehost needs to be your answer. They are the absolute best price and performance value for anyone starting a blog.
If you need help getting started, I created a step-by-step tutorial (with screenshots!) that walks you through the complete setup process to get your WordPress site up and running on Bluehost.