Does it cost you money to build your own blog? And if that’s true, how much should you pay?
But what if you have no money at all, can you really be able to have a blog completely for free? And if that’s the case, what’s the catch?
To answer all these questions, we’re here to help you with an easy guide that shows you the real cost to start a blog and make it successful. So, keep reading, bookmark this page for later reading and you’ll save lots of time and effort looking for answers.
But first, let’s have an idea about what you need to start a blog, of course, you should have some service or option in order to make things work. So, here is the list:
- A domain name: You can get it for $10 or less, or for free if you choose a good web hosting provider
- The blogging software: It’s for free when self-hosted
- The blog theme: this will cost about $50 for an average quality design that looks good and have a control panel for customization. However, there are many web hosts that offer free themes for WordPress.
- Web hosting: it costs $70 to $100 at least for a good quality hosting for one year and it’s for the web servers rental, maintenance, email address, cPanel and other tools to manage your blog and make it public.
The price for a domain name
The domain name is the first thing that you should think about in your blog. It’s the address that people use to access it. So, the average cost of the blog domain is $10 but that can be higher if you choose the wrong provider.
For that, make sure you use one of the most popular and trusted domain name registrars, we recommend GoDaddy as they have the biggest company with the best Domain Name System, tools, and support.
When you buy a domain name, you get a control panel where you can point that domain to the web server. So, you need a web hosting service that rents the server resources on a monthly or yearly basis.
How much should you pay for the theme?
When you have the domain and the blog software, you’ll need the theme that makes your site look awesome, organized, and readable. So, the theme is a file of code that you install in the blogging software.
You can get this theme for free included in your web hosting plan with web hosts like HostGator or WP Engine. Or you can buy a theme from marketplaces or web design companies. Even more, you can hire someone to build a blog theme for you, but that will add an extra charge of hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
Total cost for starting a blog on WordPress
WordPress is not one platform that you can use to build your own blog. It’s a commercial company with two platforms for different types of users. The first one is free, so you can download the blogging software which is the best one in the world, and then, you need to host it on your own.
So, the average charge for hosting the WordPress software is around $70 to $120 per year with good quality web hosting services like InMotion Hosting (they offer the domain name for free). However, if you’d like to pay per month, then, choose HostGator and it will work well (but, the domain name is paid this time).
Here is our dedicated guide for monthly blog hosting options, you can find more prices depending on the service provider, resources, and also options.
- You own your blog at 100% (you can move it when you want, modify anything, etc…)
- There is no limit on what you can use it for
- Regular updates
- Easy to use
- WordPress is SEO friendly, especially if you install the Yoast plugin (free)
- The best blogging software with a complete Content Management System (CMS)
- You can install any plugin theme or code
- Fully customizable
- Web hosting companies offer free blog migration in most cases
- You can sell the blog if you want
- You can monetize it the way you want (with Google Ads, direct advertising or other)
- No need to worry about security if you update the software regularly and follow the best practices.
Using the WordPress.com blogging platform
This is the second way of using WordPress, but this time, you should use their software that was installed and customized in their servers.
So, you can move it or even edit the code, moreover, there is no way to install plugins or even themes. This way, you’ll be limited in features, software usage and even more, you can’t monetize it unless you upgrade to the premium plan that’s too expensive compared to the above self-hosted solution.
So, WordPress.com is not as free as many think, it’s a commercial blogging platform. Unlike the free WordPress.org platform, you can’t control the blog layout and customize it 100%.
- You’re not free to use the site the way you want
- You get no domain with the free plan, they provide you with their subdomain that’s useless anyway
- You’re not allowed to install any plugin or them unless you pay for the premium plan
- They put their banner advertising on your blog
- No support
No, if you want to remove the WordPress limitations and have a blog with WordPress.com, that will cost you $4 per month at least for web hosting, and lots of time and effort learning how to do anything.
As you can see, the cost of starting a blog on WordPress is around $70 and the domain name is included for free with many web hosts.
Or, if you want to pay month to month, choose HostGator, and you’ll build your blog for just $23 the first month (hosting plus the domain) and then $10.95 per month. That’s it, you get all the best blogging tools and options with cPanel, file manager, FTP, and DNS of course.
- You can also read our guide on how much you should pay for web hosting services.
Starting your Blog using Google
Google has a platform for blogging that you can use and build a blog for free. However, you need to buy a domain name, or you’ll get a subdomain that ends with “Blogspot.com” and that’s not the way to look professional and succeed.
Of course, you can start a personal blog for free with Google, but if you want to monetize, you find issues with traffic (can you find any blog that ranks on the first page of google with Blogspot subdomains? No way.
- Read on: 5 best benefits of blogging
So, having your own domain is the way you should choose with any free blogging platform. And for a recommendation, GoDaddy is the biggest domain name restoration service in the world. The price of a domain is $10/year.
Using Wix Weebly and others
We don’t want to complicate things, Wix, Weebly, and other similar websites offer basic drag and drop website builders that are hosted at the same time. So, it’s not for blogging, if you use any of these services, then you’re just wasting the time and money.
Their hosting plans are the most expensive, and the domain name price is at the same level as a web hosting plan for 4 months or so, with cheaper providers.
These platforms work well for those who want to build a one-page website with no technical skills needed. But if you want to start a blog and become a professional blogger, then, stay away and choose a premium quality blogging platform and not just a website builder software.
- Read next: Economy Linux hosting plans with cPanel