What are self-hosted blogs? These are blogs that you pay a fee, usually monthly to a web hosting service and for blogs to live on their platforms.
How do self hosted blogs differ from hosted blogs?
Self hosted blogs have many advantages over blogs that are hosted for free. For example a self hosted blog has its own domain.
This gives the blog owner complete control of what can he/she can do with his/her blog.
Advantaged of Self-Hosted Blogging
So owners of self hosted blogs can customize their blogs the way they want. They are also free to monetize their blogs without any limitations.
Another advantage of self hosting blogging is the owner can closely monitor the blog’s performance and easily scale and grow.
For instance, if a self hosted blog is loading slow because of server issues, the blog owner can upgrade or even completely change hosting platforms.
5 Popular Self-Hosted Blog Platforms
Bluehost is one of the most widely used self hosted blog platforms. Many successful bloggers started out with Bluehost.
Bluehost was founded by Matte Heaton in 2003. It is now run by Endurance International Group which also operates other hosting services. Bluehost house about 2 million domains on the internet.
Bluehost offers both shared hosting and managed hosting services.
Bluehost Managed Hosting
Bluehost Hosting plans start at $9.95 for new customers who buy service for a minimum of three years. After three years, rates rise to $19.95 per month.
With this package, customers can self-host one blog. They get up to 20 GB of storage space.
Bluehost provides a free SSL certificate for increased security. They aslo have a 30-day free trial of Microsoft 365 Email Essentials.
From a support standpoint, Bluehost provides live chat and a telephone number for 24/7 assistance.
According to Bluehost website, their top-tier plan offers an additional service called “Blue Sky Live Support.” Lower priced plans do not have access to live support.
Online reviews are split between either five-star or one-star.
SiteGround offers managed WordPress hosting starting at $6.99 per month. This plan includes one website and up to 10 GB of storage space.
New users get a free SSL certificate and unmetered traffic. This means site owners and page visitors can transfer as much data as necessary.
It ‘s important to note that customers must sign up for a year at to lock in te $6.99 a month price. But be prepared for sticker shock when you renew. Your hosting cost will increase dramatically.
SiteGround provides many different channels for support. In addition to 24/7 live chat, users can access various automated solutions to find answers for simpler and common issues with ease.
Live operators can also assist with more complex issues.
Online reviews do show some dissatisfaction with the customer support system, especially since Siteground switched to cloud a hosting enviroment.
However, most reviews indicate their user experience is above industry average. Personally I received great SiteGround support.
This is a popular United States based company. The company that was started by 4 undergrad students from Harvey Mudd college in 1996.
Dreamhost Managed Hosting
Dreamhost provides low-cost managed self hosting but does not require an annual or 36-month sign-up. Instead, they provide customers with the option of signing up for a monthly or yearly plan.
All plans include SSD storage, free SSL, and unmetered bandwidth. Monthly rates begin at $12.00. The annual plan also includes a free domain name.
Support options through Dreamhost seem limited to e-mail and live chat. There is an option to receive a callback, but customers must pay for extra this service.
Despite these limitations, online reviews are glowing. Reviews often mention fast and helpful responses. Most reviews show site’s overall performance is above average.
Visit Dreamhost Website
Hostinger Ltd. is an employee owned web-hosting provider that was founded in 2004. Their headquarters is located in Lithuania.
Hostinger claim to have 29 million users on the internet.
Hostinger provides one website and 30 GB of storage for as low as $1.99 per month with a four-year plan.
Their two-year plan costs $2.99 per month, one-year plan costs $4.99 per month. And the monthly plan will set you back $7.99.
All plans, outside of the monthly package also see an increase upon renewal.
Support through Hostinger is only available through e-mail or in-site messaging. The site also provides a frequently asked questions portion to provide answers to more common inquiries.
Online reviews are great overall, with very few complaints.
Visit Hostinger Website
Hosting Pricing Table
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Namecheap is best known as a Domain Registrar. Howeve,r the company does provide low cost managed WordPress hosting service. In fact they offer some of the lowest rates for managed hosting at name cheap.
Namecheap WordPress Self Hosting
The Namecheap monthly plans begin at $3.88 per month. Annual plans start at $22.88, or approximately $1.91 per month.
All plans include 10 GB of storage and bandwidth availability for up to 50,000 visitors monthly.
From a customer service standpoint, Namecheap provides live chat, email support, and a knowledge base that provides general guidance and answers to customers.
Online reviews are mediocre. Users often complain about poor customer service and questionable business practices.
From a customer service standpoint, Namecheap provides live chat, e-mail support, and a knowledge base that provides general guidance and answers to customers.
Visit Namecheap website
Ease of Use And Pricing
There are a number of factors that will determine what plan you should choose. Ease of use and pricing are big factors when deciding on a self hosted blogging platform.
However there are a few key features you should never skimp on. We’ll take a look at three of them.
Key Features Hosting Features
Why are speed, security and support important factors for self- hosted blogs? Because the performance of your blog is highly dependent on the hosting platform it lives on.
When shopping for hosting for a blog, start by looking at current customers’ reviews. See what customers say about their experience while using a particular platform.
Listen to what current and past customers say about a particular platform. Pay close attention to what they say about Speed, Security, and Support.
Web hosting services that prioritize these features deliver better experience to both you, the subscriber, and to your users as well.
Providers of hosting for blogs and websites offer a variety of packages and plans. They range from shared hosting to managed cloud hosting.
Hosting and Blog Speed
Shared hosting is the most common plan for new bloggers who self-host blogs.
Shared hosting means that a number of blogs live on the same server. This blog hosting plan is ideal if you are just starting out or have a small blog.
Shared hosting costs less than other plans do as well. But there are downsides to using shared hosting for your blog.
Disadvantages of Shared Hosting
As mentioned before with shared hosting a number of sites reside on a server. Therefore whatever happens to one site affects all the others.
Also if one website succumbs to an issue and has to be taken offline, other sites on that server may also be affected.
And some hosting providers may load too many websites on the same server. This definitely affects the speed of each blog on that server.
Sadly if there is a problem with your self-hosted blog there is very little you can do. You have two options:
- Find another home for your self-hosted blog to live
- Upgrade to a better hosting plan
Both options result in issues. So save yourself the headache and choose a decent self- hosted blogging platform from the get go. In addition to speed, your blog security is top priority.
Security For Self-Hosted Blogs
According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Reports, in 2020 over 80 percent of breaches were as a result of brute force attacks or stolen credentials. That makes your blog vulnerable.
A brute force attack is when hackers try to get to your site using numerous combinations of passwords. They test these combinations until one gives them access.
Hosting providers need to be your ally when it comes to the security of your website. How so?
They should have security measures in place to help protect your blog against attacks from bad people.
Some of these key features of the best web hosting platforms that serve self-hosted blogs include:
- Scheduled server maintenance
- Firewalls and Secure Socket Layer (SSL protection).
- Malware detection
- Unauthorized user access
These blog hosting services won’t ask you to pay extra for these security features. They offer them as standard security features when you buy hosting service.
Good Customer Support
The is probably the most important feature for amateur bloggers. You will definitely come upon issues that require some help.
Before buying into any hosting plan, it is a good idea to check what current subscribers are saying about customer service.
If current users have complaints, look for another service.
SiteGround was started in Bulgaria in 2004 by Ivo Nikolov. Like Bluehost the platform is home to some 2 million domains.
There are a number of benefit that come from self hosting a blog. And those benefits may be related to the plan you choose. However the greatest benefit is the freedom to grow and scale.
Therefore when picking hosting for a blog keep your long-term goal in mind. And if you are serious about your blogging don’t’ allow pricing dictate the hosting you choose.
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