Do you want to self-host your blog or website but (1) you do not know which web hosting company you should choose, and (2) you are not sure how much it will cost?
There are plenty of reviews out there already. If you are interested in reading reviews, here are a few:
When I was trying to decide between HostGator and Bluehost, I spent many hours (over the course of several days) reading online reviews. Oddly enough, the deciding factor for me was learning that they are both owned by Endurance International Group. I figure that if they are owned by the same entity, any difference between HostGator and Bluehost is not going to be significant. Since Bluehost is what WordPress recommends, and it is what I first came across anyway, I went with Bluehost. Had I gone with HostGator, I bet it would fit my web hosting needs just as well.
At the time of this writing, Bluehost is advertizing on their website that their cost is only $3.95 a month. Doesn’t sound expensive right? Ever wonder how much you would be charged at checkout? Well, here’s the breakdown for me:
|Description||Duration||Unit Price||Line Total|
|Total at checkout||$232.15|
|Web Hosting||36 mos||$3.95/month||$142.20|
|Site Backup Pro||3 years||$19.99/year||$59.97|
|SiteLock Domain Security||1 year||$19.99/year||$19.99|
|Domain Privacy Protection||1 year||$9.99/year||$9.99|
|Domain Name Registration||1 year||$11.99/year||$11.99|
|Registration Coupon||1 year||($11.99)/year||($11.99)|
The bare minimum you will need to start a website are the domain registration and the web hosting service. The domain registration can be done elsewhere, but I register through Bluehost because it’s “free.” As you can see in the last two line items on the table above, they charged and credit me for the same amount. The net amount comes out to be $0, but that only covers the first year. When it is time to renew next year, I will have to pay $11.99 to renew my domain name.
I could have opted out of other features had I wanted to save a little bit of money, but these features are useful if not essential. Not signing up for them may cost me more headaches in the long run.
The Site Backup Pro lets you backup or restore your website files. This blog doesn’t have much content yet, but as more content is added, this backup feature will give me a peace of mind.
Domain privacy protection is a must have in my opinion. When you buy a domain name you have to provide your contact information such as your name, address, email, and etc. This information will be made publicly available through the WHOIS database. I do NOT want to increase the volume of junk mail in my email and at my home. Signing up for domain privacy protection is a no brainer.
I can afford to spend $232.15, but two hundred something dollars can be a lot of money for some folks. If you can afford ~$230 however, don’t let the cost deter you from starting your blog or website. Pick a well established web hosting company and just go with it. Do some research, but don’t spend too much time researching to the point where you keep on putting off taking that first step. Like that old Chinese saying goes: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
My Real Bottom Line: ($232.15). I am also expecting to shell out another ~$61.96 next year. I understand that there will be more cost as a blog/website grows (such as buying a professional WordPress theme), but I will worry about those costs in the future…. if this blog ever grows.