There's a lot to learn and figure out when you start blogging. I started building websites in the mid-90s (!) and blogging in 2002. Blogging as a business takes this to a whole new level. Let me help you jump a few steps ahead and show you some of my favorite blogging resources.
And one quick note. This list of blogging resources contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you decide to make a purchase after clicking one of the links below. I'm only referring products and services that I personally use.
Web Hosting and Buying your Domain Name
Your blog needs a dependable digital home (web host) that allows you to control both your content as well as the design of your site. Free sites usually have limitations on how you can use the service.
WordPress (WP) is the platform of choice for bloggers to publish their blogs. You'll see this referred to as WordPress.org in some discussions. That is referring to downloading the WordPress software and hosting it where ever you choose. The good news is that most web hosts now provide tools to quickly install WordPress for you, so you don't have to struggle with new technology.
SiteGround for hosting your blog
First things first you need a place where you can host the your blog's website. It's better to “self host” rather than use a platform such as Blogger or WordPress.com because you'll have more control over both your content as well as the design of your blog.
I started hosting with SiteGround in 2014 after having trouble with another web host. SiteGround has been an awesome host over the last few years. They are one of the top referrals for WordPress hosting. Because I run a few blogs, I can host them in a single account.
Tip: For your first purchase the price is significantly discounted. For the future renewals will go back to the current rate. You can lock in that initial discount for up to 3 years and you can also save money by renewing for more than two or three years.
Which plan to buy?
If you have the money available, signup for the GrowBig account (the middle one), because of the daily backup and caching features. Tight on cash?
The StartUp is a great choice as well. As it can take a while for your blog to grow in traffic, the smaller startup plan can work well, while being budget friendly. The upgrade process is pretty easy as I did it once to move from the middle plan to the their higher plan. Reach out to the support for more information.
Use Namecheap to buy your domain separately
I own more than a few domain names, and trust Namecheap to purchase and hold my domain names. I started purchasing through them about 8 years ago.
While a free domain with purchase of hosting sounds like an awesome deal, in the longer run as the renewal prices are higher. Also, in the future if your blog outgrows your web host (or need to move for any reason), it can get a little sticky if the host also has the domain name. Honestly I follow the old saying “don't put all of your eggs in one basket” so I prefer to host my blog with a web host, and register my domain directly with the registrar.
Tip: You can use a coupon code to save a dollar on your initial purchase of a .com, .net, .org.
Over to you. What are your favorite blogging resources?
What other blogging resources or questions do you have as you're starting up your blog? Or have you reached the growth stage and wondering what to do next? Fortunately there are a lot of options available, the key is to find the right one that fits you and your blog's needs.