Ready to bring your blog to life? First, you’ll need a blog hosting service.
A blog host provides web server space for your blog website to live online. This service stores your blog’s files, data, and website code in a server that then allows your site to be accessed by anyone and from anywhere in the world. Without a host, your blog site won’t be available for public access.
A good blog hosting site will offer fast loading times so your content is delivered as quickly as possible to your visitors. You should also expect reliable security measures, regular site backups, at least 99% uptime, advanced customization options, and simple data restoration.
In this post, we’ll recommend the best hosting services for blogs. But first, let’s take a look at the most important features of a blog hosting site.
Blog Hosting Sites: Key Features
Because there are so many blog hosting sites, it can be hard to choose the right one. Thankfully, there are a number of key features that will set a bad hosting site apart from a good one.
Your blog host should offer:
1. Customization Options
You should be able to customize the look and feel of your blog and use templates to take care of formatting for you. A poor hosting site will only offer a few premade templates with no opportunity to further customize.
2. An Easy Learning Curve
Using a blog hosting site should be intuitive and shouldn’t require the expertise of a developer. Because you’re starting a blog and not a business site, you should be able to easily set up, design, and publish blog posts through an user-friendly interface.
3. Monetization Opportunities
Great content is the backbone of a winning website. And the more eyes you have on that content, the more revenue potential you have on your hands.
So, you should have the option to monetize your blog. Whether you do it by placing display ads, carrying out affiliate marketing, or selling merchandise, your site host should make these options available or offer extensions that make monetization possible.
4. Ability to Install Tracking Scripts
Tracking your blog’s search engine performance is critical, as you can see how your content performs over time.
Alternatively, if you can’t install scripts or are not interested in doing so, your blog hosting site should provide metrics and KPIs that give you insight into how your blog is performing.
5. Room for Growth
As a new blogger, it might be difficult to envision where your blog might be in a few years — but as you publish more and more posts, you’ll need more features and capabilities that don’t restrict your website.
Even if you start with the free version of a service, be sure that they offer upgrades or have the right site architecture to support an established blog. Look for adequate storage space, a high number of monthly visits allowed, and avoid limitations on metered traffic.
6. Free Email, SSL Certificates, and More
Avoid blog hosting plans that only offer the bare minimum. As a bonus, you should look for plans that offer sign-up incentives such as a free email, domain name, or SSL certificate.
If they don’t offer these options in their basic plans, they should at least include them in their premium plans. These freebies help you create a strong blog without needing to purchase these important add-ons from another provider.
Now that you know what features to search for, let’s take a look at some of the most popular blog hosting options on the market. It’s worth noting that all of these hosting options allow for WordPress installation.
Best Blog Hosting Sites
- Constant Contact Website Builder
SiteGround is a trusted hosting site ideal for small to medium blogs with up to 100,000 monthly visitors. SiteGround will backup your blog daily so you'll never have to worry about losing your content.
Additionally, SiteGround offers managed WordPress hosting. This means the provider will handle automatic WordPress and plugin updates, caching, and security measures for you so your blog runs smoothly at all times.
- SiteGround offers three plans that give you additional features as your blog grows, including additional monthly visits and additional gigabytes of web space.
- You get a free SSL with each plan, which can help with your blog’s SEO.
- Your blog’s traffic will be unmetered in all three plans; no gatekeeping or reduction in performance even as you grow.
- You’ll get a free email inbox regardless of the plan you choose — an email can help your blog look more professional and established.
- WordPress.org integration is free and easy with all plans.
- The starting price may be steep for beginner bloggers ($6.99 for the StartUp plan; compare this to Bluehost’s $3.95 starting price).
- The StartUp plan does not include the option for staging your site, which would allow you to see and interact with your blog in a staged environment before publishing it.
- You can’t add collaborators on the StartUp plan; if you’d planned to launch your blog with other writers, you’d have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Bluehost offers affordable hosting rates and a free domain name for one year.
The service offers managed WordPress hosting plus marketing, social media, and SEO tools such as content improvement recommendations, keyword selections, and more.
It also offers three hosting options: Shared, Dedicated, and Virtual Private Server. If you choose Shared hosting, your blog would share server space with other blogs and websites. If you choose Dedicated hosting, your blog would have a dedicated private server, which would result in impeccable up-time and utmost stability. Virtual Private Servers are a compromise between shared hosting and dedicated hosting: you’re on a shared server, but software is installed on the physical server to give you private server space.
Though Bluehost offers these three hosting options, we’ll focus on Shared hosting for our review, since this is the go-to option for new bloggers.
- The Basic plan has a relatively low starting price ($3.95/month) compared to other services, making this a great choice if you want to start a blog for a low price.
- The Basic plan has 50GB of storage, allowing you to include gifs, PDFs, and other files on your blog without worrying about usage (compare this to SiteGround’s 10GB of storage for their StartUp plan).
- All plans come with a $100 Google Ads credit, allowing you to advertise your blog via Google’s sponsored ads.
- A free SSL certificate is included, which secures your visitors’ connections and makes your blog look more trustworthy.
- WordPress.org integration is free with all plans.
- Bluehost’s pricing structure is tricky — it’s $3.95 only when you commit to 36 months, and all of it must be paid upfront, which may rack up a higher-than-expected startup fee for your blog.
- No free email is included with any of the plans; if you want to get a branded email for your blog, you’ll have to get one through Google Workspace or Office 365.
Whether your blog is intended for a small or large audience, HostGator can help. Some of the service's plans include free SEO tools to help your posts rank higher on the search engine results pages.
HostGator's drag-and-drop builder makes formatting your blog simple, and the administrator panel includes website statistics to help you evaluate how your content is performing.
- The Hatchling, or basic, plan has an extremely low starting price — $2.75/month with a 36-month commitment, which can help you start your blog for cheaper.
- You’ll get a free email regardless of the plan you choose, helping your blog look more professional.
- You’ll get a $150 Google Ads match credit when you spend $150 on a Google Ad campaign — compare this with Bluehost’s $100 credit.
- All plans include unlimited bandwidth and disk space, giving your blog infinite room for growth without requiring an upgrade.
- All plans include a free SSL certificate, which helps your blog look more secure.
- Just like Bluehost, a multi-year commitment must be paid up-front, which can be expensive for some bloggers. For the 36-month Hatchling plan, you’re looking at a $99 up-front fee.
- Too many hosting choices up-front may make the decision difficult; you can go for a shared hosting, website builder, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting plan. Other blog hosting sites offer a simpler set of offerings, which can help you get your blog started without fuss.
GoDaddy allows you to easily design an attractive blog, plus manage social accounts for easy content sharing. The service offers regular security monitoring, site backups, and one-click data restore, so you'll never have to be concerned about losing your blog content.
Additionally, there are a number of plans that fit a range of budgets — each of which offers a year of a free domain name and Office 365 email.
- All plans include a free domain, allowing you to create a professional-looking blog from the onset.
- You’ll get a free Office 365 mailbox, which will allow you to have a branded inbox for your blog.
- Enjoy unmetered bandwidth with all plans, giving your blog room to grow without forcing you to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
- You can include up to 25 subdomains in the Economy plan, allowing you to create unique divisions for your blog if you’re planning to tackle a diverse range of topics.
- Just like Bluehost and HostGator, GoDaddy’s multi-year commitments must be paid up-front. For the 36-month Economy plan, you’re looking at a $215.64 up-front fee.
- You won’t get a Google Ads credit, which would allow you to launch a campaign for your blog; compare this to HostGator’s and Bluehost’s Google Ads credits ($150 and $100, respectively).
- No SSL certificate is included unless you upgrade to the Ultimate and Maximum plans.
- Only 100GB of storage is included in the Economy plan; if you want unlimited storage for your blog, you’d have to upgrade to the Deluxe web hosting plan.
DreamHost’s site builder allows you to create a WordPress blog without any coding knowledge, which makes it a great option for users of all levels.
DreamHost is dedicated to security, too — it has multi-factor authentication, anti-spam policies, and free WHOIS privacy.
- All plans include unlimited traffic, bandwidth, and storage, giving your blog infinite room for growth.
- All plans include an SSL certificate, allowing your blog to look more professional and safe to visit.
- You can see the monthly price up-front on the website; many hosting sites cloak monthly pricing and only publish fees for 36-month terms. That way, you can see how much it will cost to set up your blog on a month-to-month basis.
- Enjoy a longer-than-usual money-back guarantee; you have 97 days to try it out before deciding whether it’s right for your blog. Compare this to HostGator’s 45-day guarantee and Bluehost’s 30-day guarantee.
- Packages and pricing may be overwhelming for a new blogger: there’s shared website hosting, WordPress starter hosting, managed WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated server hosting, and more.
- No free domain is included in any shared website hosting plan, but it is included in both WordPress hosting plans.
- No free email is included in the basic plans; you’d have to either pay for it separately or upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Constant Contact is primarily known as an email marketing tool — but they offer a highly convenient website builder that would allow you to easily launch your blog. This isn’t a hosting service, but it does include free hosting with a paid plan.
This tool includes an AI-powered website builder, a logo maker, and a free image library.
Constant Contact Website Builder Pros
- You can design and set up your blog first without needing to pay — only pay when you’re ready to take it live.
- Free hosting is included with every subscription, making it simple to publish and maintain your blog.
- Enjoy unlimited storage that gives your blog room to grow.
- An SSL certificate is included with its single plan, making your blog look professional and safe.
- Its integration with the Constant Contact platform means that you can build a subscriber list for your blog without needing to rely on another provider.
- Constant Contact offers extremely simple pricing (just $10/month), which makes it a great choice for beginner bloggers.
- There’s no commitment; if it doesn’t work for your blog, you can cancel after one month.
Constant Contact Website Builder Cons
- It’s not as feature-rich as other blog hosting sites; there’s no information on the bandwidth, databases, and disk space made available for your blog.
- There’s no option to install WordPress; you’d have to stick with their website builder platform and built-in blog tool.
- No free domain is included with a subscription; you’d have to either use a Constant Contact subdomain, purchase one from Constant Contact, or connect one from another provider.
Like the Constant Contact Website Builder, SquareSpace is not exclusively a hosting site, but it automatically includes hosting for your blog when you sign up for the service.
SquareSpace is designed to get your website up and running as quickly as possible. It’s known for its ease-of-use, ready-to-use templates, drag-and-drop builder, and all-around professional feel.
- Getting your blog started is extremely intuitive and easy — simply choose a template, start editing, and upgrade to a paid version once you’re ready to take it live.
- All plans include a free custom domain when you commit to a yearly plan.
- All plans include a free SSL certificate.
- All plans allow you to have at least two additional contributors, allowing you to create a multi-author blog.
- All plans include unlimited bandwidth and storage, giving you room for growth.
- Pricing is extremely easy and accessible; subscriptions start at $12/month and you can sign up for either a monthly or yearly plan.
- No free email is included unless you upgrade to a more expensive plan.
- No free domain is included unless you commit to a yearly plan; if you wanted to try it out for a few months, you’d have to purchase a domain from another provider.
- You won’t be able to integrate your blog with WordPress.
Next we'll cover some free blog hosting services. These options make it easier for you to take your blog content live while on a budget. However, it's important to keep in mind that free blog hosting sites have some restrictions.
Let's take a look.
Best Free Blog Hosting Sites
WordPress.com offers several paid plans in addition to a limited free plan. With the free hosting plan, you get 3GB of storage plus automatic updates and site backups. It includes Jetpack, but no other plugins.
Additionally, there will be ads on your blog, and your domain will include "WordPress" in it (like this: yoursite.wordpress.com), making the free service ideal for small-scale, personal blogs.
- It’s extremely easy to sign up and get started: simply create an account, choose your WordPress subdomain, and proceed to your dashboard.
- The dashboard is designed for bloggers first, with a “Write” button up top that immediately allows you to start a post.
- Setup can be done in just a few minutes and you can start publishing blog posts the same day you sign up (other blog hosting sites require a lengthier setup).
- Paid plans start at the highly affordable price of $48/year and $4/month.
- The sign-up process constantly tries to “trick” you into paying for a plan by hiding the “Start for free” prompts.
- You won’t get a free domain unless you upgrade to a paid plan.
- WordPress.com’s ads and branding will be on your blog unless you upgrade to a paid plan.
- WordPress.com offers limited functionality on the free plan; you won’t have access to WordPress’ expansive library of plugins unless you go for the Premium ($8/month) and Business plans ($25/month).
Wix is a beginner-friendly hosting site with a free plan for bloggers that includes security monitoring, 500MB of cloud storage, and 500MB of bandwidth.
The service makes designing your blog simple with the help of templates and a drag-and-drop page builder. However, it includes a branded domain name —yourdomain.wix.com — and Wix ads on your website.
- It’s extremely easy to get started: simply sign up, answer a few questions about your project, select the features you want on your site, and let the Wix AI build your blog for you.
- You can easily import data from another existing blog, if you have one, with its one-click import feature.
- A live chat widget is included even in the free plan, allowing you to connect with potential subscribers.
- No custom domain is included unless you upgrade to a premium plan.
- No free email is included, even in paid plans.
- Your blog will have Wix’s branding and ads unless you upgrade to a paid plan; the branding is quite prominent.
- The drag-and-drop editor has a slight learning curve with small, subtle buttons.
- To add a blog post, you have to go to the page editor, click Manage, click Blog, then click Create New; compare this to WordPress’s “Write” button placed prominently in the dashboard.
Weebly’s free hosting plan is quite robust, with unlimited bandwidth, no ads, website templates, a drag-and-drop builder, and 500MB of storage.
The free plan, however, does not allow for a free email address to be linked to your domain and requires a Weebly-branded domain name.
- Free SSL certificate is included even on the free plan.
- The sign-up process is simple and straightforward; there’s no push toward purchasing a paid plan, allowing you to start your blog without fuss.
- No custom domain name or email is included in any plan.
- Your blog will be branded with Weebly’s logo and branding unless you upgrade to a paid plan.
- When you’re signing up, you’re forced to choose between a Personal website or Business website; you have to decide whether you want to monetize your blog now instead of phasing in monetization as your blog grows.
000WebHost includes no ads, quick loading times, and 10GB of bandwidth with the free hosting plan.
The service does not offer users any live support. And every month, there's a two-hour offline period of time — meaning, your blog will be inaccessible for two hours a month to all users.
- The free plan comes with 300MB of storage and up to 3,000 allowed monthly visits.
- If you ever want to upgrade, the paid plans are extremely cheap, starting at $0.99/month with a 4-year commitment.
- Your blog will be offline for two hours a month.
- No free domain or email account is included in the free plan.
Blogger is another free option ideal for small-scale blogs. You can host an unlimited number of domains and easily integrate your blog and website with your other Google accounts and services (e.g. Calendar, Drive, Maps, etc.).
The responsive templates make it easy to design a mobile-friendly site for your blog. With the free plan, there are no ads but SEO assistance and support is limited.
- Easily set up your blog in just a few clicks; sign up, name your blog, choose a template, and start posting.
- Because Blogger is owned by Google, it makes it easy to add a Google Analytics ID, which can help you track your blog’s performance.
- You can connect a custom domain if you have one.
- You can invite other co-founders to be administrators for the blog without needing to pay for an additional subscription or share a login.
- Monetization options are easy to access in the dashboard’s sidebar; connect an AdSense account, and you’re all done.
- No free domain or email account is included; you’d have to purchase both of those separately.
- It offers extremely limited customization options. You can choose from a long list of themes; however, you won’t be able to edit the CSS and give your blog a unique look.
- There are three types of editors: a text editor, a layout editor, and a theme editor. Because these three editors are separate, it feels unintuitive to add text and change the look of your blog. Compare this with Weebly’s and Wix’s drag-and-drop editors, which allow you to edit all three at the same time.
There are a number of hosting service options to choose from when starting your blog. These options offer a variety of features and are ideal for many different users.
Review the options we covered above and dive into their features and pricing pages to determine which is the right fit for you.
Find a Blog Hosting Service to Launch Your Blog
Creating a blog is no small feat. A blog can help you create a personal brand, generate revenue, and make your insights available to a greater public. With the right hosting site, you can easily launch a new blog without much coding or fuss. The options we’ve recommended will allow your blog to grow and help you create a loyal subscriber base.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Mar 14, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated March 14 2021