How Much Does it Cost to Start a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog?

Blogging today has redefined people’s lives. Many of the bloggers, today, are earning bread n butter for their family from just blogging only. They, like me, have ditched their 9-5 cubicle to start living their dream life.

Blogging, no doubt, has changed people’s lives for good. Not only it has helped to stay at the comfort of their home but has also helped them to earn more than their 9-5 job. Here in this article, let’s have a look at the various costs involved in starting a new blog.

Cost to start a blog

One thing that I have seen that most of the bloggers start a blog on Blogspot and WordPress free account. When you start a blog on these platforms, your domain becomes something like this:

xxxxx.blogspot.com

While that is also a good way to pen down your thoughts, it is always better to go for self-hosted platforms primarily for 3 main reasons:

  1. From an SEO point of view, it is better to have your own domain
  2. A branded domain helps you to drive more traffic
  3. You can make your domain your brand in the future

While blogging is an inexpensive business to start as compared to other businesses where you need to put upfront investment to start, Blogging can be started with just a small investment.

Lets dive down and see how much does it cost you to own a self-hosted blog. In this article, I am going to break down blogging initial cost from domain, to themes to plugins and how by making just a small investment you can give feathers to your dreams.

How Much Does it Cost to Set up a WordPress on Your Blog?

WordPress software is free and anyone can download it from here and start his/her website.

It is available under a GNU license and can be used on any number of websites that you own.

You may need to invest a bit on customizations along the way and then these things will also come into the picture.

Most of the web hosts today install WordPress free of cost for you. So, there is no headache for you to download it from the WordPress site and install it on your own.

Even if you are not a technical person, your web host should be able to help you in just no time

Cost of a Domain

A domain is what we call a URL (Uniform Source Locator) of a website. It is not expensive at all. All you need is to go to any good domain provider like Namecheap or GoDaddy and buy it form right there.

While both of them are pretty god, I personally prefer, Namecheap. The thing is that their cost is bit cheap than GoDaddy and also they provide your one full year of private registration free of cost.

A “.COM” domain from Namecheap as of today would cost you somewhere around for $10. It is just a very small investment which you should make if you want to join the blogging world.

If you divide it by 12, it comes to just $0.83 which means you are spending just $0.83 each month on your domain which is almost nothing.

Cost of a Hosting

Hosting, is the most important one. You must choose a host that has a great reputation and provides outstanding support.

While there are a bunch of web hosts in the market, I personally prefer 5 of them:

1. Bluehost

2. Siteground

3. Cloudways (Have been with them for 3+ years)

4. WPX hosting

5. GreenGeeks

There are a few things that you must keep in mind while buying a hosting.

First, the web host should have a great reputation. You can quickly Google search and look for reviews.

Secondly, they must have great uptime of their servers which means your website should always be available online.

Thirdly, their customer support should be super awesome. If for some reason, you find an issue with your website or your website goes down, the support team should be able to handle your query quickly and bring your website up.

Fourth, the price should be okay. While there are cheaper alternatives available in the market, you must go with a host that fulfil all these criteria. Any good hosting should be available around $10 a month which I think is pretty cheap.

Cost of a Theme

WordPress provides inbuilt themes that are not that recommended. This is why you should always buy a professional theme.

There are a lot of themes available in the market but I personally like GeneratePress and Astra theme.

While GeneratePress is a completely Paid theme, Astra offers a free as well as Paid version too.

Both these themes are extremely good and I would prefer to get Astra theme from here and start working on your blog.

This theme (Astra) has some of the amazing customizations and can help you to quickly change look and feel of your blog.

Cost of a Plugins

Plugins are small zip files that extend the functionality of your blog. While there are a plethora of plugins available online for everything. You need not pay for any plugin unless it is absolutely necessary.

Honestly, I feel when starting out, you can go ahead with the free plugins and get started and as and when required, you can buy a plugin to move forward. Here are 7 free plugins that you must get on your blog when you get started:

1. RankMath

2. BackupWordpress

3. Contact Form 7

4. Shortpixel

5. Table of Contents

6. Social Snap

7. Really Simple SSL

Cost of Using a PageBuilder

Pagebuilders are mostly used to create landing pages. They offer heavy customization and can help you to create some of the super awesome landing pages.

The drawback with page builders is that they are heavy and might affect your page loading speed.

Again, they should not be used across the site and only on landing or home page only. When you are just starting out, you may not need them as you can have a simple home page and can show your top published posts.

But as you start getting more traffic, use a page builder like Elementor Pro to build your landing pages

FAQ’s Related to Cost of Starting a blog

1. Do WordPress plugins cost money?

Yes and No. Most of the plugins are free and available on the WordPress repository. But if you need a plugin that offers specific customization, then you may need to shell out a few bucks to install and make it work for you.

2. Are free WordPress themes secure?

Free WordPress themes are prone to hacks and can have a malicious code inside which may lead to your website get hacked. They are normally not that secure. That is why it is always recommended to go for paid themes. You can expect support round the year from the creator of the theme.

3. How much is the WordPress cost per year?

Zero. WordPress is available free of cost on WordPress.org. You just need to download the star the software and get started with your blog. Alternatively, your WordPress host should be ready to install and get it ready for you.

4. How many plugins should you have on a website?

There is no limit as such. But more plugins you would use, the heavier your blog will become. Ideally, 10-12 plugins are enough and can be used on the blog.

Some bloggers even use 20+ plugins on their blog. But you need to keep in mind that any bad plugin can break your site. So, it is important to check the reviews of a plugin before installing it.

5. Is it necessary to use Page builders?

No, It is not necessary at all. Page builders are mostly required to build landing pages. Ideally, they should not be used throughout the site for the reason that they are pretty heavy and slow down the site.

6. What is the cost of starting a blog?

One normally needs to pay only for a domain, hosting, and theme to start a blog. Assuming that domain is available for $10, hosting is available for as low as $5 and a good theme can be bought for around $60.

So, the total cost would be something in the range of $75-$90.

If you are a beginner and just starting out, you can start small and then start putting in money towards customizations as your traffic grows.

While there is no limit on how much you can spend on customizations like themes and plugins, the most important thing is that your content should be super strong. Because a user comes to your blog looking for something and you must provide enough information to complete his queries.

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