Three ways to host your blog for next to free, including WordPress
We all heard that building a blog makes you money, but not everyone made it there. Most personal finance bloggers earn more by having a job outside the blog and investing in income-generating assets, not the blog. But we all keep a blog to keep talking about our dreams and hope, despite the effort and cost involved.
If you like to shout your heart out in a safe space, blogging is the perfect place to start. And I like to help you by giving you three options to minimize the cost, that is not affiliated nor a Bluehost-MLM.
I do not know how to code and are rather clueless on the way computer talks to each other but I have used all these three methods to save at least $60 per website per year. I do spend $9 yearly on thepurplecotton.com, which I consider as minimal investing.
Best for simplicity: Blogger by Blogspot (Free)
- I do not know why some people hate Blogspot. You get to start a blog from zero in less than 10mins.
- Free domain redirect
- Inbuilt- Google Adsense, and HTML coding allows you to place any Ads
- Limited support by Blogspot
- A lot of customization is locked (This can work two ways, it means you are in good hands but you’ll feel like you can’t go your way)
- Zero cost membership site. Blogger allows you to set up user-password assess, meaning you can make a subscription site for free and you don’t need to manage them! ( Limited to 100 users). I know a Blogspot.com website that makes RM25,000 a year with this method. Who says you must have a domain?
How-to: Custom domain redirect, homepage redirect, using labels, and set blog user for membership site conversion. I’ll write a post if there’s a demand.
Best for business: Beautiful responsive design with Bootstrap studio (Once off $29 for 5 sites)
- Drag and drop website building
- Full customization and you have all the native files
- Minimal coding, and yet able to build Apple-like website
- Shopping gallery-ready, just add Paypal-button to receive payments
- Smart forms sent directly to your mailbox
- No more hosting fee, free custom domain hosting for up to 5 sites.
- Password enable too
- More work on metadata, SEO, analytics, and other settings. And I do not understand how the comment box function works.
How to: Buy a license (that last forever) and install it on your laptop to start. Bootstrap provides a few great step-by-step videos and you can make your Apple-site in less than an hour (I did mine). For a business website, that is perfect. However, it does not work that well with a blog-like site because it doesn’t support PHP. It’s the language that makes a blog, post by post building, works.
Hosting WordPress with Google Cloud (Free for the first year, a few cents thereafter)
- Takes about 30min to setup the back-end with minimal coding.
- Access to all the functions of WordPress (as what you find in Bluehost or other service providers)
- Free custom domain redirect
- Google cloud allows one micro server hosting for free and you can easily upgrade. The free hosting can handle about 100,000 views a month with 10GB space.
- Learning WordPress is not much easier than Bootstrap but it is easier to use once things are setup. And there are more customized templates around.
How to: About 7 steps are involved if you like to set up the whole SSL (Secure button and encryption) and CDM (content delivery). I opt out of the CDM because I am lazy to set up Cloudflare with my domain provider. So I just do Step 1 to 4, and 6 to remove the Bitnami on WordPress icon.
Step 1 Setup Google Cloud Platform at cloud.google.com using a free Google account.
Step 2 Deploy WordPress Website by Bitnami
Step 3 Create a Static IP Address & Setup Domain Name to point to the website.
Step 4 Create SSL Certificate & Setup SSL Certificate AutoRenew Commands
View this youtube video for the step-by-step.
And that it is! The three free hosting options that work for every personal website. I hope you find these methods useful because that is why I keep writing for. – xoxo