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How Much Does It Cost to Launch a Blog or Site

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Contrary to what people believe, it won’t cost a fortune to launch a blog or a paid site. Though, there are a lot of free or less expensive options available for starting enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and creatives. It still depends on how you use these options to work more effectively for you. So I listed down the basic requirements of opening up a blog and site.

You can have a site with just a blog page or add other pages that will generate income. For instance, a shop where you can sell digital items or landing pages for your opt-ins.

So I have listed here some resources which you can use for your site and your business. You don’t have to subscribe to each of the items when you are starting out. I will detail here the basic software you need to keep your site running. Though for a more concise reference point, I will only present my top 3 providers for each category.

Basic Requirements

1 Domain

A domain is your URL or the name of your site. It is yoursite.com. You need to register your domain so you can legally use it. There are a number of domain registrants. Examples of famous ones are GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Namecheap. All my domains are registered with Namecheap.

Pricing below pertains to regular rates and does not consider promotions. Normally, all domain registrants offer lower rates for the first year. But you can grab a discount for Namecheap using my link here.

NamecheapGoDaddyBluehost
.com as low as $8.88/yr.com as low as $17.99.com as low as $11.99
Free WHOIS Protection as long as your domain is with Namecheap.
One integrated email account FREE
WHOIS Privacy Protection for $7.99/yr
Professional email for $1.49 per user/mo.
Domain Privacy Protection for $11.88/ yr
Custom email with G Suite for $5/mo.
Pricing below pertains to regular rates and does not consider promotions.

When choosing your domain registrant, better to get the one that can provide best security, simple user interface, and customer support. So far, I haven’t encountered any issue with Namecheap’s support system and security.

Read more details on Domains on this blog.

2 Hosting

Your hosting provider is where your site will live. You can buy a dedicated hosting or opt for shared hosting. I am hosting all my sites with Siteground‘s shared hosting. Hosting providers have different plans for different business needs and capabilities.

The rates below are for shared hosting. Rates are lower if taken on a 36-month period. For some hosting services, domain registration is included. However, I personally prefer having a separate domain and hosting providers.

This is because of security and downtime safety precautions. If both are in one provider, the site might be totally down if the provider suddenly has a security breach.

SitegroundBluehostHostGator
Pricing (Start up / Basic)
for a 12-month period
$3.95/mo$5.95/mo$5.95/mo
Renewal rate$11.95$8.99$9.90
Features1 website
10 GB web space
Free SSL certificate
1 domain
1 website
50 GB SSD storage
Free SSL certificate
1 domain
1 website
1 GB backup
Free SSL certificate
1 domain

Siteground has the best customer service among all hosting providers. I have tested it on many occasions. Not because of issues with the hosting, but more of user-related issues. Plus they have awesome resources on how to manage your site better.

Launch your blog successfully without getting overwhelmed. Provide a structure in launching your blog. This blog launch workflow shows the steps and important items that you should have or that you need to execute at every stage. Stop wondering or second-guessing what to do next when you use the blogging workflow. It has actionable checklists for every stage of your launch.

3 Content Management System / Website Builders

WordPress is the most popular content management system. However, you need to have a basic knowledge of coding. If you intend to create your website by yourself, that is.

There are available drag-and-drop website builders if you are not keen on codes. Over the past years, drag-and-drop website builders are getting more popular. Squarespace and ShowIt are two of the fast-rising alternative to WordPress.

Though WordPress is free, you need to buy from other providers your own domain and hosting. Unlike WordPress, the subscription to these software comes with a domain and hosting. That means, no need to purchase separate domain and hosting.

SquarespaceShowitWordPress
Pricing$18/mo$24/moFree
InclusionDomain
Unlimited user
Built-in analytics and marketing needs
e-commerce
20 GB blog
storage
Hosting with
WPEngine
1 WordPress user
Nothing
Cons3% transaction fee
limited e-commerce functionality
Limited user
Limited plugins
NO FTP and database access
Need coding

Learn how to launch your blog here + blog launch workflow

Put a structure to your blogging journey with the blogging workflow.

4 Customizations / Themes

If you are not into coding but would like more flexibility in managing your website, you can opt for pre-made themes. This site is currently using the Studiopress Genesis + Genesis child theme by HelloYouDesigns.

I like the Genesis theme because it’s SEO-optimized and secured. However, you NEED to have advanced knowledge in coding so you can fully customize it. Though there are tons and tons of resources on the web to help you. Because there are many users of the Genesis Framework Theme. There are also plug-ins that allow you to drag-and-drop and customize your Genesis theme.

Here is a great article on Genesis.

On the other hand, if you are fine with using a pre-designed child theme, I recommend HelloYouDesigns. They have plenty of feminine and awesome pre-designed themes.

Hello CEO for the Lady Entrepreneur Hello You Designs - Designer Quality WordPress Themes Hello You Designs - Designer Quality WordPress Themes

Conclusion

Those are the BASIC requirements. You will spend more if you want more customizations and intend to grow your site faster. There are other resources that can help you grow your site faster. Examples are email list building software, online marketing, and more.

So here is a ROUGH estimate of how much you will spend setting up your own website. Again, there are additional costs if you want more flexibility and customizations. Further, I chose what I am using so your costing may be higher if you want to go for other options. For instance, annual subscription for Squarespace is higher for combined separate domain and hosting services as below.

TypeSOFTWAREMode1st Year2nd YearNotes
DomainNamecheapAnnual $8.88 $8.88lower rates available on 1st year
HostingSitegroundAnnual $47.40 $143.40 
WordPress ThemeOptionalAnnual $125.00 range only
 $181.28 $152.28

If you want to see what other resources are available for you to run your site and business faster, you can refer to the massive list on this page.

Learn how much will it cost you to launch an blog or a site. Here are the basic requirements you need to have.
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