When I first started blogging back in November of 2011, I had a free blog on Blogger, like so many others. After a few months of consistently posting and falling more and more in love with blogging, I decided to take my space more seriously and get a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Back then, the most popular and cheapest hosting service was GoDaddy, so I just went with that. No research, no comparing, just signed up because it was cheap.
Now, there’s so many more hosting providers, so how do you choose which is right for your blog? I obviously haven’t tried all of them, or even many of them, but I’m here to tell you about which six I think you should consider.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you sign up for any of these services by clicking my links I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. In fact, you’ll receive a substantial discount by using my link instead of heading straight to the hosting website!
Hosting Options for Your Book Blog
Like I said, GoDaddy was my first paid host. It’s cheap, easy to set up, and I had no major issues with it. There were a handful of times when my blog would be down for a little while. Which, while annoying and heart-attack inducing, wasn’t too bad for the two years I was with them. I do believe they’re a good starter host, if you want something cheap to see if blogging is something you want to try long term.
I’d say Bluehost is the most comparable service to GoDaddy. It was one of the choices that I saw when I first started blogging, and it has exploded in popularity since then. I don’t have personal experience with their service, but a lot of blogs that I follow–both book blogs and other niches–seem to favor them.
Book Host is the first and only hosting service that was created especially for book bloggers! The founder, Ashley, is a book blogger herself so I’d say she’s more than qualified to set up this special service. I transferred to Book Host after leaving GoDaddy and it was the best decision I could have made at the time!
Book Host is perfect for beginner bloggers, particularly if you have little (or no) knowledge about installing WordPress, plugins, themes, etc. It’s a managed WordPress host, which means Ashley takes care of setting up the WordPress platform for you. She also installs the plugins, themes, and runs the updates! All you have to do is write your content!
This is one that is completely new-to-me, but I’ve seen some book bloggers mention that this is their current host. I didn’t see anything about it that sets it apart from others on this list, so it’s likely comparable in terms of service.
When I returned to blogging in May of 2020, I again started a free Blogger blog. I didn’t know if I was going to keep it up, or if I wanted to do it long term. But after deciding to part with traditional employment, I knew I’d need to get back to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Research sequence: activate!
Of course, I considered Book Host again, because I had an awesome experience there, but I also looked into Bluehost because it’s the cheapest option available when following an affiliate link (which there is no shortage of if you don’t want to use mine, for whatever reason). But then, I stumbled upon SiteGround. I had never heard of it before, so I did more research.
SiteGround also offers managed WordPress hosting, although not to the extent of Book Host (you get to choose and install your own plugins and themes). The general service seems to be comparable to Bluehost, although my research revealed that SiteGround is faster and has less downtime. Both are a plus.
But what nearly sold me on it was that they offset the power used by their servers! I don’t know about you, but I’m always excited when companies do something to make the planet a little bit better. However, I tried to look into this more and there’s no further information. All I could find was:
“As a base for our highly customized hosting infrastructure we now use Google Cloud with its ultra-fast network, SSD persistent storage and 100% match of the energy consumed with renewable energy.”
Great but, how do I know that’s what you’re actually doing, or what the other environmental impacts are?
This is another service that I hadn’t heard of before, which is no wonder because they just started up in 2015, when I was happily hosted with Book Host. I know some people will be hesitant to put their trust in such a new company when there’s plenty of established alternatives.
I am not one of them, obviously (I would have have been on Book Host immediately, but I waited until my subscription with GoDaddy was nearing its renewal).
I looked into NameHero some more and saw that its features were comparable to SiteGround, but with prices to rival GoDaddy and Bluehost. You can also support seven websites and handle more traffic on their second-tier plan for the same price as the lowest, one website plan on SiteGround, making it much more affordable.
My blog is currently being hosted by NameHero. It was a close call between promises of renewable energy and affordability, but my budget won out. NameHero offers nearly identical services to SiteGround but at half the cost!
However, if you are on a tighter budget, or aren’t sure about blogging long term, I’d suggest GoDaddy or Bluehost. GoDaddy starts at $6.99 for WordPress Hosting. Bluehost starts at $7.99, although you can get it for $3.95 per month if you follow my link.
If you have a larger budget, or want the comfort of having the technical side managed for you, I’d highly recommend Book Host which costs $19.99 per month.
My choice would have been SiteGround if I could find more information about their renewable energy initiative. However, if you’re interested, you can try it for $6.99 per month. They do have a 30 day guarantee, so if you change your mind, you’re not out anything
And don’t forget to add in the cost of domain registration. Bluehost and GoDaddy both offer a free domain for the first year, but with SiteGround and Book Host you’ll have to pay $11-15 per year on top of the hosting fee. NameHero also offers a free domain if you sign up for a year or more. You can also purchase your domain from any number of other providers, such as NameCheap.
I hope you all found this useful in choosing the best host for your book blog. Whether you’re still shopping around before setting up, or if you’re thinking about migrating, it’s important to find the right fit for your needs.
Leave a comment letting me know who your web host is and how you feel about them. If you haven’t signed up yet, who are you considering?