One of the most common questions around blogging has to do with how much it costs to start a blog. People also want to know if blogging is free?
Yes, you can start a blog for free. But should you start a blog for free? Probably not…
In this post I will explain your options and help you decide if you should start a blog for free or spend a little depending on your situation.
Table of contents:
- Who Should Start Blogging for Free
- The Best Free Blogging Platform
- WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org
- What are the limitations of WordPress.com?
- How to Start a Blog for Free
- Who Shouldn’t Use a Free Blogging Platform
Who Should Start Blogging for Free
If you are just wanting to start a blog for your family or to be a hobby, it is a good idea to start a blog for free.
Free blogging platforms have many limitations. That being said if you are only looking to publish content for your friends and family or to track a hobby, a free blogging platform will work.
The Best Free Blogging Platform
WordPress.com is the best free blogging platform. A benefit to using it is that if you decide later that you want to make money from your blog, it is easy to migrate WordPress.com to a self hosted WordPress.org install.
WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org
WordPress.com is a fully hosted service that has a free option but is limited in what you can do. WordPress.org is free blogging software that you can run on any hosting without any limitations. Because you can install WordPress.org on any hosting, it is often referred to as self-hosted WordPress.
They are both the same underlying WordPress software, just different in how you implement them.
What are the limitations of WordPress.com?
- You will have ads on your site that you are not paid for.
- You are not allowed to put your own ads on your blog which limits how you can make money.
- You can’t upload WordPress plugins.
- You can’t upload a custom theme.
- You are limited to only their stats and cannot use more powerful options such as Google Analytics.
- Your site can be deleted if they feel you violated their terms of service.
- You cannot sell any products on your site.
- You can’t build a membership site.
How to Start a Blog for Free
To start a free blog on WordPress.com, you just head over there and create an account.
After you create an account, you will be asked for a blog title and to pick which of their themes you’d like to use.
Don’t stress about either as you can change them later.
If you find the need for any of their paid upgrades, do not do them. Switch to self hosted WordPress instead as for the price of any of their upgrades you can self-host WordPress and not have any of the WordPress.com limitations.
Who Shouldn’t Use a Free Blogging Platform
Anyone who wants to make money online shouldn’t use a free blogging platform. If you ever want to make money using your blog, it is best to use WordPress.org’s free software and pay for your own domain and hosting.
Just because this option isn’t free doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. You can start a blog using my recommended method for under $20 and it will cost you under $5 a month.
You just need a domain name and hosting.
Domain names cost around $10 a year.
Hosting (the always on computer serving your blog) for your WordPress blog starts under $5 a month.
For my free tutorial with live chat support how to start your own self hosted WordPress blog website click here.