Want to know the best blogging tools that every new blogger should have? These are the tested and approved blogging resources you need to know about.
Starting a blog is extremely exciting, and if you're anything like me, you are doing all the research to make sure that you are using the best blogging tools out there. As a blogger myself, I am giving you the top blogging tools I have used and swear by.
You are going to learn about the essential blogging tools you need including what platform to use, hosting services to use, SEO tools, and more.
After learning all about these blogging tools, you are going to know exactly which blogging tools to use and be prepared to start your blogging journey.
This post is all about the best blogging tools that every new blogger should know about.
Best Blogging Tools
The best blogging platform to use is WordPress. Don't be tempted to use Wix or SquareSpace for your blog. Those platforms might be fine if someone just wants a business-card website for their business, but I wouldn't choose either for a blog.
If you start with a platform like Wix or SquareSpace and some day you decide you want to hire a developer to take your blog to the next level, they will move you to WordPress, which will be a pain if you are on a platform like Wix.
The SEO tool Ahrefsdid a study of 6.4 million WordPress and Wix websites respectively and found that WordPress websites get 49 times more organic traffic and had domain ratings that were 3 times higher compared to Wix.
In addition, With WordPress, you will have access to more than 80,000 plugins and themes.
Note: I don't recommend grabbing and installing WP before setting up hosting. Most hosting platforms include WP installation as part of their plans. I've created step-by-step instructions here that will walk you through exactly how to install WordPress using my favorite hosting platform.
2. Google Domains
If you're going to create a website, you need a domain. My favorite place to buy domains is Google Domains.
First of all, it is so easy to use. Their domains are inexpensive without sacrificing the quality. I'm confident it will soon become your favorite domain registrar, too.
They are significantly less expensive when compared to other domain registrars. I also prefer to purchase my domains separately from my hosting services to make it easier to switch hosting services if necessary.
Here's the thing, if you have a blog that you plan to monetize, you need to self-host it. This just means that you are buying your own domain and choosing hosting services for it on your own versus having a website that is hosted by WordPress.
Think of a WordPress hosting service a lot like you would think of the street where you decide to build a house. You want a street that's safe and where you aren't going to run into problems (loud noises, crime, etc.).
Choosing a host is very similar — a good hosting service will ensure that your wesbsite is secure, that your website is fast, and that you have good uptime (your website doesn't go down very much and for very long).
If you aren't techy and you want to make sure you have a good hosting service, but you don't want to have to worry about your hosting service, then go with FlyWheel.
With FlyWheel, your blog will be lightning fast and secure. Plus, their platform is very user-friendly, they automatically backup your website, and they have amazing customer service.
They cost a little more than some other services, but it's still very reasonable ($15 per month). It is sooo worth it.
I love the Divi Theme! The Divi Theme Builder by Elegant Themes is a visual page builder, which works like a drag-and-drop editor. This makes it possible to customize your blog in so many ways without needing to know a line of code.
And it makes it possible for any novice to have a professional-looking blog. In fact, with the Divi Theme, you have no excuse to not have a beautiful blog that also functions in the way you want it to.
A lot of people may be tempted to use a platform like Wix or SquareSpace because of the ease of use. Using a page builder like Divi should remove that temptation.
When you sign up for the Divi Theme, they give you hundreds of beautiful free pre-made layouts you can use in your blog. These will make it look like you spent hours or paid thousands to have a beautiful website.
The Divi Theme costs $89 per year, which comes out to less than $8 per month. You also have the option to get Lifetime Access for one fee of $249 per month.
Pro-Tip: If you decide you love Divi as much as I do, and you want that Lifetime access, hold off on purchasing it until Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Divi typically has a massive discount on its lifetime access for a couple of weeks during the holiday season.
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that makes SEO optimizing each blog post a breeze. It provides a spot in the backend of each blog post where you can enter all of what is known as the Meta Data: the Focus Keyword (the main keyword you are targeting in your post), the Meta Description, and the SEO Title.
It also tracks how often your focus keyword is used, the word count of your blog post, how many internal links are used, and other factors that ensure that your blog post is SEO optimized.
It will also do an SEO analysis of each blog post to let you know if it is meeting all of the requirements needed for the post to rank in search results. It will also detect problems to fix or improvements to make. I have used this tool for years, and I find it indispensable. You will, too!
You can add it to your website by simply going to the plugin section of your website.
There is a premium version, but the free version will likely give you all that you need. I currently use the free version.
Ubersuggest is not my favorite SEO tool, but it is my favorite tool for beginning bloggers. The problem with the SEO tools that I would prefer to use such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz is that they are all at least $100 per month. That is too much to spend on keyword research when you are first starting out.
Ubersuggest allows three free searches per day, but I've also discovered that if you go to Keyword Lists >> Add Keywords, it will allow you to add up to 30 keywords, and give you all the basic data you need.
If you want the paid version to have access to unlimited searches, it's $29 per month. I am personally getting by right now just using the free version.
Ubersuggest is also owned by one of my favorite SEO experts (Neil Patel), and he is always making improvements to the tool. This is definitely not a lesser tool, it just doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a SEMRush quite yet.
It is super simple to use: every time you enter a search term, it gives you all your keyword research data right on the search engine results page right in Google.
And you get a ton of data including search volume, the SEO difficulty of the keyword, keyword trends, “people also search for” data, related keywords, and long-tail keywords.
At first, I didn’t understand the point of Keywords Everywhere since you can only search one keyword at a time, but I have really grown to love this tool. My favorite part is that every time I want to check out a new keyword idea that I don't have to go log into a separate tool. I get a ton of information right in Google.
It also works on YouTube, if that’s a platform you plan on using at some point in your blogging journey.
You can also quickly toggle it “on” and “off” for times that you don’t want to use up your credits.
One of the factors that can hinder your credibility with your audience is if your copy is full of typos and grammatical errors.
Grammarly is an app that also has a Chrome Extension. Once installed, it will highlight errors in your copy whether you are writing a post on your blog, on a Google Doc, in an email, and just about everywhere.
My favorite part about Grammarly is that it gives the option to accept or reject the changes it suggests with a quick click of the button.
I am a professional writer, and I still find Grammarly an indispensable tool.
There is a paid version that is $12 per month that I believe will do a more in-depth analysis of your writing, but I’ve never used it. That being said, if you are nervous about writing, you may find that helpful.
I just discovered this tool this year, but I absolutely love it. The Hemingway Editorwill help you clean up your writing by identifying complex sentences, passive voice, unnecessary adverbs, and suggesting simpler alternatives to complex words.
It also helps you identify the Grade Level of your copy. This is important because most people read at about a seventh-grade reading level. The suggestions that Hemingway makes will help with bringing the reading level down if it is too high.
This pairs nicely with Grammarly, and like Grammarly, this is a tool that will give you peace of mind by giving you confidence knowing that you are publishing clean and readable copy.
After you start your blog set up using my free How to Start a Blog Step-by-Step Tutorial, I highly recommend taking Perfecting Blogging.
In 2017, then-college student Sophia Lee decided that she wanted to provide tips and resources for other would-be college students who were figuring out the exciting but also nerve-wracking reality of leaving home for the first time. She decided to create a blog for that exact purpose called BySophiaLee.com.
She also hoped that the blog would give her some additional money to pay for college tuition. In 2020, she had over 500K monthly page views. By May 2021, she was making more than $75,000 per month from her blog.
In the Perfecting Blogging course, Sophia will walk you through the exact strategy she used to create a successful blog. This includes how to plan which posts to write based on SEO research, the right time to publish each post, how to optimize a post, how to insert affiliate links into posts, and more.
At the end of the course, you will have a content calendar planned out and you will be ready to start publishing.
This course costs $139, which is actually quite reasonable for the in-depth instruction you receive. You will be glad you made the investment.
Note: I do not recommend the Perfecting Pinterest course that can be purchased with the Perfecting Blogging course as a bundle. Unfortunately, the strategy she taught in that course is now considered outdated. At the time she created the course, these strategies were fine, but one of the problems is that social media platforms are constantly updating and changing their rules. So what was acceptable a year ago may not be acceptable now.
Blogging strategies tend to be more evergreen. While Google is updating its algorithm regularly, the principles are still largely the same that they were 5-10 years ago: publish good content and make sure your website is user-friendly.
I do plan to create my own blogging course at some point, but until then, I wholeheartedly recommend the Perfecting Blogging course.
My favorite tool for organizing and managing my content calendar is Asana. I may decide to upgrade to the paid version at some point, but right now I am managing all of my content using the free version.
Asana is a Project Management tool. While I like to use Google Sheets when I am first planning my content, once I have that all figured out, I like to put it in Asana to manage my content calendar.
Asana gives you multiple helpful views to see your Blog Content Plan. This is how I like to use it to manage my content:
First, I add each piece of content as a task with subtasks. (I am able to upload my Google Sheet directly so that I don’t have to manually enter each task.)
I then tag each piece of content according to the category it falls under, which it does with a simple color-coding system.
I then add a due date to the task, which will add the task to the Calendar view.
From there, my Content Calendar is ready to go!
Here are some of my favorite features/capabilities that I use and love:
If I decide I want to publish a blog post at a different time than initially planned, I go into the Calendar View and simply drag and drop it to the new date.
I add any attachments that I need right into the task. (This can include images or any other documents.
I use the notes/description section to plan out the overall outline of my post and add related keywords.
Asana integrates seamlessly with Google Drive, so I am able to link right to the blogpost in Drive.
This is not the most fun part of blogging, but it is necessary.
If you are planning to monetize your blog, collect email addresses (which you should do), and/or use affiliate links, you will need to add some basic legal pages. (Google Adsense will not approve you for ads without these pages.)
This is one of the aspects of blogging I just don’t want to have to worry about, which is why I was so happy when I discovered Plug and Law.
Plug and Law is owned and operated by a real attorney, who will make sure that all of your legal documents are up to date. I highly recommend the Legal Bundle.
This post was all about the best blogging tools every new blogger should know about. I am confident that you will love each of these tools as much as I do, and they will get you started on the right foot.
As usual, if you have any questions, please reach out here or drop a comment below.
Divi is installed and now you are ready to pick your child theme, but which one should you choose? This post is all about the best Divi child themes for bloggers.
Choosing a theme for your blog is simultaneously exhilarating and nerve-wracking.
After buying your domain, setting up hosting, getting the two connected together, and installing WordPress, you finally get to dive into the look, design, and functionality of your blog.
Divi is so much fun to work with because of all the ways it allows you to customize your website, but you need to have a starting point, which is where a child theme comes in.
By the end of this post, you will know what you want in a WordPress theme and you will also have some very good options in hand that you can go grab.
Let’s dive in.
How to Choose a Divi Child Theme?
What is a Divi Child Theme?
WordPress themes, parent themes, child themes… it’s all more than a bit confusing.
A Divi child theme is a WordPress theme that is built on and for its parent theme, which in this case is the Divi theme.
It gets all of its function and styling from the Divi platform.
It is recommended that if you are going to build a blog with Divi, that you use a Divi child theme.
Having a child theme ensures that any customizations you make to your website don’t change every time the Divi theme gets an update.
Do Divi Child Themes Cost Money?
There are some free child themes and Divi itself has made hundreds of free layout templates that you can use at no additional cost.
That being said, if there’s one thing I recommend that you invest in when you are starting your blog, it’s a child theme.
The good news about child themes is that they are a one-time cost. Once you have the file for the child theme, it’s yours.
You can keep costs to a minimum.
I will show you below how you can get a great child theme for as low as $30.
What to Look for in a Divi Child Theme
Before looking for a child theme, I recommend doing a little bit of brainstorming and research.
This is what I recommend:
Brainstorm. Have a brainstorming session about what you want your blog to look like as well as the functionality you want.
Search and track. If you aren’t sure, do a search for blogs in your niche, and make note of what kind of style you like (and what you don’t like). You can keep track of what you like in a Google Doc or maybe your favorite note taking app.
Use Pinterest. Create a Pinterest board. Search Pinterest for blog theme ideas, and add them to your board.
The point is that you want to have some idea about what you want in a theme before you start looking.
I will go over some of my favorite WordPress themes for bloggers in the section below..
Tips for Shopping for a Child Theme
Here are some tips for what to pay attention to when shopping for a WordPress Divi Child theme:
When looking at themes, pay most attention to the general layout and function of the blog. Don’t worry if you don’t like the colors or fonts. All of that can be easily changed.
Look for a “Preview” or “Live Demo” of the theme, which will allow you to see what the theme looks like in a live environment. (Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider a theme that doesn’t come with this option.)
Find out what kind of support the creator offers to his or her customers. If you run into issues, you want to know there’s a real person behind the theme that can help you.
Find out what kind of documentation/instructions the theme comes with
Read reviews about the theme and company/creator of the theme.
The Best Divi Child Themes for Bloggers
Extra by Divi
Great for . . .
A group Blog; a magazine-style blog; Store-ready; a Review website
Divi actually has a child theme of its own that you can use at no additional cost called Extra.
I really love this theme for anyone starting a group blog as it has a really nice “About the Author” module that can easily be added to any post that links out to an Author Page where all the posts written by that author are listed.
Extra comes with additional post modules, category modules, a custom social share widget, and homepage designs that you can choose from.
Here are some examples of the very unique and visual blog post layouts you get to choose from.
It comes WooCommerce ready, so if you know you want to add a store to your blog at some point, this may be a great option.
This would also be great for anyone looking to create a review-style blog as it comes with a built-in review system. The product review widget can be added to any post.
If you go with Extra, you will also have access to Divi’s dedicated Extra support team and tutorials, which has a 4.9 rating on TrustPilot.
Divi Blink by Divi Extended
Great for . . .
Great all-around-theme for just about any blogger including Lifestyle bloggers, Travel bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers
Divi Blink is a great all-around theme that I can see working for just about any kind of blogger.
My favorite thing about this theme is the options it comes with. For example, with this child theme, you get:
5 Home Page Layout options
6 Category Page Layout options
3 Blog Post Layout options
I also really dig how the Recent Post widget in the sidebar allows users to toggle between different categories:
Another feature that stood out to me is the footer. Most footers tend to be pretty boring, but this one includes a lot of information such as a list of recent posts, tags, and categories:
Divi Blink also comes with very unique blog post header styles. You have the option of a gallery of photos (shown below), a video, audio, and a couple of others. This makes this theme a great option for podcasters and YouTubers.
This theme is a bit more pricey than some others, but you definitely get a ton of functionality with it.
Divi Girl by Divi Extended
Great for . . .
Lifestyle bloggers, Beauty bloggers, anyone looking for a feminine blog theme
This is the priciest of the themes, but this one offers something none of the other themes do: it is designed to host a course or membership program.
Did you know you could host a course or membership program right on WordPress? You don’t have to use a third party platform like Kajabi or Teachable.
If this is something you know you want to do now or in the future, then this is the theme for you.
The creator of this theme also offers unlimited support and a Facebook group where you can receive additional assistance. (I love that!) You’re not just getting a theme, but amazing service to go with it.
Let’s look at some of the features this theme offers:
A beautiful landing page for promoting a course
All the main course pages you need
A Woocommerce integrated shop with a beautiful store front
If you’re looking at all of these child themes and thinking that none of them quite fit what you want to do with your blog, and that you would like to have more of a say in how your blog is designed, I would like to show you the Divi Super Themes by Be Superfly.
The Divi Super Themes are built with more than 75 pre-designed sections that can be added to build out a page fast.
The upside to these Divi child themes is that they give you a bit more flexibility than you get with most child themes.
Check out the Divi Super Themes by Be Superfly here:
But just to give you a few of the reasons I love Flywheel, and I think it’s perfect for beginning bloggers is:
1. It is easy to use and navigate.
2. It is lightning fast, which is super important when it comes to hosting.
3. The Customer Support is amazing.
4. They do a backup of your website every night.
But, I have also used Siteground, which is decent, so if you would like to see a tutorial about how to use Siteground, drop a comment below, and I’ll create that for you.
How to Install WordPress With Flywheel
Note: If you haven't done so already, you will need to purchase your domain name before purchasing hosting and installing WordPress. I walk you through how to purchase a domain from my favorite domain name registrar, Google Domains, in this blog post and video.
Step 1: Go to GetFlyWheel.com
Step 2: Click Get Started
Click on the “Get Started” button in the top right-hand corner
Step 3: Choose Your Hosting Plan
I recommend going with the Tiny plan which will be totally sufficient for you as you get started. Click where it says “Get Started.”
Step 4: Create an Account
You can log in with Google if you have a Gmail account or you can create a new account.
To be sure that you don’t make any accidental typos, it might be a good idea to copy and paste it from Google Domains.
Check where it says “Primary” and also check where it says to add the “www” version. Then, check “Yes” where it asks if you have purchased the domain.
Then, click on Next.
Flywheel should be able to detect that your domain is from Google Domains. (This is an added perk of Flywheel because I can tell you that with most hosting platforms this is a much more manual process.)
Click where it says “Log in to Google Domains”
This should take you right to Google Domains. From there, select “Yes, Connect.”
Once you get this green checkmark, click where it says “Go to Flywheel.”
How fast was that!
You should see this green success message, and then you’re going to finish pointing to the domain by adding the “www” version of your domain.
Click on “Point WWW.”
Just like before, you’re going to select “Yes, connect.”
And again, click “Go to Flywheel.”
And… again, you should see another green success message, and click on “Back to Site.”
Step 9: Install an SSL Certificate
The next step is to install an SSL certificate on your website.
Have you ever noticed that little lock that shows up to the left of a web address in the address bar? That’s how you know the website you are on has an SSL certificate.
SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer. According to SSLShopper, “SSL creates an encrypted connection between your web server and your visitors' web browser allowing for private information to be transmitted without the problems of eavesdropping, data tampering, and message forgery.”
What does that mean for you? It adds a layer of security to your blog, and it tells your readers that their information is safe when they use your site.
It also tells search engines that your blog is safe, so your visitors don’t get a warning like this when they come to your website:
With Flywheel, the SSL certificate is included at no extra cost.
Now that you know why it’s worth the trouble, let’s go get that SSL certificate installed.
Click on Enable SSL right here:
Next, click on “Complete SSL Setup”:
When done, it should look like this with a padlock next to “Simple SSL.” If it doesn’t, wait a few minutes or try refreshing the page. If you don’t see it within 24 hours, I recommend reaching out to Flywheel support:
Step 10: Log into WordPress
Start by turning off Privacy Mode. I like to have my sites live when I’m building them out because it takes so long for Google and search engines to even know it's even there. The only reason to keep the blog in privacy mode is if you’re building a website for a business that doesn’t want it live, yet.
Click on “WP Admin” in the top right-hand corner.
Woo hoo! You have just logged into your website for the first time!
Step 11: Get to Know Your WordPress Blog
I recommend taking out some time and poking around and getting to know the back end of your blog.
You Have a Blog!
The boring part is over. You can now dive into picking your theme, picking your colors, and fonts, and creating your first pages.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, and I will get back to you.
This is really going to help you as you move through the process of setting up your blog. In fact, purchasing a domain is step number three, and if you’re like me, there’s nothing better than being able to check an item off your to-do list.
Why I Love Google Domains
Let me quickly explain why we’re using Google Domains. So here’s the thing… I’ve been using and recommending Namecheap for domains for the longest time, and honestly, I’ve been very happy with it.
You can buy your Google Workspace email account at the same tim./ If you’re creating a blog, you need a professional email address to go with it. When you purchase your domain from Google Domains, you can purchase your professional email address as part of the process. I’m a HUGE fan of anything that kills two birds with one stone.
You are able to easily connect it with Google’s whole ecosystem such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Adsense, etc.
So, for those reasons, that’s why we are using Google Domains.
(Quick side note: If you would like to use Namecheap and you would like to see a tutorial about how to purchase a domain from Namecheap, drop a comment below and I would love to put that video together for you.)
Let’s Go Buy that Domain Name
I'm a huge fan of both video and written instructions, which is why I've included both for you. If you find a video tutorial helpful, follow along with the video above. And you can also reference the written instructions below.
Note: if you already have a Gmail account, and you are logged in to that account while going through this process, your username and password for Google Domains will be the same as your email account.
If you don’t have one, you will be asked to create an account at checkout. Don’t worry. I will let you know when it’s time to do that.
Step 2: Enter the domain you want to use where it says to search for your new domain
It might take a couple of tries until you find one that is available.
The nice thing is that Google gives you some suggestions here as alternatives.
Now you have a lot of options to go with for what’s known as the domain extension or what’s also called the top-level domain. The domain extension is simply the letters that come after the “dot”… so .com, .net., .info, .love, .family. There’s even a “.blog.”
Google has said that choosing one of these atypical top-level domains will not affect your SEO, but I still recommend sticking with a “.com” because it is still the most commonly used domain extension, and it will be what your audience will be the most comfortable using.
So let’s go with the “.com.”
Click on the selection you want. Then click on the shopping cart with the “+” sign.
Step 3: Go to the Shopping Cart to Complete Your Purchase
Click on the shopping cart in the top right-hand corner.
In your shopping cart, you will have some additional options. First, you will see “Domain Privacy” and you want this turned on.
This is another nice perk of Google Domains (and actually one of the reasons I like Namecheap). They don’t charge you extra for this. Domain Privacy Protection ensures that your personal information that is connected to your domain is kept private.
I also recommend leaving the auto-renew on.
Next, if you want to get a professional email address, which is something I highly recommend, you can do that right here.
Check the box, and I recommend going with the Business Starter, which is only $6 per user per month. (And just so you know, if this is your first Google Workspace account you will get the first 30 days free.)
Below that you can enter your first and last name and what you want the email address to be. This can be your first name or it can be something like “hello” or “info” or “questions” at your domain. Whatever you prefer.
I also recommend leaving the box checked that says, “Allow this account to manage domain settings” so that your email address and domain are all managed in one place.
Click Check Out.
[This is where if you don’t already have a Gmail account, you will need to create one. When you create that account, be sure to write down your username and password. I’ve created a spot for you in the How to Start a Blog Checklist and Workbook to track your usernames and passwords.]
Next, enter in all your contact information, then click “Save & Continue”
Then, review your purchase, and enter payment information. Then click, “Buy.”
You have done it! You have purchased your domain!
That means you can go over to your checklist and check this item off of the list.
A couple of housekeeping things to note.
First, I recommend bookmarking this page so it’s easy to return to.
Second, you will need to go to your email account and verify your email address.
Third, I recommend toggling through the dashboard to familiarize yourself with the different sections because we will be referring back here as we go about setting up your blog.
I also recommend clicking on security. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend turning on 2-Step Verification. This is a very easy way to add an extra layer of protection to your account.
Last, let’s sign in to your professional email account.
To sign in, go to the email address you used to sign up for your domain. And you should have an email from Google with a temporary password.
Click on that and enter the email address you created and the temporary password. From there you will accept the terms of service and then it will prompt you to create a new password.
Again, make sure you write down your new password.
And now you are in your email professional email account.
What to Do Next
If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below or reach out to me through the contact form here.
The next step will be buying hosting services and logging into your WordPress website for the very first time.
Looking for the best hosting for WordPress for beginner bloggers? Find out why Flywheel is the best host platform to use for your blog.
In order to start a blog that you are able to monetize, it needs to be “self-hosted.” This means that you need to purchase your own domain and hosting.
If you’ve just heard the word “hosting” for the first time, and you’re already confused, don’t worry. I got you!
In this post, we will go over what WordPress hosting is and why you need it. We will also cover what to look for in a good hosting service, and why Flywheel is my number one recommended hosting platform for both beginner and experienced bloggers.
By the end of this post, you will be ready to head on over to Flywheel and finally be ready to make that ever-important decision for your blog.
Don’t worry, I will also give you an alternative hosting platform (if you need or want something different).
This post is all about the best hosting for WordPress for beginner bloggers.
Let’s dive in.
The Best Hosting for WordPress for Beginner Bloggers
What is WordPress Hosting?
I think an analogy is helpful here.
Think of your blog as a house. Your domain is like the address, the website is the house itself, and the hosting service is like the neighborhood where you decide to live.
Just like in real life, you wouldn’t just live in any neighborhood, you also want to be careful about which host you choose for your blog.
WordPress hosting services are specially optimized for the needs of a WordPress website such as the speed and security needed for a WordPress website to function at its best.
Why Do You Need a Hosting Service for Your Blog?
If you are just starting a hobby blog, then you don’t need your own hosting service or your own domain, for that matter.
If you want a hobby blog, then you can start a free blog through Blogger, WordPress.com, Wix, Squarespace, or one of the many platforms out there.
But on this website, I teach moms like you how to create a blog that can become a source of income. In that case, you need to have a self-hosted blog.
That means that you own the domain, and you find a platform where you can host it. You can host it on your own server. (Who has their own server?) That’s why we need to have a conversation about what to look for in a hosting platform.
Without a self-hosted blog, you won’t be able to monetize it. You will have a hard time getting approved for many affiliate marketing programs and you will also be prevented from receiving revenue from display ads. (Those are the top two sources of income for most bloggers.)
In addition, it is going to look a lot more professional and you also own it, which means you are able to customize it to look and function the way you want.
What to Look for in a Good WordPress Hosting Platform?
At a basic level, you want a hosting platform that is fast and secure.
While there are many factors that affect SEO, one very important factor is site speed.
In an environment of data breaches and cyber attacks, you also want your site to be secure.
There are some other bonus features I like to have, too. These include things like making automatic backups of your site, having a user-friendly platform, and having great customer service.
Why I Love Flywheel for WordPress Hosting (and You Will, too)
It is User-Friendly and Beginner Friendly
The Flywheel platform is not only beautifully designed, but it is also one of the easiest hosting platforms to navigate. In my previous hosting experience, it was easy to get lost down the different rabbit trails of its platform.
That’s one of the first things that stood out to me when I first used Flywheel. With Flywheel, it is always super clear where to go and what you need to do.
When you are a beginner blogger, the last thing you need is for your hosting platform to be any more confusing than it already is. And Flywheel definitely delivers when it comes to creating a platform that is user-friendly.
It is Fast
The first question I had when I first discovered Flywheel was: is it good?
It doesn’t matter how pretty a hosting platform is if it doesn’t do what you need it to do. And one of the key features you need from your host is to make your blog fast.
As I mentioned above, one factor that affects the SEO of your website is site speed. While there are several factors that can affect your site speed, one of them is your host.
In addition, if a site takes too long to load, it can cause users to leave your blog.
Flywheel runs on the Google Cloud, which is considered one of the best.
Google says that a website should take under 3 seconds to load.
Flywheel performance ranges from under 0.2 seconds to 2 seconds for bulkier websites. Those are good numbers.
It’s a Managed WordPress Host
There are two types of hosting: shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting.
Shared hosting means that websites share a server. While managed WordPress hosting means that each website lives on its own server.
Managed WordPress hosting also means that its servers and services are both specifically made for WordPress websites. This typically means that its sites will have top performance and security.
In the case of Flywheel, you will get managed caching, fast servers, security features such as malware blocking, regular software updates, and 24/7 support.
This all means that you can spend more time on your blog without having to worry about the speed, security, and other potential issues that might come up.
SSL, CDN, and Malware Cleanup are Included
SSL, CDN, what??? Those acronyms probably mean nothing to you, so let me explain why you should care.
First up, SSL Certificates. Have you ever noticed that little lock symbol at the front of most URLs? That simply means that the website has an SSL certificate. Websites with an SSL certificate will also have “HTTPS” at the front of their URL instead of “HTTP.”
At a basic level, SSL Certificates mean that the data on your website is encrypted. This enhances the privacy and security of your website for you and for your users.
It gives your users peace of mind, but you will also have a hard time getting approved by ad networks and affiliate networks without it.
Next up, CDNs. A CDN is a Content Delivery Network. Your users aren’t all in the same location or even the same country for that matter. This is where CDNs come in. A CDN is a network of servers that house your website’s files.
This allows the website to load faster around the world. That way if you have users in the UK, they don’t have to wait for servers in New York or Iowa to load.
Uptime is defined as the amount of time a website host keeps its servers (and the websites it hosts on them) up and running. The last thing you want to deal with is a host that can’t keep your blog live on a consistent basis.
Flywheel claims to have great uptime, but there are a lot of geeky developers out there that like to test this sort of thing.
WordPress expert Darrel Wilson tested Flywheel’s uptime for 60 days and concluded that its overall uptime was 99.9%. During that 60-day period, Wilson said, “Flywheel had only 14 minutes of downtime which translates into less than a second per day.”
When you are getting started as an independent blogger, you don’t exactly have an IT department to call on when things go wrong. (And trust me, things will go wrong.)
Choosing vendors that have helpful and responsive customer service support needs to be a high priority.
With Flywheel, you get 24/7 customer support. And as someone who has had to call on them before, I can tell you that they won’t stop until your problem is fixed.
I’ll be honest about this. Flywheel isn’t the cheapest hosting company, but it is very affordable. If you pay for the entire year up front, it costs $13 per month. If you pay monthly, it’s $15 per month.
Its prices are definitely comparable to other managed WordPress hosts.
One of the things I have learned on my blogging journey is that going with the cheapest option isn’t always the best way to go. This is especially true when it comes to choosing a hosting provider for your blog.
If you need to cut costs, don’t do it here. You will be glad you went with a hosting provider you won’t need to worry about.
One of the features of Flywheel that might be one of my favorites is the fact that Flywheel makes a backup of your site every night.
This is a God-send if you ever break anything on your blog, and you just want to return it to its previous state, you can do so with the click of a button.
Or, if you are looking for complete instructions for how to start a blog, I provide step-by-step instructions that walk you through all the blogging steps including how to buy hosting services from Flywheel in this How to Start a Blog tutorial.
Alternative WordPress Web Hosting
If you are looking for something slightly cheaper that is still a reputable hosting provider, another web host I can recommend is SiteGround.
SiteGround also provides Managed WordPress Hosting, and it starts at $3.99 per month for the first year. In the second year, prices go up to $14.99, which is comparable to Flywheel.
Find more information about SiteGround here.
Getting Started WordPress Hosting
While getting started with the right hosting company can be overwhelming, it doesn't have to be. That's why Flywheel is such a great option.
It’s time to hear what you have to say. Do you have any questions about Flywheel or other hosting platforms?