The website hosting area is one of the shadiest parts of the digital marketing industry. There is a lot of incentive involved, and even well-known and otherwise honest marketers often recommend hosting providers to their audience that may not be the exact best value for them.
The currently accepted status-quo of the blogging world is that you need to spend around $100 per year on your blog setup, maybe a bit less in some cases. We are here to cut that price down several-fold, and show you how you can set up your blog practically for free, including both the hosting and your very own branded domain name.
Let’s lay down some truth.
Website hosting offers and affiliate marketers
There are many website hosting providers out there, maybe even several thousand. Only about three dozens of them can be considered major, and they provide hosting for around 80% of the blogs in the world.
Most of the major hosting providers are somewhat decent companies, and they provide an ok service. Most of the time.
Where things start to get tricky is who’s behind some of these hosting companies. Some of the hosting providers are grouped under common parent companies. While this is not dishonest per se, it is not fully transparent neither, as some of the hosting companies complicitly allow for the development of a certain perception of competition between them, when in fact they are part of the same company behind the curtain.
Nonetheless, there’s nothing technically unfair going on there. Except for maybe the fact that some of the biggest hosting companies being owned by the same parent company gives them a strong voice in dictating the price.
Think about it – if the largest hosting providers all “compete” with each other, yet they all offer pretty much the same prices for hosting, then the typical consumer will probably feel that the price they offer must be either fair or close to fair, or that the service they can get will be better than what they would get from a lesser-known provider.
To make things worse, these already huge companies, that somewhat overprice their service, can afford to offer the biggest affiliate commissions to affiliate marketers. And since most affiliate marketers are primarily driven by profit instead of truly taking care of their audience, they see no reason not to promote these providers, that are already proven to be “successful” and bring them the most profit.
That’s why almost all of the big digital marketers typically recommend four or five hosting providers.
Now, to be fair, there’s nothing wrong with promoting the biggest hosting providers. They are still decent companies, and I still believe that all of them will provide you with the value you pay for.
But there is a better way.
Cutting domain and hosting prices down
A few years ago, I was so broke, that even $50 actually did make a difference for me.
I believe I spent around two years wanting to start some sort of a blog or establish some sort of an online presence, but every time I looked at the hosting offers, with the cheapest ones being around $80-$100, I was always deterred. In my country, and the way I was brought up, that was not a trivial amount of money, especially at that time and at that point in my life.
So I always retreated at that step, practically setting back my success for years.
Now, do I consider that to be a mistake of mine, and should I have dished out the $100 and went with it anyway? Should have I found a way to invest in myself?
Yes. Of course! That is a mistake on my part, and I take full responsibility for it. Looking back, I would do things differently.
If I would have known about the offers and the methods I will describe below, and if I had the opportunity to start for the amount of money I describe, I would have taken that opportunity. So, while my mindset wasn’t 100% right, a little bit of an opportunity would have played an important role as well.
That’s who I’m writing this guide for basically, the me from 10 years ago, that was squeamish about spending any sum of money and wanted to get the cheapest value possible. It’s not the optimal way to do business, but we all gotta start somewhere, and if you’re at that point yourself, you will find these guides useful.
Currently, there are two different ways to build your personal online business for ridiculously cheap.
The first one is by getting the Namecheap domain and managed WordPress hosting through EasyWP, and it costs around $31 total.
The second one is just getting the domain name from Namecheap for $9, and setting up your website for free on the Google Firebase cloud, which is free, for a total cost of… you guessed it, $9!
Let’s check both of these out in a bit more detail.
Complete blog setup for $31 (domain name + managed WordPress)
Note: currently, there is even a discount going on, and the hosting costs just $14.84 for a year (you can also pay $3.88 by the month, which is something I’ve seen almost no place else).
This offer is almost certainly the most affordable blogging setup for a managed WordPress site out there. The domain name bought from Namecheap is almost always $9 for a .com domain, and their cheapest EasyWP package offers managed WordPress hosting that makes everything so much simpler.
Hats off to Namecheap for this offer. I’m not even sure how they can pull this off, but I truly believe that they are changing the game.
I haven’t really seen this offer promoted around by bigger marketers, and it’s not very popular (yet).
I don’t wanna jump to conclussions here, but it’s very possible that this offer is not popular, and may never be, because of the tiny affiliate commissions it brings to affiliate marketers that promote it. I promote it myself of course, and I can tell you, it’s nowhere near as profitable as promoting something like Bluehost.
But still, it can be a lifesaver for people on a very tight budget.
The setup is easy, and you will have a complete WordPress site in a matter of minute. I use this exact setup currently for two of my blogs, and they are working excellent, no issues at all. Even the performance is very good!
So, if you wanna see the offer, head over to the Namecheap EasyWP page, currently you will only pay about $24 in total for both the domain name and the hosting for a full year (or $3.88 per month for the hosting if you prefer to pay that way), as there is a 50% discount going on on yearly hosting.
And, of course, that’s not even the cheapest possible blogging setup available today…
Complete blog setup for $9 (domain name + free hosting from Google Firebase)
Ok, before I go on, I just wanna take a short paragraph and express how excited I am about this concept and how much I love it! I’ve used it several times so far, and I always have fun doing it. Just the idea of building something with so much potential for the price of a drink is insane to me.
Also, while it’s possible that other people have discovered this setup on their own, this entire method and the guide I did on it were discovered and put together solely by myself, so you can imagine that I will feel a bit of pride here. I’m not saying this is something insanely difficult, nor an act of genius, not at all, but even if I can help just one person start their business on a shoestring budget, I will know I have done a good thing. So, if you think the guide is good, or if you simply feel like the idea is good, please let me know in the comment section, or through the contact form, or on some of my social media accounts, I would really appreciate it.
Ok, so, the gist of this method is super simple:
- you buy your domain name from Namecheap for $9 (usually)
- you set up your hosting on the Google Firebase cloud entirely for free
- also, while not necessary, I highly recommend using Cloudflare for improving the performance and getting the SSL certificate, which is also free
You can find everything in the $9 online business guide. It covers all the detailed technical steps, with a screenshot of every possible point of decision.
Now, for such a low price, this approach obviously has a few downsides.
Keep in mind that you will not get a managed WordPress site, and that’s probably the hardest part about it, and also the main reason why I would recommend the approach above to the vast majority of people.
If you choose to go with the $9 business method, you will need some minimal knowledge of HTML. It’s nothing to be afraid of even if you don’t know anything, as the guide explains everything you need to know and do, but still, you should know that if you plan on doing things this way.
Also, the general management of your website will involve a few extra steps.
That’s why I only recommend this approach for either starting out, trying out something quick and dirty, building a prototype, or any similar scenario. As your business scales, you will almost certainly want to migrate to a managed solution, but by that point, I believe the $9 business approach would have provided you with a great starting point and a ton of value for your money.
Since the entire process of setting up your website is a bit involved and requires some effort on your part, you will need to put in some extra time as well. I estimate that you will have your website ready within one or two hours.
So, if you’re not afraid of rolling up your sleeves a bit and want to set up your online business almost for free, check out the $9 online business model.
Otherwise, the managed Namecheap + EasyWP model is also an extremely cheap approach, and it works flawlessly, plus almost nothing can go wrong, so if that sounds better to you, see the Namecheap EasyWP offer.