25 Sep 2019

Best Managed WordPress Hosting in 2019

WordPress is the most popular CMS available on the market. Not only is it easy to setup a blog or website within minutes, it’s endlessly expansive. There’s hundreds of free templates to choose from, thousands of plugins to build you own website and customise it. There’s a whole world of content waiting for you.

Web hosting providers recognise how useful WordPress is. It’s for this reason they offer managed WordPress hosting, which we’ll look into in a moment. Managed WordPress hosting is offered by a wealth of web hosts. I’ve taken the time to research the best managed WordPress hosting available on the market.

What is Managed WordPress Hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting is a perfect way to avoid the time, effort, and trouble of managing your site (from a hosting point of view). Managed WordPress web hosts will maintain your WordPress website’s updates, security, etc. This is a great choice if you don’t have the resources available to do it yourself (and in all honesty it can be safer).

You’ve probably already researched a few managed WordPress web hosts, which is why you’re here. During your travels you probably noticed that managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than shared hosting. Shared hosting is available from as little as 99p per month with the likes of Hostinger, so why is managed hosting so different?

I’m here to answer the what, why and wheres of managed WordPress hosting. We’ll establish some key points:

  • Why managed WordPress hosting is more expensive
  • Is it better to have managed WordPress hosting
  • Do you need managed hosting for your site
  • Is it worth paying extra for
  • Who the best-managed WordPress hosting company is

 

Best Managed WordPress Hosting Overview

Before we take a more in-depth look at the best managed WordPress hosting, here’s an overview of each company and what they have to offer. If you are interested in managed WordPress hosting, I recommend you read the detailed reviews below to ensure you’re choosing the best host for your needs.

Hosting Cost Free Domain Free SSL Storage
SiteGround £2.95/mo No Yes 10GB
BlueHost £3.25/mo Yes Yes 50GB
WP Engine $35/mo No Yes 10GB
DreamHost $16.95/mo No Yes 30GB
Hostinger £0.99/mo No No 10GB

 

Is Managed WordPress Hosting Recommended?

This question can really only be answered by you. Of course, I’ll describe why I think managed WordPress hosting is great, but ultimately it’s your decision. Your website needs may be different to others, as may your time/effort be too.

Managed WordPress hosting is essentially a VIP experience. Most web hosts will offer WordPress support, WordPress optimisation for your site, and automatic updates. It takes the hassle away from WordPress hosting but often costs a little bit extra.

If you like the idea of hosting your own WordPress site but aren’t keen on the price, take a look at our guide on the 7 best free WordPress hosting companies. When it comes to building your own website, there are always many avenues to explore.

 

1: SiteGround

SiteGround is my personal number 1 in terms of web hosting companies. Not only that, they are rated highly within the WordPress community itself and one of the official WordPress hosting providers recommended by others. SiteGround does things differently compared to other managed WordPress web hosts. Their in-house performance add-ons are a great example of how SiteGround are leading the market.

 

 

If you’re looking for affordable managed WordPress hosting, SiteGround ticks the boxes. From only £2.95 per month, you can get the best start on your WordPress journey with 1 hosted website, 10GB web space and essential WordPress features which include:

Free WordPress install
Free WordPress migration
Automatic WordPress updates
24/7 WordPress support
Free daily backup
Free CloudFlare CDN

Considering this is managed WordPress hosting, the features are insanely impressive. Did I mention you’ll get all of that for just £2.95 per month! This is why SiteGround is simply awesome. They don’t just give you a free WordPress install, they make sure your site or blog is fully optimised. CloudFlare CDN will ensure powerful caching, keeping you and your visitors happy. You’ll also get a free SSL certificate too, so you can get your small business up and running in no time.

 

Visit SiteGround.com (£2.95/Month)

 

I’ve boasted about SiteGround’s performance, so let’s take a look at some real facts and figures. When I signed up to SiteGround’s managed WordPress hosting, I started recording my site’s performance. This included my website’s response time, uptime, and page speed loading times.

 

 

Across the space of 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days, my site had zero downtime! That’s right, 100% uptime meaning my site didn’t go down at all, which is absolutely amazing. I’d happily pay extra if all web host’s could offer this kind of performance.

 

 

I have over 12 months of response time records saved for my SiteGround site. The average response time of my website was 713 ms, which is well below the average. My site seemed to perform very well in the U.S., U.K., and other European locations. Unfortunately it didn’t do great in most Asian companies. I queried this with SiteGround and they told me that if my target audience was located within Asia, they could move my site’s server location for better optimisation.

If you haven’t already guessed by now, I think SiteGround is pretty damn good. There’s so many reasons for my love of SiteGround, but as with most things, there are some downsides. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of choosing SiteGround for your managed WordPress hosting:

Amazing WordPress support
Officially recommended WordPress hosting
Free site migration
Speed and performance optimisation

No free domain on signup
Limited to 10GB web space on StartUp

 

Visit SiteGround.com (£2.95/Month)

 

2: BlueHost

Similar to SiteGround, BlueHost is another very popular WordPress web host. It’s one of the recommended WordPress hosting providers, and there’s good reason for it. BlueHost really focus on their customers, aiming to provide the best service and performance possible. Their managed WordPress hosting is no different, offering top quality servers and features for their customers.

 

BlueHost’s managed WordPress hosting starts from just £3.25 per month. This covers an initial term of 36 months, providing WordPress hosting for 1 website. You’ll also get 50GB storage, a free domain (unlike SiteGround), and a free SSL certificate. Also included is the following:

Automatic WordPress install
Automatic WordPress updates
WordPress staging environment
24/7 expert support

Whilst BlueHost may not offer as many features as SiteGround, they still pack a punch where it matters. Their basic managed WordPress hosting provides you with the tools to get started on your first website. If you’re considering starting a small business, this would be a great opportunity to take up BlueHost’s basic plan to test the waters. Their $200 free marketing credit will allow you to explore Microsoft’s adverts and Google Ads to start generating some money.

 

Visit BlueHost.com (£3.25/Month)

 

When I installed my WordPress site, I didn’t optimise any part of it at all. I wanted to see how BlueHost’s fresh install of WordPress compared to other managed WordPress hosts. Some web hosts install ‘helpful’ plugins upon a WordPress installation which can often be more trouble than they’re worth. Thankfully, BlueHost provided me with the best setup to ensure my site was running fast and smoothly with no intervention from me.

 

 

Another pleasant surprise from my managed WordPress web host, BlueHost. During the time I was monitoring my site, I had 100% uptime. This was recorded over a 30 day period, meaning my site was up and running for a month with absolutely no downtime.

 

 

My unoptimised BlueHost WordPress site gave an impressive response time average of 517ms. Again, this is very comfortably within the acceptable response time for a website in 2019. I didn’t have to do anything to achieve these results, which makes me even happier to recommend BlueHost for managed WordPress web hosting.

I found that BlueHost didn’t fluctuate as much in terms of loading times and response times across the world. U.S. visitors would get the best speeds, as is the case with many web hosts. However, this didn’t mean other locations suffered. BlueHost is a fab web host who focus on their customers, providing the best technology for their needs. Here’s some reasons why I love BlueHost, and some points that could do with some improvement:

Free domain & SSL
Recommended by WordPress
Brilliant optimisation

Support can take a while to respond
Slightly more expensive than other hosts

 

Visit BlueHost.com (£3.25/Month)

 

3: WP Engine

WP Engine is one of the leading WordPress platforms. Their web hosting boasts brilliant uptime, security, and updates. In terms of tools and features, WP Engine provides the best for the job. Their managed WordPress hosting will cover automatic backups, 24/7 support, unlimited monthly transfers and much more. Not only that, they also have something called Actionable Intelligence which looks at your website’s insights and performance.

 

 

The reason I’ve placed WP Engine in 3rd place is due to their pricing. Now, before I go into this, I must say that WP Engine is priced much higher than it’s competitors due to the level of managed WordPress hosting they offer. There are 4 price plans on offer, all including free migration, free page performance, and if you sign up annually, you’ll get 2 months free. Some of the main features included on all of their plans are:

Dev, Stage, Prod Environments
Global CDN
SSH Gateway
Free SSL certificates
35+ StudioPress themes free

 

Visit WP Engine

 

After signing up to WP Engine, I installed my WordPress site. For these tests, I don’t optimise WordPress because I want to measure performance against a fresh install. WP Engine optimises installs automatically, providing you fast loading speeds without having to intervene at all. My site loaded in just over a second when I installed it. In fact, it was faster than 90% of tested sites from other competitors on Pingdom.

 

 

My WP Engine site had quite a varied response time. I tested it across multiple locations, including U.K., U.S., Europe and Asia. The minimum response time I got was 254ms which was absolutely amazing. Thankfully, this was located in the U.K. which is where my customer base would be. When the tests hit Asia, the response time did peak up to 1.7s which isn’t great. However, it is still well under the 4 seconds that most sites should be.

My uptime was 100% which I was obviously very happy about. So far in my tests, all three of my top recommended managed WordPress hosting providers haven’t let me down. With no outages recorded, my site was available to view the whole time, which makes for a happy customer, and happy visitors. This is a great example of why managed WordPress hosting is recommended for those with a WordPress blog or website.

Here are the pros and cons of using WP Engine, in my own experience:

Very well optimised for performance
Plenty of staging environments available
Easy to use control panel

Prices are more expensive
Annual payment required for the best prices

 

Visit WP Engine

 

4: DreamHost

DreamHost have been around since 1996. They are a solid and reliable web host, offering shared, VPS and managed WordPress hosting solutions. DreamHost are known for offering high performance web servers which won’t let their customers down. Their managed WordPress hosting really puts this to the test and shows just how great they are. Whilst they may not offer the best in customer support versus some of our other recommended web hosts, their hardware won’t let you down.

 

 

Starting from $16.95 per month, DreamHost is more expensive than SiteGround and BlueHost, but a cheaper alternative to WP Engine. Their DreamPress plan is ideal for WordPress sites with 100k monthly visitors, offering 30GB SSD storage, for faster performance. For the price, you’ll get a free SSL certificate already installed for you, daily backups, 24/7 support, and Jetpack plugin for free.

Although DreamHost has multiple managed WordPress hosting plans, they all include the following for free:

1-click staging environment
Built-in caching
200+ design themes
WP website builder
Free domain with domain privacy

 

Visit DreamHost

 

DreamHost are known for being reliable. For this reason, I was particularly interested in finding out how they fared in my performance tests. I signed up to DreamHost and had my WordPress installation activated for me. I monitored the results of my website’s uptime and response time to see how it handled the pressure.

 

 

DreamHost provided my website with 100% uptime. There wasn’t a moment of downtime or any outages which I was really pleased about. But that’s not what impressed me the most. The average response time on my site was 698ms, and this was recorded across multiple locations. As we’ve seen with other web hosts, response times seem to spike when hitting traffic from Asia, however, DreamHost didn’t really encounter many issues.

The best location for my site was in the U.S., so although this wouldn’t be my target market, it’s good to know. With a maximum response time of just over 1 second, I have no worries about my managed WordPress site with DreamHost. When I did some stress testing on the site, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were no issues, regardless of what I threw at it. This is why I highly recommend DreamHost.

Fast managed WordPress hosting
Plenty of free features included
Suitable for a range of budgets

More expensive than SiteGround and BlueHost
Staging environment included on advanced plan only

 

Visit DreamHost

 

5: Hostinger

Hostinger is a safe and affordable bet when it comes to managed WordPress hosting. Hostinger are a solid hosting company that offer solutions tailored to WordPress users. Their features boast WP-CLI, GIT, and SSH, as well as some useful pre-installed plugins. Whilst this may not suit every user, I’d recommend Hostinger if you want to give managed WordPress hosting a try and you’re on a budget.

 

 

Starting from an incredible 99p per month, you can host 1 WordPress website with Hostinger. This will give you 10GB disk space on an SSD, 100GB bandwidth, and access to their control panel. Their business WordPress hosting includes a free SSL certificate too, rivaling some of the more expensive managed WordPress hosting plans out there. Other features include:

Free email account
Free website builder
99.9% uptime guarantee
24/7/365 support
Pre-installed caching plugins

 

Visit Hostinger (99p /month)

 

Hostinger boast fast loading speeds and response times, according to their website. However, they don’t say what this is based on, or the type of website they’re monitoring. Given they have a 99.9% uptime guarantee, I wanted to test my own managed WordPress hosted Hostinger website.

 

 

I monitored my website and experienced 99.99% uptime. This is great because it’s above Hostinger’s own guarantee, but not as good as I’ve experienced with other hosts. All in all my site had 9 outages lasting a total of 10 minutes. Whilst this isn’t terrible by any means, I did feel a little bit disheartened.

 

 

When testing my WordPress website (which was a fresh install with Hostinger’s pre-installed plugins) I recorded a load time of 1.07 seconds. This is well below the average and faster than 87% of sites tested. I was happy with this result, and look forward to testing my site in the future when I add more and more content to it.

In my experience, Hostinger is a great choice for beginners. If you want to experience hassle-free WordPress hosting, give it a go. You’ll have the reassurance that your WordPress site is up to date as well as receiving the best security updates. If you’re on a budget, you can’t go wrong at 99p per month. Here’s an overview of the good and bad points to Hostinger:

Reliable and affordable
Free email account
Fast load times

Would prefer 99.99% uptime guarantee
No SSL included on basic and mid-range plans

 

Visit Hostinger (99p /month)

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13 Aug 2019

Small Business Statistics in 2019

If you’re considering launching your own small business in 2019, I commend you. Turning your dream into reality can be challenging but it’s entirely possible. If you are already a small business owner or are considering making the leap, learning about current trends is an essential key to success.

Check out these small business statistics in 2019 to transform your vision into success.

Small Business Statistics – General

  • In the U.K. at the start of 2018, there were 5.6 million small businesses registered
  • Compared to 2017, the private sector business population decreased by 0.5%
  • Compared to 2017, the private sector employment increased by 2%
  • Around 99% of U.S. employers are small business owners
  • Over half a million (543,000) new businesses are started each month
  • In the U.S. it takes an average of 6 days to start a new business. In China this is recorded at around 38 days

 

Small Business Statistics (U.K.) – Business Size

 

  • Medium-sized businesses account for only 0.6% of business in the U.K.
  • 99.3% of all businesses in the U.K. are classes as small businesses (fewer than 50 employees)
  • Micro-businesses (0-9 employees) account for 96% of all private sector companies in the U.K.
  • Less than 4% are small businesses (10-49 employees)
  • There are more companies without any employees in the U.K. than the total number of business (82% compared to 25% of companies)

 

Small Business Statistics (U.K.) – Location

  • London has the highest ration of small businesses. This is calculated using the number of businesses per 10,000 adult residents. There are 1563 businesses for every 10,000 adult residents in London
  • The U.K. has 1059 businesses per 10,000 residents
  • Regions which exceed the U.K. average include South East, South West and East of England
  • The West Midlands has a growth of 9% during the last year followed shortly by Yorkshire & Humber (7%)
  • The U.K. has an average annual growth of businesses at around 4%

 

Small Business Statistics – Entrepreneurs

  • The main reason why people wanted to start their own business was to be their own boss. People are starting to ditch the 9-5 tradition and work for themselves
  • Over half (53%) of small business owners would rank their happiness at 9
  • 1/3 of small business owners say they feel very confident about the future of their business
  • 42% of self-employed people say they are not planning for their retirement
  • 73% of small business owners are males
  • Over 20 years, between 1997 and 2017, female entrepreneurs grew by 114%
  • 95% of entrepreneurs claim to have a Bachelor’s Degree
  • 82% of entrepreneurs startup funds are provided by the business owner or family/friends
  • Entrepreneurs who are home owners are 10% more likely to start a business compared to those who don’t own a home
  • 64% of small business get off the ground with less than $10,000 startup funds
  • The average income of small businesses is $59,000

 

Small Business Statistics – Pros & Cons

  • 50% of new small businesses fail within the first five years of starting
  • New business startups have a success rate of 37% during the first four years
  • The toughest challenge for small businesses in the U.S. is generating new business in the first place
  • 14% of small businesses fail because they don’t respond or communicate with their customers
  • 74% of tech small businesses fail because they scale too quickly and don’t have the funds to maintain this
  • 60% of small businesses close within 6 months after being hacked
  • 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses

 

References

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12 Aug 2019

What is a Domain Name & How to Buy One

A domain name is a name and URL that represents your website’s presence on the internet. Domain names are unique and can be registered with a domain registrar. Once you register your domain name, you can ‘claim’ your part of the internet. You can use your domain name for your website address, email address, or both (which most people tend to do).

If you’ve made a start on creating your own website, you won’t be able to publish any of the content without a domain name. When you sign up to a great web host, you’ll need to provide your domain name (or buy one) to launch your website. Without a domain name, your web host’s servers have nothing to reference.

Some web hosts actually offer domain names for free, but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Even if you haven’t started building your website yet, it’s worth getting a domain name. Maybe you’ve been sat down watching TV having a coffee and inspiration has sparkled. If it has, don’t wait around! Domain names are like gold dust, so if you’ve thought of a good one, grab it whilst you can.

Web hosts like BlueHost give you a domain for FREE when you sign up to web hosting. It doesn’t matter which package you go for, starting from £2.25 per month, you’ll get unlimited web hosting and a domain name.

 

Different Levels of Domain

Okay so this may sound like it’s going to be confusing, but I promise you it’s not. I’m going to use my own website as an example in explaining this one. When you, or anyone else, visits my website, you’ll type in www.ukwebhostreview.com and you’ll land here. The whole URL is known as the web address.

Top-Level Domain

The top-level domain is the part after the dot. In the case of our website, it’s .com and in the case of the example above it is too. There are plenty of top-level domains to choose from which I’m sure you’re aware of. Government websites will often have a top-level domain of .gov and non-profit organisations will have .org.

Most top-level domains (TLDs) are used to represent where a website or business is located. If your target market is based in the U.K. it’s worth having a .co.uk domain. TLDs like .ca and .us also tend to represent the location. If your business isn’t location-specific or you want to attract a wider audience-base then .com is a safe bet to go for.

 

Second-Level Domain

The second-level domain is located left of the dot. This is also simply known as the domain name. Like I mentioned earlier, this represents the identity of the individual’s website, business, or what it does. My own website represents what I do and what my website is about. Second-level domains should be memorable and easy to type so that visitors don’t end up navigating somewhere else.

 

Domain Name Usage

According to Singapore Data Company, there are estimated to be 137 million .com domains registered. Around 1/3 are in use and contain relevant content and 1/3 appear to be unused. There’s also a 1/3 that seem to be in ‘limbo’, used for other purposes that they’ve speculated.

 

 

In 2016 Verisign reported 334.6 million registered domain names. The registration of these TLDs had increased around 7.9 million from the previous quarter. This represented a growth of around 38.2 million domain names each year. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to get completely accurate figures regarding registered domain names.

Registering a Domain

When you register a domain name, it will be regulated by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). You can actually use the ICANN website to locate a domain name registrar and register a domain with them. The cost of doing so will depend on the TLD and the registrar that you choose.

Registering a domain name can be done in a number of ways. Like I mentioned earlier, you can register a domain with your chosen web host. Most web hosts will offer domain names at competitive prices as they can sell them onto you for discounted prices. As you’ve already seen, many of them offer domains for free as part of your web hosting package. But, you don’t have to use a web host if you want to register a domain.

There are plenty of domain name registrars that are independent to web hosting or other services. The main reason web hosts or web development/design companies sell domain names is because it makes sense to get everything together. You’ll need to create your website (or use a website builder), purchase web hosting and a domain name in order to make your website live.

I’ll let you into a little secret. You can get domain names for free from certain domain name registrars.

Step-by-step to Register a Domain

Registering a domain name is pretty simple once you know what you’re doing. To ensure that you know how to register a domain name, I’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide.

 

BlueHost domain registration

 

  1. Choose your domain name registrar or web host. If you’re feeling a little stuck as to where to go, you can check ICANN’s list of domain registrars who they deem reputable.
  2. Check your domain name. Your domain name registrar or hosting service will have a domain search function. This tool will check whether your chosen domain name is available. If your domain name isn’t available, they may suggest some alternative domain names to give you some inspiration.
  3. Provide your details. When you register a domain name, you will probably be asked for some personal details. This is completely normal and your details will be registered against the WHOIS database. You can select whether your profile is public or private, however, you may have to pay to keep your details private (which I recommend).
  4. Purchase your domain. When you’re ready to go ahead with your domain name, you’ll need to pay for it. Most domain name registrars or web hosting will allow you to register your domain for a certain amount of time. This is usually 1 year, but some allow 2 years or more. Prices will depend on your TLD and how ‘valuable’ your domain name is considered.
  5. Link your domain. In order for your website to be visible online, you’ll need to link your domain name to it. Domain name registrars and web hosts will have the tools you need to do this. Most of them will have FAQs if you’re not sure how to proceed.

 

Why it’s useful to have a Registered Domain

Apart from the obvious, there are several advantages to having a registered domain name. In some cases, you won’t have to register a domain name for your website to be accessible on the internet. Some companies like website builders will offer sub-domains as part of their free packages. For example, Wix has a free plan where you create and host a website for free. They will provide you with a sub-domain that looks something like www.mywebsite.wix.com.

  1. Looks professional. Having a registered domain name (as oposed to a sub-domain) looks professional and adds credibility to your site. Sub-domains are known to be offered for free and therefore don’t look very credible.
  2. Easy to find. A domain name makes it easier for visitors and potential visitors to find your website. Regardless of whether you change website builder, web developer, or web host, your domain name stays the same.
  3. Email address. Registering a domain name often means you’ll be able to get a professional email address for your site. If a customer visits your site and wants to contact you, it looks a lot better if they can email you with a recognisable domain name.

 

Cost of Domain Names

Now that we’ve covered what a domain name is and where to get one, it’s worth talking about the cost of registering a domain. As I mentioned earlier, you can actually get a domain name for free, but there may be restrictions on length of term, TLD etc.

 

123 reg domain name search

 

If you’re serious about registering a domain name with a reputable registrar or web host, let’s understand the cost behind it:

Choice of TLD
Length of words or word combinations
Length of registration term
Extras
Domain auctions

Above are some factors which can affect the cost of your domain. Certain TLDs may be more expensive to register than others. Often .com domains are more costly because they are more sought after. This is also the case when using popular words or keywords within your domain name.

When you register a domain name, you’ll be asked for the length of time you want to register it for. If you’re confident about your domain, it’s worth registering it for the longest time possible. On average, you’re looking at anywhere between 99p and £9.99 to register a domain name for a 12 month period.

If you want to protect your WHOIS privacy, most registrars will allow you to do this at an additional cost. This is entirely at the discretion of the domain registrar but usually comes in at around £5.99. As I said before, I really recommend protecting your privacy.

Unfortunately sometimes your perfect domain name can already be taken. There are a range of domain name auction sites out there, as well as domain registrars. You can often find the domain name you want but may have to bid on it or buy it outright at a high cost.

 

Can I transfer my domain?

This is something I get asked quite often. In short, yes you can transfer your domain. As long as you keep paying the fee for your domain, you can ‘take it with you’ to other locations. What I mean by this is that if you bought a domain name from GoDaddy, you could then transfer it to Wix, and so on.

NameCheap GoDaddy Wix

In fact, you could do this as many times as you like (though I’d recommend choosing a location and sticking with it).

 

Why would you transfer your domain?

Following on from the above, it’s important to understand why you would want to transfer your domain. The most common reason for transferring a domain is to keep everything in one place. For example, if you purchased a domain name from GoDaddy but started building your website on Wix, it’s handy to have both your domain and website in one location.

If you don’t fancy relocating your domain name, you can just point your domain name at a different location. If you purchase a domain via a domain registrar, you can update your name servers to point at your website builder. This ensures your domain registrar remains the same, but your website is visible through your website builder.

 

Is it best to purchase a domain name through a registrar or website builder?

If you’re wondering whether it’s best to purchase you domain name through a registrar, or through your website builder, I can help you answer that. Both options have pros and cons, and really depend on your own wants and needs. Let’s take a look at both options:

Website Builder

Some website builders like Wix will give you a free domain for the first year
If you use a website builder for both your domain and website, your domain will automatically connect to your site
After the first year you will need to renew your domain. Doing this through a website builder can often be more costly
If you move to a different website builder, you’ll need to transfer your domain to your new website builder

 

Domain Registrar

If you switch your website builder, you can update the name servers via your domain registrar (can take up to 24 hours)
It’s often cheaper to purchase and renew your domain through a registrar
Connecting your domain name to a website builder takes a little more admin work

 

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09 Jul 2019

7 Best Free WordPress Hosting Companies 2019

If you’re new to WordPress hosting or simply don’t have the funds to pay out on web hosting, you may want to consider free WordPress hosting company. I’m pretty sure once you have experienced WordPress you’ll want to upgrade to a premium plan to unlock and access all their features.

Free web hosting has become extremely popular in recent years. Running a website can be expensive (read how much it costs to build a website). However, if you know where to look and have the right resources, you can do it on a budget. In fact, if you want to build a website from scratch, you may want to swot up on how to learn code for free.

In the meantime though, what’s better than free web hosting? Free web hosting may sound appealing, but it’s not always what it seems. Of course, there will be limitations like bandwidth, disk space, and content usage. Some web hosts won’t include vital features like a free SSL certificate. Some may offer plenty of features but may not perform well in uptime, response time, or load time results.

 

#1: Hostinger (Best Almost Free WordPress Hosting Provider)

From just 99p per month, Hostinger takes out hotspot. I know they’re not completely free, but they’re as good as! I imagine most of you would expect poor service and performance from such a cheap web host but I can assure you this is not the case.

Hostinger offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on their WordPress web hosting. I don’t think you’ll need to request this but it’s a nice to have. As well as shared web hosting, Hostinger also have cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and domains from just 99p.

With servers in 7 different continents, Hostinger offers lightning fast performance and response times. They cover UK, US, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia and Lithuania (coming soon). Their servers are protected against DDoS attacks, optional CloudFlare CDN, and also have Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates for free.

Hostinger’s WordPress hosting guarantees an uptime of 99.9% (which we achieved in our own personal test results). Their 80p per month plan includes:

  • 1 website
  • 10GB disk space
  • 100GB bandwidth
  • 1 email account
  • Website builder
  • 24/7/365 support
  • 1 FTP account
  • Weekly backups
  • Hotlink protection
  • GIT

Hostinger Pricing

There’s more where that came from too! Frankly I was shocked when I first came across Hostinger. I didn’t know it was possible to received incredible WordPress web hosting that costs pence. I highly recommend Hostinger if you’re starting a blog or small website.

Pros:

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • SSD performance
  • Variety of server locations
  • Great proven response times
  • 24/7/365 support

Cons:

  • Free domain not included
  • Can’t use live chat unless logged in

 

Visit Hostinger (£0.99/Month)

 

#2: 000WebHost (Best Free WordPress Web Host with No Ads)

000WebHost is a free WordPress hosting company. Considering they are free, their performance statistics fair up nicely against other competitors. They’ve been in the web hosting industry for some time, offering established servers with 99% uptime.

One of my favourite aspects about 000WebHost is that they provide ad-free web hosting. It’s not often you come across this in the hosting industry, especially when you’re not paying even a penny! You can build a small website or blog with WordPress today, at no cost to you.

When you sign up to 000WebHost your account will be activated immediately. You can access your web hosting and WordPress site within a matter of seconds. They offer a custom control panel which is easy to use. Here you can activate 1-click installers like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

You’re probably wondering what’s on offer if hosting your own WordPress website is free. Let’s take a look at what you’ll get:

  • 1GB disk space
  • 10GB bandwidth
  • 2 websites hosted
  • You can host your own ads
  • Free website builder
  • MySQL databases
  • Instant backup

Although you might not be getting tonnes of disk space or a free domain, let me remind you that this web hosting is free. You’ll be equipped with enough tools to get your started on your journey. Plus, if you love your web hosting with 000WebHost enough to upgrade, they’re partnered with Hostinger. When you’re ready to go big, you can increase your web hosting package for just 80p per month.

Pros:

  • Free domain with .000webhostapp.com extension
  • Free website builder and templates
  • 1-click install of WordPress (free)
  • Host as many domains as you like

Cons:

  • 99% uptime guarantee (most web hosts offer 99.9%)
  • Limited disk space for larger websites

 

Visit 000WebHost (£0.00 /Month)

 

#3: x10Hosting (Best Free Unlimited WordPress Web Host)

x10Hosting is another great free WordPress web hosting company. They have a community of nearly 1 million users, so if you ever encounter any issues, you know where to go. This web host has over a decade of web hosting experience, so you can be assured they know what they’re doing.

If you’re looking for flexible web hosting using SSD cloud servers, x10Hosting is right for the job. Once you sign up, you’ll have cPanel access where you can install WordPress with the click of a button. In fact, there’s over 300 1-click installations on offer, and you don’t need to spend time configuring them. Here’s some of the features you’ll get included:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • SSD hosting servers
  • 3 email accounts
  • Latest PHP
  • Free website builder
  • Over 300+ apps
  • Backups

Earlier I mentioned their community forums. If you need support, the forums are accessible 24/7. You can ask questions and get answers from webmasters and other users. If you want premium support, or are looking for alternative options, you’ll need to upgrade your account.

If you upgrade to x10Premium you’ll get access to daily backups, support, and 99.9% uptime guarantee (or your money back). You can host unlimited websites and they’ll all be activated within minutes of creating them. If your website is ready to go one step further, there’s also SEO tools powered by Attracta Search Engine Optimization. Monthly prices start from $6.95, and decrease in price the longer you stay with the web host.

 

Pros:

  • Unlimited storage and disk space
  • Over 300+ 1-click installs
  • Community forums
  • High performance servers
  • Easy to upgrade

Cons:

  • No email, ticket, or live chat support
  • Pay extra for domain and SSL certificate

 

Visit x10Hosting (£0.00 /Month)

 

#4: Byet (Best Free WordPress Web Host with SSL)

If you’re looking for a feature-rich free WordPress web host, Byet won’t let you down. Currently they offer free SSL certificates (HTTPS) along with free web hosting. This is a steal considering how expensive some web hosts are when it comes to SSL’s.

When you sign up to Byet you get a choice of your own free sub domain. You can choose the site.byethost.com extension, or choose from several others. Of course, if you already have a domain name, you can use this for free too. This free web host supports MySQL, PHP, FTP, and plenty of other scripts free of charge.

They have their own cPanel called VistaPanel which is incredibly easy to use. You can install your favourite apps like WordPress in just one-click, as well as over 300 others! As a free web host, Byet have a wealth of features ready for you to explore:

  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • FTP access and file manager
  • cPanel (VistaPanel)
  • Free customer support
  • Unlimited addon domains, parked domains and sub domains
  • Community forums
  • Advert free
  • SSL certificates

Byet offer great performance web servers. They own and maintain all of their hosting network, including 24 core CPU Xeon servers, FTP servers, MySQL servers and more. They boast superior speed as well as reliability to ensure your site stays online. Although they don’t offer an uptime guarantee, they do say it’s their number 1 goal.

 

Pros:

  • Lots of features
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free sub domains
  • Fast server response times

Cons:

  • No specified uptime guarantee
  • No server locations listed

 

Visit Byet (£0.00 /Month)

 

#5: FreeHosting.com (Best Free WordPress Web Host with Upgrades)

FreeHosting.com provides users with free WordPress hosting with cPanel access. Thankfully there’s no trial period or expiration date with this web host. You can use their free WordPress web hosting for as long as your domain lasts (even when you renew). You can use your own hosted domain with FreeHosting.com, or purchase one from them.

If you’re worried about bandwidth, FreeHosting.com offer customers unlimited bandwidth (check their fair usage policy here). I think my favourite feature about this host is that you can upgrade your account with add-ons. So, if you’re just looking for some extras but aren’t ready to pay for web hosting, you can add them on for a small price. This is fantastic for those on a budget or for people who don’t want all the features that come with shared web hosting.

FreeHosting.com doesn’t come with many limitations. They have a free site builder too, so you can register, host, and build your site in one place (for free). Whether you’re a small business looking to get started or an established blog, I really recommend these guys.

If you’re having trouble deciding which free web host to go with, here are some of FreeHosting.com’s features:

  • 10GB storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Single website
  • 1 email account
  • One MySQL database
  • Apps installer

If you’re happy with FreeHosting.com they do offer some premium (paid) web hosting services. These come with faster servers, multi-site hosting options, web stats and logs, and backups. You can upgrade your free account from $7.99 per month and each account comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Though they do offer some great features, I would only recommend this web host for free web hosting.

Pros:

  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Option to pay for add-ons
  • cPanel access
  • Free site builder

Cons:

  • No sub domain hosting
  • Premium upgrades are expensive

 

Visit FreeHosting (£0.00 /Month)

 

#6: InfinityFree

InfinityFree doesn’t have millions of customers. In fact, it has around 300,000, making them a small fish in the web hosting world. However, this doesn’t mean they haven’t managed to set a good reputation for themselves. They offer a wealth of features and unlimited options as part of their free WordPress web hosting.

 

InfinityFree Web Hosting

When you choose InfinityFree’s free WordPress web hosting, you’re in for a real treat. Like many paid web hosting, you’ll get 99.9% uptime, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, no advertisements, and you can host any domain. You’ll also get a free SSL certificate (very generous) and CloudFlare CDN. To be honest, this is better than some of the expensive shared web hosting available on the market.

You’ll be pleased to know that you will have access to Softaculous (script installer). 1-click installations for WordPress and other applications have never been easier. You can create 10 email accounts for your website, as well as 400 MySQL databases.

Things almost sounded a little too good for my liking, so further investigation was needed. When I dug into InfinityFree’s terms of service, there seems to be a few ‘hidden’ restrictions. The allowed content and files seemed quite rough around the edges. If you do not comply with their terms, the penalty is the suspension of your website (and possibly your data).

Pros:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Free CloudFlare CDN
  • No adverts

Cons:

  • Ambiguous terms of service
  • Performance and response time isn’t the best

 

Visit InfinityFree (£0.00 /Month)

 

#7: AwardSpace

AwardSpace has over 2.5 million customers. It’s made a name for itself in the free WordPress web hosting world with over 15 years of experience. Like some other free web hosts, they offer a 100% ad-free experience (this I love). They also provide 24/7 customer support with a live chat option. This is something that isn’t often included with free web hosting.

There’s plenty of reasons to sign up to AwardSpace. Here are some of their included features on their free web hosting plan:

  • 100% advert free
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 5GB bandwidth
  • Instant activation
  • PHP MyAdmin
  • 99.9% uptime
  • 1GB disk space

AwardSpace Traffic Transparency

 

AwardSpace have a custom control panel which is fairly extensive. You can monitor the exact amount of traffic your website receives. This not only allows you to monitor your traffic, but lets you see when you’re close to your maximum bandwidth usage. Unfortunately you won’t get much bandwidth on their free WordPress web hosting plan.

5GB bandwidth is more of a taster of what’s to come in their premium plan. Yes, you’ll be able to run a small blog or website, but if you want to go big, this plan won’t be for you. Their 1GB disk space is quite restrictive too. Although, it’s hard to complain when the whole plan is free.

If you do decide to upgrade to their premium plans, these start from as little as €0.17 per month. This will give you unlimited disk space and monthly traffic. When we ran some speed tests on our test website, we did find that their servers were incredibly slow. Response times were over 1500ms which isn’t ideal at all.

Pros:

  • 99.9% uptime
  • Advert-free usage
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons:

  • Slow response times
  • Terms of Service state they may use your data

 

Visit AwardSpace (£0.00 /Month)

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04 Jul 2019

21 Best Domain Name Generators

Choosing a domain name can sometimes be the most difficult part of building a website. A domain name should be memorable but should also reflect what your brand or business represents. Unfortunately, a lot of the time you’ll spend hours figuring out your domain name only to find the name isn’t available. Sometimes it will be available for .co.uk but not for .com. You then have to go back to square one.

But, the good news is choosing a domain name doesn’t have to take forever. I’ve searched high and low for the best domain name generators to save you time!

Domain Name Generator #1: Shopify Business Name Generator

Shopify’s business name generator isn’t just for businesses. They suggest domain names that suit your needs. When you start off using Shopify business name generator you’ll be asked to enter a keyword. This keyword should have something to do with your website or business. For example if you run a bakery, your keyword might be cupcakes.

The generator will produce hundreds of results for you to choose from. The suggestions presented will be .com domains, but of course you can search on other domain registration sites for alternatives. The idea behind the generator is that it gives you suggestions of domain names that might work for you. Alternatively if you don’t like any of them, you should have been given enough inspiration to come up with your ultimate domain name.

Shopify will encourage you to sign up to their Shopify Shop with the domain names that have been suggested. You don’t have to sign up to Shopify; you can register your domain elsewhere and do as you please!

Domain Name Generator #2: Lean Domain Search

Similar to Shopify, Lean Domain Search asks for a keyword to get started. Their generator will produce hundreds (and even thousands) of domain name options for you. All of the domain names that are suggested are available as .com domains, so you won’t have to worry about whether they’ve been registered or not.

Shopify Lean Search includes some cool features too, making the process even more simple. You can filter using the following options:

  • Alphabetically
  • By name length
  • By popularity of domain name

If you like a few domain names you can save them as a list to revisit later on. If you’ve forgotten to save them but can’t remember what you searched for, you can go back through your search history!

Lean Domain Search will allow you to search for your own domain name ideas too, to see if they’re available. This saves time using multiple websites, making it an all in one tool.

Domain Name Generator #3: Nameboy

A little throw back to the 90s in the name! Nameboy encourages users to enter two keywords into their generator. This opens the door to a few more possibilities and combinations. Similar to the other generators, Nameboy will produce a wide selection of domain name ideas based on your keywords.

Their list is extensive and easy to navigate. You can easily see if a domain name that you like is available or not. Sometimes a .com name might not be available but .co.uk or .net is. They’ll also display a list of domain names that are up for resale, so you may still be able to nab your perfect domain name.

Nameboy’s tool can cleverly produce hyphenated or rhyming words based on your keyword input. Sometimes you may have an idea in mind but it doesn’t quite work. This tool can give you the ideas and inspiration you need to make a firm decision.

Domain Name Generator #4: Name Mesh

If you have a few keywords in mind but can’t make a decision, Name Mesh is your friend. You can enter 2-3 keywords for the generator to work its magic.

The tool can generate domain names based on a selection of variables. These include common domain names, different categories, short or similar names, domain names that are good for SEO, etc. If that wasn’t enough and you want to start a new search, Name Mesh will even provide you with some keywords to use. Search using the new keywords and see how it goes!

When you’ve concluded your search, you can filter the results by different types, including:

  • Domain name extension (.com, .co.uk, etc.)
  • Domain names that are unregistered
  • Domain name length

Domain Name Generator #5: Bust A Name

Bust A Name has a wide range of tools to help you find your perfect domain name. You can enter in keywords to start with in order to produce a list of results. You can then choose whether you want your domain name to start or end with your keyword (or neither).

Bust A Name allows you to choose how natural you want your domain name to be. You can also define a character limit (long domains can affect SEO). You can select whether or not you want to see taken domain names (perhaps for inspiration) and filter by extension like .com or .org.

If you have no clue where to start and don’t have any keywords, you can make a random domain name search. This will show available domain names and may give you the push you need to get creative.

Domain Name Generator #6: NameStall

You can start searching for a domain name with NameStall’s domain name generator. Simply enter a keyword and add your own filters to help you find the right domain. You can filter by popular keywords, categories, or types of words.

Similar to Bust A Name, you can choose whether the keyword should go at the start or end of the domain name. You may opt to have a hyphen in your domain name if it makes it easier to read or remember.

Once you’ve entered the relevant details, the list will show both taken and available domain names. If you want to register a new domain name you can do so through NameStall. Again, you don’t have to go through them if you don’t want to.

Domain Name Generator #7: Panabee

It’s cute interface will surely get a look in. Panabee provides a wealth of features including a domain search tool, domain name generator and a business name generator. You can enter in two keywords to start the domain name search.

The generator will present a wealth of suggestions for you to start deliberating over. If your chosen extension or domain name isn’t available, you can use a domain name registrar to search for more.

If you’re not interested in the search results from Panabee, you can search for similar or related names. This may spark some inspiration to hammer the nail in the coffin. Uniquely, Panabee will tell you if your domain name is being used across any social media accounts as a user or profile name (snazzy)!

Domain Name Generator #8: Name Station

Name Station has been mentioned on various popular platforms like SEOMoz, Mashable and TechCrunch to name a few. For this reason, I wanted to check it out (can you blame me)!

When you land at Name Station you’ll need to create a free account to get started. A bit annoying but it’s free so I can’t really complain too much. You can sign up using your email address or via social media on Facebook.

Once you’re signed up you’ll be able to use their domain name generator, check the availability of domains, and get keyword suggestions. Like most other generators, you can filter by extension, name length, and even search by categories.

Domain Name Generator #9: Domains Bot

At Domains Bot you can search for domain names as well as getting suggestions for domain names. Using their domain name generator is easy; enter a keyword and let the tool do the rest! You’ll get a list of domains related to your keyword, similar to your keyword, and even combining your keyword.

You may even find that you want to use new search terms after being inspired by some of Domains Bot’s suggestions. If you already have a domain name in mind, you can search to see if it’s available.

If your chosen domain name is available you can register it through the many registrar links, like GoDaddy. You’ll get suggestions on similar domain names before you commit to buying one (or it may confuse you even more)!

Domain Name Generator #10: Dot-o-mator

Dot-o-mator is a solid choice if you have no clue as to what your domain name should be. Trust me, we’ve all been there when you’ve got a business idea but don’t know how to brand it!

Start by choosing two categories – these will form the start and end of your domain name. Click search and you’ll be presented with a whole bunch of random domain names to choose from.

If you’re lucky enough to have some ideas in mind, you can search using your own search terms too. If you have a few domain names you like the sound of you can save them for later. This is always a good option if you’re not sure whether the domain is available or not.

Domain Name Generator #11: Domain Puzzler

Domain Puzzler offers a simple and easy to use interface. There’s plenty of options to choose from, but they do present an ‘easy’ option to get started with. All you need to do is enter your keywords and desired domain extensions (.co.uk, .com, etc.).

Once you hit search you’ll be presented with your list of domain name ideas and suggestions. What’s nice about Domain Puzzler is that they allow you to enter multiple keywords as opposed to one or two like other domain name generators.

Your keywords will be used to combine into multiple variations. You can save the domain names you like to your list so you can come back later if you want. There’s even a tool so you can compare the page rank of different domain names which is very useful!

Domain Name Generator #12: Impossibility

Impossibility is unique in the fact you can do a lot more within your domain name search. Once you’ve entered your keyword you can then add verbs, nouns and adjectives to your search. There’s a range of 4 letter, 5 letter and 6 letter options.

If you don’t want to be constrained you can choose to combine anything with your specified keyword. This makes for a lot more variety and hopefully will make finding your perfect domain name much easier.

If you like one of the domain names suggested it’s easy to click on the link to purchase. You don’t need to purchase through Impossibility, as always you can use a domain name registrar like GoDaddy or 1&1 (IONOS).

Domain Name Generator #13: Cool Name Ideas

A cool name and a cool tool. Cool Name Ideas is a business name generator with a built in domain name search. You can generate business names and it will tell you if the domain name is available or not.

One of the fun things about this generator is that you can enter in filters like:

  • Business size
  • Customer base

These will then be put into the generator to make even more relevant name ideas in your results. You can play with the advanced features too in order to limit character length and other customisation options.

Similar to some other domain name generators, you can see if social media names like Twitter handles are taken before purchasing your domain name.

Domain Name Generator #14: DomainWheel

DomainWheel has an attractive user interface, entering into the modern world of domain name generators. Start by entering your keyword (there’s already some suggestions) and search your domain.

You don’t just have to pick one keyword, you can enter several to get a good mix of domain names. I personally find more keywords generate more creative ideas. Once you’ve chosen a domain name, other options will appear. For example words that rhyme with your keywords or domain, different combinations, or even just randomly generated domain names.

When you’ve chosen your domain name you can register it to ensure no one else takes it. There are plenty of places to register a domain name, and even some sites that allow you to register a domain for free!

Domain Name Generator #15: Instant Domain Search

Do you already have a domain name in mind? If so, Instant Domain Search is a great place for you. If you know your domain already, simply enter it into the search bar to see if it’s available. The generator won’t give you new domain names based on a keyword search.

It will however provide alternatives if your chosen domain name has already been taken. But, if you desperately want the domain name you had in mind, the site will locate who owns the domain name that’s currently not available.

This might seem a bit strange but often people will buy domain names to sell them on for more. A catchy domain name is gold dust and people will pay a lot to nab a good one on the market.

Domain Name Generator #16: iwantmyname

Very similar to Instant Domain Search, iwantmyname is a place to search to see if your domain name is available. It’s got a simple user interface so you can easily see which domains are available and which ones aren’t. The green smiley face indicates if your domain name is available to purchase.

If your domain name is already taken (which is admittedly a right bummer), it will suggest alternatives through its generator. You can’t enter in keywords to generate new ideas but it will present similar domains.

Unfortunately you can’t track down who owns the domain name if it’s already taken like Instant Domain Search. You’ll just have to find a suitable alternative for now.

Domain Name Generator #17: DomainTyper

DomainTyper is a unique domain name generator and social network checker. I’ve mentioned that a few domain name generators can search to see if your domain name is available as well as checking if the username is available on Twitter or Facebook.

DomainTyper does it all! Type your chosen domain name into the search bar and it will see if it’s available. It will check a wide range of extensions where you can favourite the ones you like. If your name isn’t available you can make an offer to the person who currently owns it.

It also has its own generator to help you come up with some fun ideas. If you’re lacking inspiration this is a good place to start. Once you’ve found the perfect domain name you can check it against social media channels. It will see whether the username is already in use on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and more.

Domain Name Generator #18: WORDOID

If you’re struggling with a business name in the first place, WORDOID is a great starting point. It will generate a huge list of words to get your creative juices flowing. Although this might sound pretty random, sometimes the best names can come from a randomised tool.

Alongside the list of names, WORDOID will search to see if your domain name is available. It will check GoDaddy to see if they are taken or not and then how to buy them. If you want to enter in your own keyword to start the ball rolling, this tool won’t allow you to do so.

You can filter through the domain names to make the search a little less random. Filters include word length, resemblance match to real words, patterns and more. Uniquely, this domain name generator actually works in multiple languages. These include English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.

Domain Name Generator #19: Domainr

Domainr is a tool that is partnered with ICANN. When you search for a domain the list will show you whether a domain is taken or not. It will also display what alternatives there are if it is taken. For example helloworld.com might not be available but helloworld.uk is available.

If you don’t have a domain name in mind already, this won’t be right for you. This isn’t a generator that will make up names for you. It will simply display if your domain names are available or not and allow you to buy them.

Domain Name Generator #20: Domain Hole

Domain Hole is a tool I’d recommend if you don’t have a domain name in mind. Also if you have no keywords this will help you to find the perfect domain name. There’s plenty of features that other generators don’t feature so let’s take a look.

One thing I find is that people will have a domain name they want but it’s not available. Domain Hole can tell you if a domain name is due to expire shortly. You may see this and decide to hold on rather than instantly buy an alternative.

You can search for domains with domain and page ranking authorities. Other feature include backlinks and page flow. Domain Hole does require you to register a free account which is a minor annoyance.

Domain Name Generator #21: NameSmith

NameSmith is advertised as a business name generator. However it works great as a domain name generator which produces fantastic ideas from keywords. With nose domain name generators you can filter names by different types and categories.

With NameSmith they offer quite a bit more! Some of the filters include:

  • Prefixes
  • Suffixes
  • Fantasy names
  • Misspelled names
  • Rhymes
  • Portmanteaus

This makes things a little more interesting. I found that my creative brain started ticking a lot more from what they offered. Although you may not have considered this, NameSmith vow never to use your ideas or keywords by selling them on.

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28 Jun 2019

Best WordPress Page Builders Compared

If you’re trying to find an easy way to build your WordPress website, we’ve put together the best WordPress page builders and compared them. WordPress page builder plugins are super handy if you want a professional-looking website FAST!

WordPress page builders enable you to create, edit and customise your website without the need to learn code. But with the amount of page builder plugins available, how will you know which is the best one to use? That’s why we’ve taken the time to install each page builder plugin mentioned in this article to give you an honest and unbiased opinion of it.

Why use a drag and drop page builder for WordPress?

If you’ve never created a blog or website before, building your website from scratch can be overwhelming. Although WordPress is a powerful place to build a website, it can take sometime to learn. Even now I still struggle with elements of it and I’ve been using it for years.

When you download a theme from WordPress or other sources, customising it can be difficult without any coding knowledge. When you’ve used other website builders like Wix and Weebly, you may wish that WordPress had drag and drop functionality.

Although WordPress isn’t a drag and drop website builder, you can install plugins that make it so. As you can imagine, because WordPress is open-source, there’s plenty of great (and not so great) plugins available. This is why I felt the need to compare them! Below is a list of the best drag and drop page builders for WordPress (in no particular order).

What about WordPress block editor (Gutenberg)?

The WordPress block editor (also known as Gutenberg), recently became WordPress’s default editor. As the name suggests, the block editor uses blocks (or elements) that you can drag and drop onto your site.

People seem to be questioning whether the block editor counts as a page builder in itself. If so, would there be any need for other drag and drop page builder plugins?

If you’re looking to create beautifully designed WordPress websites and layouts, my suggestion is to use a page builder plugin. The block editor, although good, isn’t a match for the list below.

Potentially in the future you could combine some plugins with Gutenberg and not have to spend money on a drag and drop editor. However, in its current state, I would suggest using one of the recommended plugins below.

#1: Divi

Divi is a plugin for WordPress that combines a drag and drop theme creator and page builder. Divi is incredibly easy to use which is why I love it so much (and recommend it). There’s well over 20 templates to get started with to kickstart your inspiration.

Divi is a perfect option for beginners due to its WYSIWYG nature. It’s visual editor makes it easy to get started on any website in minutes. Whilst you’re developing your site, you can preview all of your work immediately without having to save drafts and click on separate previews.

There’s almost 50 content modules to play around with (and use of course). You can drag and drop these anywhere on the layout of your site, and remove them in the same way. You can customise each element and there’s even advanced settings if you’re feeling adventurous.

One the features I find unique about Divi is the fact you can save layouts for later use. If you’ve created something that you love but don’t want to use it right now, simply save your Divi layout and retrieve it another time.

Although the Divi builder supports the Divi theme, you can use it with any WordPress theme making it very versatile.

For just $89 per year, you’ll have unlimited access to Divi, Extra, Bloom, Monarch and more. Alternatively if you want lifetime access it will cost you $249 as a one off fee. This is easily one of the most affordable page builder plugins on the market.

#2: Elementor

You’ve probably heard of Elementor before. It’s extremely popular for many WordPress users. Elementor is a live drag and drop page builder. You can see your changes in real-time as you’re creating and editing your website.

Creating sections is really easy. All you need to do is choose the number of columns for each section and get cracking! The drag and drop functionality is pretty self explanatory. A selection of widgets are available to use; simply drag and drop them onto your site.

One of Elementor’s defining features for me is the extent of their widgets. There’s SO many to choose from including basic text widgets, sliders, testimonials, icons and social media. You can customise each widget within its own settings, as well as using third party widgets. By third party I mean other plugins that aren’t Elementor.

Much like Divi, Elementor comes with a selection of templates to start building from. If you’re stuck for inspiration, these are a good place to start. You can edit any of the elements on the templates or replace them with a choice of your own.

Elementor does have a FREE version, but it’s limited. You’ll have access to 30 basic widgets and the page builder, but nothing else. The pro version starts from $49 per year for 1 site. Or $99 per year for 3 sites. If you want to use Elementor on up to 1,000 sites it will cost you $199 which is only slightly less than Divi’s unlimited lifetime plan.

#3: Beaver Builder

Beaver Builders is pretty great from the offset. There’s an onboarding tour to get you stared so you can quickly learn the interface. The premium page builder is very fast and powerful and boasts a live drag and drop interface.

As with some other drag and drop page builders, you can see your changes as you make them. I found it was really easy to use, dragging and dropping elements from the sidebar. You can also customise any of the elements by clicking on them to make them more to your own liking.

Regardless of what you want to use Beaver Builder for, there’s elements to suit almost every user. From sliders to carousels, buttons to content blocks. You’ll find over 30 templates to get you started if you want something pre-built.

Beaver Builder is compatible with the latest version of WordPress (which is always a relief). You can try out a live demo of Beaver Builder before you buy it. The standard plan will cost you $99 but won’t include Beaver Builder themes or be multisite capable. The Pro version costs $199 and Agency costs $399.

#4: Visual Composer

Visual Composer‘s site builder is very user friendly and offers a simple drag and drop tool. You can use the available elements to build your website the way you want it.

It offers a front end editor so you can see your changes as you make them. Unlike any of the other plugins mentioned in this list so far, Visual Composer gives you the option of advanced editing. You can edit your logo, headers and footers, menus and more.

When you drag and drop an element on your site, you can edit the element. This allows you to customise anything in the way you want to. The editor itself is easy to use and understand. You can add and edit backgrounds, carousels, slideshows, videos etc.

I’ve used Visual Composer with many WordPress themes and can vouch for its compatibility. You can switch and change themes without worrying about losing your data. There’s support for the new Gutenberg editor, Yoast SEO, and Google Fonts.

Visual Composer have a free version of their plugin which gives you lifetime access but of course has limitations. Pricing plans start from $59 per year which gives you access for one website, premium elements, templates etc. For 3 websites it will cost you $149, or $349 for agencies with unlimited websites.

#5: Themify

Themify is actually a theme shop where you can purchase said themes. Themify Builder is included with all themes but you can install it separately as a solo page builder.

Themify Builder has a selection of pre-built modules to get you started with straight away. My experience of it is that it’s very intuitive and easy to use. My only real gripe with it is that a lot of the modules require you to install other plugins for them to work.

Themify comes with over 40 layouts that are ready to use. Of course you can customise them, but if you want something out of the box, it’s there for the taking. There’s plenty of versatility, with themes covering gyms, restaurants and even online stores.

Themify Builder is quick to get the hang of. You can build landing pages within minutes and get your site live in a few simple steps. Similar to Divi, you can make changes to your site in the live environment. I’ve never had any issues with Themify and found it to be very reliable.

The Themify Builder is free to download and works with any WordPress theme. If you want a theme to go with it, 1 theme will cost $59 and offer 1 year support. If you want a bit more for your money the Master Club will cost you $89 and comes with 42 themes, photoshop files, plugins and more. The Lifetime Club costs $249 and as it says on the tin, lasts a lifetime.

#6: SiteOrigin

SiteOrigin is one of the more popular site builder plugins, statistically. It has over 1 million active installations as it offers a responsive drag and drop page builder experience that’s easy to use. When I’ve used SiteOrigin, regardless of the device I was using, the page builder ensured the layout was responsive (great for SEO).

One of the main reasons SiteOrigin is so popular is because it’s free. Who doesn’t love free?! Some users have reported that they’ve struggled with getting used to the plugin to begin with, but once you get used to it there shouldn’t be any issues.

With SiteOrigin you can use WordPress’s own widgets to your hearts desire. The plugin comes with a few of its own widgets too, but you can install any others should you wish. One of my favourite features of SiteOrigin is the history tool. You can undo and redo changes you’ve made so you don’t have to worry about losing any work.

The Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins

Comparing the best page builder plugins for WordPress was very enjoyable. I mean, at times it wasn’t easy, as they all have really good points to them. Going through each one, the clear winner for me has to be Divi.

Divi is ideal for beginners and experts alike. There’s plenty of content modules, templates, and their drag and drop functionality is one of the best. A lifetime licence will cost you $249 and gives you some awesome features. If you’re building lots of sites, I’d highly recommend it.

That being said, I certainly wouldn’t dismiss the other drag and drop page builder plugins. They all have their own unique features which may suit some users better than others. They are most definitely worth a look at, even if you opt for a free version (or trial if they offer it).

So, that’s it – the best WordPress Page Builders compared (for 2019 so far). I’m going to keep my eyes peeled and will keep testing out and installing plugins throughout the year. If things change or if I discover anything new, I’ll be sure to update this list.

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26 Jun 2019

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website?

People often ask me how much it costs to build a website. The honest answer is that it varies. The real cost depends on your own wants/needs and your budget. Building a website can be done in a number of ways, not all of which are expensive.

What do you need to build a website?

First it’s important to establish what you actually need to build a website. In most cases you won’t even need to hire a web designer or web developer to do the work for you. You can save a lot of money by doing the work yourself (yes I know that sounds daunting).

Even if you don’t have a tech bone in your body, you can still build a website. That being said, if you don’t have a clue to begin with, you may take the wrong direction. That’s why I’m writing this guide so you don’t overspend and you don’t head the wrong way.

The main elements to start any website are:

  • Domain name (the name of your website, e.g. ukwebhostreview.com)
  • Web hosting (the people who host your website on the internet)
  • Website builder (if you want to create a website yourself)

Domain name

Choosing your website’s domain name should be the first step. You’ll need to know what your website is about and what it’s trying to achieve. Ideally your domain name should give potential visitors an idea of what your site is about before they’ve even landed.

There are plenty of sites that offer domain names for cheap. There’s also somewhere you can get a domain name for free! Most sites will give you the licence to your domain name for 1 year. Some may offer a longer period so take note. Once you purchase a domain name you have the right to use it and host your own website.

Web Hosting

Web hosting provides a secure place for all your website’s content and files to be stored. Choosing the best web hosting shouldn’t be difficult with our help!

When your site visitors type in your domain name, they’ll be taken to your website. Your website is hosted by your web host, therefore should be the best it can be for your needs.

There’s a whole bunch of different web hosting options available. Dependent on what your needs are, you may consider shared hosting, WordPress hosting, cheap hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, or even dedicated hosting.

When deciding on a web host, you may want to consider the following:

 

  • Uptime guarantee (this ensures your website is live and visible to the world. A guarantee of at least 99.9% is recommended)
  • Cost (web hosting doesn’t have to be costly, but the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Weigh up the cost with other factors)
  • Features (find a web host that offers the right features for you)
  • Performance (if your site doesn’t have a good performing web host, you may lose visitors)

Website Builders

If you want to create your own website, I recommend using a website builder like WordPress or Wix. It doesn’t matter what your skill set is, website builders, make it easy to create your own website.

Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a newbie, making a website the way you want it has never been easier. What’s more, when you sign up to a website builder, you’ll likely have access to handy SEO tools. Although website builders won’t be able to do it all for you, they’re a great way to pick up some hints and tips. Basic SEO features can be learned quickly and expanded on.

I recommend using the self-hosted version of WordPress. With over 30% of the web now powered by WordPress, there’s a reason it’s so popular. You’ll have complete control of your website and can choose one of their many free or premium paid themes. Whether you’re starting a blog or small business, or a large corporation, WordPress is a suitable option.

Signing up to WordPress.org is FREE. All you’ll need is your own domain name and web hosting. Most web hosts will actually install WordPress on your server for you, saving time and effort. You can browse thousands of themes and plugins via WordPress itself. Alternatively, there’s a whole bunch of resources available on the internet for you to peruse.

How much does building a website cost?

As I mentioned earlier, it depends on your needs. Using the methods mentioned above, it can cost anywhere from £50 up to a couple of hundred £. The bulk of the cost will come from your theme/template or the website builder you choose. That being said, compared to hiring a web developer that could cost you £5000+, it’s pretty affordable!

If you’re planning on building a small website, you’ll need to budget for the following:

  • Domain name (.com domain usually around £9.99 per year)
  • Web hosting (from as little as 80p per month with Hostinger)
  • SSL certificate (around £120 per year)

I’d personally recommend signing up to a web host who offers all the above for a fraction of the cost. Signing up to SiteGround will cost you £2.95 per month. You’ll get a free domain name and SSL certificate for the year! If you’ve already got hosting elsewhere, they’ll migrate your websites for free with an average uptime of 100% (in my own tests).

Once you’re signed up, you can install WordPress for free. Some web hosts will pre-install plugins for you, but I’d highly recommend the following to get you started:

  • Yoast SEO: Improve SEO on WordPress for free
  • W3 Total Cache: Improve speed and performance on your WordPress site
  • Akismet: Prevent unwanted spam comments on your WordPress site and blog
  • MonsterInsights: Connect your WordPress site to Google Analytics

How much does building an online store cost?

Creating a small basic website and an online store are very different things. What works for one likely won’t work for the other. That’s why I’m here to explain the difference for you!

Building an online store is a venture that’s going to be worthwhile. eCommerce is growing rapidly and is accounting for a large proportion of retail sales. If you’re looking to create an online store, now is definitely a good time to do so.

Similar to creating a standard website, your eCommerce site will need a domain name and web hosting. If you choose to use an eCommerce platform, they’ll cover the web hosting side so you don’t have to worry about that.

I would personally recommend signing up to Wix. They are the best eCommerce platform in my experience. I’d never created an online store before but found it super easy to do so using Wix. They’ve got over 100 million users so they must be doing something right!

Wiz’s eCommerce prices start from just £14 per month. You’ll get unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage, a FREE domain, an online store, and 2 premium business apps for FREE. This plan is insanely affordable when you consider what you’re getting for your money. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Managing your products is really easy to do. Like I said before, I hadn’t build an online store until I came across Wix. You can change the images on your products, categorise them, create discount codes and offers, etc. It felt almost too easy when I was doing it, it was hard to believe I was building my own online store myself!

How can you avoid paying over the odds?

It’s quite common for people with any size budget to overspend. I myself am a sucker for getting carried away with website themes and plugins. A few £ here and a few £ there can quickly add up to hundreds or even thousands.

The best thing to do is to start small. I know that might sound obvious but let me explain. Let’s take web hosting as an example to start with. When you sign up to a web host like SiteGround, you’re presented with multiple pricing plans. The difference between their StartUp plan and GrowBig plans is £2 per month. That might not seem a lot but that’s a difference of £24 per year, excluding VAT.

You’ll need to consider what your website needs immediately. Do you need 20GB storage right now or will 10GB be sufficient? Remember, most web hosts will let you upgrade your plan at any point. You don’t need to dive in with the biggest and best straight away when you won’t be using it to its full potential.

Making use of people like me can be one of your greatest resources! Let someone else do the hard work of researching and testing out the best web hosts, domain names, website builders and eCommerce platforms. Once you’ve read through my comparisons you should be equipped with the best knowledge to budget effectively.

What’s the best option?

After exploring some of the possibilities surrounding the cost of building a website, let me help you decide the best route to take. I’ve experimented with a wide range of options from drag and drop builders, templates, CMS platforms and even custom built sites.

The best way to simplify this whole process is to break it down into a few simple questions. Hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ll have it all figured out!

Question #1: What’s your actual budget?

As well as the initial setup, websites need maintenance. Fees renew monthly or yearly, and technologies change (we spoke about this before). Really it comes down to two things:

  • Initial setup and design
  • On-going costs (monthly/annually)

If you have over £100 to spend and your budget allows for this, something like WordPress would be a good option. You can afford a decent premium theme, some plugins, and WordPress web hosting. If your budget can stretch a little, you may even consider manages WordPress hosting.

If you have £100 or less to spend, a website builder would be my recommendation. Your monthly or annual costs will include a theme, web hosting, and often a domain name. You’ll have to manage the site yourself, but you’ll have an all-in-one solution to hand.

Question #2: Do you want to manage your site yourself?

I touched on this briefly in question one. There’s various ways your site can be managed. You can hire a web developer or designer to do the work for you. If you choose this option you will have to consider how much work for other people they also have. Do your timeframes allow for delays and potential setbacks? This also links into budget as hiring a web developer is very expensive.

Many web hosts offer a managed solution. This means they manage the installation, backups and updates to yourself. You still have to create the site and apply content to it, but the fiddly back end stuff gets done for you. Managed hosting can be slightly more expensive than shares hosting, but its worth it if you don’t have time or don’t want to manage certain aspects of your site.

Question #3: What features do you want on your site TODAY?

There are plenty of features, plugins and apps you can download and install to your website. Whether you’re using WordPress, another site builder, or having your site built for you, there’s lots of add-ons around.

What you need to consider is whether these tempting features are necessary NOW or whether you can do without them until later down the line.

Although features are nice to have, it’s easy to get carried away. If you’re using WordPress and install too many plugins, it may slow your site down. If you install plugins that conflict with each other, they won’t work. You also need to remember to keep them updated or you’ll face security risks or they’ll stop working.

If you want to get your website off the ground TODAY, go for it. You probably don’t need all the bells and whistles right now and may even learn over time what you do and don’t need.

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29 May 2019

Best Affiliate Marketing Platforms of 2019

Affiliate marketing is hugely popular, especially for those looking to kickstart their online business revenue. The world of affiliate marketing has grown massively within the blogging industry, making it a key source of income for many.

Bloggers often struggle to make money during the first few months and sometimes years of their ventures. Passive income streams are available in many shapes and sizes which is why I wanted to investigate.

Whilst some people do make big money through their online business and blogging, I don’t suggest quitting your job until you become more established. Learning how to monetise your blog is essential in taking your first steps towards working for yourself.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be too complicated. You essentially partner your website with an affiliate marketing program or platform. They then connect you to someone that can sell your product or service. For example, you write an article or review about a new mobile app. The affiliate marketer would connect you to someone that owns or sells said app, and if purchased, a small cut off the profits comes to you. Other examples include clicking on marketing links or signing up to useful services like BlueHost’s web hosting.

Where to get started

Depending on your blog or market, certain affiliate marketing programs or platforms may be more suited to you. I’m going to cover a wide variety of the best affiliate marketing platforms of 2019 to make your life easier! Regardless of what type of blogger you are, there should be something for you in this list.

1. Amazon Associates

Amazon is one of the most well known brands in the world. For this reason, people place a lot of trust in them and will happily purchase from their online store again and again. From sweet hampers to drones, homeware to digital goods, Amazon has it all. Regardless of your niche, you’re likely to find it on Amazon which is what makes it the perfect affiliate marketing platform.

Sign up to Amazon Associates here.

Pros:

  • Up to 10% commission on a qualifying product purchase
  • All purchases will count towards your commission (even if it wasn’t the product that was clicked on from)
  • Huge selection of products likely to appeal to most people and niches

Cons:

  • Affiliate cookie expires after 24 hours
  • Payout options are limited to cheque, bank transfer or Amazon gift cards

2. eBay Partners

You may be wondering why such a large marketplace like eBay wants you to help them sell products. Well, companies like this are big and well known for a reason. They make money; a lot of it, and will continue to do so with your help. Using eBay’s Partner Network tools, you can help promote listings and get paid for doing so.

Sign up to eBay Partners here.

Pros:

  • eBay sells an insanely large range of products. Because products are listed by everyone and anyone, there’s not many products that aren’t for sale (legally)
  • There aren’t any complex rules around their affiliate platform. Simply share your listing link and if someone purchases from it, you’ve made some money
  • You’ll earn double commission for the first 3 months of signing up

Cons:

  • Sales get split 3 ways between you, the seller and eBay
  • You don’t get any commission if the auction takes longer than 10 days to end

3. Shopify Affiliate Program

Shopify is amongst the leading eCommerce platforms worldwide. The hugely popular software is used by bloggers and online retailers to sell products through an online store. Plenty of companies use Shopify so finding one that sells products or services related to your niche shouldn’t be too difficult.

Sign up to Shopify Affiliate Program here.

Pros:

  • There’s lots of money to be made. You’ll get the first two months of your referrals subscription fee
  • Shopify presents lots of opportunity and is the best eCommerce platform, making it trusted and worth referring to

Cons:

  • Your audience is limited to people who want to use Shopify to sell things online

4. Rakuten Marketing Affiliates

You may well of heard of Rakuten before. They are a leading online store who sell a wide range of goods including electronics, pet supplies, clothes and Lego. If you can think of something to buy, Rakuten probably stocks and sells it. Rakuten will happily pay you for referring people to purchase anything from them.

Sign up to Rakuten Marketing Affiliates here.

Pros:

  • Rakuten is very well known, therefore promotes trust in its consumers. Getting people to purchase from them shouldn’t be difficult at all
  • They offer a wide range of products from pet food to drones

Cons:

  • If you want to promote a variety of brands on Rakuten, you’ll have to sign up to them all individually

5. Leadpages Partner Program

Leadpages is a marketing tool that offers unique and powerful features. The tool allows pretty much anyone to create professional landing pages for any website. Regardless of expertise, skill or knowledge, it’s really easy to use Leadpages to your full advantage. If you have a digital audience that could do with creating or enhancing their landing pages, this is a great opportunity.

Sign up to Leadpages Partner Program here.

Pros:

  • Because of its popularity and unique tool it offers, Leadpages kind of sells itself so you don’t have to. Anyone with a website can make use of their tool
  • Their tool is genuinely really powerful so it makes promoting it really easy
  • 30% commission on each sale regardless of referral spend

Cons:

  • Because it’s only useful for those with websites, it means it’s only available to a niche market

6. StudioPress Affiliate Website

If your audience base has a large digital prescence, you may want to consider StudioPress’s Affiliate Website. Like Leadpages, it is a niche, but one that’s worth pursuing if you can. StudioPress creates professional, responsive, and darn right beautiful and customisable WordPress themes. Anyone looking for a WordPress theme or template will be astounded at what StudioPress can offer.

Sign up to StudioPress Affiliate Website here.

Pros:

  • StudioPress sells itself, making the task a lot easier for you. Encouraging WordPress users to look at StudioPress won’t be difficult as most fall in love with it instantly
  • The payouts on StudioPress’s affiliate program are quite nice. You’ll get a tasty 35% from each theme sale plus $75 on any site sale which can amount to quite a lot

Cons:

  • StudioPress is a niche product, so unless your audience are WordPress users, you may not be able to take advantage of the rewards

7. BlueHost Affiliate Program

BlueHost’s reputation is unrivaled; it’s number 2 in my best web hosting reviews. BlueHost’s web hosting (especially for WordPress) is incredibly affordable and flexible. They offer stable web hosting with unlimited bandwidth and storage for the price of a sandwich. Their WordPress installation is quick and easy, but if you do run into any trouble, their support is second to none.

Sign up to BlueHost Affiliate Program here.

Pros:

  • BlueHost’s affiliate program has a really simple process. All you need to do is sign up and share your referral link. There’s no complications to it and you can create your own campaigns with different banners should you wish
  • BlueHost is actually recommended by WordPress, so you can’t compete on quality and trust

Cons:

  • Again, another niche product. Unless your website visitors want web hosting, it’s not going to be much use
  • You’ll need to make a minimum of $100 in the first 12 months for a payout. However, they’re offering $65 for each referral so this shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve

8. ConvertKit Affiliate Program

If you’re looking for one of the market leaders in the email marketing industry, ConvertKit is definitely one of them. I guess you could say it’s a niche in some ways, but if your audience has a website or blog of their own, they’re sure to make use of ConverKit’s tools. They focus on being entirely customisable, offering a unique product to every user.

Sign up to ConvertKit Affiliate Program here.

Pros:

  • If your visitors require email marketing, ConverKit is an amazing tool that they can use. It won’t be hard selling ConvertKit to anyone that needs it because they do rock the socks off their competition
  • ConvertKit’s affiliate program doesn’t have a cut off point, so you can earn revenue from them forever

Cons:

  • It’s a niche product, but maybe not as niche as some of the other ones I’ve mentioned
  • They offer customers a 30-day money-back refund policy so all referrals need to pass the 30-day period before being validated

9. HubSpot

HubSpot helps companies grow on a daily basis. Their award winning platform provides a wealth of tools to businesses looking to kick start or enhance their sales and marketing techniques and lots more. They are an extremely well known platform and offer a generous affiliate marketing program. You can earn up to $1000 for each product that is purchased ($250 starter, $500 professional/CMS, and $1000 enterprise)

Sign up to HubSpot Affiliate Marketing here.

Pros:

  • Affiliate payout is very generous and can earn you up to $1000 per product purchased
  • Attracts a wide range of customers who are looking to start up a business or who already have a business. Not as niche as some other affiliate marketing programs

Cons:

  • There is a cookie life on all referral links of 90 days (though in all honesty, 3 months is a long time)
  • Pricing is expensive for those wanting to purchase, so although the payout is generous, you have to find people willing to spend a fair amount each month on their products

10. Google AdSense

Although not strictly an affiliate marketing program or platform, Google AdSense does provide the means to earn money. You can monetise your blog quite easily and quickly with Google AdSense. This tool allows you to insert adverts into your blog and earn money for every click your users make on each ad. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme but it does provide the means for you to advertise on your blog.

Sign up to Google AdSense here.

Pros:

  • You won’t need a specific market or niche to make money with Google AdSense. They do the hard work for you and find the ads to display on your blog
  • Google is known by almost everyone worldwide (and anyone using the internet) so they’re a safe bet
  • You have the ability to disable adverts on your blog that aren’t suitable or appropriate for your audience

Cons:

  • Unless you have a lot of users visiting your blog, you won’t make that much money to start with

11. MaxBounty Affiliate Network

You may not have heard of MaxBounty, but their affiliate network is certainly up and coming. They work with some pretty well known brands including Norton, T-Mobile and McAfee (which is always reassuring). Their aim is to connect affiliate marketers with advertisers who pay well. So far they seem to know what they’re doing and people are flocking to their site to see what the fuss is about.

Sign up to MaxBounty Affiliate Network here.

Pros:

  • If you can earn a minimum of $1000 per month through MaxBounty for the first 3 months, they’ll give you a bonus of $1000
  • MaxBounty pay their affiliates weekly so there’s no waiting around like some other affiliate programs
  • You can choose multiple payout options with MaxBounty including digital payment methods

Cons:

  • They aren’t as well established as other affiliate marketing programs which may put some people off

12. ShareASale Affiliates

ShareASale is a well established company with over 17 years in the business. They offer a marketplace which has a ton of merchants selling pretty much anything and everything. You won’t have trouble trying to promote any of their products or finding relevance to your audience as there’s something for everyone.

Sign up to ShareASale Affiliates here.

Pros:

  • ShareASale has both digital and traditional payout options. It’s quite rare to find affiliate marketing platforms that offer digital payouts so when you find one, it’s worth holding onto
  • There’s plenty of choice in terms of merchants and products so you’ll be able to find something to fit your niche

Cons:

  • It can be quite complicated to set up the referral process with ShareASale. A small amount of technical know-how would be useful
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23 May 2019

16 Examples of Successful Blogs in 2019

Starting a blog sounds like a great idea (and it is)! But knowing where to start is often the difficulty according to what people tell me. I often find inspiration from other great and already successful blogs can spur on some creativity!

There are absolutely millions of blogs that exist on the internet. Many have been created and have dwindled off the radar due to bloggers becoming disinterested. However, there are plenty of very successful blogs that are still growing and making money for their owners.

Blogging is about creating content that makes people want to keep coming back. If you can create a blog that offers relevant content, shareable content, and provides useful resources for others, you’re going to be successful. Bloggers that make the effort to keep their blog updated whilst providing a good user experience (like keeping your WordPress up to speed) are the ones that are still alive.

I’m going to show you 21 examples of successful blogs that all provide something different to their users. Some blogs can make literally thousands of pounds/dollars a month and provide their owners with a steady income. I hope this list can provide you with some inspiration to start your own blog, or continuing to work hard on your existing blog.

1 | Tuts+

Tuts+ was founded in 2006 and provides useful tutorials and content for web designers. If you’re looking into how to learn coding, this is a very valuable resource and helps designers worldwide. Their marketplace currently servers over 2,000,000 customers buying web templates and tutorials.

This blog is successful because they provide relevant content to their target market. Their income mainly comes through their memberships and the commission the receive from sales. Of course, when they first started, Tuts+ wouldn’t have just had cash handed to them on a plate. They’ve continued to work hard and provide insanely digital goods across their platforms.

2 | Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine was also founded in 2006 (like Tuts+). Founders Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman created the blog to help those interested in web design and web development. They provide content that’s relevant and useful to those looking to learn more in these fields with articles, books, events, and even jobs.

In 2012 Smashing Magazine started hosting web development conferences. These take place worldwide and offer material from big sponsors in the tech industry. Smashing Magazine’s primary income comes from their memberships. Users can sign up to their subscription and have access to a wealth of tutorials from just $3 per month.

3 | Gizmodo

Gizmodo launched in 2002, mainly focusing on design and technology. Gizmodo became popular very quickly, and it’s for this reason that they decided to make their blog multi-lingual. It offers translated versions of its content in a variety of languages including French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Gizmodo’s fortune mainly comes from advertising. Their homepage isn’t packed full of adverts but you will find they tend to repeat themselves in smaller formats. Advertising is often based on your search or purchase history, aiming adverts at customers that are relevant and don’t appear ‘spammy’.

4 | Perez Hilton

Perez Hilton is well known for his controversial gossip, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on this blog. The blog is run by Mario Armando Lavanderia Jr who had dreams of becoming an actor. Unfortunately that didn’t work out for him, but blogging definitely did!

Lavanderia earns most of his income through advertising on his blog. Popularity continues to grow as he makes regular appearances on TV as a celebrity gossip commentator. It’s estimated that he earns over half a million dollars per month through his blog alone!

5 | Mashable

Mashable was started in 2005 by Pete Cashmore. Cashmore was dedicated to producing consistently great content on a regular basis. The blog offers entertainment, technology, science and cultural news. There’s also sections on lifestyle, parenting, science, deals, and a shop page.

Mashable continues to grow by reaching out to its readers. They have a large presence not only on the Internet but also through social media. Mashable’s fortune comes from its advertisements on its blog, making over $2,000,000 per month.

6 | Moz

For those of you that have never heard of Moz, it’s probably the most popular and valuable blog about SEO. Rand Fishkin started his venture out as a family-run business focusing on design. It soon turned into an SEO shop, but the blog was what gained it’s massive audience that still stands strong today.

Moz’s income comes primarily from website memberships. As a member of Moz, you’ll have access to professional tools to help you with your own website’s SEO journey. There’s a wealth of material and resources accessible to ensure that you know everything there is to know about search engine optimisation, how to increase your reach, and much more.

7 | Huffington Post

Launched back in 2005, Huffington Post (known as HuffPost or HuffPo) provides a unique view on news and politics. Arriana Huffington sold the blog in 2011 for a whopping $315 million to AOL. HuffPost is an American news blog, edited from a Liberal perspective and covers topics including politics, entertainment, technology, lifestyle, comedy, and local news.

HuffPost makes it’s millions from sponsored advertising; you’ll notice on their website they have banners and digital ads. Huffington Post is probably the most successful blog of it’s kind and time. It’s value to date is over $1 billion which is incredibly impressive compared to other news blogs that exist.

8 | Engadget

Started by the same guy that setup Gizmodo, Engadget has proven to be wildly successful. Engadget provides it’s users with technology advice and reviews on tech and electronics. The blog was sold to AOL in 2005 and has been run by them ever since. Engadget covers the likes of technology gear, games, entertainment, videos and reviews.

As do many other blogs of it’s kind, Engadget makes a large profit from it’s advertising. Because of this, it can employ content writers and editors that are able to write about about everything technology related. They can research the latest gadgets and provide daily news and reviews to keep their users interested.

9 | CSS Tricks

Chris Coyier created his design blog called CSS Tricks. He’s one of the most well-known designers on the internet to date. CSS Tricks was started in 2007; at the time it was solely focused on CSS (hence it’s name). Today, CSS Tricks is a library of resources for web design and web development. It’s really easy to visit the blog and copy lines of code to use in your own website.

There’s plenty of resources to make use of, including CSS, Sass, HTML, JavaScript, JQuery, and PHP. CSS Tricks uses it’s existing user base and audience to launch new products, blogs, and companies. One of their websites, CodePen, has over 1 million users. In fact, CodePen has double the amount of traffic compared to CSS Tricks.

10 | CoinDesk

CoinDesk is one of the leading Cryptocurrency blogs around, in fact it’s probably the most successful one. CoinDesk receives a whopping 10 million visitors per month which is what makes them a leader in the industry. The blog was started by Shakil Kha in 2003; it was bought by Digital Currency Group in 2016 for around half a million dollars.

CoinDesk makes it’s millions by being the main source of Cryptocurrency news and updates. Their income mainly comes from advertising on their website and paid reports. They also sell tickets to the conferences that they hold, which of course makes quite a nice sum.

11 | Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn, owner of Smart Passive Income, has been blogging for almost 10 years. The aim of the blog is to provide people with easy techniques to running a business online in order to earn passive income. If you’re looking to run a blog as passive income, this is the place to learn and make use of proven techniques.

Most of Pat’s earnings come from being a BlueHost affiliate, as well as using other email marketing tools. His advertising income comes from his Podcast, as well as Google ads on the website and blog.

12 | Making Sense of Cents

The blog Making Sense of Cents is aimed at teaching you how to save money effectively. Michelle Gardner focuses on how to be frugal in order to lead a better life, showing people that managing your finances can actually change your life. Initially, the blog was set up because Michelle herself wanted to improve her own financial situation.

It’s reported that she paid off her student loan of almost $40k by less than a year of online business. Her articles cover how to earn extra income and how to be in control of money, including emotional spending (which I’m sure we all do). The blog earns it’s income from advertising and affiliate accounts.

13 | Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum is primarily a food blog, showing images of delicious food alongside recipes. Food blogs tend to be fairly popular as they have a large reach and most people can relate to them. Lindsay Ostrom (owner of Pinch of Yum) has already made six figures from her blog through her love of food photography.

Lots of Lindsay’s traffic comes from social media sources like Pinterest and Instagram, both of which are image heavy. She has over half a million Instagram followers which is incredibly impressive. Pinch of Yum uses both advertising on it’s blog as well as affiliate marketing with the likes of BlueHost and Amazon.

14 | Just A Girl And Her Blog

Abby, who owns Just A Girl And Her Blog, writes about all things DIY, home decor, and home organisation. In recent years, this topic has become quite popular, as I’m sure you’re aware if you caught Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Abby pushes a focus on the things that we easily miss in our everyday lives at home, showing visitors how they can improve their homes whilst enjoying making it so.

Abby posts regularly on her blog, keeping her readers entertained. She makes an enormous $35k per month, just a few years after the blog started. What makes her blog so popular is that she puts things in simple terms, allowing the likes of anyone to be able to understand her point of view.

15 | Single Mom’s Income

Back in 2012, Alexa started a blog called Single Mom’s Income. The purpose of the blog was to give others a view into the life of a single mother living from paycheck-to-paycheck, and how to break the cycle. After Alexa got divorced, it spurred her on to get out of her daily rut and inspire others. She now receives over 150k monthly visitors.

Alexa talks about her life experiences and how people like her can make money without the usual 9 to 5 full-time job. There’s plenty of opportunity out there, including part-time jobs, side jobs, and freelancing. The blog’s main income comes from advertising and freelancing products/services.

16 | True Valhalla

True Valhalla creates and sells HTML5 video games. Matthew designs all of his games from scratch; in order to make money, he sells the right to the games to other gaming portals. True Valhalla truly shows you that anyone can make money online if you set your mind to it. Finding your own niche is a good starting point!

The income from the blog can be quite up and down; some months Matthew can earn up to $30k per month. Matthew earns a small amount of income from advertising on his website, but the majority of his revenue comes from selling his products and services.

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15 Apr 2019

Wix Vs Weebly – 7 Differences You Need to Know in 2019

Wix and Weebly are very close contenders in the website builder market. In the top 1 million websites, Wix holds 0.34% of the share, and Weebly holds 0.31% of the share, according to Built With. Both companies offer a drag and drop type builder, making it really easy to build a website without any coding knowledge.

Both website builders offer a free website builder option. There are limitations to the free plans, but it’s a good place to start! Wix and Weebly are very similar in terms of the features they offer. With a wide range of modern and professional templates, you could have your site up and running within minutes.

Because Wix and Weebly are so closely matched, I wanted to compare them in depth. I hope this will allow you to decide for yourselves which website builder suits your needs. I’ll be looking at their ease of use, features, customer support, pricing, and pros and cons. Let’s take a look at Wix vs Weebly and get started!

Pricing

The price of a website builder may sway it’s users to buy (or not to buy). As previously mentioned, both Wix and Weebly offer a free plan. But, they both offer premium plans too. When deciding the winner of this category, I’ll be taking into account what’s on offer for the price. A lower price doesn’t always been it’s a better option, and vice versa.

Wix:

Connect Domain (£3 per month) – 1GB bandwidth, 500MB storage, connect your domain

Combo (£6 per month) – 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage, connect your domain, 30 mins video, remove Wix ads, free domain, £75 ad vouchers

Unlimited (£8.50 per month) – Unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, connect your domain, 1 hour video, remove Wix ads, free domain, £75 ad vouchers, Site Booster and Form Builder apps

VIP (£18 per month) – Unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage, connect your domain, 2 hour video, remove Wix ads, free domain, £75 ad vouchers, Site Booster, Form Builder, and Professional Logo apps, social media logos, priority response, VIP support

These Wix plans are included in their ‘website’ plans options. They also have business and eCommerce specific plans which I’ll touch on later. All premium plans include free web hosting, Google Analytics, a customised Favicon, and the ability to increase storage as/when you need it. What I love about Wix (apart from them being very affordable), is how easy it is to upgrade. If your needs are exceeding what’s on offer, there’s always more you can enjoy!

Weebly:

Starter (£5 per month) – Free domain, $100 Google Ads, No Weebly ads, unlimited storage, connect your domain, SSL certificate, advanced site stats

Pro (£8 per month) – Free domain, $100 Google Ads, No Weebly ads, unlimited storage, connect your domain, SSL certificate, advanced site stats, site search, password protection, video backgrounds, HD video and audio, up to 100 members

Business (£17 per month) – Free domain, $100 Google Ads, No Weebly ads, unlimited storage, connect your domain, SSL certificate, advanced site stats, site search, password protection, video backgrounds, HD video and audio, unlimited members, membership registration

At this point, it’s worth noting that Weebly plans also include the above eCommerce features. Similarly to Wix though, they have separate eCommerce plans that are more tailored to business needs. All of Weebly’s premium plans include SEO tools, and lead capture. You’ll also be able to access their community forums and contact support via email and chat. If you want phone support though, you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro or Business plan to unlock this feature.

And the winner is… Wix!

Although both website builders offer some very versatile pricing plans, Wix is the clear winner for me. Their prices are slightly more affordable than Weebly, and you get more for your money. There are more plans available, making Wix more accessible by a wider audience. They might not offer as much storage on their lower tier plans compared to Weebly, but the other features outweigh this limitation.

Ease of Use

When choosing a website builder, it’s important that you find one that’s easy to use. After all, website builders are meant to be easy to use! Both Wix and Weebly offer drag and drop functionality, making them very easy to pick up and learn. However, both website builders offer small differences and their approaches aren’t always the same.

Wix:

Wix’s drag and drop feature makes it easy to edit an existing template or design. It’s simple to drag site elements from one place to another. It’s also really easy to duplicate existing elements or content, as you may want to relocate them. Text boxes, images, videos, etc. are all easily moved onto any page of your website.

Wix focuses on creativity, and the freedom to experiment. If you don’t know any code like HTML or CSS, you can create a professional website with the same capabilities as someone with coding knowledge. Literally over 100 million people use Wix, which shows you that it can be used by pretty much anyone!

If you’re not keen on dealing with the design of your website, you can let Wix ADI handle it for you. Simply select some options and answer some questions to allow Wix ADI to create your perfect site. It will use it’s intelligence to not only create a template for you, but also the actual layout too.

Weebly:

Similar to Wix, Weebly also offers a drag and drop tool with it’s website builder. However, in my opinion, it’s a little less flexible compared to Wix. Weebly’s templates are professional and offer great design, but are a little more rigid. Unfortunately it’s not possible to drag elements wherever you like, there’s a bit more structure meaning you’ll be more restrictive.

On the flip side, if you prefer more structure and don’t want the creative freedom that Wix offers, Weebly could be a better option. You may even decide to use Weebly as a starting point to follow their guidelines, and move onto a more creative builder later down the line.

Weebly is most definitely aimed at beginners; creating a website is very easy! One of the benefits that Weebly offers that some other website builders don’t is the ability to change your template after your website has gone live. Often when you start off, you’ll make decisions that you’ll later regret or want to change later down the line.

And the winner is… Wix!

There’s really no denying how easy Wix is to use. I’m not saying Weebly isn’t easy to use, because it is, but Wix just has the edge. The choice of drag and drop functionality as well as Wix ADI is a real head turner. From signing up to designing your website, everything is simple. If at any point you get stuck during your website creation journey, there’s helpful hints and a brilliant help center to make use of.

Features

What features are on offer can sometimes be the deciding point for website builder users. I mean, you’re paying money, so surely you’d want a good selection of features, plugins, and apps to give your website the edge. I’ve taken a look at what features are provided by Wix and Weebly to give you an idea of what might suit you.

Wix:

Templates – Wix offers over 500 templates to get you started on your website journey. I don’t think I’ve come across a template that isn’t spectacularly modern and professional. All of their templates are responsive, meaning your website will look great on any device. But, if you wanted to edit your template separately for mobile, this feature is available too.

Fonts – This may be a strange feature to mention, but I love it! You can use any of the fonts that Wix provides on your website. You can also upload any of your own fonts too, so personalising your website has never been easier!

SEO – Wix’s SEO tools are so easy to use. Even if you’re not entirely sure what SEO is or how to optimise it, Wix will walk you through the process. Updating meta tags and descriptions, enabling Google Analytics, etc.

App Market – Wix’s app market has hundreds of apps you can use on your website. Apps are useful to enhance what you’ve already got, or install new features that the website builder doesn’t offer as standard.

Advanced Code – If you do know a coding language, you can make use of this skill with Wix. Although Wix is great for beginners, it gives experts a chance to show their flare too.

Weebly:

Mobile App – Not only can you create and edit your website on your desktop, you can on your mobile too. Weebly’s app allows you to access your website at any time. This is great if you notice an issues, want to add content, or are managing your business online. With almost everyone using mobile in 2019, accessibility anywhere is key.

Templates – Weebly’s templates are professional, modern, and simply divine. All of them are responsive, so you don’t need to worry about being mobile ready. Weebly’s templates can be edited to your own needs, using their simple drag and drop builder.

App Center – The app center allow third parties to offer apps that can be installed. These can be installed on your website, blog, or online store. Third party apps are a great way to tailor make your site to make it absolutely perfect. More often than not, these apps can actually help to drive traffic to your website – a bonus if you ask me!

Blogs – Weebly’s blogging tool is very similar to their website builder. It uses drag and drop features, making it super easy to create a blog. There’s plenty of blog templates to choose from, and you can even ensure that your blog has SEO too.

And the winner is… Wix!

There’s no denying that both website builders offer plenty of features. Weebly presents some interesting features and tools to get your website started. However, I feel that Wix once again has the edge. Their features are that little bit more powerful, and lean more on the professional side.

Pros & Cons

Wix:

+ Monthly subscriptions

+ Easy to use

+ Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI)

+ Plenty of professional templates

+ Loads of features and apps

 

– Unable to change template once you’re site has gone live

– Mobile site editor can be a little unreliable

 

Weebly:

+ Simple designs

+ Great for beginners

+ Drag and drop editor

+ Ability to change template once site has gone live

 

– Less flexible than Wix

– Pricing is based on annual payment

– Not as many plans to upgrade to

Conclusion

Both Wix and Weebly are undoubtedly impressive website builders. They compete well with each other, offering similar features to create the perfect website. They are both very affordable, and offer multiple pricing plans to ensure you can choose the right one for you. However, Wix on all accounts simply offers more!

Wix’s pricing is versatile, meaning you can upgrade whenever and wherever. If you feel like you’re ready to move to the next level, Wix makes this really easy to do. They offer both a drag and drop builder and Wix ADI, at the same price as Weebly who offer a simple drag and drop builder.

Wix’s features allow any user to create a professional website or online store. The best part, everything is included, meaning you can market your website as well as increase visitor traffic, and you don’t need to know anything about it! Creating a modern website won’t be simpler with any other website builder – Wix is my clear winner and they certainly deserve the recognition!

Visit Wix.com

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