Do you have a burning desire to tell the world how you feel about a certain topic? Or maybe you simply want to diary memoirs of your travels. Regardless of your intentions, blogs have become a dime in a dozen covering a vast number of interests; heck, you’re reading one now! One of the things about running a blog, though, is that bloggers have to pay. So let’s explore the cost of running a blog!
In Brunei, when someone says “blog”, people will automatically think about 3; Rano, Tiger Lim and Thanis Lim. They have made their mark on our little country’s digital landscape and seem to be able to make a living doing it! But as far as upkeep is concerned, they more or less encounter similar costs.
To be frank, I started this blog to share my thoughts and experiences on personal finance in Brunei. I’m quite happy (and surprised) that there are quite a number of you dear readers who found it entertaining and useful! And as you may have realised from my little logo with the party hat, something’s up. That something is simply The Savey Fox has become one year old! I’ll share with you the actual dollar costs of this journey below!
What comes under the cost of running a blog?
Let’s put it simply: the cost of running a blog is pretty cheap. The only things you’ll absolutely have to pay for are the domain name and hosting. In a nutshell, the domain name is what you see in the address bar of your browser. In my case, my domain is “saveyfox.com”. A hosting service is like a pizza shop which delivers the pizza (website) to your visitor to enjoy!
There are also add-ons that are not compulsory but I highly recommend like Privacy Protection (hides your personal details linked to your domain name) and SSL Certificate (people know it as the nice green lock in the browser address bar. But it’s actually a security feature for the site!). These also cost money unless otherwise offered for free with some promotion or another.
Well if you’re starting out like I did, a majority of web hosts offer all-in-one services. This means they’ll help you register a domain and then set up hosting for you to get to building your site right off the bat! After you become more comfortable or in my case, the hosting package came towards expiry and the host tried to charge extortionate full prices, you can consider changing hosts!
One more thing though: this cost assumes you are able to build a site yourself. If you need someone to set up the site for you, then you’ll definitely incur charges of hundreds if not a thousand or so!
But enough about technicalities. You’re here because you’re more interested in how much it costs right?
How much does it cost to run The Savey Fox?
Like I said earlier, I started off with a web host that helped me buy the domain and provided hosting. The actual site was hammered together with my flimsy knowledge of the web and codes. Altogether, this costed me USD 87.90 after discounts. This covered 1 year’s worth of domain registration, hosting, privacy protection and SSL. And yes, I said “1 year”; meaning recently this year, I had to renew and pay again! But with a twist; as I’ll share below.
Around 3 months ago, I felt that the site was running a bit slow and when I flagged up to the host, they tried to upsell some higher tiered hosting service. Of course, I thought “But it’s just a blog! Why should I get a service that could run an eCommerce site!?” So off I went to look for another host. I finally found one which I seem to like and their customer service was top notch. For those interested, the service is called SiteGround (This is a referral link and gives you a 60% discount too!).
So I bought 2 years of hosting for USD 142.80 and transferred the blog there. Cheers to 2 more years with you! I also had to transfer and renew the domain name for a small fee of USD 4.88. All which were done without any interruption to this site! Isn’t the internet amazing?
All-in-all, running The Savey Fox has costed a total of USD 235.58 so far. This doesn’t cover some ads I experimented on Facebook though. Over time, I believe the cost of running a blog will add up but I’ll do my best to keep it afloat!
Tips for reducing the cost of running a blog
…Or any website for that matter. Really, this cost may be basically applicable to any website without extra trimmings.
1. Look for a good host!
I cannot emphasise this enough. Look at reviews about server performance and potential complaints. Just being cheap isn’t enough, it has to be a good enough quality that it won’t affect your visitors too noticeably. If there are a lot of problems with serving your site to visitors, you can be sure that they probably won’t come back! First impressions make or break your reputation! A bad hosting service could cost you more in terms of changing services, cancellation fees and more importantly, time.
2. There’s always a discount or site gimmick to make you buy
You should click around a host’s plan selection page. Just play around; more often than not, there’s an internal timer and/or a script that detects your mouse trying to move away from the page. This will trigger a discount code to be offered to you! I tested it and was even able to get 62% discount!
Never take the prices given to you at face value first. Shop around and look for deals when looking for a hosting service. Even domain names can be discounted, so try and get some coupons!
3. Customer service via LiveChat
From my experience, hosts with a LiveChat customer service are amazing. I could tell they’re not bots because of little things they say and also their response isn’t copy pasted for the most part. The reason this is a strong factor is that any problems you run into for your site can be addressed by them. Really, good customer service is a breath of fresh air!
4. Privacy is worth it
You might think “I got nothing to hide so I don’t need to spend that extra money”. But let me tell you, people who don’t buy it (local bloggers included) have their details left out in the open for the world to see. One of the shortfalls other than stalkers is spam! I’ve once received countless spam because your email can easily be crawled by internet bots! This means there’s a program designed to look for your email and send their spam-mail automatically.
5. Do you really need SSL?
I know it’s pretty satisfying to see that green lock. Feels safe, doesn’t it? But if you don’t really need it, you can consider saving yourself some money. I have it because I allow people to subscribe to my newsletter through this site. And SSL helps me protect your data entered here from unsavoury tactics to get your info. So if you are planning to run a site that requires people to enter sensitive data, I’d play it safe and get the SSL.
6. Try before you commit
That 80% discount for a 3 year hosting plan might seem very enticing. But if you’re only going to use 1 year out of that, why not just buy 1 year and save money? This is the reason I opted for a 1-year plan last year; I wasn’t sure if this site could make it. Or rather, if I could make it for this site! So buy the shortest timeline if you’re not sure if you are going to stick to it. Usually a year is a good amount of time to test, less than that isn’t that worth it in my opinion. Don’t worry about marketing tactics; there’ll always be good deals around.
The cost of running a blog is simply costs of your domain and hosting combined; that is if you’re not adding on specific functions and services. It’s also recommended to pay a bit more for privacy protection as it also protects you from spam. SSL on the other hand is based off of needs; if you don’t need it, you can safely save some money here. If you do need it, however, I would get it to be safe (and also make your visitors feel safe!). A little effort in searching online can really save you some big bucks because hosting services usually have discounts to entice you.
So if you’ve got something you want to put into writing for the world to see, and a bit of pocket money, it’s really not expensive to start.
I started blogging a decade ago because I like blogging.
Writing’s a kind of lonely thing to do, and I liked the idea of demystifying the process because I loved it as a kid and teenager and as somebody who wanted desperately to write.
– Neil Gaiman