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How Much Does It Cost To Start A Blog in 2021?

When thinking about starting a blog, some relevant questions come to mind: How much does it cost to start a blog? Can I make money if I don’t spend much on my blog?

By the way, can I create a blog for free?

It’s important to find answers to these questions to set the correct budget for your blog.

In this post, I will tell you everything about how much it costs to start a blog.

Keep reading!

Jump to

Can I Start A Blog For Free?

Let’s start by answering this question.

Many of you may wonder if it’s possible to create a free blog.

The answer is yes; you can start a blog for free.

There are platforms like Blogger where you can do it without any payment.

To better explain how it works, I went ahead and created a blog.

With Blogger, you get a free domain name and free hosting. In short, it doesn’t cost anything to start a blog with Blogger.

The dashboard is straightforward, and creating optimized content is easy.

How to Start A blog For Free - Blogger dashboard

There are also more than 50 templates.

Yes, Blogger might seem good, but there are some bad things.

For example, I found it hard to change the design. I could barely use the Header, and I could only change sidebars (profile, archives).

Blogger Dashboard

The writing feel is like typing on Microsoft Word, which I don’t personally like.

And the blog link contains domain.blogpost.com, which isn’t professional.

So, instead of having yourblog.com, you will have yourblog.blogspot.com.

Before we move to the next section, let me answer another important question.

Who is Blogger for?

Blogger is for someone who just wants to see what blogging means and how it works.

It’s for someone who wants to publish something to see what it looks like to be on the internet.

It’s for someone who doesn’t have any big plans.

If you’re thinking of making something relatively simple and you are not ambitious, Blogger is for you.

However, if you take blogging seriously and consider your blog a business, definitely use a better option.

Using a self-hosted platform like WordPress is the best.

It’s also the best because it’s easy to use and is made for bloggers.

WordPress Dashboard

Moreover, WordPress themes and plugins help you customize your blog intensely.

Takeaway: Yes, you can start a blog for free. But using a CMS that will give you more is the way to go. Invest your time and efforts where it matters.

That’s why in this post, I am going to show you how much it costs to start a blog with WordPress. 

And to better explain the cost, let’s first see the various tools you need.

What Do You Need to Set Up Your WordPress Blog?

There are some tools and services you will need to create a WordPress blog.

Let’s mention three major ones.

Hosting Services

Hosting your blog means storing your blog on a server so that it can be accessed over the internet.

There are companies whose work is to put websites on the internet.

Hosting your blog through the right company also allows you to access WordPress.

WordPress Theme

A WordPress theme is a tool to create or change the design of your blog.

Some themes have templates or designs ready to be used.

That means you can select a premade design and use it.

Avada Premade Designs
Premade Designs From Avada Theme

However, it doesn’t mean you can’t change the design.

Unlike Blogger and other free blogging platforms, you can change it entirely and use your own design.

And believe it or not, but with a good Page Builder, creating a blog on WordPress is like a piece of cake, whether you’ve created a blog before or not.

An example of a theme is OceanWP.

Oh, one more thing, you don’t need to code here.

WordPress Plugins

Think about plugins like apps on your phone.

When you buy a new phone, it comes with some necessary apps like music, video, message, calendar, etc.

But you certainly have your personal usage.

Thus, to use your phone the way you want, you may want to install a game, a productivity app like Trello, or a social media app like Instagram.

In fact, without your preferred apps, you don’t feel like having a phone.

Actually, the same thing applies to blogging with WordPress.

If you use a platform without any apps (plugins), you can’t do much.

But the question is: what plugins can you use?

Well, the necessary WordPress plugins are usually security, customization, content creation and promotion, blog optimization, and backup-related.

All these plugins will help you create and maintain your blog.

An example of a plugin is WPForms.

Now, some of you might be scared: how much is it going to cost me with all these tools?

Well, let’s find the answer.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog on WordPress?

To answer this question, we will follow Tom and James.

In this post, Tom and James are two fictive bloggers who want to start a WordPress blog.

Each has a different budget and different goals.

Today, I am going to help both of them build their blog.

We’ll see how much they spend and what hosting company, theme, and plugins they select.

By following their stories, you’ll also know the average amount or how much it will cost you to start a blog with WordPress.

That said, let’s follow our two adventures.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog: Tom's Story!

We’ll start with Tom.

Tom was married to a beautiful woman for ten years.

But his couple experienced some difficulties, and his wife had to divorce.

A father of three children aged 7, 9, and 12, he has gone through a difficult time.

Not being able to see his children as much as before, he tried, again and again, to take care of himself mentally and take better care of his children.

Finally, he overcame his problems.

Knowing that many fathers go through the same thing and fight against the same feelings, he decided to create a blog to share his message.

He wants to show them how he managed to overcome these issues and stay close to his children.

That’s why Tom is creating a blog in the ‘family and relationship’ niche, more precisely, divorce.

His passion for his mission is so high that he can’t wait to start writing exciting content on his brand new blog.

However, he is on a tight budget and can only invest up to $300.

With this budget, he wants to cover the hosting, the theme, and a few necessary plugins expenses.

Can Tom really create a blog with $300!? For him, how much will it cost to start a blog?

So, he contacted me, and after thinking about it for a while, I came up with a plan.

Here is what we are going to do.

Hosting

We thought that this is where he should invest a lot.

Though there are many hosting providers, Bluehost is quite a great option.

Bluehost is one of the best hosting providers out there.

They offer amazing services at a low cost, which is exactly what we need right now.

With its Basic Plan, our friend only needs to spend $183 for a 36-month subscription.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A blog With Bluehost

For the next three years, hosting is guaranteed.

Tom will get free 24/7 support from Bluehost and a free domain name for the first year.

So, this part is secured.

It’s time to move to the theme and plugins.

Our balance: $117

Theme

Now comes the theme selection.

What fantastic theme can we buy while saving as much money as possible?

There were a few things to consider here.

First, we needed an affordable theme that will do the job perfectly.

Why did we need a Page Builder?

Because a theme without a page builder will make us buy an extra builder like Elementor for $49.

So, after a few minutes, an excellent theme came to mind: Avada, one of the world’s best WordPress themes.

Start Your Blog With Avada

At $60 only, Avada gives free support for six months, 70+ pre-built designs, comprehensive documentation, video tutorials, and of course, a Page Builder (Avada Builder).

It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.

Yes, Avada was the best choice.

Our balance: $57

Plugins

At this stage, we’ve got two items: an amazing hosting provider and a unique theme for a total of $243, 81% of our budget.

It can seem so hard to continue now.

How are we going to deal with plugins?

Can we really continue with $57?

To better understand how much we’re going to spend here, we need to know what Tom wants.

Then, we’ll see how to solve each problem.

So, Tom wants to:

  • create a contact form on his blog
  • have a professional email: Tom@blogname.com
  • secure his blog
  • write SEO content to reach a high number of people
  • create an opt-in form to give a lead magnet
  • send emails to subscribers
  • boost his site speed
  • backup his site
 

You will say: ” What!! This is crazy! It will be a miracle to solve all these problems with $57!”

And you are right!

But it doesn’t mean we can’t solve most of them.

How Can We Buy Plugins For Tom's Blog With $57?

So, I asked Tom if he can save at least $30 per month, to which he said yes.

Then, we tried to solve his problems one by one.

Let me show you how.

  • Contact form: Avada comes with a Form Builder. It’s a builder that focuses on creating forms like contact forms, surveys, etc. And it’s free. 

          Problem solved.

  • Professional Email: Using one is a great idea. So, we decided to use ZohoMail for $12/yr. Balance: $45

          Problem solved.

  • Security: The free version of Wordfence is impressive. Tom will now save some money to upgrade to the premium version when he is ready.

         Problem solved.

  • SEO Content Writing: We decided to use the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s outstanding! 

          Problem solved.

  • Lead Magnet form and Sending Emails: For this, there is the fantastic Convertkit tool for $29/mo. Balance: $16. 

          Problem solved.

  • Site Speed: Free Wp-optimize to increase speed and clean the website. 

          Problem solved.

  • Backup: Amazing free version of UpdraftPlus to backup his blog. 

          Problem solved.

  • Coming Soon Page: Let’s not forget this page. And the free version of CMP Coming Soon is a great choice here.

          Problem solved.

Yes, as you can see, it’s not impossible.

Some of you may ask: “Will his blog run efficiently with all the free plugins?”

ABSOLUTELY!

There is no problem. Using free plugins doesn’t mean it will not run well.

Who do you prefer?

Someone who waits until they get $1000 to start a blog or someone who builds their blog and upgrades over time?

Also, while some plugins are premium, their free versions do pretty well.

With some of them, you will not feel the need to upgrade urgently.

So, do not hesitate to start with free plugins and upgrade to paid ones later.

But more about it later in this same article.

Now, remember that I asked Tom to save $30 every month. Why?

Because Convertkit will cost $29/month.

It’s a fantastic email marketing tool.

Convertkit WordPress Plugin Homepage

Balance: $16

Our blogger only had $57 after purchasing the theme.

And while it seemed impossible to continue, we could solve each problem and have his dream come true.

He could even save $16. 

Now, he can relax and buy some snacks.

If you are like Tom, you are now ready to create your blog too.

Anyway, Tom can now help millions of dads all over the globe.

Okay! Let’s say hello to James and I can’t wait to learn more about him.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog: James' Story!

James is a young adult, 20 years old.

He is a dreamer but an incredible dreamer.

James dreams about changing the world and doing things differently.

And he seriously believes that he will be the best in his market.

But he is scared. The thing is, he knows that the journey is long and it won’t be easy.

Actually, he hates old-fashioned things, like “you need to go to college and get a degree” or “A person without a solid background cannot survive in this world”.

Yes, you get it!

Like most of us here, James believes that the Internet is the future, and it’s where he will hit his targets.

So, he researched and watched dozens of videos talking about ways to make money online.

James was not too sure about those online businesses until he heard about blogging.

Now, James wants to create that incredible blog that will put him on the path to becoming a millionaire.

His budget? $1000.

What will happen this time? Will James create the blog of his dream because he can invest such an amount of money? How much will it cost to start a blog?

Let’s follow James and create his blog within his budget.

Hosting

Bluehost, the hosting company we used for Tom, is extremely good, offering its services at a competitive price.

Nevertheless, since I like to diversify things, I suggest Siteground here, which by the way, is one of the best hosting providers out there.

With their StartUp plan of $6.99/mo, he selects the 24-month subscription plan for $268.

Siteground payment page

I always recommend paying for more than one year if you have the means.

Stay on the safer side.

Our Balance: $732

Theme

Let’s mention one more theme here.

James wants a theme with a page builder as well.

So, we searched for one more awesome theme.

Hence, we chose Divi, also one of the best and most popular WordPress themes.

It comes with 110+ Full website packs and 800+ pre-made designs.

So, whatever design you want, you’ll get it.

Rather than selecting the yearly plan, he chooses the Lifetime Access plan for $249.

Cost for creating a blog with Divi

This way, he will not have to pay for the theme again.

Our Balance: $483

Plugins

At this stage, James has already spent $517.

But what do you think if we use a few premium plugins this time?

So, I also asked James what he wanted for his blog.

He wants to:

  • create a contact form on his blog
  • have a professional email: jaffa@blogname.com
  • secure his blog
  • write SEO content to reach a high number of people
  • create a free course form on his blog
  • send emails to subscribers
  • boost his site speed
  • backup his site

How can we buy plugins for James' blog with $483​?

Here is what we can do for our blogger:

  • Contact form: He can create the contact form using Divi.

          Problem solved.

  • Professional Email: He goes with Zoho Mail for $12/yr. Balance: $471. 

          Problem solved.

  • Security: The free version of WordFence is incredible. He keeps the free version for now. 

           Problem solved.

  • SEO Content Writing: We decided to use the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin here too. Outstanding! 

          Problem solved.

  • Free course form and sending emails to subscribers: We kept Convertkit here for 25$/mo for a yearly subscription (Cost: $290). Balance: $181.

          Problem solved.

  • Site Speed: Wp-rocket is an awesome plugin that speeds your blog for $49. Balance: $132.

          Problem solved.

  • Backup: Marvelous free version of UpdraftPlus to backup his blog. 

          Problem solved.

  • Coming Soon Page: We still use the free version of SeedProd here.

          Problem solved.

Obviously, paid plugins make you spend more. 

So, here is the point after following Tom and James: the cost to start a blog depends on you and how much you are willing to spend.

Hosting and your WordPress theme are what will probably cost more. This will ensure you have the best services right from the start.

Also, using free or paid plugins is up to you. If you have money, go ahead.

But if you don’t, start with the free versions and upgrade later.

Now, let’s respond to two questions you probably have in mind.

People often ask me these questions, and here, I will try to be as clear as possible.

Does spending less to create your blog negatively affect it?

This is the first question and an excellent one!

The answer is ABSOLUTELY NO.

I know some of you are full of negative feelings right now.

You read blog posts, watch dozens of videos, and when you see all those beautiful blogs, you become sad because you think you don’t have enough money.

You believe and tell yourself that you will create your blog ONLY when you have $1000 and more.

Don’t think this way!

Let me tell you this: There is no fixed amount. NOBODY can tell you that if you spend $1000, you have a better blog than one that spends 300.

AND NOBODY can say your blog is not worth it because you only spent a little.

Feel free to invest $150, $200, $300, or more/less to create your blog.

And once again, NO, your blog will NOT run oddly because you use many free plugins or invest less money.

Your blog will work perfectly fine.

WordPress actually has a high collection of free plugins made to match your needs. An using them will help reduce the cost to start your blog.

They will not destroy your blog.

Nevertheless, one thing is that free plugins have their limits, and their paid versions have more features.

It’s obvious!

But for many of us, the free features are enough till we upgrade.

So, future blogger, feel free to go ahead and create your blog

Forget about those negative feelings and join the league. :)

Okay! Now, let’s answer the other question.

Can you make money if you don't spend much When creating your blog?

This is another question I get from new bloggers.

I always tell them that they are making a mistake.

Your blog has NOTHING to do with if you can or can’t make money blogging.

I, Piaff, can create the most beautiful blog you’ve ever seen in your life.

But my blog is worthless if I don’t know how to generate income.

YOU can have the worst blog that I have ever seen, but you know how to make money blogging.

You need to know how to be profitable.

Would you create an online course, sell a physical product, offer a membership service, or sell any other information products?

Thus, someone with a $200 blog can outperform anyone with a $2000 blog.

Now, I don’t mean you should create the worst blog ever.

No!

Create YOUR blog the way you want it.

How Much Does It Cost to Start and Maintain a Blog?

If starting a blog demands some money, running it also does.

So, how much does it cost to maintain a blog?

Maintaining your blog will probably cost a little more than what you spent when you created it.

So, what does increase the cost?

Generally, hosting increases the cost because renewal prices are often higher.

When choosing your hosting provider, make sure to check the renewal price.

However, the price is a little lower when you upgrade to a higher plan.

Some subscriptions you will also use have higher renewal prices.

Check them before you use the services.

Thus, if the cost to start a blog depends on you, maintenance cost also depends on what tools and services you use.

Now It's Your Turn

As you can see, starting a blog is great.

But, knowing how much it costs to start a blog is a relief.

I hope the story of our two bloggers has helped you understand the cost of your first or next blog.

Now, I want to hear from you.

What are your most challenging expenses here? Hosting? Security plugins?

Or did you also think your blog will not be worth it if you don’t spend a lot of money?

Let me know your answers in the comment section below!

Piaff Dibota

Piaff brings a unique blend of creativity and expertise to the blogging world. Having worked as a content writer for multiple companies in different niches, he shares his blogging expertise through professional and engaging blog posts. 

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Mike
Mike
2 years ago

Thanks for this post. I really like the storytelling because It made the whole thing easy.

I have also written down all the things I need for my blog and got a total of $375.

It’s way less than what I assumed before following this method. Thanks a lot!

Mike
Mike
Reply to  Piaff Dibota
2 years ago

Oh thanks for your words. I really appreciate that!

Medy
Medy
2 years ago

Hello Piaff,

Difficult to add anything to this article It’s super interesting indeed! Afterwards as a blogger I remain convinced that blogging will keep its place on the net …

Lucas
Lucas
2 years ago

I don’t have a big budget and I was worried about using many free tools and plugins. I even thought I should save more before starting the process.

Jessica
Jessica
2 years ago

Big James represents the new generation of people who believe in the internet. There is money and unlimited opportunities on the internet.

Karl
Karl
2 years ago

I am going to create my blog with a lot of free plugins and will gradually upgrade over time.

Charles
Charles
2 years ago

This method of sharing stories is so much better. I somehow relate to at least one of the characters.

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