One of the first ideas that explored around creating passive income on my journey was to start a blog. I read tons of stories about people making a great income online and I thought, I can do that! And I jumped in with both feet, while I have found success, it has been an incredible amount of work. While it is super simple to get a blog set up, to make money with a blog you need content and that takes effort. I hope Mum Cents will provide you with useful info to make it happen, be prepared to do some work. Reading this post on Website Hosting Australia is a great start to learn about the nuts and bolts of getting things set up.
When I started out, I totally got stage fright in purchasing my first domain. There were so many options that I was worried about making the wrong choice and being stuck with a horrible provider right out of the gate. I spent days pouring over websites trying to make the right decision.
Domain Hosting vs Web Hosting
Just quickly before I provide you with a list of my top Australian hosting services I just want to give you a quick overview of the difference between domain hosting vs web hosting.
A domain is the address of your website. Examples of domains are mumcents.com.au or google.com. When you purchase a domain, you need to register it with a domain registrar (or via a reseller). Once a domain is registered it can be registered by anyone else. When you purchase domain hosting, you are asking for a domain to be registered in your name.
A website host is where you store your website. When you purchase website hosting you are renting space on a computer server where your website files are stored. The provided then provides internet connectivity to your files so users can access your website.
It can get confusing because domain registration and web hosting services are usually offered by one provider and can often come in a package deal. These package deals are usually an economical way to get yourself a website. As you grow, you may decide that you want to separate your domain and website hosting, but it can unnecessary complication and cost when you are first starting out. If you go with a reputable hosting provider you should have no problem.
Australian Domain Name Registration
You are probably aware, Australian domains end with .com.au. If you want to buy a .com.au or .net.au web address you have to have an Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN). These numbers set you up as a commercial entity with the Australian Government. You can read through all of the ins and outs of an ABN and ACN on the Business.gov.au website. If you are just starting out, an ABN is an easy way to get started and you can set up an ABN online for free. If you google “set up ABN” you will actually find a number of paid services that will fill in the same online form for you and charge you a pretty cent to do it. Don’t be fooled, go directly to the Australian Governments business page and it’s super easy to set up. Once you have your ABN details, you can start looking for an Australian domain name to register.
Australian Domain Search
When searching for a domain, you can go via a registrar or a reseller. Australian domain Registrars are companies that are authorised to register a new domain name, renew their existing domain name, or make changes to domain name records. Domain resellers, on the other hand, buy domains via a registrar and then resell them to public. They have an agreement with the registrar that they operate under. I have generally found resellers to be more expensive so I find that it is easier to cut out the middlemen and go directly to a registrar service. With that being said, if you find a great deal with the resellers, you can always snap up the domain and transfer its location after purchase. In my experince, its impossible to $.99 com.au domain name so don’t kill yourself trying to find one. An economical .com.au domain will go for between $10 – $15 a year. If you are just starting out and don’t want to splash out that much money, you can always pick up a .com domain cheap and add a .com.au address later. If you want to take advantage of the most inexpensive website hosting services, then .com is the way to go. There are plenty of Australian websites that use .com.
What is the best blog platform?
I recommend WordPress as the best blog platform. It is the most popular blogging platform and there are endless resources available online to help you if you run into any issues. There are many free platforms available to start blogging, but in my experience, these are a waste of time. You are much better-putting in an investment of a few dollars and setting yourself up properly from the beginning. If you are uncomfortable spending money on your website, there are providers that provide a free trial of WordPress hosting that can provide you with the opportunity to get the hang of things before you spend your precious dollars. I’ve noted below which service providers have free trials.
Web hosting services Australia
After an agonising search, I used the GoDaddy to set-up my first Australian based website. The website hosting offered via Australian providers is much more expensive than US-based hosting providers. GoDaddy is a good balance between the two as it is a US company that you could directly buy .com.au domains through. Through GoDaddy, you can purchase a .com.au website, set up WordPress hosting and set up a domain specific email address to make everything look professional. It is all super easy and quick. A couple points on GoDaddy – as it is an American company, this means that when you call their customer support team it’s a 24/7 service out of the USA. Since it is such a large company, I always found the customer support great. I did not have an issue with my site being hosted in the USA, but if you do this might not be the solution for you. The only drawback from Go Daddy was the costs, it was slightly more than Bluehost.
BlueHost.com is the cheapest web host I found in all my searches. Hosting from only $3.95/ month. It is a US company and you cannot BUY .com.au address through them. If you really want a .com.au address and to go with Bluehost, there are definitely ways to do. Post a comment below and I will help you with the detailed instructions on how to do this. Due to costs, Bluehost would be would be my number one recommendation for someone wanting to set up a WordPress blog that is not worried about having a .com.au address. You even get a free domain name when you sign up!
Hosting Australia is an option if you are looking for a local provider. You will find that the website hosting offered via Australian providers is much more expensive than US-based hosting providers. Hosting Australia competitive plans starting at $9/month and they also advertise the cheapest .com.au rates starting at $10. I have gone through the process of setting up a website with hosting Australia to see what it was like and it was pretty straight forward. It was a test of this blog post, so I cannot say what their long term customer service would be like. Hosting Australia does not offer a free trial.
Alternative Web Hosting Provider
If you are starting a blog to make money, then I have to recommend Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy affiliate is more than just a website hosting service. it is a community of online entrepreneurs that provides training and advice on how to make money online. I successfully used wealthy affiliate to set up and monetize my craft blog http://www.partywithunicorns.com. Check out my Wealthy Affiliate review to get more details and links to a free trial.
Wealthy affiliate is not an Australian company, so you cannot purchase .com.au within the platform but you can purchase many other domains. If you like the platform but want a .com.au domain name you can just purchase one. The Wealthy Affiliate Tech team can get your .com.au address working on their platform very quickly.
If you have any other recommend Australia web hosts, please let me know in the comments and I will be sure to check them out. Starting a blog can be daunting but it is so worth it! If you are ready to get started with your blog, check out my list of the Best Blogging Tools for 2019 to save you time and money on your blogging journey.