How to pick the Best Web Host for your Blog/Website
The most common question that people ask when they want to start a blog is – about website hosting. And whilst most people will not give this choice much thought but it is actually a very significant decision.
Creating your website on the bad web host is like constructing a house on the unbalanced soil. Certainly, it might look fine when it is first created, but it won’t take long before the problems start appearing.
In website terms, those problems are usually occasional technical problems that are hard to track down. Honestly, who wants those kinds of problems when you’re working to run a business? It’s very easier to dodge them in the first place by using a good web hosting service.
But how do you know where you should go to host your website?
Type of Hosting
If you’re just starting out you’ll probably want to go with one of two options:
Shared Hosting or WordPress Managed Hosting.
Shared hosting is where you rent out space on a server, which means your site will share a server with other sites (hence the name shared hosting). With a standard shared hosting plan, you have the freedom to choose whether you want to use WordPress or some other content management system.
Since your server space is a blank slate, you have the ability to install different apps and software, giving you tons of flexibility.
WordPress managed Hosting is often shared as well, but unlike shared hosting, you’re limited to WordPress. But on the plus side, you don’t have to worry about keeping WordPress up to date as that’s all done for you. And since a managed host deals solely with WordPress, you can bet that their servers are configured especially for WordPress.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
This is where you are given dedicated use of a portion of the server’s resources. From your point of view, it looks like you have your own server, but with a lot less processing power and memory. The load from other sites won’t affect your site, but your site will be unable to cope if it suddenly experiences a surge in traffic.
In this case, you are given sole use of a full physical server. All the processing power and memory are yours to use as you want. The downside – you need to manage the whole platform, including the operating system and web server. So unless you have your own technical support department, or you are a technical guru yourself, this is not normally an option.
With this type of hosting, your site doesn’t exist on just one server but is copied to multiple servers around the world. When someone requests a page on your site, the closest server with a copy of your site provides that page. It is supposed to be faster and more immune to outages, but in reality, it just ends up being more complex and more expensive.
Type of Hosting You Buy When Starting A New Blog?
For most people, a good shared host will be sufficient when starting out. Only once you are getting a massive amount of traffic will you need to think moving to a managed host.
So “how do you choose a good shared host?”
New blogs are usually on the smaller side, so you don’t need a ton of storage space, however, you will want the room to grow. 10GB should be a good starting point. And keep in mind that while many hosts tout unlimited storage, it likely isn’t unlimited. After all, there is no such thing as infinite space.
Bandwidth comes into play when you’re talking about page views. The more page views your blog has, the greater the amount of bandwidth that will be used. When choosing a host, check to see how many page views per month a certain plan is good for. That’ll give you a good idea whether or not a plan will be a good fit.
There are a few things to keep in mind here:
- You rarely need as much bandwidth or storage as you think you do, especially when you are starting out.
- Any plan that passes the criteria listed above should have ample bandwidth and storage for your needs.
- “Unlimited” accounts generally have pretty restrictive processor limits (buried in the fine print), which will throttle your site well before you reach any reasonable bandwidth limits.
When starting a blog, you might be diving into unfamiliar territory. How comfortable are you with setting up a site. Do you anticipate having to get in touch with support a lot? If so, you’ll want to make sure you choose a host that offers support availability that works for you.
Amount of Sites Allowed
You may be starting a blog, but do you anticipate launching any other sites in the future? Many hosts allow you to host several sites on one hosting account, while others limit you to only one. So if you want the ability to host more than one site, make sure
any host you choose allows it.
Are you tech challenged? If so, you’ll want to make sure that any host you choose offers 1-click installs. These 1-click installs allow you to install software such as WordPress with just a click of a button. Without it, you’ll have to go through the whole installation process yourself, which could result in throwing your computer out the window.
You’re going to be putting in a ton of work launching your blog. How would you feel if you lost it all? Not good. When looking at hosts, check to see if they offer automatic backups. It’ll give you some peace of mind should anything happen. But with that being said, don’t just rely on your host for backups. You’ll want to set up your own backups as an added security measure.
What good is a site if it’s never up? Choosing a host with a high uptime percentage is key. If a potential host has a page with their uptime listed, check it out. If not, a quick Google search should be able to help you out.
Many hosts nowadays offer a free domain with the purchase of a year’s worth of hosting. If you don’t have a domain yet, this could be an added bonus worth looking out for.
The price of hosting is definitely an important factor in choosing a host, but don’t let it be the only factor. Yes, we’re all looking for a good deal, but with hosting, you often get what you pay for. That super cheap hosting may sound like a great deal, but look at what’s really offered. You might be surprised to find it lacking. Now that doesn’t mean you need to splurge. A good host doesn’t have to be expensive.
Make sure your host knows about WordPress and is prepared to support any issues you might have (and no, offering a 1-click installer does not constitute supporting WordPress).
It also pays to do a bit of research to see if other WordPress users are happy with the host you are planning to use. For instance, it doesn’t take much digging to find that there are plenty of issues with hosting WordPress on GoDaddy, despite how good their web hosting out to be.
The industry standard management console for hosting accounts is cPanel. But not all hosts use it – some prefer to use their own custom control panels.
Whilst custom might sound good, I have not seen one yet that is easier to use or more fully featured than cPanel. In fact, most of the custom control panels I have seen are a bit of a pain to work with.
Not to mention that it is harder to transfer a site from a host that uses a custom control panel than one that uses cPanel (yes, you may need to move host at some point).
Final Words – Best Shared Web Hosting Plans (My Recommendation)
This is a place where I try to share my opinion based on my experience and testing. Considering the above points, let’s roll over my list and reasoning –
When I started out my blog, I was blank and was not sure what’s best for me. I didn’t even research on all the points that I have written above. The one thing that I was sure that time was “I’m starting a self-hosted WordPress blog.” So I just thought “What WordPress.org” recommends?
So, I open their website, and start reading “About WordPress” – //* WordPress is open source software which can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app.
This is what I read and just started my website without giving a single thought on all the above things that I have mentioned this blog post.
If WordPress.org is backing up these hosting companies then there will be a reason for doing this. And why think about all these heavy technical things at the time where you are just starting a new blog?
So, here is my recommendation based on 10 Years of experience in creating and hosting all kinds of websites:
- Bluehost – Click Here To Start A Blog At Bluehost
- SiteGround – Click Here To Start A Blog At SiteGround
- HostGator – Click Here To Start A Blog At HostGator
- InMotion – Click Here To Start A Blog At InMotion