Now that you have an idea of what type of domain name you’d like to have for your blog, you need to find a web hosting provider. A web host is a service that allows you to post your blog and other content on the Internet for other people to see. Every website that you see on the Internet is hosted somewhere, whether it’s a small blog in rural Kentucky or a massive website like Facebook. The hosting costs for these two sites, understandably, is vastly different.
There are literally thousands, if not millions of web hosting providers for you to choose from. This can be an incredibly daunting task for people who are new to blogging and it can be very intimidating choosing between all these providers, let alone the various hosting plans that they offer. Just like car manufacturers and boutique hotels, not all hosting providers are made alike. This article will help you decide on the best web host for you.
When you go out to buy a car, you might be thinking about fuel economy. You might consider cargo space, ride comfort, and included accessories and features. You might think about reliability and horsepower. Just like buying a car, there are many things you have to consider when choosing a web hosting provider too.
First, you’ll want a web host that is reliable. That means that your site will experience minimal downtime. You’ll also want a web host that is reasonably fast. This will allow your web site to load more quickly, making for a better reader experience. Other considerations include bandwidth allowances, storage allowances, customer service, technical support, and supported features and standards.
Without getting too technical, you’ll need to keep the minimum requirements for WordPress in mind when choosing a web host. Generally, most web hosts today support the latest standards for PHP and mySQL.
Who We Use to Host Our Sites
Currently, I’m using HostGator to host a large selection of my blogs and web sites. Within my network of sites, I have many low traffic sites and many high traffic sites. HostGator suits my particular needs and the prices are reasonable. Your needs may differ. Just as there is no perfect car for everyone, there is no perfect web host for everyone. Depending on the host that you choose, you may be limited on the support, bandwidth or options that you can have with your hosting.
That said, if you are new to the world of blogging, I highly recommend that you use HostGator to host your websites. In short, their prices are among the lowest in the web hosting market. There may be some cheaper alternatives, but they can also be cheaper in terms of quality, reliability, and service.
For as low as $4.95 a month, you can be set up and live with your blog hosted on HostGator. Better still, your blog can be “live” on the Internet in a matter of minutes. That’s because HostGator offers a number of “one-click install” solutions, which includes WordPress. For other kinds of sites and other content management systems, HostGator has solutions too.
If you want to take a baby step up from the least expensive plan, I also highly recommend going with the HostGator “Baby Plan.” This package costs $7.95 a month and it allows you to add an unlimited number of domains, websites, and blogs to your hosting account. This adds a great deal of versatility in case you choose to launch other blogs. No need to buy more hosting, because you’re already covered.
VPS Hosting and Dedicated Servers
When you first start out with blogging, you likely will not need to take this bigger step just yet. However, these two other kinds of hosting plans are something that you may want to consider in the future as your blog(s) continue to grow and mature.
VPS stands for virtual private server. This acts as a “bridge” product between the standard “shared” hosting plans described above and a true dedicated server. With VPS, you get full root access and access to a “virtual” dedicated server. Plans in this range start in the $19.95 range.
If you have even greater traffic, you may step up to a dedicated server. This means that HostGator will manage a specific server that is used only by you. Its resources are not shared with other customers and this is ideal for larger websites. Dedicated servers are much more costly, however, starting at $174 per month.
In the beginning, you’ll likely want to stick with shared hosting. It’s the least expensive and it will likely suit most of your requirements.