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How to find the best web hosting for your wordpress blog

by | May 27, 2017 | Blogging tips | 0 comments

When I was searching for the best web hosting package last year, there were tons of review websites that were promoting different hosting companies and their packages. Although this was great, none of them offered the real in-depth information that I was looking for.

Yes, if you’re a totally new blogger or even if you already have a blog, it can be useful to get to know the brands behind the service, but what I missed was why these packages were the best options for me. Do I need Shared hosting or dedicated hosting? What is a SSL certificate? Do I need daily or weekly backups? And much more.

We both know most of those review sites are making affiliate income to promote companies like Bluehost, GoDaddy, etc.
And the #1 recommended company isn’t necessarily the best one. 

So because I missed this in-depth information, I decided to create this now for you in this article.

If you’re short on time now or even want to save this information to go back to, later on, I would recommend you to save this to one of your Pinterest boards for later reference…

Are you going to set up your self-hosted WordPress blog and are you lost when it comes to hosting? Don't worry... In this extensive article, you will learn all the tips on how to find the best web hosting package to set up your blog for success

This post contains Affiliate links, which means if you decide to click on the link and purchases that product or service, I will receive a small commission. But I will never recommend any product or service that I don’t know or love myself.

What is Web hosting

If this is the first time you’re building a website, I know this will be all new to you and you don’t even know necessarily what exactly web hosting is.

Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.

Before we dive in the nitty gritty of what web hosting package will be best for your website, I will explain exactly what web hosting is and what your choices are.

Web hosting is nothing more than online hard drive space you’ll be using to put your website files on.
Building a website is one thing, but once you’re finished building your site, you want people to be able to visit your website 24/7/365. Right?

You can host your website on your own server at your home, but it won’t be easy to keep that server up and running 24/7 and that’s where a hosting company comes in.

Web hosting companies will offer you this online hard drive space to run your website on and they will make sure that your site can be accessed by your visitors whenever they want. Or at least, that’s the goal.

But as simple as this sounds, there are a lot of things to consider when picking the best web hosting package. Besides the price, there are choices to make when it comes to shared hosting or dedicated hosting. How about backing up your website? Or what will happen when someone’s trying to hack your site? Will it be secure? Do you need an SSL Certificate?

Are you feeling overwhelmed already? Don’t worry. In the next paragraphs, I will teach you exactly what to look for and also what company I personally recommend

 

 

Shared Hosting vs Dedicated hosting

 

One of the first choices you’ll need to make when purchasing your hosting package is the option between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is when you’re sharing a hard drive with other people. This way you will share the cost, but also the load speed of that drive.
A hosting company will assign you to one of their hard drives. And allow you to put your website on it. But let’s say there are 10 different websites on that drive, the more websites on that drive are visited at the same time, the lower each website will load.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. If your hosting package includes the right caching options, your website will be performing at it’s best. More about caching in the next paragraph.

It’s also important to know how many visitors per month you’ll be getting. Because most shared hosting plans come with a limited number of visitors. One package allows you to receive 10.000 visitors per month, while the next upgrade will allow you to receive about 100.000 visitors.

The most important difference between shared and dedicated hosting is that with shared hosting you’ll be using a system that is already optimized to a certain level. You’ll be using the same features like everybody else. Where with dedicated hosting you can tweak your server to your personal needs.

What is dedicated hosting?

As you might have figured out by now, dedicated hosting means you will rent your own server. Usually, the hosting company can help you manage it completely. They can help you with the setup and installation of the right software.

You will be the only person using that server, which means you will have the complete freedom to use it for every need and also upgrade it as you go.

This is a high-end solution and in general used by the bigger companies. Since you are building your blog or at least have a blog already, you won’t need this for now. But I just want you to understand the differences between these 2, for future options.

I’m using the grow big plan from Siteground. This is a shared hosting package from Siteground and you will see in the next chapters why I chose this package and why I would recommend using this specific company, to begin with.

 

What do the best web hosting packages have in common

 

As you’ll probably know by now, there are dozens of hosting companies trying to sell you their hosting plans. The one wants to be cheaper than the next. And although I understand your budget is limited, there goes a bit more research into deciding on what company to use.

When I did some research last year on finding a better hosting package, I looked at a few different factors.

Customer Service:

Because there are so many hosting companies out there, it’s important to differentiate the best ones from the worst.
And although you might think that the price is an important factor, I would highly recommend you to find a company that actually is willing to help you with technical issues.

What happens if your website is down? Do they actually fix it for you when you let them know about this?
Personally, I love to know all of the technical stuff myself. Not that I don’t trust other people to fix my problems, but I simply don’t want to rely 100% on others. So at least I want to understand how everything works.

Since I’ve switched from hosting company, my website was offline 2 times. And both times were because of my own wrongdoing.
I contacted Siteground and they were more than happy to fix it for me. This is where the best companies stand out. They have their customer always on #1.

A few years back, when I started a different blog, my blog was offline and I had to wait 2 days (because of the weekend) until my website was online again. Can you imagine what will happen if you would run a webshop and this happens?

You get the idea, right?

Growth possibilities:

As you’re going to start your blog or maybe have launched it already, it’s important to know what your options are when you start to get momentum.

You might have found a hosting company that offered you a great price, but what will happen when you’ll be getting a lot of traffic?
Is it easy to upgrade your package? Or do you have to pay a lot more money?

The last thing you want is to buy a whole new product because your current one is insufficient. So always take some time to look into that. And if you’re not really sure, make sure to contact them.

Price:

For most people who start out with their blog, the price is the most important factor. Especially when you’re on a tight budget. Trust me, I know.

But the cheapest price doesn’t offer you always the best value.

As I’ve mentioned before, just having a hosting package isn’t enough these days. Does your package include email addresses? And if so, how many?
How much drive space is included? Does it include an SSL certificate?

But also, are they trying to upsell you all the time? And for how long will your contract be?

If you look at a company like Bluehost, they try to come off like the cheapest, but if you look closely,  they offer that cheap price only if you sign up for 3 years.
This might be a good option if you’re using your blog for the long term. But what happens if you’re not satisfied with them? Then you’re stuck for 3 years. And that’s the last thing you would want.

At the bottom of this article, I will show you what my personal recommendation is for a great hosting package. So make sure to check that out.

Now that we’ve covered these basic elements of a hosting package, let’s dive into the more detailed options that you might want to think about.

The devil is in the details

 

After going over the basics of your new hosting package, it’s time to dig deeper into the more specific elements that you’d want from your hosting package.

Personally, I would recommend choosing a package that consists of the following:

  • Shared hosting package
  • Offers an easy way to contact their customer support
  • Includes a domain name
  • Offer daily or weekly backups
  • Includes a free or cheap SSL certificate
  • Includes domain custom email addresses
  • Will help you setup and/or move your current blog
  • Offers at least 10 GB of hard drive space to host your website files.
  • Offers easy upgrade options
  • Offers a “no questions asked” Money back guarantee
  • Domain Privacy (optional)
  • Cloudflare (optional)

 

Daily or Weekly Backups

When you’re building your website, it’s important to make a backup on a regular basis.

Although I would always recommend you to this yourself, it will help if your hosting company does this for you as well. So if this is included in your hosting package, it will be a good choice.

Personally, I use Updraftplus to backup my website.
This is a WordPress plugin that easily creates backups and I can connect it to my google drive, where it will store all of my backups.

But Siteground also creates a backup of my website every day. So I will always have a choice for how to restore my website, in case something happens.

 

Domain name

Most hosting companies allow you to purchase your domain name directly through them. Some are free and some offer it for just about $12 per year. So if you’re not having a domain name just yet, you might want to purchase one with your hosting package.

In case you would like to host your domain name at a different company than your hosting package, you can always redirect your domain name to the nameservers of your hosting package.

The reason some people would want it this way, is if they ever want to switch from hosting company and they are giving you a hard time, you will always have easy access to your domain name.

I host both my hosting package as well as my domain name with Siteground.

 

SSL Certificate

This is a term you will hear a lot these days. An SSL Certificate is basically an extra security layer that will protect the information sent through your website.

Let’s say you’re having a web form on your site, like a sign-up form for your email list. You want that information to be safe.
In case you’re running a webshop this is even mandatory by law.

Also in terms of showing up in Google, it’s important to have this nowadays. There is no actual guarantee, but there are rumors that Google will no longer rank websites in the future that are not safe. So if ranking in Google now and in the future, you might as well be safe and make sure your package includes an SSL certificate.

You can recognize SSL certified websites when you look in the top left corner when visiting that site. There will be a small padlock next to that domain name, saying it’s secure.

Also, your domain will no longer be starting with HTTP://, but with HTTPS://

 

Custom Email addresses

When you want to look professional, you definitely want an email address that ends with your own domain name, right?

So instead of [email protected], I would more likely want my email address to be [email protected]
So when you’re choosing your hosting package, you want to make sure that you have the option of creating these.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use Gmail to organize your emails, though.
I’ve set up my email addresses with my hosting company, but I use Gmail to manage my email.

What I would recommend you to do is set up a G-suite account. This is the former google apps for business program.
It’s very cheap. I pay about €4,- per user and since I’m running my blog all by myself at this moment it will only cost me €4,- per month to run my G-suite account and it includes all of the great features that google offers., like google drive, Gmail, sheets, docs, etc.

Click here to setup your own G-Suite account

With my hosting package I’ve setup 2 email addresses for now, but can easily expand later on and I’ve connected both these email addresses to my G-Suite account so I can manage all of my emails from both accounts in 1 place.

 

Easy website setup

Especially when you’re not a tech genius, it can help if your hosting company offers an easy to follow setup process for your website.

Since I will cover mostly Self-hosted WordPress blogs, most hosting companies will offer a management environment called Cpanel.
This is the Controle panel where you can setup and manage everything.

Usually, your Cpanel will also come with a 1-click WordPress installation option. Here you can pick the name of your blog, pick your username and password and it will automatically install WordPress for you.

If you’ll be using Siteground like I do, they will even do this for you for free.
Meaning, you can signup for a hosting plan and they will setup WordPress for you and sent you the login information so you can focus on the design and content for your blog.

And if you already host your blog at another company, they will transfer your website over to their platform for free.
This goes back to what I talked about earlier… Customer support.

 

Website uptime

If you’re having your website up and running, you also want it to be online 24/7. This is called uptime.
Although this may sound obvious, in lots of cases this is not what’s happening.

If you already have a blog at this very moment, you can easily test this by creating a free account with Uptime Robot.
This is a system that will visit your website on a set time. And if it all works, nothing will happen. But if your website is not responding and thus offline, Uptime Robot will send you an email right away to let you know about this. So you can take the required steps to fix this problem.

Click here to sign up for a free account with Uptime Robot

 

Webspace

When you setup your blog, it will not take up too much drive space. but once you’re growing and adding more content to your blog, that hard drive space will start to add up.

Where most hosting packages will start at 5, 10 or 20 GB of space, you do need to make sure you’ll be having sufficient space.

When you’re creating blog posts, you want to add images, right? But if you want your blog to be shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, they require different sized images.
So with creating 1 blog post, you will easily have 2 or more different images. 1 image optimized for Pinterest. A different one for your featured blog post image. Then Facebook requires different sizes, etc.

So if you’re looking ahead of time. Let’s say 6 months from now. And you’re creating 1 post a week. You will have 26 posts with 2 images a post.
Also, think about a freebie that you can offer to your visitors to build up your email list. You might even want to put that file into your media library. And if you will start creating more of those, it will start to take some space too..

You get the point

10 GB will be more than enough, to begin with. And you can always upgrade later on.

 

Domain Privacy

When you are registering a new domain name, the company where you purchase it from will register your name in the register for you.
Every domain is registered in the Whois database and is accessible by anyone.

You will notice that once you register a new domain, soon after that, companies will start sending you emails offering their SEO and website optimization services. It can be annoying as hell, but the only way to prevent this is to have domain privacy.

When you choose to have domain privacy with your package, the company where you bought your domain from, will fill in their information in the whois database and that way protect your contact information.

This isn’t that expensive and in some cases, it will be free when you purchase it with your hosting package for the first year.

 

Cloudflare CDN

When you’re having a lot of media on your site, there is an option to host your files on a different server. This is called Cloudflare CDN.

Especially when you’re using caching options to optimize your website loading speed, this option will help increase the loading speed of your site. It means it will store your media files on Cloudflare and everytime someone visits your page, it will load your files from a server that is closest to your visitors home.

I live in the Netherlands, but if you’re visiting my blog from the USA, it will load my files from a server close to the USA, instead of the Netherlands and that way, my pages will load a lot faster.

 

What I would recommend for the best web hosting:

So by now, you’ve probably noticed that there’s more to choosing your hosting package than the price.I hope I’ve clarified most of your questions with this article. I know it’s quite a lengthy article, but I just want you to be well prepared.

I would personally recommend you to go with Siteground. I know lots of websites recommend Bluehost, but when you’re searching for reviews from actual users, you’ll notice that lots of their customers ended up unhappy. I’m not saying Bluehost is a bad company, but I want you to go for a company that actually have your best interest as their #1 priority.

What package would I recommend you to choose? If you’re starting out with your very first blog, I would recommend you to go for the Startup account. It will only cost you €3,95 per month if you sign up for a 1-year contract.
This package also includes all of the important things we’ve discussed above, like a free SSL Certificate, daily backups, etc.

Now if you’re planning on setting up multiple websites, I would recommend you to go for the Grow Big plan. This cost you a bit more, but it will allow you to setup more than 1 website and this is the package I’m using at this moment and I couldn’t be happier.

Click here to go to Siteground

And if you may have any specific questions about hosting or Siteground, feel free to contact me anytime. Although I’m an affiliate for Siteground and make a small commission if you signup through my link, I do want you to make the best choice for YOU

Now tell me… What hosting company are you using at this very moment?
Are you happy with them or are you considering switching hosts? Share your experience with me and other readers like yourself in the comments below. I will be reading every comment and respond to it as quickly as

I will be reading every comment and respond to it as quickly as I can.

Yours,
Chris

Resources mentioned in this article:

Siteground Web hosting Google G-Suite Uptime Robot

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About picture from the bedroom startup

Hi, I'm Chris and through this blog, I'm going to show you exactly what I'm doing to become a professional blogger.

My goal is basically to start a blog from scratch, monetize it and move from the Netherlands to Thailand.

And making lots of blogger friends along the way.


Read more about me

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