It’s important to host your blog on a reliable hosting platform. Choosing the best hosting for your blog is not as complicated as it seems. In this article, we will look at some of the factors you need to consider. Choosing the right blog host is an easy process when you are informed.
Shared or VPS Hosting for Your Blog?
So first thing first – which type of hosting services to go with?
If you just got started blogging, a shared hosting has pretty much everything you need. A VPS or dedicated hosting at beginning stage of your blogging journey is waste of money. When you are new, you should focus in creating good content and growing your blog traffic. Shared web host is comprehensive and able to cope with most bloggers’ needs.
Hard Disk Storage
Many shared hosting services come with unlimited storage – though as a new blogger, you probably don’t need that much. 500 MB – 1 GB of storage should be good enough for a new blog. Remember that web hosting is built to host your blog or website – not for you to hoard high resolution images and videos – we have Flickr and Vimeo for that purpose! 😉
Number of Addon Domains
As domain names are cheap and you are likely to own a few more domains in future, it’d be safe to stick with shared hosting services that allow more than 10 domains (or that you can upgrade easily later).
The closer your blog hosting is to your readers readers the better. Hosting your blog near to your blog readers mean lower latency, faster blog loading speed, and better user experience.
Personally I do not go with any web host that is below 99.5% uptime. In fact, even a 0.5% server down time is a little hard to bear with when you do the maths: 0.005 x 365 days/year = 1.825 days.
Can you accept your blog to be down for almost two days? Hell no!
But then again, all servers will suffer certain downtime – Hardware failure, programming bugs, human’s errors, server maintenance…etc; there are unlimited ways to turn a web server down. And as shared hosting normally cost less than the price of a cup of coffee, I’ll settle with 99.5% or more 😉
CPU Loads Limitation
The limitation on your account’s CPU usage is what makes unlimited hosting LIMITED.
CPU usage is a grey area where many web hosting providers will not talk clearly about it in the TOS. Some will tell you can goes up to 5 – 10% CPU power but they never tell you how big is the CPU capacity – which makes the percentage number meaningless.
From my experience, certain hosting companies will allow maximum CPU usage up to 5-10% (which is excellent) but logically, I think 3%* is fine and fair for a low cost hosting services below $3/mo.
So just if it happens that you get a chance to ask about CPU load before picking up a web host, you know what to expect. And, on the other hand, be well aware that blogging platforms like WordPress are often heavy database users thus it is in fact part of your responsibility to keep the CPU usage low. If you are running a popular WordPress blog, installing a good cache plugin (for example, WP Fastest Cache) is highly recommended.
Note – some hosting companies do state their server limitation clearly. Take Hostinger for example, according to their ToS, all shared hosting plans are limited 25% one CPU core. Often, companies with transparent policy are also companies that provide outstanding performance.
Dedicated and VPS hosting prices vary a lot but for shared hosting, standard monthly cost range from $3.50/mo to $10/mo. Remember, you shouldn’t be spending too much on the hosting at start, especially if you are just starting off.
Future Expansion Option
I knew I said that you should start small and go with a shared hosting account. But if you are very confidence with the growth rate of your blog traffics, you should go with a a shared hosting provider that provides room to grow. By saying the word growth, I meant upgrading your hosting service – from shared hosting to VPS to dedicated server – more processing power, memory capacity, disk storage, as well as better security features.
One Click Installation
Auto-installation software is vital these days, most hosting companies will provide at least one to their customers. Endurance hosting brands, including iPage, Bluehost, HostMonster support Mojo Market Place in their shared hosting plans. Others, such as InMotion Hosting, Interserver, and A2 Hosting support Softaculous.
Bottom line: You just can’t judge a host from outside
Reality: It is impossible to know how good or how bad is a web host from outside. Reading TOS and checking on the hosting features will only help filter a few obvious bad apples.
To get the job done, you’ll need to test the web host yourself from the inside.
After all, this is why we have 30-day money back guarantee trials with hosting companies . Keep track on the service quality using free tools like Uptime Robot or Fresh Ping, for the first 30 days and do not hesitate to ask for a refund if you find anything fishy – that’s how you leverage the trial period ! ;).