Blog Hosting – Consideration Factors and Your Options

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).

Server Locations

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.

Hosting Uptime

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.

Hosting Cost

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 ! ;).

5 Questions to ask before moving to enterprise dedicated hosting provider

When it comes to hosting, shared servers seem like the most budget-friendly and practical option. Over the years, however, businesses have come to realize that cheap isn’t always the best choice. An expensive alternate can hold numerous long-term benefits. This is why many businesses are now choosing dedicated hosting over shared.

Dedicated hosting has numerous benefits to offer,but that too depends on how reliable your service provider is. While mainstream enterprise dedicated hosting providers are a bit expensive for SMEs, there are many other who offer a service tailored for small budget enterprises. If you really want to reap all the benefits of a dedicated server, you should be very prudent about your choice of service provider.

Not sure how to start? Here are 5 questions you must ask to make sure you are making the right decision.

1.     Do you have any history of cyber breaches?

Security is by far the biggest concern for any organization. It is one of the primereasons organizations are willing to spend more money on their server and hosting related services. However, there is a very slim chance that you will find a service provider that can give you an honest ‘No’ as an answer. The cybercrime rate is escalating,and breaches are more common that we would like to admit.

However, what matters is how the organization dealt with the breach or how well they are prepared to deal with such a scenario. Ask them about their strategy and how it has improved since the last breach. If they can satisfy your concern with a proper explanation of their preventive measures and polices, move on to the next question. Your provider must be able to offer a comprehensive disaster recovery solution as well.

2.     Where are you located?

Location of your server have an impact on the performance. Shorter physical distance means shorter transit route. This ensures better stability and lower latency.

Image credit – KeyCDN.

However, you should consider the distance between your servers and the target audience. It doesn’t matter where you areheadquartered, you need to consider where the end user is.

For instance, a Philadelphia based company serving clientele in New York must consider having their server in New York. Similarly, if you’re an IT company based in New York but resources in Texas, it is best to go for a server in Dallas.

3.     Will it be a fully managed service?

When opting for dedicated hosting, many believe that it means completely managing services. That isn’t the case. Different providers offer different levels of management. There is an option of completely unmanaged hosting, which means your team will be responsible for all the management related tasks. This includes installation, maintenance, and upgrades.

Other providers can offer partial management service, which covers some of the tasks but not all of them. Then there is a completely managed hosting service that doesn’t require you to hire a management team. However, you should also ask whether the provider offers proactive management or reactive. The former requires you to open a support request. Proactive management means the provider will keep an eye on your needs and promptly act as required.

4.     Can you ensure 100% availability during peak hours?

Don’t hold back when it comes to the real questions. Ask them how they ensure 100 percent availability during peak hours and how they can improve the overall performance of your website.

Automated scaling allows service providers to offer a more flexible hosting that varies according to your needs. This means the capacity will increase during peak hours, but it will reduce when the traffic is low. This keeps your site from crashing due to peak traffic while also prevents overspending during low traffic hours.

While inquiring about hosting server performance, ask if the provider is able to optimize the way your website is delivered. Not many providers offer this service,but if they do, it is definitely worth your money.

5.     Will I be able to add more features in the future?

Scalability and flexibility are crucial for any tech related decision that you make. Keep in mind that your needs will change as you grow and expand. Ask your hosting provider how they will accommodate your growth. If they do allow you to add more features, ask how that will affect the cost. Also, inquire about the hassle involved. It is important to choose a service provider that is able to accommodate your needs without increasing the level of complexity. A provider that can offer a bundled plug and play features is your best bet when it comes to dedicated hosting.

Ask the right questions and do not settle for a provider who isn’t able to provide a satisfactory answer. A trustworthy service provider will always go the extra mile to answer the concerns of their potential customers.

Author Bio – Audrey Throne

Audrey Throne is a mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

6 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid as A New Blogger

If you ask any successful blogger what he/she regrets most, they all admit they made mistakes they could’ve avoided.

Blogging is a great source to earn a living writing about what you love. When you’re getting started, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed – not knowing where to start. But don’t sweat it, today we highlight some of the common mistakes new bloggers make and how to avoid them.

1. You’re not consistent

It’s easy to get over excited and too ambitious when starting out your blog. You have so many ideas and you publish like a maniac. However, after some time, the momentum dies and you start publishing fewer articles.

Likewise, publishing without a pattern will cost you your readers. Unpredictability will frustrate your audience.

Solution: Try to set a schedule so that readers know exactly when to expect a blog post from you. Keep it steady and predictable.

2. Using free hosting platforms

Almost every new blogger starts with a free hosting platform. At first, you’ll feel it’s simple and straightforward. But then, one day you wake to find that your website has been taken down.

To make a good first impression, spend money to secure a domain name and a good web hosting provider. This gives you full control of your blog and allows you to grow with the demand. You should aim to build your brand from the word go.

Solution: Try NameCheap for domain registration; TMD Hosting for web hosting. I like NameCheap because of its competitive pricing (that’s the most important thing you need from a domain registrar). I like TMD Hosting for their very affordable pricing  and transparency in ToS.

3. Not building an email list

A blog is not all about getting visitors but converting them into subscribers. Building an email list ensures that you have a steady traffic from your subscribers. When you introduce a new product or service, they’ll be your first customers. That’s securing your future.

Solution: Using one of the many email marketing tools, include a CTA in your blog to connect with new subscribers.

4. Not using catchy headlines and images

The sad fact is that about 10% of readers don’t scroll down to read text content. But, using an image shows that readers stay a little longer on your page.

Simple headline hack – Use a list (source)!

Solution: Use a beautiful or funny image at the top of your blog post. Combine this with a catchy headline and you can expect hundreds if not thousands of clicks.

5. Not using whitespace

There’s a reason why a majority of blogs use a white background. It all boils down to readability and usability. White space doesn’t strain your eyes and makes reading easier.

Solution: Always use a whitespace. Keep your paragraphs short with a maximum of 5 sentences. Shorter sentences are better.

6. Plagiarism

Nothing costs you an audience faster than plagiarism. Readers hate copied content and as a new blogger, that’s a mistake you don’t want to make.

Solution. Focus on originality. Establish your voice to build confidence and trust among your readers. If you must include another person’s ideas, remember to cite them.

Conclusion

Blogging can be simple and fun if you have all the facts correct. We make mistakes. However, what’s important is picking ourselves up, dusting off and becoming better. Avoiding these pitfalls will help you be on the safe side in your journey to blogging success.

Now, go out and get it done!