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Choosing hosting for your WordPress blog or website, is a minefield if you don’t know what you’re looking for. When I started this blog, Simply Hatch, I struck lucky with my hosting company.
I’ve had numerous websites in the past including a big eCommerce site with a 7 figure turnover. Unreliable shared host, sleepless nights and ruined holidays taught me that cheap isn’t an option when it comes to hosting. This blogging 101 guide will demonstrate, you get what you pay for…
If your blog or website goes down you don’t make any money. If it’s too slow, customers don’t stick around.
Speed, security, and reliability are the three amigos of website hosting.
Ignore them at your peril!
Choose the Best Website Hosting For Your Needs
The needs of a large established blog or website are going to be totally different to someone blogging for a hobby. Now you may be at the start of your blogging journey but I’m assuming you’re here, reading this blog post, because you want to make money.
Free WordPress Hosting
Making money rules out free web hosting. It’s unreliable, usually involves running someone else’s banner ads on your site and it’s almost impossible to monetize. Just don’t go there.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re really short of cash or you just want to try out a few ideas before starting your blog for real. In which case Blogger is your best option. I suggest you avoid WordPress.com. Yes they have a free version, but you’ll quickly be sucked into their paid plans. These are both restrictive and expensive.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Most hosting you’ll see advertised is shared hosting. It’s the most affordable and can be good for new companies starting out. Shared hosting means you share a large server with a lot of other sites. It means hosting providers can offer some really low rates for their hosting services.
But there is a catch. Many shared hosting providers offer unlimited space and unlimited bandwidth. This just isn’t possible. They are relying on most of their clients having small blogs and using small resources. Often hosting companies will oversell server space. This will affect your website loading speed.
Plus, if your blog post goes viral, you’ll suddenly be asked to upgrade your hosting and move to a dedicated server. Often not very politely.
Shared hosting is still a good option for your startup blog, especially if it’s a side hustle and you’re testing the waters before committing full time. It can be a win-win normally for both you and the hosting company just because a lot of new sites don’t fully use their hosting allocation.
I recommend Bluehost if you’re looking for the best affordable option. It comes with a free domain name which is really helpful when you’re starting your first blog.
Think of your domain name as the address of your site. For example, mine is simplyhatch.com. Use the tool below to check if your domain is available.
Another recommended option for hosting is HostGator. They’re a great choice if you’re expecting to grow quickly. HostGator has a wide selection of plans and options making it easy to upgrade as your traffic increases.
I use SiteGround hosting for my lifestyle blog LoveLifeBeFit. SiteGround is rated as one of the best shared hosting sites available and I can’t fault their service. Their support is fast and brilliant. No question is too trivial.
UPDATE: I’ve had three viral pins since launching my lifestyle blog less than two months ago. SiteGround has coped wonderfully.
WordPress VPS or Cloud Hosting
These types of hosting are similar. Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a way of partitioning a physical server into smaller virtual sections. Each virtual section runs as if it’s a dedicated server.
The upside is you can have a lot of control over how your VPS server is set up. On the downside, they are less reliable. If a physical server fails, every VPS on that server will fail.
You can also have one site hogging resources on the physical server and affecting performance.
I’ve experienced both situations.
- A VPS server that failed and left my tech support scrambling to install backups on a new server.
- Having a gut feeling that performance wasn’t up to scratch on a VPS server. Eventually found out that another site on the same server had unexpectedly high traffic. In theory this shouldn’t happen. You should have dedicated RAM all to yourself. But it did, so be aware!
The alternative in this price bracket is Cloud hosting where resources are spread over a network of physical servers. It’s more reliable and flexible but customisation options can be limited.
For most people, it’s hard to see the benefits of VPS compared with Cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is rapidly becoming the top choice for growing a blog or website where you’ve outgrown your shared hosting.
WordPress Dedicated Server Hosting.
This is where you get your own dedicated physical server from the hosting provider. It’s all yours and the amount you pay will depend on the power of the server. For dedicated servers, we’re in the realms of extremely high traffic blogs.
Managed WordPress Hosting
If you’re beginning to think it’s all getting very complicated, don’t despair. Perhaps you just want someone to take care of the technical stuff so you can write your blog.
I totally know where you’re coming from.
That’s why I’m so pleased I chose WP Engine for this Simply Hatch blog.
WP Engine provides Managed WordPress Cloud Hosting. It means you can start off small, (I’m on the StartUp package), and as you grow, using more resources, you’re just moved onto the next package. Nice easy steps and WP Engine take care of all the technical stuff. They optimise your site for performance, make sure your site is safe AND take regular backups. I mean who remembers to take backups!!! So pleased someone’s taking care of mine…