In our previous article, we have touched on how to pick the right domain name. Today, we are going to look into the next important step in the process of starting a new blog and that is choosing a web hosting provider.
There are thousands of web hosting providers around, ranging from local based-in-garage services to international companies with state-of-the-art hosting technology. So much so that your concern is not whether you can find a web host but whether you can find the best web host that meets your requirements at an affordable price!
Free Web Hosting vs Paid Web Hosting
How do you pick the best web hosting provider? Many beginner webmasters use hosting price as the deciding factor. Quite understandably as some web hosting providers charges a few dollars while others require you to fork out quite a fair bit every month for hosting services. And of course, there are also those who offer to host your website for free in return for banner ad space.
Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of free and paid web hosting.
|Free Web Hosting||Paid Web Hosting|
|Free Web Hosting||Paid Web Hosting|
So which do you choose?
Well, it all depends on what you want out of your blog. Free web hosting does not require any cost outlays but offers less features and lower service levels. This is adequate if you plan to start a blog for personal use only or for blog experiments. Two blogging platforms which you can use for free are Blogspot and WordPress.com.
However, if you do wish to have more features and better control over your blog, then do consider opting for a paid web hosting. After all, you get what you pay for. And these days, there are plenty of hosting services that are packed with features and at the same time, affordable.
What Specifications does WordPress require?
Let’s look at the server specifications that are required in order to run WordPress. It is actually pretty simple. WordPress needs:
- PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
- MySQL version 5.0 or greater
What to look for when Selecting a Web Hosting Provider
WordPress blogs do not need a lot of bandwidth, unlike an e-commerce or a forum website. Generally, a shared hosting plan is adequate for this purpose. Anyway, check out the web hosts which we recommend below, they all come with unlimited bandwidth!
Cost of Plan
There is a difference between cheap and affordable. The former may oversell to cover their investment costs and you probably end up trying to fight with other domains (which are hosted on the same server) for server resources. These days, affordable plans with reliable hosting service are much easily available than before.
This is probably one of the most important features of paid web hosting. Things to look for include the different ways to contact customer support eg through live chat, email, toll-free phone and email ticketing system. Are they available 24/7? On top of that, you may also want to check if they are outsourced and if they speak other languages besides English.
My own preference is to host with a web host which provides 24/7 technical support which are not outsourced. This ensures that in case you need any help from them, they will be able to troubleshoot your problem quickly, and be able to help us without any language barrier!
How often do they perform backups? Are their servers running on the latest software versions? What about firewalls? Are their datacenters physically protected? These are some questions regarding security that you may want to check with the web hosting provider you have in mind.
Recommended Web Hosting Providers
The following three web hosting providers are specifically chosen for their features and price as well as outstanding support team. All 3 have hosting plans that offer unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, free site builders and 24/7 email/chat/phone support.
Their individual features varies slightly so are advised to read in detail the features and T&C of the hosting before deciding to sign up with any of them.
Founded almost 2 decades ago in 1996, Bluehost now hosts millions of domains worldwide. They are highly recommended because of their reliable uptime and because they do not oversell. Their all-in-one plan cost only
$6.95$3.95 per month and allows you to add as many domains or websites as you wish, all under the same account. This will save you a lot of money, not to mention the hassle if you were required to setup multiple accounts for each website!
The discounted pricing $3.95 per month is only available through this website. Visit Bluehost for this awesome discount today!
Bluehost also offers SimpleScripts, an awesome 1-click script installer which provides over 70 of the web’s top applications, including WordPress, Textpattern, Moodle, phpBB, Joomla and many others. Because they build their own servers, datacenters and fiber network, you are assured of dependable hosting services!
On top of that, they offers anytime money back guarantee. Little wonder even WordPress.org recommends Bluehost as a web hosting provider.
With over 8 million domains being hosted by them, HostGator is one of the top web hosting providers in the world today. They are proud of their professional support team and reliable hosting service.
They have 3 different shared hosting plans ie Hatchling, Baby and Business with prices ranging from $3.96 to $11.96 per month. Other features include 99.9% uptime and a 45 day money back guarantees. HostGator not only provides shared hosting services but also VPS and dedicated servers should you wish to upgrade at a later date.
On top of that, HostGator’s Windows Hosting Plans are highly recommended if you are looking for a web host to host your ASP or ASP.Net applications.
It is a good time to check out HostGator now because we are sharing with you a 25% discount coupon code! This coupon code will get you 25% off the hosting price immediately. Just copy and paste this code “gatorspecial2011” when you sign up with HostGator.
WebhostingHub is a web hosting provider who understands our need for a speedy and reliable hosting service. They provide only one all-in-one shared web hosting plan which includes a host of features, such as unlimited disk space & bandwidth, unlimited websites under a single account, unlimited email accounts, an Easy Website Builder, and best of all – a free domain name!
In addition to these features, you will also get $125 Google AdWords credit as well as $75 credit for Yahoo and Bing! For new users, you will be delighted to know that they give you piece of mind with a “90 Day Full Money Back Guarantee”!
Visit WebhostingHub’s official website and get an awesome discount on the hosting price. Instead of the standard $6.99/month, visitors of this website will get to enjoy a special discount, resulting in $3.99/month only!
There you are, some suggestions on how to choose the best web hosting provider for your WordPress blog and website. There are indeed many things to consider when researching for a web hosting provider, as mentioned above. Therefore, it is vital that you put in some effort prior to signing up so that you can be sure that you have selected the web hosting company that best meet your requirements. This can help prevent possible growth limitations when your blog generates more traffic in the future.