Having a good web host can make a huge difference for your blog or website. While it’s obviously important to make your blog look appealing and fill it with great content, many people don’t give enough thought to the web hosting company which is hosting their blog. They are, however, responsible for keeping your site online and for managing all of the technical details that ensure everything runs smoothly.
All hosting is not the same
You may be under the misconception that all web hosting is pretty much the same. This is far from the truth. If you have any doubt about this, all you have to do is read customer reviews for various web hosting companies, including those which you can find on my website – 100 Web Hosting. You’ll find that satisfaction varies a great deal from one company to another.
When you choose a web hosting company, there are several factors to keep in mind. Cost is obviously relevant, but that shouldn’t be your only concern. Many web hosts offer very attractive pricing, but that isn’t going to mean much if they are lacking in other areas, such as uptime and customer support.
Let’s take a look at some of the main advantages of choosing a good web host for your blog.
Advantages of a good web host
Uptime is simply the amount of time your site is actually online. Theoretically, when you are paying for web hosting (that is not using any so called “free web hosting”), this number should be 100%. In the real world, though, issues come up that can cause downtime. Downtime can be extremely harmful for your website. If you have an online business, it can also be very costly!
When new visitors click on a site and it’s down, they might assume that the site is permanently down and never return. If someone is looking to buy something that day and your site is down, they will look for another place to buy it. Too much downtime will also affect the SEO of your site. If your site is down when the search engine spiders are crawling it, this can cause it to drop in the rankings or even get de-indexed!
Many web hosting companies brag about their uptime. When they give a number it’s always above 99%, often 99.5%. If they don’t give a number, you might want to call them up and ask them, or at least do research to see if there are complaints about this.
I have always been recommending Bluehost to my readers and clients. One reason is because they have very reliable servers and very good uptime. You can check out their uptime here.
More disk space, bandwidth, domains
The amount of disk space and bandwidth you get will vary from one web host to another. This also depends on which hosting plan you choose (most companies offer several, and some such as Bluehost offers only one all-in-one plan). However, one company’s cheapest hosting plan may give you the same amount of disk space and/or bandwidth than another company’s higher priced plan.
Keep in mind, however, that for most bloggers, disk space and bandwidth will not be an issue when you first start out. Only if you have a site with a huge number of pages, or that gets many thousands of visitors every day will this ever come up.
If your site specializes in videos, and you have thousands of them, this can also eat up bandwidth. The average blog, however, isn’t likely to exceed the limits of a hosting plan.
Another difference is in the number of domains you can use with your hosting plan. If you only have one website, this may not matter to you. You may, however, want to expand at some point and have a number of blogs or websites. In that case, you should look for a web host that offers unlimited domains.
Better customer support
The quality of customer support offered by your web host is extremely important. A good web host offers around the clock support. Some smaller companies may only be reachable during certain hours. Since you never know when an issue might arise, this is not the best kind of support!
It’s also good when the web host offers a variety of ways to get in touch with them. You should preferably be able to reach them by email (which is also called a support ticket), live chat or phone. It’s good to have phone support in case you need to contact them but you can’t get online for some reason.
There’s more to support than hours and ways to contact them, of course. You also want the people you reach to be courteous and knowledgeable. If you read customer reviews for web hosting companies you can find out a lot about the quality of their support.
More perks and features
The exact features you want for your web hosting depends on your needs. Some web hosting companies, however, go out of their way to give customers as many extras as possible. This may include:
- Domain names
You may get one or more free domain names when registering.
- Site Builders
This is useful for people with little or no site building experience.
- Programming Capabilities
If you are an advanced website builder, you may want the ability to program in languages such as ASP, PHP or Ruby.
- SEO Tools
Some web hosting providers offer a variety of SEO tools, such as auto-submission to directories. In some cases you will have to pay extra for these services.
- Pay-per-click Coupons
You may get a $50 or $100 coupon for Google AdWords, Yahoo + Bing and Facebook. These free advertising coupons can be useful in getting your advertising campaign off the ground quickly.
- Domain names
Conclusion: A good web host gives you peace of mind
When you have a good web host, you can focus on the parts of your blog that is more important to you, such as writing good quality articles, engaging with your blog readers, or promoting your products or services. You don’t want to have to worry about problems such as downtime or slow downs that will negatively impact your site. These are definitely good reasons why you should shop around carefully for your web host.
Read our web hosting reviews and make informed decisions which is the best web host for your blog or website! Check out our list of top 10 web hosting companies, or if you have any special needs, you can always get in touch with us for advise and recommendations.
Generally, Bluehost is a great web host for many types of websites. Do check them out!