When you’re starting a blog, one of the first things you need to do is find the best web host for it. A lot of people just go for the cheapest choice they can find which can backfire on you later on.
The fact is, not all web hosts operate at the same level of quality. Some of them provide better support, performance, and other extra features to offer you a better experience. If you know how to spot a great web host, you will have a much easier time setting up your blog and maintaining it.
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to spot a great web host and explain why your choice of provider is so important. Let’s get to it!
How Your Choice of Web Host Can Affect Your WordPress Blog
It’s been almost twenty years since I launched my first websites. Back then, I was still a kid, so paying for hosting was out of the question. What I did was look for free web hosts (remember Geocities?), and I thought anyone that paid for that stuff had to be crazy.
Now I know better. There are hundreds of web hosting providers that are barely ‘good enough,’ and they skate by due to low prices and aggressive marketing campaigns. Let me break down why not all web hosts are the same:
- Performance. Some web hosts provide better performance for their clients across the board, so their websites always feel snappy.
- Customer support. At some point, you will run into a problem you can’t solve. When it happens, you want your hosting provider to have your back.
- Extra features. For an example, some providers set up automatic backups to keep your data safe. It’s always nice to get a little extra whenever you’re paying for a service.
- A broad range of plans. Ideally, your web host will provide you with plenty of options to upgrade your plan for when your site grows.
For me, performance is the main selling point when it comes to web hosting. I’ve tested some web hosts where just jumping from one tab to another in my WordPress dashboard would take seconds. Those same hosts also slowed down to a crawl when more than a handful of people visited my site simultaneously.
That’s the kind of thing you might notice if you have experience running a blog or other type of website, but most people won’t. They just think “This is how it works” and they stick to the same provider year after year. The great news is migrating from one host to another is now a pretty painless affair. In fact, some providers will even move your site for you, which is a great way to drum up new business when you think about it.
So, if you’re in the market for a web host to set up a new blog or you think it’s time to move to greener pastures, let’s talk about how to find a great one for you.
How to Find the Best Web Host for Your WordPress Blog
I’m an avid online buyer, and one of my favorite aspects of making purchases is choosing the best possible product. I’ll pour through reviews, check out if people have commented about a product on Twitter and Reddit, look for photographs, and more.
That’s a lot of effort to go through, but it makes sense to do a lot of research when it comes to services you plan on using for a long time. If your blog gets off the ground, you’ll be paying the same hosting provider month after month and year after year, so it makes sense to do a lot of research.
When it comes to web hosting, there are a lot of websites you can check for in-depth reviews. I’ll save you a lot of trouble by recommending you head straight to Hosting Facts. In my experience, they do the most thorough research and reviews for popular hosting providers:
For each web host they review, they measure performance for a number of months which is fantastic. As a rule of thumb, you always want your pages to load in less than two seconds. Anything below one second is fantastic, though. All the web hosting providers recommended at Hosting Facts are pretty fast, so any of them will make for an excellent choice.
When it comes to WordPress blogs, we usually recommend Bluehost. They’re one of the hosting providers WordPress.org officially recommends and Hosting Facts rates them as their most reliable option.
However, the choice is up to you. When you find a web host you feel comfortable with, and that’s well reviewed, you’ll still need to pick which of their plans to use. In most cases, you will be more than fine using a basic shared hosting plan when you’re launching a new blog.
At some point, when you start getting a lot of traffic, you’ll want to upgrade to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a beefier shared plan. However, it doesn’t make more sense to sign up for an expensive hosting plan out of the gate since most providers will enable you to upgrade at a moment’s notice.
Just to give you an idea of what price range to shoot for, it’s pretty easy to find shared hosting plans starting at below $5 per month:
Once you sign up for a hosting plan, the real fun begins. You can get right to work on starting your blog, and you could have your first article up in days if you start right now.
When it comes to web hosts, you want to go for quality over price every time. Having a hosting provider that offers excellent performance and great customer support service is worth a few extra dollars.
The good news is web hosting is so incredibly competitive, you can sign up with a great provider without having to spend more than $5-10 per month. That’s for a basic shared plan which should be more than enough to get your blog off the ground.
If you’re not sure where to start looking, we recommend you check out Bluehost. If you sign up through our link, we can help get your WordPress website set up!