Choosing the Best Web Hosting Account for your Blog: How to Start a Blog – Step 2. In this article, we’re talking about how to choose the best web hosting account for your blog.
Have you ever thought about the difference between owning a home and renting? This may not seem related to web hosting, but it really is a good analogy.
When you rent a home or apartment, you are paying someone else’s mortgage, but more importantly, you have no ownership over your own space.
If you plant a tree in the backyard, you don’t have ownership over it. Maybe you decide to put tile down in the bathroom, but you can’t take it with you one day when you leave. Renting means that you are living somewhere at the approval of another person.
Owning, on the other hand, means that you can do what you want because you own the space. You can paint, put down hardwood floors and fence the backyard. Sure, you might have some neighborhood covenants that govern certain things, but for the most part, you are the captain of your own ship.
Using Free Web Hosting
With web hosting, many people make critical areas when it comes to choosing how to host their blogs. There are free blog services like Blogger and WordPress.com that you can use (don’t confuse the WordPress.com free web hosting with the very popular WordPress blogging software – which we use AND highly recommend). In fact, many people start out using these free services because they want to “test the waters”. However, there is a big danger is using free services if you want to build a long-term business as a blogger.
Just as with renting, you can be “kicked out” of your free blog in a heartbeat. Let’s say you spend 6 months building up a blog with tons of fantastic content and a following of faithful readers. Then, one day out of the blue, you realize your blog has been wiped clean.
As unbelievable as it may sound, it does happen and is not a good surprise. When you build rankings to a free blog, you are paying someone else’s mortgage payment in a way. You are building rankings for something you do not own which can be wiped out in any time for no valid reason at all.
Also some free services like WordPress.com prohibit the use of affiliate links on your free blog, meaning you can’t make money with your blog. Which really makes “free” into a pretty bad deal?
When you use a free blog service, you have to follow someone else’s rules. If you break those rules, or they even think that you did, they can click a button and kill your business in a heartbeat. It is like building a house on sand. Who needs or wants the stress of wondering if your business will still be there tomorrow?
Paid Web Hosting
So what is the answer? Get your own web hosting! You can (and should) still use WordPress as your blogging software. Web hosting is very inexpensive (less than $7 per month for basic services) and will allow you to be the ruler over your own virtual “real estate.”
As you learn how to start a blog, you will be able to write what you want and build your business without constantly worrying about the possibility that someone will remove your content tomorrow.
When considering a hosting company, it helps to ask other successful bloggers and Internet marketers who they recommend. Many will have horror stories of certain hosting companies, which will help you avoid landmines in your search for a hosting company.
You also want to make sure that the host you choose has CPANEL (control panel) so that you can easily access certain features that you will need as you learn more about blogging and working online. You may also want to ask if the host has support for WordPress, our recommended blogging software. Some web hosting services (like our recommended web host below) provide a simple way to install WordPress in just a few clicks.
Another factor to consider is how much space you really need for your new blog. You don’t want to over buy and overpay each month for space you don’t yet need.
You can always upgrade your plan later as your blog grows in traffic. When starting out in blogging, it’s important to only spend money on the necessities instead of wasting a lot on things that are not needed yet.
Our Web Hosting Recommendation
There are many web hosting companies out there, but one of the most popular and most reputable is called HostGator (read our review here). They are well-known within the industry for their competitive pricing and great customer service.
Also they’re the ones we started with and we recommend you start with them as well.
They have chat representatives available all the time in case you have questions or concerns which makes it a valuable resource for new bloggers all the way up to advanced bloggers. They offer several plans including dedicated servers, but you won’t need that until you have either a lot of sites or a ton of traffic.
HostGator offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth and a very easy control panel where you can set up email addresses among other things. They have a 99.9% uptime guarantee which is highly important because that means your website will very rarely “go down”.
Some hosting companies cannot guarantee uptime, and that usually means they experience a lot of technical glitches. The last thing you want to worry about is having your site go down a lot and missing out on traffic and income potential.
As one of the world’s top 10 largest web hosting companies, HostGator has more than 4 million hosted domains. They are certainly not the only hosting companies, but you will rarely hear any complaints about their services.
Another great thing about HostGator is that WordPress can be installed in just a few clicks using a feature called Fantastico. They also have simple tutorials available showing exactly how to install WordPress, and once you do it then you will be a pro at it – and you’ll get your blog started right away.
Choosing your web hosting is important because you want to be sure that your blog is protected and stable. After all, this will be your new business model so you need to take the decision seriously.
Look at all of the factors when you are comparing hosting companies so that you don’t have to move your site later as that can mean a real hassle and potential loss of data if not done correctly. You can also look for special coupons and deals on hosting to get in at a great price.
Check out the detailed review on the ONLY web host we recommend if you’re just getting started – the one we recommend to our own friends and family. Our recommended web host even comes with 1-click installation of WordPress, our favorite easy to use blog publishing platform: the one we use for all our sites.