Choosing a blog hosting service can be a bit overwhelming for new bloggers as there is a wide variety of hosting options available and they exist for all budgets.
My first web host experience
First thing to consider is do you want to self-host your blog or are you happy to run your blog as part of Blogger, Tumblr or other free services?
Unless you wish to blog at a free service like Blogger, you need a host to run your blog and get the full flexibility and customization opportunities. Majority of popular blogs are self-hosted and it is the recommended way to go.
It is recommended because you get your own domain name and you get your own webspace online that you are in full control of. Back in 1990′s when I created my first website about my favourite band Metallica I used one of the free hosts available. It seemed like a good choice to start with as I didn’t need to invest anything, but I was thinking too short term.
My blog turned out very popular, but the free host limited my growth as I didn’t have a domain name, had restrictions on what I could post and they even put a fixed banner on my site. I had to leave the free host and get my own domain name and webspace, which allowed me more flexibility and allowed me to grow my site.
Best place to start: shared hosting
If you are going for a self-host there is a wide range of hosting plans available from the different providers. Some of the most popular types are:
- Shared web hosting
- Virtual private servers
- Dedicated servers
- Cloud hosting
As a new blogger you don’t really need to look at all the advanced and expensive hosting options as it is not necessary and would be too expensive to start with. Investing as little money as possible in the early days is key to keeping your blog expenses down while you’re trying to build a profitable blog.
Shared web hosting is a perfect place to start as it stands at around $5 per month. Shared hosting is when many sites from different bloggers are hosted on the same server. The hosting provider manages and maintains the server, you just deal with your blog. This is the cheapest hosting option and also the easiest option to start with.
If your blog starts experiencing heavy traffic on a daily basis (thousands and thousands of unique visitors), the shared hosting may not be as reliable in terms of uptime or as fast to load compared to more expensive options. But heavy traffic generally means many thousands of unique visitors daily. In starting months or even years, shared hosting will be more than enough for any new blogger and will probably be perfect for majority of bloggers out there.
Picking which one to go with
I personally use several different hosting companies, this blog being on one platform, while I have several others on another host. It is all down to you to pick what host you use or if you decide to keep all your sites on the same host, on spread them out over several companies.
In general it is recommended to use a host provider that offers one-click WordPress installation as that allows you to start your blog within minutes with no tech knowledge needed.