Choosing the right web hosting for your blog is essential for success. The wrong choice and you will have sleepless nights and countless headaches.
But why is choosing the right web hosting provider for your blog important?
Your web hosting provider protects your blog’s content and readers’ data. Choosing the right web host gives you the peace of mind to focus on other important blogging tasks such as creating content and promoting your blog.
Hosting is your blog’s engine. Just like a car needs a good engine for optimal performance, a good web host ensures your blog doesn’t experience any downtime, loads fast, and is secure.
Factors to consider when choosing a web host for your blog
When planning to start a blog, consider these (x) factors to help you choose the right web host.
1. Type of hosting
There are different types of web hosting services including shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, managed hosting, WordPress hosting, and Reseller hosting.
If you’re starting a brand new blog, you will most likely have to choose shared hosting, dedicated hosting, or managed hosting.
Shared hosting is the cheapest and is ideal for brand-new blogs with low traffic. In this case, you share server resources with other websites.
Some shared hosting plans can even accommodate up to 500+ websites, which can lead to downtimes, slowdowns, and other performance issues.
Virtual private server (VPS) has better features and performance than shared hosting – which also means a higher cost.
In VPS hosting, your blog is sharing a single server with other websites but the server is divided into multiple virtual servers – one of which will host your blog.
Your blog has a dedicated server, which means higher bandwidth and storage features, along with less competition for server resources.
When it comes to cloud hosting, your blog’s content is stored on multiple interconnected servers and in a virtual environment – thus cloud hosting.
It provides more scalability and better performance than shared and VPS hosting – it will cost you more though.
Dedicated hosting means your blog will use a dedicated server, which means you will not be sharing any server resources with other websites.
Managed hosting is a different kind in the sense that it’s more like a service where your web host provider takes care of a sizable part of the day-to-day maintenance tasks.
Such tasks include daily backups, monitoring site security, software updates, malware removal, and site speed optimizations among others.
Keep in mind that managed hosting comes in different forms including managed shared hosting, managed VPS hosting, managed dedicated hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.
The most common for bloggers is managed WordPress hosting. This is only available if your blog uses WordPress.
With managed WordPress hosting, you get more time to focus on creating content, marketing your blog, growing your portfolio, and building your online business. At the same time, your web host provider takes care of the technical nuts and bolts of hosting.
I use WPX Hosting ($24.99/mo), which provides managed WordPress hosting. I get to focus on the day-to-day blogging tasks while they take care of the technical aspects of the site.
In case you cannot afford $24.99/mo, you can start with Bluehost (shared or WordPress hosting) – it costs $2.95/mo. You get a free domain, a free SSL certificate (for blog security), and a free CDN (for faster website speed).
Do not go for the most expensive package if you only have one blog. Start small if possible then you can upgrade as your blog grows.
2. Server resources
You need to take into account server resources such as storage and bandwidth. If your blog has high traffic then you need a hosting plan with higher bandwidth or one with flexible bandwidth caps.
In simple terms, the amount of data that can be sent between your blog and the server depends on your hosting plan’s bandwidth. If the bandwidth is small, people will find it hard to access your blog, and your blog can even crash if too many users are trying to visit at the same time.
If your blog will use a lot of videos and images then make sure you choose a plan with enough storage. Some hosting providers place strict limits to prevent resource-heavy sites from affecting other websites sharing the same server.
In a worst-case scenario, your web host may even remove your site or inform you to move to a different plan or web host provider if your blog is using too many resources.
In shared hosting, server resources such as storage and bandwidth are shared between all the sites hosted by the server.
This means if one website experiences a massive spike in traffic or is uploading a ton of large files, the other sites will be affected leading to downtimes and slowdowns.
You should also choose a web host provider with fast server speeds because page speed is very important if your blog is to succeed – it affects rankings and conversions.
Furthermore, more than 26.9% of e-commerce website visitors cannot wait for more than 4 seconds for a page to load – and 45.4% are less likely to make a purchase if the website loads slowly.
I chose to use WPX for two main reasons:
- It provides managed WordPress hosting allowing me to focus on creating content and marketing my blog.
- It has some of the fastest servers ensuring my blog loading speed will never be an issue.
Here’s a screenshot of my blog’s loading metrics using GTmetrix.
Apart from WPX Hosting, other web hosting providers with high server speeds are:
- WP Engine
- InMotion Hosting
Compare them then decide the one that best suits your blog.
3. Blog security
Your blog is an investment and its security is important. You need to have a peaceful night’s sleep knowing your blog is in safe hands.
According to a report by Sucuri, hundreds of thousands of websites and blogs get hacked yearly.
Most victims are those still using outdated content management systems (CMS). Examples of CMS include WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, OsCommerce, and OpenCart.
Most bloggers, including me, use WordPress – more than 30% of blogs and traffic use WordPress. The most basic website security feature is the SSL certificate.
Most web hosting providers provide a free SSL certificate for as long as you’re hosting your blog with them. You should never pay for an SSL certificate for a basic blog.
An SSL certificate encrypts sensitive information such as username, password, and credit card details ensuring your blog remains safe from potential hacks.
DDoS attack (Distributed Denial-of-Service ) is another problem bloggers face where malicious cybercriminals flood your web host server with internet traffic and make it impossible for anyone to access the website, you included.
Web host providers such as WPX provide DDoS protection. In case your provider doesn’t then you can use the free Cloudflare to keep your blog safe.
But how do you know if your blog has an SSL certificate? Check your blog’s full URL – it should have HTTPS at the beginning and not just HTTP.
You should also consider a web host that does malware scanning and removal, especially once your blog has grown and gets more than 10,000 unique users a month.
4. Website uptime
It can be hard to determine your blog’s expected uptime because every web host provider claims to provide 99.95%+ uptime but you cannot prove this until you start using their services.
Uptime is the duration your blog is live and accessible. In most cases, your blog will be available and accessible.
But why is uptime so important?
Because too much or frequent downtimes will have a huge negative impact on your blog in more ways than one, including lower traffic, a drop in organic rankings, and poor customer experience.
No web host provider can guarantee 100% uptime, so if you see one saying that they do then it’s probably a lie.
The best way to tell if a website hosting provider has high uptime is to read testimonials by their users. Check their reviews on platforms such as Trustpilot and G2.
Consider websites with more than 200 reviews and an average rating of at least 4.
5. Customer support
Choosing a web host that provides reliable customer support will save you countless hours of headaches and having to wait for your “ticket” to be resolved.
As earlier mentioned, no web host provider provides 100% uptime service. This means at some point your blog will go down, and you need your web host provider to act quickly and resolve the issue.
There is also a likelihood of your blog going down for different reasons – be it after installing a new plugin, updating outdated plugins, updating your theme, or even uploading a file to your blog’s root directory.
You need immediate assistance when this happens or you will be counting your losses every minute your blog is inaccessible.
I have been using WPX for more than 3 years now, and not even once have I contacted their customer support and failed to get help. I do not need to “open a ticket” and wait for several hours for help.
That’s why whenever I have an issue I just get in touch and it is resolved in a matter of minutes.
I recommend finding a web host provider with excellent customer support – not the ones that send tutorials and guides for you to read and resolve your blog’s issues on your own.
6. Custom email service
You need a custom email address for your blog – such as firstname.lastname@example.org for anything related to your blog – such as sending outreach emails or doing email marketing.
If you choose a web host for your blog that does not provide free custom email services then you will be forced to either pay for email services or use third-party service providers such as Google Workspace – which costs an extra $6/mo.
For example, DreamHost provides unlimited custom emails for just $2.99/mo. Custom emails are great for email marketing because emails are less likely to be marked as spam and sent to the recipient’s spam folder.
It also ensures your personal email remains private. You can, however, forward emails sent to your custom email to your personal email if you wish to.
7. Regular backups
Does the web host company provide daily or weekly backups for clients’ content? You need to consider all the possibilities – what could go wrong?
Let’s say your website is hacked and you had more than 100 long-form posts. If you have a backup then you can easily restore the content and move on like a boss.
The same cannot be said if you didn’t back up your blog’s content.
Most web host service providers provide either manual or automated backups depending on the package you pick. For instance, Bluehost provides automated backups if you choose the $5.45/mo package or higher.
I use WPX Hosting and they do automated daily backups – which allows me to enjoy peace of mind knowing my blog’s content is safe.
8. Domain privacy
The Internet is a delicate place and you need your details to remain confidential. Your home address, personal email, phone number, and other sensitive details should be kept private.
Some web host service providers charge for domain privacy – which is understandable – but others offer the service for free – but the cost of web hosting will be higher.
Weigh between paying a monthly or yearly fee for domain privacy with a cheaper hosting package or going for free domain privacy that comes with a more costly web hosting package.
Either way, ensure your web hosting company provides domain privacy – be it free or paid. Your security on the Internet is important.
9. Additional services
There are also other services you should consider before choosing a web host for your blog. They are important and in some cases some web hosting providers will charge for them.
Check to see if they provide these services:
- Free website migrations
- WordPress installation/setup
- Staging area
- Live chat support
- Phone support callbacks
- Subdomains, addon domains, parked domains
- Spam filters
Most likely you will not need all these additional services, but if you think you’ll need them down the line then check to see if your preferred web host provider offers them.
My blog host recommendations
The best web host largely depends on the type of blog or website you’re starting and the amount of bandwidth and storage it will use.
Best web host for new bloggers
a). Bluehost: Starts at $2.95/mo. You get a free domain for a year, a Free SSL certificate, a one-click WordPress installation, and Free CDN.
b). DreamHost: Starts at $2.59/mo. You get a Free domain name for a year, a free SSL certificate, pre-installed WordPress, FREE domain privacy
c). Siteground: Start at $3.95/mo. You get a Free SSL certificate, CDN, and custom email services.
These three are among the best cheap web hosting services for bloggers.
Best web host for established bloggers or larger websites
a). WPX Hosting: Having been a customer of WPX since 2019, I can say they provide amazing services, including excellent customer care. With the basic plan of $24.99 a month, I can host 5 websites each with a FREE SSL certificate, domain privacy, DDoS protection, and custom CDN.
b). Kinsta: Kinsta is among the top 3 best web hosting companies for managed WordPress hosting. Just like WPX, they handle the technical aspects allowing you to focus on content and blog promotion.
Their plans start at $35/mo and come with FREE SSL, CDN, staging area, and site migration. They use Google Cloud Platform and have 34 data centers across the globe, which makes the websites they host enjoy superfast loading speeds.
c). WPEngine: Plans start at $25/mo for annual subscriptions and $30/mo for monthly subscriptions. You get a Free SSL, daily & on-demand backups, a Free automated migration plugin, a Free staging area, and threat blocking & security.
d). FlyWheel: Plans start at $13/mo for annual subscriptions and $15/mo for monthly subscriptions. You get a free SSL certificate, free 10 StudioPress Themes, free staging area, free daily backups, and free website migrations.
e). BigScoots: Plans for shared hosting start at $5.95/mo and comes with free daily backups, DDoS protection, and unlimited mailboxes. If you need managed WordPress hosting, they charge $34.95/mo and come with a Free SSL certificate, free custom e-mail, DDoS protection, free daily backups, a staging area, and enhanced security.
Choose the right host for your blog
Oftentimes people make rash decisions when starting a blog – this includes choosing a domain name, choosing a niche for their blog, or even picking a web host. I recommend taking the time to ensure you pick the right one. The good thing is that it’s easy to migrate from one web hosting provider to another – and most providers provide free website migrations.