Let’s say you want to start a blog and you have to choose a web hosting company for your blog. But here’s the thing, after choosing a domain name the next big task is to choose a hosting provider.
It might take you some time to finally make a decision due to your requirements. There are many web hosting companies that you can find. But as we know only a few might suit you.
Please note this is a monster article with 3000 + words on how to choose a web hosting company for your blog. If you really want to make a good decision, go through the whole article.
There are too many articles related to this topic, yet after reading them you still get confused. Why? That’s because there’s no right or wrong answer. On the internet everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Is very important to choose the best web hosting company for your website from the first day you launch. Changing a web hosting provider might be a lot of hustle and you might lose readership.
Losing readership can make you lose money if your blog is already earning something for you.
Yet, if you have not started making money with your blog you might lose time, as we know time is money. So invest your precious time on one of the best providers. You would rather be safe than sorry.
There are certain features that a hosting provider should have that will make it reliable or the best.
In this article I’ll give you some of the actual features that you should look for when you choose a web hosting company.
Since we are blogging using WordPress as a blogging platform, we’ll look at WordPress web hosting companies.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links that may provide a commission to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. However, the links are for the best software and tools you need to start a successful blog and build a professional online presence.
For WordPress bloggers it is highly recommended that you choose BlueHost, but there are others as well like Namecheap. Those are just some of the top web hosting companies.
The most important thing is to know what you are looking for in a hosting company. These are the things you should focus on.
A web hosting price plays a major role. You have to know if you can afford to pay the price. Most reliable web hosting offer a price of $2.50 to $6 even though there are others that charge up to $40 a month. So you have to know what amount you can afford.On Bluehost you can pay $3.75 per month, that is affordable in most countries including South Africa
Company history or reputation
There are many hosting companies to choose from and they all have a bit of history. If not, the company’s history is it’s founders. Is always good to look for a company that has a long history with good owners.
Some hosting companies might have had a bad performance when they started. But they eventually improved over time and gained a good reputation.
The company you choose should have reliable payment methods. The ones that tend to do well are the ones that use Credit, PayPal and Bitcoin. These payment options are accepted in most parts of the world, especially Credit Cards and Bitcoin.
PayPal might have issues in some countries. In South Africa, Paypal is still not recognized even after so many years. I don’t recommend any hosting company that uses this payment processor in RSA since most banks have this feature. Please check first if you are able to paypal in your country.
A hosting space often called Disk Space is one of the features that you should look at. Some companies offer very little hosting space like 2GB, I wouldn’t recommend such companies.
You should by all means choose a hosting space that is 10GB or greater if you plan to blog for a long time. The unlimited Disk Space is the best but if you can’t find one then the 10GB rule should apply.
cPanel access and Support
cPanel helps you access all your files, databases, emails, SSL and more. If your wordpress hosting company does not provide me with this then, I don’t see the point of bringing with them.
You should be able to access your files from the backend. In some cases you might have to access the .htaccess file which is a very common file in Web Hosting. You might need to create it or create a new one.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that you and your readers can use on your site. The more your site gets traffic the more likely it will be slow. But there are higher bandwidths that will not even show when your site gets more traffic.
If the site has less bandwidth the server gets congested and that site starts stalling and that can irritate your readers. Is something that you can not take, likely a website speed can make or break your overall earnings if you plan to make money with your blog.
This is non negotiable, 24/7 customer support is required. Some would say it should depend on how much help you need. Let me tell you, help is always required in web hosting.
Whether you are a new blogger or a veteran at some point you will need help. So go for a web host provider that has reliable customer support.
I prefer live chat support over email or phone support. With a live chat support an experienced agent can take you step by step on how to solve a problem. With email support you have to wait for them to respond which might take time.
And with a phone support it might be better but you might need to have enough air time on your phone. So a phone is also a No for me. Live chart support will always be the best.
Number of domains you can have
In case you decide to start another blog after a few years you might find yourself looking for a web hosting company again. So it is best to know how many blogs you can host in your hosting package. It will help you dearly to choose the best one.
For you to look professional it will be wise to use your domain email addresses. They are much better than using the free ones. You need to know how many email addresses you will get on your hosting package.
Email addresses would also be useful once you start building a list for your campaigns. You might need to create a lot of email addresses for different campaigns so make sure your web hosting company can give you just enough.
Everyone wants to see their website online at all times. Imagine getting to your site and your site is down but you don’t know the reason. That’s what you might get if you choose the wrong hosting company.
There’s no 100% uptime but there are companies who reach 99.9% uptime, those are the best web hosting companies and the one you should go for.
This is also non negotiable, when it comes to blogging, your blog needs to stay online if you want it to be a success.
When you choose a web hosting company, security features play a big role. How many times does your provider backup your site? Website backup is the number one security feature you should have. You need to know that automatic updates are required. This helps you in case something happens to your blog.
All your files need to be in safe storage. Some companies give a daily backup while others give you a weekly backup. One of those two are the best, but the daily automatic backup is much better.
Do you get the option to upgrade your hosting package when you need to? If your blog grows faster then you should be given an option to upgrade anytime. Your blog might grow faster than you anticipated.
Most people don’t look at this, but I think we should. Is always wise to go for a web hosting company that has servers in your targeted countries. If you are in South Africa you might have a problem with this option though. Why do I say that?
Because most web hosting companies who claim to have their hosting server actually use Reseller Hosting from other major companies in other countries.
So don’t be fooled and think that your site is hosted in SA while it is hosted in the USA. How do I know this because I once registered a domain name with a major South African web hosting company thinking they have their own servers right here in SA.
A couple of months later I stopped paying for the domain. Then after a year or so I checked my domain if it was still registered. To my surprise the domain name showed that it is hosted with GoDaddy, one of the big hosting companies.
So it clicked, the Web hosting company I used bought a reseller hosting from GoDaddy and claimed to have their servers.
On another instance I got a job as developer from a small hosting company. I ended up handling their hosting accounts after a few months.
After a while I found out the company is actually using Reseller Hosting from one of the big companies in the UK and USA.
You have to know all of this if you really want to blog for a living,most web hosting companies don’t have their own servers as they claim.
In case something goes wrong they have to consult with the real hosting company to find out what’s wrong with the servers.
So choose a big web hosting company that has their own servers so that when something goes wrong you can consult with them directly.
A blogging platform
A web hosting company should allow you to choose a blogging platform from the list provided. The most popular blogging platforms are content management systems which allow you to manage your site. WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform you will find when opening a hosting account.
What is the best WordPress web hosting company for bloggers?
Bluehost is one of the web hosting companies recommended by WordPress. The company has been running since 2003 and it hosts over 2 million websites world wide. Which makes it one of the longest running hosting companies.
I hosted one blog with them just to test their service. After using them for a while I can. They are pretty good. But what attracted me to Bluehost in the first place is the number of top bloggers who recommended it.
When it comes to pricing, Bluehost is one of the affordable companies that offers shared hosting. The basic plan is $3.95 per month and you get the best services compared to some of the most expensive web hosting providers. Bluehost gives you a free domain for the first year if you host them.
There’s no need to be worried about paying for a domain name your first year.
Bluehost accept the following payment methods:
Credit Card(Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express)
Check or Money Order
Unfortunately they do have limitations on even though they say they offer unlimited hosting. Their limitations include 50 000 files per account, and two databases. But you do get enough hosting space to host even bigger websites.
You get to host a single website with their basic plan, with their Plus plan you can host as many websites as you want.
You do get access to the cPanel so that you can access your backend files.
It uses the regular cPanel which is the most used in the industry, the cPanel can be used by anyone.
When it comes to Uptime, Bluehost is definitely one of the best. They have an uptime of 99.9%. That is excellent in the web hosting business which means they are reliable.
You can upgrade your account at any time when you feel like upgrading. They have data centers in the US, UK, India, Hong Kong and China.
Namecheap is popular for providing cheap domain name registration. This company has a long history, and has been in business since 2004. I’ve been using their service since 2015 and they’ve been good since then.
The Namecheap domain registration cost $10.89 while their hosting cost is just $3.88 a month. I can say that it is very affordable.
About the payment methods, they accept:
Credit Card(Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express )
They are one of the web hosting companies that accept bitcoin. Of course I use Bitcoin to fund my namecheap account instead of PayPal.
In terms of support service they use both email and a live chat. I only used their live chart twice because I know how to do most of the things myself. But in both instances I got a quick response.
The WordPress hosting gives 10GB Disk space which might be enough for most bloggers. You can divide the hosting when creating your email accounts as well.
You can contact their support through Email or live chat. I would say you should use a live chat instead of an email. With a live chat you will get a quick response compared to email.
Unfortunately their WordPress hosting bandwidth is not one of the best, and is good for new bloggers with less traffic. When I first launched I experienced it first hand so if you are planning to build high traffic soon enough, go with
Another bad experience came after installing WordPress on my hosting account and started uploading content the site kept on going on.
I eventually contacted their support, they finally solved the problem which was their server settings. So I can say they have less uptime but I’m still hosting with them.
Is easy to connect your domain name to your hosting account. I can take you a few seconds. You will also be able to install WordPress into your account which is a one click installation. Host up to three websites on a shared hosting account.
They give you a cPanel login and FTP access so that you can access all your files. You can use filezilla or something similar to login to your file system.
They have servers both in the US and the UK and you can choose which server to use. You can use a CDN to make your site load faster in other countries. WordPress has a plugin to help you set CDN on your blog.
If you want to choose a web hosting company for your blog then you might want to look at this one. DreamHost has been helping web developers, designers, and bloggers start their business online for the last 20+ years. One of the surprising facts with Dreamhost is that it is independently owned yet has been recommended by WordPress. It has been doing very well in the past years and can not be ignored. Their support service is one of the best in the web hosting industry.
You get a dot com domain registration for $8.99 per year for the basic shared hosting. The ones that get a free domain are those that choose the shared unlimited package.
The shared wordpress hosting cost $2.59 per month, it offers a one click wordpress installation. You can host one website on their shared hosting account. You will have to upgrade if you want more websites hosted.
They also claim to offer unlimited hosting, but you should know their hosting disk space is between 10GB and 120GB for larger packages.
Dreamhost accept the following payment methods:
Credit Card(Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club)
Check or Money Order
Dreamhost’s lowest uptime is 99.74% but they have a long record of 100% uptime from December 2017.
They don’t use the normal cPanel, they’ve created their own which can be tricky for most users.
Their live support can be contacted through live chat, through internet telephony or discussion forum. They have servers in the US, both Virginia and California
SiteGround has been voted the best WordPress hosting company in different polls online. The company is known to provide super fast WordPress websites.
Their WordPress hosting package starts at $3.95 while their dot com domain is $15.95 per year.
When it comes to customer support you can contact them via.
They have a record of 99.9 uptime and a great website loading speed.
SiteGround accepts Credit Card payments that include VISA, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. If you want to use PayPal you have to contact their customer support through the live chat.
They have data centers in America, Europe and Asia and they can be accessed anywhere in the world. You are able to choose where you want to host your blog.
As I have stated in the beginning of this article, if you want to choose a web hosting company for your blog, you won’t find a right or wrong answer.
It depends on your needs. But out of all these hosting providers I recommend Bluehost. Even though my blogs are spread across different hosting companies with Namecheap hosting two of my blogs. I still think Bluehost is the best one of the best among them.
There are many reasons why you can use Namecheap as your one and only hosting company. They have affordable prices, a high percentage of uptime.
Other things include customer support, security features and you can upgrade your account any time. Is good for someone who wants to build a big blog and have lots of traffic.
One thing that I liked about Namecheap is that they accept bitcoin. If you have a credit card or PayPal issue then you can go for the third option. So Namecheap is still the best web hosting company after Bluehost.