Pick the Best Web Hosting for your Blogs

How to pick the best hosting for your blog in 2019?

June 22, 2019

Web Hosting for blogs

One of the steps of setting up your own blog is finding the best Web Hosting company you can. Sometimes blog and hosting come as part of the same bundled package, usually limiting your options for picking blogging platform (i.e usually WordPress comes “native” on almost every modern web hosting offering, but what if you’re not planning on using WP?).

In this article, I want to cover what kind of offering you’ll need from a Web Hosting company and how each piece of it will affect (or benefit) your blogging (and your reader’s) experience.

But first, what IS Web Hosting anyway?

Just a quick check, in case you’re not really into tech at all (which is not required for starting a blog, so don’t feel bad!). Web Hosting is simply put, the place where your content will reside. Anything and everything on Internet needs to reside somewhere , no matter where, it’ll be a server (a very optimized computer) that’ll have it on its hard drive. You don’t need to worry about that part, all you need to know, is that there is someone there, making sure your content is available, and if something goes wrong, they can bring up a back-up and make like nothing happened.

That’s all you need to understand about this concept: a place for your content to live in. If you got it, you can move on (if you haven’t feel free to reach out or leave a comment down below!).

What are the relevant parts from a Hosting offer?

Web Hosting companies tend to offer quite a lot of things on their pages. In fact, some of them don’t only offer hosting, but in fact, they normally allow you to just get a Domain Name, or Hosting & Domain, some of them give you a lot of control over your hosting activities, while others make sure to do everything for you.

What I’m trying to say is: even when I can standardize the information displayed of all their options, you’ll need to have a clear idea of what you’re aiming to do in order to pick up the one that suites your needs the best. Trust me, there is no silver bullet here, you decide based on your personal needs.

Now, these are my top points from the offer I tend to compare when checking out hosting plans:

1. Is it Shared Hosting or VPS?

This one is critical because it could potentially damage the performance of your blog without you doing anything. You see, a Shared Hosting, like the name suggests, is one where the provider shares the physical resources of the servers among many customers. That is, a server could potentially have 200 TB of disk space, 20 Gb of RAM and still be a problem to your tiny blog, if there are other customers constantly consuming those resources. It is true, however that providers tend to cap resource utilization per account, in order to avoid someone hogging all server resources and directly crashing everything else living in the same physical computer. But then again, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re literally sharing the living space for your blog.

Now, on the other side, VPS (or Virtual Private Servers) are meant to ensure a higher level of resource availability for your website. So you need to understand what kind of traffic you’ll be having from your readers in order to determine if you need a shared hosting or a VPS solution. Do note, however than VPS options tend to give you a lot more freedom, but you’ll need to understand what to do with it (how to install what you need, and how to set it up, there is a lot more freedom, but it comes at a price 🙂 ).

As for prices, Shared Hosting tends to be cheaper (for obvious reasons), while VPS will cost you more, so make sure you’re paying exactly what you’re looking for

2. Does it come with a free Domain Name?

At least one, and ideally not for just a year, but usually that’s what you’ll get. Remember to read the fine letter, “free” domains, usually are actually free for the first year, tops, then you’ll be in charge of paying for them, so make sure you understand the price before setting it up.

3. Is my bandwidth limited?

Limited bandwidth is something some providers do for the cheaper tiers of their offering. You’ll want to aim for those who list an “unlimited” as part of the offer. Limiting your bandwith makes little to no sense, and getting a bandwidth-limited plan is not ideal if you’re planning on going viral with your content now, is it?

4. Do they offer free SSL?

SSL (or Secure Socket Layer for the uninitiated) is an extra level of security between you and your reader. If we want to get technical, it means the channel (or connection) between your reader’s computer and your server’s computer is encrypted, so no-one can capture the data while it travels and change it (or do anything with it) on its way. Have you noticed how some URLs start with HTTP and others with HTTPS ? Well, that’s where the S comes from (it actually comes from Secure, but you get my point). These are especially useful if you have a WordPress blog or similar, if you have comments through username, or anything that is dynamic on your blog. In fact, even if you don’t, having an SSL certificate it’s a nice extra insurance since browsers such as Google Chrome will add a little green padlock next to your URL ensuring your reader that everything is safe. So, do you want an SSL certificate? Yes, yo do.

Let the picking begging

There are too many Web Hosting providers out there, making a list and comparing them all makes no sense, so I’ll deal with the most common ones, and tell you what I found. Sounds good? Also, remember that this is just a set of guidelines based on my own personal experience. You’ll need to visit these pages and review their full offers if you want to before deciding. Here is the basic information you need to know about them:

Provider Shared vs VPS? Free Domain Name Limited Bandwidth Free SSL Price Range / month (Shared hosting) Price Range / month
BlueHost Both Yes Unlimited Yes USD 7.99 - USD 23.99 USD 29.99 - USD 119.99
GoDaddy Both Yes (only if you buy yearly hosting plans) Unlimited Only for a year and not available on basic plans USD 7.99 - USD 24.99 USD 29.99 - USD 139.99
HostGator Both No Unlimited Yes USD 6.95 - USD 14.95 USD 89.95 - USD 159.95
SiteGround Both Yes Unlimited Yes USD 11.95 - USD 34.95 USD 80 - USD 240
NameCheap Both Yes but only for .website domains Unlimited Yes USD 5.76 - USD 17.76 USD 14.88 - USD 24.88
(with added prices based on extra services)

As you can see, most of them provide the same basic services inside the same relative price range. Do note however that all of them have different offers and sales actives at all times, I’ve listed full prices for all of them, but if you go visit their pricing pages, you’ll probably notice how some of those numbers are cheaper for the either the first few months or the entire first year.

And the winner is…

But, if we had to pick one, which one would we pick? From the list above, the cheapest and most versatile of them all would be BlueHost.

WordPress hosting

What if, instead of going with a custom blogging platform, you actually do want to just go with WP? That’s great! This is one of the most common perks out there, and they all have it! Prices aren’t all equal of course:

Provider Price Range / month Monthly Visits range
BlueHost USD 7.99 - USD 14.99 10k - 100k
GoDaddy USD 9.99 - USD 29.99 25k - 800k
HostGator USD 9.95 - USD 74.95 100k - 500k
SiteGround USD 11.95 - USD 34.95 10k - 100k
NameCheap USD 3.88 - USD 11.88 50k - 500k

All providers offer the same set of benefits as above for WordPress hosting (i.e. free SSL, free domain, etc)

And the winner is…

Again, all of them share a similar price range, and all of them share a similar expected monthly visits for their price ranges. But I had to pick one, I would go with: NameCheap They provide the cheapest entry level price for a very decent expected monthly visits (50k!). If you’re just starting out, this one is particularly great! Big Discounts for Domains, Hosting, SSL and more

That being said, the especial mention needs to go to BlueHost, because of their USD 200 of free marketing on Google Ads, Bing and other social networks.

Closing thoughts

No-one can tell you which web hosting provider to choose without knowing your actual needs and expectations. I hope that with this article, I was able to show you the basics for choosing for yourself that service. After all, it is quite important! Please share your thoughts on the comments section about which provider you’re using right now and why. If you have other options, that will also help readers get a different perspective.

See you on the next one!

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One of the steps of setting up your own blog is finding the best Web Hosting company you can. In this article I'll cover what kind of offering you’ll need from a Web Hosting company and how each piece of it will affect (or benefit) your blogging (and your reader’s) experience.