Fellow bloggers and blog enthusiasts, let’s talk about choosing a web hosting company.
I remember how excited I was when, several years ago, I came to the decision to start a blog.
I’d decided on a name, what I wanted to write about and how I wanted to design it.
When it came to the artistic stuff, I was all in.
I loved the feeling of being in full creative control of something and making it mine.
What I didn’t know I either figured out for myself by watching videos or reading articles. At other times, I was fortunate enough to cross paths with someone who was willing to help me out with some of the things that were beyond my scope of knowledge.
Now, for a while, the blog was fine.
This is because my husband and I had already chosen a web hosting company months earlier for some other websites we had experimented with…and since he was a LOT more “techie” than I was (which isn’t saying much, unfortunately), I had nothing to do with that part of the ordeal. And since we had gotten a plan that covered several sites, when I built my blog, I was added to the plan – and that was all that.
Until the plan expired.
Annndddd…then I was on my own.
Since we had dropped the project we were working on, there was no reason to keep the other sites. But I still wanted to keep my blog, so it was time to start figuring out what I was going to do about hosting it.
I tried to stick with the same company we had started with – but that turned out to be a disaster.
They somehow lost my blog, so when my precious visitors went to visit “I Choose Awareness”, they were, instead, treated to a ugly page talking some nonsense about homemade bird feeders.
Things finally settled themselves once I found a company I could work with for a while, but to be honest, I just found the entire ordeal frustrating and complicated.
Web hosting just wasn’t one of those things I that I had taken into consideration when I’d decided to start a blog.
And if I’m gonna be honest, I can’t really say the topic excites me now either.
But if you’re going to have a blog or any website, then your web hosting company is a factor that has to be dealt with.
So the question is, how do you choose one?
I’ll share a few things I’ve learned about choosing a web hosting company along the way of my own journey in an attempt to keep things simple.
Because simplicity is beautiful.
Bloggers: 3 Simple Steps to Choosing A Web Hosting Company
Step 1 – Do Your Research
Before jumping into a contract with any company, spend some time checking them out.
Read reviews from others.
For example, you may not want to choose a company that has a lot of server issues that cause downtime for their customers. It’s upsetting, it can cost you money in lost revenue, and it’s basically out of your control until the problem is solved on the company’s end.
I’ve read posts on my social media platforms (in between the cute puppy pics) from bloggers/ friends who were using the same web hosting company as one another (a popular one at that) expressing their frustration and concerns over the fact that their websites were down. In one case, it seemed to go on for at least several hours – but possibly a day or more.
There was nothing they could do, and unfortunately, it’s a common issue for this particular company.
So before you choose your web hosting company, check them out. Message your peers in the blogging community and ask for some honest feedback.
Additionally, your research will also tell you how their customer service works.
Do they have phone service available for you to speak with a live human being? Or are you limited to emails and forums?
If you’re new to blogging, you may wish to go with a company that has 24 hr customer service available by phone (and live chat has its advantages as well). This way, you can ask your questions, and they may be able to guide you through your issues.
The reviews you’ll read as you continue to do your research will let you know if their customer service is helpful or not.
So just get out there and gather up as much info as possible. Then you’ll be in a position to make an informed decision.
Step 2 – Consider Your Budget (and Your Needs)
If you’re new to blogging (or if you aren’t, but still haven’t successfully monetized your blog), then your budget may be a factor when it comes to choosing your web hosting company.
You’ll have to decide for yourself what your needs are (currently) and which plan will be most suitable for you.
For example, some packages base their pricing on how many email accounts (if any) are included. And some may be based on how many domains are included in the package.
Timing may be a factor here as well since some of these companies run promotions throughout the year that may be too good to pass up. And if you’ve done your research and chosen one you feel pretty confident about, you may have a friend who does some affiliate marketing for this company – and they might be able to offer you a discount code.
You’ll also want to know in advance whether you’re using your blog as a business or a hobby. And if you aren’t sure as of yet, you may be better off using it as a hobby to start with and basing your hosting plan around that.
You can always upgrade later on – but if you spend more than you can afford right away and things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like, you may quit altogether.
And that would be a shame.
So consider your budget and your goals when you decide on your web hosting company and their plans.
Step 3 – How Tech Savvy Are You?
I’ll be the first one to admit that when it comes to technology, I’m about as lost as a child (and most adults) in a forest.
I don’t know code. I don’t understand computer language or terminology.
And I don’t know any of the other blah blah bladdy blah blah that goes along with fixing website issues. So when I choose a web hosting company, I need to know that there’s some type of control panel (along with that nifty customer service by phone option that I mentioned earlier) that I can count on to help me navigate through the many issues that happen when one runs a blog.
I remember having to update one of my plugins – and for some reason, when I went to visit a different page on in the dashboard, all hell broke loose and my poor blog broke itself.
It turned out that I must not have allowed the update to completely finish before enthusiastically going on to the next thing on my to-do list – and because of it, I was horrified to discover that NONE of the pages would load without an error.
So I asked my friends for some help and one of them suggested calling my web hosting company and explaining the situation so that maybe they could walk me through the solution in the c-panel in my hosting dashboard.
But these folks didn’t even need my help because they were able to fix the issue FOR me – and all I had to do was sit back and look pretty.
I joke in how I relay this story, but let me tell you – the whole ordeal wasn’t funny.
I’m not savvy enough to know how to fix my own blog, so when it comes to choosing a hosting company, I have to stick with one that has people who can help me if necessary (and believe me, it’s necessary).
Another time I did a WP update and there was a problem (not my fault). The hosting company, yet again, came to my rescue.
That’s because I knew in advance to choose one that had decent customer service.
So if you aren’t confident with your technical skills, factor this into your decision to choose a hosting company that can help you out when you’re in a jam.
In a Nutshell
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a web hosting company.
I’ve covered some of the basics here (because with my skills and knowledge, that’s about all I can offer), but the simple steps are crucial.
Your blog will take work and you’ll learn a lot along the way. I may not be the world’s best computer geek – but at least I’ve learned some valuable lessons on my own journey that allow me to run a blog without unintentionally killing it.
If you’re new you may not want to complicate things, at least not right away.
You can always upgrade your plans as you go along, but when it comes your web hosting company, go with one that offers you the features mentioned in this post. At least you’ll know they have your back if something happens…
…and that means a lot!
I hope this helped point you in the right direction – and if you’re new to blogging, let me be the first one to welcome you into the community.
I wish you a successful venture – and I hope to get to know you in the comment’s section below.