**250 GB disk space, 2.5 TB transfer, and a free domain for life, all for only $6.95 a month at AN Hosting
So you’ve tried free web hosting services, had a blog on sites like blogger.com and basically had fun and treated it as a hobby, but all of that changed when you discovered that you actually love blogging and that there are people out there that are actually making money with their blogs, you figured out that you might as well get into the game as well but your main obstacle is that few (if any) advertisers are willing to do business with you if your not hosting your own blog with a proper domain name, hence your hosting experince begins…..
1.Assess your needs – This is one of the crucial parts of determining your Web Host, assess what you need, not everyone needs a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a Dedicated Server right off the bat.A majority of bloggers begin their web hosting journey with a Shared Hosting service.
2.Support and Scalability – When choosing a host for your blog it is a good idea to ensure that they provide good support and that their services are scalable.Test their support by sending emails and see how long it takes before they reply, do they give you an option at the end of the reply mail to answer further questions?, did they answer your questions well enough?.
A plus point for a hosting company is if they provide you with good support via 24 hour email, forum, live chat , etc.
By scalability i mean do they allow you to “grow”?, some hosting company only offer shared hosting services and this could be a pain if your blog starts to blossom and you discover that 5GB bandwidth a month is not going to be enough anymore,a good hosting company would normally also have a VPS and Dedicated Server plan so that moving your blog to a better server won’t be that much of a pain, trust me sometimes moving a blog from one hosting company to another can really be a nightmare is it doesn’t go well.
Web Hosting services like Spry.com and Hosting Zoom are a good choice to go with.
3.Do Your Research – Just because someone on a forum somewhere said a particular host provides good services doesn’t automatically means that the you should host your blog with them.
Search online, get reviews and feedback, search for all types of hosts, some of the best places to search are:
4.Beware the “unlimited” ploy – Stay away, in fact run as far as possible from hosting companies that promises you ‘unlimited’ space and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth.
There simply is no such thing as ‘unlimited’, everything has it’s limitations.This question has been going on and on for some time now and i can tell you honestly there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth, it’s just part of their marketing tactics.However you will also come across the term “unmetered” and there is a difference between unlimited & unmetered
Unlimited means there is virtually no limit, which is frankly impossible. Unmetered means that you will not be billed for any extra bandwidth being transferred but you still technically have a limit depending on the type of port connection you are on.
5.Control Panel – This is quite important too, choosing a good control panel is essential to your overall hosting experience especially if your a complete beginner and know almost nothing about web hosting.
I have had the luxury of using three main control panels before : Plesk, Direct Admin & Cpanel.
Out of the 3 listed above i can say that i have found that Cpanel is the control panel for me, mainly becuase of the cool feature that normally comes bundled with it – FANTASTICO.
Fantastico is a commercial script library which automates the installation of web applications to a website. Fantastico scripts are executed from the administration area of a website control panel, which basically means that installing WordPress is as easy as pie.
6.Uptime – After figuring out all of the above and you start rolling out your blog the last thing you need is for it to crash every hour or so, keep track of your hosts uptime to ensure that your blog stays online (if possible) 100% of the time, most hosts will promise you 99% and that’s fair enough actually.
7.The $$ Factor – I saved this for last because often times most bloggers who are looking for a host will tend to check out the price of the hosting and miss out everything else.
“Ask not what your host can do for you, ask how much?”
Don’t ever follow that rule, it’s really not a good idea to get a hosting service based on price alone, always remember that you get what you paid for!.
Along the years i have seen many of my friends suffer alot because of this, i too had an experience with this issue way back in 2004 when i chose a dirt cheap host that eventually went missing which meant that i lost my site and whatever files i had stored in there, looking back at it now it was quite a funny experience but it won’t be funny if your running a succesfull blog only to see it dissappear overnight.
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** Just in case your wondering, this blog is hosted at HostingZoom, they have so far provided me with excellent support and uptime, hopefully that trend continues.
**UPDATE: Below are some really good comments from people who have a experience in the hosting field either facing porblems or some tips that will help you out, so please consider the comments below as an extension of this article.
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