Choosing a web hosting service for your blog is an important decision. You want a web host that is affordable. However, you also want a web host that offers the features and functions you need for a blog. If you are just getting started with blogging it makes sense to start with the basics. But you want to make sure that the web host you choose today will scale to serve the blog you want to build in the future.
Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re finding the right web hosting service:
Is their control panel user friendly?
- Many hosts offer free demonstrations or tours. Take advantage of these to make sure it’s a control panel that makes sense and is easy to use.
Building your own site or will you need a website builder too?
- Some website hosts offer site building tools. A user friendly site builder can be extremely helpful time savers if you’re not interested in getting into the tech side of building a website. However, if you are building your own website using any number of software programs or languages, make sure the host has FTP transfer. This is the system you’ll use to upload your web pages to your host’s server.
Can you upload your files easily?
- Some web hosting services are only compatible with certain file types. Make sure your website builder of choice works with your web host before you pay for their services.
Are they big enough for your needs?
- Look for data space, bandwidth and file size limitations. You don’t need to go crazy however a host does need to accommodate your current needs and give you some room to grow.
Are their servers reliable?
- Occasional downtime is expected however it should be rare and you should be forewarned when the servers are going to be down. Ideally, your host’s server should be up and running 99% of the time.
How secure are they?
- If you’re doing business online then security is a must. Even if you’re not doing business online, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect your website from hackers. A secure host is essential.
What features and functions do they offer?
- What do you need your website to have? Do you need a shopping cart, email or autoresponders? Do you need to be able to sell advertising? Do you want analytic and reporting functions to track traffic and website visitor behavior? Make sure your web hosting service has all the features and functions you need before you sign up and transfer your domain. And when comparing, consider what’s offered as a standard option vs. what requires an additional fee.
What do other users have to say?
- Be sure to check out user reviews for a potential web hosting service. This is the last thing to look at once you’ve narrowed down your choices and before you compare price. Make sure the company has a solid reputation in the industry. There are a lot of resellers out there, so you also want to make sure you’re dealing with an actual hosting company and not a reseller – you’ll get a better price and better customer support.
How is their technical support and customer service?
- Are they available 24×7? Are they user friendly? Can you reach them by phone or email only? Do they have really good documentation that’s easy to navigate? These answers become really important when it’s the day before your launch and you’ve run into a technical snag. If they will charge you each time you place a call, available during certain hours, or have a slow response time – you may want to choose another service provider.
Are they affordable?
- If a web hosting service meets all of the above criteria and fits your budget, you’ve found a good company. There are many good web hosting services out there. Spend a bit of time researching based on your needs and you can’t go wrong.
Specifically for Blogging: If you plan on using WordPress as your blogging platform, make sure that your web host supports WordPress installs. WordPress requires certain tables and there are plug-ins and themes that may require certain scripts – a web host that doesn’t have the required components could mean that your blogging options are limited.
Latest posts by Tai Goodwin (see all)
- Guest Post: How to Outsource Labor and Effectively Grow Your Business – October 1, 2013
- Browseworthy: The Latest News on Outsourcing Resources [INFOGRAPHIC] – September 13, 2013
- Launch Talk Episode #78: Faith-Based Branding for Solopreneurs and Small Business Owners – September 12, 2013