Choosing a web hosting service is arguably one of the most important decisions you will make if you are thinking about starting your own blog. To start, you need to decide if you should use free or paid web hosting for your blog.
If you know you want to build a blog for a business, then choosing a paid web hosting service is your best option, mainly because you have complete control over your blog.
However, if you’re not quite sure how you intend to use the blog, then free hosting may be your best option to get started. You can test the waters first to see if you want to pursue blogging as part of your business.
Free vs. Paid Hosting
To help you make an informed decision, we’ll first take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of free and paid web hosting.
Certainly, an advantage for choosing free web hosting is the price. It’s free! You also don’t have to mess with some of the more technical aspects of hosting your own website. Since you are part of a larger blogging platform, some free blogging platforms will advertise your blog… you have a built-in traffic source.
Of course, ease of use may be the biggest advantage to the more technically challenged users. The blog is already installed and ready to go once you sign up for the service. However, free services also tend to be more limited in options for themes and other customizations.
Since your blog is a subdomain of a larger domain, you can come across as less professional, if that is a concern of yours. But many of these free blogging platforms do allow you to map your own domain to your blog, though sometimes for an additional fee.
Should you decide later to host your own blog, you will definitely need to choose a web hosting service. But now you also need to consider the pitfalls of moving your blog from one platform to another. It can be very difficult to export your content from a free blog then import into your new blog.
Advertising is another disadvantage to having a free blog. Since you are not paying for hosting, free blogging platforms will place their advertisements on your blog. However, most will offer a premium service that will remove the advertisements.
Some of the more popular free blogging platforms include WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and Tumblr.com.
Purchasing a service to self-host your blog has many advantages, but there are disadvantages as well. Of course, there is the cost of paid hosting, plus you are responsible for the maintenance of your own site.
But at least you do have complete control over your site. While free blog hosts limit your choices of themes and plugins available to you, by hosting your own blog, you have access to the thousands of free or paid themes and plugins, whether you choose WordPress or any other content management system.
More importantly, your content is your content; no one can make your blog disappear. You make the rules and you decide how you want your blog to look.
Nor are you locked into whatever web host you begin with. Basically, because the Internet doesn’t exist without web hosting, there is no shortage of web hosting companies. There are a multitude of web hosting services to choose from. If at any time you wish to move your site to another web host, your content can easily be transferred.
Choosing a Web Hosting Service: 3 Excellent Web Hosting Services
If you want to host your own blog, you need hosting. If you’re looking for a service that offers flexibility and excellent customer service, check out these three web hosting companies.
Bluehost Web Hosting
Bluehost is a highly respected web host lauded for its reliability and service. There are three hosting plans available: basic, plus and business pro. All plans include unlimited bandwidth, a free domain, 24/7 support, automatic backups and mirrored servers.
In addition to the hosting plans, Bluehost offers special WordPress hosting plans built on a revolutionary VPS technology engineered to make WordPress even more secure and faster. This is an option to consider if WordPress is your preferred blogging platform.
They also offer VPS hosting and dedicated hosting as well.
Bluehost is now offering cloud hosting. In a typical hosting environment, your website is hosted on a single server, but with cloud hosting, resources are spread out over a number of servers. Cloud hosting is faster and easier to scale. However, it does require more technical knowledge to manage.
Bluehost also offers an anytime money back guarantee. If at any time you wish to cancel your service, Bluehost will refund a prorated amount.
DreamHost Web Hosting
DreamHost offers a flexible web hosting solution that allows your site to grow. There is only one hosting plan available which offers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited domain hosting, and unlimited email accounts. Start small, grow big and always pay the same price for your hosting.
DreamHost’s DreamServers are all hosted on solid state drives (SSDs) and include a free domain name.
DreamHost also offers managed WordPress hosting on virtual private servers. DreamPress 2 is their fastest and most reliable way to run your WordPress website.
In addition to the hosting plans and managed WordPress hosting, they offer virtual private servers and dedicated servers.
DreamHost offers a 100% uptime guarantee where they will credit you a day’s service for every hour of interrupted service and their in-house technical support is available 24/7. They also offer a 97-day money back guarantee.
Site5 Web Hosting
Site5 offers high performance hosting built for designers and developers. There are three hosting plans available: hostBasic, hostPro and hostPro+ Turbo. All plans include unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, free migrations, disaster recovery backups, and 24/7 support.
In addition to the hosting plans, they offer fully anonymous reseller hosting plans. Reseller plans allow you to brand the hosting as your own and resell hosting to your clients. The anonymous feature prevents clients from ever knowing that you are actually selling Site5 hosting.
Site5 offers fully managed virtual servers (VPS) which boast 100% dedicated resources. Each virtual server contains at least 8 cores and 24 GB of RAM. All resources are dedicated to you and not shared, delivering a more stable hosting environment.
While other web hosts may have hundreds of sites hosted on each server, Site5 assigns fewer customers per server, so there are no overloaded servers. They do not outsource any of their 24/7 support, ensuring clear communications with service technicians should a problem arise.
Site5 also offers a no-hassles 45 day money back guarantee.
If you have doubts as to whether blogging is for you or you really don’t have a budget for paid hosting, free hosting may be the best choice for you. It will allow you to get your site up and running with minimal effort and give you the opportunity to see if blogging is something you wish to pursue.
Choosing a web hosting service will take time; you need to carefully consider your options. If you’re already convinced that this is something you want to do, then it is best to make the commitment and choose a web hosting service that will meet the needs of your growing business.
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