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Which Hosting Should You Use for Your Blog?
When you first decide to start a blog it can be hard deciding on which hosting to use. There is so much to learn about blogging as is and now you have to make all these decisions on which platforms and companies to go with. If you aren’t even sure what hosting is then here is my “in nutshell” explanation – It’s where your blog “lives” on the internet.
Let me explain a little more. If you want to start a blog you have to have a place to build your blog. You can’t just start typing blog posts and have nowhere to put them. Hosting is where you can house your blog. Once you purchase your “house” (hosting) then you will need to install the WordPress platform to turn that house into a home. Turn your hosting from just a location on the web to a place for people to come and read your blog.
Just like your home, your blog will need an address or domain name as well. This can be purchased separately or depending on your hosting company it can be purchased with your hosting.
Is there free hosting?
Yes, there are free hosting options out there but you would not own your home you would be renting your home (again, if my analogy isn’t clear your “home” is your blog). If you use a free hosting site then it’s like you are “renting” space from them. Those types of sites would be like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.
I know if it wasn’t confusing enough…there is a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org. WordPress.org is the one that you want and you can install it in your hosting platform after you choose which hosting provider to use.
So, why not go with a free option? If one day the free platform decides they don’t like your blog they can delete it since they own that space. I have heard of horror stories of bloggers who used the free option and after years of blogging lost everything because of that exact thing happening. Plus, you don’t have all the freedoms to monetize your blog the way you would like with a free hosting option.
But which one do you pick?
Personally, I have used all three. Currently, I use SiteGround but I had no issues with the other hosting providers so it is really just your preference. Most bloggers use one of those three self-hosting providers.
To know which is best for you, you just need to do a little research on each and compare them. I know that Blue Host used to be the most highly recommended but lately I have seen SiteGround recommended a lot. I have heard some complaints of downtime with BlueHost but none with HostGator or SiteGround.
Here is what you need to look at when deciding which hosting you should use for your blog
1. References and Reviews
What is the first thing we do when we are looking at making a purchase? We check out the reviews. Do some research and see how each company’s reviews are and read up on who your blogging mentor uses.
I started following Dave Risely at https://www.blogmarketingacademy.com a few years ago and he was the first person to convince me to switch to SiteGround. He has been a blogger for many years and I trusted his recommendation.
Then I came across Suzi Whitford and she too recommends SiteGround. I took her course on how to start a blog and it was amazing! (side note: I recommend that course to anyone looking to get started blogging! For more information visit https://www.momblogfromhome.com/suzi)
Lastly, is Amy Porterfield. I took one of her courses on email marketing and in the course, she suggests SiteGround.
Now that is just three out of the millions of bloggers out there so again do your own research and find the company that fits your needs. If you are looking for my personal review then I will say that although SiteGround has been a reliable hosting provider they have also increased their price every years since having them. Something that has made me re-evaluate staying with them.
Obviously, a major factor when choosing anything is the price. Especially when you are starting a blog and you are not quite sure about making the investment. It is a big step making that commitment to purchase hosting and start a blog. I know! I have been there! So naturally, you are going to want to compare prices.
Each company has different tiers and plans to choose from. Look over all of your options, keeping the reviews in mind, and make a decision on which company is best for you! Luckily most plans are only a few bucks a month!
3. Multiple Websites
This isn’t a concern when you are starting out but it was something that was important to me when I first started. I wanted to be able to host more than one site. I knew I wanted more than one blog and my husband needed a website or his lawn care business. I purchased the GrowBig plan that allows me to have multiple different websites with the same hosting account.
Again, when you are first starting out and you want to keep your expenses to a minimum I don’t suggest this plan. I suggest just getting what you need to get started and you can always upgrade later!
4. Domain Name with Your Hosting Plan
As I mentioned before some hosting providers offer a domain name with their plans. When I signed up with SiteGround I got one free domain with my plan. I don’t remember that being in the details so it was a nice surprise when I logged in and it told me to register my free domain. I don’t know if that was a special that they were running at the time or what so watch out for that to be an option. Again, I don’t see anything about it anywhere now so maybe it was a special they had at the time.
There is a downside to that as well that I should mention. Shortly after purchasing my hosting and registering my free domain name, I decided to switch the niche and name of my blog. So to do that I had to purchase a separate domain name which I was able to easily do through NameCheap. But since the first one is linked to my account in SiteGround, although it has not been renewed, my account is still called that original name. I can’t change it to my actual blog name without making more problems. They said it was easier to just leave it. So there is that to think about as well.
I don’t know if HostGator is like that and really it’s no issue to my blog at all either way so if you are looking for a free domain the banner below will help you get a free domain with your hosting!
5. No Downtime
I have been with SiteGround for a few years now and I haven’t had any downtime. There was one time my site was messed up but it was because of my theme, not the hosting and SiteGround was great at helping me figure out that was the problem! I then had to go to my theme provider and they fixed it.
I have read many times from other bloggers too that they have not experienced any downtime with SiteGround. That is a big deal when your blog is your income! This is where the reviews and references will come into play! Again, I have heard of some instances with BlueHost having downtime but I haven’t heard any about HostGator.
6. Amazing Customer Service
This is so very important to me. Nothing would be worse than making that purchase and then come to find out the customer service is poor! I am not the most tech-savvy person and I need help when something doesn’t make sense. If that company doesn’t have good customer service then you would be stuck either struggling on your own or you may even just give up on blogging altogether.
I love the live chat option. I don’t like reading all these forums trying to sort out if someone else’s situation is the same as mine and how to fix it. I don’t like calling and being put on hold forever and then talking to people. I am a text me kind of girl. If there is a way to do it through an app or online then I always choose that option over calling. I don’t want to talk to you on the phone. In-person, that’s fine! On the phone, nope. So I say again I love the live chat option!
I have had to use it a couple different times with SiteGround and they are very quick and help me right away! Also recently I have been in contact with HostGator and the email response time has been very quick and professional!
So once more, research and go through the reviews and see who has great customer service!
7. This one is a bonus – do they have an awesome affiliate program?
One of the main ways bloggers make money is with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission for referring customers to a company. You can become an affiliate for almost anything nowadays. So if your blog is all about training puppies then you might become an affiliate for Chewy.com. Then when you share tips with your readers about awesome training treats you can insert your affiliate link to your favorite training treats.
When your reader clicks on the link to go purchase your recommendation because they trust your opinion, you get a commission of the sale! How awesome is that!
So it was a great surprise to learn after signing up with SiteGround that they offered an awesome affiliate program! It is a tier system so the more people that sign up using your link the bigger the percentage they pay you. I don’t know all the legal stuff so I don’t want to go too much into detail but I think it’s a great system!
SiteGround isn’t the only one that offers an affiliate program either. I know many bloggers promote BlueHost to their readers because they have a great affiliate program.
Recently, I became an affiliate for HostGator as well as SiteGround. I have used both companies and like them both. I currently use SiteGround but I am always open to the better deal. HostGator has offered to give my readers a special discount using my referral link which SiteGround has never offered to do for my readers. If you are interested in trying how HostGator for this special price then you can do that right here!
Need More Information?
If you are like me and you need more information before you jump into something then take a look at these blog posts!
Ready to Get Started?
Maybe you are more of a take action kind of person like my husband than you can get started right here with either one of these three hosting providers!
Choose your plan that fits your needs. Click get started. If you already have a domain name then you can enter that or purchase one with Name Cheap. Plus, if you look on RetailMeNot.com they usually have coupons for Name Cheap. I got my domain all said and done for only $9 for the year! Then you just review and complete!
Side note: Don’t forget that HostGator offers a free domain with the purchase of certain hosting packages!
Congrats! You now have your very own hosting for your blog!
If you purchased your domain name elsewhere then make sure to connect it to your new hosting. That was something I didn’t realize when I very first started. I was getting so confused about why it wasn’t working.
You have to connect them. Especially if you got them with different companies. It seems silly that I didn’t know that now but if anyone else is like me then there ya go! Don’t forget to do that part!