After having selected a niche for your personal blog, the next thing you should do is to select the right web host.
Selecting a web host can sometimes give you a headache because there are so many parameters to compare.
All hosting plans have different uptimes, support, features, and pricing.
How do you choose?
Should you rely on your judgment or understanding?
Should you rely on the hosting reviews made by people or other hosting plan reviewers like us(Hostingpill)?
Should you purchase from the affiliate links promoted by hosting plan reviewers?
We consider ourselves to be the hosting matchmakers. So we have put together a step-by-step guide to share which points to consider while buying a hosting plan.
As you can see from the above picture, there are hundreds of topics to choose from for a personal blog.
Some blogs require videos or too many images, depending on that you need to opt for a hosting plan.
There is a wide variety of hosting plans available today ranging from shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting to managed cloud hosting.
Let’s dive in!
Depending on the niche topic that you have selected for your personal blog, you can expect a certain amount of traffic.
For eg, just now we are facing a worldwide pandemic of Coronavirus, in such situation blogs featuring emotional wellness, news, short stories for children, recipes, etc might get huge traffic.
You need to analyze whether the traffic surge is temporary or permanent.
Shared hosting works great for a personal blog but if you have huge traffic say ten thousand visitors per day then it is better to opt for VPS hosting.
Google considers ‘speed’ to be the important criteria for ranking pages.
You might be wondering what is the significance of ‘speed factor’ in hosting?
Well, when we type anything in the browser, a request is sent to a remote webserver to access that file.
The web server needs to execute thousands of codes and search a database for displaying a single page.
Here, the hosting provider comes into the picture. Faster the remote computer faster will be the speed for the requested pages.
So, what are the points to be considered while looking for a ‘speed factor’ in hosting plans?
- Location: If you know the geographical location of your visitors, from where they access your blog, then choose the server from that location. It can help to quickly fetch the data and increase the speed.
- Details about the physical location of the server: This gives us an idea that the company is really having datacenters at specific places and not just hiring someone else’s server. Authencity is established.
- Solid State Drives: SSDs help to speed up the process of fetching data from the server. Many hosting companies provide hard disk drives for unlimited plans.
- Content Delivery Network: The basic purpose of a CDN is to reduce the load of the data server.
- Some of the files or images are stored on CDN and whenever the user needs them, it can be accessed from the CDN without hampering the functions of a data center. This can help to speed up the process.
All hosting plans generally offer ‘ unlimited storage’. But they do have some hidden conditions.
For a small personal blog, 1 GB is enough whereas if you want to load images and videos too you need 2 to 4 GB space.
You might wish to change your hosting partner in the future. So it is necessary to ascertain what help does a hosting company offer to transfer the data and whether it is chargeable.
You might want to opt for a higher version of the plan if your blog generates a high amount of traffic.
In such a case it is necessary to ascertain beforehand how the option can be worked out and the charges for the same need to be studied.
Technology for CMS
Generally, WordPress is used as a CMS for blogs, unless and until you have a specific reason not to opt for it, you should go with it.
Knowing which CMS does your hosting provider offers is a crucial parameter to decide.
You need to know in advance which access panel is provided by the hosting company to manage your account. It can be cPanel, FTP or SSH.
Everyone cannot be expected to have technical knowledge. In that case, it becomes important to have a strong support system.
Pricing is yet another very important factor to be considered. Often the companies charge extra bucks for the add on features whereas some offer it free. You need to be particularly careful about the renewal price, at times it is exorbitantly high.
Cybercrime is common these days. So it is very much essential to know about the security features of your hosting service provider.
Along with that, you should know how data is back up done and the frequency of data back up.
Uptime refers to the time when your site remains accessible to the visitors.
Often the companies claim 99.99% uptime. Do you know what it means?
Using an uptime SLA calculator you can calculate uptime of various hosting service providers.
It won’t matter much for a personal blog, typically if you just have an affiliate or advertisement revenue from that site but it would have an impact if you have an e-commerce site.
Do not judge the hosting plan just based on price, it is necessary to consider the other features as well which we discussed earlier.
If it is your first blog then support is the first parameter you need to consider before buying a hosting plan.
Speed of loading depends on many other factors too so it is better to opt for a hosting plan which is a bundle of other useful features too!
If you ever find that it is a daunting task, come back to us. We will be happy to help you.