When you start a new blog, there are two most important things you must give greater attention to. One is Domain (and domain registrar) and other is Hosting (and hosting service providers).
There can be hell lot of companies offering domain and hosting at a cheapest price, but something which is cheap might not be good always.
So your motive here shouldn’t only be money that you’re going to spend on hosting (this article is focused at hosting stuff) but you must check for the features, reliability, customer support and addon facilities as well.
When it comes to hosting, reliability is the most important factor. You can’t afford to have your website running out of service often that will have negative impact on the website.
In some cases when people buy hosting for cheaper price, the host suspends account for any invalid reason without any prior notice.
You don’t want your host do that with you, hence before you buy hosting plan make sure to check its reviews on the internet and seek advise from the people.
My bad experience story with a host
During early days of my career when I had no enough money to purchase a good hosting plan, I stuck with host who suspended my account giving invalid reason (It wasn’t a well known company) and when I tried to contact them through email, they never get back to me. Luckily I had the backup, I just moved to other host.
Forget this case I was layman back then, it happened with me last year even when I purchased VPS hosting from not so bad host.
My website was hosted with a shared hosting plan and it was going okay till the website receiving close to 30k UV per month.
But in next few months the traffic started to grow and they sent me notification regarding upgrading plan or moving to VPS.
I was expecting massive rise in search engine traffic and rather than upgrading existing plan, I decided to move to VPS. It took them more than 2 days to have the account setup and my website was down during this period. The site was making about $100 per day.
For two days downtime, I incurred loss of $200 (and other consequences). The worst part is they had customer support from 10 am till 5 PM ! so if your website goes down at 6 PM, you will have to wait 16 hours to get in touch with customer care executive and another few hours to get the problem resolved.
In two days my website went live with about 700 real time visitors, 50k UV per day. Due to this massive amount of traffic, the website speed went ridiculously slow and many people started to complain about not being able to access the website.
I contacted the host’s chat customer support, it took an hour to connect to the support executive (when it happens instantly with good hosts) but again this man was so lazy that I had to disconnect live chat and call them for immediate action.
Here again I had to wait long before I could speak to someone over phone. After explaining all the situation they suggested me to increase RAM and CPU.
I paid the amount for addition of RAM and CPU but it didn’t help and the problem persisted. I again spoken to them but couldn’t get the issue resolved for 2 days again.
This time the website was making about $600 per day ! second loss of $1200 within a month.
I was so angry and called the head of operation and told him to get my website live or I’d bill them loss I incurred due to server downtime. They somehow fixed the problem temporarily and in few hours, I am back to the same problem.
Finally I decide to move to other host and during that period, my website remained offline for next 2 more days and yet again, I posted a loss of $1200.
So what I’m advising here is, do not compromise with the quality of service being offered just because of few bucks, it could result in loss in other form. Select the host who offer great 24×7 customer support and features.
Here in this post, I’ll be discussing all major and reliable hosts that I’ve either used in the past or using currently. Before that take a look at below important points.
Before purchasing a hosting plan, check how reliable the host is. When I say reliable, I mean all those factors which counts for reliability.
For example, get to know how long the host has been into business, how people rate it, what is the average uptime, how well it’s customer support is etc.
You’ll see most of the hosts say they offer unlimited bandwidth but this is not always true. You must read all the details before making a purchase because sometime people get their account suspended due to excessive use of bandwidth even though they had purchased unlimited bandwidth plan.
The bandwidth is consumed when people access your website (in general), larger the number of people accessing your website, higher is the use of bandwidth. I haven’t had bandwidth problem with Bluehost, Hostgator, ixwebhosting, Dreamhost, eHost, Godaddy etc.
Disk Space –
The other important factor which you need to take into account is Disk Space. For a beginner, 50 GB disk space is more than enough unless you are trying to start a blog where you have to upload lots of big images, documents, videos, audio or other heavy files.
However, at any point when a need of bigger disk space arises, one can always upgrade plan for few extra bucks.
Here again, many companies advertise to offer unlimited disk space (may or may not be true) and its always advisable to get it double checked before purchasing any plan.
Also see: How to start a new blog
Allowed domain –
You need to decide how much domains you are planning to host because the price varies according to number of domains you’re going to host.
There can be significant price difference between plan that allows to host single domain and one which allows unlimited (or more than single domain) domains.
If we talk about Hostgator, for a single domain, you can buy single domain plan for $3.95 per month (at the time of writing this article) however for unlimited domains, you need to pay $5.95 per month. Analyse your need and decide what plan you want to go for.
Customer Support –
This is of the most important factor while deciding a host. At times you will face issues, in that scenario customer support is the saviour.
If the customer support is not good, you will end up with having your website down for hours. Read the reviews online and seek advise from people who are already using hosting from the host you’re planning to purchase plan from.
Check what all modes of customer support your host is having. For me, I like host who offers 24×7 live chat/telephone customer support !
Money back policy –
Although you collect all the information about Host and its all come out to be good, still I’d advise to chose host who has money back policy.
In general, almost all the well know companies such as Hostgator, BlueHost, Dreamhost, Siteground, Godady offers money back guarantee.
At any point within said time period if you face any problem, you can ask for the refund without having to give any explanation.
You wouldn’t want your website goes down often and must be needed some reliable host with minimum downtime.
Almost all every company lists its average uptime for the customers but how much of it is true remains with the use of host.
Get the feedback on this from someone who already using host you are planning to go with. I’ve seen hosts say 100% uptime which can’t be true practically. Avoid them !
Email Accounts –
For a starter, it doesn’t need more than two or three email accounts, so this is something you shouldn’t be worry about as the hosts offer atleast 10-20 email accounts with the basic plan.
These are some important factors that a beginner should pay attention to, they need not go much into technical details at this stage.
I’ve simplified this job and listed down some really good hosts to chose from. All these hosts are selected based on parameters discussed above (specifications).