There are so many choices when it comes to hosting your new blog. But what is the best WordPress hosting company and how do you pick the right one?
Of course, this will depend on many factors but for the beginning blogger there is some basic functionality that you will need.
In this post, I’ll discuss what you need to know about WordPress hosting and what to look for in WordPress hosting companies.
WordPress Hosting vs Domain Companies
First, a hosting company is the company who stores the software needed to run your blog on their computers. These companies can be the same companies that sell domain names (your URL). For example, websitebuoy.com.
However, just because you bought a domain name doesn’t mean you will have hosting for your blog. Or that you even want the WordPress hosting provided by your domain name company. They may not even support WordPress or have hosting plans that meet your needs.
Hosting is an additional, usually monthly, often paid yearly, fee above the price of a domain.
Hosting companies have hundreds, if not thousands, of websites running on their computers. All of these computers are connected to the Internet. So when you enter your domain name (URL) in your browser, your website is retrieved from one of these computers running on software that is stored on one of these computers. This is where your actual WordPress blog will reside.
You will be using your WordPress hosting company’s computer hardware, along with their software, and an installation of WordPress to create and maintain your blog.
Visitors and Pageviews
Speaking of pageviews, what exactly are they? This is important because you will often see hosting plans based on pageviews or visitors per month.
When you first start out, only a handful of people will be visiting your site. These are considered your visitors. Each person is considered one visitor as long as they are viewing your site on the same browser and on the same computer. If they switch computers (or to a phone or tablet) or browsers on the device or clear their browser cache, they will be counted again as a visitor.
Pageviews, on the other hand, are the number of pages on your website that are viewed by your visitors. So if you have 10 visitors and each visitor views 10 pages, then you have a 100 pageviews.
So the more blog posts and pages you create and the more visitors you get to your site, the more your pageviews will increase. That is why some sites see exponential growth each month as they add more content and attract more visitors.
Why is all this important? Because you don’t want a hosting company that can’t support your exponential growth!
Types of Hosting Plans
Most of the computers of your hosting company will be hosting more than just your website. You will often see shared hosting plans. This means that your website and the websites of other businesses will be running on the same computer.
This is usually not a problem for your website when it is just starting out, but later when you have hundreds of thousands of pageviews a month and need to store more and more content, having a computer dedicated to just your website might become important.
That is when you might consider another type of hosting, dedicated hosting.
Dedicated hosting is where your website and only your website is running on a computer. This allows you to have more disk space and less worries about other websites crashing the computer your website is running on.
However, the cost of dedicated hosting is usually a lot more than shared hosting. For the newbie blogger, a shared plan is a good start, especially if your hosting company has guaranteed uptime of 99.9% or better. Later, if needed, you can usually upgrade to a dedicated hosting plan.
The other important factor when selecting a hosting company is what type of software they support. Not all hosting companies support WordPress. However, this is becoming more and more rare these days because WordPress is the number one blogging software on the market.
But providing WordPress as an option on your hosting plan isn’t enough.
You often have to install WordPress (or have the hosting company manually install it) before you can start blogging.
Luckily, there are hosting companies that have “one-click” installs of WordPress that you can run yourself. They require little software install knowledge and no manual set up by the hosting company.
These are basic WordPress install and don’t include all the essential features you need for a good-looking and highly functional blog.
Both offer shared hosting plans at reasonable prices. Each of their shared hosting plans allow you to install a basic WordPress blog easily. And each offer additional perks that are useful to newbie blogger.
Bluehost, as of this writing, offers a free domain with its hosting plans. So, if you haven’t purchased your domain yet, you can get it from them. They offer both shared and dedicated hosting plans. And they have one-click WordPress installs. The purchase of an SSL certificate for securing your site is an additional monthly fee.
The Bluehost Basic plan is a good one to start out with. You get one website and 50GB of disk space. If you plan on hosting more than one domain, they also offer a Plus plan. The Plus plan allows unlimited domains and disk space. It also offers unlimited email storage which is useful if you don’t have an email provider.
SiteGround, as of this writing, does not offer a free domain with its hosting plans. You can purchase one from them or transfer an existing domain to them. They offer both shared and dedicated hosting plans. And they have one-click WordPress installs. An SSL certificate is included with their plans.
The SiteGround Starter plan is their basic plan and good one start with. You get one website and 10GB of disk space. If you plan on hosting more than one domain, they offer a GrowBig plan which allows multiple sites and 20GB of disk space. Both plans offer multiple email accounts within your allotment of disk space.
So, which do I recommend? At first glance, Bluehost, appears to be the winner. It appears to be less expensive and they offer more disk space.
However, the SiteGround plans include an SSL certificate which I highly recommend (browsers will identify your site as “unsafe” without one and Google prefers sites with SSL). Also, it is unlikely that you will need 50GB of disk space when you are starting out with your blog unless you plan hosting a lot of large files or images. So the 10GB and 20GB SiteGround plans will usually meet your needs.
Since plan costs and features are always changing, it is important for you to do your own research. You will need to compare them in light of your website needs and your budget.
Both companies provide good hosting options and either would be a good choice for your blog if you want a do-it-yourself blog.
Now that you have chosen a company to host your blog, it is time to install WordPress. Check out my blog post, One-Click WordPress Install and Set Up, to see how to install and set up WordPress on Bluehost. Want to learn WordPress? Check out the article, Learn WordPress: Getting Started With WordPress CMS.
(Want to get up and running quickly with your WordPress blog without the hassle of picking a hosting company and installing WordPress and essential features? Website Buoy offers plans that include hosting, WordPress installation, essential features, and support so that you can start blogging right away. Check out our WordPress Hosting Plans.)