The Best Web Hosting Companies For Bloggers

Your blog will only succeed if you choose the right hosting company. Defining your ideal hosting partner is simple:

  1. Fast servers
  2. Unlimited resources
  3. Total support 24/7/364
  4. 100% uptime
  5. Short contract
  6. Your favorite control panel
  7. Free

It’s that last ‘Free’ that’s the deal killer. You can get most of that, but it will cost more than your monthly rent payment.

How important are these different aspects of your hosting service?

The best web hosting companies will have hundreds of positive reviews on independent comparison sites: This is the only way you will ever find advice you can trust.

1. Fast Servers

Solid state disk (SSD) servers are a must, and only the cheapest of the cheap companies still use traditional spinning magnetic disk servers. SSD hosting is faster, offers lower lag times, and it is more reliable than old-fashioned hard drive hosting.

2. Unlimited Resources

You will need to compromise here. You will find every host boasts of unlimited bandwidth and disk space. Sadly they don’t matter. Bandwidth and disk space are dirt-cheap, which is why companies include unlimited amounts even in $3 per month packages.

The critical resource is the amount of CPU resources allocated to your account. Server CPUs are fast but costly. Cheap hosting plans offer no definite share of processing power. More expensive virtual private server (VPS) plans do include a guaranteed CPU share.

3. Total Support 24/7/365

Tech support is essential for new bloggers, but everyone needs help some time.

Read reviews to check how helpful hosting engineers are when your website has crashed. It is easy to promise total hand-holding, but infinitely harder to deliver on marketing promises.

Look for 24/7 chat support rather than email and avoid no-name hosting because that could be your neighbor’s kid’s reseller hosting business and he or she knows less than you do about hosting problems.

4.100% Up-Time

No chance. No web host promises 100% up-time because the come-back when things go wrong is too expensive.

You will find 99%, 99.9% and 99.99% guaranteed website availability advertised, but even here, you must read the small print. Scheduled maintenance outages will be excluded from your contracted 99.9% up-time. Look at the penalties for non-compliance with the warranty, too. No penalties equate to a worthless guarantee.

The difference between 99.9% and 99.99% availability guarantee is:

0.09% x 365 x 24 x 60 x 60 = 28,382 seconds (473 minutes or almost 8 hours) of extra downtime if your host only offers a 99.9% rather than 99.99%.

5. Short Contract

You will need to take out an extended, three-year contract if you want the lowest price on your preferred hosting deal. You can often save 50% on the monthly cost with a 36-month contract.

Against that is the scenario where everything goes wrong, and you need to find an alternative web host. If you are tied into a three-year contract, you lose the balance of your upfront payment. It might still be better to bail out, but it is never pleasant to think of your financial loss if you do.

6. Your Favorite Control Panel

Almost every hosting company offers cPanel or a variant of it. But that variant might involve an extra learning curve for new users.

Ideally, your host should offer a bog-standard c-Panel, or provide a free trial so you can check it out. Free trials are standard, though money-back refund periods vary from seven days to thirty: Even a few days are long enough to check out the control panel software.

7. Free

You can find free hosting, but don’t expect ultrafast servers, maximum up-time or world-class support. Free is for birds, not bloggers.

The cheapest hosting will fall short in many areas. SSD servers, fast internet connections, and expert support engineers never come for free; you could even see your blog throttled because you have reached the extremely low limit of your free CPU usage.

Decision Time

How do you sort through the marketing hype and avoid an expensive mistake?

There are millions of words written every day by affiliate markers who want you to click their hosting affiliate links. You can’t believe a word you read if you know it has only been written to make the writer a fast $100 commission.

Look for independent review sites to get advice you can trust.

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