Not all blog hosting is the same. Here are some tips to help you find hosting that’s best for your blog.
I have clients who come to me all the time looking for both business strategy and tech services and the one thing that’s clear, is that they have no idea how to find hosting that’s best for their blog.
There are lots of choices for hosting you can go with but finding hosting that’s best for your blog can be a challenge if you don’t know what your looking for or how you’ll use the services. Keep reading and I’ll help you take the guessing out of the equation.
What is blog hosting and why do I need it?
First, let’s talk about what blog hosting is and why you need it. A hosting company is a business that owns a server to house the files for your blog or website. In most cases these are large computers that are securely stored in a room (I’m sure you’ve seen it in a movie before). You need blog hosting because without it, you would not be able to load your blog files to the internet.
Different types of hosting
This hosting is exactly what you probably think it is — hosting that’s shared. In fact, it’s shared with hundreds and thousands of other people. Typically this hosting is fairly cheap, which is a plus, right? Well the con is that at times it can be unreliable when thousands of people are running their websites from the same server. Same as when you are at home and you have several devices pulling on your wifi. The service is weakened and your website can be slow to load or even completely down at times.
This may be the best option for your blog, if you are just starting out, learning how to be a consistent blogger or don’t have a lot of funds.
Managed WordPress Hosting
HelloAmbi provides Managed WordPress Hosting. This is a form of shared hosting, however, the server is shared with a much smaller amount of websites. Also, each website is allowed a certain amount of space to be used. If the website reaches it’s file storage limit, the blogger must upgrade so as to not slow down the other websites on the server. This service is managed by the hosting company, therefore the rates for this premium are a bit higher than that of regular Shared Hosting.
VPS hosting or Virtual Private Server is similar to Shared Hosting, only the server is shared with a fraction of the amount of websites. It differs from Managed Hosting in that it does not allot for an amount of space for it’s users’ blog files. So one blog can take up a larger percentage than another and once it’s hit it’s limit, all of the websites on that server may encounter slow loading times or even down times in their services. You may use this hosting if you run a large store or a blog that holds a lot of photo or video files.
Dedicated Hosting is blog hosting where a server is dedicated to one blog and one blog only. This particular blog hosting is usually comes with a steep price tag. With this blog hosting, you don’t have to worry about other blogs compromising the security or up time. Dedicated Hosting is ideal for larger corporations that run most of their business online. For instance, Netflix or Hulu. They have lots of video and moving photography on their website.
Other bloggers may consider this option if they are running a multisite or a membership website or a subscription based website. There is an expectation that this type of blog’s old visitors will return and new visitors will find the site and be retained as well.
So now that you know the most popular different types of hosting that are available to you, find hosting that’s best for your blog should be a breeze, right? Not exactly! Many times hosting companies will list off a bunch of features but not explain what they are in detail so you’re left to play the guessing game once more.
Here are a few of the most common hosting features you may come cross and what they actually mean.
WEB HOSTING GLOSSARY
Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transferred to or from your website each second.
Blog: A regularly updated website or web page. New entries are called posts; posts can be used to drive business to your site or help with SEO. Here’s my starting a blog page.
Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting mirrors your data across multiple storage devices instead of having it reside on just one machine. This redundancy ensures reliability for your site.
CDN: A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of servers distributed across multiple data centers around the world that delivers web content, specifically static files like your website’s images and page styles, to end users.
Control panel: The control panel is the nerve center of your hosting account. This is where you can add new domains, create email addresses, install applications, and manage behind-the-scenes settings.
CMS: A content management system (CMS) is a user-friendly application that you install on a hosting server to make managing a website easier. A CMS like WordPress is particularly great for people without a coding background to get started with a website.
CPU: The central processing unit (CPU) is the brains of your server or computer, executing commands, making decisions, and doing the input/output calculations.
Data center: A data center is a specialized facility that houses thousands of servers that are connected via a network to the Internet.
Dedicated hosting: Dedicated hosting allows you to lease an entire server for your use rather than sharing it with other users or organizations.
DNS: The Domain Name System (DNS) translates easy-to-remember domain names to numerical IP addresses.
Domain name: A domain name, like helloambi.com, is used to identify the location of a particular web page.
Domain registrar: A domain registrar is a company accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to register and manage domain names.
E-commerce: E-commerce is the practice of buying and selling products or services online.
FTP and SFTP: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) are used to transfer files between a computer and a server. FTP is especially useful for bulk transfers, so you don’t have to move hundreds of files individually.
HTML: HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a computer language that tells your browser how to display a web page.
HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for transferring files on the web. Think of it as the foundation of the internet.
HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the use of HTTP over a secure connection, most commonly in conjunction with Transport Layer Security (TLS).
IP address: Each internet-connected computer has at least one IP address, a unique sequence of numbers and/or letters, that serves two purposes: host or network interface identification (who it is) and location addressing (where it is).
Malware: Harmful software that aims to damage, disable, or take control of your computer, mobile device, website, or network. Malware is often used to steal information or hold data for ransom.
Parked Domain: For Hello Ambi Designs & Hosting customers, a parked domain is a special feature available in the control panel that allows you to have a new domain display the same content as one of your other domains. Outside of cPanel hosting, a parked domain is a domain name that has been registered but isn’t currently pointing to a website. Organizations often park domains for future use or to ensure they aren’t registered by other buyers.
Payment Gateway: A payment gateway is a service that allows users to authorize credit card payments for e-commerce. Payment gateways often have specific compliance requirements based on your business type and transaction volume.
PHP: PHP (an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor) is a scripting language designed for web development. It combines dynamic content — prices, comments, or shopping cart contents — with static content — page styles and images — into HTML so your browser can display it.
Plugin: A plugin is a software component that allows you to add a specific feature or function to an existing web program like WordPress.
RAM: Random access memory (RAM) is where your server or computer stores the short-term data it needs to access regularly or quickly.
Server: A server is a powerful computer designed for a specific task. For example, hosting servers are programmed to serve up web content. To ensure reliability and performance, unneeded components are removed, so most servers don’t have video cards, monitors, or even a keyboard.
Shared hosting: Shared hosting is when your website resides on a server alongside other people’s sites. The server’s available resources are shared by all the sites.
Site Backup: Site backup is the practice of copying and archiving data so that you can restore your site in the event of a system failure, cyber attack, or human error.
SSL and TLS: A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), the predecessor of Transport Layer Security (TLS), is an encryption protocol designed to secure connections between computer systems. For convenience and legacy reasons, both protocols are often referred to as SSL.
SSL certificate: An SSL certificate is used to provide third-party validation of your encryption key, so someone else can’t pretend to be your website. Hello Ambi Designs & Hosting customers receive this premium service at no additional cost. It’s FREE and included in all of our blog hosting plans.
Subdomains: Subdomains allow you to add a prefix to your domain name (for example, mc.helloambi.com) to create an easy-to-remember URL for specific content without having to register additional domains.
TLDs: Top-level domains (TLDs) are the suffixes, such as .com, .org, and .website, at the end of every web address.
Uptime: The amount of time the server is uninterrupted and your website is accessible. This can be measured linearly (154 days uptime) or as a percentage (99 percent uptime over the last year).
Virus: A virus is malware that self-replicates by infecting other programs, servers, or home computers. Viruses are commonly transmitted through email.
VPS: A virtual private server (VPS) is a web hosting server that is partitioned into sections that act as virtual dedicated servers, with each being assigned to only one user at a time.
Web hosting service: A web hosting service provides server space so individuals and businesses can make websites accessible on the internet.
WordPress: is a free and open-source content management system based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress is the most used website building software and powers 1/3 or all websites on the internet.
3 Questions to ask yourself to find hosting that’s best for your blog:
- Do you want to rent or own your blog? By now you should know that self hosting your blog is the way to go if you want to own your content and have complete control of how you run your blogging business. Look at the different hosting plans as if they were houses for your blog’s files. Do you want to share that space with many users, like renters do in a complex, something in between like a townhouse or duplex, or do you prefer to have your files live solely on their own server like a house.
- Will you have a lot of files that take up server space? Consider the type of blog and/or business you’ll be running. Video, large photos and plugins take up a lot of space on a server
- How much traffic can you predict will come to your site? Now this one can be tricky. You may just be starting out and only expect a few hundred folks to stop by your little ole blog in the beginning but who is to say your content won’t viral. If you’re practical, you may not be thinking about viral content, but what about the elements of your business that organically bring traffic to your blog, such as a store or resource library. If your blog provides value, you will see more traffic than if you are just posting blog posts.