After you come up with the name of your mom blog and purchase the domain, it’s time to setup the hosting. If you are going to host your own site that means you are going to be using a platform like WordPress. If you decide to keep your blog on a free platform like Blogger or WordPress.org then you don’t need to purchase a hosting account.
How do you choose a web host?
Ask a fellow blogger who they suggest for a webs host. Having another blogger suggest a host is a great way to pick one because, just like when we recommend a product to someone, having another blogger who has had experience with a particular host is invaluable. Let those others bloggers tell you what they like or didn’t like about a certain host and save yourself the trouble of testing them out yourself.
I have had experience with GoDaddy and Host Gator and right now all of my blogs are hosted on a dedicated server with HostGator. I liked both GoDaddy and Host Gator but after about 10 years of hosting website and blogs with GoDaddy I made the switch to Host Gator. The reason I left GoDaddy wasn’t because of any bad service, because they have awesome 24/7 customer support, it was because I had load and traffic issues their shared account couldn’t accommodate and the better option for me at the time was to go with Host Gator. The reason I also went with Host Gator was several other blogger friends had great experiences with them so I gave them a try and am completely satisfied with their service. Like GoDaddy, Host Gator also has great 24/7 customer service and they will also answer your questions quickly on Twitter, which is a huge plus when you’re freaking out over something.
Both Host Gator and GoDaddy will help you step-by-step to setup your account and that is another reason to choose one of them. Some other good hosts I have heard of, but don’t have experience with, are Blue Host and Dreamhost.
Shared hosting is super affordable starting at around $7 a month and going up to around $12 a month. If you pay for the year in advance the price drops so if you can I suggest you do that. For an example, a one year Shared Hosting account on Host Gator will run you right around $67 for the lowest shared account, $97 a year for the medium account, and $144 for the top Shared account. I believe GoDaddy is even cheaper.
Let me tell you the difference between the hosting accounts available.
When you start blogging, you will most likely go with a shared hosting account. A shared account means you are sharing the hosting space with thousands of other people. One server could actually have 25,000 accounts on one shared server. This was never a problem for me even when I got a lot of traffic so I think it is a good option for most bloggers.
One thing you will have to consider with a shared hosting environment is that if one account has a large traffic spike, gets hacked, or installs something that put a large strain on the server, they can pull the rest down with them. A good host like Host Gator will be monitoring this and will ban that account though. If that account is yours they will pull it because they can’t allow one account on the Shared server to affect the rest of the accounts. If that happens the next step is to go to a VPS or higher shared server.
When you get more traffic a VPS Hosting account may be an option. If you find that you get warnings or your shared account gets pulled because of too much traffic or load on the shared server, then you will have to upgrade. A VPS – Virtual Private Server – is still a shared hosting environment but you are sharing it with much less people. I had a VPS for a short time but didn’t like it because they put limits on your traffic, processes, and connections. If you use a lot of plugins or have a forum on your blog the processes could make your site come to a crawling halt with a VPS account.
Dedicated Server Hosting
The mother of all accounts is a dedicated server account. With a dedicated server you have your own server to do with what you want. You can have as many blogs on it as you want and can load it up with all of the files, plugins, or forums you want.
Things to Ask the Web Host
With each hosting option there are different levels so the best thing to do is to call the hosting company and tell them what you are doing and they can suggest a hosting account to you. Never buy more than you need or let anyone talk you into a hosting account you don’t need. I stayed on a shared account for 3 years before having to upgrade. Most bloggers, unless they get famous and get a lot of traffic on a regular basis, are fine with a shared account.
When you call the host, make sure you ask how easy it will be to upgrade the account if you find you are getting too much traffic. Also ask them how many domain names you can hook into the account if you want more blogs setup. Even with a shared account you should be able to host multiple domain names.