I’ve seen a lot of new people come into the complex world of blogging. In fact, there are thousands of new blogs started every day. The other end of the spectrum is sad, where a large number of blogs shut down every day. It’s the circle of blogging life! I’m not going to say blogging is easy, because it’s not. I run this blog, and three others. It takes a lot of work and coordination to make it all run smoothly or at least appear to be smooth.
As someone who has been blogging since 2004, I get a lot of questions from those who want to start blogging and those who have been in it for some time. One of the common questions I receive is “which host should I choose?” That’s a great question and there are a lot of factors that go into the decision. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to share why I think shared hosting is great for beginner bloggers.
New Bloggers Should Get Shared Hosting
This post is directed to bloggers who want to pay for hosting and their domain. This is not those who are on the free blogger or wordpress.com platform. Really, it’s for bloggers who want to use the self-hosted version of WordPress from wordpress.org. Considering WordPress is getting close to 50% marketshare, they are the leader in the blogging space as they should be. It’s the ultimate website platform with thousands of tools for whatever you need.
When you want to start a blog and you look into the world of hosting, you can get overwhelmed. There are so many choices it can make your head spin. There are shared hosting environments, virtual private servers (VPS), managed WordPress services, dedicated hosting, and hybrid. There are some others, but this is what you will see. If you jump on different forums or facebook groups, you can see people recommending this service or that. Some feel that you should always find a great host and stick with them. I feel you should test the waters before jumping into an expensive hosting plan.
Shared hosting is basically a service that puts many websites onto one server. The companies are able to keep their prices low because of stacking clients on one box. The more sites they can fit onto a server, the less expensive that server becomes. The biggest problem with shared hosting is overcrowding. Some companies will put too many sites on one server and it can affect performance. This is a problem for bloggers and websites which have consistent traffic. It’s not a problem for people just starting out.
Start Small, then Grow
It’s rare to see a blog start up and grow quickly. Yes, some people can do it, but most of those people are probably already well-versed in the world of blogging and online marketing. People just starting out won’t be so lucky. You won’t create a blog and get tons of traffic right off the bat. The “if you build it, they will come” philosophy doesn’t work with blogs. There are millions of them (at least 60 million) supporting tons of content and an array of topics. There should be little doubt that your blog is completely unique. It’s your writing style and voice which make a blog stand out. It’s not the overall subject matter.
When you’re starting out, you should be cognizant of costs. Hosting does cost money (monthly or yearly) along with domain registration. If you don’t have a lot of money, you shouldn’t plop down a bunch of cash to get the best of the best web hosting service. It’s just not feasible. It takes time to build a following and traffic to any site. Blogs are no different. Shared hosting is perfect for those just starting out with little traffic. In fact, they are built for that specific scenario.
This is where shared hosting comes into play. There are a number of hosts which will give you a little space of the internet to call your own. The best part is they don’t cost a lot. I’m talking about $50 or $60 a year. If you’re blogging and want to succeed, that’s not a lot of money.
The thee biggest hosts out there are probably GoDaddy, BlueHost, and Hostgator. They have a lot of customers. Yes, GoDaddy also provides hosting for sites alongside domain registration. These hosts are able to keep their costs low because of their shear size. If you’re looking for a web host, then these are three that can get you up and running quickly. Yes, you will probably see some people hate them, but these are services geared toward smaller sites and those just beginning.
Related: Check out this video on how to start a blog in just minutes on Hostgator
You Can Move Web Hosts
The good thing about hosting is you’re not stuck there for life. You can move hosts any time you want. Just make sure to check the refund policy of your current host before you make the move. If you prepaid, many hosts will give you back what you didn’t use. Moving from host to host doesn’t take a lot of work, but you do need to know what you’re doing. Some hosts will even do the transfer for you, costing you nothing.
We offer a hosting migration service for those who need a little extra help. We’ve done a large number of hosting migrations helping those small bloggers move to a better service when they outgrew what they previously had. That’s the beauty of the hosting world. There is a ton of competition.
The point of this article is to show you that shared hosting is the right choice for beginner bloggers. Go with a company like BlueHost or Hostgator to start out. You can also check out our resources page for more hosting recommendations. As you grow your traffic, then you can think about moving. While experienced bloggers understand that you get what you pay for, I also understand that costs are a real part of being online. If your site is not making money, you better not be spending a ton of it to keep your site online. That’s a recipe for failure. You can easily change your hosting package and web host as your site grows. No need to get the biggest and best hosting package upfront. It’s not economical!