When you want to move your blog to self-hosting, and you start looking, the number of hosts out there might totally overwhelm you. In this post, I will give a couple of pointers for you to keep in mind when you decide where to host your precious content.
Why do you need a host?
When you blog on the WordPress platform, your web address always has wordpress.com in it. Say for instance Blogable was done on the free platform, then the address for that might have been blogable.wordpress.com or blogableclub.wordpress.com
On the free platform of WordPress you don’t have as much freedom to adjust a theme to your wishes, while when you go self-hosted, you can create the site you really want, even when you are using a theme. Something else to keep in mind is when you have erotic or adult content on your WordPress.com platform, WordPress can decide to shut your blog down without any notice. This doesn’t only go for images, but also for words. The advice will always be to go self-hosted, and when you do, you need a host.
In short, when you go self-hosted, you
- buy your desired domain name (this can also be done with the host you choose);
- install the WordPress software;
- decide on a theme and activate it;
- build your site and blog away!
Finding hosts and what’s important
Like I said in the introduction, there are a lot of hosts out there. Finding the one that is just right for you, can be a tedious process. Searching on Google will give you endless lists, so you need to narrow it down.
The best way to find a host is to look around you. Look at the blogs you follow, at those people who have the same kind of content as you do. Ask them which host they are using, and also ask them the following:
- their experiences with the host;
- whether the host has a good customer service (available 24/7?);
- the monthly/annual cost, and whether there’s any extra cost when you occasionally need technical support;
- the renewal strategy of the hosting service;
- whether the host has much downtime, which means your site will not be available;
- look at how quick their site loads, as this will give you an idea of the server speed;
- if the host allows adult content (if that is what will be on your website);
- whether they offer backups for your site.
Once you have a couple of hosts you want to consider, read their Terms of Service (ToS). Even when you have received answers to all the questions above, I recommend to read the ToS. Once more, if you are planning to host adult content, search the ToS for words like ‘adult’ or ‘pornographic’ or ‘erotic’ to see what is said about this, if anything. If nothing, you can be fairly sure that they will not take your website down when they discover your content.
Which hosting plan should you choose?
Most hosting services have several different hosting plans, from small to medium to large or even extra large. If you have been blogging for years and have lots of images on your site, a medium package will mostly be more than sufficient for your website. You can also start with a smaller package, and upgrade to medium later when you notice you are close to using all the space you are allowed.
To give you some idea: I have three websites on one hosting package: Rebel’s Notes (11+ years old), Wicked Wednesday (almost 9 years old) and The Menopause Diaries (3 months old). Rebel’s Notes has a huge number of photos on it, and Wicked Wednesday approximately 500 photos. In total, these sites are just under 10Gb in size. Back in 2012 when I bought my hosting, I went for the L-package with my host, but I could easily have done the M package, as that would still have been more than enough space for the three sites.
Where are we hosted?
Blogable is hosted with Siteground, and my sites with a Dutch host, YourHosting. The latter is not cheap, but their downtime is almost none, their speed is great and their customer service is fabulous. What’s more, they know the nature of my site, and are perfectly fine with it.
If you are looking for a host, and not sure about their ToS or anything else you find on their site, you are more than welcome to come to us for advice.
Image from Pixabay