I’ve been thinking of setting up a Wordpress blog, and one of the important things to decide is where to have it hosted. There is a baffling array of possibilities, from big names like Bluehost to small companies that may or may not be any good. Does anyone have any advice to offer on the matter?
PS: I’m suddenly reminded of the item in Punch(?) – “Advice to young people about to get married: don’t.”
I’d suggest looking at the hosting providers of blogs you follow and that have been around for a while. One that fits the category for me is John Scalzi’s whatever.scalzi.com/ blog. He has praised his hosting company on a few occasions, and his blog has been around since before they were called “blogs”.
If you don’t mind having a wordpress.com address (such as martinsblog.wordpress.com) you can always just use wordpress.com (which is different from using wordpress.org and an external host). It’s free but has much of the same features. Of course, many people simply use services such as tumblr very successfully (you can even use a custom URL for some of these).
Like most people I don’t really have a frame of reference for whether they are any good or not. I’ve never noticed any downtime (but then I don’t exactly get LitnLat.com traffic) and the price seemed competitive when I first signed up with them.
(*) The website features excellent use of the colour yellow and I recently added a little version of the red self-portrait in the URL address bar. Well worth checking out for these features alone, plus of course you can download copies of the amazing Novels In A Day from 2011 and 2012 featuring contributions from the LitnLat moderators you know and love for free!
I’ve been with Dreamhost for almost ten years. They’ve been reliable, affordable (comes out to about $10/month), and have been very responsive for the small handful of items that have cropped up. They offer one-click install of WordPress.
I’ve used many companies for hosting wordpress systems, and I’ve always returned to the same people…
I either use Flump.net I’d recommend their ‘hosting promotion’ for £50 which will have more space than you need (250meg of space and 7gb of traffic) for wordpress and includes a domain… or their cloud arm ‘guru’ which is more expensive but provides much more space (3gb webspace and 200gb traffic)
they also have a dedicated server devision… they guys there are more than helpful and i’ve really never had any issues in the 10+ years i’ve been with them… they are also UK based which is good for google, and also provide UK support…
installs of wordpress are very simple as long as you have ftp access…
I’ve used Dreamhost for over a decade and they’ve always done okay by me. It’s a full host that can scale quite a ways up (this whole site is hosted by them, but granted we aren’t using the standard shared machine accounts). So you get your Wordpress and all of the ease that entails, but you can also have your own e-mail account (heck, hundreds of them if you want) and everything else a full host provides, even stuff like this forum. You may never need all of that, but it’s there a few clicks away if you do.
Granted, the forum was out of commission all night. But that was down to an entire data centre suffering multiple failures to its redundant systems, so as frustrating as that was, you can’t really blame them as it wasn’t their DC.
I’ve also been with Dreamhost for years, though that’s partly because they let you have as many different websites as you want on a single account. If I were going to host a single site, I’d probably switch over to http://laughingsquid.us, because I know the owners and they’re good people. They can’t host sites that get too much traffic, though—I know someone who was asked (very nicely) to move his blog because he was just too popular.
I’m pleased to see that their recommendation is Hostgator. Between my writing and my business I currently have four new sites in preparation, and even though I’m a real newbie in this area the Hostgator help was extremely good (they have intro videos and the like) and so the whole thing has been pretty straightforward.
I am a bit loath to join this conversation because I use JustHost and have never had a problem but I am only an amateur f**king about with a plaything website. It’s always up there and there is loads of stuff they provide to help new people. Someone will now tell me they are the devil incarnate of webhosts but…
I have used AOL (in all its incarnations -currently Carphone Warehouse/TalKTalk in the UK, as my ISP forever…since I first logged on to the internet! Never had any major problems and minor ones resolved quickly - but everyone in the know tells me how crap they are and how stupid I am for using them, so what do I know?
Under no circumstances would I ever recommend “Bluehost”, however. Very unsatisfactory and not value for money. They caused me no end of grief. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
For a while, I used “Siteground” but they were over priced for what they offered.
Currently, I’m using Site5, and they would be more than okay for your blog.
A Small Orange (I have one domain with them) seems to be excellent value and they don’t oversell their servers*.
All of the services that have been mentioned previously (by me and others) are all on shared servers. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with shared hosting, but you “get what you pay for”. That is, don’t depend on their backups, unlimited bandwidth etc doesn’t really mean unlimited everything and you can’t control (or even know) who else shares your server or even how many other sites do. This shouldn’t matter, but be aware that load on other sites on the box may affect your site’s performance (although, a good host will monitor this and do something before it all goes pear shaped - hopefully).
Thanks for the further recommendations – and for the warning about Bluehost!
I think it will probably be a competition between Zen, Dreamhost, and Hostgator. Being in the UK, I’m a little wary of hosts that are based in the US, just because the time zone is different, exchange rates may change, and legal systems are different – and when you add the VAT we have to pay, the prices don’t look as good, either.
That would give you a free SITENAME.wordpress.com address. If you wanted to have your own domain name so that the URL is just SITENAME.com, the cost is only $18 a year—including registration and hosting.
Wordpress.com has some restrictions—will serve its own adverts; has limits on affiliate marketing [though reasonable Amazon links are okay]; limited number of themes/templates that can be used on the site; limited design tweaking; it doesn’t offer domain name email accounts, etc.
But if you want a domain name and simple hosting, then Wordpress.com is very cost effective.
You can start off with a free SITENAME.wordpress.com address to get a feel for how Wordpress works and you can then convert the site to an available domain name at a later date if you’re happy with the set-up.