A good web hosting provider makes all the difference: a “nightmare” web hosting provider could mean lots of downtime, poor customer service, gimmicks to get subscribers to sign up for their service/s, bandwidth caps, security issues, slow loading time, lack of features, so on and so forth.
It simply doesn’t make any sense to endure headaches and lose customers with such web hosts, so if you need a reliable host for your blog website, here are some of the recommendations that I've used on my previous websites and clients:
1. DreamHost - $8.95/month
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I absolutely recommend DreamHost. Although I don't do hosting with them anymore, I never really had any problems with their service. In fact, all of my domains are still registered with DreamHost. Their basic plan is available for under $9 per month, and comes with:
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited hosted domains and subdomains
- Unlimited MySQL 5 databases
- Unlimited email addresses, and support for using Google apps
Virtual Private Server (VPS) and Dedicated Servers are also available.
With DreamHost’s Standard plan comes the “shared hosting” option, to allow multiple users to share web space, something DreamHost recommends for small businesses, online stores, web designers and bloggers. Among the built-in resources bloggers might find useful are photo gallery apps, and WordPress.
Personal backups (50GB) and Data Backup come free with all plans. SpamAssassin is used to filter SPAM, and another included free option is WHOIS privacy for domain registrants. Technical Support (at any hour) is provided via Live Chat, for VPS and Dedicated Server subscribers, while Standard hosting subscribers can get support via Email.
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2. BlueHost - $6.95/month
BlueHost is a good option for bloggers on a budget. They offer “professional web hosting” for only $6.95/mo., and this basic plan comes with all the perks similar to those offered by DreamHost: unlimited data transfer, disk space, email addresses, domain hosting, plus a free domain name for a year.
BlueHost’s guarantees include “anytime money back”, immediate (free) setup, and no “surprise” charges. According to their site, they are the web host of choice for “millions of domains”, with 20,000 new members signing up for an account every month. They also mention that their fiber network, servers (Linux, dual quad processors) and datacenter are all theirs, and that their customer support staff is US-based.
Free scripts for bloggers are available with their basic hosting plan, such as Joomla, WordPress, picture galleries, Drupal, and a variety of scripts for linking your site/blog to social networks.
3. HostGator - $3.96/month
Another popular and economical choice among bloggers and webmasters alike is HostGator. The company boasts of their “award winning” 24/7 customer support, and provides one of the cheapest rates for services that offer unlimited space and bandwidth: their basic (“Hatchling”) plan is only $3.96/mo. This allows a single domain hosted, and there’s no limit to MySql databases.
HostGator claims to be among the top biggest web hosting servers in the world. In their website, they also claim to host over 8 million domains, and even lessen the emissions of their servers by investing in Texas Wind Energy. Their plans also come with “freebies” that could be useful to bloggers, like credit of $100 for Google AdWords, thousands of website templates, scripts, and easy installation of WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento.
Bloggers looking for more hits could benefit from their “guaranteed inclusion” in major search through “Attracta”, a service that claims to be “the most popular SEO service”, and is used by 2 million sites worldwide. Videos and articles on SEO are also provided.
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4. InMotion Hosting - $5.56/month
For bloggers that want value for their money, there’s InMotion, a company that proudly displays their awards from BBBOnline and CNet on their site. Upon Googling them, you’ll immediately see their 5-star rating, based on the reviews of almost 200 subscribers, plus over 850 rave reviews on BestHostingSearch.com.
InMotion’s standard package called “Launch” provides unlimited traffic, hosting space, and data transfer, 3,000 email accounts (with a SPAM filter feature), 2 MySQL Databases, and 1,000 FTP accounts. This plan includes 25 subdomains, and 6 Parked Domains, and is currently available for only $5.56/mo.