Depending on where you are in your blogger journey, whether you’re just getting started or already have hundreds of visitors per day, you will need a reliable host to keep your website online. The last thing you want is to sink money into a host who will lock you in and make you pay extra for every tiny thing. You want to find a host that has a price your blog can support, but also a company who will care about your blog and not let you down and make you go through a nightmare.
What are the key things to look for?
1. Are they part of the EIG?
EIG stands for Enduring International Group. It’s a web hosting company that owns most of the popular hosting companies you might know. Here’s what tends to happen: a small company comes out and decides to offer hosting. They do it really good, they offer great service and products. They’re doing well. EIG comes in and offers to buy them. They accept, and suddenly the service starts being crappy, and the products are not what they used to be.
Companies that used to have a great reputation (like HostGator for example) start having constant issues. And unfortunately, they’re not as reliable as they used to be because they don’t have control over their product anymore.
Check out the full list of the EIG hosting companies here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group
2. What kind of customer service do they provide?
If you don’t think that customer service is important when it comes to picking your host, think again. Setting up a website, and maintaining it, can be very technical. You want a company who has awesome support and will be more than happy to help you through all the tech stuff. I’ve had aweful experiences with Bluehost where they basically deleted a website by accident, didn’t have a backup for it and blamed my client and I for it. So not helpful at all.
On the other end, I’ve had only amazing service from SiteGround, where they helped me figure out what my problem was and fixed it for me when they could. They never blamed me or made me feel like I was stupid (because I know my stuff, and I know when it’s not my fault).
You don’t need to wait to have paid for a full year of hosting to see if their customer support is good or not! Just chat with them before purchasing, and ask them a bunch of questions. Even if you already know the answer 🙂 Test them a bit, and see what kind of gut feeling you get. Do they seem helpful and want to go above and beyond for you? Or are they kind of annoyed by your questions and repeating the same canned response all the time?
3. What is included in their plans?
This is where your personal needs will determine what kind of plans you should go with. Depending on your amount of traffic, if your blog is image heavy or not, if you want to have more than one website, etc. your needs will be very different.
If you’re just starting out, a plan that gives you 1 website + 5-10GB of storage is more than enough. Beware of hosting companies that offer unlimited storage and unlimited everything. Unless their plans are expansive, your run the risk of being on a server with people who are abusing it, meaning there could be less power for your website.
Having limits is good. It means everybody has an equal share of the server. If you need more, you should be able to afford it because your blog will be making you money at this point.
And in case you’re really not sure who you should go with for your host, or what you need, I decided to create a quiz for you to figure out who you should host with, and which exact plan is right for you!
Who is the host that I recommend to new bloggers?
By far, SiteGround is my favorite.
They have amazing support, their plans are good for both new bloggers and experienced bloggers (so you can scale with them), and they’re affordable. I host all of my website with them, and have been with them for over 4 years now. All the web design clients I sent to them came back to me telling me how happy they were with their experience!
So if you’ve been on the fence about SiteGround, don’t be. They’re absolutely worth the cost!
And just a friendly tip: they are a bit pricier after the first year, so buy 2 or 3 years upfront at the low cost if you can! If you know that you want to be blogging for a while and you have a bit of cash laying around, paying for 3 years upfront will save you a ton of cash in the future. (PS: this does not affect my affiliate commission if you decide to purchase hosting using my link, it’s a legit tip that I realized only after I came to renew the first year)
If you’re not sure which hosting plan you should go with, take this quiz to figure it out!