Now you know you shouldn’t go with free hosting, it’s time to choose a hosting company for your future site. In this section, we’ll walk through a bit about the different types of hosting available to you and some recommendations for getting started.
There’s a good chance this is where you’ll want to start if cost is an issue for you. Shared hosting means that your website is hosted on the same servers as hundreds if not thousands of other websites. This is what makes these options more affordable.
While inexpensive ($3-15/month), there are some things you should pay attention to. Namely, site speed, email deliverability, and security issues. You want to research each of these as you look at shared hosting because site speed problems can impact your SEO rankings and well security issues are something you always want to avoid.
That being said, there are quite a few benefits on top of the price. Most shared hosting providers have one click WordPress installs, an easy to manage backend, good support, and limited database access. In most cases, you won’t see a massive hit on site speed and you can install other plugins for security measures to give added protection.
Best for: People with brand new sites with growing traffic, are on a budget, and need good customer support. These typically give you the best value for your needs.
With shared hosting, you have thousands of sites on one server, dedicated hosting essentially means you have an entire server just to yourself. It’s fast, expensive, and if you’re reading this article, it’s not for you, so move along.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting
VPS hosting is a cross between shared hosting and dedicated hosting, and is the next logical step up from shared.
Think of VPS as your own little mini-server within a server. You don’t have the whole thing to yourself, but you have a portion of it that’s totally dedicated to you and your sites. So all of the downsides of shared, such as viruses and traffic slow down, don’t affect you as much with a VPS solution.
This is going to be more expensive than shared (obviously) but still isn’t outrageous.
A hosting bill for the year on Linode (which is where I used to have my site) is about $250 but it’s very easy for it to go up from there.
Best for: People who want better speed and reliability from the get-go.
Managed WordPress Hosting
So we’ve covered the most popular types of hosting, but there are a couple more that have become increasingly popular over the last couple years, so it’s worth mentioning them.
The first is managed WordPress hosting.
Since millions of sites out there are on WordPress, there are a handful of companies that specialize specifically in hosting sites that are on the WordPress platform.
These are usually a little bit more expensive, but if you’re using WordPress, and especially if you actually have significant traffic coming to your site, it can be worth it.
Some benefits of managed WordPress hosting:
- Automatic WordPress Updates – These services handle all of the updates to WordPress for you.
- Plugin Notifications – If you have plugins that won’t cooperate with new versions of WordPress, they will tell you and make sure you don’t have any site issues.
- Servers optimized for WordPress – Specifically, this helps make your site faster and more secure
- Testing Platform – Most of these services all you to make a backup of your site in a testing environment. So if you want to make a big change, you can test it first to make sure it works, before implementing on the live site.
- Built in CDN – A CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. Basically, it means it will speed up your site if you have a lot of media or images.
By far the most popular managed WordPress hosting option is WP Engine. I run this blog on WP Engine and my golf site Breaking Eighty with them as well. Overall it’s been a really good solution and I highly recommend them.
The Best Hosting for 95% of You
Ok, so that’s a lot of information and you probably got a little bit overwhelmed reading through all of the different options there.
So let’s get back down to business and make it simple for you.
If you’re just starting your website, stick with shared hosting for now.
Most good shared hosting providers will give you:
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited file transfer
- A free domain
- Unlimited emails
And you should be able to get all of this for under $50 for your first year.
Note: Pricing can be more expensive for people outside the United States.
That’s an incredible deal, and makes it a total no brainer for someone who is just getting going.
Then if your site grows quickly, or you find yourself needing other features down the road, you can always upgrade.
The Best Blog Hosting Service for Newbies
When it comes to shared hosting there is one company I always recommend over others: Bluehost.
Why do I think Bluehost is the best shared hosting out there?
Specifically, because I have experience with it. If I’m starting a new, unproven site, that’s almost always where I start it out.
Most shared hosting companies are going to have very similar features, so to many, it’s almost like choosing a commodity.
However, I’ve found the Bluehost Support team to be invaluable. This is especially important if you’re just starting out. You will break something at some point, so having competent and easy to access support is huge.
Bluehost does a phenomenal job with that, so I think they’re great for those just starting out.
Also, if you’re just starting out with all of this and feeling a little overwhelmed, check out our latest course: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Lifestyle Entrepreneurship. We hold your hand and cover all the basics.
Best Web Hosting for More Established Websites
If you have a blog that is getting a decent amount of traffic (say more than 10k unique visitors a month), then I’d highly recommend WP Engine.
That’s what I use for my more established websites, and if I weren’t using Rainmaker that is 100% where I would be.
I have pretty unique needs for what I’m doing, which is why I’m on Rainmaker – but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it unless you have a similar business to mine.
Where to Buy Your Domain
If you’re going the shared hosting route, there’s a very good chance you’ll get a free domain when you get setup, so if you’re just starting one new blog, then go with that and call it good.
I’ve also used Name Cheap which is one of the cheaper services, but the user interface is absolutely atrocious.
For a few extra bucks one of my favorite sites to pick up domains is Hover. Their user interface is super simple and sleek, and over time when you start piling up domains, you’ll be really happy about this.
Best Web Hosting For…
- Best Hosting for Most People: Bluehost
- Best Hosting for Established Sites: WP Engine
- Best VPS (if you’re technical): Linode