WordPress Themes Blog Oh! Blog

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choose the right hosting for blogs

Every blogger has got two basic choices when building his own blog— Either he can sign up for a hosted solution, or he can install a serve-it-yourself solution and take care of it on your own. Signing up for a hosted solution is generally easier (especially if you don’t already have your own website and you’re not terribly interested in jumping through a hoop or two to get one), while installing a serve-it-yourself solution can be more powerful.

Popular hosted blogging CMS (Content Management Systems) include Blogger.com, Typepad.com, Vox.com, Squarespace.com, and others. With these services, you simply access the site, go through a registration process and, in some cases, enter your payment information to cover the monthly fee. (Some are free, some require payment.) These are hosted services – somebody else worries about the Internet server, setting up the Web addresses and all that sort of stuff. You’re given a URL for your site (mostly a sub-domain), some online tools for editing your blog (and, perhaps, for editing the template and making some minor changes to the functionality), and you’re ready to go. With a serve-it-yourself CMS (like WordPress) you’ll need to do a little legwork. First, you’ll need some sort of web hosting account from an Internet Service Provider. You might already have something along those lines from the Internet Service Provider that you use for Internet access, or you may need to shop for a web hosting account that will support the specifications of your blogging software.

In fact, there are a few things to look out for when you’ve chosen a CMS and you’re looking for an ISP to host it:

– Does it support the CMS’ scripting language? Most of the blogging CMSs we’ll discuss are written in a scripting language called PHP, so your web hosting account will need to offer support for PHP in order for them to run. You should read the fine print as well, because different web hosts support different versions of PHP (such as PHP 4 or PHP 5), and that can be important when you’re installing your CMS.

– Does your host offer database support? Again, many of the solutions we’ll discuss use MySQL databases for storing your blog entries, information about your users, and so on. If that’s true with the CMS that you choose, you’ll need to have a web hosting account that supports MySQL. In addition, you may want to check on how many databases you’re allowed to have, how large they can be, and so on. If you later decided to implement a wiki, a forum, or some other database-driven application your website, you may find that having support for just one or a few individual databases isn’t enough.

– Does the web hosting account offer enough storage space? Web hosting accounts will generally come with a fixed, assigned amount of storage space for your website’s files – anywhere from a few megabytes to tens or hundreds of gigabytes. Just like the hard disk in your computer, this storage space is necessary to store the documents, templates and images that you’ll use to display on your blog. So, it’s interesting to know not only how much space you have, but also whether or not that space is shared with other features offered by the web host, such as e-mail accounts, databases, and log files. You may find that a very inexpensive host gives you what sounds like an impressive amount of storage – say, 50 MB(megabytes) – but that you quickly fill it up if your website files, database, and e-mail accounts must all share that space.

– What is the allowed throughput? If your blog gets popular – or if you load it down with bells and whistles such as video and images that you serve up from your web hosting account – then it’s possible you’ll be sending a lot of data from your ISP to your visitors. If that’s the case, you’ll want to know what the limit it.

– Many web hosts offer features that will install popular blogging tools such as WordPress from within their control panels. This isn’t always advised, as the installations aren’t always the latest versions or can occasionally be a bit more difficult to customize. But, if you feel that you’re strongly allergic to the installation processes discussed for server side solutions (or if you want to try a number of different blogging tools that are offered by your host), that “one-click” install can be a convenient option.

As you’re blog shopping, you should consider other options such as the reputation of the hosting company, whether or not the hosting company offers the support options that you need, whether the host offers your favorite blogging package already installed or included, or whether the hosting company is actually specifically set up to host a particular blogging package (there generally are a few that specialize in a particular CMS). But just as you should plan to choose your CMS tool with an eye toward growth, it’s not a bad idea to do the same with your hosting company, just in case your blog really does take off in popularity!

I will recommend Hostgator as I have been hosting Blog Oh! Blog with them for a long time now and I have been satisfied 🙂

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  4. Vikas left a comment on February 24, 2015 at 11:33 pm |

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  23. Toto web Hosting left a comment on July 9, 2008 at 1:09 am |

    Downtimes, and Bandwidth are the first thing to check, then others like price,security,features.etc.

  24. Louis Lim left a comment on June 12, 2008 at 9:34 am |

    It is easy to install a wordpress blog with fantastico is your web host provides it. But if you want to install it yourself it is not a problem also. As I find that it is really easy to install a wordpress blog.

    Anyway nice post jai.

  25. BigBri left a comment on June 8, 2008 at 8:16 pm |

    Great tips Jai –

    I recently test-drove a few hosts, and you’re right. Some of the script-based installers gave you no control over the database or the files – I couldn’t access it by FTP or with phpMyAdmin. In the end I went with Hostgator’s cousin – Bluehost.

    I wrote up a detailed review of the 5 hosts I looked at on my blog: http://www.bigbri.net/?p=130

  26. hostingpinoy left a comment on May 7, 2008 at 6:03 pm |

    Installing web softwares via CPanel has always been easier for me than doing it manually. But you are right. We need to check if the auto install version is the latest version before proceeding. And that is simply going to the main website of the software and checking on the version.

    Sure is a good thing to have Fantastico there on Cpanel.

  27. Dana left a comment on May 7, 2008 at 1:48 pm |

    I started out using Blogger waayyy back in the day, before Google bought it. It annoyed me because it was constantly suffering errors and traffic overload. Then I discovered Greymatter, surprised myself by learning how to install it on my hosting service, and used that for a while. Then I got into LiveJournal for several years.

    When I started looking for real blog software again, I was impressed by WordPress, and then startled to discover they had been inspired by Greymatter. I have not progressed to the point of designing my own themes yet–it takes a level of concentration and an amount of time that don’t come to me easily with a young child in the house–but I’ll have lots of fun when I do.

    As for hosting, I used HostGator for a while and it’s all right, but I got a fabulous deal through some blog offering a coupon code for A2 Hosting. I’m paying $7.96 a month and the service is great. And I’m sorry to say I’m one of those silly people who installs blog software through Fantastico. See my previous statement about lacking concentration and time. 🙂

  28. jack left a comment on May 6, 2008 at 12:32 pm |

    I’m using blogger service and i think it so good.

  29. Ben Tanner left a comment on April 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm |

    wordpress all the way. You know I recently found a way to make word press really easy.

    I stumbled on this site: http://snipurl.com/26jox

    These guys showed me some techniques that really made the difference for me.

    Now I pretty much have a built in system that deals with all these issues for me.

    It’s not the end all system.. but it’s better than anything else I’ve found… and it works.

    So until I find something better I’ll be using this.

  30. Info5Stars left a comment on April 29, 2008 at 4:12 am |

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  31. Jil Kallih left a comment on April 28, 2008 at 3:51 am |

    The next interesting post… Keep up the great work.

  32. Felex Tan left a comment on April 27, 2008 at 3:30 am |

    Although wordpress is so technical sometimes ,but it has better features than the other two.In terms of themes,it has more choices also.Best choice for bloggers.

  33. Mat left a comment on April 25, 2008 at 10:52 am |

    Nice tips Jai…Usually i installing CMS from Fantastico…Is it a bad idea David?

  34. David left a comment on April 25, 2008 at 9:18 am |

    Installing a CMS from a control panel is always a bad idea.

  35. Grant left a comment on April 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |

    My blog gets no traffic, so Nearlyfreespeech.net works perfectly for me.

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BannerJai was awesome to work with. A port of an ASPX/HTML site to Wordpress went seamlessly, and his recreation of our look and feel were fantastic - Kevin Webster

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