February 2, 2018

An understandable review on Web hosting services - a must read for the beginning blogger


Remember the short Wordpress series I wrote a while back? In this series of four blog posts I wrote about my personal experiences with starting a self hosted Wordpress blog using Bluehost as my web hosting service. I was bluntly honest in my opinion of the hosting services Bluehost provided, resulting in quitting my blog on Wordpress even before the year (that I paid for in full up front) was over. So Bluehost was out of the window, but then what? To which web hosting service do you turn when you really want a self hosted Wordpress blog or other self hosted website? The answer came in an email...


A SHORT RECAP - WHAT IS A WEB HOSTING SERVICE?

Even for me, after quite a few years of blogging myself, and creating templates for the Blogger platform I still get overwhelmed sometimes by the techy terms that come with starting a website or blog.

Say you want to start a blog. You have heard about the Blogger platform that Google offers. It's a great place to start, since it is absolutely free. Not only does Google offer you the tools to set up your blog site, it also offers you space on the internet to publish your blog. That is called web hosting. So at Blogger you get the whole package in one: your actual blog site and the service to host that blog for you on the internet. Great! Of course, since it's free, it does have some restrictions.

To name a few:
• Blogger does not offer you a domain name (you can buy it yourself if you wish and install it, but that's up to you)
• they do not offer any phone support
• it offers less possibilities for creating the layout of your dreams than a platform like Wordpress does

Not every blogger decides to create their blog on the Blogger platform. A lot of bloggers decide to go with the Wordpress platform and set up their blogs there. Wordpress is actually divided into two platforms:


The first one, Wordpress.com, is similar to Blogger. It is free and offers you the actual blog site and a hosting service. But again, since it's free it comes with a lot of restrictions. And the one that eventually turns most bloggers to the paid version is that you need to use one of the templates that Wordpress offers. On the free version of Wordpress you just can not put a nice, well designed layout from a  designer that you like.

The other option that Wordpress offers, Wordpress.org, is a so called self hosted version. This means that Wordpress offers you the tools to create an absolutely amazing layout for your blog or website and you can add a great number of so called 'plug-ins' to optimize different functions on your blog or website. One of the plug-ins is a widget that helps you to create great SEO (search engine optimization) for your blog, so you are more visible in search engines.

In this paid version of Wordpress, the hosting part of your blog is done by a web hosting company. And you pay them to publish your blog on the internet and for the speed with which your blog or website loads when someone visits it.

When I wrote about my own self hosted Wordpress experience I selected Bluehost as my web hosting company. It was highly recommended by Wordpress itself, so that was the reason I signed up with Bluehost. But I did not like it at all, so out of frustration I quit blogging on my Wordpress blog. 

And that is a shame really. Wordpress itself offers a lot of good tools to create a beautiful blog or website. But it all depends on the web hosting service you use whether or not you have a good experience on Wordpress. So when I was contacted by www.reviews.com about a review they did on web hosting services I really wanted to share their findings with you all!


AN EXTENSIVE REVIEW ON WEB HOST SERVICES

I received an email from someone over at Reviews.com that had read my Wordpress series. They reached out to me because they had written an extensive review on web hosting services on their site. 

I get quite a lot of these emails from companies that want some free exposure for their product or article and I usually turn them down. Often the product or subject of the article is not at all interesting for my target audience, or the article is written with so much technical language that I lose track after the first paragraph. But this one was different.

What I like about the setup of the review is that quite a large number of web hosting companies were compared. They started out with 49 companies, Bluehost being one of them.

They checked all 49 companies for a number or criteria like easy to find resources (contact information, clear and honest comparing information) and customer service (response to email, live chat option, phone support).


It was no surprise to me to read that Bluehost was amongst the companies that were cut away from the list at the very beginning.

In the end they ended up with 11 companies that came out rather well after the first rounds of comparison. I think the strength of this review lies in what they did next. They signed up with all 11 companies for a 3-month subscription and created websites to host at each of these 11 web hosting companies. This gave them the opportunity to really test customer service, phone support, email support, setup process of the website, navigation of the hosting site and resources for beginners and pros.

And they added some paragraphs to the article with issues they encountered with some of the companies that were not at all clear when signing up, resulting in having to pay more hidden fees for instance.

At the end of the research period, two web hosting services appeared to be the stars of the show:

1. FastComet (best overall)
2. GlowHost (best runner-up)

And surprise, surprise, I never heard of them before. I was so focused on Bluehost since Wordpress offered them as a hosting company. And as a beginning Wordpress blogger I did not have enough time and knowledge to compare so many web hosting companies in the way that Reviews.com did.

So if you are planning to start with a self hosted blog or website or you are looking for a different web hosting company for an already existing blog or website, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and be sure to read the extensive and understandable review on web hosting companies over here:


I'm sure it will make your blogging life a lot easier!



*** DISCLAIMER & NOTE: I did not in any way get paid or commissioned for writing this post. I just loved the way the review was written and really wanted to share it with you all. Also, while I talk a lot about Wordpress blogs in this article I want to point out that I do not create Wordpress templates. The only templates I create are for the Blogger platform and can be purchased through my Etsy shop.



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