Choosing the right web host for a blog is important. When it’s your business blog, it can be crucial. You definitely don’t want your current and prospective clients and customers being greeted by an error message when they try to access your blog. Here, my top tips for finding a good web host for your business blog:
Pay for it.
Yes, there are some fabulous free blog hosting services out there, and in fact some of the services I’m about to recommend also offer free plans- but while those are fine for personal blogs, you do want the control that a paid plan gives you.
Go tried and true.
For the least headaches, use one of the hosting services that are made for blogs. WordPress.com, for example, is hosted WordPress that’s run by Automattic. Typepad is by Six Apart, the makers of Moveable Type. These companies are experts in the blogging industry, so they’re your best bets for managing your blog platform. They also usually have wonderful communities (forums, user groups, etc.) filled with other bloggers who are very helpful.
Use your own domain name.
The average cost of buying your own domain name is around $10 a year. This is affordable (I remember when it was $35 a year!) and a must for any business online. If you already have a domain name you use for your business (e.g. waldoswinches.com), you can use a subdomain for your blog (e.g. blog.waldoswinches.com) or get a new domain name just for your blog (e.g. waldoswinchesblog.com). Make sure to use your own domain for your email address, as well- it’s a little embarrassing to use a free email address (yahoo.com, aol.com, gmail.com, etc.) on your business cards.
Research web hosts.
If you decide not to go with a blog hosting service, and would rather go with your own server, VPS or shared account with a web host, please do some research first. A good place to start is Web Hosting Talk, where you can search for reviews on different web hosts. Or you can consider using one of these hosts- all of which I’ve tried, and highly recommend:
- WiredTree – I’ve been using them for close to three years now, with zero problems. Customer support is blazing fast.
- HostGator – Another good one, I’ve used them for my smaller hosting needs. Quick service, and a good customer forum.
- MediaTemple – Some of the biggest names in business are hosted with MediaTemple, and with good reason. They’ve been around for a while, and have a great (read= stable!) infrastructure, although I’ve found that their customer service isn’t as quick as the two hosts I mention above.
- Colorteck – Owned by the publisher of this blog (& where we’re hosted), you’ll get really fast, solid and personal service that the bigger companies don’t offer. Contact Will Vacher: will[at]colorteck[dot]com and tell him that you are a Biz Logs reader for a 20% discount off quoted rates.
At the end of the day, you want a host that you don’t have to think about, or even contact much once your blog is up and running.