Most blog writers enjoy the day-to-day process of getting words onto a screen but tend to struggle with the behind-the-scenes details needed to run a successful, long-running blog. Apart from all the work involved in developing and promoting content and liaising with readers, there is also the matter of setting up the online presence and keeping it up to date.
If you’re one of those people who hate the thought of having to spend time on the backend of your blogging system rather than getting great content written, you might be tempted just to pick any old web host when getting a site up and running. However, you will likely save yourself a lot of time, money, and effort if you choose the right provider for your needs upfront.
As you’re considering your plans and processes for strategic sourcing in 2022, one factor to consider is which web host to select. While this may not be the most significant expense you have as a busy blogger, let alone one that’s particularly top of mind, it’s a crucial one. Choosing the right hosting is an essential component and a procurement aspect not to skimp on.
Server downtime or issues with security, for example, can damage the reputation of your brand, while excessive prices, inflexible plans, or a lack of technical support can turn out to be a major headache. It takes some commitment to source the right web host, but it will be well worth your investment. If you’re serious about building your blog, ensure your words won’t be let down by a system issue. You need to know various dos and don’ts before you commit to a plan.
Firstly, understand your needs for a web host and what you may need in the future. A provider must have scalable services that can grow with your business as you get more and more traffic. It pays to find a tailored solution that suits precisely what’s best for your firm rather than a one-size-fits-all plan that may have you spending money in areas you don’t need and missing out on things you do. Determine if you want to pay for shared hosting or dedicated servers, virtual private servers, cloud hosting, etc.
Read all the terms and conditions that come with an account before signing up to a web host, too. For example, check what uptime standards the company will guarantee and if there are any consequences (such as discounts for you or a free month’s hosting) if their uptime levels fall well below what’s promised.
When reading the T&Cs, find out what is and isn’t included in the plan and if you have to pay cancellation fees for changes or saying goodbye. Another must-do before signing up with a web host is research on the specific company. Read the reviews and testimonials on their website and comments made on external sites, such as blogs, forums, and social media pages. If you know anyone who uses the companies on your shortlist, ask for their feedback, too.
One other thing to do when choosing a web hosting plan is to ensure it comes with comprehensive customer support. If your site goes down due to hosting issues, you need to be able to get in touch with your provider ASAP, no matter the time of day.
There are some don’ts to remember as you shop for a web host, too. Be wary of locking yourself into a very long-term plan and avoid committing to one that can’t be upgraded if you start getting a lot more traffic. Don’t opt for a hosting firm that doesn’t back up your work automatically daily, either, or feature a quick and easy restore option if your blog is hacked or compromised.
Speaking of which, don’t select a web host that doesn’t take security seriously. Hackers often break into hosting platforms as a way to then get into blogs and websites. As such, you want to be as protected as possible. Make sure the hosting company you consider takes multiple measures to keep hackers out and runs regular updates to plug gaps in security as they arise. Reputable website hosts typically have strong SSL encryption and spam protection.
Also, some people choose a web host just because the business offers a free domain name as part of the package. While this is appealing, for sure, it can be a way to draw you in that doesn’t provide the value you might expect. Avoid making this mistake. Find out who owns the domain that gets included and what the renewal fees will be in the future after your first free year. Many companies charge a significant domain markup in later years to recoup their costs, so the product isn’t free at all.
Take your time selecting a web host since this service is so crucial to the success of your blog. Ask the questions you need to get clarity and listen to your gut if red flags arise along the way.