The 5 Best Blog Hosting Services – Are you ready to influence the informational age
You hear about people starting a blog all the time and how easy it is. It sounds simple enough: you create an account, follow the instructions, start writing, and et voilà ! Your blog is up and running.
However, if you are looking to do more with your blog (and you really should) and have more than, say, five visitors every month, this is where you enter a different ball game.
Here, you will be confronted with many difficult questions and decisions. The chief one being which blog hosting provider should you go with.
And, make no mistake, this is a difficult but very important decision.
Choosing the wrong web hosting provider can slow down your site, affect its performance, and compromise its security. Not to mention the absolute hassle and nightmare of switching providers. Nuh-uh.
Trust us, you will be much better off thoroughly researching the providers and going for the best one right off the bat.
Well, we can help you with the thorough research part.
In this article, we will compare some of our favorites (and best, of course) blog hosting providers and help you to find the right one for your blog.
Let’s get started!
What to Look for in Blogging Providers?
Before that, let’s first establish what to look for when choosing the right web hosting provider for your blog.
We already have an article covering this in detail. So, we will only be touching on the basics today.
In the world of web hosting, uptime is everything. In this instance, uptime refers to how often your server is up and running.
This is usually measured on the scale of 0% to 100% — you should, naturally, look for an uptime near 100%.
A realistic aim of a good uptime is 99% and above.
Anything lower than that and you will have a frequently-offline blog. This is far from ideal and is likely to hurt your traffic.
In today’s world, it is all about speed.
If your blog does not load quickly, you are likely going to lose some readers as well as search engine ranking.
“Quickly” in this case means less than three seconds to load as Google research shows that 53% of mobile site visits leave a page if it takes any longer than that.
To start, forget all the providers that do not offer 24/7 support.
That is the industry-standard for the more established providers and you deserve nothing less.
Then look at the forms of support — which is typically offered through live chat, ticket-based email, and phone.
If a provider claims that it offers 24/7 support but only via ticket-based email or solely email, cross it off your list, too.
This is because filling in the ticket, waiting for an answer, and all the to-and-fros take time.
It is likely going to be days before you can resolve your issues. It could be even worse if you are in different time zones.
This sounds clichéd but our advice is to go for the best provider within your budget.
Also, pay attention not only to the price for the first year of hosting but to the cost of the renewal, too.
Providers often offer attractive discounts for your first year and then increase the price once the introductory period expires.
So, do not fall for that trap!
As an extra note, consider the refund policy or trial period offered by the providers, too, in case you change your mind in the near future.
Check out the free services and features offered by the hosting providers, as well.
Due to stiff competition in the hosting world, providers often throw in something free to make their plans more appealing.
This includes things like free domains, free Google AdWords, free SSL certificates, and free installation.
The Battle of the Blog Hosting Providers
Now that you know what to look for when you are researching and considering providers, let’s get right down to business.
One of the biggest names in the market, Bluehost is the hosting provider of choice for many people.
In fact, it is in the coveted list of providers recommended by WordPress and as WordPress puts it: one of the best and brightest of the hosting world.
Further Explanation on Bluehost
According to Bluehost, most uptime issues are resolved in 15 minutes.
There are, of course, certain circumstances that require more time.
However, it is only in very “rare cases” where it would take as long a day for your server to be back online.
Hmm, it appears that Bluehost has cleverly avoided providing a specific uptime.
As for a maximum of a day to get your server back online?
Well, generally, that is not the best but it is still far from the worst.
Just like its uptime, Bluehost’s speed is not the fastest in the market but still pretty decent at approximately two seconds.
When it comes to customer service, Bluehost delivers. It offers excellent 24/7 support via ticket, phone, and live chat.
Price-wise, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting plans start at a very affordable $2.95 per month. Keep in mind, however, that these figures are merely introductory prices and there is a hike in the prices when it is time for renewal.
Besides that, Bluehost is also rather generous when it comes to freebies.
It offers free SSL certificate, free 50 GB of storage, free domain for a year, and a free site migration if you are making the switch from another hosting provider.
Not bad, indeed.
Another name in the prestigious WordPress hosting recommendation list and a fan-favorite of many is SiteGround. Reputable, reliable, and just generally … excellent, SiteGround is loved by many bloggers — including all of us here.
Further Explanation on SiteGround
SiteGround impressively guarantees an excellent uptime of 99.9%. If it ever falls below the guaranteed uptime, it will even compensate you quite fairly.
For anything below 99.9% – 99.00%, you get one month of free hosting.
Going further, you get an additional month of free hosting for every 1% of uptime lost below 99.00%.
Now, that is what we call a good deal. As for speed, SiteGround has an outstanding server response time, too.
On top of that, SiteGround has unparalleled 24/7 customer service.
You can contact the team via ticket, phone, and live chat. Swift, friendly, and knowledgeable, the agents are able to quickly resolve most queries and problems.
If you need to escalate an issue to the technical team via ticketing, you will receive a reply within 10 minutes.
Efficiency, thy name is SiteGround.
SiteGround offers 60% off for new users and its plans start at $3.95 per month.
Sounds pretty reasonable. But (and this is a huge but), when it is time to renew the subscription, be ready to pay about three times the introductory price.
So, take advantage of the low introductory price and sign up for the longest term possible.
As for something free, SiteGround provides free automatic daily backups, free SSL certificates, and free site migration.
But, sadly, no free domain. Check out some of our saving tips in the Siteground review here.
A relatively smaller name in the game, A2 Hosting was originally created for developers in 2001.
However, today, A2 Hosting is just as suitable for those testing the water of blogging as it is for developers.
Further Explanation on A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting guarantees an uptime of 99.9%, which is just as impressive as SiteGround. Any downtime of more than 0.1% and A2 Hosting will compensate you for it.
Now, A2 Hosting focuses a lot on speed and you can see how that is reflected marketing-wise on their site.
You will see phrases like “blazing fast”, “20x faster”, “swift”, and even (dramatically) “screaming fast”. That’s our favorite one in the A2 Hosting review here.
Well, it sure does deliver when it comes to speed.
While not all that discernible unless you are actively looking for it, A2 Hosting is faster than the other contenders — and those are some very worthy contenders.
A2 Hosting’s customer service team — or the self-labeled “Guru Crew Support” — is available 24/7 through ticket, phone, and live chat. Additionally, the Gurus are not only able to answer basic questions but also, advantageously, the more technical ones.
Moving on to pricing, it appears that A2 Hosting’s pricing is fair and reasonable.
Like many others in the market, there is an introductory discount and you will have to pay the full price upon renewal.
But, unlike the other providers, A2 Hosting’s renewal prices are inexpensive and more than fair.
As for freebies, A2 hosting graciously provides free email addresses, free backup and restoration, free easy site builder, and free SSL certificate.
Rounding out the trinity of WordPress-recommended hosting provider is DreamHost.
One of them — as the kids put it — OGs, DreamHost was founded in 1996 and is now home to over 1.5 million websites including blogs.
Further Explanation on DreamHost
DreamHost very courageously guarantees 100% uptime, which is almost unheard of in the web hosting world.
To back up that promise, it offers customers compensation for any downtime as a result of failures in DreamHost’s systems.
Additionally, with its remarkable page speeds of approximately 0.7 seconds, you can be sure that you are offering the best to the visitors of your blog.
Comes with 24/7 support, you can contact DreamHost’s customer service agents via ticket, phone, and live chat.
Our only gripe here is that it appears that the 24/7 support is only for support via ticket — which we all know is a cop-out as the response will not be immediate.
DreamHost’s prices start at the very affordable $2.59 per month when billed annually.
Alternatively, if you opt to be billed monthly, the prices are still extremely reasonable — starting at only $4.95 per month.
To sweeten the deal, DreamHost comes with free domain, free privacy protection, free SSL certificate, free email addresses, and free automatic daily backup. Not too shabby, at all.
If you are looking to seriously work on your blog and to splurge a little, Kinsta may be the one for you.
Kinsta is a “premium WordPress hosting” that offers some advanced functionalities.
While it claims that it is “for everyone, small or large” the truth is it is mostly used by those extremely serious about blogging, agencies, businesses as well as developers.
This is, for the most part, because of its gasp-inducing price tags.
Further Explanation on Kinsta
Kinsta, like some of the best in the market, offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
According to Kinsta, it checks the status of all the websites it hosts every two minutes.
This means that there will be 720 checks for your blog each day.
Phew! That is what efficient and responsible hosting is all about folks.
In addition to that, Kinsta’s average load times are somewhere between 0.8 seconds and a little below 2 seconds which is what you should aim for. That is an “excellent!” for performance.
Now, as for the support, this is where the fact that Kinsta keeps its services pretty niched comes in extremely handy.
As it offers only managed WordPress hosting, all of its customer support agents are experts in WordPress.
They are, of course, available 24/7 and, apparently, have a 100% solve rate. Well, we would not expect anything less with its premium prices.
Speaking of prices, Kinsta’s prices start at $30 per month for its Starter plan and go all the way beyond $1,500 per month.
But the thing is, all of its plans come with spectacular advanced features. Taking this into consideration, while Kinsta’s plans are definitely expensive, they do, however, offer great value.
So, what are they throwing in for ‘free’ with the plans, then?
Well, you will get free premium migration, free unlimited basic migrations (if you are switching from other hosts), free automatic backup, and free SSL certificate.
Conclusion: Which Best Blog Hosting Services is Right for You?
We hate to give such a vague answer but, truly, the only one that can answer this question is you.
What we can tell you, however, is that all five of the above web hosting providers are some of the best in the market and you will not go wrong with any of them.
If you are in for a free blogging service, try out Blogger from Google.
Familiarize yourself with the blogging community and make your voice or words heard.
One of our favorite influential blogger is Seth’s Blog. Simple layout, impactful words!