You’ve spent years diligently reading blogs, wondering what you could write about and if anyone would even be interested, and now you’re ready to take the plunge. Blogging is a fantastic way that anyone can share their thoughts, their favorite activities, or their concerns about key social issues in an online platform, interacting with people from all over the world. You can design a great interface and populate it with thought-provoking content, but if you don’t pick the right hosting service, you could end up frustrated. Sure, you could handle your own web hosting, but unless you’re a programmer, chances are you’re not going to want that responsibility. Web hosting needs to be reliable, as a successful blog is built on constant updates and continuous availability. So if you’re clear you need help, what should you do to select the best web hosting provider for your blog?
Some blogs are complete content management systems, meaning they give you the website, and handle the hosting with payment of a monthly fee. You won’t have to worry about any of the details with this sort of CMS, you just pay and let it run. But if you’re building your blog using WordPress, you’re going to need to find hosting with an internet service provider. Though there are many top flight choices, none of them are exactly the same.
First off, does the ISP you’re considering support the scripting language of your particular CMS? Most bloggers work with services scripted in PHP, so you’ll need to make sure that the web host will support it. Keep in mind that there are several different PHP versions, so make sure that the ISP supports your particular one.
Next you’ll need to inquire about database support. The vast majority of blog services use MySQL for storing all those blog entries. But remember that past blogs aren’t all you’ll have in the database. There will also be user information, shared conversations, and all the linking between your website and others. The web hosting service you choice will have to support MySQL, or the database won’t run. Be sure to find out exactly how many databases you are allowed, and if there is a cap on size. Right now you may just write blogs and have a comment posted here or there, but eventually you may want to expand with a forum, a crowdsourced wiki, or something similar that works off a database, and you’ll need the extra capability.
Outside of the database size and limit, what are the overall storage limits this web host offers? It will always be fixed, but the range could be huge. You’ll need space to store all of the templates your blog uses, as well as any documents and images incorporated within the site. Make sure you also see if the space you have is shared with email accounts, or if it is dedicated to web content.
Each service will have a variety of features, and whatever is important to you will determine if the fit is right, but the last key issue is the allowed throughput. Remember that blogs grow with more readers, and the data that’s sent can be significant. If there’s going to be some sort of cap on that throughput, you’ll want to know what it is so you’re prepared for it, instead of hitting the wall and seeing your server go down. This is common on all bluehost servers, and as long as the limit isn’t too constrictive, you should be fine.