We love blogging. And we love the WordPress blogging platform. But we are very much not in love with most website hosts WordPress bloggers use.
Like it or not, a website host is a necessity if you want to run a WordPress blog with your own domain name (which we strongly suggest†). It’s a hyper-competitive business, website hosting is. To cut costs most hosting companies skimp on service and reduce their reliability standards. How do hosting companies get away with that? you may wonder. Because most customers make their choice of host by looking at the price and nothing else.
Do not be one of those customers.
The difference between a low and high quality host is the difference between your WordPress blog being down a few minutes per month or being down for hours (or days!). It’s the difference between your blog loading quickly or loading slowly. It’s the difference difference being able to get help with a hosting issue and not.
Here’s our overview of sharing hosting in general and our suggested hosts in particular. Short on time? Skip head to our conclusions:
Start-up bloggers often ask us whether they should host their own WordPress blog or get a free one through wordpress.com. Below are two infographics that compare those options. But if don’t have time to look them through, we’ll tell you now:
Hosting your own blog is MUCH better than having WordPress do it for you.
There are really only two disadvantages to arranging for your own blog hosting. First, you’ll need to find (and pay for) a good WordPress-friendly website host. Second, you’ll have to do the updates yourself.
To back up a year’s worth of blog posts by the WordPress community, you would need 2,375 double layer Blu-ray discs.
26% of httparchive’s websites contain errors.
Nearly 7 trillion (!) of online data will be created in the next five years.
58% of the top 10,000 websites use Google Analytics.
Our travel blog, like all of Spot Cool Stuff, runs on WordPress. Over the months we’ve downloaded and activated many dozens of WordPress plugins. And then deactivating almost all of them. Most plugins are too buggy, too time consuming, and/or too unimportant to bother with.
There are, however, five plugins that we think any WordPress travel blogger should seriously consider using. Each works with WP version 2.7 and 2.8.