WordPress is a popular blog platform because of its ease of use and numerous customization options. Web hosting services that offer automatic WordPress installation offer a good way to get your blog online quickly and easily with minimal input from you. Of course, self-hosting is always an option, but paying for a quality WordPress host means that your website is safe and secure with minimal downtime and maintenance required on your part. Web hosting is essential if you have a WordPress website or blog and are concerned about stability and uptime.

How to Start a WordPress Blog

If you're blogging to keep your friends and Aunt Sally apprised of your big events or you like an online diary, then the free version of WordPress is fine. However, it will label your site with the wordpress.com tail.

On the other hand, of you are trying to put a professional face forward, either for your business or to enhance your reputation as a thought expert in the field, then you need a web platform that supports WordPress and a domain name unique to you. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind as you seek out a host for your WordPress blog:

Installing the software and starting your site. Once you have a webhost, you need to install WordPress. For full details on how to do this, check out our article on how to set up a WordPress site. You can also find YouTube videos if it helps to watch someone as they do it. However, the important things to remember are to link to wordpress.org. You'll have to install the WordPress software, which many hosts let you do with a one-click installation on their site; otherwise, you need to download the software, save it, and upload it to your host server. After that, you go to your WordPress site's admin panel and upload a theme, make your modifications and start blogging.

Blog vs. Website. Why not both? WordPress was the first blogging platform to grow into a website platform as well. If you use the Pages feature, you can create static pages for information like your biography or company history, product features and contact information.

Blog and Store. WordPress also works with several shopping cart programs, so if you aren't big enough yet for a full eCommerce solution, then using WordPress on a blog platform makes economic sense. Even if you have a shopping cart service, many already allow you to integrate with WordPress.

WordPress Hosting: What to Look For

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the best WordPress web hosting provider for your needs. Among the most common features are bandwidth allowances and storage space. Other things, like whether the provider offers custom email addresses or a free domain name for your website, are other factors to consider.

Bandwidth refers to the amount of traffic a web host allows for a certain service plan. As each visit and page load requires a certain amount of data transfer, this traffic adds up over the month. The more traffic, images and downloads on your website or blog, the more bandwidth you want in order to give your visitors a smooth experience.

With some services, when your website reaches its monthly limit, the website is suspended until you pay to upgrade your service plan. Purchasing a blog hosting plan with ample bandwidth ensures your website doesn't get suspended.

Storage Space
The amount of storage space offered by your blog hosting provider is important to consider as it determines the number of files and the amount of data you can store on your website.

While most blog hosts offer ample space for simple blogs and websites, if you plan to include large files in your posts, you want a plan with a large amount of available storage space so you don't run out of room. A 10-minute video, for example, can take 600MB to 72.9 GB, depending on the format. Photos take up less space. One blog suggests that if you posted 10 photos a day, it would take up 16GB in a year. The average eBook takes up 2.6MB.

Email Addresses
If you're running a business or have website partners, you may want to provide customized email addresses for them. Some blog hosting sites offer a number of email addresses as part of the service package.

Pay attention to the number of email addresses the company provides to ensure you get the number you need for your business. You'll also want to see how much storage you get to split among the addresses, because if you go over that limit, then your emails will be sent back. This is not an issue if you have the website host push the emails to a mail program like Outlook, but it's worth checking.

Domain Name
In order to have a blog or website online, you need a domain name. These are internet addresses that often end in .com, although there are other extensions to choose from, including .biz, which could be good if you are looking at blogging as part of your business, and .org if you are blogging for a group or nonprofit organization.

While you can purchase your own domain name through any domain registrar, as long as it's available for purchase, some blog web hosts provide a free domain name with the purchase of a hosting plan. This makes it easier to get started with your blog, as the host does some of the work for you. However, free domains usually stay with the website host. In other words, if you use a free domain and decide to change website hosts, you may have to change the domain name as well. This can be a problem if you have developed a following.

There are a large number of WordPress web host services that can provide you with a suitable home for your blog or website. Choosing the right one allows you to have peace of mind, knowing that your website is secure and stable.

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