Lessons in Blogging: Choose a Reliable Host
When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was getting into. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
I’d been blogging on and off for years, but was only consistent on tumblr.
Unfortunately I signed up for a host that was recommended in nearly every how-to I read. Obviously, I trusted it, since each guide was from a bigger blogger. I don’t fault them, since the quality of the hosting company has gone downhill quickly. But new bloggers don’t have access to FB Communities where they can get instant feedback from people who went that route.
This post does contain affiliate links, from the hosting company that I am now with.
That’s why I’m here to prevent you from making the same mistakes that I did.
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Let my experience sway you to go with a much more reliable host, like site ground, instead.
1. No Coming Soon
My site wasn’t even live before it started going down. Not just once or twice. That should’ve been a warning sign, right? I mean the universe was telling me to leave before my 30-day return window was up. Hosting ain’t cheap, y’all. Why I didn’t leave then is still beyond me, but thankfully Siteground made it super easy to switch hosting. More on that below.
2. High Yearly Rates
The $2.95 rate is only for the first year. The second year, it goes up to $8 per month. Yes, $8 for hosting that you can’t even count on to keep your site up. I honestly didn’t care in the beginning, you know, before these issues started happening. 8$ a month is still inexpensive for hosting, but it needs to be consistent.
3. Load Time
Bluehost, since it’s a shared hosting network, is slower compared to others. For some time, I thought it was my laptop until I tried from my phone. Husbands phone. iPad. With wifi. With LTE. Then dads computer. Library computers. And even my MILs laptop. Sometimes it didn’t even finish loading. I always checked Google to see if the internet connection was off, but nope. Just a slow site. Another vote for Siteground although it is also a shared hosting network, has been commended for speed. Pair it with MAXCDN, Cloudflare, and W3 Total Cache for a super speedy blog. No one wants to wait for a page to load in this day and age anymore.
4. Live Chat.
Pfft. Why is it even a ‘live chat’ if it took 30+ minutes every single time for me to talk to a rep?! Yet, if I didn’t respond in 5 minutes because God forbid I have another tab open, they disconnected the darn thing. Get it together, sweetie. Siteground’s customer service has been given rave reviews in all the blogging groups I’m in.
5. Constant Downtime
I got notifications from jet pack and cloudflare weekly, on average, about my site being down. The sad part about it was that I just got used to them. Don’t be like complacent Derika.
Everyone’s opinion isn’t worth taking to heart. I also recommend finding a handful of blogging buds you can trust and ask for their feedback and recommendations when there’s something you’d love to learn more about. I promise, all bloggers aren’t money-hungry. Some actually care about the value they provide to readers and don’t just try to shove products, links, and opt ins down your throats with funnels galore.
Seriously, my inbox is now a mess from all the stuff I signed up for.
A few of my favorite bloggers who I really trust and always deliver value are byRegina and Melissa Griffith.
As for Site ground I am now a fan girl. But can you really blame me?
Their website transfer service is FREE, which means that you can make sure it gets done right and headache free. Usually that type of service by an individual is thousands of dollars. Hefty, but understandable since you want it done right the first time.
Still not sure you want to commit to the whole year? You can use my discounted rate for a 1 month trial + setup, which many hosting sites don’t even offer. Cough, cough.
Here’s how I did it:
Step 1. Pick a hosting plan that suits your needs.
Each plan comes with free SSL, unlimited daily backups, unlimited emails, easy Cloudflare integration (think speed + security), 24/7 tech support, and a 30 day money back guarantee.
If speed is your main concern, I’d go with the Grow Big plan. If you only have 1 site and are just starting out, the StartUp plan is a very cost-effective and value packed option.
Step 2. Enter your domain name.
Since I already had my domain registered through GoDaddy, I chose that option. I entered my name and selected the ‘Website Transfer’ option.
Step 3. Review your selections and pay
Since I shop online like it’s my job, it’s pretty easy to fill this screen out. Especially if you have an auto-fill extension.
Looking at this again makes me a little ragey since I paid $126 for I-don’t-even-know-what.
You can choose to have the domain scanner, but since I already had Cloudflare (which is free), I didn’t include it in my original purchase. Which brought the total down to $71 for the year.
If my going through BH makes me a more informed person and helps me prevent others from making an un-researched decision, I’m not mad about it.
I do wish that it would’ve worked out better or that I would’ve known about Siteground from the get-go.
In case you currently have Bluehost and are having the issues I’m having, I urge you to do your research and consider SiteGround. I’m not coming from a place ill-intent. This was just my unfortunate experience and I know a few web developers that manage sites with BH and they say the same about downtime.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]