Sep 6th, 2009 | 127,124 views |
So you have decided to create a WordPress-powered web site or blog!
Welcome to the friendly WordPress ecosystem!
Now let us take a look at the basic requirements to kick-start your blog (ok, site)!
- A domain name – which forms the name, address and identity for your web presence
- A web real estate where you can park your blog content media et al – they call this a “Web hosting Account”
- WordPress blogging package – to be downloaded fresh from http://wordpress.org/
- Themes and plugins as necessary from this page
I assume that you have a domain name already registered with a good and reliable domain registrar or repute.
Now the most important decision that you will have to take is selecting a good web host to park and deliver your site/blog.
First lesson you have to learn is that all web hosts are not the same, though their web sites look the same!
And hosting you blog with a professionally-managed and reliable web host is vital to ensure that your site is up all the time without conking out during most hours of the day or for weeks together. And to ensure that you do not encounter hiccups at each point by being restrictive and paranoid. I will discuss about this aspect later in this article.
How to select a good and reliable web host?
I’ll try to list out the indication of typically bad hosts to be avoided upfront.
- Run away from hosts that advertise “Unlimited” web space and unlimited bandwidth. Don’t be gullible to believe that those two thingys are so cheap that you can use “unlimited” resources. Hard disk and data transfer do cost money.
- Avoid web hosts who are touted to be “specially optimized for WordPress” and who flaunt their special features that are tailor-made for WordPress. There is nothing like that in web-hosting parameters. It is just a gimmick to hoodwink you. Much of the touted features are mere snake oil. Do not fall a prey to such glib sales pitch!
- Do not believe blindly on hosts advertised in www.wordpress.org. It is just a sales promotion. Make your own assessment
- Hosts who eternally advertise promos and special offers. One time offers to commemorate some occasions are normal marketing behavior. But permanent “Sale” indicates that you are for sale!
- Hosting companies who are vague in listing their offerings and features. They will be either silent or ambiguous on terms that are vitally important like billing, payment, dispute resolution, response time etc.
- Restrictive hosts who place a barb at every turn like PHP, MySql, POP mail etc.
- Hosting firms who are rated very low and negative in discussion forums like WebHostingTalk, SitePoint Forums etc.
- Hosts who do not have a support forum, ticket system etc.
The list is not exhaustive but will suffice to avoid hosting pitfalls which are serious.
Now to the elements to look for that are indicative of a good web host:
- Mention of specific information on vital parameters like disk space, monthly bandwidth, POP mail accounts, MySql databases etc.
- Clear mention of the version of Apache web server, PHP etc., and ability to test the PHP parameters through a PHPinfo file.
- Provision of Control Panel software like cPanel, Direct Admin, Plesk etc.
- Availability of pre-sales discussion their forums
- Clear and no-nonsense terms and conditions and TOS
- Support ticket system and clearly defined response time, ability to contact via IM, phone etc.
- Clear identity of the hosting company and publication of its verifiable postal address, telephone number etc.
- Standing and rating of the company in discussion forums indicated above. It is better to make a Google search for the host to get a feel of what their customers have got to say about their standard of service.
- Not being overly restrictive and paranoid by making PHP run on “passive mode” and introducing “open_basedir restriction” restrictions which will render many WordPress plugins unworkable and keep your hands tied without any elbow room to tweak your blog
- Having a record of consistent good performance over many years
- Who offer to help in smooth migration of your blog from the old host
In fact my search for a professionally managed, reasonably priced and reliable web host who will not cheat me was over when I selected my current hosts, viz: HostPC. I wish to recommend them for the following positive reasons.
- They are running successfully for over 11 years under the same ownership without any negative review from customers
- HostPC have got outstanding reviews on WebHostingTalk forums.
- The owner and the support staff reply to your support tickets withing 6 to 8 hours even if you had flagged your ticket as “medium” and try to solve your problems earnestly
- HostPC makes nightly backups
- If you want to use e-commerce and your data and the files are so vital that you can’t afford to lose even a bit, HostPC offers the facility of back-up in “cloud” for a nominal fee ensuring encrypted data transfer and storage
- HostPC offers “true” multiple domain hosting providing individual control panel for each domain with mail boxes, definable quote and FTP for each domain
- They also provide Unrestricted Subdomains
- Their rates are reasonable and competitive
- They do not abruptly close your account whimsically, nor do they bug you with hypothetical overuse of CPU complaints, though they are very strict about spamming and other kinds of misuse
- Guaranteed server uptime of 100%. Even on rare occasions when some disruption happens which had affected internet traffic globally, the host does everything under his control to move your site over different data centers.
- HostPC has data centers at different states of US connected to reliable ISPs and fast upstream providers.
- They treat shared hosting customers too as important as their dedicated server hosters and VPS hosters
- Since the web server is maintained by technically savvy professionals, they do not introduce restrictive and paranoid controls over scripting engines. This will make your WordPress experience smooth and problem-free
- They give 30-day Money back guarantee
- EasyAntiSpam solution
- 24 Hour Helpdesk
- User Community Forums
- DirectAdmim Control Panel is very easy to navigate and unambiguous
On the whole your experience with HostPC will be pleasant and memorable! That is why I recommend that host to you all!
Tags: blogging, cloud, cloud computing, host, hosting, mysql, php, web host, webhost, webhosting, WordPress
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