Good blogs are interesting to read through and offer valuable information to internet users all over the world. If you want to start one or already own one that is expected to generate some income, it is important to look into some aspects of the blog that determine how successful it becomes.
Most people think that running a successful blog is all about publishing top quality content that entices people. Well, content is king, and there is no doubt about that, but your blog should be built on a strong foundation. Several processes in your blog’s backend determine how readers load your stories and find your content on search engines, among others.
Choosing the best hosting provider for your blog is essential. You will come across hosting providers explaining why their service is perfect for you but like it is in any market; there is always the good and bad.
If you build a weak foundation for your home, it will collapse at some point in time, and the same applies to your blog. Several features of the blog, such as the speed, stability, security, and uptime, among others, rely on the host.
What is a hosting service?
Well, the name does not deceive since the provider you get this service from typically allows you to “host” your site on their network of servers. They have a collection of servers and rent out some space on one of them to customers. You store your blog’s files on the allocated space, and the provider takes care of allowing people to connect to your site and view these files.
Why do you need a good host for your blog?
All the content, marketing, and designs on your blog won’t matter at all if your hosting provider is not good. Your site needs to be available, to begin with, and this is not possible without a reliable hosting provider. Bad hosts will sell their services cheaply and overstretch their resources resulting in continuous problems for your blog. Making money from blogs requires utmost reliability since internet users are known to be very impatient. Word might spread out about the fantastic content you post, but if they cannot access your blog, the chances are that they won’t try to find it ever again.
It is paramount to understand the defining features that separate a good host from a bad one. All these features will probably be related to how your site performs, something that shows why you should not take them for granted. For your blog to be a good income generating channel, you should not leave anything for chance and strive to deal with the best hosting provider. A good one will boost your blog and even make the search engines happy.
Features to look for in a good hosting provider
When picking the right hosting provider, it helps to look into some technical aspects about them and the service they offer. Do not blindly pick the best-advertised host as it might not be suitable. Keep in mind that a host will be deemed to be good or bad, depending on your needs. However, some aspects cut across the board and will help to define one regardless of what you need. Read on;
It is necessary to understand the differences between these three types of servers before recommending which one you need to lean towards. From our earlier analogy of renting out some space where you store your site’s files, shared servers are ones where you use the same area with thousands of other websites.
This means that resources on the servers, which are computers, such as CPU time, memory, and disk space, will be split out amongst the websites being hosted. This is the cheapest hosting service available, but cheap is not always the best.
Shared hosting has several limitations since all the sites scramble for resources, and your blog’s performance can easily suffer. The server space can get overcrowded since the service provider will want to get the most out of it. If you are opening a blog for fun, this could work for you, but if you are into something substantial that will generate income, look at the other options.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is similar to shared hosting with a few differences setting them apart. In this kind of service, the number of websites that are sharing resources is smaller. The server space is partitioned into virtual server environments, making it more or less a type of dedicated server. In this server, your site gets better service since the resources are allocated to each website. It can be compared to a condo where you get your space within the same building, extra resources such as parking but still have to facilitate the maintenance of your area.
VPS servers will cost you more than a shared one but offer better security and speed. You get better control of your environment and do not have to follow the standard templates used for shared servers. The allocated space is scalable, and you can pay for more if your blog grows over time. However, check on the reviews to ensure that you find a service provider that does not oversell their servers since this will make it similar to shared servers and even more complicated.
A dedicated server is precisely what it sounds like. You get a single physical server for your personal use and do not have to share it with anyone else. You get full rights to the resources of the server and can tweak the specifications to suit your blog’s needs. This server will cost you more, but you get top performance and security compared to the others. It can be compared to owning your own home in a single compound and the benefits that come with doing it.
With the three types of servers that facilitate hosting explained, it is necessary to put things into perspective for you to pick one that suits your blog correctly. For example, if you are a student in University, getting a home in a compound might be too much, and you will waste money paying for it when a shared apartment would be the best option. The same applies to blogs, and while a dedicated server is the best, your requirements might be fit for a VPS or shared hosting service.
Shared hosting has been touted to be ideal for small websites and blogs. Blogs are not heavy and do not require performance-intensive hosting, something that makes shared hosting a great option, especially if you are starting. This is the best option since you will get value for money in the first few months as you set up your online business and start raking in traffic.
However, as you start making money from your blog, say a minimum of $200 a month, it becomes necessary to switch to a VPS server that will cost you more. When the income increases and you start getting around $500 per month, consider switching to a dedicated server which will even cost you more but offer reliable performance needed for a blog that makes such amount of money. Once your blog starts to generate significant income, the requirement for better security and guaranteed uptime intensifies. Increased traffic will also take a toll on your blog, especially if you are still using shared hosting, and you should point this and make the switch before it affects your online business.
Reliability is an essential aspect of a good web host and never underestimate the impact it has on your short- and long-term goals. Reliability of a web host can be defined in simple terms as the ability to perform consistently as expected without degradation or failure. It is vital to invest in a reliable web host since you get the peace of mind knowing that your blog will always be up and people visiting it to check out what you post won’t have a hard time.
Web users are impatient nowadays due to the increased competition, and if they face difficulties accessing your content, they won’t hesitate to look at the other options. Most businesses have struggled to grow or even crumbled just because their sites were slow or unavailable. It aids in credibility since people hold your blog in high regard when your web presence is good, and the website is always live. Visitors will think that you are not serious with what you are doing if they continually face issues trying to access your content.
Knowing a reliable web host can be done by looking into a couple of defining factors. Read on;
This is the time that a host will guarantee your blog will be up and running. Nowadays, the bar has been set, and reliable hosting providers are offering 99.9% uptime with others offering more than that. This way, the only way that your site will go down will be if there is a traffic surge or it is hacked. These estimates are a little bit over the bar and always do some due diligence and check from the reviews where the uptime guarantees of a host are genuine.
Your blog won’t remain the same forever, and you will need to downscale or upscale things. A reliable hosting provider should be adaptable to facilitate growth and changes without affecting the smooth running of your blog.
It is impossible to get a perfect host and technical hitches that affect the running of your blog are bound to happen. A reliable provider should offer you the best support that will restore the blog to its optimal operation. The support should be accessible all the time to reduce the amount of downtime caused by the hitch.
In some instances, reliability is defined by what is expected from the hosting provider. With the increased competition in this area, most hosting services tend to come up with catchy descriptions of what they offer to get customers. As an intelligent blogger, always look beyond these marketing terms and do your research to ensure that you know what to expect from the provider. Have them explain to you what they mean by specific terms so that there is no misunderstanding later on. A reliable provider will tell you the truth about a particular hosting plan with no fear or favour.
You can generate up to three times more revenue from advertisements if your blog loads in 5 seconds compared to one that takes 20 seconds. In recent years, fast has become the norm and always strive to ensure that your blog loads in the shortest time possible. Page speed is determined by several factors but one of the most undermined, yet important one is the hosting server speed. It has been mentioned that internet users are impatient, and statistics defining the importance of fast load times might leave you startled. More than half of the people visiting your blow will expect it to start rendering within two seconds. Around 48% will leave the page if it takes more than three seconds to start rendering. Lastly, BBC reports that for every additional second your site takes to load, there is a concurrent visitor drop of 10%.
While several factors affect the loading speed of your blog, we will explain how the host plays a significant role. When a user clicks on your blog and loads a page, they are running programs and accessing files from the server. If the server speeds are fast, they will download the files quickly, and the page will load within a few seconds. Your web host has a couple of factors that determine this speed. The hard drive used to store the files is a crucial factor since solid state drives can load files faster compared to the regular ones. Hosting packages that offer you dedicated resources will also offer you better speeds since no other site will compete with your blog for shared resources such as memory and processor.
It is paramount to have a fast site since low speeds will directly translate to higher bounce rates. People will click on your blog and then leave since it takes longer to navigate from page to page. Web users will develop a negative attitude towards your site due to the frustrations brought by the slow speeds and will most likely look at what your competition has to offer. You want your blog to appear high among the search results, and Google confirmed that speed is a crucial ranking factor for both mobile and desktop searches. This way, you will be more visible to potential clients who are interested in your content, and this will go a long way in improving your overall revenue.
Caching is another thing that affects your blog’s speed. Try and remember something that you did on vacation a few years back. Wait for a couple of hours and try recalling it again. Well, it is easier to remember it the second time since your brain stored it in your recent memory when you recalled it the first time. Caching works in the same way, and it helps to increase your blogs speed. Hosting services that have enhanced web caching abilities can offer you better speeds. It entails downloading the page elements of a specific webpage and putting it in a storage location so that you do not have to prompt the server for those files when you need them again. Web caching reduces network traffic and improves the performance of your blog. It is implemented in various ways with the most common one being through Content Delivery Networks. CDNs use several networked servers to distribute the content from locations that are close to users.
Some of the vital things to look at when selecting a hosting provider have been mentioned. Take your time when analyzing the options in the market to ensure that you land the best one for you.