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Starting a blog 10 Essential First Steps When Starting A Wordpress Blog 10 Essential First Steps When Starting A Wordpress Blog Having created quite a few blogs, I'd like to think that I have a good system down for those essential first steps, and I hope it can be of use to you too. By following... Read More is a lot of fun. But choosing whether to go with a free solution, like Blogger or WordPress.com Blogger vs. Wordpress.com: A Complete Comparison Blogger vs. Wordpress.com: A Complete Comparison The two undisputed kings of the free blogging sphere are Google's Blogger and the content management system-turned-host WordPress.com. While both offer what every free-thinking democracy-guzzling thought-cannon wants – a place to express themselves – there... Read More , or whether it’s best to go with a paid, self-hosted option is a difficult choice to make – especially when you’re new to blogging. So let me help you out a little here: the self-hosted option is the best choice.

There are many advantages to hosting your own WordPress blog. You can make it look how you want it to look, and you can add whatever plugins you like. Basically, you have complete control of every single aspect of the blog. So, now that I’ve convinced you to get your hands dirty, and host your own blog Setting Up A Blog Part 1: The DIY Self-Hosting Method Setting Up A Blog Part 1: The DIY Self-Hosting Method There are an abundance of quality free "sign-up" blogging services scattered across the Web, with big names like Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger and Posterous getting increasingly popular as their numbers grow. It wasn't always this way,... Read More , let’s take a look at the options for hosting that blog.

Shared Hosting

Well what can I say about shared hosting? Let’s start off with what it actually is. Shared hosting is when you rent a small portion of a very powerful server, that’s being shared by many other people and their websites. This can sometimes be shared out amongst hundreds of other people, and because all those websites are on the same physical server, it only takes a handful of larger websites to swallow up too many resources, and your website will be affected. Bad times.

Shared-Hosting-Examples
Some typical shared hosting examples.

 

Shared hosting is usually the first step people take when setting up their own website, usually because it’s cheap and easy to set up. That’s what I did when I started my first blog, and it was a big mistake. If you’re serious about blogging, and you follow some simple tips that will make you blog popular 8 Proven Tips To Make Your Wordpress Blog Popular 8 Proven Tips To Make Your Wordpress Blog Popular Read More , you will outgrow shared hosting very quickly, meaning you will need to migrate to a bigger host.

I hear a lot of people, in various communities asking questions like “when will I know if I’ve outgrown my shared hosting?” And the answer is very simple. If your site is running slow (and it probably is on shared hosting) you’ve outgrown it.

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Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

The next logical step once you’ve outgrown shared hosting, is a VPS. But they’re a lot more expensive, and really difficult to setup, right? Wrong. Suppliers like DigitalOcean and Linode offer really great VPS hosting for as little as $5 a month. I’ve used both of these companies, and I can personally vouch that they are both great companies to work with.

A VPS is a private, virtual server that exists on a much more powerful physical machine. But unlike shared hosting, you have a guaranteed allotment of system resources that only you have access to. So, even if there is a much bigger website than yours on another VPS, hosted on the same physical machine, that won’t matter: you’re always guaranteed the system resources that you’re paying for. Think of it like one big computer, running lots of little computers inside of it.

This means that provided you don’t overload your VPS, your website will perform much better. Plus, once your website grows, you can easily upgrade your VPS to a more powerful one in a matter of minutes – no migration required.

VPS-Hosting-Examples

The trade off to running a VPS is that you’re responsible for the server yourself, so if something goes wrong with anything that’s installed on your VPS, your host probably won’t help. That’s why it’s so important to back up your WordPress site How To Backup & Restore Your WordPress Site Easily With UpdraftPlus How To Backup & Restore Your WordPress Site Easily With UpdraftPlus Read More (although, in my experience, both DigitalOcean & Linode have been willing to help me with certain issues).

You don’t have to be some kind of computing genius to set up a WordPress site on a self-managed VPS. You can easily install a control panel like Zpanel (which is free and open source) to take care of all the legwork for you in just a few commands. Then you have a nice, web based control panel to manage your websites, databases, email addresses, and DNS, just like in shared hosting (except more powerful, of course).

ZPanel

Conclusion

So which type of hosting should you go for? Well, if I was starting out again, knowing what I know now, then I would absolutely go with a VPS from the very beginning. With companies like DigitalOcean and Linode offering such cheap, reliable VPS packages, there is really no need to settle for over utilised shared hosting.

Sure, VPS hosting is a little more difficult to setup and get going initially, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility for any intrepid blogger on a mission to make their site the best if can possibly be.

Do you have any web hosting horror stories? Or perhaps a hosting provider that’s the best thing since sliced bread? We would love to hear your stories in the comments below.

  1. bookmyidentity
    May 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Nice read! These days a lot of web hosting companies are offering high-end VPS hosting services at low-costs. Business owners must go for a VPS for WordPress right from the word ‘go’ when compared to shared hosting services!

  2. Charls
    April 10, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Of course VPS is better than a Shared hosting, In Deloit we use xeliux.com to adquire VPS for our customers. I recomend it.

    • Danny
      August 14, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you for your recommendation Charls We will test xeliux and let you know!

  3. Baba Vanga Blog
    July 13, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Hey Kev, thanks for sharing the benefits for SEO of VPS hosting vs the shared one. Yes I have experience with VPS hosting - I switched from the general shared hosting of my provider. So results were encouraging - within 40 days, my site ranked higher for a couple of my main keywords. Also I notice a significant decrease in my bounce rates and an increase in my page views - so yeah I also confirm that if you want to take your site to the next level - SEO wise, switch to at least VPS hosting.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing Kev!

    Cheers

  4. Guilberto
    March 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Hey Kev Quirl, I've found even cheaper VPS hosting than that on the picture. Take a look at https://www.rosehosting.com/, they offer server backup and fully managed support for free. Amazing deal! I have tried Digital Ocean as well since they have one of the cheapest offers on the market and I must say that their performance is similar to Rosehosting. Thank you so much.

  5. Sagar Patil
    March 18, 2015 at 6:56 am

    same happening to me , started from shared hosting and now wont to move to vps because of high traffic that shared hosting can't handle. i'm getting error "508:resource limit reach" again and again. so wont to migrate to vps hosting but still scare of damaging of website, links, media or traffic while migration. suggest me any tips for it.

  6. Jason Smith
    April 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    To chime in ....

    We were using a VPS provider (DreamHost) for quite some time until we switched to a "Shared Performance" server from EndLayer (http://www.endlayer.com). After switching, we've had a lightning-fast and stable platform. It's true that there really is no comparison between a VPS or Cloud vs. a Bare Metal solution. I also think our results had a lot to do with the custom configuration of nginx + percona vs. a standard Apache + MySQL setup. The support has been top-notch and we've been with them for about 10 months now. Has anyone else had experience w/ a "shared performance" or optimized plans like these? I know Nexcess offers something similar, but the bandwidth allotment is not comparable.

  7. Justin Basch
    April 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I'm not a huge fan of VPS, I prefer a dedicated solution for high-performance.

    • jamesava
      April 10, 2016 at 6:35 am

      Compared to a shared hosting service, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a technically superior solution in almost every single way. So far i have found 1 that offers the cheapest rate and is called interserver.net. This is the cheapest service i could find online and has all the features of a premium service. Cpanel, phpmyadmin, Unlimited space, unlimited emails, unlimited databases, etc.
      currently they are offering VPS for only a penny. at attractivereview.com you can find the coupon code.

  8. Julius
    February 14, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Digital Ocean looks fine, but what about semi-dedicated hosting? Less accounts on the server and more resources available than on shared hosting and less work than with VPS.

  9. Dave McCourt
    January 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Just to add another recommendation into the mix, I've been using Layershift (http://www.layershift.com) for about a year now. I've been very impressed with their support. They provide managed VPS hosting and scalable cloud hosting which I both use. They're based in Manchester, UK.

    I tried a few other options but really needed managed support and Plesk.

  10. Sabih A
    November 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I think VPS is better than shared hosting. I have reviewed Digital Ocean and their service is very good.

  11. Jimmy
    October 25, 2013 at 2:27 am

    Also a neat little resource is serverbear. http://serverbear.com/compare/cheap-vps

  12. W Brown
    October 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I have looked at the two sites suggested. I wondered if there was any downside going with a US company if I am based in Sunny England?

    • Kev Q
      October 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      I'm also based in "sunny" England, I'm up by Liverpool. Anyway, it doesn't really matter which you go with, as both companies have multiple data centres around the world that you can choose to store your server(s) in.

      Being geographically close to the server is an advantage, but not a huge one in my experience. So what I did, was check my Google Analytics info to see which area of the world gets the most traffic on my site. I then ensured that my server was hosted closest to this hot spot - for me, it was obviously the USA.

      However, what you do need to watch out for is bank charges, as my bank (Halifax) actually charges me extra for converting $ to £ when I pay my hosting bills. So what I personally do, is pay for it on my credit card, as I don't get a charge for the conversion there.

      I don't think either company listed above supports PayPal (although that could be wrong), so you may need to do something similar when you come to pay your bill. I'd check with your bank first.

    • Jean-Philippe Maltais
      October 27, 2013 at 3:05 am

      If you live in the UK, I would recoment any of the shared hosting or VPS from OVH .. they are closer to your readers, and in the case you decide to host in Roubaix or other european data center they provide, you can set up a CDN POP in london ( its a replica of your content on a static cache server close to your readers ) for a few buck a month.

  13. James B
    October 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Media Temple GS changed my mind; there's a review coming next month. Despite being "shared hosting", it's ridiculously fast, with SSH access, mod_pagespeed one-click install, and free CloudFlare with Railgun. I have a VPS, and I'm seriously considering switching some of my WordPress sites onto shared GS hosting now - I'm that impressed.

    http://mediatemple.net/webhosting/shared/

    • Kev Q
      October 20, 2013 at 4:14 am

      Ok, is it really sad that this has excited me?

      This does look really good. Looking at the bumph on the the site, I'd say it's almost too good to be true, but if you're trying it James, and you're impressed, then it's got to be worth a look.

      Looking forward to that review...

  14. Jimmy
    October 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Rimuhosting is also really good with VPS's. Also have multiple datacentres to swap between. And the service even with a VPS is the best i've had so far.

    • Kev Q
      October 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Hey Jimmy, can't say I've ever heard of Rimuhostong. But having had a look at there site, you don't seem to get much bang for your buck when it comes to storage space and bandwidth. Still though, it's great to have so many choices. :-)

    • Jimmy
      October 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      For me it is the service that comes with it. I think short of a full rebuild of the VPS all other service gets done quick and free 24/7. Also it was nice having New Zealand options for a change. Do many other hosts offer kernel changes on the fly? Only seen Rimu doing it in the part of the world.

  15. RJ
    October 15, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    There are some managed vps hosting providers out there too, that for a few extra bucks will hand-hold everything.

    eleven2.com, wiredtree.com, and knownhost.com come to mind on these. All include cpanel, so easy to transfer from a shared host (most are cpanel based)

    I do everything myself, but have heard good things about these. I completely agree overall, it's great to be in a virtual environment.

    One word of note, OpenVZ / Virtuozzo is the most common used software for all of these VPS providers because they can pack a lot of VE's on 1 server and guarantee and burst resources. However a lot of hosts do tend to pack them in, and you never really get your "guarantee".

    Fortunately/Unfortunately, you'll know quickly once you see your stuff running entirely too slow, and can move if needed.

    Xen/KVM are true virtualization and offer HARD limits. Usually more expensive though since the host can't oversell the space. I see Linode is offering Xen, and Digital Ocean running KVM, which is awesome!

    Good article!

    • Kev Q
      October 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Hey RJ, thanks for taking the time to leave such a detailed comment. I have to say though, in my experience, most providers of VPS do tend o be Xen or KVM, but definitely one to be aware of I suppose.

      I personally use New Relic to monitor the resources on my servers, so I know when it's time to upgrade.

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