One of the tough things when you are getting started with a blog or website is to figure out the whole independent hosting thing. When I first moved on from the free blogger.com platform, I really had no idea where to turn. That was before I found AN Hosting, which is the where I host this website you’re reading right now.
Every web host company said they had the best customer service and the least downtime, but for every shining review written by a user of the service, I would find one miserable one to cancel it out. This is sort of true for any product I guess, and it really depends on the person in a case by case basis how they’re experience will be.
Some of the most popular web hosts are Dreamhost, BlueHost, and NearlyFreeSpeech.NET (which looks interesting, albeit a little complicated maybe). I think if you surfed around looking for reviews you would find a lot of pros and cons for any service out there. I would definitely do some research, talk to other webmasters, look for a good price, then dive in.
Here are a couple of things you want in a web host:
1) If you want to host multiple sites, you need to make sure you can host more than one domain (and subdomains) with your account.
2) If you are going to use wordpress, drupal, or joomla to create a blog, make sure it is easy to set up. Look for an application called Delicioso, which facilitates one-click set-up of blogs.
3) Try to get a host that has pretty good customer service because in the beginning, you will probably be sending in a few emails when you inevitably get stuck.
The web host I work with is called AN Hosting (now part of Midphase). I have had no problems with this service. The technicians respond directly to my emails when I have an issue and are very prompt. It is very inexpensive. You will run your account from cPanel, which in case you don’t know is probably the most user-friendly way to manage a web host account.
When you sign up with AN Hosting, you get a free domain name–when I did I got the free domain for life; I’m not sure if it’s for life anymore, but I’ll look into it. For the domain I got, which is related to my name, since I got it free for life, that’s about an $800 savings.
With AN Hosting you get tons of bandwidth and hosting space–believe me, you won’t be able to use it all.
You get one-click installs of blog platforms on your domains. You also can host 20 domain names, so if you are looking to build more than one site, you can easily do so by purchasing a new domain name and easily installing it in minutes.
You also get great service from a very responsive support team. Some of the questions I asked early on were really dumb–but they always came through and helped me through the process or simply went in and fixed problems for me.
* Full disclosure: I have been happy with this hosting company and recently re-signed for another year of service. The link above is an affiliate link to their site. I would not refer you to the site if I did not have a good experience with them. I really just want to help you find a good web host to get started with your own WordPress blogs. AN Hosting is a good choice because it is easy to get started and is a great price for what you get. Trust me, you will not be able to use all the ample room they and features they give you unless you are building enormous sites. Even then you may not scratch the storage space you are allotted.
I originally signed up with AN when I read a really good and thorough review of the company written by a very respected WordPress blog developer Chris Pearson. Everything he said about the company turned out to be true. Visit AN Hosting.
I have now been with AN hosting for over two years and they continue to deliver great hosting and awesome customer service. I have never waited longer than two hours for the support team to get back to me with answers to my questions. Like I mentioned before in this post, sometimes they will just go in and fix the problem (after they ask me if it’s ok), which is pretty cool.
In my two years of hosting several sites with AN (including this site), I have experienced downtime ONE TIME. Even then, it was from 12 am to 3 am, not exactly prime website time. This is pretty incredible and one of the reasons I am sticking with this hosting company and why I tell my family and friends (not to mention my consulting clients) to work with them to host their personal websites.
Another company to look at is GoDaddy. See the latest GoDaddy Weekly Deal.