This is the second installment in our Gay Girl’s Guide To Blogging – and it outlines how to choose a web hosting service and what you need to consider when buying a domain. If you’ve already found out about the benefits of a self-hosted blog then this is the first step in moving your site to a new home!
Whether you’re moving from Blogger, WordPress.com or starting a totally new blog, you will firstly need to find web hosting, buy a domain and link these things together. Here’s my advice on how to do this. (Please note, this is just the result of MY EXPERIENCE – you may find that you do things differently and still get a good result, so please be aware that this is just one person’s advice!)
First, you need to choose a hosting company for your blog. There are so many blog hosting services across the web, and it really is up to you to choose which one works for you. To get the most from your blog, you should ideally find a hosting company who run from the same country as where you live (as some people do check where your blog is hosted to ascertain that it is genuine and reputable). You’ll also want to make sure that the web hosting service you choose will have enough server capacity to deal with all of those visitors coming to your site – again, this will depend on how big your blog is, but it’s always a good idea to give yourself a bit more than you think you’ll need so your site can grow.
In terms of A Summer Full Of Peaches, we use UK based web hosting from TSOHost and we would recommend them hugely. Not only are they competitively priced, they also have a comprehensive 365 day a year support service and they are SO helpful. We chose the Standard Hosting service, which gives us 2.5GB of hosted space each month, 20GB of monthly traffic (which equates to around 100,000 hits per month) and the option of hosting up to 4 websites on the server at any one time. Most months this is absolutely plenty for our blog (although we have come pretty close to hitting the limits a few times!). This amount of space should be perfect for a growing blog, and it costs us £2.69 a month plus VAT – so less than a coffee. (There is a one-off set-up charge when you first open an account – it’s around £12). It is definitely worth it, and I have a 10% off discount code if anyone is interested – just fill in this contact form if you’d like me to email it to you.
The next thing you’ll need to do is buy a domain. The domain is where your website will be found – so you’re basically choosing the URL which people will type in to find your blog. You can get so many types of domains – ending in anything from ‘.net’,‘.org’ or ‘.in’ – but the best ones to choose are those ending in ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’ – mainly just because these are the ones people are most likely to use and remember. If you want to check whether a domain you like is available, just use one of the online tools – TSOHost have one on their site, as do most web hosting companies. You’d usually expect to pay between £7 and £15 a year for a domain (I think we pay around £8 a year for http://asummerfullofpeaches.com.) If you can buy your domain from your web hosting company, this is often the easiest way to set up your self hosting.
Once you’ve chosen a web hosting service and bought your domain, the next step is to install WordPress.org onto your CPanel and then moving your old blog across to it’s new home. Check back soon for instructions on how to to do this!Carley