There are countless websites that will host your blog, photos, videos and other types of data for free or for a small fee.
But what happens if you want to have your own personal website where you are the sole owner? A place where you set your own rules, create, change or delete. What’s more, you get a full set of benefits: you have full privacy, you can market your website as your own, build a brand and so on. You’ll have a perfect way to showcase your work, hobbies and personal accomplishments. You’ll be more visible, credible and professional.
So, if you decided to create your own personal website, hosting should be your #1 concern. Think about it as the backbone of your business, its foundation. It’s the thing that helps you build your website and make sure it’s reliable at all times. Fortunately, there are a lot of hosting plans for personal websites available and making the right choice can be discouraging for a beginner. Here’s what to look for:
1. Support – how much hand-holding will you need?
All hosting platforms provide basic customers service via email, phone or ticket support. There are also various support forums to help you out. More expensive plans offer better tech support features and can guide you through the whole process. Some providers even offer 24-hour phone support. Usually, small hosting packages don’t come with stellar tech support, so you will be on your own during difficult moments, at least until the tech support team answers your queries. Choose a managed hosting service if you want full hands-on support. This will guarantee that there is a professional to help you out at all times.
2. Estimate traffic and load times
Personal websites don’t usually get a lot of traffic, but you must be prepared for traffic spikes. Don’t go for the cheapest package, particularly if you want some kind of protection during traffic surges. Most cheap plans simply fail during high-traffic moments. Choose an intermediate offer, which has plenty of room for growth – you never know when you will be featured at the top of Google…
3. Be wary of offers
Some hosting providers can lure you with “unlimited offers” for everything imaginable, for less than $1 a month. While some of these offers can be true, be wary. Double check every offer before clicking the “pay button”. Sometimes, these special offers can have secret details in your Terms of Service that can damage your website’s performance.
4. Choose a host with a good control panel
Hosting providers use different control panels to manage accounts. You should choose a hosting plan that works with either cPanel (preferably), Plesk or Webmin. Other control panels are less popular and you might find it difficult to use them and get information online. cPanel usually comes with all the features you will need and allows you plenty of room for updates and changes.