Please note that this article refers to WordPress.org, and not the free WordPress.com. Wordpress.org is a free platform used for creating websites, including a business website, personal site, blog, forum, or all combined.
Hosting & Domain
When you make the decision to move to WordPress there are some things you need to know. The first thing is you need to understand that these times of websites are not free. WordPress itself is a free platform but you will need to purchase hosting and a domain name.
I’ll assume that you already have a name for your website. If not, check out some tips here.
You can choose to purchase your domain name separately from your hosting but not that there are some sites that include a domain name with hosting. However, this may be only for the first year, and then you would have to pay separately for the domain name at your annual renewals.
How do you decide if you should get hosting with a free domain name or not?
When I first moved to WordPress I chose a cheap hosting plan from GoDaddy that came with a free domain, so long as I maintained hosting with them. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I ever needed to contact them for help. They provided me with my FTP access and I was able to add and move around my website files as needed. They even auto-installed WordPress for me.
FTP is a way to access the actual file folders in your website. Your website is basically just a bunch of files in folders. You would need to us a FTP client to access these files. I’ll talk about that in a future post.
The problem actually came when I noticed that the renewal cost would be about USD$90 when I originally paid USD$12. That was way more than I would like. I decided to switch host, which made me realise another problem, my domain name would not be free anymore. In the end I decided move my domain and my hosting and I am now doing both with A Small Orange.
Choosing a Hosting Plan
Do. Your. Research.
This is the most important part of choosing a hosting plan. You also need to understand how much control you want over your website. If you like to get technical and customise, I’d recommend getting a plan with a company that has a cPanel interface. They should tell you this in their documentation.
cPanel is a control panel available on our Linux-based hosting accounts and servers. It lets you easily manage many aspects of your account, including the files, applications, and email hosted on your account or server.
This will allow you to install other applications and such to help have more control and customisation of your website. A Small Orange and GoDaddy offer this, however not all GoDaddy plans come with this [mine didn’t].
Another thing you have to think about is the Bandwidth.
Bandwidth is available in GBs and is affected by the number of visitors to your website during the month and also by the number of times your website is downloaded during the same month.
If you expect that your site will have a lot of visitors or if your site will have a lot of images and videos, you will probably need more bandwidth. Remember that each time someone looks at your site, their computer will download the files to show them.
Storage is another thing you have to decide on. If you will have having a lot of large images and videos, I’d recommend getting a plan with more storage. Additionally, you could host your videos on another site and then just embed them to the page you want them.
You will also need to check out some other customer reviews, and see other features that the hosting provider offers, before you make a decision. If you will be hosting a book blog, you can consider an all-inclusive hosting like Nosegraze offers. Whatever you decide, you probably don’t have to stick with it if you don’t like it.