I have been meaning to do this post for a long while as I constantly get asked the questions by the numerous bloggers who I get to help with their blogs as to where to go if they wanted to move away from Blogger to WordPress. It’s, besides the question on how the hell WordPress works, the most fundamental question you gotta ask when you considering making that change.
The way webspace works is that you don’t need to buy a domain with it. Domains and webspace are fundamentally independent, so you can have bought a domain through Blogger/Google (or GoDaddy or 123-reg or wherever) at one point for your blog and then later, when you want to make the move, you can “carry over” the domain (either by transferring it to be managed by the same company you buy your webspace or you can just tell the domain wherever it’s being managed to just show your shiny new WordPress blog – I do the latter: I bought my domain through Blogger/Google and I manage it there in Google Apps and have just told it to show my WordPress blog which lives somewhere else).
3 Factors to Consider
There are 3 main factors, besides your budget, that you have to take into consideration before buying webspace.
How Important is SEO for you? If it is, then it should be a UK-based web host, as that gives your website a UK IP address which Google likes a lot.
If you have a lot of visitors and you have a lot of traffic, then you need a host that can handle that so that your blog still loads nice and fast for your readers’ benefits (who has the patience for a website to take 10seconds and more to load???).
If you put pictures on your blog that are bigger than a couple of hundreds of kilobytes per pop and you include a handful or more per post then you also need to consider how much webspace you want.
And then of course there is your budget – unlike Blogger, that put your blog on a Google server for free (but tie you down in Blogger’s limitations in return), webspace costs money. You can actually get relatively good webspace for about $8 per month, so about £5. It all just depends on your needs.
Know Your Options
So since moving to WordPress, I‘ve been with two hosts, because at first I didn’t really think about the factors above and the importance of them and my preferences.
Hostgator – Baby Croc Deal — $8 per month
When I first moves to Hostgator the beginning of the year, it was the best deal that I could afford with my little budget: Unlimited but US-based webspace. Not the fastest in the world (generally speaking, those hosting companies that offer unlimited space often have A LOT of customers and so they have to throttle the speed of their webspace to handle the traffic, so if you get a lot of traffic this one isn’t for you!), but good enough still. This is actually the hosting company that I’ve moved most of the Bloggers-2-Wordpress Convertees to.
While their actual hosting service isn’t mind-blowing, their customer service is.
They have a 24/7 online chat-based support service, both for billing and technical issues. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people on there when I first moved to HG and had to figure stuff out (every host lets you manage the webspace differently in terms of interface/user panel) Everyone is always super helpful and very resourceful.
TSO Host — Pro Hosting — £4.99
This is the hosting company I am with now – and I love it. Since moving to their services, my website has loaded a lot faster, which is brilliant and very important to me personally because I want you guys to have the best experience when you take the time to come here in the first place.
It also gives me a UK IP address which I like for SEO purposes. I like Google liking me and they like websites that follow their rules or suggestions and put higher value on those sites that do – and who doesn’t like being on Google’s good side (even if I consider the bane of my life in disguise of a blessing!).
Their interface is super easy to handle too and their customer service is exceptional. When you do have an issue, submitting a support request is super simple and the boys and girls at TSO Host doe everything to sort things out at supersonic speed.
While I think the £4.99 per month deal is the best one for bloggers, because it gives you 10GB of space and 150GB of monthly traffic, which for 99% of bloggers is more than enough, plus you can host 5 other websites on the space, they do have smaller, cheaper versions / options as well, if you have a more limited budget.