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The first step towards turning your blog into a real business is having a reliable web hosting service provider.
Web hosting is the physical space where your site resides before being broadcast to the internet for your readers to find you.
Before delving further into web hosting and the provider that I’d recommend using, here’s a summary of all the things you’ll need to prepare for if you’ve made the decision to start a blog.
What Are Your Options When Choosing a Web Hosting Service?
There are many web hosting service providers out there ranging from free ones to premium ones costing up to thousands of dollars.
Avoid the free ones if you intend to take blogging seriously—they’ll never do you any good.
The paid options come in different forms:
- Shared hosting – The best option for beginners and bloggers with low traffic.
- Virtual private server hosting (VPS) – An upgrade for blogs or sites on shared hosting that have started getting high traffic.
- Cloud hosting – Ideal for blogs or sites that are growing fast with the need for scalability.
- Dedicated server hosting – For big company websites with a huge following who have their own in-house technical team.
In the early stages of your blogging career (a few months to a couple of years), shared hosting should suffice.
It’ll cost a few bucks per year which will allow you to understand the business without spending a fortune.
You’ll only need dedicated hosting or VPS hosting when you start getting hundreds of thousands of visitors in a day.
For this reason, I’ll only focus on shared hosting—which is what you’ll need for the next couple of years.
Affordable and Reliable Web Hosting to Get You Started
Web hosting providers are many, and picking the right one may be a tricky affair if you have no prior experience with such services.
But I garr you! I’ll share with you the service that I’ve been using for a while now and why it’ll most likely be perfect for you too.
I use Namecheap Shared Hosting which has hosted all my blogs and sites for exactly one year at the time of writing this post.
When I started my first blog, I was using Bluehost. Read on to find out why I decided to switch my hosting provider to Namecheap.
The first thing that attracted me to Namecheap was the ability to host multiple sites at an affordable price.
I have seven sites and it would have cost me double to host the same number of sites on most of the other mainstream shared hosting providers.
Here’s how much Namecheap costs me per year:
- First-year offer: 36 dollars
- Renewal price: 69 dollars
This is their second-tier plan which you may not need if you plan to run 3 websites or fewer. The price goes much lower than that!
How Much Does Namecheap Hosting’s Base Plan Cost?
Namecheap provides three different shared hosting plans depending on your needs.
The base Namecheap Hosting plan will cost you 22 dollars for the first year and renew at 43 dollars for the subsequent years.
Look at the table below to compare the three plans (scroll horizontally to see the full table if you’re on mobile).
|Plan||First-year price||Renewal price||No. of websites||Bandwidth||Storage (SSD)|
|Stellar||22 USD||43 USD||3||Unmetered||20 GB|
|Stellar Plus||36 USD||69 USD||Unlimited||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|Stellar Business||59 USD||119 USD||Unlimited||Unmetered||50 GB|
These are some of the best prices you can find on the shared hosting market for a reliable host considering you get a few more perks that’ll come in handy like the following:
- Free SSL and automatic installation of the same.
- An unlimited number of email accounts with your domain (30 for the base plan, unlimited for the rest).
- Mailing lists.
- Free CDN (content delivery network).
How Does Namecheap Hosting Compare to Other Hosting Providers?
Since I’ve only used Bluehost before, it’ll be the only legitimate comparison that I can consider making against Namecheap.
Also, I understand that if this is your first time researching web hosting, you’ve probably come across Bluehost in many other blog posts.
Don’t get me wrong, Bluehost is still a great option—so the table below shows a comparison between the base shared hosting plans offered by Bluehost and Namecheap.
|Parameters||Bluehost Basic Plan||Namecheap Stellar Plan|
|First-year price||35 USD||22 USD|
|Renewal price||120 USD||43 USD|
|Number of websites||1||3|
|Free domain name||Yes (.com available)||Yes (.com unavailable)|
|Storage||50 GB SSD storage||20 GB SSD storage|
|Maximum file count||200,000||300,000|
|Free email accounts||10||30|
Please note that these prices are for US data centers. If you want to use UK or EU data centers, the web hosting prices hike up by 12 dollars per year for every Namecheap Hosting plan.
Namecheap Is Evidently Affordable but Is It a Reliable Hosting Provider?
Yes. Namecheap Shared Hosting is reliable and it is as good as Bluehost in terms of performance and the occasional downtime.
I’ve used both services for about the exact amount of time at the time of publishing this post and I haven’t noted any differences in regards to speed between Bluehost and Namecheap hosting services.
In regards to downtime, I’ve had a few hiccups with both of them (an outage or two in a couple of months for both).
The good thing is that all of the downtimes I’ve experienced have lasted between 5 and 25 minutes.
I must admit that 25 minutes is a long time but downtimes aren’t avoidable especially when it comes to shared hosting.
With all these in mind, I can confidently say that Namecheap Hosting is as good as Bluehost with the former having an advantage in the pricing section and a slight advantage in other departments.
Bluehost beats Namecheap at customer support.
From personal experience, Namecheap support will always help you, but you’ll get help up to an hour slower than you’d have gotten with Bluehost support which takes as little as five minutes.
Problems You May Encounter While Using Namecheap Hosting
Namecheap has served me quite well so far, but I’ve had a few hiccups with the service.
The two major problems I’ve encountered include:
- Slow support – The longest I’ve spent getting something fixed is 2 hours!
- Speeds seem dodgy sometimes but I’m yet to confirm if it’s because I have multiple sites.
As you can see, not much to complain about.
It is also worth noting that some of the problems I’ve encountered might be because I’m still a beginner in this business.
Start Cheap and Upgrade Later
If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable web hosting service provider, Namecheap Hosting is a major go.
Bluehost is also a great option but is more expensive in the long run.
Namecheap is also known for affordable domains—check them out if you don’t have one already.
Bluehost will always provide a free domain for the first year.
Of course, I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase Namecheap Hosting, Bluehost Hosting, or a domain from one of my links but you can trust my review.
I’ve used and am still using the products mentioned above—I would never recommend something that I haven’t found to be worthwhile.