Getting started: choosing a website host and plan
To own a website, you need website hosting. Hosting is basically like renting space for your site files to live online. There are hundreds of companies and options, and each company has its own set of features and plans.
Currently, my favorite hosting provider is Siteground. Their 3 plans are flexible, and cover a variety of needs. You can check their site for the full listing of features, but I’ll list some of the key points here:
All plans include:
- Speed: They achieve fast load times through a variety of methods.
- Amazing support: Their support is top-notch and 24/7
- WordPress related support: Their support staff are intricately familiar with WordPress.
- Security features to help prevent malware attacks, spam, and hacks.
- Auto-updates of WordPress, themes, and plugins: essential to keep your site running smoothly (you can always do this manually, but it’s nice to have it automated)
- Backups: daily backups (the lowest plan only stores one backup, the higher two store 30 days’ worth)
- Free email accounts
Which plan should you choose?
My recommendations are:
Choose the StartUp plan if you:
- Only have one website
- Expect to be in development mode for a while before going live, and don’t need the features from the other plans yet. You can upgrade your plan whenever you’d like.
- Don’t need a top-notch backup plan. This plan only stores one backup, so it’s not a good solution long-term.
- Won’t have an image-heavy site. (You’ll be limited to 10GB of space, and images rack up space quickly.)
Choose the GrowBig plan if you:
- Need a solid backup plan: You’ll get 30 days’ stored backups, and can easily restore from a backup.*
- Even faster speed (better caching)
- Bonus: comes with 1 year free SSL certificate.
The GoGeek plan has the same GrowBig features, plus:
- Even faster speed (databases are kept on SSD vs SAS drive)
- Staging: if you’ll be adding features to your site post-launch, this plan is for you! The Staging feature allows you to make easily make a copy of your site, and make edits there. When you’re done, you can click a button to make your edits live. It’s incredibly efficient and makes adding new features faster and safer.
Sign up here, or, ask me if you’ve got questions. Or, ask them–click the Live Chat button on the top right of Siteground’s website.
A note on backups: Siteground takes backups of your entire hosting account: ALL your domains and files, your email, databases–everything. It is therefore slightly more complicated than VaultPress to restore a backup, because VaultPress stores just your website’s files and database. You can read more about backups here.
I don’t think Siteground is the answer for everyone. If I think a different company would be better for your specific case, I’ll let you know. If you would like to use a different hosting company, that’s fine, although I do ask that you run it past me first.
This post contains affiliate links. I will be paid a commission from Siteground if you purchase a hosting plan after clicking on a link from this post. However, I am promoting Siteground because I believe they are a great choice. If you prefer to purchase without using an affiliate link, go to siteground.com.