How to choose a hosting company for your author website

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Choosing the right web hosting company for your author website is an important decision. Find out what to look for.

What is hosting?

Hosting is the provision of the technology and services required for your website to be available on the internet. Your website will be hosted on a server, which is essentially a type of computer. Your visitors will put your web address into their browser and will be connected to the server on which your site is hosted.

Before considering hosting, it is wise to decide on a domain name.

Self-hosting

This is the ideal route to go down, especially if you want to monetise your site (make money from it). Self-hosting is when you pay a hosting company to host your website, as opposed to choosing a free platform such as Tumblr or WordPress.com (as opposed to WordPress.org).

Self-hosting is the ideal route to go down, especially if you want to monetise your site –How to choose a hosting company for your author website Click To Tweet

The self-hosting option gives you far more freedom over your site, as you actually own the site and are not at risk of it suddenly being shut down. You also have more say over your domain name and won’t be stuck with ‘wordpress.com’, for example, at the end of your web address, which can look unprofessional.

If you’re interested to learn more about self-hosting, see Chelsea Clarke’s useful article about self-hosting at herpaperroute.com.

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Top five musts for author website hosting

All authors will have individual needs, but there are some basic things to look for in a hosting company’s provision. You’ll need to investigate which hosting company is right for you.

As an author, your top five web needs will look something like this:

  • multiple email address provision (so you can have contact@yourdomainname.com, yourname@yourdomainname.com and others)
  • WordPress support (if you’re using WordPress to build your site – this is by far the most popular choice for web platform and therefore has the most support available)
  • optimised loading speeds (giving your visitors a positive, enjoyable experience)
  • FTP access (if you ever need to manually upload files from your computer to your site)
  • 24/7 support (if your site goes down on Christmas Day, you’ll need to arrange for it to be fixed as soon as possible)

The best web hosts for your author website

There are many web-hosting companies, some more well-known than others. As the choice and the competition is constantly changing, I won’t name any specific ones here. However, here are a couple of recent articles that do a good job of listing hosting companies for authors, along with their main features:

Who do you host with?

Leave a comment to let us know about your web hosting company, and whether it’s working for you!

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2 Responses

  1. Chris Phipps

    If WordPress ever screws up your site, you’ll never get it straightened out. I finally cancelled after two separate long chat sessions which claimed to have the problem repaired, and one long telephone call. Every time they “fixed” something, it broke something else. I would never recommend it.

    • Debbie Emmitt

      Hi Chris, sorry to hear you had such problems with WordPress. Was that when you used them as a web host (wordpress.com), or are you referring to WordPress as a content management system? In my experience, using the self-hosted version of WordPress (wordpress.org) and hosting a site elsewhere works well (fingers crossed…)

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