Blogging and hosting must move in cohorts! You are missing a trick if you have one and are undermining (or discounting) the other.
While blogging might sound as common as bread to some, web hosting for blogs has some level of technicality involved in it. Choosing a web host should be as important as, (say) choosing the name for your blog.
My experiences with web hosting have not just taught me the intricacies about the process, but I also learnt about the innumerable ways in which it bears influence on the blog, the writer and the readers at large.
The Stage for the Host
Like most newbie bloggers, when I decided to come up with my first blog, I had little idea about hosting. I took suggestions from friends, ran Google searches, and followed advertisements.
There were many names that cropped up the list. If not anything else, all these names added to my already heaping confusion.
After some thoughtful hours of research and review reading, I finally arrived upon a name – Host Gator.
Host Gator is a major name in blog hosting – highly popular and richly advertised. I fell for these and it took me little time to draw line on Host Gator as my blog host.
At present Host Gator enjoys the trusty of over 60 million websites and blogs. It is also famed for its quality, reliability, and support.
I personally saw the company appear for almost all search terms I typed. My choice was aided by the fact that some of my blogger friends had engaged services of the company.
The first few months of Host Gator hosting was absolutely AMAZING, truth be told. Negligible server drops, relentless support and great people – it seemed as if my blog would be sailing on the Traffic Sea in another couple of months.
In utter gratitude to the services I received, I started recommending the site to all random acquaintances. I had little clue of what was to come ahead.
The Tide of Mistrust
Not longer than twelve months of availing hosting services from Host Gator, a bundle issues cropped up – simultaneously and in quick succession. Imperatively, the gross speed of my blog went to the dogs.
I thought I would fall back to the much hyped support of the HostGator team. This is where I was disappointed the most.
One particular day, I took six minutes for my blog to load. I hadn’t particularly heard about the poor support system of Host Gator until now.
I tried contacting the support team for the next month or so. After a point, I felt really cheated of my money.
A deep Mistrust on the company ensued.
The Apt Alternative
As you would guess, I did (or could) not continue with Host Gator for long. I started looking for an alternative web host ever since that 6-minute-debacle.
A fellow blogger recommended A2 Hosting to me. I was apprehensive, but then again, I had nothing to lose.
My blog had started losing performance and traffic by then. I really had no other option, but to change my host.
With A2 Hosting, it was almost the same story for the first two weeks – stellar performance, superior speeds, realistic costs, and great support. However, I still wasn’t sure about sticking to it for long.
two weeks went by, then a month, and now more than two months – the performance graph of the company has kept heading towards the sky.
Unlike, Host Gator, services by A2 Hosting kept getting better and better after the initial two months. In the two month trial itself, my blog’s performance skyrocketed by fits and starts.
In was in the third month that representatives from the company called me up and informed that I might want to upgrade the plan as the blog was getting more hits than ever.
As I upgraded the plan, I experienced never-before traffic on my blog. In about three months time, sales went up by 200% as you are seeing in above screenshot.
Most of my readers can open the blog in just 2 seconds as you can see in above picture and it does not take more than five seconds to load in the slowest of computers.
Here are some features of web hosting services by A2 Hosting that fixed issues for me.
T for Transparent Pricing
Host Gator made me pay through the nose for the one year I engaged their services; I am not mentioning the fortune of early termination charge that I had to pay.
While I was unsure about the price of HostGator, I took in on their face value (they are still a big brand). With A2 Hosting, I was not ready to take any such chances.
Right at the beginning, I asked for a fair price option at A2 hosting. I must extend them the accolades to them for clearly drawing out the map on the prices.
At A2 Hosting, I was given a concise handout about the pricing. They mentioned what they were charging and for what.
You might find it a tad unreal, but even the ambiguity of the web were defined in the pricing options.
Plenty of Performance
As soon as the initial two-month money guarantee expired with Host Gator, the performance of the server hit an insurmountable low.
There was no such money guarantee with A2 Hosting. So there was no dip in performance ever.
Having said that, they guaranteed performance and have never let me (or my friends) down on performance delivery.
There were odd occasions when I would even have to consult the company on whether my blog actually loads or it is the cache page that comes up. Thankfully, it was the former, always.
No dearth of Notifications
One of my cardinal complaints about the service of Host Gator was that they did not care to inform me before inflicting (almost) permanent paralysis on my blog.
I remember an incident from last year when servers at A2 hosting were down for about 150 seconds. A week prior to that they had sent me a 4-passage long mail and the word ‘apology’ (and its derivatives) were found 16 times.
That forms the basis of my confidence when I recommend A2 Hosting to my friends; particularly those who plan to start a bog.
Super Knowledgeable Staff
I missed telling you about it, but of the million times I called the support at Host Gator, they did receive my call a couple of times.
It is difficult on my part to decide which possibility is more depressing – the customer service reps were flesh carved epitomes of knowledge bankruptcy or I was too tired from calling them and when I finally met success, I was under a Shaman spell.
To put things into perspective, my niece (in the third grade) can define ‘bandwidth’ without skipping a breath.
With A2, they get down (or climb) up to your comfort level even when explaining out complex technical details to you.
No Panel Penalties
I give full marks to Host Gator for putting up a bevy of features on their Control Panel and I deduct all those marks because hardly did I ever find a feature that I could directly incorporate with my shallow technical know-how.
The following is my c-Panel screenshot, you can see.
I (mentally) congratulated the A2 Hosting team when I saw their panel had a lean and interactive design. It wasn’t particularly flooded with features but I could use all of them easily.
For the C-Panel feature freaks, there is enough out there for you to continue experimenting for a year or so.
In sum, I still enjoy playing the C-Panel features (just like my niece does after returning from her computer classes).
A2 hosting also proivdes A2 optimized ready wordpress dashboard as you can see in below picture.
Bid Adieu to Broken Links
Like most dissatisfied Host Gator clients, I suffered from broken links every now and then. My readers often used to write to me mail complaining about these broken links.
When I tried forwarding the complaint to Gator reps, they outright denied it first; only to second it with a (bogus) theory that tagged it as a commonplace.
No reader has complained of a broken link to me ever since I have moved to A2 hosting.
I consider it important to mention here that my blog’s reader base has gone through the bubble maker’s pipe ever since I made it out of clutches of the HostGator (no pun implied here).
Now that is why I congratulate A2 Hosting for their commendable performance.
More with MyThemeShop
One of my readers (who is a blogger herself) suggested MyThemeShop to me.
I got in touch with my designer and asked him if a pro theme from MyThemeShop would work for my blog. He gave me an upward thumb and there I left him with some designing to do.
From my experiences of the theme by MyThemeShop, I dare conclude it makes the faster web pair with A2 Hosting; and that is no exaggeration.
Tips and tricks from my Journey
To paraphrase the great critic, T.S. Eliot, every bit of originality that we conjure up in our work, has been inspired from the greats of our past tradition.
Taking his theory of inspired originality ahead, I would like to make a few observations which I believe will help you get the best speed out of your blog.
I really cannot stress this enough! The past 1544 words have been all about it.
On a final note, however, I would advise you to choose a provider that understands your agenda (and identifies with the language you speak).
If you ask my personal choice, my nose would say A2 Hosting before my mouth moved.
The cyberspace is filled with rants from Web gurus stressing, analyzing, and explaining out the need for a responsive theme for blogs.
Great themes make great blogs! But the point is that most great themes often add to the lethargy of the blog. So it is often a choice between aesthetic appeal and speed.
This is why I love my current theme from MyThemeShop. My readers literally flooded the inbox with congratulatory messages about the new theme.
Aside, not even once I remember to have received a mail from one of my readers with a performance lag complaint.
Comprehending SEO Dynamics
One of the most important aspects in working up a great reader base is to understand the SEO dynamics of the blog. No blog has ever become famous without proper search rankings.
There are several ways to handle SEO. But it must begin with the content you write.
Search engines like and adore (and rank on) quality content that you write on your blogs. If your blog content is a mixture of information and reader-engagement, you got the right foot ahead.
Promoting links of your blog posts is another important consideration that you need to make do with, Ideally you may promote links everywhere – on your websites, ebooks, company brochures, company brochures, doors, pajamas – you get the clue.
What would the world be without images? The earliest of men fell in love with them and modern blog readers wield similar sentiments for images and visual illustrations.
But you got to use images carefully if you are particular about the speed of your blog. Big images tend to make posts heavy and the load time could escalate in consequence.
But there is a trick that allows you to use big images without worrying about the load time – picture resizing tools.
Online picture resizing tools are free, convenient, and effective. You could shrink the size of an image by about 80% without cutting an inch from the dimensions.
You must use only copyright free images in your blog. To find copyright-Free Images for your blog, read this post by my colleague Enstine Muki.
Performance Based Navigation
There has been enough talk about responsive web designing in the past few months. What an effect it has on modern web designing!
My personal experience tells me about another aspect that needs to work in close quarters with responsive designing – performance based navigation.
Ask your designer about performance based navigation today. Most modern bloggers have already made the shift and there is no reason you should be left out of the race.
Over To you:-
If you have devised any personal tricks to boost blog speed, please feel free to share them in the comments section.
P.S:- This article contains affiliate links. So, I will get few % of commission if you buy from my affiliate link.