Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. It’ll answer a common question from beginner food bloggers: Which is the best hosting option for your blog?
If you’re thinking of starting a food blog (whether you want to promote your business, share your recipes or start a side-hustle), deciding on a blogging platform and host are some of the very first steps
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What are the options for starting a food blog?
Nowadays, food bloggers have a whole bunch of options in terms of the platform they choose to create and host their blog.
The most common platform by a long shot is WordPress. WordPress have around 60% of the of the CMS market (that’s Content Management System – basically, the platform you use to manage the content on your site), literally 28% of “the entire internet” is run on WordPress (including 14% of the world’s top 100 sites). Oh, and WordPress is also the fastest growing CMS.
That’s not to say WordPress is the be-all-and-end-all in blogging sites. The popularity of drag-and-drop style sites like
If you’re thinking of going with
So, I think you can probably guess my recommendation: a self-hosted WordPress site (that’s WordPress.org, not WordPress.com) is the perfect way to start a food blog.
How to Choose the Best Host for your Food Blog
If you settle on using a self-hosted WordPress site as your food blogging platform, you’ll need a host (to fulfil that ‘self-hosted’ part).
Your host is the server where your site is stored.
For most WordPress sites and blogs, particularly at the beginning, shared & managed hosting is the most cost-effective and reliable option.
In terms of which hosting you actually opt to use, the options are almost endless but there are a few big players, from the pricy (BlueHost) to the bargain basement (GoDaddy or HostGator).
The key things you’ll want to take into account when picking a host are:
- Price – At the end of the day, your site hosting needs to be affordable for you and your business
- Support – How quickly can you get a response when you have a question or something goes wrong? And how helpful will that response be in actually solving your issue?
- Security – If you have concerns about hacking, you need to be assured that your site is hosted securely, and (in the case of shared hosting) that it won’t be affected by the security of other sites
- Speed – First impressions matter and the time it takes for your site to load is a visitor’s first impression. Site speed can negatively effect conversions & sales (your bottom line), bounce rate (how quickly a visitor leaves your site after landing on it) and even your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – this refers to your ranking/position in search engines like Google).
- Uptime – That first impression is doubly affected by uptime. Your site can’t achieve anything if it’s offline – how much downtime can you risk?
- Practicality – How quickly and easily can you get started with your food blog, once you’ve signed up for hosting?
Which Host is Best for a WordPress Food Blog?
My best advice? Don’t go overboard. When you start out, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on all the bells and whistles.
That said, I’ve opted for the cheapest bottom-of-the-barrel option before and 100% regretted it.
Poor uptime + poor customer service = a terrible experience – and not worth a couple of quid saved on hosting fees.
I use (affiliate link) SiteGround to host my WordPress sites. Lets see where they stand on those important factors for choosing a host:
- Price – SiteGround’s plans aren’t the cheapest you’ll find anywhere, but I think they’re pretty affordable. They (affiliate link) start at £2.75/mo for one website with 10GB web space and up to 10,000 monthly visits – more than enough to host a single blog that’s just starting out.
- Support – Siteground have awesome customer service (literally, any time I’ve had a problem I can hop into a chat with someone and get it solved pretty much right away). I looked it up, and SiteGround actually has (affiliate link) a policy of immediate response time over the phone and in live chat, and a response time of under 10 minutes for support tickets, which is faster than most other hosts.
- Security – SiteGround’s security measures stand up to serious scrutiny too. They have (affiliate link) technologies in place that keep your site safe (like attack-blocking artificial intelligence, isolation of accounts on shared servers, security at data centres, free SSL-encryption, and even measures around GDPR). That’s a whole lotta jargon that adds up to not having to worry about your site’s security.
- Speed – Industry averages for site speed are around 4.7 seconds, and SiteGround’s are typically 1.7 seconds – so (affiliate link) visitors can access your site faster.
- Uptime – The uptime for blogs I’ve hosted with SiteGround has always sat at a cool 100%, and the statistics back this up. SiteGround averages (affiliate link) 99.99% uptime across all sites (largely thanks to those security aspects outlined earlier).
- Practicality – SiteGround is (affiliate link) officially recommended by WordPress.org, and includes one-click WordPress install. I’ve actually got a blog post walking you through starting your own food blog in an afternoon.
Since I switched to better managed hosting option, I’ve been blown away by how much more I get done when my site is actually reliable (and how much energy I no longer spend worrying about it).
As with using WordPress.org for your CMS, SiteGround isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of hosting options – far from it.
Have a look around, evaluate your options, and work out whats important to you. Cheaper hosts can definitely be found if you’re happy to forego some support or security options, and you can pay more if you’re looking for a totally done-for-you solution, for example).