I am planning to self-host two of my WordPress blogs [including this one] and recently did a lot of research online in finding some good web hosts, finding free WordPress themes [mostly magazine themes, my favourite] and ran into a lot of good information and useful tips and tricks. This is a brief collection of my web hosting wisdom obtained as a result of my research so far on web hosting for WordPress. This info will be useful for anybody who is not very technically endowed and wants to find a good web hosting to self host his/her blogs using the highly popular WordPress software.
The first important thing is to read about web hosting, web hosting FAQs, terminologies etc. on the internet if you are a layman like me. Please note that some web hosting companies themselves make websites to give you all the info and may dishonestly try to induce you into buying their service. So be careful while searching for information.
The forums at WordPress.org and wordpress.com will also come in handy. The FAQ/help section of the web hosting companies also have a lot of info. Their forums are also a good source of knowledge about the technicalities as well as the company itself. I found the FAQ and other information at web hosting choice useful and informative. You can also write or chat directly [and you must] with the various web hosting companies. I did talk and ask even silly questions to many web hosting companies such as Doreo, Hostgator, A small Orange and WPwebhost. All of them were prompt with replies to my web hosting queries.
You must realize that no web hosting provider will be perfect. Some people will suggest you to search ‘webhosting of xyz company sucks’ in Google [e.g.: GoDaddy sucks] and note the number of results returned to know how much some web hosting companies are hated by people. For example there is even a full-fledged website dedicated against Go Daddy called No daddy! I did find many satisfied customers of GoDaddy in India, just the same. Many web hosting companies have paid staff writing articles for their services or writing fake reviews of rival web hosting companies. Please do not get moved by such pieces on the internet [but that does not mean you ignore genuine reviews]. A simple Google/Yahoo search results will return a lot of results or find good article on major tech blogs like Makeuseof, readwriteweb, Smashing Magazine, Lifehacker, Techcrunch, Labnol and Mashable will also help. Must read the Webhostingtalk forums.
WordPress recommendations [they recommend 6 web hosting companies] are good to begin your research but please do not stick only to them. There are smaller companies that may better suit your needs. If you are looking for a cheap (read affordable budget) web hosting solution for your simple blog that does not attract a lot of traffic you can consider a small orange tiny hosting plan [Richard and Timethief of Onecoolsite recommend it].
Nearly Free Speech, a simple beautiful web hosting company, has a unique business design: the prices are based on your actual uses [so it’s great for personal blogs that may not attract enormous traffic]. Read the documentation on their site and you will like them so much for their humour. Anshul’s cartoon site Brainstuck is hosted with Nearly Free Speech and works quite fine. WPwebhost,an Exabite concern [Malaysia] is also a good option for web hosting for WordPress users.
If you are looking for some offbeat and unique web hosting companies read this article on Free Speech hosting: a quick review of 11 web hosts that won’t dump you at the first sight of controversy.
It is recommended that you find out the web hosting company of any website or blog that you like by doing a WHOIS search about that website. For example if you think that Skeptic Geek is a good site which you always find on, then you can do it’s WHOIS search and easily find that it’s hosted on BlueHost. So if you are impressed by the uptime of some website, you can find it’s webhost and use the services after doing some more research.
A good idea before self-hosting will be to do some experiments with free hosting and free domain name if you think you are going to struggle with the WordPress installation! Read this article on Make use on setting up a WordPress blog for free. I am soon going to do that to learn the ropes in a better way. In the comment section of that article you will find links to free hosted blogs. It will be a good learning experience to do some trial and error before buying your web hosting space and working with your primary blog.
A lot of web hosting companies give you discounts when you register [but not all of them]. You can search for discount coupons on the net. Retail me Not is a good site for hunting discount coupons. I found there discount coupons for A Small Orange and some other web hosts. Some reviewing and affiliating sites [beware of shady sites] may also offer your coupon codes. I read somewhere that ‘WHOIS’ code will get you 50 $ discount on any Dreamhost account [I’ve yet to try that]!
You can get flat 50 per cent off on Justhost by closing the window while registering. A “live virtual agent” will appear [while also irritating you] and offer you 20 to 50 per cent discount [I tried it more than once; they’ll always tell you ‘it’s an only today’ offer!]. Update: Do not go to JustHost. They are not good hosts. Read more here.