Where to Host Your WordPress Blog (Sidebar)
By Lisa Suttora
In my article, "How to Market Your Ecommerce Site with WordPress Blogs," I explain how you can use a content marketing strategy using WordPress blogs to help you boost sales (link to article). Here are more details to help you determine where you should host your WordPress blog.
Where to host your WordPress blog depends on your current ecommerce hosting plan. You can use your current hosting under these circumstances:
1) If you have a dedicated server for your monthly hosting plan, you can have as many domains as you want on that server (you are the only company on that server and therefore are only limited by space considerations). A big ecommerce operation will likely have a dedicated server plan. You can host your blog there too.
2) A smaller seller with a small site might have a hosting plan like Hostgator's "Baby Plan" - unlimited domains for $7.95 per month. Even though you are sharing the server with other companies, since the plan offers unlimited domains, you can add a domain for your blog.
There are two situations in which you would need to choose a new hosting plan for your blog:
1) If your current hosting plan only allows for a single domain (like Hostgator's Hatchling plan).
2) If you are using a turn-key solution to run/host your ecommerce site. Even if the turn-key solution offers some kind of blog solution to "hang off" the back of your ecommerce site, you shouldn't do it! A blog is your home on the web. You should have "self-hosted" hosting of your blog. And your blog should always be a top level domain i.e., http://diaryofadishie.com. (There are several reasons for this, an important one being that sending traffic from a blog on its own domain to your ecommerce site can also have SEO advantages because the search engines count traffic as an inbound link.)
As for free hosting at WordPress.com - don't do it! Your blog should always be "self-hosted," meaning that you have full control over the hosting plan/design/functionality for your blog.
There are a variety of disadvantages to their free hosting, but the primary one is that your blog will not get the credit for any incoming traffic to your domain.
When you host your blog for free on WordPress.com, your domain name would look like this http://pennydelossantos.wordpress.com/ - with WordPress.com at the end of your domain. This means that all the traffic coming to your blog is credited to wordpress.com instead of your domain - not a good thing! (And it defeats the purpose of having a blog.)
Also, with WordPress.com, you are limited to the 100 themes they offer (as opposed to using any free or paid theme). There are additional restrictions - here are all the details. Yes, you can upgrade to their premium services, but if you are going to have a blog, you want complete control over its design and functionality.
When choosing a hosting company, make sure that:
- The company uses Cpanel;
- Their version of Cpanel comes with Fantastico Deluxe
- The hosting company provides support via a ticketing system where you can track your support requests. Ideally they also have phone support or live chat.
As a side note, people sometimes get confused between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
1) WordPress.org is where you download the WordPress software, plugins and free themes that I referenced in my article. This site is 100% free.
2) WordPress.com is owned by the same people and provides hosting services (both free and paid) as I've described above.
See Part One of this series on this page, and look for Part Two in the next issue of AuctionBytes Update in September!
About the author:
Lisa Suttora is an ecommerce expert and founder of WhatDoISell.com. Since 2004, Lisa has specialized in helping online entrepreneurs master the marketing and product sourcing skills they need to build unique, thriving businesses in today's top online marketplaces. WhatDoISell is one of 34 eBay Certified Providers worldwide. An author and nationally known speaker with more than 15 years of online and offline retail merchandising experience, Lisa brings a fresh approach to the topic of what to sell and how to sell it. Enjoy more business building tips and strategies for marketing your online business at http://whatdoisell.com/tips, keep your finger on the pulse of today's hot trends with the free Hot Trend Alerts newsletter, and visit Lisa's blog at lisasuttora.com.
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