Whether you are contemporary of Dan Brown or just an aspiring writer who has started a blog, congratulations! We have deep respect for writers and their imagination, and how they have helped creative juices in the world flow.
Being an author is not easy. And being a new author is especially difficult. You have to write awesome stuffs, and you need to get those awesome stuffs acknowledged, appreciated and published by a publisher. Then you also gotta pay your bills and put food on the table. Yup, definitely not easy at all.
Fortunately, for new authors they now don’t have to go through publishers just to get their manuscripts published. Now, thanks to self-publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle and Lulu.com, you can easily self-publish your books. And marketing? Just start a blog and write there regularly. You will soon get an audience following every single words you pen down. Or type down.
Now we know that most authors don’t want to struggle with setting up a website and all that. That requires some technical skills and maybe a lot of money (or so they thought). But fact of the matter is, they don’t need much. You see, you can easily get a hosting service at really low cost and get a friend with some skills to install WordPress on it. There you go, a new shiny website.
So without further ado, we present you 5 best hosting companies for authors, right after the break.
Winner – Eleven2 – From $4.95/month
You probably don’t care about the speed of your site, but your audience does. Imagine having an author site that loads like snail when there are boatloads of others that will load at blazing speed. If you care, Eleven2 will take care of that for you. Their hosting plans are very well-optimized. Heck, we can even host eCommerce sites on their shared hosting plans so no worries about just blogs. There are a lot of indicators that they are not overselling their resources too so it totally fits the bill when we just want a good and affordable shared hosting service with top notch performance.
Eleven2 operates four data centers in US, UK and Singapore, and currently hosting over 100,000+ websites. Not a small number but since they have four data centers, we can safely conclude that there aren’t thousands of websites on just one server. With primary focus on shared and cloud hosting, Eleven2 also offers VPS and other solutions. All plans run on Linux, and you will get the usual Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP combination here but it’s not something you would care unless you are a geeky author. One advantage of having four data centers is that you can pick closest one to host your site so that it will be close to your main audience. This way, they will experience faster speed when they access your website.
Plus, you can just try out Eleven2’s services within 60 days since it comes with 60-day money back guarantee, which is double of what you usually get in hosting industry. The shared hosting plan begins from $4.95/mo but you will have to pay yearly. With this plan, you get 50GB data transfer and 10GB storage space, and you can have up to 10 domains on that account. The higher plans will get more data transfer, storage and you can host unlimited domains.
2. HostGator – From $3.96/month
If you can only feel safe with a huge brand and want to host your website at a company that is serving millions of domains then HostGator is the one to go. With over 400,000 customers and 8 million domains, HostGator is a behemoth of hosting industry and quite famous one too. Well known for their affordable shared hosting plans, HostGator has customers from over 200 countries. You can pick from shared hosting, resellers and VPS but for authors, shared hosting is more than enough.
All plans are backed by a 45-day money back guarantee so that you can get a refund if you are not satisfied within 45 days. It is 15 days more than industry standard too. The beginning shared hosting plan cost $7.16 a month if you pay monthly or go with 6 months billing cycle. You can commit and pay in advance for 3 years at $142.56 if you are sure about sticking to HostGator and don’t mind shelling out that much upfront. If you break it down, it basically costs just 3.96 a month.
All shared hosting plans give you unlimited space and bandwidth. Now they might be overselling a bit, but with thousands of servers they are operating, HostGator seems to be managing their resources quite well. We still don’t know how they are doing it but system resources restrictions they put on each hosting accounts are quite alright.
3. WPEngine – From $29/month
Before you ask us what crack we are on for suggesting something of this price, hold your thoughts and curses first.
WPEngine is not for everyone, but only for those that are serious in writing on their blogs and anticipating good traffic. They have taken care of everything related to technical, so that you can focus on publishing kick-ass contents. Nothing more. Nothing less. That’s your expertise, after all. WPEngine will take care of security patches and everything. All you have to do is install a theme and some plugins you like. Heck, even that, you can ask their customer support. HTC, Soundcloud and Foursquare all host their blogs with WPEngine, and that should tell a lot about their credibility.
This may not be for totally new authors who have no traction yet. But if you have already self-published, or already have some audience and anticipate decent traffic, then go with WPEngine. You won’t regret it afterwards.
You can choose from four pricing plans, starting from $29 a month for personal plan. It lets you install 1 WordPress site and 25,000 visits a month. Bandwidth is unlimited and storage is 10GB. So you don’t have to worry about a single thing, as WPEngine takes care of updates, security patches, backups, memory caching, page caching, database-caching, object-caching, multi-server solutions with load balancing, CDN and firewall. If you don’t understand what they are, just know that they make your site more awesome. Oh and an awesome 100% uptime guarantee. Yup, 100%. When your site gets more traffic, just scale up to higher tier plans which will cost you $99 and $249 a month respectively, but you may not need that much.
We are really in love with WPEngine after all our tests. The speed is very fast, and it doesn’t slow down easily. Oh and they have 60 days money back guarantee too so that is just extra sauce of awesomeness!
4. WestHost – From $4
If you are not really looking for any pricey managed WordPress hosting, but still a shared hosting optimized for WordPress (because you will choose this awesome platform for your blog), then you may want to take a look into going with Westhost. WestHost is a top-notch hosting firm from UK and very reliable. Their customer support is nothing short of amazing too. Sure, you still have to install WordPress and takes care of it yourself but WestHost is a lot cheaper than WPEngine and very well-optimized too. We sent thousands of concurrent users to our test site on WestHost and hey, it only giggles!
For $4 a month, Personal Hosting plan will give you 50GB storage and 1000GB data transfer, and 1 database so you can basically only install 1 WordPress installation. That’s good enough actually. $8 a month will get you Preferred Hosting, which comes with 200GB disk space and 2000GB data transfer. Business Hosting costs only $12 a month, and comes with unlimited resources as well as free domain, dedicated IP and SSL certificate. You won’t need them anyway. Both Preferred and Business Hosting plans can host unlimited websites.
5. JustHost – From $3.25/month
If you feel confused with all those choices, and just want a hosting service without going through the hassles of choosing a plan, then you will probably love JustHost. The company is not as famous as other companies listed here, but it is a child company of Endurance International Group, the giant holding company in web hosting industry with other huge hosting firms like BlueHost and JustHost under them. So you can be assured that JustHost is not going to disappear overnight.
Since JustHost mainly targets budget users, a small blog for an author is perfect on their servers. If you plan on getting a lot of traffic though, your sites may experience slowing down. But for a long time, your website will do just fine on JustHost. When you get good audience and traction, just switch the web hosts.
JustHost will also credit you with $100 Google AdWords credit for free so that you can spend those in getting paid traffic to your website. Oh and the company has only one plan (no more headaches) which provides unlimited bandwidth and storage. Fair usage policies are still applied though. If you commit to 3 years billing cycle, it will cost you just $3.25 a month. Or else, it’ll be $8.95 a month plus $20 setup fee for monthly billing cycle.
There you go. 5 best hosting companies you can use to setup your new blog. Keep on writing, and don’t forget to email us when you have published your first book, dear author. If the geeky side in you is telling you to find more companies to evaluate yourself, just head on to our hosting comparison tool and check them out yourself.