How to Start a Travel Blog
Part 2: Web Hosting For Your Travel Blog
Travelociraptor.com’s web series on “How to Start a Travel Blog” details how to start a travel blog using the popular WordPress content management system. In this Part Two I will show you how to find a web hosting company for your travel blog.
The WordPress content management system allows you to run a real website without having knowledge of computer code (html, CSS, etc.). Once the WordPress files are installed in your web hosting account (on a server at a web hosting company) you will be able to log in and post an article with about the same ease as posting a Facebook post. And with WordPress, you will have many more options on how to format the post and how to include and present photos, videos and other content.
The installation of your WordPress at your web hosting provider can usually be done with the click of a button and that will be discussed in another part. When you click that button to install, a number of WordPress files are loaded onto your web hosting account. Those files include an index.php file for the home page. Virtually every website on the Internet has an index file for the home page. Below is a screenshot of some of the WordPress files for this website www.travelociraptor.com:
Luckily you may never even see the files as presented above. Once the files are installed you will be directed to a login page and then to a “dashboard” where you can manage your travel blog.
There are thousands of web hosting providers. To start a travel blog you will most likely need only a basic web hosting account with a hosting provider. These basic accounts are usually about $100 to $200 per year. When you think about it, that’s an incredible price, as aside from any travel expenses, this will likely be most of your overhead.
Searching for web hosting providers at Google.com will return an overwhelming amount of results. With all the listings it’s difficult finding a reliable web hosting provider with good customer service. However, over the years I have found several web hosting providers that have worked well for my websites (listed below) and I recommend the following for your travel blog.
Recommended Web Hosting Providers
BlueHost.com: BlueHost is known for having optimized hosting for WordPress sites. I have another website that receives quite a bit of traffic (about 5,000 visits a day) that is hosted with a WordPress Optimized VPS (Virtual Private Server) at BlueHost at a cost of approximately $240 per year. I have never had any problems with BlueHost, page loading times have always been fast, and excellent customer service is always available.
HostGator.com: Excellent page load times and very knowledgeable customer service makes this a provider that I often recommend to others. Their basic plans have limitations on WordPress features such as no ads and no custom templates. I use a business plan for my Kauai website at a cost of approximately $120 per year with all the features and excellent customer service.
HostMonster.com: I manage a website for a buddy who has a fishing site and this is the web hosting provider we use. I’ve never had a problem with HostMonster.
Any of the three above listings are a solid choice. Select a plan of at least a year. Multiple year options usually have cost savings. After purchasing your hosting, record all the information including expiration date, login and passwords, account information, DNS settings and other information.
Part Three: How to Install WordPress (Coming Soon)
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