Category Archives: Blogging Tips

What’s Your Backup Strategy?

How much do you stand to lose if your site goes down and you’re left without a backup? Even if you only have a smaller personal site, losing months or even years worth of work will hurt.

If your site is vital to your business it can get you in the pocketbook, too. You’ll not only have to worry about lost content, but links that now return 404 errors, any customizations you did to your theme and plugins, lost comments and all of the other tweaks and modifications you’ve made to your site.

You can rebuild but why go through all of that hassle when it can be avoided by having a good backup strategy.

A good backup strategy requires a balance between being as up to date as possible with the effort you can reasonably put into it with the resources at your disposal. Remember, you can’t rely on your web host to do it for you. Even if they offer the service, if you are locked out of your hosting account their backup will do you no good. Ask yourself these questions before formulating your backup plan:

How often do I really need to make a backup?

This will vary based on how often content is updated and how often changes are made to the structure of the site itself. A busy site that’s updated several times a day and receives a substantial number of comments might be backed up hourly while other sites can get away with just once a week.

For most sites a daily backup of the database is sufficient; an hourly backup could potentially strain the server, particularly at busy times of the day.

The WordPress files such as content, themes and plugins will also need to be backed up on a regular basis. If you rarely make changes to your theme or plugins and don’t upload amount of media, this can be done less often, perhaps once a week or even less often if you aren’t making changes and uploading images or other media.

No matter how often you choose to backup your database and files, you’ll want to be sure to do a backup right before making any changes to your site as insurance in case something goes wrong and once again after all changes have been made.

Where will I store my backup?

The simplest solution is to store your backup to your local machine, though this isn’t without its own set of problems. If you’re away from your computer and your site goes down, how will you get it back up and running without access to the backup?

Although it doesn’t seem likely that something will happen to your computer at the same time your site goes down, it is possible.

You can also store backups on your server. However, if you can’t access your sever, you’re still screwed. I’ve heard of more than one person who had their site shut down by their web host and were then unable to get the files and databases needed to migrate to another site.

It’s always best to store copies of your backups in more than one location, for example your personal computer and an online storage service such as dropbox. You can also look into paying a service to make and store backups for you as an added convenience and for peace of mind.

So I have these backups, now what?

Having backups scheduled every ten minutes won’t do you any good if you’ve no idea what to do with them in the event that your site goes POOF!

If you don’t have a plan in place to restore your site, you can lose hours and even days trying to figure out how to get your site back up and running. For most people, this will be stress they don’t need and time they can’t afford to spend. Take the time now to prepare for the worst case scenario.

If you have the time and inclination, teach yourself how to restore your site from the backups. There is a bit of technical know-how needed, but it’s something most people can be taught to do. Since restoring your site isn’t something you’ll do on a regular basis, make sure to write down step-by-step instructions and keep them and all relevant log ins and passwords in a safe place that will be easy for you to access if you need to fix your site yourself.

You don’t want to waste time having to Google and remembering FTP details while under pressure.

Another possibility is to develop a relationship with somebody who is experienced with WordPress and can fix your site more efficiently than you could. Again, it’s best to contract with this person in advance and find out how much the service will cost and what information they’ll need from you to do it. You don’t want to find out at the last minute that you can’t afford to have somebody fix your site.

Some freelancers will allow you to pay a retainer to have their services for a fixed amount of time per month or year. Even if you never need their services, think of it as insurance!

Finally, you can contract with a service that will make and store backups for you and will restore your site should the need ever arise. These services vary in price depending on size of the site and the services offered but can be very affordable, especially if you have a number of sites that need to be maintained.

If you schedule backup with a professional service, be sure to ask them how often backups are made, where the backups will be stored and if you’ll get a copy and how long will you have to wait to get somebody to restore your site if needed.

As the saying goes, stuff does happen. But even though we can’t always control hardware failure or malicious attacks, we can be proactive and make a plan to ensure that even in the worst case scenario we have a backup of our sites and can get them up and running again in the least amount of time possible.

Keeping your online assets safe with a regularly scheduled backup routine, is the best insurance a site owner can have.

Sean Platt is a content marketing specialist who offers regularly scheduled WordPress backups at TheWPMechanic.Com. Follow him on Twitter.



5 Reasons WordPress is Better Than Blogger

Wordpress vs. Blogger

Many beginning bloggers start on Blogger because well, it’s free, isn’t it? Plus, it’s not nearly as scary as having to deal with hosting and servers and FTP and who knows what other impossibly complicated things.

The thing is, if you’re serious about your blogging, you’re going to have to deal with these things sooner or later, and the cost for an entire year of hosting isn’t much more than a movie night for a family of four. With professional hosting in place, you’ll feel far more investment in your site.

Still not convinced? Here are five reasons WordPress is better than Blogger.

1. WordPress is much more customizable. Sure you can do a few things to pretty up your Blogger blog and there some things you can add on, but when it comes right down to it, the difference between the two is like the difference between renting and owning a home. A rental might let you paint or maybe plant some begonias out front, but ownership allows you to tear that baby down to the studs and go crazy building it back up.

Some people might not want or need that option, but your site IS your presence on the web, don’t you want it to fit you like a glove?

2. You’ll be taken far more seriously on your own domain. Although you can use blogger in conjunction with your own domain, most people don’t go through that step and are thus nameofblog.blogspot.com. It’s not easy to remember and looks amateur. And if you’re going to go through the trouble of buying a domain name and pointing it to Blogger, why not go the extra step and secure your own hosting? Most web hosts will install WordPress for you if you purchase a hosting package and it’s not that much more difficult from that point to begin blogging on WordPress than it would be on Blogger.

3. WordPress is very search engine friendly. Although Blogger is owned by Google, the WordPress platform has an edge when it comes to search engine optimization. Not only is it structured better for the search engines right out of the box, there are plenty of plugins designed to give you every sliver of SEO advantage possible. And with all the competition for search rankings, you do need every sliver you can get your hands on.

Of course Blogger blogs are indexed by Google and can of course achieve search engine rankings, but WordPress does offer a clear SEO advantage.

4. You own your WordPress blog. Blogger blogs are owned by Google and can be shut down at any time. Of course, Google isn’t insane and most of the time they have a good reason for shutting down a blog, but do you really want to be that one case out of 10,000 where they make the wrong call? Even if you’ve saved all the content and images you’d posted on Blogger, how will you rebuild all the inbound links and PR on a new site? If this were to happen to you, you’d more or less have to start from the beginning.

On the other hand, if you own your domain and WordPress site, if your host decides to shut you down because they feel you use too many resources or have violated their policies, you can simply pack up and move to a new host, blog intact. Again, it isn’t likely that Google would shut you down like that, but do you want to give that control to an outside corporation?

5. Blogger blogs have a certain reputation. It’s not fair and nobody should be judged by their platform, but many people have a prejudice or bias against Blogger blogs. I know sometimes I’m hesitant to even try to comment on one as so many make you comment with your Google account and then require a CAPTCHA on top of that. Blogger seems to have a reputation as being more for mommy/journal type blogs rather than serious bloggers.

Of course, that isn’t true of everyone who uses Blogger, but if I were starting from scratch, I’d go with the platform that didn’t come with a reputation for being amateur.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Blogger platform if it fits your needs. But if you have the smallest inkling that one day you’ll grow out of it and want to make the move to WordPress, it’s far simpler to start with your own WordPress blog today and save yourself the hassle of trying to move later.

Hosting can be found for as little as $5 a month and you’ll be working with one of the most customizable blog and content management systems out there. WordPress offers so many advantages over Blogger, it seems silly to start with anything else, unless you’re not planning on going anywhere with your blog.

Sean Platt is a content marketing specialist who offers free WordPress tutorials at WPSimplified.Com. Follow him on Twitter.

Image Credit

21 steps to take before you launch

We’ve all been there.  You come up with a great concept for a website or blog.  You quickly check domain names, then themes (because you were already set on building it with WordPress), and use your favorite setup technique to put it all together.

Before you go public, consider these steps to make sure your ducks are in a row and your website launch will be a success.

  1. Make your site private before you do anything else.  In the WordPress Dashboard, click “Privacy” under the “Settings” menu.  Click “Keep my website private”.  This will keep search engines from indexing your website before it’s ready.  Nobody likes to be caught with their pants down, and you don’t want people (especially people who run prominent blogs) finding your site before it’s ready for public consumption.
  2. Check out the competition.  I’ve been there… I come up with a fantastic idea, spend tons of time developing it, then find out someone is already doing the same thing.  Usually they have put in 10x the time, effort and money bringing their concept to life.  If there is competition, don’t give up yet.  Are they doing exactly what you want to do?  Are they doing a good job?  What can you learn about their version?
  3. Write all of your static content.  Identify the basic information you want to share with visitors and write it.
  4. Make sure people can get in touch with you through a contact form or other method.  The last thing you want is someone with information on a huge problem that can’t inform you about it.
  5. Cross-promote all of your static content.  For example, each static content piece should offer the user a “next step” such as learning more, signing up, purchasing, following your updates, etc.
  6. After writing all your content, scan it all very closely for typos and errors.  Once you’ve checked everything, check it again.  Do something else, then check it a third time.  Your descriptive/static content says a lot about your project and you.
  7. If you’re running a blog, make sure to have a solid collection of pre-content.  Don’t fill up the site just yet, but have something for people to look at.  Some of the best promotion and traffic you’ll get will be during the launch.  Use services like LaunchFeed and KillerStartups to announce your new site.
  8. Make sure all social media and bookmarking accounts are setup and connected to your site.
  9. Put your best foot forward.  Research says you get less than 5 seconds to convert visitors to users.  If you’ve got a primary feature or content item, display it prominently where uses can see it quickly.
  10. Review your design for important element.  Web browsers look from the top left to the bottom right of the screen.  Take a 3 second look at your website.  What do you see in those 3 seconds?  Simulate being a first-time view, what do you take away from the website?  What messages are you conveying?
  11. Take a close look at your logo.  Is it a boring, stock logo? Or is it something that sends a message of both content and feeling?  For example, people should take a message away like “professionalism+tips on WordPress”.
  12. Check the footer.  Many designers simply forget to look there.  That’s why sneaky theme designers stick some nasty code there sometimes.
  13. Check your metatags and titles.  Consider SEO, and make sure to remove all default and standard tags and replace with your own.
  14. Lay the framework.  Make sure users have a clear understanding of what your new website will be or do.  Describe the site and what people will get from it.  For example, “SuperDuperBlog is your resource for daily blogging tips.”  People need to know what to expect from you, when.
  15. Look for obvious signs of design rush.  These can be offset lines, incorrect text formatting, broken links, etc.
  16. Develop your promotion list.  You have done this before, and built some strong relationships.  Identify those whom you will reach out to when you officially launch.  Remember, good blog karma means building relationships before you need something.
  17. Submit your website to appropriate directories.
  18. Build links from friends and associates.  Be sure to do this close to the end of your preparatory phase because you don’t want friends punished by search engines for linking to a non-indexable website.
  19. When everything is ready on your site, soft-launch.  Make it all live and ready, and test the heck out of it.  Invite a select group of people to test each feature of the site and tell you what they think.  Be open to both positive and constructive criticism.
  20. Make your website indexable by search engines (see tipe #1)
  21. Promote the heck out of it!  Send your email blast to your opt-in list of contacts.  Inform other site owners you know.  Submit to the launch sites.  Post new content and Ping update services.  Don’t ignore the social media and bookmarking sites. Update your author bio if you belong to other blogs.

Blog Karma

Here at Pingable, we’re pretty into the whole blogging thing.  We try hard to blog right, and that means having good blog karma.

What is blog karma?  Simple – do good things for the internet and it will come full circle.  Here is a list of ways to earn good blog karma, and a list of things that will earn you bad blog karma.

Good Blog Karma

  • Be real.  Don’t lie or pretend to be something you’re not.
  • Work hard.  Success comes from hard work and perseverance.
  • Build relationships.  You can’t go it alone.  Plus, relationships build traffic, credibility and karma.
  • Don’t push it.  Be gentle with your advertising.  We know it pays the bills, but it doesn’t have to impede your readers from… reading.
  • Develop quality resources, good advice, helpful articles, etc.
  • If not the above, than offer a unique perspective on an issue.  Opinion is fine, but don’t just complain, offer solutions and next-steps.
  • Create new things and new ideas.

Bad Blog Karma

  • Spamming other blogs with bad comments
  • Sabotaging competitors with poor feedback, nasty comments or negative/unrelated backlinks
  • Paying for cheap, badly written posts
  • Poorly writing content that is unhelpful and just link-bait
  • Generating or automating the blogging process in any manner
  • Stealing someone else’s work, or copying their ideas and simply re-stating the text
  • Not being helpful to your readers, it’s why they read!

Sources:

  • http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/2007/03/10_ways_to_impr.html
  • Image credit: http://www.amnesty.ie/amnesty/live/irish/news-events/article.asp?id=10373&page=4425

10 Apps that Make Blogging Easier

Blogging enthusiasts and professionals are always looking for effective tools to help them more easily craft blogs and posts that are compelling and effective. If you are looking for some nifty and functional ways to take your blogging to the next level, here’s the quick story on Ten Apps that Make Blogging Easier.

1. NetNewsWire

Quality blogging depends on quick and reliable access to a wide range of current information, and this RSS reader effectively brings that news to you. This free app allows you to effortlessly sync your account across any PC’s or Macs you use, which adds convenience and the ability to work from home, office, or on the go.

2. NewsFire

Another RSS reader you’ll want to try. This one offers the nicest layout of any on Mac or PC platforms, enhancing your ability to sort through hundreds of feeds, quickly selecting and accessing the information you want to make use of in your own upcoming blogs.

3. MarsEdit

When blogging, versatility is a feature you look for in any app, and this one allows you to coordinate work on different computers and different platforms. Moving material between systems is seamless, and it works flawlessly with most ‘sandbox’ sites so you can play with the format and preview the look of graphic-intensive layouts, including those with lots of images, before publishing them to your blog. MarsEdit is great for maintaining multiple blogs in the same editor so that files, images, and texts are easily passed between them.

4. ScribeFire

This free Firefox extension doubles as a powerful desktop blogging client, suitable for use on all platforms, including PC, Mac, and Linux. The WYSIWYG editor delivers a quality representation of what your posted blog will look like, and it offers an HTML/text editor so you can adjust the markup to get it just the way you want it before publishing.

5. Del.icio.us + Pukka

This combination of quality apps will provide the blogger with a steady stream of ideas. Using the social bookmarking site Delicious to tag items of interest, and employing Pukka to add pages to Del.icio.us, you’ll be able to quickly reference and include in your blog posts all the quirky, interesting, and germane issues you’ve been notating and storing.

6. Ecto

Simply put, Ecto streamlines the blogging process from initial crafting of the content or design right down to posting the blog online. It offers the versatility to be able to create content offline, composing posts from wherever you happen to be, and saving them as drafts to be tweaked, edited, and finally published at your convenience. When the blogging muse is on you keep writing and creating. Then store in for later in easy-to-edit fashion quickly and conveniently. You’ll save time and hassle with drag and drop image functions that offer WYSIWYG capability. Ecto is the go-to storage, editing, and posting app for a host of Mac, PC, and Linux users everywhere.

7. ImageShackle

Images make or break many posts, and their inclusion adds interest, makes complex blogs much more readable, keeps readers on your site longer, and delivers more affiliate clicks than bare posts without images. ImageShackle makes resizing and posting images simple and secure.

8. Quicksilver

No doubt many interesting blogs have focused on time wasted lifting hands off the keyboard to operate commands. With QuickSilver the committed blog poster need never lift a digit away from the keys, with command functions that get everything done on QWERTY. Open folders, meta tag, launch files, and upload to your blog or networking sites right within keyboard confines. Your productivity will increase as you stay right on top of what you’re doing without extraneous actions that take your focus off the task at hand.

9. WordPress

Every blog jockey is familiar with WordPress, but now iPhone users are discovering its worth in turning their mobile units into blogging tools. It delivers all the basic mechanics of effective blog crafting, editing, and posting, and allows users to take and upload photos or pull them from an existing library for upload.

10. Twitterific

Face it, microblogging is here to stay – for now, anyway! Twitterific is an outstanding tool for iPhone users, employing its own browser and offering reliable connection to posted URL’s. Reading and sorting incoming feeds is simple and quick, too.

If blogging is on the macro level is your specialty, or if you’ve forayed into microblogging in a major way, these apps will provide you with high-performance tools to make you more effective in your efforts to put out high-quality and high-quantity content to your readers, and any blogger knows that is where success starts.

 

Page.ly makes WordPress a snap

In this previous post, we talked about ways to install WordPress.  All of them have been eclipsed by this new service in terms of ease and speed.  Our friends over at Page.ly take the full WordPress install and cram it into 2 minutes.  Watch the video here.

You’ll pay for the service, but not more than a standard hosting package @ $14.95/month plus a free domain.  Check them out here!

They offer “power ups” which are discounted WordPress-related services and products like those from Woothemes.  Plus, Page.ly sites support all standard themes and plugins.  Plus, a number of themes are pre-installed so you can access them within minutes.  They said it best: “Easy like WordPress.com with the Freedom of WordPress.org”

Heard enough? Check them out here!

Or check out our full: WordPress Hosting Guide.

7 alternatives to Google Analytics

We all use Google Analytics to track visitors to our WordPress sites.  Right?  Not necessarily.  There were several services before Analytics was the standard, and even more have popped up in recent years that compete with the big G!  Here are some of the best options out there, with a little analysis of our own.

But first, some critique of Google Analytics which has caused some webmasters to look elsewhere.

  • Delay.  Have you ever found yourself checking your stats at 12:01 AM?
  • Reliability. Analytics isn’t supposed to count bots and spiders, but have you ever found a massive spike in traffic with no real explanation?  Or perhaps you’ve wondered how a search term of “green chili recipes” brought someone to your blog about rugby?
  • Ease of use.  There are some very powerful features built into Analytics, but for 90% of webmasters, they’re overboard.  Sometimes I just want a simple, stylish graph of traffic.

Here are several alternatives to Analytics that address some of these issues.

Woopra

  • Real Time
  • Easily compare and manage multiple sites
  • Tons of trackable information
  • Promises additional features soon

Clicky

  • Real time statistics
  • Free and paid plans
  • Most of the popular features of Analytics
  • A graphically pleasing layout
  • Offers a WordPress Plugin to integrate with your site.
  • Has an impressive client list including Mashable, SmashingMagazine and BuySellAds.com

Piwik

  • Real Time
  • Simple
  • Open Source
  • Plugin powered so you can add/remove features
  • Installed on your server so you have complete control and ownership of the data

Sitemeter

  • One of the originals
  • Free and paid plans
  • Easy and fast to set up
  • Easily share your stats (or secure them from) visitors

Chartbeat

  • Real time
  • Simple interface
  • Traffic alerts
  • $9.95/month at press time

Reinvigorate

  • Real time
  • Event tracking
  • “Heat map” technology
  • Desktop integration

Mint

mint-analytics

  • Self-hosted for full control
  • Search support
  • Feed subscription patterns
  • $30 per domain – One off

Do you know of another alternative to Google Analytics?  Share it below with your comment.

6 tips for making your blog stand out

With hundreds of thousands of blogs being created every day, yours will take a lot to stand out in the crowd. These tips have been assembled from years of experience navigating the blogosphere. Stick to these 6 principles and you’ve got a pretty decent chance of making it.

1. Use a custom design

This is less difficult or expensive as you may think. There are tons of beautiful themes and templates available for blogs. Find the one that best suits your needs (see #6) and customize it by adding a unique background, menu, icons, etc.

Using some of the online marketplaces like Graphic River, you can find new images to spice up your design that is both unique and aesthetically pleasing.

2. Give away something (quality) for free

One of my first blogs found success in giving away a premium quality CMS template for free. This helped in almost every component of my blog. It encouraged link building, increased credibility, and encouraged repeat visits.

The investment is well worth the return. Give away a quality asset like a theme, icons, or something else related to your blog topic. You will find an increase in traffic, backlinks and favorable mentions on other sites.

3. Post frequently (reference other article)

This article discusses this topic further, but you should respond to your readers and post often. Don’t flood your blog with content so that readers can’t filter through it all and quality suffers. However, posting on a regular and frequent schedule will build credibility and show readers you can be depended on for quality content.

4. Develop relationships

There’s no subsitute for pounding the internet pavement and building relationships. All relationships matter, but focus on connecting with others who share your passions and topics. I regularly reach out to other blogs that I follow.

Reaching out can be guest blogging, exchanging links or collaborating on a freebie release. (See #2)

5. Be unique

The web is full of duplicative, useless content. There is a special place in hell reserved for those who saturate the web with boring content meant only to encourage ad clicks.

Have you noticed the increase in “list” sites? Mashable.com and Tutorial9 are just some examples of websites that create helpful posts of lists like “100 of the best free WordPress themes”. Your content should be unique, informative and easy to read. If you can do this, the links and traffic will follow.

6. Leave out the excess (focus on the content)

The big content management systems (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) offer countless addons and plugins. These can be both helpful and harmful to your blog. Don’t think that the coolest features are necessary. Focus on quality, informative content and leave the fancy sliders and effects out.

7. Be patient

The top blogs were not made in a day. Popularity, traffic, links and credibility are earned over time. If you’re passionate about a topic, you will continue to be motivated by changes and innovations. Be patient, offer consistent quality and useful content that people can expect every time they come back.

Mini-tutorial: Creating awesome screenshots

The golden rule of blogging is offer valuable content.  This tip trumps a good design, flashy graphics, twitter integration, powerful links, even advertisements.

However, quality content can be improved with an applicable and eye-catching screenshot.  Here are some tips and tools for creating awesome screenshots for your WordPress posts.

Choosing the format

  1. All screenshots should be the same format and size.  Pick a size that goes well with your theme and stick with it.
  2. If your screenshot will not be of the entire page, pick a section of the site that is applicable to the topic of your post.

Choosing the screenshot

  1. Pick a section of the site to screenshot that is descriptive of the topic and has something to look at.  For example, don’t choose blank space or a generic graphic to focus on.  Rather, choose a piece of the site that is unique and shows something about what the website is about.

Here’s and example of a good and bad screenshot of Mashable.com – one of our favorite blogs.  For this example, we chose a 200px square image in JPEG format.

A bad screenshot
A good screenshot

Notice the differences?  The bad screenshot doesn’t indicate the website or anything about it.  What is that blog about?

The good screenshot indicates the name of the blog, several categories, even the overall color scheme.  It doesn’t matter that the entire logo isn’t shown, people will get the idea.

Formatting your screenshot

  1. There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of your screenshot after you’ve chosen how and what to snapshot.  You can add effects like an angle, dropshadow or even the famous “shiny table effect”.  Here are some examples:
The original screenshot without effects
A screenshot with a -25 degree arbitrary rotation.
With an added dropshadow

These effects were all done in the GIMP, a free graphics editor.  If you want to add the shiny table effect, check out this tutorial.

Choose the right tools

There are lots of options out there for taking and manipulating screenshots.  Here are some of our favorites:

Firefox addons

The other option

  • If you don’t want another addon, just use the Print Screen button on your Windows machine which will add a screenshot to your clipboard.  Simply paste it into your selected graphics editor into a file of your preferred size.  Drag it until you’ve got a nice focus and you’re all set!

Graphics editors

  • Photoshop – the cadillac of image editing with virtually limitless options.
  • The GIMP – a free option that comes with many of Photoshop’s features.
  • Grabit – a handy screenshot tool but limited advanced options.  Built purely for screenshots.

A few more tips when taking screenshots

  • Choose color – bright, vibrant colors add energy to your blog post.
  • Keep them small – screenshots are just a taste of a site and shouldn’t encompass the whole thing.
  • Keep them natural – don’t resize if you can avoid it.
  • Keep them applicable – if you’re creating a showcase post, or list of multiple sites, choose the first list item as your screenshot.
  • Have your own tips for a screenshot?  Leave a comment below.

WordPress Hosting Guide

There is a lot to consider when looking for WordPress hosting for your site.  Of course, you don’t have to self-host your site as outlined in this post on How to Install WordPress.  If you do choose to self-hosted WordPress Hosting, you’ll need a hosting provider.  However, not all hosts are created equal and there are a number of parameters that need to be considered. WordPress.org has a hosting suggestion page which currently includes:

If you choose to look further than the WordPress sponsored hosting partners, use the following criteria to make your selection.

Meet the basic server requirements

Many hosts meet the minimum requirements for hosting WordPress, but not all.  They include:

  • PHP version 4.3 or greater although version 5.2 is recommended
  • MySQL version 4.1.2 or greater although version 5.2 is recommended
  • Mod_rewrite Apache module
  • A Linux based platform with either Apache or NGINX

The official WordPress Hostingrequirements page suggests sending an email to hosts you are considering working with to make sure they meet the requirements.

That’s all WordPress.org has to say.  We have more suggestions when searching for a host.

Excellent Support

  • Peruse the forums and see what kind of support is given.  Dead threads and complaining customers is a big red flag.
  • Look for 24/7 support, an indication the host is dedicated to the business they’re in.
  • Live chat support is a big help and suggests the host is there to help and backs up their service
  • Give them a test.  Send a pre-sales support question – maybe asking how their servers meet the WordPress hosting requirements and note the response time and tone of their response.

Site design

We don’t mean to be design snobs, but if a web host can’t even manage their own website, how can they be expected to support you in managing your own?

Look closely

Does the web host have advertisements, unrelated text links or skeezy operations meant to build links but not necessarily customers?  These are all signs of a host that is not operating ethically.

Hosting other WordPress sites

Look at your favorite WordPress powered blogs and use this tool to find out who’s hosting them.

Look for these key features

  • They offer one-click WordPress installation like Fantastico
  • They offer unlimited MySQL databases (for running lots of WordPress sites)
  • They support WordPressMu (just ask them)
  • They support AJAX

Based on everything, we recommend these hosts in addition to the ones listed above:

Our Recommended WordPress Hosting Options

Additional resources:

Image credit: Verseone.com