Editor’s note: This post was written by Natalie Lehrer, a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Google Plus, Twitter @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.
Blogging is this generation’s soapbox, and with the advances in technology, there is the possibility for anyone to have access to a global audience of millions of readers. The reasons for blogging are extremely diverse and has even been the subject of research studies across the world. Generally, reasons fall within the following loose categories: creativity, expertise, business or as a form of virtual therapy. For some, blogging is a fun and creative process where they can share their passions, inspire or have a platform for their thoughts and feelings. Some expert’s blog to educate or to establish their expertise and knowledge, possibly to showcase their portfolio in the hopes of finding a better job or develop a following. Some do so to engage in debates and converse with a global audience. There are a number of bloggers that do so in the hopes of marketing or selling a product or even themselves. Some do it for the ability to talk anonymously, others for the fame.
Whether you are blogging to make a difference or just to be heard, you want your content read. You hope to reach a larger audience that those immediately around you and for people to hear what you have to say. So what happens if you actually make it?
What happens if you write that golden piece that captured your audience’s imagination, gets shared, and skyrockets to viral fame? Thousands of people are now flocking to your blog to read this gem, only to find that your blog can’t handle the volume and has crashed; or worse, you have exceeded your allocated bandwidth from your web hosting provider and your site has been taken down. It is every bloggers worst nightmare, so how do you prevent such a catastrophe?
The number one rule for any blogger is choose the right web hosting provider for their blog. There are endless articles on how to choose the right web host of websites, but for bloggers the needs are a little different.
Blogging is oftentimes a budgeted endeavor, and bloggers do not want to be paying through the nose for their site to be hosted. Therefore, every blogger must first do their research, and see what the experts have to say on the topic before choosing a provider. One key aspect is to look at a webhost’s RUBS before committing to their service. RUBS is an acronym for: Reputation, Uptime, Backups and Support.
One of the benefits of so many people blogging is that you can learn from their experience. You are connected to a community that likes to talk and are more than willing to tell you what has gone wrong or right about a certain webhost. Make sure to read several reviews from different sites about what are the best webhosts for a blog. Never trust just one site as it is often hard to tell if that site is affiliated with a given webhosting company.
Many webhosting providers offer site uptime guarantees, this means that the sites they host are generally live for a given present of time per month. This uptime guarantee will often exclude server upgrades so it is important to read this section of their site thoroughly to know what to expect. No site can guarantee 100% uptime, but if you can get a 99% uptime guarantee you are less likely to be faced with a “server not found” type error.
It is really important for any frequent blogger to look at the frequency of backups from their webhosting provider. If you blog on a daily basis then you have a lot of files that are vulnerable to be lost with infrequent backups. Some providers schedule only monthly backups for a site, this means that if something happens to your site before a backup occurs, all the files since the previous backup will be lost. Providers generally backup on daily, weekly or monthly basis. Make sure to choose a provider that will backup with relative frequency to you posting.
When something goes wrong with your blog, you need to know you will be taken care of properly. When sites face a sudden surge of traffic that comes with a viral article providers will do one of two things, either they will take down your site because you have exceeded what you have paid for or they will contact you to offer you the chance to upgrade your package.
Also, take a look at the different support channels they offer. Support packages range dramatically from a few hours during the working week to 24/7 support. Additionally support can come in the form of just an e-ticket support to the full package of phone, email, live chat, e-ticket and some even offer Skype support.
Attracting a strong following is a struggle for most bloggers; they have to ensure that their blog is engaging and exciting enough to capture an audience’s imagination and their content is good enough to warrant sharing. Yet, as important as good content is a strong site that can handle different challenges effectively. Looking at the RUBS of a provider gives a blogger a good insight into who they are getting into bed with in webhosting providers.
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