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5 Big Hosting Mistakes Bloggers Don’t Know They’re Making

Posted By Guest Blogger 11th of September 2012 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

This guest post is by the Blog Tyrant.

If you take your blogging seriously you’ll know that you have to wear a lot of different hats. We are content marketers, SEO students, social media savants, and sometimes web designers.

But what a lot of bloggers seem to forget is that our blog hosting setup is an extremely crucial piece in the puzzle. Yet it often gets overlooked because it is scary, boring or just too darn hard.

It is really complicated stuff. I certainly couldn’t cover everything in one post—some people spend their whole careers figuring it out!

What I am going to show you, however, is a few big mistakes that you need to make sure you avoid when starting a blog and setting up hosting. If you know any others please leave a comment and let me know. It might really help someone.

1. Setting up on a free host instead of your own

I’ve talked about this a lot on my blog and so have writers here on ProBlogger but it is a mistake that many new bloggers continue to make.

Now don’t get me wrong, services like Tumblr are a really cool way to get your word out there and blog socially but if you want to take it to the next level and go pro, you need to get your own domain name, and install WordPress on your own host.

Here’s why I don’t like freely hosted blogs:

  • Lack of control: On a free blog, you don’t have total control over the theme, settings, back end, or hosting environment. You are essentially leasing a space from the owners.
  • You don’t own it: The big concern for me is that on a lot of free platforms you don’t own the blog! This is a really big problem if you are trying to go professional or if you ever want to sell the blog down the track.
  • Google doesn’t rank them as well: The last big clincher for me is that many SEOs will tell you that Google doesn’t rank these free domains as well in the search results. If you want to step up and compete in a very competitive niche, you’ll need your own domain name and a solid permalink structure.

And it’s important that you switch sooner rather than later if you are planning on doing it. You see, when you change from free to paid hosting, there’s a whole host of other issues to sort out, like a loss of current rankings if your link structure changes.

It’s very important that you weigh up the pros and cons of a migration like this as soon as possible.

2. Not choosing a host with live support

As I mentioned at the start, this stuff is really confusing. And things often go wrong. When they do, it is really important that you have live support staff that can help you out and get the problem fixed fast, without hassle.

Part of the reason I recommended Blue Host in my post on the best host for new WordPress bloggers was because they have live, 24/7 support staff that are incredibly helpful. I am no longer with Blue Host as I outgrew the service, but for the years that I was there, I had countless life-saving, middle-of-the-night, brilliant support sessions from staff who really know their stuff.

Live chat

A screenshot of the live support wait time at Blue Host recently

I have noticed that it is really common to get stressed and panicked when you don’t understand something fully. And because hosting is so complicated, it is really easy to lose your cool when something goes wrong. It is a massive advantage to know there are people there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in case something goes wrong.

3. Thinking that “unlimited domains” actually means unlimited domains

Something that I learned only recently is that when most hosts say that you get unlimited domains, unlimited hosting, and unlimited databases, they don’t actually mean it.

If you dig deeper into the terms of service you will find that most hosts (not all) have an excessive storage policy which basically says that if you abuse your “unlimited” space, your service will be affected.

Some of the things they might do include:

  • Throttling: This is where your site gets slowed down in order to help cope with the strain on the servers. This might happen if you have a bunch of sites that are taking up too much bandwidth for your hosting environment.
  • Stopped backups: Most good hosts perform a daily backup of your entire server to re-install if something goes wrong. But if you exceed the allowed file count by too much, you’ll find that those automatic daily backups stop pretty quickly.
  • Account suspension: If things get really bad and the host suspects that you are hosting files not related to any website activity, they will suspend your account. This is something that you really don’t want to happen.

My best tip here would be to know exactly what your host’s policies are on file storage, and to then make sure you know exactly what your server needs are.

If your blog is getting a lot of traffic and constantly growing it might be time to move to a more advanced environment like a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a dedicated host.

4. Mixing your experimental stuff with your money sites

If you have a website or blog that is starting to make money that you rely on, it is really important to make sure it is on its own hosting account.

You see, what often happens is that we purchase one hosting package and then start experimenting with new blogs and websites. Eventually the whole situation gets cluttered, crowded, and very unprofessional.

Blogs that are starting to get some good traffic and have good rankings and loyal subscribers need to be protected and looked after. Make sure you keep them on their own host for security and up-time reasons, and leave your experimental sites to a different hosting package and location.

5. Failing to delete old blogs, websites, and files

The last thing I want to talk about is the fact that many bloggers leave abandoned or dead files, blogs, and websites in their host not knowing that they represent a security threat.

Without going in to all the details (I don’t really know all the details!), hackers can use insecure and old files to access your account in some situations. This is especially risky if you have been using WordPress and not keeping your plugins and installations up to date. It’s a threat.

If you’re not going to use a blog any more, just delete it. It’s not the easiest process, but it’s something that is worthwhile learning. So how do you do it?

Well, in some hosting environments you can just go to Addon Domains and then remove the domain that you want to stop using. That often removes the installation and the remaning database.

Other times, you will need to use PHPMyAdmin to locate the old site and delete the corresponding database. This can be a complicated process, so it’s best to ask your own host for advice on how to proceed. As mentioned, some environments and setups are different to others.

Are you making any mistakes?

I’d love to know if you are making any of these mistakes or whether you can think of any others that we can add to the list. Please leave a comment and let me know.

The Blog Tyrant is a 26 year old Australian guy who plays video games at lunch time and sells blogs for $20,000 a pop.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. 5 tips really need helpful for all blogger.. many blogger dont know that they are making mistake.

  2. Greetings, The Blog Tyrant

    Yes, I made the mistake of thinking unlimited meant unlimited and had to work with my host several times to get an account unsuspended. It became such a hassle that I finally just moved on from the blog. Now I know better with my currently blog, but I still don’t understand why my last one kept using up so much space.

    I’m actually proud that when Keep the Tail Wagging started to make money (which was pretty quickly) I moved my mailing list from MailChimp to Aweber. I wasn’t sure how far I would take Keep the Tail Wagging, but didn’t want to be penalized for an affiliate link in a newsletter or have to recreate a mailing list 6 months later.

    Great post!


  3. I think the hosts WordPress.org recommend are amongst the best.

    Bluehost are their top recommendation and now offer Cloudflare integration built in which you can setup in 3 clicks from your control panel.

    Its the easiest way to host your website on servers in 23 countries and make it twice a fast and more secure.

  4. One thing that I have learnt from my mistake is the free website providers can delete your account without any prior notice.

    Better be very careful.

  5. Yep, making lots of mistakes. #1 for my American Dog Blog, but it actually has more visitors and comments than my hosted blog, Pet Auto Safety Blog. While it does have more visitors, it also has more limitations and issues. #5 is one of those issues. I am working on a project to delete some old blog posts where the link is no longer good or some such. Is that what you mean by #5? Sadly, I don’t really understand all the plugins and such.

    • No, I don’t think you should be deleting old blog posts for reasons of running out of space. If you are getting too much traffic it might be time to move to a VPS host.

  6. I had a blog for 3 years. It’s no longer active but I plan to keep up to date plugins and updates. I never thought about deleting the entire thing. Are there other reasons to do so aside from security threats?

  7. Thanks for these five tips really need helpful for all bloggers!

  8. Actually I am busy now, deviding my website in two different ones, or planning on that. My main website is purely intended as a NO niche website. The other one will host my new website on digital photography. And that’s also an important aspect on deviding websites (while one still CAN).
    The photography website will demand a much larger bandwidth than my other one. Mixing them up to one combined site would not be a good idea.
    For me self-hosted and WordPress is the way to go at the moment, until something even more sophisticated will be the thing to run.

  9. This is a great article and I could not agree more. The points are so well taken and ones which I constantly tell my clients about. The last one about leaving old files and web site on your host – the number of people that do not do regular clean up is unreal.

  10. This is really interesting as I’m new to self hosting (still have to move some of my blogs over to it). As for not abusing unlimited domains, what does that mean? Is having 8 domains okay? Or are you talking just putting every and any file even not related to your webpages on it?

    Also I keep my experimental sites with my money making site but I don’t make enough money to pay for separate hosting. I would have liked more information on how separate hosting insures its safety.

  11. can anyone help me on how to delete all my old links of my blog totally in search engine..it is giving 404 error page..

  12. Good tip about deleting old files that you don’t use anymore. I had a bunch of old wordpress installations from the past that we just sitting there taking up space until I went through them all and deleted the garbage.

  13. Most wanted tips for bloggers which we need to consider while we starting an blogging career.

  14. I have My free Blogspot and i see the difference between Main domain and subdomain , Thanks for the Tips !

  15. This is great because I started my blog about a month ago but was already thinking of starting a few, as you put it “experimental” blogs, especially since I have “unlimited domains”. My blog is growing quickly but it’s really hard work and I don’t want to jepordize it.

  16. I have several blogs on a single hosting account. I realize there are risks involved, but its about keeping costs down during the building up stage. At what point has a blog earned a trip to its own hosting account? I would prefer to have each project on separate hosting plan, likely with different providers. A outage by my provider today left all of my blogs offline. Does any else use separate providers as well as separate hosting plans?

  17. Thanks for the tips! Good to review what I’ve been doing. the only ‘taboo’ I’ve got to clear up is to delete more of my old blog on .blogspot I really don’t want to get rid of it! it’s my favorite design, to be honest… So i’ve deleted all by 5 posts. Those, however, are duplicates of posts on my current blog. Guess I have to get rid of them too. :(

    One note- In my experience, Google ranks .blogspot blogs HIGHLY in search rankings. I was PR 3 and had many posts in #1 SERP position within a couple months of posting them! So, I think blogger free platform is an exception to what you’ve said here.

    Thanks again for the tips. cheers, lash

  18. Awesome tips! Sounds so helpful and crucial to every blogger in order for them to be successful in their blogging targets in life! I really like them. they are great inspiration to my blogs and I think it is high time we make changes as first as we could!

  19. About #5; is it vital? What if you take caution to prevent hackers?

  20. Most wanted tips for bloggers which we need to consider while we starting an blogging career.

  21. Nice Topic!

  22. Thanks for the tips, especially the unlimited hosting and cleaning up old installations. I’m definitely guilty of one or two infractions.

  23. This is what we needed to keep our blogs going.

  24. It is a relief for those of us who do blogging,this tips are marvelous.

  25. You’re so right, I had my website hosted at HostGator and one day without notice they suspended my account, I almost got a heart attack! I contacted them and said that even I had this “unlimited” service, my account had been suspended due to consuming too much bandwith. I had worked so hard to build traffic and then at once my site wasn’t available online! So, yes, you’re tips are excellent to avoid this kind of situations:-)

  26. I use dreamhost.com and have had a lot of problems in the past. They seem to be doing a better job and I have had very good support for them when I need it unless things are totally falling apart then it is slow. I recently started a second blog using InMotionhosting.com and I am much happier with their services but it is still early in the game.

    Because of the problems I have had with dreamhost I do pay for a backup services called http://blogvault.net/. It is worth the peace of mind for me just in case I need to transfer my site to another host in a pinch.

  27. One problem, i really face when everyone talks you need to have your own hosted blog. i just want to ask them what to do when one have no credit card to pay the bucks. And i hate those people who just slam free blog host for being free. dude hang on, you are spending money on the hosting does not mean you are somewhat superior than some one who is hosting his blog on free hosting site. i do agree on point like no backend access and ownership rights. But they have some bright points too.

    • James,

      Easy there, get those hackles down! Nobody said anything about superiority (or inferiority) here. The issue is about control, flexibility, and the ability to sell something you have built that you own.

      Free platforms (and even some paid depending on the terms) have few or none of those benefits. Those benefits are what “pro”bloggers are interested in.

      As long as you can justify what you give up (the expense or lack of control as fitting in with your unique needs), it really does not make a difference which platform you use where others are concerned.

  28. Hoswinds.com sucked me up, i choose this hosting for cheap, but they made me a fool, 2 years of data i lost in a few sec, none one should go for cheap hosting

    • John,

      You live and you learn. People go with free or discount hosting when they are new or have little experience. Once you lose data, you learn to back it up. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on your local machine or someone else’s server. If it’s important to you, it’s your responsibility.

  29. I agree with the author. I’ve been free blogging in wordpress.com but as my readers grow I started to think about my own blog. I’ve looked up some hosting providers and the thing is that you can find a lot of good services for affordable price. So I wandered does it worth the limitations with free blogging when you can find hosting for 4-5$ per month. Now when I read this article I really made up my mind.
    10x for the article :)

  30. I try to go through my hosting accounts every month and delete old installations and files that are not being used. Keeping your hosting account clean and free of useless junk can dramatically increase your speed. I used Cloudflare for a while, but my sites would periodically go down when they were doing maintenance.

    I have had great experiences using JustHost and Hostgator.

  31. Choosing host without 24/7 live support is a mistake I agree. I ve been there it can be night mare during the weekend :)
    !0x for the post

  32. Kimberley says: 10/15/2012 at 10:40 pm


    I’m a complete newbie to the blogging world, literally decided last week that I want to do a blog. My question is do i use wordpress.com or wordpress.org?

    Yes I would like to make money from my blog, eventually. Hosting isn’t an issue as I already run an online business and host other websites. Tech support is covered my partner is trained and works in IT/web development.

    All the articles I have read saying use wordpress.org are from 2008 or earlier so I am not sure if there is a difference between .com and .org anymore.

    I want to be able to upload videos to my blog as well.

    Any advice would be hugely appreciated. Thanks.

  33. Great post I’ve just started a blog and realized I’ve made almost all of the mistakes :)

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