5 Things to Consider When Deciding on Your Blog’s Host

June 23, 2009

You determine what you want your blog to do, but your host determines your blog’s capability. It is critical to decide on a good host that can accommodate the work that you and your readers expect your blog to produce.

There are a lot of hosts out there to choose from. Each of them hypes a particular set of capabilities, and there won’t be one that is perfect. However, all good hosts should be able to provide you with good service on the most basic blog requirements, and these are the first things you should check before you spend time evaluating the more complex functions and services. Below are 5 of the foremost things to consider before you decide on a host.

1. Search engine friendliness
Before going any further, check first if your host has good standing with the 3 biggest search engines. You wouldn’t want to anchor your brand’s publicity on a host that is on the black list of Google, MSN or Yahoo.

Also make sure that the host’s platform is accessible to search engine spiders. The easier you make it for spiders, the better they can crawl over your site and identify keywords.

2. Ease of customization
How relevant your content is depends on how often you update. Everyone who has anything to do with creating and updating content should be comfortable with how your host handles content management. If your team finds it complicated, chances are, less updates will happen and your content will fall behind. Make sure you always give your market a reason to come back to your blog. See to it that your host doesn’t make it difficult for your team.

Ease of customization doesn’t stop at content. This should also include aesthetics and special features for your blog to become truly unique, which brings us to the next point.

3. Space for uploading photos, videos, and files
Another basic service you should look for is provisions for data file and media file storage. Having a good storage and retrieval system in place can help your team plan content timelines.

Remember to have text content accompany each media file. Search engine spiders only crawl over text, so it’s important to have video descriptions and photo captions in text so that these also turn up as search engine results, ultimately driving traffic to your blog.

4. Room for comments
Most blog hosts now offer an optional comments section. You can opt to turn this section off or on, depending on your blog’s direction and objectives. For SEO purposes however, it is advisable for you to maximize this feature.

Comment posts are considered text content and will be crawled over by search engine spiders. It is also ideal for you to reply to your readers’ comments to promote interaction.

5. Availability of blog activity reports
Blog reports are a good way to measure and track your blog’s performance. When you implement updates and changes, you can see how these affect your blog’s popularity and you can adjust accordingly.

Make sure that your host can give you regular reports so that your team can have valid and relevant data for analysis.