Start a blog or website ?
Then you don’t want to make the same beginner mistake as I do. One day the readers of my blog got the message below (and that was my own fault).
“This site is not available”
“The IP address of the www.jouwwebsite.nl server cannot be found.”
This happened to me a year after I started my blog Write Fish (read here how to start a blog yourself). The website had a flying start. I had hundreds of readers a day and even made quite a bit more by giving writing courses via my blog (yes, creating a blog can yield a lot financially).
And then in the fall of 2017, Writing Fish went offline one day.
I discovered it by chance. When I typed www.schrijfvis.nl into my browser, I received an error message. When I looked in my mailbox, I saw five emails from visitors with a similar meaning: “your blog is offline.”
Choose the best web hosting
I didn’t know what was going on and decided to call my hosting party (that’s the company that makes sure your blog is “connected” to the internet). Strangely enough, there was no telephone number on the company’s contact page. It only said “we provide the best and the cheapest web hosting”, a cry that made me rather annoyed at the time.
To my surprise, I couldn’t find an email address either. The only thing I did see was a page with the most common problems: Frequently Asked Questions.
My provider – a large American party – chose to “settle as much as possible online in order to keep costs down”. In short: there was no help desk.
Only after a long search did I find a number of a system administrator who could explain to me what the problem was.
The annual bill for my domain name writingvis.nl – which is also managed by my hosting party – was sent to an old e-mail address. I had never read the email and therefore did not pay. The party that provided “the cheapest and the best web hosting” had got over visvis.nl. After I transferred the amount owed (6 euros), my site was quickly back online.
The best web hosting – personal responsibility
Of course, I mainly blamed myself for this. I should not have provided the hosting provider with an email address that I almost never check. But due to the absence of a help desk with personal contact, the problem lasted much longer than necessary. Writing fish was off the air for almost two days in total.
If you are going to start a blog or build a website, you can learn an important lesson from this story. The cheapest web hosting is usually not the best web hosting: if you see an extremely low price somewhere, realize that it is at the expense of an easily accessible help desk and that you probably don’t want that.
The best web hosting – my favorites
Even though you may not be as sloppy as I am paying bills, chances are you will one day have a problem where you need help from your hosting party. Maybe your website gets overloaded by a large number of bloggers, maybe you want to move the domain, or maybe you make a mistake in the settings of your website. Something can always go wrong.
If you are looking for a hosting party for your blog or website, choose one with a good help desk, preferably with Dutch employees who you can email and call.
It is difficult to determine whether you also get good customer service with hosting. Many companies promise good service, but in practice, they often fail. Since I now have experience with multiple hosting parties, I now have my own ideas about what the best web hosting is.
1 – Xel Media
After my bad experience, I immediately switched to Xel Media, because this company has a help desk without choice menus or standard emails. You always immediately get an employee on the line, or you receive a personal e-mail.
Xel Media has a special subscription for bloggers who work with WordPress (read here why WordPress hosting is a good choice). The help desk employees have a lot of knowledge about this blog platform.
In the meantime, I know a lot of well-known employees because they have helped me at Xel as often as I had a question about WordPress or the settings of my website.
An additional advantage: Xel media has a relocation service, in which they help you move your blog or website to their servers (which are located in Utrecht and are super fast for Dutch visitors) free of charge.
I myself had my blog moved by helpdesk employee Naldo. He kept me informed of every step by phone and by email. In short: I think Xel Media delivers the best web hosting in the Netherlands. You can register here at Xel.
Best web hosting – a step-by-step plan
You do this by taking the following steps.
At Xel Media, choose the domain that you want for your blog or website.
Click on further and choose the hosting plan that you want. The cheapest subscription is certainly sufficient for an average website or blog.
Log in to your account with your newly selected hosting company and install your website or blog
At Your hosting, you will find reliable hosting for a lower price. You only pay 4 euros per month, but the company, therefore, does not provide experts who sit on the phone for you all day. You can only make contact with the help desk via email and chat. The knowledge of the help desk staff goes less far than with Xel but is sufficient for most bloggers.
For a long time, I was a client of Your hosting with the website on which I presented myself as a freelance journalist. Nothing has ever gone wrong. Certainly, when you set up a static website that you no longer need to worry about (for example, your freelancer portfolio or you have a business website), this is a great choice.
If you don’t have that much experience with websites, I would go for Xel Media, because you can easily go there with your questions. Even if you have big plans with your blog (a lot of traffic, maybe even making money), that company is a better choice.
Oh yes, and a last tip: don’t forget (like me) to pay the bill, because unfortunately these two hosting companies don’t do that for you either 😉