A friend asked me why I’m paying for hosting and I was excited.  Why?  Because he had taken the time and effort to understand what I was doing and provide thoughtful feedback.  Using a hosting service is one of many tools I can use to build and work on my projects.  As a developer, I build programs locally on my computer as well as in Cloud9.  I build from scratch (in Ruby on Rails, Java, HTML, CSS, etc.) and I use WordPress themes.  There are so many tools at my disposal that I simply use the best tool to help me get the job done.

So why would I pay for hosting if I can host my own site on my computer?  Or host “for free” on www.Wordpress.com or on another website builder?  I’ve outlined my decision-making process below and included the reasons I chose to pay a hosting company.

      1. Bluehost offers more than hosting.

I’m interested in more than putting a website up and calling it a day.  I want my website to be exemplify who I am, generate traffic, and allow me to meet new people, including potential clients.  Bluehost uses analytics to show me who is using my site and when.  I can use these statistics to see when people are accessing my site so I can schedule to release my content then.  These statistics can also tell me when to post to Social Media to drive traffic back to my site.   Also, when hosting with Bluehost, I can create a custom e-mail address that corresponds to my website.  This looks polished and professional and makes my website and brand more consistent.

      2. I want to make sure my site is always running.

If I were hosting on my own computer, there may be times that my site goes down and I’m not aware.  For a few dollars a month, I can minimize this headache and pass the responsibility onto Bluehost.  I can also be less concerned about security as Bluehost has built-in security for its servers and for my site, including offering a myriad of plug-ins for increased security.

      3. SEO matters.

Another big attraction to using Bluehost is that your site is more SEO friendly.  SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one of THE main factors in generating traffic to your website.  And you want traffic, don’t you?  Otherwise, what are you doing on the web?  Other sites that you don’t pay [as much] for like Blogspot or Wix own the data on your site thus limiting the Google Crawl and SEO.  Despite what some sites may claim, nothing on the web is free.  If you aren’t paying for someone to host your website for you, you are paying in other ways and one of them is possibly traffic volume and thus, sales and revenue.

There you have it!  These are a few reasons why I have chosen to go with Bluehost as my hosting company.  I’ve been hosting with Bluehost for about a year and am very happy with the products and services.  I’ve used technical support a time or two and my questions have always been answered.  Do you have any questions about self-hosting or paying for hosting?  Shoot me an e-mail and I’ll be sure to provide my thoughts!