Hosting Con WordPress – Preinstalled or Not?
There are so many options when it comes to web hosts. On one side you have the well-known shared hosting plans from platforms like Hoster and Bluehost, and on the other side you have the more personalized VPSs (Virtual Private Servers) from companies like Namecheap and DigitalOcean.
If you are just getting started with a website, the general thinking is that shared hosting is the way to go. These are the least expensive options and you won’t need to worry about much more than installing a WordPress blog. However, as you grow your website, you might want to look into the various options that are available.
Shared hosting is the cheapest option and it is also one of the most popular ones. Essentially, you get a dedicated server (virtual private server) which is partitioned amongst multiple websites. This shared server is maintained and administrated by the host, and it is also where your WordPress dashboard will be located.
Your web host will install WordPress on the server for you, and they will also provide you with a login credential to access the platform. From there, you can build your blog or website as you please. You won’t need to worry about much more than plugging in text and images to flesh out your content.
The great thing about shared hosting is that you get what you pay for. You won’t get a dedicated IP address (that’s an IP address that’s only used by you), but you will get a functional WordPress dashboard and the ability to install additional applications such as eCommerce stores, membership platforms, or CRM tools (for businesses that sell services or products online).
A virtual private server is essentially a dedicated server that has been partitioned into multiple virtual machines (VMs). These VMs can then be assigned to distinct websites that are run by different owners. For instance, you could have a website that’s dedicated to real estate and another one that’s dedicated to businesses.
Each of these VMs can then function independently. That is, the sites can be run on dedicated servers that are physically located in different places and that are always available for use. The benefit of this independent scalability is that you get the flexibility to rapidly increase or decrease the site’s traffic as needed. Without having to worry about the physical location of the server.
This kind of arrangement allows for greater administrative control as well. That is, you can easily create different websites, install applications, or configure security settings in a way that suits your needs. The downside is that you will need to pay for the additional resources (storage, CPU, and bandwidth) that the virtual private server provides. For this reason, virtual private servers are also referred to as “premium” hosting plans.
Cloud hosting is when you utilize the computing power and storage of a dedicated server (or multiple servers) that are located somewhere else. You won’t have full administrative control of the server, but you can install and use any WordPress-compatible application or deploy your own custom application and integrate it with your website and business.
The benefit of this kind of hosting is that you don’t necessarily need to worry about the physical location of the server. You can have all of your web content (websites, blog posts, and files) stored on remote servers that are maintained by third parties (hosting providers), which provides you with a greater degree of security and uptime than is offered by traditional web hosts.
This kind of hosting is also extremely cost-effective. You don’t need to invest in expensive hardware or maintain your own data center. The key to making the most of this type of hosting is to look for providers that are well-known and secure. For this reason, it is often recommended that you go with Cloud hosting when you are starting out and do a trial run before committing to a traditional web host.
Managed hosting is when you outsource the administration of a dedicated server to a third party (a managed service provider). This managed service provider will then monitor and maintain the server on your behalf. Think of managed hosting as a hybrid of cloud and traditional hosting. It combines the cost-effectiveness of Cloud hosting with the additional security and control offered by a traditional web host.
The benefit of this managed hosting arrangement is that you don’t necessarily need to worry about the physical location of the server. The managed service provider will take care of all of that for you. In addition, you don’t need to worry about backups or restoring servers after disasters. The managed hosting provider will take care of all of that as well. The downside to this arrangement is that you lose some degree of control as well as the familiarity of using a dedicated server. That is, you won’t be able to install WordPress or use any other self-hosted blogging tools because they aren’t provided by the hosting provider. You will also need to rely on them to provide you with support if you have any questions or need help with your site. In other words, you are outsourcing some level of administration, and that usually comes with a price. However, if security and reliability are a concern, then managed hosting may be the right choice for you.
Dedicated IP Addresses
Dedicated IP addresses are assigned to you by your web host and they are used to identify your site. Essentially, this is a unique IP address that’s only used by your site and it cannot be changed. This kind of IP address is ideal if you need to keep your site’s traffic coming or if you want to use a private network (VPN) to access the internet privately.
One of the key differences between a virtual private server and a dedicated IP address is that you get the latter with dedicated hosting. That is, you have a dedicated IP address that’s exclusively yours and you don’t need to share it with anyone. This dedicated IP address is usually associated with a shell account that you create with your web host, which enables you to administer your website. The great thing about having your own private dedicated IP address is that you can use it to access the internet privately (via a VPN) or you can use it to keep your site’s traffic coming in. This kind of setup provides greater flexibility and it also makes your site more secure.
What About Domain Registration?
Even if you choose to go with a free blogging platform, you will still need to purchase a domain name. The reason behind this is that the blogging platforms don’t provide you with an option to create websites that are accessible without a domain name. For this reason, you will need to purchase a domain name that’s associated with your chosen blogging platform. You can then install WordPress onto the domain and begin building your blog or website.
If you are just getting started with a blog, the general rule of thumb is that you should choose a domain name that’s easy to remember and simple to type. For example, if you named your blog “Olivia’s Kitchen,” you might want to go with kitchen.com or olivias.com. You can always purchase different kinds of domains, like clubs.com, orgs.com, or networks.com, if you are using WordPress.
WordPress-compatible hosting is when you use a blogging platform that’s been designed with security and flexibility in mind. In other words, the interface of your WordPress blog will be pretty much the same as what you are used to in a desktop environment. This makes it easy for you to navigate and use WordPress even if you aren’t tech-savvy.
Some of the most popular and well-known WordPress compatible web hosts are: