How to Choose a WordPress Hosting Provider – Hosting Recommendations
WordPress is the world’s #1 content management system and #1 most popular website creation platform. Launched in 2005, the open-source project now has millions of active users across the world and is maintained by the WordPress community themselves. Due to its popularity and active development, WordPress is a great choice for web designers and developers who want to build a brand or website for themselves.
However, just because WordPress is a great choice doesn’t mean that all web hosts support it. In fact, it’s often the other way around. If you’re looking for a cheap, shared hosting plan that supports WordPress, keep reading.
Shared Hosting vs. VPS Hosting
Traditional web hosts, also known as shared hosts, give you access to a pool of servers that are divided into smaller virtual servers, or ‘virtual machines,’ that you can launch under your account. This means that you have access to a large number of server resources that you can use to run your website or brand. The catch is that you have to share these resources with other users’ websites. Therefore, you have to determine whether you want to go with a traditional web host that charges you per month based on the resources you use or with a VPS host that gives you access to a larger pool of resources than a traditional web host (usually priced similarly) and charges you a one-time set-up fee instead.
Shared hosts are perfect if you’re just starting out. The downside is that as your site grows in popularity, your resource allocation may become inadequate, and you have to upgrade to a VPS hosting plan to keep up. A traditional web host, on the other hand, charges you per month regardless of whether you have 100 websites or 1 website. The upside is that regardless of how big or small your website is, traditional web host’s resources are always ample enough to handle your needs.
Choosing A WordPress Hosting Provider
With all of the different types of hosting out there, how do you know which one to go for? What features matter most to you? And is there anything else you should consider? Let’s take a look.
Features You Should Consider
The following are the top features you should consider when choosing a WordPress hosting provider:
- Disk Space (unlimited): The amount of disk space you get as part of your plan will impact the size of your website in two ways. First, if you have a lot of space, you can store more content on your site and grow your site’s contentbase. Second, if you have a lot of space, you can also store more metadata on your site, including images, which makes your site easier to search through and find what you’re looking for. The more space you have, the more you can do. With a traditional web host, the more disk space you need, the more you pay. With a VPS host, the more disk space you need, the more you pay. So if you’re on a tight budget, keep your eye on the ball by selecting a web host that provides a large amount of disk space for the price you’re paying.
- Bandwidth (unlimited): Similar to disk space, bandwidth is another factor that will affect the size of your website. However, in this case, you’re paying for bandwidth used, not storage space. If you need a lot of bandwidth, use the Internet heavily, or host videos or other large files on your site, you’ll pay for that bandwidth usage. But if you don’t need that much bandwidth, you’ll save money by choosing a web host that provides unlimited bandwidth.
- Money-Back Guarantee: In today’s world, nothing is 100% guaranteed. But if you’re looking for a web host that offers a money-back guarantee, keep your eyes open for that. Most web hosts offer this option as part of their terms and conditions, but it’s worth mentioning.
- Free Installation: If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all of your website needs, free installation is worth considering. Some web hosts offer this option, and it’s typically located in their starter package. Once you have your site up and running with free installation, you don’t have to worry about a thing. Just log in and start adding content.
- 24/7 Support: If you’re looking for someone to help you with a technical issue or want someone to be available to help you at any time of the day or night, consider a web host that offers 24/7 support. While this may not be possible for all web hosts, if it is, it could save you a lot of time and effort, particularly if you’re not tech-savvy or easily able to diagnose some of the issues that you may encounter. If you have a question about your site or hosting, it’s better to be safe than sorry and have a professional look into it for you.
- Extensive Features: A good web host should have lots of features and functionalities for you to explore. If you have no idea what features a good web host should have, start by looking at other sites built on the same platform as yours. Then, you can go through the host’s features and document what you feel is important to you. Some of the more common features worth mentioning are:
- Multi-level Menu Options (optional): If your site has an e-commerce component or you sell advertising, you’ll want to be able to give your customers the ability to purchase what they see. Giving your customers the ability to add products to their cart and make purchases from your site without having to leave it is one of the main advantages of online shopping. Luckily, many web hosts offer this feature as part of their service.
- Password Protect Blog (optional): If you’re concerned about content being accessed by people other than yourself or your website’s intended audience, you can protect certain pieces of content on your blog by requiring users to log in toread them. After logging in, the content will be displayed to them.
- Free Daily Backups (optional): Most web hosts offer this option as part of their basic service. However, some good hosts go the extra mile and provide a backup service where you can restore a previous version of your site, should anything happen to it. So if you’re looking for peace of mind, this is worth considering.
- Free Domain Registration (optional): If you have a website, you’ll want to be able to register/renew/transfer the domain to your company or professional e-mail address. Many web hosts offer this as part of their basic service, but it’s worth mentioning.
- SSH Access (optional): If you have a server at home, you can give your website’s design and development teams access to it through ssh (secure shell). This is useful for when they need to make some configuration changes to your site or to launch a new version before the end of the day. If you don’t have a server, you can purchase one from a reputable hosting company for a nominal fee.
- Free Marketing Tools: If you’re looking for a way to get the word out about your site, don’t hesitate to explore the different marketing tools provided by your chosen host. From social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to email marketing tools like Aweber and mailchimp, your web host should have all of the basic tools you need to get the job done.
- Load Time Reduction (LTR): LTR is short for ‘Load Time Reduction,’ and it’s something else web hosts try to provide as part of their service. When someone visits your site, the first thing they’ll want to see is a fast loading website to make the experience as good as possible. Many web hosts specialize in speed and make sure their servers are always well-tuned to provide fast speeds, which in turn makes your site load faster, too. This is why LTR is a desirable feature to have if you’re looking for a web host.
Choosing A WordPress Hosting Provider Based On Pricing
At some point or another, most web designers and developers will be faced with the decision of choosing a WordPress hosting provider based on their price point. Essentially, you have two options here: cheap and expensive. The first option is a shared host, also known as a ‘Reseller Hosting Plan.’ With these types of hosts, you simply purchase a hosting account from the company, install WordPress, and launch your site. You don’t need to do anything else. These types of hosts are usually very cheap but can be lacking in both features and functionality, which may cause you trouble in the long run.