The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best WordPress Hosting for Your Site
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. Launched in 2007, the open-source tool has snowballed in popularity and now powers over 22% of the websites across the globe. It is exceptionally easy to use and very popular among beginner webmasters due to its flexibility and the abundance of free plugins and themes available for download directly from WordPress.org.
Although WordPress is a free tool, as with any other piece of software, there are costs associated with maintaining a website powered by the software. These charges include things like hosting, domain names, and the software itself. The good news is that for those looking to launch a WordPress site, there are many choices available for hosting, and the decision can be quite daunting. With so much competition in this space, you’ll want to make sure that you’re investing in a reliable and robust hosting service that will provide you with the best experience possible.
Types Of WordPress Hosting
You’ll want to choose a hosting service that is optimized for WordPress. That is, they should have a custom CMS installed which makes administering your site easy. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the service offers powerful features, such as PHP 7, post-launch, and the like.
There are four distinct forms of WordPress hosting, each with their own pros and cons. They are as follows:
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is, in some ways, the simplest form of WordPress hosting. Essentially, you are renting a portion of a server from a hosting company, where you can install WordPress to create your site. This type of hosting is incredibly affordable, typically costing only a few dollars a month plus a one-time setup fee. It is the most popular form of WordPress hosting and comes in a great variety of flavors, so it’s easy for anyone to find a shared hosting plan that suits their needs. When it comes to pricing, shared hosting tends to be the cheapest option. However, you’ll want to ensure that you are purchasing a quality service that is optimized for WordPress because you’ll be spending a good portion of your time administrating the site directly from the hosting control panel.
2. VPS (Virtual Private Server)
A virtual private server (VPS) provides you with the freedom to install and run your own WordPress installation on a physical server. Just like shared hosting, a VPS gives you the flexibility to choose the operating system (OS) and software that powers your site. The biggest difference between the two is the level of control and freedom that you have over your sites. With a VPS, you have full root access and can do anything you want to your server (e.g., install any software, change settings, etc.). This type of hosting is great for those looking for a more advanced experience because you can install and configure almost anything you want on your own server.
3. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting provides you with a fully managed and maintained WordPress instance where you are the only user. In other words, the host company creates and maintains the site for you (or in some cases, multiple sites). This type of hosting is reserved for those that need the absolute highest level of security and performance. As the name implies, dedicated hosting is completely dedicated to your site, with no other client sites on the same server. This allows you to ensure that every aspect of your site, from performance to security, is of the highest quality.
Dedicated hosting is the ultimate choice for those that are looking for absolute control over their sites. This type of hosting is very expensive and requires a significant amount of management to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that there are no issues. You’ll want to purchase dedicated hosting if you’re looking to launch a site that requires very high security or loads very high traffic (e.g., a news site, a forum, etc.).
One of the biggest perks of dedicated hosting is the fact that you can install and run any type of platform on the server. So, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all of your site’s information needs, this is the perfect option for you. Additionally, many hosts offer free backups, free domain privacy, and free weekly checks for malware and spam.
4. Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting has, in some ways, the opposite effect of dedicated hosting. Rather than providing you with absolute control, cloud hosting gives you the flexibility to create and run your site on a remote server which is maintained by a third party. However, just like dedicated hosting you are the only user of the site and the hosting company ensures that your site has the resources it needs to run smoothly. Essentially, with cloud hosting, you are renting out computing power rather than purchasing and maintaining hardware.
When it comes to deciding what type of hosting to choose, it is important to weigh your needs against the features that each type of hosting offers. For example, if you’re planning on launching a photography site, shared hosting is the simplest and most affordable option. However, if you’re looking for a robust and feature-filled VPS, you might want to consider looking into a dedicated hosting plan instead. That is, unless you’re certain that you’ll only need the basic features that shared hosting provides.
Why Go With Cloud Hosting?
Although there are numerous reasons why you may want to choose a WordPress hosting service, here are just a few reasons why you may want to consider cloud hosting instead of one of the other three types of hosting:
- Performance– The best WordPress hosting services are always optimized for maximum performance, which results in minimal lags and delays. This performance comes from multiple factors, such as high-performing hardware, innovative caching solutions, and excellent network connectivity.
- Flexibility– With cloud hosting, you have the freedom to install and run any type of software or operating system on the remote server. So, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all of your site’s information needs, this is the perfect option for you.
- Scalability– If you’re looking to launch a site that will receive a significant amount of traffic, then cloud hosting is the perfect option for you because you can easily scale your resources as needed. For example, if you notice that your site is overloaded due to a significant amount of daily traffic, you can contact the hosting support team and they will quickly install more powerful hardware to handle the load. You can’t do that with shared or dedicated hosting.
- Security– If you’re looking for a highly secure option, then cloud hosting is the perfect choice because you’re not sharing a server with any other sites, nor are you giving complete control over the server to the hosting company. The benefit of this is that if your site gains a significant amount of popularity, the security of your site will not be compromised. The best WordPress hosting services are also frequently updated with the most current security patches, so you can be sure that your site is always protected.
- Managed Security– Managed security is a type of service where the hosting company monitors security threats and takes action (e.g., locks down accounts, removes threats, updates software, etc.) If you’re looking for a managed security service, then cloud hosting is the perfect choice because you’re not responsible for administering and managing the security of your site.
Features To Look For In A Good WordPress Hosting Service
When choosing a WordPress hosting service, it is important to keep in mind a number of things, including but not limited to the following: