Reliable WordPress Hosting – What to Look For When Choosing a Host

When picking a web host for your WordPress blog, it is important to look for a company that is reliable and offers a good support system. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unreliable hosts out there that will try to sell you additional services you don’t need (i.e. a VPS to host your blog) or that will go out of their way to discourage you from trying their service (i.e. the low prices they advertise to lure you in). This article will tell you exactly what to look out for in terms of reliability and customer support and how to spot those hosts that are worth your time and effort.

The Basics

The first thing to check for is the basics – does the host offer reliable service, and does it live up to your expectations? After all, there are a lot of unknown variables out there that you have no control over (e.g. the server’s downtime, the speed of their servers, etc.). For example, you wouldn’t want to pick a host that is recommended by bloggers that have a history of having their sites taken down by hackers, right?

Another thing to consider is whether or not the host offers reliable price predictions – are their prices fixed or do they change frequently? This is particularly important if you are on a tight budget and need to know what kind of investment you’ll need to make to make sure your blog can flourish. Typically, the cheaper the host, the less reliable their service is – you can always find cheaper alternatives if you look hard enough.

The Equipment They Use

Nowadays, even the smallest hosts will have various forms of technology available for you to use – whether it’s a content delivery network (CDN), a cloud-based email service, or even their own private cloud. All of these options are great for increasing your site’s speed and decreasing your monthly server costs (if you’re paying for one). However, not all of these additional technologies are created equal – some hosts will try to sell you on these services and claim they will “make your blog faster and more reliable.” While this may be true, it is up to you to decide whether or not this extra cost and complexity is worth it.

Technical Support

In terms of the first point, above, reliability, the next thing to look for is the level of technical support available – can you reach someone who can help you out if you have any questions or need assistance? Remember, after all, no one is an expert in every area of technology, and sometimes you’ll need someone to help you troubleshoot a problem or suggest an alternative solution. In this case, you want to make sure that you’re not locked out of the system or left to fend for yourself, particularly if you’re not experienced in utilizing the various tools available to you (e.g. cloud email accounts, etc.).

Scalability

The next thing to consider is how well the host handles increasing traffic. This is pretty self-explanatory – what happens when your site gets a lot of traffic? The answer here will determine (at least in part) how well your site is performing and if it’s worth the investment of time and money. For example, if you’re getting a lot of traffic from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, much of which is bound for other sites, you’ll want to make sure that your host is scalable enough to handle this kind of traffic without crashing (servers usually do this in the event of too much activity, causing them to temporarily go down).

Reliability

The last thing to consider is the level of reliability you can expect – will the host be down for the count, or will they be up and running most of the time? Bear in mind the speed and quality of your host’s service when answering this question since this will have a direct impact on your site’s performance (and, potentially, how much money you’ll make from it). Generally, the faster and more reliable your host is, the better – not only will your content be available when you want it, but it will also save you from having to deal with DNS errors and, ultimately, improve your user experience.

The WordPress Community

Finally, it’s important to look at how engaged the WordPress community is around the host you’ve chosen. Are there forums relating to webmasters or bloggers that use this host where you can get advice from people who are experts in the field? Alternatively, look for websites and blogs that are dedicated to praising and recommending the host you’ve chosen since they are most likely using this host (and, for that matter, any host) themselves. Word of mouth is still the most effective way to get your blog off the ground, and, if the community has enough good words, it will grow faster than you can imagine – plus, it’ll be a great way to build credibility and attract potential readers to your site!

These are the basics of selecting a host for WordPress – beyond this point, you’ll truly be able to tell how well this host is suited for your needs. In addition to the above points, you should also look for a host that offers documentation and tutorials so that you don’t have to wonder whether or not you’re doing something wrong (since this is pretty likely anyhow). If you’d like to dive deeper into WordPress hosting, check out this detailed guide by HostGator which covers everything from setting up the database to optimizing your blogs for search engines.