How to Choose the Right WordPress Hosting for Your Site

Many businesses, artists, and non-profits have discovered the joys of WordPress. This popular content management system (CMS) makes it easy to build a fully functioning website with a content rich blog. It is ideal for individuals who want to share their opinions, ideas, and ways of life with the world. In fact, the popularity of WordPress is such that it powers nearly 30% of all the sites on the internet.

However, like any other technology, WordPress has its perks and its drawbacks. When it comes to choosing a WordPress hosting service, you need to take your pick from a range of providers that offer everything from inexpensive shared hosting to robust, feature-rich VIP packages. Additionally, you need to think about the features that are essential to your needs as a site owner and whether or not these features are offered by the hosting service that you have selected.

Key Features To Look For In A WordPress Hosting Service

The following are some of the key features to look out for in a WordPress hosting service:

  • Security – It is important to find a hosting provider that is committed to providing a secure environment for your site. This means they will take the necessary steps to ensure that your website is protected from hackers and cybercriminals who wish to do you harm. Having a secure site means you can store important documents and transactional data without the fear of them being accessed by malicious parties.
  • Scalability – When you are starting up your site, you will inevitably run into the issue of scalability. This is the ability of the hosting service to automatically expand/contract as your site grows/shrinks. This way, you will always have enough resources available to your online store without having to worry about hitting performance limits. It is a major plus if the hosting service offers an easy method of boosting your site’s performance by allowing you to change a few settings.
  • Reliability – It is important to find a hosting provider that you can rely on to keep your site online 24/7. This way, you can rest assured that your business will always be accessible to your customers. Additionally, the reliability of a hosting provider can be determined by looking at various metrics such as uptime and response time.
  • Performance – When you are looking for a hosting provider, performance is one of the main things that you need to consider. You should aim to find a provider that offers the highest possible performance for your site so that you can take advantage of the large amounts of storage space and computing power that they offer. Additionally, you should also consider whether or not the hosting service that you have selected offers any tools to monitor and optimize your site’s performance. For example, do they have a free tool that can be used to check the average time that it takes for a server to respond to a request?
  • Support – Another important consideration if you are choosing a hosting provider is their level of support. You need to find a service that offers a knowledgeable and helpful support team able to assist you with any issues that you might encounter. While it is good to find a provider that offers 24/7 support, it is even better if these experts are able to provide you with immediate assistance on live chat or via email.
  • Additional Features – Finally, it is important to find a hosting provider with additional features that make it easy to manage and operate your site. For example, do they offer a range of add-ons such as free domain privacy, free backups, etc.?

Shared vs. VPS vs. Dedicated Vs. Free Hosting

The following are some of the most popularly used types of WordPress hosting:

  • Shared Hosting – This type of hosting offers you a certain amount of server space and internet connection with which to run your site. As the name suggests, the server space is shared with other sites that are also hosted on the same server. This means that your site will have to share the server resources (memory, CPU, disk space, and others) with other sites.
  • VPS (Virtual Private Server) – A virtual private server (VPS) offers you a slice of a physical server. This type of hosting gives you full control over the resources (memory, CPU, disk space, etc.) that make up the server. Additionally, you have the freedom to install and run whatever software/applications that you might need on the server. You will need to take into consideration the cost of this type of hosting since it costs a lot more than shared hosting but less than a dedicated server.
  • Dedicated Server – A dedicated server is exactly what its name implies; it is dedicated to your site. This type of hosting offers you a fully featured server that is solely yours to use. It comes with a range of features that you might need including unlimited storage space, a dedicated IP, email accounts, etc. The downside to this type of hosting is that it costs a lot and there is no sharing of resources with other sites.
  • Free Hosting – Finally, you have the option of going completely free which is something that almost all popular CMS platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and many more) offer as a basic feature. The advantage of going free is that you won’t have any hidden charges which can be costly. However, keep in mind that free hosting isn’t exactly what you might want when you are starting a site. You will either need to upgrade to one of the paid options or find a free host that offers enough features to your needs.

Hosting Comparison Table

The following is a comparison table that will help you make the right choice when it comes to selecting the right WordPress hosting service for your needs:

Feature Shared VPS Dedicated Free
Price $2.95/mo $5.45/mo $5.45/mo $2.95/mo
Security Good Average Excellent Average
Uptime Excellent Excellent Average Good
Scalability Good Good Excellent Average
Reliability Excellent Excellent Excellent Good
Performance Good Average Excellent Average
Additional Features Good Good Great Average

Why Should You Avoid Cheap Hosting?

While it is good to find a hosting provider that offers excellent value for money, it is still not a good idea to choose a cheaper option just to save a few dollars. In fact, if possible, it is a good idea to look for a premium provider since they will typically have more features and make your site more secure. Cheap shared hosting is usually unstable and unreliable which can seriously hurt your site’s performance. Additionally, if you are planning to sell products or services online, you will need to consider pay-per-click advertising which can get expensive. Finally, free hosting is usually limited in terms of the features that it offers. However, if you are looking for a simple solution, then free hosting might be the way to go.