WordPress Hosting: What You Should Know
If you run a blog or website on WordPress, the world of web hosting probably seems familiar. After all, it’s what most people know and are likely to have used themselves. However, with the many alternatives available, it can be difficult to choose the right one. If you’re looking for a dependable, secure way to host your WordPress site, then this article is for you. Here we’re going to run down the basics of WordPress hosting so that you can make the right decision for your needs.
What Is WordPress Hosting?
To put it simply, WordPress hosting is when a company (such as Bluehost) provides you with a space on their servers so that you can run your website (in this case, WordPress) on the Internet. Essentially, WordPress hosts serve as the middleman between you and the rest of the world. This can be a valuable service to have if you’re looking to monetize your blog or website, as you won’t have to worry about scaling your services to accommodate increased traffic. WordPress hosting is considered to be the more affordable of the two main types of blog hosting (the other being dedicated hosting). With WordPress hosting, all you need to do is pay for the space on which your site will reside (usually annually) and activate the plug-in to start using the service.
A frequently asked question about WordPress hosting is: “Does it include support for the popular software applications (such as WooCommerce, X-Cart, or Magneto) that I might need to run my e-commerce store, online shop, or membership site?” Unfortunately, most WordPress hosts do not provide these types of add-ons, which can make your life a little more complicated if you need them. However, if you don’t need them, then most likely you’re better off with a stand-alone host or a virtual private server (VPS).
Why Should You Look At Other Forms Of Blog Hosting?
There are other forms of blog hosting which you might want to consider if the above option doesn’t meet your needs. These include managed WordPress hosting and self-hosting, which we’ll discuss below.
Managed WordPress hosting is similar to WordPress hosting in that it gives you access to a fully-functioning WordPress installation that you can use to launch your blog or website. However, in this case, the company (such as 1&1) ensures that your site loads fast and is compatible with the latest versions of WordPress and the great majority of the software applications that you might want to use on your site. In return, you pay a small amount each month.
One advantage of managed WordPress hosting is that you don’t need to worry about updates. As the company deals with all of that, you can be sure that your site will be compatible with the latest versions of WordPress and the other software applications you use.
What Is The Difference Between Self-Hosting And Blogging Platforms?
There are a few other services that you might want to consider if you’re looking for a blogging platform rather than just a place to host your blog. These include Medium and Squarespace, for example. The advantage of blogging platforms is that they give you a fully-featured website, with the ability to add and edit content as often as you like. The disadvantage is that you have to learn to code (instructions are often in English only) and you need to pay for each article or post that you want to publish individually (ranging from £5 to £20 or more).
If you’re looking for a blogging platform and don’t want to hire a web designer to build you a custom site (with the attendant costs and time delays that this can entail), then self-hosting is probably what you want to go for. It’s what many people in the industry still refer to as “traditional blogging” because you need to run everything by yourself. You need to install WordPress on your own server and secure it with a unique password. You then need to launch the website, configure the settings, and populate it with content.
The advantage of self-hosting is that, as you’re doing all of this yourself, you can make sure that the software and hardware components are all compatible and up to date. If anything goes wrong, you can fix it yourself rather than have to call in a tech support person to fix it for you. Self-hosting is considered the more expensive option of the two, but if you’re looking for the flexibility that a blogging platform brings, then it might be worth paying the extra for the convenience.
Security Measures & Further Details
As a blogger or website owner, it’s essential to you that your site is as safe as possible. You don’t want your readers or other website visitors to get hurt by falling into a malicious trap or attack. To ensure that your site is as safe as possible, you should use a reputable host which is a member of relevant organizations (such as the Internet Security Alliance (ISA) or the Certified Secure Website Operator (CSO)) and which employs best practices and security measures. The safest way to protect your site is through good old-fashioned common sense and security checks. You should use a VPN (virtual private network) to ensure that your personal data is secure when browsing the web and to protect your site when connected to untrusted networks.
One other thing to bear in mind is that if you’re planning to use WordPress to power your site, then using the “free” version could be a security risk. You should either pay for the premium version or use a self-hosted WordPress installation which is updated and patched regularly by the developers of WordPress.
In short, if you’re looking for a secure, stable place to run your blog or website, then WordPress hosting might be the right option for you. Just be sure to factor in the costs of the service (which is usually quite affordable compared to other hosting services) plus the time and effort that you need to put in to get it up and running. If none of the above options seems to fit your needs, then you might want to consider exploring the many alternatives that are out there.