If you've decided to use WordPress for your business' website, you must consider its hosting. WordPress is a popular CMS, which is why over 40% of sites on the internet use it. But finding the right WordPress host for your business might be difficult.
First, you should be aware that not all WordPress hosting services provide the experience and performance your business needs. You need a host that offers website security and speed for reliability and an excellent user experience. Fortunately, you can rely on our WordPress expertise to deploy the tools to keep you ahead of the competition.
You want to find a hosting service that grasps that your website is more than a marketing asset, it is a crucial part of your business. Your focus should not be mainly on the pricing but on quality. You want to work with a company that offers reliable security, fast page loads, excellent customer service, and a proper technical support structure.
Here's everything you need to know about choosing a WordPress hosting company.
What is WordPress Hosting?
Simply put, WordPress hosting entails hosting that is optimized to meet WordPress' security and performance needs and makes it easier for you to start using WordPress for your website. Depending on your hosting company, you could get additional security, speed, updates for your WordPress site, and support.
Usually, WordPress Hosting consists of Shared or Managed Hosting Plans. Let's have a look at how the two differ.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is a great choice if you are not super tech-savvy, run E-commerce on your site, or have a high traffic volume to your website. These plans provide more powerful technologies and are focused on WordPress Server optimization and security.
These hosts take care of WordPress-related issues like server updates, PHP updates, backups, and security checks. Many of these providers also include premium features like a CDN and SSL certificates at no additional charge.
Pros of Managed WordPress Hosting:
- Secure & Fast – A managed host offers frequent updates to technology to ensure your site is running fast and secure.
- Core Updates – Some companies go the extra mile with features that allow you to auto-update your WordPress Core software and plugins.
- Site Backups – This is a critical task for your business website. Most managed hosting companies offer incremental backups of your website and databases daily.
- Support – Your managed WordPress hosting company generally has support that can assist you with WordPress-specific concerns much faster than Shared Hosting companies.
Cons of Managed WordPress Hosting:
- Plugin Restrictions – for security and speed your Managed WordPress hosting company may have restrictions on certain plugins and force their removal. These are normally published and should be reviewed before migration.
- No Version History – If you rely on version history you may need to install a plugin to assist with that. Most Managed WordPress Hosts turn this native WordPress feature off to save bloat.
- More Expensive – Managed WordPress hosting is more expensive than shared hosting. If you are highly budget-minded with a low-traffic site you may choose to start with Shared hosting.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Unlike Managed WordPress hosting services, shared hosting is cheaper. As the name suggests, this hosting service involves you sharing a single web server with a number of other sites. While it makes the hosting more affordable, especially as you’re starting out, there are costs that come with sharing a server with other sites.
Speed can quickly become an issue as multiple sites are tying up the server's resources with traffic requests. Security is not optimized unless you are managing it yourself, and oftentimes server and PHP updates are lagging behind.
Pros of Shared WordPress Hosting:
- Lower Cost – Getting up started on Shared WordPress hosting is less expensive than with a managed hosting company.
- cPanel – A cPanel makes it easy to manage your own domains, emails, and site however this technology is being replaced by newer technologies and systems.
- Email – Shared hosts generally offer email so you can set up a business email like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cons of Shared WordPress Hosting:
- Slow Speeds and Response Times – Because you are sharing server resources, you may experience longer load times. Speed is critical when it comes to engaging users and Google Search results.
- Downtime – Some Shared Hosting companies have frequent, unplanned downtimes from the servers being too full or having too much traffic to handle.
- Not for High-traffic Sites – Shared hosting is better suited for personal sites that don’t receive much traffic.
Dedicated Server Hosting
In a class all its own is Dedicated Hosting. With this type of hosting your site is on its own physical server. You have all the space to yourself – no sharing with other sites or users. This is beneficial for very high-traffic sites, businesses that require extra security measures, and enterprise-level businesses.
You have complete freedom to personalize your server to be completely optimized for your website.
However, unless you can manage the servers yourself, you'll need to be able to pay a system administrator to upgrade, maintain, and troubleshoot your servers. Otherwise, sticking with a managed hosting provider is probably best for you.
How Do You Select the Ideal WordPress Hosting Service?
As mentioned previously, choosing the right WordPress hosting provider can be an overwhelming task, and it goes well beyond only comparing prices alone. Oftentimes, it helps to factor in the cost of your time setting up, moving, and learning new systems, not to mention does the hosting company provide the bandwidth and support you need to grow your website and business online.
It helps to know the advantages and downsides of each host before making your pick for your business needs.
Here are some of the major considerations to determine what WordPress hosting is best for you.
With the current rate of cybercrimes, anybody who's worked with computers knows how essential web security is. However, it may be challenging to comprehend how smaller WordPress sites function when there are frequently reported cases of large sites being compromised and exposing the private information of thousands of users.
Fortunately, there are many hosting companies out there that are aware that customers need strong security measures. These hosts will incorporate several server-level security measures to keep your website secure. Keep an eye out for the following indicators to determine if a WordPress web hosting provider can be regarded as secure.
- Does the host help you set up SSL certificates?
- Does the host provide DDoS or firewall protection systems?
- Does the host offer automated backup solutions to websites?
- Has a hosting service ever exposed client details after or during a security breach?
It would be best if you never settled for a company that has compromised on its customers' security before. Additionally, you must ensure the host you select offers a plan that works best for your site. You could even do some online research to determine the host's credibility.
A desirable WordPress hosting company knows that business people that rely on their websites want to see them grow. Therefore, an ideal hosting company should offer you a plan that promotes adequate growth. Flexible plans that can support a variety of sites are an essential quality you should look for in a host regarding scalability.
Additionally, you'll need sales and support teams willing to spend the time recommending particular hosting packages based on your needs and alerting you when an upgrade is necessary to accommodate your expanding website.
To establish if the host's scalability suits your needs, check out its hosting packages. A hosting service that offers various packages might prove more suitable. Additionally, you should assess whether a host has WordPress-specific features and if they can guide you in choosing the best plan for your website.
Any hosting provider with enough experience will have a favorable or unfavorable reputation. It is excellent news for anyone looking for a WordPress web hosting provider because it means that almost every choice you might consider will have a history of client testimonials.
There's no better way to judge a business than by having the opportunity to see whether its customers are satisfied, even though you can learn a lot about a service from its website and the types of plans it offers. The best reviews will frequently go over the caliber of the various services provided, what a particular host is doing well, and where they're falling short.
Remember, looking for reviews on a hosting service's website is not always reliable. Instead, it would be best if you searched the web to find out what previous clients have to say about the company.
4. Technical Support
Every WordPress web hosting company should offer its clients top-notch and prompt support. However, this isn't always the case. Therefore, you should look for a host that employs support personnel who are familiar with WordPress.
If you want to avoid spending a lot of frustrating nights troubleshooting, make this a top priority. A proficient support staff will quickly identify internal server errors, compatibility problems, white screen of death, and other common WordPress errors. Additionally, support staff should know how to fix these issues.
To establish whether a company can offer your site WordPress-related technical support, you can review its help documentation. Alternatively, you can check whether the company explicitly markets itself toward WordPress sites' users.
Most importantly, you need to know when support is available. Do their working hours suit your business? If you handle diverse clients from different countries, check whether your preferred provider offers support in different languages.
The response time of the support team must also be a crucial consideration. Efficiency is key. Moreover, you need to confirm whether your preferred company offers support for the plan you've selected.
Usually, most WordPress websites require some plugins. As a result, you need to confirm if the hosting company allows or forbids the plugins that you are utilizing. Additionally, if you need a specific plugin, you need to know if your plugins are approved and will continue to operate.
Moreover, you have to check if the hosting company bans any non-WordPress plugins or proprietary code because of security matters. Usually, some non-WordPress-approved plugins can pose a security risk to your website, especially if you've built proprietary tools.
The price of the hosting service should be a consideration. However, you don't need to focus on the monthly costs alone. You must also check other fees, including monthly support fees, the cost of upgrades, and add-on services your business needs.
It would be best if you look for add-ons that your company needs, and ensure your budget meets these needs. The services you should consider paying for include extra security measures and dedicated support. We always advise business owners only to move their websites when they hit the limits of their current hosting plan.
If you're just starting with WordPress, a shared server might be a good option until your site's traffic volume increases. Then you can work on improving site speed with improvements like adding a CDN and image compression.
8. Technical Compatibility
The ability of your host to run WordPress is crucial. Fortunately, running WordPress doesn't require much; all you need are PHP 7 and MySQL 5.6 compatibility. But it would be best if you still verified that your host is compatible with these. Since WordPress is so popular, the likelihood that they do is high, but it's still important to confirm before you pay for a hosting package.
9. Control Panel Access
cPanel is one of the most recognized control panels for assisting you in managing your website dashboard. This is especially true for shared hosting where you may have free email and multiple domain names managed under the hosting account.
Managed WordPress hosts are moving away from cPanel due to the large bloat it places on servers, instead opting for light proprietary control panels or dashboards.
No matter which control panel comes with your hosting package, it should be simple to use.
10. Special Needs
Sometimes, your business may have unique needs. Therefore, you need to ensure that the WordPress hosting company you choose offers the services you need. Some of the special requirements you need to watch out for include extra security measures for your online business, higher speeds for sites that receive heavy traffic, or custom WordPress website design. Another particular need includes HIPPA compliance for healthcare.
WordPress hosting is hosting meant to meet WordPress' security and performance needs efficiently. As a result, businesses often rely on hosting companies to ensure their websites work as needed. Such companies usually ensure that your WordPress software gets updated automatically. They also provide upgrades to your plugins and themes.
The best host depends on your business needs. Therefore, we always recommend business people select a host that meets every need, including special ones.
Have more questions?
We're happy to jump on a call to go over how we can help you with your website.