Deciding on a WordPress hosting service can be a daunting process for a person just starting out. Even for people with experience, finding the right package to suit the needs of you and your company can be just as difficult.
The article below outlines some of the key aspects you should consider when choosing a hosting provider for your WordPress site. In particular, we’ll cover the pros and cons of managed, shared and VPS hosting services, storage and bandwidth.
Before we start, for any readers wondering, let’s answer:
What is WordPress hosting?
By buying hosting for your site, you are subscribing to a service that allows your website to be viewed on the internet. The provider stores your website on servers that deliver the information requested by a person’s computer when they enter your website. It tells their computer what should be displayed. Essentially, wordpress hosting is a form of web hosting that is designed specifically for websites built on wordpress. There are unique elements to the wordpress platform that can cause issues on some sites if they’re not hosting on a wordpress optimised hosting server.
Cost and Pricing
No matter the size of your business, the cost of hosting is always an important consideration. For many just starting out, it is the main deciding factor too. Try to resist the temptation to just go for the cheapest option you can find, you often get what you pay for with hosting. Examine all the features offered by multiple hosting companies within your price range. Make sure you include companies towards the upper end of your price bracket.
The services offered will impact the cost of package, for example the quality and expertise of support, the healthiness of the network and the technical additions available to you. If you know you need to have the best, then expect to pay a premium for this.
An important tip is to work out what your actual needs are as a company and what demand this will place on a server. People often find that their needs don’t match their expectations for what hosting suits their current stage. By understanding this, you’ll be able to work out a hosting package that meets the demands of your service, whilst not charging you excess amounts of money.
If you have a small wordpress site, paying between $3 and $30 a month depending on your need is a sweet spot that most companies at least begin within, particularly if revenue is not being generated from the site at this point. Beginning with a budget friendly shared web hosting is a good starting point, as you grow you should scale up the server size and package to match the increasing demand.
Performance and Features
It is a classic sales trick to be upsold all the bells and whistles, ending up with you paying for more than you will ever need. Whilst some people like to show off how big a hosting plan they have, it makes no sense to waste resources on features you won’t use now, or won’t use in the future.
It helps to plan in advance, work out your needs currently and what you predict your needs will be in a years time. Here are a couple considerations:
- Do you plan to have more than one WordPress site?
- Are backup services included in the price? Can you afford them if not?
The above is by no means exhaustive, but it should help you consider your business and what you wish to achieve in the future. Working out a solid business plan will direct you towards the type of wordpress hosting you need.
Throughout the consideration process, your hosting provider needs to guarantee up time, super-fast servers, bandwidth and enough disk space to match your usage. By choosing too cheap a package, you’ll experience downtime and server related issues. In a sense, it’s a false economy, because you could end up paying out more to fix issues that wouldn’t occur with a more expensive package.
Further features to research and ask providers about are:
- Email hosting
- Control panels
How good is the customer support?
You can tell a lot about a company by assessing the quality of its customer support. If you have a bad experience with the customer support, do you want to trust they will do right when helping you to fix issues with your online business. Perhaps your site goes offline for an unknown reason, is there instant support from a tech team? How quickly can they resolve problems, even the smallest ones? Read up on reviews and feedback for the prospective companies’ customer service.
Types of WordPress hosting
To compound the confusion that some might be feeling, there are then multiple types of wordpress hosting you can purchase from providers. The most popular types of hosting being managed, shared and VPS. We’ll discuss each of these below, although it’s important to bear in mind that combinations of these can also come about, for instance managed shared and managed VPS hosting.
Managed WordPress Hosting
A managed package means that the company will look after the technical aspects of keeping a server online. You do not have to worry about that aspect of the work, you pay the fee and they will deal with the nitty gritty of it. The downside is that there is less opportunity to customise and optimise for those who are technically capable.
Shared hosting is the most widely used hosting option, particularly so because it is the easiest entry point into hosting for sites just starting out. It is ‘shared’ because multiple websites are stored on the same single server. They share resources, although there is usually a limit on how much can be used. The benefits include cheaper access to server hosting. A downside is that if one of the other websites on the server has a large spike in traffic, or adds increased demand onto the server this can impact your access to the network.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
VPS servers are often the next step up from shared hosting. Once your website reaches a certain size and puts increased demand on the server, it could be worthwhile migrating to a VPS to increase performance and keep up with the demand. This package works by having a server clearly divided into several smaller areas, with each website having access to the resources contained within their own private area. Unlike with shared hosting, if another website on the server has a huge increase in demand, it should not have access to the resources available to your website, meaning your site can keep functioning without issue.
To have a successful online business, getting the right wordpress hosting is vital. It will keep your website online, support you through technical difficulties and remove the headache of server side issues. All of these problems will just distract you from the main focus – turning your website into a success.