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Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider for Your WordPress Website

If you’ve chosen WordPress to build your website, congratulations. You’ve picked a content management system (CMS) that’s by far the most popular page builder on the internet, powering millions of active websites around the world.

CMS usage

When you’re using technology that good, you need a comparable host to keep your website up and running.

Types of Hosting Plans

Before deciding on any provider, you need to find the right plan for your business model and expected level of traffic. In general, small business websites and eCommerce platforms need different hosting solutions than a personal blog or professional showcase. 

Types of Hosting Plans Explained

There are many variations on hosting, but we’re going to cover the most basic here.

Shared hosting: With shared hosting, you’re sharing storage and other resources with potentially thousands of other “tenants”. Think of it as an apartment building where everyone is connected to the same electrical grid, WiFi network, and water source.

This can be a good option if you have a small-to-medium business (SMB), a relatively static website, or blog without high expectations for traffic and growth. However, reliability, uptime, and other important considerations sometimes depend on having good neighbors who aren’t going to hog resources, attract malicious actors, or otherwise make life unpredictable for you and other tenants.

VPS hosting: The “VPS” in this equation stands for virtual private server. This is the next best thing to having the whole hog all to yourself, but at a much better price. Rather than one machine housing multiple tenants, a single server is partitioned into separate virtual machines.

You’re still sharing a server, but the resources you have to work with belong to you alone. This will give you the flexibility you need if your business suddenly takes off or your traffic spikes. You’ll also have access to more functionality and features than you’d get with a basic shared platform.

Dedicated hosting: This option is for the big players who have large budgets and even larger hosting requirements. Dedicated hosting is exactly what it sounds like. You have an entire server and all of the available resources to yourself.

However, you also have nearly 100 percent of the responsibility for upkeep, upgrades, security, and configuration unless you want to pay to have it managed for you. In return, you’ll get cutting-edge hardware and software, extra features, and a great deal of flexibility. This option is best for large enterprises with in-house IT teams and the space to house a physical server and all of the infrastructure that goes with it.

WordPress hosting: If you’re going to build your website using WordPress. Why not simply choose WordPress hosting? Plans that offer managed WordPress hosting offer one-click installs and technology that’s compatible with the most popular themes, plugins, and pre-installed programs. They usually also come with unlimited bandwidth and storage, and customer support is offered by WP pros who know the ins and outs of the platform.

Pro tip: Our last word on types of hosting is to avoid “free” platforms at all costs. They tend to only be free for a little while, and the companies often make up for lack of paid customers by selling their information or placing their own ads on your website.

Seven Considerations for Choosing a WordPress Hosting Plan

Now that you’ve narrowed down the right plan for your type of website, it’s time to choose a provider. That’s easier said than done. The process is confusing for newbies. Most hosting platforms work well with WordPress, but some work much better than others.

Before you install a WordPress theme or write your first post, you need to make sure that your hosting platform is compatible with your infrastructure and objectives.

Here are six things you should take a look at before deciding on a provider.

1. Availability

Even an hour of downtime can cost you up to $150,000 in revenue. That means you need to find a hosting provider that offers high uptime percentages and is willing to back them up in writing.

The ideal uptime is known as five nines.That means a company offers a guaranteed uptime of 99.999 in their service level agreement (SLA).

How much difference could a fraction of a percentage make? An uptime of 5 9s means that your website is down approximately 5.39 minutes per year. By contrast, an uptime of 99.5 percent will lead to nearly two days a year when your website is unavailable, and 90 percent uptime will take you offline for more than one month out of the year.

2. Security

For your own peace of mind and that of your visitors,. you need a hosting company that offers top-notch security. Many hosting plans will give you a free SSL certificate, but what do they offer beyond that?

Look for a company that provides backups that you can access and use to restore your databases. In addition, they should provide secure, properly configured firewalls and 24-hour site monitoring.

3. Price

Price shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you want a standard of service, but it is a consideration for most site owners. As we’ve said many times before, avoid free services at all cost due to lax security, low uptime percentages, and lack of reliability.

That doesn’t mean you need to pay a premium for service. There are many perfectly acceptable plans that start at as little as $2.95 per month. Keep in mind that such a low rate often comes with a long-term commitment, and the price could as much as triple when you renew.

You should also consider what kind of features are included in each tier of service. There’s no need to pay a high price for unlimited emails or something similar if you won;t have the traffic or revenue to support other features you’ll never use. Try to find the lowest price for the features you’ll actually need.

4. Scalability

We all launch our ventures with high hopes. However, you also want to be practical and realistic. Look for a flexible plan that allows you to scale as your business grows, add features without charging an arm and a leg, will allow you to switch hosting types as needed.

If you don’t get a suitable hosting plan, your business most likely won’t be as successful. To avoid that, Alex Williams from Hosting Data UK advises:

“You need to be able to scale up with your venture growth as well as the number of people that want to check out what you’re doing. Some hosting services are built for this while others… not so much.”

5. Customer Service

You need to know that your host will be there to offer support when you need it. Look for 24/7 availability across multiple channels and short turnaround times for help desk ticket resolution. The support team should be knopwl;edgable about your website builder and willing to wo9rk with you to resolve problems.

You also want to know that they care about your satisfaction by making it easy to alter your plan when needed or give you your money back if you’re not happy with their service.

6. Features and Functionality

What happens when everything else listed is pretty much the same from platform to platform? Sometimes, it all comes down to which company will give you more perks for the price. Many companies give you plenty of resources and storage to work with. But, do they offer technology that supports responsive web design or unlimited email addresses and domains? Do the tools they provide clients support all technologies, operating systems, and utilities like shopping carts or eCommerce tools?

Need to save time? Here’s a handy checklist

  1. How reliable is the host’s technology and servers?
  2. Is it easy to upgrade or change plans?
  3. Can you add domains?
  4. What’s the difference between the signup and renewal rates?
  5. Do they offer free trials and refunds?
  6. How easy is it to install and configure wordpress?
  7. Are emails included?
  8. Is SFTP included?
  9. How hard is it to find and configure your .htaccess?
  10. Do plans include eCommerce tools and utilities?
  11. Does the provider offer SSL certificates?
  12. How often do you have to renew your plan, and at what cost?
  13. Do they offer backups, and will you have access to back up files?
  14. How user-friendly are the dashboard and control panel?
  15. How accessible and responsive is the support team?

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a business owner or a web developer, you need the best web hosting platform, one that will ensure your website is up, available, and running right for as long as you or your clients own it. By following the above guidelines, you have a better chance of finding a hosting provider that you can trust to deliver on their promises and keep your website optimized. 

Another important thing is to keep your financial matters as secure as possible. In case you’re using an accounting software, make sure it’s reliable and that it values security above all. That way you’ll be able to avoid hackers accessing your financial databases.

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