Top 4 Tips to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting
WordPress remains the most popular blog hosting platform largely up to its customization possibilities. With a variety of themes and plugins that add functionality, there is a great chance that you can find something to fit your unique needs.
Now that you’ve decided to use WordPress, the next question is where to host it. Unless you want to go the route of WordPress.com, which is free, you will need to select a web host. That’s the preferable option because WordPress.com doesn’t give you as many options when it comes to customization.
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It’s easy to find web host companies with a quick Google search. It’s an important decision to make because it can impact your sales and your SEO. The question is which web host company is the best for your needs. Keep these factors in mind when looking through your options.
1. Types of WordPress Hosting
You will find different types of WordPress hosting including free, shared, VPS, dedicated and managed. Here is an explainer of each type.
Free: WordPress.com, as previously stated, is limited in customization and different than self-hosted WordPress. There are other free options available, but there’s usually a catch. The host may attach a banner on your side or somehow else utilize your site for its own publicity. This makes your site look less professional and shows that you lack money to put into your business. Remember image is everything. The free sites are often unreliable.
Shared: The most popular option, shared hosting features several sites including yours on the same server. It’s a great way to start in the beginning as you determine how much traffic your blog will get. Just beware. While it says unlimited resources, you want to read the fine print to see the usage restrictions. Often if your site starts taking up too much server load, the web host will push you to upgrade your account. That said, if your blog is that successful and you are monetizing it you may have enough funds to upgrade.
VPS Hosting: VPS is your next stage up when it comes to web hosting. It mimics having your own dedicated server but you are still actually on a server with other users. The server has less clients and the host may let you access some administrative functions, which may let you offer hosting to your clients who would rather leave these administrative functions up to you. This option’s most popular with medium-sized bloggers, developers and users with an intermediate knowledge base. If you lack technical knowledge and go the VPS route, you may want to consider using a managed VPS where the host manages system upgrades.
Dedicated Server Hosting: Don’t bother going this route when you’re just starting out, but if your blog’s popularity is just soaring you may want to consider dedicated server hosting. You lease a server from a hosting provider, which gives you complete control over the hosting environment. Again, if you lack the technical knowledge consider purchasing a managed hosting agreement.
Just a word on managed WordPress hosting. When you choose this option, you can only host WordPress-based sites. The web host provider takes care of software backups, keeps your site secure, optimizes it for performance, and overall makes it a hassle free option. The catch is you will be paying more for this option with the cost depending on how many domains you have.
2. Speed and Reliability
Read through the specifications of the hosting and read reviews on website hosts to find out more about their speed and performance. Factors like memory or RAM, disk space and processing power make a difference when it comes to how well your blog will perform.
Keep in mind you want your blog to do well. Wouldn’t it be great if a post went viral? The catch is does your website have the ability to perform if that happens, or will that increase in traffic make your web site slow down or go offline? Compare these factors when choosing a provider. When it comes to RAM, disk space and processing power, or CPUs, more is better.
You also want to check out reliability. A provider who guarantees the web site will be up 95 percent of the time is good. Even better if that number’s closer to 99 percent. Down sites mean more time people can’t see your blog. That’s not good for business – especially if they give up once and don’t come back. Uptime is definitely something to consider.
Cost plays a part in your decision. Many bloggers don’t have huge resources starting out and tend to choose less costly plans. This works out because many web host companies offer discounts for a customer’s first year of hosting.
Remember you get what you pay for, and if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Many plans give you the option of paying monthly but you may find yourself paying more in the end if they offer you a discount for paying a year at a time. When getting a discounted rate, make sure to check what it will be the following year. It’s not unheard of to go somewhere from paying $30 the first year to $150 the second.
You also want to make sure to pay close attention to the “monthly fee.” Often the fee isn’t monthly at all but what you would pay if you could pay a month at a time. The provider takes the annual fee and breaks down how much it would be a month. Sometimes if there is a monthly fee, it’s not as economical as the price would be if you paid for a year at a time.
Basically, you are going to need reliable support at some time during your blogging. If you are just starting out, there’s a good chance you will need it more. Check out reviews to see how dependable web host companies are. Do they provide the support when needed, and can you reach them 24/7? Are they known to answer customers’ questions in a timely manner? Keep that in mind when deciding which direction to go.
These factors can help you get on your way to choosing a quality WordPress web hosting provider. Happy blogging as you embark on your new adventure.