You finally have your business plan figured out. You know exactly what you’re going to do to run a successful WordPress site, and you’ve even started pooling resources together. All that you need now is a good home for your WordPress site – a good WordPress hosting plan to help you realize your goals and achieve your online dreams.
With the millions of WordPress hosting providers out there, it can be an uphill task choosing the best (or the right one). And you need only the best because if you don’t have web hosting going on for you, running an online business can and will give you migraines. You need the best, and nothing short of it.
In today’s post, I will take you through the process of choosing the right WordPress hosting. I will also recommend a few WordPress hosts to make your work easier. By the end of this post, you will be able to choose the best WordPress hosting for your next project.
For most people, the cost of WordPress hosting is the first aspect they consider when choosing a web host. The impulse here is to go for the cheapest offer there is, but this is often the wrong move to make. Keep in mind that you get exactly what you pay for, as web hosts – just like any other business – must turn in a profit even when they seem to give you “unlimited everything”.
While we all would love to save a few bucks once in a while, you should take a closer look at the features the web host offers as opposed to jumping on the first cheap plan that comes your way.
The price of web hosting depends on a number of factors such as the quality of support and the health of servers amongst others. If you need the best, you have to pay a premium. Surely, you will be kidding yourself if you expect the best WordPress hosting at $1 a month.
On the other hand, $90 per month is a bit pricey, but $3 to $30 per month is ideal if you have a small WordPress site that does not make you money.
Oh, don’t fall for the “unlimited everything” trap that is supposed to lure you in. Nothing is really unlimited. Since these are often shared web hosting plans (which is okay for a small WordPress site BTW) there are a limited number of resources being split between every website on that server. So once your website starts pulling in large amounts of visitors, the web host will politely force you to scale up. If you have a WordPress portal that gets millions of pageviews per month, shared hosting won’t cut it – even with the unlimited options.
You can definitely start with budget friendly shared web hosting, but you should scale up with the growth of your website. Other web hosting plans available include virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, managed VPS, managed dedicated servers and managed WordPress hosting. The price of WordPress hosting varies with the plans, so stay within your budget and only go for a web hosting provider who offers the features you are looking for.
Features and Performance
It is not so much about the features (or level of performance) provided by the web host. It’s all about the features you need to run your WordPress site. It makes no sense to go for a WordPress hosting plan with features you will never use now or in the future. Prepare in advance so you know exactly what you need today and what you will need, say, a year from now.
- Apart from WordPress, will you need to install other scripts – on a subdomain or separate domain – in the future?
- Will you need to host more than one WordPress site?
- Does your WordPress host of choice support unlimited addon domains or subdomains, or will you need to move to another host to enjoy these features?
- Are you ready to pay extra for backup services?
- Would you like to take advantage of a free domain?
- Does the web hosting company support a cause dear to your heart?
These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself. After all, it’s all about you and what you wish to achieve. Having a solid plan for your online business will point you to the right WordPress hosting.
On performance, you need a WordPress hosting provider who guarantees up times, super-fast servers, bandwidth and enough disk space to accommodate your needs. If you decide to play cheap, you will pay by wasting a lot of time and effort dealing with downtimes and other server-related issues. Cheap is, after all, expensive.
You take your WordPress site seriously, and your WordPress hosting provider should too. Contact them and ask questions. Read independent reviews or ask trusted friends for recommendations.
Another thing. If a web hosting company specializes in enterprise-based hosting solutions only and you have a small WordPress blog, they are not the right fit for you. The inverse is also true. Other features to keep in mind when choosing WordPress hosting include email hosting, control panels and security.
Quality of Customer Support
The quality of customer support that a web host provides should tell you a lot about the company. If the customer support leaves a lot to be desired, you don’t want to trust that company with your online business. If your site goes down for some reason, can you contact tech support and get instant help? If they are available, can they fix the problem quickly? Or will it take ages to get help even for the smallest of issues?
Before choosing a web host for your WordPress website(s), ensure they have a good reputation for customer support. A good web hosting company will provide multiple ways of contact including a phone number (duh), email and chat. They will have someone to help you 24/7, and they will have good reviews all over the internet. Do your research and choose a web host that values customer support.
WordPress Hosting Recommendations
In this section, we will cover two categories of WordPress hosting:
- Managed WordPress hosting
- Typical web hosting providers
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting companies specialize in providing hosting solutions for the WordPress platform. This means you can only host WordPress sites with them, and nothing else.
This is great for you because all their resources are dedicated to your WordPress platform, and we all know that concentrated efforts = better results. The following are the leading managed WordPress hosting companies in the market right now.
I’m starting with WP Engine because we use and love it! We’ve been using WP Engine for a while now, and the experience is simply out of this world. I’m not just recommending WP Engine, I’m about to reveal to you why it’s the best managed WordPress hosting solution out there.
First things first, WP Engine’s support team is “…100% focused and dedicated to WordPress.” Besides that, the company boasts of the best customer to support staff ratio in the industry meaning you get uber-fast and personal support at all times.
That’s not the end of it. Ever since we started using WP Engine, we’ve never had to worry about backing up WPExplorer.com because it is taken care of automatically on a daily basis. And there are no extra (or hidden) costs, plus you can restore your site whenever with a few clicks. How suave? Every WP Engine plan has the above and the following features:
- Firewalls and Malware scanning to bolster security
- Generous SLA and no long-term contracts (pay monthly and leave whenever you want – although you’ll never want to)
- International data centers to guarantee super-fast load speeds (say goodbye to caching plugins)
- As much space as you want
- Unlimited data transfer
- Scalable plans
- Top of the range hardware
- Content Delivery Networks (CDN) support
- Development tools
- And so much more…
This is the best managed WordPress hosting solution for you whether you run a personal blog, a professional WordPress site or an e-commerce portal. They also have a premium package with custom options for your unique needs.
Some of WP Engine clients include MaxCDN, Foursquare, ConstantContact, SoundCloud, Buffer and GeekWire amongst others. Automattic also invested in WP Engine, which gives the latter even more credibility.
Traditional Web Hosting Companies
Most web hosting companies support the WordPress software. Just purchase your hosting package, install WordPress with a few clicks, and your work is done. So far, this option is more popular than managed WordPress hosting for many a blogger. It’s very budget (with packages starting around $4-$5 per month), but doesn’t always have all the extra goodies that come with managed WordPress hosting. The following web hosts have a good reputation for customer support and performance in the market.
With instant setup, anytime money-back guarantee, unlimited domain hosting, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, unlimited email accounts, a free domain, site building tools, FTP, SSL, 24/7 support, $100 Google advertising credit and a couple of other sweet features, Bluehost is a big name in the web hosting business. Plus, Bluehost had offered a special deal to all WPExplorer readers, so you can get host starting at just $3.95 per month. Just make sure to use one of our links to Bluehost on this page or on our coupons page to ensure you get the discount.
In fact, WordPress vouches for Bluehost as a WordPress host. Apart from shared hosting, they also provide VPS and dedicated web hosting, so scaling up won’t be a problem. Additionally, if you would like to start your own web hosting outfit, they have an attractive reseller plan. As a reseller, you might be interested in checking out these WordPress themes for hosting companies.
With over eight (8) million sites on their servers, HostGator is a popular web hosting. They provide 24/7 email, chat, skype and phone support. You can install WordPress with a few clicks via the control panel.
They also provide 99.9% uptime guarantee meaning even with their low prices, you don’t have to worry about downtimes. Their hosting plans start at $3.96 per month because of a twenty percent (20%) discount. VPS hosting starts at $9.97 per month and dedicated servers start at $139 per month. Reseller hosting starts at $19.95 per month. It’s a great WordPress hosting solution to get you started.
Choosing the right WordPress hosting is the first step towards achieving online success. You want to avoid web hosting-related problems from the get-go to concentrate on creating products, marketing your WordPress site and generally making money. Before you leave, please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comment section below. I wish you a happy and prosperous 2014!