WordPress powers nearly 40 percent of all websites, yet not all WordPress sites are equal. One of the most important factors to consider when creating a WordPress site is your hosting. The right WordPress hosting company can increase your website’s speed and security, as well as provide you with reliable customer support.
Yet if you want to find the best WordPress hosting solution, what should you look for? What are the most critical factors contributing to great hosting, and what steps do you need to take to find the right hosting solution for you?
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the most important considerations about choosing WordPress hosting to help you make the very best decision possible. Are you ready to learn more and start making your website even better? Then read on!
Determine Your Budget
You can have the fastest WordPress hosting in the world, yet if it’s putting your company out of pocket, it’s not the right WordPress hosting for you. There are a lot of different factors that affect the price tag of a hosting solution, including the server’s specifications, your bandwidth, and more.
When you’re trying to find a great WordPress hosting solution, consider your actual needs. Take into account:
- The number of visitors that your site gets per month
- What extra features you need
- How much storage you need
While it can be tempting to go for the most powerful option available, it isn’t always necessary. If you’re only getting a few thousand views per month, you don’t need to get top-end hosting.
Find a Host With the Features That You Need
Hosting is very customizable. There is a dizzying list of features that hosting solutions can offer, from different types of tools to including SSL certificates with your subscription.
You can opt for an off-the-shelf plan which includes certain features, or you can pick a custom plan that allows you to mix and match a wide range of different features. When you’re choosing a WordPress host, you should consider the features that you need right now.
Paying for features that you won’t use is an unwise decision, though you should check whether you can add these later, should you change your mind. Some essential features that you may need include:
- Easy migration tools
- Ability to host more than one site
- Backup and security services
- 24/7 customer support
Take a thorough look at any hosting company’s site and, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, get in contact with them to check what features they offer on their plans.
Self-Hosting or Managed Hosting?
When deciding between different hosting solutions, you’ll need to choose between whether to manage your site’s technical side yourself or let someone else take the reins.
There are several key differences between self-hosting and managed hosting. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each approach.
Self-hosting, or self-managed hosting, is where you control every facet of the site’s technical side yourself. This gives you a fine level of granular control over your server, as you are in charge of everything, from installation to security.
However, having this amount of control over your server means that it’s harder to get started and will take more time.
There won’t be any technical support either, which means that you’re on your own if something goes wrong. Setting up a server is complicated: you need to make sure that everything is configured correctly, or you could end up footing the bill for a data breach.
On the plus side, if you have experience with web hosting, you’ll enjoy the extra control that you have over the server. If you want to add new features to the server yourself or tinker with the fine details of your setup, managed hosting will be impractical.
Managed hosting offers a streamlined experience that the average user will benefit from. Your server is managed by a third party that can optimize your server for your particular needs. For example, in this instance, they’ll be able to fine-tune WordPress so that it runs the best it possibly can.
Keep in mind, managed hosting is not a completely hands-off experience. Through the control panel, you can generate technical reports and tweak your site to a certain extent, which means that you’ll still be able to manage your server to a limited extent.
The big advantage of managed hosting is that you’ll have a robust hosting solution for your website without getting involved with the technical side of things. Your security should be rock-solid too, so there’s a lower chance of a data breach.
If you’re not particularly technically minded and want a strong foundation for your website, managed hosting is your best option.
Security Should Be a Top Priority
Today, many businesses rely on their website. If your website gets hacked or malware infects it, your website may be forced offline until it’s recovered and the hack is repaired. Every minute that your site is offline, you’re losing business.
This means that you need to make your website’s security a top priority. So you need to make sure that the hosting company offers a firewall and other antimalware software. You should also check that the host is running the latest version of WordPress: staying up to date is perhaps the most crucial step that a host can take to stay secure.
You can gauge the security of a host by Googling its name and seeing whether it’s ever made the news in a negative light. Has it ever been hacked or suffered a data breach? Are there any other security issues that have affected it?
Do They Offer Staging Environments?
Editing your main website can be very risky. If you make a change that causes issues, they will affect your site and cause problems for your users. You need to use staging areas instead.
These are clones of your site that let you tweak your site and see how they work without affecting your main site. When you’ve confirmed that the tweaks work on the staging site, you can roll these changes over to your live site.
Editing live sites is very risky, so you should ensure that your host offers you staging environments, preferably as many as you’d like.
Do They Cache Your Site?
If you’re using a managed host, you should make sure they offer caching as part of their services. They can cache by adding a plugin to your WordPress backend or by employing the services of a CDN.
The result will be the same: once a user has visited your page once, some elements will stay on their computer, which means that the next time they visit your site, it will load faster. As we’ve discussed, page speed is vital for SEO and happier customers, so you should make sure that you use caching on your site.
What Level of Support Do They Offer?
Whatever kind of hosting you’re using, the host needs to offer robust customer support. If the worst happens and your site goes down, you need to be able to get in touch with tech support and have them solve your issue. If they don’t, then you’re going to be losing money.
Yet customer support should extend beyond disaster recovery. If your site is experiencing issues and you don’t know how to fix them, customer support should be on hand to help you out.
You can tell a lot about how a host treats their customers from their reviews, so if you’re questioning the quality of support you’d be able to access, look at the host’s online reviews and see what their existing customers have to say.
Finding the Best WordPress Hosting
It can be challenging to find the best WordPress hosting solution for you and your business, but we hope you’ve found our guide helpful and feel more informed about making this crucial decision.
If you’d like to use managed hosting and take advantage of a wide range of features, we can help you. We offer a range of plans, including custom plans, so you’ll get exactly what you need with us.
For more information, schedule a consultation with us!