When you need web hosting for your WordPress website, it can seem a little daunting to know what to choose – and if your website is your first, you may even be a little hazy as to what web hosting is! So let us arm you with some knowledge so you understand what is web hosting and how to choose the best hosting company for your WordPress website.
1. What Is Web Hosting?
To get your website seen on the internet it has to be placed there, otherwise it won’t be available to website users. Web hosting companies own and maintain powerful web servers which store your web pages, and “serve” them to your visitors.
There are many web hosting companies around – but when you decide which to use to host your WordPress website, you need to consider the following essential points.
1.1 Amount of web space
Around 1Gb is fine if your website is small and your website traffic is likely to be modest. Big, complicated websites with lots of functionality (online purchasing, online booking, forums, lots of images and video etc) which attract many visitors would do best to choose hosting with unlimited web space.
1.2 Website speed
It’s important that your website has pages that are fast to load – slow websites aren’t enjoyed by visitors and your site could actually get penalised in Google search results if it is very sluggish.
1.3 General Shared or Private Server Hosting
General shared hosting is offered by companies such as GoDaddy, Bluehost and 123 Reg etc. This is great for small personal sites and low budgets, where uptime and site speed aren’t critical.
However shared servers are less suited to websites with large volumes of traffic. They won’t scale well and with too much traffic, your site is likely to go down. Also website speed is affected by what your “neighbours” are running on their sites concurrently.
Private server hosting means you have resources that are not shared by others. This provides more power and flexibility than being on a shared account.
1.4 WordPress specific hosting
WordPress specific hosting may be slightly more expensive than general hosting. However it’s definitely advantageous because WordPress has “application specific” nuances that affect hosting providers. Managed WordPress hosting providers specialise in these nuances and optimise caching, security, and support for WordPress sites.
In addition, this type of hosting means pages can be served faster and WordPress specific security issues can patched quickly with the release of each new WordPress version.
1.5 Whether you need CDN (Content Delivery Network) services
A CDN is a collection of servers located all around the world. When a browser loads static content, the request is automatically routed to the server geographically closest to the browser. This helps the content load much more quickly. In addition, because your content is loaded from many servers in separate locations, bursts of traffic are less likely to cause issues, because the burst is spread out over hundreds of servers, rather than just one.
1.6 If you require a SSL option
HTTPS, the secure protocol for the web, safeguards your visitors by creating encrypted connections between your visitors and your site, protecting your visitors’ privacy and the data they share with you over the internet.
In addition to providing enhanced security, HTTPS can provide search engine ranking improvements. Read this article for more information on https for SEO.
1.7 Service Level you expect from the hosting provider
The amount of support you receive depends on the platform you choose and the operator – so check the service level agreement before signing up. Things to consider:
– network availability – does the host guarantee 100% network availability (excluding scheduled and emergency maintenance)?
– assistance – how can you contact the host? Are they available 24/7? How quickly will your query be dealt with?
2. Which Are The Best Web Hosting Companies?
There are thousands of hosting companies so it’s important to select a company you feel comfortable with and who you believe will provide a good service and value for money.
Many are multinational companies like GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator etc. who have tens of thousands of clients, who are consequently treated as one of many. There are also companies like WP Support Specialists who deal with smaller numbers of clients and build up a good working relationship with them in a more personal way.
Here’s a list of 5 of the biggest WordPress website hosting companies with links through to customer reviews:
- DreamHost – Read customer reviews here
- HostGator – Read customer reviews here
- GoDaddy – Read customer reviews here
- BlueHost – Read customer reviews here
- InMotion Hosting – Read customer reviews here
After reading this article we trust you are armed with the knowledge you need to choose the best web hosting company for your WordPress website!