How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting Solution
For your WordPress site to be online, you need to register a domain then get a space to store your site’s files. That’s where web hosting companies come in – providing shared hosting plans, VPS hosting, dedicated servers and hosting packages dedicated to WordPress blogs and websites only.
Most hosting companies claim to be the best at what they do. And they are many. And that makes determining which WordPress hosting solution to go with daunting.
This guide will help you decide which provider to go with for the new blog you want to launch – or even if you are tired of your current hosting company and are going through some of the best WordPress hosting reviews online to determine which web host to move your sites to. Here goes.
Know where you are at
If you are just starting out and expect little traffic to your site, a shared hosting plan would be enough.
Popular shared hosts include BlueHost, HostGator, SiteGround, Squidix, A Small Orange, Web Hosting Hub and InMotion Hosting.
There are many others out there, but you can pick one of these seven companies and buy hosting from them.
Other things to look for when you are just starting out include:
- the allowable bandwidth and disk quota
- if your host allows adding multiple domains to a single plan (addon domains) and
- how cheap their pricing gets depending on the duration you decide to buy hosting for (12 months, 24 months, 36 months or monthly).
The claim of unmetered bandwidth and disk storage capacity shouldn’t fool you. As your WordPress site gets popular and receives more traffic per month, you’ll need to upgrade to a VPS, semi-dedicated or dedicated server.
When starting out with shared hosting, pay for at least 12 months and then just focus on working on your site instead of worrying about hosting renewal charges and dates.
HostGator Baby and Business shared hosting plans allows you to add multiple domains to your account, open multiple email accounts, have multiple databases, install WordPress in a few clicks and they have good uptime guarantee – with steep discounts if you pay your hosting for 12 months or more.
If your site is getting more traffic that a shared hosting plans can’t handle well (say 3000 to 5000 unique visitors a day depending on which host you choose) make use of a service like Incapsula and a caching plugin, but also think seriously about upgrading to a VPS or a dedicated server. Be sure to check out this hosting infographic to learn more about the many different types of hosting plans on the internet today.
If you want a very fast loading WordPress site and you have the money, pay for the services of some of the best managed WordPress hosting providers like WPEngine, WebSynthesis and WPXHosting.
Note that HostGator and BlueHost also offers hosting specifically geared towards users who build their blogs and websites using WordPress.
Also, be aware about the plugins you want to use on your WordPress site. Some of these hosting companies (like WP Engine doesn’t allow you to add certain plugins to your WordPress install).
How much traffic you receive affects the type of WordPress hosting you need
For really big sites you may need to get more than VPS hosting.
Your best bet will be to get WordPress hosting by paying for standard dedicated servers & enterprise-grade dedicated servers from companies like Liquid Web’s Storm on Demand, HostGator, WordPress.com VIP, Squidix and InMotion Hosting.
The cost of these plans range from US$ 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800, 900, or 1000+ dollars per month.
If you are receiving little traffic to your site, you can usually get a shared hosting plan that goes for US$ 5, 7, 8, 12, 15, 20 or even 25 dollars monthly.
For better performance, if your WordPress site, is receiving 4000 to 7000 unique visitors a day, you may consider going for a virtual private server (VPS hosting) at a monthly cost of 26, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 US Dollars per month depending on the hosting provider you choose.
So, start small, with a shared plan, and upgrade as your site’s traffic grows.
If you run a resource intensive WordPress site like a social network powered by BuddyPress, an online shop powered by WooCommerce plugin, a classifieds site, a business directory, a dating site or an online forum powered by bbPress be ready to upgrade as your site grows.
Usually, hosts alert you if you have outgrown your existing plan – and prompt you to upgrade to a plan with more resources.
Read reviews of different companies that offer hosting for WordPress sites
One thing to do when reading reviews is to remember that most of them favor hosting providers the reviewer is using. After all why not recommend to others a hosting provider that works well for you.
But note that most of these popular hosting companies have multiple positive and negative reviews.
Just because they work for someone doesn’t mean they’ll work for you and vice versa.
But then you are usually covered with a 30, 45, 60 or even a 90 day money back guarantee.
You can get a refund if the services of a host are not up to your expectations, then move your site elsewhere.
You’ll see people complain about WP Engine, HostGator or BlueHost but then there are many others who enjoy using their services.
Pick one host and test their services. You can even ignore these popular hosts and go for a hosting company that is popular among folks in your country.
If you have many domains, buy hosting from different providers to test them out. See the ones you like and stick with them. Ditch the ones that you deem to be providing less than stellar hosting for your WP sites.
When starting a site for the first time, the hosting selection process can be quite overwhelming. If you are still confused or intimidated, run through these five things you must do when choosing a web host. After you run through the list, you should start feeling more confident about your decision process.
Know how much support you need
This is especially true if your site’s traffic starts growing.
If you don’t want to handle many of the technical aspects of running a blog, choose one of the managed hosting providers I’ve listed.
They’ll take care of most of the stuff you need when it comes to dealing with WordPress errors and tweaks.
Just go with some of the hosts popular with WordPress site owners: bloggers, businesses and freelancers
Yep, don’t fret much about hosting. Just look at some of the popular WordPress blogs and websites you frequent and scroll to the bottom.
You’ll normally see a Hosted by [insert name of hosting company] link somewhere there.
Go with that host.
Or better yet read a review of the hosting service by the owner of the site.
Or just contact them to ask them about their experience – or read testimonials of other customers using the company.
You can also use a WHOIS tool to see which hosting company a WordPress site is using.
Just type whois.com/whois followed by the site’s domain in your web browser’s address bar to get this info e.g. whois.com/whois/example.com
Know that there is no one size fits all. And choosing a host shouldn’t be something you take weeks to do. Choose one provider that works well for many WP site owners (like HostGator, Squidix, BlueHost or BigScoots) and start your site.
If you have the budget, pay for a managed WordPress hosting solution, even though they’re pricier compared to standard shared plans.