Your Guide To WordPress Hosting for Your Website
There’s nothing worse than getting stuck with a website host that sucks, this guide to WordPress Hosting will provide valuable insight to help you make your decision.
When launching a new website, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is choosing a web hosting service. This is the company that will be responsible for “hosting” your website’s files, transmitting data back and forth between your site’s visitors. Though my focus is typically on WordPress sites, this guide is applicable to most website systems.
But with so many different web hosting services available, how do you know which one to choose?
Free vs Paid Web Hosting
The allure of using a free web hosting service may sound enticing, but you should think twice before using them. There’s an old saying that goes, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. My saying goes more like; dear God please don’t use them! Free web hosting services typically display advertisements on your website, which is never good (unless you are being paid for them). Furthermore, many of these services have low bandwidth and data storage limits. Unless your website is small and receives just a trickle of visitors per day, it’s best to avoid these services and stick with a paid/premium web host.
Shared, VPS, or Dedicated
There are generally three types of web hosting services: shared, virtual private server (VPS), or dedicated. With a shared web host, your website is hosted on the same server as hundreds or even thousands of websites, all of which share the same resources. With a VPS, you are allocated a specific amount of virtual resources, which other users on the server cannot touch. With a dedicated server (the most expensive), you have full resources of the server.
If you are just starting out, shared web hosting will likely suffice. As your site grows, however, you may want to upgrade to either a VPS or dedicated server.
Arguably, the single most important factor to consider when choosing a web hosting service is the uptime. If there is a significant amount of downtime, it could cost you visitors and sales.
A good web host should offer 99.5% or greater uptime.
What type of back-end control panel (if any) does the web hosting service offer?
Newcomers to the world of website development will certainly benefit from the use of a control panel like cPanel. It will allow you to perform actions like setting up and checking email accounts; creating subdomains; monitoring web traffic; creating backups; and much more. Granted, these actions can be performed without a control panel, but it’s far easier and more convenient using cPanel, vDeck or a similar control panel.
Optimal Speed Delivery
Forrester Consulting found that about 47% of Internet users expect a website to load in under 2 seconds. Aberdeen Group has data that shows that a 1-second delay in page-loading time can result in a 7% loss in conversions.
Here are some great tools for testing web hosting speed:Pingdom Website Speed TestGTmetrix Website Speed Test
With 41% of hacking attempts being caused by a security vulnerability on a hosting platform, it pays to host your website with a quality hosting company. Look for a hosting company that places an emphasis on security.
Some important security points you should pay attention to are:
- Support for the latest versions of PHP and MySQL
- Is optimized for running WordPress
- Includes a WordPress optimized firewall
- Has malware scanning and intrusive file detection
- Trains their staff on important WordPress security issues
PCI compliance is a tricky subject. Many business owners inquire about PCI compliance for their websites and while I recommend finding a hosting solution that is PCI compliant it is important to note however, that simply hosting your site with a PCI compliant web host does not make your website PCI-DSS compliant. There are many intricacies involved here and I would recommend spending some time researching this topic further. The PCI Security Standards Council would be a good place to start.
With all the factors that play into finding a good host for your website, price will inevitably be one of the most influential in your decision making process.
There are several down right cheap Wordpess hosting solutions available such as:
If price is your only factor, these solutions will probably be just fine for you. One important thing to note with any of these low priced options is that they focus on quantity over quality. You will definitely be sharing a server with hundreds and possibly thousands of other websites; which can be an issue when extra resource are needed for your own site or if one of the site’s your sharing space with does something that could affect the entire server.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is a pretty significant jump in price. This would be a solution to seek if your site has really grown and you need the additional capacity, but you don’t have the time or technical expertise to deal with server operations. There is a LOT to be said for managed hosting because there’s plenty that can go wrong when hosting a site and it can be very difficult to figure out what the Hell actually went wrong.
With managed hosting the provider has your back, taking care of things like updates for the core WordPress application, and possibly themes and plugins too. Providers will typically also provide an additional layer of WordPress specific security and might also provide a built in content distribution network (CDN) to help with the performance of the site. Managed WordPress hosting solutions are dialed in specifically for WordPress websites making them faster and more secure.
Managed WordPress Hosting is hosting plus a technical support team. Costs can vary greatly depending on your choice of host and hosting tier. Manage Hosting benefits typically include:
- Trouble-shooting and maintenance.
- Software installations and upgrades.
- Hardware repairs and server monitoring.
- Greater security and peace of mind.
- Built in Content Distribution Network (CDN)
- Built in caching layer for improved site performance
Top Managed Hosting Providers for WordPress:
WP Engine Plans and Pricing
WP Engine offers five plan options:
- Personal: $29/month
- Professional: $99/month
- Business: $249/month
- Premium: $600/month
- Enterprise Grade: $3,200/month
All Pressidium plans feature unlimited bandwidth and Pinnacle Platform architecture.
- Micro: $17.90/month with add-on options available
- Personal: $24.90/month or $249/year
- Professional: $69.90/month or $699/year
- Business: $199.90/month or $1,999/year
Pressable Plans and Pricing
Pressable plans are priced based on the number of sites you run and your projected level of monthly visitors. You can purchase plans monthly or yearly to fit your needs.
- Up to five sites: $25/month or $20.38/month paid yearly
- Ten sites: $45/month or $37.50/month paid yearly
- 20 sites: $90/month or $75/month paid yearly
- VIP: single sites with over 1 million pageviews for $750/month
- Private Cloud: unlimited sites for $3,500/month
Kinsta Plans and Pricing
Kinsta offers a variety of plans from VPS to Load Balanced allowing duplicate databases and enhanced security.
- My Business: $287/month
- My Agency: $487/month
- My Venture: $987/month
Load balanced plans
- My Enterprise: $870/month
- My Cloud: $1,470/month
Flywheel Plans and Pricing
Flywheel offers three types of hosting plans: pay-per-site, bulk and custom. Pricing varies according to bandwidth, disk space and monthly visits.
- Tiny: $15/month
- Personal: $30/month
- Professional: $75/month
- Freelance: $100/month
- Agency: $250/month
Resources To Help You Research Hosting Providers
Whether it’s price, speed, security or a fully hands-on managed experience you’re looking for, this guide to WordPress hosting should help you find exactly what you’re looking for.