Congratulations! You are in the process of making the smart choice of using WordPress for your website. Now, you’re onto the next step to pick the best hosting.
Often overlooked, web hosting is one of the key components of running a successful website. Without a quality host, your site will run slow, have high downtime, be less secure, and most of the time will be susceptible to hacking.
Choosing the best WordPress host for your need greatly improves your site performance while giving you a ton of additional advantages such as improved ranking and sales.
But the main question is, how can one decide on the best hosting?
If you’ve done your research, there’s a higher chance you’ve come across a barrage of terms like Shared, dedicated, VPN, and WordPress hosting.
Aren’t they all the same? And what exactly is this WordPress host?
What is WordPress Hosting?
WordPress hosting, just like regular web hosting, is a service optimized better to meet the performance and security needs of WordPress. The additional benefits included will vary depending on the hosting providers you compare and, ultimately, the hosting package you purchase.
However, WordPress hosting is generally equipped with a one-click-install, SSL certificate, automatic software update, detailed analytics, and cache cleaning to the WordPress core.
Keep in mind that WordPress hosting is not the pre-requirement of running a WordPress website. If you want to run WordPress, you can almost run it on any service. In fact, the technical requirement for running WordPress sites includes PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0.15 or higher.
However, just because your web host meets this requirement doesn’t mean you should host on any platform. A WordPress host will have a support team ready to help you with all the latest tips and tricks and offer you a great level of security across all of your WordPress sites.
How to choose the best WordPress Hosting?
Security, speed, reliability, and performance are all important factors to consider when you’re choosing between WordPress hosting plans. However, evaluating your needs before purchasing your host could help you save hundreds of dollars.
Here are some of the common types of WordPress hosting you can find.
1. Free WordPress Hosting
Yes, there are tons of free web hosting available, but all of them have some sort of catch. Usually, you can run your small-scale website on these servers with little or no traffic. And about the catch, there can be banner ads, a TLD domain, or a pop-up on your website.
The biggest downside of having free WordPress hosting is that it is unreliable. Since it’s free, there’s no dedicated support. So, in case of any vulnerability, you’re just sitting ducks. Also, you never know when the company will discontinue the free web hosting service.
2. Shared WordPress Hosting
If you’re serious about your website or business, then opting for a paid solution is the key here. And when it comes to the best choice, you can’t find anything better than shared WordPress hosting.
As the name suggests, shared WordPress hosting means that you’ll be sharing server resources with other websites. This doesn’t mean that your data will collapse. You’ll get your separate space with dedicated features where you can run your website.
The shared environment of the WordPress host is what makes it one of the affordable options on the list. Starting at just $5/mo, shared WordPress hosting providers are your ultimate bridge to connect with the digital world.
Here are some of the benefits of using Shared WordPress hosting:
• Affordable: With plans that can run as low as $5/mo, shared hosting is a very inexpensive alternative for new sites and small businesses.
• Ease of use: As the plan is designed for entry-level users, you’ll get plenty of easy-to-set-up features.
• Detailed Analytics: A shared WordPress host comes with a detailed analytics dashboard where you can check your monthly allocated resources.
• Automatic Updates: Your site core updates like WordPress, PHP, and MySQL will be automatically updated to the newest version.
• Use any CMS: If you don’t like WordPress and want to use any other or your custom CMS, a shared hosting plan allows you to use it.
3. Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress Hosting takes the stress of managing your hosting as the service comes with dedicated experts ready to back you up on your every step. Typically, managed WordPress hosting utilizes the same dedicated server. However, it can also be cloud hosting or VPS hosting.
The exact type of server specification depends on the package-managed WordPress hosting services you buy. Most often, you’ll get a dedicated server optimized to meet the speed and performance requirements of WordPress.
Here are some of the benefits of Managed WordPress hosting providers:
• Incredible fast speed: You know speed matters a lot, and a managed WordPress hosting setup understands this. By using this service, you’ll get complete freedom in terms of performance.
• Up-to-date server: With the automatic update feature, you can ensure that your site remains secure and fast without any downtime.
• High-level uptime: A managed WordPress hosting offers a classical 99.95% uptime, which means your site will be live most of the time.
• Dedicated Support: You’ll get priority support for each package plus there are WordPress experts that can help you from setting your site to optimizing your theme.
• High level of security: The managed WordPress hosting environment is designed to protect you from WordPress-related threads so you can work on your website without any worry.
Benefits of using WordPress Hosting
No matter the type of hosting plan you purchase, the following benefits can be found in every WordPress web hosting package.
1. High Level of Security
WordPress security is an area where administrations usually don’t give enough attention. However, being proactive and taking extra precautions can surely keep your site and users’ data safe. WordPress web hosting has a unique advantage compared to generalized hosting solutions.
Because it is optimized for WordPress, the security protocols will help your site against broad attacks. However, it doesn’t mean that your site is vulnerable. Since WordPress is an open-source platform, it is also one of the most commonly hacked CMS.
If your web hosting plan comes with additional security scanning and monitoring for your WordPress site, definitely check that out. If in case your site does experience a security breach, you always have the option to restore from a backup in your control panel or contact customer support to recover the website fully.
2. Fast Performance
You’re not going anywhere in this fast-paced world if your website is slow. Search engine platforms like Google and Bing will de-rank your website if your site has a poor user experience. WordPress hosting ensures that your site is up-to-date with all the performance statistics. Even using a shared hosting plan comes with blazing fast speed, high bandwidth, no downtime, and faster uptime.
However, a managed VPS host or cloud VPS host is recommended if you really want to enjoy the full-scale performance. With such web hosting plans, you’ll get an environment fully optimized for your site.
You’ll also get a team of experts behind you that will work with you on on-site optimization, security, and further performance tweaks.
3. Automatic Updates
When you’re running a WordPress website, you’re dealing with a lot of software. This includes core software like PHP, MySQL, and third-party plugins. It is recommended to use the latest software as it comes with bug fixes, security updates, and new features. WordPress hosting performs automatic updates on all its hosting plans.
Depending on the hosting service you’re using, the feature might be temporarily off. You can access this by going to your admin dashboard or your site hosting cPanel.
Shared vs Managed: Which WordPress hosting is the best?
It’s simple, you should pick a WordPress hosting plan depending on your needs. While establishing a WordPress site with extra features is a good idea, why pay the server cost per month if you’re not using those features?
The best way you can utilize this is to start with Shared WordPress hosting. It is affordable, easy to set up, and comes with plenty of features to boost your web presence.
If you think your website will get higher traffic or if you’re selling some sort of services, then a Managed WordPress option is preferred. But keep in mind that Managed hosting plans are a bit expensive, as they offer more features that are often WordPress specific.
However, all technical and maintenance tasks are almost the same on each package. Also, most WordPress hosting companies provide an easy way to upgrade your plan. For instance, if you’re using shared hosting and think it’s time to upgrade, just contact support, pay the charges, and your site will be upgraded without downtime.
What to look for when choosing a Quality WordPress Host?
Now that we’ve covered most of the points let’s talk about the different options you can buy online. Each WordPress hosting service is different, based on its prices and features, you can always find a better option. But what WordPress hosting factors make it a top-quality hosting provider?
Here are the three most common metrics that you should look for before buying WordPress hosting:
• Speed: It refers to how long your WordPress site takes to load a page along with the time to navigate between different tabs. If your site has a poor user experience or takes a lot of time to load, you won’t be getting any search engine recognition. Make sure your site loads in under 2-4 seconds, which is the industry standard for most categories.
• Support: Make sure the hosting provider you confide your trust in has plenty of knowledgebase content that you can read on your own. It’s a plus point if they support call and 24/7 chat support. Hopefully, you won’t need to rely on the support team, but when the need arises, you’ll want to ensure that they can help you with all the WordPress-related issues.
• Uptime: It refers to the percentage of time your site stays online. Most hosting companies guarantee an uptime of 99.95%, meaning that 99.95% of the time, your site is accessible on the internet. The rest of the time is for maintenance and upgrades to the server.
However, when you have a profitable business website, every second matters. In this case, opt for a 100% guaranteed uptime solution. In this scenario, your WordPress site will be transferred to another fully operational server when there’s server maintenance or upgrade.
Recommended WordPress Hosts
You’ve made it this far. You know about WordPress hosts, what parameters to check, and all that stuff. So how about some recommendations from our end?
Through a combination of individual reviews and reading tons of content online, here are some of the WordPress hosting recommendations that you can try. Some of them even include a free domain name:
• Bluehost: Starts at $2.95/mo with 1 website option, 50 GB SSD storage, and 24/7 support. There are 3 other plans that you can try.
• Namecheap: Starts at $3.88/mo with 3 website options, 20 GB SSD storage, and free site migration. There are 2 other beginners to advanced level plans.
• A2 Hosting: Starts at $10.99/mo with 1 website, 100 GB SSD storage, and 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support. There are 3 other options in the plan that you can try.
Do I need WordPress hosting to start a website?
To build a website, you need web hosting. Since WordPress hosting is fully optimized for WordPress websites, it’s a great option to consider. Apart from this, you can use any web hosting you like.
Why is WordPress hosting so expensive?
Creating a quality managed hosting experience requires technology and money. The machines that house your website tend to require a lot of computational power; hence the prices are a bit high.
As an alternative, you can opt for a shared hosting solution which is an affordable one. Managed WordPress hosts often dedicate a large amount of time and resources to these hosting platforms.
Is WordPress hosting free?
WordPress as a CMS is open-source and free to use. Hosting as a service, on the other hand, is not free and comes at a price. Normally, WordPress hosts charge anywhere from $5-$30/month.
Can you run other CMS on WordPress hosting?
Yes, by default, WordPress hosting comes with pre-installed WordPress CMS. But you can always uninstall it from the cPanel and install your choice of CMS.