WordPress Hosting: How To Find The Best One
Beginning your journey into the world of WordPress can be overwhelming and confusing if you don’t have any prior experience with this extremely popular CMS. The terminology, features, and questions can throw you off and could lead you to make a bad choice.
You don’t just want to pick a good host but the BEST WordPress hosting for you. The best hosting means your hands and time will be freed up to work on the more important aspects while leaving issues with downtimes, hackers, server issues, and site malfunctions to someone else that is expertly trained in handling exactly that.
In order to help you make the right pick, have the most pleasant WordPress experience, and have a successful WordPress site, we’ve rounded up some important things to consider before you finalize which host you’ll be using.
While the location of the server hosting your site IS important, it’s not the MOST important. For example, if you’re located in Canada, a US server location is fine. If you’re in Singapore, an Australian server location is great! Keep it close, but don’t think you have to pay a high ticket in order to get it located in your state, province, or town.
Finding the best deal in a sweet spot location is what you’re really looking for. As long as you can avoid choosing a host location located in another hemisphere or continent, you’re probably in good hands. That being said, if you already have a hosting service that is not close to your target market, you can use a CDN like CloudFlare to maximise loading speeds. a CDN or Content Delivery Network uses a network of servers or nodes to serve up a cached version of your WP site from the closest server to your visitors. And the great thing is that CloudFlare is completely free, most hosts even have tools set up to easily integrate your site with it.
Server uptime is a percentage of time that your server will be up and running smoothly. A percentage like 99.5% might seem like the best you can get, but that isn’t so. You see, that .5% could be several days of website downtime each year. And with each day of downtime, you’re losing revenue but still paying for the service.
To avoid bad days like that, we recommend going with a host that can confidently guarantee at least 99.9% uptime. If you can find something in your price range above that, even better!
It’s also a good idea to research a company’s uptime and make sure their reputation matches up with the figure they present. So before taking their percentage at face value, do a cross check on your own time.
Most WordPress hosts have some sort of 1-click installer available for installing WordPress. Some have their own custom built system, and others use the famous cPanel, which has an app called Softaculous. Softaculous is awesome as it doesn’t only have a super easy installer for WordPress, but also for countless other CMSs like Joomla.
While it really shouldn’t be an issue as 99% of the web hosting companies out there use one-click installers, it might be good to double-check so you don’t run into a situation where you need to manually install WordPress.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer as is a technology used to encrypt and secure the transfer of data and information between the server and your visitors. You can know a site is secure by checking the URL (https://) or the padlock symbol in most browsers. We think having a secure site is a must these days, and because basic SSL certificates are free, there’s no reason not to have one.
While we’ve talked about server location and the use of a CDN in relation to loading times of websites, some WordPress hosts go a step further. The best web hosting providers that go after the WordPress market usually have custom built scripts and systems to increase the performance of WP as much as possible. While most of these hosts are the more expensive managed WordPress hosts, some more affordable ones like SiteGround also have custom plugins and systems in place to minimise loading times.
Storage is important. Don’t get us wrong, we know it’s important. To be honest, though, we think it’s overemphasized in the industry. It’s not THE most important thing.
Easily, you can store a large blog or website that fits under 2GB of storage. You can find shortcuts like using Gmail as email rather than taking storage from your site, and this will cut back your need for storage in a big way. Signing up for 10GB of space might be overkill. Just consider it.
If you find a WordPress hosting site that boasts a ton of storage, chances are that they have shortcomings elsewhere that allow for all that space. These shortcomings could be in the form of a lack of resources, service, or bandwidth.
Take a realistic look at your site and only sign up for the space you’ll actually use.
Cpanel is a WordPress feature that usually comes with email as well. Using this, you can create a super official @domainname.com email address for visitors to contact you through. Most WordPress hosting providers include this as part of their package.
If this is an attractive prospect to you, then consider keeping that at the forefront of your WordPress hosting search. It takes up quite a bit of storage, though, and if that means you’ll need to increase your storage requirements, it could also jack up your monthly bill.
At this point in the game, you should only go with a WordPress hosting service that will offer you full 24/7 service. There’s really no excuse not to with all the competition that does offer it. You’re paying them to host your site, so they should always be available to you. This is pretty important and not an area we recommend skimping out on.
Backing up your site often is so important, because without a secure backup there’s always the potential for all data and settings to be lost if there were a large malfunction. Backing up manually is quite a hassle, so check to see if your hosting plan offers regular (daily, weekly, monthly) automatic backups.
Just like you always want to back up your Apple phone and laptop to “the cloud” regularly, it’s arguably even more important to keep your WordPress website backed up.
Bandwidth vs. Data Transfer
The rate data can be transferred through the network is your bandwidth. Data transfer, on the other hand, is the data traffic that your site can generate. If your site will be offering data (think downloads, files, etc.) to its visitors, then you’ll burn through your allotted data transfer quickly and may want to keep an eye out for a host that can offer flexibility on that.
Bandwidth is essentially the data traffic your site can handle. A high bandwidth usually also means a good quality bandwidth, so look out for hosts that seem confident in the bandwidth they can offer. Keep in mind that if your average site traffic fluctuates during a special campaign or for another reason, you’ll want your bandwidth to remain strong and be able to successfully adapt around the higher traffic.
It’s a good idea just to check to see if the host you’re going with will allow you to add on extra domains. While you may not need it starting out, it could be something you’re interested in farther down the road.