Sorting through WordPress hosting options can be overwhelming.
Do you pick the option that you constantly see advertisements for? What about the cheapest one? How about one that comes with more servers but less uptime?
Unfortunately, the world of web hosting is not a one-size-fits-all model, and there are multiple factors to consider. Here’s a guide for navigating some of the most important WordPress hosting differentiators.
1. Type of hosting platform
First and foremost, make sure the host you choose offers the type of hosting that you actually need:
- Shared hosting is great for websites that don’t experience a lot of traffic. Shared hosting entails sharing server resources with other websites.
- VPS (virtual private server) hosting is the step above shared hosting. You receive a dedicated piece of a shared server. The idea is that you’re given a share of resources that no one else can use.
- Dedicated hosting is when you secure an entire server for yourself.
2. Backup frequency
Regularly backing up your website can save time. If you’re comfortable manually backing up your site, then automated backups might not be a feature that you need to take into account when picking a host.
If you’re less tech savvy or want to save time, find a host that completes backups on your behalf, and find out how often they occur.
3. Customer support and reliability
Finding out that a company’s customer support services aren’t readily available or reliable can be a major turnoff.
As a rule of thumb, find a host that offers 24/7 chat and phone support. Some hosts claim to have it, but it can still take several hours to receive a chat response. So, it’s a good idea to get in touch with their support team to test its reliability for yourself.
4. Third-party reviews
Many hosting companies pay websites a commission for sending traffic and customers their way. This means that a lot of “reviews” can be slanted unfairly in the hosting company’s favor.
While it’s fine to read these reviews for informational purposes, be sure to scan through third-party, unaffiliated reviews and statistics for each of the hosts you’re considering. Sites like dotcom-tools can help you find these statistics. You can also use Hosting Manual’s Uptime Calculator to determine your prospective web host’s uptime, or to determine a downtime window that’s acceptable for your website.
Finally, make sure that your WordPress hosting plan fits within your budget. Some solutions can get expensive fast, especially if you don’t yet have the customers to support it.
While there are some budget-friendly options out there, don’t opt for the cheapest one just because it’s easier on your bank account. Make sure the hosting company has positive reviews and won’t surge its prices upon renewal. Some companies offer low prices during the first year, but double or triple in price upon renewal.
The bottom line is that you want to make sure a cheaper host won’t cost you more money in the long run.
Ultimately, most of the WordPress hosts that stand the test of time will work well. You can always switch hosts if you need to. Alternatively, if you prefer a website solution with all of the under-the-hood stuff taken care of, go with WordPress.com.