Whether you are launching your first website or have been in the trenches for a while, WordPress hosting solutions are not always the most exciting thing to pick from. There are tons of companies vying for your business, throwing plans at you at all different prices, and quite honestly it can become very overwhelming.
However, hosting providers are essential to running a solid website that is reliable, secure, and fast.
Today we will look at the different hosting types you have to choose from, what to look for in a good hosting provider, and some of the top hosting solutions on the market today so that you can run the most efficient website possible.
What to Look For in a Hosting Provider
There are features that you should expect to come with your hosting provider no matter which hosting type you decide to go with.
- WordPress Friendly. Since WordPress has particular requirements (like having PHP and MySQL versions 5.6 or higher) it is important your hosting provider is experienced with WordPress websites to avoid security issues or downtime due to broken features.
- Speed. One of the most important ranking factors affecting your website’s traffic is the speed in which it loads to your viewers. Your visitors want your web pages loading in 2 seconds or less. That means you need to optimize your site in the best way possible. Luckily, a good hosting provider can help you with that.
- Support. If by chance you do run into some issues with your website you must be able to contact your hosting provider’s support team. If there is a serious issue, you need to know someone is on hand to help you out right away.
- Security. You can lose a lot of hard work, time, and money if a hacker sneaks into your website. Your hosting provider should have solid security measures in place and ways to restore your website back to normal if your website does come under attack.
- Account Access. Being able to access the admin side of your hosting account is crucial. You should be able to control email accounts, domains, files, databases, and more in a user-friendly way.
- Price. Making sure your hosting provider services fall within your budget is a big deal. Do your homework, compare plans, and choose something reasonable so you don’t break the bank.
WordPress Hosting Types
Now that you have a good idea what to look for in a good hosting provider, let’s take a look at the different types of hosting solutions that are available.
This is the cheapest and most popular solution for many WordPress users, especially when just starting out.
With shared hosting you and other customers will share the resources, such as memory, of one server. This aspect of sharing is what keeps costs down for the hosting provider. One downfall to shared hosting is the limited resources that are available and the lack of server control. Although this type of hosting is great for those with smaller websites, as your site begins to grow you may need to upgrade.
Though a relatively new concept in the WordPress world, managed hosting is quickly becoming a popular hosting solution, especially for those with larger websites.
Managed hosting does exactly what its name implies; it manages your website installation for you so you don’t have to deal with headaches of optimizing your own site. Things such as updates, regular backups and security scans, daily monitoring, website restoration, and optimization services like built-in caching, are just some of things managed hosting services will provide you.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
This solution was designed to be an in-between solution for websites that are too large to use smaller hosting providers, but are not in need of an expensive dedicated server.
Unlike a shared hosting solution, a VPS does not have users fighting over resources from the same server. Instead, a VPS will allot you a virtual reserve of memory and power on a server that no one else can access. You will also have root success to the server and more control to make changes.
This option is the most expensive, costing upwards of $1000/month, and is the most complex hosting solution available.
With a dedicated hosting provider you will be assigned your own physical server for running your website. The entire server will be accessible by you, and any changes you want to make to improve your website’s performance you can do on your own.
The problem with a dedicated hosting provider is you need to be extremely knowledgeable about server and hosting related issues, and again, I cannot stress how expensive this can be. This service is only for high scale websites in desperate need of a big hosting solution.
Top WordPress Hosting Solutions
The good thing about WordPress hosting providers is that there is a lot of competition out there so that you can find the perfect solution to fit your budget and needs.
As with anything, there are some definite top runners as far as WordPress hosting providers are concerned. Let’s see what each one has to offer so that you can make a better decision when it comes to picking your hosting solution.
One of the most trusted and affordable hosting solutions available for WordPress, Bluehost offers tons of great features to its customers. They offer a simple one-click install making it easy even for new website owners, 24/7 support, unlimited hosting and disk storage, an easy to use account control panel, and super-fast servers.
This well-known hosting provider is considered an expert in WordPress-optimized web hosting. You will receive a free domain, unlimited hosting, regular updates, and superior U.S. based technical support. They even help new WordPress users install the most recent version of WordPress and have free themes and an intuitive drag & drop builder to help you design you website in minutes.
Offering server locations on 3 continents, CDN ready services, and one of the best support teams in the business, it is no wonder SiteGround is so well known. Enjoy 99.9% uptime, auto installation, a built-in caching system, daily backups, and airtight security using this affordable hosting solution.
Boasting fast, secure, and scalable hosting services, WP Engine is a top dog in the WordPress hosting industry. Around the clock support, firewall protection and malware scanning, proprietary caching, and available SSL certification abilities are just some of the many features WP Engine offers its customers.
In the end choosing a WordPress hosting solution does not have to be that tough. If you are in the beginning stages of launching a website, I would recommend starting out with a shared hosting plan. They are the most affordable and can easily handle a new website.
From there, as your website begins to scale up and become a success, you can consider an upgrade to a managed or VPS hosting provider, or even get on board with a dedicated server.