Whenever you start thinking of creating your own website, the first thing that comes to your mine is where you should host it. Choosing a good web hosting company is one of the most important aspects of creating a successful website. When you have a rock-solid hosting for your website, you needn’t worry about downtimes which seriously impairs your SEO or causes frustration among your readers. And if you are planning to create an e-commerce site, you should definitely care about site speed.
When it comes to hosting, there are many types available out there such as free hosting, shared hosting, dedicated servers, VPS or virtual private servers, managed hosting, Windows hosting, Linux hosting, etc. There terms are often confusing for any amateur.
Since I have helped many people to build their sites using WordPress, I know the importance of a good hosting service. In this article I will try to offer you insights on what factors you need to consider to choose the best web hosting service for your WordPress site along with my recommendations for your benefit.
What are the requirements for Hosting WordPress
WordPress, though coded with PHP is not a very resource intensive application. That’s the reason why WordPress can be hosted easily on any web hosting plan from any web hosting company.
The basic updated requirements for hosting WordPress are :
- PHP version 7 or greater.
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater
- HTTPS support
NOTE: WordPress also works with PHP 5.2.4+ and MySQL 5.0+ but these versions have reached their official End Of Life and may expose your site to security vulnerabilities.
But since WordPress is one of the most popular applications out thee, most of the hosting companies support 1-click installation of WordPress.
Things to Consider when Choosing a WordPress Hosting Provider
The most important factors you need to consider while choosing a hosting provider are reliability, speed, customer support, security and costs. The web hosting company should be a reliable name in the WordPress community, should have good servers which are stable, should have an excellent customer support team and should take proper measures to prevent any sort of hacks and DDoS attacks on their web servers.
Free WordPress Hosting (For Testing Purposes Only)
There are numerous websites out there claiming to offer free hosting for your WordPress websites. These type of hosting are not reliable at all. Most of the free hosting providers are spammy and if you host your website on their servers along with a few other spammy websites, you can get your site penalized by search engines like Google. Once you get your site blacklisted, it is too hard to recover. You should also think why someone is agreeing to host your site for free as hosting a website is a costly business.
Recommended Free Host – Hostinger
Shared WordPress Hosting
This type of hosting is the most popular in the industry and doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. This is suitable for people who have just started blogging or for sites which don’t expect much traffic. In shared hosting, numerous sites are hosted on the same server. Since they are hosting multiple sites on the same server, it is possible for them to offer it for a cheap price.
It is strictly for sites which are starting out new or doesn’t have much content or visitors. Once your site starts growing and starts receiving high traffic, they will force you to upgrade to a better plan as your site will begin to use up the server resources which are meant to be shared equally. If you don’t upgrade your plan to suit your site’s new needs, there are even chances of them suspending your site temporarily.
Recommended Shared WordPress Host – Bluehost
VPS WordPress Hosting
VPS is nothing but a Virtual Private Server which is actually a virtual machine. In this type of hosting, a single powerful physical server is partitioned virtually as separate servers and is sold as unique private servers to the customers. You can control and tweak your virtual server as you like to suit your needs and this doesn’t affect the others virtual servers. This is suitable for medium-sized business sites, blogs which receive high traffic, magazine sites and for developers.
Using VPS, you can also scale your website to withstand unexpected traffic surges in case any of your article or post goes viral on Reddit.
Recommended VPS WordPress Host – DreamHost
Dedicated WordPress Hosting
In this case, you can purchase a separate physical server on lease from the hosting provider and do whatever you want with it. For example, you can choose what operating system to install in it, what frameworks you want to install, manage hardware specifications, tweak it to the core, etc. This is only suitable for sites and blog which receive extremely high traffic such as viral blogs, news sites, popular resource sites, etc.
If you have got no technical experience on managing servers, you should opt for managed dedicated WordPress hosting so that someone can maintain your server, monitor system status, perform updates, troubleshoot if something goes wrong, etc.
Recommended Dedicated WordPress Host – SiteGround
Managed WordPress Hosting
If you do not know yet, WordPress now powers around 27 percent of all the websites in the world. This is huge compared to other technologies used to create websites. This is the reason why many web hosting companies have started to come up with managed WordPress hosting services. With this type of hosting, you are allowed to host only WordPress and nothing else. Since this type of hosting is optimized for WordPress, you need not worry about anything. They manage the site for you and make sure it loads in an instant, is secure and protected from known vulnerabilities, take regular full backups of your site and help you recover your site in a minute if something goes wrong, etc.
These people are highly experienced in WordPress and most of their staffs too have a very good background knowledge of WordPress. So, you needn’t spend hours and hours trying to explain what the problem is related to your site to the support staff as they will recognize the problem instantly. Since everything is managed by them for you, the pricing is also quite high for these plans. If you are just getting started with WordPress, stay away from managed WordPress hosting.
This is especially great for bloggers, affiliate marketers, design agencies and designers.
Recommended Managed WordPress Host – Flywheel
Thus I hope this guide helped you in understanding how to choose the best hosting service for your WordPress site. Also feel free to check out my other posts on all things about WordPress.