All WordPress hosts aren’t created equal and you can’t base your choice on price alone.
The numerous hosts all offer a different feature set. What you need will vary based on the type of site you own.
From deciding between shared and dedicated hosting to looking at processing speed, you have quite a few things to consider before choosing your site host.
Price Isn’t Everything
Beware the temptation of extremely cheap web hosting. Those cheaper packages often have fewer features and leave you with unreliable shared hosting. You also don’t have to pay exorbitant fees either. Look at the features included with each price point. It is possible to find affordable hosting without skimping on features.
Faster Is Better
As you likely already know, one of Google’s ranking criteria is page loading speed. If your WordPress host isn’t able to process requests to your site in a timely manner, your site could drop in the rankings. In fact, most visitors expect pages to load in under two seconds. There are four items to look at to determine how fast your host is.
- Allocated disk space (especially important with shared hosting)
- Server location
Yes, server location does matter. The closer a server is to your visitor, the faster the page loads. Choosing a host with servers located in various locations often helps as your site loads from the closest server location.
Get Timely Support
If you have a problem, how quickly will it be resolved? You don’t want to watch your site to go down and have to wait until business hours to get help. Having 24/7/365 support, especially if there are both phone and live chat options, helps improve your site’s uptime and gives you the technical assistance you need while managing your site.
Another thing to keep in mind is managed hosting. If you don’t know how to keep software updated, manage network settings and perform regular maintenance to optimize your site, a managed hosting package might be best. While the host usually handles all server side maintenance, managed hosting means the host also takes care of much of the software side of things.
Stay Secure And Backed Up
Even if you’re keeping your core WordPress files up to date, your site could still be hacked if your host’s server doesn’t offer firewall and virus protection. After all, every layer of security is another wall against hackers. Look at all the security features your host offers. If you’re using managed hosting, your host should be taking care of ensuring your WordPress installation along with plugins and themes are updated.
Backups are also extremely important. Always choose a host that provides full backups. Read all the fine print to ensure all files are being backed up. Also check that backups are kept offsite for optimal security.
Growing Your Site
Your site might be small now, but you’re obviously hoping to watch it grow. As your audience grows, you’ll need better performance from your site to handle the extra traffic. To avoid having to move your entire site to a new host which can be time consuming, start by choosing a scalable host. Many hosts offer custom hosting plans in addition to their advertised packages.
Whether you need more processing power, more storage space or dedicated hosting, your web host should be able to accommodate you as your site grows. Think of choosing a host as choosing a long term partner for your website.
Most WordPress hosts promise 98%-99.9% uptime. Beware any host that promises 100% uptime because problems happen with every host. The best hosts have fail safes in place to minimise downtime. In most cases, no one may ever know your site was down for a few minutes over the course of a year. Reading reviews from customers is a good indication of what a host’s actual uptime is.
Give your site the best chance by starting with a reliable WordPress host. It’s worth paying a little more for a faster, more secure website. Choosing the right host now will make your visitors happier. With the right host, all you have to worry about is keeping your site updated with fresh content and providing great customer service to your visitors.
Ready to create a WordPress site that draws in visitors and helps grow your business? Contact Darren at StuartMedia to get started today.
Image: Ian Dick