Web hosting is the key features of running a website. With numerous types available: Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated and Managed WordPress hosting, as a beginner it can be quite daunting to make a decision on the best choice.
In this post I'd like to take you through the different types of hosting as well as the requirements of WordPress itself and our recommended hosts.
What does WordPress require?
WordPress is pretty light-weight and with it being such a great product and having a large community and user base around it, it works with almost all web hosting providers. The requirements for WordPress are:
- PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
- MySQL version 5.0 or greater
There are some easy installers which come with some web hosts due to WordPress being so popular.
What are your needs?
Stability and support are important factors when considering a new web host. But most of all your personal needs or that of your business are more paramount.
Discovering your needs can save you a lot of money in the long term and as I mentioned earlier there are a few different types of hosting to choose from. You just have to work out which one is more suitable to you or your business.
Nearly all types of 'free hosting' come with a catch, whether it be only free for 12 months or something else. After the twelve months the price could sky rocket or you could be left with no hosting unless you upgrade to a different plan which it outside of your budget or requirements. Some free hosting can be unreliable and have a lot of downtime as a 'free' product isn't making the company any money. I'd personally advise to stay away from free hosting.
Shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting and is often used by WordPress beginners. It's easily the most affordable out there and is a good starting point for any person wishing to setup a website online regardless if they're using WordPress or not. In short, Shared Hosting is a large server which you share with a lot of other sites. Having more than one site on a server is more affordable to the web host company therefore they can pass down the savings to you. We recommend a few web hosts where shared hosting is an option.
Some web hosts claim that your allowance is unlimited and as well all know there is no such thing as unlimited and there is always a threshold. If you or another site on the shared server has an increase in server load this could potentially slow your site down or in some extreme cases bring the shared server to a grinding halt. Good web hosting companies monitor server load and make sure this is a very rare occurrence or something which doesn't happen at all.
WordPress VPS Hosting
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a virtual machine. It is a way of partitioning (segmenting) a physical computer into multiple servers based on a customers need. Whilst you would be sharing a server with a smaller number of other customers it gives you about as much privacy as having a server of your own. Customers who have a larger server load generally use VPS so that they can scale their websites easily. If don't have technical knowledge of server setups, I recommend you get a managed VPS, this means the web hosting company will do all of your upgrades for you and are there for customer support.
Having a Dedicated Server means that you actually have a physical server which you'd lease from a web hosting provider. You'd have full control over the server including operating the system and hardware. If you're a beginner I'd advise to stay away from a dedicated server to start with. If you get significant traffic to your website you may and probably should look at upgrading to a dedicated server. Like a VPS, you can get a managed dedicated server where a system administrator from the web host company can maintain your server for you and provide software updates, server monitoring and support.
Managed WordPress Hosting
As WordPress has became a leading content management system around the world, some hosting providers have chosen to focus solely on WordPress alone. The huge benefit of having Managed WordPress Hosting is that you don't have to worry about a single thing. They make sure to optimize your site for performance, making sure it is secure and making regular backups. Some even go as far to do automatic upgrades to WordPress and any plugins that you're using. Generally, Managed WordPress Hosting companies have some of the most experienced staff in the WordPress and hosting field.
The price for Managed WordPress Hosting can be a little higher than Shared Hosting however you have to weight up the positives against the negatives. Do you want to pay that little bit extra to make sure that you never have to worry about your web hosting?
Recommended WordPress Hosting Providers
We currently recommend 4 WordPress web hosts:
- WPEngine is the premier managed WordPress hosting company. They offer fast WordPress hosting which is loved by hundreds of bloggers and website owners. They work with huge, popular sites as well as small business owners.
- Bluehost are reliable and trustworthy, knowledgeable and helpful as well as innovative and stable.
- Brainhost's plans are packed with features and tools designed to help you optimize your web space.
- Greengeeks is the industry's leading green energy web hosting provider and they've put back 3 times in to the grid through wind energy than what they consume.
Before purchasing your WordPress web hosting, be sure to know your own requirements beforehand. This will enable you to get the best solution for your needs.