Choosing a web host is one of the first things you should consider when you start building a website. To make your website available on the web, you will need a space to put it. Your web host provider will supply this space for you. Your host will store all your site files and the traffic you’ve received. Web hosts also offer other services such as security, technical support, email, FTP access, domain name registration and more.
Many people who are starting out often overlook how critical it is to find the right web hosting service. Finding the best host for your needs can help your search engine visibility and bring more traffic to your site. There are a variety of options available for WordPress hosting. In this article we’ll help you choose the best host for your WordPress website. Our goal is to give a basic guide of what you should look for in a web host, and the things you should consider before deciding on a host provider. We’ll also share a list of some of the most popular WordPress host providers.
It’s imperative to understand what you’ll need. Don’t begin shopping around for a host provider until you have a good idea of what you will need from a web host provider.In order to find the right host for your needs, you should answer the following questions:
- What kind of website are you building?
- What platform are you building your site on?
- What software do you need to run your site?
- What is the scope of your project?
- How much space will I need?
- Do you expect to grow exponentially? If so, how much traffic will you need to accommodate?
Once you figure out the answers to these questions, make a plan and try and forecast what will need to happen to make your goals become reality. If you are a beginner, and we hope you are because this article is for beginners, it’s a good idea to start off simple. Most WordPress users start off with shared hosting accounts. They are cheap, easy to maintain and can easily handle the needs of most beginning WordPress users. You can always upgrade in the future as your site gets larger.
Most first-time webmasters will go with a free webhost for their first site. This makes a lot of sense since beginners don’t have much experience with hosting providers, and aren’t quite sure how to compare different hosting services. Very low cost or free hosting plans don’t offer technical support and will publish ads on your page to cover hosting costs. Following are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when you are shopping around for a host provider.
When you are comparing any product, it’s always a good idea to look at feedback from their customers. You can easily find this using any major search engine. Read through reviews to find out the jist of what people are saying about the service. Here you can gauge if the host is reliable, if they have good customer support, and you can see their uptime stats (more on uptime later on).
Technical support and assistance is something that every host provides. When you begin to create your site, you will encounter a few challenges: where do I get started, how can I upload files, do I get an email account ect.
All of these questions can and should be answered by your host provider’s technical assistance team. You want to make sure that if you have an issue that needs immediate attention, it will be addressed. Your questions should always be answered within 1 or 2 hours at the least. Besides response time, you want to make sure your host provider has competent support. Phone support is usually secondary, and not your best bet when it comes to getting timely technical assistance. The most efficient way to do this is by using a ticket system.
Server Uptime Record
There are internet services that maintain uptime records of web hosting providers. You should expect nothing less than a webhost that operates 24/7. It’s important to have a host that is operating on a powerful server and has a stable network. Anything below 99% uptime is not a good sign. There are a few different ways to get a web hosts uptime information. You can easily find comparison charts, or just ask the host provider.
This feature is super important if you want to maintain your site. You can do a lot from the control panel of your host provider, and not all control panels are created equal. From the control panel you will be uploading files, making changes, change passwords, email accounts and manage MySQL databases among other administrative duties. It’s wise to see if you web site supports your chosen IDE such as Dreamweaver or GoLive.
PHP, MySQL, Cron Jobs
Your host may offer you web tools to create your site. Things like blogs, CMS, galleries and forums are all website tools that you may need. These tools will dictate your workflow and save you tons of time and money.
If you plan on selling products on your site, you will need an SSL certificate and a shopping cart. This will usually cost you more money than a basic plan. If you need to get credit card information from your customers, you will surely need to obtain an SSL certificate.
If you have your own site, you’ll most likely want to have an email address from your domain like so: email@example.com. You will need to check if your prospective host offers EMAIL, POP3, SMTP, and IMAP in order to provide web mail. You can also see if you can set an email address to auto reply as well.
Best Hosting Providers for WordPress
Bluehost has been around for quite a while, since 1996. WordPress officially recommends Bluehost, and their managed WordPress hosting integrates perfectly with WordPress. You’ll never have to worry about your network lag, even if you are experiencing a ton of traffic. They offer one free domain and a site building templates. Bluehost is a managed host for WordPress, meaning that their business model is based on integration with WordPress.Learn more
HostGator is huge, hosting over 8 million domains. This host provider is one of the most well respected companies in the business. Integration couldn’t be easier. You can install your WordPress site within their control panel with a single click. HostGator also boast a 99.9% uptime, and offers 24 hour support. You can’t go wrong with HostGator.Learn more
Inmotion offers enterprise class hosting, and is a well-known industry leader. Many webmasters swear by them. They boast an uptime of 99.9% and have a great track record for support. Inmotion hosting for WordPress is optimized for blogging, and offers scalability for increased traffic.
Web Hosting Hub
This is one of the easiest ways for your small business to gain presence online. Web Hosting Hub provides an intuitive control panel, website builder and easy WordPress integration. For the price, it’s hard for a beginner to find a better deal. Web Hosting Hub also offers plenty of deals and discounts for WordPress users.
The most important thing you need to know when searching for a host provider is the goals and requirements of your project. This guide is designed for beginners to get their feet wet and explore the world of web hosting.
Once you understand the basic tools of the trade, choosing a server shouldn’t be too hard. My advice is to always start off small and upgrade later. One thing to always keep in mind is future growth. You don’t want to uses a web host provider that cannot scale in accordance with your websites growth. It takes a lot of time and effort to migrate your website, especially a large website from one host to another.
Everything I touched upon can be explored in much more depth, and I recommend that you do so. You could spend hours researching bandwidth and data transfer rate alone, so if you don’t have the time consult a professional. Take it from me, you don’t need a lot of options to figure out which host is best for you. Find someone you trust with experience to help you make any final decisions.