Last Updated on June 16, 2022 by Sunny Staff
More than 500 new sites are built each day using WordPress.org. And 62% of the 100 fastest growing businesses in the United States, according to Inc. 5000, use WordPress.
WordPress is hot, and it’s not cooling down anytime soon. One of the most important things for your business’s website is to work with the right WordPress hosting provider.
Why not choose just any provider for hosting WordPress websites? Because the wrong one can put your business in harm’s way, like poor loading speeds, site crashes, security breaches, and other issues.
You want your WordPress website to be successful and increase your sales. With these seven tips, you can find the right WordPress hosting provider to do just that.
1. Select the Right Type of WordPress Hosting
There are several types of hosting, each with its pros and cons. – shared, cloud, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated hosting. And within each of these broad categories, there are two subtypes – unmanaged and managed hosting. Note that we are keeping this description on the simple side because breaking down all the various hosting flavors is beyond this article’s scope. If you want to dig deeper, here is a nice primer on the different types of hosting.
Shared and cloud hosting are generally the cheapest. A VPS is more expensive. And dedicated is the most expensive. Then, for each of these types, you’ll pay a premium for the managed versions.
With shared and cloud hosting, you share a server or servers with other websites—kind of like a hotel for your site. You have your own room, but you share the amenities with others and have little control over the setup of your room.
With VPS hosting, you share a server, but your site is separated from the other sites. Kind of like a townhome. You have your own utilities, a small yard, can customize the interior to your liking, etc. But you are still bound by the rules of the community.
With a dedicated server, it’s like owning your own home. You can fully customize it to your specific needs and preferences.
You can look at the managed feature as having a personnel helper or concierge. Your site will be backed up, updated with the latest software versions, 24/7 managed security, and so on. In short, with a managed plan, you only need to manage your site’s content.
And since we are focusing on WordPress, you’ll want a find a hosting provider that offers hosting specifically for WordPress. These servers will be optimized for WordPress to run at peak performance.
2. Make Sure the Pricing Fits Your Budget
You want to be comfortable with the pricing for the hosting plan you choose. Keep in mind that there can be other costs for your WordPress website, and you want enough money in the budget to accommodate additional needs. It could be items like:
- New plugins
- Freelance contributors and content creators
- Subscription fees for e-commerce services
- Custom domain name registration
A shared or cloud-hosted solution should be fine for a simple site with infrequent updates and low traffic. You will definitely want to consider a managed dedicated host for an e-commerce site with a lot of traffic and frequent updates. It’s not cheap (it can run you several hundred dollars a month), but it is well worth it.
3. Look for Rock-Solid Customer Support
Before you decide on a WordPress hosting provider, make sure to check out their customer support.
A great way to vet this is to get in touch with customer support before you purchase your hosting plan. This way, you can test them on how fast and helpful they are in responding.
Second, you want to know that you can reach out to them in a way that is convenient for you. Find out how they handle support requests. Do they offer phone or email support? Do they use a ticketing system or chatbot? And make sure you know what their response times are.
4. Make a Checklist of Important Features
Hosting platform options can come with many features, including things you need and do not need. You can begin by creating a checklist of wants and needs for your unique website and business.
Having a list of the “must-haves” and “like-to-haves” will make the selection process much simpler. Here are some items to help you get started:
- Storage or disk space–How much is available?
- Bandwidth–How much traffic do you expect?
- RAM–How much do you need in memory?
- Quantity–How many sites will you have?
- Organization–Is there a control panel?
- Backups–Are they included, or must you pay extra?
- WordPress core and plugin updates – Are they included?
- Domain name–Does a package include a domain name, or is it extra?
- Backups-Are they automatic? How often?
- Secure Sockets Layer or SSL–This is a must-have security feature.
- Control–Full root access or access control?
- Switching–Will the host handle the migration of your site? Is there a fee?
With so many things to consider, it can feel a bit overwhelming, which is why a priority list can be a tremendous benefit for you.
5. Check Out Your Host’s Security Measures
One of your WordPress hosting provider’s most important jobs is to keep your site secure. Here are a few examples of good security measures:
- Virus scanning
- DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection
- Brute force defense
- Server hardening
- Domain privacy
Make sure you understand how much of your site’s security is handled by the host and how much you will be responsible for. In general, the less expensive the plan, the more responsibility you’ll have in keeping your site secure.
6. Prioritize Speed and Reliability
Website loading time is a critical component of your user experience. And because Google wants users to have a great experience, it is a crucial factor in your site’s SEO efforts.
Your pages should load super fast, ideally in under a second or two. Any longer than that and you find that many visitors will leave. In fact, statistics reveal that 40% of customers will abandon a website should it take over three seconds to load. Long loading times equal missed opportunities and missed revenue.
How do you know you are getting speed and reliability? First, ask what the percentage of uptime is, aiming for, at a minimum, a 99.97% uptime guarantee. This is about 150 minutes of downtime throughout the year.
Unfortunately, 100% of uptime is unrealistic, so you want a high percentage of uptime. This leads to the second part, which is more about speed.
Make sure your host uses a content delivery network (CDN). And make sure the CDN has servers in the countries that are important to your business. The more server locations the provider has, the faster your site can load for anyone viewing it across the globe.
7. Look For Special Items
It is about what is right for your business. As we mentioned earlier, within the broad categories of service types, there is a subcategory of managed and unmanaged hosting plans. An unmanaged plan will be fine if you have a tight budget or just like to manage things on your own. If your website is mission-critical (an e-commerce site, for example), you’ll want a managed solution.
Some things to look for in a managed hosting solution:
- Automatic WordPress installation
- Automatic WordPress core, theme, and plugin updates
- 24/7 WordPress support
- Automatic and frequent backups
- Server and network security monitoring
- WordPress database optimization
- Malware cleaning and removal
And if you are looking for a completely outsourced solution, a top-tier provider will also include time for website enhancements such as new pages and forms, SEO optimization, and analytics reporting.
Choosing a WordPress Hosting Provider?
Speaking of top-tier, at Sunny HQ, we provide 100% turnkey WordPress hosting and management plans for mission-critical websites. When you work with Sunny HQ, we are your single point of contact for everything related to your website.
We have several hosting solutions to fit your unique needs. Just give us a call today to learn how we can make your WordPress site shine!