There is a vast array of web hosting providers on the market nowadays, with many of them boasting Wordpress-specific features. With so many options to choose from, it is hard to discern which providers will actually optimize your Wordpress site. Knowing which Wordpress hosting service to go with depends on your website needs. How much traffic are you expecting? Do you have influxes of traffic at certain times of the day? Do you want your hosting service to be developer or beginner-friendly? Is tech support something important to you?
As a website owner, it is important to know the answers to these questions to get your money's worth for a hosting service. A smaller site will have different needs compared to a larger, more complicated site. You want your hosting provider to optimize your Wordpress site, but you also don't want to be paying for superfluous features and other fluff you may not need.
In this article, we break down some things to consider before choosing a Wordpress hosting provider. We also go over some good features to look out for shopping for a hosting service.
1. Site speed and size of your website
One of the most important aspects of a good website is its speed. You want your site to load up quickly, but what does that exactly entail on the back-end? There are three components of a server's hardware that contribute to its performance.
The memory (RAM)
The processing power (CPUs)
The disk space (HDDs & SSDs)
These three components operate in conjunction to determine your site speed and performance. RAM and CPU are especially unique to your website. You might not need a lot of memory if you're a small blogging site, but if you see your site growing, you may want more memory and scalability.
However, at the end of the day, it's not about the amount of data your hosting service can store (although that is important too, just not in this section). It is about how fast your provider can transfer that data to your users. Essentially, it is how fast your Wordpress hosting provider can get your website's information to your users. A slow, unresponsive website will deter people from coming back. Make sure you have a sense of your site's traffic to choose a fitting hosting plan to accommodate it.
2. Future upgrades in web hosting accounts
If you're just starting up your Wordpress site, chances are you're going to used a shared hosting server to save money. But if you see yourself getting more traffic or wanting more customization with your site down the road, you may want to look at the upgrade options that providers offer. Do they have VPS web hosting or dedicated hosting options? Is it easy to upgrade your plan, and are the different tiers of hosting reasonably priced?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to have a sound upgrade option for your hosting account in the future. Whether it be more processing power or more memory, it isn't uncommon for sites to need to scale up to VPS from a shared server. Make sure your provider can do that for you.
3. Hosting provider uptime
Server uptime refers to the percentage of time a server is "up" and operational. This number should be as close to 100% as possible. Anything below 99% is not deemed reliable and means that your site will be down 1% of the time (aka "downtime"). Look for hosting services that have the highest uptime percentages possible. You want to have your users access your site at any time. Low uptimes may indicate a hosting provider that needs more time to maintain its servers.
4. Level of security
Cybersecurity is more important than ever as hackers and bad actors get more persistent and creative with their attacks. Although you may not have given it much thought, making sure your site is secured by your hosting service is essential for any Wordpress site owner. Still not convinced? Poor web security can have negative effects on your site's SEO and consequently, how much traffic you get.
Some security features to look out for when choosing your provider include 24/7 customer support, firewall protection, and built-in backup systems.