The performance of your website is heavily dependent on the server it is hosted on. This means that choosing a web host for your website is no small matter. You need be sure you are making the right choice because it will be a big investment you will be making. This article will take you through the steps of choosing the right host for your WordPress powered website.
Know your needs
Before you begin your search for a web host, you need to understand what your immediate and future needs will be. This will help you make a wise choice that will not come back to haunt you in the future.
There are three main hosting types, and you should start by deciding which one you need. Shared hosting is the cheapest, but least powerful and least secure type of hosting. It is great for startups and small businesses that do not need too much processing power. Dedicated hosting is the best in terms of power, available resources, and security. You get a dedicated server for your hosting needs and you can host as many websites as possible. You also have access to all management features. VPS hosting is a cross between the two. You get your own virtual server which you can manage and use to host all your websites. It however shares physical server resources with several other VPS servers.
Knowing which one of these works best for you will go a long way in making your work easier. Here is a resource to help you choose between the three web hosting types. Also, decide whether you are going to manage your website yourself, or if you would prefer a WordPress management service. Here is another resource to help you make that decision.
Forget about amount of disk space and bandwidth offered
Web hosting companies will use all methods possible to lure you in. The most used method is offering you unlimited disk space or bandwidth. Do not fall for this. When choosing the best web hosting service to use, disregard what the host is offering in terms of available storage space or bandwidth. There are a number of other factors to consider that are much more important and play a bigger role in your website’s performance and success.
What to look out for
1. Server availability
Nothing is as important as a server that is always available. You therefore need a host with a good uptime guarantee and one that will ensure your website is available to visitors all round the clock. Generally, an uptime guarantee of 99.5% and above is acceptable while anything below 99% is not.
However, you should not only go with what the web hosts are saying their guarantee is, make an effort to do your own tests and see if the value given compares to what your test results reveal. Good thing is that there are many uptime monitoring tools available for free or on a trial period basis.
2. Upgrade options
The more successful your business becomes, the more resources will be needed to host your website. When the time comes that your current hosting plan can no longer support the needs of your website, how easy will it be to upgrade or change plans?
We know it is your expectation for your business to grow. It therefore makes a lot of sense finding a WordPress host that gives you room to grow by providing convenient upgrade options. Most web hosts provide an easy upgrade process and may even help you change your plan free of charge. Do some research on your preferred host before making the investment.
Let us be honest. Price plays a very big role in all our transactions. It is one of the things we are always very keen about. Even when we would rather have better quality for a higher price, we will still jump at the first opportunity for a discount.
Know your budget before making any purchase decisions. This will help you avoid the feeling of being short changed later on. When you are making the first purchase for your website hosting, you will normally find prices that go below $10/month for shared hosting plans. After the first year however, you realize that renewals are charged at almost twice the value of your first purchase.
To avoid this scenario, always read through the Terms and Conditions of a hosting company and find what their terms and prices for renewals are. If it is higher than what you are comfortable paying, it is best to look for an alternative host.
Note however, that the lower the price you get, the lesser the quality of service you will get. Find a balance that works for you where the price isn’t too expensive and you don’t get whacky services either.
4. Number of addon domains
Owning a domain name today will set you back approximately $14 per year. It is therefore very common to find people owning more than one domain, and most likely, you will join this group sooner or later.
To manage the extra domains, you would need some extra hosting space. Without a host that allows you to add multiple domains, you would need to buy separate hosting for every domain name, which can get very expensive very fast.
On average, a shared hosting provider allows up to 25 addon domains on a single account. This will go a long way in helping you cut down expenses associated with managing extra hosting accounts for all your registered domain names.
5. Refund policy
Before buying a hosting plan for your WordPress website, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself for when things go wrong or you don’t love the quality of service offered.
- Will you get a full refund if you cancel within the trial period?
- What happens when you cancel after your trial period has expired?
- What is the web hosting company’s terms regarding account cancellations?
These are just some of the more important questions you need to ask yourself to avoid losing too much when you decide to cancel your plan. There are companies that charge very high cancellation fees. Our advice is that you stay away from these. On the other hand, there are companies give you a full refund whenever you cancel your account, irrespective of whether you have exhausted your trial period or not.
6. Control panel
A user-friendly control panel is a very important feature that you should always consider. It is where you will do most of the work anyway. It should therefore be easy to use, but functional enough to give you access to all important aspects in a simple manner.
Whether the web host uses cPanel, Plesk, or some other software for their control panel, the most important thing to look out for is how simple it is to use.
A complex control panel will leave you heavily dependent on support which could cost you valuable time.
7. Available Support
Does the web hosting company provide 24/7 support? What channels can you use to access support? Call, text, email, or chat? Find this out before making a purchase.
There is nothing as frustrating as your website being offline and being unable to contact support for help getting it back up. When things go wrong, you want a support team that will move in quickly to save the day.
There is never a one solution fits all. It boils down to each person’s specific needs. Know what you want to achieve. If you want to manage an ecommerce store that sells globally, your needs will be very different from the person who wants to host a small WordPress blog to showcase his art hobby.
Good news is that there is a solution for everyone. You just need to spend a little time to find what works best for you.
We hope that our tutorial will prove to be a source of great help for you as you go about finding the best web hosting for your WordPress website.