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Best WordPress Hosting: Read These Tips Before Making Your Final Choice

March 29, 2019

10 Min Read
best wordPress hosting
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Who doesn’t want the best WordPress Hosting? Anyone with a will to create a WordPress site seeks the best hosting provider, and nothing less.

However, if everybody was hosting their sites on the most robust, secure, and fastest WordPress hosting provider, there wouldn’t be many people complaining, right? But there are many out there who aren’t happy with their hosts, and we’re here to help you.

And for that, I’ve made a list based on experience, observation, and considerations that experts keep in mind before selecting their host.

(Now before we get into it, here’s a disclaimer: While Cloudways is one of the best hosting services for WordPress, I’m not here to sell. I’m merely here to guide you on how to choose your hosting provider, and if in the process you’re convinced that Cloudways is best for you, it’s a win-win for both of us! ;))

Let’s dive in.

1. What Is WordPress Hosting?

WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that helps you create websites.

Hosting is the server that hosts all the website components such as web pages, HTML files, etc., that makes your WordPress site available on the World Wide Web. When you buy WordPress hosting, you can choose between different solutions (discussed below). In fact, one of the parameters that define quality hosting is the fastest performance for better UX.

WordPress Hosting, therefore, is WordPress optimized hosting that helps your WordPress site perform better and is more secure. It usually includes a one-click WordPress install that makes it super easy for you to get started.

2. Types of WordPress Hosting

Before figuring out how to choose the best host for WordPress, let’s delve into the different types of WordPress hostings.

2.1. Shared Hosting

This is the most popular type of hosting for people just starting with a website owing to economical pricing. It’s like sharing a room, with all roommates sharing everything in that room. In shared hosting, users share the server resources (processor, hard disk, RAM, etc.).

shared hosting

Since everyone is using the same resources, if some user experiences peak traffic and consumes more resources on their website, you might experience fluctuations on your website.

2.2. Dedicated Hosting

In this hosting model, you have a dedicated machine for your website. Since you are the only one using all the resources in a dedicated hosting environment, there’s a huge difference in performance compared to shared hosting.

dedicated hosting

There is a big difference in its maintenance level as well, though. You either need to manage your server yourself, or you’ll need to hire a professional to monitor your resources, deploy updates, install security patches, and protect your site from security attacks, etc.

2.3. VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is a hybrid of shared and dedicated hosting. In VPS hosting, each user has his own “virtual” server with his own resources with only the hard drive shared between users.

As a result, the level of administration/flexibility of a VPS hosting is close to that of owning a server. At the same time, there is no need for users to indulge in hardware maintenance because the host service provider is responsible for server maintenance. In theory, you get the advantage of both dedicated and shared hosting.

2.4. Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is similar to VPS hosting, except that in cloud hosting, we create virtual servers from a server network.

cloud hosting

The main objective is to provide high-availability, flexibility, and scalability in the allocation of resources. The server network has considerable power, and if the need arises, you can dedicate more resources to a virtual server in a few clicks. Cloud servers also allow you to scale your servers without any limit in times of need.

Cloud hosting is further divided into three categories: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

saas paas iaas model
— Source: RubyGarage

2.4.1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Users purchase subscriptions (usually monthly or annual) to access a specific software installed on remote systems: in this case, therefore, both the hardware and software are owned by the provider, while the user will only use that specific service without any possibility of intervening on the hardware and software environment.

2.4.2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Users rent a platform that is ready to use. A PaaS not only provides pre-configured features, but also the overall structure necessary for the development of applications. It does not require the use of any hosting expertise up to the provision of infrastructure options for advanced development activities.

2.4.3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Users rent computing, storage, and networking resources from the hosting provider. The users deal with the choice and installation of the operating system necessary for their own purposes. This is premium service and based on the use of hardware resources of a server.

2.5. Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting is specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses, high-traffic blogs and companies that want enterprise WordPress hosting. Managed hosting saves time, workforce, offers better performance, and is optimized for WordPress SaaS.

If you’re not too familiar with server related technicalities and don’t want to waste too much time maintaining your website’s backend problems, you should go for Managed WordPress Hosting. Not only does it take away your hassles, but it’s also fast, secure, and highly optimized.

Besides, you also get 24×7 support with most Managed Hosting solutions, so you’re in great hands when and if things go south.

3. What is Important in WordPress Hosting?

For my evaluation, I’ve focused on five determining factors in choosing the best hosting for WordPress: performance, security, support, features & pricing. The last two factors, features & pricing, can vary depending on the host.

“Great hosting boils down to the 3 S’s: speed, support and security.”

– Adam Berry, Wingard Creative

3.1. Performance

Performance, of course, is the most important factor to consider when it comes to choosing the best WordPress hosting.

When you opt for shared hosting, for example, it’s more like a do-it-yourself hosting recipe; you’ll have to install software and optimize your website along with the server to get the speeds similar to managed hosting!

Managed hosting, however, takes care of speed and performance out of the box for you. You don’t need to install the fastest caching plugin because it usually comes bundled with Managed hosting.

Up-to-Date Server Technologies

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) powered by PHP, the most commonly used online language to create dynamic websites or structured portal websites to manage different types of content. However, WordPress also needs a database to save all the content you upload for your website.

This means that WordPress requires hosting that supports:

  • PHP version 5.7 or higher
  • MySQL version 5.6 or higher

Optimized Stack

The best WordPress host should also be built on a reliable and the latest architecture. This means a combination of the latest PHP version, MariaDB, HTTP/2, Redis, Memcached, Apache and/or NGINX.

“Cloudways optimized hosting stack ensures the faster performance of your website for better user experience.”

Scalable Server

While performance is a necessity, another factor businesses cannot ignore is server Scalability. If your server can’t cope with high unexpected traffic, your website will most likely crash.

If something goes viral on your site or if the holiday season brings an unexpectedly large but welcome crowd of buyers, you need to cater to them. However, it won’t be possible if your server can’t handle the load.

This is why you must choose a hosting that allows you to scale your servers either manually or automatically when the need arises. If your host lets you scale your server in one click, you’re in good hands.

99.9% Uptime

A website is no good when it’s not accessible, is it? Downtimes are a nuisance to website owners; not only do they drive away customers and visitors, but it affects your Google rankings as well.

It goes without saying then, that opting for a web host that guarantees at least 99.9% uptime and delivers on that promise! Just remember that downtimes can be the difference between your online life and death!

Data Centers

The further you are from your data center, the higher the latency will be. Latency is the time it takes to transmit data over a network, and the higher it is, the worst your website will perform.

For example, if you run a WooCommerce store in Sydney, Australia, and your server data center is in the US, your customers would experience a much longer page load time. Therefore, it is very important to host your website where your audience is!

CDN Integration

The layout, the ergonomics of the website, the optimization of the images are all determining factors. But still few people know the importance of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up the loading speed of their website. The benefits are obvious for some activities. The acceleration of the graphical display can indeed improve the revenues of the ecommerce stores.

A CDN is made up of different servers distributed geographically around the world. This server platform optimizes the delivery of content, including web applications and streaming media content. Today, the majority of web traffic is served by CDNs, including traffic from major websites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.

It is an undoubtedly necessary service if your website is multilingual and is visited by users all over the world.

3.2. Security

Second to none is security when it comes to hosting. In shared hosting environments, providers don’t usually deploy the best security measures to protect you from hacking or malware attacks. and this also somewhat applies to do-it-yourself VPS solution(s). If there’s an attack and you lose data, you have only yourself to blame.

On the other hand, the best WordPress hosts have the best security measures in place to protect your servers. They even provide support in the event of hacking and have systems in place to keep you protected from malware.

Auto-Updates/Patches of Servers

Hacking attempts have become more frequent nowadays, and of course, the most popular platforms are the most appealing for hackers to target. So there’s no surprise that WordPress gets targetted a lot!

Your hosting provider should frequently patch the server to avoid vulnerabilities. Here are the basic features you must consider: countermeasures to flush out malware and brute force attacks, the presence of antivirus and antispam, activation of a daily backup. Is there a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate? Better.

1-Click Free SSL Certificates

The SSL certificate for websites, services of all kinds (in particular payment or where enhanced privacy is required) arises from a practical need. It serves to protect the HTTP connection from prying eyes and, at the same time, to limit the possibility of running into a fraud website.

The certificates and the annex HTTPS — HTTP with SSL — serve this purpose. In short: increase the privacy of the connection and make problems of identity theft of a site less probable, interception of our communications (when purchasing products online, for example) and so on.

SSH & SFTP Access

Another advantage of managed hosting providers is that you usually have access to additional features that you may not get from a shared host. These include features such as SSH/SFTP access and Git integration. Normally, shared hosts will not give you SSH access, which means you will not be able to use any of the features listed above. If you use a do-it-yourself VPS, these can usually be installed, but this may require additional work.

3.3. Support

The third aspect that you must consider is the support service: I think it is intuitive to understand why this aspect is very important. However, for some reason, too often it is underestimated during the purchase phase.

Perhaps because optimism leads one to overthink that there will never be problems, or perhaps because – due to inexperience – it does not even take into account the fact that hosting can stop, slow down abruptly or give errors. In reality, unfortunately, they are issues that you can face and it is good to be prepared.

The important element that you must assess in terms of assistance is the method of communication. Usually hosting providers offer a support system via live chat, email or through a ticket (or a sort of private messaging via an online platform). You may find the availability of a telephone number of technical assistance, less common, which is always the best method to solve an urgent matter.

Strong Community

A community forum consists of developers, designers, digital agencies, who contribute to the core of open source projects like WordPress. As a result, the experience of customer support is second to none. There is nothing worse than starting a chat session and feeling like you know more than the person on the other side.

Customer Reviews

Do not halt at the quality and speed of the hosting provider’s home page: it has been optimized to be as fast as possible and most likely convert to paying customers.

The reviews of customers, on the contrary, are the incontrovertible proof that will make you understand the pain points. Search on Google for that particular hosting provider, or search on Twitter – whatever you need to do to see what their customers say.

Is it easy to contact them via support? What is the average time with which they respond to tickets? When they find the problem at the website, what do they do? Do they solve it or do they ask you to do it? Have a close look at them.

3.4. Features

Staging/Dev Sites

It is a service that makes a copy of your website in another area of your hosting with a simple click. It allows you to update it without worries and, above all, without maintaining the main website. Once you are done with the changes, you can overturn the updated website on the “live” version with a single click. This process is carried out after the online website has been backed up automatically. Wonderful, isn’t it?

Free Migrations

Migrating a WordPress website from one provider to another is always a difficult operation, which requires time and particular attention. Whether you have a virtual server, a dedicated server or a shared server, with the best WordPress host, switching is very simple and convenient.

Don’t know how to migrate a website?

Try our free automated service to migrate your WordPress websites.

Free 1-Click Backups

The importance of making frequent and regular backups is immense. It is the only guarantee that allows you to save your work from an unexpected catastrophe. Although the best hosting service for WordPress guarantees maximum security and reliability – both in terms of protection against cyber attacks and disasters – there is always the slightest chance that something serious can happen. Therefore, it is better to consider a provider who offers you a free and automated backup service.

3.5. Pricing

Last, but not least, pricing is one of the most important aspects that you should consider when choosing the best WordPress hosting provider. Most of the hosting providers charge their customers on a monthly or yearly basis, whether or not you use the hosting resources (RAM, CPU, bandwidth, etc.). Therefore, it is not a good option if you go with any of these hosting providers.

Instead, you should go with a hosting provider that offers you pay-as-you-go pricing and does not have any hidden charges. Moreover, it should not bind you with any sort of contract.

4. Does the Best WordPress Hosting Exist?

Searching the phrase “best hosting for WordPress” on Google, you will find many websites that mention it and recommend you the fastest hosting of all. Some also provide you with an in-depth analysis explaining by word and by-line that the best hosting is just that and that. Since they started using it, they have even increased the number of visitors to the website and optimized the SEO. But do they even cater to all the five points I have mentioned?

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Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing, Mansoor Ahmed Khan is in computing since he knows how to type on a keyboard. His daily life is rocked by his family, projects, and his screen. Probably in this order, he likes to be convinced at least.

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