How to select WordPress Hosting

Apr 14, 2022

One of the requirement for having a website is a hosting, but with so many options out there, how do you know what is the best? We explained the difference between cloud hosting, shared hosting and many more to help you decide which hosting is the best for you.

 

If you’re looking for website hosting, make sure to pick a good company. There are many cheap hosts out there that can be tempting if you’re trying to save some money, but this is one area where spending just a little bit more will help your business in the long run.

There are also options on what to choose – would I need Cpanel, Cloud hosting or a hosting specific panel?

In this post we are going to go through the options to help you choose the best one for your business.

Cloud or Shared Hosting

Cloud hosting is based on several interconnected servers spread over a wide geographical area. This allows you to spread your data across these widely distributed virtual servers (thus the name cloud) and serve your customers more efficiently.

Benefits of Cloud Hosting:

  • On-demand resources: With cloud servers, you’re free to request resources on the fly and, in general, pay on time.
  • High availability: Unlike on-premises physical servers, virtual machines transfer data to another machine without downtime in the event of a hardware failure. The stability of cloud servers is unmatched in the field of web hosting.
  • Scalability: With more resources and faster access to them, cloud hosts offer incredible scalability for customers. This is why these servers are used for other cloud-based services, collectively known as cloud hosting.

Shared Hosting, as the name suggests, shared hosting is a hosting solution where multiple websites share the same server resources (bandwidth, disk space, and memory allocation). Being the most economical hosting solution out there, shared hosting is suitable for small blogging or showcase corporate websites with moderate traffic. In shared hosting, the host provides you with a complete administration system and takes care of all the features related to the hosting system like updates, security, maintenance, backups, software installation, etc.

Benefits of Shared Hosting:

  • Pricing structure: The main advantage of shared hosting is its low price since multiple people use the same server, keeping the server costs low.
  • Not limited to WordPress usage. As you have an admin back end you’ll have access to instal other platforms such as Joomla, Magento etc.

Be aware though, cheap hosts share servers and have shared vulnerabilities with thousands of websites on them- not great for customers or SEO . They also often charge extra for essentials like backups and restores so they don’t seem as “cheap” as they initially appear.

 

Managed WordPress Hosting or Cpanel

 

Managed WordPress is a hosting service that specifically designed to accomodate WP sites. They are normally set up with a starter kit that will allow you to jump straight on the site without having to deal with the back end (Cpanel) setting and technicality for setting up a WP site. This has both advantages and disadvantages.

Benefit of Managed WP hosting:

  • They have their own caching to help you speed up the site
  • They normally include nightly backups, with an option for on demand backups. One of the nice thing is that these backups are normally easy to restore, requiring on a couple of button clicks.
  • Generally, their tech support also usually knows more about WP and can help with common issues so it is great for beginners or people who doesn’t want to deal much with back end and technical jargons.

The disadvantages of Managed WP hosting:

  • They might put some limits on what plugins you can install.  These limits don’t impact most businesses, but you should be aware that they exist.
  • You will need to pay for email boxes. This isn’t always a bad thing, in fact, I do recommend clients to separate emails from the website. You can get better quality cloud emails  by going to major providers such as Gsuite, Outlook365 or Rackspace and Zohomail for more affordable options.
Cpanel hosting is what is mainly used by shared hosting companies. If you are on tighter budget this might be an option for you. You will be in control of your own administration of the site so you will need to know who to use these tools.
Benefit of Cpanel:
  • Ability to host sites other than WP (eg. Joomla, Magento etc)
  • Ability to host your own emails
  • It is a stable, reliable tools for website that has been around for a long time

The disadvantages of Cpanel:

  • You need to have knowledge of these tools to set up your website and emails
  • With shared hosting, you are sharing host with many other sites so you are at higher risk of cross virus contamination, slower load during peak hours.

Some companies offer their own control panels which is normally a hybrid of manage WP and of Cpanel, which can be a good choice for a number of people.

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What to look for when choosing a Hosting Company.

 

When choosing the right company, here are the things that you might want to ask them:

  • Are they suitable for your Worpress site? The minimum requirement for WP site is listed on WordPress’s official site, here.
  • Ability to have access to your PHP settings (this is important, as some popular plugins are large and need extra resources.
  • What is their security measurement? Cloud hosting offer site isolations, which means they keep all their site isolated to prevent cross-server contamination, whereas with shared hosting there is more chance of getting infected by other site hosted on the same server. Regardless of what they use, it is always a good practice to have more security set up on your website.
  • Traffic & Speed – Most hosting provides information on how much traffic, speed, and bandwidth is available for the plans. You can start from the smallest one and upgrade when you need to. This will vary from company to company, but be wary with companies that offer unlimited bandwidth and usage as they are normally putting a lot of subscribers on that plan to break even profit off that plan. 
  • Uptime –  Uptime is the percentage of time that your website is up and visitors can access it. Regardless of what the hosting company says, you should ALWAYS implement independent monitoring of your own on your website.
  • SSL Certificate –Most hosting companies offer an SSL certificate — although not all of them offer it with all plans. They also vary in how much support you get for setting up that certificate.
    • Some hosting companies require you to use paid certificates (ie: GoDaddy)
    • Some hosting companies include easy 1-click SSLs (all of the ones I recommend below)
    • Some companies only provide better quality server settings for SSLs on their higher priced plans (and these are needed for eCommerce).

 

Recommended Providers:

So now you know more about the difference between hosting companies and what is suitable for your situation, I’ve outlined ones that I would recommend and that I would use myself.

 

Managed WP Hosting

Flywheel: Their tiny plan is great for most businesses getting started and their customer service is top-notch. As a managed hosting, they don’t offer emails. They also offer a premium add-on for automatic updates for your theme, plugins and wordpress to let you off that mundane maintenance. You will still need to own all the premium theme and plugin licenses.

Price from $17 (USD)/mo

Cloud Hosting

Cloudways: Cloudways lets you have more than websites hosted in your plan. I recommend using the 2GB resources for your site (starts from $23 (USD)/mo for the better quality of the site. You can also choose where to host the server (eg. Australia or US)

 

CPanel – Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

Shared hosting is good when you have small audience and just started as it lets you also to have your professional email hosted, but it is not ideal if you are looking for fast server and better performance.

f you are inclined to use Cpanel/Shared hosting for your side, I’d recommend to have a look at Australian’s based companies such as VentraIP or Panthur.

 

Disclaimer: Most companies offer referral rewards for sending new subscribers to them, so if I like a company then I sign up for their referral program. This means I may receive a small monetary reward if you sign up through one of the hosting links on this site.

 

Maintaining your website with the right hosting company

 

Choosing the right hosting company is the first action, but it doesn’t mean that it is a set and forget.

Many people think once you launch a website, you can just forget about it. There are so many things that can go wrong when you don’t have website maintenance carried out monthly, here are some of them:

  • Outdated software & plugins will affect its load time, downtime and uptime.  It might cause your website to be down or slow, or broke.
  • Outdated websites are easy targets for spammers & hackers to find their way to the websites. If you run your business through your website, you definitely don’t want this to happen!

 These are things that we recommend for your website maintenance.:

DAILY

  • Website and Your database should be backed up daily. It is also a good idea to have it backed up on your hosting and offsite (eg. Amazon WS, google Drive ect)

WEEKLY

  • Plugin / Theme Updates – Once you update your plugins and theme, make sure you do visual inspection to make sure your website is working properly. 
  • Malware Scans – ensuring that is no malware lurking that might compromise your website
    Visual Inspection 

MONTHLY

  • Monitor Traffic & Search Engine Rankings – Check how your traffic goes and if there is anything you can do to improve this
  • Clean Database – Cleaning your database will help speed up your website
  • Test Loading Time – and minimise it by using what is recommended. We use GTMetrix and Tool Pingdom to check client’s website’s speed.
  • Search for Broken Links
  • Check for Search Console
  • Errors/Issues

 

 

We’ll take out the hassle of your website maintenance

Can you remember the last time you ran updates in the admin dashboard? Can you remember the last time you scanned your site for malware? Can you remember the last time you made a backup?

Our care plans are perfect for businesses who can’t afford to employ a WordPress manager in-house, or don’t have time to keep sites updated themselves. 

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