About 10 years ago I looked into starting my own blog. I honestly thought I only needed a domain name and didn’t have a clue that I needed web hosting at all. A lot has changed since then, but it can be pretty intimidating choosing a hosting provider.
Word of mouth referrals are always a great way to research potential hosts. After all, who do you trust more than your family and friends? You can also do your own research, but be careful which websites ‘ referrals you trust. Many (not all) websites will recommend hosts who pay them for that referral, and pay them well. Just make sure to look for any disclosures on a site whether the referral was a paid one or not.
Many of those articles recommend hosts, but it doesn’t lay out why that host is recommended. That’s where this article should help. If you’re going to venture out on your own and research hosts, here is what you should look for. With the popularity of the WordPress platform, we’ll focus on what you should look for in a WordPress Host.
It’s important to find a host who offers a 1-click install of WordPress, or better yet a provider who has it pre-installed immediately upon signing up for your account. This way you don’t have to fumble around with install files to get WordPress installed. Also make sure it’s easy to update your WordPress version so you can keep your WordPress install as secure as possible.
If you have a question, how fast will it be answered? Will it be answered at all? I would recommend looking for a host with 24/7/365 support so that you can get an answer regardless of your or your host’s time zone. I would even recommend jumping into a live chat session or email the potential host’s support team with a simple question like if they offer an easy WordPress setup. Do they know the answer right away? Do they answer it at all? Put the support team through a quick test before you sign up!
Page load speed is very important. It impacts everything from bounce rates, page views and conversion rates. It can drastically impact your bottom line and how you can build your audience. It can be difficult to measure how fast your blog will load when evaluating a host. However there are certain things you can look for like whether you’re choosing fast hosting. Factors like whether the host offers solid state drives, a CDN and the location of your server in relation to where your audience is.
If you’re publishing amazing content but your website is down because your host is unreliable, that’s obviously a problem. Reliability is another factor that can be difficult to evaluate when choosing your WordPress Host. I recommend looking specifically for an Uptime Guarantee as well as uptime statistics for the hosts you’re evaluating.
At least somewhere in the back of your mind you’re planning for your blog to be successful. Just as a growing family will eventually need to move into a bigger home, your growing site may need a larger hosting package down the road. Make sure the host you’re choosing offers larger hosting packages than the one you’re starting with like VPS Hosting or Dedicated Servers. That way you can seamlessly upgrade your hosting as your site grows. That way you don’t have to go through the process of researching WordPress hosts once again.
Money Back Guarantee
You’ve done your research and found a host that seemingly provides an easy WordPress setup, high performance, great support, is scalable and reliable. You won’t know the quality of the host until you actually use it though. That’s why you want to make sure the host you choose has a clearly defined Money Back Guarantee so you can receive a refund if the host isn’t as good as you originally thought.
Brad Litwin is the Marketing Manager for A2 Hosting, a host focused on providing blazing fast WordPress Hosting on their fine tuned SwiftServer platform.
2 Responses to “What To Look For In A WordPress Hosting Provider”
Don’t assume your provider is doing backups for you. I’ve seen many horror stories in my decade+ career in the hosting industry.
Great point Jeff. Even HostGator basically states, don’t rely on them for backups! Once in a while I download all of my sites to my local computer for another backup option.