8 Things to Look for When Choosing a Web Hosting Company for Your WordPress Site
Picking between hosting providers is impossible if you don’t know what features separate the top operators from the second-best options.
To prevent you pulling your hair out or being paralyzed by indecision, we’ll talk you through what you need to be on the lookout for as you weigh up web hosting packages.
The cost of your hosting
For some WordPress sites, there’s not much wiggle room in the budget regarding web hosting costs. The good news is that you can find web hosting services that are cheap which are also well regarded in terms of their quality.
Of course it’s a better strategy to pick a package that fits your needs, rather than the least expensive on the market, because otherwise your site will be hampered, making it a false economy to be too miserly here.
The scalability of the provider’s services
Most sites start small and need to grow with their audience, and this growth has to be accommodated by the hosting provider.
If you’ve got big ambitions for your site, it therefore makes sense to stick to companies that offer a range of hosting products which are built to suit sites of different sizes and at different points in their journey to greatness. That way if you need to move to a more capacious package, you can do so without needing to switch providers further down the line as well.
The levels of security on offer
Cybersecurity has evolved a lot, but there are still differences between hosting companies in terms of the types of protection they offer to customers.
You really want to find a firm that can defend your site against common types of attack, including DDoS, while also giving you a means to backup your mission-critical data automatically so that you can restore your site if the main servers are compromised for any reason.
At this point you should really check to see if any prospective web host has been hit by successful attacks in the past. Even the smallest smudge on their reputation should be cause for concern.
The quality of support available
When you host a WordPress site with a third party provider, you’ll become reliant on them to keep it up and running, and to troubleshoot issues when they emerge.
What you don’t want is to find that the hosting company isn’t able to field your questions and address your concerns effectively in an emergency.
There are also different layers of support to consider. Perhaps you’d be happy with a host that was only contactable by email, or perhaps you’d prefer it if they had phone support lines available to customers when they’re in a jam.
A lot of web hosting providers give customers access to a control panel-style interface through which they can oversee the various aspects of their site’s operations from moment to moment.
This is typically done in-browser, and there can be a lot of variation in terms of how user-friendly this interface is. It’s wise to check up on the intuitiveness of any service like this prior to making a commitment.
The presence of existing customer testimonials
Hearing what others have to say about their experience with a web hosting company is useful in forming your own opinion and making a decision about whether or not to sign up yourself.
Testimonials from current users of their products are often found on their website, and can also be encountered on social media. Providers that don’t share this kind of feedback aren’t doing themselves any favors in terms of how they come across to prospective customers.
The included features of a hosting package
The basic ability to host a WordPress website is all well and good, but you need to see what else a provider will deliver in exchange for your hard-earned cash.
For example, will they register a domain name on your behalf so that your site is searchable? Will they bundle in some perks we touched on earlier, such as remote backup? Do they include a business email address as part of the deal?
The price you’ll pay to renew
Finally, be aware that while the initial cost of a web hosting company might be competitive, this does not paint the whole picture.
You need to look into how prices will change after you’ve been with them beyond any initial introductory period. This could transform a good value deal into one that’s not especially stellar.
It’s worth taking plenty of time to compare WordPress hosting bundles, because if you make a good choice at this point, you won’t need to uproot your entire site to move it elsewhere in months or years to come, or put up with poor service that puts off visitors.