The Best Sites to Host WordPress – May 2019
WordPress is one of the main content management systems powering the internet. It is behind many content-driven websites, TechJunkie uses it, many other top websites use it and millions of smaller websites use it too. It has particular demands which means selecting a web host requires a little research. Rather than tell you what the best web host is, I’m going to show you want to look for in the best WordPress host. That way you can make an informed decision that works for you.
There are dozens of lists telling you what the best WordPress hosts offer and who they are. What they all seem to forget is that we all need different things. That’s why I’m going to show you how to make an informed decision about your host. You can then pick and choose the requirements WordPress needs and then find your own host.
Here is what to look for in a WordPress host.
Established web hosting
Supporting startups is all very well but when you need reliability and stability, it is much better to go with a web host with an established track record. If your website goes down, your reputation and perhaps profitability goes with it. You need a web host with 99.9% uptime and nothing less.
Most web hosts will mention their reliability as it is a primary selling point. Look for 99.9% and above as there is no need to settle for anything less.
Managed hosting or shared?
Managed hosting is a more expensive option but takes away any of the headaches of running a website. WordPress comes pre-installed, backups, updates and maintenance are automated and all you have to do is add your theme and content.
Shared hosting is standard hosting where you rent server space and you install WordPress and manage it yourself.
So which is best? It depends on your experience, willingness to learn and budget. Managed hosting costs more but offers more. Shared hosting is basic but is much cheaper. Website performance should be identical for both services so isn’t a consideration.
WordPress is not difficult to install, back up, maintain or run but there is a learning curve. If you know the system, you could manage it yourself without too much trouble as long as you have the time.
Dedicated WordPress hosting
Many web hosts offer dedicated WordPress hosting as packages as well as shared hosting or managed. This just means more bandwidth is provided to the database and the service can be scaled up as your website grows. WordPress is database intensive so you need a good database link for the site to work quickly. Dedicated WordPress hosting offers this.
You don’t necessarily need it though. I run multiple WordPress websites on standard shared hosting and they work fine. As long as you set your website up correctly and utilize caching it should work anywhere.
If you’re setting up a business website or are targeting a regional audience, it may benefit you to select a web server in that location. This is usually country-specific, so if you’re targeting US visitors, it does make sense to use a US server. The connection speed will be shorter, SEO will be easier and any server maintenance or scheduled downtime will not be at local peak times which can happen with some overseas services.
If you’re new to WordPress or web hosting in general, choosing a host with good customer support is a real benefit. Most offer ticket or web chat support but some will have a phone number too. Make sure your host has a location in your time zone or close to it and supports you using a method you’re comfortable with.
Web chat is fine as long as their response time and support hours meet your needs.
The price of your WordPress hosting is obviously going to factor into your decision but it should not be the deciding factor. More important is uptime, reviews, features, customer support and server location. Only then should you consider price. There’s no point buying the cheapest hosting possible only to find that it is down too often or only has partial customer support.
There is no ‘best’ WordPress web host as we all want different things. As long as you use the above criteria when shortlisting and use a free trial to experiment and check out the service, you should be fine. There will be a learning curve but the more you learn to do yourself, the less you depend on someone else to do for you. Once you know how to install, update and maintain WordPress, there’s nothing stopping you launching your website!