Website hosting plays a very important role in the speed at which your WordPress website loads. Select a bad provider and it will cause you nothing but headaches. A website which loads slowly leaves a terrible first impression on your visitors, and in most cases will cause them to leave in a hurry, praying that the next site they visit loads more quickly.
Choose a reputable web hosting company, and get your new WordPress website started the right way. Don’t just go with the cheapest possible hosting package. You get what you pay for, and you’ll get a website that loads so slowly you will want to punch yourself in the face or headbutt the closest wall. Save yourself the headache that would result from the aforementioned actions, and pay a few bucks more for quality.
What is Shared Web Hosting?
Shared web hosting means that your website is sharing a large web server with many other websites. Having numerous sites on one server lets providers offer this service at very affordable rates. You can easily find quality shared hosting packages for a few dollars per month.
When you are just starting out, a shared hosting plan is sufficient for your needs. You can upgrade your hosting later as your site grows in popularity and starts receiving a ton of traffic.
For the majority of sites online, shared hosting is all they’ll ever need.
Things to Consider
When choosing a shared hosting provider, there are some important things to take into consideration. Providers and plans are NOT created equally, and it’s better to choose a good host from the get-go so you don’t have to migrate your site later.
Web Host Reputation
Before you select a shared web hosting provider for your website, make sure and do your homework. Check out multiple reviews online and come up with a short list (maybe 3) of potential hosting companies. Please note, there are some biased reviews online in which people review and recommend certain hosts because they earn money from affiliate links to them. Not all of these reviews are wrong, but keep in mind that they can be inaccurate.
Customer & Technical Support
Different web hosts have varying levels of customer service, ranging from beyond dreadful to absolutely stellar. When choosing a hosting provider, make sure that their customer and technical support is helpful and quick to respond. You don’t want to sign up with a provider, only to find out later that it’s impossible to get help from them when you need it.
FREE Solid State Drives (SSDs)
Solid State Drives (or SSDs) offer much faster read and write speeds than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). This results in faster delivery of your website content, whether you run a blog, eCommerce website or custom-built application. Many hosts offer FREE SSDs as part of their shared hosting plans. Others may charge for them.
Number of Websites Supported
In many cases, you can have numerous websites on one hosting plan. With InMotion, you can have up to 2 sites on their Launch Plan, 6 websites on their Power Plan or unlimited sites on their Pro Plan. Make sure you read through all the plan details to choose the plan that will accommodate your specific needs.
Your site’s security should be of utmost importance, and you want to make sure you have your site backed up in case anything goes wrong. Some providers offer free regular backups as part of their shared hosting plans.
* If your host does not offer backups or charges extra for them, you can use a WordPress plugin instead and schedule automatic backups yourself.
Make sure that your plan gives you and/or your developer access to all the tools you need to easily build and manage your website.
These include the following:
- cPanel login from anywhere
- Access to hosting technical information
- FTP access and new account setup
- SSH access
- Softaculous application installer
- Ruby, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL
- Email creation & management
- Email forwarding
- Spam, account & user level filter setup
All shared web hosting providers are NOT created equally. Some companies should be avoided at all costs – GoDaddy’s shared hosting service comes to mind. I had a few sites hosted with them, and they were all slow as hell. Doing any kind of work on them – or waiting for them to load – was like pulling my own teeth without a mirror or anesthesia – slow, awkward and painful.
I ended up moving those sites to InMotion Hosting, which has provided excellent service. This particular site is hosted on 1and1, but I will probably be migrating it to another web host in the near future. I have heard great things about SiteGround, and am thinking about trying them out.
Do you have any questions or comments about choosing the best shared web hosting for your WordPress website?
Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.