There are so many options available for hosting your website that choosing the right one can be a truly difficult endeavor. There are a huge range of pricing options available from downright cheap to mind-bogglingly pricy. There are varying levels of support offered as well. Are you new to the world of website ownership? Do you want to sort of grab you template and theme and go or are you a creative type who wants to play with features and really spend time building a unique site with multiple special features?
First, you need to know what types of hosting are being offered nowadays. There are many shared hosting providers out there and many of them offer basic packages at a very low cost. There are also managed hosting services which tend to offer a little more specialized service and can cost more as well. There are also cloud type servers that are more powerful and generally offer more storage capacity and are dependent on virtualization technology. You might also decide to rent a dedicated server which is often the costliest option but still might be the right choice depending upon your need and circumstances.
No matter what you choose you need to be careful that the hosting site allows your page to load quickly and completely. Sluggish sites lose visitors before they have a chance to even load. So if your webpage is free of widgets and other items that are slow to load, you hosting service needs to get that page up and ready for viewing in less than two seconds. This can be critical as it will prevent potential customers or site users from leaving your site out of frustration.
Cheap shared hosting can be a decent starting point if you do not need much storage space, you are not concerned with having many options available to you and you do not mind sharing often to the point of overcrowding. As long as your website is going to remain small with low traffic and little data accumulation you will be alright with a basic shared hosting account.
Now, if you are planning to experience growth you might find yourself stuck in a place where you run out of bandwidth, where as you grow your site gets slow or has a lot of down time. You will be competing with sites that do not have these issues and that will be a huge detriment. You also may find yourself floundering for support. WordPress help is often not available on these lower cost hosting sites.
All of that said, for a website for a small club, for other low traffic groups, to set up a test site or to just start out in a small business venture knowing that with growth one might have to change servers these bargain hosting services are a great place to begin.
If you are a small business in the US, and don't need a ton of features from your host, but still need speed, customer support and reliability, we'd recommend A Small Orange. If you're looking for shared hosting that could eventually scale to dedicated WordPress hosting, then Media Temple is definitely the way to go.
The latest innovation in managed hosting is known as application-level managed hosts. These services specifically host one application. Because WordPress is so popular, many services that host it exclusively are now available. Because these newer services specialize in only hosting one application they are able to become well-versed in the ins and outs of that particular application.
So, companies that strictly host WordPress generated websites are able to offer in depth support to WordPress users. They become experts and their support services can be invaluable to you as your website grows and your needs change. These hosting services are able to fine tune their offerings to the specific application that they handle so that speed, security and other necessary features are tailored specifically to that application and websites run especially smoothly.
With so much support and such an intuitive hosting environment web site owners are free to build sites that are enticing to their customers. Site owners are able to focus on driving traffic rather than glitches and slow downs. Support is available for both hosting questions and website building and maintenance questions because of the singular focus of these services. Often other features such as back up services or better security are included with these hosting agreements.
While this is a slightly more expensive option than shared hosting it is especially advantageous to WordPress users to find a reliable managed hosting service and take full advantage of all of the perks and the support they offer.
Managed WordPress hosting can be expensive, but when you look at everything that is provided by with the service, it's a more affordable, more efficient alternative to VPS hosting. If you are in the market for dedicated WordPress hosting, our preferred provider is WPEngine. They are a bit pricey, but the security, speed and reliability are unbeatable and our current WPEngine coupon
For those who know their way around a Unix-based system a virtual private server is an option. A bare bones deal, where you are in control with no support and a ton of flexibility is really quite inexpensive. Packages with fully managed hosting are available at a considerable jump in price. Some things to remember here are that you must be a more experienced website owner with considerable computer skills if you are going to build a website with one of these lower cost cloud type services.
There are hosting services in this niche that are well-suited to WordPress applications but, again, this is really a good option for those really familiar with Linux who are in need of a great deal of flexibility and who have time to handle all aspects of this type of platform.
Dedicated servers are perhaps the real cream of the crop when it comes to hosting. They are far more costly than the other options. In addition, many web site owners do not need to go this route. But for those who have hundreds of thousands of visitors a month or who require extreme security measures or complicated logic or computational power a dedicated server is a good idea. Users of this type of hosting have to do constant backups, or even run a mirror site because hard drive failure can cause huge delays in service. You site will be hosted on one machine and any and all problems with the machine will become a problem for your site. Backups are the key to smooth sailing when you use dedicated servers.
We have listed our preferred hosting partner icons below, but in my opinion nobody can compare to the quality of hosting WiredTree provides. We have a special offer for WPCaddy visitors this month, grab our exclusive WiredTree coupon for June and get better VPS hosting.
In summary, the cheapest options out there tend to be shared hosting services that offer fewer features but are excellent for personal sites, hobbyists, small clubs or local sports teams. If you are a small business starting out with this type of server consider going with a company that allows you to change to a managed hosting plan. If you are going to start at the managed hosting level consider using an application level managed host that specializes in WordPress. You will not be disappointed in this type of host and you will have a great deal of support and built in one click features included for a relatively small price.
Using a cloud based hosting service is good for those with a lot of time and strong knowledge in Linux. It is not always the best route but does offer the most flexibility you will find. Finally, the top of the line is a dedicated host. Packages run from 100s to 1000s of dollars a month. Large sites with high traffic or specific demands that the other packages cannot handle should consider this option. With these choices better explained it should be much easier for anyone wanting to start a WordPress based website to make the best choice for their hosting needs.