Your choice of web hosting can make a big difference, in fact, it’s one of the keys to running a website online. There are many web hosting options available: Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting. What type of hosting and what web host to use is a decision you should put some thought into.
In this guide I’ll go over what specifications are needed for WordPress, some things for you to consider when you do choose your web host, and I’ll also give my recommendation for a web host that will meet most folks needs.
WordPress Required Specifications
To run WordPress your host just needs a couple of things:
- PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
- MySQL version 5.0 or greater
As the good folks at WordPress.org say: “That’s really it. We recommend Apache or Nginx as the most robust and featureful server for running WordPress, but any server that supports PHP and MySQL will do.”
The good news is that almost all web hosts meet these requirements, so generally no problems here, though there may be a few exceptions, so if you’re going to use a little known hosting provider, double check first.
Things for You to Consider When Choosing Your Web Hosting Provider
When deciding what web host to go with, there is something else to consider besides the hosting provider’s support, reputation, price, etc, and that is what do you need from your web host?
What Type of Web Hosting Meets Your Needs?
As we talked about earlier, there are many different types of web hosting available for your WordPress site: Free, Shared, VPS,Dedicated and Managed servers. Let’s take a look at each type so that you can determine which suites your needs the best.
Free WordPress Hosting
I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying: “You get what you pay for.” Free is a relative term, as there’s almost always a catch when it comes to hosting plans. Whether it’s the banner ads that you’ll see on your site promoting your “free” web host, or the almost complete lack of support, “free” web hosting is not a good choice.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared web hosting is the most popular hosting used by most people, and definitely the most affordable. It’s a great choice for most people just starting out and what I recommend for almost all WordPress beginners. The reason it’s so affordable, is that the hosting provider spreads out the cost of maintaining the server by putting a group of websites on which share the server’s resources.
One thing to be aware of though: most hosting providers -including my personal choice- advertise unlimited bandwidth, domains, etc…sounds great, but not really true. If your site starts eating up more than it’s share of the server’s resources, your web host will pretty much force you to upgrade. But, usually that shouldn’t be a problem, because if your site is getting a lot of traffic, then your profits have hopefully also gone up and can justify the added expense.
VPS WordPress Hosting
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. A Virtual Private Server (VPS), is a server that is partitioned with each section acting as its own server. Typically this is less expensive than a dedicated server but has more flexibility and functionality than a shared plan. So this is a step up from shared hosting, and one to consider when you start getting an increase in traffic to your WordPress site.
Generally, unless you are technically savvy, a managed VPS is by far the best VPS option. Fully managed support means that your web host will handle just about any issue or configuration request you may have with your server.
WordPress Dedicated Server
A dedicated server is a hosting account where only one web host has control of the entire server. All resources are allocated to one account. You lease the actual server from your web host. Having a dedicated server will provide your sites with a higher level of security, speed, and uptime. You will have the capability to go far beyond the resource limitations found in a shared hosting environment.
Again, unless you are very technically oriented, a managed dedicated server is what you will want. But for almost all WordPress beginners, a dedicated server isn’t something you will have any need of.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is a totally hands-free option. Although the pricing is out of most people’s budget (a popular plan starts out at $29 per month for 1 site); if you can afford it and don’t want to mess with any of your site’s maintenance, it’s a great, hassle-free way to go. They will optimize your WordPress site for fast page loading, do regular backups, keep your site secure, and offer great support. It is a great web hosting option for those who don’t have the tech skills, time, or just don’t want to deal with all the technical aspects of running a WordPress site.
My Recommended Web Host
This site is currently hosted at HostGator on a shared reseller plan, which means I have the right to have clients sites’ on my hosting account. It’s a little higher cost, but it’s still a shared plan. I may soon switch to either a managed VPS server, or even a managed dedicated server, as wphow2s.com traffic has been steadily increasing, but my plan has been working great so far.
I have personally have had accounts with a half dozen web hosts, and I also have quite a bit of experience dealing with many other hosting providers when acting on a web design client’s behalf. I can honestly say that my experience dealing with HostGator has been the best. It’s certainly a good thing to be able to contact their support 24×7, 365 days a year, and their support staff is generally very capable and knowledgeable. So as you can tell, I whole-heartedly endorse HostGator for most WordPress beginners.
The Best WordPress Web Hosting
HostGator is one of the world’s top 10 largest web hosting companies with more than 8,000,000 hosted domains and has a well-deserved reputation as one of the top hosting providers. WPHow2s is hosted at HostGator with good reason. They offer superior 24×7 support, 1-click easy WordPress installation, and have a 99.9% up-time guarantee.
Click here to save on HostGator web hosting.