WordPress is a hugely popular and highly customizable platform to run a website on, but if you don’t host it properly then all of the advanced features it has will be wasted. This is a short summary of what to expect when finding a web host for your WordPress site and what you should look for.
Free Hosting or Paid Hosting
Sometimes free stuff is great, and other times it’s just a hassle and not worth the time, so should you pay to host your WordPress site or not? That depends on what you want to do with your site of course. If you just want to have a small personal website, and don’t really care about having full control over every part of it, then you would probably be alright with free hosting.
But if you’re serious about your website, and you’re using it for business or hope to do so in the future, then you should forget about free hosting and go straight for a paid package. It doesn’t cost a lot to get a good hosting account these days, and it’s easier to do it right at the start rather than trying to move your site later.
Don’t Buy WordPress Hosting From Your Registrar
When you buy a domain name your registrar (GoDaddy for example) will probably give you an offer for what they call WordPress hosting, but they are almost always overpriced and not what you need. They will often use strange wording and try to avoid telling you exactly what you will get for your money. For example: a real web hosting provider will never limit you to how many “visitors” per month your website can get on any given plan but I have seen registrars use this wording. A proper hosting provider will give you real limits such as how much bandwidth (in gigabytes) you will be allowed to use, and never use vague wording such as “visitors per month”.
Only Pay For What You Need
WordPress has been optimized a lot over the years and runs very smoothly on even the most basic hosting plans available, and you can also install free plugins to make it even smoother, so don’t waste money by paying for hardware and features that you don’t need. A shared hosting account is almost always a good starting point for your WordPress site unless you know for sure that you’re going to be pulling in huge numbers in a hurry.
Shared hosting means that you will be sharing the server hardware with other users, so the cost is lower and you don’t need to know much about servers to get yourself up and running. If you need more hardware and/or bandwidth later on, because your site has become very popular, then you can think about switching to a dedicated server which is more expensive and provides more admin access.
The main thing to remember when choosing a host for your site is that WordPress doesn’t really have any fancy high tech requirements, and it can run on almost any plan that hosting providers have on offer.