WordPress is the most popular content management systems on the Internet. Between its user-friendly interface and the number of ways it can be customized, millions of people trust the platform for everything from blogs to eCommerce.
Before committing to the use of the CMS, it’s beneficial to find good WordPress hosting. After all, the right web host account is vastly important to the success of the website.
The Internet is full of hosting companies looking to attract business. As a result, there are ads scattered about stating how one company is better than another. To the unsuspecting consumer, one provider may look as good as another. However, each has significant differences that will play a role in developing a website.
Here are five key factors that need to be addressed when looking for that perfect WordPress hosting provider. Bear in mind that not all companies are cut from the same digital cloth.
1. Is there a Backup Plan in the Event of a Disaster?
Some providers will have a plan in place in the event of a disaster. In some cases, this is through a backup copy saved off-site and readily available for recovery. This means that the website can be restored even after the most destructive of hacking or malware corruption.
On the other hand, complete backups can also be handled by WordPress itself. While it is greatly beneficial to choose a provider that has a plan for recovery, WordPress plugins such as blogVault Real-time Backup will keep a copy of files as well as the database safe. It can even send these backups to the online storage platform Dropbox.
Recovery from an attack on the website is only one aspect of server backups. What if something happened to the web hosting server itself? Most companies will operate with redundant backups of sites in the event of a server disaster. In some cases, a content delivery network can help in this by storing copies of the site around the world.
2. Are the Most Recent Versions of Pertinent Software Available?
WordPress is only as powerful and safe as the software that runs it. Copies of PHP, MySQL and Apache operate the backbone of WordPress. Like any piece of online software, newer versions keep data safe from exploits and have greater support for new additions.
A hosting provider should have the most current software versions available for new developers. This not only protects the sites from various vulnerabilities, but it can also affect compatibility with other tools the developer wants to use.
Things like PHP version are important to WordPress platforms. For example, some plugins and website additions simply won’t work with older versions of PHP. And WordPress isn’t the only one, either. There are many things that may be installed on a server that require newer versions of these pieces of software.
3. What Kind of Security is Keeping the Website Safe?
Safety and security of the server is always an important feature to understand. Keeping the website safe from hacks and malware is a priority for any hosting provider. Most companies will offer excellent firewalls and scanning capabilities. Then again, there are also some that don’t put security high on the list of things to do.
Few companies will use outdated means of protecting their customers when it comes to attacks. While outdated hardware and software can still be of some benefit, it doesn’t offer the same layer of protection.
Luckily, WordPress can be expanded by adding security plugins of its own. For example, Wordfence Security doesn’t just keep attackers at bay who are trying to gain entry to the website itself. It can also scan files to identify suspicious coding and plug up many back doors into the system. While this may not affect the server itself for security, it does provide a level of confidence the site remains unaffected.
4. What Kind of Space and Bandwidth Limitations Are There?
In many cases, users will be limited to the amount of storage space and bandwidth that is available for websites. These kinds of hosting accounts are often sold at a much lower cost to the developer. Unfortunately, this also means that additional charges may apply should the website become ultra-popular.
Some of the best hosting companies will easily allow for scaling. This means that a hosting platform uses upgrades as the site itself grows. In most instances, upgrading the bandwidth or storage space is cheaper than paying overuse charges. In extreme cases, it is simpler to upgrade the hosting account entirely to a more robust offer.
It’s like owning a one-bedroom house on a huge plot of land. Trying to fit 10 people into this small area is possible, but it’s far more efficient to just pay to add a few rooms.
5. Is Customer Support Readily Available When Needed?
One of the most important parts to any business is customer support. Although most hosting companies will have a knowledge base area readily available that are helpful, many developers prefer the ability to speak to a human.
For some hosting providers, there are many ways to get customer support. Chat, phone and email are often the most effective for many of them. While some companies have online chat readily available on the website, others have contact forms that are regularly monitored.
Ticket systems can also be an effective tool to receive support. Many hosts will use platforms like cPanel, which will record and keep track of every help ticket since the beginning of the account. At any point, the user can go back and look up past issues and whether problems are being currently addressed.
When choosing the right provider, make sure it’s one that has available contact information of some kind.
What it All Boils Down To…
It is tempting to find cheap WordPress hosting simply because the ads are engaging. Keep the above key points in mind when selecting which to use. Although the overall success of the website will fall on the shoulders of the developer, the right hosting can be used as a tool to increase potential.