Considering the variety of WordPress hosting options available, choosing the right one for your website isn’t always easy. This is especially true since managed hosting companies make bold – and sometimes outrageous – claims that make it difficult to differentiate marketing from the cold, hard facts.
There are many factors to consider when looking for the right WordPress hosting provider. In this article, we will go over 8 of the most important things you should consider when making your choice.
Let’s get started.
It should come as no surprise that security is one of the most important attributes to look for when choosing a provider. In fact, focusing on security is more important than ever before since the cybercrime industry is projected to reach over $10 trillion in value within the next five years.
WordPress hosting providers should take all reasonable steps to provide protection against unauthorized access, destruction, or alteration of data. When it comes to security features, the host you choose should also implement the most contemporary cybersecurity measures possible – including a web application firewall (WAF), two-factor authorization, DDoS protection, and threat monitoring – to help protect you from hackers.
Additionally, your hosting provider should be able to offer daily backups of your entire site. This can often mean the difference between recovering from a disaster or suffering from one.
For those who facilitate payments or handle sensitive user information on their company’s website, selecting a WordPress hosting provider that offers free SSL certificates is also imperative.
2. Customer Reviews
One of the best ways to know if you’ve found an excellent WordPress hosting provider is by looking at their customer reviews. Seeing what previous customers have said about their experience with your potential host can be valuable in informing your final decision.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t fully believe every single review that you encounter, though.
To clarify, it’s not impossible for a particular provider’s competitors to leave false negative reviews on the Internet in an attempt to dissuade customers from trusting their services. A similar situation occurs when companies leave false positive reviews on their own platform.
A great way to recognize false customer reviews is by watching for certain attributes. These include:
- Reviews that contain a large number of buzzwords or seem overly promotional
- Highly negative reviews that don’t go into detail about why that person’s experience was so dissatisfying
Instead, you should consider the reviews that provide a detailed account of what that particular customer had experienced. By looking for patterns in other people’s comments and experiences, you’ll be able to quickly identify recurring positive or negative experiences.
Of course, the total volume of reviews is also a critical factor. A five-star rating won’t mean much if only two people have reviewed the company.
3. Level of Support
Support quality is one of the major factors to consider when selecting a WordPress hosting provider.
You will undoubtedly have questions or concerns once you begin working with a new WordPress hosting provider. However, it can easily become frustrating if you are unable to get in touch with them or – even worse – discover an issue that the hosting provider cannot (or won’t) resolve to your satisfaction. To save yourself the trouble, it’s in your best interest to work with a provider that is able to offer a comprehensive level of ongoing customer support.
WordPress hosting providers usually offer varying levels of support. One of the most significant factors at play is the ability to get in touch with them quickly and easily. While not every hosting provider offers 24/7 service, there are many that do. Be sure to find out about each host’s ticket response times and availability during (and after) business hours.
It’s also valuable to determine the support team’s level of expertise – not just hosting about hosting, but about WordPress itself. While some WordPress hosting providers only offer basic server management and security assistance, others can provide advice on optimizing performance, enhancing security, and upgrading your site’s theme or plugins.
4. Overall Performance
The attention span of the average person today is estimated to be shorter than that of a goldfish. This means that even an extra second or two of loading time could cause your audience to navigate away from your page. In many cases, they won’t return to your site in the future and will choose a competitor instead.
A higher level of overall performance can directly translate into increased revenue for your company. This means that it’s essential to maintain high levels of performance at all times, something that is only possible through an experienced and reputable WordPress hosting provider.
In practice, this means that there are certain criteria you should keep an eye out for that can have a direct impact on the level of performance. For example, you’ll want to know:
- Requests per second (RPS)
- Page load time
- Error rate
- Peak response times (PRT)
You may also want to ask the customer service team of each WordPress hosting provider you’re evaluating about these metrics. If the hosting provider offers a free trial, you may want to migrate your site to their platform and run website speed tests to determine what kind of impact loading speeds have on your user experience.
How much are you willing to spend on hosting? There is no single amount that you should expect to pay for managed hosting service. However, you should still take steps in order to ensure that you aren’t overpaying.
You can achieve this by taking a look at different providers and the level of service they offer for the price. If you discover that one provider seems to offer less than its competitors but charges more money, you can eliminate them as a potential option.
However, you should also avoid indiscriminately choosing the cheapest possible option.
Some hosts offer plans for as low as $3.95 per month. But, more often than not, you will get what you pay for when it comes to working with a WordPress hosting provider. By choosing to pay the bare minimum, you could encounter a large number of issues in the future.
Common problems include not being able to get in touch with your service provider, security flaws, and slow overall performance. All of the above could place the success of your company in jeopardy.
Also, make sure you are clear on any hidden fees or additional costs for services that might be required when signing up for certain packages.
Just a single instance of downtime could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. So, network stability and uptime are too important to ignore.
No matter what level of performance, security, and customer service your provider is able to offer, it’s imperative that their servers are as reliable as possible. More often than not, your potential provider will go out of their way to advertise how efficient their servers are.
Some hosts advertise 99.9% uptime but that’s not always true. A host might claim to deliver 99.9% uptime, but that statistic reflects scheduled maintenance and emergency maintenance downtime. A reliable hosting provider’s servers should have at least 99.9% guaranteed uptime and not be subject to unexpected maintenance. The best hosting providers will have redundant hardware, software, and network connectivity to prevent any unplanned outages.
Additionally, it’s important that your WordPress hosting provider maintains at least 99.9% server uptime as downtime can significantly hurt website rankings in search engines as well as cause irreparable damage to business reputation for any company that has customers visiting their website often.
7. Compatibility With Common Plugins and Themes
Many businesses have a key handful of plugins and WordPress themes that they use in order to deliver a unique user experience and give them an edge over their competition. It is important that your host has excellent compatibility with the plug-ins and themes you use (or plan to use) on your site. For example, if you are using WooCommerce or Jetpack, you need to be sure your host can accommodate these plug-ins and prevent any potential site outage.
Depending on the hosting provider, you may find that certain plugins and themes are not fully compatible with their platform, software, and/or security measures. This often results in them disallowing their customers to make use of specific plugins or themes.
Although plugin and theme restrictions are not put in place maliciously, you may find that without specific plugins and themes you are no longer able to achieve previous levels of performance. Under extreme circumstances, this could also harm your brand’s reputation.
If you’re unsure of whether or not you will encounter issues by using certain plugins and themes, be as upfront with your potential WordPress hosting providers as possible when doing research. Each host’s sales or customer service team will be straightforward about any restrictions or compatibility issues that exist, as well as any history of complications. Keep in mind, this can be especially important if your site utilizes custom plugins or themes.
As your company grows, so will its needs. Unfortunately, working with a provider who is not able to easily scale your level of service could prevent you from reaching your full potential as your organization increases in size.
In fact, the provider you hire should be able to seamlessly increase your level of service without having you experience any form of interruption. this will ensure that you are able to maintain peak levels of productivity during the transition.
As with checking for plug-in compatibility, reach out to the provider you’re interested in working with and ask for more information about what you can expect as your business scales.
Choosing WordPress Hosting Providers Might Seem Difficult
Fortunately, you can make this process go far more smoothly by keeping the above information in mind. These factors will help make choosing from potential WordPress hosting providers far easier than you anticipated.
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These premium hosting plans ensure you have everything you need to build and deploy outstanding WordPress websites that are lightning-fast and reliable. Plus, you get free white glove migrations, enhanced security powered by Jetpack, and 24/7 support by certified WordPress experts.