Don’t know how to choose the best WordPress hosting to host your website? Hop in; you’re in the right place.
Getting web hosting is one of the first things you need to do before creating a WordPress website. Web hosting determines the overall performance of your site. Hence it’s one of the key components for your site’s success. Therefore, one must choose WordPress hosting wisely.
So, if you are wondering how to choose the best WordPress hosting for you, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s start by knowing why to use WordPress to create a website.
What is WordPress and Why is it a Top Choice for Creating a Website?
WordPress is one of the best Content Management Systems (CMS) that enables you to create, manage, and publish content online without any coding skills. It’s open-source software that is completely free to use. It means you can use it freely and modify it as per your need.
It’s important to know that there are two versions of WordPress, i.e., WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform where you get full ownership and control over your site.
Contrarily, WordPress.com is a fully hosted platform where web hosting is provided by WordPress.com itself. However, this platform is limited and doesn’t provide you with full control over your site.
For a more detailed comparison, you can read our article on WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.
Since we’re on the topic ‘How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting’, we’re talking about the former platform, i.e., WordPress.org.
The reasons why WordPress is a top choice for creating a website are as follows:
- A high degree of customization and flexibility
- Availability of tons of free and premium WordPress themes for a great-looking website
- Availability of an ocean of options of free and paid plugins to extend your website’s functionality
- Accessibility of all admin functions from a single dashboard (including reports and analytics)
- Fully scalable (works great for any company from startup to enterprise)
So, these are the top reasons why WordPress is used by massive users to create a website.
With that said, let’s take a brief insight into what WordPress hosting is.
What is WordPress Hosting?
As we’ve discussed earlier, WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform. That means you need to purchase a web hosting service to start a website.
Simply put, web hosting is a space where you can store all your website files. Once you sign up for a web host, visitors will be able to access your website via World Wide Web (WWW).
So, WordPress hosting is a web hosting solution specially built for running WordPress websites. Basically, WordPress-specific hosting plans allow you to install WordPress automatically or with a single click. Also, it provides servers and resources exclusively optimized for the WordPress site.
How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting? (16 Key Criteria)
And now, it’s time to go to the details of our main topic of interest, i.e, how to choose the best WordPress hosting for your site. So, let’s dive in!
1. Know Your Website Niche
The kind of website you’re building determines all the other considerations for choosing WordPress hosting. So, first, you need to be clear about the type of website you want to build.
You might want to build a business website (either small or large), an eCommerce site, a blogging site, and so on.
Usually, if you want to create a blog website, you can go with a low-cost hosting platform. Yet it should be able to provide resources to handle images and videos if you plan to have them on your site.
Likewise, a business website needs tighter security, blazing-fast speed, and more room to grow. And if you want to build a robust eCommerce site, your hosting provider should be able to offer WooCommerce-specific features to scale up your online store.
Thus, determining your website niche is a base to build other frameworks for choosing a WordPress hosting that works the best for you.
2. Choose the Suitable WordPress Hosting Type
Once you are confident about the type of website you want to build, you should also determine the suitable WordPress hosting type for you.
Different types of WordPress hosting that are available are Shared hosting, Managed hosting, VPS hosting, and Dedicated hosting.
a. Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared hosting is the most budget-friendly hosting option to get your website online. In this hosting, multiple websites have to share the same IP address and server resources (hard disk space, bandwidth, and memory).
However, other users won’t be able to access your files, private information, and vital data.
Shared hosting is the best option for bloggers, hobbyists, and small business websites.
b. Managed Hosting
Managed hosting is a convenient solution where every single aspect related to your hosting is taken care of by your hosting company. For instance, it takes care of your hosting setup, management, security, backup, updates, and so on.
With Managed hosting, you don’t need to worry about the fundamentals of your hosting. Thus, you can solely focus on improving your business.
Managed hosting solution is comparatively more expensive than other normal hosting plans. But if you don’t mind paying extra so that the hosting company will handle very hosting-relevant tasks, then this hosting type is for you.
c. VPS Hosting
VPS is an acronym for Virtual Private Server hosting. This hosting type uses the virtualization technique to partition a single server into multiple segments. So, you’ll be provided with a portion of the server that you don’t have to share with other clients.
VPS hosting allows you to scale up your website as it grows. Also, it has a faster loading time and higher uptime rates compared to Shared hosting.
This hosting is perfect for small to medium size businesses and tech-savvy users interested to configure the server to their specific needs. And, it’s also perfect for Shared hosting users who have outgrown their resources.
d. Dedicated Hosting
Just like its name, Dedicated hosting provides a dedicated server to a single user. So, it offers unlimited resources, full storage, bandwidth, and so on. Further, you get full privacy and complete control with Dedicated hosting.
Best of all, you can custom-change your server as per your need without affecting and without being affected by other users.
In a nutshell, Dedicated hosting is an expensive hosting service suitable for large enterprises only.
3. WordPress Pre-Installed or One-Click Installation
One-click WordPress installation feature enables you to get started with your website easily and quickly. It’s even better if your hosting company has WordPress pre-installed or possesses an automatic installation feature. So that you can log in to your WordPress website immediately and focus on other required setups.
Thus, when you choose the hosting provider, make sure that it has WordPress pre-installed for you. If not pre-installed, it should have at least an automatic or one-click WordPress installation feature for your ease.
For instance, Bluehost is a great WordPress hosting provider with an automatic WordPress installation feature. Likewise, WordPress comes pre-installed in A2 Hosting.
4. Easy-to-Use Hosting Dashboard/Control Panel
The hosting service you choose should have a simple dashboard that gives a user-friendly experience while navigating through it. Otherwise, managing web hosting can be an uphill task.
Hence, it’s required to have a hosting service with an easy-to-use dashboard/control panel. So that you can easily manage domains, databases, backups, monitor emails, and more without any headache.
A good example is the MyKinsta dashboard. It’s a built-in dashboard of Kinsta for powerful website management. Its dashboard has quick access to the sites, staging environment, reports & analytics, billing, and more.
5. Fast Loading Speed
Fast page loading speed is one of the key factors for ranking higher on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). But for your website to run swiftly, it’s essential that your hosting companies are also optimized for fast web hosting.
A slow host not only affects the page loading speed and makes your users go away but also makes your admin panel slow. As a result, organizing and managing your website will also be time-consuming.
Thus, it’s important to choose a WordPress hosting service with high speed. Now, with so many hosting providers boasting to have a fast speed, how to choose the best WordPress hosting that actually is fast?
So, here is a list of the factors to consider while choosing fast WordPress hosting.
I. High-Speed SSD Storages
SSD stands for Solid State Drive. Unlike web hosting solutions using Hard Disk Drive (HDD), SSD-based hosting has fast speed. It’s because SSD stores data and files on flash memory chips that can be retrieved quickly.
II. Higher/Unmetered Bandwidth
Bandwidth can be defined as the amount of data that a website can transfer to its users at a given time. So, it determines the amount of traffic that your website can handle. In case insufficient bandwidth is allocated, your site can slow down and even collapse.
Therefore, you need to make sure to choose to host services with higher or unmetered bandwidth.
III. Caching Capabilities
If you don’t know what caching is then, it’s simply a process of storing copies of files in a temporary location called a cache for quick access.
Wondering how it benefits the site speed? Well, each time a user loads a webpage, the browser has to get lots of data to display that particular page. So, caching saves a copy of that web page’s content on the hard drive. Thus, whenever the user opens that page, it loads quickly.
Different technical terms are used to refer to cache. For example, a CDN (Content Delivery Network) server caches content to prevent latency (delaying data transfer). DNS (Domain Name System) server caches DNS records, and so on.
There are a large number of caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, LiteSpeed Cache, etc., that you can get for your WordPress website. But it’s wise to choose a WordPress host with great caching abilities for your site.
For instance, Cloudways hosting solution has built-in caches like Memcached, Varnish, Nginx, and Redis. Likewise, InMotion hosting supports W3 Total cache as well as other advanced caching options.
IV. Global Data Centres
If you want to achieve the maximum page loading speed, then your website should be hosted geographically closest to your target audience.
So, you need to choose a WordPress host with global data centers. Meaning, your hosting company should have multiple server locations distributed globally.
One good hosting service with global data centers is Kinsta. This WordPress hosting solution has over 35 data centers located in different geographic locations like India, USA, Australia, California, etc.
For any WordPress website, backing up is an essential thing to do. Just imagine losing all your files accidentally or crashing your site for any reason. Scary, right?
You never know what may go wrong with your site but you can always be prepared by backing up your site. After all, you don’t want your devotion and hard work to go in vain.
That’s why, while choosing the host for your WordPress site, always check what kind of backup facilities it provides.
Depending upon the host you choose, the frequency of backup can also vary. Some companies might keep the backups daily, some might run weekly backups, and some on a monthly basis. But the best option is to go for hosting with daily backup.
Along with keeping backups, your hosting provider should also let you restore them without fuss. Otherwise, what’s the use of backing up your site? So, make sure to investigate the backup and restoration process in detail before signing up for a hosting company.
One of the perks of using a WordPress website is that it also has several backup & restore plugins that you can use. So, if you’re not sure about the backups from your web host providers, you can find the best WordPress backup plugins for the rescue.
To name a few, Jetpack, UpdraftPlus, BlogVault, etc., are some of the best examples.
You should know that a WordPress website isn’t free from malware attacks, hacks, and other such security threats. Also, your customers’ private and sensitive information can be breached. If that happens it won’t be good for your site’s health, reputation, as well as revenue.
Thus, security should be yet another utmost priority when you choose a WordPress host.
Your hosting service should have top-notch security features like two-factor authentication, login attempt limitation, dedicated firewalls, etc. Furthermore, there should be complete DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection and other such added securities.
Besides, you can also utilize the power of the best WordPress security plugins to keep your site safe and secure. Some examples of such powerful security plugins are iThemes Security, Wordfence Security, Sucuri Security, All in One WP Security and Firewall, etc.
8. Up-to-Date Server Technologies
WordPress requires various software on the server for it to work. Firstly, its installation requires PHP – a popular scripting language used for creating dynamic websites. Likewise, it requires the database to store its configuration data and the content that you upload to your website.
Finally, WordPress runs on a web server. A web server is software that receives the clients’ requests via the world wide web (WWW), processes them, and delivers content to its users.
So, to run WordPress your hosting should have the following latest requirements:
- PHP version 7.4 or greater
- MySQL 5.7 or greater / MariaDB Database 10.3 or greater
- Apache or Nginx (Web Servers)
WordPress also works on PHP 5.6.20+ and MySQL 5.0+. However, we recommend using the latest versions because these outdated versions can expose your WordPress site to various security risks.
9. SSL Certificate Provision
Google prefers SSL-certified websites for secure web browsing experiences for users.
SSL is the acronym for Secure Socket Layer. It’s a form of security where the communication between your web browser and the web server is encrypted. That means it converts data to code for preventing unwanted access to your data.
You might have noticed the padlock-like signs in the URL bar while browsing in Google, Firefox, etc. It denotes that a website is SSL certified and secured.
Contrarily, Google marks non-SSL-certified websites as Not Secure.
You can easily add the SSL certificate to your site from Certificate Authorities like Let’s Encrypt and so on. However, it’s better if your hosting company handles it for you.
Nowadays, many hosting solutions like Bluehost, Dreamhost, SiteGround, etc., provide free SSL certificates for a year or more in their hosting package. So, you can choose such companies for hosting your WordPress site.
10. Maximum Uptime Guarantee
As the name suggests, uptime is a measure of the time that your hosting server is up and performing. It’s expressed in percentage.
Your website should promise a maximum uptime (99.9-100%) to make your website highly available to your users. Because if your website remains frequently down, there is no chance that you gain new customers. Instead, it’ll chase away the existing customers as well.
So, if you want your site to be up and running without any interruption, choosing hosting that guarantees a high uptime is a must.
For instance, the uptime of Hostinger Shared and Cloud hosting is 99.99% (as of the date of the article publication) as per its server status page.
As time passes by, your website’s needs are also going to change. At some point, your business may flourish and grow well. In that case, your website’s demand will increase and it’ll require more resources including memory, hard disk space, bandwidth, etc.
On the other hand, if your business isn’t performing well, then you might need to reduce the available resources.
Therefore, you should go for a flexible hosting provider capable of scaling your server either up or down, depending on your website’s needs.
12. Site Migration
If you already own a WordPress site and want to transfer your website to another hosting platform of your choice, then the process is known as site migration.
Migrating a whole WordPress website to a new host is a daunting task indeed. If your important files and data are lost while transferring, then it may bring chaos to your website.
Therefore, if you’re confused about how to choose the best WordPress hosting, ensure that you choose the web host offering a hassle-free migration of your website.
One such example is Cloudways hosting service. It helps you migrate your site without any difficulty. Moreover, your first site migration is absolutely free with Cloudways. Similarly, A2 Hosting also provides a free and easy site migration.
13. Staging Option
To put it simply, a WordPress staging site is a test site where you can test and try the necessary changes that you want to implement on your site before it goes live.
Occasionally, when you install new themes and plugins or update them, you might face some unexpected technical errors on your site. These unexpected errors can hamper your site in many ways or even lead to data loss.
So, creating a staging site can help you prevent the breaking of your live site. Also, you can experiment with several configurations and push them to your live site without fuss. Thus, we recommend choosing the hosting platforms offering staging sites.
Some of the popular hostings with staging environments are GoDaddy, Bluehost, InMotion, WP Engine, etc.
14. Hosting Plans and Pricing
Hosting plans and pricing options are also important considerations to make before you sign-up. After all, you should know what type of pricing works best with your budget.
It may be tempting to try a free web hosting service, but those often come with hidden costs that include:
- Limited bandwidth and storage
- Poor security
- Limited functionality
- Extra cost for advanced features
- Slow speeds and lots of downtime
So, why get substandard service for free when you can get unlimited bandwidth, speed, security, and a host of other features for as little as $2.95 per month?
However, the price can greatly vary depending on the time duration of the contract you want to be locked into. The longer the time you’re willing to commit, the cheaper the pricing.
There are different types of hosting contracts available from hosting providers, i.e., monthly, yearly, three-yearly, and so on.
Most web hosting offers some kind of free trial and a money-back guarantee nowadays. So, you can leverage the benefits of a free trial and sign-up for the suitable hosting plan offering the best value.
15. Customer Reviews and Ratings
Ratings and customer reviews can also help you analyze whether the particular WordPress hosting is right for you. Because reviews from other users can give you a rough idea of the quality of the service that the web hosting provides. Thus, it helps you make a better choice.
Several hosting websites have their product reviews displayed on their respective pages. For example, here’s a SiteGround review page.
However, if you doubt the review on their official pages, then you can also check from review platforms.
One such trustworthy and reliable review platform to view hosting reviews and ratings is Trustpilot. From here, you can get honest reviews and ratings of the hosting companies from several users.
For instance, here’s a Trustpilot review for the Hostinger.
16. Customer Support
Yet another important criterion that you must consider while choosing the best WordPress hosting for your site is customer support.
Unfortunately, if something goes wrong with your site, you need help from experts to solve it quickly. It’s because you cannot afford to leave your site down for a long time as it’s bad for your site’s reputation and traffic.
Hence, it’s essential to know the different sources available for communication and the average response time from the hosting provider.
Generally, hosting companies provide support via live chat, email, tickets, and direct phone calls. And they boast to provide assistance 24/7. However, the best support is defined as the one provided instantaneously.
So, before you sign-up for WordPress hosting, make sure it provides reliable, friendly, and fast customer service as well.
Thus, these are the key criteria that you should consider for choosing the best WordPress hosting for your site.
Some of the Best Hosting Services to Host a WordPress Website
Now that you know how to choose the best WordPress hosting. Let’s look at some of the top recommendations for WordPress hosting:
SiteGround is one of the most powerful and ultrafast WordPress hosting solutions trusted by over two million domains worldwide. Moreover, this WordPress hosting provider is officially recommended by WordPress.org itself.
Major Feature Highlights of SiteGround:
- Unmetered traffic
- Daily backups
- Free SSL certificate and WordPress migrator
- Managed security and updates
- Awesome customer support
Cost: Starts from $3.99/month for StartUp Plan
If you want managed WordPress hosting for your site, Kinsta is one of the best options you can get. This web hosting comes with top-notch hosting features tailored for a high-performing website. It’s scalable, blazing fast, and easy to use with a built-in MyKinsta dashboard.
Major Features Highlights of Kinsta:
- Free unlimited site migration from any host
- 35 data centers
- Firewall and DDoS protection
- Multilingual customer support
- Based on the latest server technology (PHP 8.1, MariaDB, etc.)
Cost: Starts from $35/month for Starter Plan
DreamHost is another reliable WordPress hosting provider that guarantees an uptime of 100%. It means your site will be highly available to your users. Furthermore, it offers unlimited bandwidth and storage, a free SSL certificate, automated backups, and many more.
Major Feature Highlights of DreamHost:
- WordPress pre-installed for you
- Uses fast Solid State Storage
- Easy-to-use control panel
- Optimized web servers
- Live chat support and phone support callbacks
Cost: Starts from $2.59/month for WordPress Basic Plan
Bluehost is a popular WordPress hosting solution that is tailored to your success. All Bluehost plans include automatic WordPress installations, secure setup of login credentials, automatic WordPress updates, and more.
Major Feature Highlights of Bluehost:
- Standard performance
- Free Domain and SSL certificate for a year
- Integrated with amazing WordPress themes and plugins
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 24/7 customer support
Cost: Starts from $2.95/month for a Basic Plan
5. WP Engine
WP Engine is a fully managed WordPress hosting solution with maximum speed and performance. Further, the availability of powerful hosting features like daily backup, automatic updates, one-click staging, and more makes your site management effortless.
Major Feature Highlights of WP Engine:
- 99.99% uptime guarantee
- Threat blocking and security
- Highly scalable
- Customizable themes and workflow tools
- 60-day money-back guarantee
Cost: Starts from $20/month for StartUp Plan
For a detailed comparison of the best WordPress hostings, check our article here.
Summing It Up!
This is pretty much it for our article on how to choose the best WordPress hosting.
Hopefully, now you’ll be able to choose the suitable hosting for your site after reading the key criteria mentioned above.
Before choosing any service, find one that fits your needs and your budget. Also, make sure to carefully read the agreement and terms of service before signing any contract.
After choosing a WordPress hosting, you might want to know how to log in to your WordPress site. Besides, you can also check our blog page for more articles on how to choose a WordPress theme and plugins.
Lastly, you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest WordPress articles and news.