You should know that there are several different types of hosting.
Let’s go through some them…
This is one of the most common and usually the cheapest hosting package.
For any newbie blogger, this is usually the way to go. It costs around $3- $15/month depending on which company you are with, and a shared hosting package will be sufficient for 99% of new bloggers.
In a shared hosting environment, your website will be hosted along with many (10-200) other websites. This means that all these websites will have the same I.P. address, and all of them will be sharing the same resources of the same server.
Shared servers are the most practical hosting choice for a new blogger or a new website which doesn’t need a high amount of resources.
If you are starting with a new WordPress site, shared hosting is the best place to start.
VPS Hosting: Virtual Private Server
VPS is similar to shared hosting, because with a VPS, your website will still be hosted with many other websites. However, with VPS hosting, your website will not be sharing resources.
Virtual private servers bridge the gap between dedicated servers (read below) and shared hosting servers. Despite sharing the same server with other websites, your website will have a dedicated I.P. address, dedicated computing resources, and any faulty website on the shared server will not affect your website.
One of the most common myths about VPS is that they are always better than shared hosting.
But that’s not always true.
With dedicated hosting, you will be the only one hosting your website on that server.
Dedicated servers are costly and are only recommended for very high-traffic websites.
There are managed and unmanaged dedicated servers, and depending upon your technical skills, you can pick either of them. You will require a dedicated server after your website starts getting millions of hits.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress Hosting is a latecomer in the hosting type, but now it is one of the most popular hosting packages for WordPress blogs.
These are companies that configure and optimize their servers for hosting WordPress blogs.
This type of web hosting is recommended for those who are running a business WordPress site or are getting into the world of professional blogging.
Managed WordPress Hosting takes care of every inch of server optimization for hosting a WordPress blog/website. Their technical team is trained to manage WordPress servers, and they know the in’s and out’s of WordPress blogs.
This kind of hosting costs more than shared hosting (and sometimes VPS hosting), but they are a complete value for the money.
For the past 2 years, I’ve been using Managed WordPress Hosting and it’s great. I never have to worry about web hosting downtime, or getting hacked, or some other issue that usually happens on cheap hosting.
To sum up, the best part about Managed WordPress Hosting is that you don’t have to worry about your WordPress blog’s performance, security, or any technical glitches.
If you are not on a tight budget, I would suggest you opt for Managed WordPress Hosting.
Features Of A Good Hosting Platform For WordPress
So far you have learned the basics of WordPress hosting, and before you purchase your first hosting plan, here are the list of features that you should look for.
Now, don’t get overwhelmed. In the next section I will list out some of the best hosting options for you to go with.
The point here is to make sure you understand what you’re getting with each host.
You need to ensure that your web host is compatible with WordPress.
WordPress uses PHP and MySQL, and as such, your server should be running the latest version of PHP and MySQL.
Always prefer Linux hosting or web hosting which is designed specifically for WordPress.
For running a WordPress blog, a server should have a minimum of:
- PHP version 7.0x or greater.
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater.
- OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater.
Note: All the hosting companies I will recommend meet these standards.
A web host with excellent uptime is essential. There are many web hosting companies that offer you hosting space for free, but they can’t guarantee good uptime. This is one reason why you should avoid free hosting companies and only buy from reliable web hosts.
If your website is down, you not only lose the traffic, but this will affect your search engine rankings. Cheap web hosts have serious issues with uptime, and you can’t do much when your site goes down. Emailing or calling customer service will leave you with the response of “We are looking into it”.
Always go for a host that offers maximum uptime. It’s technically impossible to achieve 100% uptime, but anything above 99% is what you should look for.
Bandwidth & Storage
The higher the bandwidth and storage, the better is it for your website. There are many great hosting companies that offer unlimited bandwidth and storage. Go with them.
SSD (Solid State Drive)
On your computer, your data is stored on your hard drive. Similarly, on a web server, your files are stored on a drive.
There are two common types of storage drives:
- HDD (Hard disk drive)
- SSD (Solid-state drive)
The latest technology is SSD which gives a huge performance gain over HDD. I don’t want to fill you up with technical details, but you need to know that SSD performs way faster than HDD. This improves the overall performance of your site.
In the below chart, you can see SSD (in green) opens an application way faster than HDD (in red):
When you are shopping for web hosting, ensure your hosting offers SSD.
Sometimes you will need technical help from your hosting company.
They should at least offer support by telephone or live chat. Moreover, ensure the support is given in real time and you don’t have to wait for hours in queue to be taken care of.
Most high quality hosting companies are based out of the USA, so if you ever need to call them, use Google Voice and you can call them for free.
There are more features that matter, however, these are most of the key features that you need to look out for when picking a hosting package for your new or existing WordPress site.
What Is Who.is Guard (Domain Privacy)?
While we’re on the topic of defining things you may see when searching for hosting, something else that you will encounter when buying a domain is Who.is guard.
It’s essential for you to understand what this is and if/when you should use it.
Whenever you buy a domain name, you will encounter an option for “domain privacy” or “Who.is guard”. It’s important for you to know about this, as you might end up paying for something extra that you don’t need.
Essentially, a Who.is guard hides your domain contact information from the public.
By default, when you buy a domain name, anyone can see your contact details (name, address, phone number, etc.) by using a free domain lookup service (such as Who.is).
When you buy domain privacy (a.k.a. Who.is guard), no one can look up your domain contact info. This is pretty useful when you don’t want your details to be revealed to the public and want to stay anonymous. If you’re a big company, or a high profile company, or you’re running an illegal/porn website (yeah people do that), or you just don’t want all of your contact details freely available on the internet, you should get a Who.is guard.
All this does is replace your contact details with “privacy” contact details.
Here’s an example without Who.is guard:
Registrant: John Doe
Address: 12345 New York Avenue – Apartment 3, New York, New York, 10019
Contact: +818 789 1297
Email: [email protected]
Here’s an example with Who.is guard:
Registrant: Domain Registrar, LLC
Address: PO Box 9200, New York, New York, 10019
Contact: +800 348 9456
Email: [email protected]
If a web host is offering a Who.is guard, they simply display their contact data on the public Who.is database- their email and their contact details. But when someone contacts this email address, it will still be forwarded to your registered email address. This guard is simply designed to hide your personal information.
The only time your data would be available to view is if the domain registrar receives a court order against you (as may happen in a trademark infringement case).
If you are someone who works from home and doesn’t have a registered office, I would suggest using a Who.is guard to hide your details. This prevents hackers & spammers from knowing your private details. If you have a registered office, you can use your business name & office address for your domain registration. This way, even if the information is public, it won’t affect your privacy.
Watch this video to learn more about Who.is guards:
Alright, so far you have learned a great deal of information.
- What is web hosting?
- What is a domain name?
- Important web hosting terms.
- Types of WordPress hosting.
- Features of a good web host for WordPress.
- What is a Who.is guard?
Let’s move on!