WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), and my go-to platform for almost any type of web project. Whatever you need your website to do, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to develop it using WordPress. So naturally it makes sense to invest a WordPress-optimised hosting company.
Importantly, what does a WordPress-optimised host offer? Which WordPress hosting company is the best for your business?
Why You Should Invest In A WordPress Host
1. It’s Easy to Set Up Your Site
WordPress hosts make setting up your site incredibly easy. There’s nothing you need to install manually. No FTP transfers, or messing with files the backend. You can install WordPress, and get to work, in just a few clicks.
2. There’s Tons of Useful Features Bundled In
Once WordPress is installed you can enjoy a variety of site-friendly hosting features including data backups, page caching, and automatic CMS updates. Many WordPress hosts also provide staging tools — to test your WordPress site before going live.
3. It Offers Unrivalled Performance
WordPress runs more smoothly in a WordPress environment than in a traditional hosting environment.
The platform has “application specific” nuances that affect all hosting providers. Specialist hosts are equipped to handle these nuances and optimise caching, security, and support to accommodate WordPress users.
WordPress hosts deliver the best quality of service, so you can focus on creating content — as opposed to maintaining your site.
WordPress Hosts vary enormously in terms of power, though.
Through the remainder of this post I’m going to focus on two options:
- Shared Hosting for starting out (low traffic)
- Managed Hosting for established businesses (high traffic)
Bluehost — Shared WordPress Hosting For Starting Out
If you’re staring out and your site doesn’t see more than 1,000 hits a month, it’s most cost-effective to use a Shared Hosting solution. I highly recommend Bluehost.
Bluehost is used by both newbies and experienced developers. It’s reliable, fully optimised for WordPress — and offers notoriously great value for money.
Note: by recommending Bluehost to my site visitors, I’ll receive commission for any signups made through my tracking links (featured above and throughout this post).
What Hosting Package Should I Go For?
As a beginner, you should go for one of the ‘shared hosting’ options above.
The Bluehost “basic” package is sufficient for new sites. After all, you’ll have zero traffic to start with. But because it’s so cheap to upgrade, you may as well go for the better, “recommended” $5.95 /month option. It prepares your site for scaling up in the future.
The longer you sign up for, the more money you save per month. You’ll need to give your site a chance to build up an audience — so committing for a year or more make sense. Note that Google favours established sites over brand new ones (read more on SEO).
Domain privacy protection is just $0.99 per month extra and it keeps your contact information safe. This is a good thing to have — but not everyone is concerned about hiding their details. If you’re planning to run a blog, then you name might be on the site anyway.
Note that all Bluehost shared hosting price plans come with a free domain.
- Click here to visit the Bluehost main page, then click the big green button labelled, “get started now”.
- From here you can sign up to Bluehost hosting and claim the free domain for a reduced price — if you sign up to 12 months.
It’s an excellent deal. I took advantage of a very similar offer myself.
WP Engine — Managed WordPress Hosting For Businesses
Once your traffic grows to over 1,000 daily hits, or page load times impact revenue, an upgrade is in order. I recommend going straight for a fully Managed Hosting solution. My personal favourite is WP Engine.
WP Engine offers managed hosting packages catering to small, growing businesses. You can scale up to almost any size using their services.
Aside from its lightning speed, what I like most about WP Engine is the ongoing 24/7 customer service. Their trained experts know WordPress inside and out. This means they’re able to help you seamlessly migrate your site, and can recommend plugins, solve bugs, identify performance roadblocks, and remove security vulnerabilities.
What Hosting Package Should I Go For?
Whatever your venture, WP Engine accommodates growth and expansion.
WP Engine’s ‘Startup’ plan suits most personal projects. $35 /month is a fantastic price for the quality of service provided. I’m currently hosting this site on that plan, as well as several others. It always makes for the perfect upgrade from Bluehost. The only thing to look out for are the data limits — which are high for the price you pay.
Note that all plans include free SSL certificates (often £50+), which are required for running e-commerce stores. Just ask Live Chat to install them for you. And if that’s not enough security, you still have the option to upgrade to a dedicated IP and SSL certificate.
Going the managed WordPress route with WP Engine may also save you the cost of hiring a system administrator. At a relatively low cost, the service eliminates the ‘hands-on’ approach to web hosting. It grants entrepreneurs and small businesses owners the time to focus on business-critical objectives — rather than constantly managing their site.
- Click here to visit the WP Engine main page, then click the orange button labelled, “get started”.
- Scroll down. From here you can sign up to WP Engine hosting and claim 2 months free service with an annual subscription.
- With the help of WP Engine’s staff, migration from your existing host (e.g. Bluehost) is quick and easy. It usually takes a matter of minutes.
WordPress Hosting — Quick Summary
- WordPress is the go-to CMS for millions of site creators. Should you decide to use it, then specialist WordPress hosting is highly recommended.
- It’s economical to start out using a shared host, with a view to upgrade to a managed host once your traffic starts to grow.
- Starting out with Bluehost, then migrating to WP Engine is the approach I take. This enables you to scale up according to your requirements, at a low cost.
- Managed Hosting offers the best level of service, with no real trade-offs in features. Security, scale, support, and tools are all readily available to accommodate your growing business.
Hopefully this review helps point you in the right direction. It’s what works well for me!
If you like the sound of WordPress but want to be sure that it offers the functionality you need, check out my recommended plugins page.