WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms. It’s easy to use and includes a wealth of plugin options. Users can select the free hosting on WordPress.com or self-host elsewhere. Why go the self-hosted route? It allows you to fully control your website install (including customizing backend files) and server resources. Once you’ve decided on this path, there are still decisions to be made on precisely what type of hosting works best for you. Below is an overview of these options and the pros and cons of each.
Option 1 – Simple WordPress Hosting
Simple WordPress hosting is offered by most major server companies such as Godaddy, HostGator, HostMonster, and Network Solutions. In a nutshell, you pay a very low monthly fee to have your website hosted on a shared server. Included in the monthly fee is only the server space. There is no WordPress specific support provided such as updates and troubleshooting errors. This is an ideal option for small businesses with a very simple website, low traffic count, and tech savvy staff.
Option 2 – Enhanced Hosting
Enhanced hosting gives you a little more control over your server environment. This option is also offered by all major hosting companies. You can select semi-dedicated (such as a virtual private server) or private server space. Pricing varies based on the amount of RAM, storage, and bandwidth selected. Again, the hosting company provides the space and some server level support but no direct support for your system. You may be granted access to the server via cPanel, Plesk, or some other application and be responsible for configuring and managing it yourself. This option is best for those who are tech savvy and have some server management knowledge.
Option 3 – Hosting & Support
For beginners, it’s best to select a hosting option that includes some level of support. For instance, WP Engine offers WordPress specific hosting and streamlined server management. You need not worry about any server configuration. WP Engine even performs WordPress core updates on your behalf and assists with some troubleshooting, depending on your hosting package. WordPress plugin updates and site configuration remain your responsibility.
Option 4 – Developer Hosting & Support
If you have no desire to manage a server and require assistance with theme/plugin updates or even website configuration and content edits, then hosting with a developer is the solution. Your developer selects the hosting company and manages everything on your behalf. This enables you to spend your time on other aspects of your business. Given your reliance on the developer, be sure to select one with a good customer service record.
More on WordPress Hosting Options
There are an abundance of hosting companies out there that provide the above services. Although we listed some as an example, it is important that you do your research before selecting one. Consider factors such as up-time and system reliability. Although we mentioned that you must have some level of server and website knowledge for options 1 thru 3, it’s still possible to use these options and hire a developer to work on the system. Option 4 is an easy, hands-off approach but there are many variations in between that could work as well. If you would like to discuss WordPress hosting options and which may be best for your particular business needs, feel free to contact us.