In this post, you will learn how to do correct research to help you find the best web hosting service provider for your WordPress website or blog.
One of the challenges that come with starting a self-hosted WordPress website or a blog is finding a reliable web host provider for the job.
These days, there are so many hosting companies out there to choose from.
Where do you even start?
Well, I’m sure you’ve probably noticed that almost every other blogger out there is promoting their favorite web hosting company as the best in the business.
Well, I’m not going to tell you who you should use or whether I think the hosting company I’m currently using myself is the best.
Reason being is that what works for me, might not necessarily work for you.
Instead, what I am going to give you is a list of questions to ask yourself when finding the best web hosting service provider to power your WordPress website or blog.
Learning from choosing the wrong hosting company in the past
When I started my blogging journey way back in 2010, I honestly thought I was choosing the right web hosting provider for the job at the time.
For the most part, I guess I was choosing the right one.
What I’m trying to tell you is that I didn’t do much research at all, in fact, I jumped straight into what was recommended over on the WordPress.org website hosting info page.
I chose Bluehost like many people.
I was a complete newbie, remember, and I had very little technical knowledge about hosting services and everything else.
For a while, I experienced nothing but good enough service and great customer care with Bluehost.
But a few years later, the quality of that service began to deteriorate slowly, and after wasting way too much time and money trying to make Bluehost work for me, I was eventually forced to leave them for SiteGround in 2014.
I spent 4 years building websites and hosting them with Bluehost, both on shared plans and on VPS so I would say I’ve had adequate experience using their service.
Moral of this story is that I should have done my research first.
7 questions to ask before finding the best web host for your WordPress website
OK, so to help you decide whether you should use a particular hosting company or not for your next project, or it might be your first ever project, here are some questions to ask yourself about the company you want to use.
#1. What is their uptime percentage?
If you’re a beginner and have no idea what uptime is in the world of web hosting, I can tell you that it’s probably one of the most important criteria to look for when finding a reliable web host.
Uptime score or percentage is how reliable the host’s servers are at staying up, without crashing or going down over a period of time. They call this ‘downtime’.
Downtime means your site is offline for whatever reasons.
Most of the time it can be due to technical faults, sometimes it can be due to a compromise in security, or something else entirely.
Almost every host provider will have written somewhere on their website that their uptime is high and extremely reliable.
Do you just take their word for it?
You can do and experience it for yourself, or, you can look at the real statistics that are available today.
Websites like hostingstep and hostingfacts can provide you with all the reliable information you need on a host’s uptime percentage because they have already done the tests and research.
#2. What is their load time score?
Average server load times for hosted services on a web host is also an important factor to consider.
Nothing will hurt your rankings, conversions, and sales more than people coming to your site only for it to take too long to load.
#3. What is the cost of their shared hosting plans?
When it comes to finding a decent web host provider to host your WordPress website, the cost is also a factor to consider.
However, if you’re simply looking for the cheapest option available, let me tell you sometimes that’s not always the best option.
At the end of the day, if you opt-in for the cheapest hosting service available, expect to get what you pay for. Or I should say don’t pay for.
Personally, I consider paying between $8 to $14 per month for a reliable, robust shared hosting plan to be a better option than paying $2 to $5 for hosting.
When choosing a web host, look carefully at what you actually get for your money.
For example, paying around $10 per month for a GrowBig shared hosting plan with SiteGround gets you –
- 20GB of web space
- Space for more than one website hosted
- Domain name
- Free site transfer
- Free email accounts
- Unmetered traffic
- Free SSL/HTTP2
- Free CDN
- Free daily backup
- 24/7 Support and more…
I’m using SiteGround merely as an example here, just to show you what you can get for your money.
There are, of course, other hosting companies that will offer similar options and features for roughly the same monthly premium.
#4. Do you get a FREE domain name when you sign up?
These days, most popular web host plans provide a free domain name registration with new sign-ups.
Again, if you’re just starting out and unsure what this means, basically when you sign up for a new hosting account with whoever you choose, you may get a free domain name, (web address for your website).
Check to make sure that is the case for the hosting company you want to use.
#5. What is the quality of the customer support?
Here’s a tip:
You should never sign up to a hosting account without knowing how good the customer support is first.
The things you need to look for in a web host, as far as customer care goes are –
- Types of communication methods provided, i.e. email, live chat, support ticket, phone, etc.
- Response time when submitting a ticket or email.
- Customer support feedback.
I would recommend contacting a web host provider first to see how long they respond to your initial inquiry.
Check out this post for the response time for some of the best web host providers in the business.
#6. What are other people saying about the hosting company?
One of the best ways to get reassurance about whether or not to use a hosting company is by reading what other people have said about them.
Testimonials provide valuable feedback, as well as information about specific areas of a hosting company’s services, such as customer care, uptime, security, etc.
SiteGround, for example, has dedicated a full page displaying all of their customer feedback and testimonials. Check it out here.
#7. How do the stats and data measure up?
Finally, after you’ve done all your research and have found answers to most of the questions above, the next thing you can do is find what relevant data and stats there are available about a web hosting company’s performance and security.
Once again, websites like hostingsteps and hosting-facts are great places you can start to get all the stats you need about a web host provider before you commit.
Finding a secure and reliable web host provider for your WordPress website project does not have to be a daunting or painful task.
As long as you know what you need from your hosting company and hosting plan and what to look for, hopefully, the seven questions above will be a great starting point for you.
I want to stress that it’s important you do your research first, it will save you time, money, and any hassle in the future.
I hope this post has been useful to you.
If you’d like to ask me a question about web hosting generally, or the hosting company that I’m currently using, please feel free to contact me here.