What’s the Best WordPress Hosting Service? It Depends.
If you’re looking for a quick and cheap WordPress Hosting Service—this post isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a full-scale hosting solution that helps you sleep at night while your website stays online, secure, and reliable, you’ve come to the right place.
Many of our clients need to stick to a budget when investing in their marketing, specifically for their website. We get that. Although, it’s important to consider the impact a bad hosting service could have on your website and overall business. If you value all of the hard work that you and your team have put into your business, it’s easy to consider expanding the budget a little to get the best hosting service for your WordPress site.
Food for Thought When Choosing the Best WordPress Hosting Service
We know that airlines tend to overbook flights to ensure 100% capacity and save on costs. They do compensate you if you’re held back from being on the flight, because, let’s face it, an aircraft has a specific capacity and it wouldn’t be safe otherwise to overbook.
So, would you trust an airline that does each route with 150% capacity overload, or even 200%?
Then, why would you trust your business website on a server (aka the aircraft) with sometimes even more ‘passengers’ in terms of percentage over capacity? This is a catastrophic incident waiting to happen, where the face of your business crashes and burns.
Luckily, you can prevent this from ever happening.
Here are a few things to consider when comparing hosts and deciding who’s the best for your WordPress site.
Reliability & Uptime
On average, one month includes 43,200 minutes within it. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, there are big differences in minutes of downtime compared between three popular hosting services.
- At 99% your site downtime can be up to 432 minutes (more than 7 hours) per month before you can claim an uptime guarantee.
- At 99.9% your site downtime can be up to 44 minutes.
- At 99.99% your site downtime becomes just under 5 minutes per month. (WP Engine)
The percentages mentioned above are examples of what hosting providers stipulate as uptime guarantees as part of their Service Level Agreements ( SLA) but they’re only one variable of the reliability issue. Other important variables that might affect your site’s uptime could include:
- The quality of the network that your website is being served from ( see also “Server Locations” )
- The quality of hardware that comprises the servers that serve your website. A server with poor/old hardware configuration can be a source of various issues, from slowdowns to an influx of downtime. On another note, if you’re an environmentally conscious person or promote green practices in your business—your website’s server setup may not only burn electricity but may also contribute heavily to the toxicity of the environment.
- And, lastly, the tenant density on the server, specifically on low-cost hosting providers where the tenants share all the server resources without much isolation between them.
Premium Web Hosting providers often invest a lot to ensure all the above are of the highest standard in order to always meet the uptime guarantees they offer.
SEO Friendly & Performance
39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load. If your images don’t load quickly, your visitors will leave.
In other words—you’ll want to choose a host that has the highest uptime guarantee, the closest server locations, and options like automatic (daily) backups, free SSL, hosting plan options, and responsive support. This also considers how fast your website will load. The faster the better.
While ‘uptime’ refers to your site content being accessible to users, your server location can dictate how quickly the content is accessible to them.
Actually, server location can also look quite fishy to search engines, which could affect your SEO. If you operate in one country, for example, but use a host located in another part of the world, it can look questionable and actually be unsafe in some situations.
Goes without saying…servers themselves should also be fast, and that the host should further boost performance through a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Support & Customer Service
In the event that your site does go down, you will want to be able to fix it immediately. Oftentimes, that will involve speaking to a support person. (With a Smack Happy Care Plan, we take care of this for you.) WP Engine, for example, offers full support on Twitter which can get you a quick response without ever having to sign into anything or wait during peak live chat hours.
Also, while you’re considering your WordPress hosting service and reading through reviews, pay special attention to how people talk about their support. If everyone complains about them, consider this heavily.
Features & Additional Options
We all like options. You should enjoy them with your chosen hosting service, too.
Beyond hosting itself, many hosting companies offer optional value-adds that can upgrade your site.
For example, WP Engine offers things like:
- SSL Certificates (required nowadays!)
- CDN – According to Cloudflare, “A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.”
- 24/7 (helpful and polite) Support
- It is WordPress friendly! (This one’s not exactly related to hosting, but it’s important nonetheless. Being able to easily create outstanding content is key for success.)
- Scalability. It’s a good thing when your business takes off and sees exponential growth in website visitors. Sometimes this means you’ll need an alternative setup to satisfy the recent growth and resource demands required so your website will still continue to perform optimally and scale without issues.
There are about a billion more reasons we’d recommend WP Engine as your WordPress hosting service, but this article really isn’t about the host we recommend. It’s about how much you truly value your business and what it means to have a ‘good host’ for your website.