When it comes to hosting your WordPress website, the website manager (or owner) needs to look beyond the initial sticker price because it could end up costing more in the long run. Fortunately, there are some great website hosts specializing in the unique hosting needs of a WordPress website, and we’re here to help you make sure you have the information you need when choosing the right web hosting for your site. Unless you’re building your website for the first time, it’s probably safe to assume you already have a site hosted somewhere, but are you sure you have the best solution in place? The options can sometimes seem daunting. Where do you start? What should you be looking for? How do you know you’re getting the best value?
Here are six (6) basic tips to help you when choosing the right web hosting solution before the Black Friday specials start flying!
(1) Load Time –
Website page speeds & load times are huge factors in consumer drop-off rates and are a prime signal for search engine rankings on the result pages. If you’re site is slow to load you run the risk of losing ground on your search results ranking; at the very least you’ll discourage website traffic to your site as consumers jump off. You’ve lost the attention of a consumer after the few seconds. Think about the last time you tried opening up a website and it just sat there and spun…and it kept spinning over a time frame that felt like forever… were you frustrated? Did you feel confident in the site? Did you worry about the security of the site? Now imagine a consumer feeling those same conflicting feelings about your website?
(2) Security –
It seems like it’s in the news every other month… another major business has it’s website hacked, and sensitive information has been compromised. Website security a growing concern of most business owners today; especially for those who have data structured sites like WordPress or Joomla, but not for the reasons you might think. Any website is susceptible to compromises, however, open source sites such as WordPress or Joomla sites are more at risk mainly because of the lack of routine maintenance and management. When you have an undefined number of ways to code a site, dozens of different frameworks, hundreds of themes, and thousands of plugins keeping these platforms and all of those integrated moving parts updated is imperative to keep sites more secure and reducing the potential of malware injections or a hack. Advanced security solutions may be something you should invest in if you’re running an e-commerce website or a membership type of site with a lot of personal and private data, but even the smallest and simplest of sites should have simple malware scanning and SSL (secure socket layers) technology available to you for little to no cost. Malicious traffic effects the smallest of sites and so having a hosting company who can support your efforts in maintaining the security of your site is paramount. Basic security for your website should not be an optional add-on you need to select to enable from your host… it should just be included, and including even a basic security support solution should be one of the top factors you weigh when choosing the right web hosting solution for your website.
(3) Backups –
How important is it to backup your website frequently? Very! Imagine you update your website’s theme or plugins and all of sudden the site design breaks. Or, let’s say someone (unscrupulous) injects malware to your site files and now you’re site is pushing out spam or redirecting visitors to another website. What do you do? Well, if you had a current backup of your website you could rollback to that earlier version before the break or malware occurred then take additional and appropriate steps to secure the site. OH! But wait! Your last backup happened over a month ago (or more) and you’ve created a number of pieces of content since then and have made numerous modifications since then, or maybe you’ve been collecting a month’s worth of comments, membership sign ups,or product orders. So, now what happens if you have to rollback your site? You could be facing large amounts of data loss. This is even worse if you hadn’t run ANY backups since the site was launched because you assumed your host was doing it, but they didn’t provide this a standard service. That type of data loss could kill a business.
(4) Controls –
Some website owners are more hands-on than others. Some businesses have staff on-hand who are familiar with web hosting file structures. And, then there are those who are completely hands-off. No matter where you fall, understanding what you have access to control with your server-side files is important to know at the start of the relationship to ensure you avoid any possible stress due to unrealized expectations. Ask questions up front regarding the type of servers used, are there limitations on file uploads, limitations on plugins used, or how hosting accounts are setup on that server — do you have cPanel access? The more you know going into a hosting contract, the better prepared you are when working with your web designers, when you need to move or reorganize files, want to change user profiles or incorporate special plugins or forms to your site.
(5) Support –
Having strong support from your website host is vital to a strong, healthy website. Whether you need help migrating your site from another host, need someone who can quickly answer questions that come, or assurance someone is available at all hours in case challenges with the site pop up are more than just “convenience” factors, they’re must haves in service and support to ensure your piece of mind and your website visitor’s confidence in your brand. You could certainly take on a less expensive alternative to your hosting needs, but don’t count on superior support for those ‘do it yourself’ priced hosts. Realistically, how can they afford to pay for good support if you’re only pennies on the dollar to host your mass files? Could you afford to provide 24/7 support and hire expert support people for your business if you were undercutting your values? Probably not. So, why do we expect our hosts to do the same?
(6) Reputation –
With so many options in the marketplace sometimes it’s hard to weigh values when comparing the nuances of all the individual benefits offered. One of the most basic things you could do is to look to industry leaders for their opinions and insights along with current customer reviews. Choosing the right web hosting can be as simple as that.
As you may have guessed by some of our references in this article, Back2Basics is a current fan of SiteGround website hosting solutions for WordPress website owners because of their security solutions, optimization and speed enhancements, the amount of control they provide over the hosting account, and their stellar support. But, it’s not just our word, they’re also one of the industry’s go-to with recommendations directly from the WordPress.org community. We have a short list of other hosting recommendations you’ll find here, but we find for most everyday business website needs, SiteGround gets it done and done right.
NOW! SiteGround is offering spectacular #BlackFriday deals for the holidays with up to 70% off select monthly hosting packages.
So! If you have been contemplating a new website launch or moving your website from your current hosting solution, you should take another look at SiteGround for their 24-hour #HolidaySale happening all day Friday, the 24th of November.
Great service and now great introductory deals for the year!
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