A web hosting company is like a house that stores your website’s files and programs. Ideally, you want a safe operator that not only stores your data securely but one that can also help your site rank high on search engines.
Against that backdrop, choosing a web hosting plan is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a website owner. You could pick a free option, a shared package or pay extra for a dedicated plan.
But how do you know which plan is best for your website? That’s why we are here. So, let’s jump right in and help you choose the best WordPress hosting plan for you.
3 Types of Hosting
In this age of freeware, it’s possible to run a website free of charge. But is it worth it? On the other end, you could pay premium prices for web hosting tailored for your needs alone. Here’s what we mean:
- Free plan
Some companies are willing to help you host your WordPress site free of charge for some months or for life. The advantage is that you won’t pay anything. Unfortunately, there are no more pros.
For starters, you can’t be guaranteed of security when using a free plan. The hosting plan can’t give you optimal speeds or help you with SEO. In other words, choosing a free service in the web hosting business means substandard services.
- Shared Web Hosting
Over 80% of website owners fall into this category. They pay for their website to be hosted alongside other blogs. Essentially, if web hosting is a house, a shared plan means sharing an apartment.
Obviously, the biggest advantage of sharing an apartment is that you split costs. The same goes for web hosting. You won’t pay as much as you would for dedicated hosting. However, the quality of services you get varies by company. We’ll talk more on that later.
- Dedicated Hosting
Why share an apartment when you can afford it? You’ll get plenty of space, more privacy and the pride of having an entire house. In many ways, these are the same reasons people choose to pay for dedicated hosting.
Let’s say you are a banking app. You want the highest level of security, and sharing a plan can compromise security. What do you do? You pay more for dedicated hosting. Besides security, you get more webspace and faster speeds now that you don’t share servers.
5 Factors to Consider
Knowing you can share servers or pay for dedicated WordPress hosting is great, but what’s truly important is to choose the right company. We can’t emphasize that enough. Your choice can determine your website speed, security or your webspace.
Web hosting companies charge differently primarily because they include extra features to their plans. To illustrate, below is a list of the most common features offered by hosting providers:
- Free SSL
- 24/7 Support
- Free Cloud flare CDN
- Free domain name hosting
- Free Email accounts
Besides these features, a company could charge more to also offer you a money-back guarantee, on-demand backup and priority support. Predictably, companies differ on what features they provide.
Therefore, one would be wise to check out all of the free features as well as the overall yearly cost when looking for the best WordPress hosting plan.
My personal favorite is Interserver due to its performance and features set. Here you’ll find a detailed review of its features, pricing plans and why it offers the best value for your money.
Most companies include security in their list of important features. Some greedy operators will sell you website safety packages as an extra suite. But the best companies provide security tools as an essential service.
An SSL certificate is the most essential security feature because it guarantees your customers your website is safe. Then they need to have secure servers to protect your company’s data.
Some companies might also offer you free backups and anti-malware protection as part of their plans. When selecting a plan, ensure you partner with a company that gives you everything that needs to safeguard your website.
53% of Internet users leave if a website takes more than three seconds to load. If you are targeting mobile users, you need an even faster website. 90% of mobile Internet users bounce if a site takes longer to load.
Your web hosting company plays a significant role when it comes to loading speeds. As such, speed is up high there with security on crucial factors to consider when buying a hosting plan.
How do you know a company offers excellent speed? Check if they’ve revealed their average loading speeds. If they haven’t, a quick Internet search can give you the results. Caching tools also help improve loading speed since they eliminate unused cache.
Another speed tool is Cloud Flare CDN. The tool improves your site’s speed by directing a visitor to the server closest to their location.
Web Space and Bandwidth
Almost every web hosting company lists its web space and bandwidth limits for all their plans. But how do these two differ?
- Web Space—this is the space you can use to store your files, scripts and emails on a web hosting company’s servers. It varies from 5GB to unlimited space.
- Bandwidth—it’s the amount of data transferred within your website. Again, the best companies offer unlimited bandwidth.
How reliable is a company? Can you trust it to keep your website online 99.99% of the time? Can you rely on their customer support? These are genuine questions you should ask before you commit to a specific hosting company.
You need a company whose performance is not only guaranteed but has also passed the test of time. That way, you won’t have regrets once you commit to an annual bi-yearly or three-year plan.
Customer support is particularly essential. You might need assistance in the setup process or along the way. Ensure you work with a company that will come to your rescue when you need them.