Shared Hosting Is in a Race to the Bottom
As more of our clients migrate to WordPress websites, questions about hosting often arise. Which is the best WordPress hosting company? Which website host provider do you recommend to host my WordPress website and why?
Over the years, our experience with various clients has afforded us opportunities to observe and interact with many web hosting companies. For small-business web hosting and WordPress hosting in particular, one host provider impressed us for several years. Sadly, we are no longer able to endorse this hosting company. Their service has declined. They are stuffing too many accounts on each server. And calls to customer service that previously were answered immediately now average a 30-minute wait.
Affordable Hosting for WordPress Websites
If you own a small business, affordable web hosting may be higher on your list of priorities than it is for larger businesses. When we published this page, the host we recommended until recently was charging only $3.95 per month. If saving a few dollars a month is your primary focus, some firms offer hosting for even less.
Remember the adage, “You get what you pay for”? That’s not always true, but we are finding it the case with shared hosting providers.
Should you care about this? Absolutely. If your website is down all weekend, what will that cost your business?
Fast Page Loads
Hosting speed is important. Here are two reasons.
- Google favors fast loading websites at the expense of sluggish sites
- Your visitors care. Slow page loads frustrate visitors. Some folks won’t wait!
24/7 Customer Service
If your website crashes after business hours or on a weekend, there’s one thing you’ll want: to get it running again immediately. Waiting until Monday morning to restore your blog or website is always frustrating. It can also be costly. Whichever host provider you choose, be sure they provide service at night, on weekends, and on holidays.
Well Trained Tech Support
Have you ever wasted an hour or more waiting for a poorly trained tech support representative to figure out how to do something a well trained rep could do in five minutes? If you value your time, you’ll appreciate tech support reps who don’t waste it.
Tech-support reps can have a bad day, just like the rest of us. But, consider how friendly the support reps are. Nice people make the experience more pleasant and less frustrating when you do need to interact.
Is WordPress Hosting Their Specialty?
If you have a WordPress webmaster, your webmaster will thank you for choosing a host that specializes in hosting WordPress websites. Not all hosts do.
Tech support reps at most hosting companies will tell you they don’t support WordPress or third-party software of any type.
WordPress Installation is Quick and Easy
If you plan to create your blog or small business WordPress website by yourself, choose a host provider that keeps it simple. The best hosts will do this for you or tell you what buttons to select–there aren’t many buttons. Note, you or your webmaster will still need to configure the settings, but installing WordPress should be easy.
US Based Hosting and Support
If you choose an excellent web hosting company, the chances are your site or blog will not require tech support often. The servers (host computers) will rarely be down and things will just tend to work as you’d hope and expect. But, if you do need to speak to someone, you may find it comforting that the support is based in your home country. Tech support reps who share your native language will make communicating easier, which you are especially apt to appreciate when your website is down.
Hosting at WordPress.com
We would be remiss not to mention free hosting at WordPress.com. If you perform a search for advantages and disadvantages of hosting at WordPress.com, you will find articles explaining how to migrate an existing blog or website from WordPress.com to your own domain. (Hosting on your own domain is sometimes called “self-hosting.”) You are unlikely to find many articles explaining how to move your site in the other direction – from your own domain back to WordPress.com. Flexibility and branding are two reasons most businesses prefer to pay a few dollars a month to host their site on their own domain. A detailed examination of that topic is beyond the scope of this article.
If you plan to publish a personal blog or just experiment with WordPress, explore the free hosting service at WordPress.com. If this is a commercial venture (a business), we recommend hosting your website or blog on your own domain via a hosting provider with top quality support that is available 24/7.
Technical Web Hosting Features
We’ve written this recommendation for WordPress website owners (and prospective owners) who don’t work in the Web development industry. The Web hosting features discussed above are important to most small business owners. If you are about to create your first WordPress website or blog, these features will become important to you, especially if your host company doesn’t provide them.
If you are a Web designer or Web developer seeking a new hosting provider, you will appreciate additional features that are not discussed here. Visit the hosting company’s site to read the technical details.
Do We Host WordPress Websites?
Yes. Charlottesville SEO Web Development does provide hosting, but only for our webmaster-plan clients at this time… We can provide space on one of our dedicated servers or virtual private servers (VPS) to ensure our clients’ websites load quickly and reliably. If you are seeking premium web hosting for your business website and are not our client, call us.
WordPress Programming and Customization
We also specialize in customizing WordPress themes. Visit our WordPress web development section for more information about WordPress customization.