Website hosting companies are not all built the same, and while it’s tempting to just ‘add on’ a hosting package when you buy your domain name, DON’T.
You want to host your WordPress website with a company that specializes in WordPress website hosting, or at the very least has a specialized offering for WordPress websites.
Your WordPress website needs to live in a good, safe place. WordPress websites have unique security concerns, and hosting a WordPress website on a shared server that hosts other types of websites (static HTML, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, etc) is not the most secure environment.
You Wanna Go FAST
Similarly to needing specific attention regarding security, WordPress websites have unique considerations when it comes to speed. A server configured to work ‘the best it can’ for all types of sites will NOT work ‘the best it can’ for WordPress websites. It will be slower, more out of date, and have limitations that are arbitrary for WordPress websites.
Support is Everything
I have found firsthand that the quality and accessibility of a hosting company’s support is what makes or breaks the service and relationship. I remember two distinct situations where a client website had an unexpected issue regarding hosting limitations during launch, and I had to stay on hold for hours and then get transferred back and forth between multiple agents in another country (where the English language is a hobby) to get this ridiculous issue resolved. I can’t charge enough money to make that bullshit worth it.
And guess what? If you’re building your website yourself, or have been handed the reigns after a project is launched, YOU get to be the one on support with the dude in a third world country that repeats your question back to you and speaks in scripted responses until lose your temper, not me.
Hands down I recommend WPEngine hosting. They’re a WordPress ONLY hosting company, they’re located in Austin, Texas, have the most amazing 24/7 support staff I’ve ever encountered from ANY company in ANY industry. I had all our clients sign up with WPEngine directly until we had a large enough volume to get a dedicated server with them, and now we host most clients on that magical, shining, super fast, insanely secure, outrageously well supported piece of equipment.
Other Hosting Options
I hear good things about SiteGround and FlyWheel, but haven’t tried them.
I have some other developer friends who use BlueHost and some who use GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting plan. I haven’t had good experiences with either, but I’m just one person.
I’ve also personally tried MediaTemple, because they’re a big sponsor of an incredible web design conference I attend each year. I was let down there again with a simple functionality they couldn’t perform, but I also recognize not everyone will have that problem. Also, their services on paper are comparable to WPEngine’s at a lower cost.
Finally, I recently met the owners of KartHost at a conference we are both sponsoring (the Business Boutique — which on a tangent is amazing and should be attended by any woman wanting to start a business). They seem to have really good Managed WordPress hosting options as well, and good support. While I haven’t tried them, I am comfortable recommending them.
WPEngine isn’t cheap, but it’s seriously worth every penny. We pay a premium for their hosting and actually DISCOUNT it for our clients… that’s how much we believe in using them.
Their Personal Plan is $29/month which covers 1 website, and their Professional Plan is the next step up at $99/month.
WIN FREE HOSTING!
As if it couldn’t get any better… Today we’ve launched a giveaway where you can win an entire year of free hosting at WPEngine! Enter here!!
Your Own Experience?
If you have had a really good experience with a hosting company mentioned here or otherwise, please share it. I think the more input the better, and I’ll never get around to personally trying every hosting company. Also, I’m a ‘don’t fix it if it ain’t broke’ kinda gal, and since I found a company that I adore and have never had an issue with, I’m even less likely to branch out. I admit that, and therefore ask you to share your own experiences.
This article also appears on Medium: https://medium.com/@torre/where-to-host-your-wordpress-website-and-why-it-matters-so-much-8d007b35de55
P.S. If you want to build a WordPress website but aren’t sure where to start, get my free website creation checklist here: hookedoncode.com/website-creation-checklist