A successful website is dependent on many factors. One key component is web hosting, which is easy to overlook. It is more fascinating when you add WordPress to the equation. Other than cost, consider functionality, security, your expansions plans and even emotional factors when thinking of how to choose a WordPress hosting company.
Types of Hosting
Shared Hosting for WordPress is simple, quick to get your way around, and it is cheaper. Setting up your hosting account is as simple as visiting a hosting provider, choosing your domain name and getting on to building your site.
It is the equivalent of sharing a big kitchen with many housemates who you may never see. You have no control over the space. If one person has no regard for hygiene, the whole kitchen is affected, and you are all at risk of a bacterial infection. In a Shared Hosting account, you share an IP address with people you do not know. So if one user chooses to misbehave, you are at risk should relevant authorities decide to flag the IP address.
Just like the “community” kitchen where you share power, and cookware, you have no exclusive use of memory, hard drive space, bandwidth and the processor speed in shared hosting. The hosting company has to monitor who is using more of these resources than others and ensure everyone has a fair share.
Virtual Private Server or VPS Hosting accords you the privilege of having your private section and nobody has a right to step in there without your permission. You also have specific resources like one cup and one plate allocated to you. But you are still in the big kitchen with everybody else. If you are wondering what the difference is, you are justified. In a VPS arrangement, you still do not have a dedicated server to yourself, but you have a portion of the resources strictly allocated to you. For example, you can pay for five percent of the available RAM or hard drive space. You have a guarantee to a portion of the resources, and you know what you have at any particular time. For most VPS systems, you also have reseller accounts meaning you can do multiple hosting for your clients and charge as you wish.
There is nothing more liberating than owning the entire kitchen. You determine the users which are equivalent to the websites you will host, and you can kick them out when it isn’t working for either of you. To have a Dedicated Server arrangement, you can buy or lease the data machine. You can control speeds, run your scripts, manage activity and set the rules.
Depending on what your provider is offering, performance in Shared Hosting can be a challenge because you have no control over much, and what your co-tenants do affects you. In a VPS arrangement, you still are limited on what you can do in the bigger space, and if one user did something that burnt the kitchen, you are all in trouble.
To protect other users in both Shared and VPS Hosting, your provider will not allow you to run outside scripts. And many commands are blocked. As you grow in your career, you might need root level access to be able to install software, restore from backups, and do your upgrades. You also will not be able to adjust server settings such as maximum file size upload. However, for VPS Hosting, if you have a considerate administrator, they can check and run scripts and adjust settings for you.
A dedicated Server arrangement means you have all the power, memory, and you make the rules. However, if your server is near a data center, you may still need to observe some rules which are less restrictive than it is in Shared Hosting.
Safety is the biggest concern when using Shared Hosting. If one of you does not protect their website, your site is also at risk. Hackers can use the compromised website as a crack to all others hosted on the server. In VPS Hosting, you still have a responsibility to protect your site, but unlike shared hosting, security issues in other sites on the server will not affect you. The biggest advantage when using Dedicated Server Hosting is the fact that you can secure all your websites, and, therefore, lessen your risks. And because you are the only one using the server, the risk of an outage or attack is low.
Shared hosting will not scale well because the more traffic there is on other sites on the server, the more likely your site will go down. Their activities will affect your speed. For a VPS package, you have to choose between scaling and speed and have to trade one for the other. Scales are fast for dedicated server hosting, and so are speeds.
WordPress Specific Hosting Services
For a WordPress-powered site, WordPress-specific hosting is a worthy investment. You can choose a managed option where you do not have to worry about much. Your provider will do regular backups for you, optimize your site for performance. But keep in mind that WordPress-specific hosting will not allow you to set up a non-WordPress site. If unsure, or are looking at a short-term project, most service providers offer a refund if you cancel your hosting within two months, which gives you room for trial.
If you are still unsure on how to choose a WordPress hosting company, ponder over these questions;
Is control over your server necessary? Do you want to guarantee high availability? Will your sites have highly variable or heavy traffic?
If you answered yes to at least one of the questions, stay off Shared Hosting. If you are running a high-traffic site consider a Managed Hosting Provider. Remember that no hosting is equal. Do your homework and match your hosting plan to your needs and those of your clients. Consult with an expert to ensure future needs are taken care as you begin.