5 things to look for in a WordPress web host

WordPress is an amazing content management system but it’s only as good as the server hosting it.

Like a car’s performance is dependent on the engine driving it, a website is the same. WordPress is the car but the web host is the engine that delivers the performance.

If your current host isn’t delivering that performance, perhaps it’s time to find one that does.

Like any service, research is key. As is analysing your particular needs and ensuring your web host can deliver on those needs.

So how can you choose a web host? What should you look for?

5 qualities you want from a web hosting company

Rather than tell you what to do or who to choose, we prefer to give you the information you need to make informed decisions.

It’s exactly the same here.

If we were choosing a web host for our own website, we would consider these 5 factors:

1. Speed

Speed is everything online. Fast websites deliver a better user experience and will lose fewer visitors than a slow site.

Use your own experience of the web. When you land on a website that takes ages to load, what do you do? Do you wait around or do you go somewhere else?

If you’re anything like us, it’s the latter.

With millions of websites to choose from, there’s no need to wait around.

When that website is for a business, that has obvious repercussions!

Speed is also important for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Search engines like Google value speed and will penalise slow websites with lower positions in search engine results.

2. Reliability

Reliability for any business system is vital. If that system is your storefront to the world and the first exposure to your business for many customers, it’s even more important.

A web hosts’ uptime should be at least 99.9%. That means your website will be available for the vast majority of the time.

There really is no excuse for anything less.

Load balancing, server redundancy, virtualisation and content delivery networks means your website should always be available.

3. Scalability

Your business website may start small, but like your business, it’s unlikely to stay that way if you run it right.

Web hosting is usually sold using disk space sizes or numbers of databases. Some hosts will also limit bandwidth or monthly visitors.

Don’t use one of those as that pricing method penalises you for being successful!

A good web host will have a clear, simple upgrade path for when you need to scale up your website. It should include automatic migration so you don’t have to do any work or experience any downtime.

4. Security

If you put your heart and soul into your website, the last thing you want is to lose it. If that website represents your business, you don’t want it hacked or defaced and show you in a negative light.

That’s why security is another key measure of a web host.

A good web host will provide a network-level firewall, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection, SSL certificates and the option to add extra security if you need it.

WordPress is pretty secure and has hundreds of third-party security plugins to add defence in depth, but if the server and network aren’t secure, you’re already fighting a losing battle.

It’s also worth working with a web host that offers free automatic backups too, just in case!

5. Support

WordPress is inherently stable and reliable but that doesn’t mean nothing will ever happen. That’s where technical support comes in.

If you’re busy running your business or don’t know much about websites, having competent technical support can be a genuine lifesaver.

Being able to access support when you need it, from experienced and knowledgeable staff is essential. As is the ability of that team to communicate clearly so you understand everything that’s going on.

You won’t necessarily need 24/7 support, but having them around during your working hours can be very useful.

Choosing a WordPress web host

There are some obvious big players for hosting that can come in at an attractive price point but you just won’t get the service. Often they rely wholly on live chat or support tickets and hardly any of them have the function to speak to a person when you have an emergency.

We would advise to do your research as no two hosts are the same. Read reviews and check all aspects of their web hosting plans.

Our team are always on hand for advice if you aren’t sure what you need and we offer comprehensive WordPress website hosting from just £75 per year. We promise you’ll always speak with a person too!

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