Choosing the right host when setting up WordPress is a key factor in your website’s success. The host defines your website’s speed, accessibility, protects your files, handles fluctuations in your web traffic, and so much more. This was definitely a “live and learn” area for me when I first stepped into the world of WordPress so I’ve decided to write the tutorial that I wish I had in the beginning.
If you are brand new to WordPress, you may be confused already thinking “Wait, I thought WordPress was free?”. Well, the WordPress platform itself is free to use but you will still need a host to get your site online. Simply put, you are paying your host to “lease” a space on the internet for your website.
There are tons of opinions about which host is the best, and honestly there are several great hosts to choose from; but picking the right one can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. Here’s my list of the most important things to look for when choosing a WordPress host:
– Affordable, but not free
Be wary of “free hosts” as it often leads to hidden fees, or just crappy hosting.
– Included Customer Service
You want them to offer immediate service available via phone, email, or live chat. Uber important!
– Free & frequent backups
The host should take care of backing up all of your content and files for you so you are always prepared for the worst.
– Free WordPress Installer
This takes the headache out of setting up your own WP database which can be complicated for a beginner.
– Easy to navigate control panel
Save yourself the time & headache of a messy panel when you need to make changes.
– Shared hosting
Unless you are getting tens of thousands of hits a day, you only need the basic shared hosting.
– Unlimited traffic, emails, & databases
This should always be included. If not, consider yourself ripped off!
And there ya have it – that’s my list! I hope now you can take these simple points and confidently search the web for your hosting provider. As I mentioned, there are so many great WP hosts out there, but if you want my recommendation, I will always point you towards SiteGround.com. They are my go-to hosting providers for so many reasons.
They hit every point I listed above and are cheaper (yes, cheaper!) than even the mass hosts (remember, you only need the basic shared hosting – you can always upgrade later but I seriously doubt you’ll need to) and they have no hidden fees. Their sites are blazing fast and they have the fastest, most knowledge customer service of any host I’ve worked with. Don’t just take my word for it, check out this unbiased article that shows hard facts about how SiteGround tests against the competition.
Don’t learn the hard way… Choose the right host from the beginning and save yourself so much time, hassle, and frustration. Feel free to ask if you have any questions!