One of the first things you’ll hear when you want to start a website is WordPress. Then you’ll hear about WordPress hosting, and how some hosting providers are better than others for WordPress, some are cheaper, you can have a blog, you can have a site… the amount of new information just goes on forever.
Don’t give up on the quest for knowledge. WordPress is easier to learn about than you might think. The problem isn’t the amount of information (it really isn’t that much); it’s the fact that it’s not all in one place. Well… it wasn’t.
Read on, first time website builder, and find out the facts about WordPress and WordPress hosting!
WordPress – The Simple Version
WordPress is one of the top publishing platforms, used by tens of millions of people. It’s the largest content management system used on the Web today. In fact, many well-known brands use WordPress for their Internet presence. Now let’s go over what that really means in plain speak.
A publishing platform allows you to share content on the Internet: pictures, text, diagrams, music, etc.
A content management system (CMS) helps you add, edit, and delete the information you share, whether you have 2 or 200,000 words.
If WordPress is “one of the top”, that means there are others, right?
Right. So, why is it so popular? Lots of reasons, such as:
- Free or low cost – WordPress itself is free, and thanks to the type of license it has, is required to always be free. WordPress hosting can be cheap (although you have to be careful with providers that offer cheap web hosting). For example, hosting for a personal blog will only cost about $5.00 a month, while hosting for a busy company site can cost as much as $25 a month or more.
- Ease of use – It takes most people less than a half hour to learn how to use WordPress. The learning curve is extremely short (who wants to spend their days learning software, anyway?).
- Easy to customize – WordPress isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of platform. It’s a you-don’t-like-that-look?-cool-here’s-this-one kind of platform. It’s extremely flexible; almost any design and function you want can be achieved.
- Large support community – If you want to spend your time learning software, dig deeper into WordPress and learn how to create some amazing designs (themes) and functions (plugins) for others to enjoy. The support community is one of the most active, because people fall in love with WordPress and want to help others share in that enjoyment.
- Scalable – WordPress can be used as a personal blog, a personal site or a large, high traffic company website.
Long story made short, WordPress is so popular because it’s easy to use, scalable, flexible and inexpensive.
Choosing the Best WordPress Hosting for You
There’s WordPress, and then there’s WordPress hosting. Like any computer, your hosting provider’s server is set up with a specific operating system, programs and so on. WordPress is a program. So, just like the computer you’re reading this on, there can be compatibility issues between the program and the computer. Your job, when choosing the best WordPress hosting, is (of course) to make sure you have a hosting provider than can properly handle WordPress.
When shopping for the best hosting for WordPress, ask these questions:
Do you use WAMP or LAMP?
WAMP and LAMP are the two most commonly used server software bundles (called stacks) for WordPress. These acronyms stand for:
- WAMP = Windows, Apache, MySql, and PHP
- LAMP = Linux, Apache, MySql, and PHP
Choosing a hosting provider with the right software bundle is essential to having a quality WordPress installation. One of the main reasons WAMP and LAMP are most common, is because Windows relies heavily on PHP. This leaves other common server stacks such as WISA (Windows, IIS, SQL, ASP) out of the equation. As well, Apache is considered much more secure than other options – a concern for burgeoning business owners.
While WordPress can, and does, run on both WAMP and LAMP configurations, LAMP provides the best performance. If you have a choice between the two, we suggest LAMP.
Does your WordPress hosting allow for growth?
Most of the time, a small amount of space on your provider’s computer (server) is all you’ll ever need – a few Gigabytes, at best. However, if you want to share a lot of video, audio, flash files, large images or a lot of pages, you will, eventually, have to upgrade to more space. To prepare for this eventuality, make sure your chosen hosting provider has allowances for growth.
What type of security do you provide?
Make security a priority. The average hosting package is secure, in that the company is required to maintain security on their system to prevent hackers, malware and all those other goodies from ruining clients’ websites. However, you want to ensure your chosen web host is willing to help you harden your WordPress installation. Like any program, it can be hacked.
As well, not all themes and plugins are secure, and some may have holes that make your site vulnerable to malicious code. Because of this, you need a hosting provider that offers security checkups, multiple account backups, antivirus software and SSL certificates.
Do you allow add-ons?
The best WordPress hosting allows for change, as well as growth. For example, if you aren’t currently interested in selling anything, you don’t need a shopping cart. However, you might change your mind in the future. As another example, you might get interested in how many people are coming to your site; in this case, you’ll want some form of analytics to track this information. Rather than switch hosting providers to gain these capabilities, the best hosting already has these capabilities available.
Not All WordPress Hosting Is WordPress Hosting
Not every web host that claims to support WordPress actually does, and not all of them support WordPress well. Research is crucial. Find out HOW they support WordPress, with questions like those above. Do they offer any assurances, such as weekly backups or security maintenance? Not all web hosts plainly state such information.
ClickHOST strives to provide the best in service, support and hosting solutions. WordPress is our main content management platform, and we prove it with the best WordPress hosting available. See how ClickHOST supports WordPress. What are you waiting for? Give your WordPress site what it needs to thrive!