Finding a good reliable web host for your WordPress blogging could be a herculean task as there are zillions of web hosting companies and all of them claim to be excellent and desperately seek your patronage. Especially if you are new to web hosting then you can simply get lost in the maze of the web hosting world (given the gigantic magnitude of the web hosting industry). It is imperative that you do the requisite homework before signing up with a web-hosting company. This post is a brief tutorial on finding a good WordPress web host. It has all the basics of finding a good web hosting company for your WordPress blog hosting needs and enumerates the research that you must undertake before signing up with any web hosting service.
Ensure That The Basic WP hosting Needs Are Met
This is step # 1 needless to say. Before you even begin your research on the good and bad aspects of a web-hosting company you must ensure that the company under consideration meets the basic minimum requirements for WP hosting needs. In other words, it should have latest PHP (version 4.3 or greater for now), MySQL (version 4.1.2 or greater for now) and the The mod_rewrite Apache module. You cannot host your WordPress blog if these ingredients are missing from your web hosting service. Apart from these, it will be an advantage if the web hosting company is also offering the one click Fantastico install for WordPress and WordPress-related issues support. In fact WordPress experts will strongly suggest you not to choose a web hosting company that does not offer automated installs or one which has little or no experience with WordPress troubleshooting. A web hosting may be hosting a lot of websites of various configurations but you need specialists to handle your WordPress blog.
So carefully read the web hosting features offered by the company and/or seek explanation from your would-be web host and proceed only if the basic WordPress hosting needs are met. Most web-hosting companies are equipped with running the open-source WordPress but it is still a good idea to clear any doubts before signing up. Do not marry in haste and repent at leisure!
Determine Your Hosting Needs
Be very clear about your blog web-hosting needs. You will have to decide a suitable hosting plan for your WordPress blog(s) depending upon your hosting requirements and your budget. In other words, you should be able to answer the following questions, among other things: How much web hosting space you need? How many domains/subdomains you are going to host? How much traffic your blog(s) will attract? What are the CPU constraints and uptime guarantees in the hosting terms of service (TOS)? Does the web-hosting company willing to host your WordPress blog(s) offer the popular Cpanel? Does the company have core update compatibility for WordPress 2.7? What are the WordPress hosting constraints (if any, such as the use of a particular WP plugin etc.)? Is the hosting WordPress optimized? Is the staff suitably equipped to handle WordPress-related issues? Are the fees affordable or exorbitant? What are the money back guarantees?
Depending upon the answers to these questions you should zero in on a web host that offers a suitable service for your WordPress blog(s). You may want to consider a web host that offers multiple domain/subdomain hosting, fewer constraints on web space/data transfer, unlimited MySQL and FTP accounts, web-based email access and the like. The less the constraints the better but think twice before going to a web-hosting service that promises everything unlimited. They may promise you the moon and you will always be crying for the moon! Remember there is no such thing as a free lunch in web hosting.
Read And Research On Web Hosting
Knowledge is power. The more you know the more empowered you are and less likely to be cheated. You may surf the internet and learn about web hosting, WordPress related issues in hosting, read various forums on web hosting, read about various web hosts and the like. There are two important things to keep in mind here. Firstly, do some research on your would-be web host before you sign up. Secondly, the internet is full of spam blogs/websites, hosting affiliates and forums where unethical hosts promote themselves and seek credulous customers. Also there are blogs and websites dedicated to publishing fake bad reviews (‘XYZ hosting sucks’ types) to bring down a rival company!
When there are companies and people out there who are waiting to lure unsuspecting customers, you must separate the wheat from the chaff and read only genuine reviews and recommendations. A bit of scepticism while researching on a web host will help. A short cut may be to join a big web host (or one in the official WordPress recommendation page) but remember big and famous is not necessarily also effective and good. For example, there is a web host who claims to be the ‘daddy’ of all web hosting and yet there is a full-fledged genuine website by frustrated customers warning people against their service and exposing them! 😉
Write To, Read About And Chat With Your Would-be Web Host
It is always good and advisable to write to your would-be WordPress web host while making up your mind. Many web hosting companies today provide the live chat option. You should send one/more email(s)/support ticket(s) and/or chat with their chat representative. You can talk to the sales team or the technical team and seek explanations about your queries and doubts. It is always good and desirable to shed the laziness and walk the extra mile to accomplish some interaction before joining the web host. You should also read the company blog, support documentation, forums, Twitter page, Facebook fan page, genuine testimonials and recommendations of the web hosting company to get more ideas about the quality and standard of the web hosting service. Be frank in asking your web hosting questions so that all doubts are cleared in the beginning itself and you do not have to incur disappointments later.
You can also judge the web hosting company by the quality of their answers and the amount of time they take in responding to your tickets(s). Some questions that you can ask to your would-be web host are: How long have they been in the web-hosting business? Are they here to stay? How many domains are they hosting? Do they have their own servers or are they small-time resellers? Is the support available all the time? How many WordPress blogs are they hosting? Are they offering the fantastic Fantastico install or not? How much WordPress experience they have? Can they handle WP issues with ease? How much downtime have they faced in last six months? Are they offering any discounts?
The company seriously into business 365x24x7 will answer your queries with promptness and all necessary details unlike a fly-by-night company. Good and reliable web hosting companies (including the WPWebHost) also have the money back guarantee policy which you can use for test and trial so that you are fully satisfied before you become a full-fledged customer.
Web hosting can make or mar your WordPress blog. Make sure you are not cheated and you join a web host who will offer you the great hosting service and the peace of mind that you deserve. 🙂