Last Updated: 1st of Apr 2024

How to Choose a WordPress Hosting Provider

Understand the key factors to consider when selecting a WordPress hosting provider, from performance and security to support and scalability.

How to Choose a WordPress Hosting Provider

As a freelance WordPress developer, I have extensive experience working with many clients using many of the leading WordPress hosting providers and have a solid understanding of what sets the best apart from the rest.

The performance, security, and user experience of your WordPress site heavily depend on the quality of the hosting infrastructure it runs on.

When you are looking for a hosting provider, there are two options, managed and unmanaged. You can also self-host, but I won’t cover that here.

Unmanaged Hosting

Unmanaged hosting is usually cheaper - a hosting provider gives you a server and lets you do whatever you want, but you need to set it up yourself.

This option is great for experienced IT people who are comfortable managing servers and have the time to do so.

With unmanaged hosting, you are responsible for:

  • Installing and configuring the operating system
  • Setting up the web server (e.g., Apache or Nginx)
  • Configuring the database (e.g., MySQL or MariaDB)
  • Installing and configuring WordPress
  • Implementing security measures, such as firewalls and SSL certificates
  • Monitoring server performance and troubleshooting issues
  • Performing regular backups and updates

While unmanaged hosting provides more control and flexibility, it also requires more technical expertise and time investment.

Managed Hosting

Managed hosting can be quite pricey, depending on the level of service and the specific features included. However, it offers a more hands-off approach to hosting, as the provider takes care of many aspects of server management for you.

Managed hosting providers typically offer:

  • Server setup and configuration
  • WordPress installation and optimization
  • Automatic updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes
  • Regular backups and easy restore options
  • Enhanced security features, such as firewalls, malware scanning, and intrusion detection
  • Performance optimization, such as caching and content delivery networks (CDNs)
  • Expert support and troubleshooting

Managed hosting is ideal for those who want to focus on their website and business, rather than worrying about the technical aspects of server management. It can save time and provide peace of mind, knowing that experts are taking care of the hosting infrastructure.

Choosing a Hosting Provider

When selecting a hosting provider, whether managed or unmanaged, consider the following factors:

  • WordPress-specific support: Look for hosting providers that offer optimizations and features specifically for WordPress, such as caching, SSL certificate management, and WordPress-specific security measures.
  • Performance: Ensure that the hosting provider uses high-performance infrastructure, such as fast SSDs, optimized server configurations, and content delivery networks (CDNs) to ensure fast loading times for your website.
  • Uptime and reliability: Check the hosting provider’s service level agreement (SLA) for guaranteed uptime and ensure that they have a good track record of reliability.
  • Security: Verify that the hosting provider implements robust security measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and regular security updates, to protect your website from potential threats.
  • Backup and disaster recovery: Confirm that the hosting provider performs regular backups and has a disaster recovery plan in place to ensure that your website can be quickly restored in case of an incident. This is crucial for any website, regardless of the hosting type.
  • Support: Evaluate the hosting provider’s support offerings, including the availability of expert WordPress support, response times, and communication channels (e.g., live chat, phone, email).
  • Scalability: Choose a hosting provider that can accommodate your website’s growth, whether through easy upgrade paths or automatic scaling to handle traffic spikes.
  • SSL certificates: SSL certificates are essential for website security and search engine optimization (SEO). Many managed hosting providers offer free SSL certificates, which can be a valuable addition.
  • Migration assistance: Some managed hosting providers offer free website migration services, which can be helpful when switching from another host.
  • Additional factors: Consider other factors such as pricing, storage space, bandwidth limits, email hosting, and domain management when making your decision.

By carefully considering your hosting options and selecting a provider that meets your needs, you can ensure that your WordPress site has a solid foundation for performance, security, and reliability.

My Personal Recommendations

In my experience as a freelance WordPress developer, I have worked with a wide array of hosting providers, including Cloudways, WP Engine, Siteground, IONOS, GoDaddy, and many others.

However, I have found a particularly strong partnership with The Positive Internet Company, a boutique WordPress hosting provider based in Carnaby Street, London.

Positive Internet owns and operates their own 100% green energy data centers, which aligns with my values of sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of web hosting.

They have been providing top-notch hosting services since 1998 and have a deep understanding of the Linux and WordPress ecosystem.

Some key advantages of partnering with Positive Internet include:

  • Fully managed WordPress hosting with expert support from their small, highly skilled technical team.
  • High-performance infrastructure optimized for WordPress.
  • Robust security measures and regular backups.
  • 100% green energy data centres at their Positive Park location.
  • UK-based support team.
  • Scalable solutions to accommodate growth.

While every project has unique requirements, I have found Positive Internet to be an excellent choice for many of my clients, delivering fast, secure, and reliable WordPress hosting.

If you decide to partner with me, either for your next website build or as part of a Care Plan, I would highly recommend choosing a hosting package with Positive Internet. Book an intro call and we can discuss.