Ready to dive deeper into the world of web hosting? In this episode of “Website Success,” Chrissy Rey breaks down the ins and outs of choosing the perfect WordPress web hosting provider. From understanding your needs to evaluating customer support, get the lowdown on how to pick a host that ticks all your boxes. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to switch, this episode is your go-to guide for making an informed decision.
Listen to the Episode
In this episode, we continue our discussion on web hosting, focusing on WordPress-specific hosting providers. We’ll explore what to look for when choosing a hosting provider and share some of our top picks.
Some of the links in these show notes are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This does not affect the cost to you and helps support this podcast. Thank you!
- Why WordPress Hosting?
- WordPress powers over 40% of all websites.
- Specialized hosting for WordPress ensures better performance and security.
- Types of Hosting
- What to Look for in a Hosting Provider
- Storage Space
- Traffic Limits
- Resources (memory, PHP workers)
- Customer Support
- Additional Resources
- Check out the comparison spreadsheet and video walkthrough in the Website Success Academy at websitesuccessacademy.com.
Links & Resources
Chrissy Rey 0:17
Welcome to “Website Success,” the ultimate podcast that turns website zeros into heroes. I’m your host, Chrissy Rey, and with over 25 years of website creation experience under my belt, I’m here to guide you every step of the way. Join me on this exhilarating journey, and you’ll learn how to transform your online presence, attract your target audience, and effortlessly convert them into loyal customers. Let’s embark on this transformative adventure together and conquer the digital world one pixel at a time.
Chrissy Rey 0:54
Hello, website builders, and welcome back. In this episode, I’m going to continue talking about web hosting. So this is part two of a two-part series. If you haven’t already listened to the previous episode, make sure you go back and listen to that one before you listen to this one, because I’m going to sort of revisit some of the things that I talked about in that one. So it’s good to know what I talked about before now.
Chrissy Rey 1:19
In this episode, I am going to talk about selecting a website hosting provider. And in particular, I am going to talk about WordPress web hosting providers. Now if you’re wondering why I’m focusing on WordPress web hosting, it’s because WordPress is the most popular content management system or website builder, whichever you want to call it on the internet. And it’s it’s used by just over 40% of all websites. So almost half of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress, it’s super popular, it’s super flexible, it can do a lot by we’ve used it at Pangos on websites that are everything from just a simple sort of brochure site. That’s just got your homepage, about page, services, and contact. Really simple. All the way up to enterprise level websites that allow people to register for conferences and do online learning and all kinds all kinds of stuff. So it’s very flexible and very widely used. I personally use WordPress for my own websites. For most of my websites. I’ve got a couple of things that I do with Etsy and Shopify, but most of my websites are WordPress. And it’s also my tool of choice when building websites for my clients because of that flexibility that I mentioned earlier.
Chrissy Rey 2:36
Now there are a lot of companies out there that offer web hosting tuned specifically for WordPress. And I very highly recommend if you are getting web hosting, you are using WordPress that you get WordPress specific web hosting, it’s it’s going to work better with WordPress, it’s tuned specifically for WordPress, the resources and the server software and all of the tuning and caching and all of that stuff are specifically going to work with WordPress, so you’re gonna get better performance. So that’s my, that’s my recommendation.
Chrissy Rey 3:09
Now in the previous episode, I did talk about the different types of hosting. So I talked about things like shared hosting VPS, Dedicated Cloud. And if you didn’t catch that episode, again, I do recommend going back and listening to it before you go through this one. And so take a minute go listen to that episode, come back. And now if you listen to that episode, you know about the different types of hosting. So you need to think about which particular hosting provider is going to be the best for you based on the type of hosting that you want. So think about your budget, and think about your needs, think about what type of website you’ve got, and then start looking for a hosting provider that offers that option.
Chrissy Rey 3:50
Now using our housing analogy from the previous episode, choosing a hosting provider is kind of like picking the neighborhood that your website lives in. And like you pick with your neighborhood. You want to have safety, security, reliability, which I guess you wouldn’t really think about for neighborhood but it’s important for hosting and also great amenities. And some of the WordPress hosting providers that I use with my clients are going to include WP Engine, Flywheel, Kinsta, and Cloudways. And some of my clients use other web hosting providers, but I don’t have good experiences with some of the other ones. So I am not going to talk about them. If I talk about a web hosting provider, then I’ve generally had a relatively good experience or a great experience with them. So that’s why now all of those hosting providers that I mentioned, they offer managed cloud hosting. So with WP Engine, Flywheel and Kinsta: They offer something similar to VPS, but in the cloud. So, as VPS-like, each website gets its own container, and that container includes all of the software that you need to run the website. So it’s got the operating system and the web server all all of that is included, it’s got all the caching, and everything set up to work with a particular WordPress website.
Chrissy Rey 5:13
Cloudways is a little bit different because it offers managed cloud hosting, but it gives you the option to choose from multiple cloud infrastructure providers. So lets you choose from Digital Ocean, which owns cloudways, Amazon, and Google. And so cloudways kind of acts like a property management service slash hosting provider, because they let you run space from the cloud provider that you choose. And then they handle all of the server management tasks for you like the security server updates, and backups, those other hosting providers, they are picking a particular server infrastructure, cloud infrastructure, and they’re setting everything up, they don’t give you the choice to choose from different cloud infrastructures. So just a little bit different there.
Chrissy Rey 5:59
So what are some things that you need to look for when you’re choosing a web hosting provider, or specifically a WordPress web hosting provider? So I’ve got a list for absolute beginners, this is not an exhaustive list, I actually have a very exhaustive list of things that I like to evaluate when I’m doing this with a client. But this is enough to get you started.
Chrissy Rey 6:21
So number one, how much space do you get, you need enough space to store the files and database for your website. And most of my small business clients use less than five gigabytes. So if you if you find web hosting that’s got around five gigabytes, great. If it’s got more great, if it’s got a lot less than that, probably you’re fine when you’re first getting started, but you might need to upgrade. And that’s actually what I do recommend, if you’re just getting started, this is a brand new website, brand new business, then I do recommend starting small because you can usually upgrade, just make sure that whatever hosting provider you use does allow you to upgrade either to the next level or you can buy additional space. And different hosting providers do that differently.
Chrissy Rey 7:05
The second thing that I look at is how much traffic can I get with the account that I’ve got? So when you’re first starting, then it’s probably not going to be a lot. And by traffic? I mean, how many people can come to your website? How many sessions can you have coming to your website, not necessarily at once, but overall. So a lot of hosting providers say you can have up to 25,000 visits per month. So that’s 25,000 different people, or not necessarily different people, but different sessions coming to your website. Some shared hosting plans have have unlimited traffic, so you can get as many as you want. But you’ll often have other resources be limited when you get that.
Chrissy Rey 7:48
Number three is how much bandwidth can I use. Bandwidth is how much your website visitors can download in a month. And you probably won’t know how much you need when you’re first getting started. So as we had with the space, make sure that you have the option to upgrade your plan. So you can get more bandwidth if you need it. And many hosting providers are going to charge you for an overage. So if your maximum is 25 gigabytes, then you go to 26 or 27, they’re going to charge you per gigabyte on the overage and some of them charged a little bit, some of them charge a lot. The reason they’re charging for that is because they’re getting charged by the cloud hosting provider, or the cloud infrastructure, they’re getting charged per gigabyte. So they’re going to charge you the overage and it can get kind of expensive. So it depends on how far over you go.
Chrissy Rey 8:41
And just a quick recommendation, one way to cut down on bandwidth usage is to optimize everything you upload to your website, so all of your images and everything else that you upload there. And also put very large files somewhere else. So for example, you can upload your videos to Vimeo or YouTube. And that has the added benefit of drawing an audience from YouTube or Vimeo. So especially YouTube. But the big benefit there is that users are going to download those files from YouTube or Vimeo servers instead of from your website. And this is also it’s also good to upload things like PDFs or large file downloads to a cloud hosting provider somewhere else.
Chrissy Rey 9:24
Fourth up, I like to see what kind of resources my website will get. And some hosting providers will tell you how much memory and other resources like PHP workers, etc. How much of those are allocated to your website, but others won’t and use caution if the host doesn’t share that information. One of the hosting providers that I use that I otherwise really like doesn’t share that information. And they flagged my account for using too many resources. They don’t share how many resources I can use. So it was kind of like well, what am I allowed to use and they wouldn’t give me a no Number, and they wouldn’t tell me how much over that I was going. But I was able to fix the problem by working with their, their support their tech support, they actually used my overage as a sales tactic trying to get me to upgrade to a dedicated hosting plan. But instead, they have amazing tech support. And I worked with their tech support to fine tune the website that was going over. And so it’s not using as many resources now. And when I checked in with them again, they said it was fine. So I didn’t have to upgrade.
Chrissy Rey 10:32
But speaking of tech support, number five on my list is how is the text support or how is the customer support. And you probably won’t get a good sense of this until something goes wrong with your website. So you do want to search for reviews online. And also make sure to note if the review is sponsored or has an affiliate link, a lot of hosting companies pay people to recommend them. And in fact, I have affiliate accounts with all of those same companies that I recommend to clients. So you should even take what I say with a grain of salt because I have a financial interest if you use the plans that I recommend. So trust me, but don’t trust me 100% I want you to do your research and look up, look up reviews that aren’t compensated that aren’t getting the affiliate kickback for for the hosting plan.
Chrissy Rey 11:23
Now the last thing on my list, number six, how much does it cost. And I put this last because it is important, but it’s to me, it’s not the most important thing. And so one thing I don’t like to do is I get clients that come to me and they’re like “I found this $5 a month hosting plan. It’s unlimited, I get unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited users!” Just remember that you are going to get what you pay for. A lot of times those $5 a month unlimited hosting plans are shared hosting plans, and they have horrible support. And you’ll end up with a slow loading site. And when something breaks, support is going to send you in circles without ever fixing the problem. And trust me on this because I’ve been there with clients, I have some clients that have some web hosting providers that I will not recommend that I will not mention, but they’re not very good. And we usually end up in the long run moving them to another hosting provider that and that has the added expense of having to get somebody to move the website from one hosting provider to another. One thing to note on that on that account is that some web hosting providers do a free migration. So that’s if if that’s something you know, if you’re already have a website, and you’re thinking about moving it, that is one thing to keep in mind.
Chrissy Rey 12:45
Now there are some other more technical things that I usually consider when choosing a hosting provider. So things like do they include SSL, automatic backups on demand backups, caching, CDN content delivery network, staging site, what version of PHP and other things like that, but those are a little bit more technical, a little bit more advanced. There are things you should worry about, but I don’t want you to worry about them at first.
Chrissy Rey 13:12
Now, keep in mind that if you end up not liking a hosting provider, if you pick one and it turns out to be a dud, you can always move your website somewhere else. And that’s part of the beauty of WordPress. It’s also why I don’t recommend going with a hosting provider because they offer free email hosting, or they include a domain name. In fact, I do recommend that you keep your email hosting and your domain name registration somewhere else. So if you do end up moving your web hosting in the future, you don’t also have to worry about moving your domain name or your email. I can tell you from experience moving your email to a different hosting provider is a huge pain. So you don’t want to do that if you don’t have to. For email hosting, I usually use Google workspace and it’s relatively inexpensive, super easy to use.
Chrissy Rey 14:00
So which WordPress hosting providers should you consider? I already shared my current favorites which are Kinsta, Flywheel, WP Engine, and Cloudways. But there are many others out there. So do some research, pick the ones that work best for you. I do have a spreadsheet that you can use to help you compare the hosts and I do have a video walkthrough comparing some of the hosts in my mini membership at Website Success Academy. If you’d like to check those out, head over to Website Success Academy sign up for the mini membership. It’s relatively inexpensive, so you’ll get your money’s worth just by checking that out.
Chrissy Rey 14:38
Now that’s it for this episode. I do know we covered a lot. I went a little over on my usual time, but I do hope that this helps you find the right hosting provider for your website. Until next time. I’m Chrissy Rey, and this is “Website Success.” Thanks for listening!