High fives, you’ve decided to take the leap and build yourself a WordPress website. I’m not going to hit you with roses and lollipops, it’s going to be a learning curve. But once you master it you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
The first thing you need to do before you start is find yourself a hosting provider. In today’s blog I am going to show what to look for in a hosting provider and how to choose the best plan for you. Don’t worry, no tech speak here. This blog is all for the beginners because we all started here at one point.
There are a lot of website hosting providers on the market and they range from the cheap and very basic to the high end Rolls Royce of hosting. Making your decision all depends on the type of website you are going to be building and the traffic you expect to generate.
The quick run down on website hosting is this. You can opt for shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting or dedicated hosting. Most people starting out or even in business will find shared hosting the most cost effective and best option. It means you will be on a server with other websites who are also paying for shared hosting. The number of sites on that server will depend on the server size and website types. This type of hosting is generally the cheapest form and can be less than $10 a month as I will show you below.
VPS Hosting is similar to shared hosting in that you are on a server with other sites, but there won’t be as many. Your website will also have its own resource, meaning it won’t be affected by traffic spikes from neighbouring sites unlike shared hosting can be. Dedicated hosting is another step above and this is for your big boy sites that will generate a lot of traffic and pull on a lot of resources. Think Myer and Bunnings!
Now that we have that covered, I’m going to show you the hosting providers I have used since being a website designer. These are based on shared hosting and I will also list other notable hosts that I have seen recommended by others in the field. Again, it’s all personal preference, but I do tend to listen to recommendations when it comes to hosting. Choosing the right host is a big part of having a successful website.
I use Siteground for all of my clients when purchasing hosting on their behalf and I have recently transferred my own website to them. I have found Siteground to be very good in the customer service department and their cpanel and website setup for WordPress is very easy to use. They also have really good tutorials so you can literally do it yourself. There are a lot of benefits in their packages including email on your domain, good storage space and good speed ratings. Their packages, including the base Start Up package, come with free SSL which is almost a mandatory requirement on sites now.
Their plans are very reasonable starting from $4.95 p/m to $14.95 p/m for their Go Geek plan. I always recommend choosing a middle plan as you have room to grow, but you aren’t paying for a large scale plan that you won’t use in the near future. The other massive bonus for new and advanced users is their free website transfer service. You can move your site at any time files and all and they will do all the heavy lifting for you. Winning right there. So, you can see why I love them for my customers (and me!).
I was with Crazy Domains up until recently for my website. Whilst I had no issues with them, I was drawn to Siteground’s service and better web speeds. Testing my site against client sites I could see a significant difference.
I do like the fact they are based in Australia and their servers are here. Whilst they are not the cheapest provider on the market, they are certainly not the dearest. Their plans are priced from $7.00 to $20.00 per month, however they too are having a sale, so you can save 50% on your hosting for a limited time. Woohoo.
I find their storage and site speed to be ok and when my website was with them, down time was minimal. When your site is down you’re losing business and time is money. It was one of the reasons I transferred from my old provider (Bluehost) originally. The only thing with Crazy Domains that’s an added extra on top of the other providers is the SSL certificates. Crazy Domains have their own which is an extra cost and not included in their plans. Again their cpanel set up and dashboard is easy enough to use, but I am actually preferring the Siteground dashboard if I’m to be honest.
VentraIP is another Australian company that I was recently introduced to by a fellow web designer and client. I had heard of them, but not had the pleasure of dealing with them or even looking into their packages. I have found them to be very reputable and reasonably priced also. Their plans start at $6.95 p/m and go to $26.95 p/m for their larger plan. They are also on shared hosting which you will find all of these plans are. You will also find their plans include a free Comodo SSL certificate which is a nice little bonus as I said before.
Now, I used to use Bluehost once upon a time and found them to serve the purpose which was very reasonably priced hosting. If you are on a strict hosting budget then Bluehost is the one I would recommend purely for their package prices. They do have everything you will need as a starting business and when you are talking basic hosting from $2.95 p/m you can see the attraction. They don’t have a lot of the bells and whistles of some of their competitors, but when it comes to price, you will be hard pushed to find better. Again, SSL certificates aren’t included in that, so you will need to factor that in, especially if you are running an eCommerce store.
Other notable hosting providers I have heard mentioned with good value plans:
Hostgator – I have heard quite a few designers and developers use Hostgator with great reviews.
A2 Hosting – They have a variety of hosting plans and are also very reasonably priced.
Do you have a hosting provider who you would recommend? Let me know so I can check them out.
If you are struggling with setting up your new WordPress website and would like some assistance, my DIY Set Up package can help.
Note: Affiliate links are used in this post meaning if you do decide to change hosting providers I may receive a small commission. It won’t fund my retirement but it may just enable me to buy a real coffee and muffin next week 😉 (No offence Moccona and White Wings!) ????????