Choosing a WordPress website host

Choosing a WordPress website host for your new website is a very important first step. But in order to choose a web host for your WordPress website, you need to know what you're looking for.

If you haven't done so yet, check out our free guide:
9 Easy Steps for Creating Your Organization's Website

We provide more information on how to set up your own WordPress website. If you've already read through the steps and are ready to learn how to choose a web host for your WordPress website, read on! You need to look at:

1: The software a web host provides. For WordPress hosting, you will need:

  • Up-to-date PHP version. PHP is the software that a WordPress website runs on. Having the latest version keeps your website secure.
  • MySQL. MySQL is the database language WordPress uses.
  • HTTPS support. Encrypted websites are no longer the future of the Internet, they are NOW. To keep your visitors' information safe, you'll need an SSL certificate, which you can get from your website host, or from another provider.

2: The services a web host provides:

  • One-click WordPress installation. If you're a new WordPress user, you might want to keep things simple with a one-click set-up offered by your web host. Note that this option is ideal if you're going to be setting up and managing your website on your own, but this option can be extremely limiting if you plan to work with a web developer. So if you decide to work with a web developer on your site, we strongly suggest you get his or her input on hosting suggestions before you sign up with a host.
  • Free & easy-to-set up staging website. To test out any site changes and check for unforeseen consequences before you make the changes on your live site.
  • Email hosting. Some hosts don't offer email hosting anymore. Not to worry, you can always use a standalone service like Google Apps or Zoho Mail for email and associate it with your domain name instead.
  • File and database backups. Some web hosting service offer a complimentary backup service. It's always best to control your own backups, but if something should happen, it's nice to have the web host's backups as a fail-safe.
  • Domain name. Some hosts include one free yearly domain name registration in their package.

3: Hosting response speed.

Once you've got your website site set up, you want it to be as speedy as possible. You can test this by using sites like Pingdom.com. You can take measures to improve your site speed. But sometimes, the delay in displaying your website to visitors is due to a slow server response time on the host's end. If a host simply has a slow response time, you may need to change hosts, or use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

4: Web hosting security measures.

Your web host is the first line of defense for your website. Here are some suggestions from Wordfence on questions you can ask your potential web host, to be sure they will keep your website secure.

5: Web hosting price.

It's not everything, but it's important. Everyone wants the most for her money. Don't make this the #1 thing you are looking for, though, you don't want to give up quality in the process. You will see different options when you look at a host's package pricing information. There are options ranging from inexpensive shared hosting to expensive Virtual Private Servers (VPSs).

What if you've already chosen a web host, and you are not happy?

Not to worry! WordPress websites can be moved, or "migrated," from one host to another easily. You won't lose any of your important website content, and you don't have to have any website downtime. If you need help with this, just ask RED.

Would you like help choosing a WordPress website host?

See our current list of recommended hosts, or contact RED for suggestions tailored to your website’s specific needs.

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Alisa Cognard

Alisa was one of the first team members to join Red Earth Design, Inc. in early 2004. From data entry, she progressed to MySQL database manipulation and PHP coding. Alisa is responsible for all kinds of odds and ends: installing new websites, adding features to them, programming databases, PHP coding, website troubleshooting, website security, and organizational tasks for Red Earth Design.

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