You already know that these parts contribute to the whole. What you may not have considered is your online real estate.
We’re talking about web hosting. Web hosting is essentially how your website secures a place on the world wide web. Having reliable web hosting allows your site to be available to your users.
On top of that, it can determine other things like how quickly your site can load. Web hosting can also mean the difference between being available internationally or locally.
What is web hosting? Where do you get the best WordPress web hosting if you’re using WordPress to build your site? In this article, we answer these questions and more!
To get a better idea of what website hosting is, let’s look at what normally happens whenever a website is designed.
Think back to the time when you were building or designing your website. At its infancy, your website was nothing more than a collection of files in formats like CSS, PHP, and HTML.
These files take up space like any other file on your hard drive. For this reason, they need storage of some sort. Otherwise, they’d have to be removed.
Stored on your computer, your valuable website files and data are not online yet. In other words, they’ve yet to make it to the internet.
For your website to be present and available on the internet, you’ll need services that can give your WordPress site a place in the online realm.
This is where website hosting comes into play. Website hosting is a service that gives your website and its files a place on a server. The server then enables your website to be on the internet.
As a result, your website is now available to users.
Website hosting services are either in possession of servers or are closely tied to one. These servers are like storage devices for websites — almost in a way that’s similar to your CPU or hard drive. Other than storage, the servers used by web hosting providers bring your site to users using stable computer networks.
Servers, regardless of type, do the same thing — upload your website and all its content on the internet for users to access. Nonetheless, each server is different. You must understand this if you’re signing up for any web hosting service.
Servers come in different types. For WordPress hosting, you’ll likely have to choose between these three common server types:
If you’re a little strapped for cash, shared hosting is the way to go. Shared WordPress hosting is the cheapest type of web hosting you can get.
It’s an economical option for one reason — the fact that you’re sharing server space with other websites. In shared hosting, multiple website owners share the server and pay for web hosting, just like you.
For an affordable cost, you get the basics like WordPress hosting, messenger or email storage, and other goodies. The value shared web hosting provides for its price makes it popular for most startup websites and even numerous scaled local business sites.
There can be a handful of websites sharing one server with you. There can also be hundreds. This is the drawback of a shared server. Your website shares the same server bandwidth with other websites, so there are bound to be limits on your overall size.
If you’re signing up for a shared server for your web hosting, it’ll be cheap, but there will be downsides. Nonetheless, if you haven’t scaled yet, you can’t go wrong with shared hosting.
What if your website begins to get a lot of traffic? What if you’re forced to scale your site because of all the demand for your products and services?
If this occurs, this is great news for you. However, it might mean that you’ll need to seek a different type of server for your website’s hosting. One option can be a virtual server.
A virtual server is also shared with other websites. However, it has several advantages over a shared server.
A virtual server has more space and bandwidth for storage and hosting. For this reason, it can accommodate your site if it gets bigger or has more files that need storage.
Virtual servers also come with the same set of default features for your website like site management, eCommerce, and email or messenger archiving. However, because of the larger space and bandwidth available, you’ll also have more control of what happens to your website. You can control:
- Web updates to your site
- Larger file uploads
All in all, you can think of a virtual server as being like a shared server but with lesser occupants and more space.
We’ve talked about server types where you share storage and bandwidth with other site owners. Now, you might be wondering:
“Can’t I just have my own server?”
The answer to this is a resounding, “yes”. What you are thinking of is a dedicated server.
A dedicated server enables you to have more storage for website files. As a result, on a dedicated server, you can have more than one website hosted. You can also have just one website hosted but with far more storage.
The large storage space and bandwidth make a dedicated server a popular web hosting option for large companies with a global online presence. As you might imagine, web hosting via a dedicated server can be pricey, to say the least.
Picking the wrong web hosting service can spell disaster for your website and, by extension, your business. For this reason, you’ll have to put more thought into the web hosting provider you’ll choose for your WordPress-built site.
There are hundreds of web hosting service providers available. The sheer number can put you in a state of indecision.
Here’s the good news. We at PERC have worked with more than 100 web hosting providers over the last 25 years. Here are three that we’re really happy about that deserve a mention.
Before we go into some actionable information, we’d like to clarify one thing.
What we call the “best” web hosting provider will depend on what you want or need. We’ve often found that people want web hosting that is affordable, fast, and conducive for things like eCommerce, informational sites, and Learning Management Sites.
Hence, we’ll fill you in on our top three picks in terms of:
- eCommerce availability
Cheapest WordPress Hosting: CloudAccess
Whoever said that you need a lot of money to host a site has never had CloudAccess on the payroll. CloudAccess is pretty fast and packed with lots of incredible built-in features.
CloudAccess is extremely affordable, with plans starting at $5.00 per month. $3.00 per month if you have a business plan and want to have multiple sites hosted. You can even get started, and host a WordPress site for Free on CloudAccess.
They have excellent chat and ticket-based support.
For the Fastest WordPress Hosting: WPX
Speed is everything nowadays. For high-speed web hosting, we’ve found few that can top WPX.
Check out their third-party tests. Despite being one of the fastest WordPress hosting services around, WPX is affordable. Plans start at $24.99 per month.
WPX has the fastest support we’ve ever seen, averaging under 30 seconds to connect to a technician.
Best for eCommerce: Convesio
Convesio hosts all our eCommerce sites that require high availability and performance that can scale to multi-server clusters. Convesio boasts everything from value to excellent support. You can’t go wrong with this web hosting service if you run an eCommerce site or two.
Plans start at $50 per month. However, most will be around $150 monthly for high-performance hosting.
Ticket-based support, or for an additional fee, you can connect up to their Slack channel, and have real-time support. Most of the time, we’re even getting support directly from the CEO of the company.
With web hosting, your website can be available to users. Due to its importance, choosing the right one for your WordPress website is a must.
Getting the right kind of web hosting for your website is half the battle.
The other half involves web design, SEO, and content optimization. For this, we at PERC would be happy to help you out.
Reach out to us for web design and SEO services that will put your site on the map!