If you own a WordPress website, do you have to have WordPress hosting? It’s a question we often receive.
Choosing the best hosting plan for your specific needs is obviously always of the highest importance. The right plan can help ensure that your site works well, stays secure, and stays up and running. But when there are so many different plans (and they all seem exactly the same), it can be difficult to know which one to pick.
Bottom line: If you have a WordPress website, you should have a WordPress hosting plan: WordPress has a lot of needs and requirements that many “generic” companies may not be able to meet.
Here’s how to know which WordPress hosts are legit . . . and which are just trying to upsell you on a specialty service they don’t really offer.
What’s the Difference Between WordPress Hosting and Web Hosting?
WordPress hosting basically means that your website shares a server with other WordPress installs. In theory, your website could run just fine on standard web hosting – if they offer the appropriate features. In fact, many hosting companies provide a WordPress auto installer to make the process easier.
The problem is when you come across a hosting company that calls themselves WordPress-friendly . . . but it’s just an empty sales pitch.
When shopping for a WordPress hosting plan, there are several must-have features you should look for (whether the company bills themselves a WordPress hosting service or not):
- Server reliability: Nothing is more important than knowing that your website is always going to be up and running, without any significant downtime. Look for a hosting company that offers uptimes of 99.95% or more (anything below 99% is unacceptable).
- Scalability: Choose a hosting company that can grow with your website and provide you with extra space as your needs change.
- Security: If your website gets hacked, it’s not just your information that’s at risk, but all of your customer/client data as well. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to know that your hosting provider offers robust security features, including firewall or DDoS systems, SSL certificates, and automated backup solutions.
- An easy-to-use hosting control panel: Many business owners are not web design experts, so it’s important that your hosting provider makes it easy to access and navigate your control panel.
- Great customer support: Look for a hosting company that offers multiple support options, such as telephone support or live chat, so you can communicate via your preferred method 24/7.
Advantages of WordPress Hosting
A web hosting service that truly specializes in WordPress knows all the ins-and-outs of the platform and how it works. Therefore:
- Because all websites are running on the same platform, the server’s resource usage is more predictable, and configuration can be more specific
- Web technologies can be pre-configured for quick setup within your website
- Staging sites can be quickly and easily transferred
- All accounts can receive the same custom maintenance
- Servers can be set up to protect against WordPress-specific threats
- The hosts can perform bulk upgrades and apply security patches
- Many WordPress-specific hosting companies will also offer limited software support – meaning if you have a question about why your plugin isn’t working or your text isn’t displaying correctly, they may be able to help
- Many WordPress Hosting plans offer lots of bundled software with WordPress. They might have premium themes, plugins or even SSL certificates.
Choosing the Right Provider
So, how do you know which hosting providers are true WordPress experts and which ones are just trying to upsell you? Do a lot of research. Look at the features a company offers, read their reviews, speak to their service team beforehand. Don’t just sign up for a plan because they say they are a WordPress hosting company.
At InMotion Hosting, we do have a strong reputation for WordPress hosting. Our managed platform for WordPress is fine-tuned to deliver superior performance, security, and provide best-in-class service. Take advantage of our free website migration, or easily get started on a new website with WordPress pre-installed. Our friendly support team has all your Managed WordPress hosting needs covered, 24/7!