My goal is to help WordPress website owners understand the impact web hosting has on the success of your website.
Web hosting is an important aspect of what we web pros do every day.
Web hosting is, and has been, a hot topic among us web professionals pretty much ever since websites were invented. Web hosting suggestions, recommendations, and comparisons come up in discussions often as we seek advice and perspective from our peers about how best to serve our web design clients.
Our decisions regarding web hosting, in the selection of and recommendations to our clients, are made carefully because they carry a lot of weight.
So we do our research.
The interwebs are glutted with information about web hosting: shared hosting vs. managed hosting, the top 10 best hosting companies, which hosting solution is trending, etc. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by it all. This information overload is exactly what RE tries to help our clients avoid, by collating it all and applying our experience to provide you with web hosting recommendations that have the best impact on the success of your website.
How does web hosting impact the success of your website?
As I mentioned in a recent post, your website is the heart of your business and the nerve center of your online success. Your website serves a great deal of purpose in terms of establishing trust with your customers and building ROI for your brand. Building a robust website and hosting it on a substandard hosting service is like building your house on a weak foundation. Hint: eventually, it comes tumbling down.
Page load speed is important for SEO. So is the ability to add on website functionality as your business grows over time. Such things as eCommerce (selling products online via your website), or streaming audio playlists, or large image galleries should not cause any issues on the back-end (implementation) or the front end (user experience). The slower your website is to maintain or use, the more negative impact it has on your visitors experience as well as your SEO.
It goes without saying that nobody wants to have their website hacked, just like they don’t want to have their home broken in to. RE covered the importance of security for your website in another post, but the bottom line is that when your web hosting service makes security a top priority, your website – and your brand – is in a much better position when it comes to protection from hackers.
Search engine optimization is the art and science of ensuring your website is found, indexed, and listed by the search engines. The criteria and algorithms are constantly changing. There are many ways to give your website an SEO advantage, including maximizing overall site performance and minimizing page load speeds. And, you guessed it: your web host is a major factor in your site’s performance, and thus your SEO.
Web hosting options
There are several types of web hosting services available today, but for the sake of this post I’ll focus on the two most common types of web hosting we encounter at RE. Plus, I’ll talk about managed WordPress hosting and why RE recommends it.
Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting
Shared hosting means your website will share the same server as many other sites. It’s usually the cheapest option but comes with limited bandwidth, administration, and performance capabilities.* Shared hosting is fine for small bloggers or first-time website owners with a limited budget and a modest informational website. Most of the cheap web hosting options you see available out there are for shared hosting.
VPS hosting means virtual private server, and is a more premium option with the ability for greater customization and increased performance. You can ensure your site’s security with more robust safety features that are only available through VPS hosting. If your business needs to protect personal data, it’s worth considering the upgrade to a VPS. VPS hosting offers better overall performance based on the bandwidth it offers users. As with any premium service, you pay more to get more.*
Managed WordPress hosting
Some hosting providers specialize in WordPress and offer a concierge service known as managed WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosting services manage all technical aspects of running WordPress websites, including security, speed, WordPress core updates, daily backups, website uptime, and scalability. Support is provided by real WordPress experts with lots of experience. Pricing for managed WordPress hosting services is slightly higher than ordinary shared hosting plans, but not outrageous.
Specialist VPS-based managed WordPress hosting
RE provides our clients with specialist managed WordPress hosting services. Everything is 100% fine-tuned for WordPress sites: Server configurations, caching settings, security best practices, and more. With managed WordPress hosting, you know your site isn’t competing for resources with anyone else, which means more reliable uptime. Servers are configured with WordPress security best practices, and server-level blocking and scanning services prevent brute force attacks and protect core files. A dedicated WP managed hosting service will handle all your WordPress core upgrades, security enhancements, and performance settings (all tailored for WordPress).
Because “…some companies offer managed WordPress hosting as a part of their service portfolio, and may leverage the same servers they use for general hosting. These services may still be better than a regular VPS or shared solution, but won’t stand a chance against companies whose business is solely WordPress hosting.” Source
The best managed WordPress hosting providers are specialists who:
- Only offer managed WordPress hosting; it’s the only thing they do. This means their support systems, management consoles, internal policies and workflows all serve this purpose.
- Host your website on VPS (not shared!) servers
- Host your websites on NGINX, which is so much faster than Apache
- Offer server-side caching to make your WordPress site load quickly without the need for a caching plugin.
- Offer server-side security so your site is secure without the need for a third-party security plugin.
- Have multiple data centers around the world (CDN)
- Provide 24/7 expert WordPress support
Web hosting has an impact on your WordPress website’s security, performance, reliability, and reputation.
If your WordPress website performs poorly or is slow to load, it can hurt your brand’s trust factor and credibility. Poor performance has a direct impact on your SEO, hurting your site’s chances of being indexed and found online. If your web host doesn’t take proper security measures and your website is hacked, it can be devastating for your brand, costing you thousands of dollars and wasted hours trying to recover.
Conversely, if your WordPress website performs well and is secure, your brand is impacted in a positive way. Faster page load speeds, top-notch security, and improved SEO can add up to better engagement with your brand.
That’s why we always recommend top of the line web hosting solutions for RE clients. First, your brand deserves the best. And second, why invest so much in building an amazing house and then set it on a wobbly foundation in a bad neighborhood?
Have questions about managed WordPress web hosting? Contact RE today and I’ll personally get back to you with answers!