Web hosting is a big business. There are hundreds of millions of sites on the web, and every single website needs a host – either self-hosting or paying for web hosting.
So how are you supposed to choose the best web host for your needs? Should you go with a web hosting company that is solely hosting WordPress sites, like Page.ly or WP Engine? Or should you go with a more general web hosting company like LiquidWeb or Dreamhost? If you aren’t experienced in websites or web hosting, it could be really hard to figure out which way to go.
There are two ways to approach WordPress hosting.
First Approach – Dedicated WordPress hosting
If you are not experienced in web hosting or websites — termed a “newbie” — you should probably go the route of paying for web hosting from a company that is dedicated to just WordPress hosting.
When you purchase hosting from a company that is dedicated to just WordPress hosting, they specialize in it. That’s all they do, that’s all they need to worry about. They will optimize their servers just for WordPress. Almost always, they will manage your installation of WordPress for you too. Latest updates, higher security, and through and through, they will help you keep your WordPress site running as fast and snappy as possible.
Something to note, you are likely to be paying a higher premium to go this route. But, if you don’t want to have to think about updates or anything like that, it’s worth it.
Second Approach – General Hosting
The alternative to going the “dedicated WordPress hosting” route is to go with a general web host — these guys do not focus on WordPress and will almost never help you manage your site. They will almost always be dramatically cheaper than the first approach.
Not all hosts are created equally. I say that because every hosting company operates differently. Different types of servers, different configurations, different everything. You will probably never find two companies operating the exact same way.
There are a lot of great hosting companies out there, but there are also a lot of bad ones. GoDaddy is a web host I consistently recommend staying away from. I’ll write about them later on.
All that said, you’ll need to make your own decision for which hosting is best for you. When it does come time to choose a host, make sure you do some research on the web host. A simple Google search like “liquidweb reviews” or “page.ly reviews” should render quite a few reviews and give you a perspective about if they are a great or horrible web host. As a last resort, head over to WebhostingTalk.com and do a search there, WHT is a great resource. You don’t want a webhost that looks like this ;)
If you have any questions about WordPress hosting or general web hosting, please ask in the comments and I’ll be happy to help. I have 15 years of experience in the web hosting industry.