WordPress is a free content management system that uses PHP files in addition to a MySQL database. The files process and request the information stored in the database and then display the data to users. There are two versions, one being the online system which we will not be talking about in this discussion, and the more common version that you install and connect on your own hosting or server.
While it was only first developed around the year 2002, the CMS has become insanely popular and well regarded as the go-to system for building websites, small or enormous. Due to the fact that so many developers have jumped on the WP bandwagon, there are many flexibilities associated with this system by way of themes, plugins, and specialized coding. It is also search engine friendly, as well as security conscious. Vulnerabilities are quickly plugged through regular updates.
If you would like to read more on WP, PHP, CMS, or MySQL, please follow the links to their official website pages.
Now, let’s review our quick guide on what you need to look for when hosting WordPress websites.
#1 Size of Site
In regards to WP, itself, it doesn’t matter if your site is one page or a million pages. But, it certainly matters what hosting you choose. First of all, there may be space restrictions on a shared hosting account. This means that you would either need a VPS or possibly a dedicated server. Second, a large site may have so many different requests at once that server performance will need to be optimal.
#2 Speed Required
While wordpress is easy to use, it is resource heavy and requires the speed associated with processing requests, as well as completing the behind-the-scene tasks. Many things are going on at once and these factors impact how fast a page loads. Further, when using shared hosting, the other sites on the same server can reduce response time for your website.
#3 Quality of Support
Indeed, it is not necessary for the host technicians to be experts in WordPress, but they certainly should have some basic knowledge. In fact, they should understand the terminology and have a feel for common issues, so that they can help. Be aware, however, when using plugins or personalized coding on the site, it is understandable that they won’t be able to help you.
#4 Traffic Levels
In addition to the server requests that we have spoken about, it is important to know whether your site is handling multiple requests. A third party pinging service can help here. The site will be tested for availability in several parts of the world, while at the same time, be monitored for any downtime glitches. Often, they also track how fast pages load, and evaluate the actual performance of the server through various measurements in memory and CPU.
Another type of third party service focuses on load metrics meaning they send visitors to the site all at once to see how much the website can handle before acting oddly. Lastly, since the internet works differently around the world, checking from various geographical locations helps to know where the site can be effectively accessed.
#5 Avoid Free Hosting
We know that when you are starting out, you need to watch the money and keep to a budget. But, please do not do yourself the disservice of signing up with free hosting sites! You’ll eventually end up frustrated and migrate your site anyway due to downtime, no support, lost revenue, and restrictions on the server. Plus, these businesses need to make money and they typically do it by hosting their ads on your website.
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