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WordPress Hosting – a few things you should know

In Step 1, you learned that WordPress is the blogging platform of choice if you want to quickly, easily and inexpensively create a blog.

Now in Step 2, you’ll see why choosing the right web host is so critically important, and I’ll tell you which two web hosting companies you should seriously consider for hosting your site.


Every web site has to have a home…

And that home on the internet is your web host or hosting provider. If you want to create a web site you can be proud of, one that helps you share with the world what you or your business is all about, then you can’t underestimate the importance of partnering with a good web host.

The right web hosting company can mean the difference between having a web site that puts a smile on your face, and one that makes you curse the day you ever thought, “Hmmm… I think I’ll start a blog!”

Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. There are only two requirements a server must meet in order to host a WordPress site:

Pardon me, but…

Do you already know this stuff?
If so, feel free to skip down to
learn about the WordPress hosting
companies I recommend.
Really, it’s OK, I don’t mind…

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  • PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.0 or greater

Really, that’s it. But don’t worry, you don’t need to know what those things are. All you need to know is that just about any web host can host your blog.

But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carefully consider who you give your business to. Just the opposite. I’ve tried a dozen or more different web hosting services in the past 18 years, with most of them over-promising and under-delivering like UPS the week before Christmas.

Fortunately, I’ve learned who to avoid, as well as who I can trust to help keep my business (and my clients’ web sites) humming along. But before I recommend any web hosts to you, let me first share with you a few important things I’ve learned about web hosting during my nearly two decades of doing business online…

The Truth About Web Hosting

  • You get what you pay for — if you’re lucky.
    Discount hosting is cheap for a reason. This is not the place to skimp, especially if you’ll be using your web site for business.
  • Don’t choose a host based on “unlimited” promises.
    Ever see those hosting ads for “unlimited” storage and traffic (a.k.a. bandwidth)?  Well, storage is actually dirt cheap. And you won’t need as much space as you think. It’s the quality of the network connections that matters most, not how many terabytes of data transfer they give you each month. (And if you read the fine print, you’ll find that “unlimited” usually has a cap at some point.)
  • Moving a site to another host is a big fat pain in the butt.
    Which is why you should go with a reputable host who will be there to help you as your site and traffic grow. Nothing is more aggravating than having your site go down for a few days while you struggle to move it to a new home.
  • Everything breaks sooner or later.
    Everything. Make sure your host offers some kind of back-up and restoration system for your site and data. Your data is your gold. Treat it that way.
  • Great support and customer service makes the pain go away.
    Mediocre or poor support just makes it worse.

When it comes to hosting your blog, there are five different kinds of web hosting services to consider. Here’s a brief summary…

5 Types of WordPress Hosting

1 Free WordPress Hosting

Ooohhh… “Free” sounds nice, right? Wrong… at least when it comes to web hosting.

Reiterating what I said moments ago: you tend to get what you pay for. Where does the money come from for free hosting solutions? Ads, and lots of ‘em. That’s why sites hosted on free servers usually suffer from:

  • Annoying advertisements popping up all over the place
  • Shoddy customer support (if any at all)
  • Terrible performance, on a good day

Free isn’t an attractive hosting solution if you value your time, reputation and sanity. Pros: Price
Cons: Everything else
Bottom Line: Avoid free WordPress hosting unless you want to look like an amateur, or you enjoy pulling out your own hair.

2 Shared WordPress Hosting

This is the most popular type of WordPress hosting for beginners. “Shared” means that many customers’ websites reside on a single web server, and the server’s resources (e.g., CPU and RAM) are shared by all the customers on the same machine.

Sounds good in theory. But if you plan to play the blogging game for a while, you’ll find shared hosting to be a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Eventually, you’ll abandon your shared host because you will:

  1. Get tired of having your site suffer due to the hoards of people visiting other sites on your shared server gobbling up all the system resources; and/or,
  2. Be “asked” by your web host to upgrade your account to a higher priced plan because you’re the one who is using up too much of the server’s resources.

Shared hosting summarized: A popular, cheap, and temporary hosting solution adequate for most beginners and amateurs.

Pros: Price; Good for hobbyists
Cons: Limited control over the server (none, actually). Expect downtime due to heavy traffic on other sites on the server. Your web site will occasionally be slower than mud.
Bottom Line: A reasonable starting point if you’re on a budget and you’re not overly concerned about your site’s performance.

3 Virtual Private Server (VPS) WordPress Hosting

VPS hosting is a special setup where websites are hosted on the same physical machine, but VPS allows each website to be fully independent as if each were on its own separate machine.

It is similar to shared hosting in that you share the server with others, but what makes it different is that there are usually fewer customers on one machine, and you have much more control over the server and your site.

Pros: Offers more control and better performance than basic shared hosting.
Cons: More expensive than shared hosting. Some experience required.
Bottom Line: A better option for those with experience and traffic. Not a good starting point for beginners, unless you select a “managed” server (see below).

4 Dedicated Server WordPress Hosting

A dedicated server is an actual physical server that you rent from a hosting provider. It’s all yours, and yours alone. They plug it in and set it up, and then you’re on your own. I’ve been running my own dedicated servers for the past ten years. Trust me, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Pros: Total control
Cons: Total control; Expensive
Bottom Line: This is an option to consider once your traffic and experience grows. Until then, pretend you never heard the term.

5 Managed WordPress Hosting

Ahhh… now we’re talking.

Managed WordPress hosting is a niche segment of the web hosting industry that sprung up in the past few years due to the exploding popularity of WordPress, which now powers more than 75 million blogs worldwide.

The main difference between “normal” web hosting services and managed WordPress hosting services is that those offering managed services focus on optimizing servers and sites for the best possible WordPress experience — for both the blog owner and the blog visitor.

With a managed plan, you give up a few options and some control (e.g., you can only run a WordPress site, you can’t tinker with the server). But in exchange, with a good managed WordPress blog hosting company, you’ll enjoy fewer headaches, superior performance and killer customer service.

The term “managed WordPress hosting” can roughly be translated as letting someone else worry about and take care of hassles such as:

  • System upgrades
  • WordPress updates
  • Plugin conflicts (a BIG problem)
  • Server load balancing
  • Site optimization, security and back-ups

Although I’ve been building web sites for eighteen years, and running my own dedicated servers for nearly ten, I’ve decided to start moving my WordPress sites, and those of my clients, to the managed WordPress host below.

A few extra bucks a month is a small price to pay for the amount of time they help you save, not to mention the peace of mind you get from knowing your site is professionally optimized to run like a finely tuned engine. It’s a good feeling knowing someone’s always got your back.

Pros: Faster site, fewer problems. You’ll sleep better and will spend less money on Motrin.
Cons: You give up some control (not always a bad thing). More expensive than shared hosting.
Bottom Line: Perfect for anyone (from beginners to pros) looking to have a fast-loading, smooth running web site.

So now that you know more about WordPress blog hosting than 99.9% of the population, you’re probably wondering to yourself…

“So where should I host my web site?”

Here’s what I tell my friends…

blog-hosting-reviewsBased on my own personal experience, as well as suggestions from colleagues and third party reviews, I recommend either of the two web hosting services below. They are both highly-rated, well-established companies offering:

  • One-click WordPress installation
  • 24/7 technical support
  • A no-risk, “try and see” money-back guarantee

To complete Step 2, select a web host below based on your needs, goals and budget. Then we’ll move on to the final step: Setting Up Your Blog

If you…

  • Need a blog or web site for business
  • Plan to take your web site seriously
  • Enjoy peace of mind
  • Agree that $29/month is a small price to pay to ensure a fast-loading, smooth-running web site…

Then this is your best choice

Get 4 months free when

you sign up for one year!

Just $19.33/month!
You Save: $116

Use coupon code “ANNIVERSARY4” at checkout to activate your savings.

Try WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting Risk-Free for 60 Days

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However, if you…

  • Are on a tight budget
  • Plan to blog as a hobby
  • Don’t need automatic security updates or 24/7 site monitoring
  • Are willing to sacrifice speed and performance in order to save money…

Then this is your best choice
Blue WordPress Hosting

Save 43% when you lock in

your rate for 36 months!

Just $3.95/month!
You Save: $109.44!

No coupon code necessary when you
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