By now most of us know that web hosting plays a key role in the success of a web site.
By choosing the most appropriate hosting plan you can increase traffic, improve your SEO, and most of all enhance your business.
Whether it is setting up a blog or a business website all you need to do is purchase a hosting service, and install a content management system (CMS).
You need a CMS because it provides structured features such as the ability to store files, images or videos or any other online content.
It would not surprise if WordPress is your preferred CMS.
After all it powers one out of 6 websites on the web. And with approximately 60 million websites in its kitty, WordPress has an enviable share of 37 percent among all CMSs.
It is immensely popular because it is the most accessible, is quick to install, and the huge user and developer community allows it plenty of plug-ins and enhancements.
The hosting market presents an array of different options to host WordPress. These include, free, shared, VPS, and dedicated server to name a few.
But first let us have a look at what are the WordPress hosting requirements.
WordPress is a lightweight script and hence is easily compatible with several hosting vendors’ offers.
Nevertheless, you need to consider a few things before choosing an appropriate deployment model.
Let us analyze the different options available.
Free WordPress hosting
As the name suggests, free web hosting is simply free. One of the popular free web hosts is Blogger. When you build a website, you will get a name such as yoursite.blogspot.com.
But if you want an exclusive name, then you must buy domain and then get web hosting, which typically will be a paid service.
You can even get a free WordPress hosting service that is ads free. The service in all probability also offer a free 1-click installer so that you need not install the program manually.
Free hosting plans are okay if your intention is to build a small web site and just have a web presence.
It also suits if you are keen to test a website idea, before actually plunging in.
But if your site needs to be more powerful to allow higher traffic, then you have to look for other options.
Some of the drawbacks of free web hosting are:
Restricted disc space
Strictly the limitations refer to the number of pages you can upload. Many vendors that are in the business of domain registration offer free web hosting as an added attraction to pull in customers.
To get a better idea of disc space, consider the following:
If you want to run WordPress, you require PHP version 5.2, and MySQL version 5.0.
In terms of storage even a small website with WordPress as CMS can require anywhere between 50-100 MB space even without taking media files into account. This will give you an idea why restricted disc space can be as barrier in free web hosting.
Yes, it is true some vendors advertise free plans with PHP or MySQL, but you must understand that they do not disclose the exact versions running on free accounts.
With free plans you can expect poor loading times, which can be a distinct disadvantage if you are running an ecommerce website or a site that is hugely popular.
As one blogger rightly pointed out, “ If you are not able to customize PHP settings like max file size and run time, the parameters will revert to default settings, which will prove to be a pain for you”.
So where do you go from here?
A shared server can conveniently fit into your needs. And the good news is it is by far the most popular type of hosting deployed by WordPress users.
Before we go further let us first understand what shared hosting is.
Simply put, shared hosting is when multiple websites share a large server. Vendors via shared hosting provide service at very competitive rates because they are able to host multiple sites on a single server.
Here are a few compelling advantages that make shared hosting an excellent option for WordPress.
In the present market, shared hosting is a different story than what it was earlier. Competition has given a big boost to enhancements in technology. WordPress hosting is now available with user friendly cPanel.
The upkeep expenses of shared server are shared by thousands of websites. The upshot is you get service at a very affordable price.
Array of services
With shared hosting you can get unlimited free space, MySQL databases, data backups, and customized technical support.
While it is true shared hosting will not come up to the level of dedicated server in matters of performance, it is good enough to meet the needs of most WordPress users.