So you are starting a brand new blog and you want to find the best web hosting service for your website. What are some factors to look out for before jumping in and signing up for a hosting account? This article provides a useful checklist.
Factor 1: Up-time reliability. We place this at the top of the check list because this is of utmost importance. You don’t want to sign up for an account that goes down all the time. When web visitors cannot access your WordPress blog, they get frustrated and may never return again. In addition, search engines make perceive your site as “slow loading” and this may affect your search engine rankings. So make sure you visit hosting review sites and check the up-time reliability index of each hosting company before signing up. If there is no reliable index available, just take a look at the number of positive (or negative) comments. If a web hosting company is reliable, they usually receive many positive reviews.
Factor 2: Fast loading servers. This is another factor that affects your search engine rankings. The search engines are getting more and more particular about user experience. In other words, they want to index sites that are of high quality – i.e. sites that load fast and contain unique and useful content. You can usually test the speed of the servers by accessing some existing sites that are hosted with the Company. Alternatively, check out user reviews to see what customers are saying about them. Sometimes, servers are so over-loaded with sites that the bandwidth doesn’t even matter. The sites load slowly because hundreds of sites are using up the server’s resources. So make sure you do your research properly. Good hosting companies do not oversell their shared hosting.
Factor 3: Linux or Windows? When it comes to WordPress hosting sites, there is always the consideration to go for Windows or Linux servers. Both support PHP, which is the language that WordPress was written in. However, bear in mind that WordPress was originally developed for the Linux platform. Windows later added support for PHP and that is when WordPress started being able to run on a Windows based server. For this reason, we recommend Linux for WordPress because there is less chance of running into technical problems on a Linux based server. For instance, you can’t enable permalinks on a Windows server, which is useful for SEO purposes.
Factor 4: Price of hosting. The price is affected by the plan that you choose. So which plan is best suited for a WordPress blog? We recommend a shared account because it is affordable, and a shared plan is enough for a single WordPress blog. You do not need a VPS account or a dedicated server. A shared plan rarely cost more than $10 a month. And if you use a discount coupon, you enjoy great savings off your first invoice!