Website Hosting Requirements

Modified on: 2014-11-11 15:46:28 -0600

WordPress Web Hosting Server Requirements

PHP version 5.2.4 or greater

MySQL version 5.0 or greater

mod_rewrite Apache module

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Provider?

Web Hosting is one of the single most important aspects of building a website and is often overlooked as one of the key components for successful search engine optimization. Choosing the best web hosting for your needs can improve your SEO and increase sales. There are many different types of hosting options available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting. In this guide, we will help you choose the best hosting provider for your website.

Small Screen Producer has helped numerous small businesses launch their online presence. Our goal with this article is to offer insights on things you need to consider when choosing a hosting company, what things to avoid, and what things to consider.

Things to Consider when Choosing a WordPress Web Hosting Provider

Speed, security, and reliability are all important factors that you need to consider when choosing your hosting. However, the most important factor that you should consider is “Your Needs”. Evaluating your needs before purchasing your hosting can save you hundreds of dollars.

Evaluating Your WordPress Hosting Needs

As we have mentioned above, there are different types of web hosting options available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Managed. Let’s take a look at each of these options to determine which is best solution for you.

Free Hosting

Free Hosting

There are free web hosting available, but almost all of them have some sort of catch. Usually, you can find free WordPress hosting being offered in online forums or small groups. In most cases, these are managed by an individual who is reselling a small part of his server space to cover up some revenue. Often the catch is that you have to put their banner ads on the site. Some may ask you to put a text link in the footer of your site. These folks will sell that banner ad or text link to cover up the cost of your free space along with pocketing the profits. The biggest downside of having a free host aside from the ads is that they are unreliable. You never know when this person will stop offering the free service. They can leave you hanging at any time. If you are serious about your website or business, then avoid Free WordPress hosting at all costs.

Free Hosting

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is by far the most popular type of hosting used by new businesses. It is the most affordable and quite frankly a good starting point for new users. Shared hosting is where you share a large server with a lot of sites. By having multiple sites on the same server, hosting providers can offer the service at a much affordable rate. The biggest catch that we see with shared hosting across all providers (including the ones we recommend below) is the “unlimited resources”. There is no such thing as unlimited. Inevitably our clients who us shared hosting packages end up with slow websites and on occasion malware & spam. When you share a server you share resources and you can share these other occasional annoyances. As your business grows, so will your overhead cost. Shared WordPress hosting is the best solution for new small businesses, and starting bloggers

Free Hosting

VPS Hosting

Virtual Private Server (VPS) refers to a virtual machine. It is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers with respects to the individual customer’s need. Even though, you are sharing the server with a handful others, this gives you almost as much control as a dedicated server. It also has the privacy of a separate physical computer and can be configured to run specific server software. Often developers, intermediate users, and medium-sized businesses utilize VPS to scale their websites. If you do NOT have any technical knowledge, then you need to make sure that you purchase a managed VPS. This means that the hosting provider manages all system upgrades, and they are available to assist you if needed.

VPS hosting is best for small to medium-sized businesses, with medium to high traffic, and small to medium eCommerce sites.

Free Hosting

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated server is a physical server that you can lease from the hosting provider. This allows you to have full control over the server including the choice of operating system, hardware etc. You DO NOT need a dedicated server if you are just starting out. Once your site is receiving a significant amount of traffic, only then you should consider upgrading to a dedicated server. Small Screen Producer runs on a dedicated server by HostGator. If you do not employ a system administrator or have no experience with servers, then we recommend that you get a managed dedicated server. Hosting providers that offer managed dedicated servers employ full-time system administrators that maintain your servers. Along with doing software updates, they also do server monitoring, offer phone support etc. Most top websites use clusters of dedicated servers. Dedicated Servers are best for extremely high traffic blogs and web sites and those companies who have a lot of proprietary web based software.

Free Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting

Due to the large number of users using WordPress, few web hosting providers have chosen to offer managed WordPress hosting. An account with one of these providers only allow you to host WordPress based sites and nothing else. The benefit of Managed WordPress Hosting is that you do not have to worry about ANYTHING. They optimize your site for performance, make sure that your site is secure, and keep regular backups. On top of that they advise you if a specific plugin is having a negative impact.

Bottom line, managed WordPress hosting is hassle free fast WordPress hosting with high-quality support from staff with lots of WordPress experience. While all this sounds amazing, the plans for managed WordPress hosting is usually on the higher end of the scale. For example a personal account with a popular managed WordPress hosting provider costs $29/month where you can only host 1 site (getting maximum of 25,000 visitors per month). The next level higher where you are allowed multiple domains will cost you $99/month. Managed WordPress hosting is great for established companies who can justify the expense with their revenue. It is for people who do not have the skills/time to deal with the technical side of things.

Other Considerations

Once you have decided what type of server your site will require you need to consider these additional options. Choices here will be completely dependant on you business.

  • Do they offer site backup?
  • How many emails can I have with this account?
  • Do they support my particular email client? (Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.)
  • What are their support hours? 24/7 Live chat or only certain days of the week?
  • Do they offer a migration service for my old site?

Now that you know all of your hosting options, it is time for you to make a decision.

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