If you are not familiar with web terminologies and are not very knowledgeable on the technical aspects, choosing a web hosting service to run a WordPress business website can be quite a challenge.
Being a WordPress developer and working closely with my web developer partner for more than 5 years, I had the opportunity to work with different local and international web hosting companies such as Go Daddy, Amazon Web Service, WPengine, Bluehost, HostMetro, Openhost and Freeparking. The skills, knowledge and experience I gained while working with them enables me to effectively determine the most appropriate web hosting to use based on your budget and WordPress website requirements.
I prepared a set of guidelines containing seven (7) factors to help you choose a reliable web hosting service. You might be surprised with the last factor.
7 Factors in Choosing a Reliable Web Hosting for your small WordPress Business Website
Web Hosting Packages
The web hosting plan should allow you to setup at least two (2) databases. A WordPress website requires one (1) database to store your data. The purpose of the additional database is to serve as a staging site to test the plug-ins, functionalities and website layout before it goes live.
Allows easy WordPress setup
There are some web hosting services that offer auto setup of a WordPress website when purchasing a hosting plan.
Email storage and email accounts
The hosting should have enough space to store your emails as well as all email accounts that you have setup. Also consider the images you might have to attach.
The website space should be at least 1GB for a basic WordPress website since that is the lowest disk space offered locally.
For a small business website, a minimum of 10GB web traffic to keep your WordPress website running should be enough unless you are expecting hundreds or thousands of images to be loaded, video streaming, massive visitor traffic or you will be running an online store.
Since Google has announced their https deadline, the hosting should automatically include SSL certificiate in their web hosting package. If they do not, see to it that it is included.
Usability of the account’s page
The control panel of your web hosting account should be easy to use and navigate. For instance, the buttons for setting up your WordPress and email accounts should be clear and prominent.
Compare the prices of web hosting subscription plans and see which fits your budget while giving you the most benefits. Some web hostings have poor UI design and some may have hidden charges so make sure to review the subscription plan before purchasing it.
Be mindful of surprise charges such as auto-renewal of subscription plans. You need to turn off the auto renewal so you can easily unsubscribe upon the plan’s expiration if you are not satisfied with their services.
Server speed is one of the main factors to consider when selecting a reliable web hosting. It helps improve the loading speed of your website when users open a web page.
Hosting Server Stability
Server stability is very important since frequent website downtimes could result to loss of web traffic and income which ultimately leads to loss of business. One way that local business owners can find out which website host suffers frequent downtimes is through blogs, forums and customer reviews.
Time Zone Differences
Why should you consider the time zone before engaging with a web hosting company? It will be a lot more convenient for you to contact the web hosting company’s customer support. There will also be a faster turnaround and reduced costs for calling an international number. You can check their customer support office hours in their business website and see if it is within your time zone.
Reliable Customer Support
The most crucial factor in deciding which web hosting company to choose from is the reliability and availability of the hosting’s customer support. What are the characteristic of reliable customer support, in my perspective?
- You feel comfortable in explaining your problems and get a friendly response.
- They respond to your call or email enquiries within 24 hours.
- They are willing to go the extra mile to help you with your website problems.
- They are available on weekends and even after office hours.
- You know that they got your back when your website is in trouble.
Why do I choose Openhost as my reliable web hosting in NZ?
Based on my experience, below are the tick marks:
- Reliable and friendly customer support
- Fast turnaround time with my call and email enquiries
- Willing to help beyond extra mile (sometimes)
- Customer support availability on weekends and has the same timezone as New Zealand
- Reasonably priced and flexible on their subscription plans
Seek advice from a WordPress Developer when deciding which host is suitable to your business needs. It will be of great help if you can get some inputs and help you decide which solution to go for from someone who is experienced in the field. On a side note, it will be much easier to manage your domain address and web hosting under one company.
Note: Openhost’s reliability might have changed after writing this article and this may not be as accurate as it is intended to be. If you have questions, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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