In the excitement of planning the content and design for your website, it might be easy to think choosing a hosting service is a minor decision. It’s not. Your hosting service is your website’s home!
When you chose your home, you probably considered things like security, whether everything was kept in good working order, and location. Your website works for you 24-7; doesn’t it deserve the same consideration?
Someone recently asked me, “Do you have any recommendations on good web hosting companies and is there anything in particular we need to consider when making our choice?”
Watch this video to hear what I told them, or scroll past it to read about the types of website hosting services and my recommendations.
Just like homes for people, hosting services come at all price ranges.
There are many different types of hosting services, but probably only two that would be well-suited to a small service-based business.
Shared hosting is like a small rental apartment. You can keep your costs down by sharing a building or a server with other tenants or website owners.
When you live in an apartment building, you can hear other people. You might never see them, but you can smell their cooking and their cigarette smoke. And you have to share the elevator, laundry room, and other resources with them.
Shared hosting also has its downsides. Websites load more slowly when server resources are shared with several thousand other sites. That’s so frustrating for your visitors that many will not stick around. Knowing this, Google factors in page speed when indexing your site.
If there’s been a lot of trouble in your building, people might be reluctant to visit or deliver to you. And if another website sharing your hosting space is flagged as a security risk, your site might be flagged as well.
You can make your own apartment or website as nice as you like, but you can’t escape bad neighbors or a crumbling infrastructure.
Shared hosting services aren’t all the same! And even when you’ve found one you’re happy with, that can change. Here’s what happens when a good one goes bad. There are tens of thousands of hosting companies, most of which I have no experience with, so I hesitate to make a recommendation.
That said, several of my clients host with Siteground and are quite happy with them. Some of my Canadian clients host with HostPapa out of Burlington, Ontario, and I consider their support and prices to be very good. Plus, their data centres use green energy!
Sharing is a good option when you’re just starting out and need to keep your costs down, but eventually you’ll want probably want to “move up.” This will happen earlier if your family is growing or, in the case of your website, if you’re adding an online store, course, or membership site.
When your shared hosting no longer meets your needs, it’s time to consider Managed WordPress Hosting.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Please note that WordPress Hosting is not the same as WordPress Managed Hosting. “Managed” means that the hosting provider looks after all or some of your technical updates. It’s like living in a condo with concierge and security services!
While shopping for a new home sweet home for your website, look for the following:
- Web Application Firewall to stop malicious traffic before it reaches your site
- Automated backups, stored separately from your website
- The latest technology to enable fast load times
After struggling with various hosting providers over the years, I’ve finally found one I’m happy to use for my clients’ websites and, combined with my Website Care Plans, am happy to now offer Managed WordPress Hosting myself! Give me a shout to learn more.
If you’re interested in Managed WordPress hosting, but don’t need a Website Care Plan, WPEngine is definitely one of the best.
Looking for a Canadian Managed WordPress Hosting provider? Check out WPCloud.
Featured photo by oneinchpunch / Depositphotos