When first starting to create a WordPress website, one of the very first things you will need to make a decision on is the type of web hosting you will use for your site. And while you have many hosting options available to choose from, one option you may want to strongly consider using for your website is WordPress Hosting.
But just what is WordPress hosting? And what makes it different or better than other hosting options for WordPress sites? These are the questions we will attempt to shed some light on in this article. We will also be looking at the various WordPress hosting plans that are available to you, to help get a better understanding of their differences and specific advantages.
But before we go any further, if you’re looking for the short answer to this question, just know this. WordPress hosting is a hosting plan that is designed specifically for WordPress websites. Because of this, it is meant to help optimize the overall performance of your website and offer advantages to your WordPress site that you just would not get with other types of hosting plans.
So how does WordPress hosting do all of this? For that answer, we’ll have to dive a little bit deeper. So, let’s jump in.
What is WordPress hosting?
As mentioned, WordPress hosting is web hosting that is designed specifically for the needs and requirements of WordPress websites. It differs from other types of web hosting in that it helps to optimize your server and site files in a way that is specific to the content management system (CMS) itself – which is what WordPress is.
With that being said, it’s worth noting that WordPress hosting is not necessarily required in order to have a WordPress site. Though it is the recommend option in most cases. Some of the key features include simple one-click installation and automatic WordPress core updates. This helps to get your website up and running fast, and also eliminates the need for manual maintenance tasks such as updating your website when new versions of WordPress are released. With WordPress hosting, your site is always running on the latest version because it’s automatically updated anytime a new version becomes available. This is crucially important for security purposes.
In addition, there are different types of WordPress hosting to choose from. For most, standard managed WordPress hosting plans will work just fine and meet the needs of most sites. However, another option is Pro WordPress hosting which caters more towards developers and those who need the ability to manage multiple WordPress sites under a single hosting plan.
As with most cases, there is no one size fits all. But every plan offers advantages that are unique to the individual needs of most people needing to build a WordPress site. Moreover, using WordPress hosting provides better service for WordPress overall in the handling of technical issues and support.
Do you need WordPress hosting in order to have a WordPress site?
The short answer to this question is no, you do not need it to set up or run a WordPress site. But before jumping to another hosting option, it’s important to understand that WordPress hosting is going to provide you with advantages that other types of hosting are simply not going right out of the box.
Well, why is that? Firstly, WordPress hosts have more expertise in providing support for your site or blog. This means that if technical issues arise (and they do from time to time), they are much easier to manage and resolve with a host that specializes in WordPress. Secondly, WordPress hosting ensures that your site is running at the most optimally efficient level possible. Because of this, your site will simply perform better. As you may know, speed is an important factor for any website trying to offer a seamless and positive user-experience for its visitors. So, with an optimized server, comes faster load times and better performance for your WordPress website.
Lastly, you have access to advantageous features that come bundled with WordPress hosting that you would need to otherwise acquire separately with other types of hosting. Among these features include free SSL certificates, SEO tools, built-in security features, and website backup and protection.
Type of WordPress Hosting Options
As with other types of hosting, there are a few different options to choose from when making a WordPress hosting selection. Among the two most common types you will come across include:
- Shared WordPress Hosting
- Managed WordPress Hosting
So, let’s talk about these two.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared WordPress hosting is among the most cost-friendly options when it comes to your choices. The reason is that with this method, multiple websites are sharing resources from the same server. But don’t let the lower cost make you think “cheap hosting.” It’s still a preferred option when building and setting up a WordPress site or blog.
With shared hosting, essentially, multiple websites are being fit onto a single server. It is this sharing of single server resources that helps keep the cost low for users of shared hosting. Users are allocated resources such as bandwidth and storage based on the needs of their website. Unless your website is resource intensive, or regularly experiences high-traffic rates, this is a solid starting point for most.
The great thing about it is that you can always add more resources later if you find that your website requires more power and memory limits. In fact, some plans even come with ability to have unlimited storage. So that may be another option to consider. Usually, you can tell that your site may need more resources if it seems to load slowly more often than not.
With all that being said, that’s really the main takeaway when it comes to shared WordPress hosting. You still have the other advantages that come standard along with all plans such as automatic installation, updates, and security features. It really is an ideal starting point when first getting going.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting has become an increasingly popular option for WordPress hosting in recent years. Basically, the way this option works is that the optimization and management of your server is all handled for you. People who choose this option enjoy the convenience and peace of mind knowing that all of the technical aspects of their server are being completely taken care for them and can remain hands-off to focus on their website.
Often, managed WordPress hosting is handled under a dedicated server environment and is even able to be configured in a VPS hosting environment. But this really all depends on the specific hosting specifications of your plan as well as your necessary requirements.
Managed WordPress hosting is actually one of the highest tier options when it comes to your available choices. With that being said, this might be a good time to point out that all of the plans we offer are actually managed WordPress hosting plans. So, you can rest assured knowing that you have a team of dedicated experts behind you to make sure your site is always up and running and in tip top shape.
Some of the key benefits of managed WordPress hosting include:
- Very high speed: Under an optimized server environment, faster load times and speed are the norm for your website.
- Dedicated support: Among the most helpful benefits is access to a dedicated support team that specializes in WordPress to help resolve issues, technical matters, or simply answer questions.
- Strong security: With built-in security features which include daily malware scanning and removal, you site is kept safe from security threats and attacks.
- High percentage of uptime: With a 99.9% uptime guarantee, your site’s uptime will be nearly perfect. No need to worry about server maintenance causing your site to be unavailable, ever.
- Automatic updates: Always ensure your website is running on latest and most secure version of WordPress with automatic core updates. One more thing you can check off of your to-do’s. You’ll never be left wondering if you’re running on an outdated version.
For small businesses without an IT team, managed hosting is a very good option because it eliminates the need to hire IT staff or an outside third party to manage your server. With this option, you don’t have to concern yourself with any of that work. It’s all taken care of for you.
What is the difference between each WordPress Hosting plan?
We offer several tiers of WordPress hosting plans. Among these include the following options:
- Basic – This is the lowest tier plan ideal for staring out with WordPress. It’s a good option for 1 basic website or blog with minimal resources.
- Deluxe – An option ideal for growing websites that need to handle even more traffic.
- Ultimate – The most popular option, the Ultimate plan offers unlimited storage and the most resources available. It is an ideal plan for 1-2 websites.
- Ecommerce – This plan is for customers who need to build an online store. It also offers unlimited storage and unlimited visitors like the Ultimate plan, but also comes with the automatic installation of WooCommerce and tools to help you set up your online store using WordPress.
All standard plans are designed for 1 website with the primary differences being in storage and resource limits. A free SSL certificate comes included with the hosting plans as well, along with a temporary domain name if needed. In addition, other key features customers enjoy with WordPress hosting plans include:
- Free 24/7 expert support
- Automatic WordPress installation on hosting account
- Access to thousands of themes and plugins for complete website customization
- SEO tools to help with search optimization
- Automatic daily malware scans
- A 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Automatic WordPress version updates
In addition to these standard managed WordPress hosting plans, we also offer WP Pro hosting plans for pros and developers who need to host 5 or more WordPress sites.
What to Look for When Choosing a WP Hosting Service
When choosing a WordPress hosting service, there are a few important factors you will want to look at and take into consideration before making a decision. Among these factors include the following:
Performance and Speed
Many will suggest that speed and performance are probably the most important factors when it comes to WordPress hosting. And quite frankly, we couldn’t agree more. Speed and fast loading times are essential elements to not only a good user-experience, but to SEO as well. How quickly your site loads has much to do with how well it can rank on search engines. With that being said, your choice in hosting has a lot to do with your site’s loading time and ultimately, its speed.
So, how do you know if your WordPress hosting offers the performance you need? Well, you want to start by looking at the resources and memory that is allocated to each site under the plan. Also, take a look at the bandwidth that is offered. Check to see if the plan offers unlimited storage with unlimited website visits per month, with the ability to add resources as needed. These are the sort of specifics that are going to determine how well your hosting can handle the traffic.
When websites do not have enough memory and resources allocated from the hosting plan, this is a surefire way to cause load times to lag and the site to slow down. In worst case scenarios, poor allocation of resources can even lead to server errors and websites becoming inaccessible completely due to over-usage of memory limits. So, do yourself a big favor and always opt for speed and performance in your selection.
Another very important factor to consider is the level of security offered under the plan. That is to say, how well your WordPress hosting service protects your site, its data, and its visitors. Features such as security monitoring and scanning, automated backups, and SSL certificates are all key components to well-rounded WordPress hosting that is safe and secure.
The fact of the matter is, all WordPress sites do face some common attacks from time to time. Among these threats include brute force attempts, vulnerabilities from plugins and themes, and injection attacks, just to name a few. To combat these attacks, you want to ensure that your WordPress hosting is set up in a way to do so. Ignoring the importance of security for your WordPress site can lead to a much bigger mess to have to clean up later. So, make your selection based on a WordPress hosting service that puts security at the very front and center of importance.
Plan Flexibility and Developer Tools
Another factor you will want to take into consideration is how flexible your WordPress hosting service is. Meaning, is it easy and painless to make changes to your plan when you need to? Often when signing up for a hosting plan, people find that they need to make some changes every now and then. This may include simple changes such as adding more resources to your plan to handle more visitor traffic, or upgrading or downgrading a plan altogether. Above all, your hosting provider should make this an easy process without much effort required at all.
In addition, for more advanced users, access to developer tools can also be advantageous. This is particularity helpful for users who need more control from their hosting and the ability to implement site administration tasks or easily integrate local environments when testing or working on a site.
Which WordPress Hosting Option is Best Suited for You?
While each WordPress hosting plan comes with its unique set of advantages, above all, the option that is best for you is the one that most closely matches your current needs. Start by taking a pulse check of what you are looking for and what your budget is. While most plans are considerably reasonably priced, you certainly won’t want to pay for something that you don’t need right away. If later you find that you do need a higher tier plan, you can always upgrade as needed.
If your needs are basic and are just looking to get a simple WordPress site or blog up and running, start with the Basic managed WordPress hosting plan. However, if you’re anticipating that your website will need to handle higher traffic and want to get more out your hosting, consider going with the Deluxe or Ultimate plan. If you are building an online store, try the Ecommerce plan.
And if you are a developer or agency who needs multiple WordPress sites and more developer tools, consider a WP Pro plan. And as mentioned, if you ever need to make changes to your plan at any time, you can do so in a matter of just a few clicks. It really doesn’t get much more convenient than that.
Your WordPress Hosting Solution
When it comes to WordPress hosting that is fast, secure, and reliable, Branchleaf Digital has you covered. Our WordPress hosting plans are designed in a way that put you, the customer first, based on your specific needs. Each plan is crafted with care and optimized for the specific needs and requirements of WordPress websites, ensuring that your site runs smoothly and flawlessly, always. In addition, know that your website is secure and safe with an SSL certificate that is automatically installed on your site, protecting your site, its data, and your customers.
All plans guarantee nearly perfect uptime and access to all sorts of free resources to help you have the best site you possibly can. Expert support is also dedicated to you to help make sure that if you have questions or ever run into any issues along the way that access to the help you need is always available. So, whether you are just starting out with WordPress, or are a seasoned pro, we offer a plan that is right for you.
Need some more help with WordPress?
Hopefully this article has helped to provide a better understanding of WordPress hosting overall and guidance toward making a decision. But if you have any additional questions, we want to answer them. Our goal is to not only help our customers get set up for success, but to provide guidance and support along the way – whenever help is needed. To speak with our expert customer support, feel free to call us any time at (480) 624-2500.
You may also want to visit our Help Center for more useful articles and resources to help you on your way.