WordPress hosting is a popular topic and one that is definitely important to talk about when you have a WordPress website. Your hosting provider can make or break your website. How? Let’s get into this shall we?
One of the most important decisions you make is choosing your host. If you don’t choose wisely, you are going to find yourself in a hot mess at some point. When choosing a WordPress hosting provider keep the following top of mind.
1 – Stay away from EIG owned hosting companies.
If you ask for hosting recommendations, you’re likely to hear lots of suggestions. One of the most common ones I hear is Bluehost. They are recommended by quite a few larger companies – including WordPress.org. Unbelievable to me, but it’s true. Here’s the big problem you face. Bluehost is owned by EIG.
EIG is a company whose business model relies on purchasing web hosts. They’re able to keep prices lower because they’re working with very large quantities of sites. This could mean better service because EIG can “buy in bulk” and provide a better price point, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
EIG has a long history of buying good web hosts and gradually ruining them. I hear from trusted colleagues in the web designer space the horror stories they’ve shared about these types of hosting providers. Customer services goes down the drain, websites (yes, including yours) but smashed together on one large server, sharing all the resources, and then suddenly you start having slower page load speeds, more downtime and sometimes a website that no longer is operating efficiently.
So how do you know your website is with a hosting provider owned by EIG? They definitely don’t make it easy. They don’t even have a list of all of their hosting companies on their own website. It almost seems like part of their plan is to sneak those purchases in so website owners don’t notice.
Here’s a short list of some of the EIG hosts I hear mentioned frequently.
– A Small Orange
– plus around 55 more.
Steer clear of these, and anyone else on the full list.
It’s important to mention the EIG cycle. EIG’s business focus is to acquire other web hosting providers with their customer base, keep their brand operating (so it’s not disclosed that they become an EIG brand), but inside the company, to unify all the support, marketing, technological and infrastructure departments. Now, fewer people are working to provide you the service you previously had – immediate degradation to the quality of service you used to receive.
2 – Don’t buy hosting from your domain registrar.
You want to stick with a reputable company to purchase your domain from. NameCheap and GoDaddy are two companies that can do one thing well – register your domain, but that’s it. There are other companies that offer domain registration, just make sure you aren’t paying for more than you need.
I see this with clients coming to us for a website redesign project. We are provided access to where their current website is hosted and to their domain and what I find is they are together in one plan. And they are paying WAY too much for their domain and have a crappy hosting plan that is not serving them. Good thing they are getting a redesigned website so we don’t have to worry about it, but still, they’ve been ‘taken’ for all this money and it breaks my heart.
True story from a client of ours – One of our clients’ domains are at GoDaddy and usually that is no big deal. Usually being the key word here. She wanted to get a new domain, while also keeping the one she had, and I recommended we go with Google Domains. When we checked on the availability of the new domain, she realized that she was paying 4x the amount to GoDaddy for her current domain. I was SHOCKED!!
See, the truth is, GoDaddy will charge you more for your privacy protection if you aren’t careful and they come at you with all types of offers that if you aren’t careful, you are paying some big bucks. Needless to say, we are in the process of moving their domain to Google Domains.
GoDaddy and NameCheap also offer web hosting and build-your-own-website packages, but don’t do it. Seriously, don’t do it. Even if you are taking the plunge to design your own website, please please stay away from these “all in one” companies that tell you they can do all the things.
And please don’t register your domain with your web host. If you ever need to change providers later, which that does happen occasionally, it’s just easier to have things separated. The cost is about the same either way.
We highly recommend Google Domains as your registrar.. It’s easy, the privacy protection is built in and if you are using Google WorkSpace, it’s a no brainer. You can transfer your domain to any registrar you want. If you have questions about the process, please reach out to us. You can reach Steve – my hubby and technical support specialist – at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rule 3: Choose your WordPress host based on metrics that matter.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your WordPress hosting provider.
The speed at which your website loads from the moment someone lands on your site is super important. Think about it – when you go to a website, if you’re sitting there waiting for it to load for more than a few seconds, you go elsewhere! Right?
You can do lots of things to optimize site speed, but can only optimize so much. Your hosting provider is the first line of defense to have a fast loading website.
If you find that your website is constantly going down – back up – down again – and you aren’t confident that when a visitor goes to your website that it is going to ‘work’ – run as fast as you can to get yourself a better hosting provider.
Your hosting provider, again, is responsible for the inconsistency of your website being available. Find a hosting provider that guarantees a 99% uptime guarantee. Why not 100%? Well, there are going to be times when a website will spaz out for a minute.
But with the right hosting provider, this is infrequent and is barely noticeable. Plus, we are talking about technology here – the nature of technology is that sometimes, shit happens.
Your hosting should also come with free SSL. You need this for your website to be secure. There are some companies (i.e. GoDaddy) that will charge you for your SSL certificate. While there are premium SSL certificates you can purchase, most coaches and service-providers only need the basic SSL that is free with a reputable hosting provider. Look to see that your URL has https:// in front and also see a padlock at the beginning.
Ah, the customer service department. Good thing about us (shameless plug, I know) is that WE ARE customer service. Yep, you can reach us at any time if you are one of our clients and you don’t have to jump through hoops to do it.
So, if you are going on the hunt for a hosting provider, look for one that offers real time chat with their customer service department. Or better yet, phone support, although this seems to be more rare as time goes on. In any case, there should be knowledgeable support staff available to you 24/7 in case you ever need help troubleshooting or fixing something on your site.
One side note about how to not choose a WordPress hosting provider is that when you Google “hosting providers” or “best hosting providers” what you get is a laundry list of results where the article bases their recommendations on price.
This is NOT how you want to choose your hosting provider. You want to make sure you are getting the best hosting out there for what your budget allows, however, you do not want to skimp on hosting. It’s one area of your coaching or service business that you want to invest in.
Our WordPress host recommendations
Now you’re holding tighter to your coffee, gritting your teeth, wondering what to do – We’ve got your back.
Our top pick (and really only pick) if you are going to do this on your own is FlyWheel. We used them for a while before we switched to managing our own server with Liquid Web and they have a stable hosting environment.
FlyWheel has great customer service and they offer Managed WordPress plans, which means that you don’t have to do all the technical stuff. You are still responsible for updating your plugins, WordPress Core and theme, among a few other minor responsibilities, but FlyWheel is a great option if you are taking care of your own WordPress website.
I hope this has been helpful information for you. I see waaaaay too many coaches and service providers getting into messes with their WordPress website when it comes to hosting, domains and even their email provider. It’s our intention to help educate through our blog so if you have any questions, please reach out.
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