WordPress is the most widely used software for creating websites. If you choose WordPress to edit your site, you will need to find a suitable hosting provider. This is an essential first step. Only once you have found a hosting provider can you install WordPress, adjust the settings, and edit your website’s content.
How to choose your hosting? There are many hosting solutions and offers for WordPress sites (shared server, dedicated server, VPS, WordPress specific offers such as WP Engine…). It is easy to get lost when you are not an expert on the subject. To get a clearer picture, we will start by presenting five possible hosting families. We will see that the hosting solution’s choice will depend on your real needs in terms of performance (number of visits per month in particular) and the maintenance mode.
We will finish by zooming in on the leading solutions currently available on the market regarding dedicated WordPress hosting or shared hosting. This article is primarily intended for project owners who want to create a WordPress site themselves or at least have a handle on hosting, without having any technical skills. This article aims to demonstrate that it is nowadays possible to create a website under WordPress without being a computer professional, whatever the hosting solution was chosen (or almost).
Zoom on The Five Hosting Options for A Word Press Website
Let’s start by presenting the leading solutions for hosting a site under WordPress. There are five possible solutions to host a WordPress site: the shared server, the dedicated server, the VPS, the cloud, and the hosting offers dedicated to WordPress. But before we start, let’s quickly remind you what a hosting provider or hosting is for. The host is a company that offers to host your website on its servers. Hosting is the service. The host is the company that provides the service. Websites all need to be hosted on (physical) servers to be accessible to Internet users. The server plays the interface between the website’s content (present in the database) and the Internet user who wishes to access from any web browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer) to this content.
One could say, roughly, that the server 1/ stores the various files of the website and 2/met the website’s content at the disposal of the Internet users who wish to access it. Without hosting (on a server), your site cannot be accessible to the Net surfers. One understands in these conditions the decisive importance of finding not only hosting but an OK hosting. Here are the five possible hosting solutions for a site using WordPress software.
Shared Server: An Inexpensive but Limited Solution
Shared server hosting offers are the cheapest, but also the most limited paid offers. A shared server is a server used by several sites, which is shared (= mutualized) between several customers of the host. By opting for a shared server, your WordPress site will be stored in a server’s compartment. In other words: your site does not have a server on its own. The shared server is a kind of colocation. This has several disadvantages:
The server can not be configured to the little onions. It is the host who configures the server. The same configuration is imposed on all sites hosted on the server in question.
You also don’t have control over the maintenance of the server</strong>. It is also the host who takes care of the maintenance from A to Z. Note: this disadvantage can turn into an advantage if you don’t want to take care of the maintenance.
The performance of shared server hosting is very average and above all, very variable. For a simple reason: server resources are shared between several websites. What: 1/ Reduces the number of server resources allocated to you and 2/ Causes random slowdowns or even bugs when the other “roommates” of the server have traffic peaks (mainly).
You will quickly be limited by opting for a shared server if your site gains in the audience. Nevertheless, shared hosting is not to be rejected a priori. It can be relevant at the beginning of the site launch and if you plan a slow scale-up. Shared offers are the most interesting in terms of price. OVH, the French leader, offers shared hosting from 2.99 euros per month (HT).
Dedicated Server: The “classic” Solution
With a dedicated server, as its name indicates, you have your server. “Dedicated” is opposed, as you will have understood, to “mutualized”. To use the “real estate” metaphor, a dedicated server offer is equivalent to a classic individual rental. You benefit from all the resources of the server. The number of server resources available can vary from one server to another (not all apartments have the same surface area). By choosing a dedicated server offer, you are entirely free to configure the server according to your needs. The host provides you with accesses that allow you to install software on the server (at your own risk) and manage server maintenance yourself. As you can imagine, the offers are more expensive (from 5.99 euros/month at OVH) but remain reasonable on average. These offers have the drawbacks of their advantages: you are the one who has to take care of the configuration and maintenance like a great one. This requires technical skills to call upon a service provider.
Note: Dedicated hosting is ideal for websites with high traffic or sites requiring high data security.
Virtual Server (vps): Interesting for Medium-Sized Sites
The VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a mix between a shared server and a dedicated server. The virtual server is similar to the shared server in that you rent only part of a physical server. You don’t have a server all by yourself. But in the VPS, the physical server’s resources are distributed among several individually configurable virtual servers. In other words, it’s “as if” you have a server all to yourself. In this respect, VPS hosting is similar to dedicated hosting: you have control over your virtual server and modules’ configuration. This requires a little more technical skills than shared hosting. Note that some hosting providers offer pre-configured virtual servers, which makes things easier for novices.
Note: With a VPS server, you can modulate the number of resources allocated to match your real needs. VPS hosting offers good flexibility.
The VPS server is recommended for sites that have (become) too big to be hosted on a shared server, but whose size does not (yet) justify using a dedicated server.
Cloud hosting: an “agile” solution, but not always relevant for a WordPress site
Cloud hosting offers multiply: Amazon, Google, and Azure have invested the market in recent years. Cloud hosting provides significant margins of freedom: you have full access to the cloud server, you can configure it according to your needs, install the software you want, scale-up in a very flexible way (in case of an increase in traffic of your site). Cloud hosting has, however, two significant drawbacks :
Cloud hosting offers are generally quite expensive.
Cloud hosting requires quite advanced technical skills and is not easy to handle.
Cloud hosting is rarely an attractive option for small to medium-sized WordPress sites.
Specific Word Press Offers
Last possibility: opt for an offer specifically designed for WordPress sites. You rent all (dedicated server) or part (shared server) of a physical server fully configured for WordPress sites in concrete terms. This is the case, for example, with Ikoula’s WordPress hosting package. It can also be, and this is the most common, a cloud server with a completely designed WordPress environment. The specific hosting for WordPress sites is generally very qualitative and flexible if you want to increase the load (Example: WPEngine).
With the specific offers, you generally have nothing to do: the host takes care of the server management and maintenance. It is, therefore, an ideal solution for those who do not have IT skills. On the other hand, the price is significantly higher than traditional dedicated server solutions. Count about thirty euros per month at least to have a qualitative hosting.
Here are the five possible solutions to host a WordPress site. We did not mention free hosting, which can be the sixth solution, but a solution to avoid. Nothing is ever free: if you choose free hosting, your host may pollute your site with unwanted advertising. Not to mention that the quality of the hosting is often minimal. From all points of view, free offers are to be avoided. To help you choose the best hosting solution for you, here are two questions you should ask yourself.
Two Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing Your Word Press Host
“good” accommodation is above all accommodation that meets your needs. Here are two questions you should ask yourself before choosing your accommodation.
Who Is Going to Maintain the Word Press Site?
We have seen that some offers require technical skills and others do not. To summarize :
You must have technical skills if you choose a dedicated server or a cloud server.
You do not need technical skills with a shared server and, to a lesser extent, with a VPS server. Even if a good web culture is often useful in problems (DNS change, database backup, etc.).
The answer to the question of who takes care of the maintenance already makes it possible to rule out specific solutions. If this interests you, find out how to anticipate the maintenance costs of your e-commerce site. Despite its title, this article not only concerns e-commerce sites but also addresses the issue of maintenance in a general way.
What Are Your (real) Needs in Terms of Performance/scalability?
The better hosting is performing, the higher its price. This is quite logical. Of course, everyone would like to have a site optimized to the bone, with a server response time of fewer than 0.1 seconds and the ability to go from 1,000 to 100,000 visitors in one day. But is it beneficial to have a high-performance hosting to host a small blog or a 15-page showcase site? In the choice of hosting, it is not a question of finding the most efficient hosting with the best quality/price ratio. The main thing is to find the hosting that best suits your site and its medium-term development, and of course, with the best quality/price ratio.
For a WordPress “showcase site” type site or for a small/medium-sized blog, the two most suitable solutions in terms of hosting are dedicated WordPress servers on the one hand and shared servers on the other hand. As this article is primarily aimed at those who have a small or medium-sized site, here is a zoom on these two types of solutions.
Zoom on Dedicated Word Press Hosting
Hosting packages designed specifically for WordPress sites have several undeniable advantages: generally higher performance, convenient WordPress-specific features, automatic updates, quality support, and more. The main disadvantage is the price. Dedicated WordPress hosting costs more than traditional hosting. There are several WordPress dedicated hosting solutions available. The worldwide reference is WP Engine. In our opinion, it is the most qualitative offer (it is the one used for hosting La Fabrique du Net!). But there are others, such as WP Server in particular.
Zoom on iPage
IPage is a hosting company that distinguishes itself from others by providing services at the best value for money. It is thus the best-recommended subsidiary for individuals or professionals looking to create their website.
iPage belongs to that group of hosting companies in which users assign useful labels of the “competitive, with a price-quality relationship defying all competition” type. A web host on a human scale available to all entrepreneurs, service providers, merchants, etc. In short, professionals who want to develop their business on the Internet, through a website, iPage offers a range of hosting services that can quickly start significantly reduced rates.
History and Evolution of The iPage Hosting Provider
This web hosting company is operational for the first time in 1998 by taking the role of a professional provider that offers unique solutions to the different actors needing a hosting web service, to develop and take care of the design of their website. The company disappeared slightly from the picture by remaining inactive for a few years, before being relaunched afterward in 2009.
iPage Services and Offers
In its vocation, the iPage host offers not only classic or essential web hosting services but also an ideal perspective panel to quickly start a business on the web. Thus, its services and offers include web marketing, email hosting, domain registration, website management, e-commerce services, site scripting, etc.
Good Reasons to Trust the iPage Hosting Provider
First of all, the company provides users with an American-style rate tag made up of several advantages relating to numerous external services. For example, for a fee of 3 euros and a few, its users can benefit from a maximum of advertising credits on social networks. They will also have at their disposal an online store, a highly qualified security package, unlimited email addresses, etc. Also, the iPage host also offers them an outstanding performance that remains easy to use, to pay little for peace of mind.
The iPage hosting company is the ideal platform recommended by small and medium-sized websites. A team of iPage support and consultants will be available day and night to solve users’ problems when handling it. In short, it is unquestionably the most complete and most profitable hosting company for merchant sites, service sites, etc.