As you may or may not know, SmallOnlineBiz.com is one of three business websites that I run. The other two are MavicManiacs.com (a site dedicated to drone enthusiasts) and AngelPowwow.com (a site dedicated to angel investing and crowdfunding). All three are WordPress-based.
What you may not know, is that I don’t host my websites all in one place. Why? Because I recently discovered limitations with my previous hosting company that was really impacting my site and it’s users.
So, what is the best web hosting for WordPress?
To answer that, we’ll have to dig a bit deeper to determine your needs and expectations.
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There are a ton of web hosting solutions out there. They range from do-it-for-you services to completely hands-off (where you do everything, down to the code level), and everything in between…
Since we’re trying to answer the question, what is the best web hosting for WordPress, we know we’re not going to be at the completely hands-off level, since WordPress is pretty intuitive and there are a ton of plugins to choose from when you’re looking to add specific functionality.
Let’s face it, WordPress makes setting up a site pretty easy. You pick a theme, enter you content, setup some plugins to add functionality and finesse, and publish. Yes, it’s really that easy!
Because of this, most of us will be looking for more of a do-it-yourself solution, vs. a do-it-for-you package.
Now that we have a starting point (the fact that we’re looking to use a WordPress solution that’s pretty easy to set up yourself), we need to determine what kind of back end we’re looking for…
Virtually every hosting solution out there offers tiered hosting packages. These packages range from low-resource shared hosting systems (where you share the available resources with other people’s sites) to complete colocation bare-metal solutions (where you actually have your very own server hardware in a data somewhere).
I can tell you now, the lower option has it’s drawbacks. At the same time, the higher option is most-likely overkill (unless you’re a major corporation running process-intensive applications, etc.) and very pricey.
Two of my sites (it was all three for a while) run on a shared hosting setup. If your site is very basic, a shared solution may be OK. I’ve never seen one where it’s been just spectacular at any level. Something to keep in mind is that, as they add more users to the same shared system, resources become more strained and everything slows down.
Sadly, speed is not the only thing to think about. Issues crop up more often than not in shared hosting solutions, and you may not know about them until a visitor to your site brings them to your attention or you happen to notice it when you’re working on your site.
One example is that my host decided to limit login capabilities and my custom login redirect and even my 3rd-party login solution (that allowed my users to sign up and log into my membership site using their Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google accounts) were broken. The worst part is that I wasn’t even notified of the change (before or after it was made) and my site suffered because of it. My users actually alerted me to this particular problem. This was the final-straw when it came to my membership site, and is why I chose to move it to a much more robust setup (more on that later).
So, back to power. I’ve found that most people will be happier with a middle-ground solution. Enter the VPC…
A VPC is a virtual PC, where you get dedicated resources for your use. Sure, it’s still shared hardware, but the resources of that hardware are locked to provide you with a specific minimum (like a certain number of CPU cores, RAM, storage, etc.). So, instead of sharing a 6-core processor with 200 websites, you get a set dedicated number of cores for your use, etc.
A VPC is a great middle-ground between shared hosting and dedicated hardware, and is quite affordable to boot.
Of course, that leads us to your next question; So, what VPC host do you recommend?
Let’s find out…
I’m so glad you asked… Why, it’s Cloudways, of course!
So, with all the issues I was experiencing on my membership website, I had to be sure that wherever I decided to move it to, it would be good fit for years to come.
As you can imagine, I spent hours pouring over reviews, checking out demo sites, asking pointed questions, and so on, before settling on Cloudways as the best solution for me.
Let me give you a breakdown of what I run, so you can have an idea of what I was looking to support:
All-in-all, I have 35 active plugins on my site (that’s quite a bit).
My old, shared-hosting, provider just wasn’t cutting it. Some pages took up to 12 seconds to load. That’s terrible and will cause you to lose a lot of visitors as no one wants to wait for a page to load…
After combing over all the options, Cloudways was the best fit for my needs. They offer a powerful solution, at an affordable price.
Setting up my account, server, and WordPress instance only took a few minutes. After migrating my site over to Cloudways, those pages that took up to 12 seconds to load now loaded in under 2 seconds, worst-case, and usually less than 1! The difference was literally night and day and all of my features are once again working.
There are several offerings to choose from, so let’s talk about the one I think you should start with…
Let me start by saying, Cloudways is more of a middle-man solution. They resell various hosting solutions, but layer on their own setup and control features and add quite a bit of freebies and discounted options that would cost you a lot more to add on your own…
After weighing all the hosting choices available; the VULTR, High Frequency options are really the best fit. I chose the second of the four choices, because it gave me Object Cache Pro (where the first option didn’t). Object Caching can have a great impact on speeding up your site. It didn’t hurt to get twice the RAM, storage, and bandwidth too.
Setup was a breeze and it didn’t take me long to get the site up and running.
If your site is pretty simple, the free migration plugin will do the trick. If you have a more involved site setup, I recommend the free manual migration.
Support is just a chat window away, but, chances are, you won’t need to use it much. Their documentation is pretty good, and the one-click setups and deployments do most of the work for you anyway.
If you’re experiencing issues, or are unhappy with your current host, do yourself a favor and try the 3-day no credit card required test run and see for yourself. Hell, even if you aren’t having an issue or are just looking to start your website, give Cloudways a try. You won’t be disappointed.
As you can probably tell, I am ecstatic to have moved to Cloudways. If I had one gripe, it would be that I moved too quickly. Wouldn’t you know it? Less than a month after I moved, they came out with this awesome 4-month special:
At the time of this writing, the plan I am on is usually $26/mo, plus $4.99/mo for Cloudflare, $1.00 for my Rackspace email account, and just a few cents for my backup storage. My charges (as of this writing) for November are $18.93 with an estimated full month invoice of $31.97 (so worth it!).
Don’t forget… If you sign up before November 30th, 2022, and pick the same plan as I have, you get 40% off for the first 4 months. That makes the $26/mo plan only $15.60/mo, making my setup about $21.57/mo for those first 4 months. And that’s with the Cloudflare CDN add-on!
Seriously, do yourself a favor and Check Them Out.
Even with me not getting the 40% off or extra migrations, I’m still thrilled at the service I’m getting and the price I’m paying!
I hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to reach out to me any time. I’ll be happy to answer your questions or even help you get started with Cloudways.