We know you may have a hard time figuring out which hosting provider is best for your small business or blog. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of questions to ask when selecting a WordPress hosting provider. Click to read more!

Choosing a WordPress hosting provider can be a daunting task.

From our own personal experience, we’ve tried a lot of different providers and made plenty of mistakes along the way.

Many of our mistakes could have been avoided if we had a list of the important features we needed specifically for our business.

That’s why today we’re featuring the most important questions to ask yourself or your potential hosting provider to find the right provider for your business.

This will save you a lot of time and headaches in the future, so we hope it’s helpful!

Before we get into the questions to ask when selecting a WordPress hosting provider, we’ll first define common terms that will see.

If you are already familiar with these terms, feel free to skip this section and go directly to the questions by clicking here.

Common Terms

There is a common house analogy that is used to describe the differences between your domain name, hosting provider, and website content management system.

Domain name (which is the website link, example: https://www.bluchic.com) = Your house address

Hosting provider (great ones include Flywheel or A2Hosting our current hosting) = Your land

Website content management system (WordPress): Decorations inside your house

Your hosting is the land, Your domain name is your home address.

Common WordPress Hosting Terms

Free Hosting
Free WordPress hosting is not something we would recommend to a business owner, but we wanted to explain what it means, so you are aware.

Some individuals will offer a part of their server space for businesses to use for free, but in actuality, it doesn’t end up being completely free.

Many times, they will ask for you to add a web banner to your website to get advertising for their website, in exchange for letting you use their server space for free.

We don’t recommend this practice for two reasons: 1) We don’t want to drive traffic away from your website and business. 2) These situations can be unreliable and you have no control or security over your web host.

Shared Hosting
Shared web hosting is when many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. This means that your website, along with thousands (sometimes millions) of other websites are all on one server.

Choosing a shared web hosting can be economical because the cost of using the server is divided among all of the different customers, instead of you paying the entire portion. However, if that server goes out for any reason (i.e. hacker, outage, etc), many websites will go down all at once and it can take time to get every website up and running again.

VPS (stands for Virtual Private Server)
VPS is a hybrid between shared web hosting and dedicated hosting. VPS is similar to shared web hosting, where many websites use the same web server, but your website data is secure from other customers who are using the same web server.

There are minimum performance guarantees, so your website won’t be slowed down if other customer’s website are down.

Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting service means that your business/organization is the only one using the server. If you receive a high volume of traffic, a dedicated service may be your best option.

With a dedicated server, you can take up a larger capacity of bandwidth, meaning you can have a lot of people on your website at the same time and your pages still load at high speed.

It also offers more security, stability, and control, whereas sharing your server makes you and your business more at risk.

Managed Hosting
Managed hosting service offers a premium support option. They offer extremely fast load times of your website, top-notch security, expert support, daily backups and automatic updates, and essentially no downtime of your website.

While this sounds like the obvious option, using a managed hosting service will cost more. If you currently don’t have a large amount of traffic to your website, selecting a managed service may be too much for what you currently need.

Not sure which hosting to choose?

Get our FREE checklist of questions to ask when choosing a hosting for your website. Plus, you’ll get access to 15+ other free checklists, workbooks, and guides inside our Freebie Library.


8 Questions To Ask When Choosing A WordPress Hosting Provider

We know you may have a hard time figuring out which hosting provider is best for your small business or blog. After a lengthy search, you may even feel overwhelmed by all the technical jargon and specifications. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of questions to ask when selecting a WordPress hosting provider.

1 | What are your current website needs for your business?

Before diving into comparing different hosting providers, you’ll first need to get clear on your current business needs.

Your current website traffic is a good indicator of what level of bandwidth you will need from your hosting provider. For example, you will need a larger bandwidth if you have one million pages views a month versus one thousand page views a month.

Another important factor is how much you expect your business to grow in the next 3 months, 6 months, and year.

You don’t need to have exact numbers, but if you expect business to take off in the next 6 months, you may want to consider purchasing a large bandwidth from the beginning, instead of switching down the road. For right now you only want to pay for what you use, but it’s important to know you can upgrade your plan as necessary to accommodate higher traffic volumes as your site grows.

An additional consideration is if you are running multiple websites and domains. Several hosting providers make it easy for you to manage multiple websites and domains, while others it is more difficult.

Related post: We share 8 things you MUST know before launching your first website!

2 | Does it meet the WordPress hosting requirements?

WordPress has hosting requirements that your provider must have to be able to operate your website. Many popular providers meet the hosting requirements, but you should always check to make sure.

Your host must support:
PHP version 7.4 or greater.
MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.1 or greater.
HTTPS support

Simply asking your hosting provider if your account supports these will answer any questions. Click to learn more about the WordPress hosting requirements.

3 | How much support do I need?

Depending on your technical background, you will want to know how easy it is to set up your hosting provider and manage your account.

Some providers walk you through step-by-step on what you need to do, while others set up the hosting for you. The type of support you are looking for will depend on how much support you will need.

Another factor to consider is if you will need help migrating your site to a new host. If you currently have a website on another platform such as WordPress.com or Squarespace, you will need to migrate your old site to your new hosting provider.

4 | How responsive is their support team?

While you may be able to find some answers with a bit of digging on their website, it’s ok to contact their customer service or sales department. Pay attention to how quickly you hear back, how politely they respond, and how much information they provide. It’s equally important to evaluate how the provider responds to your queries. This is an indication of the level of customer service you can expect going forward.

We would also suggest searching online to see what the quality of their customer support is. Looking on the Who Is Hosting This website will show you feedback from actual customers. Several hosting providers are known for their excellent customer service, while others leave something to be desired. If friendly, responsive customer service is important to you, remember to look for that while you are shopping around.

Confused about selecting a #WordPress hosting provider? @Bluchic covers all of the questions you should ask when selecting a hosting for your online business.Click To Tweet

5 | What is the load time of my website (i.e. speed)?

This may be the most important question for you to answer. As an online business owner, your website is your main hub where everyone goes to find out more about you and your business and to purchase from you. If your pages load at a slow pace, you could lose potential customers.

Making sure you go with the right size of bandwidth for your provider is key.

Related post: The 7 Things You Need To Do Immediately After Launching Your New Site

6 | Is it a well known provider?

Selecting a well-known provider has its benefits. For one, you know that thousands, if not millions, of other people, have used or currently use this hosting provider, and there is something to proof of numbers.

Search “{hosting provider} testimonials” to read reviews and testimonials from other users to determine how other businesses like their service and offerings.

7 | Will my website be secure?

It’s not fun to admit this, but there could be a time where something happens to your website, whether someone attempts to hack your website or servers go down, it could happen to you.

Making sure your hosting provider has backup options is crucial. Some provide backup options at no additional cost from your monthly or yearly fee, others it is an additional cost. Make sure you know what the hosting provider offers.

We also recommend viewing what protection they have if your website is hacked. If you search “{hosting provider} prevent hacking,” many times a frequently asked questions section or forum will come up from that provider, listing ways to prevent a hacker breaking into your website.

Related post: WordPress Security 101: Keeping Your Business Protected

8 | What is my budget?

Finally, you will need to determine the amount of money you are willing to spend each month or year on a hosting provider. Remember, cheaper isn’t always the best option, but neither is the most expensive.

Determining your business needs and what is most important to you will help you settle on a budget amount.

Final thoughts

Asking yourself and your potential provider these questions will help you determine what the best option is for you and your business. If you are just starting out, we recommend starting with a shared hosting provider (Flywheel or A2Hosting) and make changes as necessary.

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