I have reviewed many web hosting companies on this over the years. Most of them were satisfactory in the service area. However, there are huge differences in pricing. Some companies make you pay as much as two times the price you would pay another company for the same service.
So, how important is the price after all?
All things equal, price is the most important factor. Remember, I wrote all things equal. So what are those things?
PHP and MySQL
PHP and MySQL are required to run WordPress. Pretty much all traditional web hosts offer them.
WordPress and Other Scripts
One-click installs are necessary if you don’t want to mess with FTP uploads and setting up databases. Softaculous, Fantastico and some proprietary solutions are the ones you will encounter. My personal preference is Softaculous, but they all work the same way. And their use is limited. You will use them once when you set up your website for the first time.
Softaculous also has some additional features, like auto-updates and backups.
How about WordPress optimized hosting? Try the cheap shared hosting first. If your website gets some traction and feels slower than what you expect, you can always upgrade.
Uptime tells you the time a website is reachable for a given period of time. It is expressed as a percentage value. You should aim for as high an uptime as possible. If your website is often down, your visitors will abandon it and go to your competitors.
The Google crawler doesn’t like it either. So it may cost you your SEO rankings.
Website speed is the other pillar you should look for. There are numerous aspects of website speed. Some of them depend on your hosting provider, others on you and your application.
With traditional web hosts, you get to run PHP with MySQL. PHP has gotten a lot faster in recent years, so unless you are running a buggy application, you should be fine there. The database can be a real bottleneck though. It’s traditionally where most memory is used.
Uptime and speed are technical. Let’s tackle the business concerns. You can have great uptime, lightning-fast speeds, yet still in need of help. You see, each web host is a bit different. They don’t use the exact same software.
And sometimes servers go down even at the best web hosts. We have seen Google, Amazon and Cloudflare go down for hours. If it can happen to them, it can happen with smaller companies too.
Price of what?
Most web hosts include a core set of features in their offerings. All other things are addons for additional fees.
When you compare web hosts, take into account the price of regular backups in your calculations. That’s one addon service that I highly recommend and it will pay for itself manifold.
Domain names are also more expensive if you register them with your web host. Some of them offer free domain registrations, but renewal prices can increase steeply. I register all my domains at discount registrars like Dynadot.
Who do I recommend?
Siteground used to be good, but they have increased their pricing so much that I don’t recommend them anymore.