Selecting a web hosting company appears to be an easy task, however
when you google (as of this date) web hosting, Google reports back 7,410,000 results. That is a mix of organic results (unpaid ads) and paid ads, which are strategically placed on each Google page. If you spend 30 seconds on each listing that’s 222,300,000 seconds or 3,705,000 minutes, which is equivalent to 61,750 hours: close to 2,573 days and nights of nonstop reading: just 169 years.
You’re not going to spend that much time choosing a company to host your website!
When you’re in a hurry or indecisive you may select the first hosting company that shows up in your search that has tons of positive comments and unbelievable up-times, such as 99%. 99% up-time sounds great, but out of 365 days, that up-time is actually an estimated downtime of 87.6 hours.
Hosting companies can be misleading in other areas too. For example, read the online published review “Best Web Hosting Services of 2021.” There’s a selection of websites the author researched, listing, in their opinion. If you look closely at that review in a Google search, you’ll notice this is a paid ad: the reason it’s on the top part of the search page.
There’s a selection of websites the author researched, listing their opinion the top providers. If you look closely at that review in a Google search, you’ll notice this is a paid ad: the reason it’s on the top part of the search page.
As a paid ad (and there are several ads when searching for the best web hosting companies of 2021, in the above example, the analysis is most likely written by someone who has vested interest in one or more of those top ten companies. In fact, there are several ads that probably contain biased reviews.
Additionally, some providers own several companies. The top two hosting companies in those paid ads. are usually Hostgator and Bluehost: both owned by Endurance International Group.
Bluehost and Hostgator both offer WordPress hosting too. Here again, in a Google search, the top WordPress providers listed first are paid ads promoting Hostgator and Bluehost as number one and number two providers.
Regardless of who the provider is, WordPress hosting is specialized.
The server is explicitly designed to work with websites built on a WordPress platform. There is a standard list of features offered such as access to free themes and a control panel, like a C-panel or PLESK.
Because the WordPress platform is specific, hosting with a free or inexpensive provider may not offer all the features you need.
What you may also get if you’re doing free or cheap hosting:
- Not your own URL.
- Inability to change themes or add plugin’s.
- No FTP access.
- Limited subdomains.
- One website per account.
- Slow support.
- Frequent Downtime.
- Restrictions (e.g. space, traffic).
Most free web hosting providers will turn your account around, take away the ads, turn on FTP access, secure your website, and so on if you upgrade to a paid account on their service.
A paid service affords more features. When something isn’t offered such as backups or additional emails, you can add them for a small monthly fee. But additions like SEO, SSL, and theme updates are usually available at higher costs.
Unlike additions, WordPress utilizes plugins, some free, some paid. When a provider offers updates, it normally updates to the platform only: themes and plugin updates are expected to be done by the website owner. These mundane tasks can be passed on to the provider if the website owner uses managed WordPress Hosting.
Managed WordPress hosting is enhanced and specific for supporting its users and websites. It may include:
- Updated Security.
- Automatic WordPress, theme, plugin, and core updates.
- Improved performance.
- Better up-times.
- Daily backups.
- Lower operation costs.
Managed hosting gives the website owner the liberty to work on their website without being concerned with tech issues, server security, updates or server optimization. The right WordPress-managed hosting for your company may not be offered if you select the first hosting company that shows up in your Google search.
Selecting a web hosting company appears to be an easy task, but its always good to take your time and do a little research. After all, there are at least 7,410,000 providers to choose from.