There are a lot of hosting guides out there to show you how to choose web hosting for your WordPress site. But they don’t always help you assess your web hosting needs. There are lots of hosting options, but before you consider any of them, you have to figure out what you need.
Hosting is one of those things you absolutely need to have a functioning website, but nobody likes to think about it. Speed, uptime, price—these are all important considerations.But a lot of hosting guides skip to those details and don’t always cover what’s most important: What do you actually need?
Most hosting guides dive into the usual issues: speed, security, support, price. Those are all important.
- Sometimes advice will talk about avoiding companies that promise “unlimited” anything. That’s good advice.
- Comparing the actual numbers and looking at the services offered is also helpful.
- It’s also smart to look at the availability of support.
These are all good things to look at when deciding on your WordPress hosting. But they’re not the first thing you should consider.
Choosing Web Hosting: How to Assess Your Hosting Needs
All that other stuff is well and good, but what’s really important when choosing hosting is to assess your web hosting needs.
What does your site actually need? Is shared hosting good enough or do you need a dedicated server—or something in between? Do you want some level of managed WordPress hosting?
Assessing your needs first will help you figure out where in the range of hosting options you fall. Then you can start looking at more specific issues like support, speed, features, etc.
All six of these considerations will help you decide what kind of hosting you need.
- 1. Traffic: Does your site have a few thousand unique views each month or half a million? Those are vastly different amounts of traffic and different hosting providers will have a different approach to tackling it, with varying degrees of success.
- 2. E-commerce: Do you have a large e-commerce store with thousands of products or customers? That might require more specialized hosting services.
- 3. Multiple sites: How many sites do you have? Is it just one site for your personal side hustle? Or do you have multiple projects, each with their own site? Or do you build sites for clients and need your own server for the multiple sites you build each year?
- 4. Custom or normal: How complicated is your site? If you’re talking about a straightforward brochure site or a blog, those are going to have basic hosting needs. But if you have a complex publishing platform with lots of custom coding and unique applications, you might need a more custom hosting setup.
- 5. DIY or do it for me: What kind of approach do you have to building your site? If you want someone to do it for you and manage all the changes, that can mean a different hosting environment than one where you do everything yourself.
- 6. Change: You may have an answer today for any of the above questions, but how will these things change down the road as your site grows and evolves? It’s relatively easy to change hosts so you’re not locked in, but hosting is something many people set and forget. If you anticipate changes, you might want to choose a hosting provider that will give you room to grow with flexible upgrades and additional features.
Choosing the Best Host
It’s tempting to look at providers and options right away. But before you dive into the plethora of web hosting features, pros and cons, and comparing numbers, you must assess web hosting needs. Take inventory of what your needs are so you can find the best solution for your situation.
Otherwise, it’s too easy to get sucked into some offering you don’t really need.