Website hosting is the foundation of the internet. Every website needs it, but we often spend more time talking about analytics, security and accessibility. Those things are important, but they don’t mean much if your hosting crashes.
We’re now offering our own WordPress hosting solution, so we’ve been talking with WordPress experts about hosting.
Bob Dunn is a WordPress teacher and content guy who specializes in WordPress, e-commerce and monetization. In the past, he’s offered design and coaching services, but these days he’s all about the content, including two podcasts: BobWP eCommerce Show and Do the Woo.
“It’s important that you ask people you know and trust, explain your needs and let them help you.” -Bob Dunn
We talked with Bob about user error, security, and that it’s about more than money.
What’s your worst hosting horror story?
I’m going to take a different approach on this one. I think most of our horror stories are often to blame on either miscommunication or, as much as most people don’t want to admit it, user error.
For example, at a large conference I was speaking at, I had forgotten to renew my SSL and my site went down when I was in the midst of driving everyone to my website. Fortunately, the host was a sponsor there and helped me get things working in about an hour’s time. So my horror story was resolved by my hosting company.
What’s the most important factor in choosing a hosting company?
Do your research. And don’t start by Googling the 10 best WordPress hosts, nor pop into a Facebook group and ask who the best host is. You do not want to fall into that bottomless pit.
I feel it’s important that you ask people you know and trust, explain your needs and let them help you.
Whatever you do, although I understand budgets, don’t just focus on what you are willing to spend and what are you expecting from your investment. Don’t make it all about money.
How does the hosting conversation change when you’re talking specifically about WordPress?
I think it all boils down to security. People have been given this impression that WordPress is so vulnerable. What I tell them is that hosting is only part of that equation. Their job is protect their servers, meaning all sites. Your job is to keep it secure through updates, etc. For example, your apartment has locks installed on your doors. The management has fulfilled their part of security. But if you leave your door unlocked, you cannot blame the manager.
So essentially people think hosting has to have some extra, multiple layers of security when it comes to WordPress, but you also need to play a big part in keeping your site safe and sound. And if it is critical that the hosting you choose helps you keep things updated, etc., make sure you are looking at the right hosts.
How do you convince people of the importance of investing in hosting?
It’s a needed business expense. You don’t rent your office in some run-down building. You don’t always get the cheapest computer. You purchase business insurance to avoid liability. Hosting for your website is no different. You need to invest enough in it to meet the needs of your particular site.