Last week I wrote about how to spot a good web host, and I mentioned the list of recommended hosts on WordPress.org. At the time of writing that post, WordPress had one host listed on its recommendation page: Bluehost. There was, however, a note at the bottom of the page saying WordPress was in the process of updating the page. I don’t think anyone took that note seriously.
Well, the joke was on me! I was very pleased to see that WordPress updated its hosting recommendations within the past week. While Bluehost is still listed, the other companies mentioned are great: DreamHost, SiteGround, and Flywheel.
With so many hosting companies available, there’s pressure to pick the best available. I know I went back and forth trying to find the perfect host for my site. “The Paradox of Choice” says an overabundance of choices actually stalls our decision making and leads you to constantly second guess yourself. The last thing you want after signing a long-term contract with a hosting company is to wish you chose another host.
Hosting is crucial for both site speed and security. (See our Security page for more info on hosting and security.) If you dream of sub-two-second load times, you won’t get there with cheap shared hosting. And being able to choose your own host is a huge benefit open-source platforms (like WordPress) have over proprietary software.
But how do you judge a host? What should you look for? Who’s the best host? I can’t answer the last question because there is no right answer, but I can tell you how to evaluate hosts.
The majority of the sites I’ve produced have been on shared hosting plans. In short, a shared hosting plan is where multiple sites are stored on the same server. Every site on that server shares the resource capacity (disk space, bandwidth, etc.) of that server; there’s no cap for how much resource a single account can use. So if a single site on the server consumes of a ton of memory, or gets an insane amount of traffic, the performance of every site on that server will suffer.
Because of their affordability, shared hosting plans are by far the most popular. The price makes shared hosting tempting, but we have a few reasons you may want to consider upgrading to a VPS.