Bloggers who want to take advantage of using the full, open source version of WordPress that is available from WordPress.org are going to need a website hosting account to get started. When it comes to choosing WordPress hosting, it is important to look beyond the basic prices to pick one that can support this content management system the best.
WordPress hosting requirements
As of the release of version 3.2 of WP, there are two primary requirements of any host that will be used for this software. The hosting account must run PHP version 5.2.4 or higher, as well as MySQL version 5.0 or higher.
The criticism about WordPress that is holds water is that it is resource heavy. For this reason, it is best to select a plan that offers 1024 MB or more of RAM. While WordPress works fine with less, loading speeds will be to slow at times for some readers, and they will likely go to the next page before the site has a chance to load.
Whatever the hosting platform, make sure the host supports a recent version of PHP, MySQL and the mod_rewrite Apache module. It may also be a good idea to consider asking the web host if they run suPHP. While this feature is not required, it can provide added security.
In addition to the actual hosting account, each site is going to need a unique domain name. Any domain name registrar can be used to register a domain, but the DNS entries (the domain register will give these) are needed from the hosting account to point a new domain to a valid web server. For this reason, it is typically best to get a web host set up before buying a domain name.
Despite which WordPress hosting company is picked, the absolute best choice is going to be one that offers the QuickInstall system through cPanel. This system offers a one-click method to install WordPress directly from the hosting administration account, so it is a major time saver.
For beginners that are unfamiliar with the WP installation process, editing raw PHP code, or uploading files through FTP, QuickInstall simplifies all the technical installation steps into an automated process. While it is excellent for first-time WordPress users, experts who have been using it for years still prefer this system because it is easy and fast.
Recommended WordPress hosts
People that have never purchased a web hosting account before will likely be confused by the large number of companies that offer this service. Without reliable information, it is easy for beginners to get sucked into a cheap web host.
A lot of the budget web hosts will cut corners with their customer service, connection speeds, and web servers to offer the prices that they do. When it comes to running a powerful content management system like WordPress, a slow server can prevent a site from having a chance at success.
A selection of some of the best WordPress hosting companies has been provided below based on personal experience, reviews, and other recommendations. These companies all offer the QuickInstall service and are very reliable in many aspects of their business.
MyHosting consistently ranks high among hosting companies. They offer every type of plan from shared hosting to virtual private services and dedicated hosting. One attractive feature is their highly customizable plans. Users can select exactly how much disk space, RAM, number of virtual processors, IPs and bandwidth they would like to purchase. In addition, it is possible to choose either Windows or Linux operating services. They are a Canadian company with servers in both the US and Canada.
When it comes to website hosting in general, HostGator is one of the leading companies for two main reasons. Their customer support is superb, which is extremely important for beginners and anyone trying to make money with their websites.
Their servers are the other reason why they are one of the best companies to pick. They have fast, reliable connections with fast servers that are not overcrowded. Some budget companies will use fast connections and servers but pack thousands of websites on a single server, so this is something that simply must be avoided.
The cost for HostGator hosting may be higher than the average company, but the extra dollar per month is well worth the benefits. With packages better than the basic web host account, an unlimited number of domains can be used on a single account for the same price. With multiple sites running on a single account, their hosting is a real bargain.
Another leading company that is also recommended for use as WordPress hosting is BlueHost. They are recommended for many of the same reasons as HostGator, although HostGator arguably has better support.
BlueHost does allow unlimited domain hosting, but their limit of 50 MySQL databases on a single account can leave customers limited to that many WordPress sites. However, the average person is never going to run this many sites, so this is likely not a major concern.
A major benefit to using BlueHost is their domain name bonus incentive for new customers. They offer a free domain name with each hosting account. This domain actually remains free for as long as the customer remains with BlueHost, so it can be a free domain name forever. It is a great incentive for beginners that do not want the added cost of a domain along with hosting fees, but additional domains beyond the first will still need to be purchased separately.
A final recommendation for a WordPress host is DreamHost because of their customer support. They realize the popularity of WP and offer specific support just for this content management system. In fact, their WordPress support has been voted as the best by customers for many years in a row. This makes this an excellent choice for beginners that think they will need some extra assistance to get started.
Another benefit for people interested in joining DreamHost is their two-week free trial offer. This is a risk free offer trial that gives potential customers the opportunity to try their service and web servers first hand before they make a final commitment to join.
Most people will generally stick with the same WordPress hosting company for many years and changing hosts can be complicated for beginners, so it is important to make the right choice the first time. With other hosts, a mistake with this decision can cost both time and money, but DreamHost helps to eliminate this problem with their free trial.