It’s important to have the basics when having your WordPress hosting setup. However, it also pays to get acquainted with some of the little known practical features that significantly add value to your site. There could be other highly useful WordPress hosting features you are missing.
Consider the following as you evaluate your options for a WordPress, web host.
#1. Suitable Server or Data Center Location
Not many pay attention to the locations of the data centers that will be hosting their websites. Some tend to have the perception that web hosting services are the same when it comes to their servers or data centers. There are also those who simply presume that the data centers of all web hosting service providers are bound to deliver the same level of performance. Of course, these are misconceptions. Web hosts can offer variety regarding data centers—something that can be unique to them.
There are those that can provide a different data center for each site being hosted. Such a feature is particularly advantageous if you are targeting a particular region or country for your website, blog, or eCommerce site. The location of the server is one if the main factors that affect website speed. Generally, websites load faster when they are being accessed in a place geographically closer the physical location of the server.
#2. Free Plugins
Sure, many web hosts readily provide plugins for their customers. However, they don’t necessarily provide handy plugins. You need to look for one that offers plugins that provide real benefits. Make sure that these plugins include those intended for ensuring site security and enhancing performance. These plugins should also help the site generate traffic and make site maintenance easy. As much as possible, the free plugins should offer a combination of SEO, security, spam protection, and optimization functions.
It would be great to have a plugin that forces the use of strong passwords, to have a readily deployed layer of protection against brute force attacks. Similarly, it would be advisable to have a plugin that affords protection against malware and hacking.
It would also be great to have spam protection, the ability to easily generate automatic offsite backups, and the ability to implement search engine optimization strategies and page optimization before making a post live. Having a plugin like WP Smush, which compresses and optimizes images, is also going to be highly advantageous.
#3. Speed and Performance Oriented Hosting Architecture/Technologies
Page loading time affects the bottom line of a business that relies on websites for its sales. As such, it is of utmost importance to choose a web host that ensures speed and performance. Not many web hosting service providers can guarantee the best technologies for providing optimum speed and performance. You need to be mindful of technologies or architecture associated with good website speed such as Nginx, MariaDB, PHP7, and LXD containers. Look for those that implement a minimalist hosting stack particularly configured for WordPress.
Sandbox here refers to a “sandboxed environment” wherein an exact copy of your existing website (that is currently live or fully accessible) is created. This sandbox, staging area, or local testing environment for WordPress makes it possible to run tests or develop and tweak a better version of your live site without having to undergo a downtime. With this sandbox, you can see how the changes you implement will work with the new web host.
It allows you to ascertain that there are no problems in how you want your site to operate. If problems are encountered, there will be enough time to fix them or to find alternatives in case there are incompatibilities. The sandbox should allow access to sFTP details as well as the MySQL database and all other files.
#5. Free Site Migration Support
More than just the typical customer support, it would be great if the web hosting package you get comes with free site migration. There are those that help clients in moving their websites to a new web host. They can assign a temporary domain for your site so you can inspect everything before your site or sites get pointed to the new servers. This creates a great convenience while ensuring that your sites will be move to the new host safely and securely.
Don’t settle for generic, ordinary, or typical WordPress web hosts. Carefully examine what the available options can offer and find distinguishing unique features that create undeniable benefits or advantages. If you want to have a WordPress site or blog that is fast, secure, flexible, and scalable, look for the features discussed above as you go over your choices for a WordPress web hosting package.