If you are going to set up a WordPress CMS website, you will need to make sure that your hosting company can offer you the minimum required server specification for WordPress below.
A MySQL database will need to be provisioned, the server will also need to support PHP – minimum requirements:
- PHP 7.2 or greater (this is massively important for speed)
- MySQL 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB 10.0 or greater
- The mod_rewrite Apache module
- HTTPS support
A hosting company should be able to confirm that they offer the above. Hosting companies will be proud if they support WordPress installations, and the logo will usually appear on their website. Many hosting companies will offer a ‘one-click install’ but if you are given the choice between a Windows or a Linux server when you set up your WordPress hosting, always choose Linux. This has nothing to do with your local computer platform, it is purely for hosting.
The problem is that some web hosts are better at certain things than others. I had an instance recently where someone had purchased a hosting package, which on the surface looked fine. It included a database and so should deliver what was needed for any open source CMS. However, this wasn’t the case, the limitations placed on reading and writing certain files meant that the chosen product was never going to work properly. It was not good enough for WordPress hosting. If you think you would like to have your site built on a CMS platform such as WordPress, it is important to check that the host supports these services.
Cheap hosting is sure to cause you problems with page load speed, which will not help your Google rankings. There are just too many sites rammed onto one server and at peak times demand can seriously slow down your website or worse make it completely inaccessible. If they don’t offer PHP 7.0 then avoid them!
Even worse that if it is a possible is that they take security risks and you can find yourself the victim of a server breach and find your website hacked. The hacker will have got in through a different website to yours but once inside the server was able to take over many other sites due to low server security.
Good, resourceful and uncrowded WordPress hosting is expensive to provide and the hosting company will have to pass on those costs but it is well worth paying for.
Then there are WordPress dedicated hosts
For those wanting to set up a WordPress website on their own, I recommend using managed WordPress hosting solutions. You don’t have to worry about security or doing your own updates, they do it all for you. In my view WP-Engine are the best. Not only do you get hosting but you get backups, security and speed. So yes it costs more than standard shared hosting but in the long run it is worth the money.
Alternatively, if you are using a professional web developer, just let them do it all for you!