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Purchase Web Hosting | Create Your Business Website With WordPress

Author’s Note: Purchase Web Hosting is part of the first chapter of my free ebook, “Create Your Business Website With WordPress.” Each day I will release a chapter from the book onto my site.

The first step in creating the business website with WordPress is to purchase the appropriate web hosting company and plan.

If the reader don’t know what or how to choose the proper web hosting provider for their website, don’t worry as I’m going to explain it in easy-to-understand terms. This step can take a considerable amount of time because due to comparing companies, their plans, their prices, and their customer service options.

I highly recommend users do not skimp on the costs when it comes to choosing web hosting. Although the reader shouldn’t choose the most expensive hosting plan, just remember people get what they pay for. Either the hosting plan will have slower performance, or those individuals won’t have enough storage for their files, or the web hosting company will have subpar customer service.

How To Purchase Web Hosting

In this section I’ll explain how to choose the proper web hosting company and package for a business website. There’s so many companies and plans to choose from. And reviews alone aren’t enough to make a decision. I’ll discuss the differences between the four plans hosting companies offer for WordPress installations:

  • Managed WordPress Hosting
  • Shared Web Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  • Dedicated Server

Finally, I’ll show the pros and cons of each of those plans, and explain when to choose that particular plan for a business website.

What Is Web Hosting?

According to Wikipedia: “A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center.”

Web hosting companies have servers in a data center and rent those for customer use. What are servers? Think of them as bigger and more powerful computers. Servers have higher-end CPUs, more memory, larger capacity storage disks, and high-bandwidth network ports to allow multiple users access it at once.

When a customer purchase web hosting, the company takes one of the servers they own and prepares a portion of it for the customer to use. (Unless that customer chooses the Dedicated Server plan, then that person gets to use the entire server.)

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting is an inexpensive package available at web hosting companies. Some companies may advertise it as “WordPress Hosting.” Here are the pros and cons of this hosting package:

Pros

  • Inexpensive price.
  • Great for personal blogs or small websites.
  • Web hosting company performs server updates.
  • WordPress core updates happen automatically.
  • Daily backups.

Cons

Let’s go through the pros and cons in more detail. Managed Web Hosting is inexpensive because the web hosting company uses basic servers to hosts the customers’ websites. Now basic doesn’t mean bad. Instead, think of it like a car with the base package. These servers don’t have any frills. That why these are a great option for a blog or a basic website. A good reason to choose this hosting because the hosting company handles all server updates. That way their customers don’t have to worry about applying security updates in a timely fashion. And that includes WordPress core file updates. The hosting company will handle that too. Finally, the company will automatically backup the website’s files.

As for the cons these basic servers aren’t a good choice for Ecommerce business websites, or websites selling services requiring heavy database usage. Some web hosting companies may have a more expensive Managed WordPress Hosting package which could handle those websites. If the individual wants Plesk or cPanel access this plan won’t usually offer it. (I’ll explain what Plesk and cPanel are in the Shared Hosting section.) That also goes for SFTP or database access. However, some companies may offer limited SFTP and database access if one chooses a more expensive plan.

Shared Web Hosting

This hosting is usually the cheapest plan offered by web hosting companies. Yet, this hosting also gives access to Plesk and cPanel, which are website control panels. These control panels allow users to manage various parts of the back-end of their website, like PHP version and email accounts to name a couple. Here are the pros and cons of this hosting package:

Pros

  • Cheapest price.
  • Great for small & medium-sized business websites.
  • Web hosting company performs server updates.
  • Access to Plesk, cPanel, SFTP, and database access.

Cons

  • The cheapest packages can have sparse features.
  • Free services can become non-free after a period of time.

Now to review the pros and cons in more detail. Regarding the pros the cheap price is a great option for those with limited budgets. Shared Hosting does use basic servers on the cheapest plans, however. Yet, this is still a great choice for small and medium-sized websites. And since there is access to control panels, SFTP, and the database it’s a better option for more demanding websites.

The downsides to this plan are the cheapest packages can have limited features. Thus, if a business owner needs a server that is PCI-compliant for their Ecommerce store that person will have to choose a more expensive plan. Finally, some free services can become non-free after a period of time. I see this most often with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates, which secures the site from hackers and other bad actors. Users should read the Terms and Conditions regarding any free services to see if those will become non-free in the future.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

With this hosting pricing becomes more expensive. Because VPS give users more control over the server, and offer more power hardware running the server. Here are the pros and cons of this hosting package:

Pros

  • Users can choose the server’s operating system and hardware specs.
  • The server’s hardware is more robust, offering better performance.
  • Users total control over the server’s hardware and software.

Cons

  • VPS plans are more expensive.
  • Users are responsible for server updates.
  • Users may have to hire outside technical support for some issues.

Now to review the pros and cons in more detail. As for the price, VPS are more expensive and the previous two web hosting packages I discussed earlier in this chapter. The higher price is due to the features VPS offers. Customers can choose the server’s operating system and the hardware specifications. With this comes root access, which is the ability to control the entire server. Finally, VPS offers better hardware than the other two web hosting packages, which is great for demanding websites.

With all these benefits come some big downsides. The first being the price. VPS are more expensive than other hosting plans. I found VPS plans starting at $4 a month to more than $60 a month. In addition to the price, the user is now in charge of server updates and many technical support issues. And if that user doesn’t know how to apply server updates properly, or doesn’t at all, that could lead to a hacked server. And if that happens the user is on the hook for paying for remediation as web hosting companies usually don’t offer malware cleanup.

Dedicated Server

I saved the most expensive for last. Purchasing a Dedicated Server to host the website is expensive. And most business websites won’t need a dedicated server unless that website has tens of thousands of visitors each day. Here are the pros and cons of this hosting package:

Pros

  • Users can build their own server hardware configuration.
  • Provides the best performance for demanding websites.
  • Users total control over the server’s hardware and software.
  • The server has only one user on it.

Cons

  • Is the most expensive hosting.
  • Users are responsible for server updates.
  • Users are responsible for all technical support.

Now to review the pros and cons in more detail. Dedicated Servers allow customers to build their own server hardware configuration. Meaning they can choose the type of hard drive, the hard drive size, the number of hard drives in the server, the amount of memory, and so on. Just like the VPS, this hosting gives the best performance for demanding websites, and gives customers total control over every part of their server. Finally, with a Dedicated Server there is only one user on it.

All this comes at a high price. Dedicated Servers are usually going to cost at least $100 dollars a month. At the time of this guide’s publication I found many plans ranging in price of $120 to $200 a month. Just like the VPS, users are responsible for all server updates. And with Dedicated Servers, users are usually responsible for all technical support issues. Some web hosting companies will offer technical support but at a price. It all depends on the web hosting company.

The Web Hosting Package I Recommend

After reading all of that I know there are some confused readers right now. They’re thinking: “Which hosting package should I choose?” While I can’t tell everyone which hosting plan is going to totally fit for their situation I can offer some tips.

Managed WordPress Hosting is great for those individuals who do not want to deal with updating their server or WordPress installation. This is also a good choice for those starting with web hosting and aren’t sure of how everything interacts with each other, and what they are responsible for.

If a business owner needs access to the control panel (Plesk or cPanel), SFTP, or the database and wants to keep costs low then Shared Hosting is the best option.

VPS is a great choice for websites getting thousands of visitors per day, and the business owners wants more control over the server’s hardware and software.

Finally, Dedicated Servers are the choice for business owners who have a complex website, and need total control over the server. Plus, Dedicated Servers offer better performance for websites receiving tens of thousands of visitors per day.

Consider Using WordPress.com

This guide focuses on building a business website with the self-hosted WordPress because that version gives users the most flexibility in creating their websites. However, there is an option for those individuals who would rather not have to deal with finding web hosting, installing WordPress, and managing it: wordpress.com. This option is Automattic’s version of Managed WordPress Hosting. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using wordpress.com:

Pros

  • Automattic handles all website maintenance.
  • Simple website creation via drag-and-drop.
  • Thousands of free plugins available to use.
  • Marketing and website analytics tools are built-in.
  • Free SSL certificate.

Cons

  • Their plans are more expensive than other companies.
  • Additional features cost money.
  • Priority technical support requires a more expensive plan.

Now to review the pros and cons in more detail. This hosting is great for those individuals who don’t want to worry about website maintenance because Automattic does it for them. In addition, creating a website is easy because of the WordPress Block Editor, which allows users to click or drag-and-drop elements like text or media onto a page or blog post for easy configuration. In addition, there are thousands of free plugins to use, along with various free themes to make a website stand out. Finally, wordpress.com gives users a free SSL certificate.

As for the downsides to wordpress.com there are a few. The pricing for their plans is more expensive then purchasing Managed WordPress Hosting from another company. And if one needs more features than what their current plan provides then that person has to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Finally, the cheaper plans come with slower technical support via email.

Built By WordPress

Automattic does offer a service called Built By WordPress. The tag of this service is: “You want the website of your dreams. Our experts can create it for you.” And their experts definitely can.

Automattic will collect information from a customer regarding their business and what that individual wants in their website. Then the company pairs that customer with a website design agency who are experts in using WordPress. From there, the agency will build the website and work with the customer.

This option is great for business owners who don’t want to go through the time to build their own website, but don’t know how to find a reputable website design agency. However, convenience costs money.

The “Express” plan, according to the site, is “perfect for content creators, small businesses, and professional bloggers on a budget.” The price starts at $499, and the customer has to purchase the wordpress.com Premium plan (additional $96 a year).

The second and final plan provides “premium website design services for custom sites, redesigns, custom development, or migrations.” The price starts at $5000, and the customer has to purchase the wordpress.com Business plan (an additional $300 a year).

So do I recommend Built By WordPress? Only if a business owner desires Automattic to do all the work and find a website design agency that fits their needs. Frankly, a business owner would be better off for that amount of money finding a WordPress freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork. There are plenty of freelancers with great reviews and completed websites a potential client can visit before paying any money. I think Built By WordPress is too expensive for what the client receives at the end.

WordPress’ Recommended Hosting Partners

What if a person doesn’t know how to start looking for a web hosting provider? What if reading reviews isn’t enough? How can that individual choose a reputable company and get a guarantee WordPress will work well? That person can choose to use one of WordPress’ recommended hosting partners. WordPress recommends the following web hosting companies:

Let’s look into each company in more detail.

Bluehost

Bluehost is a popular web hosting company that has thousands of great reviews and satisfied customers. Although I don’t use Bluehost I heard great things about them from others.

As for their WordPress plans there are several to choose from:

  • Basic
  • Choice Plus
  • Online Store
  • Pro

The Basic plan is just that: Basic solutions for one website or blog. Choice Plus is the Basic plan with more privacy and security features. As for the Online Store plan that’s great for Ecommerce stores as the company will install the Woocommerce plugin. Finally, the Pro plan is for users wanting to improve their website’s performance.

Prices for a 12-month term range from $36 a year for the Basic plan to $168 a year for the Pro plan. Bluehost offers 36-month term which reduces the prices further. However, the entire 36-month term amount is due up-front.

Depending on the chosen plan, customers receive a free SSL certificate, free domain name for the first year, and daily website backup to name a few features. In addition, Bluehost will apply all WordPress updates and get the business website verified on Google My Business.

Finally, Bluehost has 24/7 technical support via phone or chat.

DreamHost

DreamHost is also a popular web hosting company with great reviews and happy customers. I haven’t used this company either, but I’ve heard of them. Yet, I can’t personally say I know of anyone who actually used DreamHost.

As for their WordPress plans there are several to choose from:

  • WordPress Basic
  • DreamPress
  • Woocommerce Hosting
  • VPS for WordPress
  • Dedicated for WordPress

The WordPress Basic plan is great for those getting started with WordPress. DreamPress is Managed WordPress Hosting with daily backups and caching features to name a couple of benefits. Woocommerce Hosting is for Ecommerce websites. VPS for WordPress is great for running multiple websites on a single server. Finally, Dedicated for WordPress provides a dedicated server for those wanting full control.

Prices for a 12-month term range from $36 a year for the WordPress Basic plan to $1800 a year for the Dedicated for WordPress plan. And just like with Bluehost, if a person signs up for a 36-month term there’s a bigger price discount.

Depending on the chosen plan, customers receive a free SSL certificate, free domain name, email accounts, and daily website backup to name a few features.

DreamHost’s technical support looks to have more limitations than Bluehost. It is 24/7 but only live chat is available all the time. If a customer wants to speak to a technical support agent via the phone that person will have to schedule a callback. Finally, priority support that provides more in-depth technical support is only available for the more expensive plans.


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