What to look for when hosting your WordPress blog?
Much has been talked about WordPress which is a blogging paradise of sorts. But one issue which I find surprising is that no one talks about the need for web hosting for a WordPress blog. Maybe everyone takes it for granted. However it is necessary to know about some issues which may affect effective deployment of your blog.
What kind of datacenter is your server located in?
Datacenter is a place where servers are located. These datacenters are the nerve center from where your blog will communicate with outside world. The quality of service or QoS will ultimately determine how visitors to your blog will be treated. There are four important factors which decide this QoS – Performance, uptime and reliability, technical support and price.
Performance of web hosting service
It’s obvious that you want your WordPress blog to be accessible everywhere and at all times. Visitors to your blog must experience quick downloads and must not be made to wait forever to view web pages. This can only be assured when your blog is hosted on a datacenter which is connected to high speed internet backbone. In addition, the host servers must have sufficient resources to handle high traffic. Server capacity in terms of memory and processor speed must be adequate.
Installation of WordPress on host servers must be easy. Many hosts provide a one-click installation which according to me works fine. The host servers must also update their software to the latest version – WordPress, PHP and MySql installation must be up-to-date.
Uptime and reliability
There is no point having the most efficient service if it’s not reliable. Outrages can happen due to several reasons. Physical security of datacenters and protection against natural disasters like earthquake, fire and flooding must be of high quality. Sabotage of data due to malicious software must be guarded against with several layers of firewalls. Uptime must be more than 99.9%. As a WordPress blog owner you must insist on checking various technical parameters and guarantees provided by the web host.
This is the most vexatious part of the exercise. I have often found that till you sign on the dotted line, everything moves smoothly but once you have paid up, the support seems to evaporate all of a sudden. Only a person who has experienced the frustration of failed technical support can ever understand the importance of it. Instead of flipping and tearing your hair at a later date it’s better to ensure that you will get good support in future. One great way to ensure this is to speak to existing clients of the web host instead of relying entirely on company brochures.
Most blog owners are not heavyweight users. Blogs, on an average, take up very less server space. The emphasis is therefore on price. Most bloggers prefer shared web hosting which is quite economical. However you must have a critical look at a balance of price and performance.
Web hosting is an area which doesn’t get the due which it deserves. A couple of hours looking at this space can yield rich dividend.