WordPress is open source software claiming to power over 30% of existing sites on the Internet. You can use WordPress to build your blog or website. WordPress hosting is simply any form of hosting that uses WordPress software. There are many different ways to use WordPress hosting.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
One form of WordPress hosting is WordPress.com, which provides free hosting using WordPress software to help you build and manage your website. While WordPress.com hosting can be useful if you have no web design experience and a non-existent budget, it does come at a cost. WordPress may display advertisements on your blog or website and your domain will include “WordPress.com”. You will also have limited options for customisation and will not be able to upload custom themes or plug-ins. While there are opportunities to upgrade your account, for a cost, you may want to consider hosting your site elsewhere if you are looking for more flexibility.
You can also self-host WordPress by accessing the software directly at WordPress.org, and finding a web host that supports WordPress to house your website. Using the WordPress software will give you more control and full options for customisation as well as the ability to use any domain name.
Compare WordPress hosting plans for 2020
Data obtained October 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
How WordPress hosting works
There are different types of WordPress hosting to suit any website from small personal blogs to huge e-commerce companies. Most web hosts offer WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System) to help you create your website. There are a wide variety of plans and options available for WordPress hosting with different providers, so you can make WordPress hosting work perfectly for your website.
Managed WordPress hosting
A managed WordPress hosting plan is designed specifically to support and optimise WordPress. This can make your site faster, more reliable and more secure as the server is configured to run only WordPress sites. However, you may be restricted in customising your WordPress site as some hosts allow only certain WordPress plug-ins.
You can host your site for free at WordPress.com or starting at just a few dollars with a shared WordPress hosting plan. VPS, cloud and dedicated WordPress hosting plans can be up to hundreds of dollars per month, depending on the plan and your usage.
Benefits of WordPress hosting
Over 30% of websites on the Internet use WordPress. Core features and benefits of WordPress include the following:
Simplicity. WordPress is easy to use, with template options for those who have no technical knowledge or experience.
Convenience. Anyone can use WordPress to create a website. You do not need any experience. WordPress offers many templates so you can have your website up and running in just minutes.
Availability. Almost every website offers options for using WordPress as a CMS. This means you shouldn’t have difficulty transferring your site from host to host if you want to upgrade or change your hosting service.
Flexibility. With WordPress, you can customise everything you want about your website, from themes to plug-ins. Keep in mind, if you use a managed or free WordPress hosting plan, you may be limited in your ability to customise your site.
Open source. Because WordPress is open source, the software is constantly being developed and upgraded by the WordPress community. This means you will always have access to the most up-to-date technology.
Many options available. You can use any web hosting plan with your WordPress website as long as your host offers WordPress as a CMS. Whether you want a shared hosting plan for a small site or a dedicated plan for a large company, you can use WordPress to create your perfect website.
Disadvantages of WordPress hosting
Security. WordPress websites may be especially vulnerable to hacking because anyone can access the open source software. You can take additional precautions to secure your site such as encrypting data and adding security plug-ins.
Experience. While you can set up a WordPress website with no technical knowledge, some prior experience will be necessary in order to fully customise your website.
Coding. If you are not familiar with coding, you will be limited in terms of the themes and plug-ins you can use for your site.
Frequent Updates. Because WordPress is in constant development, there are new updates constantly available. Some of these updates can impact the functionality of different features on your website or render certain plug-ins unusable. Make sure your site is always fully backed up before performing any updates.
Which web hosting companies support WordPress?
Most web hosting companies support WordPress as a CMS. When you are considering web hosts, make sure to look out for these key features:
High percentage of uptime
Additional security options
Enough bandwidth to handle your site’s traffic
Fast loading speeds
Flexibility to update your plan if your website grows
The following popular web hosting services offer some form of WordPress hosting:
Choose a web host. Finding the right web hosting is crucial to ensure the success of your website. Fortunately, almost every web host offers WordPress as a CMS.
Register a domain name. If you do not already have a domain name, you can register one through your new web host. If you already have a domain name registered, you will need to contact your registrar to update your domain name system.
Use WordPress to design your website. Your web host will give you instructions on how to install WordPress easily and use it to create your perfect website. If you are unsure of where to get started, consider using one of the many free templates WordPress has available.
Back up your site. Once your website is up and running, make sure to perform regular backups to your site, especially before updating WordPress. This will help you minimise your risk of losing any important data.
Frequently asked questions on WordPress hosting
While “good” is a subjective term, WordPress can be an extremely useful and convenient CMS to create your website. You can try it out by creating a free website at WordPress.com.
Yes, you can host your site for free at WordPress.com, but advertisements may be displayed on your website and your domain name will by default include “WordPress.com”.
Yes, you can either host your site directly at WordPress.com or find a web host that offers WordPress to give you more options for customisation.
Yes, if you set up your WordPress site with one host and are dissatisfied with your hosting service, you can move your website, and domain name, to another web host. Once you have signed up with a new web host and migrated your site, you will need to contact your domain name registrar to update your DNS, or domain name system. Once that is complete, you can cancel your account with your current web host.
WordPress cloud hosting is when a WordPress site is hosted on a cloud server or a series of physical servers linked together into a single virtual server.
WordPress self-hosting is using the WordPress software to create a website that is not hosted at WordPress.com. You can do this by building and maintaining a server at home or using a web host to house and manage your website.
No, you can use any content management system (CMS) or design tool to create a website. WordPress is just one of many CMS available to you.
Sarah Brandon is a senior writer at Finder specialising in technology and reviews. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from New York University and loves learning about why people do what they do. Sarah has researched and written about a wide range of topics, from air purifiers to AirPods. But no matter the subject, her number one priority is figuring out what information our readers need to make the best decisions.
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