Hosting UPDATED: 01 August 2023

WordPress Hosting for Freelancers

Tassos Antoniou

24 min read

Exciting news! We recently surveyed freelance WordPress professionals from all over the world. Our goal? To understand their hosting needs as freelancers and what they look for in a WordPress hosting provider. We received a whopping 314 responses from 42 countries between March and May 2023. Now, we’re thrilled to share our insights with you!

In this article, we’ll walk you through an analytical framework to help you figure out your hosting needs and how to match them to hosting offers. Trust us, it’s all based on the survey’s results. Get ready for some eye-opening info!

As a freelance WordPress professional, you strive to establish a strong online presence to showcase your skills and attract clients. Relying on outsourced services becomes a necessity. Some of them play a vital role in the health and growth of your business. That’s why it’s crucial to be extra cautious when selecting your WordPress hosting as a freelancer.

The provider you choose is one of the key partners that can significantly impact your freelancing business. Before you settle on a WordPress hosting partner, it’s crucial to dive deep into research. This will guarantee a delightful and effortless experience for both you and your clients.

A reliable hosting provider is crucial for the success of a WordPress freelancer’s business. It directly affects website performance, which is essential for attracting and retaining clients. A fast-loading website creates a positive impression and encourages potential clients to explore your services. Additionally, a trustworthy hosting provider offers a complete set of features that you can resell through your business. So, value-added services like server-side caching, security measures, backups, and other commonly offered features are yours to resell.

Understanding Your Hosting Needs as a Freelancer

We asked two questions, one to determine the high-level requirements and another to understand the specific features that freelancers are looking for.

  • What are your top 5 high-level requirements a hosting provider must match to make it to your shortlist?
  • What are the key factors you search for when choosing a WordPress hosting provider?

The goal of the questions is to gain insights into the key criteria that freelancers consider when choosing a WordPress hosting provider. This information can guide you in identifying the top priorities among freelancers and assist you in creating a shortlist of hosting providers that align with your needs and preferences.

Freelancers and their unique hosting requirements

As a freelancer, with a creative spirit and entrepreneurial drive, you bring a unique set of characteristics and requirements to the world of web development and design. So, your WordPress hosting needs are far from ordinary. You’re on the lookout for hosting solutions that perfectly align with your unique demands and allow you to deliver exceptional results to your clients.

So, let’s see what did freelancers answer about their high-level requirements.

  • Customer Support: Freelancers value reliable customer support from hosting providers, especially as one-person operations often lack technical expertise in systems.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Freelancers search for hosting providers that offer competitive pricing plans without compromising on essential features and performance. They aim for hosting solutions that offer affordability combined with reliability to keep expenses in check while delivering accessible websites to clients.
  • Security Measures: As a freelancer, you are probably wearing too many hats already, do you want to wear the security expert hat too? I guess not, that’s why freelancer WordPress professionals look for hosting providers that offer robust security features, such as SSL certificates, firewalls, malware scanning, and regular backups.
  • Flexibility: Freelancers require hosting solutions that offer flexibility and scalability to handle multiple projects and fluctuations in traffic and resource usage.
  • Ease of Use: Freelancers prioritize user-friendly interfaces, straightforward control panels, and intuitive tools that streamline website management processes.

Key Factors for Choosing WordPress Hosting for Freelancers

Budget Constraints

As a WordPress freelancer, budget constraints often arise due to the nature of freelancing work. Since you handle your own business expenses and rely on client projects for income, it’s essential to make wise financial decisions, including selecting a hosting provider that offers affordable plans without compromising essential features and reliability. This ensures that you can effectively manage costs while delivering top-notch websites to your clients.

Aligning hosting needs with your business model is of utmost importance. The choice of hosting provider can significantly impact your operations and profitability. For those who follow a hand-off business model, where the site owner assumes responsibility for selecting the hosting provider, it becomes essential to ensure that the chosen provider meets the client’s requirements for performance, reliability, and support. By recommending a reliable hosting provider, you may seek providers that offer an affiliate program so that you can earn a little extra without dealing with the hosting burden.

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On the other hand, a popular model is to provide the hosting to your client, charging a recurring fee for hosting the site. You must carefully select a hosting provider that aligns with their own standards of reliability, performance, and scalability. This ensures that you can deliver a seamless hosting experience to your clients and maintain long-term relationships based on trust and satisfaction. Consistency and stability in the hosting service are vital to preserve your credibility and sustain a recurring revenue stream. In this case, you may attractive WordPress hosting providers offering reselling services.

In both cases, aligning hosting needs with the freelancer’s business model allows for smoother operations, improved client satisfaction, and the potential for business growth. It is an integral aspect of a freelancer’s overall strategy and contributes to their success in the competitive landscape of web development and design.

Reliability and Uptime Guarantee

Reliability and uptime are crucial because they can directly impact your freelancing business operations and reputation.

A hosting provider with high reliability and uptime ensures that your website remains accessible and functional at all times. As a freelancer, your website is the primary point of contact for potential clients. And the same is true for your client’s sites.

A provider that offers high-availability WordPress hosting eliminates the risk of your websites going offline unexpectedly, which could result in missed opportunities and potential clients turning to your competitors. If you are unfamiliar with reliable systems design you should check out this introduction to High-Availability for WordPress developers.

Performance and Speed Optimization

Website loading speed has a significant impact on user experience and search engine rankings. Slow-loading websites frustrate users and lead to higher bounce rates, resulting in lost opportunities. Moreover, search engines prioritize fast-loading sites, as they provide a better user experience. Optimizing loading speed improves both user satisfaction and search engine visibility making both you and your clients happy.

8 performance factors to consider when choosing a WordPress web host

  • Server Response Time: Ensure that the WordPress hosting provider offers fast server response times, as this directly affects the speed at which your website loads.
  • Server-side Caching: Prefer hosting providers offering server-side caching mechanisms to caching plugins. This can significantly improve website performance and reduce load times since the HTTP requests will not even reach the WordPress code.
  • Support for Performance Optimization: Look for hosting providers that support content optimization techniques such as minification, compression, and image optimization. These optimizations reduce file sizes and enhance website loading speed.
  • Server Hardware: Inquire about the server hardware used by the hosting provider. High-performance servers, solid-state drives (SSDs), and ample resources contribute to faster website performance.
  • CDN Integration: Consider hosting providers that offer seamless integration with content delivery networks (CDNs). CDNs distribute your website’s content across multiple servers worldwide, reducing latency and improving load times for visitors across different geographic locations.
  • Traffic Management & Spikes: Assess how the hosting provider manages traffic spikes. Effective traffic management, such as load balancing and intelligent resource allocation, ensures consistent performance even during periods of high visitor traffic.
  • Performance Monitoring: Check if the hosting provider offers performance monitoring tools or integrates with third-party services. Monitoring website performance allows you to identify bottlenecks and make necessary optimizations.
  • Scalability: Consider the scalability options offered by the hosting provider. As your website grows and attracts more traffic, you’ll want to ensure that the hosting environment can accommodate increased resource demands.

Security Measures and Data Protection

When it comes to security, you can’t compromise. Look for WordPress hosting providers that offer robust security features. Your website and client data deserve the best protection!

5 most important security features your WordPress hosting provider must offer

  1. SSL Certificates: Most hosting providers offer SSL certificates. Allowing to encrypt the data transmitted between the website and its visitors, ensuring secure communication, and protecting sensitive information. The certificate authority Let’s Encrypt is the most popular choice among the providers.
  2. Web Application Firewall: Hosting providers implement robust network and Web Application firewalls. These firewalls act as a barrier between the website and potential threats, blocking unauthorized access attempts and enhancing overall security.
  3. Malware Scanning & Removal: Some WordPress hosting providers include regular malware scanning as part of their security features. This helps detect and remove any malicious software or code that may compromise the website’s integrity.
  4. Backups: Reliable hosting providers offer regular backups of WordPress websites, allowing for easy restoration in case of data loss, accidental deletion, or security breaches. These backups provide an added layer of protection and ensure that critical data can be recovered.
  5. Security Updates: This is a feature offered by Managed WordPress hosting providers to keep the WordPress core and the underlying software and server configurations up to date with the latest security patches and updates. This helps mitigate vulnerabilities and ensures that the website is running in a secure environment.

By offering these security features, WordPress hosting providers help safeguard sensitive client data, defend against potential threats, and provide peace of mind to you and your clients regarding the security and integrity of their websites.

Scalability and Room for Growth

When it comes to evaluating a hosting provider’s scalability options and upgrade paths, it’s all about planning for the future of your website or business.

You want to find a hosting provider that understands your growth aspirations and has flexible solutions to support your success. Look for providers that offer easy scalability, allowing you to handle more traffic and resource needs as your website and business expand.

Check if they have different hosting plans or seamless upgrade options that suit your evolving requirements. Also, it’s essential to choose a provider with a proven track record of handling scalability, so you can be confident they’ll keep your website running smoothly even during peak times.

By finding a hosting provider that offers scalability and clear upgrade paths, you’ll be ready to conquer new horizons of your WordPress freelancing career.

Developer-friendly features and tools

As a freelancer, you’re always trying to optimize your time and your processes to improve your results. Having the right tools for developing a WordPress project can save you both time and embarrassing errors before your client sees them.

We’ve identified 4 important features offered by hosting providers that are tailored with developers in mind:

  • Command Line Interface (CLI): With a CLI, you can interact with your hosting environment, and you can also run WPCLI to manage your WordPress site using simple commands, making advanced tasks a breeze. It’s like having a superpower that lets you automate processes, take control, and unleash your creativity.
  • Git Integration: Say goodbye to messy code management! Hosting providers with Git integration make collaboration and version control a piece of cake. Because deploying updates and rolling back changes should never be a complicated and error-prone process.
  • Staging Environments: Want to play it safe while experimenting with new features? Then you need staging environments! They’re like a secret playground where you can test your changes without any fear. Try out new ideas, squash those bugs, test updates, and ensure your website shines before going live.
  • Developer Tools and APIs: Hosting providers with developer tools and APIs give you the keys to the kingdom. You can automate tasks, customize your hosting environment programmatically, and integrate with other tools effortlessly. Let your imagination run wild!

These features are designed to empower you, the developer, and make your life easier. You shouldn’t, however, think of them as a show-stopper but more of nice-to-have features. So, go ahead and choose a hosting provider that speaks your language and helps you build remarkable websites with ease!

Customer Support and Technical Assistance

As a freelancer who hosts the websites of their clients themselves, having reliable and quick customer service is a game-changer. When you’re running your own business, time is money, and any technical issue or downtime can directly impact your clients’ websites and your reputation. That’s where top-notch customer support comes in. Having a support team that is responsive, knowledgeable, and ready to assist you when you need it can be a lifesaver.

When evaluating hosting providers, pay attention to the support channels they offer. Look for options that you are already familiar with like ticketing service, live chat, email, and phone support, so you can reach them conveniently. Additionally, consider their response times. You want a provider that understands the urgency of your inquiries and provides timely assistance. Lastly, assess their expertise levels. Having a live chat that doesn’t provide you with any help is not the result you want. A support team with deep knowledge of WordPress and hosting-related issues can provide accurate solutions and valuable guidance, saving you time and headaches.

Remember, as a freelancer, you’re not alone in this journey. Having a reliable customer support team by your side can make all the difference. So, choose a hosting provider that values your success as much as you do and offers stellar support to ensure you and your clients are in good hands.

Types of WordPress Hosting Solutions for Freelancers

We’ve previously written an extensive article showcasing the advantages and disadvantages of Shared Hosting, VPS, and Managed WordPress hosting, so now, we’ll focus on what each type offers to a WordPress freelancer. If you are unfamiliar with these types of hosting please read it before continuing.

Shared WordPress Hosting for Freelancers

Shared hosting has a bad reputation, but we still think that it has a place among hosting providers and you as a WordPress freelancer can take advantage of its benefits if you understand its limitations.

  1. Shared hosting offers affordability and ease of use, making it an attractive option for freelancers starting out. With shared hosting, you share server resources with other websites, reducing costs. It’s a convenient choice for smaller websites and projects with moderate traffic. However, shared hosting has its limitations. Since resources are shared, performance may be affected by other websites on the same server. Limited customization options and restrictions on server configurations can also impact your flexibility as a freelancer.
  2. Shared hosting works well for freelancers handling smaller projects, such as personal blogs, portfolio websites, or small business sites with moderate traffic. It’s suitable when budget constraints are a priority and immediate scalability isn’t a pressing concern. However, as your client base grows or you work on larger, high-traffic websites, shared hosting’s limitations may become more apparent. In such cases, exploring other hosting options, like VPS or managed WordPress hosting, could provide the necessary scalability, performance, and customization options to support your growing freelance business.

Managed WordPress Hosting for Freelancers

As a freelancer, exploring managed WordPress hosting can bring numerous benefits to your workflow. Let’s delve into why managed WordPress hosting is worth considering:

Managed hosting takes the hassle out of managing the technical aspects of your website. With automatic WordPress core updates, and backups, staging sites, and expert support you can focus on your clients’ needs without worrying about staying up-to-date with the latest WordPress version or manually backing up their data to perform upgrades. Plus, you don’t need to be an expert in server maintenance or system administration because the hosting provider takes care of all that for you. This allows you to save time and energy that can be better spent on your core freelance services.

Managed hosting providers often offer specialized support tailored to WordPress. They have WordPress experts available to assist you with any issues or questions you may have. Additionally, they optimize server configurations specifically for WordPress, resulting in improved performance and faster loading times for your websites. This ensures that your clients’ websites provide a smooth and seamless experience to their visitors, enhancing their satisfaction and ultimately boosting your reputation as a skilled freelancer.

By opting for managed WordPress hosting, you can streamline your workflow, rely on expert support, and optimize the performance of your clients’ websites. It’s a convenient and reliable solution that empowers you to focus on delivering exceptional results while leaving the technicalities in capable hands. Elevate your freelance business by embracing the benefits of managed hosting and unlock new levels of efficiency and client satisfaction.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) WordPress Hosting for Freelancers

Are you a freelancer looking to level up from a shared host? VPS hosting might just be the solution you’re seeking! Let’s explore why VPS hosting is a great option for freelancers like yourself:

With VPS hosting, you get your own virtual environment that provides more flexibility and control compared to shared hosting. You have dedicated resources at your disposal, including CPU, RAM, and storage, allowing you to handle higher traffic volumes and resource-intensive WordPress applications. This means your clients’ websites can handle spikes in traffic without compromising performance. Plus, you have the freedom to customize server configurations, install specific software or applications, and have full control over your hosting environment.

While VPS hosting offers great power and control, it’s important to note that it requires a bit more technical knowledge and management compared to managed hosting. You have the responsibility of managing your server, including software updates, security configurations, and regular maintenance tasks. However, don’t worry if you’re not an expert in server management – many VPS hosting providers offer user-friendly control panels and support documentation to assist you along the way. With a little bit of learning and exploration, you can harness the full potential of VPS hosting and enjoy the benefits it brings to your freelance business.

By embracing VPS hosting, you can unlock the flexibility and control needed to take your freelance work to new heights. Empower yourself with dedicated resources, customizable environments, and the ability to handle increased traffic demands. Just remember to consider your technical knowledge and willingness to manage your server effectively. With the right mindset and a little bit of guidance, VPS hosting can be a game-changer for your freelance journey.

Researching and Comparing Hosting Providers

Now that we’ve seen the types of WordPress hosting for freelancers, are you ready to dive into research and comparison? Let’s embark on this journey together to find the perfect match for your freelance business.

Finding reputable hosting providers through online reviews

Start by exploring online resources, forums, and communities dedicated to web-hosting discussions. Look for recommendations from fellow freelancers or designers who have had positive experiences with certain hosting providers. Pay attention to reviews and testimonials that highlight the reliability, performance, and customer support of different providers. This step will help you create a shortlist of reputable hosting companies to consider.

Utilizing comparison tools and evaluating features, pricing, and customer feedback

Once you have your shortlist, it’s time to dig deeper. Take advantage of comparison tools specifically designed for web hosting. These tools allow you to evaluate features, pricing plans, and customer feedback side by side. Look for key features that align with your specific needs, such as automatic backups, SSL certificates, staging environments, and scalability options. Compare the pricing structures and make sure they fit within your budget while providing the necessary value.

Importance of assessing the hosting provider’s reputation, longevity, and track record

Beyond features and pricing, it’s crucial to assess the hosting provider’s reputation, longevity, and track record. Look for companies that have been in the industry for a considerable period and have a proven track record of providing reliable services. Check if they have a history of server uptime and strong customer satisfaction. Research their customer support responsiveness and availability, as timely assistance can be crucial when facing technical challenges.

Remember, your website’s performance and success rely heavily on the hosting provider you choose. So, take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision. By finding a reputable hosting provider that meets your specific needs, you’ll set a solid foundation for your freelance business and ensure a seamless experience for both you and your clients. Happy hosting hunting!

Making an Informed Decision

Not all freelancers are doing the same projects nor have the same needs. During our research for WordPress hosting for freelancers, we spent a lot of time identifying their needs. We outlined the most common requirements, but you need to identify your unique needs. Having your unique needs in a list you can then compare relatively easily against the features listed by each provider. Don’t be afraid to contact a hosting provider to ask for more information. This will give you a short list of providers that can support your needs and then you can compare the providers in the shortlist by including more than just your needs.

Not all freelancers are doing the same projects nor have the same needs. We understand that each one has unique projects and specific needs. That’s why, in our research for the perfect WordPress hosting for freelancers, we delved deep into identifying those needs. While we’ve outlined the most common requirements, it’s crucial for you to recognize and prioritize your own unique needs.

Shortlisting hosting providers based on your needs

After determining your needs, it’s time to uncover your ultimate hosting provider match. No need to panic if some information is missing from their website – you can reach out to them directly! They’re there to help! This process will help you narrow down your options and create a shortlist of providers who can fulfill your requirements.

But wait, there’s more! When evaluating your shortlisted providers, don’t limit yourself to just your needs. Consider additional factors like performance, reliability, customer support, and pricing to make a comprehensive comparison.

Remember, finding the right WordPress hosting is all about striking a balance between meeting your unique needs and finding a provider that excels in the areas that matter most to you. So, take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision that sets you up for success!

7 Key Takeaways

As a freelance WordPress professional, selecting the right WordPress hosting provider is crucial for the success of your business. Here are some key factors you should consider when searching for reliable and efficient WordPress web hosts that compliments both your business objectives and budgetary restrictions.

A Freelancer’s hosting needs

  1. Hosting Budget Constraints. As a freelancer, you may have budget constraints. Look for hosting providers that offer competitive pricing plans without compromising on essential features and performance. Balance affordability with the quality of service to effectively manage costs.
  2. Reliability and Uptime Guarantee. A hosting provider with high reliability and uptime ensures that your website remains accessible and functional at all times. Choose a provider that offers a strong uptime guarantee to minimize the risk of your websites going offline unexpectedly.
  3. Performance and Speed Optimization. Website loading speed is essential for user experience and search engine rankings. Look for hosting providers that offer fast server response times, server-side caching mechanisms, support for performance optimization techniques, and integration with content delivery networks (CDNs) to enhance website performance and reduce load times.
  4. Security Measures and Data Protection. Security is paramount for your website and client data. Choose hosting providers that offer robust security features, including SSL certificates, web application firewalls, malware scanning and removal, regular backups, and security updates. Ensure that your hosting provider prioritizes the security and integrity of your websites.
  5. Scalability and Room for Growth. Evaluate a hosting provider’s scalability options and upgrade paths. Choose a provider that can accommodate increased resource demands as your website grows and attracts more traffic. Look for seamless upgrade options and a track record of handling scalability effectively.
  6. Developer-friendly Features and Tools. Look for hosting providers that offer developer-friendly features and tools, such as a Command Line Interface (CLI), Git integration, staging environments, and developer tools and APIs. These features can save you time, improve your workflow, and enhance your ability to build remarkable websites.
  7. Customer Support and Technical Assistance. Reliable and responsive customer support is essential as technical issues or downtime can impact your clients’ websites and your reputation. Choose a hosting provider that offers support channels you are familiar with, such as ticketing service, live chat, email, and phone support. Consider their response times and expertise levels in WordPress and hosting-related issues.

Available hosting types

Consider the types of WordPress hosting solutions available, such as Shared Hosting, Managed WordPress Hosting, and Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting:

  • Shared hosting is suitable for smaller projects with moderate traffic and budget constraints.
  • Managed WordPress hosting offers hassle-free management, specialized support, and optimized server configurations for WordPress.
  • VPS hosting provides more flexibility, control, and dedicated resources, making it suitable for handling higher traffic volumes and resource-intensive applications than Shared Hosting.

Carefully consider all the factors and available hosting types and align them with your unique requirements as a freelancer. These are the factors that will help you sort the good from the bad hosting providers. I hope this article will be a helpful guide to choosing the perfect hosting partner that will support your business growth and deliver exceptional results to your clients.

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