Hosting UPDATED: 17 April 2024

How to Choose a WordPress Hosting Provider as a Small Business

Tassos Antoniou

10 min read

WordPress has revolutionized website creation, powering over 43% of all websites on the internet. With the platform’s flexibility and robust features, it’s no surprise that millions of WordPress websites are created each year. With such a massive number of new sites, it’s crucial for website owners to carefully evaluate WordPress hosting providers.

If you feel frustrated about selecting the right hosting for your WordPress website, you are in the right place. In this guide, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting a WordPress hosting provider, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision and ensure your website’s success.

The Importance of Understanding Your Hosting Needs

When it comes to choosing a WordPress hosting provider, website owners have specific considerations to keep in mind. Small business owners, freelancers, as well as high-traffic site owners, don’t share the same needs. Each one has unique needs that can greatly impact their choice of hosting.

Small business owners have their priorities set on affordability, reliability, and ease of use. They need hosting providers with solutions that fit their budget, provide consistent performance, and are user-friendly.

On the other hand, freelancers and design agencies have different needs. They value scalability, as their projects may vary in size and scope. They seek hosting environments that cater to developers, offering tools and features that streamline their workflow. Additionally, advanced design tools are essential for them to create stunning websites and deliver exceptional results.

Conversely, high-traffic sites require hosting providers that offer robust server resources, scalability options, efficient caching mechanisms, and exceptional performance optimization.

By identifying the specific requirements of each website, the owners can make well-informed decisions to ensure their WordPress hosting choice aligns with their needs, budget, and long-term goals.

Now, let’s find out together how to choose the best hosting for small business WordPress sites!

What is the Best WordPress Hosting for Small Business Sites?

When running a small business, like a small coffee shop or a boutique clothing store, you don’t have the technical know-how or a team of tech experts to help you choose the right type of web hosting. So, how can someone who lacks technical expertise decide which hosting provider to choose?

As a first step, it would be wise to make sure you have defined your website’s needs in terms of traffic, storage, software, and of course your budget. If you don’t know how to identify the above needs, you can consult the person or agency that built your website. Having a list of hard requirements, like storage and software, gives you a pretty clear picture of your needs.

However, a list of hard requirements covers only the needs you have to operate the website, but what happens during the website’s lifecycle and the needs that come along? Can the hosting provider help you with these too? Most of the time the answer is yes, your hosting provider should be able, through their features, to facilitate the needs of your website lifecycle. Let’s dig in and find out the needs a website has during its lifecycle.

WordPress Hosting Provider Features for Small Business Websites

When choosing a WordPress hosting provider for a small business website, there are five critical features to consider:

  1. Price. Small businesses often have budget constraints. Consider hosting providers that offer affordable pricing plans or introductory offers without compromising essential features and reliability.
  2. Backup and Restore. Regular backups of website data are essential for small businesses to protect against data loss or website issues. Choose a hosting provider that offers automatic backups and easy restore options to safeguard your website’s data. There are numerous WordPress backup plugins but most of them offer a paid version. If your host already provides you with a backup functionality then you can skip the cost of the plugin.
  3. Customer Support. Quick and reliable customer support is crucial for small businesses. Especially when technical issues arise and there is a lack of technical expertise. Ensure that the hosting provider offers accessible support channels such as a dedicated support ticket system or 24/7 live chat, or phone support.
  4. Security Measures. Small businesses must prioritize the security of their website and customer data. Look for hosting providers that offer robust security features, such as SSL certificates, firewalls, malware scanning, and regular backups. Most of the websites during their lifecycle will at some time get hacked and at that time you’ll need an expert team to clean up your website. Choose a hosting provider that includes malware removal in their support offering.
  5. Ease of Use. As a Small business owner, you may not have extensive technical knowledge. Seek hosting providers that offer user-friendly control panels and intuitive interfaces, making it easy to manage and update the website without requiring advanced technical skills.

A Shared WordPress Hosting Provider is the Cheapest Choice

Shared hosting is the most popular amongst small businesses as they usually start out with low-traffic websites. Therefore, they have low demand and can go with more affordable providers. Shared hosting plans start with a price below $10. However, keep in mind that price is only one of the 5 critical factors we’ve identified above.

Once your website gets traction and the visitors increase you’ll quickly find out that running a WordPress site on shared hosting is not the best option.

A Virtual Private Server is the Next Best Thing

If you run a small business with growing traffic, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a good choice for a WordPress host. The isolated operating system it provides will become essential when it comes to performance and security and the flexibility on scaling will provide a safe workaround when/if you experience traffic spikes. So if your website requires more resources and control than shared hosting but you are not ready for a dedicated environment, a VPS would be the route to follow.

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However, using a VPS requires a certain level of technical knowledge and management skills. If you lack the technical know-how or feel uncomfortable with server administration tasks, it might not be the best option for you, despite its benefits. Managing a VPS or dedicated hardware involves responsibilities such as configuring server settings, installing software, ensuring security measures, and handling updates and maintenance. If you are not sure if you can handle these tasks then you should think of Managed WordPress hosting as the next best alternative solution.

Managed WordPress Hosting Providers for Small Business Owners

Managed WordPress hosting for small business owners is a bit pricier than your typical $20/year hosting plan. You’re looking at around $20 or more per month. But is the price increase worth it? Absolutely!

Managed WordPress hosts are experts in all things WordPress. They fine-tune the server software specifically for WordPress, resulting in lightning-fast loading times and a super-smooth website experience.

One of the best offerings of Managed WordPress hosting services is their support and extensive WordPress knowledge. They won’t build your website for you, but, they’ll be there with an answer whenever you have questions about WordPress or seek consultation.

Say goodbye to overwhelming control panels! Managed WordPress hosts offer custom control panels designed with WordPress in mind. No more sifting through countless options or dealing with unnecessary clutter. It’s all streamlined for a hassle-free experience. Not sure what you’ll face? Check out our Managed WordPress Hosting Dashboard or give it a spin with Pressidium free trial offering.

But wait, there’s more! Managed WordPress hosts often go the extra mile to make your life as a website owner easier. They offer fully automated backup solutions, staging sites for testing new features, and automatic updates for the WordPress core. These additional tools can save you time and give you peace of mind.

So, while managed WordPress hosting may cost a bit more, the benefits it brings to your small business website are well worth the investment. With optimized performance, expert support, user-friendly control panels, free WordPress site migrations, and handy extra tools, you’ll have everything you need to succeed online.

Beware of Cheap WordPress Hosting Providers

On a side note, when it comes to research, you’ll first look at the price. It might seem simplistic but if it’s cheap, it’s cheap for a reason. Don’t be fooled by the glossy marketing! Every single cheap host is going to overpromise, pretty much guaranteed!

So, consider all the above and go with the one that makes the most sense for your small business. Take your time to decide how important your website is to you. If it’s just a hobby and something you won’t spend much time working on then some “cheap and cheerful” hosting might make sense. Just go into it with your eyes open and be aware of the flaws. Not every WordPress site needs 100% uptime and super fast loading speed.

If however, your WordPress site matters to you, either it’s an important personal project or your website is a business website, then it really does pay to use higher-quality and specialized WordPress hosting.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right WordPress hosting provider is crucial for the success of your small business website. With the platform powering a significant portion of websites on the internet, evaluating hosting options becomes essential.
  • As a small business owner, you have specific considerations when selecting a hosting provider. You prioritize affordability, reliability, ease of use, customer support, and security. Your resources are limited, you should select a partner, not just a hosting provider.
  • Shared hosting is an affordable choice for small businesses with low-traffic websites, but it may not suffice as the site grows.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting offers scalability, performance, and security, but it requires technical knowledge and management skills.
  • Managed WordPress hosting is a pricier option but provides an extensive feature set. Specialized support, optimized performance, user-friendly control panels, automated backups, staging servers, and automated updates tailored for WordPress.
  • When selecting a hosting provider, factors to consider include price, backup and restore options, customer support, security measures, and ease of use. These factors contribute to the overall functionality, reliability, and success of your small business website.
  • While it may be tempting to opt for cheap hosting, it is important to evaluate the trade-offs in terms of performance, support, and reliability. Higher-quality and specialized WordPress hosting can be more beneficial in the long run, especially for websites that are vital to your business or personal projects.

To make your WordPress hosting decision easier we’ve compiled a useful list of 8 questions to ask a hosting provider before making your purchase.

It’s all about gathering the right information upfront so you can confidently choose the best WordPress hosting plan for your needs.

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