Finding a Host
The next step after getting a domain name is to find a hosting company. Some of the things you want to compare in hosting companies are the following:
- The reliability and uptime of the site: Most hosts have an uptime of around 99%, but you want to make sure by looking at reviews of the provider.
- Availability of Website Help: When you have a problem, you want to be able to contact the provider. Some hosts provide 24/7 availability and can be called on the phone. Others may only be contacted by email and support tickets. Be sure to check and make sure the method of contact and availability suits your needs.
- The reputation of the host: Be sure to check the reputation of the host. For instance, a lot of reviews state that companies associated with EIG (Endurance International Group) do not provide the best service. Do your due diligence when looking at hosts.
- Security: Some of the security for your site is provided through plugins to your site, however, some of the security is provided by the host. Make that your host provides a suite of security features so your site does not get compromised.
- Make sure there are a variety of hosting plans and that they compatible with your needs: A lot of people when just starting out get a shared hosting plan, which means your site is on a hard drive with a lot of other sites. A variant of this is cloud hosting, where your site hosted in the cloud and is like a hybrid of shared hosting and a VPN. A virtual private network or VPN is where your site is hosted on a partitioned drive, separate from other sites. The highest level is dedicated hosting where you have your own hard drive. Each level upward represents more memory and generally speed of the site. You want to have a variety of plans available so you can move up within the same host as your site grows.
- Account Interface: Does the host use a cPanel to access back-end features needed for the site or do they have their own system. If you are familiar with cPanel hosting, you may want to get this, otherwise, try to pick the one you are comfortable with.
- Site Migration: Does the host provide site migration services? This is important if you are trying to move a site from one host to another.
- Are the prices after the introductory price reasonable?: A lot of hosting lets you have a very low hosting price for the first two or three years. After the introductory period, you pay the regular price, which could be quite a bit higher. Make sure you can pay the higher price when that time comes.
- Does the host provide a free domain name: Some hosts provide a free domain name with the hosting plan. However, this may not be reasonable as it appears, especially if you want to have domain privacy, which comes at an extra cost. A separate provider may offer the same service for the same price as the extra cost and have domain privacy included, i.e. Google. Be sure to look at the post on Domain Names for more information.
Recommended Hosting Companies
This is the company that Silphium Design uses for its own website. We have always been pleased with TMD and they utilize a lot of open source solutions as well. TMD is a small provider located in Chicago, IL. TMD is especially reasonable for their cloud hosting plans and provides a lot of memory for the money. In addition, they have excellent 24/7 tech support.
This company is recommended by WordPress.org and offers a lot for WordPress users. On some of their plans, you have to watch the number of users especially for sites that get a high amount of traffic.
Kinsta probably offers the most of the hosting companies and is a little more expensive than the companies above. However, if you are a beginner, need more help or services they are probably a good choice.