Working with a variety of clients, I have the “pleasure” of getting to know a wide variety of WordPress hosting providers. It only makes me feel better about my choice of Bluehost as my provider because I’ve encountered so many nightmares with the various providers that my clients have been saddled with.
I’m not alone. Other marketers like Pat Flynn strongly recommend Bluehost and many (if not most) of the rating sites include them as one of their top-rated hosting companies.
WordPress Hosting Horror Stories:
- One client’s host (and/or the site’s set-up) prevented new plugins from being added. They also had a lot of down time. We quickly migrated from this smaller, local host.
- Another WordPress host would time out when updating the WordPress version via the site’s control panel. Any upgrades had to be done by FTP (what a pain).
- In another case, the client had multiple hosts (thanks to their consulting relationships). One of them was charging hosting fees for several months but had no domains or sites active. You’d think they might have tipped them off to this waste of money. Nope!
- One client had purchased hosting through a consultant who white-labeled a larger host’s services. The problem was that we couldn’t access the control panel through the larger host’s system. It was a nightmare to track down the page that allowed us to access the control panel. It was extremely hard to get the client extracted from this situation.
- In one of the worst situations I ran into, a local California company’s consultant had set them up with Canadian host – not sure why… The kicker is that the site had been hacked and was massively infected with malware. I guess the host didn’t notice. Needless to say, we quickly moved out of the host and sanitized that site with the digital equivalent of buckets of bleach (thanks to Regina Smola at WP Security Lock for the move/clean-up!)
What I look for in a WordPress host:
- 24/7 phone support for tech support
- Automatic backups of my site (as a last resort – always use a service like Backup Buddy to back-up your site regularly)
- Monitoring and notification of hacking of your sites (this is also as a last resort, use a service like Sucuri or WP Security Lock to monitor and clean up your sites)
- Ability to host multiple domains on one account
- A robust cPanel (a type of control panel) that is easy to use
- A nationally known brand (many of the issues above were with small, local hosts)
- Plenty of support articles specific to their service (e.g. I don’t always want to call Bluehost, so I can easily find specific tutorials for Bluehost by searching in Google). Many smaller hosts won’t have articles to help you with minor configuration topics or things like their name servers to point domains registered elsewhere)
- An upgrade path so you can get higher levels of service when (and only when) you need it
When working with a consultant, here’s what I recommend:
- Vet any hosting recommendations. Saving a couple of dollars is not worth the pain of a bad hosting experience (or the cost of moving it down the road)
- Make sure all domains and hosting accounts are registered in your name
- Make sure you know exactly how to access all accounts. Save links to all sites and document (safely) your user names and passwords
For many small and medium-sized businesses, large national hosts like Bluehost, Host Gator or GoDaddy provide the right level of hosting at a reasonable price. I’ve settled on Bluehost for all of my sites and for many of my clients.
What’s your experience or advice regarding hosting?
What’s your experience with your WordPress host? Have you had any horror stories?
What do you depend on for your hosting?
Disclosure: I happily use Bluehost for all of my company sites and recommend their services. Right Mix Marketing Inc. is a customer and affiliate for Bluehost, WP Security Lock, Sucuri, Backup Buddy and other products and services that we use.
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.