To run a self-hosted WordPress blog, you first need a web host. This provides you with the web space and a database for WordPress. Here you can find out which features are important and what you need to look out for when choosing hosting.
WordPress hosting – what to look out for?
Before you can install and set up WordPress, you need to decide on a suitable web hosting service. Among other things, the web hosting provider provides you with the storage space (web space) for your blog on a web server. All your content is saved here and can then be accessed at the address you specified on the Internet.
Web hosting is usually offered by the providers in the form of different packages. These packages differ in the scope of services and ultimately determine the monthly price. The following sub-items show what is important when it comes to WordPress hosting.
Technical requirements for web hosting
In addition to the web space, WordPress requires a MySQL database to operate. All posts, comments and settings of your blog are saved in it. WordPress is developed in the PHP scripting language, so your web host must offer PHP support. However, PHP and MySQL are now standard technologies that almost every web host offers.
Your blog should still be accessible via an SSL-protected connection. Many browsers then display a lock symbol in the address bar to symbolize the secure connection. SSL certificates were relatively expensive not so long ago. In the meantime, however, there are free SSL certificates from the Let’s Encrypt Initiative. Here you should make sure that the new web host offers this.
WordPress requirements in a nutshell
- PHP support
- MySQL database
- (Let`s Encrypt) SSL certificate
Own domain for your blog
You probably want to buy your own domain like your-website.com for your WordPress blog. Top-level domains with endings like en, com, not, org are usually offered by every web host. You have to reckon with restrictions if you are using a less common domain ending such as ok or .cc want to put. Here you should check beforehand whether the desired top-level domain is offered.
Email mailboxes for your domain
As a contact address for your WordPress blog, an email address with your own domain looks the most professional. All web hosting offers usually contain a certain number of freely configurable email mailboxes and forwardings. You can set up email addresses like email@example.com.
More web hosting features
In addition to the technical requirements for WordPress, many web hosting offers often contain a large number of other features. Here you have to decide individually whether you need functions such as an online hard drive or a DynDNS service at all. So-called 1-click installers are now widespread. This allows you to install applications such as WordPress, forum software or cloud services with just a few mouse clicks.
This may work in principle, but has some disadvantages such as sometimes inappropriate default settings or update problems. I therefore advise you to always install the desired software manually in order to retain full control over the software used, in our case WordPress.
Which web host for WordPress?
Due to the great popularity and spread of WordPress, almost all web hosting providers nowadays meet the above requirements for operating WordPress. You’re probably asking yourself which hosting you should choose if ultimately all are somehow suitable. I have tested many hosting providers over the past few years and now have a clear favorite, which I will present to you in a moment.
All technical features and details are important, but points like:
- customer service
- minimum term
the speed of the hosting determines how quickly your website is displayed in the browser. Nobody here wants to wait several seconds for each click. Especially the very cheap offers can only be realized because hundreds or even thousands of customers are on one server. This means that the server is regularly overloaded and can only deliver your website slowly.
the Availability determines how often you have to tolerate an outage or limited availability of your WordPress blog. In most cases, a minimum annual mean availability is contractually guaranteed. However, the actual availability in practice is much more important. Regular brief outages are significantly more disruptive than announced nightly maintenance work.
in the backend or Customer Center you make all the settings for your web hosting. This is where domains are registered, email addresses created, etc. Even if you don’t use the backend every day and only make settings there from time to time, a certain usability is not to be scoffed at. Some hosting providers use completely outdated interfaces that only react sluggishly and are illogically structured. That can get on your last nerve.
A good communication in the event of maintenance work or malfunctions, it is also easy on the nerves. If server updates are announced in advance, you can expect the downtime of the website. Even a circular email in the event of a failure gives you the feeling that work is already being done to rectify the fault. This is always nicer than just reaching an overloaded queue in the event of a failure.
The customer service is generally only rarely used. But if you need it, the matter should be resolved in a reasonable amount of time. While some web hosting providers need several days to answer an email, elsewhere you often get the answer after just a few minutes. When it comes to telephone support, there are also big differences in accessibility between normal office hours on workdays and the 24/7 hotline.
Last but not least, there are different ones depending on the provider and tariff Minimum Contract Periods. Between one and 12 months are usual. My experience clearly shows that web hosts with a short minimum term put more effort into it. Everything is done here to convince the customer with good performance. As a customer, you are happy to stay with the provider for a long time and do not have to be obliged to do so by a long contract period.
WordPress Hosting Favorite: All-Inkl.com
My favorite after many years with different hosting providers is All-Incl.com. This offers an extremely good price/performance ratio. The speed of server and database is right. I haven’t noticed any unscheduled server failures so far. Maintenance work and software updates are announced in good time by email and take place at night when there is little load.
The KAS customer center for administration of the web hosting package has also been implemented in an exemplary manner. All the necessary settings can be carried out clearly here. I’ve rarely used customer service, but the 24/7 email support has responded quickly and competently. A 24/7 telephone hotline is already available with the PrivatPlus tariff.
A real feature highlight are the so-called subaccounts. leave that multiple WordPress installations on one server operate. This is basically also possible with other providers, but there all WordPress installations are in a root directory. If one website has a security problem and is compromised, all other sites in the account are also affected. This is avoided with the all-inclusive sub-accounts, since the accounts are legally separate from one another.
All-Inkl has four hosting packages on offer, from a private tariff for €4.95 per month to a business tariff for €24.95 per month. I use the premium tariff for €9.95 per month. Among other things, this includes SSH access for command line lovers 🙂 The minimum contract period in all tariffs is only one month.
All-Inkl.com benefits at a glance
- Good server performance
- Exemplary backend
- Useful sub-accounts
- 24/7 email and phone support
- Minimum contract term only one month
Managed WordPress hosting
The all-inclusive web hosting tariffs described above are classic shared web hosting. Here the provider provides the web server and takes care of its secure operation. As a customer, you are responsible for operating and maintaining WordPress. With so-called managed WordPress hosting, the provider also takes care of the security and maintenance of your WordPress blog.
One of the best-known German providers of managed WordPress hosting is Raidboxes. Depending on the tariff, features such as automatic backups, an update service for WordPress including plugins and themes, integrated caching of your content and a staging environment for testing changes to your website are included. These features plus your own domain are available in the fully managed tariff for around €37 per WordPress site per month.
This means that the costs are a lot higher compared to normal shared web hosting. Managed WordPress hosting is therefore primarily of interest to you if you do not want to deal with technical things such as loading time optimization, backups and plugin updates. So you can focus exclusively on the content of your WordPress website.
Free web space for WordPress
In addition to the many paid hosting providers, there are also some free web hosting offers. However, I advise against free web space for WordPress for a serious web project. Free offers often suffer from overloaded servers and poor availability. In addition, with free WordPress hosting you usually do not get your own domain and have to accept third-party advertising to finance the free offer.
Conclusion on WordPress hosting
Now you know what requirements your hosting provider must meet to run WordPress. You also know that in addition to technical things, other details such as speed, reliability and good customer service are important. I have also shown you my recommendation for quality WordPress hosting with a really good price/performance ratio above.