Whether you’re looking to set up a personal blog for your random thoughts or a business website, fast, reliable hosting is crucial. It’s also important whether you’re going with WordPress, Joomla, any other content management system or even a fully custom blog. Getting the fastest WordPress hosting possible would boost your success.
There are a variety of steps you can take to increase your loading times irrespective of which host your blog is on. However, the most important factor will still be the speed of the servers on which you’ve got your site.
Importance of Fast Hosting
When setting up a website, choosing which host to use is one of the most pivotal decisions you’ll make. The hosting you use will be the determinant of how fast your website loads up for viewers. In today’s fast-paced world, even a few seconds’ delays can make people click away and never return.
Before visitors even get onto your website, your speed will already have played a role. Search engines now consider loading times as an important metric in how much visibility they give websites. Slow loading times will naturally cause a high bounce rate due to visitors who click away in frustration. That signals to Google and other search engines that your website is not a high-quality one, and they’ll demote it accordingly.
In a world where as much as 60% of purchase decisions begin with a Google search, bad SERP (Search Engine Result Pages Pages) can have a devastating impact on your bottom line.
So, if you choose a good host, you’ll enjoy the benefits for the lifetime of your website. Conversely, if you choose a bad one, you’ll likely lose your audience and find it difficult to make significant income via that channel. In order to decide what makes sense for you, you’ll need to put in time and effort to evaluate all the different options on the market.
To make that evaluation faster and more accurate, here are the things you’ll need to consider:
Types of Hosting
While “hosting” is used most commonly, it’s an umbrella term for different types of this service. In deciding which host and plan to sign up for, you’ll need to ascertain which type of hosting you need.
The first and most common web hosting solution is shared hosting. It’s referred to as such because you’ll be sharing server resources with other customers. The hosting company usually tries to optimize the number of websites per server, but predictably, profit considerations often lead them to put so many on a server that it slows all the sites drastically.
Even if the server weren’t crowded, sharing server resources would still make your site slower than it could be otherwise. You should use this kind of hosting only for small to medium sites, in terms of page size and traffic.
If you want to host a site with a heavier interface or a large amount of traffic, you should look at the VPS hosting or cloud-based hosting option. VPS stands for a virtual private server. It works by assigning you a fixed amount of server resources which you can use as you please because the resources are kept exclusive for your use. The servers usually operate on high-speed SSDs which enable faster loading than the hard drives often used in shared hosting.
For those reasons, cloud hosting is always faster than shared hosting, and the difference will be especially visible on larger websites. Also, hosts usually give you the option to add or remove computing resources as necessary. That means your hosting package can grow with your website without any slow periods.
Dedicated hosting is the highest level of hosting efficiency and speed of all WordPress hosting packages. In this hosting solution, instead of sharing server resources with other users or even getting a share in a server, you’ll get an entire server all to yourself.
Beyond the increased speed and really fast WordPress load time, you’ll have complete control over all aspects of the server’s configuration. That means you can decide everything from what operating system it uses to the security systems and everything else.
Also, dedicated hosting plans usually come with priority customer support. That means they’ll handle and resolve your issues you have in a timely and more effective way. You could even get a managed service where a member of staff would handle your WordPress installation, set up your Nginx web server and all other technical aspects.
Expectedly, these plans cost quite a bit more than the other options. With all the features they come with though, you should go for a dedicated server plan if you’re planning to host websites with a lot of users and regular traffic.
Evaluating your Hosting Needs
Now that you understand the kind of web hosting plans offered by most providers, go ahead and try to evaluate your website to see which of the plans will be most suitable.
The first consideration in doing that will be the size of the website itself. When you compare a website that has a lot of graphics with one that’s almost 100% text, the first will naturally be heavier and slower to load than the other. Graphics are not the only consideration when it comes to webpage size though. Other things like scripts and cookies also need time to load and could slow your website down.
Another thing you’ll need to consider carefully is the amount of traffic which the website gets daily. For a website which gets only a few hundred visitors every day, you can make do with shared hosting conveniently. For a website which gets visitors in the tens or hundreds of thousands, dedicated hosting would be a prudent investment. You’ll be sure that your website will remain online and responsive regardless of the number of people who visit at any time.
The speed is especially important if your website has an e-commerce component. When you’re competing with hundreds of other websites selling similar goods and services, giving your customers the maximal speed and convenience possible must be a priority. Having the fastest WordPress hosting will give you an edge over your competitors. You should look for hosts which offer dedicated woocommerce hosting and a control panel that’s easy to navigate.
Comparing Website Hosting Features
When you’re trying to get the fastest WordPress hosting for your website, you’ll come across a lot of options across the internet. Understanding the various features and their impact on your site speed will make it easier for you to make the best choice.
1. RAM and Storage
How much of a difference do SSDs make to website speed? The answer to that can be a bit technical, but the short version is “a whole lot.” SSDs are much faster and reliable than traditional drives, which is part of the reason why they cost significantly more. You’ll mostly find SSDs in VPS and dedicated hosting plans, though a few hosts also offer them in their shared hosting plans.
RAM has a similar effect on website speeds – the more RAM, the faster the server. A server with more RAM will process data efficiently. That means accelerated page load times, even for the most complex websites or apps.
Many hosts do not give details about their server specs, except you’re going for a dedicated plan. Wherever possible though, compare the specs and keep in mind that SSDs and more ram usually mean faster speeds overall.
Bandwidth is also referred to as data transfers by some hosts. It means the entire allocation of data allocated to your use on the web host’s connection.
Though website sizes vary widely depending on the themes used and other factors, the calculations works the same way. If a page on your website is 5 megabytes in size, and 100 people view it every day, you’ll use 500 megabytes each day.
Most hosts offer really large amounts of bandwidth, and most sites shouldn’t even approach the limit. Some hosting companies even offer unlimited bandwidth, though there’s usually a fair usage policy in the terms. Other times, the hosting company restricts the bandwidth use to websites that are not intended for hosting multimedia or for file sharing purposes.
Ultimately, more bandwidth is always better. Excess bandwidth will prevent any bottlenecks or downtime when you exhaust your allocation.
Security and Support
This is one aspect where you should focus on. The speed of your website and how much bandwidth you have will become irrelevant very quickly if your website is taken down or defaced by hackers. Worse still, hackers could steal sensitive data regarding their customers and their financial transactions.
The security of your website is mostly determined by how you secure it as the administrator, but the infrastructure of the hosting company itself can be a very crucial factor. Studies have shown that a significant number of hacks exploited hosting weaknesses. So, look for a hosting service that includes firewalls, monitoring services, automatic backups and other security features such as automatic backups and a free SSL certificate.
Also, the competence and responsiveness of the customer support team are essential for your website’s security. One good way to test this out is to try contacting the support options before signing up. Call their phone numbers, send test emails and reach out via live chat. That way, you’ll be able to get a feel for their response time and how helpful they are.
Reliability: Server Uptime Guarantee
Every minute that your website is inaccessible can lead to hundreds of missed sales opportunities, and unless they are loyal customers, most of those people will just go on to buy from your competitors.
Server downtimes are inevitable over the long-term. Nonetheless, the difference between great hosts and not-so-great ones is how they reduce downtimes. Choose a host with enough redundancy infrastructure in place to guarantee 100% uptime or as close as possible.
Pricing : Cost vs Value
Whether your website is for a business or not, keeping costs low is bound to be a priority. When you’re considering a selection of hosts that you’ve narrowed down, it can be very tempting to just choose the cheapest one. That would be a terrible approach.
Ultimately, the best way to make your choice is to consider them in terms of value and not just price. Evaluate the features you’ll get with each plan and the impact of those features on your business. Those features could be positive in the sense that they help you achieve more with your business. They could also be features which keep your site secure and help you spend less time on it.
One thing to note when doing that evaluation is that the features should match your needs closely. Don’t get sucked into paying for features that you won’t need. For instance, the free SSL that comes in most hosting packages is perfect for most sites. At the same time, be sure to make allowances for features that’ll become necessary as your site grows.
Tips for Getting the Fastest WordPress Hosting
Getting incredibly fast hosting for WordPress doesn’t end with choosing a hosting provider. It also goes beyond just selecting one of their hosting packages. There are other components you’ll need to put in place:
Cloud Delivery System (CDN)
A cloud delivery system works by caching your website’s contents and then placing them on several servers around the world. That way, when a person loads up your website, it can be delivered from the server closest to them. That would give you much faster load time and general performance than requesting from the single hosting server every time.
In addition to the effects of geographical proximity, your site will also load faster since your visitors will be accessing your website via several servers instead of bombarding just one, even if it’s the fastest WordPress hosting available.
Some hosting companies include a CDN with their plans, and others charge an extra cost. As you work to find the fastest WordPress hosting service for your website, keep an eye out for CDN integration in the feature list.
Track your Changes
As you set up and run your website, you’ll naturally make a lot of changes at different times. Whether you’re revamping the design or installing new plugins, it’s important to understand the effects they have on your website’s response time.
Thankfully, Google has a tool which analyses your website comprehensively for just that purpose. The Pagespeed Insights tool will assign an overall score, identify any issues and give practical suggestions to resolve them.
Even if you’re not able to attain the maximum score, try to get as high as you can and maintain the score over time. In all though, remember that the most important factor remains the host you sign up with. Use the information above to select a fast, reliable host that’ll keep your website speedy for responsive for your audience.