Whenever I am asked to start a new website, especially a WordPress site, one of the most important questions to consider is the hosting service. There are a few good ones that I constantly recommend and many, many poor ones that I highly recommend you avoid. Unfortunately some clients have already signed up for a service on their own and that can lead to a lot of problems.
Some Qualities to Look For:
cPanel: This is a control panel system that you (or your designer) will use to setup email, control usernames and ftp access. The technical side of things is made MUCH easier with this. I won’t work on a site without it.
Fantastico or Simple Scripts: These are services that allow simple one-click access to many of the most popular web site scripts out there, like WordPress, mailing lists, e-commerce plugins, etc. Most quality hosting services offer this.
Unlimited (or essentially unlimited) Everything: All of the services I will recommend will come with Unlimited Storage Space & Bandwidth. They either have unlimited or HUGE amounts of the following: domains, sub-domains, email addresses, MySQL Databases. Some limit you to something like 5000 email addresses, but what would most sites ever need with 5000 email addresses? It is just good to know that you can use as many as you want.
Ease of Use: No real way to tell this until you sign up and sign in. I have learned the hard way that it makes a BIG difference on the time it takes to accomplish basic tasks. GoDaddy? Horrible. Yahoo? Really bad. See more abut that below…
Some Hosting Services To Avoid:
Siteground.com: I had a client who hosted their site there and it was down so often that we had to sign up for a new account and throw away the money they had paid for the year of hosting because it just wasn’t worth having the site there any more
GoDaddy.com: A very popular and inexpensive solution, especially for domain name purchasing, but their site is SO user-unfriendly that it takes FOREVER to find and change anything. I also has a few major problems with WordPress sites so if you are looking to use WordPress at any point, avoid GoDaddy.
Yahoo.com: One of the bigger names in the internet world and they offer a pretty cheap solution that allows you to host some basic sites. It might be fine for doing your first site yourself, but to install and work on a site on a professional level, your web designer needs easy access to things that they just don’t make available or make very difficult to use.
If you host your site at GoDaddy, Siteground, or Yahoo and hire me to work on it, you will most likely end up paying me MORE than a year of hosting at some other places just to mess around with the problems of these sites. While it would seem like a waste to pay for another hosting service before your time runs out, it ends up being better to just make the switch and allow your web designer to work faster & easier (and in the end, allow them to charge you less!).
The Hosting Service I Recommend:
I used to recommend a few different hosting services, but now there is only one – Hostmonster.com
I have used Hostmonster for a couple years now and love it. They offer one-click installation of WordPress (as well as a bunch of other great scripts, like mailing list managers, e-commerce, forums, and more). Their customer service is amazing, with phone and chat support that always answers my questions.
For any potential clients – signing up with Hostmonster through this link is enough to cover the time it takes me to set-up your hosting account. Using this affiliate link allows me to keep the cost to you as low as possible.