Finding the right hosting provider can be a daunting task. There are many factors that go into the proper selection that one can get lost trying to decide. Any web engagement will start with many questions to consider. As the saying goes plan the work, and then work the plan!
Every company is different and as such, not one hosting provider is perfect for everyone. Here are a few that our clients have found to be effective:
We’ve been suggesting the use of this hosting provider for a number of years and have had a great overall impression of them. We have helped clients move to SiteGround that had either poor support experience with their prior provider, or were somewhat reliant on an outside agency in order to make updates or even utilize some inherent WordPress administration options! One of these instances was a project in need of rescuing in a timely manner.
What kinds of companies should use SiteGround for hosting?
SiteGround is a perfect solution for many small businesses that want to have a solid platform with great support for their website. It can also be scaled to those that need enterprise business options. One of the ‘knocks’ is that the costs double after the initial agreement. They do tend to run annual discounts on upgrades for those that are price sensitive.
Why should you consider SiteGround?
- They have a more global presence, with servers in the United States, UK, Bulgaria, Singapore, and Spain. This can be helpful for those companies that are international.
- They offer WordPress specific, and WooCommerce Managed offerings.
- If you own a WordPress website, you may come to learn that there are a number of pillars that help make it run as smoothly as possible.
- From the PHP version being used, to security and updates, to performance related to speed, caching, and image optimization… using a managed solution can help alleviate concerns with your website.
- If Security is a concern the Managed options have automatic updates and use custom firewall rules to patch vulnerabilities.
- Nowadays an SSL certificate is a must – SiteGround provides integration of LetsEncrypt SSL.
- If site speed is a concern there are additional features available: Cloudflare CDN (a free and paid option) and application optimization options (including GZIP compression, CSS & HTML minification, cache management, and image optimization).
- If you have more than just a WordPress website and are in need of a host that can support that as well – SiteGround offers Web hosting and scalable Cloud hosting for those in need of specific configurations.
- Security scanning is an additional cost of about $20/year but it’s a daily monitoring service that will send out notifications if something is wrong.
- They also offer Domain registration, which some clients prefer to have grouped as much as possible. One account handling your DNS management and hosting can be an attractive feature.
- They offer live 24/7 chat, phone support, and ticketing system. SiteGround boasts that 90% of issues are resolved at first contact.
- Entry costs are typically very reasonable and SiteGround hosting can be secured for multiple years (up to 36 months). This has been likely the biggest factor in many of our clients looking to switch.
For more information on SiteGround, please visit https://www.siteground.com/?referrer_id=7887728
*We utilize SiteGround as the host vendor for one of our development environments. By using the referral link above and securing SiteGround as your hosting provider, 4C would receive a discount that would probably go to purchasing more coffee!
In doing the due diligence of comparing multiple WordPress-specific hosting platforms, WPEngine stood out. 4C has utilized their hosting services for the past 4 years and have had several clients also select WPEngine hosting because of their dedication to the opensource platform, reliability, and support.
What kinds of companies should use WPEngine for hosting?
WPEngine is a platform fully dedicated to WordPress. So if your company website is viewed as an important part of your business having reliable hosting and support is a must! Their support is top-notch and they boast that they are ‘unhackable’ by employing developers that actually help build WordPress.
The benefit of this is that they are typically on the forefront of any issue or immediate update that may need to be done. While this is a big pro, it can also be a con as they are completely dedicated to WordPress hosting only, so there aren’t any other hosting plans for simple sites. This may be a consideration if at some point you may want to have some kind of simple HTML landing page in the future.
Why should you consider WPEngine?
- They have a more global presence, with servers in the United States, UK, Belgium, Taiwan, and Australia. This can be helpful for those companies that are international.
- They offer WordPress specific (includes WooCommerce) offerings.
- As previously mentioned WordPress has many gears that turn in order to work.
- WPEngine is PHP 7.4 ready and by default has only PHP 7.3 or 7.4 as options, running only the latest and greatest to prevent security exploitation and speed lag.
- Let’s just be honest… Security is a concern! WPEngine has various and propriatry security features that other hosts do not.
- While this is a good thing, there are some plugins that are disallowed due to security concerns, either by WPEngine, or WordPress itself.
- WPEngine provides integration of LetsEncrypt SSL.
- Additional site speed features include: MaxCDN (a free and paid option) and web application optimization options (including GZIP compression, CSS & HTML minification, cache management, and image optimization).
- The site dashboard provides a summary of that site showing the visitors on 30 day average, bandwidth, and storage.
- Additional evaluating tools are baked-in with the plans.
- Page performance tools that can be run to improve your website.
- Ones that come at a premium include Content Performance, which aggregates information from Google Analytics to help improve your writing strategy – right in your WordPress Administration Dashboard.
- Scalable plans are available. Most are focused on visits per month, storage space needed, bandwidth per month, and number of sites.
- They offer award winning live 24/7 chat support along with phone support, and a help ticketing system. WPEngine has over 97% customer satisfaction rating, while interacting with thousands of customers daily.
- Entry costs are typically higher when comparing them to a hosting provider, like GoDaddy for instance, but there aren’t any ‘hidden’ costs or add-ons that inflate the price.
- They operate on monthly and/or annual plans. So there isn’t an ability to secure multiple years upfront, however it is a way of “keeping them honest” so to speak. If the contract is up on a certain date, you are free to try other hosts!
For more information on WPEngine, please visit https://wpengine.com.
Other Hosting Vendors
At this point, these suggestions are vendors that have a lot of great offerings, but we don’t have experience with them, at this time so we believe that would not be an accurate judge of their capabilities.
Liquid Web – has WordPress and WooCommerce managed solutions, along with cloud options and dedicated servers. However, they also offer enterprise hosting featuring HIPAA compliant data centers as well as PCI CSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) as another level of security for your business.
They also offer a higher disk space on comparable plan levels (for instance Liquid Web’s WordPress Managed option “Spark” features 1 site, 15 GB storage, 2 TB bandwidth, and unlimited visits per month when compared to WPEngines “Startup” plan has 1 site, 10 GB storage, and 50 GB bandwidth, with 25,000 visits per month).
Visit https://www.liquidweb.com for more information.
Flywheel – was recently acquired by WPEngine and is also a dedicated WordPress hosting solution. Their entry hosting plan is scaled back to serve the small business market. If you have a small WordPress website, this “Tiny” option might be perfect for your company.
Visit https://getflywheel.com for more information.
Please note: The supportive information referenced is what is currently available (as of 8/30/2021) and this information may change at a later date.
If you are in the market for a website update, it might be a good time to consider or reconsider, your hosting provider. There have been many instances when clients go with the low-cost option or the recognized name, or it was just what was used in the past (*cough GoDaddy cough*). 4C can help you take your requirements into account (such as site speed, security, staging features, tech support) and provide suggestions that can get you moving forward. If this is of interest to you and your business, contact us today!