Do you know the number one mistake biz owners make when looking for a hosting service for their WordPress blog or website? It’s not taking enough time to find the one that has the services and capabilities to keep their site running in top form.
I see it all the time: People who have been talked into a sub-standard hosting service (often cheaper but not always).
Or others who just randomly chose one online. They didn’t understand how important that hosting service was to their site—and their business.
Here’s a true life example. A client called me. They were frustrated with their current hosting service and wanted to move their website to a different one. When I asked them to get the information I needed to export their original database, they said that they were told it couldn’t be done.
In a nutshell, the person who had provided the hosting was doing it on their own hosting site as a sub-domain.
Bad news! Because of the complications, my final bill was almost $300 when it should have cost no more than $100. It was more work for me— and for them.
With tons of options out there, from huge global companies to local service providers, the choices can be confusing.
Instead of pushing a particular host or sharing more horror stories, I offer here from personal experience a list of questions to help you figure out how to choose the service that will work for you in the long run.
Bob’s WordPress Site Hosting Service Checklist
If you are launching a WordPress site or considering moving to one, ask yourself (and the host) these questions:
- If you are a ‘buy local’ fan, did you check to make sure they are not just reselling hosting from a larger, non-local company?
- Are you allowed to make all the changes to your account yourself, including contact, credit card and other changes?
- Can you cancel your hosting easily?
- Is there a limit on the number of email boxes and subdomains, the site size or the bandwidth?
- Do they have a one-click install of WordPress?
- Can you auto update your site easily?
- Do you have full FTP access to your files?
- Do you have full access to your control panel and databases through your phpMyAdmin?
- Does the host use the most current versions of PHP and MySQL software and do they keep them updated?
- Can you get support directly from the hosting company and do they have 24/7 phone and/or chat support?
- Does their CEO kill elephants, promote their site with half-naked women and upsell you at every turn? (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one).
A lot of this information can be found on the hosts’ websites, or, if someone is helping you set your site up, they should be able to answer these questions.
And most important of all: if someone else does the setup for you, be sure to get all the necessary login information to access your hosting site.
You may never need to get access to much of what I have listed. But if you need to change hosts, your web person disappears off the face of the planet, or something else unexpected happens, you will have the peace of mind knowing that the next person who helps you can do it without any hassle.
What did I miss?
Anything to add here?