WordPress Hosting packages differ a lot between hosting providers. But to call an Hosting, “WordPress Hosting”, that provider should meet the requirements below, otherwise it will fail badly.
1. LAMP Stack
LAMP is the shortname for Linux-Apache-MySQL and PHP. WordPress runs on LAMP stack hosting servers. If your hosting doesn’t provide you any of those required software, then maybe it is not so suitable for WordPress. I know this seems most obvious, but there are many users out there trying to use Windows hosting for WordPress. So, listen to our word and just pick a Hosting with Linux servers using LAMP stack.
2. PHP Version 7.2
With the recent updates on WordPress core, minimum requirement of PHP changed from 5.6 to 7.2. Meaning if you want to get WordPress updates (which we highly recommend you to do so) you should go with a Hosting server that allows you to choose your PHP version. Or at least the version they have installed should be 7.2. Many of the old hosting servers are still using PHP 5.6, which will cause many security fails in the following years. So, if you are starting fresh, just go with a hosting server that has 7.2. Otherwise, you may need to ask your hosting server how to change PHP version through CPanel.
3. Caching Support
WordPress is a highly dynamic content management system, meaning that, it requires a lot of CPU and RAM to generate a page made up of all dynamic content. So, it is critical that your Hosting should provide you necessary tools for caching static pages and database queries. For the caching plugin, I prefer using LiteSpeed Cache, which works best if your host is using LiteSpeed Web Server. If you don’t have this option however, the best alternative seems to be W3 Total Cache. But W3TC is a little harder to setup.
Cpanel is a Linux based control panel that allows you to manage your hosting in many ways. Using Cpanel you can backup your site, edit databases, make new installations and more. If you are going to select a hosting provider for a brand new website, I highly recommend you to go with the one that has Cpanel on it. It will make give you full power on your hosting.
5. Automatic Backups
Although WordPress is a highly secure platform, you still don’t know what troubles you may have. So, I recommend taking backups frequently. Today, most of the hosting providers have a backup plan. If you go with a hosting that has an automated backup plan, you won’t regret it. Because they don’t only backup WordPress but all your files.
WordPress is a very secure platform if you are regularly updating your site. However your hosting should be secure too. There are many levels in hosting security. User, Database, Operating system etc. Of course you can handle most of those using premium plugins. But picking a highly recognized, security optimized hosting server will make you feel more comfortable. But, don’t forget to take backups in any case.
7. Unlimited Space
When you are uploading images to WordPress you don’t realize how fast you can fill a 250MB hosting. But you can do it really fast. Because WordPress makes at least 3 different sizes of each picture you upload. Nowadays, hosting providers has a really nice offer. They have unlimited plans (well unlimited in size, but limited in number of files) which can handle a large site with nearly 50k images in it. If you are planning to use more images than this, however, you should consider a VPS.
8. Free SSL
SSL is now a requirement for SEO. Because Google announced that https sites will appear higher on results, now all websites are converting to HTTPS. Many of the hosting providers now has at least Free SSL service, so you can easily serve your website over https. If you select a hosting provider with Free SSL, you won’t have to pay extra fees for SSL Certificates.
9. One-Click Software Installer
In old times, we had to create our own databases and install our own platforms using PHP scripts. Today, most of the hosting providers has that option called One-Click Software Installer. Now you can install WordPress using a few inputs without any manual actions. It’s very quick and also allows you to manage and upgrade your installations later on. By selecting a hosting with one-click installer option, you will have access to many other software without any hassle.
Choosing the right hosting for your website is hard. I had to try at least 6 before finding the best option. In this post I tried to list the most basic requirements for a high performance, SEO optimized and secure WordPress website. If you have a favorite, please share it with us in the comments with the main reason you are recommending it.