The best host for you is the host you don't have to think about.
- Senior Software Engineer- WP Engine
- iThemes Security (Better WP Security)
- St. Edward's University
- Developer Experience
What makes a good host
- Affordable Price
- Plans to grow (or shrink)
- Well maintained servers
- Accessible support
- Reliable Uptime
What makes a great host
- Knowledgeable Support
- WordPress Backups
- WordPress Updates
- WordPress Security
- Community Commitment
- Dedicated Account Rep
- Ethical Company/Leadership
Hosting warning signs
- Outdated homepage
- "Handshake" promises
- Outdated tech stack (PHP/etc)
- Limited support options
- Warnings at WordCamps/Meetups/etc
- What are the hours?
- What languages are available?
- Do they have training in the application?
- What methods do they offer for contact?
- Do they have a published response time?
- Standard monthly price
- Hidden fees
- Affiliate or reseller plans
- PHP Version
- MySQL Version
- Other Software
- Caching (Varnish, Redis, etc)
- Security (WAF)
- Hosting Control Panel
Types of hosting
- Shared Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Managed Hosting
- Hosting and Provisioning
Shared vs dedicated hosting
- One server has many sites
- Resources are limited
- One bad site can bring all down
- More expensive*
- One server has one site (at most)
- VPS vs "Raw metal"
- Resources are unlimited*
- Sites can make use of advanced tech
- Can be shared or dedicated
- Host manages the application itself
- Replace plugins and your time with hosting features
- Costs more than non-managed hosting
- Often can only run a single application (ie WordPress)
Hosting and Provisioning
- Rent a server have another service manage the software
- Often cheaper than managed dedicated hosting
- May be more customizable
- Uptime and reliability can vary by experience
Hosting feature or plugin
It's not always that simple.
Security on the server is better than security in the app (security on the network is even better).
- A well configured host will beat a well configured plugin
- Plugins may conflict with host options
- Web Application Firewalls (WAF)
- Login security
- Secure configuration
- Any backup is better than no backup
- Who owns the data?
- What if your hosting account is shut down?
- How complete is your backup?
- When did you last test a restore?
- Caching software (Redis, Varnish, etc)
- Cache clearing
So many choices... which to pick?
What is your hosting budget budget?
What is your maintenance budget (time and $)?
How many sites are you hosting?
How big (traffic and data) is your biggest site?
What are their affiliate options?
What is the WordPress community (not the hosts) suggesting?