The story of running an online business with WordPress hosting providers that had no clue what they were doing …
What I’ll share with you will also highlight why secure & fast WP hosting is so critically important (that is, if you care about making $$$).
The beginning of my most frustrating hosting experience …
Roughly 2 weeks ago, I was checking the revenue stats for one of my businesses and logged into the sales dashboard.
‘Not bad. 2 new customers had just signed up
for the $197 membership within a few hours’.
I had just made $392 – nothing earth-shattering, but that’s a nice daily profit from just one of my sites. I was happy about that, to say the least.
Toward the end of the day, I usually process my email inbox (as I don’t want to waste precious brain power for low-priority items during the day).
I noticed 2 new messages in my inbox.
Both email messages were almost identical.
Drum roll … both customers that had just signed up for the membership were asking for a refund. “Your site is offline. Can’t access – this is annoying. I want a refund!”
I went on to verify their claims.
Indeed, my site was offline. Damn!
Their frustrations were understandable, the refund requests justified.
So, here I was – paying a mere $10/month for my WordPress hosting but at the same time that very hosting provider had just cost me $392 in a single day!
That’s absurd! Meaning, I had just paid $402 for this month’s hosting.
I wish I would’ve spend more on reliable hosting – and told myself, “Never again! Pinching pennies will back-fire eventually!”
Granted, this was a rare case but I’ve had similar issues through the past few months before that. The takeaway is that the same might actually be happening to you.
Right now. On a daily basis …
YOUR Invisible, Lost Revenue
How can I claim that you’re missing out on potential revenue RIGHT NOW?
Well, that’s because you’re probably not fully utilizing loading speed of your site. People asking for a refund, that’s some very obvious lost income.
You clearly see how much you’ve lost.
People that visit your site & decide to leave because it takes too long to load – that’s the revenue you’re missing out on every single day, yet you don’t notice it!
Because you don’t see the potential $$$ you’re missing out on, it’s essential to ALWAYS have certain basics in place – optimized to the max:
- Choosing the fastest WordPress Hosting you can afford
- Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Using a host that has redundant systems in place
- Using a SSL certificate (that green lock icon next to the URL)
In this article, I mainly cover the business perspective of things where time & efficiency equal money.
The truth is, if you’re “only” hosting a personal/hobby site, slow loading times or error message might be frustrating but you’re not missing out on revenue – as you would with an online business.
My WordPress Hosting Experience
I’ve been with all sorts of WordPress hosting providers – the ones that were super cheap ($1.50/month), the fully-anonymous ones (hosted in Turkey) and hosting providers somewhere in middle that were cheap but had poor customer support.
Anonymous WordPress Hosting
The idea is appealing. Hosting fully anonymous. The first hosting provider I’ve ever been with fell into category of anonymous hosting.
I literally paid cash by putting $20 into an envelope and sending it to the provider’s address.
The actual servers were in Turkey & the provider proudly claimed to not cooperate with the FBI or other authorities under any circumstances.
That’s a bold statement, but strangely enough my site was banned a few weeks after signup for no apparent reason. Oh, and customer support took 2 days to respond.
Anonymous WordPress Hosting … maybe not so great after all.
So, I switched to …
The Cheapest WordPress Hosting … Ever
I was paying $1.50/month for the webspace and to be honest, it wasn’t too bad. Actually, quite good value for the price but loading times were simply unacceptable.
What good is cheap hosting when
you’re loosing out on potential sales?
It actually cost me more in the long run, due to the lost revenue cause by slow loading times.
There was no way to upgrade to a faster hosting package as this host was entirely focused on super low-budget hosting.
Free WordPress Hosting
Nah, I’m not even going to take free WordPress hosting seriously – and neither should you.
If the super low-budget wasn’t good enough, can you image what you can expect from free hosting? Not much. A site that exists, but certainly not one that functions well …
Frankly, we shouldn’t even have this discussion …
If you’re serious about your online business, I assume you’re smart enough to not consider free a viable hosting option.
Good. Let’s continue …
WordPress Hosting Requirements
You’d be surprised to learn that the requirements for hosting a WordPress site are fairly low. You need enough storage to host the WordPress installation files, plus
- PHP version 7 or greater
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater
Choosing A WordPress Hosting Provider
Everything will highly depend on your specific situation and needs. These are the criteria I’ve found essential for myself (and my online businesses):
WordPress Hosting Speed – I’ve talked about the importance of fast loading times before & how a faster WordPress site equals higher conversion rates.
However, given that loading times highly depend on the quality of your hosting, this should be THE key criteria when choosing a host.
WordPress Hosting Support – A fast site isn’t any good if it’s down or inaccessible. The question isn’t whether or not you’ll face issues with your site but how fast you can fix them.
Imagine a responsive support team versus one that takes hours to reply. The latter will costs you money by the minute if your site is down …
WordPress Hosting and Maintenance – This isn’t so much of a criteria, I expect every host to always keep systems (think, database, PHP) always up to date. Sadly, not all WordPress hosts care about the maintenance of their systems.
WP Hosting – Additional Considerations …
WordPress hosting prices can vary greatly, but most offers are package deals where you get file storage, a number of databases, bandwidth allowance – in short, everything you will need to run an online business with WordPress.
If you want to reduce your WordPress hosting fees, one option would be to pay yearly in advance instead of being billed monthly.
The downside to this is of course that usually there’s no refund option should you decide to switch to another WordPress hosting company.
WordPress Hosting Issues
If you’ve ever experienced any of the following issues, it’s probably because your WordPress hosting company sucks.
- Error Establishing a Database Connection in WordPress
- WordPress Memory Exhausted Error – Increase PHP Memory
- Briefly Unavailable for Scheduled Maintenance Error in WordPress
- 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress
- “Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk” Error in WordPress
- Fatal Error: Maximum Execution Time Exceeded in WordPress
Some of these WordPress issues you can fix yourself – most likely you’ll need to get in touch with your hosting provider.
Now, imagine having to wait an entire day for a response – you’d be at the mercy of your host!
Switching to quality WordPress hosting
will alleviate your worries.
Signing up with a quality WordPress host is much like buying health insurance before you go on a trip abroad.
You never know what’s going to happen, but for sure you don’t want to wake up in a hospital bed with a $13,389 bill to your name.
Best WordPress Web Hosting Providers
I’ve talked a lot about my negative experiences with previous WordPress hosts.
Such experiences were incredibly valuable because it was only after I’ve seen first-hand the shortcomings of many of these providers that I started to carefully asses which company I’ll choose for my online businesses.
My recommended WordPress hosting providers come with a 30 day money back guarantee = risk-free for you.
Keep in mind that NO hosting provider is perfect – not even the ones I recommend – anyone that tells you otherwise is flat out lying (or looking to earn a commission).
However, these are the cream of the crop. Perfect doesn’t exist, but these come close to it …
WPengine – My #1 choice in combination with their CDN. Starting at $29/month, it’s well worth the money (see my story beginning of the article). You’re able to set up a fresh WordPress installation or migrate your site with just a few clicks.
Bluehost – Bluehost is listed as 1 of only 3 officially recommended WordPress hosting providers. I quote, “Powering over 2 million websites, Bluehost offers the ultimate WordPress platform.”
SiteGround– SiteGround hosting provides you with all the essential WordPress tools: one-click installs, managed updates, plus (as I pointed out earlier) the so important fast support time (24/7).