Your website is the heart of your business, online persona, or both, and every website is dependent on a server. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms in the world and powers almost half the sites on the web.
But does it really matter who your host is?
Absolutely. A good host is an invaluable asset when it comes to keeping your site running. Choosing the wrong one can have all sorts of negative consequences. Here are a few ways that choosing the wrong host can hurt your WordPress site.
Lots of Downtime
Downtime can make all the difference in the life and health of your website.
Many website visitors don’t return for one reason or another. If a visitor comes to your website and finds it offline, chances are good they’ll never be back at all.
A poor web host can have unreliable servers, frequent or poorly scheduled maintenance, or other reasons why your site is down too often.
Optimally, you want a host that offers 99% uptime or more. That way, you know the potential for lost customers and revenue is at an absolute minimum.
Slow Page Speeds
The information age has made more information faster than ever before, and demand for fast information has risen with it.
When it comes to your website, you have very little time to grab and keep their attention. The typical visitor will leave a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
If you’re running a business, this is particularly bad news. Visitors might bounce right to your competitors and never look back. Having a host with the proper infrastructure to keep your site fast and reliable.
A good web host will load a page in around 890 milliseconds or less. That’s a far cry from that three-second threshold, and your customers won’t notice any lag time at all — which is just the way you want it.
Losing Your Files
Malware attacks and hacking attempts are just part of the cost of doing business on the web, and they grow more numerous each year.
Sometimes, even with the best security, attacks can get through, and files can be compromised, corrupted, or lost. If your host doesn’t have a robust backup schedule, your valuable data could be lost for good — leaving you to start over from scratch and costing you a lot of time and money.
One of the major strengths of a WordPress site is the wealth of available plugins, offering all sorts of functionality. But sometimes, web hosts and plugin apps don’t get along.
A conflict between your website plugins and the host can cause scripting problems, leading to errors, slowdowns, or even your website breaking entirely. Couple this with sub-par customer support (see below), and you have a recipe for real trouble. The last thing you want is major downtime while you wait for your host to work out plugin issues.
Not Enough Memory
If it hasn’t become clear by now, not every web host is created equal.
Depending on your pricing plan and choice of host, you might end up with a package that offers too little memory for your website’s needs. This can lead to errors, slowdowns, and other unforeseen errors. It can be a major pain to deal with, forcing you to either make do with less functionality or scale up to a more expensive plan.
When it comes to the security of your website, you definitely don’t want to cut corners. This is especially true if you collect sensitive information or customer data as part of your daily operations.
Data breaches are more prevalent than ever before and can strike small businesses and huge corporations alike. Don’t depend on security through obscurity, and don’t take a chance on a cheap or free host.
Choose your web host carefully and make sure they take cybersecurity seriously. To do otherwise is courting disaster.
Poor Customer Support
Finally, consider what happens when you have to deal with these problems. Some of them, you can probably take care of yourself.
However, there may be others, especially when it comes to downtime and security, that you can’t control. When that happens, customer support is where you’ll have to turn.
If your host has an unresponsive, unhelpful, or low-quality support system, you’re the one who’s going to pay the price. Waiting for problems to get fixed or having to migrate your site to a new host is the time taken away from running your business. Few business owners can afford to deal with that for very long.
When it comes to your website, don’t cut corners in the hopes of saving a few bucks. Get the best hosting for WordPress you can. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and woe in the long term.