As someone on the sharp end of website development, I interact with a variety of web hosting companies. And over the years I’ve narrowed it down to a few I prefer to work with, and that I recommend to my clients.
The reasons are simple – security, support, and features that save me time and my clients money.
Security with a WordPress site is no joke. Many hosts are more targeted by hackers, and some hosts are less concerned about security than others. While you can always add on plugins and third party services for extra security, that also adds overhead to your site in both cost and page loading speed as well as plugins to manage and keep updated. Having a host who is paranoid about security and knows how to make WordPress work safely is simply easier.
Support becomes critical when there’s a problem, and when there’s a problem – bad support is worse than no support. Personally I prefer live chat because there’s a record of what was said, embedded links, and I can email it to myself for future reference. And having techs on the other end who can answer questions, and know how to solve issues makes problems go away faster.
Features that are important day to day include loading speed, backups, restores, and extra sites for dev and staging. Site loading speed is now directly related to your search engine search results placement. Simply put, faster is better, and some hosts are faster than others. Backups are obvious – the more the better! And being able to take a site with a problem and work “offline” in a dev site is safer for me, and for the client. Nobody wants the live site going offline from a typo or other conflict. Other features I look for are secure FTP across all sites, free and easy SSL, and limited server cache.
A good hosting company will offer all this and more, and make day to day site management as painless as possible.