5 Ways to Vet Your WordPress Host (1)

Every web hosting company offers a WordPress hosting plan, but how do you get past all the marketing hype?

You look for independent data, and you run your own checks.

Independent Reviews

You know every link you see is an affiliate link, and the cynic in you finds it hard to believe all the self-serving reviews and over-enthusiastic gushing. Affiliate links have their place, but you need to see some independent data to back up the recommendations.

No company will tell you the things they don’t include, and the only way to see that to use the comparison feature on a site that does independent WordPress hosting reviews.

Independent hosting provider review

Sites like HostAdvice.com are the first place to visit to narrow your choice of host to three or four possibilities. Look for the number of customer reviews and a high proportion of positive to negative feedback.

Once you have narrowed the field, you should check the ‘compare’ button and put them side by side. Look for the features you need, which will the non-runners apparent.

What Does the Entry Level Package Include?

Does the hosting company want your business? Each host has a target profile that its packages are targeted at. If its introductory cloud hosting plans include massive amounts of space and CPU cores and you are a blogger with a few hundred subscribers, then you are not that company’s marketing target.

Check that the entry level WordPress hosting package fits your needs.

Can You Upgrade?

Yes, you can always upgrade your hosting, but some hosts limit your upgrade options.

What’s the upgrade path? Some hosts don’t offer VPS WordPress hosting, so if that is something you can see yourself needing in a year’s time, then remove that company from your shortlist.

If you are considering cloud hosting for your WordPress sites, then check there is an entry-level cloud package available.

Test the Speed

Yeah, yeah. We are all sick of hearing support reps boasting about how fast our sites will be with their company.

Test it.

Test your current server’s speed using a tool such as Bit Catcha.

Test your site’s speed on your old host using Google’s PageSpeed tool. Update all plugins, theme and WordPress version before you test the site’s performance because you need the old website to be identical with the newly installed site on your chosen host to make a meaningful comparison.

Any respected hosting company will offer a refund within a set time frame, which can vary from two days to a month. Buy your hosting, and upload a test site, complete with plugins and images

If you are lazy, most companies will move your current WordPress installation without charging. Watch for your chosen host installing standard plugins you may not want because you need the setup after the move to be identical to the site before.

Once done, retest your new server’s speed and compare it with your previous one, because if the server is slow, your WordPress website is never going to be up there with the fastest.

What Does Support Include?

Support means what the hosting company wants it to mean. And this may be different from what you take for granted.

Some companies offer only US office hours email support, while others include 24/7/365 chat support as standard.

Will you or your client need Perl, Java or Ruby support? Most hosts don’t offer it, so that will narrow your list quickly.

Are support staff based locally or is support outsourced to the lowest bidder thousands of miles away with individuals who barely understand what you are saying?

The Short Version

If your current host is returning Timeout errors, it is probably due to an overloaded server; changing hosting is no longer optional, and it is rapidly becoming urgent.

The quality of your WordPress hosting will make the difference between the success and failure of your site. Disbelieve everything you see unless it is backed up by data you trust.
Consult with everyone involved and make a list your requirements to comparing what is offered by the different companies.

Test your site speed within the guarantee period and be prepared to move again if necessary.

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