WordPress is a free and open source content management system primarily used as a blogging platform. It is written in PHP and relies on relational databases, such as MySQL, to store and retrieve its data. Because it is free, almost any web host is capable of running it. But what should you look for when choosing the best host?
- System Requirements – As I mentioned, most hosts can support WordPress, but there are certain nuances that only some hosts will have. Those nuances will either make WordPress run better or worse. For example, WordPress recommends running suPHP to make things more secure.
- Easy Installation – Some web hosts, who shall remain nameless, make it notoriously difficult to do simple things, like creating MySQL databases. You have to wait in a queue for your database to appear. You want a host that leaves your dignity intact. You should not have to jump through hoops to install a simple script. Moreover, the best hosts will have automatic 1-click installers to do it for you and not leave you with a message that says “pending setup”.
- Performance – A high-traffic WordPress site can put a great deal of stress on a server. Does your web host have servers with enough power to handle it? Moreover, will your host allow you to implement features such as web server caching and gzip compression?
- Track record – Ask around. There are plenty of awesome sites out there that run WordPress. Talk to the web administrators of those sites and find out who their web hosting provider is and how their experience has been.
The last thing you want to do when first starting out with a new WordPress site is to settle for a web host that will not give you the optimal experience. You want to focus on creating content rather than troubleshooting hosting issues. Go with a host that has the features you need and has a proven reputation of excellence.