You’ve already decided to go with WordPress to create your website. Now, you have to find a host. And while there are dirt-cheap options out there, are you really going to get what you need? Or will you just create more of a headache for yourself by taking the least expensive way out? For some creators, professionals, and businesses, WordPressoptimized hosting is the best option, especially if your technical abilities are lacking or you don’t want to spend your time using them.
What is WordPress Optimized Hosting?
In essence, WordPress optimized hosting is when the host provides high-performing back-end code and specifically configured servers for your website. WordPress websites require certain resources and tools, and optimized hosting meets those specialized needs. What that means for you is that your site can be its best — i.e., fast, reliable, safe, and scalable. You’ll also run into fewer technical issues because your host will be ready to handle WordPress from the outset. And you will have to tweak fewer things. Which means less chance of something breaking.
What Should I Look For?
When shopping around for optimized hosting, here’s what you want to be included in the plan:
- Server-side caching software to not bog down your site
- Built-in HTTPS support server-side, as well as up-to-date versions of MySQL and PHP
- Servers built for speed
- Security features (backups, firewall, malware scanner, SSL certificates, etc.)
- Reliable tech support so you can reach out to a person or a team if you run into trouble
Is Optimized Hosting Different from Managed Hosting?
Yup! They are entirely different things. Here’s the simplest answer: Managed hosting is always optimized, but optimized hosting is not always managed. Let’s break it down a little more than that, though.
With optimized hosting, the host uses custom specs that are best for running WordPress. And while there’s some automation, like backups, you’ll still be in charge of managing your site (updates, security, performance, etc.). You’ll access your hosting account regularly to handle associated tasks.
With managed hosting, not only is your WordPress site optimized, but the provider will also take care of various management tasks and other back-end services such as CRON jobs. If there’s a problem with your website or you need to do something like register a domain name, the host will do it for you or walk you through it. Backups are provided regularly, security and performance tweaks are handled solely by the host, and updates come without you having to worry about a thing.
Additionally, you can find WordPress optimized hosting with both shared hosting and VPS plans, so regardless of your budget, you will be able to find a WP-centric home for your site.
What Makes WordPress Optimized Hosting Different?
A majority of WordPress optimization occurs at the server level. The server is what provides functionality to your website. You can think of it as the computer program your host uses to make your WordPress website function. You can control a lot of how your WordPress site performs, but server-side optimization is solely within the hands of your host.
With general, non-WordPress-specific hosting, the servers will be able to work in a bunch of different situations with various CMS tools (such as Joomla or Drupal). They will work with WordPress but aren’t designed for it. But with WordPress optimized hosting, the servers are set up specifically with WordPress in mind. They can handle the features, functions, and tools that come with WordPress. That results in fewer technical issues that you have to handle.
Here are a few more features you get with optimized hosting:
Optimized hosting will auto-generate backups of your WordPress site. That way, if something goes wrong with your site, you can restore it from a backup. Most hosting providers offer backups, but you have to manage them yourself. With WordPress optimized hosting, the backups may be regularly created without you having to do anything with a focus on your WordPress database.
With optimized hosting, the caching system is (a) built just for WordPress and (b) takes place on the server-side. That means you don’t need a caching plugin for your site. And that means your site won’t slow down due to a resource-hungry caching plugin. In fact, some optimized hosts have a list of disallowed plugins because they have it optimized better than the end-user is capable of.
Staging environments let you test changes to your site without risking your actual website. Once tested, you can apply the changes from the staging site to your real site. An optimized host will provide this type of WordPress-specific staging area. This is a great mid-step between local development and pushing a site live. You can get the WordPress site exactly as it needs to be before launching.
WordPress optimized hosting comes with built-in security measures specifically for the platform. Your host will know how to scan for malware, prevent cyberattacks, etc. using WordPress-centric standards and guidelines.
Who Needs Optimized Hosting?
There are all sorts of professionals and businesses that may benefit from WordPress optimized hosting:
For agencies that manage WordPress websites for clients, optimized hosting is essential. If a client doesn’t receive a dependable site, they’ll take their business elsewhere, and the agency’s reputation can take a hit. Plus, with so much to do, an agency can’t have low-performing sites eating up their staff’s time.
Ecommerce websites need room to grow. WordPress optimized hosting can meet a business or brand’s needs now and expand with them as they make more sales and bring in more customers. Plus, since online shops need to be feature-packed and powerful, it’s all the more important to optimize your site. With so much going on, it’s necessary to have pages load fast and avoid downtime. Even a lag of a few seconds can mean a lost sale or customer.
Individuals and Small Businesses
Freelancers, self-employed professionals and small business owners can get a WordPress website up and running without having to learn about optimization. This can free up their time to attend to customers, create content, etc. And while WordPress optimized hosting may be more expensive than generalized hosting, the individual or SMB could save money in the long run. They won’t have to invest their time to learn about optimization, and when you’re a small operation, time is money.
Recommended WordPress Optimized Hosting Providers
At Elegant Things, we’ve partnered with four leading hosting providers to bring you Divi-optimized WordPress hosting. These go a step further than just WordPress optimization, as they follow our guidelines on what works best not only for WP itself, but for Divi. And even if you’re not an Elegant Themes member yet, their hosting is WordPress-optimized so you will get the best performance out of your site regardless.
With managed WordPress hosting from Flywheel, both Divi and WordPress are automatically installed and set up. Plus, Flywheel uses Divi-optimized servers, which are lightning-fast. And should you need help at some point, the WordPress experts at Flywheel can jump in.
Pressable (from the creators of WooCommerce and WordPress.com, by the way) offers reliable, high-performing WordPress hosting. In addition to Divi and WordPress being pre-installed, you’ll get Jetpack Security Daily. There’s also around-the-clock support from WordPress experts.
With Divi Hosting from SiteGround, Divi and WordPress are pre-installed, and your license key will already be configured. That means you can get right to building your site without dealing with the typical setup process with your API key and such. Like with our other hosting partners, SiteGround has been adjusted to perform with Divi.m
Divi and WordPress come pre-installed with Cloudways, and your license key will already be activated for your first site. You can get to building your website in just a few minutes. There are several cloud and VPS solutions to choose from, too, including Amazon Cloud and Google Cloud.
Final Thoughts About WordPress Optimized Hosting
If you don’t have the expertise, interest, or time to devote to digging into the server-side specs of your website, you can let your host handle it for you. With specialized expertise in the world of WordPress, the right host can ensure your site performs well from the start and will continue to function highly even as it scales up. Whether you’re a solopreneur or a large-scale agency, optimized WordPress hosting can make it easier to manage your online hub — whether you’re starting with one website or already have several to maintain.
What has been your experience, if any, with WordPress optimized hosting? Have you seen a lot of difference?
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