Welcome to Episode 26 of Mastermind.fm! This week our masterminds Jean Galea and James Laws tackle hosting! Hosting can be a nightmare of trial and error to find what works for you in the often weird world of WordPress hosting. Jean and James have been through the wringer on this one, and have come out on the other side ok. Come listen in to the decades of hosting experiences that they’ve racked up between the two of them and make your own hosting decisions better! As always, show notes are below.
Types of Hosting
- Basic hosting
- Managed hosting
- Managed WordPress hosting
What’s the difference? Typically, basic hosting simply gives you a place to run your website from, and leaves everything else to you. Managed hosting takes the responsibility of maintenance, security, updates, etc on their shoulders. Managed WordPress does all of that too, but they specialize in WordPress hosting management.
Some Tips to Keep in Mind
- Research your host! Make sure they are actually the people running the hosting software, not just someone reskinning a control panel with their own branding!
- A good host doesn’t always have to manage their own hardware, but they should definitely be in charge of their own hosting software, database management, etc.
Is Managed Hosting Expensive?
It can be, but it isn’t always. It’s often done in tiers just like regular hosting. You can get managed WordPress hosting within almost any budget, you just have to shop around.
What Host is Best?
There isn’t an answer to this question that isn’t unique to your needs. Jean uses Digital Ocean because they fit his unique needs. James uses Pagely because they meet his unique needs. What host you want should also be based on your needs.
How About a Shared Host?
On a shared host, you share hardware resources with other websites on the same hardware. It is a great way to start and is really cheap. You should consider it a starting point only for any business though, something that you’re going to grow out of. As your traffic grows, you’re going to quickly outgrow the shared hardware resources. There’s also a security risk, as other websites that share the hardware with you can potentially compromise your own security.
Email often is either not covered in a hosting plan or not reliable through the host, but is an essential consideration for your website. Jean prefers Gmail, Zoho Mail, and Sendgrid as alternatives. James mentions Mandrill and Mailgun. Essentially, if you’re looking for a service that will allow you to send bulk email, you need to find a transactional email service. If you’re not sending in bulk, WordPress SMTP plugins are a good alternative.
Yes. Do them. Jean strongly recommends you take responsibility of website backups for yourself. Even with a very reliable host, disasters can happen. Make regular high quality backups on your own and in addition to your host. Do be mindful that some hosts ban backup plugins that make whole site backups and store them on their servers.