WordPress is arguably the most popular web software on the market, powering more than 60 million websites. The benefits of building your site with WordPress are numerous: A rich and full-featured platform, powerful CRM (customer relationship management) tools and thousands of plugins to enhance the experience. Best of all, it’s free—a great price for any small business. Your website is essential to your business and it has to look professional, with a private domain name. That means you have to choose a hosting company for your WordPress site. These tips will help you narrow it down from the endless choices, to choose a web hosting company that’s right for your small business. Hosting Requirements for WordPress The WordPress platform runs on a lightweight script that’s compatible with nearly all quality web hosting companies. The only requirements are: MySQL version 5.0 or greater PHP version 5.2.4 or greater Because WordPress is so widely used, many hosting companies offer one-click WordPress installation. What to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Company There are tens of thousands of web hosting companies out there, and they’re not all created equally. The most important issues to think about when you’re choosing a web hosting provider for your WordPress site include: Storage and Bandwidth Allowance In many cases, this is not an issue. The major hosting companies generally offer unlimited storage for your content and unlimited bandwidth to handle any levels of traffic.However, it’s still a good idea to check the fine print in the hosting plan, especially if you’re being offered a discount, and make sure the one you choose offers sufficient resources for your business website. Customer Support Reliable customer service is a must for your web hosting company. If something goes wrong with your website (and it’s practically a guarantee that something will), you’ll need a host that can handle the issue right away, so you’re not stuck with a non-functioning website that’s losing you business and harming your reputation. Look for a hosting company that offers 24/7 support by phone, email and live chat. Make sure to test the support features before committing to a web hosting contract, and ensure that they suit your needs. User Reviews Reading reviews from web hosting customers is a great way to make sure the company is stable, well-regarded, and apt to be around for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s easy for a brand new, inexperienced business to put up a professional-looking sales page that looks a lot more reputable than it is. Look for generally positive customer reviews, preferably a mixture of older and newer entries that establish both the longevity and the quality of the hosting company. Cost Money isn’t everything, but when it comes to a web hosting company, paying a little more is often worth it. When considering the cost to host your WordPress site, expect to pay between $4 and $7 per month for a good quality provider with strong customer service. Often, lower priced hosting services come with limitations, poor customer service, and an increased risk of server downtime. You should also avoid “free” website hosting altogether because most of these services are subsidized by advertisements that run on your site. A Quick Selection of Great Choices for WordPress Hosting The web hosting companies below offer a one-click WordPress platform installation, reasonably priced plans, unlimited hosting and responsive customer service: BlueHost : Plans starting at $4.95 per month, with 50% off for the first month. HostGator : Annual plans starting at $3.96 per month. HostMonster : Plans start at $4.95 per month. What tips do you have to choose a web hosting company for your WordPress site? Choice Photo via Shutterstock The post How to Choose a Hosting Company for Your WordPress Site appeared first on Small Business Trends .
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