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WordPress Hosting 101

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So you want to start a WordPress site? Great! Now you have to decide how you want to host your new site.

Figure Out What You’ll Be Doing

Do you want your site to be a blog? An e-commerce site? A combination of both? The options are endless! Sit down and think about what you want to do with your site. Once you’ve decided, consider the design you’d like for your site. Do you prefer complex themes with lots of functionality or simple ones? Are you planning on using a lot of plugins or just one or two?

These are the questions to start asking yourself before choosing a host. Your answers will direct you to the hosting service that best fits your needs.

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How Much Space Does My Site Need?

When you put images, videos, or files on a server, they take up space. Hosting companies often have different hosting packages that offer different quantities of space. On servers, this space used for images, videos, etc. is called Disk Space. Deciding how much disk space you will need is an important step in choosing website hosting.

Consider your site and how you would like it to look. Do you imagine it with large, high-definition images or videos? Would you like to use customized loading bars and special, interactive components? Do you think you’ll implement plugins?

These things can make your site beautiful, engaging, and fun. However, they also take up space. Whether you’re downloading a plugin to give you functionality or using large photos, disk space is used to house all the content and scripts.

Average webpages on the internet range from 1MB to 2.5MB. Think about how many pages or posts you may have on your website and how many images you may include. Do you want a lot of plugins?

The more images, plugins, or other resources you want for your site, the more disk space you’ll want to have on hand.

Don’t forget that WordPress installations also take up space on your server. Try to make a rough plan for your site’s disk space usage. That way, you can establish how much you may need starting off. Some hosting accounts, like pair Networks’, allow you to upgrade your account for more space later.

What is Bandwidth/Transfer?

Ever wonder how website information is displayed when you search its URL? The simple answer is that the browser sends a request to the hosting server. The request asks the server to send the resources necessary (images, HTML files, etc.) for the browser to display the webpage. The server will send these resources to the browser and the browser will load the website for you.

Bandwidth/transfer is when the server sends the resources to the browser. Bandwidth/transfer is often limited on servers because this “transfer” between server and browser requires hardware. Many hosting plans limit the amount of bandwidth/transfer that can be used in a month.

It’s important to have enough bandwidth for your site. If you don’t have enough bandwidth, your site may bottleneck when multiple browsers visit your site. This will result in significantly slower load times, which can cause people to click away from your site before it’s loaded completely.

How Much Bandwidth/Transfer Does My Site Need?

The amount of bandwidth/transfer you need is determined by your webpage size and how many visitors land on your site.

The size of a page is the amount of bandwidth/transfer that is used when one person accesses the page. So if a webpage is 1MB, then 1MB of bandwidth/transfer is used to show the webpage is the visitor’s browser.

Now, if you have two visitors who load that same 1MB page, then the total bandwidth/transfer used is 2MB. If you have a large amount of traffic, then you will use more bandwidth. Likewise, if your pages are larger, more bandwidth/transfer will be used for each visitor.

If you’re just starting out, you probably won’t need much bandwidth. However, as you become established and your site draws more traffic, you may need to upgrade.  

A good way to estimate how much bandwidth/transfer you will need is to take the average size of your page and multiply it by number of page views you expect to receive. This will give you the average daily bandwidth/transfer for your site. Then, to estimate your monthly bandwidth/transfer usage, multiply the daily bandwidth/transfer number by thirty.

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Finding the Perfect Hosting Package

With these two things in mind, it’s time to look at hosting packages.

Is it WordPress Optimized?

Having just any old hosting package isn’t necessarily what you want for your WordPress site. There are hosting plans out there that are specifically designed for WordPress! These specially designed hosting packages offer 1-click WordPress installations, automatic WordPress updates, as well as services optimized for use with your WordPress.

pair Networks offers not one, but two WordPress specific plans! With twenty years of experience, we’ve crafted the perfect plans for your WordPress site. Check out our WP Enthusiast and WP Professional plans to see which works best for you.

Do They Offer Backups?

Check to see if the hosting package you’re considering offers server backups. In the event that something happens to your site, will you have a backup on hand to reboot it? Also, check the frequency of the backups. If backups are taken at long intervals, you may find that when you use the backup, your site will lose all the changes since the last backup was taken.

Our WordPress plans offer on-demand backups, so you’ll never have to worry about losing changes.

Can You Easily Upgrade/Downgrade?

Does the hosting company you’re considering offer an array of hosting packages? Is it easy to move between them? There may come a time when you need to upgrade or downgrade your hosting service to better match the bandwidth/transfer usage or disk space. When that time comes, you’ll want a hosting service that is easily moved.

If you choose pair Networks as your WordPress host, we have an easy upgrade and downgrade system. Simply log in to your account and select the account type you’d like to move to. Super simple.

Do They Offer Security?

With so many hackers and spammers out there, it’s necessary to look for ways to protect your site. See if the hosting service you’re considering has any sort of security they include in the package. For example, our packages come already installed with WordFence, a security plugin that offers malware scanning, plugin and theme monitoring, a firewall, and real-time attack blocking.

Are They Reliable?

Check out reviews on the hosting company and see what people have to say. How long have they been around? Are people reporting a good experience? Are there customers who have been with them long-term? You’ll want to be sure about the hosting company you choose because they’ll be your go to for anything relating to your site’s hosting. If they’re not reliable, interacting with them could turn into a real headache.  

Check out pair Network’s Facebook reviews.

How’s Their Support?

Check their website and see how they handle support requests. Can you send them email or do they prefer phone? At pair Networks, we have several avenues for you to access Pittsburgh-based support team: phone, email, and a support form on our website. We’re also available 24/7, 365 days a year to help you with any support requests you may have. 

You may end up working with support a lot or not at all, but it’s always a good idea to get a hosting service with a support team that is easily accessible.

Wrapping Up Your Search

Finding a hosting service can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the world of hosting. But don’t worry – if you follow the tips above, your hosting service should serve you well. When you find the perfect hosting service for you, set up an account and begin setting up your new site.

Feel free to check out our WordPress tutorials to help you set up your new site.

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