We asked professional web designer Felix Norton to share a few tips on what small business owners need to know about WordPress web hosting. With 8 years of experience building over 300 websites, Felix has some helpful advice to share.

If you’re starting or running a business, no doubt you’ve been told you need a website as an online presence is essential in today’s market. So where do you start? 

Maybe you’ve heard of WordPress: it’s a free, open-source and very popular website building platform. You can build a WordPress website yourself or hire a cost-effective web designer to do it for you. What people often forget to tell you is that to run a WordPress website, you need to host it somewhere. Here’s why you need web hosting, how much it can cost and how to make the right web hosting choice for your business.

What is web hosting?

Websites are like houses. Your domain, or URL, is your street address: it’s the name and address you’ll give to people to let them know where to find you. You can register your business domain name here. 

Your website is the building. You can paint it your favourite colour, build as many rooms as you like and invite people to visit: it’s yours to run as you see fit. WordPress is a readymade house in a box and all you need to do is customise it to make it your own.

Now, this is where web hosting comes in. Web hosting is the foundation upon which your house is built. It’s the backbone of your website, the base on which you install WordPress that keeps it running and accessible on the internet. 

The costs involved in WordPress web hosting

WordPress itself is free, but hosting is not. A number of factors determine how much you could pay for hosting.

  • Storage: how much storage space your site is going to use.
  • Traffic: how many visitors your site gets.
  • Email addresses: how many email addresses you need.
  • Databases: WordPress requires at least one database to run. 
  • Whether it’s dedicated or shared hosting. Dedicated hosting is generally for larger companies.

Depending on what you need, the prices vary between R50 and R500 a month for a shared hosting package..

Speed, security and scalability

Three important things to consider when choosing a web hosting company are speed, security and scalability. Speed is essential: slow websites lose visitors… quickly. The right web host is fundamental when building a fast-loading WordPress website.

Security is a dual responsibility for both the website owner and the web hosting company. A secure website is essential to protect your business against hackers. Ideally, you want a hosting provider that provides:

  • Spam filtering
  • Blocking against unwanted traffic and DDoS attacks 
  • Integrated SSL to encrypt your user’s information
  • Firewalls and server security

Scalability means having the ability to upgrade. You want to partner with a host who will enable your business growth by allowing your website to scale. Picking a host with scalable hosting plans that lets you upgrade on the fly (with no downtime) helps you achieve sustainable and affordable growth.

Lastly, you need to consider stability. It’s essential to choose a hosting provider with little to no downtime. Reliable infrastructure, backups, redundancy and high uptime mean your website hosting will be one less thing to worry about – leaving you more time to run your business.

About Felix Norton

With 8 years of experience building over 300 websites, Felix is a professional web designer who runs a WordPress focused digital agency called Woww.