So you live in the UK and you want a WordPress website. Well, it goes without saying that you will need the best host for your WordPress website in the UK. There is no shortage of website hosting providers from which to choose, nor is it a one-size-fits-all industry. Therefore, carrying out the proper checks and balances is in your best interest.
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Website Hosting Definition
Website hosting requires you to store your files and databases on a very powerful server so that your website behaves as you designed it to each time a visitor wishes to access it. For that to happen, there are a few general considerations. However, since you are interested in WordPress in the UK, there are additional factors. Below you will find eight such factors to consider, as well as why it is important, and what you should listen for.
1. Can I host my WordPress website in the UK?
Yes. First, let’s break the question down into its two constituent parts. Can I host a WordPress website in the UK? What does this mean? Is it asking if a potential web host has to be registered and based in the UK, or if their servers have to be in the UK? While geography is not a criterion for hosting a WordPress website, the location of the servers should be.
The second part asks if you host a WordPress website? WordPress recommends that you use a website hosting provider that uses Linux operating system (OS). There are several reasons for this, including the fact that MySQL is the database management system (DMS) that WordPress uses. MySQL operates best with Linux OS.
Servers that are located within the same proximity as the intended visitors of the website usually result in faster website load speed. Since speed is the true deciding factor as to who uses your site, this should occupy a prominent spot on your list of priorities.
Hosting UK is based in the UK with servers in mainland UK. The important bit is that we use Linux OS on servers that are based in the UK, so we can, support your WordPress website in the UK. In addition to MySQL, myriad other programming languages are supported, including PHP, another paramount WordPress language.
2. What type of website hosting do you provide?
Chances are the average provider will carry all three types of servers (shared, VPS and dedicated), but not all will offer cloud-based website hosting. With the previously mentioned servers, you are ‘stuck’ (more on this later) with a predefined space regardless of how much space you use. While this is not inherently bad, it is inefficient, especially financially.
Cloud-based hosting allows you to use the appropriate amount of space as needed. Is your product seasonal? Did you underestimate demand for your product? Have you decided to add an e-commerce section to your website? Cloud-based hosting can help you respond according to the demand for your product so that your website performs as intended all the time.
3. What kind of technical skills do I need for hosting WordPress?
WordPress and its supporting features, such as themes and plugins, can be easily installed, oftentimes in just one click allowing even the most novice of website developers to navigate multiple applications with relative ease.
Another aspect of website management that would normally require technical skills is backend operations. This refers to those tasks that involve the performance of your website, the areas visitors use to judge, such as speed, and uptime. Control panels drastically reduce the amount of technical know-how required since they use a graphical interface.
If you choose a website hosting provider such as Hosting UK, 1-Click App Installers are standard in all plans, as well as cPanel control panel, the most trusted control panel on the market.
4. What level of support can I expect?
Things can and do go wrong. In these circumstances, you need to know that you can access expert advice. How can you access customer support: email, live chat, telephone, how-to guides on their website? What is the availability of each type of service? Is support included in your hosting plan; what kind of support? Can you get advice on all aspects of website development, or are some services deemed your responsibility?
What type of support is provided is equally important as how said support is provided. Do you have to wait three days for an email to be replied to? Are your questions answered in a manner you can understand? Is the phone answered when you call? Do you speak with the same person(s) each time to prevent a repetition?
Finding the answers
The answers to these and other similar questions can be learned through reading customer reviews, through the trial period you should get (more on this later), or by directly asking them. A part of every research into a company should be reading customer reviews. However, be wary of overly glowing reviews that lavish only praise as these may be verified customers. Also, be guided by the fact that each website developer’s needs are different, so comments are written to reflect individual circumstances.
5. I already host my WordPress site in the UK; can I switch?
Some web hosts will happily migrate your existing website for free. This is good, especially if your knowledge of website development is still growing. However, do not adopt a hands-off approach regardless. Ask for an explanation of the process so that you have a clear idea of which aspects of the transfer you are responsible for. Find out how long the transfer will take, and how your customers will be impacted. Will you need to do anything about to your DNS settings? What if something goes wrong in the process?
Ensure that you carefully conduct a full website backup before commencing the migration process.
6. What measures are in place to protect the integrity of my website?
We did mention earlier that the protection of your website is your responsibility, but there are some fundamental aspects of website hosting that only your host can manage.
Included in this is an uptime guarantee. Reputable website hosting providers offer 99% uptime guarantees. Learn to monitor your WordPress hosting uptime, and do not hesitate to speak to your provider if uptime is less than promised.
Your customers will not trust a website that lacks ‘https’ protection, at minimum. Does your host provide SSL certificates as part of their hosting plans? If not, are they offered at an additional cost?
Though you are encouraged to conduct your own website backups, your hosting provider should also assist in this regard. Find out how often they carry out backups; where the files are stored; and what types of backups are carried out?
7. What do web hosting plans cost?
There is a very good reason that price was left for last. This question is actually for you: how much do you think all of what we shared should cost? Keep that figure in mind as you research the various web host providers’ pricing plans. There will be some that are shockingly low. Ask yourself how are these prices achievable? You may find that you have to sacrifice some elements and quality to secure such rock bottom prices. Is that what you want?
Providers that are confident in the quality of their products and services usually offer money-back guarantees. Take advantage of these offers, and do not be afraid to demand your money-back if dissatisfied with the product.
8. How will GDPR affect me?
Hosting a WordPress website in the UK means that, more than likely, you may need to at least keep an ear out for developments about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Is your provider aware of GDPR, and its requirements? What are they doing to minimise fallouts which might impact you as a client? Can they help you become compliant?
From pricing to security, reliability to support, the questions you ask your website hosting provider are essential to elicit the information needed to make carefully evidenced-based decisions. From the obvious to the more technical, do not be afraid to ask questions, and do not accept inferior answers.