With so many web hosts out there claiming to offer “WordPress Web Hosting” it can be hard to find out the essential and best practice web hosting technical requirements for a WordPress site.
Let’s review the essential and recommended WordPress Web hosting requirements.
Hosting a simple WordPress site is actually pretty easy, but very often web hosts don’t routinely offer some of the essential features needed to get WordPress running well, especially when it comes to adding some of the most useful WordPress features and plugins. When you do run into a problem with your WordPress site caused by inadequate web hosting configuration, it can be really difficult to troubleshoot the cause of the hosting problem, because when you are with a shared web host (99% of WordPress sites are on shared hosting for economy and convenience), because you aren’t ever told what the technical specs of your server are, and it can be hard to find reliable information about the best WordPress hosting server configuration.
To help you identify the best WordPress hosting, we’ve prepared a list of the minimum WordPress Hosting Requirements and also added a second list with the “nice to have” WordPress hosting options. This is by no means exhaustive, and reflects our own (extensive) experience installing, running, tweaking, troubleshooting and optimising WordPress sites on a wide range of WordPress web hosts, including popular shared international web hosts like Hostgator (Shared, Reseller and VPS) as well as more specialised US, EU and Australian web hosts.
Some of key points to note about choosing the
WordPress web hosting plans:
- You definitely get what you pay for with WordPress web hosting. Don’t expect high quality hosting for much under $10-20 per month.
- In particular, one of the primary costs of web hosting is providing support services. Any company offering decent support services simply cannot offer budget web hosting
- “Unlimited” hosting is a marketing term: any hosting claiming to be unlimited is likely to be extremely limited in the most critical resources: memory and CPU. One thing you will notice as you start to pay more for hosting is that the limits of memory, CPU, disk space and bandwidth are more clearly stated.
- Australian web hosting will cost more: Australian infrastructure is still more expensive to provide and the economies of scale aren’t there (yet). In our experience though, Australian web hosting is worth the extra price, especially if your market is Australian. If most of your visitors are from the US or EU, then go for web hosting there.
- Don’t expect your web host to have the first clue about WordPress. Some may, but their expertise will be from the hosting perspective which often means they speak a different language to you, even if you are highly competent with WordPress (unless they are specialist WordPress hosts)
- WordPress support isn’t included with your web hosting. For that you should rely on the WordPress.org support forums or your web designer. Exceptions to this include some managed wordpress hosting providers.
Essential WordPress Web Hosting Requirements
The following specifications should be considered a minimum for hosting a WordPress site. You can actually squeeze by on less… until you start having problems. Don’t skimp on hosting and go through hours of frustration because some of the following are inadequate or missing.
- 1 GB web space: to store WordPress, your content and media such as images
- 5 GB bandwidth: this is how much data can be transferred between your visitors and the web server. You may need more if your site is very popular
- PHP 5.24+: this is the programming language runs on.
- 64MB PHP memory: hosts rarely disclose how much memory is available, but PHP memory limitations are a frequent cause of WordPress crashing.
- MySQL 5+: The database WordPress runs on. Some packages also limit the number of databases available to you
- FTP: File Transfer Protocal: a method to upload software and content to your web server.
Best Practice WordPress Web Hosting Recommendations
The best WordPress Web Hosting Plans should meet or exceed these specifications. Of course, every WordPress site is different, so some of these will be essential for some sites but of little use to others.
- 256MB PHP Memory: PHP memory of many indispensable plugins including backup tools often exceeds the standard 64MB, and this is often unavailable on shared hosting platforms.
- Web Hosting Management: there are many effective solutions to managing your web hosting. There are both software solutions and fully managed hosting which relies on human Sysadmins to ensure your server is running at its best: these are our recommendations for the best WordPress web hosting options:
- cPanel Web Hosting Management software: This is the industry standard web hosting management software, used by millions of WordPress users worldwide. The benefits of cPanel include great power and flexibility, numerous options for extensibility, and its very wide market penetration which means finding tutorials and support is really easy.
- Fully Managed Web Hosting: While web hosting management software like cPanel makes it much easier for the average WordPress user to work with their server, its got high overhead and is not as powerful as dealing directly with your server via Linux languages (Like CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu etc). Fully managed WordPress hosting means you have a qualified Server System Administrator managing your WordPress web hosting directly. This can be a more powerful web hosting solution, offering greater speed and customization, but it will cost more than an easily replicated and scaled system like cPanel, unless you have considerable server admin skills yourself.
Of course, if you are just getting started with WordPress, the above information is probably completely foreign to you. Rest assured there are many good quality hosts who can run WordPress very well.