Finding the right WordPress web hosting provider these days can be a bit of a stab in the dark.
The market is crowded with so many providers and it is very hard to get an unbiased opinion from anywhere.
It’s like everything on the net these days, we all suffer from over-provision of content and services. There is too much choice.
I should rephrase that and say there is too much choice of mediocre content and services. Great products and service on the net are still not that common. We have to find our way through the under performing but highly marketed products to find the good stuff. A new phrase in blogging is beginning to surface and that is “Content Shock.”
On the product and service side we have the same problem.
Not to get off topic, lets get back to the question of finding a good WordPress hosting provider.
As with many things in life, the difference between a good product and a fantastic one is details. In the world of WordPress hosting, the devil is in the details.
Disk Capacity is not an accurate measure of the value you are receiving from a WordPress hosting provider. So forget about Disk Capacity (for now). It is less relevant these days — you can host videos on Youtube, photos of Flickr, files on Google etc.
Data Transfer (Bandwidth)
Data Transfer allowance, often incorrectly referred to as bandwidth (they are technically different!) by hosting providers is a measure of how much traffic can get to your website each month.
Go for a service with unlimited data transfer offering (there are many to choose from). Simply because there is nothing as bad as finding your website has been brought down by your own hosting provider, just as you are getting popular! Not good.
Check The Details
But instead of focusing on the above, laser in on details.
Details such as, do they have auto-script installers?, can you change .htaccess, are add-on domains allowed (thats a biggie) and if so how many are allowed? An add-on domain allows you to host more than one website with the same cpanel (hosting account).
Is there a backup solution? Are they WordPress friendly? What is the subscription period?
Also remember to check other details such as renewal price. Your hosting costs are not just what you pay in year 1, but what you will be paying every year after that.
Don’t get lulled in an amazing 1st year special offer and pay for it in the coming years. True, you can always change hosting companies later but the hassle is best avoided. It is better to find a good company with whom you can build a long-term relationship at the outset.
The forgotten art of Customer Service
However having said all of the above, there is one area I haven’ t mentioned and that’s Customer Service.
It’s all fine when everything is going swimmingly, but what happens when things are not going so well and you encounter problems?
Thats when you need a provider that comes through for you. You need to know there is someone on the other side of the preverbal net, ready and even more importantly, WANTING to fix your problem.
But not only is speed of your customer service important, so is SKILL. You can very quickly tell if the person you are chatting or speaking to is clueless or capable.
There is nothing worse than realizing that you’ve have waited for half an hour on chat only to end up speaking to a clueless rep!
SiteGround WordPress Hosting
We decided to start using SiteGround, because we were told their customer service was great. So we tried them and found out that was wrong.
Their customer service is AMAZING!
To give you an idea of how fast their service is I thought I would do a screen recording because you probably wouldn’t believe me otherwise…
Now maybe it is just me, or maybe I’ve been sheltered from the world of great hosting customer service for too long!
But moving from our previous host — which by the way is a very popular global company – to SiteGround was like the difference between night and day.
The great thing about good customer service is that you end up using it more.
So I will happily open a chat session if I am stuck with anything regards to hosting.
This improves my productivity as I don’t have to spend endless hours scouring the FAQ section.
And guess what? I am now a loyal fan.
Great Customer Service makes a difference and sometimes you don’t know what you’ve been missing until you experience it.
From a company’s point of view, providing a great customer service experience may not see an immediate rise in the up-take of your product because it is obviously directed at your current customers. But it sure builds loyalty and a great reputation, and that is worth more than gold.
Thanks for reading
To those who might ask if we have been paid to write this: The answer is of course NO. At WPHero, we only recommend services we have tried ourselves and that we can confidently recommend. But we have signed up for their affiliate program because we are so impressed by SiteGround’s offering. So we will get a small payment if you use the links on this page to sign up to one of their hosting packages.
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