I’ve been running business websites for clients and my own business since 2006 and doing web related work since 1994. I’ve seen a lot of web hosting come and go with the hundreds of websites I’ve had. I’ve also used many web hosting services including those optimized for WordPress hosting.
WordPress is great way for small business, news sites, blogs, and just about any style website to be created. But there can be some real drawbacks, especially if you choose the wrong web host.
It’s important to know these weaknesses in WordPress, so you can choose the best web hosting service for your WordPress installation.
Problems of WordPress – Especially on the Wrong Web Host:
- WordPress relies on “plug ins” to customize the functions of your site. While you can set up a website using WordPress without any plug ins, you will quickly find you need them to get any number of things working right on your site.
Before long, you will have 15 to 20 plug ins on your site, and if your using a shared hosting not optimized for WordPress, then your site will slow down significantly.
I won’t go into the technicalities of why this happens, but it does.
- WordPress can use up your web hosts server resources like its memory and processing power very quickly. When your website is on a shared hosting account, this means you share the server your website is on with hundreds, if not thousands of other sites.
When you use too many allocated resources, your site will crash, or your host will take action to stop the resource hogging. This includes shutting down your website. Many hosts don’t even tell you when they do this.
- If you run an interactive site where there is a lot of user input, your website will almost certainly use more than its allotted server resources on a typical shared hosting account.
The bottom line is, your WordPress installation can quickly become a web server resource hog on a shared server. This will slow down your web pages dramatically, and irritate your web host to the point of shutting down your website.
What to Try Before Changing Web Hosts
Some steps exist which you can try before you go looking for hosting upgrades or changing web hosts to one optimized for WordPress.
Install a plugin for web caching. WordPress creates your pages and posts by pulling from your database when a viewer comes to your website. If you have 100 people view one of your pages, by default this will cause 100 pulls from your database. These plugins make it so the first person to pull from the database creates a cached page. This cached page can be viewed, hundreds, if not thousands of times by different people without the major impact on your web hosting resources. Try one of these…
Avoid Known Resource Intensive Plugins. WordPress plugins don’t come created equal when it comes to how well they use resources because literally anyone can make one. So try finding an alternative plugin to see if leaving one of them disabled reduces your resource usage enough. You should also evaluate if it’s necessary to your site’s function. If so, you may need to upgrade from shared hosting or switch to a WordPress optimized host. You can also use the P3 Plugin Performance Plugin to help you figure out which WordPress plugins create the biggest problem.
Below is a list of plugins many hosts say cause large amounts of resource usage compared to most plugins. This is not intended to be an all-encompassing list…
- CMS Tree Page View
- Constant Contact WordPress Widget
- Digi Auto Links
- Disqus Comment System
- FireStats WordPress
- Geo Mashup
- Google Talk Widget
- NextGEN Gallery
- PHP Code for Posts
- Quotes Collection
- Reveal IDs
- Simple Post Thumbnails
- Skype Status
- WassUp Real Time Analytics
- WordPress Facebook
- WP Forum Server
- WP Live Stream
- Online Backup for WordPress
- WP Autoresponder and News Plugin
- WP Super Heatmap
- WP Symposium
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
- Disable default wp-cron.php behavior. WordPress runs wp-cron.php looking to see if it needs to do anything. When visitors arrive, WordPress checks this for every one and is very inefficient. By default, your wp-cron.php script will get called hundreds of times an hour. So, you may need technical help but you can setup a manual “cron job” to run this instead, at a more appropriate 4 or 6-hour interval. Here’s a video showing how…
- Update your WordPress installation. This means update everything in WordPress and all the plugins and themes. Not doing so will leave you vulnerable to security problems as well a resource inefficient.
- Control Comment Spam and Spammers. One of the most annoying things about WordPress is how many people try to send bogus comments or comment spam. This bogs down your database and causes a lot of resource problems as well. There are numerous plug ins to help, as well as blacklisting capabilities within WordPress.
- Other steps. Many other steps can be tried and I suggest you check with your webhost to see what they recommend. Some will help and some are not so helpful. Many, their goal is simply to get you to upgrade to a higher-level service.
What if None of the Above Works?
Now if nothing works, and your website is still slow, and your host is still complaining or not being helpful you will need to consider…
- Upgrading your current webhosting plan from a shared account to either a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or to a dedicated server.
- Find a web host more optimized for handling the resource requirements of WordPress.
I have found many times over that upgrading to a VPS doesn’t always achieve your goal. This is because even a hosts VPS may not be well configured to handle the many resource requests of your WordPress installation, even if you don’t have many visitors.
For myself and my business, I have never found that simply upgrading my service with my current host solves the problem. This doesn’t mean not to try with your hosting service.
I’ve ultimately had to transfer my WordPress-based websites to a WordPress optimized hosting company.
Here’s a list of some of the hosts I’ve used and left…
- GVO Hosting
- Cool Handle
- Tuned Hosting
There have been others, but the ones above are ones I remember off the top of my head. I’m not going to do a review of each.
Caution: Reading reviews of hosting companies can be a waste of time simply because… overwhelmingly… the reviews get posted by affiliates seeking commissions. They commonly have no idea if the hosting is worth a dime or dollar. Thus, I am not reviewing my hosts, because you could say the same thing here, because you don’t really know.
Who I currently Use for Optimized WordPress Hosting (and why)
First, don’t do your web host choice solely on price. I can guarantee that choosing the cheapest host will get you the cheapest results. Think of it this way; do you really want your business and livelihood run on low grade, dirty oil?
Also, hosting prices change, so simply check them yourself.
Now, here’s who I currently use.
- For this website you’re on right now, on the date of publishing, it is hosted on Tuned Hosting. This is a new company. What I do know is, when I moved it from GVO Cloud VPS to Tuned Hosting, the page loading speed of the site became amazing. Though I was configured on Cloudflare prior to the migration, the change in hosts was amazing nonetheless. The site provides secure hosting for your WordPress. My site also continues to run through Cloudflare as well.
Since TunedHosting is new, I can’t speak much for their support other than to say, they migrated my site for me. That was essential since I’m not a webmaster geek. They have also answered my initial questions promptly. Tuned Hosting is based on the Google cloud.
- My main business site is on SiteGround. I also migrated the business site from the same GVO Cloud VPS. The site’s performance improved immensely. They offer managed hosting at all levels of hosting service. They, too have provided excellent service and speed, and moved my site for me. The added plus here is you get a staging site included. This is important so you can test your changes before implementing them. You can also park unlimited domains here with an enterprise shared hosting account. By the way, I use the Enterprise shared hosting package.
Of the two hosts, my site on Tuned Hosting is faster, but there could be many reasons for this, so I can’t say definitively that Tuned Hosting is faster than SiteGround. Both, for the current time, have proven to be very well optimized for WordPress hosting.
Note: My links are affiliate links, so I do get paid if you sign up by clicking my links. Therefore, I suggest you always research closely if the service is right for you.
Many other choices exist, but I haven’t used the others. The two above having proven to work the best for me. I do not recommend any of the others in my list of past hosts if you will be building a site for business that does ecommerce, online sales, or lead generation for your business.
Conclusions about Getting Optimized WordPress Hosting
If your site is slow – you must sit and wait for it to load for more than 5 seconds – then you should be looking for solutions.
Always try some of the recommendations above before changing hosts. You might get lucky and be able to solve it with your current host.
Nonetheless, don’t leave you site loading slow or you will be ignored in search engine rankings and by the many potential customers or viewers who will simply leave before your web pages even load.
If you are just getting started, then start with a good host. The two above have excellent web hosting optimized for WordPress hosting. Don’t hesitate to check out others.