Reader Warning…this post is a little long. If you want to skip to the webhosts I recommend, scroll down to that section half way down the page! And never fear, in this guide to find the BEST website host, I won’t mention too much tech jargon. Promise.
I get it. You have a limited budget to run your business. You might be new to business or a start-up and all the little monthly costs add up to one big yearly cost. You look for areas you can save money by shopping around and choosing budget options.
Let me guess – one of those areas is webhosting. You shopped around and found this awesome $4.99 per month deal. Sweet! Your website hosted for $60 per year! #winning
But what do you know about this host? How helpful is their support? How secure are their servers? Is their hosting fast? How willing are they to help you if something “bad” happens?
But will something bad happen? Come on…
Yep. “Bad things” happen to websites. Bad things like getting hacked. Even little old you with the small email list and tiny social media following. You’re not harming anyone, are you? Doesn’t matter to hackers – it’s not personal.
I’m not making it up for shock value – I’ve cleaned at least 10 hacked websites over the last 6 months. Before you panic, they were all restored, without much lost except time, money and a little bit of sanity. If you’ve got that to spare, no need to worry…right?
Right…but, if your website gets hacked we have a bit of work to do. And work equals time and money. Think about it – it’ll take time to realise your site is down, then you’ll have a panic trying to work out what’s happened. Then you need to ask around to find someone who can fix it (who won’t charge your first-born child for the privilege). Then, you need to give them the relevant access and wait for them to do their thing. Fast forward to the website restored and you’ve lost a day or two at least.
So, work out what a day or two without your website means to you. For some people they won’t see a direct impact to revenue. If that’s the case for you, what about your time?
What hourly rate do you value your time at? Take that number and multiple it by the time it will take to check your site, find your logons, contact someone, change your passwords, check the site, have a cry…. Eeek.
Then add on the costs to fix it. Some website hosts (like the one’s I’m going to share with you) will help you and others won’t at all. If you fall into the “won’t at all” camp, then you need to contact someone like me. Depending on what’s going on, the charge will be $200 at least. If you don’t have a site backup and your host doesn’t come to the party, we could be looking at a site rebuild. That ain’t cheap.
Then add in what your sanity is worth.
And there you have the bare minimum you should be paying per year for web hosting.
Side note: I’m not saying that all hosts that charge a cheap rate are best avoided. I’m giving you a general rule about what webhosting means to you, and how much emphasis you should put on it. Cool?
Who do I recommend for Webhosting for WordPress?
I could go into the nitty gritty of hosting and compare technical features such as CPU/RAM/Bandwidth etc (cue your eye rolling), but it’s not necessary. In my eyes there are two companies who are so good, you don’t need to waste time comparing.
One is an absolute STAND OUT, so if you can afford it, please use them. They two businesses are:
WP Engine: my favourite – there is no comparison to the service and value I get from WP Engine. They only do WordPress hosting, so you know they are specialists. Plans start from around $35 AUD per month but they are worth every penny. For example, if your site has malware (meaning you’ve been hacked) and you want to move to their hosting, they will clean it as part of their service. For FREE. They provide handy “extras” like installing WordPress for you when you get started, and they have an easy to use migration plugin.
They have 24 hour live chat, with customer service guys and gals who know their stuff! So they are on hand always. Awesome.
Having hosting with someone like WP Engine means the chances of needing a WordPress expert to help with issues is small. Essentially, over the long term you save money.
Flywheel: a middle tier hosting option with a easy to use client portal, clever admin tools and great customer service. I’ve recently started testing them out, and they are FAB! They will also migrate your website for FREE! Too easy.
Warning: I used to recommend a popular company that offers super cheap hosting, but I NEVER, ever, ever recommend them anymore. Just saying. This was reinforced after a livechat session, where the customer service rep informed me the sitelock plan my client was paying for “did nothing”. For her website to be fixed, she would need to pay $500 per year for the full version that works. Hmmmm. No thanks.
What else can I do if my budget is super small?
There are measures you can take to make sure your site is secure and fast if your budget is teeny tiny. Things such as running security scans, using a security plugin (such as Wordfence), protecting your logons and running regular backups will help.
You can also use the services of a CDN like Cloudflare, who provides free SSL’s and extra performance and security measures.
Want me to tell you about your webhost? I’ve experienced a few now – so comment below and I can let you know what I think. Of course, if your webhost is fabulous, let us know below as well.
p.s. I do receive a small affiliate commission should you use one of the hosts I recommend, but as I use them for my websites I totally, 100 percent trust these companies.
Hey, I’m Kristy
Kristy Morton is a mother, multiple business owner and numbers gal. She runs a web development consultancy, specialising in WordPress websites. Kristy combines her excellent technical knowledge with her ability to translate this into ways that are understandable to the average person, so her clients feel informed and in control of how their websites are developed and managed. She is also the Co-Founder of B Directory where the team is supercharging small business growth.
Despite seeming like an overachiever, Kristy admits to always be chasing the sun, a simple life and one more homemade chocolate.