Before you sign up for a WordPress web hosting service, you should look for these attractive—and possibly essential—features. Ideally, you'll want to invest in a WordPress host that provides unlimited monthly data transfers, email, storage, and 24/7 support. Many WordPress web hosts that place caps on those features, particularly on the managed side of things. WP Engine ($35.00 - 20% Off with Promo Code PCMAG20 at WP Engine) , for example, limits sites to 400,000 visitors and a relatively paltry 30GB of storage. If you expect lots of site growth, you'll want a host that can properly accommodate your website's future expansion.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.
In the early parts of 2003, college freshmen Matt Mullenweg wrote on his blog that he wanted to create a fork of B2/cafelog. He had been using the software to post photos from his trip to Washington D.C. He teamed with Mike Little to continue work on this new solution. This was around the same time that Valdrighi made an announcement that Little and Mullenweg would be taking lead on the B2/cafelog fork. The team launched the first version of WordPress in May 2003, using the same structure as B2/cafelog.
Managed services may cost you a bit of a premium, but the best managed WordPress hosting providers are worth every penny. You won’t realize how much you want that extra level of support until something goes wrong. If your site going down due to expected or unexpected reasons would be detrimental, and if you don’t have the technical expertise to get things back on track, I’d highly recommend looking into managed hosting. Consider it an investment in peace of mind.

A2 Optimized is a product of our team of WordPress experts who noticed a concerning trend of users loading their WordPress sites down with plugins to try and get the fastest, most secure setup possible. Unfortunately, in most instances, too many plugins can actually make a WordPress install slower and less secure. That's because each installed plugin generally slows down a WordPress site and many times these plugins are not updated often enough. Out of date plugins make WordPress sites particularly vulnerable to exploits.
It’s important to note that there are two subgenres of WP hosting: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The latter is a free, fully-hosted site that allows you to build and host basic website with the people who created the platform.  Although the WordPress hosting platform is on its way up, it’s not yet the ideal option for folks who are looking to run a business site or aspire to grow a substantial web presence. If you’re doing anything more than posting your resume or blogging your ideas, you want WordPress.org hosting.
If you're planning to create a WordPress-powered site, there's no reason not to invest in WordPress-specific hosting. It's chock full of benefits. That said, a WordPress environment won't allow you to set up a non-WordPress site—that's something else to keep in mind, especially if you have a site in mind that will rely on specific frameworks, for example. In such instances, you'll want to go build your site on shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting services. And, if you want to start your own web hosting company, reseller hosting is the way to go.
For folks in need of high-powered hardware with resources solely dedicated to keeping your popular site up and running quickly and smoothly, dedicated hosting for WordPress is your solution. Dedicated customers get tons of RAM, storage, and CPU, and typically a higher echelon of technical support to meet the needs of maintaining their highly-trafficked site.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization that governs the rules and regulations for domain name registrations. ICANN requires, for various reasons including to determine ownership of a domain should a dispute transpire, that a publicly accessible database be maintained that contains the contact information of all domain registrants. In layman's terms this means your domain name will be searchable by anyone and those search results will include your full name, physical address and other contact information. In order to protect your privacy in this regard, Domain.com offers WHOIS Domain Privacy which then masks your information using our own and implements a procedure for you to control who is able to then gain access to your contact information via a WHOIS search. Whenever you buy a domain name, no matter what domain name registration service you use, you are subject to the same ICANN rules, for this reason it is important to use a reputable service who cares about your privacy. Domain.com always recommends enabling WHOIS Domain Privacy. 

Recent Examples on the Web Muhstik relies on multiple command-and-control domains and IP addresses, presumably for redundancy in the event one gets taken down. — Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Internet routers running Tomato are under attack by notorious crime gang," 21 Jan. 2020 More sophisticated phishing attacks often use web domains that are similar to well-known addresses but that are slightly misspelled. — David Ingram, NBC News, "From Burisma to Democratic candidates, phishing emails remain security threat," 15 Jan. 2020 Authorities said Adams tried to buy the domain, but the owner repeatedly declined to sell it. — Anna Spoerre, USA TODAY, "Social media influencer Polo sentenced after man held at gunpoint over web domain," 11 Dec. 2019 Microsoft has even gone to court to take over web domains created to lure those who fall for its tricks. — Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, "Microsoft Says Russians Hacked Antidoping Agency Computers," 28 Oct. 2019 Of course, with the relevant emphasis on space as a war fighting domain. — Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force's Most Famous Pilot School Is Going To Space," 3 Sep. 2019 Of the 53 districts in Texas with more than 25,000 students, San Antonio ISD had the largest improvement in the student achievement domain and the second-largest in student progress, Morath said. — Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "TEA report card has SAISD leading broad improvement of San Antonio area schools," 15 Aug. 2019 This country’s great error has been to separate these domains from each other, investing big business with the godlike power that really belongs in the hands of experts who respect their animals—like Hatidze. — Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Honeyland Is a Stinging Allegory for Man-Made Disaster," 9 Aug. 2019 Microsoft removed the domain and with the help of the government prevented the attack from actually gaining access, Burt said. — Hannah Knowles, The Denver Post, "House intelligence chairman says he learned of Senate campaign hack at security forum in Aspen," 21 July 2019
WordPress is a free and open-source CMS with plugin architecture and a system of templates. WordPress, like many CMS competitors, is template-based. The user chooses a theme, customizes it to personal preferences, and the website is ready to go. With many plug-ins and add-ons available, WordPress can create any site imaginable. This versatile software creates commercials, social media, blogs, and special interest websites around the world.
The WordPress team continued to grow and friends of Mullenweg like Christine Sellect Tremoulet would also contribute to the project. Tremoulet actually was the one who suggested the name "WordPress". WordPress v1.0 was released in January 2004 under the code name Davis. Some of the newest features in this release included SEO friendly permalinks, the ability to post to multiple categories, the addition of comment moderation and Atom support. A few months later in May 2004, version 1.2 was released. This was a bit of a landmark release for WordPress because support for plugins was added in this version. Plugins have played a huge part in helping WordPress grow to the levels it has today because of their ability to add just about any functionality you could want to a site.
Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.
Recent Examples on the Web Muhstik relies on multiple command-and-control domains and IP addresses, presumably for redundancy in the event one gets taken down. — Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Internet routers running Tomato are under attack by notorious crime gang," 21 Jan. 2020 More sophisticated phishing attacks often use web domains that are similar to well-known addresses but that are slightly misspelled. — David Ingram, NBC News, "From Burisma to Democratic candidates, phishing emails remain security threat," 15 Jan. 2020 Authorities said Adams tried to buy the domain, but the owner repeatedly declined to sell it. — Anna Spoerre, USA TODAY, "Social media influencer Polo sentenced after man held at gunpoint over web domain," 11 Dec. 2019 Microsoft has even gone to court to take over web domains created to lure those who fall for its tricks. — Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, "Microsoft Says Russians Hacked Antidoping Agency Computers," 28 Oct. 2019 Of course, with the relevant emphasis on space as a war fighting domain. — Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force's Most Famous Pilot School Is Going To Space," 3 Sep. 2019 Of the 53 districts in Texas with more than 25,000 students, San Antonio ISD had the largest improvement in the student achievement domain and the second-largest in student progress, Morath said. — Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "TEA report card has SAISD leading broad improvement of San Antonio area schools," 15 Aug. 2019 This country’s great error has been to separate these domains from each other, investing big business with the godlike power that really belongs in the hands of experts who respect their animals—like Hatidze. — Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Honeyland Is a Stinging Allegory for Man-Made Disaster," 9 Aug. 2019 Microsoft removed the domain and with the help of the government prevented the attack from actually gaining access, Burt said. — Hannah Knowles, The Denver Post, "House intelligence chairman says he learned of Senate campaign hack at security forum in Aspen," 21 July 2019
Domain names are created to make IP addresses easy to remember. Every computer has an IP address assigned to it - much like a street address. But instead of having to memorize each IP address number, we assign domain names to these numbers so we can easily remember them. The domain name system, or DNS, takes domain names and translates them into their IP addresses so that computers can communicate with one another.
You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.
When it's time to set up shop, look for a web host that offers the aforementioned dedicated servers, as well as advanced cloud server platforms (such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud), custom server builds should you need it, and 24/7 customer support. Depending on your business' focus, you may need a web host that can handle pageviews or visitors that rank in the high thousands or millions. Many busy hosting plans offer an onboarding specialist that can help you get started, too.
WordPress.org references the open-source (free) software that can be downloaded and installed pretty easily, particularly if you have a web host that makes this process a breeze. Self-hosted WordPress allows you to capitalize on the robust offerings of the established content management system, plus the potential for more features, such as a free domain, unlimited email accounts, marketing credits, and expert support). 

WordPress.org references the open-source (free) software that can be downloaded and installed pretty easily, particularly if you have a web host that makes this process a breeze. Self-hosted WordPress allows you to capitalize on the robust offerings of the established content management system, plus the potential for more features, such as a free domain, unlimited email accounts, marketing credits, and expert support).


Your web hosting account is where your website files are stored. So it’s very important that you secure it. The best way to secure your WordPress hosting account is to use a strong password and avoid logging in from public locations (unless you’re using a VPN). We also recommend that you follow our ultimate WordPress security guide to protect your site.

In our detailed DreamHost review, we also evaluated their customer support, features, and pricing. After our analysis, we find DreamHost to be a great option for businesses who value privacy. They offer free domain privacy with each of their domains. They also recently fought the U.S. department of Justice to protect the privacy of one of their customer’s website.


You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.
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