1250–1300; Middle English (h)oste (noun) < Middle French < Latin hospit- (stem of hospes) host, guest, stranger, perhaps < *hosti-pot(i)s or *hos-pot(i)s, equivalent to hos(ti)- combining form of hostis stranger (see host2) + -pot(i)s, akin to potis having the power to, posse to be able (see potent1) (hence, “one granting hospitality, one in charge of guests”); compare, with different initial elements, Greek despótēs master, despot, Lithuanian viẽšpats lord
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.
In housing terms, VPS hosting is like renting your own apartment in a larger building. You're much more isolated than in the roommate situation mentioned above; it's still possible that a neighboring apartment could causes annoyance for you, but far less likely. In web hosting terms, Site A's traffic surge won't have nearly as much impact on Site B or Site C. As you'd expect, VPS hosting costs more than shared hosting. You'll pay roughly $20 to $60 per month.
Users don't need much technical knowledge or expertise. WordPress offers search engine optimization-friendly uniform resource locators, resource description framework site summary feeds, post categories, sticky pages, and an interface suitable for nontechnical writers who want to contribute to the content and to queue, schedule, moderate, and protect posts and pages with passwords.
An SSL connection encrypts the data that travels between your site and users' web browsers, thus safeguarding the transmission of purchasing information. All the WordPress hosting services in this roundup offer SSL certificates, but the prices vary from company to company. Some companies include a free SSL certificate when you sign up for a hosting plan, while others charge close to $100.
WordPress hosting prices are all over the map. Entry-level plans should cost roughly the same as shared web hosting, but higher-tier plans can scale upward to around $60 per month. The upside? Your WordPress installation should run more smoothly and setup should be easier in a WordPress environment than in a traditional hosting environment. In addition, going the managed WordPress route may save you money in the long run, as it might save you the cost of hiring a system administrator to perform the same tasks. This can be particularly beneficial to small businesses.
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.
If you aim to have a web presence, you've got to have email. It's a convenient way for potential customers and clients to send you a message, Word document, or other files. Thankfully, most web hosts include email in the price of their hosting plans. Some web hosts offer unlimited email account creation (which is great for future growth), while others offer a finite amount. You, naturally, should want unlimited email.
The first step in customizing your WordPress site is to log into your WordPress install. From there, you'll actually find an "Appearance" section within your WordPress dashboard dedicated to helping you customize your site. The easiest and most likely the method you'll find most effective is by using a pre-made WordPress theme. Just click the "Add New Theme" button to browse through a number of theme options. You can search for themes as well as use the Feature Filter. The Feature Filter is an excellent way to discover a theme that you like the most. This is where you can narrow down themes based on features, the type of layout you want and the subject of your site.
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 our experience, some web hosts are great at hosting WordPress sites, and some are simply not. Our team signed up for and tested every major hosting service to determine which was best for hosting WordPress — analyzing everything from installation, WP-specific tools, pricing, reliability, and a ton of other factors. Below are the top hosts that earned our trust:
For plans or packages featuring unlimited websites, domains, or email accounts, we do not enforce any official limitations. Customers are able to utilize as many of these features as they wish. That said, these are of course not infinite resources and there are inherent maximums associated with the technology powering them. For example, while email account creation is unlimited, these rely on the file storage available on the account. Therefore customers need to be operating within the Terms of Service to ensure resources are available to fully enable email functionality. Customers operating within the Terms of Service have yet to come up against technical boundaries for email, domains, or websites.
One thing we learned in reviewing the services listed here (and many more) is that even though the packages are very similar, they are not identical. Some are more security-focused than others, offering anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts we've reviewed have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider using a more-robust third-party online shopping cart application like Shopify instead.
Shared hosting is by far the most popular type of WordPress hosting used by beginners. It is the most affordable and quite frankly a good starting point for new users. Shared hosting is where you share a large server with a lot of sites. By having multiple sites on the same server, hosting providers can offer the service at a more affordable rate. The biggest catch that we see with shared hosting across all providers (including the ones we recommend below) is the unlimited resources. There is no such thing as unlimited. While it says unlimited, you still have usage restrictions. If your site starts to take up substantial server load, they will politely force you to upgrade your account. If they don’t take this action, then it can have a negative effect on the overall performance of other sites hosted on the same server. It gets back to conventional wisdom. As your business grows, so will your overhead cost.
Why? Because word of mouth only gets you so far in the internet era. People discover new businesses—even local business—via Bing, Google, and Yahoo. The days when they'd just look you up in the yellow pages are long gone. If you don't have a sharable website address, your chances of building online word of mouth via social networking plummet, too. In other words, no website, no discoverability, no money. Of course, web hosting isn't just for businesses. You may want to host a personal website or blog, too. Either way, the services here have you covered.
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