By Tom

January

Trying to find the perfect WordPress host is not an easy task. There are a lot of options out there – which is actually really cool compared to where we were just a few years ago.

Personally, I’ve shopped around, I’ve tried a bunch of them, some I’ve loved, some I’ve liked, some I’ve never left.

I was literally just telling a friend I have a propensity to try new hosts when come to market and have been established for a little while even to my own detriment.

I try wait for others to test the waters, then I’ll jump in. You know, it’s the whole “Come on in, the water’s fine” sorta thing. Sometimes I do better than others.

Really, the only conclusion I’ve been able to draw from trying out all of the options available is there is no perfect WordPress host.

The Perfect WordPress Host

This might be me, this might be a thing with the technical-types, I don’t know, but whenever a new host comes to market and then offers all sorts of cool features specifically tailored for my needs – in this case, WordPress – then it automatically catches my attention.

And yeah, all kinds of things matter:

  • Price point
  • Ease-of-use or the user experience of their dashboard
  • Customer Support
  • WordPress-specific features
  • Caching
  • Staging environments
  • S/FTP, SSH, Email, SSL, etc
  • …and so on

By now, most hosts offer all of the above in some capacity. In the past few years – come on, I don’t go from host-to-host on a monthly or bi-monthly basis – I’ve tried out at least six hosts and all of them, though some significantly better than the other, have left something to be desired.

This is probably a personal problem.

The point of what I’m trying to say, though, is if you’re on the lookout for the absolutely best WordPress host possible, then you’re going to come up either empty handed or you’re going to come up disappointed because you’re looking for the holy grail (and no one’s yet to find it).

What Host Would Suit Me Best?

At this point, this is where I’m supposed to say “Given all the above, this is the hosting I recommend…” but that’s not this post.

Instead, I’m going to say this:

The best WordPress host available or you is the one matching most of your or your project’s requirements.

Maybe this is a disappointing statement. Here’s how I see it, though:

We go around to all of these hosts and we look at what they offer, the price points they have, and all of the other things they include in their service plan and then we pick the one that seems to fit us best (all the while letting the “cool”, “hip”, and “new” factor guide our some of our decision-making).

Save for the last part, that’s great – we definitely need to be aware of what’s out there in terms of what’s available. But if you’re trying to pick a host based on some type of requirements, I think that’s the wrong way to go about it.

Instead, here’s how I approach it:

  • List out everything you know you need from a host
  • Mark the must-haves, nice-to-haves, and doesn’t-matter in the list
  • Then go shopping

Basically, do the opposite of what we, as the tech-types, tend to do. Rather than trying out a host to see if it fits our needs, use our needs to find a host.

This doesn’t sound like advice. It sounds like common sense. But I know I, along with a number of my friends, have spent weekends doing site migrations thinking we’ve found the best place to host our site(s) only to find something missing or something we wish different a few days or weeks later.

Don’t shoehorn your project into something because you want to use it. The hosting needs to fit the requirements like a glove.

Ultimately, the perfect WordPress host is going to be the one offering the highest number of features aligning with your requirements.

The Perfect WordPress Host (It Doesn’t Exist) was written by Tom. For more information about WordPress, development, and resources then visit Tom McFarlin’s blog.

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