WordPress, in the last few years, has grown as the best blogging platform. 70% of new blogs coming up today are using WordPress as their blogging platform. This is mainly because of its simplicity. It is very easy to work with than with any other CMS out there.
The best thing about WordPress is the collection of plugins and themes they have. You can get a plugin for almost anything and everything you can think of. With a single click, you can change the functionality and behavior of your website, you can embed a search engine or social network on your blog, etc.
But when you decide to go for a self-hosted site on WordPress, there are some specific requirements you need to be aware of, so far hosting is concerned. Here are some of the important ones to help you choose your webhost wisely.
Support for PHP and MySQL
WordPress runs on PHP and MySQL. In order to be able to run the latest version of WordPress (Version 3.2 and higher) your web server should support PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0 to talk of the bare minimum requirement. However, this is not something that would be difficult to find; almost every web host offers this.
Besides this, the WordPress official site also recommends having suPHP or a similar utility for better security, though this is not a must-have.
Windows or Linux?
Windows hosting would be suitable for an application developed on ASP.NET. Since WordPress is based on PHP, Linux hosting is recommended. Some of the Windows based hosting plans may not be able to run WordPress, and even if they do, you may find it difficult to manage.
Ease of Installation
Installing WordPress is quite easy. The famous 5-minute guide on their official site literally makes it a cakewalk. But still it may be a bit confusing for the beginners. So to overcome this, you may want to go for a host that provides popular auto installation scripts like Fantastico, Softaculous, SimpleScripts, etc.
Shared or Dedicated?
WordPress is a fairly light script. So, if you are a beginner and do not anticipate much traffic on your site, shared hosting should be good to go. If however, you are laying your hands on something real big, you should consider getting dedicated server hosting. Dedicated will cost you more than shared hosting but then it’s by far a superior option.
Sometimes, it so happens that shared hosting becomes inadequate and dedicated hosting becomes too redundant. In such a situation, you may want to explore the middle path between these two – that is VPS or virtual private server hosting. It will cost you more than shared but less than dedicated. Also, it will be faster than shared but short of dedicated hosting.
Apart from the above points, also ensure that the web host you select is reliable and supportive. It should offer you good server uptime, great speed and friendly customer support.