This is intended to present an overview of what you’ll need to know when signing up for a WordPress hosting account. The first thing we need to clarify is that this article covers the full WordPress blog software that can be downloaded at WordPress.org, which requires you to purchase your own domain name and blog hosting package, not the free blogs that you sign up for at WordPress.com.
The full version of hosted WordPress is just so much more powerful than a free WordPress.com or Blogger.com account. The power and control that is provided by all the third party plugins and custom WordPress themes allows you to present a much more professional online image.
Types of Blog Hosts
In reality almost any hosting account can be used as a WordPress web host. There are really only two requirements:
- The ability to run php scripts
- The ability host a MySql server database
Any hosting environment which offers these two features can be used for hosting WordPress.
Other WordPress Hosting Considerations
From there the options can get somewhat complicated for the beginner. Here are some common terms and how they relate to WordPress hosting:
Mail Host – Almost all hosting accounts offer some type of mail hosting. Some will limit the number of email accounts that can be set up under basic hosting plans, so make sure if you are setting up a business blog, that you have email accounts available for all the employees in your company.
Cpanel – Cpanel is a Linux web hosting account management tool that can be used to easily add domain names to your account, check for errors on your server and monitor disk space and bandwidth usage. I recommend finding a blog hosting software package that includes Cpanel.
Fantastico Web Hosting – Fantastico is a great application that comes with most Cpanel installations and makes installing third party software, like WordPress or other blog hosting software, a snap. The full range of applications available with Fantastico is impressive: email autoresponders, help desk solutions, forums and content management systems like Drupal, including Drupal themes packages. Most people, would consider Fantastico a WordPress hosting essential feature.
Web Hosting Reseller Account – If you intend on creating many blogs or would like to share, or even sell hosting with one or more friends, then you may want to consider a reseller hosting account. This special type of hosting account allows you to divide your account and provide separate access to other people.
WordPress Hosting Advanced Features
Some other terms that you may see when looking at WordPress hosting options are things like:
Dual Processor Server – this is definitely a nice bonus if it is included in your hosting account as it should keep your site running fast, even in the event of a big traffic spike like getting on the front of Digg.
Server Virtualization – is another nice feature that allows you greater control of your hosting environment and protects you from having your WordPress blog’s resources diminished by other high load sites sharing the same server with your blog.
In conclusion, keep it simple when selecting your WordPress hosting. There is no such thing as a perfect hosting setup so it isn’t worth spending too much time trying to find one. In most cases any reputable company that offers Linux hosting with Cpanel, Fantastico and MySql Server will make a pretty good place for WordPress hosting.