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Website Hosting Plans. What to look for – and what to avoid – when it comes to WordPress Hosting

Uncategorized, Websites

October 31, 2022

How to choose the right web hosting

We know hosting sounds like something only AirBnB owners have to think about, but if you are getting a WordPress website built you are going to want to understand some hosting basics before making your purchase. It’s so hard to know what to look for, as on the surface many website hosts look the same… but we can spare you some time (and considerable hair-pulling!!) before you invest, and get stuck with a host that might not be right for you.

What is hosting anyway?

Website hosting is pretty much like paying for a little bit of rented space in the world wide web. Your website sit on a hosting server, and fomr there the server beams it out to the world. It’s seperate to your domain name (which you can think of like your street address), and you simply can’t have a WordPress website without paying that little bit of hosting rent each month or year.

Hosting is available from hundreds of providers, all with different inclusions and prices… but not all hosts are created equal. Some have thousands of websites on each server, increasing your risk of being hacked. Some website hosts look like good value on the surface but make even a well-built site run slowly. Others refuse to guarantee uptime, have terrible customer support, or charge you extra for basics like backups and SSL (security) certificates.

What do I look for when it comes to website hosting?

There are a few key things to look for when choosing a web hosting company. First, you want to make sure that the company is reliable and won’t cause your site to go down frequently. You also want to find a company that offers good customer support in case you run into any problems. It’s also important to find a host that has a server located in your country (or the country where most of your customers are located) as that will improve speed and performance.

There are a few different types of web hosting, but the most common for WordPress websites is shared hosting, meaning that your site will be on a server with other websites. The benefit of this is that it is usually the most affordable option. Most shared hosts offer good WordPress-specific features and support which can be handy if you are DIY-ing your site and are not sure what plug-ins and themes you’ll need to install, but paying extra for specific WordPress hosting if you’re having your site professionally built, might be overkill. It’s best to talk to your web designer or developer about what your site will need.

Things to be careful of when it comes to website hosting

Just as there are some key things to look for in a web hosting company, there are also some things to be careful of. One thing to watch out for is hidden fees. Sometimes, companies will advertise low prices but then tack on additional fees for things like setup, general technical support, and SSL certificates. Make sure to read the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting.

It’s also important to be able to access all the DNS and other records that you will need for your website. Some hosts only allow you basic access to your site records, making it difficult for you to make changes yourself. You might need to pay for extra support to add a new domain name, email, or TXT record when other hosts will make this available to you or your web developer as standard so that you can have complete control over your site.

SSL Certificates – An Absolute Must!

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and is a protocol that provides a secure connection between a web server and a browser.

SSL certificates are important because they protect sensitive information, such as credit card numbers. If you don’t have an active SSL certificate on your website, it will show an ‘unlocked padlock’ in the URL bar, indicating to your site visitors that your site may not be safe. Visitors to your site might also get a warning as they try to enter your site, and the threat of viruses will likely be enough to have them back clicking out of there faster than you can say ‘cybersecurity’.

If you want to avoid these kinds of problems, it’s important to have an SSL certificate for your website. A good-quality host will include an SSL certificate in their hosting plan. A not-so-great one might have a bargain basement price, but charge you through the roof to add an SSL certificate. Some of our clients have been stung up to $100 for an SSL certificate, without realizing these generally come as standard with a good quality host – yikes!

Wild Honey Creative hosting plans all come with an SSL certificate to protect your client’s data, and it will be installed and maintained for you, with nothing to think about.

How much does web hosting cost?

Hosting plans can range in price from a few dollars per month to hundreds of dollars per month. The price will depend on the type of hosting plan you choose, the features you need, and the size of your website.

Generally, like most things in life, you get what you pay for! A very cheap plan might look great on the surface but will it go the distance and show off your site at its best? We all love cheap costume jewelry (ooooo soooo shiny) but you know you’ll probably only get a few wears out of it before it starts to lose its gems, tarnish or break.

Super cheap hosting plans may not include basic essential features like SSL certificates, and they might slow the speed of your website load times down, which in turn can have a really negative effect on your SEO rankings.

There’s also a risk when it comes to security, as some hosting providers can have thousands of sites on one shared server, increasing the chances of your site being hacked. If one site on a server is hacked, hackers can use that site to gain access to others on the same server. If you’re sharing server space with potentially hundreds of sites that aren’t kept up to date, you could be vulnerable to attack too. Look for a host that is honest about how many sites it stores on its servers; fewer sites mean greater security and less chance of one hacked site taking yours down with it. At Wild Honey Creative we have a maximum of 10 sites per server, sometimes less if a site has high traffic or E-Commerce features, so you know you’ve gone top-shelf, and that your website is being looked after.

What tech support should I expect from my website host?

If you’re running a business website, even a few minutes of downtime could mean lost sales and a hit to your reputation, so you need to know that someone will be there to help you sort out any problems.

At Wild Honey Creative we offer a dedicated Australian server (or for our international clients, we can offer a server that is based in your country), and we can guarantee 99% uptime through our partnership with Cloudways, one of the world’s favourite hosts. Y our site will be hosted on a server with no more than nine other Wild Honey Creative clients, and you’ll have support from our local team, backed by Cloudways technical experts.

Protecting your Website

Just like you insure your home or car against fire, theft, or damage, your website needs to be backed up in case something goes wrong. Your web hosting company should provide daily off-site backups as standard so that if the worst does happen and your site is lost or damaged, you can get it back up and running again quickly.

Wild Honey Creative offers daily off-site backups as standard on all of our hosting plans, so you can rest assured that your site is safe and sound. We also offer a Site Security service which includes regular malware scanning and removal, to keep your site free from harmful viruses and attacks.

It’s also a massive bonus if your web host provides access to premium plugins to improve site speed and usability. Some of our favourites are WPRocket, ** and ** and these are included in all Wild Honey Creative hosting plans.

I’ve already got hosting, but I’m not happy with it – how do I change it?

If you’re not happy with your current host, don’t despair! It’s actually really easy to change over to a new one. The first step is to find a reputable hosting provider that offers the features you need for your website. Once you’ve found a good match, sign up for an account and then follow their instructions for transferring your site.

Most hosting providers will have a plan that auto-renews either monthly or yearly on your credit card. Make sure you read through the Terms & Conditions to find out how to cancel your account if you decide you want to switch hosts. Some companies will make it very difficult to cancel, or will charge you a hefty fee for doing so. At Wild Honey Creative we have a no-contract policy, so you’re free to cancel your hosting plan at any time, and you’ll only be charged until the end of the current billing month. We also offer free migration to our Hosting plan. If you’ve been hosting elsewhere, and we’ve designed and built your new site, we’ll migrate your site to our hosting free of charge, and you’ll have everything taken care of in one place.

What about Website Maintenance – What is that, and do I need it?

For the love of all things sweet, yes!

In the same way that a car needs regular service, your website needs a little TLC each month to make the most of your investment, and keep it working at its best. Your website is working for your business 24 hours a day, and the last thing you want to end up with is slow load times, security issues, broken forms, or a page that simply doesn’t look the way it should. Around 20 mins to half an hour each month will keep everything working well, and if we’ve built your site for you we’ll train you how to do your regular maintenance tasks and give you an easy-to-follow checklist and how-to video.

If you hate the thought of having to do it yourself, or perhaps you have the best intentions but just get way too busy (no shade, it happens to the best of us).

For years our website clients asked us to take monthly website tasks off their plates, so we’ve developed a Website Hosting + Care Plan to help. As well as having Wild Honey Creative as your host (including monthly backups and weekly malware scans), our Hosting + Care Plan clients get weekly updates of all back-end software, and we’ll make sure your website is always functioning at its best and looking great too. AND, you get up to 20 minutes per month of basic site updates included in every plan, perfect for uploading a new blog post, changing out some images, or updating your workshop dates, product prices, or event details. Again, no international call centers here, our team will be the ones handling all of your requests. You can send in any update requests via a simple form each month, then sit back with a chai while we take care of them for you.

Ready to get your website hosting sorted?

We believe in offering our clients quality hosting plans at an affordable price. At this stage, we only offer website hosting for sites that we’ve designed and built here in-house. Our WordPress hosting plans start at $30 per month (plus GST for our Australian clients) and include all of the features you need to run a successful website. Plus, our Wild Honey team is always available to help if you have any questions or run into any problems. You won’t be speaking to a call center operator, you’ll be dealing directly with the team that designed and built your site with you. We put our heart and soul into your website and love it as much as you do, so we want it to be running its very best too.

If you’re ready to make the switch to Wild Honey Creative website hosting or maintenance plans, we make it easy. Just email hello@wildhoneycreative.com and we’ll take care of the rest!

Hi, I'm Jasmine

I’m a former journo turned brand strategist and designer with a life-long passion for the creative and performing arts.

I started Wild Honey Creative with a mission to help small and creative businesses (makers, movers and shakers) stand out and make an impact. You deserve to show the world what you’re made of, and we’d love to cheer you on.

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