What is WordPress
WordPress is the most popular blogging software in use on the web. It is in fact, one of the most used Content Management System (CMS) online.
It’s very easy to set up – it can be installed with Fantastico by one-click in a few seconds. Due to its popularity there is ample help online when you need it.
WordPress is written in a programming language called PHP which accesses the content from a MySQL database. As it is continually extracting packets of information from the server and elsewhere, WordPress can need more memory that a straightforward static HTML site.
WordPress and Hosting
To set up a WordPress site you need two things: a domain name and a web host.
Google rates speed very highly these days in its ranking algorithm, so it’s essential you pick a good host to make the most from your WordPress site.
You can find that certain plugins won’t work due to memory issues, servers can fail due to the host’s incompetence often causing a loss in Google rankings and sometimes WordPress’s features won’t work due to a poor host setup – so choosing a host not something to be hurried!
Most website owners when they start out will opt for a shared hosting package. This is the cheapest hosting option where your website will be sharing a server with hundreds or, sometimes, thousands of other sites.
Whereas a dedicated hosting service is one where you lease an entire server which isn’t shared with anyone.
What is VPS?
A virtual private server provides the features of a dedicated server on a machine that is shared by other customers. This is done by partitioning a physical computer into multiple servers such each with capabilities of running its own fully-fledged operating system, and each can be independently rebooted.
Customers therefore get hosting services that are similar to that of dedicated Web hosting without sacrificing performance and for a much reduced price.
Another benefit of VPS servers is scalability. Extra resources (RAM, other configurations) can be added at later dates as the website grows.
Which type of VPS host to use for WordPress?
The first thing to advise is to go for a Linux host over Windows as Linux takes much less resources and WordPress just runs better on it.
Managed VPS or Unmanaged VPS hosting?
You need to decide between purchasing a managed VPS or an unmanaged VPS hosting account.
With an unmanaged VPS site you are on your own. You control it. You install and run whatever software you want to run on it.
If you aren’t comfortable doing this then unmanaged hosting is obviously not for you. However, it does have the benefit of being slightly cheaper as hosts do not have to spend so much on support. You may have to pay extra for cPanel licenses, etc.
Managed VPS services include maintenance, monitoring, and repairs at a fixed cost – they also provide varying amounts of support.
Standard VPS hosting or VPS hosting in the cloud?
Cloud computing is generally run on a cluster of servers whereas standard VPS hosting will put your site on only one computer with backups.
With VPS cloud hosting your site will come back online immediately if any hardware fails.
Standard VPS can only offers a certain amount of RAM and CPU at any one time so you can still suffer from outages if your site become extremely busy. However, Cloud VPS can dynamically assign resources as your server needs them.
How to choose a new VPS host
This depends on the amount of traffic and the needs you have. You need to compare the hosts by price and the following criteria:
- RAM: VPS servers are advertised with RAM values just like computers are in a computer store. Host are rather unforthcoming when you ask them how much RAM you need but I would say 500MB RAM would be satisfactory for a WordPress site that doesn’t get much more than 500 visitors a day.
- CPU: The CPU (central processing unit) of the host is exactly the same as the CPU of your desktop or laptop computer. It is the central unit in a computer containing logic circuitry to perform instructions from the applications. If you wish it may be possible to buy a plan with more than one 1GB CPU for extra speed.
- Band Width and Disc Space: VPS packages are sometimes sold with a finite band width and disc space. Calculate the bandwidth you site will need by calculating Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Visitors. If you are just starting out it won’t be necessary to do this. Disc Space is the amount of Gigabytes of information you are allowed to put on the server. Ordinary websites don’t add up to much space but if you are using the server for file storage you need to take this into account.
- Server Software: you may be used to certain server software, such as cPanel and Plesk in order to maintain your site. Some hosts use their own software which may be difficult to learn.
- Quality of Support: Some companies have 24/7 support. It may be important to be able to get answer quickly if your VPS server stops working. Company Reputation: Google the company you want to use and see what people are saying about them. WordPress recommends a few hosts. Also, have a look and see if hosts have a good and functioning forum, this can be extra useful.
WordPress is one of the most common CMSs (Content Management Systems) so hosts should generally be good with it. But this is not always the case.
You should pick a host that knows how to host it and has shown that for a while already.