Once you've decided to get a self-hosted WordPress website, you'll need to find yourself a web hosting provider. Fortunately there are many to choose from and good-quality hosting is very affordable.
While prices vary significantly, as does service level, there are actually just three main types of hosting packages from which to choose: shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated server hosting.
Shared hosting is where your site shares a server with lots of other sites. For a blogger or a small business just starting with a new WordPress site, shared hosting is likely to be the best option and will be the least expensive, too.
A dedicated server is where you rent an entire server from your hosting company, which you will not need until you have a significant amount of traffic.
VPS is a type of shared hosting, but it gives you more options to use specialist applications than shared hosting and there are usually fewer sites on the server.
Free hosting is also available, but check carefully before signing up as it may come with strings attached. It's unlikely to be as reliable as paid hosting and customer service could be an issue, too. As shared hosting is only going to cost you a few dollars a month, it's rarely worth the risk of choosing free hosting.
Some hosting providers offer hosting optimized specifically for WordPress. This can help your site to run faster than it would otherwise and may include additional security features, too. It is worth looking into.
So now you understand the different types of hosting, what should you look for in a host?
Supports the Latest Version of WordPress
As WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, any large hosting company should be able to support it. But it's worth checking your prospective hosting company to be sure.
Pricing and Packages
Most hosting companies have a range of packages for shared hosting, so you can pick one that meets your needs in terms of your likely traffic and the storage space as well as your budget. Don't forget to allow some room to grow, though!
You definitely don't want your site to suffer from long or frequent periods of downtime, so always check the hosting company's statistics. You can also search online for customer reviews of hosting companies.
If you're just starting out with a new WordPress site you may have some questions, so check what support is offered by your hosting company before you buy. Look at the support hours, especially if they are not available 24 hours a day and are in a different time zone to you. Also, check they offer a range of ways to get support, for example by email, by phone or live chat.
Now you know the web hosting basics it should be easy to pick the right WordPress hosting company for you.