While technology has evolved, so did a competition in the hosting industry. The demand for WordPress grew exponentially. Today, approximately 30% of all websites on the web are powered by WordPress and the hosting industry had to adjust its packages to the market demands.
To survive, most hosting companies started including more freebies, plugins, managed services, and custom hosting packages designed for WordPress. Surely, not all hosting packages are the same, so here is what to expect and what can be considered a good bargain.
1. Better WordPress Optimization
WordPress can be resource intensive. Pages can load slowly, and the database could become cluttered fast. Hosting packages can now include optimization tools, usually for free or for a small cost that improve WordPress performance.
Optimization may also mean specific hardware. Since there is such a high demand for WordPress hosting, data centers have introduced special hardware that handles scripts and WordPress better.
Another aspect worth mentioning is how fast a WordPress website can be built. It takes minutes to and just a few clicks to install WordPress and because DNS propagation is not almost instant, the website becomes accessible almost immediately. Several years back, it could take up to a day for DNS propagation and for a website to become accessible.
2. WordPress backups
As we have learned, WordPress does not require a lot of hosting space. Some managed WordPress hosting packages include regular website backups. These are usually set up with just a few clicks from the admin panel. Users get full control over the backups and it all takes just a few seconds to fully restore a website to a previous version.
Some hosts offer an additional service for free in which the user can save backups locally on his own computer if needed. It takes just a few clicks and the whole process makes it much easier to move an entire website to a new host or completely rebuild a website and just re-upload the content.
For WordPress, caching is very important. Since it runs on a lot of scripts, having pages cached means improved response times, faster page loading and improved user experience. In a recent discussion attempting to put together a decent WordPress comparison on Hosting Foundry, server-side caching played an important role. Page load times affect the visitors of a website much more than any other aspect of a WordPress publication.
Caching can be achieved either on the server side or there are WordPress plugins that can offer the same thing. To offer a complete solution and reliable hosting even for beginners, some hosting providers started including server-side caching. The use of SSDs in data center servers also improved the performance of cached WordPress pages, especially for websites with huge numbers of daily visitors.
4. Uptime and security
Uptime is important. If your visitors cannot access your WordPress site, they will go to your competitors. Hosting providers improved their infrastructure greatly over the past decade which made it possible to have uptimes that are 99%.
Uptime also means that security has improved. WordPress providers increased security to protect their infrastructure from DDOS attacks. DDOS attacks can take an entire data center down, thus affecting thousands of websites, thus it makes sense to improve security.
As far as security goes, most big hosting companies offer free SSL certificates for their domains. It can be a bit complicated to setup but usually, there is a step by step guide to activating an SSL certificate for a domain. Even if the WordPress site will not be used for ecommerce, having an SSL certificate for the domain gives the reader a certain sense of trust that his information is protected.
Technology also includes a service layer or software that adds value to a hosting package. This may include various freebies such as advanced scripts, use WordPress plugins that have a subscription fee and are offered at a discount or for free, free premium templates and many others. In simple words, freebies are focused around the automation of certain tasks and adding more value to a hosting package. This strategy has become quite common as the WordPress hosting providers battle to bring in more clients and remain competitive.
The most valuable freebie is a premium template. Using a free WordPress template means that your website might look the same as thousands of other websites. A premium template makes a WordPress website look better and even load faster depending on how it is optimized.
The conclusion to all the above points is that as technology improved, building a WordPress website became simpler. It can all be done within minutes and with just a few clicks. With so many improvements to the physical infrastructure, software, and plugins, website owners have less and less to worry about. Everything is automated and hosting packages become cheaper and cheaper. WordPress keeps on spreading its dominance over the web with the aid of these improvements and the main beneficiary of all of this is the website owner and his audience.