How to Save Your WordPress Site from Hosting Hell

Web hosting for WordPressDo you know the number one mistake biz owners make when looking for a hosting service for their WordPress blog or website? It’s not taking enough time to find the one that has the services and capabilities to keep their site running in top form.

I see it all the time: people who have been talked into a sub-standard hosting service or who just randomly chose one online. They don’t understand how important that hosting service is to their site—and their business.

An example: A client called me. They were frustrated with their current hosting service and wanted to move their website to a different one. When I asked them to get the information I needed to export their original database, they said that they were told it couldn’t be done. In a nutshell, the person who had provided the hosting was doing it on their own hosting site as a sub-domain.

Bad news! The result was that it took me more time and cost them almost $300 when it should have cost no more than $100. It was more work for me and additional work for them, too.

The choices can be confusing because there are tons of options out there, from huge global companies to local services.

Instead of pushing a particular host or sharing my own horror stories, I’m offering from experience a list of questions to help you figure out how to choose the service that will work for you in the long run.

Bob’s WordPress Site Hosting Service Checklist

If you are launching a WordPress site or considering moving to one, ask yourself (and the host) these questions:

  1. If you are a ‘buy local’ fan, are they just reselling hosting service from a larger, non-local company?
  2. Are you allowed to make all the changes to your account yourself, including contact, credit card and other changes?
  3. Can you cancel your hosting easily?
  4. Is there a limit on the number of email boxes, the site size or the bandwidth?
  5. Can you install WordPress with “one easy click”.
  6. Can you auto update your WordPress site easily?
  7. Do you have full FTP access to your files?
  8. Do you have full access to your control panel and databases through your phpMyAdmin?
  9. Does the host use the most current versions of PHP and MySQL software and do they keep them updated?
  10. Can I get support directly from the hosting company and do they have 24/7 phone and/or chat support?
  11. Does their CEO kill elephants, have half-naked women throughout their site, and upsell you at every turn? (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).

A lot of this information can be found on the hosts’ websites, or if someone is helping you set your site up, they should be able to answer these questions.

And most important of all: if someone else does the setup for you, be sure to get all the necessary login information to access your hosting site and the domain is registered under your name or business name.

You may never need to get access to much of what I have listed. But if you need to change hosts, your web person disappears off the face of this planet, or something else unexpected happens, you will have  the peace of mind knowing that the next person who helps you can do it without any hassle.

What did I miss? Anything to add here?

Bob is a WordPress trainer and coach. He provides support, webinars, & one-on-one coaching. He also provides WordPress training to small businesses and corporations. Visit


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15 Responses

  1. Thanks Bob. Great list, but seeing as how you went out of your way to say a hosting company not to use, I’d love to hear some suggestions in terms of who you like?



    • I gotta admit I never try to promote anyone, it’s just always easy to take stabs at certain ones. Myself, I really like Bluehost and Hostgator for shared-hosting.

  2. Good call on the reselling of some non-local service. I have move client off of my own dedicated hardware to a company reselling GoDaddy. To maybe save a couple of bucks a month.

    Unlimited hosting is a myth. If you are paying $10 or less a month, there are limits somewhere. In fact, this kind of service makes my hosting a hard sell… $15 a month for lower traffic sites on a dedicated box shared with only a handful of sites is a good deal, but compared to the big boys that load thousands of sites on one box, it could look like a rip off.

    • Good point, and even though unlimited is nice, I wouldn’t suggest doing dozens or hundreds on one hosting account.

  3. It’s true, i host everything myself nowaydays. I really got sick and tired of Lycos and other hosting giants with expenisive supportdesks with no answers.

    • Nothing is worse than lousy support. Waiting for a reply to an email when your site is down can be nerve-wracking!

  4. So am I mistaken, or does “hosting company number 11” have pretty-much everything you mentioned here, despite the personal stab?

    • One thing they sorely lack is 24 hour chat. And to be honest, I have had more headaches there than many other hosts I have dealt with.

      • For real! I’ve had to deal with those guys so many times. More trouble than they’re worth.

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