Web hosting for WordPress has undergone a number of changes or improvements over the years. These changes, of course, have been mostly based on the changes in the WordPress content management system and the growing needs of WordPress sites.
From Blog Hosting to Multipurpose Site Hosting
Presenting the full history of WordPress hosting here would take an awful lot of pages and still wouldn’t be adequate. However, the evolution of WordPress hosting can be summarized as the move from blog hosting to the hosting of almost any kind of website.
WordPress has undergone several improvements since the time it was introduced back in 2003, as comprehensively shown in this infographic. WordPress is currently the world’s most popular content management system and self-hosted blogging platform. It’s understandable how it arguably became one of the most improved systems since it has a multitude of users giving feedback on it and innumerable developers helping the platform grow. Many developers create plugins and related software for WordPress. Likewise, many companies develop specialized WordPress products and services, WordPress hosting in particular.
WordPress hosting now caters to a wide variety of websites. This enhanced ability to support sites other than blogs, however, does not entail heavy requirements. Basically, the list of requirements only asks for support for HTTPS, PHP version 7 or higher, MySQL version 5.6 or higher, and MariaDB 10.0 or higher. Apache or Nginx servers are recommended but they are not a necessity.
WordPress Hosting Features
WordPress hosting typically includes the following features:
- One-click WordPress installation
- Optimized hosting*
- Tools to make it easier for customers to build their WordPress websites
- A selection of free WordPress plugins
- Trained and competent customer support
- Tutorials to help customers get started, including guides on how to achieve fast-loading pages
*Optimized hosting generally means adequate RAM as well as CPU to support the typically memory-extensive needs of a WordPress website. It also infers preloading of the most recent version of PHP, MySQL, or MariaDB. It may also mean the inclusion of server side WordPress caching. Additionally, the web host may include the automatic handling of all core updates as well as the updating of themes and plugins. Moreover, optimized hosting may also mean not having cPanel access, eliminating the need to access an extra control panel to do the things you want to do with your WordPress sites.
The things listed above are just basic features. Nowadays, a number of other features are added by hosting service providers to make their packages more attractive. These additions may include the following:
- Content delivery netowrk
- Malware scanning and removal
- Data backup and restoration system
- Free domain name
- Free email
- Unlimited storage
- Server locations across different locations worldwide
- Money-back guarantee
- Multiple payment methods
The added features for most WordPress hosting packages are shaped by the need to one-up the competition in view of prevailing needs. These prevailing needs include the ability to ensure fast page loading especially for international visitors. That’s why many web hosts are already offering content delivery network along with having multiple servers in different parts of the world. Also, more web hosts are trying to attract customers globally by supporting more payment methods.
Web hosting customers nowadays are more informed and careful in choosing their hosts. They go beyond the basics when examining their options while drilling down deep into what they get. This can be observed with popular WordPress web hosting comparison sites listing “extras” – such as money back guarantees, server locations, and free domain name perks. Hosting consumers don’t just settle for an easy price tag and a couple of technical features – they know that with enough research they can more “bang for the buck”.
One thing that is not commonly seen or emphasized in WordPress hosting packages, though, is the focused attempts to attract WordPress site owners who are not using WordPress-optimized hosting. Perhaps, hosting companies may have to consider being emphatic on how easy and advantageous it is for site owners to switch to optimized hosting.
WordPress Hosting Industry Growth
The WordPress hosting industry has been steadily growing over the years. As WordPress continues to be the world’s most popular content management system, more and more companies are offering specialized hosting packages for WordPress sites. Since most web hosts nowadays offer WordPress hosting services, it can be inferred that the WordPress hosting industry is growing at the same pace the web hosting in general grows.
A market research for web hosting services by IBISWorld published in June 2017 revealed substantial growth in the hosting industry over the last 5 years. This growth is attributed to growing internet penetration and increasing demand from businesses that seek to establish their online presence. With around a quarter of the world’s websites using WordPress, it’s also expected that WordPress hosting services are thriving.
So what’s next for WordPress hosting? For sure, cloud computing will have a major presence with it. Cloud hosting security, in particular, will be given more emphasis. This would be in response to the numerous high profile attacks on major websites in different parts of the world. Most of these websites use WordPress and cloud hosting. There are doubts as to the ability of cloud providers to secure data. Most certainly, the response to these doubts would be the development of new technologies, systems, or methods to counter cyber threats. These will form part in the new breed of cloud hosting services not only for WordPress sites but for all other sites.
WordPress is expected to continue becoming an attractive content management system because of its open source nature. This means more developers are likely to create more software to be used with it, further enhancing its flexibility and ability to address emerging needs and preferences. This means WordPress hosting will continue to be in demand. It will not be losing its appeal anytime soon and is bound to attract more and more WordPress site owners, especially businesses and bloggers.