All About WordPress & Hosting
How Can I Speed Up My WordPress Website?
- Use Caching: Using caching can dramatically improve the speed of your site. By saving static versions of your pages, you can avoid having to put loads onto your database and server.
- Improve Your Server: By improving your server or your hosting, you can easily speed up your site. We’ve seen dramatic improvements with our clients by just switching from one hosting provider to a better one.
- Optimize Your Images: If your images aren’t already optimized, we’ve found that reducing the size of site images through JPEG compression and providing smaller images when possible greatly improves download speeds.
- Use a CDN: Using a content distribution network (CDN) can greatly improve the performance of your site, both by reducing the load on your server and providing your site via servers closer to your visitors.
There are also many WordPress plugins to speed up your site. WordPress plugins can help with:
- Automatically caching your pages,
- Optimizing your site’s files, and
- Delaying the loading of your files until the resources are needed, speeding up overall load times.
How Do I Select a WordPress Host?
When selecting a WordPress hosting provider, there are a number of considerations you’ll want to take into account. Some of these include:
- Price Considerations: How much will the hosting cost you, not just in the monthly rate, but what hidden fees and required add-ons will you have to purchase?
- Performance Considerations: Performance is very important when getting your hosting. Will your hosting plan provide enough performance to handle all of your traffic?
- SSL Certificate: Will you have to pay for an SSL certificate? There are lots of hosting plans that provide a free SSL certificate so you shouldn’t have to pay for one.
- Disk Space & Bandwidth: How much disk space an bandwidth will you need? If your site is small, this may not be a big consideration. But if your site has more than a couple of gigabytes of data, there’s a good chance that you’ll need at least a VPS for your hosting.
- Hosting Reliability: It’s important that your hosting stays up. A cluster can really help with this.
There are many other considerations. Please see this list of considerations for getting a WordPress hosting provider for more info.
What Type of Hosting Should I Get?
There are a few types of hosting you can get for your WordPress website. There are a lot of factors to consider, but here’s a quick overview:
Generally when you’re just starting out, you’ll be getting a low-cost shared hosting. This is often the $5/month hosting you get when you initially register your domain. It seems cheap, and it is if you aren’t getting any visitors, but the hidden costs build up.
With shared hosting, your site is sharing a server with thousands of other sites. This means that if the other sites end up taking up all of the server’s resources, your site will load slowly or not at all. This hosting may be cheap, but it’s going to cost you in speed and hosting quality.
After your site has grown a bit, you’ll likely go for a virtual private server or VPS. This is like having your own computer with your own resources. It will allow your site to always have a defined set of resources. This tends to provide significantly better performance than the shared hosting.
Managed hosting can be shared, VPS hosting, or another configuration. Basically, managed hosting is where your site’s hosting requirements are handled by the hosting provider. This isn’t true with all hosting providers, but at least at most (and here at Potent Pages) this is what managed hosting means.
Managed hosting tends to be more expensive, but you’ll get the peace-of-mind knowing that you don’t have to worry about the hosting of your site. With managed hosting, this security is really what you’re paying for.
How Do I Switch WordPress Hosts?
In order to switch your WordPress hosting from one hosting provider to another, you’ll want to follow the following general steps:
- Back Up Your Website: You’ll need to make sure you have a backup of your site in case you run into any issues.
- Find a New Hosting Provider: Determine who you’re going to want to host your website with. They will likely have instructions for setting up your hosting plan.
- Set Up Your New Hosting Plan: Follow the instructions provided by your hosting provider to get your hosting set up and ready for your website.
- Move Your Website To Your New Host: To move your website, you can either do a manual transfer, use a plugin, or sometimes your hosting provider may provide an automated solution. If you’re going to use a plugin, we’ve had success with WP All In One Migration.
- Test Your Website: It’s important to test your hosting to make sure everything’s working when the transfer is done. Changes in your hosting configuration can cause errors to pop up in your site, especially if you’re doing a manual transfer.
Please read this article for a fuller description of how to switch WordPress hosting.
What Security Issues Do I Need To Worry About?
There are many WordPress security issues to be concerned about. Some of them include:
- WordPress Malware: There is often a lot of software designed to target WordPress sites specifically. This malware will “embed” into your site and act as a means to do malicious things to your site. These days, they are often used for cryptojacking or using your website to send out spam.
- Brute Force Password Attacks: Some hackers will attempt to log into your website by attempting to guess your password many thousands of times using automated software. This drains your site’s server resources and if your password isn’t secure enough, can result in the attacker getting admin access to your site.
- SQL Injection: SQL injection is where an attacker will use some malicious MySQL code to gain access to your database. Once the attacker has access to your site’s database, they can simply change your admin password and get full access to your site.
- DDOS Attacks: A DDOS attack is where an attacker will use many computers to keep requesting pages on your site repeatedly. If the computers request enough pages, your server won’t be able to handle the traffic and will go down. Using something like a content distribution network (or CDN) can help.
How Can I Back-Up My Site?
There are many reasons you should back-up your WordPress site. If an update fails, someone makes a mistake while editing your site, or if your site is attacked by malware, having a full backup of your site can be essential to getting your site back up and running.
To make a backup, you have 3 main options:
- Backup Plugins: You can use a backup plugin to save a copy of your site. These will often save a copy of your site that you can restore from on your hosting. Some may support saving the site copy on an external server for added security.
- Manual Backup: You can manually backup your site by exporting the database and saving the files. This takes more work, but can give you more flexibility over how your site is backed up and make restoration easier in some cases.
- Cloud Backup: You can export backups of your site to external cloud servers in order to make sure that if your server or hosting provider goes down, you still have access to your site’s files and database.
Your hosting provider may offer automatic backups either on the server or externally as well.
How Should I Set Up the DNS For My WordPress Website?
If you’re looking to set up the DNS for your WordPress website, you’ll most likely need the following records:
- A record for the IP address of your server.
- AAAA record if your server supports IPv6.
- CNAME record for any aliases of your main site (like “www.”).
- SOA record for defining the authority of your server.
- NS records for defining the primary nameservers of your site.
- MX record(s) if you’re going to be using the domain for email accounts.