WordPress Cloud Hosting feature checklist
WordPress cloud hosting offers a host of benefits over traditional shared, VPS or Dedicated hosting. Not all cloud hosts are created equal though, and while out-of-the-box WordPress.org sites are generally fairly simple to host, the internet is littered with hundreds of thousands of complaints and enquiries from WordPress users who had problems because of the hosting company’s server configurations or policies. Furthermore, WordPress allows incredible customisation and increased functionality through the use of powerful plugins, which often impose great stress on your web hosting server resources.
As such, using a quality Web Host for your WordPress site can save you a lot of frustration and help you get the most out of your website and the possibilities offered by the WordPress CMS.
Here we’ll review what we consider minimum requirements for WordPress hosting with a special emphasis on things you should look for in a WordPress cloud hosting provider. In particular, note that there are many excellent cloud hosting companies which aren’t really geared to host dynamic websites without spending hundreds of dollars configuring your server. This means that even a high quality, award winning cloud host which costs $100 per month won’t necessarily run your WordPress site much better than a shared hosting environment without significant customisation.
For this reason, we suggest you use a specialised WordPress cloud hosting provider who has years of expertise running and hosting WordPress sites. While you will pay a little more for these services, the peace of mind and improved performance you experience will make it well worth while in the long run.
Here is our list of WordPress Cloud Hosting Must-Have items.
Cloud Hosting Essentials for WordPress
cPanel for your Cloud Web Hosting Server
cPanel is the most popular and arguably easiest to use of several popular web hosting server control panels. cPanel is essentially a graphical way to manage a linux server (akin to using Microsoft Windows rather than DOS, if you remember back that far!). Why do you need cPanel? Because its user friendly, stable, easy to configure and highly compatable with WordPress. Also because cPanel it is the defacto industry standard server control panel, instructions for almost anything you need to do with your server will be available for cPanel.
Most genuine cloud servers will have their own control panel for running your cloud instance, but by and large as a website user we don’t want to get involved with this level of functionality, we just want cPanel access to a server which is properly configured for WordPress.
Unfortunately many of the genuine cloud hosts don’t offer cPanel: they offer Linux servers of various flavors (eg Centos, Debian, Ubuntu). Substantial customisation of these servers is required to make them more user friendly and to get them optimally running wordpress, and adding cPanel is a big part of this.
Read More about cPanel Cloud Web Hosting Providers.
Backups for your Cloud Server
Backups are essential for any computer, website or server. Its amazing how much time, energy and money we put into creating websites we are proud of or which make us money, and yet we skimp on critical things like hosting and backups! Ideally you should be backing up your server every night and your website database nightly and your entire website at least weekly. This seems like a hassle, an extra expense and an inconvenience, but once you’ve experienced that sickening feeling of “Oh no, I’ve just deleted my entire site” the expense is quickly forgotten
Cloud Server Security
One important consideration when moving away from shared hosting to cloud hosting is that even though your site will gain some security benefits (by not sharing resources with so many other users) you will lose a lot of the security work that the server admin team has been doing for you (unless you choose some sort of managed wordpress cloud hosting, which we recommend). An obvious example is when you move to a VPS or cloud virtual server you will likely start getting emails warning you of failed brute force login attempts on your server. This can be a little scary, so it pays to ensure you follow best practice for server security, especially choosing strong and unique passwords for your server, databases and sites. Also, don’t forget to keep your sites and plugins updated, which often includes patches to security issues which have been identified.
Plenty of PHP memory for WordPress
One of the main problems WordPress users experience with shared hosting is their site exceeds the PHP memory allowances resulting in errors. Your WordPress cloud hosting server should have at least 256M memory available to it and the PHP memory for WordPress be set to at least 64M. This avoids almost all problems with memory overload. Again, a specialist WordPress cloud host will know to configure these correctly for you.