Blogging Tips: Peculiarities of WordPress Blog Hosting on Shared Hosting Servers
We have already published several articles regarding WordPress. Those were mostly dedicated to the use of this popular blogging script and you might have noticed that while evaluating its capabilities, we mentioned VPS servers as a desired WordPress hosting platform. Although a virtual server is the most recommended hosting solution for a WP blog, it is understandable that many users would like to find a more affordable hosting ground to run their blogs on. Today we are going to reveal the main peculiarities of shared web hosting services use in terms of WordPress blog deployment and deliver some friendly tips.
Part 1: Choosing Your Shared Web Hosting Provider If you are interested in having your WordPress blog hosted on a shared server, you need to make sure your hosting provider is an expert in this business. Since the most popular problem with WP blogs on shared servers is connected with resource usage, you should choose a hosting company, which has the least overcrowded servers. In many cases a WordPress blog works fine within its so-called fair share of server CPU and RAM. However, if the server is overcrowded – for instance due to the overselling strategy applied by the hosting company – you may have your account suspended for being “abusive”, when it is actually not. Thus, if you see that your potential provider offers shared hosting with enormous disk space and bandwidth quotas – be sure, they oversell, so there is a risk of their hosting servers being way too overcrowded.
Look Into Web Hosting With No Fixed Quotas
Being best does not always mean being expensive. Currently there are many hosting providers, offering web hosting with unlimited traffic and even unlimited disk space for a very affordable price. And believe me, what they are doing is not overselling – on the contrary – such providers offer shared web hosting solutions, which do not limit their users on any resources strictly and give enough space – on certain conditions, of course. Those conditions usually imply percentage limits, which are clearly stated in clauses of company’s Terms of Usage or Acceptable Use Policy. Therefore, on the one hand you are getting as much space and resources as you need, while on the other hand your account is safe from being suspended, unless you exceed the set limits.
Use Ready-Made or Preinstalled Solutions
When starting a personal blog, many users do not consider shared hosting as a solution to use. Most of them think they can get a free account at blog hosting service and resolve such issues as domain registration or account management. This is not so, of course. First of all, if you are interested in attracting traffic and expanding your blog – you need to have your own domain and a separate account which would let you manage local settings (PHP settings, MySQL databases, etc). Additionally, having a personal hosting account you can setup email under your domain – that would improve the authority of your site.
For those, who consider account administration a hard and tricky thing – great news will be that since many years ago all shared hosting accounts are managed via user-end control panels, which are usually user friendly and easy to comprehend. Same goes for software management and installation – the majority of web hosting providers offers automated script installers (e.g. Installtron or Fantastico De Luxe) along with their hosting accounts. Those installers are built into a control panel and allow to setup, manage, update and remove any software, initially supported by the host.
Using Installatron or Fantastico web hosting you are not just simplifying the process of script management. When you let the auto installer setup or update your software you are set free from such problems as incorrect script and requests processing, which may cause excessive resource usage and further suspension of your account. Some providers of shared web hosting services offer even more – they sell accounts with already preinstalled software, including preinstalled WP blogs. Such solutions do guarantee you that you are not going to experience any resource usage issues on conditions of moderate resource usage (initial setup with a minimum of plug-ins) and average visitor rate of about 500 users a day (the figure is approximate and may vary depending on server hardware specification, number of accounts hosted, volume of content, etc.).
Though a shared server for web hosting may somehow limit your blogging capabilities, there are still options available. On the one hand those options let you tune your blog so that a problem of excessive resource usage would not emerge; on the other hand – the adjustment advice below can help you use all functions of your blog within the strict shared server limits.
Disable The Unnecessary Plug-ins
WordPress plug-ins certainly enhance the work of the blog. Some of them however, are very resource intensive, thus you need to be very careful while using them – especially those which work on principles of recursion or live tracking. Different caching modules and SEO tools may significantly increase the server resource usage rates and cause much inconvenience. Thus, if you are trying some plug-in out, but are not going to use it constantly or within some time period – you can temporarily disable it and lessen the load on the server.
Keep Your Software Updated and Optimized
Both WordPress and its modules are constantly updated by the WordPress developers team. Those updates do not only include security patches but also usually contain fixed code, which means that the newer version is more stable and less resource intensive than the previous one. Apart from this “in-script” optimization, you should also take care of the optimization of your environment; php.ini file adjustment – usually available on any shared server – is what to look into. If you are not sure about doing this on your own, you can always contact a webmaster. Though such solution may seem to be costly, the money you spend once on the optimization will save the money on the upgrade for a longer period of time.
Keep It Clean
The database load issues take place very frequently on shared server. Thus, unused articles drafts and disapproved or spam comments should be moderated, since their storing increases the database size and seriously slowdown the work of your WP blog. Of course you may keep some of those (except for spam, I believe), but you should definitely do some clean up. That shouldn’t be done too often, but monthly auditing of your blog dashboard would significantly assist you with its administration and load management.
Take Care of the Content Size
When you upload some files, you need to make sure they are as compact as possible. This mostly concerns images. You anyway do not post all of them full-size – you use thumbnails instead, therefore it may be reasonable to resize your images before having them actually uploaded to your blog. Such measure does save lots of space in the databases making them easier to process. If the image is not unique – it is recommended to fetch it from a URL.
If you need a budget hosting solution for your personal or small company WordPress blog, it really is advisable to have a look at a shared hosting plan. Despite the limitations, quality shared hosting is going to deliver you a stable affordable ground for your WP software. Since many hosting providers offer WordPress script either along with an autoinstaller or already preinstalled, you are going to be set free from many setup and management troubles. Thus, your sole task is to take care of your blog staying updated and optimized during its further use. Those conditions are going to guarantee you an easy and non-problem use of your WordPress software for a long time.