Website Hosting, it’s History and WordPress
I know it may be hard for some to believe, but GoDaddy did not invent website hosting. Nor were they the first to provide domain registration. Especially since their domain GoDaddy.com, wasn’t registered until 1999. Interesting, that’s the year I registered my first domain, rickfigley.com. Back then it cost $100. It had to be done via what is now Network Solutions. Back then it was called the Internic and they were the only place you could register a domain. That was until domain registration was deregulated so that there could be competition. I’ve already gone off topic a bit since this is about Website hosting, not domains, however they ARE of course related since a domain must be pointed to a hosting server to do anything. Anyway, on with Website Hosting, it’s History and WordPress.
Hosting of websites wasn’t really locked to any one company like domains were, back then, the Internic was actually a government agency. Per a previous post, I started doing websites in 1994 and began hosting my first clients in 1999 as well. My point being, I’ve been hosting clients since then and learned a lot along the way of what makes for the best hosting. That being said, though many hosting companies offer Windows hosting, I recommend against it. Windows computers in my professional opinion are NOT best used for website hosting. I always recommend Linux hosting. Linux being the OS being used for the hosting server. The only reason I can see for using a Windows server is if you want to be the admin for the server. Windows will be easier from the interface aspect of the administration, though that in no way is the recommended approach for best performance or maintenance for your hosting. I was once asked by a client about them hosting with their own computer. Weather it be Mac, PC or even Linux, I would still recommend against it. Unless you’re an experienced hosting administrator, there are tasks, setup and maintenance tasks that are very specialized. I say that I handle my client’s hosting. That means I rent server space from hosting companies who provide that. The administration of that server is done by professional website server personnel. Not I. I DO handle the setup and some of the maintenance from the website perspective. I do NOT from the server perspective.
One of the issues going on these days is many of what used to be among the best hosts have been bought and are still being bought by a company called EIG, aka. Endurance International Group who is a large company. They buy good website hosting companies the make them more profitable by changing out infrastructure, both hardware, systems and setups for a higher profit margin, sacrificing better security and performance. In most cases, quality of tech support often goes down as well. There is a website called researchasahobby.com. This website gives the last of all the website hosting companies that have been bought by them. A few of the companies listed I used to use until their tech support started suffering from the buyout. To list just a few, HostGator, Site 5 and BlueHost though there are MANY others.
I mentioned earlier of GoDaddy. They are not necessarily a large share of the market for hosting, though certainly one of the best known. What I will say about their hosting is their customer service and tech support ranks up there as good as many. For the most part that has been my experience in dealing with them as I’ve moved clients away from them. Away from them you may ask? Yes. GoDaddy is a well known and fairly popular host though by no means does that make them among the best. They suffer in a similar way from a similar problem to those good hosts that were bought by EIG. The biggest similarity is that GoDaddy’s infrastructure is inferior. They were at one time known to have the worse security, though I believe that has been improved upon. They relatively recently added a “Control Panel” similar to what most of the better hosts use called cPanel. However like most of the system hosting software they have on their system, they purchase the license for it, then do what I’ve heard software engineers refer to as bastardize it. They make changes for it to run better with their system, though makes it no longer operational the same way as it was. It deters that software in a very bad way. When someone moves their WordPress website to GoDaddy, the method usually used by cPanel to accomplish that does not work. There is a special GoDaddy process that must be used to do that move. WordPress though it will run on it, I do NOT recommend. I will also point out that MOST experienced in working with WordPress for their clients will NOT do so on GoDaddy. That being said, most WordPress professionals WILL NOT deal with clients who insist on hosting with GoDaddy. I’d say that pretty much speaks for itself. Right?
When getting hosting for a WordPress website, most are not aware of the maintenance required to keep a WordPress website functioning at a reasonable level. Let alone it’s highest level. There are hosting companies that offer/provide what is referred to as managed hosting. What that means is the maintenance is handled by the hosting at often a much higher monthly fee.
What’s involved in WordPress Maintenance? It’s not that complicated really. Both WordPress and it’s plugins MUST be kept updated. When I install WordPress, I ALWAYS do so manually. When I installed it in the years before I began doing it manually, I sometimes had errors when doing updates. Others I’ve talked to hadn’t experienced that, though I’ve found the manual install allows me to customize it better than the scripted install most servers provide/allow. For instance, I prefer to name the database custom to the install. The automated ones use a chronological coding that won’t help identify the database. Also, when it is first installed, it’s best to add security and SEO plugins. Additional plugins for desired functions and cosmetics. Another plugin that’s a good idea is one for archiving/backing up of the website. This is a crucial tool for maintenance. So the websites I do for client, are by default, managed hosting. My hosting charge however is much less than others comparatively speaking. I know many webmasters however who do NOT provide this. This is an important feature/ additional value I provide for all my clients.