How to Choose WordPress Hosting for Your Elementor Site

Your choice of hosting has an effect on your WordPress site's performance and reliability. In this post, we'll dig into some information and tips on how to choose WordPress hosting, as well as specific hosting requirements for Elementor

Choosing WordPress hosting is a big decision that will have an effect on your WordPress site’s performance and reliability, as well as your day-to-day maintenance activities. And while you can always migrate your site at a later date, it’s much easier to just pick the right WordPress hosting from day one.

To give you the insights you need to make that decision, we’ll dig into some information and tips on how to choose WordPress hosting, including both general WordPress sites, as well as specific hosting requirements for Elementor.

The Main Types of WordPress Hosting Explained

I think sometimes people put too much emphasis on the “type” of hosting for WordPress.

While there are certainly important differences between the various technologies, they don’t often affect regular WordPress users.

That is, it’s kind of a situation where “if the difference is important to you, you probably already know why”.

Still, I think it is helpful to at least briefly touch on the different types of WordPress hosting so that you know what’s going on underneath the hood:

  • Shared – this is typically the cheapest form of WordPress hosting. You “share” server resources with other sites/accounts on that server, which is how the prices are so low.
  • Cloud – while it’s a newer technology, cloud hosting has become a super popular way to host your site. Essentially, your site lives “on the cloud”, rather than a specific physical server. The upside is that it’s usually very easy to “scale” cloud hosting up and down depending on your site’s resource needs.
  • VPS – you get a virtual portion of a server all to yourself. It’s kind of in between shared hosting and dedicated hosting (next).
  • Dedicated – you get your own physical server all to yourself. You can do whatever you want with it, and fully customize it to your needs. Nowadays, cloud hosting probably makes more sense than dedicated hosting for most people.

Then There's the Whole Managed WordPress Hosting Thing

Contrary to what you’ll see a lot, managed WordPress hosting is not its own “type” of hosting. That is, it doesn’t fit in the list of “shared” or “cloud” hosting.

Instead, managed WordPress hosting is more about adding a set of optimizations and concierge features on top of whatever underlying infrastructure the host decides to use.

Some managed WordPress hosts use shared infrastructure, others are powered by cloud platforms (like Google or AWS), and still others might use dedicated servers or a VPS.

So do you need managed WordPress hosting if you’re running a WordPress site?

No, but it’s certainly nice.

A good managed WordPress host will take care of a lot of important maintenance and optimization tasks for you, including:

  • Backups – usually you get automatic backups every day.
  • Updates – some just update the core software, while others upgrade plugins, too.
  • Security – general features like malware scans, as well as WordPress-specific security rules and firewalls.

Sounds pretty great, right? Are there any downsides?

Well, basically, the downside is price. For that convenience, you’re going to pay more than you would for a less feature-rich host.

Is that worth it? Well, it depends on your budget.

But if you don’t like dealing with things yourself, paying a little more for less hassle might be a good choice. Additionally, time is money, and every second you spend fiddling with backups or caching is time you could be designing or growing your site.

Five Other Things to Consider When You Choose WordPress Hosting

Beyond the “type” of WordPress hosting itself, here are some other things to consider when you choose WordPress hosting.

I’m going to leave off the obvious factors like price and user reviews, as those are a pretty generic part of any purchasing decision and you don’t need me to tell you to find something within your budget.

1. Usage Restrictions and Scalability

Despite what many shared hosts advertise, there’s no such thing as a host that supports “unlimited” traffic.

So the first big consideration is just “can this host handle the average amount of traffic I get/plan to get?”

If you go with a managed WordPress host, they’re usually pretty explicit and bill based on the actual traffic your site gets:

For cheap shared hosts, you might encounter something like this:

And while “unlimited” certainly seems attractive, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, and there’s always some type of limit in place. Typically, you get what you pay for, and a high-traffic or high-resource site is going to require more high-powered (and expensive) hosting.

Beyond meeting your traffic needs right now, you also want to find a host that’s scalable. Basically, scalability means the ability to easily adapt to an increase in traffic.

For example, if your site goes viral on social media, the last thing you want is for it to go down because your host can’t keep up with the increased load. Some hosts will just crash if they get overloaded, while others can scale up to keep your site available.

Because of the underlying technology, cloud hosting usually gives you the easiest scaling options.

2. Technology and Data Center Locations

The technology that powers websites is always changing (and usually improving). For example, newer versions of PHP offer big performance improvements over older versions, and the web server that your host chooses also has an effect.

Some hosts are always pushing forward and using the latest technology, while others sit back and wait.

Here are some of the bare minimum technologies you should look for when you choose WordPress hosting:

    • Latest version of PHP. At this time, that’s PHP 7.3, but that will obviously change in the future.
    • Free SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt (or similar service). HTTPS/SSL is a must-have nowadays, and there’s no excuse for a host not to offer a free SSL certificate in 2019.
    • SFTP. This is the more secure version of FTP.

Beyond looking for the right technology, you’ll also want that technology in the right spot in the world. That is, you want to be able to use a physical data center that’s as close as possible to your target market.

For example, if you’re targeting Germans, you want a host that lets you use a server in Germany, not the USA.

3. Customer Support

No matter how great and reliable your host is, you’re going to need support at some point.

How and when you can get help is going to depend on your host’s policies.

Most, but not all, hosts offer 24/7 support (but you will want to double check).

Beyond that, think about which support channel(s) you prefer. Typically, your options are:

  • Ticket
  • Live chat
  • Phone

Some hosts offer all three, while others only offer one or two.

For example, Kinsta intentionally only offers support via live chat, while SiteGround lets you choose your preferred avenue.

Finally, support is definitely one area where you’ll want to consult user reviews. Even with 24/7 support, there’s a big difference between “I had to wait 15 minutes and they didn’t even solve my problem” and “They responded right away and fixed the issue”.

User reviews will help you figure out which situation applies to your host.

4. Hosting Dashboard

Whether you’re hands-on or hands-off, there will certainly come a time when you need to dig into your hosting dashboard to administer something on your server.

Most budget hosts use something called cPanel, which is totally functional, but not always the most user-friendly. Here’s an example:

On the other hand, many managed WordPress hosts create their own custom hosting dashboard. For example, here’s Kinsta’s custom dashboard:

And some hosts – like Bluehost – do both, giving you a custom hosting dashboard on top of cPanel.

There’s not really a right or wrong answer here, but you’ll want to choose a hosting dashboard that:

  • You’re comfortable with
  • Lets you perform the actions you deem important

5. Email Hosting

This is a smaller one, but it can surprise some people.

Email hosting is the ability to create your own email address – like [email protected].

Most shared hosts offer this service, but a lot of managed WordPress hosts do not, opting instead to just focus on hosting your site itself.

Don’t worry – you can still use your own email address even if your host doesn’t offer email hosting. But you will need a third-party service to do it, which usually costs extra. For example, Google’s G Suite service costs $5 per month.

Important Hosting Considerations for Elementor

Elementor is built to work with most hosts that support WordPress. But if you’re using Elementor, you will still want to pay attention to a few things when choosing a WordPress host:

  • Memory limit – you’ll want a host that offers 64MB of memory at a minimum. Ideally, you’ll be able to use 128MB or higher.
  • PHP 7+ – while Elementor should work all the way back to PHP 5.4, we recommend a host that lets you use the latest versions of PHP. Not only is this good for Elementor, but it’s also just generally good for your site’s performance and security.
  • Control over security protocol – sometimes you might want more granular control over how your host treats Elementor.

Check Out These WordPress Hosts to Get Started

Want to skip doing the research yourself and just go to the best hosts?

We have a list of recommended WordPress hosts right here. All of those hosts are guaranteed to work great with WordPress and Elementor – all you need to do is find the one with the price, features, and performance that you desire.

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About the Author

Colin Newcomer
Colin Newcomer
Colin is a freelance writer for hire specializing in WordPress and digital marketing. Grow your business with in-depth, conversational blog posts.

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Comments

43 Responses

  1. Here’s a sixth thing to consider: location.

    If you’re in Australia and so are your customers then look at local hosting providers too, and not just the big global brands.

    Why?

    1. Performance is probably better — viewers are closer where the data is being served from
    2. Support – Easier to communicate with and they’re familiar with the local market
    3. Data sovereignty – You customer data is held in your own country

    The third point is often overlooked and, depending on what your local rules are, quite important. Would you want your customer data to be accessible by a foreign entity?

    1. Just watch out for the very high renewal fees with SiteGround. That’s why I switched to FastComet. Support is only via ticket so not as good as SiteGround but overall I’ve been very pleased with them. And they don’t raise their renewal fees above what you originally paid.

      1. Thank you Ed! I did not realise that was the case with Siteground – I just signed up with them a couple of months ago, when I checked back you are right. My original $3.95 per month turns into $11.95 per month after that first year!

        For that price, I could just get the max priced plan from fastcomet with even more perks than siteground!

    1. Hi Sylvester,
      for shared hosting I would recommend all-inkl.com. If you prefer a VPS solution go for netcup.de.

  2. There are cloud based control panels that remain agnostic to whom you host with, so in todays world having so many hosting providers to choose from is quite daunting.
    Chosen wisely:
    1) to be hosting provider agnostic, so I can host anywhere.
    2) able to scale when needed across multiple servers or across hosting providers (cloud or any), High-availability, load balancing, dFS (distributed file system), db clusters etc.
    3) needed dev tools to build clones for dev teams and staging that supports git too
    4) don’t have the funds to pay for sysadmins, so can I get support when needed
    5) not only for wordpress, but can handle potentially any other CMS/PHP/App if and when needed
    6) Can tweak for performance as needed or to experiment (with experts help)

    I think I have chosen wisely that hardly anyone talks about and that is clustercs.com
    If there are others that can meet my needs, happy to review them, but I think I did my homework and all is great till now with the guys at clusterCS.

  3. I have hosted on almost every service you listed. They all work pretty well. And everyone has their own favs for one reason or another. But, I was surprised not to see Liquid Web listed. I have been using them for about 6 months for a shared VPS and I just added another dedicated server last week. I have never worked with a host with as good of support service as LW. And everyone has noticed how much faster the sites are that I moved to Liquid Web.

  4. Excellent article; hope you continue with updates.

    On another note, I follow Wordfence’s updates, and they have a ‘Think Like a Hacker’ series. One of my curiousities ss with respect to: given the number of added features in updates to Elementor, how close do you monitor and work with orgs such as WF to proactively reduce potential hacks?

    Thanks

  5. Wondering what is not user friendly about cPanel?

    Have you ever tried working with Plesk?

    Or worse, hosts that invent some kind of admin panel that is completely unusable! Believe me there are many like that, most of them local hosts in local markets in Europe.

  6. I noticed that you didn’t touch upon database options, apache/litespeed/nginx, or server level caching.

    Wouldn’t you also consider these as critical components for high end site performance?

    ###

    Side note:
    Just wanted to give you a heads up… GSuite is $6/mo for their Basic Plan. Prices went up in mid-April.

    I’m a GSuite Partner… and they gave us months and months of heads-up on that increase, and DOZENS of emails.

  7. Been with Cloudaccess.net for 15 years. INSANE Support, fast hosting, cost-effective. Their support staff is FAST and they really care about supporting you. Excellent Admins who know their way around. They do all the heavy lifting…just drop a ticket and in a couple hours its done! Highly recommend them. Check it out – https://cloudaccess.net/aff/10

  8. Thanks for the information, I have dedicated servers in Namecheap for 6 years and I have hosted more than 500 sites and it works perfectly, the support is excellent and they have very professional human resources. I recommend them. my company is graconlatam and we are in love with Elementor Pro.

  9. Great article, thank you.

    Curious – why Bluehost is missing from your list of recommended WordPress hosts.

    I’ve been using WordPress/Elementor now for about 2 years using shared hosting with Bluehost. Overall I have been happy with what I have received. In particular, support, both phone and live chat has been excellent.

  10. Thank you! Lots of great information. Is there a reason flywheel Did not make the list of recommended hosts? That is who I am using for myself and all of my clients and just want to make sure there isn’t some unknown issue I am aware of.

  11. Some Managed WordPress plans actually use shared resources on lower plans, always worth checking the small print on certain hosts.

  12. You might want to make it clearer that ‘Memory limit’ refers only to the php memory limit setting, and not the amount of memory the server has (typically at least 1GB for a VPS) 🙂

  13. Of course VPS can be cloud hosted too. I have been with Serverpilot on Digital Ocean cloud servers for 4 years now and have been happy though needed little support.

  14. Thanks Colin,

    I am new and trying to learn how to build a website but the info on a more user friendly dashboard (Kinsta) caught my attention. Up until now I had only read about cPanel.

  15. Shared hosting is good for landing page or site with a few visitors. Its advantage is the price. But for a large site is better to choose VPS or dedicated server.

  16. Absolutely a VERY useful article.

    Would have been a bonus to see feedback or comments on some of the well-known specialist hosting services that are not on the list but have been mentioned in some of the comments. Because while the points mentioned by the writer are valuable, being able to identify which hosting companies actually tick as many of those boxes as possible would make selection much easier …. because I am on the search now.

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