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April 30th in Web Hosting by .

Choosing a web host for your WordPress website is not a decision you can take lightly. When you are getting started with your first WordPress site, you probably only afford to go with one of those cheap hosting plans (though I would not recommend it). Once you start getting more traffic, you are going to need a web host that can handle traffic spikes and heavy loads to keep your website up almost all the time (not too many web hosts offer 100% up-time). Nobody is going to be impressed by seeing your crashed website. If you intend to look credible to your visitors and leads as a business, you’ll have to invest in a decent hosting plan.

Finding the right WordPress web host

Many new publishers tend to go with web hosts that offer fancy promotions and cheap plans. You do get what you pay for though. A cheap hosting plan may save you money in the short term but it could slow down your site’s growth and cost you a ton of money in the long run. Having to deal with too many outages would be painful. Besides, cheap hosting plans are not flexible and limit you on things you can do to take your website to the next level.

You should never choose a web host without conducting a comprehensive background check. That includes comparing plans from multiple hosts and doing reputation research on Twitter, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn. Using web hosting forums to ask for advice from people who may be more experienced than you is smart as well.

In the past few years, we have had the chance to work with a number of top web hosts. Our experience has not always been great. There are a number of advanced web hosts around these days. We can’t recommend all of them. But here are five hosting businesses that we, our clients and colleagues have found solid and reliable:

KnownHost: KnownHost offers VPS, Hybrid, and Dedicated hosting. Its customer service has a legendary reputation. These guys are also reputable for having a very high up-time. If you are looking for a web hosting service that works with less headaches, KnownHost is worth a look.

Wiredtree: some of our friends and colleagues in this space have been working with these guys for years. When it comes to customer service, Wiredtree has a superb reputation.  They provide support for the LiteSpeed web server and have affordable managed hosting services. What I like about their plans is the fact that you can customize your server hardware to your heart’s content before ordering. [click to continue…]

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July 6th in Wordpress Plugins by .

In case you missed it, the folks behind WordPress platform have just released the 15th major release of their open source software. WordPress 3.2 provides webmasters with a faster and more polished experience. The new design is very refreshing. The developers have gone out of their way to make the latest edition of WordPress speedy.

As expected, WordPress 3.2 comes with new environment requirements. Older versions of PHP and MySQL could cause issues with this new release. You want to make sure you have the right PHP (PHP 5.2.4 or greater) and MySQL (MySQL 5.0.15 or greater) versions installed on your server to get the most out of WordPress 3.2. Many of us already know how to figure this information out quickly. But if you are not technical, Health Check for WordPress is your best friend. Just install it to figure out whether your environment is ready.  [click to continue…]

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