While social networking is the hottest topic in the internet world, blogging is going stronger than ever before. And even though there are several blogging applications to choose from these days, WordPress is still arguably the best platform of them all. A free, open-source software package, WordPress offers a plethora of advantages to advanced and inexperienced users alike, making it an excellent choice for hosting a website.
If you are looking to promote a business, further a hobby, or simply let your voice be heard, WordPress is the ideal solution for you. It is easy to set up, simple to manage, and extremely flexible. Most blogging platforms can be extended through plugins, but very few of them can match the flexibility of WordPress. The market for WordPress plugins is tremendous, offering a variety of both free and premium options to help you bring out the best in your blog. While its simplicity does not require you to be a seasoned developer, a little knowledge of programming can go a long way in extending functionality.
We could go on and on about the benefits of WordPress, but we would rather stress the importance of finding the best solution for your needs. It all starts with understanding that you have two options: you can set up a free account at “WordPress.com,” or run a copy of the software available at “WordPress.org” through a hosting plan. The platform is free to use any way you slice it, but the latter tends to be the best option for those who truly want to experience what this amazing blogging platform has to offer.
When opting for WordPress hosting, you have the ability to use your own domain, and extend the platform with plugins of your choice. Neither of these options are available with a free blog on WordPress.com. To ensure a smooth blogging experience, there are some important factors that must be considered during your search for web hosting.
Although it goes without saying, the hosting company you choose should offer full support for the WordPress platform. The software requires that a copy of Apache, MySQL, and PHP, the language the program is written in, is installed on the physical server. Be sure to pay close attention to the number of databases offered in the package as this is very important. You will need a free database to install WordPress, so if there is only one available and you have already allocated it for a shopping cart or CMS, you will be out of luck. Fortunately, most web hosting companies advertise plans that come equipped with multiple databases.
The average individual only requires a single domain for a web hosting account. They have plans of creating a personal or business site and feel that one is more than enough. The situation is different for someone with more complex needs. For instance, if you want to run a WordPress blog alongside another site, then you would need at least two domains to support both. Now you can either purchase service from two separate companies, or opt for a solution that allows multiple domains. It is your decision, but we recommend multiple domain hosting because it allows you to manage all your domains from a single account and save yourself some money in the process.
For the individual with a little technical savvy, installing the WordPress software is no problem. You obtain a copy of the application from the official site, download it, unpack, upload to the server and run. However, this isn’t necessarily a walk in the park for other users. If you do not feel comfortable installing WordPress, it would be wise to choose a web hosting plan that offers the application in a one-click installation. Many web hosts provide access to simple utilities that allow you to install various add-on applications in a single click. This is the best option for someone who wants to get their blog up and running quickly with no hassles.
Originally launched back in 2003, WordPress has been around the block and thus, been released in many versions. Running version 2.5 won’t set you back much, but if you are running version 2.0 that was released in 2005 while the community is focused on 3.0, it could be a problem. The further you stay behind, the more you stand to miss out on features and capabilities that can enhance the blogging experience. You are also more susceptible to performance and security issues. To combat these potential problems, look for a web hosting plan that offers the most recent version of WordPress and receives all critical updates.
You also need to consider technical support when shopping for a WordPress web hosting solution. Although the platform is actually maintained by a community of developers who do a solid job at helping out, there is no official form of support, so there is no guarantee that you will get the answers you need a timely manner. For this reason, you should set your sights on a host that offers quality support. WordPress is technically a third-party application, but a firm with staff that knows the platform may be able to lend a hand when you hit a snag in the road. Even if it is just answering a simple question, good, responsive support can make all the difference.
The Ultimate Blogging Platform
From individuals and small businesses to celebrities and major corporations, WordPress is admired the world over for its simplicity, functionality, and flexibility. It is an award-winning platform with a massive following to back up its reputation as the most popular choice for web-based content management. With the right solution, you too can experience WordPress and all the power it has to offer. Keeping all the essentials in mind, determine what is required in order to be successful, then go out and choose the service that best suits your needs.