One of the first questions I get when someone decides they’re going to build their therapy website using WordPress is, “what hosting company should I use?”
With so many hosting companies out there, and at different price points, it can leave you confused when trying to choose the right one for your private practice website.
In this episode of The Private Practice Elevation Podcast, I’ll share with you some of the key things you’ll want to look for when choosing a reliable host for your WordPress website.
Like any service that you invest in for your business, your hosting company should serve YOU and empower you to focus more on your business and make it easier for you to succeed.
So how can you avoid choosing a WordPress hosting company that sucks the life out of you and the money out of your wallet?
Give a listen to this week’s episode!
In This Episode, You’ll Learn:
- Why some hosting companies are so cheap
- The difference between shared and managed WordPress hosting
- Why your website host should be a partner in your business
- The benefits of managed WordPress hosting
- My WordPress hosting company of choice
This Episode Is Brought To You By Flywheel WordPress Hosting
I’ve fallen in love with Flywheel and they’re my go-to company for hosting all our client’s websites. They offer many features that make hosting your therapy website much easier than the budget companies out there, plus their support is second to none. And if you already have a website hosted elsewhere, they’ll even migrate it over, free of charge. Check out Flywheel here (affiliate link).
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Flywheel WordPress Hosting (our host of choice)
Welcome back to another episode of the private practice elevation Podcast. I am your host, Daniel Fava. This is episode number 69. And we are talking about where should I host my WordPress website.
So today is not going to be a sexy episode, I’ll just say that right off the bat, we’re talking about WordPress hosting, which is just it’s a little bit dry. I mean, to be honest, it’s a little bit of a dry, it’s not about you know, developing your business. It’s not about building a group practice. It’s not about making a million dollars in your business and all that good stuff.
But this is a very important conversation, actually. Because it can have an impact on your business greatly, it can actually have a big impact on your, your mental health, actually, because of the conversations that I’ve had with some people about their struggles with their hosting companies.
So it’s an important question to answer. And it’s actually a question that really pops up right at the beginning, when anyone’s thinking about moving their website to WordPress, especially if they’re thinking about doing it themselves. They’re wondering, okay, which company should I use? Where should I go? Where should I host who’s the best host? All that stuff? All those big questions.
So that’s kind of what we’re gonna get into today, I’m going to share some of the things that I have learned about WordPress hosting, after working with WordPress, since 2007, and I’ve used many hosts. And then Since launching this business, we needed to really partner with a hosting company in order to deliver great products and great therapy websites. So I will share with you my host of recommendation. But we’ll get to that a little bit later on.
First of all, I just want to say thank you for listening to this podcast, really appreciate it. And if you have been enjoying this podcast, please give us a review over on Apple podcasts. And if you just go to privatepracticeelevation.com/apple, you can check out the podcast there and scroll down and write a review.
And we would really appreciate that, that helps us that helps us reach more people helps other people find this podcast. And also I just really would like to hear from you. Alright, so let’s get into today’s conversation.
All right. So like most people, when you are trying to decide which hosts to use, or really anything within your business, you’re probably starting at price points you’re looking at, okay.
What does one company offer for what price versus what is another company offer for another price. And a lot of times with hosting, there’s sort of these two levels where you’ll see okay, this person, maybe it’s GoDaddy or Hostgator, they have that introductory offer, that’s usually like five bucks a month.
It’s like, okay, cool, that sounds awesome. Five bucks a month. That’s not a lot, I can do that. No problem, you know, and so you sign up right away, and you get in, you just start using GoDaddy.
And then there’s these other, these other companies such as WP Engine and Flywheel, which are more in that sort of 15 to $20 range per month.
And you’re like, Oh, well, why would I pay for that, when I can just get $5 a month. So you’re gonna see these sort of two tiers when it comes to WordPress hosting.
And what’s hard to understand what’s hard to sort of pick through especially at the first glance of that is that often, the reason why one company might be cheaper is because they are using what is called shared hosting shared WordPress hosting.
And what that means is that you’ve got a bunch of websites on a shared server. So everybody’s using the same server, everybody’s using the same server resources, to cache websites to keep things moving along to host, the PHP and all that stuff, all that geeky stuff to make things work together.
The downside of that is that if one website goes down, everything is on that shared server, so that shared server goes down. And so we see this firsthand, you know, in in my business, because we do have a number of websites that are hosted on GoDaddy, the client might choose, I’ve already got GoDaddy set up as my host. So I’ll just continue with GoDaddy when I redesign my website. And so that’s totally fine. If somebody wants to do that.
We can work with that for sure. But we also manage many websites with our WP maintenance product where we’re in there weekly backing up the website, doing security scans, performance scans, and all that stuff.
Many times we will get notifications that this website is down and this website is down this website is down. And pretty much every single time no every single time. We notice Oh, these are all our GoDaddy websites. So there’ll be this sort of, you know, half an hour chunk of time where it’ll show 567 websites are down
And then maybe half an hour, we’ll get that notification, oh, this website’s back up. Because they’re using GoDaddy shared servers, something happens on GoDaddy servers, it goes down, which, to be honest, happens more often than I wish. And so those websites will be down.
And then I guess GoDaddy gets on it, they figure out what’s wrong, and then they get those websites back up. And so it’s just a cycle that continues to happen. And so that I would say, is really the worst part of using those shared hosting platforms, yes, you do save money.
But that downtime could cost you in potential clients. And it’s no fun to know that your website is going down. fairly often, maybe like once a month, your website is going down. And that’s precious time where you could be getting new clients to your website, getting traffic to your website.
Another thing that is kind of a beef, you know, that I have with GoDaddy, you know, they’ve been really good for the most part, you know, since I started this business back in 2016, and I’ve used GoDaddy way before that, you know, back in, like 2007, and 2008, when I first started using WordPress, excuse me, I’ve used GoDaddy for a long time.
But when I hear the stories, from people who I’ve been coaching, and people in the, in the Toolbox Course that we have, I hear a lot of these stories where someone has an issue with their website, or something’s broken, and they call GoDaddy. And GoDaddy says, Oh, it’s gonna cost $200 to fix, you know, there’s always this upsell with GoDaddy, which I don’t really like, and I don’t understand it.
I mean, I understand it, they obviously want to make more money, you know, and so they’re, their technicians are trained to, to upsell you and, and try to, you know, make money off of you make even more than that monthly, you know, that low cost that you’re paying five bucks a month, they’re gonna try to make more money off you, you know, by by saying,
Oh, you could use this product, and this product can speed up your website and this product and backup your website every day, you know, all this extra stuff, because all that stuff is not included in the $5 a month. So you most likely run into issues with their customer service, I’ve had times with with GoDaddy where I’ve needed to contact them, and one person will give me the runaround.
And then I will call back the next day. And the next person is like, Oh, yeah, no problem, and they’ll take care of it. So there’s no consistency there. So that’s been very frustrating for me. And so that is a lot of what you’re going to see if you’re paying $5 a month, and you’re likely going to have some of those, those issues because you’re paying $5 a month. And so that’s something to really think about when you are launching a new website, you want to have, you know, you want everything in your business to really serve your business, not cause you headaches, not cost you money.
And while it might be a little bit extra each month, you’re going to get and we’re going to dive into this a little deeper, but you’re going to get extra services, you’re going to get extra support, when you do pay for what’s called manage WordPress hosting.
So that’s shared hosting or shared WordPress hosting, everyone is sharing those server resources. If there’s a spike in traffic, or there’s a hack of one website, it impacts the other websites, people that you’re not even connected with can be impacting your business, which seems a little frustrating, a little scary to me.
So on the other side of it is what’s called managed WordPress hosting. And you might see that term as you’re researching different hosting companies.
For your WordPress website, you’ll see managed WordPress hosting. And the difference with that is with managed WordPress hosting your site is given its own resources, your site is given its own servers. And so it’s not impacted by the shared aspects, you know that you’re not sharing those resources with other websites out there on the internet. And so you’re getting more focused attention on your own website. So you don’t have to worry about all those other issues.
Or if something bad happens to someone else’s website because they let their plugins not be updated and let everything be outdated and it gets hacked, you don’t have to worry about that.
And because you don’t have to worry about that and your website is, is not being shared with all these resources. That means that your website is going to be more reliable and it’s also going to be more secure from hackers as well.
And because you’re often paying a little bit more for this managed feature, you’re gonna get a lot more support, you’re going to get a lot more features to actually host your website and which we’ll we’ll talk about some of those benefits, benefits and features that you’re going to get from a managed WordPress hosting.
But right now I just really want to talk about talking about that main difference being shared, you’re sharing those resources managed, it’s being managed by a company is being managed by, you know, real people who are focused on providing great service for your, for your website, and you’re not sharing those resources.
So it’s gonna be a lot more secure and a lot more reliable for you.
In, I just want to say what I really like about going with a managed WordPress hosting company is that they are focused on making your website easy to manage, easy to host.
As I said, before, with GoDaddy, one of my biggest beefs with them is they’re always trying to upsell, there’s always a big headache, or I hear these, you know, stories, like I was on customer support for two hours with GoDaddy, and I’m just like, Oh my gosh, like, that just hurts my heart hearing that and you want, you want your hosting company to be, you know, sort of in your back pocket, like your secret weapon, it sounds, it sounds funny to think of such a small, you know, part of your business, just who you host with, could be such a really, you know, a big impact, because you don’t have time to be on the phone with customer support at GoDaddy for two hours.
And I certainly don’t have that, especially when we’re managing, you know, over 50 websites, and growing like, we need somebody that we can partner with, who when an issue arises, we can take care of it quickly.
And also make, make it so that there are less issues, you know, that arise as well. And so that’s really what you get, which with managed hosting.
So I just want to sort of plant that seed there to think about, even your who you host your website with, as being a partner with you in your business that’s going to serve you that’s going to decrease your headaches and make it easier for you to have a website and manage your website.
That’s what you’re gonna get with managed WordPress hosting. So with that, you know, I sort of set the stage you’re kind of like, okay, it’s clear, Daniel, you really love managed WordPress hosting.
So what are some of those things that you’re going to get?
What are some of those benefits of managed WordPress hosting, I know I’ve touched on a few of them. But I want to just kind of dig in a little deeper on the benefits to manage WordPress hosting and going with a company that is really focused on managed WordPress hosting.
Alright, so the first benefit of going with a managed WordPress hosting company I already spoke about that is the support, the customer support that you’re going to get is much better quality.
And it’s much more focused on WordPress, because of a lot, a lot of times when you call GoDaddy support, you know, they’re going to be experts on all sorts of things with, you know, just hosting, and they’ve got, you know, GoDaddy page builder, and WordPress, and there’s different, there’s other platforms that you can host on a GoDaddy host as well, you know, just a hosting server.
But with managed WordPress hosting, you’re gonna get experts who are who know WordPress inside and out, because that’s all they do. So if you’re having an issue with your website, you contact their support, they’re going to know that whether it’s you know, something on the server that’s conflicting, or a potential plugin conflict, or just you know, something with your theme, your WordPress theme is conflicting and things aren’t working, they’re going to know the ins and outs of WordPress.
And that has really been just the biggest difference for me, I know that when we contact, customer support for our hosts, I’m talking to an expert, and I no longer dread actually contacting customer support. And I’ll get to this later. But, you know, we use a company called Flywheel. And if you go to privatepracticeelevation.com/Flywheel.
That’s our affiliate link, I’d love for you to check it out. And if you choose to use them, we get some money from you know, creating for that referral.
So I’ll just kind of give that away right there. So the company we use is Flywheel. And when I have issues with a website, or one of my developers has an issue, I know that we can reach out to them and I don’t dread it because I know they’re gonna get to the bottom of it.
They have a great chat feature. And I just hop on there in real time and say, Hey, I’m having an issue with this website. Something’s not loading or I can’t get this thing to go. And then they get in and they take care of it. And they’re fast and they’re smart. And they’re also just, they’re there. To be honest, they’re a delight to work with. And
I was really encouraged when I actually I was speaking to Gordon Brewer the other day about his website and he asked me who I recommend for a host and I said I’ll check out Flywheel and so he he did
And he was having some issues already. And he was like, their customer support was so amazing. Thank you so much for recommending them.
And so for me, that was really just, you know, confirmation that yeah, this this company is amazing. And so yes, support is going to be one big thing, haven’t been a fan of GoDaddy support and just the way that they really try to upsell you a lot.
Sometimes people don’t know what they’re talking about. And other times people do know what they’re talking about. So there’s just lack of consistency there.
But with any managed WordPress hosting, you’re going to get just a better level of customer support.
And quicker resolutions have issues that pop up. And you know, because you’re paying that extra, a little bit extra each month, they’re gonna prioritize customer support is going to be more of a focus, they really want to make sure that you are happy with their product, and that your website is successful.
So obviously, good things. Another benefit to going with a managed WordPress host is that they are going to prioritize WordPress security. They’re not going to be worried about all these different platforms and different things that you can use to host a website. They’re going to be focused on WordPress.
And so what is the best practices for making their servers secure for WordPress, what’s the best practices for actually securing the WordPress files themselves, you’ll also get daily backups. And if you do have an issue with the website, you need to revert it back to a previous version, there are going to be you’re going to easily do that.
You know, I’ve seen many times where GoDaddy will actually charge you to restore a backup, or they don’t always keep a backup of the website. So having those daily backups is really just key to security and making sure that your your website is you know, always accessible. So you know, just like I mentioned, what customer support, they are focused on WordPress only. So they are going to know the best ways to make that website secure to keep it safe from hackers.
It’s it’s not foolproof that your website won’t get hacked, you know, you still got to keep up with your plugins and keeping things up to date and that sort of thing. But it will definitely decrease your chances that someone
will hack into your into your website and you know, just sort of give you a big headache, and cause a lot of issues for you. And one of the most important important security features that you manage WordPress hosting can offer is just their ability to remove how malware so if something does happen to your website, and there’s malware on your website, they’re going to be ease, they’re going to easily clean that up, and they’re going to help you and it’s going to be part of their service, they’re going to be able to get in there, they’re gonna be able to see exactly what is going on which files need to be removed.
And they’re going to do that. So make sure you kind of understand that when you’re looking at the different hosts that you could use and sort of what they do as far as WordPress security goes.
Another great benefit of managed WordPress hosting is speed and this is huge, this is really important for your Google ranking, is to make sure that your website loads quickly. And that people can access it, you know, really easily it doesn’t take a long time to load the pages. So Google’s gonna see that they’re gonna like that, that could boost your ranking.
And it could also just keep people on your website longer because they’re not getting frustrated, because your website is loading super slow, and they have to have to wait for everything to load. And with managed WordPress hosting, they have different options that you can, that you can use to help increase the speed and display your images even faster than your regular shared hosting would offer. And we’ve seen right out of the box with the websites that we develop just the vast difference in loading time from using Flywheel versus using GoDaddy or hostgator.
Because we use Flywheel for our staging servers. So when we when someone we work on a project with somebody, we have a staging server, and that’s where we build the website, where only we can see it. And then they either host with us and we’ll just keep it there and make the website live. Or they’ll say oh, I want it to be on my GoDaddy account, or my Hostgator account. And so we will migrate then the files the whole website over to their hosting account. And we will see, it’s really cool because we’ll get to see, you know, apples to apples comparison of the speed of the servers because it’s the same exact website, but it’s in one’s in one location on one server, one’s in the other location. And oftentimes when we’re hosting a website on Flywheel, we’ll see maybe something like a three. We’re actually working on a website right now. And the load time is about three seconds or under three seconds for most pages of the website. And then we’ve moved it to Hostgator because that’s where the client wants us to host the website and it has john
up to about nine to 11 seconds, which is huge. That is way too much. So now we’re going to have to try to figure out, if anything can be done to increase that load speed. That often means. And now we have to install some caching plugins, there’s extra things that we need to do just to try to overcome the limitations of this server of the Hostgator servers. So speed is a huge thing and speed right out of the box. When you use Flywheel or another managed WordPress host you’re going to get and you’re going to feel right away, which is awesome.
Another huge benefit of managed WordPress hosts and one that I love that Flywheel has is that they have SSL, just easily integrated with their hosting platform.
So SSL is that that allows you to secure your website, get that little green padlock when you go to your website, and Google considers secure websites more trustworthy. So that can also help boost your SEO ranking. encrypts information, if somebody sends you a contact form, it just encrypts that information. And it looks good. So you definitely want your website to be secure. You want that HTTPS at the beginning of your URL when somebody goes to the website.
And so Flywheel has that once your websites live and launched and on their server, I just have to click a couple buttons, and that will make the website secure. And so on shared WordPress hosting, you often have to go, it’s either another product with the host, or you have to go to a whole different company to purchase an SSL certificate.
So it’s going to cost you more money. In the long run, you know, it’d be like a yearly cost. I think, with GoDaddy, it’s something like 70 bucks or something like that.
So it’s going to be an extra cost. And it’s going to be a lot more back and forth. And you know, then you’ve got your you’ve got a whole other product that you have to manage that sort of thing.
So that’s what you’re gonna experience with the shared WordPress hosting, whereas with the managed WordPress hosting, SSL is often included. And it’s easier for them to set it up because of the way that their servers are set up. So that’s, you know, that’s huge.
Because that can really impact your SEO, and also just simplify things for you and your business.
And another way that managed WordPress hosting is going to simplify things for you is because you’ll, you’ll need less plugins on the website, because with WordPress, you do have to make sure things are secure, you do want to make sure that your files are backed up, you want to also make sure that your website is performing a top speed.
So I mentioned this before, where if you’re on a shared WordPress, you’re on a shared hosting server, it’s often going to be a lot slower, there’s going to be a lot less features.
So then you might need a security plugin. And you might need a performance plugin to make sure that things cache quicker, you might need a plug in to make sure that everything is is backed up.
There’s plugins that can help you do that and backup all your files. But it’s not integrated with the website. It just creates a you know, download of your backup files. But then you still need to figure out how do I restore those backup files. So you’re going to need a bunch of a bunch of plugins to overcome the limitations of the shared host.
Whereas when you’re using the Manage WordPress, you don’t need to install caching plugins most of the time, they don’t allow you to install this caching plugins because they will conflict with the great features that they have with their servers that and that’s why it makes the website perform so well. And so fast and speed so great.
All right. Well, I know that this episode has been a little bit geeky and a little bit in the weeds of WordPress and hosting and all that stuff. But I really wanted to just share some of the things that I’ve learned about hosting. And I am super happy that we have landed on Flywheel, which is our hosting company of choice.
We do host WordPress websites as a service. But behind those websites that we host, we are using Flywheel Flywheel servers, and so that’s free for anyone to go check out. You don’t have to host through us here at private practice elevation, you can go straight to Flywheel and check them out.
I think at this time at the time of this recording their their lowest tier platform is I believe, either $14 or $18 a month, something like that. You can check them out at private practice elevation comm slash Flywheel and that is an affiliate link.
But I completely stand by their service. They also have free migration, you know, so if you’re really fed up with GoDaddy, or Hostgator, and you’re just tired of using their platform and dealing with their customer support.
Once you sign up for a website plan and Flywheel there’s a free migration tool, and you just fill out some information and they will migrate your current website from your current server to Flywheel and then after that, you just
Need to point your domain to your new location and then you can sever your ties with GoDaddy or Hostgator or Bluehost or whoever it is, and, and then just start making just getting the benefits of that managed WordPress hosting.
So definitely check out Flywheel I love them there. They’ve just been a huge support to me and also to, to my clients. So definitely check them out.
So that’s what I got to say about WordPress hosting. I hope that this has been helpful for you and I hope that you have an amazing rest of your day.
And thank you so much for listening to this podcast. I’m Daniel Fava, signing off. Now go elevate your practice.