Buying a house. Proposing. Whether the dress is blue and black or white and gold. These are the most important decisions you’ll make in your life, and now there’s one more:
Choosing the right Web Host.
This post was originally published in February 2016 and at the time discussed hosting with WPEngine and Kinsta. We’ve since updated our hosting provider to GridPane, discussed further in our post: “Why We’re Shifting To Cloudflare, Gridpane, And Mailgun”
A web “host” is aptly named – it’s like the host of a party. The Host makes everything run smoothly, makes sure only folks who are invited make it through the door (security) and they make sure they’re ready for emergencies (constant backup).
In our many years of web development we’ve worked with dozens of different web hosts, and we have finally found our definitive favorite. This host is like Neil Patrick Harris at the Grammys, or Tina Fey/Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes, or Mary Poppins, all the time: Practically perfect in every way.
GridPane is a managed WordPress hosting provider that gives us the tools to provide all the bells and whistles we have spent many years trying to find elsewhere. They will both give you, the partier, the flexibility to increase traffic flow to your site, have a greater sense of security, faster loading times and keep your website running smoothly.
Host rule number one: prepare for emergencies. A managed WordPress hosting provider should have nightly on-site backups and ideally occasional off-site backups as well. With Razorfrog and GridPane, your data is safe at any point thanks to the automatic nightly backup feature, and automated off-site backups at a frequency based on your site care plan level. Backup points contain your database, core files, themes, plugins and uploads and can be restored within a few minutes.
Another good host tactic is setting things up to see how it looks before anyone is invited. Same goes for websites! It is essential to test your website before it goes live. With a staging server, you can easily create an independent clone of your live production site to test themes, plugins and custom code. Make a change on the stage, and it’s easy to migrate that change to the live site. This gives a lot of room for trying out new ideas that your consumer base doesn’t need to see just yet. When you’re finally ready to have customers (partiers) show up, you know exactly what they’re seeing, and how your site’s elements will work for them.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificates
Okay so the metaphor breaks down at this point. It doesn’t matter, though, because your site will need a SSL certificate and we include that with all projects. As you might know, not just eCommerce sites need SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates these days – all sites should have one. Your certificate will be set up through Let’s Encrypt and renew automatically. It’s an easy and hassle-free way to provide a secure route for personal information and passwords.
Optimized for WordPress
Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), with GridPane your server will be optimized from the ground-up for WordPress sites. Lots of host offer WordPress support, but very few offer dedicated WordPress servers and configuration for your site. This means everything from caching, fine-tuned memory usage, customized plugins, and automated security tools that know WordPress inside and out.
Convinced? You should be. With all that, managed at a fair price through Razorfrog, it’s hard to say no. So why would you? We’re excited to show you all that this definitive web host is capable of. This is one decision we are happy to commit to for a good long time.