As a white-label agency, providing a diverse suite of WordPress services to digital marketing agencies, we get a range of questions. Many have to do with hosting: “Can White Label Agency help me with hosting?” or “What hosting does White Label Agency use?” To agencies in digital marketing, hosting is clearly important. The fast-paced and ever-changing environment in which these agencies operate puts them under constant pressure to deliver high-quality, fast and secure websites. Hosting provides the platform for this.
At White Label Agency, we have ten years of experience delivering WordPress outsourcing services to over 600 digital marketing agencies. I’d like to share with you what we’ve learnt from these agencies about what you need to look for in selecting your WordPress agency hosting.
The hosting landscape is vast, and agencies step into it with limited knowledge of the services they’re about to purchase. The number of providers is countless, some cut corners, and the stakes are high. Caution is advisable from the outset. Bobby, our Chief Operating Officer at WLA, points out the first points an agency should consider:
- Start by looking into the hosting provider’s reputation and track record in the industry.
- Focus on providers known for their commitment to security.
- It is better to find a provider that is built entirely around and for hosting WordPress sites.
Avoid selecting your host purely off advertised technical specifications. These can mislead and it’s hard to gain real insight into the most important factors. How meticulous is the host during migrations to new versions of PHP and SQL? What precautions are taken to protect your websites from malware and security threats? Unannounced downtime and security breaches potentially cause great harm to your clients. Stakes are high.
Should I choose managed or shared hosting?
In choosing a platform for your WordPress agency hosting, there are two common alternatives: managed and shared hosting. This is an important choice to get right, as it will impact the future performance, security, and scalability of your website.
Let’s examine the differences between the two hosting types in more detail. Shared hosting, as the name suggests, involves multiple websites cohabiting on a single server. This coexistence, while being cost-effective, often means that resources like storage, bandwidth, and processing power are shared among all the websites hosted on that server. This can lead to potential performance bottlenecks, especially during high traffic periods. In such a setup, if a neighboring site witnesses a sudden traffic surge, your website might experience slowdowns or, in extreme cases, downtimes.
Bobby, our COO at WLA, draws attention to an important limitation of shared hosting: “In a shared hosting environment, you have limited control over who your neighbors on the server are. If other websites sharing the same server are compromised, it increases the potential risk of your own websites being affected.” This speaks volumes about the security risks associated with shared hosting. Given that websites share the same environment, vulnerabilities or malware present in one site can inadvertently pose threats to others.
Conversely, managed hosting presents a more tailored and dedicated environment for your website. Instead of sharing resources, the entire server infrastructure is tuned to cater to your website’s specific needs. Performance-wise, managed hosting typically delivers faster load times, optimized server configurations, and dedicated resources. This ensures that your website remains responsive even during peak traffic times. Furthermore, since you’re not sharing the environment with unknown entities, the risk of cross-contamination from other websites is negligible.
However, what truly sets managed hosting apart is the suite of additional services it offers. Managed hosting providers usually take care of routine tasks such as backups, updates, and security checks. This means that your website is always up-to-date with the latest security patches, ensuring its protection against potential threats. Moreover, managed hosting often comes with expert support. If you run into any issues, there’s typically a team of specialists ready to assist. This level of support can be invaluable, especially when dealing with complex technical problems or security concerns.
While managed hosting offers a plethora of advantages, it usually comes at a higher price point than shared hosting. For small websites with very limited traffic, shared hosting might be a more economical choice, at least initially. However, as your website grows and attracts more visitors, the advantages of managed hosting—enhanced performance, robust security, and superior support—can justify the extra cost.
Your choice between shared and managed WordPress agency hosting should be influenced by the specific needs of your websites, by growth expectations, and by budget. While shared hosting offers an affordable entry point, managed hosting provides a premium, hassle-free experience tailored for optimum website performance and security.
For further reading on managed hosting, try our article — Managed WordPress hosting: Is it right for you?
Other features to consider
Website hosting services can offer a number of other features that can impact the overall performance and security of your WordPress sites:
Responsive Customer Support
Hackers never sleep, challenges can arise at any hour. This is where responsive customer support becomes a pivotal asset. When searching for WordPress agency hosting providers, prioritize those that demonstrate a commitment to swift and effective support. Especially when it comes to security concerns, having access to 24/7 support can mean the difference between swift resolution and prolonged vulnerability. A recent example from our own experiences showcases the significance of such support. When Bobby encountered a website redirection issue, prompt engagement with WP Engine’s chat tool led to a resolution within a mere two hours. This level of support underscores its critical role in bolstering your defense against security incidents.
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A comprehensive hosting plan prioritizes security, and a robust WAF is part of that equation. Ensure your provider’s WAF is equipped to handle common threats, such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS) and DDoS attempts. It should also actively monitor and filter incoming web traffic in real time. The inclusion of such a shield adds an extra layer of security, safeguarding your websites against a diverse array of threats. Notably, WP Engine, a hosting provider with a good track record on security, offers a tailored defense mechanism that is specially designed for WordPress websites.
For more tips on hosting security, check our article — 5 WordPress hosting security tips
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
For websites Speed is king. It improves the visibility of your websites through strengthening SEO, and it provides a smoother experience for users. Hosting providers that offer integrated CDNs can significantly enhance loading times for visitors across the globe. It is a network of strategically placed caches that act as relay points, delivering content to users from the closest possible location. By minimizing the physical distance between the server and the user, CDNs ensure that images, videos, and other content reach the end user swiftly and efficiently.
For further reading on the website’s performance and speed, take a look at our previous articles:
- 7 tips to speed up WordPress for your clients
- How to respond to your client’s concerns about page speed
Make the right hosting decision for your agency
When considering your WordPress agency hosting options, remember it’s a choice that can influence your agency’s growth and clients’ satisfaction. Reputation, security commitment, and WordPress specialization should form the basis of your choice.
For digital marketing agencies aiming to stand out, there’s no room for compromise on the services supporting your websites. And that’s where we, at White Label Agency, come in.
Over the past decade, we’ve been the silent partners behind more than 600 digital marketing agencies, offering specialized WordPress outsourcing services. We understand the intricacies of WordPress and hosting, and we’re here to help you grow. Feel free to contact our sales team today.