Hosting is one of those things… you don’t want to pay for the expensive stuff until you need it. Let’s just call it website insurance. Sure there’s website hosting for $5/month. Hell – there’s even FREE hosting. But like most things in life, you’re getting what you pay for.
Hosting becomes even more important when it comes to WordPress websites. WordPress is awesome in a lot of ways, but even awesome things have drawbacks. The drawbacks of WordPress come alive with crappy hosting. Most hosts charge extra for features WordPress NEEDS to be safe and functional.
Many hosts will overload servers with too many websites (I’m looking at you, GoDaddy). This usually isn’t a big deal, unless those sites are database-driven (like WordPress). In these cases the sites can be painfully slow.
If you use WordPress, you better be backing up your site! Every time you or your designer updates a plugin, every time a WordPress version is updated, really you should be backing up every damn day! Or you’re going to need it exactly when you don’t have it. (Enter Murphy’s Law here.)
WordPress comes out with updates every couple weeks or so. These updates are important – they fix bugs in the previous version and sometimes include new features. Same with plugins – whenever there’s WordPress update, you’ll likely see lots of plugin updates pop up to accommodate the main update.
The thing with updates is that they list everything they ‘fixed.’ So those bored hackers now have a list of things wrong with previous versions – and fun new ways to hack into your site if it’s not appropriately updated. This is why the updates are important. And if the hackers DO find a way to get into your website, it won’t be so bad when you have a backup ready to go from yesterday. *wink wink*
While several hosts provide automated WordPress updates, few will automatically backup your site beforehand (without paying extra). With older themes and plugins, the updates can sometimes break the whole site. It’s nice to have the backups handy to not only restore the site, but figure out what’s causing the update to break it and fix as needed.
KDesign uses a WordPress-specific host that does automatic WordPress version updates and daily backups. We feel so strongly about WordPress sites needing appropriate hosting, that we will not manage websites hosted elsewhere.
So assuming you want a fast and protected website, the answer is YES! It really does matter where you host your website.