WordPress is a great business and marketing tool, and as anyone who reads our blog regularly will know, we are big fans. However nothing is perfect, and WordPress does have a couple of shortcomings.
WordPress can be quite resource hungry
WordPress is an open source platform. Whilst this gives many advantages, it does mean that, whilst being incredibly flexible, it is not the most efficient piece of software on the market. As a result one criticism that can be levelled is that sites based on WordPress can be a little slow, especially when running more complex eCommerce systems. As with anything though, there is a solution, and that is to choose the right host. WordPress will run on pretty much any hosting package that offers PHP and a MySQL Database, but many hosting packages will have high contention rates (Lots of sites on a single server), and with no control over the other sites on the server, this can mean that your WordPress website becomes a little sluggish.
The BSA Solution
Because 90% of the sites managed by us are built in WordPress, we make sure that our hosting is designed with the platform in mind. Furthermore, because we are 100% business focused we appreciate that one solution will not fit every situation. For this reason, we offer 3 levels of hosting from a simple low cost offering, through shared hosting optimised for WordPress, to VPS hosting on our own private server. With these 3 options it is always going to be a solution that fits your needs.
What about Security
With WordPress powering nearly 30% of the sites on the internet (and a 50% share of the CMS market), its no surprise that it is a target for hackers. Whilst this can cause issues, with some forethought & careful management, it need not be a reason to miss out on the many benefits that WordPress offers.
The BSA Solution
We have been running WordPress websites for many years (our own website has been on the platform since 2008), so we have some experience of WordPress, and how to manage it. As a result we have 4 golden rules for keeping a site secure:
- Be Careful what plugins & themes you use – Most vulnerabilities in WordPress are introduced through plugins & themes some of which are poorly written & maintained. By being careful to only use well respected, and well maintained plugins, you can keep these risks to a minimum.Some of the better plugins are charged for, and we actually think this is a good thing, as it encourages developers to update & maintain their software. Because we run many sites using the same plugins, in many cases we have multi site licences for these plugins. We are therefore able to use them on clients sites, and include the cost in the monthly hosting fees. Our experience also means that we are happy to advise clients when they are considering using a plugin on their site.
- Make sure it is up to date – Because WordPress has a huge user base, when vulnerabilities do get identified, fixes are usually created and published very quickly. WordPress also has a great system for notifying you of updates, and applying them is as simple as clicking a button.Keeping your site up to date is the best way to protect against vulnerabilities in the WordPress code.
- Run a good security plugin to keep the hackers out – We run a plugin called Wordfence on all our sites. Wordfence uses the fact that it is deployed on a huge network of sites (Over 2 million at last count) to spot threats as soon as they appear and as once it identifies a threat (or after 30 days for the free version), it will roll out a defence against it to all the sites on its network. Furthermore, the plugin allows scanning of sites against standard file sets & known malware, so if your site does get compromised you know as quickly as possible.The final thing that Wordfence will do is protect your site against brute force attacks by monitoring it for suspicious activity (people trying to access non existent pages or trying to log in with incorrect credentials), and will automatically ban offenders.Whilst there are other security plugins available, in our experience Wordfence offers a good balance between functionality & cost.Running a good security plugin like WordPress is a great second line of defence.
- Back up your site regularly – No defences are perfect, and no matter what precautions you take, there is always the risk that the worst happens, and your site gets hacked. At this point, if you have a good backup routine, getting your site up and running should be as simple as restoring a clean backup.
BSA Website Hosting Plus
As experts in managing WordPress websites, we have come up with 3 levels of hosting, based on the 4 principals above. £15 per month* – This is our basic hosting package on a standard shared server. This low cost option is perfect for those that need a website, but don’t need anything fancy. At this level, we will host your website, back it up regularly. The rest is up to you. £35 per month* – This is our most popular option. In addition to the above, this will give you access to a range of premium plugins used commonly on website (eg Gravity forms, Advanced custom fields Pro Wordfence Premium, many Woo Commerce add ons, to name a few) We can also offer discounts on other premium WordPress plugin licences. In addition, the site will be hosted on a server optimised for WordPress. Whilst still a public shared server, this can offer a significant speed benefit over standard shared hosting. We will also include an ssl as standard, so your site is reported as “secure” by browsers £60 per month* – Our top level of hosting is on our private managed server. At this level, we have 100% control over the hosting environment & the sites running on it. Furthermore, sites on this server are monitored every 15 minutes, so as soon as there is an issue with the site, our technical teams are notified and able to address the situation quickly. If non of these fit – Whilst one of these options is likely to meet the requirements of most people, we recognise that sometimes, requirement may be different, and we are always happy to work with clients to create a hosting environment that works for you.
Run your business, let us run your WordPress website
If you run a WordPress site, and would like to talk to us about hosting, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you. (* all prices quoted ex VAT)