More threads by Oliver Keates

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Hi Guys

I am looking for the most suitable worpress hosting service as i am starting a blog for my personal brand. Can anyone recommend a hosting platform for wordpress, i am located in the UK.

Thanks
 
Solution
Hey Oliver, we absolutely love SiteGround hosting. They have a datacenter in London. We have tried pretty much all the other major hosting companies and none of them compare with the satisfaction level we have with SG. Price is very competitive, customer service is fantastic, no downsides that we have experienced. Also, they offer free SSL certs and a quality free in-house CDN solution.
Hey Oliver, we absolutely love SiteGround hosting. They have a datacenter in London. We have tried pretty much all the other major hosting companies and none of them compare with the satisfaction level we have with SG. Price is very competitive, customer service is fantastic, no downsides that we have experienced. Also, they offer free SSL certs and a quality free in-house CDN solution.
 
Solution
Hi Guys

I am looking for the most suitable worpress hosting service as i am starting a blog for my personal brand. Can anyone recommend a hosting platform for wordpress, i am located in the UK.

Thanks

Honestly, I would ditch Wordpress and go with Wix. They have improved considerably and have super fast loading web hosting and websites.
 
Hey Oliver, we absolutely love SiteGround hosting. They have a datacenter in London. We have tried pretty much all the other major hosting companies and none of them compare with the satisfaction level we have with SG. Price is very competitive, customer service is fantastic, no downsides that we have experienced. Also, they offer free SSL certs and a quality free in-house CDN solution.

Do you any thoughts on what wp plugins i should use with SG such as yoast?
 
Do you any thoughts on what wp plugins i should use with SG such as yoast?
Without a bit more information on what you are wanting to do with your website, it is difficult to answer that question. Yoast or Rankmath are definitely the default plugins that you would want for easily optimizing some SEO ranking factors. If you are going to do e-commerce, then WooCommerce dominates in that area. In regards to other plugins, there are at least 60,000 plugins for WP.

If there is any specific functionality that you are needing, just reply back and I'm happy to let you know the plugins that we may have used to solve that need. If you are not familiar with WP and your needs are modest, then @keyserholiday suggestion of Wix is definitely something to consider. Besides plug-ins, you'll also need to carefully consider a "theme" to also install. As mentioned earlier, Divi is the one we use and is one of the most popular, but there is a learning curve. However there are literally thousands to choose from. We have used a handful of other widely used themes but eventually settled on Divi as our preferred theme choice. WP comes with a least a couple of themes pre-installed, such as Twenty Twenty-One, but they are very minimalist in design and won't have a lot of features which mean you'll potentially rely upon more plug-ins.
 
Another vote for SiteGround - has been for several years now. We also have some large clients on their cloud servers with thousands of products and hundreds of thousands of sessions per month.

As Jeff said, what you need will determine what to install. We're big fans of Elementor, but we also do a lot of highly customized programming and create our own plugins for clients' needs.

Wix is a good alternative, and I'd recommend Wix over Squarespace - it just seems easier for clients. Lots of integration, but if you want to go outside of the box, your hands can be tied.
 
Another vote for SiteGround - has been for several years now. We also have some large clients on their cloud servers with thousands of products and hundreds of thousands of sessions per month.

As Jeff said, what you need will determine what to install. We're big fans of Elementor, but we also do a lot of highly customized programming and create our own plugins for clients' needs.

Wix is a good alternative, and I'd recommend Wix over Squarespace - it just seems easier for clients. Lots of integration, but if you want to go outside of the box, your hands can be tied.

I am curious to know what outside-of-the-box issues you run into.
 
I am curious to know what outside-of-the-box issues you run into.

Complicated stuff :) Usually dealing with Shipping or warehouses. We have a client with 11 warehouses where their clients can choose which warehouse to ship from depending on delivery time. Some warehouses have the inventory, others don't. Some offer 1 day, depending on customer location. So we integrate to APIs etc at that level.
Going a very different custom level is a networking group (8,000 members) nationally that track business passed, chapters, presidents, area leaders, meeting times, speakers, all done with subscriptions and memberships etc - heavy customization.
It seems most of our customizations revolve around woocommerce and subscription systems.
 
Complicated stuff :) Usually dealing with Shipping or warehouses. We have a client with 11 warehouses where their clients can choose which warehouse to ship from depending on delivery time. Some warehouses have the inventory, others don't. Some offer 1 day, depending on customer location. So we integrate to APIs etc at that level.
Going a very different custom level is a networking group (8,000 members) nationally that track business passed, chapters, presidents, area leaders, meeting times, speakers, all done with subscriptions and memberships etc - heavy customization.
It seems most of our customizations revolve around woocommerce and subscription systems.

The OP won’t need any of that.
 
The OP won’t need any of that.

True - there are other areas, but you asked what was outside of the box :)

For me, full control over Schema, canonical links, redirects, robots, separate sitemaps, custom GA4/Looker events.. those are nearly standard on each WordPress we build. Is it overkill for a basic site getting started, probably yes, but we get much more granular information in Analytics which helps with SEO campaigns etc.

Wix does a great job if you stay in their container. I'm not a fan of their e-commerce price increase, and I've no idea how their blogs work - usually we're converting users from Wix to WordPress, but that's the nature of our business model too.
 
True - there are other areas, but you asked what was outside of the box :)

For me, full control over Schema, canonical links, redirects, robots, separate sitemaps, custom GA4/Looker events.. those are nearly standard on each WordPress we build. Is it overkill for a basic site getting started, probably yes, but we get much more granular information in Analytics which helps with SEO campaigns etc.

Wix does a great job if you stay in their container. I'm not a fan of their e-commerce price increase, and I've no idea how their blogs work - usually we're converting users from Wix to WordPress, but that's the nature of our business model too.

I appreciate the insights. I wasn’t knocking you. I am glad that you shared.
 
True - there are other areas, but you asked what was outside of the box :)

For me, full control over Schema, canonical links, redirects, robots, separate sitemaps, custom GA4/Looker events.. those are nearly standard on each WordPress we build. Is it overkill for a basic site getting started, probably yes, but we get much more granular information in Analytics which helps with SEO campaigns etc.

Wix does a great job if you stay in their container. I'm not a fan of their e-commerce price increase, and I've no idea how their blogs work - usually we're converting users from Wix to WordPress, but that's the nature of our business model too.

Just like Conor, we are often doing custom development and/or have the need for for certain API's that just aren't available in other website builder's such as Wix/Squarespace. This is most often true with clients needing eCommerce solutions but also with many SMBs where they need simple or even advanced database functionality. Advanced Custom Fields is an add-on that has become indispensable for us that essentially gives you a full Relational DB and development enviroment. Additionally, more and more clients are needing/wanting customized event calendar functionality and there are two calendar plug-ins that Wix can't match the robustness and customization. Our limited experience with Wix has been very positive, but we almost always eventually move clients using Wix over to WP hosting to solve those one-off issues that are easily solved with specialized plug-ins or custom programming that we can't achieve with Wix. However, I totally agree with Jason, that Wix has improved by light years with their SEO functionality and page loading and we actually just recommended it for a smaller prospective client that couldn't justify spending the cost for a custom built website. I relocated an article that recapped John Mueller's answer about Wix versus WP self-hosting that sums it up pretty well.

Sorry @Oliver Keates for possibly going down a rabbit hole :), but hopefully you or other members will find this additional info helpful.
 
Thanks for your advice everyone its really useful to know peoples experiences, expertises and stories. @JeffClevelandTN @Conor Treacy @keyserholiday @Lanerizz .

I actually work at an agency but not on the developer side. I am looking to learn wp integrating it with google console, GA4, adding site maps, schema etc.

Initially i want to create a personal basic site to test out functionality and learn the wp basics then if need be go on to using/testing woocomerce. So i would like to use a more complex theme?

The debate and decision i need to make is the initial theme and the correct basic plugins to use as i don't want to use incorrect plugins to that breaks the theme code. we use seoyoast at work.

I would like to screaming frog for example. I already use semrush, ahrefs, Moz and a few others.

If anyone else has got any suggestions or things i have missed out maybe you could add them in a reply.

I have actually signed up to site ground so i am ready to go.

thanks everyone
 
Without a bit more information on what you are wanting to do with your website, it is difficult to answer that question. Yoast or Rankmath are definitely the default plugins that you would want for easily optimizing some SEO ranking factors. If you are going to do e-commerce, then WooCommerce dominates in that area. In regards to other plugins, there are at least 60,000 plugins for WP.

If there is any specific functionality that you are needing, just reply back and I'm happy to let you know the plugins that we may have used to solve that need. If you are not familiar with WP and your needs are modest, then @keyserholiday suggestion of Wix is definitely something to consider. Besides plug-ins, you'll also need to carefully consider a "theme" to also install. As mentioned earlier, Divi is the one we use and is one of the most popular, but there is a learning curve. However there are literally thousands to choose from. We have used a handful of other widely used themes but eventually settled on Divi as our preferred theme choice. WP comes with a least a couple of themes pre-installed, such as Twenty Twenty-One, but they are very minimalist in design and won't have a lot of features which mean you'll potentially rely upon more plug-ins.

Thanks for your answer. I have posted a comment to everyone on this thread that explains my situation i am in at the moment :).
 
Certainly can't go wrong with setting up an account and playing with the software. stackoverflow.com will become your friend very quickly as you start to edit things - and even chatgpt will provide some decent results when doing code. Just pay attention to the dates of answers as things change.

As far as theme, you can start with the basic thems like 2023 etc, or any of the thousands of themes offered, it just depends on what you want to play with. Elementor, Divia nd Gutenberg all have their pros and cons, and each play well with MOST themes out there. We have clients on each of the 3 builders that you mentioned. I'm partial to Elementor myself, however if you're targeting more speed, then Gutenberg is ideal. You get less features out the box (which is why it's faster) but you may be doing more code or plugins etc as a result. Unfortunately it's like asking what truck to buy :) An F150 does the job for many people, but if you're towing a 5th wheel you need more power. Then it's the Ford/Chevy/Dodge debate too :)

Plugins are usually built to be independent of the theme, so you can swap between themes. Some themes have everything built in so you don't need Yoast or Rankmath - others are bare bones that rely on plugins for heavy lifting.

This really comes down to personal choice. Get in, play with them, and see which you like. Take them for a test drive!
 
This really comes down to personal choice. Get in, play with them, and see which you like. Take them for a test drive!

Totally agree with Conor on this, it is more of a personal choice. However, if you are wanting to eventually build out websites for other clients, I'd really lean towards Elementor or Divi. We are a Divi shop but it does typically have a steeper learning curve than Elementor. You really can't go wrong with any of the three, but I personally think you will quickly find the limitations going straight with Gutenberg. Here's a fairly decent comparison of Divi and Elementor.
 

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