Enterprise-sized problems need enterprise-sized solutions. WordPress is an exceptional platform for making site creation accessible to startups and small businesses. However, does it have what it takes to host a sprawling agency or multinational corporate site?
Enterprise-grade WordPress hosting offers the perfect solution, bringing top-notch security, speed, and power to your agency website. If you’re not sure about choosing WordPress, look for these traits in your web host of choice.
Is WordPress Really Right for Enterprise Hosting?
When you look at WordPress tools, tutorials, and hosting, a majority of it is directed at small businesses and individuals. In its early days, the platform was created as a blogging tool, and this continues to be one of its main uses.
This may give the mistaken impression that WordPress just isn’t suitable for enterprise websites with millions of pageviews or thriving, high-traffic eCommerce sites.
In reality, tons of huge brands use WordPress, including Disney, eBay, TechCrunch, The Rolling Stones, and Forbes. If WordPress works for them, it can work for you too!
WordPress may be popular with small websites, but its simple and effective CMS back end is suitable for any project. Its flexibility and diverse plugin ecosystem makes it great for enterprises. Plus, being an extremely popular platform, it constantly sees updates with new features and security fixes.
Innovative features like headless WordPress can provide perfect solutions for complex problems as well. It just proves how versatile the CMS really is.
There are valid concerns for enterprises using WordPress. Its popularity is a downside in that hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities. It can also be slow if not properly optimized.
But it’s very much a viable option, and proper hosting will eliminate many of these problems.
7 Things an Enterprise Host Needs
When it comes to enterprise hosting, having high standards is acceptable. You need the best of the best if your host is going to keep up with your high-traffic website’s needs. Enterprise WordPress hosting is a growing industry with plenty of new contenders. Look out for the following features before you choose one for sure.
With typical WordPress small-scale hosting, scalability is where it tends to fall flat. Most web hosts target the tiny startups. That’s because it’s cheaper for the hosting company and because there simply aren’t as many enterprise-level clients. It can be hard to find WordPress hosting that suits a large company.
So what exactly is scalability? Scalability means a web host grows with you. It’s time-consuming and expensive to have to switch hosts every few years. Therefore, it’s best to pick one that has the resources you’ll need from the start.
How do you know if a web host is scalable? Here are a few markers:
- What is the process of upgrading your server(s)? Is it a quick change with minimal downtime or will it take weeks for them to put together your upgrades?
- Are plans flexible and able to be tailored and priced based on your traffic and resource usage needs?
- What happens when you exceed your allocated resources? Is the web host ready to deal with the spike of traffic? Does your site instantly slow to a crawl?
- How long will the host be able to support your brand? Do they have the resources to keep you on infinitely, or will they begin to struggle once you’re getting millions of visitors a day? You may need to ask what the max their servers can deal with is.
- Can the web host support a network of dozens or hundreds of websites?
Cloud-based web hosts are a great choice if scalability is your primary concern. With physical dedicated servers, upgrades require physical work and can take weeks to perform. Upgrading or downgrading a cloud server can be instant, or at least very fast.
Cloud servers are also more capable of dealing with traffic surges. Their setup makes it easy to quickly allocate more resources as needed to handle a sudden influx of visitors. Physical servers can only stretch so far.
2. High-Performance Hosting
This may go without saying, but your enterprise WordPress hosting provider of choice must be as fast as possible to match the demands of a huge website. The problem is, every web host in existence markets itself as high-speed. Yet, many of them don’t have what it takes to keep up with millions of visitors.
It’s good to do research on unaffiliated hosting speed tests, but there are a few features that tend to indicate a truly fast web host.
- 100% uptime simply isn’t realistic, but 99.5% uptime and above is a reasonable number to look for.
- An uptime guarantee, or a refund in case of server downtime, indicates that a claim of minimal downtime is reliable.
- Built-in caching is a must and can instantly speed up your website.
- Look for the ability to handle traffic surges on the fly.
- Many enterprise hosts offer a managed CDN. This makes your site faster and more accessible globally, without you having to deal with the hassle of setup.
- Hosts that mention redundancy, load balancing, or high-availability hosting have systems in place to keep your website up even if a server fails.
When searching for an enterprise host, you’ll likely choose from either physical dedicated servers, or a cloud service, The latter are usually hosted on a platform like Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. Cloud servers are more scalable, while dedicated servers are expensive but more customizable.
Whatever you choose, it may be best to seek out a WordPress-focused web host. One-size-fits-all hosting may work alright, but WordPress hosts know how to optimize their systems to snugly fit the CMS.
3. Enterprise-Grade Features
Web hosts will throw in plenty of small benefits to get your attention. They range from a free domain name to a one-click WordPress install. These won’t be of much benefit to a large, established company. So what features should you look out for?
- Migration assistance will likely be required if you already have a big website.
- Continuous monitoring, downtime detection, and security scanning will alert you immediately to any issues.
- Automatic backups of some form are a must. Daily or weekly backups are the minimum, while hourly backups can immensely reduce data loss.
- Many enterprise hosts come with a custom server management dashboard. They give access permission for your team members and configurable settings to tailor the hosting environment to you.
- Depending on your industry, certification like HIPAA compliance may be required.
- Optional extra features like content analytics and optimization, marketing features, and more can be very useful for businesses. However, they aren’t standard in a hosting repertoire.
Keep in mind that all these extra features will often result in much higher monthly fees. It may be better to go with an enterprise host that keeps it simple with powerful hosting and not much else.
4. Developer Tools
Many small WordPress hosts provide minimal access to important developer tools. With enterprises, this access is an absolute must-have. Your developers will require access to server-level tools so they can do their job.
At minimum, the host should provide access to server management tools like SFTP, SSH (secure shell) access, and command-line tools like WP-CLI. Others may integrate with version control systems like Git, or other services like an API. And of course, database access is a basic feature all enterprise hosts should provide.
There should also be multiple development environments to test out changes without affecting the live site. One-click staging environment setup can really make your developers’ lives easier.
Finally, server logs/analytics and insights will help developers monitor your site and keep an eye out for unusual changes or error codes.
Security should be one of your top concerns. Not only are enterprises more likely to be the target of a hack, you also stand to lose a lot more than smaller companies.
While all businesses need to worry about security regardless of size, it’s a priority for companies with large digital assets. This goes double for eCommerce enterprises and online stores.
Some aspects of security are up to you. It’s important to hire developers who know how to properly secure a website. Plus, only you can take certain security steps like choosing secure passwords and avoiding phishing campaigns.
But your web host and server also play a large role in the efficacy of your security. A poorly coded website may provide vectors for attack, but the server side needs to be locked down as well.
The enterprise hosting provider of your choice should make sure your WordPress site is fully closed off from other websites on the host’s network. This isn’t a concern with dedicated servers, but with cloud hosts, ensure that containers are fully isolated. In addition, the host’s architecture should be using the latest version of all technology.
The host may also provide a managed web application firewall. Or, at the very least, it should support the ability to set up your own. This, or the CDN, should also provide DDoS protection.
Periodic malware scans, as well as malware removal assistance, will help in the event that you are hacked. Some hosts can also detect and remove spam from user-submitted content like comments.
Finally, your host should keep audit logs. That way, you can keep an eye on IP addresses, actions taking place on your site, and any other suspicious activity.
The larger your site, the more likely you are to encounter bugs or other snags, and the more important it is to resolve these problems as soon as possible. Good support is key to minimizing serious technical issues.
Look for support provided by in-house experts who really know what they’re talking about. 24/7 assistance also gets bonus points, especially if your company is located outside the US. You might experience problems outside typical working hours. In this case, you may want to pick a company with multilingual support agents.
It’s also a good idea to go with a hosting company that provides flexible contact options. Traditional email/ticket systems work fine, but issues may get resolved quicker if they also offer live chat or phone support. This is up to your personal preference though.
Many enterprise hosts use a dedicated account manager to act as a middleman and handle any serious problems that arise. Other top-end hosts may even help you build applications or work on other aspects of development.
One thing is for sure: Support from enterprise hosting should be prompt and helpful.
7. Good Reviews and Industry Experience
This isn’t strictly a requirement, and it can disqualify some legitimate yet up-and-coming enterprise hosting services. But there’s no disputing the fact that it’s safer to go with a host that has years of experience and the reviews to back it up. When you have a lot of money and hundreds or thousands of employees on the line, there’s nothing wrong with picking the safe choice.
One benefit of enterprise hosts is that they often have a few well-known brands using their services. That is itself a good sign that the host is legitimate and provides the quality service they claim.
A little research can confirm that these brands are in fact using the host, and it’s certainly a good sign if they’re in a similar industry to you.
Research is the best way to figure out if an enterprise host is right for you. The glowing testimonials on the company’s own site simply aren’t as reliable as third-party reviews and case studies.
Avoid affiliated articles by people who may not have actually used the service and are being paid to promote it. You may want to take to social media and look for mentions of the brand to see what people are really saying.
Powerful WordPress Hosting for Enterprise N
Many large businesses have happily made their home on WordPress. Good WordPress enterprise hosting is all you need to get your site up and running on secure, fast servers with minimal downtime.
As you’re searching for the right enterprise host, keep an eye out for the key features mentioned above. Security, scalability, and performance are by far the most important aspects. But expert-led support, verified industry experience, and extra features are just the cherry on top. When it comes to enterprise hosting, you can afford to be picky!
Do you have any hosts in mind? Or any must-have features we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.