Your choice of web host can have an enormous impact on the success of your website.

Web hosts can affect your site’s performance, load time and caching (which, coincidentally, are what’s most important to your users and Google); and all these functions affect everything from SEO to conversion rates to actual revenue. So choose wisely.

“Companies invest heavily in design and content, but without a solid foundation to build their site, prospects, customers and fans may not see or enjoy the content the way it was intended to be consumed – hence the importance of choosing the right web host,” says Jacob Shin, vice president of Media Temple, which officers web hosting and cloud services.

We recently checked in with Jacob to learn more about Media Temple and get his take on what brands we should be looking for in WordPress hosting. 

Tell us the story behind Media Temple. What services do you offer? Who should be using them?

Media Temple is a Los Angeles-based company providing premium web hosting and cloud services. Since its inception in 1998, the company has been on a mission to help web designers, web developers, and creative agencies run and scale their business online.

What sets Media Temple apart from other web hosting companies? Why aren’t all web hosting companies created equal?

There’s an estimated 20,000 web hosting providers (and resellers) in the U.S. How we differentiate ourselves from the rest is:

1. We are our customers and we speak their language: Media Temple provides managed hosting products and solutions created by web designers, developers, and creatives who set out to build hosting solutions to specifically meet designers’, developers’ and creatives’ specific needs.

2. We are a customer-first company: From the design of our account center to our WordPress onboarding process to the architecture of our hosting infrastructure, all of it is done with our customers in mind; and we keep iterating and improving based on their feedback.

3. Last but not least: We make it easy for our customers to focus on their business and their clients while we take care of all things hosting and server management for them. I can’t tell you how often I hear that same sentiment from customers.

What options are available for WordPress hosting?

Typically, you’ll find that there are two choices when it comes to WordPress hosting: Managed WordPress hosting or implementing a Self-Hosted solution. There have been quite a few Managed WordPress hosting services that have appeared over the past few years. Media Temple has both options available depending on what our customers need. We actually just re-launched our managed WordPress hosting solution and now offer four different plans that meet the needs of both individual and professional creatives.

What considerations should individuals and businesses make when choosing a WordPress host?

The same things that apply to choosing a general purpose web host apply to choosing a WordPress host: performance, uptime, security, backups and quality support are paramount with any hosting environment – and in particular, in a managed hosting environment. And then, they should check if their web host offers WordPress-specific features such as WordPress core updates, caching, email integration and the WordPress features noted in the next question.

What hosting features can help make life easier for WordPress users?

It varies depending on the technical knowledge of the WordPress users, but it generally boils down to how complex or tedious workflow processes (from daily system administration tasks to setting up and deploying new sites to improving website performance, etc.) can be simplified by the WordPress host so the users can focus on running/scaling their business or creating beautiful things, instead of spending time managing their servers. A shortlist would definitely include staging environments to test new site design/functionality, automatic updates, caching, WordPress self-education/self-help, GIT integration, and cloning as examples – all of which are included in our new Studio, Agency and Enterprise WordPress plans.

What about any drawbacks?

For the more tech-savvy WordPress users (which is the kind we have been serving at Media Temple), a major drawback would be the lack of elevated user access to the system. In other words (without being too technical here), if they weren’t able to log in as root and upgrade PHP to an experimental version.

What are some of your favorite WordPress tools and/or plugins?

There are a lot of amazing plugins and WordPress tools out there. Without favoring one implementation over another, and because I geek out on marketing, analytics plugins and SEO plugins are a no-brainer. And because I’m still a novice WordPress user, self-help/educational plugins like SIDEKICK are lifesavers when I’m in a pinch. I’m also a firm believer that more security is better for your WordPress site, which is why Media Temple chose to partner with SiteLock to bring even more security to our customers’ sites.

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