Essential WordPress Hosting For Photographers & Their Business

WordPress hosting for photographers, you’d think it would be as simple as WordPress itself, right? Unfortunately there are so many options out there, that it’s a difficult decision for people without the knowledge of hosting services to fully understand. Or better yet, photographers who may not desire to learn about hosting because they have better things to learn… like their craft.

When it comes to WordPress hosting for photographers, I have tried them all. Ok, not literally – but a heck of a lot of them. I started out with Dreamhost, using their shared hosting platform and eventually their VPS. (virtual private server). My website outgrew Dreamhost completely so I switched to Liquid Web, which is a trusted host that my previous employer was comfortable with. In fact, the customer service of Liquid Web is all the rave in the hosting space.

The downside to leaving Dreamhost for Liquid Web as my solution of WordPress hosting for photographers, was the price. I went from $8 a month on Dreamhost’s shared hosting plan, to $20 a month on the VPS plan, to $60 a month on Liquid Web’s VPS. (since writing this, Liquid Web has released less expensive hosting options) The upside, was the speed and reliability. While my website had some downtime from major traffic spikes, it was not nearly as much as Dreamhosts. Now, please note that Dreamhost would be suitable for most photographer’s websites. It wasn’t for me because my website gets unusually high traffic for a photography website. Mainly because I blog about things like this, WordPress hosting for photographers, or WordPress plugins for photographers. You get the idea.

WordPress Hosting For Photographers

While I have been extremely happy with Liquid Web, I recently decided that I wanted to find a WordPress hosting company that had the following features:

  • Equal, if not better, support to Liquid Web
  • Guaranteed 100% uptime
  • Top level security
  • Built-in backups
  • Trusted by the WordPress community
  • Expertise in WordPress

I searched, researched and emailed many hosting companies and decided upon two that would have fulfilled my needs.

WP Engine

The first was WP Engine, a company that provides hosting only for WordPress websites. They’re utilizing private servers, cloud infrastructure, caching and customized hardware and software function for 100% uptime. That means a website hosted with WP Engine should never go down from traffic, which is essential to business. The employees at WP Engine are WordPress users, developers and coders with years of experience and expertise. Not only do they run their own security checks, but also outsource to a third-party WordPress security company (which I believe is Sucuri, but is not verified on the website) to provide extra protection for customers. Nightly backups are provided at not extra cost and have the ability to run like Time Machine for Mac computers. Not only are their a lot of WordPress experts driving the WP Engine machine, but Automattic, the company behind WordPress, invested a lot of money in the company. What that says to me is that the WordPress community believes in WP Engine and WordPress believes in WP Engine. One feature well worth noting is the curated plugins list. Here, WP Engine provides a compilation of plugins that they tested and support, and those that they will not let be installed for security reasons.

I’m not the only one who loves hosting with WP Engine. In fact, there are thousands of others. Check out this video from the SXSW party hosted by WP Engine. In the video, you will see many users raving about why they love WP Engine.


Synthesis Managed WordPress Hosting

The second company was Synthesis, who is driven by the Copyblogger team. They also develop the StudioPress Genesis theme, Scribe SEO and Premise. Knowing who is controlling the WordPress hosting services, I would feel extremely confident in trusting them with my website. Synthesis is open about their added security with Sucuri, their daily backups which are stored for seven days and so many other great features. Synthesis has also customized their hardware and software for the best possible WordPress hosting with the most uptime. Being that they also completed every aspect of my checklist, there is no doubt that Synthesis would be a great choice for my new website hosting company.

Both truly provide WordPress hosting for photographers, that cannot be matched by other companies.

The downside to using specific WordPress hosting for photographers, instead of any web hosting for photographers, are the packages. WP Engine’s least expensive package is $29 a month or $290 a year which is less than what I had on Liquid Web and more than Dreamhost. Not terrible, but it only allows for one domain to be used. That means any other domains that I want to switch to WP Engine, will cost extra. Synthesis starts at $25 a month, and also allows for only one domain.

Preferred WordPress Hosting for Photographers

In the end, I wound up emailing a lot with both companies. After a lot of great conversations and even more decision-making on my end, I decided on WP Engine. Why? I really likes a lot of the advanced features that WP Engine provided, the free migration service, Time Machine style backups, the pricing plan I was able to get for the domains I needed hosted, and the amazing support that WordPress provides. That isn’t to say, however, that Synthesis wouldn’t be right for many photographers. My recommendation is to contact both and talk with a person over the phone. Get to know them, ask your questions and see how they can really help you. Trafton, from WP Engine once said, “choosing a host is a personal decision.”  It is also a business decision, and both WP Engine and Synthesis are fantastic choices.

One Comment

  1. Nicholas Pappagallo June 14, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    Great article although I can not afford them with our PAC Association currently I know down the road we will be able to use this info to get an amazing host! Thank you for explaining the differences in an easy to read format!

New Jersey Photographer

Thank you for reading the Scott Wyden Imagery blog. I am a Manalapan, New Jersey Photographer sharing my passion for photography any way I can. I am also the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati, teaching other photographers on how to increase business with their website.

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