Membership websites are those that restrict people from viewing some of their content until they have signed up or paid for that. Usually, we see such websites are created with the purpose to launch ebooks, services, webinars, virtual conferences, and Podcasts. WordPress is one of the recommended platforms for membership sites, but it should be supported by a good WordPress hosting company if you really want your site to perform well.
The important question here is how to know what is the best hosting for WP membership site? Since such websites come with certain requirements, you can’t go with a random hosting service.
Membership websites make use of applications as well, so you need a hosting that offers a strong foundation to run these websites without any annoying issues.
Here are some tips for choosing the best web hosting for a membership WordPress site.
Look For a Performance-Oriented Host
Whether you want to sell Ebooks or conduct webinar via your membership website, you always need a performance-focused WordPress host. Since your website will have a large number of visitors and sessions and you will need to store a lot of data, you must have adequate server resources.
Make sure your hosting service provides resources like Linux, Nginx, PHP, MySQL that are usually required to run a membership site. Another thing that you need to take care of is that resources should be 100% private.
Consider Hosting Speed
Speed is one of the prominent things to consider when choosing a web host for a WordPress membership website. Most of the WordPress-focused hosting providers give importance to website speed, but they make use of an aggressive caching system to achieve the increased speed. Caching is fine for a non-membership site, but when it comes membership website, it can cause conflicts with different WordPress membership scripts including iMember360, MemberPress, MemberMouse, etc.
Nevertheless, you can make use of object caching. Object cache keeps a record of results of database queries so that next time whenever there is a request for the same query, data can be delivered from the cache without sending a query to the database.
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Object caching helps in speeding up PHP execution times and reduces the load on your database. There are plenty of ways you can implement object caching in your WordPress site. Memcached and W3 Total Cache are two well-known object caching solutions you can use in your WP site.
Explore Security Features
Security is another important aspect you should look into. As an owner of a membership site, you will likely be receiving payment from your users.
Therefore, it is important that you provide them with a secure payment environment. Though you can use different security plugins to ensure every payment process is safe on your site, but your hosting partner should also play a big role in it.
Make sure your hosting provider supports the latest version of PHP, ideally PHP 7.2 that takes care of the fastest performance. PHP 5.6 is about to reach its official end of life in December 2018; it will not be able to receive security updates anymore. So, it is better to avoid such host that doesn’t support the latest PHP.
If you find your membership website is having a compatibility issue with the latest PHP version, take help of a WordPress developer to fix it so that you don’t pass up on the advantages from the latest version of PHP.
Look for Features to Improve WordPress Search
As your membership website will grow with the time, standard search functionality will not be sufficient. In the absence of a good search functionality, your website may run into various performance issues.
To deal with such issues, many web hosts offer Elasticsearch search engine as add-on their plan. Based on Lucene, Elasticsearch offers a distributed full-text search engine that boosts up querying of the WP database. Don’t forget to see if your web host has such features or not.
Choosing a reliable and performance-oriented web host for a WordPress membership website is not a piece of cake. There are a lot of things that you have to consider before choosing the one. Though there are hundreds of web host are there to choose from, but very limited are actually go with the requirements of a membership site. Hopefully, this post will help you find the right one.