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Do I Need a Web Host for WordPress? A Beginner’s Guide

Are you tired of being stuck in hosting limbo?

Not sure if you need a web host for your WordPress site or if you can just wing it on your own?

Well fear not, dear reader, because today we’re going to dive deep into the world of web hosting and figure out once and for all whether you need a web host for your WordPress site or if you can just go it alone.

But before we get into all that, let’s start with a little joke to get you in the mood:

Why was the computer cold?

Because it left its Windows open and caught a virus! (I know, I know, it’s a terrible joke. But trust me, the rest of this post will be much more informative and valuable.)

Do I need a web host for WordPress featured image

The Great Debate: vs

Ah, the age-old question: or

It’s a question that has puzzled WordPress users for centuries (or at least it feels that way).

First things first:

What’s the difference between these two WordPress platforms?

Well, let’s start with the easy one. is a hosted platform, which means that you don’t have to worry about finding a web host or installing WordPress yourself.

It’s all taken care of for you.

Sounds convenient, right?

But hold on a minute because with convenience comes limitations. is more restrictive when it comes to customization and control.

Sure, you can choose from a selection of pre-designed themes and plugins, but you don’t have the same level of flexibility as you would with self-hosted WordPress (more on that in a minute).

On the other hand, is the software that powers self-hosted WordPress sites.

If you want to use, you’ll need to find a web host and install WordPress yourself. It might sound like a hassle, but with this option comes a lot more control and flexibility. You can customize your site to your heart’s content and even upload custom themes and plugins.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and you’ll need to be comfortable with some technical know-how to manage your own site.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, which one should I choose? or”

And the answer is… it depends.

If you’re a beginner or just looking for a simple, hassle-free platform, might be a good option for you. But if you’re a more advanced user or looking to build a more complex site, is probably the way to go.

For the rest of this post, we’ll focus on because, let’s be real, who wants to be limited by a hosted platform when they could have all the freedom and control of a self-hosted site? (Unless you’re into that sort of thing, in which case, more power to you.)

So, now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s move on to the meat of this post: do you actually need a web host for your WordPress site? (Cue suspenseful music.)

Web Hosting 101: What It Is and Why You Need It

Okay, so now that we’ve cleared up the confusion between and, let’s talk about web hosting.

A web host is essentially a storage space for your website. It’s where all the files and data associated with your site live, and it’s what makes your site available to the public on the internet.

Without a web host, your site would be like a tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it. 

Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.

Different types of web hosting are available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Shared hosting is the most affordable option, where your site shares a server with other websites. It’s a good option for small, low-traffic sites, but it can be slow and prone to downtime if one of the other sites on the server is using a lot of resources.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a step up from shared hosting, where you still share a server with other sites, but you have your own allocated resources and a virtual partition to keep your site separate. It’s a good option for medium-sized sites with moderate traffic.

Dedicated hosting is the top of the line, where you have your own physical server just for your site. It’s a good option for large, high-traffic sites, but it’s also the most expensive option.

So, do you need a web host for your WordPress site?

The short answer is yes.

Without a web host, your site wouldn’t be available to the public, and let’s be honest, what’s the point of having a website if no one can see it?

To help you find the best web host for your needs, check out my list of the best web hosts in South Africa.

Choose a web host that’s reliable, fast, and has good customer support, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful online presence.

Can You Use WordPress Without a Web Host? The Truth Revealed

So, can you use WordPress without a web host? The short answer is technically yes, but it’s not exactly practical.

Here’s the thing: you can install WordPress on your own computer and work on your site locally, kind of like a sandbox. This can be useful to test new features or make changes to your site without affecting the live version.

But if you want to make your site available to the public, you’ll need a web host.

Now, you might be thinking, “But wait, can’t I just use my home internet connection to access my site from anywhere?”

Well, yes, you could technically set up your own server at home and use your home internet connection to access your site.

But let’s be honest, how many of us have the technical know-how or the patience to set up our own servers?

Plus, your home internet connection might not be reliable or fast enough to handle the traffic of a live website.

And even if you do manage to set up your own server at home and make your site available to the public, you’ll still need to worry about things like updates and backups.

Trust me, you do not want to be responsible for maintaining your own server. It’s a lot of work and requires a lot of technical knowledge.

So, in conclusion, while it is technically possible to use WordPress without a web host, it’s not exactly practical or advisable.

Stick with a reliable web host and save yourself the headache.

Choosing a Web Host for WordPress: What to Look For

Okay, so you’ve decided you need a web host for your WordPress site.

Great decision!

Now the real fun begins: choosing a web host.

So, what should you consider when choosing a web host for your WordPress site?

Here are a few key factors to keep in mind:

  • Price: Obviously, cost is a major consideration for most of us. But be careful not to skimp too much on price, as a cheap web host might not provide the performance, security, or customer support you need.
  • Performance: You want a web host that can handle your site’s traffic and performance needs. Look for web hosts with fast servers and a track record of uptime.
  • Security: Your web host should take security seriously and offer measures like SSL certificates and regular backups to protect your site and data.
  • Customer support: When things go wrong (and they inevitably will at some point), you want a web host with good customer support to help you get back up and running.

It’s also worth considering whether the web host is optimized for WordPress. Some web hosts offer specialized plans and features specifically tailored to WordPress, which can significantly affect speed and reliability.

One web host that I highly recommend for WordPress users is Cloudways.

They offer super fast cloud hosting optimized for WordPress performance. Their servers are fast and reliable, and they provide a range of security measures like SSL certificates and regular backups.

Plus, their customer support is top-notch and available 24/7 to help you with any issues or questions you might have.

All in all, Cloudways is an excellent web host for WordPress users looking for a balance of affordability, performance, and customer support.

Give them a try and see for yourself!

Choosing a web host is a big decision, so take your time and do your research. And remember, a good web host is worth the investment.

Setting Up a Web Host for WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Okay, so you’ve done your research, chosen a web host, and are ready to set up your WordPress site.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up a web host for your WordPress site:

  1. Purchase a hosting plan: First things first, you’ll need to purchase a hosting plan from your chosen web host. This usually involves choosing a plan based on your needs and budget and entering your payment information.
  2. Install WordPress: Once your hosting plan is set up, you’ll need to install WordPress. Most web hosts offer a one-click install option through a tool like Softaculous, which makes the process quick and easy. If your web host doesn’t offer this option, you can also install WordPress manually by uploading the files to your server. (When you sign up with Cloudways, they’ll automatically set up WordPress for you, so all you have to do is start customizing and adding content to your site.)
  3. Configure your site: After WordPress is installed, you’ll need to configure your site by setting up a username and password, choosing a theme, and adding any necessary plugins. You can also customize your site by adding pages, posts, and other content.
  4. Tips and best practices: Here are a few tips and best practices to make the setup process as smooth and hassle-free as possible:
  • Choose a strong, unique password for your WordPress admin account. This will help protect your site from hackers.
  • Choose a theme that’s optimized for performance and responsive design. This will ensure that your site looks good and loads quickly on all devices.
  • Keep your site up to date by regularly updating WordPress, themes, and plugins. This will help keep your site secure and running smoothly.
  • Consider using a plugin like UpdraftPlus to automate backups of your site. This will help protect your data in case of any unexpected issues.

That’s it! With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a fully-functional, self-hosted WordPress site.

I hope this step-by-step guide has been helpful in setting up your web host for WordPress.

If you have any questions or run into any issues along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to your web host’s customer support team for assistance.

Wrapping Up: A Comprehensive Guide to Web Hosting for WordPress

Well, there you have it!

Everything you need to know about whether you need a web host for your WordPress site and how to choose and set one up.

To sum up, a web host is essential for hosting your WordPress site and making it available to the public. If you’re still unsure whether WordPress is a web host or not, check out our post on ‘Is WordPress a web host?‘ to help you clear up any confusion.

There are different types of web hosting available, each with its own set of pros and cons.

It’s important to consider factors like price, performance, security, and customer support when choosing a web host and one optimized for WordPress.

If you’re still unsure, check out our post on the difference between web hosting and WordPress hosting, to help you make an informed decision.

Setting up a web host for WordPress involves purchasing a hosting plan, installing WordPress, and configuring your site.

In conclusion, choosing the right web host for your WordPress site is essential for a successful online presence.

Take your time and do your research, and you’ll be well on your way to a fast, reliable, and secure site.

And if you’re looking for a web host that offers automatic WordPress installation, fast and reliable servers, and excellent customer support, I recommend giving Cloudways a try. (But don’t take my word for it, do your own research and choose a web host that’s right for you.)

Thanks for reading, and happy hosting!