Should I Host a WordPress Website Locally?

When it comes to finding a host for your website, naturally you want all the best features, including 99% uptime, fast load times, plenty of memory, robust customer support, and all the other things you need. But with hundreds of hosting companies on the market to choose from, it can be difficult to find the best WordPress hosting available. In particular, you may find yourself choosing between a domestic hosting service and a foreign one. But what’s the difference between the two? Let’s dig into the answers.

Domestic vs. Foreign: What’s the Difference?

Obviously, the main difference between domestic and foreign hosting is that domestic servers are stationed locally, where foreign servers can be anywhere in the world. But the differences go further than that. Foreign servers might have entirely different policies about privacy, data protection, and what services they offer.

The pricing for foreign servers will be different, most likely lower (we’ll get to that in a moment). There may also be legal differences between the two, perhaps inconsequential, perhaps not. The biggest of these differences, and the most important to consider, is data privacy, especially if you have a website that collects sensitive information or customer data. The consequences of having sensitive data leaked and no legal recourse would far outweigh the benefits of a lower hosting fee.

Foreign Hosting: Pros and Cons

However, foreign hosting is not without its benefits; the primary one being price. Foreign hosts tend to offer much lower prices in general than domestic ones, to the point where it might seem unreasonable not to take the deal. This can be especially important for smaller businesses and individuals who can’t afford a more expensive domestic web host.

However, there are some things to be mindful of when choosing to go with a foreign web host. Some of the possible drawbacks include:

  • A difference in time zones, which could be an issue if there’s a critical problem and support is not available 24/7
  • Poor quality customer support in general.
  • Speed and performance issues. A cheap foreign host may not have the load times you’re hoping for, which could lead to customers abandoning your site. They also may have less reliable uptime than their domestic counterparts

Domestic Hosting: Pros and Cons

As you might expect, domestic web hosts don’t have a lot of these same issues. Because the server distances are shorter, your load times will likely be faster. Local customer support tends to be much better and more reliable, and reduces the possibility of a language barrier. You’re also less likely to run afoul of any dodgy data privacy laws or other tricky legal issues.

So does this mean domestic servers are the perfect choice? Hardly. For one thing, there’s the aforementioned price difference local hosting companies tend to cost more because there’s no differential between currencies to lend the buyer an advantage.

Secondly, local hosting companies aren’t immune to shady business practices. For example, some local hosts may actually be resellers: when you buy a hosting package from them, they actually sell space on larger international host servers. So you might think your site is being hosted locally (complete with higher local prices), but it’s actually on a foreign server. This means you’re potentially paying more for the same borderline or poor performance you’d get from purchasing a foreign hosting package in the first place.

So the question remains: should you host your website locally? The answer is: probably yes. Though you’ll end up paying more for the service, the advantages simply outweigh the drawbacks in most cases. You’re supporting the local economy and your odds of having better support and website performance are better all around.

In particular, you should look for the following features when choosing between hosting companies:

  • Average load times of 890ms or less. Visitors will leave your site in as fast as 3 seconds if the site isn’t loading, so it’s vital you have a fast-loading site something that can be a major stumbling block with remote, foreign web hosts.
  • An average uptime of 99.9% or more. Internet users move fast, and they want their information right away. If they come to visit your site and it’s down for maintenance or just plain down they may go right to your competitor and never look back.
  • Quality support. A good web host should always have support available, ideally 24/7. Omnichannel support is also a major bonus, so customers can get in touch via phone, email, live chat, or whatever other avenue works best for them. A good host should also have an online knowledge base and a support team that has a strong grasp of the features the hosting company offers so they can answer any questions you have without delay.

There are plenty of other useful strategies for picking the best web hosting company, such as checking reviews, looking for any value-added features, and more.