Highlights Of The WPBacon WordPress Webhosting Roundtable

Earlier today, WPBacon hosted a WordPress hosting roundtable featuring high-profile employees of notable webhosting companies. The panel consisted of the following people.

While the entire show was filled with great information, these are the statements that really caught my attention:

75% of customer sites on Site 5 are powered by WordPress. This is the reason for setting up an optimized server configuration specifically for WordPress.

50% of users on Bluehost have WordPress installed on their account.

What’s The Biggest Security Threat Affecting Hosts?

Brute force login attempts were labeled as one of the biggest threats to webhosting. Hosts are getting increasingly aggressive in protecting users and forcing customers to use strong passwords. The majority of those on the panel stated they are blocking thousands of requests per second of automated attacks. 80-90% of the attacks are determined to be automated.

Welch of Site 5 explained how the core of WordPress has been solid for the past two years. The focus has now shifted towards themes and plugins for security and performance issues.

How Do They Contribute Back To WordPress?

Siteground has a contractor who works for them but also contributes to the core of WordPress. Siteground is pro-active in fixing bugs and sends those patches upstream for the benefit of everyone who uses WordPress.

Out of all the companies represented on the panel, Bluehost is the only one that works exclusively with Automattic and the WordPress project. They also have two employees who work full time contributing to WordPress.

Site 5 attends and sponsors as many WordCamps as they can. Site 5 helps users get a grasp of WordPress and solving customer problems is their way of contributing to the larger WordPress ecosystem.

What’s The Biggest Challenges Facing WordPress Specific Hosting Companies?

So many hosting companies advertise their support of WordPress, that Vasile of InMotion hosting says you need to specify that you can run WordPress on your servers or else customers don’t think it’s possible.

One of the largest challenges in WordPress hosting is struggling to host customers who fail to keep WordPress and their site up to date and secure. Auto updates for security and bug fixes have been a big help in keeping sites secure.

What Is The Most Common Support Issue?

InMotion hosting sees a bit of everything. Sometimes the security measures put in place to protect users such as mod_security can cause problems.

Site 5 has a lot of support requests that are high level due to their customer base. A lot of customers are the developer/designer type. They don’t have many customers who ask basic questions.

Bluehost sees a lot of support requests due to plugins and themes if they negatively affect the performance of their customer’s sites.

Questions I Would Have Asked

Although I submitted a few questions to the panel, none were asked. In the hopes that these individuals will stop by and answer them in the comments, here are the questions I submitted to the show.

To the panel: Have you made any strategic deals with WordPress product and service companies in order to offer your customers more than just a hosting account?

To Bluehost: How beneficial has it been for the company to be one of the recommended webhosts on WordPress.org? A follow up question would ask them to explain how they ended up in that position.

To the panel: How are they differentiating themselves from each other considering almost every webhost has the capability to host a WordPress site?

Watch The Entire Interview and Tell Us What You Think

The hosts of WPBacon, Robert Neu and Ozzy Rodriguez announced they will be hosting a WordPress Managed Hosting roundtable in the near future. Since the market has a lot of choices between shared and managed WordPress hosting, the duo decided to host two seperate roundtables.

If you need help choosing the right webhost, consider these 14 things before you make your decision.

Watch the interview and let us know what you think in the comments. A word of caution, some parts of the episode contain language of an adult nature.

4 Comments


  1. Nice write-up. I wanted to touch on a couple questions that you asked in this post that you hoped were brought up during the show.

    First off, what really sets most hosting providers apart is their ability to meet the needs of a wide range of websites that are powered by WP. As I said on the show, the needs of a site with 100 daily visitors is going to be vastly different than that of a site that gets 100,000. Providers that are truly WordPress-friendly will be able to host these customers, whether they re-engineer their hosting platform or offer a variety of solutions (such as VPS and Dedicated hosting) to accommodate specific needs. For example, Siteground has specifically-tailored aspects of their servers to optimize how certain major open source applications run. InMotion Hosting has made major improvements in how the user is able to install, manage, and customize WordPress to improve the overall user experience, and has exceeded the industry standard in terms of the server hardware and network infrastructure required to keep websites up and running quickly and securely.

    Aside from this, the company’s ability to support WordPress has become vital. As conceded by just about every member of the panel, there’s only so much training that can be devoted to one aspect of the business, and when it comes down to it, technical support is for the hosting, not for WordPress specifically. However, a company’s ability to go above and beyond by focusing on increasing their competency in WP is going to stand out more in the community and keep their customers happier. Also, IMH has Jeff Matson :)

    Despite my natural “sassy” (according to WPBacon :D ) demeanor towards Bluehost that was exhibited during the show, I want to specifically point out Bluehost’s contributions to the WP community are commendable and unsurpassed. They should be recognized for their ongoing efforts to improving what is now considered to be the most powerful and widely-used open source application.

    InMotion Hosting has co-sponsored dozens of Wordcamp events across the country and has committed thousands of hours in developing openly-available documentation and help guides targeted to WordPress users. We will continue to work more and more closely with the WP community for years to come.

    Overall, I really enjoyed being on this roundtable and felt that the mix of participants was just right for keeping things informative and interesting.

    Vanessa
    @vanessa_vasile

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. As I witnessed during WordCamp Miami, InMotion indeed has The Jeff Matson. I was only joking about the panel picking on BlueHost but it was great to see everyone just laid back and having fun.

      Funny thing is, I’ve never heard about InMotion Hosting until I met Jeff earlier this year. Nice to see a large, independent webhost not under the EIG banner.

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  2. First off – nice highlights. I would like to address the questions above that did not make it to the show.

    Making a partnership with a WordPress company is definitely a good way to add valuable services to your web hosting plan. SiteGround has already partnered with ManageWP, which is integrated in our cPanel, and with iThemes, whose themes and plugins are available to our customers at a special price. We will always be open to partnering with any provider that can enhance our customers’ experience.

    Still, in relation to your second question about how do we differentiate ourselves from other hosting providers, I would like to point out that we at SiteGround strongly believe the best way to provide something more than a plain web hosting plan is to develop the additional WordPress services yourself. That is how we ended up having multiple in-house created tools like WordPress dynamic caching, WP staging environment, GIT and WP-CLI integration, auto-updater, etc. We apply this self-made approach not only to developing WordPress related software, but also to providing WordPress related services like WordPress support, security, speed optimizations, etc.

    Tenko
    @tnikolov @siteground

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    1. I think it’s commendable that Siteground has created solutions to problems from within instead of outsourcing. That’s the way to go! Also glad to see you folks partnering with established WordPress product/service companies to offer your customers even more value. Those relationships appear to be a win/win/win situation for all involved.

      Thanks for stopping by and keep up the great work at Siteground.

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