For any website, the choice of web hosting is a critical one. A wrong decision in this regard can break down not just your website but also the trust of customers in your business.
This is especially true if you have a LearnDash-powered website. Requirements of any e-learning website tend to be a bit more tedious than other types of websites due to longer session durations and a host of other differences. Since LearnDash sites are no exceptions, it’s a bit difficult to choose a reliable hosting provider. But don’t worry – we’re going to simplify it for you. In this article, we’ll share with you a five-point criteria that can be followed to choose a reliable hosting company for your online learning site, and also a list of 6 LearnDash hosting companies that pass the test of our criteria.
Let’s get started:
Qualities of Reliable LearnDash Hosting Providers
To begin, it’s important to understand that the requirements of LearnDash sites are different than the requirements of other sites. Therefore, we should keep some things in mind while choosing a LearnDash host for such a site. What are those things?
Well, here they’re:
#1. Ability to handle load for long periods of time
The traffic of a LearnDash site (or any e-Learning site) is not like ‘here it comes, there it goes’ in nature. Users of these websites spend many hours on the site watching videos and trying to learn something. And there may be hundreds of such learners online at the same time. Therefore, your web hosting company should have the ability to handle user load for long periods of time.
It should also have a reliable support team that remains available 24×7 to help you out in case something goes wrong with your site. Usually, you can get an idea of a host company’s support team by going through their forums.
#2. Ability to manage routine spikes of traffic
If you’re going to operate a school website, there will be specific times when your site will observe a surge in traffic and activity (i.e. in the morning, or at any other time of your choice) on a daily basis. As more and more students enroll themselves in your online school, those spikes will only get bigger. So in that case, your hosting company should also have the ability to handle that routine spike of traffic on your LearnDash website.
Many hosting companies can’t manage such routine surges in the load that sustain for long durations, so you should ensure that whichever hosting company you choose has got the ability to manage traffic spikes on a daily basis.
#3. Capability to handle large number of sessions at the same time
Your LearnDash website can have hundreds of active sessions at the same time as students try to learn something. Therefore, the hosting you choose should also have the capability to handle hundreds of sessions at the same time. Geeky note:- Every session corresponds to a MySQL connection process, and hosting providers set a limit on the number of active MySQL connections you can have at any time.
It’s important for you to ensure that your host’s limit on simultaneous database connections doesn’t collide with the requirements of your website. For instance, if you’re running a school site then you can have even a hundred simultaneous sessions at the same time, while most shared hosting plans provide anywhere between 25-30 simultaneous connections only. That can be a problem.
So, you should check out the type of hosting plans being offered by a hosting company. If they’re offering a plan that can manage a large number of connections at the same time (whether in the form of VPS, Cloud Hosting, or dedicated hosting), then it means that they’ve got the infrastructure to handle a large number of sessions at the same time.
#4. Powerful multimedia hosting capabilities
Any LearnDash site usually includes a lot of media content, like PDF files and videos. Enough disk space and enough bandwidth being provided by the hosting server are two essential features to store and stream that content. If your courses are going to include a lot of video content, 100GB of disk space is the basic requirement you should get started with.
In addition to that, your hosting provider should also be providing enough bandwidth (the amount of data your server can transfer to your visitors in a month) to ensure that your site doesn’t break down due to the large number of users streaming video content from your site. Ideally, a hosting provider offering unlimited or unmetered bandwidth with adequate disk space for your LearnDash website is a good idea.
#5. CDN support and scalability
Finally, the hosting company you pick for your LearnDash website should also support Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and other scalability features like unlimited websites, root access, easy database management, file management, etc. CDN support is essential because your learners may come from different corners of the world, and CDN helps in improving the performance of your site for them no matter where they’re located.
Scalability features, on the other hand, will help you grow without facing any infrastructure-related hurdles in your path.
6 Reliable LearnDash Hosting Providers
None of the qualities mentioned above are acquired by a hosting company overnight. It takes time to build up the necessary infrastructure to provide these features, and it takes years of experience to build a robust support team and technical team that can provide the best experience through that infrastructure. So we decided to find out 7 such hosts that fulfill the above given 5-point criteria to host your LearnDash site.
Here they’re, arranged in the order of increasing price:
First of all, we’ve Bluehost. Its hosting plans are a combination of affordability, performance, and scalability – a one of a kind combination that’s very difficult to find elsewhere. The company has been in the business for the last 13 years, and it hosts more than 2 million domains. When you operate at such a massive scale and for such a long period, infrastructure and support team don’t remain a challenge at all. So it’s not surprising that Bluehost provides us everything that’s mentioned in our 5-point criteria of e-Learning web hosts.
- Its WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans start from $6.95 per month.
SiteGround is also known for its WordPress managed hosting service, which means that all technical aspects of your WordPress site (i.e. installing updates, uptime, daily backups, security, scalability, and speed, etc.) are managed by the hosting company. A major difference between SiteGround and others is that they utilize the hosting infrastructure of Google Cloud to offer their services. Now, when your LearnDash site is hosted on Google’s infrastructure, you don’t need to worry about the reliability and speed of your hosting. In addition to that, their support team has also earned accolades by many popular websites around the world.
- The pricing of SiteGround hosting plans starts from $6.99 per month.
Now moving towards some of the more premium options. It’s another managed hosting provider, but not just for WordPress – they provide fully managed hosting services for all types of sites. A great thing about them is that they update all your plugins, including LearnDash, automatically as soon as an update is available, and if your site runs into compatibility issues with any of the themes/plugin updates then the update is also rolled back by their team. In fact, they guarantee a response time of fewer than 60 seconds on all popular communication channels – phone, chat, or help desk. You can access their team 24×7, and their hosting plans start from $19 per month. They also offer a free trial.
Next in line is WPEngine, and as you can guess from its name, it’s a web host specifically in the business of hosting WordPress sites, unlike others which offer regular hosting services too. Due to that reason, they specialize in providing managed WordPress hosting services. The company claims to provide you an integrated platform with essential tools like Cloudflare CDN, Amazon AWS, Google AMP, and Google Analytics. The result of these integrations with WPEngine platform is that you get a site that’s ready to work with most of the required tools and services. And if something breaks down, there’s a team that works with the teams of these tech partners to fix things as soon as possible.
Sounds cool? Well, that ease and convenience come at a slightly higher price than average hosting.
- WPEngine prices start at $25 per month.
Kinsta proudly markets itself as a premium hosting service for WordPress, so you should not expect it to be a cheap offering. However, it’s also not too costly as you can see it sits in the middle of our list. It’s a fully managed hosting service, which means that their team takes care of all your backend tasks. They provide you a quite modern-looking and stylish control panel in the form of MyKinsta dashboard from where you can schedule any of the tasks that you want to schedule for any of your sites – it’s one dashboard to manage all your websites hosted with Kinsta. Some of the biggest names like General Electric, Ubisoft, Freshbooks, and Buffer are already their customers.
- If you’re interested, pricing starts from $30 per month.
Pressidium’s managed WordPress hosting is special because it has partnered with LearnDash, which means that its engineering team (that’s right, they hire full-fledged engineers to manage the servers of their clients) is totally aware of how to configure a server the best way for LearnDash sites. They’ve published a full article explaining how they’re experts in the art of configuring LearnDash servers, and why they’re the best bet for this task. In addition to that, their clients include some of the most popular names in the world of education (i.e. Cornell University, University of Kentucky, UNICEF, and the University of Kent), so they know a thing or two about running all types of e-learning sites.
Choosing a reliable, scalable, and fast host for your LearnDash site can be tricky, but we’ve tried to simplify it for you in this article. By keeping the criteria given above in mind and choosing a host from the list given above by us you can pretty much ensure that your online learning site will not go through rough patches of unreliability.
Most of these hosting options also don’t cost a ton – you can easily afford them with the earnings of your LearnDash site. So choose your desired host, and share your thoughts about it in the comments section below.