The WordPress system is an integral part of the internet. There are numerous new websites which are being built on WordPress and have become more than just “blogs”. WordPress has a minimum set of requirements if you want to host it yourself through an independent hosting provider (else you can use WordPress.com). Although the list of minimum requirements are the absolutely bare minimum that you need to start a WordPress website, we recommend a little more. Here’s our list of what your hosting provider should give you so that you can start a WordPress website.
Having a Control Panel is something that you just have to have. You cannot miss the Control Panel, as it allows you direct and easy access to your files and configuration for your website. This is something that is very important when you want to troubleshoot or diagnose issues in your WordPress website. Whether you are hosted on Linux or Windows, you must have a Control Panel which will allow you to see error logs, statistics, ftp details, manage files and have an anti-virus or cleanup tools among other things. We love cPanel (for Linux) and so do most people who have some web hosting experience.
Along with cPanel and other Control Panels, most providers also bundle Auto-Installer systems like Softaculous, Fantastico and Installatron. These auto-installers allow you to install WordPress in a couple of clicks. They are also important in helping you backup your website before you make any harmful changes. The best part about these is that you can also upgrade your entire WordPress software to the latest version, in a single click. Some auto-installers also allow you to setup a reminder when an upgrade is available. They also have an auto-upgrade function which will upgrade the WordPress install without your intervention as soon as a new version becomes available.
This is one of the minimum requirements of WordPress. Currently WordPress needs MySQL 5.0 or greater to work well. For Linux Hosting, MySQL is the standard. For Windows Hosting, you may need to clarify with your hosting provider whether they are giving MySQL Databases along with the standard MS SQL Databases in Windows. Since MySQL is also open source, it really complements WordPress pretty well.
Another minimum requirement of WordPress is PHP 5.2.4 or greater. WordPress is written in PHP and hence needs PHP to be installed on the server. Almost all hosting providers, whether Windows or Linux, provide PHP.
PHPMyAdmin is a Database Management tool for MySQL, which is written in the PHP programming language. It allows you to see your database in a tabular form something similar to a spreadsheet and allows you to manipulate and make important changes to the WordPress backend. You no longer need to type long SQL queries or statements and risk making a silly mistake. You can use the simple GUI and click to make changes. While PHPMyAdmin is not a minimum requirement, we cannot imagine managing WordPress smoothly without it. Resetting the WordPress Admin password when you have forgotten it, was never easier than with PHPMyAdmin.
Although WordPress does mention Apache mod_rewrite as a minimum requirement for installing WordPress, it need not necessarily be there. mod_rewrite basically alters complex URLs in your WordPress system to look more user-friendly and SEO friendly for Search Engines to understand. Simply put, they change a page number, to the page title. Eg: [http://yourdomain.com/?p=4245] will be automatically replaced with whatever is there in the “Article Slug” like [http://yourdomain.com/hosting-is-best-with-hostingxtreme]. You can continue to use the number based URLs but it won’t be as much fun.