WordPress 3.0 was released a few days ago, and it's more powerful than it has ever been. And if you are thinking of using WordPress 3 for your blog or even as a CMS, I recommend a self-hosted version rather than the free version hosted on WordPress.com.
So, what are the server requirements to host WordPress 3.0? According to the WordPress official website, your web hosting for WordPress should meet the following minimum requirements:
- PHP 4.3 or greater
- MySQL 4.1.2 or greater
- The mod_rewrite Apache module (This is necessary to have pretty SEO-friendly URLs)
Note that WordPress will soon quit support for PHP 4 and MySQL 4 (read official announcement here), so if you are planning to continue using WordPress next year (2011), I strongly recommend that you switch to a hosting that has PHP 5 and MySQL 5 to avoid having to use an older version of WordPress in the near future when the newer versions no longer support PHP 4/MySQL4. Both Dreamhost and Bluehost have PHP 5 and MySQL 5.
I have used more than 10 web hosting providers for my online projects but here are my recommended web hosting for WordPress 3.0.
Dreamhost is an ideal hosting provider for advanced users. Their Control Panel is a bit different to CPanel/Plesk but they have so many more features than CPanel/Plesk if you know what you are doing. And if you install WordPress using "WordPress one-click installer" on dreamhost, they will upgrade it for you automatically. This is a good feature because you don't have to manually upgrade WordPress whenever a new version comes out. But you need to be careful not to hack the core code or core files of WordPress because your changes will be overwritten when they install a new version. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about support at dreamhost but I have never really had to contact them because their knowledge base and wiki are quite comprehensive. I am using Dreamhost for this Web Development Blog and it is my recommend hosting provider for developers and technical savvy people. Dreamhost costs $8.53 per month which is a bit more expensive than most shared hosting but you do get what you pay for and you can get $30 off by using this coupon: WEBDEV30.
Bluehost is an ideal hosting provider for basic users. Each hosting account comes with a CPanel and one click install feature to install WordPress on your hosting account in less than 3 minutes. The install feature also allows you to install a previous version of WordPress so if, for some reason, you need to install WordPress 2.9 instead of WordPress 3.0 for plugin compatibility reasons, you can do so easily. The following video shows you how to install WordPress on Bluehost using their one click install. I am using Bluehost for a few of my websites. At $6.95/month with a free domain name for life and unlimited domain hosting, the price is very affordable.
Video Tutorial of how to install WordPress using SimpleScripts on BlueHost