If you are new to WordPress, there are quite a few ways to host your own WordPress website.
- Pay your designer to put it on their server
- Buy your own hosting system and give your designer access
- Host it with a WordPress hosting service (WP Engine, Page.ly, etc.)
First, WordPress.com is either absolutely free or it can be a pricey enterprise solution. Major news sites often use the VIP WordPress service. This is likely not an option that is reasonable for your needs. WordPress.com (free version) is limited in it’s functionality and has user agreements that might not be ideal for a business website. You’ll do best to host your site elsewhere. Here’s a great review of the differences in WordPress.com vs. self-hosted WordPress.org: http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/
The second option is to just let the person who designs and sets your site up put it on their server. I really am reluctant to do this for any of my clients. If we ever part ways, it’s a much smoother hand-off for them to maintain their own hosting plans. In addition, issues that others create on sites within my hosting plan can impact performance of others. I’d rather keep the impact to a minimum.
Buying your own hosting option is the route I prefer to set clients up with. For just $5 – $15 per month, you can create your own hosting account with providers like HostGator (affiliate link). You can then control your own hosting and give access to whomever you need to maintain your website. Paying more than that for hosting is likely unnecessary for most business needs. In addition, you can quickly control your own email. You’ll have access to all aspects related to your hosting without depending upon the service provider and have access to the hosting servie for tech support.
Specialized WordPress hosting agencies exist to provide a premium hosting experience. Companies like WP Engine maintain all the updates to your website as soon as the security of each is attained. They handle server issues, and provide an additional layer of support with the functionality of your website. Sites hosted in such specialized systems often have fast page speed, backups, and super security settings. Hosting services of this nature are great when you have a highly trafficked website that exceeds what services like HostGator can offer.
Don’t lose your WordPress website to violating terms on WordPress.com, or get stuck on your first designer’s server without control over your email and ability to migrate everything elsewhere should you so chose.