The Best WordPress Hosting

Who is the best WordPress hosting provider? Ask a dozen people and you’ll get as many answers.
Our recommendations are based on serious performance testing, price comparison and support.

Best hosting for bloggers and small business

If you've visited this page before you'll know that we have always recommended InMotion Hosting as our #1 cheap WordPress hosting provider, and we still love and use InMotion for many of our own projects. But after some very thorough testing of all the big shared hosting companies we are adding A2 and Siteground as top recommendations.
We think these three companies are the best WordPress hosting providers for bloggers and small business...

A2 Hosting

Easy WordPress Installer
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.92/mth
Siteground

Easy WordPress Installer
10Gb Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.95/mth
inmotion hosting

Auto WordPress Installer
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
90 Day Money Back Guarantee
From $3.49/mth

Best managed hosting for businesses with more budget

In our opinion WP Engine is the gold standard in WordPress web hosting. They are quite a bit more expensive than standard shared hosting, but for good reason…with WP Engine you are working with a team of experts dedicated to nothing but WordPress, which is why we use them to host this very site. Their service and support is superb and their WordPress hosting infrastructure is specially tuned to ensure WordPress runs fast and smooth. They recently launched some killer page performance tools too.

Managed hosting of this kind isn’t for everyone, but if you are a business and you are prepared to spend a bit more to know your WordPress hosting is in great hands then WP Engine is definitely the place to go. Highly recommended.

Get 33% off your first 3 months at WP Engine

wpengine

The full results of our thorough performance testing follow below, but first the rankings...

The Best WordPress Hosting Companies Ranked

Rank

Host

Our Rating

Price

Action

1 A2 Hosting From $3.92/mth View Plans / Full Review
2 SiteGround From $3.95/mth View Plans / Full Review
3 InMotion Hosting From $3.49/mth View Plans / Full Review
4 Hostgator From $3.82/mth View Plans / Full Review
5 Web Hosting Hub   From $4.99/mth View Plans / Full Review
6 DreamHost From $7.95/mth View Plans / Full Review
7 Arvixe From $4.00/mth View Plans / Full Review
8 GreenGeeks From $3.96/mth View Plans / Full Review
9 Bluehost From $3.45/mth View Plans / Full Review
10 Site5 From $4.95/mth View Plans / Full Review

Top 5 Managed WordPress Hosting Companies

We have a very thorough run down of all the major managed WordPress hosting providers, but these are the top 5...

Host

About

Price

Action

WP Dev Shed has been hosted on WP Engine
for over 2 years and we love it
From $29/mth View Plans
A relative new player based in Europe but is fast
developing a rep for brilliant technical performance
From $24.90/mth View Plans
Pressable have been around since the very early days
of specialist WordPress hosting.
From $20.83/mth View Plans
Pagely can lay claim to being the original
WordPress only hosting company.
From $64/mth View Plans
DreamHost have been around a long time too
and their DreamPress service is rock solid.
From $16.95/mth View Plans

Want to know more about Managed WordPress Hosting?

The Top 10 Shared WordPress Hosting Companies Reviewed

What follows is a comprehensive review and comparison of the best WordPress hosting companies. These hosts all offer cheap shared hosting options. To ensure a fair comparison we have taken a very standardised approach to the reviews. Watch the video to learn how we conducted our performance testing.

 

The results of all testing follows below, in no particular order. Rankings are here.

InMotion Hosting Review

InMotion Hosting have been around since 2001, providing entry level shared WordPress hosting, VPS and dedicated server hosting from their west and east coast data centers.

For our review we signed up for the cheapest entry level Launch plan.

InMotion Provisioning and Installation

Signing up with InMotion was very easy and provisioning instant, meaning we were able to get up and running immediately without waiting for any kind of manual review of our order. Like all hosting plans based on Cpanel the installation of WordPress itself was super easy, requiring basic information and a few clicks.

InMotion Systems and Support

InMotion provides 24/7 email, chat and phone based support. Our preference is for chat support and we've found that InMotion's 1st level chat support were able to solve any set up or configuration questions promptly 99% of the time, rarely needing to go to 2nd level technical support.

inmotion hosting

Launch Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Solid State Drives
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
90 Day Money Back Guarantee
From $3.49/mth
Compare all plans

InMotion Load Test

This is where InMotion really surprised us. Sending up to 500 concurrent users to a site on an entry level shared hosting account is a very tough test, but it turns out InMotion have a clever approach to caching heavily requested resources, so as the number of concurrent users increased they actually performed better. This is to say that InMotion is amazing at handling heavy loads even on their entry level plans. We were very impressed with this performance.

Inmotion hosting load test

InMotion Hosting Result
Pingdom Score 70
Pingdom Load Time 953ms

Back to rankings or share your experience with InMotion

InMotion Speed Test

InMotion scored of 70 on the Pingdom test, and was one of four hosts to score a total page load time of under 1 second at 953ms.

Siteground Review

Siteground was founded in 2004 and has grown to become one of the most popular shared hosting providers in the world with over 500,000 websites hosted. They are definitely a favorite amongst bloggers, unsurprisingly as one of the cheapest hosts in our tests.

For our review we signed up for Siteground's Startup plan.

Siteground Provisioning and Installation

Signing up and provisioning our account was seemless and real time, so we could get on with setting up the site immediately.

Like all hosts offering Cpanel they offer an installer which makes installation of WordPress literally a few clicks.

Siteground Systems and Support

Siteground provide 24/7 phone, chat and ticket based support which is genuinely fast and efficient. They like to talk about their "insanely fast" support and in our experience this has been the case.

Siteground

Startup Plan
10Gb Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Solid State Drives
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.95/mth
Compare all plans

Siteground Load Test

Siteground's performance in the load test was a good result. At the start load times for the virtual user sessions were great, and stayed relatively low all the way up to 400 concurrent virtual users which is (again) pretty impressive for an entry level shared hosting plan. From 400-500 concurrent users the average load time did start to increase, but even at this level the average load time was still quite respectable. Siteground can certainly handle the traffic.

Siteground load test

Siteground Result
Pingdom Score 70
Pingdom Load Time 702ms

Back to rankings or share your experience with SiteGround

Siteground Speed Test

Siteground scored of 70 on the Pingdom test, and had the lowest Pingdom page load time at 702ms.

A2 Hosting Review

Based in Ann Arbor, MI, A2 Hosting have been around since 2001. Originally called Iniquinet, they changed their name to A2 Hosting in 2003 and havn't looked back since. They position themselves as developer friendly and have a real focus on speed which is reflected in the results as you'll see below.

For our A2 review we signed up for their Lite plan which is also one of the cheapest from just $3.92/mth

A2 Provisioning and Installation

Signing up at A2 was easy, but I was frustrated by the wait for provisioning as I signed up outside of US office hours. If you are in the US it won't be a problem, but if you're outside the US you might have to wait for your order to be approved and provisioned.

Installation of WordPress was automatic and customized with A2's own plugin which automatically installs and configures some popular plugins to optimize the performance of your site. I was annoyed by this at first, but there is no denying that their approach helps with performance (see below) so this is not a bad thing especially if you are unfamiliar with how to optimize your site. In fact I've come to see this as a real bonus, specially if you are not an expert at optimizing WordPress.

A2 Systems and Support

A2 provide 24/7 phone and chat technical support which is great. Just note that provisioning only happens in US office hours.

A2 Hosting

Lite Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Solid State Drives
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.92/mth
Compare all plans

A2 Load Test

A2 position themselves all about performance, and when we look at the results of the load impact tests it is clear why. The site hosted on A2 actually performed better as the number of concurrent virtual users increased and the average user load time per session was very good right from the outset...and then it got better. A2 clearly do some clever server optimizations as well as auto-configuring page, object and database caching in WordPress itself. All round, the load test performance for the Lite plan was the most impressive we saw across all tests.

A2 Hosting load test

A2 Hosting Result
Pingdom Score 70
Pingdom Load Time 1.02s

Back to rankings or share your experience with A2 Hosting

A2 Speed Test

A2 also scored 70 on the Pingdom page load test, and was the 5th fastest page load at 1.02s. To be fair, it would be impossible to tell the difference between the 5 fastest load times with <250ms between them.

Web Hosting Hub Review

Web Hosting Hub got started in 2010 and are part of the same company as InMotion Hosting which means they share the same west and east coast data centers.

For our review of Web Hosting Hub we signed up for their Spark plan.

WHH Provisioning and Installation

Web Hosting Hubs signup process is very familiar and simple. The process is more or less real time during business hours.

Web Hosting Hub run cPanel as standard, and with that they provide the Softaculous installer for easy 1-click installs of WordPress (and a range of other popular CMS).

WHH Systems and Support

Like their sister company InMotion, Web Hosting Hub provide 24/7 support via phone, chat or email.

Web Hosting Hub

Spark Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Solid State Drives
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
90 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $4.99/mth
Compare all plans

Web Hosting Hub Load Test

Reflecting their shared infrastructure with InMotion, the results of our load testing on Web Hosting Hub were very similar. The initial virtual user session load times were sound, but not exceptional. The impressive thing is that as we increased the number of concurrent users beyond anything you would expect a cheap shared hosting plan to cope with they actually performed better as some clever caching kicked in to cope with the load. This is great if you expect your site may occasionally experience a sharp spike in visitors.

Web Hosting Hub load test

Web Hosting Hub Result
Pingdom Score 70
Pingdom Load Time 2.11s

Back to rankings or share your experience with Web Hosting Hub

Web Hosting Hub Speed Test

Web Hosting scored of 70 on the Pingdom test, and recorded a homepage load time of 2.11s from the Dallas test server.

Arvixe Review

Arvixe have been providing hosting services since their founding in 2003. In 2014 they were acquired by EIG (also owns Bluehost and Hostgator).

For our review we signed up for the cheapest entry level Personal Class plan.

Arvixe Provisioning and Installation

Signing up with Arvixe was fast and easy. They provide a very standard hosting service with the usual cPanel interface and the Softaculous script installer which makes it drop dead easy to install WordPress.

Arvixe Systems and Support

Support might be Arvixe' archilles heel. The forums are full of complaints in recent months and even Arvixe themselves acknowledge the challenges on their support blog, which was last updated in October 2015...itself a little telling. It seems in the wake of the EIG buyout the transition was a bit wonky and the service levels seem still to be suffering today.

In fairness, we didn't have any issues with our account set up or installation, and as you can see below, the technical performance was strong...

Arvixe

Personal Class Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Instant Provisioning
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
60 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $4/mth
Compare all plans

Arvixe Load Test

Arvixe' performance in the load tests was very good. The load times for each virtual user session started out well and while they continued to increase over time as the number on concurrent users increased this is pretty much what you would expect...keeping in mind this is an entry level shared hosting plan.

The pattern in Arixe results is pretty similar to Hostgator which makes us think they may be hosted on the same infrastructure (owned by EIG).

Arvixe load test

Arvixe Result
Pingdom Score 73
Pingdom Load Time 1.19s

Back to rankings or share your experience with Arvixe

Arvixe Speed Test

Arvixe scored 73 on the Pingdom test, with a home page load time of 1.19s, putting it up there with some of the fastest.

DreamHost Review

Founded in 1997 by four friends from their college dorm, DreamHost has been around from the very beginning and continues to thrive as one of the largest independants, hosting upwards of 1.5M sites and applications online.

For our review we signed up for DreamHosts cheapest Shared Hosting Plan.

DreamHost Provisioning and Installation

DreamHost offers instant provisioning which we like, but doesn't use the commonly used Cpanel, instead providing their own control panel software. If you are familiar with Cpanel this will require a bit of a learning curve, but it isn't complicated. DreamHost do provide an installer so getting WordPress setup was easy and painless.

DreamHost Systems and Support

DreamHost provides support 24/7 via live chat, email and Twitter. They do not provide phone based support, not that we have ever needed it (and we do use Dreamhost for some projects).

DreamHost

Shared Hosting Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Solid State Drives
1-click WordPress installer
Subversion Support
97 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $7.95/mth
Compare all plans

DreamHost Load Test

DreamHost performed well in the load testing right up to about 200 concurrent users, but the performance began to degrade from that point. In fairness this was about what we expected from an entry level shared WordPress hosting plan, and the fact is most blogs and small business sites will never have >200 concurrent visitors. But given the stellar performance of some other hosts you can't help but compare this performance less favorably.

Dreamhost load test

DreamHost Result
Pingdom Score 71
Pingdom Load Time 1.96s

Back to rankings or share your experience with DreamHost

DreamHost Speed Test

DreamHost scored of 71 on the Pingdom test, and a homepage load time of 1.96s.

Bluehost Review

Bluehost was founded in 2003 and has been a stalwart in the blog scene for many years as one of WordPress' official recommendations. Bluehost is owned by EIG (along with Hostgator, Site5 and Arvixe)

For testing purposes we signed up for Bluehost's Basic Plan which is their most popular plan with WordPress users, and is the cheapest equal with the Hostgator plan.

Bluehost Provisioning and Installation

One of the reasons Bluehost have been a long time favorite in WordPress community is that they make it very easy to signup. Provisioning is instant 24/7 and they have partnered with Mojo Marketplace to make installation generally painless. Though we do agree with other reviewers that Mojo can be confusing compared to the usual Cpanel installers.

 Bluehost Systems and Support

One of the benefits of working with a big provider like Bluehost (EIG) is that they offer comprehensive support, including 24/7 chat and phone support. Phone support is the exception rather than the rule so this will be a real draw for some people.

Bluehost

Basic Plan
50Gb Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Backups Included
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.45/mth
Compare all plans

Bluehost Load Test

Bluehost's performance in the load test was solid. Not exceptional, but pretty good. Average load times for the virtual user tests was never super fast, but it was decent and the important thing is it was consistent all the way up to 500 concurrent users. The performance actually picked up as the number of concurrent users rose over 200, suggesting some kind of server side caching kicked in, but the average load time stayed within a fairly tight band for the duration.

Bluehost load test

Bluehost Result
Pingdom Score 69
Pingdom Load Time 2.11s

Back to rankings or share your experience with BlueHost

Bluehost Speed Test

Bluehost scored of 69 on the Pingdom test, and recorded a 2.11s load time on the home page which was one of the slower ones.

Site5 Review

We learnt something new while researching Site5 for this review....they've also been purchased by EIG, so that's 40% of the top hosts owned by EIG.

As with all tests we went with Site5's entry level plan, hostBasic, which starts at $4.95/mth.

Site5 Provisioning and Installation

We used to use Site5 all the time (and still do use them for some accounts), and one of the features we've always liked is the option to choose your data centre when signing up. They have options in Europe, Asia, South America and a bunch in the US and Canada. A nice option for those with a target market in a particular place. Provisioning is instant.

Site5 Systems and Support

Site5 provides chat, email and phone support. Our experience of 1st level support over the years has generally been great. No worse or better than any other support.

Site5

hostBasic Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Instant Provisioning
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
45 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $4.95/mth
Compare all plans

Site5 Load Test

So I like Site5's options and systems, but they didn't do well in the load tests. As you can see the performance of the test site degraded in a linear fashion as the number of concurrent users to the test site increased. Having seen what other hosts are doing to improve the performance of sites and cope with volumes of traffic on even the cheapest WordPress hosting plans, I was disappointed with Site5's performance.

Site5 load test

Site5 Result
Pingdom Score 62
Pingdom Load Time 1.23s

Back to rankings or share your experience with Site5

Site5 Speed Test

Site5 scored a low 62 on the Pingdom test, and had one of the slowest page load times at 1.23s.

GreenGeeks Review

Green Geeks have been around since 2008, are proudly independent, and as the name suggests are all about eco-hosting for WordPress sites.

We reviewed Green Geek's EcoStarter Plan which starts at $3.96/mth.

GreenGeeks Provisioning and Installation

Signing up I had my first frustration with new account approvals and provisioning only happening during business hours in the US. This isn't a show stopper of course, but something to be aware of if you are outside the US (and in a hurry!). Once provisioned it was all very familiar with Cpanel and a 1-click installer.

GreenGeeks Systems and Support

We can't review Green Geeks without talking about their eco creds...Green Geeks is an EPA Green Power Partner and claim to be the most eco-friendly WordPress host on the planet. They purchase wind energy credits to the tune of 3x the energy they consume. If going green is important to you then Green Geeks is a good choice.

On the service side of things, they offer live chat 24/7, and phone support 9am-midnight EST (finishing earlier on the weekends).

GreenGeeks

EcoStarter Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Solid State Drives
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.96/mth
Compare all plans

GreenGeeks Load Test

Green Geeks performance on the load test started well enough, but performance began to degrade quite a bit beyond 250 concurrent users and got progressively worse through to 500. Again, I should reiterate that this is a very aggressive test for any entry level shared WordPress hosting plan, and frankly very few small businesses or bloggers will ever get >200 concurrent users for any period of time. But we are comparing this to other hosts who performance considerably better so you do need to take that into consideration.

Greengeeks load test

GreenGeeks Result
Pingdom Score 67
Pingdom Load Time 933ms

Back to rankings or share your experience with GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks Speed Test

Green Geeks scored of 67 on the Pingdom test, which wasn't as good as others, but did do well with a sub 1sec homepage load time of 933ms.

Hostgator Review

Another host founded in a college dorm room, Hostgator are now part of the EIG group along with Arvixe and Bluehost. For this reason I expected their results to mimic those companies on the assumption that they shared all the same infrastructure. Hostgator surprised in our tests.

For the tests we signed up for Hostgator's Hatchling Plan which is as cheap as you'll find WordPress hosting from a major provider, starting at only $3.45/mth.

Hostgator Provisioning and Installation

Like Bluehost, the provisioning was instant and along with Cpanel they offer the usual installer so we had WordPress up and running in no time. The longest wait was for the DNS to update on our test domain to point at the Hostgator servers.

Hostgator Systems and Support

Also like Bluehost, Hostgator provides 24/7 chat and phone support which will be especially appealing to first time webmasters. Though the forums do have their fair share of complaints about Hostgator and their average user ranking is lower as a consequence.

Hostgator

Hatchling Plan
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Instant Provisioning
1-click WordPress Install
CPANEL
45 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.82/mth
Compare all plans

Hostgator Load Test

Hostgators performance in the load tests was among the best, and I was surprised at how much better they performed than Bluehost. With an average load time range for our test scripts of 5-15s Hostgator did very well. They offer more expensive plans which advertise more advanced caching and performance features, but this feels like those features are also running on the entry level Hatchling plan too. I've not been the biggest Hostgator fan in the past, but this performance is impressive.

Hostgator load test

Hostgator Result
Pingdom Score 70
Pingdom Load Time 723ms

Back to rankings or share your experience with Hostgator

Hostgator Speed Test

Hostgator scored of 70 on the Pingdom test, and a 723ms home page load time which is one of the fastest we tested.

Beginners Guide to WordPress Hosting

 

Comparing WordPress Web Hosting Providers

compare the best wordpress hostingEven when you've chosen a web host you'll have to choose a plan, so it pays to understand the differentiating factors, and importantly what actually matters and what doesn't so you can make a fair comparison.

Of course you should also start with a good understanding of what you need:

  1. Will your site be a standard business website with a few pages describing your business, or will it have 1000's of pages?
  2. Will you need lots of storage for many large files, and will your storage requirements grow over time?
  3. Will your site consist of static content or does it provide some kind of interactive application? An application or script with lots of database calls will require more processing power.
  4. How many concurrent visitors do you need to cater for? Again, this will determine how much processing power you need.

Once you have a firm idea of your own requirements you'll need to consider the following parameters when comparing the best WordPress hosting providers...

What Are The Key Differences Between the Best WordPress Hosting Plans?

  • Diskspace: If you are starting a new blog or planning to run a simple WordPress powered site this is unlikely to be a major factor. You'll only really need to think about this if you are running a very large WordPress site, uploading lots of media files or running a WordPress app that stores more and more data over time.
  • Bandwith: Large media files, especially video, are what will use up the most bandwidth, but this can be mitigated to some extent by using a 3rd party Content Distribution network like Amazon Cloudfront or MaxCDN. A CDN will carry the bandwidth of delivered files rather than your host with the added benefit of better performance. If you will be hosting your own media you'll need to think about how much bandwidth this is likely to consume. This calculator might be handy. All that said, if you are running a regular WordPress blog or a small business site with relatively few visitors (<1000/day) this isn't likely to be a limiting factor.
  • Processing Power: For most people this will be the most important differentiating factor. Assuming you have enough diskspace and bandwidth, it is the processing power your site has that will determine how many concurrent users it can handle and how fast it will respond when the number of concurrent users grows. It can be hard to determine how much processing power a shared WordPress hosting plan offers, so if the ability to grow and handle larger volumes of traffic is important to you then we'd recommend you look at a VPS or managed host with dedicated processing power.
  • Drive Type: There is no doubt that the future is solid state drives. With no moving parts it is no surprise they are faster than regular hard drives with spinning disks.This is why we really like InMotion's shared plans which all have SSDs.

We've taken all these factors into consideration in making our recommendations, as well as a great deal of experience with all the best WordPress hosting companies so we also have a good sense of the more qualitative factors such as customer support.

Web hosting requirements for WordPress

wordpress hosting requirementsIf you are still shopping around for the best hosting for WordPress you just need to keep in mind the requirements for running WordPress. Thankfully WordPress has very simple requirements and will run on just about any standard linux based hosting service. Indeed a hosting company would be mad not to support WordPress given it is used on around 20% of all websites. That said, it pays to be aware of the specific requirements, namely:

  • PHP version 5.2.4 (or higher)
  • MySQL version 5.5 (or higher)

And that's it! If you have these two then the latest version of WordPress will run great. Of course Inmotion and WP Engine are all good to go. Any web server that supports PHP and MySQL is good, but our recommendation is always to seek out a host that uses the Apache web server, and specifically can enable the Apache mod_rewrite module as you will need this to enable the friendly URL features of WordPress. As long as you use a reputable and experienced web hosting company then the chances are that this will be the case. If you are unsure we suggest asking them if they do enable the mod_rewrite module in Apache by default before signing up. We recommend you use hosts that run Apache only because along with Linux, PHP and MySQL It really is the most commonly used platform so you can always find people who can help either professionally or via the WordPress support forums.

Types of WordPress Web Hosting Available

Making sure you sign up for a service that caters for WordPress is actually pretty easy (almost everyone covers the basic WordPress hosting requirements), but still there are various levels of service that you can opt for, and you choice will depend on your needs...

Free WordPress Hosting

There is really only one option if you want free WordPress web hosting, and that is to go with WordPress.com. You can sign up and have your own site hosted at yourname.wordpress.com in a matter of minutes. If you are not sure if you are ready to commit to a running your own site on a dedicated domain then this is a great first step. The downside is that you don't have your own dedicated domain, and for many people that is a big downside...having your own domain means you can brand yourself (and have a branded email address) rather than being a subdomain on WordPress.com. Check out our recent post on the problem with free wordpress hosting. There are other services like WordPress.com that offer a very similar free hosted service, but WordPress.com is run by Automattic, the company behind the platform, so it stands to reason that they know it best. It's also worth noting that Automattic are very well funded so there is no chance that they are going to close up shop or disappear for any reason, and that WordPress.com does actually have a paid upgrade option which allows you to host with your own domain...so that might be a good upgrade path for the first time WordPress webmaster. That said, even if you pay to use your own domain on WordPress.com you still get the same WordPress hosting platform which does have some limitations, principally in terms of the plugins and theme customization options. It is these limitations that lead us to ultimately recommend you go for a self-hosted WordPress installation which will give you the ultimately flexibility...

Shared WordPress Hosting

This is where we recommend most new webmasters start out. Shared hosting means you will be on a server hosting hundreds of sites so you share the resources and costs of the server. It is a great option because it is affordable (starting at $5-7/mth) and you still get most of the features of a more powerful set up. Shared WordPress hosting plans are often sold as 'unlimited' bandwidth and storage which is a bit of a misdirection in a way because the performance bottle neck isn't going to be bandwidth or storage, it's going to be processing power. A shared server will provide your site with plenty of processing power for a few thousand visitors a day, but if your site grows to an extent that it has many concurrent users then you are going to want to upgrade to a WordPress VPS or dedicated server...and for this reason we do recommend you go with a shared WordPress hosting provider who offers a good upgrade path. Shared WordPress hosting accounts always provide you with a web based interface like cPanel to manage the various elements of your site, including email setup, databases and typically offer easy installation tools for all the popular web site software packages, including WordPress. WordPress isn't actually hard to install manually in any event, but the 1-click installers do make it faster and ensure that all the file permissions are set right so that future updates to core WordPress, themes and plugins are all easily performed via the WP control panel. As above, we think that A2, Siteground and InMotion Hosting offer the best shared service.

WordPress VPS Hosting

A VPS server is a great next step up from shared WordPress hosting. It is also shared in the sense that your VPS will run on a physical server with other clients, but the server will typically host much fewer clients and you also get low level access to the server administration functions. It runs in effect like your own dedicated server, but on a server with other users. VPS hosting plans will typically come equipped with a control panel like WHM which allows even non-technical users to manage the various server functions via a web interface. For this reason a VPS is a great option if you are a designer/developer who wants to offer hosting to your clients, but doesn't want to mess with technical system administration. We use a VPS to host many of our own sites and client sites.

Managed WordPress Web Hosting

If your site has grown increasingly popular, and you need the additional capacity, but you do not have the time, know-how, or the staff on hand to deal with server operations then managed hosting might be a great option for you. Once applicable only to dedicated plans, managed services can now be had for VPS, cloud or co-location hosting as well. It's an option to consider if you:

  • Lack sufficient expertise to properly administer the space.
  • Are long on skills but short on time to manage a server yourself.
  • Can justify the extra expense.

With managed WordPress hosting, you are renting not only the server but also its support team. Costs can vary. Depending on your choice of host, your benefits will include:

  • Trouble-shooting and maintenance.
  • Software installations and upgrades.
  • Hardware repairs and server monitoring.
  • Greater security and peace of mind.
  • Built in Content Distribution Network (CDN)
  • Built in caching layer for improved site performance

Dedicated WordPress support staff and faster problem resolution could provide the biggest benefit. A crashed website equals money lost. The dedicated knowledge and experience of the web host's staff can get you back in action in a hurry. In spite of the extra fees, managed WordPress hosting solutions can still save you money. Under these plans, you will likely pay less for such essentials as software, hardware, server space and bandwidth. In addition, its relatively low cost is certain to trump the expense of hiring even one technology expert. This is why we host this site with the world's biggest managed WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine.

Dedicated WordPress Hosting

If your site is a huge success then you will ultimately want to get your own dedicated server (though for 98% of all business sites and blogs a shared server or VPS is more than enough). This means you'll have your own physical server hosted in the providers location, dedicated to just you. There are of course many levels of server you can lease, from smaller cheaper servers right up to very powerful servers with a huge amount of processing power. The important difference from shared and VPS type offerings is that you will have complete control over your WordPress hosting environment. If you get to this level you probably have your own system administration resource, though most dedicated server providers can also provide a managed solution (which of course costs more).

Hosting companies to avoid

If you spend enough time looking around at the various WordPress hosting offers out there you will come across plenty of cheap WordPress hosting offers of $1/mth. Sounds pretty good right? $12/yr for your hosting...I mean, what could go wrong?

In our experience these 'too good to be true' deals always end badly. The companies providing this type of WordPress hosting might have the best intentions, but the fact is they can't possibly provide the level of support you want for that kind of money. They can only hope to make money by doing serious volume and keeping their costs low.

In the hosting game the biggest cost is people so that means less support. The few dollars you might save per year will not seem worthwhile the first time you have an outage and can't reach anyone for days. Our advice is always to stick to reputable companies with a real track record and real support. No host is perfect, and from time to time you are going to need some support, so best to go with a WordPress host that you know will always be there when you need them. Your time and peace of mind is worth more than a few dollars a month. If you are on a budget there are some great options.

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WordPress Hosting FAQs

Quick answers to your burning questions...

What is WordPress Hosting?

WordPress hosting is any hosting that supports the open source WordPress content management system. The specific hosting requirements for WordPress are covered here.

What is Managed WordPress hosting?

The term "managed WordPress hosting" is used to describe the new breed of hosting companies and services which are focused purely on WordPress. Unlike a traditional hosting company these services don't allow you to run any CMS, they only support the WordPress which will typically come pre-installed and tuned for performance. For example WP Engine. These new WordPress specialists only run the one CMS and arguably provide a better more specialist service as a result.

Why WordPress hosting?

Why use a managed WordPress host? Managed WordPress hosting plans are typically more expensive, but they offer a few extras which are worth the expense...First, they deal in nothing but WordPress so you know all the staff and support are WordPress experts. They live and breathe it day in and day out. Second, they will usually offer advanced services standard, including automated backups and updates for WordPress core, themes and plugins. And lastly, their hosting platform is optimized to run WordPress fast and securely.

What is the best WordPress hosting?

The answer to this question must be based on a balanced view of performance, service, price and reputation. We've done the testing and in our opinion A2 Hosting is the best shared hosting provider while we recommend WP Engine as the best managed option. If you are still keen to shop around check out our reviews here.

How to choose WordPress web hosting?

We've tried to answer this in the section above on comparing WordPress hosting providers. You can also watch the Beginners Guide to WordPress Hosting video above too.

Is there any SEO benefit to hosting on WordPress.com?

In short, no. If you use the free WordPress hosting on WordPress.com you'll have a domain like mysite.wordpress.com and that doesn't infer any benefit from the undoubted strength of the WordPress.com domain, as it is technically a different domain. If the parent domain did pass on benefit then all free hosted domains would rank like crazy (they don't). And if you use the paid option from WordPress.com, with  your own domain (mysite.com) then there is no more or less SEO benefit compared to any other host.

Which WordPress hosting is good for a blog with up to 1000 daily visitors?

Any of the shared hosting plans ranked above will comfortably handle 1000, or even 2000 visitors a day as long as your site is well optimized. Where things get tricky is if all those visitors arrive at the same time. If you expect big spikes in traffic then you would be well advised to go with a managed service capable of handling more concurrent traffic.

How much does WP hosting cost?

Good quality hosting for WordPress starts around USD$5/mth, though you can sometimes get better pricing when the big hosts are offering special deals. This price level is for a standard shared hosting plan. Do not be tempted by the $1/mth hosts, you get what you pay for. Pricing for managed WordPress hosting usually starts around $20/mth for the entry level plans. $25-30 is pretty typical. From there you start getting into VPS and dedicated server territory and here the price really depends on how much capacity you need. We're on the $99/mth Professional Plan with WP Engine, but we also have a dedicated server for other projects which costs us $165/mth.

How to secure WordPress web hosting?

This is a great question and we could write alot more on this than we have space for here, indeed we already have. Check out these articles from the blog on essential WordPress security.

How to install WordPress?

If you are using a regular shared WordPress hosting provider they will almost certainly provide a website control panel with one of the popular script installers such as Installatron, Fantastico, Scriptaculous or possibly the newer Mojo Marketplace option which seems to be increasingly popular. Each of these options works in much the same way...login to your control panel and locate the installer tool. Click on the icon and follow the prompts to install WordPress. These tools all let you install a wide variety of web applications, but WordPress will always be top of the list as the most popular of all. You'll be asked a few questions such as what directory you want to install WordPress in (usually it should go in the root directory, i.e yourdomain.com/) and what title to give your site, but once you have answered these you literally click install and wait a few minutes for the tool to do it's job once installed you will be able to login and start managing your themes, plugins and content. I'm assuming here of course that you have already configured your domain name to point to your hosting account. Check out our post on domains and DNS basics if you need help with this.

Should I use Linux or Windows hosting for WordPress?

Short answer, Linux. You can install WordPress on a Windows server, but it is usually a bit of a hassle. We always recommend hosting your WordPress sites on a Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP set up, commonly known as a LAMP stack.

How to upload WordPress to hosting?

Long gone are the days of having manually upload and install WordPress on your hosting account. WordPress was famous for it's 5min install, but these days it can be done in less than a minute using one of the common installers as described above. Don't bother with a WordPress hosting provider that doesn't take care of this for you...unless of course you are managing your own dedicated server, in which case you don't need our help 🙂

Do I need CPanel to host WordPress

No, but it sure makes everything a lot easier in terms of installing WordPress and then managing email accounts on your domain etc. If you are looking at a shared WordPress hosting plan for your site I would go with a host that offers CPanel.

Last updated May 23, 2017.

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44 comments on “The Best WordPress Hosting
  1. This came an opportune time, I am looking for a new hosting site.

    I am currently on iPage and have NOT been happy with the performance.

    Just learned about Managed Hosting, thanks for filling in some of the dots. I am also looking at a managed hosing site called Flywheel.

    Any experience with this website or know of anyone?

    Gina

    • Hi Gina, yes I’m familiar with Flywheel though I have not used their service. They specialize in managed hosting for agencies and creatives who are themselves providing hosting to their own clients, so they offer some neat features to support that model in particular. If you are hosting client sites yourself then Flywheel might be a good option.

    • I have been with Get Fly wheel and am in process of switching away.
      For the money that you spend – the service lacks. There is not the 24/7 support of other companies and where there is an issue combined with a time difference resolving issues can drag out for days.

      They are ok for smaller sites – but found any WordPress sites with a bit more (eg membership sites) run poorly on their system and keep timing out. I have had no end of trouble in recent times with this and they were unable to resolve my issues at all.

  2. Hi Charles,

    Thanks for your information. It is right on. I have spent lot of time reading and reviewing hosting companies and I find your information thumps up! I am hosting client sites I have done this for about 7 years on a daily basis now I only work with WordPress sites which is getting more and more robust on a daily basis. Thanks for share your experiences. . . excellent job.

    Lee

  3. A good resource with extensive information to see the possibilities we have in the market to choose a hosting for WordPress.

    And especially for the type of service that meets the needs of our web project.

    Thanks for the information and greetings !

  4. I am in the process of launching this classified website in the middle east … As now i am doing some testing, i found uploading images takes long time as i am posting ads with ariund 5-10 images per user … I am currently with blue host but not sure what kind of server but i am paying them close to 300 dollars per month … Kindly test the site from your mobile (as it has mobile website) and from lap top and kindly let me know what wrong am i doing

    • Hi Fawaz, I suspect that the images you are uploading have not been optimized for the web. Before uploading images I recommend reducing the size of all images so that they will load faster on all devices. You might also consider using a CDN like MaxCDN.com for optimized delivery of media.

  5. Thank you so very much for this concise and very informative video. Do you have a list of all of your educational videos?

    • Hi Bittu, that would really depend on what you need. If you site is getting some serious traffic and is growing then a VPS might be a good idea, but you can still get away with a shared host if you do a good job of optimizing your site. Use a Caching plugin like WP Rocket in combination with a CDN like MaxCDN and a good shared host will still handle a good amount of traffic. If you are thinking of a VPS then I recommend one of the managed WordPress hosts like WP Engine or one of the A2 VPS plans.

  6. As a beginner it is always better to start with a cheap shared hosting plan only. As initially every beginner is not comfortable in spending money for blogging.

  7. What about for eCommerce. I need to be able to upload quite a lot of photos of items- and it needs to be in a timely manner and I need it to be really safe. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Kesha, I’d go with an A2 Hosting VPS. For eCommerce you will also need an SSL certificate and A2 support the free Let’s Encrypt security certificates which makes it easy to go all https (mandatory for an ecommerce site).

  8. Hi Charles, thanks for this article. What is a safe estimate on a number of users at the same time that a typical shared hosting service can handle, assuming they use caching plugin and CDN. Is it 100, 500 or a 1000, and what would be a safe # that I could assume on average, would 500 be ok you think?

    • Hi Nadia, that’s a difficult question to answer because it depends quite a lot on what kind of application you are running. If it is a regular WordPress content site then caching and CDNs will go a long way, but if you are running any kind of script that can’t be cached that will require more of the server. Regardless, I don’t think you should be looking at shared hosting. If you need to cope with 500 concurrent users then you should be using a VPS at the very least and then only if you have done a good job on the caching and CDN set up.

      A dedicated WordPress VPS like those offered by WP Engine would also be a good option.

  9. I completely agree about WP engine, but not only for larger business. Even if your budget is low, can you afford not to have a lightning fast wordpress website which comes as the result of going with a host who has optimised their servers, caching and everything they do for wordpress? This is only one benefit among others such as security and support which will cost you long term if you dont have them.

  10. Very good video indeed it was very easy to understand wordpress in just 20 minute. could you suggest me which is better platform WordPress or Drupal

    • Hi Tarun, I general terms I would recommend using the platform that you are most familiar with, but that said I am somewhat biased toward WordPress obviously 🙂

  11. Hi Charles you said about MySQL 5.9+ or more but mistake yes? I read a blog that said 5.6 is maximum recommend right now for WordPress platform.

    But I see another sites say about 5.7 can also. But you said 5.9? Thanks–

    • Hi Kristov, you are correct, that is a typo…5.9 is not required. Indeed, WordPress themeselves say 5.5 or higher is fine.

      UPDATE: Since replying to this comment the official WordPress recommendation has changed. PHP 7+ is now the recommended version of PHP.

  12. Hello,
    Thanks for the great video.
    I’m looking at reselling some hosting for my clients websites.
    I was considering managed web hosting, but it is costly per client.

    Do you think I could get my websites to run just as fast on shared hosting if I add a CDN?

    I know that’s a broad question, and there are many factors that determine speed.
    I am going to run a couple of identical websites with different CDN’s and compare my results.

    • It’s true you can get an entry level shared hosting account to perform pretty well if you optimize it well. A CDN would certainly help, as would a good caching plugin. I’d also suggest going with one of the hosts that offer SSD’s on their shared servers. This is one of the reasons we recommend these guys.

  13. Hi, I am setting up a new ecommerce site to sell custom made jewellery. I don’t expect the site to be super busy, but know I need to have a secure site for ecommerce. What isn’t clear to me is whether I can get a security certificate on a cheap shared hosting account and if so what I can expect to pay for that. Grateful for any advice

    • Hi Sarah, good question. I’m glad you see the importance of implementing your ecommerce site as https, I’m actually of the opinion that all sites, even regular blogs without any commerce, should go all in on https these days. The good news is that you can indeed get a security certificate on one of the cheaper shared hosting plans. Both Siteground and A2 Hosting (details here) support the free shared security certificates from Let’s Encrypt. They are super easy to install from the hosting control panel and are automatically renewed so maintenance is very simple. Of course all the more expensive managed VPS hosting packages also support Let’s Encrypt too so if you wanted to invest in a plan that will grow with you then you’re covered there too.

    • Hi Steve, technically you wouldn’t describe what WP Engine offers as a VPS because that infers a certain amount of server administration access which you don’t get on WP Engine (or a regular shared hosting plan). That said, WP Engine is more like a typical VPS than it is shared hosting though in the sense that you are getting access to more resources with WP Engine than you would on an entry level shared hosting plan.

      Of course, The big difference between what is offered by WP Engine or any of the other managed WordPress hosting providers is the experience. WP Engine and the others offer a dedicated WordPress experience where your installation is managed for you right from the get go. You can’t install any old CMS, you get WordPress installed for you and their stack is especially tuned to run WordPress fast and stable. The hosting console is also very customized around WordPress, and increasingly they are offering additional services such as the ability to spin up staging sites, CDN integrations and built in caching which they can offer more easily because they specialize in just one flavor of CMS.

      Hope that helps explain it.

  14. I want to create my own blog and I have had GoDaddy recommended to me as a hosting company. Would you recommend them?

    • Hi Cecilia, I’ve not been a fan of GoDaddy in the past, though in fairness this has been more to do with their aggressive approach to upsells rather than any particular issue with the performance of their hosting. Recently GoDaddy has been investing heavily in the WordPress ecosystem (buying ManageWP for example), and the services they offer to WordPress users. For this reason I’m adding GoDaddy to the next round of testing which I am preparing for now. It’s also true that GoDaddy is one of the largest providers of shared hosting, and much of it is WordPress sites so they absolutely deserve consideration. And if you are already using them for domain registration then there is some sense in keeping it all under one roof. Come back in the next month or so and I should have completed my updated performance testing which will include GoDaddy so you can see how they stack up compared to the others.

  15. When I visit some hosting companies they offer both Windows and Linux hosting. What is best for WordPress? Do they both work?

    • Hi Tim, we are often asked if you can run WordPress on a Windows hosting and you can, but I would definitely recommend going with a Linux server as it will be easier all round. In my experience you will end up jumping through hoops to get WordPress running smoothly on a Windows server. If you are going with a standard shared hosting plan I’d also opt for one that comes with Cpanel and one of the popular installer applications. All the companies reviewed here offer this set up and it makes it super easier to get WordPress installed and up and running. Hope that helps.

  16. Hi Charles, I’m using Site5 hosting right now, but I want to switch hosts. Can you advise me on how to transfer WordPress to another hosting? It seems like a real hassle.

    • Hi Brian, I know the feeling…I’ve stuck with sub-standard hosts myself for longer than I should just because moving sites was such as hassle. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Our top recommendations, A2 Hosting and Siteground, will both do the site migrations for you for free. Just submit a ticket requesting migration support after signing up and they’ll handle the heavy lifting.

      If you want to go with another host that doesn’t offer this, then I can recommend Manage WP which makes it pretty easy to do this also…

      Here’s how to migrate web hosts using Manage WP

      1. Use Manage WP to do a complete site backup to Google Drive or Dropbox. Make sure this is complete then remove the site from your Manage WP account (you’ll re-add later)
      2. Migrate the dns for the domain to the new server
      3. Install WordPress on the new host
      4. Re-add the fresh install to your Manage WP account
      5. Restore the fresh install from the backup you made and you’re done!

      I’ve done this many times and it always works pretty well for me. Hope this helps.

      • Thanks Charles! I’m thinking of moving to Go Daddy because I have my domain with them. Do you know if the Manage WP approach will work there?

        • I’ve not used it, but I know that Go Daddy actually advertises a 1-click migration tool as part of their hosting service so that should cover it. And as it happens, Go Daddy acquired the Manage WP service not that long ago so I would assume that this approach would work with their hosting no problem at all.

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