Finally! A Data Driven Review Of 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.

Full Disclosure – This page contains affiliate links which means we earn a commission if you click through and signup. This is at no extra cost to you and helps us maintain this resource for all webmasters' benefit. We own and pay for all the hosting accounts we use in our reviews and performance testing. Read our full disclosure statement here. Thanks for your support.

 The Best WordPress Hosting Companies Ranked (2019)

Overall Rankings

These are 12 of the best WordPress hosting companies ranked based on performance testing, support and price.

Click the View Plans link to see the full range of plans available for that host, or Full Review to see the full and comprehensive details of our review and performance testing, as well as reviews from other users of that host.

Our Rank

Host

Price

Action

1 Siteground From $3.95/mth View Plans / Full Review
2 Bluehost From $2.95/mth View Plans / Full Review
3 GreenGeeks From $2.95/mth View Plans / Full Review
4 Site5 From $4.95/mth View Plans / Full Review
5 Arvixe From $7.00/mth View Plans / Full Review
6 iPage From $1.99/mth View Plans / Full Review
7 A2 Hosting From $3.92/mth View Plans / Full Review
8 Hostgator From $3.82/mth View Plans / Full Review
9 GoDaddy From $2.49/mth View Plans / Full Review
10 Dreamhost From $7.95/mth View Plans / Full Review
11 InMotion Hosting From $4.99/mth View Plans / Full Review
12 Web Hosting Hub From $4.99/mth View Plans / Full Review

For performance testing details and our expert review, as well as other independent customer reviews, click the Full Review links below.

Performance Data

Checkout the full results of our thorough performance testing below.

Best WordPress hosting for bloggers and small business

Siteground logo
1-click WordPress Install
10GB Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free SSL Cert
Solid State Drives
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.95/mth
Bluehost logo
Easy WordPress Installer
50GB Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free Let's Encrypt SSL Cert
Free Domain Name
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $2.95/mth
GreenGeeks logo
Easy WordPress Installer
Unlimited Diskspace
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free SSL Certs w/Cloudflare
Free Site Migration
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
 From $3.95/mth

If you've visited this page before you might notice some changes to our recommended hosts. Thanks to consistently good technical performance and an outstanding reputation for support Siteground have been promoted again to the top of our recommended list. Bluehost and GreenGeeks also remain in our top 3 due to their undeniably strong performance metrics in our very comprehensive testing (more on this below).
We think these three companies are the best WordPress hosting providers for bloggers and small business.

Best WordPress hosting for bigger sites with more traffic

In our opinion WP Engine is still the gold standard in WordPress web hosting. They are quite a bit more expensive than standard shared hosts, but for good reason…with WP Engine you are working with a team of experts dedicated to nothing but WordPress. 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 for the best WordPress hosting then WP Engine is definitely the place to go. Highly recommended.

Check out WP Engine's discounted plans

WPEngine logo

WordPress Hosting Reviews

Our reviews offer a very comprehensive overview and comparison of the best WordPress hosting companies. These hosts all offer cheap shared 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.

 

Our WordPress hosting reviews, and the results of all testing, can be accessed at the links below. Rankings are here.

How to Choose The Best WordPress Hosting For Your Site

In this video we explain the difference between the various types of hosting and the key dimensions on which to compare hosting companies. At the end of this video you will understand the different types of hosting available for your WordPress website and will be able to make an educated comparison of different hosting plans.

 

Got a question about 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 WordPress Hosting Plans?

  • Diskspace: If you are starting a new blog or planning to run a simple website this is unlikely to be a major factor. You'll only really need to think about this if you are running a very large site, uploading lots of media files or running an 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 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 these companies which all offer SSDs. Here's why you should choose SSD hosting.

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

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 7 (or higher)
  • MySQL version 5.6 (or higher) or MariaDB version 10.0 (or higher)
  • HTTPS Support - This is why we always recommend a host that supports free shared SSL certificates at a minimum. Any new site these days should go all HTTPS from the outset.

And that's it! If you have these two then the latest version of WordPress will run great. Of course GreenGeeks and Siteground 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 or NGinx web server technology, and specifically can enable the a rewrite module as you will need this to enable the friendly URL features of WordPress. As long as you use a reputable and experienced 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 support forums.

Types of Web Hosting Available

Making sure you sign up for a service that caters for WordPress is actually pretty easy (almost everyone covers the basic 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 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 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 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 installation which will give you the ultimately flexibility...

Shared WordPress Hosting

This is where we recommend most new webmasters start out when they want to create their first blog. Shared hosting means you will be on a server with 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 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 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. 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 themes and plugins are all easily performed via the WP control panel. As above, we think that GreenGeeks, Bluehost and Hostgator offer the best shared service.

WordPress VPS Hosting

A VPS server is a great next step up from shared 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 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 plans, 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 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 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 hosting (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 offers out there you will come across plenty of cheap WordPress hosting offers of $1/mth. Sounds pretty good right? $12/yr...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 service 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.

Go back to the top rankings

WordPress Hosting FAQs

Quick answers to your burning questions...

What is WordPress Hosting?

WordPress hosting is any service that supports the open source WordPress content management system. The specific 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.

What is Word Press Engine?

"Word Press engine" is long hand for 'WP Engine' which is the largest and best known managed WordPress hosting provider. Based in Austin, Texas, WP Engine were one of the earliest to recognize the accelerating demand for specialist WordPress hosting services and support.

WP Engine's plans are more expensive that your standard shared plans, so are typically used by larger, more established sites and businesses with more budget. We use WP Engine to host this site because we are happy to pay the extra cost to rest easy knowing our site is in really good hands at all times.

Why WordPress hosting?

Why use a managed WordPress host? Managed 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 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 the core CMS, themes and plugins. And lastly, their 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 GreenGeeks is the best shared 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 the best 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 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 host 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 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 plan. Do not be tempted by the $1/mth hosts, you get what you pay for. Pricing for managed services usually start 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 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 account. Check out our post on domains and DNS basics if you need help with this.

 

Which hosting is best for WordPress, Linux or Windows?

Linux is the best hosting for WordPress. You can install WordPress on a Windows server, but it usually requires additional configuration and in our experience is usually a bit of a hassle. We always recommend hosting your sites on a Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP set up, commonly known as a LAMP stack. Web hosts offering a PHP and MySQL service will usually have simple one click installations of WordPress as well which makes life much easier.

 

How to upload WordPress to your host?

Long gone are the days of having to 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 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 installation and then managing email accounts on your domain etc. If you are looking at a shared hosting plan for your site I would go with a host that offers CPanel.

Last updated March 10th, 2019.

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79 comments on “Finally! A Data Driven Review Of 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. What is the best plan for the site WordPress bear 1000 visitors at the same moment?

    • To cater for that kind of concurrent traffic you should talk to WPEngine about their business and Enterprise plans. Either that or a dedicated server.

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

  7. Hello sir,
    I want to know that which type of hosting is good either Shared or VPS ?

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. WpEngine or Inmotion?? Which one Provides CDN. I do not want to use CLOUDFLARE

    • A CDN is included in the WP Engine Professional plan and above, but it costs extra on the personal plan.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. What is the difference between a VPS from a hosting company like A2 and something like WPEngine?

    • 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    • Hi Selena, yes you can install WordPress on Yahoo Hosting. I’ve not used Yahoo Hosting myself, but I know this is possible. Here is a reasonably recent YouTube how-to on installing WordPress on Yahoo. Hope this helps.

  21. I am starting my own travel blog and I really want to plan for success right from the start. Do you recommend starting out on a managed host which is more expensive but could cope with more traffic in the future, or would a cheaper shared host be enough?

    • Hi Sam, good question and a common conundrum for new bloggers. I am a big fan of managed hosting solutions, and I think they are worth the money for high traffic websites. WP Dev Shed has been running on a WP Engine managed plan for a few years now and I couldn’t be happier, but we didn’t start out that way and frankly I don’t think you need to either.

      In fact shared hosting plans these days are much better than they were we started out. The best hosting companies today are doing smart caching of resources which means even a cheap shared hosting plan from someone like A2, Siteground or Inmotion can handle a great deal of traffic if you set up your site well.

      So my advice is to start out with a shared hosting plan, but spend the time to make sure you site is well optimized. This means optimizing your images, using a theme that is well coded and avoiding the temptation to add loads of plugins that will hog resources and bloat the site with extra JS etc. A good caching plugin will go a long way to improving performance too. Implement best practices and a good shared hosting provider will serve you well for a long time, plus it will be much cheaper which I presume is a consideration for a travelling blogger! Of course if you have the budget and the difference between $5/mth and upwards of $100/mth isn’t a big deal then I would go for a managed solution.

  22. Hey, I was reading the WordPress thread on Reddit and they were talking about how it is best to use Nginx rather than Apache which is apparently what most shared hosts use. Does it really make a difference and if so is there a host you can recommend that uses Nginx?

    • Hi Franky, yes Nginx is being used more and more these days and does perform better on some important benchmarks. For these reasons it is being used by some of the big managed hosting providers such as WP Engine, but I don’t think you’ll see it used on any shared hosting plans because it doesn’t have some of the flexibility and features required in a shared environment. Apache is still the web server of choice there. If you want a server running Nginx you’ll need to go with one of the managed WordPress providers that uses Nginx or lease a dedicated server where you can run whatever you want. Here’s a couple of good articles for more background. Hope that helps.

  23. Does it matter where your website is hosted for SEO? I’ve been told I should find a local host if I want to rank locally.

    • Hi Shona, many people will tell you that you need a local IP address to rank well, but in my experience the tld is much more important. That is to say you definitely want a relevant local top level domain (tld) for your local market. If you are in the US then that means a .com, but if you are in Canada choose a .ca or in the UK a .co.uk etc. The point being that when looking for a local business the local tld signals to people that you are indeed local and Google sees this the same way. As long as you have an appropriate domain for your market I don’t think the IP address has a big impact on rankings. Google knows that most people don’t know anything about IP addresses so it doesn’t make any sense that they would rank those people less because of that.

      Of course the other ranking factor that everyone is talking about these days is speed so I wouldn’t go with a host on the other side of the world if you can help it. The best WordPress hosts these days will give you a choice of server locations so choose the one closest. On top of this you can also implement a good caching plugin and or a CDN.

      In summary, when it comes to the impact of hosting on SEO it is all about your domain choice and hosting performance which is why we have done such thorough testing.

  24. Hello, in Europe 1&1 is a popular hosting company but they are not on your list. Is there a reason for that?

    • Hi Lines, yes I am aware that 1&1 is one of the big WordPress hosts in Europe, but I have to confess that I have never used their services so I can’t comment on their performance. I am working on an update to our performance testing and aim to expand it a little so I will look at including 1&1 in future editions.

  25. Hi Charles, I see some hosting companies offer WordPress hosting and shared hosting for about the same price and the shared hosting plans also appearance to include WordPress. I’m a bit confused about which I should choose?!

    • Hi Bridget, I’ve often thought that the way some hosts position their plans is also a bit confusing myself. The hosting companies will sometimes advertise “WordPress hosting” as a unique product when it is effectively just their standard shared hosting plan. That said, the fact is a large number (if not a majority) of the people signing up for the standard shared plans are using them to host WordPress websites. Indeed some hosts now have a check box on their signup pages which allows you to request WordPress is installed for you at the time of provisioning the account, and this really does make it very easy.

      At the end of the day, a shared hosting plan will do a fine job. But if the “WordPress hosting” plan is about the same price, I’d opt for that one. It may be more or less the same, but if they offer to install WordPress at provisioning or do offer any specific WP related services (like A2 Hosting does with their optimized WordPress install) then that is worth it.

  26. Hi, I am unhappy with my current hosting company and I want to transfer my hosting to a different provider, but I’m nervous about the process. I’m afraid I’ll end up with my site offline for ages. Do you have any advice about making this go smoothly and quickly?

    • Hi Simpson, migrating to another host doesn’t need to involve any downtime, it just takes a little planning.

      Many hosts, including A2, Siteground and InMotion offer migration services so in these cases you would signup and then tell them you need help migrating your site. They’ll tell you what they need to get your site moved over. Once the migration is complete only then do you update your domain to point to the new server. There is an additional challenge if you registered your domain name with the current host as you probably don’t want to use them as the registrar if you don’t host with them. This is the reason I always recommend using a separate domain registrar. In this scenario I would recommend you move your domain to an independant registrar first and then do the hosting migration. I use Hover for all my domains as they have a very simple and easy to use interface. Create an account with them and then let them know you want to move your domain into it and they’ll tell you what to do. When they move the domain into your account you’ll need to make sure it is still pointing at the current server, but once the hosting migration is done you can easily update the DNS to point to the new hosting and it should switch without a problem…when the switch is complete you can cancel your old host. Does that all make sense?

      I’ve done many such migrations myself and usually it goes pretty smoothly. I would add though that making your own complete backup of the site is also a must-do…that way if anything happens you can always recover. I use ManageWP for doing this and they also have a really easy to use restore feature which also comes in handy.

    • Hi Tutila, I take our recommendations very seriously. Getting hosting right is a really important decision so we put a lot of work into assessing the hosts we cover and take great care with our recommendations. With due respect, just saying Bluehost is horrible doesn’t make it true. We have accounts with all these hosting companies and have been building and hosting websites for a very long time, so are very aware of the shifting public perceptions of all hosts.

      One thing I’ll grant you is that EIG doesn’t have a great track record at integrating newly acquired hosts. As far as I can tell, the way it goes is an independent host carves out a niche for themselves by focusing on a specific market and offering a great product and service. EIG buys them, and keeps the brand in market, but moves all the customers over to their infrastructure. Inevitably this doesn’t go as smoothly as anyone would like so a lot of people get rightly annoyed and make complaints, and they are totally warranted. This seems to happen every time (I recall this with Site5 and A Small Orange quite recently).

      But, once the migration is complete and the everything is settled down, there is no denying that EIG run a very tight ship and have excellent infrastructure. The performance testing proves it with all the EIG hosts performing very well. Hosts like Bluehost also offer excellent 24/7 phone and chat support and the vast majority of customers are very happy, so when we see them delivering excellent technical performance and service at a very competitive price we don’t hesitate to recommend them for bloggers and small businesses. And of course we also recommend other cheap shared hosting options like the very excellent Siteground, who is independent and also very very good.

      One other thing I would add, in my experience most of the most fierce complaints about the entry level hosting companies come from novice webmasters and relate to domain and DNS issues…often users buy their domain with their hosting and then get all caught up when they try to move hosts. This is why I always recommend registering your domain name separately from your hosting. You won’t get the “free domain name” deal, but you’ll have complete independence and worst case scenario you can point your domain to a new host without any trouble.

  27. Hey, thanks very much for this great resource. Any plans to add other hosts to the review? Specifically, I’ve had Westhost recommended to me and I’d love to see how they stack up compared to the hosts you cover here. Cheers.

    • Hi Scotty, I’m glad you ask! We do plan to add more hosts to our ongoing review. We’ve set up our testing infrastructure so that we can run all the performance testing on a regular basis, currently aiming for monthly. This way we always reflect the latest performance data and we can track how the performance of each host changes over time.

      To answer your question more directly, we can also add new hosts to the mix fairly easily and we do plan to do this. Westhost is on the radar, as are 1 and 1, Hostpapa, Fatcow, and Interserver. And we do also have plans for a thorough side by side performance comparison of the big managed WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine (who we use), Pagely, Pressidium, Pressable etc. Testing all the big managed hosts is a much more expensive proposition though so this is something we are figuring out how to approach, and will be a bit further off.

      Check back in the next month or so for new hosts added to our comparison of shared hosting providers.

  28. I have two sites running on Inmotion shared hosting.
    Today they had suspended my account due to high resource uses.
    After too much conversation with them, they lifted the suspension but still, they warn me not use more than 150cp. (as it is the highest resources uses in their shared hosting plan.)
    If Inmotionhosting is so good for WordPress then how can they offer such a low resource uses?
    Actually, I am facing problems from beginning with Inmotionhosting.
    I will never recommend Inmotionhosting to any on

    • Hi Prasanna, can you expand on what is the cause of your high CPU usage? I think you will find that the amount of allowed CPU usage on InMotion is very similar to other shared hosts so it may be that you have simply outgrown a shared hosting plan and need to move up to a VPS or dedicated server…unless of course there is some problem with your site that is causing unusually high CPU usage? Were the support people able to help you understand the cause?

      InMotion is not my top recommendation these days (based on our performance data), but I do still use InMotion shared hosting for some projects and have never had any such problems with their service.

  29. Hi, My wordpress dashboard processes are very slow. It takes several seconds to open a page or navigate through the admin area. This is especially painful when running woo commerce because that’s where most of the shop management happens. I’m looking for a faster host (I’m currently with GoDaddy).
    Which one of your tests show the performance in this area?

    • Hi Phil, believe it or not I’m actually a blackbow backer! Can’t wait to receive it 🙂

      In terms of the best hosting for your site, it depends a bit on where you expect to be selling. I gather you’d like customers from all over the world, but you are using a .co.nz domain which really does flag it as a NZ site. If you expect NZ will be your main market then I’d go with a local host so that requests and traffic doesn’t have to traverse the globe…I would be tempted to go with WPNet.nz locally.

      If you intend to be a global eCommerce site then I’d recommend you use a .com address, and for hosting I would look at WP Engine. It is more expensive than entry level shared hosting but imho it is worth it. WooCommerce will run great on WP Engine.

  30. Hi, I’ve been told that I should use Cloudflare to speed up my site. Do you recommend that?

    • Hi Susan, great question. I am also a big fan of Cloudflare. The free service is amazingly powerful…add it to your entry level shared hosting and suddenly you have a global content delivery network for your files (images, js, CSS, html etc), static caching, DDoS protection, and free SSL. It’s pretty amazing and can really improve site performance. You can then upgrade to very reasonable pro plans with advanced security features, image optimizations, special mobile optimizations, and even faster content delivery.

      I’m not using it on this site right now because we are too big for the free plan, and we already pay for a managed service with WP Engine which includes caching, CDN and SSL. That said I am actively considering it if only for the security benefits. And for small businesses and personal blogs I do think Cloudflare is a great way to improve your site performance and security. Hope that helps.

    • I absolutely share Charles’ opinion. CloudFlare is a very powerful and yet affordable way to optimize the performance, security and reliability of your website. The fact that it caches your content across a global network allows for it to be delivered really fast to your visitors no matter where they’re located. My current web hosting plan with BGOcloud includes CloudFlare CDN and I see the benefits from it. The speed of requests is a loooot faster now, which is just great.

  31. Hi, please can you add 1&1 hosting to the list of reviews.They are very popular in Europe and I’d love to see how they perform compared to the US companies you cover here.

    • Hi Greg, yes, we do intend to add 1&1 to the roster of hosts we review. I’m aware that they are one of the biggest (if not the biggest) hosting companies in Europe so it totally makes sense to cover them. I expect we’ll have our first 1&1 review completed in the next month. Stay tuned.

  32. Hi, if my hosting company does regular backups as part of their service is there a good reason to also use another 3rd party for backups? I’m confused because many people recommend 3rd party services but it seems like most hosts already do this. Any advice would be great.

    • Hi Bobby, Good question. I think the answer depends on the host. Most hosting company backups take the form of downloadable files you can use to manually restore your website, and this is great to have at the very minimum. But what the backup companies provide is a simple way to not only schedule regular backups but also to do simple restoration right from the console. Say you break your site, or it gets hacked, you can roll back to the latest backup with a few clicks. For non-technical webmasters that is a very nice option to have.

      The dedicated/managed WordPress hosts like WP Engine also offer this kind of functionality. They typically don’t use CPanel which is the standard hosting control panel offered by just about all shared hosts. Instead they normally have their own custom WordPress hosting panel with these kinds of backup and restore features baked in.

      In short, if you are using a managed host like WP Engine or Pagely, then a 3rd party backup service is probably not necessary. But if you are using one of the standard entry level shared hosts then a 3rd party backup service which will integrate with your hosting platform to enable routine backup and simple restore functions might be a good idea.

  33. Hey how about Namecheap, they offered $9.88/year . I see their features, and it is quite good.

    • Hi Muhammad, $9.88/yr is their introductory price with renewals at $38.88/yr which is similar to the levels offered by the likes of Green Geeks etc. It is a good intro price, but I havn’t tested Namecheap so I can’t comment on their performance or recommend them. That said I am looking to add additional hosts to our testing routine so I’ll add Namecheap to the list. They are better known as a domain registrar, but are well liked amongst bloggers so makes sense to test their hosting service.

  34. Thanks very much for doing all this testing, it’s great. If you are taking requests for additional hosts I’d like to see LiquidWeb compared please.

    • Hi Vinicius, you’re welcome. Thanks for the suggestion. We are planning to add some more hosts to the testing roster and I’ve put Liquid Web on the list of possible additions. I know they get great reviews from many users so it would be interesting to see how they perform. We are focused here on a comparison of the entry level shared hosting plans which are most popular with most of our readers so i just need to check if Liquid Web offers something like this. My impression is that they are more in the VPS and dedicated market. Will definitely look into it.

  35. Hey Charles – in a similar vein to Vinicius’ last post it would be great if you included 20i in your next batch of testing. We do provide entry-level WordPress-optimised hosting…and I think we’d win. 😉

    • Thanks Richard, will check your site out and add to the list of possible additions. Just to set expectations, I can’t promise if or when this might happen. All the testing is a time consuming business and it has to fit in around other commitments. Cheers.

  36. I have used Bluehost for several years too and use them for all my sites and client sites. I got into troubles recently and thought seriously hard about changing hosts but their support was so great that when the time came to renew my hosting I stuck with them.

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