Best WordPress Hosting – An Expert Analysis
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re most likely trying to figure out which company offers the best WordPress hosting for your website. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a good WordPress host, and the goal of this page is to provide you with awesome, high-quality information in order to help you be better-informed about WordPress hosting.
In my 10+ years of building websites professionally, I’ve tried nearly every host out there. I’ve had good luck and back luck; I’ve had hosts I love…and hosts I hate.
On most review sites, you’ll find that people recommend whatever host pays the most in affiliate commission—their motivation is solely to make money, not to actually recommend something worth buying, even if they try and make it seem that way—and I HATE sites like that, which is why you won’t find any of that nonsense here.
I want to help people avoid choosing a bad host, or a host that doesn’t fit their needs. I want CybersGuards to be the best resource online for real, honest recommendations—so keep reading to learn more about how to choose the best WordPress host!
The reality is there’s no such thing as “the perfect WordPress hosting” for everyone… some people have different requirements, and that’s all right. If you’ve got a small personal blog with low traffic volumes, shared hosting is probably the best and most affordable option for you— in this scenario, Bluehost or HostGator might be a good starting point. But, if you have a website with higher traffic or a business website, if you are fairly tech-savvy, you may want to go for controlled WordPress hosting from a company like WP Engine or get a VPS from a company like Liquidweb.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you assess your hosting needs: on average how much traffic my website gets every day?
If you only get a couple hundred users a day, and it’s just a personal blog, you’re basically all right to stay with a shared hosting. It is inexpensive, relatively user-friendly, and generally reliable.
The threshold I like to use for shared hosting as opposed to controlled hosting / VPS solutions in my personal experience is about 300-500 visits per day. If you’re in that category, investing in a better hosting alternative might be worthwhile than hosting WordPress shared. The explanation for this is that shared hosting can sometimes get overwhelmed if a traffic spike is faced by the other users you are using the site. This ensures that your website can slow down and other users may have difficulty trying to access your website. This is less likely to happen when you’re on a run hosting such as WP Engine or on a VPS. Generally speaking, the cheapest hosting would usually cost a little more than hosting the budget too, but it is crucial for your platform to be swift if it gets a lot of traffic.
How sophisticated is my site? How good is it in terms of resources?
If you have a platform that includes all kinds of images, whiz-bang visuals, and other animations, you may not be able to host it on shared hosting— you may need a server that has a little more capacity. But if you have a relatively simple, not very complicated site, then shared hosting may be a good fit.
How important is support from host provider?
This is an interesting question to ask because the more you receive help, the more often you pay for hosting. If you’re not all that tech-savvy, you might want to choose a host with great support. If you’re confident diving into PHPMyAdmin, working with SQL tables, and other WordPress backends technical aspects, you might be ok with a VPS or something that requires more control.
Most of the better shared hosts offer pretty good support, but shared hosting service will never reach the standard of controlled hosting such as WP Engine or the like.
What additional characteristics do I need?
Need the versatility of email? Do you need a lot of bandwidth or storage space? These are relevant points to consider when choosing a hosting kit for WordPress. The more disk space you have, the more the package will be expensive. The more available, the more functionality the kit will be more costly. Keep in mind that as you invest more on storage, you also account for stability and connectivity as well.
There are plenty of little bells and whistles that hosts sometimes want to upsell you that you don’t really need, so make sure you read all the options / fine printing carefully on the checkout page before you sign up for hosting.
The Best WordPress Hosting for Bloggers and Personal Websites
As described above, when it comes to choosing a WordPress host, there are several factors. If you have a blog of small to medium scale or a personal website (assuming you fell within the above traffic limits) and you don’t need something elaborate, I would recommend the following hosts:
#1 – Bluehost
We have been in business for a long time and are one of the most common and reliable hosting options available for shared WordPress. Both are very “noob-friendly” and have very good support. We provide seat opening choices and also have space for speaking. We also have their support available 24/7/365. They also use cPanel and it’s pretty well thought out.
I used Bluehost to create pages for relatives, family and technical usage of them as well. I’d say HostGator has some advantage value from my personal experience, but Bluehost has better customer service and assistance.
Bluehost does offer various levels of shared hosting so that if you have a larger site, you can expand or add features. They also offer VPS and dedicated hosting on top of that, although if I were going to buy a VPS or dedicated server, I would go with someone specializing in that like Liquidweb. All in all, Bluehost is a great host for bloggers and individuals with single websites who don’t get a huge amount of traffic and want a host at a good price with quality hosting and support.
#2 – HostGator
HostGator was the first competent hosting I ever purchased, and in my toolbox they will always have a special place. For shared hosting, they do a great job and have a lot of different bundles for all budgets. Your Hatchling kit is perfect for a new website or someone just beginning out.
One aspect I like about HostGator is that the mutual hosting tools seem to have a very good handle. With all the shared sites I’ve had on HostGator, it’s unusual to have one that is bogged down on the website by other users, and that’s not something I would tell about a lot of shared hosts. I’ve placed them second as I thought their help has fallen a bit behind Bluehost in the last year or two, but it’s even stronger than most other mutual hosts. When I first began creating websites, I can’t tell you how many times I received excellent chat support from the HostGator techs… I swear that they really taught me a lot about how to manage a server!
HostGator also does VPS, hosts WordPress dedicated and even controlled. I think they do a better job with their VPS and exclusive packages than Bluehost would, but for anything other than shared hosting I would still prefer Liquidweb or WP Server. I recommended to friends, family, and professional use of HostGator. We are definitely a solid group family, so going wrong with them is very hard.
#3 – SiteGround
SiteGround is a great host— their website load times are decent, their service is top-notch, and they’re a great offer all-around. So why are the third parties listed?
Okay, it’s just because they’re kind of a hybrid between a cooperative web host and a run web host, so their quality is somewhat more competitive (but it definitely worth it). They’re one of my favorite hosts, just because they don’t really have a weak point. Aid, pace, options—they’re doing all right. They’re a bit more expensive than Bluehost, and definitely a bit more expensive than HostGator, but I think it’s worth it, as I said. I’m using them at the moment for a platform I designed last year, and I couldn’t be happier.
The Best WordPress Hosting for Businesses or for Higher Traffic Websites
If your website is going to be a business site or you are in the traffic range of 300-500 + users per day, I would not suggest that you use shared hosting. If you’ve got a business, you can get a WP Engine package that’s as small as $29/month and that’s not much in terms of total business expenses — so it’s not worth it to “cheap out” on shared hosting. If your business website is down, you may lose customers and revenue, so you really need to spend a little more in web hosting and go beyond the standard of shared hosting.
Using shared hosting by some small businesses? Sure — but that’s a good idea, I can’t say. If you’re a blogger who gets 300-500 + visitors per day, you can monetize your site anyway, and again, if you’re at that traffic stage, you could easily cover $29/month for a WP Engine package with ad revenue at that rate. Managed hosting can be very important if you’re trying to grow your audience as it can deliver the best performance and minimize downtime that can help your audience reputation.
Having said that, here are the WordPress hosts that I suggest for corporations and higher traffic websites:
#1 – WP Engine
I used WP Engine to create websites for multinationals and smaller projects as well. In my opinion, they are literally the best WordPress host out there at the moment — hands down, no exceptions.
Their platform for WordPress is built from the bottom up— they don’t host any other website types— only WordPress. This ensures that to operate for WordPress, their entire platform is optimized to perfection. Their absolute rock help— you may call and get assistance from the web or talk. We also have a ticketing system and are very quick to respond to tickets from my experience.
Their price ends at $29/month, which will be more than Bluehost or some of the pooled alternatives, but you get a lot more… a lot. If there’s any chance that WP Engine fits your budget, they’re the finest WordPress host I’ve ever been dealing with. That said, their backend is proprietary and takes some time to get used to (this happens fast) and again, their price is a bit higher, but it’s definitely one of those situations where “you get what you’re paying for.” I can’t say enough good about them.
#2 – LiquidWeb
Cybersguards is actually being hosted with LiquidWeb at the time of writing, so what does that say you about my recommendation? They’re great, they’ve got amazing infrastructure and support from the world class. You will pick up the phone practically at 2 a.m. So chat to Michigan’s Tier 2 engineer— yes, you heard that right. They call their help “heroic,” and I believe that’s why there is a good reason.
We provided shared hosting, but no longer. Hosting VPS and dedicated servers are their biggest claim to fame, but they also provide controlled WordPress hosting (although I haven’t used it yet). I’ve had and can strongly recommend a LiquidWeb VPS for years.
#3 – Flywheel
These guys are great— they are another run WordPress hosting service that has adapted their software to WordPress to work with. What I like best about them is that they provide a $15/month “Tiny” bundle that works to check their service to see if you like it.
I used them for many different projects and noticed that their assistance was pretty good and that their efficiency and pace were outstanding. We are a lesser-known company in the hosting field of WordPress, but I truly believe they deserve further popularity.
The Best Managed WordPress Hosting
#1 – WP Engine
There’s no question that WP Engine brings down the champion here. I just thought you should go with WP Engine if you’re doing WordPress hosting. There are other choices, of course, and I think Flywheel does a good job of coming closer, but here WP Engine still deserves the credit. Their setup, help, speed— I haven’t found another host coming close in terms of the total WordPress hosting bundle being handled.
#2 – Flywheel
As mentioned in the previous section, Flywheel does a good job and is a very robust hosting option for WordPress. I really like them, are they the WP Engine’s giant? No. Are they still a well-managed WordPress host with a more affordable price and solid reliability — absolutely!
The Best VPS Hosting for WordPress
#1 – LiquidWeb
It’s really hard to beat LiquidWeb when it comes to VPS hosting — which is why there’s no runner mentioned here. I can’t think of anyone who does a better job or has better support as far as a VPS is concerned. Again, Cybersguards.com is hosting on a Liqudweb VPS at the time of writing — so what’s that telling you?
Having said that, their pricing is slightly more expensive than other more budget VPS hosts, but I found that other hosts have a lot of problems running slowly with their VPS servers, almost similar to shared hosting. Also, when running a VPS, you need good support from engineers who know what they’re doing — and the only host I’ve ever been satisfied with for VPS severs in that respect is Liquidweb.
The Best Dedicated Server Hosting for WordPress
#1 – LiquidWeb (again)
If you want a dedicated server, it means you probably have a website that gets a lot of traffic and you also probably understand how to manage a server. Liquidweb, as mentioned many times on this page, has excellent support and also has a variety of dedicated server offerings.
#2 – Rackspace
RackSpace is one of the top dedicated server providers on the web. We have excellent support and a credibility that is extremely good. We are used for smaller projects by Fortune 500 companies and individuals.
Their pricing is a little more expensive than Liquidweb and may not be affordable to some people, but if you need the best of the best in a dedicated box, the way to go is RackSpace.
Visit RackSpace now The Best WordPress Cloud Hosting For most people, hosting in the cloud is not something they need. In terms of management, it requires more technical know-how and can sometimes be finicky. Often it’s easier than pooled or controlled storage, though, and you get more in terms of computer space for your money too.
That said, for WordPress cloud hosting, there is one provider I would recommend:
We are a new, up-and-coming Malta-based company with a special cloud hosting strategy. On top of cloud hosting services including Digital Ocean and Vultr, they basically put a management framework. It allows people to have cloud hosting savings and results, but with conventional hosting help.
I have 2 Cloudways hosting platforms at the moment and have been very happy so far. While I wouldn’t suggest them to people new to hosting, if you know what you’re doing and are searching for a less costly storage solution without some of the hassle managing a cloud server, it’s an awesome choice.
Key Points to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Host
Clearly speed is also determined by the code’s usefulness on your domain, Dhcp, and a variety of other things, but there is no question the performance is greatly influenced by your web hosting. Some of the most popular search engines have said speed is a ranking factor when deciding how to order the results of the search, so the faster your site will load the better. It ensures that it is a necessity to choose a web host that is designed to launch WordPress sites easily.
Inevitably, there will be problems with your site. Whether it gets hacked, or you mess up something on your own, at some stage or another you’re going to need help. Choosing a provider that delivers 24/7/365 service is essential because you never know when you’re going to need it. It’s also a good idea to try and select a web host that either doesn’t outsource or minimally does it. Typically it’s much easier when a host performs their service in-house (such as Liquidweb and WP Engine).
Downtime should be kept to a minimum with any host. You want a business that spends a lot of time managing the network and tracking use to avoid expensive downtime while selecting a host. If your hosting company is bad, because the website does not launch correctly, you may also be seen as poor, so the tourists wonder what the heck is wrong.
Some hosts try to sell relatively useless whiz-bang features to people, but there are other hosts that offer some nice features. WP Engine, for example, provides a “staging” system for the creation of test sites. Without opening a support ticket, Liquidweb offers the ability to add extra IPs to your VPS. These are small things, however they add up, and you may want to choose a host with certain options based on your needs.
Pricing shouldn’t be the only thing you’re worrying about when picking a WordPress host or you’re going to end up with a basement server deal and your domain is going to be down more than it’s up. Having said that, most people work under some kind of schedule, so to that degree it’s good to consider pricing. In other terms, find selling as well as not being a cheap skate. If you can afford $29/month, WP Engine is one of the best mid-of – the-road pricing options available, but with excellent service and a top-notch platform.
Types of WordPress Hosting & Terminology
If you’re looking for a WordPress host, you may have wondered what some of the different terminology means. VPS hosting or shared hosting, etc. In this section, I’ll break down the various types of hosting available and explain what they each mean.
Different Types of Hostings
Your website will be on the same server as other websites with shared hosting. In turn, all storage services (CPU, memory, etc.) are pooled. This is ok or even perfect for lower traffic websites, but exchanging such services can be a problem when it comes to higher traffic websites.
VPS Storage This is a shared hosting step up. If you have a VPS, that implies you’re on a “Virtual Private Server.” A dedicated server is partitioned into different virtual servers in this case. Normally you get a separate Address and don’t share resources on the internet with anyone else.
You have your own physical server on which the website is installed with dedicated hosting. You don’t share with anybody else and there’s no partition. This is suitable for blogs that are extremely large in scope or other high volume uses. Dedicated hosting also makes sense for people who need full server control to run custom scripting, applications, or other software that requires access to root level.
Hosting the cloud is where you typically have resources, but not a dedicated server. Generally speaking, your resources are not linked to a single partitioned box such as a VPS, and the content and files of your site can be spread across a server network (the cloud) and served from the box with the most available resources or box to produce the fastest load time. This is ideal for people who check web applications or need an interface that can be quickly scaled.
Common Hosting Terminology:
Bandwidth is a term used to describe data transfer amounts from your system to another device or from a different computer to your server. Every time a guest landes on your website, both text and photos are transmitted to their web browser from your computer, and the amount of data sent and retrieved in this case is subtracted from your host’s available bandwidth. If you get a lot of traffic, you’re going to want a server that offers a lot of bandwidth.
The term refers to how much storage capacity your computer requires to store files— the more disk space you use, the more information you can put on your server.
Normally this counts as a guest when an individual landes on your website. Usually, managed hosting plans tell you how many visitors for each price level you can have per month. You may need to move to a larger plan if you have a lot of visitors. Visitors are usually measured in bandwidth outside of managed hosts.
Since web servers are computers, the server’s information is processed by CPUs (Central Processing Units). Usually shared hosting accounts share CPU power between users, while VPS and dedicated boxes are usually assigned to the box a number of CPU cores. The quicker the computer will be able to run, the more CPU cores you have.
Hosting services to Avoid
Sadly, the site is full of web hosts of low quality. To my view, even some of the traditional hosting firms you may have read about are not the greatest.
Because I want this blog to be a very genuine source of feedback, I have created a separate page called Hosting I Don’t Recommend. These are hosts I have attempted and disappointed with individually. Consult the tab if you want to see my view on what to prevent.
Common WordPress Hosting Questions to ask
#1. Don’t think. Do I need special WordPress hosting to run?
Not really, but you need hosting with a SQL database that supports server side scripting. For example, on Amazon’s S3 platform you can host a static website, but you can’t host a WordPress site on S3 because it doesn’t handle PHP and doesn’t have the ability to handle SQL databases. With that said, choosing a host that has WordPress websites experience is best. You can also go a stage further with a run WordPress host such as WP Engine where WordPress is all they do — which is sure to give you the best WordPress experience.
#2. How can I run WordPress on my server?
Many hosting companies provide WordPress configuration files or tutorials. At each hosting company, it can be different, so you should consult with your host to aid with their tech support. You can often install WordPress through Fantastico or Softaculous (automatic web hosting installer programs). Otherwise, there is a reference to WordPress how to mount the app here.
#3. What if email is not included in my host?
Several controlled hosts like WP Engine, as part of their hosting, do not provide email. This is because, instead of being frustrated by interacting with spam, they want to concentrate on the hosting part. If you go with an email-free server, you have a few choices. You should set up email forwarders at your domain registrar if you only need to accept email but not send it. If you need to send your password, you can get another server that only holds your messages. Typically this is very simple and you’re just building your MX DNS records to lead to that server. I would highly recommend using emails from RackSpace for this. I used them several times and with great support I found their email hosting to be excellent.
How much does the typical cost of WordPress hosting?
The first thing you need to know about this is that the more you pay in advance it will be cheaper. First of all, if you pay 12 months in advance, most hosts will give you a decent month over month discount on paying. Shared hosting will generally be $3-$8 a month or more. A VPS can cost $30-$90 a month or more everywhere, usually paying more than $100 a month for a dedicated server. Managed WordPress hosting with WP Engine starts at $29 a month and for a shortened deal with a company such as Flywheel it pays just $15 a month. Prices can vary widely based on different packages, discounts and all sorts of other factors.
What is the difference between WordPress running and regular hosting?
WordPress hosting is a thrown word that tends to mean a number of different things. “Hosting WordPress” generally means hosting capable of running WordPress. However, there are users who sometimes say “WordPress hosting” rather than “driven WordPress hosting” what they really want. What’s the difference? Managed WordPress hosting is designed specifically for WordPress where the hosting company typically simply handles WordPress sites and is a WordPress expert; they also take care of any installation-related issues and go beyond what standard hosts do when it comes to WordPress problems. Bluehost is a host for WordPress, but it’s a working WordPress site. Several businesses including HostGator and Liquidweb provide WordPress hosting as well as controlled WordPress hosting to make things a little more complicated.
A bigger question when it comes to powered WordPress hosting is, do you really need it? Are you happy with a smaller package that a company like Bluehost is offering? Or do you need a beast like WP Engine on your WordPress platform? Most of the answer was given above, but it really depends on your needs. If you have a business or a high-traffic website, you may want to consider managed hosting because it comes with a lot of benefits. But, if you’ve just got a small hobby site, you don’t really need WordPress controlled hosting (but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it because some people are happier when they have the best products).
Best alternatives of WordPress
WordPress is, in my view, the best content management system to create websites out there. That said, some people may be looking for an alternative. In that case, other popular content management systems are Joomla and Drupal. There is also the potential to create and rock a static HTML platform instead of a WordPress site. I feel like I’m spoiled by WordPress, though, because it’s never as easy as working with WordPress every time I build a site using a different method.
What about builders of websites (Webly, Wix, SquareSpace, etc.) versus WordPress?
Website builders have become a common solution for people trying to get a good-looking up-and-running website rapidly over the past few years (specifically the past year). They are pretty neat resources as they allow you to create a website that looks professional without much technical expertise. To people who want to get online, this is great, but don’t really know how or where to continue.
The downside to some of these popular website builders is that while they’re beautiful, they’re just not as versatile as a full WordPress installation on an independent server. Sure, website designers are good at creating a site that looks good, but that’s where most of their features stop. Creating some custom code, running scripts on the server side, and doing all sorts of other stuff you’d do with your own WordPress platform is really complicated.
The nearest you can get to a WordPress website builder is WordPress.com, which helps you to develop a WordPress.com subdomain blog called yourblogname. WordPress.com. WordPress enables you to add a custom domain to the WordPress.com subdomain for a little extra money so it appears like a normal website. This is nice for people who want WordPress to operate it on their own site, but don’t want the administration headache. From our point of view, there’s really no trouble, it’s just like anything else that’s more complex, because once you get used to how it works and use it, there’s nothing to it and you’ll be happy you’ve got the extra feature. So, as always, our recommendation is to go with WordPress, but host it on your own server so that you have the best functionality and control combination!
Can’t make a decision yet?
After reading this page, do you still have trouble deciding on a host? That’s all right! It can be a big decision to choose one and a lot of research is required. If you’ve just skimmed this article, take the time to read it (I realize it’s pretty long). There’s a lot of great material online, please take the time to read it all and talk about it.
There are also a lot of other useful pages on this site, including individual web hosting company reviews, as well as comparisons between some hosts like Bluehost vs HostGator. You might also want to take the time to visit the websites of the particular host to browse through all their proposals and choices to help you decide. Relax, take your time, and hopefully you can find a good host for your website!