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Since WordPress powers +60 million websites, hosting for WordPress is big business. With that said there are many hosting companies out there but which offer the best WordPress hosting service? Here I look at higher end hosting for people who are becoming more serious with their websites and I’ll finish with a highly rated affordable option for people just getting started or wanting to support more domains at an affordable price.
Here are my favorite WordPress hosting companies in order of how I rate them but before we go into the details of each hosting company, ask yourself this question.
Which of the following options are you looking for in a WordPress hosting company?
Here is a run down of the hosting companies that I have tested.
Since writing this post I have now compiled a detailed WP Engine review
Migrate to WP Engine for Free + save 20% off any Personal, Professional, or Business annual plan with code FreeMoveA. Expires 7/31/15.
WP Engine is one of the leaders in terms of managed WordPress hosting. I have been very impressed with the support and speed of WP Engine which is why I now offer this as a freebie on my benefits for signing up for an SEO package with my Chameleon SEO website.
Best features of WP Engine
- Very, very fast
- Increased conversions due to faster website
- SEO benefits
- Famous support
- Evercache technology
- Hacking support – they’ll fix it for free
- Website backed up so you can relax
You get what you pay for and this is so true with the hosting for WordPress which is why WP Engine made list. While you can most of the time get away with shared hosting for your website. If your website becomes popular, as you will wish it does it will be time to leave the shared hosting and become serious about your website. WP Engine is for people who are serious about their websites and when a person is serious about their website then paying $29 a month shouldn’t really matter as the benefits they experience far outweigh the monthly price.
One of the burning questions you’ll want to know before signing up to WP-Engine is how much faster will it make my website? Luckily there’s a way to find out. WP-Engine has a really helpful tool to give you an estimate of the increased speed times of your website. You’ll be sent a custom report with their analysis of how moving to WP-Engine could improve the speed of your website.
Here’s an example from another website which isn’t on WP-Engine
I’m currently testing the uptime of WP Engine on this website using this tool. I currently collecting data and will update this post when a longer time span is available, but for now here’s the results.
“WP Engine has been amazing — all of my sites’ page load speeds increased by at least 42%. Support even during my trial period was impressive and personal. It gives me great comfort to know that what I now offer to my clients are backed by rock-solid technologies.”
– JANN KRYNAUWTONIK.PRO
“I used to run all my WordPress sites on a high spec managed and dedicated server which I rented from a top hosting provider. It was only after attending a WordCamp and listening to a discussion on WordPress scalability and security that I learned that even with the server I had, my sites were not as solid as I had thought. After many hours of research on optimized WordPress hosting I decided to try WP Engine.
Pros and cons of WP Engine
- As shown in the speed test it’s very fast. Simply by moving from shared WordPress hosting to WP Engine you’ll see a good improvement on your loading time.
- Support is always excellent and quite fast
- The staging area is something I can’t live without now. Saves me time and work.
- Better crawl rates
- Free fix if your website gets hacked
- Price – You have to determine if it makes sense for your website to be on WP Engine. The websites that will benefit the most from fast loading times are e-commerce stores, high traffic websites and those who do a lot of social media promotion because WP Engine can handle a sudden increase in traffic.
- Sometimes support tickets take too long, although WP Engine have admitted this and are fixing the problem
- No migration service – I would love WP Engine to offer a migration service to new users
For more information I have written a SiteGround review.
SiteGround is another company offering affordable prices for WordPress websites. Prices start at $3.95 and they offer frequent offers and discounts so keep your eyes out on this website.
If you are a UK user you’ll also get a free .co.uk domain. Plus you’ll also get a 90 FREE trail of Crazy Egg. Crazy is a excellent heat map software to help you increase conversions. See my review here.
Unique WordPress Autoinstaller
We have developed a unique WordPress setup wizard that provides you with 1-click installation. In addition we provide Softaculous.
Autoupdater for WordPress & Its Plugins
To make your website more secure we activate our Autoupdater for each instance installed through our systems.
The SuperCacher dynamic cache option makes your WordPress faster and is included in our hosting plans higher than StartUp.
A great feature for WordPress geeks that allows easy test and deploy of WordPress changes. Included in GoGeek hosting plan.
Git Pre-Installed for Easy WordPress Version Control
GoGeek hosting accounts come with SG-Git, our custom interface for WordPress Git repository creation.
All accounts have pre-installed WP-CLI interface which helps you update WordPress, install themes, plugins etc. from the command line.
With SiteGround you’ll also get insanely good support. Not just hosting related issues as the video shows.
As you can from the image, I submitted the ticket and within 5 minutes my website was fixed and the ticket closed! I haven’t experienced anything like this on other hosting companies.
They also offer instant replies via phone or live chat and their support ticket speed is around 10 minutes!
A2 Hosting is another WordPress hosting company with a good reputation see my A2 Hosting review. They can offer WordPress hosting at an affordable price but what is different about A2 Hosting is they can offer SSD hosting meaning you can have a 300% increase in your hosting compared to normal shared WordPress hosting options. If you’re unsure on what SSD hosting is, check out their video giving you a quick explanation of it.
To see all the features available from A2 Hosting see their WordPress hosting section.
A2 Hosting have just released an amazing new feature to help speed up your website. They offer you a plugin to install to automate speeding up your website. Making your website fast is tricky and can get quite technical. The plugin A2 Hosting have released does this for you. They claim it will make your website 6 x faster so lets see.
This is a speed test just using A2 Hosting Prime SSD drive hosting package. I’ve just used the default WordPress install here. I’ll be testing more complex designs later.
There is no caching on this website and it’s still getting speeds of 775ms. A second test shows similar speeds.
Lets turn the plugin on now. If you wanted to read more about what the plugin does and how it can benefit you I’ve talked about it more over on my A2 Hosting review.
Using the same website, plugins and location here are the results simply by installing and configuring the A2 Hosting WordPress plugin.
As you can see just by installing the plugin the loading time of the website has basically halved. Also notice the page size has decreased by a considerable amount as well.
This is a great feature for webmasters as it offers everyone the chance for a fast website without getting your hands dirty. The plugin is free as a part of all the A2 Hosting packages.
A2 Hosting Uptime
I’m currently testing the uptime for A2 Hosting, here’s the results over a period of 421 hours.
Web Hosting Hub
Web Hosting Hub is another WordPress hosting company that I’ve had a good experience with. They offer an affordable way to host your website with plans starting from $3.99 per month meaning it’s a good option for those starting out. They take the hassle out of getting your website up and running with easy 1 click install of WordPress along with excellent 24/7 support in the US.
Here’s a comparison of Web Hosting Hub vs other popular hosting companies and what they offer. One of the most important is the 90 day money back guarantee offer. With 3 months of testing their service with the option to still claim your money back it’s a good way to test if this hosting company is right for you.
They’ve also won a series of awards as the image shows.
Web Hosting Hub features
Many WordPress hosting companies offer certain features when you sign up to their service, Web Hosting Hub is no different. You can see what they offer in the image below.
One of the key features that stands out is the $200 Adwords credits. This is a great way to get your new website up and running with some additional marketing via Adwords.
You’ll also get a free domain when you sign up with Web Hosting Hub.
Web Hosting Hub uptime
Again, I tested the uptime for Web Hosting Hub over a period of 603 hours. Here are the results:
No downtime has been experienced with Web Hosting Hub.
I will be adding my review of Web Hosting Hub pretty soon but for the time being check out a series of reviews from happy customers. So far they have had a 99.08% overall rating which is very impressive.
If you’re looking for something less expensive for WordPress then Bluehost might be the option for you. I have written a Bluehost review which gives a more in-depth account of this service. Starting from $6.95 a month, Bluehost is fast and reliable in terms of cheap hosting. It’s great for people who building small websites for their own link network or if you wish to take advantage of their unlimited domains features allowing you to add all your mini sites in one place.
I have ran a test like the one for WP Engine, testing the uptime for Bluehost. This was tested for a period of 585 hours.
Here’s a look of the technology that Bluehost uses.
While Bluehost is a great option for starting out, you may outgrow the features of Bluehost and require something more robust which I’d suggest looking into WP Engine when you outgrow the shared hosting world. If you do decide on Bluehost you should note that they also throw in a free domain name when you sign up which is a great way to get started with your first website or expand your current domain list.
These are my favourite WordPress hosting companies and those I’ve had an amazing experience with. If you’re a serious website owner looking to take the next step then I would suggest you look into WP Engine as an option to increase your speed of your website and conversions. If you’re a blogger or simple website owner who is just starting out then save your money and check out Bluehost as an option. If your website becomes popular be aware that at some point you might have to outgrow Bluehost and pick something that suits your traffic needs.
Pros and cons of Bluehost
- Helpful support
- Affordable shared WordPress hosting for those starting out
- Easy to setup and maintain
- Great for small blogs or small business with small traffic needs
- As you can see from our uptime tests that server response time could be improved
- No such thing as unlimited regarding bandwidth, hosting space etc
- Possible to outgrow shared hosting plans quickly
In addition to award winning technical support and 99.9% uptime, InMotion Hosting’s WordPress Hosting is optimized for the active blogger. Our exclusive Speed Zone technology, top of the line security features, and business class servers ensure your WordPress will run smoothly and securely.
InMotion offer WordPress hosting from $5.99 per month increasing to $13.99 per month depending on what package you get. As the image shows the cheapest package (Launch) gives you 6 parked domains on your account as well as 25 additional subdomains with automatic backups every 24-36 hours.
While not as known as the previous example, Pixeno have been my hosts for a few years now. I’ve been very happy with their service. They are a growing company and offer excellent support and technology and are perfect for small business owners.
They are based in the UK and offer pretty fast hosting, this is some of their technology
Pixeno has a small but growing rack of servers at a secure private datacentre located in Maidenhead, UK. The datacentre’s network was voted the fastest in the UK, and the 3rd fastest in the world. Each server has a 100Mbps super-fast fibre connection, so your site will load lightning fast. The servers are monitored by 24/7 on-site engineers, and are powered by an uninterruptible power supply. Do you want speed, friendly support and a great service? Choose Pixeno!
I have had nothing but a solid experience with Pixeno and will continue to use them with my growing number of websites. Their support is quality as it their technology. Check them out for a lesser known but high quality hosting company.
How to pick the best WordPress hosting company for you
Now I have told you about my favourite WordPress hosting providers, lets explore some other information on how to pick a good WordPress hosting company for you such as the requirements for running WordPress and the different types of WordPress hosting options available.
WordPress Hosting requirements
WordPress has a great guide to help you know the requirements that your server needs in order to run WordPress
WordPress server requirements for Version 3.2:
All hosting providers in this post provide this. While many hosting companies offer hosting for WordPress and provide the requirements you should still check before you move your website to them to avoid any hassles in the future.
To save time and effort when setting up your new website you should check if your hosting company offer a 1-click installation of WordPress. While this is a common feature for all the best web hosting companies you don’t want to manually install WordPress when you can install it in 1-click. Check your hosting company offer this before you sign up.
What’s the most important features of a good WordPress hosting company?
In my opinion you need to look at a few things:
- Speed – good for SEO and conversions
- Security – Save time knowing your website will be hard to hack
- Uptime – It’s a hassle when websites go down – get a good hosting company with good uptime stats
- Reputation – Check the reviews of the companies, I have reviewed the above hosting companies here (WP Engine), here (Siteground) and here (Bluehost)
- Support – Finally you want fast and knowledgeable support from your hosting providers.
Different WordPress hosting options
Think of WordPress hosting like the engine of a car with the design of your website like the design of your car. It’s the engine that gives you the performance and WordPress hosting is no different. When trying to pick a good WordPress hosting company, you might see different options like free, shared, managed and dedicated WordPress hosting. Lets discuss the options.
I’m not going to talk about free WordPress hosting as in my opinion you should stay away from it if you want your website to be successful and save yourself time and money. As with everything you get for what you pay for.
Shared WordPress hosting
Shared WordPress hosting is one of the most popular ways to host a WordPress website and is used by millions of people. Why? Because it’s one of the most affordable ways to get your WordPress websites online. Hosting companies like SiteGround can offer hosting for as little as $3.95 per month, meaning it only costs you just under $50 for 1 year of hosting. This is why shared WordPress hosting is one of the most popular forms of WordPress hosting.
Shared WordPress hosting is a great option for new websites or beginners as it’s cost effective and you can experience all the important features above. The draw back with shared WordPress hosting comes back to you get what you pay for. For the hard working beginner there might be a time when your shared hosting can not handle your traffic anymore. You might run past the resources available to your package meaning that you’ll have to upgrade.
For very high traffic websites this is what you’ll need. If you’re just starting out then you do not need this package.
Managed WordPress hosting
With a good managed WordPress host you can find they specialise in only WordPress hosting and nothing else. By going with a managed WordPress hosting company you’ll also experience the benefit of them looking after your website without you having to worry. This includes optimising speed, updating WordPress automatically, keeping your website secure and backing up your website regularly. You’ll also experience more hands on support but all of this comes at the higher end of the market. For example, one of the most popular managed WordPress hosting companies start their plans at $29 per month.
It took me a few months to decide if I wanted to move to WP Engine, the obvious reason – the cost. While I was paying $6 per month for shared hosting it was a tough decision to justify the extra cost per month. I decided to test WP Engine for 1 year to see if I would get any benefits and I’m so glad I did. Site speed is up, conversions are up and the extra costs have been fully justified.
Managed WordPress hosting is a great way to take your blog to a new level, if you can justify the cost then I would suggest trying it out – more so if you’re an e-commerce store or sell anything online.
I’ll be updating this post when I try other WordPress hosting companies so I can give you an idea on the best WordPress hosting. If you would like to see your company on this list, email me and we can talk.