Over the years, I’ve had countless people ask me what’s the best hosting for WordPress. The answer, of course, depends.
There is no one-size-fits-all web hosting company.
Your decision depends on where you are in your blogger journey.
If you are just starting out with zero visitors, you have different hosting needs than a blogger that gets over 500,000 unique visitors per month.
You might be thinking, why should I listen to this no-name Larry guy. He has no experience with web hosting. He’s just another blogger who’s writing a “best of” hosting article just for the affiliate commissions.
You’d be wrong.
You see, I might know a thing or two about hosting. I successfully built from scratch and ran a web hosting company for over 20 years. I know the industry intimately. I know all of the major players. In my years of consulting clients, I have worked with over fifty other hosting providers.
The other thing to mention is pretty much every hosting provider has an affiliate program. With affiliate marketing, web hosting is the most popular category. I can easily recommend any hosting provider I want. I chose the ones on the list because I believe they represent the best WordPress hosts.
Choose Your Web Hosting…Wisely
One thing is for sure, not all web hosting is created equal. Your WordPress host is a critical part of your business.
Choose your web hosting provider wisely.
The right host can make blogging such a joy. The wrong one can make your life a living hell.
Web hosting is one of those services that you are oblivious to when everything is working, but quickly notice when something is wrong.
My list recommended of WordPress providers isn’t meant to be a comprehensive comparison of every single web hosting provider. There are way too many hosting providers to review and compare. I created this list is to help you solve a specific problem — where to host your WordPress blog.
The Three Factors When Choosing a WordPress Host
From my experience, there are three criticals factors when picking the best WordPress host:
- Speed – How quickly does your website load. A slow host can affect not only SEO but lost revenue as well.
- Customer Support – How quickly does customer service respond and more importantly how quickly do they resolve your problem.
- Reliability – If your website isn’t available for visitors, it can cost you hundreds if not thousands in lost revenue. Does the hosting provider have any uptime guarantee?
Notice something missing? I didn’t mention the price. Especially in today’s hyper-competitive market, web hosting is a commodity. The price of hosting is very cheap compared to the level of service you get. Always remember that you get a lot of services for not much in fees. In some cases, it’s less than one cup of Starbucks coffee.
If you can’t afford a more costly web hosting, cut out a few Starbucks coffees. The latte factor when starting a blog.
A Dirty Little Web Hosting Secret
Pst? I’ll let you in on a little known web hosting secret.
Web hosting is a super competitive business. I should know as I’ve owned a web hosting business for over 20 years. Let me tell you it’s a difficult business to be in.
The margins are razor-thin and it’s a commodity. So marketing is sometimes based upon gimmicks. Keep this in mind when deciding which hosting provider you are going to sign up with.
In an arms race as hosting providers try to outdo each other.
The “unlimited” this or “unlimited” that features come to mind. There’s no such thing as unlimited disk space. Make sure if it is mentioned, understand what this means before you signup.
With all shared hosting services (which most of these are), they are oversubscribing the hardware they manage. While they may offer unlimited or large amounts of resources, they are not exclusive to you.
This isn’t something new and is done all the time. For example, cell phone services companies do this. After all, if everyone jumped on and made a phone call all at the same time their systems would never support it. If done right, they allocate enough to handle peak usage.
WordPress is a CPU and memory resource hog. Oink Oink! You want a fast loading blog. Simply put, faster loading means more sales. That is a known fact.
So much so that Google uses page load time as a key metric. Therefore make sure you are getting the fastest possible host for the price you pay. A simple rule of thumb — the more you pay, the more dedicated server resources you get.
Beginner bloggers don’t need much in terms of resources, but a popular website certainly does and should pay more for it.
Best Beginner Host – Bluehost
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- A free domain name included for the first year
- SSL certificate to secure your website
- 1-click install of WordPress
- 50GB of disk space for the lowest plan
So you’ve decided to become a blogger, congrats! It’s a rewarding business that can easily be done as a part-time side hustle.
I detail the steps required in my article on how to start a blog.
The first problem you must solve is figuring out which web hosting company. There’s a dizzying array of companies that can host your blog.
If you are just starting out, I would recommend creating your blog on WordPress. It’s the most popular blogging platform and gives you many options to create a great looking and robust website. More important just get started, the choice in provider at this stage isn’t that critical. What is most important for you is cost.
The best cheap WordPress hosting company, from my experience, is Bluehost.
Bluehost pricing starts at $3.95/month. They host over 2 million accounts and one of the larger web hosting companies around. They are owned by the conglomerate Endurance International. It’s the same company that owns over 83 different other companies such as HostGator, Domain.com and BuyDomains.
If you are currently at one of their existing services, don’t expect much different service at Bluehost. With that said, Endurance is a large company with large amounts of resources to dedicate to Bluehost.
Best Intermediate Host – WP Engine
- Designed specifically for WordPress hosting
- Never lose a file – Nightly Backups
- Free WordPress Themes – 35+ SEO friendly themes included free (Genesis Studiopress).
- Never be down because of an update – Development, staging, and production environment.
- Free SSL certificate included
- 60-day money-back guarantee
As a blogger that’s been around the block, you are ready to upgrade from a cheap web hosting provider. You are making money at blogging and take downtime seriously. You want a web hosting company that specializes in WordPress hosting.
WP Engine is easily my recommended choice. WP Engine, in my opinion, is the best-managed WordPress hosting company.
While their pricing might be higher than the cheap web hosting options, they do have a number of key features builtin to the service. This starts to add up when going with a cheaper provider. WP Engine includes nightly backups, CDN, WordPress Themes, and environments to test out new plugins.
Best Advanced Host – Linode
- Handle More Visitors – NodeBalancer option to load balance your WordPress.
- Less downtime – Block storage that can move from one VPS to another with ease.
- Free DNS Included – No need to host DNS at a third-party service.
If you are someone like me who dreams in PHP code and eats shell scripting for breakfast, then the most obvious is a good cloud hosting provider. That choice is Linode, which runs this very website.
Believe it or not, while I have some services at Amazon’s AWS I cannot recommend it for a WordPress blogger. AWS is often pricy, and quite honestly their service can be quite confusing to use.
I like a cloud hosting option that has direct and straightforward options. Linode fits that bill. and is the best VPS hosting provider. They aren’t newcomers either and been around since 2003.
The advantage of going with a cloud hosting is you can roll your own setup. So you have the advantage of building your infrastructure for speed. For example, I recommend and use the webserver Litespeed, unfortunately most WordPress hosts don’t use it. It is not only the fastest web server, but understands Apache configuration files, and has a builtin caching server.
Linode has all of the services a blogger needs to scale your website. They have pre-built images of all your favorite Linux distributions and can be up in running within minutes.
Linode offers load balancers, block storage, monitoring, and backup options. In addition, Linode has data centers around the world that includes Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, California, Germany, Singapore, England, and Japan.
WordPress Hosting FAQs
I’m just starting out, what do you recommend?
What is the purpose of an SSL certificate?
When should you switch from Bluehost to WP Engine?
When your site gets over 20,000 unique visitors and/or makes over a few thousand a month in revenue. I would recommend switching to WP Engine when you can justify the higher fees.
If you are just starting out, Bluehost is the perfect WordPress blogging platform. Though as you progress and make more money you should eventually move on to WP Engine. For the more advanced high volume blogger who hosts multiple websites, Linode is the best option.
Readers: Please comment below if you have any web hosting questions.