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How To Choose the Best WordPress Hosting

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You finally have your business plan figured out. You know exactly what you’re going to do to run a successful WordPress site, and you’ve even started pooling resources together. All that you need now is a good home for your WordPress site – a good WordPress hosting plan to help you realize your goals and achieve your online dreams.

With the millions of WordPress hosting providers out there, it can be an uphill task choosing the best (or the right one). And you need only the best because if you don’t have web hosting going on for you, running an online business can and will give you migraines. You need the best, and nothing short of it.

In today’s post, I will take you through the process of choosing the right WordPress hosting. I will also recommend a few WordPress hosts to make your work easier. By the end of this post, you will be able to choose the best WordPress hosting for your next project.


WordPress Hosting Cost

For most people, the cost of WordPress hosting is the first aspect they consider when choosing a web host. The impulse here is to go for the cheapest offer there is, but this is often the wrong move to make. Keep in mind that you get exactly what you pay for, as web hosts – just like any other business – must turn in a profit even when they seem to give you “unlimited everything”.

While we all would love to save a few bucks once in a while, you should take a closer look at the features the web host offers as opposed to jumping on the first cheap plan that comes your way.

The price of web hosting depends on a number of factors such as the quality of support and the health of servers amongst others. If you need the best, you have to pay a premium. Surely, you will be kidding yourself if you expect the best WordPress hosting at $1 a month.

On the other hand, $90 per month is a bit pricey, but $3 to $30 per month is ideal if you have a small WordPress site that does not make you money.

Oh, don’t fall for the “unlimited everything” trap that is supposed to lure you in. Nothing is really unlimited. Since these are often shared web hosting plans (which is okay for a small WordPress site BTW) there are a limited number of resources being split between every website on that server. So once your website starts pulling in large amounts of visitors, the web host will politely force you to scale up. If you have a WordPress portal that gets millions of pageviews per month, shared hosting won’t cut it – even with the unlimited options.

You can definitely start with budget friendly shared web hosting, but you should scale up with the growth of your website. Other web hosting plans available include virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, managed VPS, managed dedicated servers and managed WordPress hosting. The price of WordPress hosting varies with the plans, so stay within your budget and only go for a web hosting provider who offers the features you are looking for.

Features and Performance

WordPress Hosting Features

It is not so much about the features (or level of performance) provided by the web host. It’s all about the features you need to run your WordPress site. It makes no sense to go for a WordPress hosting plan with features you will never use now or in the future. Prepare in advance so you know exactly what you need today and what you will need, say, a year from now.

  • Apart from WordPress, will you need to install other scripts – on a subdomain or separate domain – in the future?
  • Will you need to host more than one WordPress site?
  • Does your WordPress host of choice support unlimited addon domains or subdomains, or will you need to move to another host to enjoy these features?
  • Are you ready to pay extra for backup services?
  • Would you like to take advantage of a free domain?
  • Does the web hosting company support a cause dear to your heart?

These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself. After all, it’s all about you and what you wish to achieve. Having a solid plan for your online business will point you to the right WordPress hosting.

On performance, you need a WordPress hosting provider who guarantees up times, super-fast servers, bandwidth and enough disk space to accommodate your needs. If you decide to play cheap, you will pay by wasting a lot of time and effort dealing with downtimes and other server-related issues. Cheap is, after all, expensive.

You take your WordPress site seriously, and your WordPress hosting provider should too. Contact them and ask questions. Read independent reviews or ask trusted friends for recommendations.

Another thing. If a web hosting company specializes in enterprise-based hosting solutions only and you have a small WordPress blog, they are not the right fit for you. The inverse is also true. Other features to keep in mind when choosing WordPress hosting include email hosting, control panels and security.

Quality of Customer Support

The quality of customer support that a web host provides should tell you a lot about the company. If the customer support leaves a lot to be desired, you don’t want to trust that company with your online business. If your site goes down for some reason, can you contact tech support and get instant help? If they are available, can they fix the problem quickly? Or will it take ages to get help even for the smallest of issues?

Before choosing a web host for your WordPress website(s), ensure they have a good reputation for customer support. A good web hosting company will provide multiple ways of contact including a phone number (duh), email and chat. They will have someone to help you 24/7, and they will have good reviews all over the internet. Do your research and choose a web host that values customer support.

WordPress Hosting Recommendations

In this section, we will cover two categories of WordPress hosting:

  • Managed WordPress hosting
  • Typical web hosting providers

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting companies specialize in providing hosting solutions for the WordPress platform. This means you can only host WordPress sites with them, and nothing else.

This is great for you because all their resources are dedicated to your WordPress platform, and we all know that concentrated efforts = better results. The following are the leading managed WordPress hosting companies in the market right now.

WP Engine

WP Engine Managed WordPress hosting

I’m starting with WP Engine because we use and love it! We’ve been using WP Engine for a while now, and the experience is simply out of this world. I’m not just recommending WP Engine, I’m about to reveal to you why it’s the best managed WordPress hosting solution out there.

First things first, WP Engine’s support team is “…100% focused and dedicated to WordPress.” Besides that, the company boasts of the best customer to support staff ratio in the industry meaning you get uber-fast and personal support at all times.

That’s not the end of it. Ever since we started using WP Engine, we’ve never had to worry about backing up because it is taken care of automatically on a daily basis. And there are no extra (or hidden) costs, plus you can restore your site whenever with a few clicks. How suave? Every WP Engine plan has the above and the following features:

  • Firewalls and Malware scanning to bolster security
  • Generous SLA and no long-term contracts (pay monthly and leave whenever you want – although you’ll never want to)
  • International data centers to guarantee super-fast load speeds (say goodbye to caching plugins)
  • As much space as you want
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Scalable plans
  • Top of the range hardware
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDN) support
  • Development tools
  • And so much more…

This is the best managed WordPress hosting solution for you whether you run a personal blog, a professional WordPress site or an e-commerce portal. They also have a premium package with custom options for your unique needs.

Some of WP Engine clients include Foursquare, ConstantContact, SoundCloud, Buffer and GeekWire amongst others. Automattic also invested in WP Engine, which gives the latter even more credibility.

Visit WP Engine →

Traditional Web Hosting Companies

Most web hosting companies support the WordPress software. Just purchase your hosting package, install WordPress with a few clicks, and your work is done. So far, this option is more popular than managed WordPress hosting for many a blogger. It’s very budget (with packages starting around $4-$5 per month), but doesn’t always have all the extra goodies that come with managed WordPress hosting. The following web hosts have a good reputation for customer support and performance in the market.



With instant setup, anytime money-back guarantee, unlimited domain hosting, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, unlimited email accounts, a free domain, site building tools, FTP, SSL, 24/7 support, $100 Google advertising credit and a couple of other sweet features, Bluehost is a big name in the web hosting business. Plus, Bluehost had offered a special deal to all WPExplorer readers, so you can get host starting at just $3.95 per month. Just make sure to use one of our links to Bluehost on this page or on our coupons page to ensure you get the discount.

In fact, WordPress vouches for Bluehost as a WordPress host. Apart from shared hosting, they also provide VPS and dedicated web hosting, so scaling up won’t be a problem. Additionally, if you would like to start your own web hosting outfit, they have an attractive reseller plan. As a reseller, you might be interested in checking out these WordPress themes for hosting companies.

Visit Bluehost →



With over eight (8) million sites on their servers, HostGator is a popular web hosting. They provide 24/7 email, chat, skype and phone support. You can install WordPress with a few clicks via the control panel.

They also provide 99.9% uptime guarantee meaning even with their low prices, you don’t have to worry about downtimes. Their hosting plans start at $3.96 per month because of a twenty percent (20%) discount. VPS hosting starts at $9.97 per month and dedicated servers start at $139 per month. Reseller hosting starts at $19.95 per month. It’s a great WordPress hosting solution to get you started.


Choosing the right WordPress hosting is the first step towards achieving online success. You want to avoid web hosting-related problems from the get-go to concentrate on creating products, marketing your WordPress site and generally making money. Before you leave, please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comment section below. I wish you a happy and prosperous 2014!

Article by Freddy author
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  1. Jim Walker

    Alternately try something without an affiliate link payout program, like TVC.Net $3 SSD Shared Website Hosting, with average customer support response times of 5 minutes or less.

    Sold State Hard Drives (SSD) – once you host with an SSD based host it’s hard to go back to the old school “network” based hosting companies.

    • AJ Clarke

      Hey Jim,

      Actually we do recommend Synthesis (which doesn’t have an affiliate program). The recommended hosts are ones we’ve personally had experience with, we don’t recommend products that are unfamiliar to us. By the way, the design alone of that site you recommend is probably going to scare off a lot of visitors because it looks like a spam site. Can I expect quality hosting service from a site that looks like it was built 15 years ago?

      • Jeff

        Funny, coming from a site that isn’t responsive and doesn’t have a mobile version. Who is living in the past?

        Anyone who knows anything about WordPress hosting would NOT be promoting HostGator or Bluehost.

        • AJ Clarke

          Hi Jeff,

          We are just a couple weeks away from a full overhaul of the site (it’s taking me a long time to update the site because I’ve been working on a lot of cool new stuff to release). So yes, our site is a bit outdated and we are working on it, but also we are mostly a blog.

          HostGator and Bluehost are actually pretty good hosts for people on a budget with simple blogs and not a lot of traffic. This site actually started on HostGator, moved to BlueHost, upgraded to Media Temple Grid, upgraded to Media Temple DV, upgraded to WPEngine Business and is now on WPEngine Premium. So just with WPExplorer alone we’ve experienced a lot of these hosts. And I can tell you Hostmonster and Bluehost were good, but only up until a certain point. Once our traffic started increasing we did have issues with throttling causing the site to load really slow. But this wasn’t the host’s fault, this was that we were simply on a plan that didn’t handle our site.

          To flat out say they are bad hosts is inaccurate. Maybe they weren’t a good host for you or maybe you had a bad experience? If you would care to share that would be great! I actually had a very bad experience when I initially moved to WPEngine, but once sorted out and ever since it has been a great.

          Anyway, I’m interested to hear why you dislike those hosting companies so much? Even Automattic recommends them!

          • AJ Clarke

            By the way, you can have a look at the new design in progress on Dribbble!

      • Jeff

        HostGator and Bluehost are now owned by hosting conglomerate EIG. They snap up once reliable hosts, move their data centers, and oversubscribe their servers.
        Search Google or Twitter for mentions of Hostgator downtime (and bluehost, and a small orange, etc) and you will find so many mentions of it.
        Search wiki for Endurance International Group
        Or search webhosting talk for EIG

        You (and Automattic) are doing a disservice to your readers by promoting them.

        Yes, they once were good, but they are absolutely horrible now.

        • AJ Clarke

          Thanks Jeff for the feedback. I’m working on getting some accounts setup so I can test them myself. Bluehost is working on a new project (I think its secret) and I’ve been chatting with them via email and they are going to let us test it out once they go live, so that’s going to be very helpful.

          I’ve been chatting with them for a while and at least the team they have behind them seem really great. And from the little bit of testing I’ve done recently they still seem good. Of course I haven’t done any long term testing as maybe you have. I’ll try and get a rep over here to see if they can comment!

      • Jeff

        AJ – not sure if I can post links here, but here’s a great article about it.

        If you’ll allow me to post my own site here, I’ll link you to my own experience as well.

        • AJ Clarke

          I’m sure others would find it useful to read about your experience! I would of course read it first before posting. I’ve had a lot of people in the past tell me their hosting sucks and was a nightmare, to find it out it was really a plugin causing all the issues on their site…So as long as your experience is legit, I’ll post it.

          Of course we do have affiliate links on our site, but we aren’t just about making money, we truly love WordPress and the community! So we do our best to share the good and the bad.

      • Jeff

        Thanks AJ. Here’s my experience.

        Little did I know in August that my downtime was part of this fiasco. Unfortunately I found out too late.

        • AJ Clarke

          Hey Jeff,

          I read your blog post, but it seems to me like you had issues at the time when they did all the migration. For a large hosting company one would expect that the sites wouldn’t go down during an upgrade like this, but things do happen unfortunately. Of course as a customer it’s a huge pain in the butt and its scary when your site goes down. Honestly though, from what I read it seems like they were in fact pretty good at getting back to your tickets and even gave you a month of free hosting.

          I do have a couple questions for you though…Have you used their hosting since? You had a bad experience at a time when they were making huge changes, things could be very different now.

          Also, what plan were you on? Because lets be honest if you were on the lowest, which I think is only $3.95 a month, then you pretty much got what you paid for 😉 At such a low price even if my site went down for a whole day, I probably wouldn’t complain.

          That’s why now we pay a crap ton for our hosting with WPEngine Premium, but all our sites have been running perfectly without any downtime (knock on wood) 😉

      • Jeff

        Sorry I can’t reply to your reply AJ (hopefully you’ll fix that in your upgrade) 🙂

        In my article it says I had a reseller account. This was their middle of the road reseller account and I had about 80 domains pointing to it (14 regular sites and one multisite for my real estate website business). In the early days (before summer 2013) it was super fast and rarely down.

        If you read any of the articles I linked, you’ll see that it wasn’t just a “migration” issue and it wasn’t insignificant downtime. It was a whole week of customers calling me asking why their site was down. Then saying “oh, it’s back now”. Rinse and repeat.

        Their “migration” to a better server was a lie. They moved data centers from Dallas to Provo and did not tell anyone. They let go of support people and continued the EIG plan of overloading servers. Don’t take my word for it, do some searching and you’ll see.

        I did use my last free month of HG hosting for testing. There was another major outage just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I ran out of time for the testing I wanted to do… I was going to install the same site on 4 hosts and test the performance. I have 2 other Reseller accounts with other hosts, and a few other smaller accounts (one with iPage, another EIG company).

        • AJ Clarke

          That’s a real bummer, so basically it sounds like they didn’t let any of the customers know what was really going on. I can really understand your frustration and why you would find it hard to trust them now. That said, I am curious to hear from people that are still on their hosting plan and see what it’s like now. It’s possible after all that ugly mess they got their sh*t together and everything is good now.

          There is a limit on the replies, I will increase it in the next update because the design will allow for it 😉

  2. Lee Blue (@leehblue)

    We have spent a lot of time working with folks and dealing with all sorts of hosting environments. For the “traditional” web hosting, we have found BlueHost not to be so great and, instead, have been recommending Site5. They have a really nice setup, in house support, and they will even transfer your site to their servers for free. I wrote up a whole article about whey we’ve been recommending Site5.

  3. Jason Alexis

    Gr8 stuff

    • Freddy

      Thank you Jason for your kind words 🙂

  4. Jim Walker

    Agreed, the host doesn’t look like Godaddy or Hostgator.
    The testimonials tell a different tale though…

    Then again, my wife doesn’t look like Angelina Jolie and it took a year before I proposed.

    • AJ Clarke

      Haha, that’s funny Jim.

      We’ll if you’ve got the testimonials and you have a great service, then spending a little money (investment) on a nice website can really boost the business. So why not? Maybe it’s laziness…in which case, it’s not a host I would want to have. But, maybe I’m the only one asking these questions!

  5. confessionsoftheprofessions

    Good insight Freddy, thank you for sharing! While I’m not with WPEngine, I do have DreamHost which has DreamPress. DreamPress was actually inspired and uses similar technology and hardware to WPEngine – I think the two CEOs know each other and have been in discussion about doing something like this for a long time.

    I love DreamPress .. never had issues and the fact that its optimized itself, I did my own optimization for almost under-2 second load times. So if a company knows that they are a big fan of WordPress, DreamHost or WPEngine are certainly great hosts to go with. There are more and more of those “WordPress Optimized and Specialization” companies and hosts popping up all over the Internet.

    If you’re a smalltime blog, than it’s probably not worth paying the costs of what WP Engine or DreamHost charges. If, however, you know your website is going to be popular or gaining popularity, these two companies are designed to deal with it. It’s impossible to know if you’ll have an overnight sensation, and it could take a year to even gain popularity,

    I’ve had a $2 host in India that was constantly going down and I had to wait almost 24 hours just for them to get back to me .. and then fix the problem. So if you’re choosing a web host, make sure they are at least in your country. The $8.95 that I’m paying with DreamHost far makes up for the 99.8% uptime. Yes, DH has gone down.. but it’s seldom. Only twice in the year I’ve been with them. Other than that.. satisfied customer.

    I’ll just put it this way: A website or blog is like a good woman. If you are dedicated and passionate about her, you want to give her the best. You want to treat her right, think about her, give her attention, and you certainly want to make sure that if you’re going to move in with her, the place is comfortable and reasonable that allows you and her to entertain some guests. If you do this right from the beginning, you’ll never have issues with your website by choosing a good host.

  6. Karl J. Gephart (@kajehart)

    Take it from me, stay away from Bluehost and Hostgator. Since their parent company, EIG, took over more of their operations about a year or so ago, their latency and outages have gone out of control.

    • Freddy

      Been on Fatcow and Bluehost. Never had any problems apart from having to wait long periods for customer support 😉

  7. Felix Gorodishter

    I’m the Software Development Manager for GoDaddy for all things WordPress including our new Managed WordPress product. I’d love to throw our hat into the ring for you all to try out.

    My team has done a lot of work in tuning the ease of use, performance, security, customer support, and user experience of the product and it is truly a ground up new product offering. We are also very open to feedback and sourcing our roadmap for both features and enhancements from users in the WordPress community and blogs such as this one.

    I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has about our Managed WordPress and would love for you all to give it a try as I feel you will be pleasantly surprised.

    • AJ Clarke

      Hey Felix,

      To be completely all honest I’ve never had a pleasant experience with customers hosted on Godaddy, that said, I don’t think any of them were on the new Managed Hosting solution. I just went over to check out the landing page and it looks cool, I’ll send you an email, we’d love to test it out and possibly write a review on your new service!

      • Felix Gorodishter

        @AJ That’s definitely fair commentary about our past and we’re working hard to turn it around. If those here can look past the past and try us out in an apples to apples comparison, I’m proud of our current solution and extremely excited about where we are looking to take it with the community’s support and feedback.

    • Jeff

      Felix – I applaud you for coming on here and posting about GoDaddy. I used GoDaddy for years as a host but downtime and slowness just got unbearable. 5ish years ago I left and went to HostGator, and we all know how that turned out.

      I still use GD as a registrar and often have 100+ domains at any given time. I would be so happy if a big guy like GoDaddy would actually offer world-class service again. But like others say, you have a lot of people to win back.

      • AJ Clarke

        Godaddy is my favorite registrar 😉 We have a ton of domains on there too!

      • Felix Gorodishter

        @Jeff and @kajehart – We are a completely different shop than we were 5 years ago (I’ve been with the company for 4.5 years now – in and around the hosting division the entire time). In that time, I’ve watched GoDaddy transform into a “real” business and drastically work to improve our hosting, and other product lines, with domains being one of the first to go through the transformation over the last few years.

        I know we have a lot of ground to make up for with hosting. As long as you are willing to let us earn your business, I like a challenge 🙂

        If you want, you can watch a Google Hangout Kurt Payne and I did a few weeks ago talking about our Managed WordPress product –

        If you are curious about what we’re up to, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, tech or otherwise.

      • e

        If you haven’t already, you should try namecheap. I have around 250 domains registered and ported them all years ago. SSL certificates are a fraction of the price as well.

  8. Karl J. Gephart (@kajehart)

    AJ, you’re spot-on. I’m the same way with GoDaddy. fast, easy, and fairly cheap (esp with Web coupons) for registrations. Ease of changing the DNS. But for hosting, I won’t recommend them to my clients – they’ve been far worse than EIG’s host companies. GD is going to have to work hard to prove themselves over the long haul.

  9. e

    I’ve had good experiences with Lightning Base. It’s a more traditional stack, so you have access to some of the more conventional tools and it’s a lot more flexible. They’re super responsive and even willing to do some per site configuration as needed. It’s less of a “take it or leave it” approach, like WP Engine. Furthermore, the performance is on par with, if not better than, WP Engine. Also, WPE support is extremely hit or miss. Pray to God you don’t have any issues towards or after end of business, because if it ain’t resolved once it’s time to go home, you’re SOL until the morning. Have an issue Friday night? Too bad. This is where not having any control over the stack really shows its weakness.

    My biggest issue with WPE is the technical limitation related to how their reverse proxy is abstracted. Because their cacheing layer is configuration based, even if you were to get a dedicated IP and SSL cert, you have to have the domains mapped in their backend for it to route properly. This makes active domain mapping for multisite installations functionally impossible.

    Flywheel has some nice features as well. Each WP instance is a Digital Ocean droplet, and being isolated is great for security. As well, DO droplets are KVM, so you don’t have to worry as much about resource isolation issues that might creep up on shared servers. However, their tech seems finnicky at times. The ability to dev and then transfer an account to clients is a welcome change to the traditional workflow. Support is an order of magnitude better than WPE as well.

    • e

      It’s also worth mentioning that many of the WP specialty hosts won’t and don’t support multisite. Also, don’t let staging capabilities dictate your choice of hosts. The staging capabilities of WPE, for example, are painfully rudimentary. You’re much better off developing your own workflow, especially considering how limiting the hosting platform (intentional) can be.

      • Felix Gorodishter

        @e For the GoDaddy Managed WordPress, we’re looking to make our staging very usable and flexible to various workflows. We are working with web professionals to define those flows.

        Do you have any recommendations on what you would like to see, or could you outline your ideal workflow so we can all learn and enhance our products?

        • AJ Clarke

          Hi Felix,

          Definitely looking forward to test out the hosting once I get a chance and see all the good stuff you guys have done 😉

          I’m actually wondering…will the managed WordPress hosting provided by GoDaddy actually be hosted by the MediaTemple servers? I know you guys bought them out recently.

        • eugenecook183

          At a fundamental level, it’d be nice to be able to do two things:

          1) Stage and “restage/sync” database and files separately. So, for example, if you’re working on integration of a plugin and you want to pull the new db for data, but not the files themselves. It would be nice to be able to do this both ways. Github deployment and CI would be nice, especially if you’re separating out the DB layer.

          2) Allow more than staging site to be developed at a time. Sometimes you need more than just one staging site. Bonus points if you get to “map” the primary domain – selecting which install or db/fileset combination is “active.” A bit like how Google App Engine handles deployments. (You choose the version active at a time, but can access the others without issue using corresponding subdomains)

          These are both areas where the key players in the industry currently fall short. Short of running your own stack, this type of flexibility isn’t really readily available.

          Now for the pie in the sky stuff:

          1) A jailed shell that would allow rsync access and/or capistrano. While you’re at it, grunt, bower, et al access would be nice. As well as WP-CLI.
          2) Ability to manually define Varnish cache rules (assuming you’re using Varnish).

          That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope that helped a bit or gave you some ideas.

      • Felix Gorodishter

        @AJ Clarke (replying to the above message because it appears the deeper messages do not support replies)

        Great question about our cooperation and work with Media Temple 🙂 We haven’t talked about it much … yet …

        My team and I are actually collaborating with our counterparts at Media Temple on a lot of things for Managed WordPress – leveraging their experience on premium products & features, learning from their support organization, and a multitude of other things. Its been a great two-way relationship that I think will lead to both sides providing you better products. That being said, we’re actually handling the datacenter components. Media Temple is working on some fun stuff that you will hear about soon.

        If you watch the Google Hangout I linked to earlier, you will see Dante Baker along with Kurt Payne and me … he is in fact our Managed WordPress Product Manager and is an existing Product Manager over on the Media Temple side who is now heading up WordPress efforts across both companies; where my Media Temple counterpart and I head up the respective development and systems engineering efforts.

        So, that’s a long answer to say, no Media Temple isn’t handling the datacenter component, but is deeply involved with a lot of other aspects of the product.

        Stay tuned … things are about to get a lot more exciting 🙂

        • AJ Clarke

          Oh thanks for the heads up, I set threaded comments up to 10 levels deep, looks like I had it to 3 only ;(

          Anyway, thanks for the answer. We used Media Temple for a few years and the support and service was exceptional, so thats good news! Makes sense that the datacenters would be separate. The main reason I was curious was because I did notice some links to Media Temple from your hosting landing page 😉

          As always, thanks for stopping by!

    • AJ Clarke

      Great insight, thanks for sharing e. For us WPEngine has always been really good, we of course are on the premium plan though so support has been insanely fast even on saturday and sundays! Lightning Base does look nice, but definitely for more “casual” users as the largest plan still only supports up to 250,000 pageviews. We’ll reach out to them though and see if we can test it out for a review 😉

      • e

        I’d probably disagree that 250k or less is casual, but that’s a matter of semantics I suppose. I know that LB does have managed installations above 250k, I believe it requires a custom bid. The top listed WPE package tops out at 250k as well. Anything beyond 250k and I’d probably run my own stack so I can tune it based on the specific application, but that’s a personal decision and one that comes with its own set of complications. The desire to treat hosting as an outsourced OpEx is certainly understandable.

        Re: premium support. WPE told me explicitly that everyone got the same support, regardless of their pricing tier. Everyone submits a ticket and it gets answered in the queue. I believe I was told this approximately 5 months ago, so it may have changed since then. Do you actually have access to core engineers after hours?

        Thanks for the information. Keep up the good work.

        • AJ Clarke

          Yes I guess it’s a matter of semantics 😉

          Actually Chris Piepho from Lightning Base just let me know that in fact they do offer higher plans, they simply don’t advertise it via their automated signup/checkout process, so thats cool! Prior to WPEngine I did have my own virtual server that I managed and fine tuned myself, but decided to switch over so I didn’t have to spend that time managing/optimizing the server and so far its been 100% worth it. All my sites have been much faster and with very little downtime. Regarding support…I think business plans get phone support and premium plans get phone and priority support. I’m not 100% sure but that’s what I thought their site said a while back and so far support has been insanely fast (although I haven’t really had many issues so maybe I am a bit biased).

          Anyway, thanks for stopping by again!

    • Rick Knudtson


      Thanks for the kind words! We appreciate the support and the mention. 🙂


  10. Chris Piepho

    Thanks for describing your experience at Lightning Base E! And AJ – please do email me or get in touch via our contact form if you’d like to test. We host sites pushing millions of pageviews a month, those plans just aren’t available for automated signup via our checkout process.

  11. Anna

    Actually I have read some article on how to choose the best WP hosting but this article makes me find out my own solution. Thanks for this helpful guide!

  12. hunchannarith

    A2 also a good hosting. It really very stable and reasonable price. i use it for 3 year now.

  13. Rick Knudtson

    Great post here with a lot of great things to think about when choosing a managed WordPress host! Also, great conversation here in the comments. Nicely done WPExplorer.

    I’m one of the founders at Flywheel ( and I thought I’d throw our name into the fray. 🙂

    We are working hard to not only provide super fast and secure WordPress hosting but also re-imagine traditional hosting workflows for designers and agencies. This means things like simple billing transfer, free demo sites, etc.

    Hit me up if you have any questions!

    Thanks 🙂


    • AJ Clarke

      Thanks for stopping by Rick. Flywheel definitely looks awesome (I am a WPEngine groupie though! – currently on premium plan) so I haven’t actually tested out your service, but from what I see and what I’ve heard its excellent. Maybe we could run a little Flywheel giveaway at WPExplorer 😉 I’m sure my readers would love the opportunity!

      • eugenecook183

        I don’t want this to come across undiplomatic, but I think it’s only fair if you’re more clear about your relationship with WPE, because frankly, as a “groupie,” I think you’re receiving a level of service that most people aren’t going to get from WPE. And from my experience, certain people really do get a higher level of service than others, despite WPE denying this unequivocally.

        In the last 90 days, I’ve heard nothing but bad experiences about WPE customer and technical support. It’s not fair to laud an experience that others aren’t going to have themselves. I myself have had nightmare scenarios with WPE and didn’t feel quality of support was commensurate with the price structure. In many ways, you get better support from hostgator or bluehost.

        E.g. A while back, I had an issue that I reported hours prior to their closing. They responded, started working on it, and promptly dropped it once they closed until the next morning when they opened their support dept. That’s not reasonable to me. It’s one thing to stop answering new tickets, but with existing issues, especially when people rely on your infrastructure, it’s not ok to let existing issues not get resolved by end of business.

        And, truth be told, almost all of the specialty hosts have performance on par with WPE at this point, so it’s ultimately about the flexibility the platform affords you or your workflow, and the customer support. In both these areas, it is of my opinion that WPE has been handedly surpassed. I try to avoid speaking ill of most vendors, but I think the “WPE Great Customer Service” mantra is oft-repeated and treated as dogmatic gospel, when it may no longer be true. I was recently told by a colleague that they waited 3 days for a proper response to a ticket. That’s not reasonable by any standard.

        • AJ Clarke

          I have received nothing but great support from WPEngine and it has only been on very rare occasions that my website has gone “down”. But maybe I am biased because I am able to handle most my “issues” on my own. As someone that does support for WordPress themes, about 70-80% of questions I receive are things that the user could have figured out on their own with a simple Google search or by reading the documentation. In no way I am saying that is the case here with WPEngine. You mention for example that your friend had to wait 3 days for a proper response, I’m just curious to know what the issue was. Because for example if the issue was that the server was down, then dam thats horrible! But if the issue was that maybe they couldn’t get a theme working, that’s really more the user’s responsibility to fix. Or maybe 3 days were holidays or the weekend? I would like to hear more! Same if you could maybe share 1 or 2 (hopefully short) examples of your horrible experiences. Maybe I can pass these along to WPEngine I would be curious to see what they have to say.

          But like I said, I can only tell people from my own experience…I’ve always had great support from WPEngine and if I needed something small/quick they have always responded super fast on twitter. I can’t say anything bad about them, unfortunately your experience may not have been the same, but that isn’t something I can vouch for (I don’t know you, maybe you were hired by someone to speak ill of WPEngine – ha,ha).

          Anyway, thanks for keeping the discussions live over here 😉

          • eugenecook183

            It was actually a WP dev that was having SSL troubles that were beyond his control. I’ll leave him nameless for now as to not “rock the boat,” unnecessarily.

            I too am a dev, and those are the circles I run in, so our inquiries in with WPE primarily have to do with their infrastructure or configuration, not theme or php support. There have been times when we’ve had to build in direct WPE purge support into some of our projects to ensure compatibility with their platform, but other than that, we support our own code.

            • AJ Clarke

              Thanks for clarifying. That sucks ;( Sorry your experience with them wasn’t that great. I totally get how frustrating it is to not be able to tweak infrastructure/configuration because it is managed hosting. I was actually on a virtual server before moving to WPE so I had control of everything, which is good (and sometimes bad). With WPEngine, because it’s managed you really need them sometimes to tweak things and you definitely want that done quick! Sorry the support wasn’t there when you needed it. Maybe you were unlucky and all your tickets were assigned to a slacker! I’ve noticed that generally all my tickets were assigned to the same 1-2 people (and they were very helpful).

              Good luck out there and again, thanks for sharing your experience!

  14. Michael Zorko

    I love how you start out picking on the the budget web hosts – then you list them in the bottom of your article!

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      We have nothing against budget webhosts, they really are a great option for brand new or low traffic websites. But we want users to be aware that low cost hosting will not have the same features as premium or managed hosting.

  15. Oleg

    “best” is a relative term, what might be the best for you may not be the best for another. It all depends on what you really need and your budget. In my case I needed a reliable managed VPS hosting with affordable price which I found it in rosehosting.

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      I completely agree about the word “Best” and I’m glad you were able to find a host that’s right for you 🙂 hopefully our article can help a few other folks get pointed in the right direction

  16. Mahadev Majaladar

    Yup! You are right. Performance, pricing & customer support are most important factors while buying web hosting service.

  17. Johns

    The characteristics of a given plan should be in some decent balance with its price. I’ve seen hosts which services cost a lot more than those of other hosts, but when I compare the characteristics they are nearly the same. When buying a hosting plan, people need to choose a host only after making a comparison between as many hosts as possible. they may compare plans features, prices, customer support, speed and so on, and then choose the hosting services which best fit their needs. At least I did it this way when I choose BGOcloud as my current hosting provider. I think the company provides really good services for these affordable prices.

  18. Santanu

    WordPress hosting plans are getting very popular these days. I think the key factor behind their popularity is the hassle-free management and most importantly features to provide a high-speed website. Thank you for sharing this article.

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