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.
For most people, the cost of WordPress hosting is the primary consideration when choosing a web host. The impulse here is to go for the cheapest offer there is, which might be ok (just please never choose free hosting). But this is often not the best move to make.
Keep in mind that in general you get exactly what you pay for in life. Web hosts – just like any other business – must turn in a profit even when they seem to give you unlimited everything. While it’s safe to say that we all love a good bargain, you should take a closer look at the features a prospective 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. This can include the the quality of support and the health of servers amongst others. If you need a powerful hosting plan, you have to pay a premium. You simply can’t expect the best WordPress hosting in the world for $1 a month.
On the other hand, you don’t need to pay out the nose for quality hosting. Unless you’re running a serious business, thriving e-commerce store or an already popular blog (like WPEXplorer) than paying hundreds of dollars per month might be overkill.
Often, a new blog that’s not generating an income can find a good hosting plan in the $3 to $30 per month range. And a business or online store with moderate traffic can certainly get by with a plan around $100.
But when looking at plans 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 BTW is okay and often a good fit for blogs or small WordPress sites) there are a limited number of resources being split between every website on that shared server. So once your website starts pulling in large amounts of visitors, the web host will politely require you scale up your plan. If you have a WordPress portal that gets millions of pageviews per month, shared hosting won’t cut it – even with the unlimited options.
That said you can definitely start with budget friendly shared web hosting. Just scale up with the growth of your website, as your traffic and income increases. Other common web hosting plans include cloud hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, managed VPS, managed dedicated servers and managed WordPress hosting (which you can learn all about in our best WordPress hosting guide). The price of WordPress hosting varies with the plans, so stay within your budget and choose a web hosting provider who offers the features you need.
Features and Performance
The features and level of performance provided by a web host are important. But what’s even more important are the features you need to run your WordPress site. It makes no sense to go for a WordPress hosting plan with features you won’t use.
For example, let’s say you have one website with a few pages (such as an online resume) and it’s getting a couple thousand visitors per month. While tempting, you probably don’t need a custom hosting plan that allows for millions of visitors, 1TB or storage and unlimited sites. Yes – a custom plan is “better” than a basic shared hosting plan when comparing features. However it’s not necessarily the best choice (or use of fiscal resources) when considering the needs of a small resume site.
Prepare in advance. Jot down a list of what you need today and what you project you will need a year from now (since you can often save money by signing up for an annual hosting plan). Here are a few points to think about:
- Does the host offer a migration tool or service?
- Will you need to host more than one WordPress site?
- Is HTTPS supported? Or SSL provided?
- Apart from WordPress, will you need to install other scripts – on a subdomain or separate domain – in the future?
- Does your host of choice support unlimited domains or subdomains? Or will you need to move to another host to enjoy these features?
- Which version of PHP and MySQL is the host using? Is it compatible with WordPress’ requirements?
- Are you willing to pay extra for backup services?
- Would you like to take advantage of a free domain?
- Is the ethics of the web hosting company important (such as eco-friendliness)?
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 website, blog or online business will point you to the right WordPress hosting.
On performance, you need a WordPress hosting provider who guarantees up times, fast servers, bandwidth and enough disk space to accommodate your needs. Pretty much all reputable hosts make these guarantees. And built-in backups are always a plus.
You take your WordPress site seriously, and your WordPress hosting provider should too. Contact them before signing up for anything and ask questions. Read independent reviews or ask trusted friends for recommendations.
One last point – 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. Again – keep in mind your own needs and don’t just get caught up in the features list.
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. Imagine 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 – most commonly email and chat. Some premium hosting plans will also allow for phone support. In any case, a good support team should have someone to help you 24/7, as well as good reviews on the internet. Do your research and choose a web host that values customer support. This will help you in the long run!
Type of Hosting
When looking for hosting the number of companies, types and plans can be overwhelming. And on top of it all it seems like every web host claims to be the best in the biz, which doesn’t really seem possible… But lucky for you we’ve hd the chance to try a number of hosting companies and plans over the years.
We mentioned before that there are all kinds of hosting options. Cloud, VPS, dedicated, shared, managed, etc. And there are even more companies to consider. So to simplify things, below we cover two main categories of WordPress hosting:
- Managed WordPress Hosting
- Typical, Shared Web Hosting
And for each we’ll share our #1 recommended hosting company and the features they offer.
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.
Our Pick for Best Managed WordPress Hosting: WP Engine
We highly recommend WP Engine, and in our opinion it’s the best managed WordPress hosting solution out there. But we’re not just saying that – it’s what we actually pay for and use here at WPExplorer. We’ve been using WP Engine for years, and the experience has been top notch.
WP Engine’s support team is focused on and dedicated to WordPress. Every team member completes an 8 week training program before assisting customers. Besides that, the company boasts one of the best customer to support staff ratios in the industry. Meaning you get uber-fast, personal and quality support at all times. Just use the live chat box for instant help when you need it.
That’s not the end of it. Ever since we started using WP Engine, we’ve never had to worry about backing up WPExplorer.com because it is taken care of automatically on a daily basis (though we still recommend a secondary backup such as VaultPress). Plus you can restore your site whenever with a few clicks.
WP Engine plans start at $25/mo and offer the following features based on plan:
- Firewalls and malware scanning
- International data centers (with redundancy)
- EverCache caching solution
- Uptime protection
- Unlimited data transfer
- Scalable plans
- Local development & test sites
- Auto migration plugin
- One-click staging sites with easy deploy
- Automated backups
- Automatic WordPress core updates
- Transferable sites
- Free CDN and SSL
- Free StudioPress Genesis framework & themes
- Easy Multisite management
- Multifactor authentication
- Account activity log
- Top of the range hardware
- Page speed performance tools
- Development tools
- Git & SFTP connections
- 24/7/365 support (four-time-Stevie Award-winning)
- And so much more…
IN our experience, WP Engine 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 (the creators of WordPress) also invested in WP Engine, which gives the latter even more credibility.
Traditional (Shared) Web Hosting
Most web hosting companies support a number of platforms including WordPress. And to make things easier, there’s often a 1-click installation option you can select when getting started with your hosting plan.
Just purchase your hosting package, install WordPress with a few clicks, and your work is done. This option is more popular than managed WordPress hosting, especially for bloggers. It’s very budget friendly (with packages starting around $1-$5 per month), but doesn’t always have all the extra goodies or quality support that comes with managed WordPress hosting.
Our Pick for Best Traditional Shared Hosting: Bluehost
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.
WordPress.org even vouches for Bluehost and recommends them on their main hosting page.
All Bluehost plans include:
- Let’s Encrypt free SSL
- Domain manager
- Automatic resource protection system
- $100 Microsoft Advertising credit
- $100 Google Ads credit
- Google My Business verification support
A Basic shared hosting plan from Bluehost starts at $7.99 per month and includes the following:
- 50GB storage
- Unlimited bandwidth (note – remember what we said about “unlimited” before)
- Free SSL
- Free domain name (for the first year)
- 25 Subdomains allowed
But Bluehost has a special deal for all WPExplorer readers, so you can get hosting starting at just $2.95 per month. Just make sure to use one of our affiliate links to Bluehost on this page or on our coupons page to ensure you get the discount.
They also offer higher level plans also allow for unlimited domains/subdomains, Microsoft 365 mailbox, Site backups, Domain privacy & protection, Dedicated IP address and even higher performance servers (with less customers per machine). And there are optional add-ons for Multi-server management, Cloudflare CDN and Access controls.
Apart from shared hosting, Bluehost also provides VPS, dedicated servers, as well as their own managed WordPress hosting options – so scaling up or finding a plan that’s right for you 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.
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.