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Often overlooked, web hosting is one of the key components of every successful website. Choosing the best WordPress hosting for your needs can improve your SEO and increase sales. There are various different types of WordPress hosting options available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting. In this guide, we will help you choose the best WordPress hosting for your website.
WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site that receives millions of pageviews per month. Having helped 200,000+ users and years of experience with WordPress hosting companies, we know the importance of choosing the best WordPress hosting company.
Our goal with this guide is to share our 12+ years of experience and insights on things you need to consider when choosing a hosting company for your business.
To help you make the right decision, we have also done a side-by-side comparison of the top WordPress hosting companies including speed tests, uptime tests, and reliability test (scroll to see the full comparison).
If you’re in a rush, then you can simply see the table below with our hand-picked list of best WordPress hosting companies. These companies are consistently the top WordPress hosting companies in the industry when it comes to quality and service.
You will be surprised to hear that WordPress is a very light-weight script, and it is compatible with almost all good web hosting companies. The simple requirements that WordPress put forth are:
- PHP version 7 or greater
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater or MariaDB version 10.1 or greater
- HTTPS support (SSL)
Due to the popularity of WordPress, all best web hosting companies come with easy 1-click install options for WordPress. All WordPress hosting companies that we have listed in this guide offer full support for running a WordPress site.
Things to Consider when Choosing a WordPress Hosting Provider
Speed, security, and reliability are all important factors that you need to consider when choosing your WordPress hosting. However, the most important factor that you should consider is “Your Needs”. Evaluating your needs before purchasing your WordPress hosting can save you hundreds of dollars.
What is: WordPress Hosting and Server Types
Hosting options run the gamut from very basic shared hosting all the way up to having your website’s very own dedicated server. The hosts we’ll be looking at later each offer pretty much the full range via their various packages.
In this section, we’re going to take a whirlwind tour through some key differences between basic types of hosting to make sure you have some background context for later on. If you’re relatively experienced in this area already, feel free to skip ahead. Let’s take a look at each of these options to determine which is the best solution for you.
Free WordPress Hosting
There are free web hosting available, but almost all of them have some sort of catch. Usually, you can find free WordPress hosting being offered in online forums or small groups. In most cases, these are managed by an individual who is reselling a small part of his server space to cover up some revenue. Often the catch is that you have to put their banner ads on the site. Some may ask you to put a text link in the footer of your site.
These folks will sell that banner ad or text link to cover up the cost of your free space along with pocketing the profits. The biggest downside of having a free host aside from the ads is that they are unreliable. You never know when this person will stop offering the free service. They can leave you hanging at any time. If you are serious about your website or business, then avoid Free WordPress hosting at all costs.
Shared hosting is by far the most popular type of WordPress hosting used by beginners. It is the most affordable and quite frankly a good starting point for new users. Shared hosting is where you share a large server with a lot of sites. By having multiple sites on the same server, hosting providers can offer the service at a more affordable rate.
The biggest catch that we see with shared hosting across all providers (including the ones we recommend below) is the unlimited resources. There is no such thing as unlimited. While it says unlimited, you still have usage restrictions. If your site starts to take up substantial server load, they will politely force you to upgrade your account. If they don’t take this action, then it can have a negative effect on the overall performance of other sites hosted on the same server. It gets back to conventional wisdom. As your business grows, so will your overhead cost.
There are of course pros and cons to this arrangement. Let’s start with the plus points:
- Cost: Shared hosting is typically the cheapest way of hosting a site. Deals as low as $2.95 a month are available.
- Low server maintenance burden: You’re limited in how much access you have to the actual server you’re on, but the host will take care of installing and updating services such as PHP and MySQL.
- Easy upgrades: If your site starts to pick up steam, most shared hosting providers will provide easy migration tools to one of their more advanced hosting packages.
It isn’t all peaches and cream with shared hosting, however. There are also a number of disadvantages to consider:
- Lack of control: If you want to configure advanced server options, you probably won’t be able to on a shared hosting package. This isn’t always a deal-breaker but it can throw a serious spanner in the works if you’re not aware of it in advance.
- Performance: Shared hosting packages have come on in leaps and bounds over the years but most will still struggle if you start to experience high traffic. You’re also vulnerable to sluggishness caused by issues with other sites on the machine you happen to be hosted on.
- Security: Many sites on one machine means many more ways for bad guys to potentially get at your site. Though most shared hosting providers are pretty rigorous with server-wide security, there is still a risk there so make sure you’re backing up sensibly.
WordPress VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) refers to a virtual machine. It is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers with respect to the individual customer’s need. Even though you are sharing the server with a handful others, this gives you almost as much control as a dedicated server.
It also has the privacy of a separate physical computer and can be configured to run specific server softwares. Often developers, intermediate users, and medium-sized bloggers utilize VPS to scale their websites. If you don’t have any technical knowledge, then you need to make sure that you purchase a managed VPS. This means that the WordPress hosting provider manages all system upgrades, and they are available to assist you if needed.
Through the miracle of virtualization, Virtual Private Servers parcel up server space in such a way that you are effectively running your own machine in isolation. Again, there are pros and cons to this. Here are the main advantages:
- You’re in control: Outside of the basic hardware at your disposal, you’re in total command of your own resources with a VPS and free to configure it however you want, within reason.
- Cost-effective: VPS is more expensive than shared hosting, but you typically have access to considerably more power and flexibility. A well-tuned, low-cost VPS can potentially deliver some quite astonishing WordPress performance.
- Security: Your site lives in its own little world on a standard VPS setup so you’re not at risk from noisy neighbors or vulnerabilities nearby.
As with anything, there are cons to consider when looking at running a VPS:
- Your control is not total: You’re free to tinker with configuration and settings, but the hardware itself is still outside your area of control. For most people, this won’t be an issue but the fact remains that you are renting a room rather than buying the deeds to the property.
- You need a system administrator: Maintaining a server on a business-critical, public-facing site is not for the faint-hearted. With a VPS, every aspect of your site’s technical setup is your problem so you either need the technical chops to handle that with confidence or someone on your team who can take care of things.
WordPress Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated server is a physical server that you can lease from the hosting provider. This allows you to have full control over the server including the choice of operating system, hardware etc.
You don’t need a dedicated server if you are just starting out. Once your site is receiving a significant amount of traffic, only then you should consider upgrading to a dedicated server. If you do not employ a system administrator or have no experience with servers, then we recommend that you get a managed dedicated server.
WordPress hosting providers who offer managed dedicated servers employ full-time system administrators that maintain your servers. Along with doing software updates, they also do server monitoring, offer phone support etc. Most top websites use clusters of dedicated servers.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Due to the large number of users using WordPress, several web hosting providers have chosen to offer managed WordPress hosting. An account with one of these providers only allows you to host WordPress based sites and nothing else. The benefit of managed WordPress hosting is that you do not have to worry about anything. They optimize your site for performance, make sure that your site is secure, and keep regular backups. On top of that they advise you if a specific plugin is having a negative impact.
Bottom line, managed WordPress hosting is hassle free fast WordPress hosting with high-quality support from staff with lots of WordPress experience. While all this sounds amazing, the plans for managed WordPress hosting is usually on the higher end of the scale. For example a personal account with a popular managed WordPress hosting provider costs $29/month where you can only host 1 site (getting maximum of 25,000 visitors per month).
The next level higher where you are allowed multiple domains will cost you $99/month. A person starting out a blog cannot afford this. Managed WordPress hosting is great for established bloggers who can justify the expense with their revenue. It is for people who do not have the skills/time to deal with the technical side of things. We recommend WP Engine for managed WordPress hosting.
Now that you know all of your WordPress hosting options, it is time for you to make a decision. We run several sites that get millions of pageviews per month. We have tested and worked with all top web hosting companies in the industry. After having helped 200,000+ users and years of experience, our founder Syed Balkhi have personally hand-picked some of the most well-reputed WordPress hosting providers for you.
Each of these WordPress hosting companies provide excellent service and support. We give each of them a perfect 5 out of 5 star rating. Check out the list of best web hosting providers. With unmanaged hosting, you are given space on a server and what happens next is essentially up to you.
Although it’s more than possible to set up, run and maintain an installation with an unmanaged host, there are a number of obvious reasons why a managed option makes an awful lot of sense:
- If anything goes wrong, you have people on hand to help and it’s their problem as well as yours.
- You’re not forced to carry the burden of system administration for your site. Running a successful WordPress site is hard enough without constantly fretting over ports, proxies and potential server meltdowns.
- Managed hosting options will almost certainly have better security systems in place than anything you can hack together and your WordPress installs will be automatically upgraded with each new release.
The plans we’ll be testing in our roundup are all managed, but it’s still useful to have an idea of the different options available to you. We’ll quickly run over the main pros and cons of each alternative before getting down to business.
Best WordPress Web Hosting Providers
We’ll be going over a lot of ground in the remainder of this piece so feel free to hit us up in the comments if anything is unclear along the way.
Unlike many other hosting guides which are biased in favor of one particular provider from the get go, we’ve reviewed each of the hosts totally independently and are happy to answer any questions you might have.
Let’s start drilling into detail and look at the different types of WordPress hosting that are actually available for your site.
WP Engine describes its product as simply “the best WordPress hosting” – a bold claim to kick off with.
The company sells itself on robust infrastructure, site speed and security along with exceptional support. With over 220,000 currently active WordPress installations and serious funding behind it, WP Engine is very much one of the big beasts in the WordPress hosting space.
WP Engine offers several standard packages split out by traffic, storage and number of sites that can be hosted. These range in price from $29 to $249 per month. For our tests, we ran on the entry-level Personal package.
WP Engine uses a Cloud hosting environment powered by Amazon Web Services servers. This ensures you get all scalability options and top-level reliable server performance even for the heaviest websites.
Apart from powerful hardware, you also get an all-inclusive package:
- 18 server locations
- GeoTarget services for better international outreach
- as well as 3 environments for developing, staging, and production.
- It also includes a CDN if you are expecting global audiences.
- And we are not even started talking about the essentials like SSL certificates, daily backups, and 24/7 support that are all included.
WP Engine Servers are Fast
WP Engine is one of the fastest WordPress hosting providers. Through several months of testing its WordPress servers, the response time evened out at around 266ms.
The uptime of WP Engine is also great. It guarantees to be up for 99.95% of the time. That is one of the most generous guarantees in the industry. 99.95% equals just around 43 seconds of downtime daily.
Our results show, that it exceeds the guarantee and averages at 100%.
Managed Global Content Delivery Network
WP Engine manages to deliver excellent results thanks to Global CDN that is included with all of its plans.
The content delivery network works by delivering pages from a server that is closest to your visitor. And this results in shorter response times.
CDN can also help you prevent some downtimes and tackle DDoS attacks. In case one server is down, another can step in and deliver your website’s content without any downtime. CDN also ensures your site is running smoothly in case you’re experiencing huge peaks of traffic.
It also masks the actual server IP, adding an extra security layer to your website.
All of those CDN benefits will be useful for any website. It doesn’t matter if you have an online store and need it to be up and running smoothly through Black Friday, or you want your business website to perform fast around the globe – CDN can add some value to the package.
To begin with, it makes it simple to install WordPress and if you want to – enable automatic updates. And if you host your WordPress site elsewhere, Hostinger 24/7 support team will transfer the site for free.
The support team is always there to help you with any questions you may have. The best part, they are friendly and professional, so you won’t ever feel that your question is not important.
The host is not lacking in the performance as well. As a matter of fact, Hostinger is one of the fastest providers on the list that can power both the smallest portfolio and large business websites.
Hostinger's Server Performance
When it comes to server speed, every millisecond matters – and it quickly adds up to the overall page loading time. Fortunately, Hostinger keeps it to the minimum, averaging the response time at 233ms.
The uptime is also a non-issue. Throughout the month of WordPress server testing, Hostinger was up and running at all times with no downtime recorded.
Comparing Hostinger to others, it performs better than other fast-performing providers.
Hostinger Beginner-Friendly User Interface
Hostinger equips all of its hosting packages with custom easy to use control panel. It makes it easy to find auto-installers for WordPress or other software. You can also enable automatic WordPress updates from the same user-friendly panel.
The support team is available 24/7 and from what we saw during our Hostinger review, it is well-trained to explain how to solve both simple and complex. Unfortunately, there’s one drawback – Hostinger doesn’t have phone support.
On the other hand, if you are a complete beginner, an agent will gladly step in and fix a problem for you via live chat.
DreamHost offers incredibly scalable hosting that’s suitable for both small personal websites as well as huge business projects. Best of all, it guarantees 100% uptime making it a unicorn in the hosting industry. But that’s only a benefit for your site that should be available at all times.
Starting at $2.59/mo you get shared WordPress hosting for smaller websites. $16.95/mo gets you fully managed WordPress cloud hosting. And starting at $27.50/mo you can start your own enterprise with high-performance VPS hosting.
So when your website grows in traffic-levels, you can go from cheap WordPress hosting, all the way to premium service without switching the provider.
With any of the shared plans, you will also get one of the longest in the industry, 97-day money-back guarantee (oddly specific). So if you’re still skeptical about choosing DreamHost it’s nice to know that there’s an easy opt-out.
So let’s see what DreamHost has going for performance.
Fast and Reliable WordPress Servers
You are guaranteed that your website will be up 100% of the time.
And what we saw while monitoring DreamHost, it manages to keep its promises. For several months now, the provider has not gone down even for a minute. It also has kept a pretty great response time – 419ms on average.
While it’s still a little bit behind our best providers, the servers won’t slow your site down by any means.
Taking the results into consideration, we can say that DreamHost is one of the most reliable hosts on our list. But not just that. The performance will ensure that your site is loading in no time.
If you’re looking for unlimited WordPress hosting packed with features for security and performance, HostGator is the right choice for you.
Starting at $5.95/mo, you already get a feature-packed plan. That includes hosting for 1 site, tens of thousands of site visits per month, free site migration, automated daily backups and restore, malware removal, SSL, and even unlimited storage space.
And that’s not even the end to the list.
HostGator also uses a user-friendly control panel, updates WordPress automatically, and has a friendly 24/7 customer support.
So if you need something that can power your business or personal website, HostGator is definitely worth consideration.
HostGator Keeps Top Performance
HostGator promises fast performance thanks to cloud server architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and multi-layer caching. However, it’s not our fastest host on the list. Hostgator has an average 371ms response time.
That is a great result, making your site faster than the average hosting provider would. However, HostGator’s bold claims might be just a little bit overblown.
The uptime, on the other hand, is impeccable. While HostGator has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, our WordPress site has not gone down even for a minute during the testing.
All in all, we don’t have a bad word to say about HostGator’s performance – it is fast and reliable.
Enhanced Security for Your Website Protection
Because WordPress is open-source, it is vulnerable to security threats. And HostGator has taken that into the consideration with several features that will make sure your site is secure.
That includes daily backups, restore function, and automatic malware removal. You also get an SSL included for free to protect your visitors’ data.
So how do these work and why should you care?
- Daily backups and restorewill make sure that you have a fresh copy of your website’s data should something happen. This protects you if there’s a security issue that shut your site down or you simply messed up in the backend. You’ll be able to restore a functioning site from a backup and continue working.
- Automatic malware removal/SiteLock protection monitors your site at all times and mitigates any security threat automatically. This way, you can sleep calmly knowing that your site is protected 24/7.
- SSL certificate is used to encrypt data that’s sent between servers and browsers of your visitors. It puts a small lock icon in the URL field showing your visitors that they are protected. That’s also one of the requirements helping you to rank better in the search engine rankings.
So using HostGator, you are protected from all sides. Any risk is mitigated, you have a copy of a functioning site, and your visitors’ data is securely transferred. That’s all you might need to avoid losing your site or its data.
It is nice to see that HostGator takes care not only of the performance of websites but also security. Especially for an affordable price and cloud hosting infrastructure.
Kinsta provides a premium managed WordPress hosting for those looking for advanced tools to manage their site. Kinsta is perfect for business growth providing not only all-inclusive packages but also advanced analytics tools to track your success.
And even though its basic plan starts at a steep $30/month, it does offer the features to justify it.
Hosting features include all you may need for building and scaling successful business: a bunch of premium and essential features like backups, site migrations, CDN, multi-user environment, staging, and others.
But more importantly, Kinsta operates on a fast and powerful Google Cloud Platform and has 20 data center locations so you can choose the one closest to your target audience.
This makes Kinsta the fastest WordPress hosting provider on our list.
Kinsta Performance is Exceptional
Kinsta’s performance is as good as it gets. We have got response time results of less than 150ms across multiple worldwide servers.
The provider also guarantees 99.9% uptime. But in reality, it actually lives up to the golden standard of 100% – which is the best you can get.
Streamlined and Dynamic Hosting Dashboard
Kinsta makes it easy not only to manage your hosting account but to track the website’s success as well.
In a well-designed and intuitive dashboard, you can see all the settings like DNS and site migration. But the provided statistics is where Kinsta really hits the spot.
You’ll find a detailed graph for every aspect of your website – performance, visits, resource usage, and even security.
Using the live statistics, you can track all the most important metrics of your website. For example, resource usage, visitor count, site performance and more.
And while this might seem complicated, Kinsta actually displays all data in an easy to understand way. Even the more complicated data, such as CDN usage or response times, is depicted in a user-friendly and easily understandable way.