How to Choose the Best WordPress Web Hosting For You
Before you can find the best WordPress hosting plan for your site, you must know what to look for as you’re shopping around.
Use the following considerations as a buying guide. This will make it much easier for you to narrow down your options.
How much traffic does your website get? For new sites, how much traffic are you expecting?
The answer to this question will definitely have an impact on the type of WordPress hosting solution that’s right for you.
A site that has 5,000 visitors per month should be on a different plan than sites with 50,000 visitors per month. Plans that can accommodate 100,000 visitors per month won’t necessarily be suitable for sites with millions of monthly visitors.
New websites and smaller sites will be fine with shared WordPress hosting (more on this shortly). But as your site grows, you might want to consider a VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated WordPress hosting solution.
Most people don’t think to consider the customer service offered by their WordPress hosting provider. But this factor should definitely rank high on your list.
In an ideal scenario, your site will run smoothly 24/7, and you’ll never have any problems. Unfortunately, we live in reality—not a perfect world. So one day or another, you’re going to run into an issue and need some assistance.
The best WordPress hosting providers will have your back. They are available around the clock via phone, live chat, and email support. Agents will work diligently to quickly resolve your problems.
For those of you who currently have an active website on another hosting service, make sure the provider you’re considering switching to will help you with the site migration. The best customer support teams will do this for free.
Managed vs. Unmanaged
Your technical experience will help you determine if you want a managed WordPress hosting plan or an unmanaged WordPress plan.
Traditional WordPress hosting is more cost-effective. The host will make the WordPress installation pretty easy for you, usually with just a single click (assuming WordPress isn’t already pre-installed).
Managed plans are a bit pricier, but you’ll benefit from enhanced services. The best managed WordPress hosting plans will come with features like automatic backups, automatic updates, maintenance, and other perks for those of you who prefer to be hands-off.
Site Metrics and Performance
All web hosting plans branded as “WordPress hosting” should already be optimized for WordPress. So right away, your site performance would be better than a non-optimized service.
But beyond that, there are other factors that affect the two most important site metrics you should be monitoring—uptime and speed.
The type of hosting you choose will have the biggest impact on these. For example, shared hosting will be slower than VPS hosting. Your traffic levels will also play a factor in your performance metrics.
Some providers are just better than others when it comes to speed and performance. The best way to get more information on this is by reading recent customer reviews. If people are constantly complaining about unexpected outages and downtime, you should probably stay away.
The Different Types of Web Hosting For WordPress
WordPress web hosting can be segmented into a handful of different categories. Here’s a deeper explanation of each one:
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared WordPress hosting is the cheapest option. As the name implies, you’ll be sharing server resources with other websites on the same server.
It’s the best choice for new websites, small websites, small blogs, and sites that aren’t expecting a ton of traffic. These options are easy to get started and the maintenance is really low.
The downside of shared hosting is the performance. Because you are sharing server space, factors outside your control could slow down or potentially crash your site. A “bad neighbor” on your server might hog resources, for example.
Shared hosting isn’t great for business websites. As you start to get 10,000 to 25,000+ visitors per month, you might want to consider upgrading to another tier.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
VPS WordPress hosting is a step above shared hosting.
You’re still technically sharing a physical server with other websites, but the number of sites on that server will be much lower. Furthermore, the server gets split into several virtual servers (hence the name), so each site has its own dedicated resources.
The anatomy of VPS hosting helps prevent the traffic on other sites from slowing your site down. VPS WordPress hosting has improved performance and can accommodate higher volumes of traffic than shared plans.
Dedicated WordPress Hosting
With a dedicated WordPress hosting plan, you’ll have your own server for your website. This results in the highest possible performance, the ability to accommodate large volumes of traffic, and ultimate customization options at the server level.
It’s worth noting that most sites won’t need a dedicated server (it can also be really expensive).
This type of WordPress hosting is reserved for huge companies, sites with millions of visitors per month, and developers that want to customize the hosting environment for multiple websites on a single server.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is typically offered at the shared or VPS level. It’s definitely an upgrade from traditional hosting, and you’ll get tons of benefits.
The speed, performance, and customer support is better. Behind the scenes, everything will be more secure (which means the site will also be more stable). You won’t have to worry about updates, installations, or security—all of this will be handled by your host.
Prices for managed WordPress plans are higher than basic shared or VPS hosting solutions. But for the service and extras you’re getting, the cost is definitely justifiable.
#1 – Bluehost — Best WordPress Hosting For New Websites
Powering 2+ million sites across the globe, Bluehost is an industry leader in the web hosting space. This provider has been recommended by WordPress for 15+ years, making them a top consideration for most websites.
WordPress hosting from Bluehost starts at just $3.95 per month.
Bluehost is a great option for anyone building a new website from scratch. You can bundle your hosting and domain registration into a single plan, with a free domain name for one year. Other noteworthy highlights from Bluehost include:
Automatic WordPress installation
Hundreds of free WordPress themes
Free SSL certificate
Automatic WordPress updates
$200 in free marketing credits (Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising)
Securely configure your WordPress login credentials
WordPress has excellent customer service and plans to fit budgets of all sizes. Bluehost’s support experts are available 24/7 via phone and live chat. They even have specific solutions for advanced WordPress users and ecommerce sites.
It’s easy to get started, and all plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
#2 – DreamHost — Most Versatile WordPress Hosting Plans
DreamHost is another hosting provider that’s recommended directly by WordPress. They’ve been on this list for over ten years.
Regardless of your website type, budget, or hosting needs, DreamHost has a WordPress hosting solution for you. Plans start as low as $2.49 per month.
DreamHost has over 750,000 WordPress installations under their belt. They have basic WordPress hosting plans for new sites, managed WordPress hosting plans, and VPS for WordPress as well.
All of DreamHost’s WordPress hosting plans come with the following features and benefits:
Award-winning customer support available 24/7/365
Automatic WordPress updates
Instant WordPress setups
Free SSL certificate
Free privacy protection
Free email hosting
Advanced control panel options
Automatic daily backups
Whether you want a shared plan, managed plan, or VPS for powering multiple WordPress sites, DreamHost can accommodate your needs.
They have specific servers that are optimized for WordPress and boast a 100% uptime guarantee. DreamHost has a dedicated team of WordPress experts that can help you resolve any issue, large or small.
You’ll also benefit from a 97-day money-back guarantee. No other host on the market today offers this type of promise.
#3 – Nexcess — The Best For Customized Managed Hosting Solutions
If you’re looking for a completely customized fully managed hosting experience, Nexcess is your best bet. Use coupon code NEIL40 for 40% off 4 months.
They offer a wide range of fully managed hosting options for various platforms, including WordPress, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Drupal.
So, it’s an excellent choice for online stores as well.
Furthermore, their team is ready to help you build a completely custom hosting solution to match the specific needs of your business.
As a Nexcess customer, you get a ton of powerful features, including:
Single-click auto-scaling to manage unexpected traffic spikes
A 99.99% uptime guarantee
Premium SSL certificates
Proactive patches and updates
Near-instant asset caching
Automatic platform and plugin updates
Proactive service monitoring
Free white-glove site migrations
Development site staging
10 global data centers
With these advanced features comes a higher price tag. However, it’s on par with other managed hosting solutions. WordPress hosting starts at $19 per month paid monthly or $15.84 per month paid annually. Use coupon code NEIL40 for 40% off 4 months. Sign up now.
With a name like WP Engine, it should come as no secret or surprise that this hosting provider specializes in WordPress hosting. More than 120,000 customers in 140+ countries rely on WP Engine for web hosting.
Their managed solutions are fast, reliable, and secure, with plans starting at $25 per month.
WP Engine’s prices are a bit higher compared to other options on our list. But their services are unmatched in the world of managed WordPress hosting.
These solutions are built for larger websites. For example, the entry-level plan can accommodate up to 25,000 visits per month, which is 2.5x higher than most entry-level plans from other providers. They even have managed WordPress solutions for websites with monthly traffic in the millions.
Other noteworthy highlights of WP Engine include:
Premium WordPress themes and Genesis framework included ($2,000 value)
Reliable hosting architecture
Optimized for developers
Unmatched speed and reliability
Integrates with solutions like Cloudflare, Google, Amazon, BigCommerce, and more
Application performance monitoring
WP Engine is a great option for large websites, developers, businesses, agencies, and marketers. If you’re looking for an advanced WordPress hosting solution, this will be the best option for you.
A2 Hosting is another reputable and well-known provider in the web hosting space. They have shared WordPress hosting plans starting at $2.99 per month and managed WordPress solutions that start $11.99 per month.
So whether your needs are simple, complex, or somewhere in the middle, A2 has a plan for you.
Not many hosting providers offer both shared and managed WordPress solutions; most specialize in one or the other. So the fact that A2 gives the ability to choose is definitely a unique standout.
For those of you with an existing website looking to switch providers, A2 Hosting offers free and easy site migrations. You’ll also benefit from features like:
Automatic WordPress setups
Free SSL certificate
Global data centers
Turbo servers up to 20x faster (with select plans)
Free automated site backups
Unlimited storage (with select plans)
If you read the reviews from current A2 customers, you’ll quickly see why this host is so popular. For fast, reliable, and secure WordPress hosting, look no further than A2 Hosting.
IONOS by 1&1 isn’t necessarily the most recognizable name in the web hosting world. But that shouldn’t turn you away from considering their solutions.
This provider is my top recommendation for WordPress professionals.
Some of the top highlights and features from the WordPress hosting plans include:
Multisite management tools
SSD built to support fast loading times
NGINX cloud server
Server-generated HTML and REST API caching
Browser caching and dynamic content caching
Free SSL certificate
Daily cloud backups
Free domain and email accounts
For developers and WordPress experts managing multiple websites, IONOS by 1&1 will be your best option. Plans start at $18 per month. Best of all, you won’t be locked into a long-term contract. IONOS by 1&1 lets you cancel at any time.
If you’re running a WordPress website, you should definitely consider a hosting plan that’s optimized for WordPress.
Which plan is the best? It depends on what you’re looking for. The recommendations listed above will definitely be the best place for you to start your search.
Just use the buying guide at the beginning of this post to help narrow down your options.