A tricky question that always crops up for entrepreneurs looking to build their first website, or someone looking to build their first blog, is what is the best website hosting for WordPress? Run a search on Google right now for the phrase “best website hosting for wordpress” and you will get hundreds of different articles and views.
Ultimately, a lot of the advice will come down to personal preference, but this short guide should hopefully also help in your own decision making process, and highlight the key factors to consider when deciding where to host your website.
And…we’ve updated this guide (originally created in 2017) with out latest experience of the runners and riders in the hosting arena.
DO YOU NEED SPECIFIC WORDPRESS HOSTING?
A specialised WordPress hosting environment should ensure your website runs more smoothly than in a traditional hosting environment, so it is always worth making sure the host can do this – often they have a specific WordPress hosting package including free installation. Also check out if their service is a managed environment, which may offer additional support and security, and a staging site for you to test content out before pushing it live.
UNDERSTAND WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
Are you just paying for hosting, or do you also get a domain included (usually costs between $7 and $15 a year). If you want to sell products, is a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate included in the price or do you have to pay extra?
Some hosting providers offer an attractive monthly rate for new websites, but make sure there are no hidden extras, and check how long the contract will be – you may find the cost suddenly jumps up in the second year, or there may be charges for paying monthly.
SSL – WHAT’S THAT?
When you go to a website you will notice they are either http or https (before the domain name). You will also see either a padlock symbol (if the site is https) or the opposite, something like the words “Not Secure” if the site is http.
The web is unfortunately full of unscrupulous individuals who would like nothing more than to hack your website and try and steal any data you may have, particularly customer sensitive information. Therefore if you have an eCommerce website or store customer data, it makes sense to make your site secure by having an SSL certificate.
An added bonus is that Google ranks secure websites higher, so not only will you be keeping your customers happy, you’ll likely have more visitors to your website as well.
SHARED OR DEDICATED HOSTING?
Shared hosting is the most popular solution and generally within most budgets. However as the name suggests, you are sharing the disk space and bandwidth with other websites which can be restrictive. For most blogs and small business sites, it will be more than sufficient for your needs. Dedicated hosting, where your website is the only one on the server, gives much greater performance, but of course costs more money.
Just to complicate things, there is also variations such as Cloud Hosting, where you effectively pay for what you use – this could work for a site that starts small but then grows. Also consider VPS (Virtual Private Server) where you have a set allowance of a server and are not sharing this space with others. Probably for a more experienced user but worth considering further down the line.
IS THERE A STORAGE LIMIT?
If you’re intending your site to enjoy massive growth over a short or extended period time, you need to pay attention to how much data storage you are permitted and how much data you can transfer per month. If you need a larger number of email addresses, these can quite often be limited as well.
Many hosting providers offer customer support 24/7, as well as a range of methods of contact; phone, email, live chat. Nothing is more frustrating than your website being broken and not being able to get the required support to get it fixed.
Being website geeks, we love using webchat and it allows you to multitask while fixing a problem, so having a decent webchat service is a must for any hosting providers we use. Plus you can usually have the complete webchat emailed to you afterwards which can help for fixing any problems later on.
When mentioning your site being down, obviously there is very little of greater importance than having your site live and operational. Most hosts will have statistics available to show their uptime, and it’s always worth checking, although most of the leading hosting providers do an excellent job of keeping sites live.
SPEED (LOAD TIME)
Don’t underestimate the importance of load time. It can be the difference between your visitors hanging around on your website or getting frustrated and leaving, never to return. If you are on a shared hosting environment, if there’s a lot of websites being accessed at the same time it’s like being on a congested road…traffic jams galore and everything slows down.
It may well be a balancing act between your budget and the load time stats in your final decision making.
OUR PICK OF HOSTING PROVIDERS
See our five selections below. Bear in mind we are based in the UK hence our own choice of hosting provider, and you should consider the importance of using a provider who charge in your local currency. We’ve tried to indicate this in our reviews as well.
A relative newcomer to the hosting space, Siteground was founded in 2004 by a group of University friends. Hosting more than 500,000 domains, with servers on three continents, Siteground is now one of the world’s most recommended hosting providers.
Siteground has recently become our new recommended hosting provider with our more recent website creations being hosted on there. Why? Good pricing for the first year, excellent support via webchat, and fast page loading.
Their stats are good. An uptime of 99.99% and fast page loading times. Siteground offer free WordPress installation and transfer, WordPress auto updates, backup and staging environments, so you can perfect the look of your site before pushing it live. Support is 24/7 via email, phone or chat.
Siteground’s start-up package for WordPress is just £2.75/month or $3.95 + tax which includes 10GB of disk space, unlimited data transfer and email accounts, and your site is backed up daily. Bear in mind, if you pay monthly, additional fees apply.
Click here to find out more about Siteground.
UK based WordPress hosting from as little as £14.99/year – this entry level pricing includes 500MB of web space, ten email mailboxes, and upto two separate websites.
TSO offer a one-click WordPress installation, and if your website already exists on another provider, they will migrate the site over for free.
Customer support is 24/7 and the your website is backed up on a daily basis.
An unlimited number of Let’s Encrypt standard Domain Validation Certificates can be installed free of charge.
Visiospective.com is currently hosted on TSO Host, and you can also exclusively get 10% of your hosting cost by clicking here and using the coupon code Visiospective10.
So why are they no longer our recommended hosts? Occasional server congestion has seen some of our sites disappear briefly, and their site load times are not as good as Siteground.
Highly recommended by many prominent online entrepreneurs, US based Bluehost are one of the leading, long-standing and officially recommended WordPress hosting providers with offer start-up pricing from just $3.95/month for a single website, which includes a free domain, free SSL certificate, five email mailboxes and 50GB of website space.
They also offer a money-back guarantee with no hidden fees, so it’s a great option for brand new websites.
Bluehost also offer a one-click WordPress installation, but website migration is an additional cost.
24/7 Customer Support by email, phone or online chat.
Click here to find out more about Bluehost.
Nimbus Hosting are a UK based hosting provider offering an uptime guarantee of 99.995% and hosting packages for a variety of online businesses, from entry level email hosting to high intensity websites.
They offer dedicated WordPress hosting including free WordPress installation and migration, and support is 24/7. They will respond to requests within two hours.
Targeted more at businesses with an existing income, hosting prices start at £20.00/month which includes 30GB of Disk Space.
Click here to find out more about Nimbus.
On a larger scale but from a similar background as Siteground, California based Dreamhost have been going more than 20 years and host over 1.5 million websites worldwide, including more than 750,000 WordPress installations.
Their WordPress hosting packages start at $7.95/month and include a free domain, one-click installation, a three month money back satisfaction guarantee, a 100% uptime guarantee, and support 24/7 via chat, phone, email or Twitter. They also offer unlimited traffic and automatic WordPress updates.
Click here to find out more about Dreamhost.
Is there a hosting provider you think is missing from our list? Let us know below and we’ll check them out!
Still confused about who to use for our hosting. Get in touch and we’ll help guide you to the right host for your website needs.