Finding WordPress hosting that you can rely on and don’t mind paying for isn’t easy – especially not in 2020 because the internet is riddled with fake reviews written by thirsty affiliates.
In this post, I’m going to take a close look at the best WordPress hosts available across all categories; shared, managed, and even self-managed to help you make an informed decision based on your needs and, of course, also your available budget.
This comparison of the best WordPress hosting providers is based on performance data, actual (real-world) speed tests, reviews from industry-leading companies and our experience running high-traffic websites.
Stay tuned to find out which company is going to turn out to be the best WordPress hosting provider to suit your individual needs and requirements.
Let’s dive right in with two important things we need to address! 🏊♂️
Need help? Not sure which WordPress host is for you?
Leave a comment below with some additional information and I’ll personally jump in and make some recommendations based on your particular situation!
The big problem with most hosting reviews on the internet
Affiliate marketing is a big industry. All of our products have affiliate programs too – as a matter of fact, for some people, it is a great incentive if they’re on the edge and not sure if they want to promote our plugins. The problem, however, is that in the world of hosting people aren’t selective about which WordPress hosting companies they promote so what they do is just positively promote and write convincing reviews that encourage people who don’t know any better to purchase hosting from a company that might not be the best for them.
Table of Contents
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared hosting is still to this day the most common type of WordPress hosting. The reason being that it is the best and most financially frictionless for people to delve into the world of web design and development.
Although many argue that shared hosting plans like the ones that Bluehost offers no longer have a place in 2019, shared hosting is still to this day the most common type of WordPress hosting. The reason this is the case is that it is the best and most financially frictionless for beginners to delve into the world of web design, development and blogging.
It’s important to note that these shared hosts won’t be suitable for high-traffic, dynamic websites but shared hosts like Bluehost and SiteGround can sustain a fair amount if you properly optimize your images and implement caching.
Bluehost is our shared hosting provider of choice. If you’re anything like I am and don’t like taking someone else’s word for important decisions, I highly recommend you take a look at our in-depth review of Bluehost. It’s also worth noting that Bluehost is also officially listed as one of the web hosting companies that WordPress recommends – as you’ll find on this page here.
I’m aware that many people will frown upon us including Bluehost and shared hosting plans in this post because they argue that shared hosting plans no longer have a place in 2019 because they’re simply too slow.
I have to be quite frank, I completely disagree with them.
Yes, I obviously know that Bluehost’s shared hosting wasn’t designed for extremely high-traffic, resource-intensive websites – obviously, that’s why it’s less expensive. But they’re missing the point.
Bluehost is an amazing WordPress host because they make it easy and frictionless for anyone regardless of their financial background to get a website up and running.
In other words, fingers crossed you’ll reach the point where you grow out of shared hosting and migrate to a web host like Kinsta (up next), but until then Bluehost is a great place to start your WordPress website!
If that sounds anything like you – I highly recommend giving Bluehost a try.
|Payment Period||The Basic Plan||The Plus Plan||The Prime Plan|
As we’ve come to expect, Bluehost offers 24/7 support (regardless of which plan you’re on) via live chat, ticket support and phone support!
Most Notable Bluehost Features:
- 24/7/365 Support
- Affordable Hosting for Newcomers
SiteGround is an extremely well-known shared WordPress hosting provider with a great reputation in the industry.
They’ve been around for over a decade and are extremely experienced when it comes to providing fast and affordable web hosting as well as helping people on a budget outperform their competitors.
SiteGround’s shared WordPress hosting has three available plans:
Each of these packages offers different size of web space ranging from 10GB to 30 GB respectively. The prices depend on the amount of web space provided with the StartUp plan being the lowest priced.
Each individual package offers a different amount of storage ranging from 10 GB all the way up to 30 GB on the GoGeek plan.
The pricing plan that is most suited to you depends on the amount of storage that you’ll require as well as the number of monthly visitors that you expect.
Still not sure whether SiteGround is the best WordPress hosting for you? Check out our in-depth SiteGround review for a more detailed look at what makes SiteGround stand out.
DreamHost has been around for 18 years and hosts over 1.5 million websites. But just because a hosting provider is well-known, or hosts a lot of websites, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right solution for you.
That being said, it is worth noting that DreamHost is another one of the hosting providers that WordPress officially endorses on their website.
If you’d like to learn more about DreamHost’s individual features, and what you can expect from them in terms of speed and uptime, I highly recommend checking out this in-depth review of DreamHost that we put together just for you.
Hostinger is known for offering extremely affordable WordPress hosting.
Is it the best in the world? Short answer: No.
Is it the best in the world for people on a budget looking to get started? Short answer: Yes, of course!
If you’ve ever been put off of the idea of starting your own website because you weren’t able to consider investing money into an expensive web host then Hostinger is for you.
They’ve made the barrier to entry extremely low, which makes moving from a WordPress.com subdomain to your own custom hosted WordPress.org installation an easy (and affordable) decision.
Still not sure whether Hostinger is the best WordPress hosting for you? Check out our in-depth Hostinger review for a more detailed look at what makes Hostinger stand out.
GoDaddy is another popular shared hosting provider. Many moved away from GoDaddy a few years ago when they started building a bad reputation, but things seem to be changing and they are making move towards rebuilding that damaged reputation. Their hosting still isn’t the best shared hosting on the market but it would have been wrong to exclude them from this post. If you tried them in the past and migrated away, I recommend giving them another try – their hosting is extremely affordable and suitable for beginners.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Most managed WordPress hosting customers are typically small to medium-sized businesses, high-traffic blogs and companies looking for enterprise hosting. These people see managed WordPress hosting as a good investment because it saves them time and usually offers superior performance.
Managed WordPress hosting can range anywhere from $25 to $150 a month if not more depending on the size of your website and your requirements. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at some popular managed WordPress hosts you may have heard of including Kinsta, WP Engine, Flywheel, and Pagely as well as others.
So if you’re no longer on a budget, ready to step your hosting game and get ahead of your competition this section is for you! 😀
At a certain point, “money” will no longer be the sole basis of your decision to choose a certain WordPress host over another WordPress host. Hopefully, you will reach a point when you can consider migrating over to a host like Kinsta.
Kinsta is one of (if not) the best WordPress hosts in the world.
But, as you’d expect, that does come at a premium price.
We chose to host all of our websites
We chose to host all of our websites on Kinsta’s Managed WordPress hosting due to their reliable infrastructure, focus on speed & quality support. While we would certainly be technically able to self-host our website (something which we will get onto later) and save money on hosting costs, it simply wouldn’t be worth the trade-off of peace of mind and knowing that our website will always be up and running without us having to lift a finger.
Still not sure whether Kinsta is for you? Check out our in-depth Kinsta review for a more detailed look at what makes Kinsta stand out.
How is Kinsta Different?
If you’ve heard of Kinsta, the chances are that you’ve also heard about why they’re different from the rest.
They have an entire page dedicated to showcasing what makes them stand out.
But for more reasons, you might as well follow Kinsta on Twitter.
Servebolt is another popular managed WordPress host, known to host some extremely high-traffic websites including the following:
I’ve also recently migrated my agency website – ScaleMath – from a VPS on Digital Ocean that I was self-managing with RunCloud to Servebolt’s managed hosting for extra peace of mind and to save time so I can spend my energy on other, more important things.
And it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made, I finally don’t have to worry about my site’s stability or security. That being said, just as you’d expect, Servebolt isn’t the best WordPress hosting for you if you’re on a budget – it’s perfect for small to medium-sized companies that run their business on their website so take uptime and performance seriously.
If you’re looking for a WordPress host that is designed to be extremely fast and handle websites with as much traffic as Yoast and MyThemeShop, I highly recommend checking out Servebolt.
3. WP Engine
WP Engine is without a doubt one of the most popular managed WordPress hosts but is it still the best?
That’s a really complicated question to answer especially as it seems that they’re approaching an IPO in the coming months (or perhaps years).
If you’d like to learn more about WP Engine, we highly recommend checking out our conclusive review of WP Engine here. The reality is that with most of these managed WordPress hosts you can’t really go wrong with one or the other.
They’re all high-quality WordPress hosting providers when compared to other lower-cost options, so the only way to truly find out whether WP Engine is for you for Kinsta is for you is to give both them a try and make a decision for yourself.
Cloudways is a relatively new managed WordPress host that has gained a significant amount of traction, especially in recent months and years.
If you’re a member of any WordPress-related Facebook Groups, you’ll definitely have heard people singing their praises about Cloudways.
Most people find their transparency and server management dashboard to be unique in comparison to other popular providers. They openly provision, resell and provide expert support for servers hosted in Digital Ocean, VULTR, Linode, AWS or even Google Cloud Platform data centers. This gives them the ability to focus on creating software that makes the management easy as well as providing great support rather than managing their own infrastructure.
This is increasingly popular, Kinsta also does this. They are known for using the Gooogle Cloud Platform to power their premium WordPress hosting which is working very well for them.
How is Cloudways Different?
Cloudways is quickly evolving as a World-class platform where customers can host their WordPress and WooCommerce applications with utmost peace of mind. We are the best choice for Agencies and SMBs who are looking for a reliable partner (and not just another hosting tool) who can offer dependable 24×7 Support without losing Flexibility/Control and SimplicityAaqib Gadit | CEO of Cloudways
Still not sure if Cloudways is the right web host for you? Well, we have good news. We put together a really detailed review of Cloudways, check it out here.
In case you don’t remember, Flywheel was recently acquired by another one of the popular hosting providers included earlier in this post – WP Engine. You can learn more about that here.
Flywheel is still extremely popular among WordPress development and design agencies especially because they make the entire billing, deployment and site management system easy to manage at scale.
PS: Flywheel also develops an amazing, easy-to-use tool that makes it super simple to deploy WordPress locally.
LiquidWeb is known for a number of reasons including but not limited to its reliable and fast WooCommerce hosting as well as their VP of Product, Chris Lema which is relatively active on Twitter.
In addition to this, they also host many popular websites such as Glen Allsopp’s Detailed.com, so they are clearly very well-suited to people who run high-traffic websites or eCommerce stores and don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of managing servers themselves.
How is LiquidWeb Different?
I’ve used LiquidWeb for over four years now and spent thousands of dollars with them. Like any web host, you’re going to have the odd issue now and then, but I can not fault their support. Response times are incredible and they often get to the bottom of an issue that might have been of your own creation (so they don’t have to help, but do).
I actually reached out to some of their higher-level staff members recently regarding some marketing ideas for their site and they were incredibly friendly and receptive, even offering to send me some swag as a thank you.
Finally, I think one of their most impressive feats is being on the Inc 5000 twelve years (!) in a row. I believe that has only ever been done by a few dozen other companies, so they must be doing something right.Glen Allsopp | Detailed.com
Similar to LiquidWeb, Pagely is known for a number of reasons including their scalable WordPress hosting which is trusted by popular brands including those shown in the image below as well as Matt Medeiros which is well-known in the WordPress community.
How is Pagely Different?
In 2009, Pagely became the world’s first Managed WordPress Hosting solution. For over 10 years we’ve specialized in keeping WordPress secure, fast, and reliable for some of the world’s biggest brands including Disney, VISA, Panasonic, and Northwestern University.
Our unrelenting emphasis on quality— quality infrastructure, quality people, quality support, and processes that ensure quality — combined with our customer-first approach to business, has established Pagely as the premier hosting solution for Enterprise-tier WordPress applications and any organization that relies on WordPress as an integral part of their business. We’re the host people turn to when they’re tired of hosts that promise the world but fall short. Where other hosts fall short, we excel.
The strength of our team has been the foundation of our success. We’ve assembled a group of the world’s most talented and experienced sysadmin, developer, and WordPress experts. No matter their role, every Pagely employee is empowered to go above and beyond whenever we can solve a problem for a customer. In fact, it’s expected and a core part of our company’s DNA.
We offer “tierless support” which means that issues and concerns are always resolved by an experienced, qualified engineer. Pagely customers don’t have to go through a cumbersome first line of defense to reach a technician capable of resolving their concern. With our focus on serving the top 15% of WordPress sites, we’re able to devote the time and attention needed to ensure every site we host is fast, reliable, and secure. We proactively monitor each site for traffic spikes, degraded performance, and security threats then work closely with each customer to resolve those issues before they become bigger problems that lead to downtime.
Our unique ARES Gateway allows us to do what other hosts cannot — create and manage fully custom hosting solutions for each individual client. Rather than forcing customers into a handful of restrictive monthly plans, we can create a hosting solution that fits their exact needs. No technical requirement is too much and there are no edge cases we can’t handle. We can bring the skills and experience we’ve gained from nearly a decade of scaling WordPress for global brands to bear on your site.
Our infrastructure is powered by AWS — the world’s largest and most powerful cloud solution — and a suite of proprietary solutions built specifically for WordPress. We offer intelligent caching (PressCACHE), comprehensive security (PressARMOR), and include a fast CDN (PressCDN) and flexible DNS with all plans (PressDNS).
What makes Pagely different, what has ultimately made us successful, is that we intentionally go out of our way to be the kind of host we would want to use. We empower everyone in our company to serve our customers to the best of our ability. We become an extension of our client’s businesses. We help them solve problems and we take pride in contributing to their success.Matt Medeiros | Account Executive, Pagely
Self-Managed Hosting (VPS/Cloud)
One increasingly popular way to host WordPress websites is to deploy them directly onto one of many available IaaS or VPS providers. This is slightly more involved than any of the other options available, so if you aren’t highly technical you will also need a server management panel that will allow you to easily install and configure WordPress as well as things like Web Application Firewalls and SSL certificates.
It is important to note that this means you will have to factor in an additional cost, but I decided to include this in this post covering the best WordPress hosting since these IaaS providers do make it really simple and affordable to deploy extremely powerful servers.
So first off, let’s take a look at the most reliable cloud/VPS providers:
1. Digital Ocean
Digital Ocean is one of the most popular cloud IaaS platforms you can use to provision a VPS. They have plans which are affordable and offer extremely high-quality servers.
When I used to manage servers on my own (and for the projects that I continue to need servers for), I use Digital Ocean. They’ve really never failed me, but although I’ve luckily never had to rely on them, it is important to note that their support isn’t great.
Linode is known for hosting the popular website, Changelog, as well as being one of their podcast’s main sponsors. They have been in the server business since 2003 – about 16 years, so they certainly know what they’re doing.
UpCloud is a Finnish cloud hosting company that was established back in 2012. They currently have 6 data centers around the globe, including the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- The Netherlands
Their homepage and website make a bold claim that they offer the “world’s fastest cloud servers”, a statement which certainly seems to be holding up with their increasing popularity and as many people migrate from VULTR to UpCloud and could not be happier.
It goes without saying that their server price-performance value is extremely good so if you plan on self-hosting your website with one of the many popular cloud hosting platforms that we’re about to take a look at – I highly recommend checking out UpCloud.
Now that you know which VPS providers to choose from, let’s take a close look at all of the server management panels that are available.
SpinupWP is a modern cloud-based server control panel developed by the Delicious Brains team which are known for other popular WordPress plugins such as the WP Offload Media, WP Offload SES, and WP Migrate DB plugins.
Unlike a lot of similar services, SpinupWP is focused on making the WordPress experience the best.
Users like Denny say, ‘I’ve used several alternatives including Cloudways, WP Engine, ServerPilot, RunCloud and Flywheel. Nothing matches the simplicity and speed with which I can configure and launch a new server.’ You can spin up an extremely fast new server configured just for WordPress in under 10 minutes. Starting at $12/month.Brad Touesnard | Founder, Delicious Brains Inc.
As mentioned earlier in this post, I was a regular paying RunCloud customer for quite some time. My server was hosted with Digital Ocean and I could not have been happier with the service.
For the purposes of this post, here’s what connecting a server looks like:
You’re prompted to enter basic information about your servers, such as the name of your server, and its IP address.
RunCloud then generates a script that you need to run as the root user on your server using Terminal if you’re on macOS or Command-Line if you’re on Windows.
In a few moments, the server will have connected and installed the necessary dependencies for RunCloud to work.
You will then have a clear overview of your server as shown above. Adding web applications, like WordPress or Drupal can all be done without running complicated SSH commands. This makes it a lot easier for people who aren’t experienced with server management to make use of the cost-efficiency of a VPS provider like Digital Ocean, VULTR or Linode.
In addition to this, RunCloud also provides you with some useful information about your server’s health. The Server Health page can be referred to if you are experiencing issues and if your disk and memory usage are consistently high, it might be a sign that it’s time for you to upgrade to a more powerful, larger server.
In a way, you could say that you have the best of both worlds with RunCloud because you have the flexibility and control of managing your own server but also have a great support team that can be relied upon in the event of any problems (which there were many, all caused by me experimenting). As you can imagine, I enjoyed having all the control and was constantly experimenting with ways to improve my website’s loading time. In my time as a customer with them, I learned quite a bit about how to manage servers and how to optimize them myself (with the help of their team), which resulted in a website that loaded incredibly fast and was able to sustain an extremely high amount of traffic, all on a $20/month Digital Ocean Droplet managed with RunCloud. A similar setup but with a managed WordPress host would have cost me more than $100/month, so I was obviously really happy with my choice.
In time though, I realized I was spending a few hours here and there managing the server and dealing with short downtime (not at all caused by RunCloud) so I thought it was time to move my agency’s site to a managed host so that I wouldn’t have to worry about this and could spend more time handling more important things, leaving my website to the real experts over @ Servebolt or Kinsta.Alex Panagis | Founder, ScaleMath
GridPane was built from the ground up to be for serious WordPress professionals.
They are the most expensive out of the four server management dashboards, that are included in this section with their most expensive Enterprise plan coming in at $300/month.
They do have much more affordable plans available for freelancers or individuals looking to host their own websites.
So, what does GridPane do differently?
Out of all four options we looked at, GridPane is by far the most complete solution that is currently available. With the number of integrations that they already have available (with more coming soon) and their expert support that is always available to help you optimize your site, fix any issues that may arise and keep your site secure – the experience is very comparable to being with one of the managed WordPress hosts we covered earlier in this article.
Their $300/month plan is geared towards WordPress development and design agencies that keep a number of clients on care/support plans on monthly retainer fees which is why it’s loaded with features like white-labeling and the ability to invite up to 100 team members and clients. All things considered, agencies will save a significant amount of time if they use GridPane and will profit from their use of this software, so justifying the $300/month price tag is not that difficult in most cases.
ServerPilot has been around for a while. They are by far the leanest when it comes to features, but I think that’s a good thing. Server deployment and WordPress installations are extremely easy to get up and running and their support is fast to respond to any issues (in the unlikely event that you run into any).
In most cases, the time spent and hassle that is caused by self-hosting WordPress websites is simply not worth the higher price-performance ratio and money you can save if you aren’t technically experienced enough.
At the end of the day, the reason both expensive and inexpensive WordPress hosts like Bluehost, Kinsta, and Servebolt are able to survive is because they are undeniably experienced and take care of something so you don’t have to handle it yourself.
Are you looking for specific WordPress hosting that is suitable for photographers? Modula put together an in-depth post looking at the best hosting providers for photographers.
Finding The Best WordPress Host – Conclusion
The process of finding the best WordPress host for your specific needs and requirements is always going to be difficult to do, but we hope this guide has made it easier for you! 😅
Which of the best WordPress hosting providers do you trust with your websites?
Let us know in the comments below, we can’t wait to hear from you! 💬