There are plenty of web hosts around to choose from, and new ones appear all the time. And although greater competition results in better services at lower prices, this abundance of choice compounds the problem of choosing the right host to fit your specific needs. The challenge is even greater for WordPress users, who need a provider that understands their particular requirements.
To tackle this issue, we rounded up seven of the best-known WordPress hosts and took an in-depth look at each. These hosts offer something that most don’t: WordPress-specific hosting and everything that entails.
Before we get into the reviews, we’ll first take a moment to discuss exactly why you should choose a web host with WordPress-specific experience. Then, we’ll dissect each host, with the main focus on support and security features, performance, and pricing.
You may have noticed that many web hosts offer general shared hosting plans and WordPress hosting plans. These are two very different things. To illustrate why, let’s walk through their differences one by one:
These days, there’s arguably no good reason for a WordPress user to opt for regular shared hosting. WordPress hosting plans usually start at competitive prices, so they’re the best choice – even if you’re on a tight budget.
Each of the web hosts we’ve chosen for this roundup are very well-known in the WordPress hosting industry, but we didn’t want to base our comparison on reputation alone. To be as thorough as possible, we went through the following process with all seven of them:
Let’s check out how each WordPress host performed through our tests.
After concluding our testing, something became very clear – some providers performed considerably better than others. With that in mind, we decided to rank them below from best to worst, to help you make an informed decision. It’s worth mentioning, however, that our rankings are certainly not 100% objective, and the best provider for your specific needs may not be the top provider on our list.
With that in mind, let’s start with top seven hosting providers and work our way down!
Quite simply, SiteGround offers highly quality managed WordPress hosting services at some of the lowest prices you will find.
SiteGround offers one of the most painless support experiences we encountered. It took their team less than half a minute to connect to us via live chat, and our specialist was knowledgeable about basic WordPress security measures.
Prices at SiteGround start at $3.95 per month. Not only are these prices some of the lowest across the entire industry, when you consider the number of advanced features SiteGround offers, their prices become even more of a bargain. This one is definitely a winner.
SiteGround offers a superb combination of low prices, fast loading speeds, and great support. The only downside to this web host is the fact that only annual subscribers get the best prices. Monthly plans are more in line with the prices of other WordPress web hosts, but that’s not enough to knock it down from the top spot. Use our exclusive SiteGround coupon to get 60% off, will be applied using the below link.
HostGator is one of the best-known names when it comes to web hosting, but not one of the most highly regarded. In the past, the hosting service has experienced issues with site speed, but it has recently turned over a new leaf. HostGator’s WordPress Cloud Hosting plans are some of the fastest around, and they include both free migrations and shared Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates.
HostGator’s support team was very helpful, reviewing our website before answering our question to ensure their proposed solution was on the mark.
That said, the wait for a live chat agent was relatively significant – almost ten minutes.
HostGator completely blew us away with their speed test, even on the cheapest plan.
The Starter plan offers the best bang for your buck ($5.95 per month when you commit for a year), but prices increase sharply once you move into the enterprise-level range of plans.
That’s not to say HostGator is a bad option, but you may be mindful of the costs.
Much like our first pick, HostGator knocks the ball out of the park with low prices, great speed tests, and a reliable support team. The only downside to this web host is the fact that aside from the Starter plan, their prices aren’t that great.
When it comes to advanced features such as automatic performance enhancements, scalability, and high-grade security, WPEngine is second to none. The catch, however, is that unlike most of the other hosts on this list, these features do come at a premium.
WPEngine prides itself on its customer service, and the support staff certainly lives up to the hype. We waited a mere two minutes for an agent to connect with us via live chat, and he easily guided us through a few WordPress-related security queries.
One of WPEngine’s most encouraging offerings is its built-in security features, meaning you don’t need to depend on potentially unreliable third-party plugins.
WPEngine is definitely not a budget web host. The cheapest plan starts at $29 per month, which gives you you get top-notch security and high speeds.
To be frank, WPEngine would probably make the top of this list if it weren’t for a small detail – their prices. This is a web host built for enterprise WordPress sites with serious scalability and security needs, and their prices reflect that fact. If you have the budget for it, you probably won’t find a better option.
Update: We have partnered with WPEngine to offer an exclusive 50% off WPEngine coupon code for our audience.
Flywheel is a WordPress hosting company that targets both regular users and agencies. It offers a wide variety of plans at different price points and incorporates advanced features across all of them. These features include nightly backups, free security scans, and the ability to create staging sites.
Flywheel offers 24/7/365 live chat support. You can quickly access their support channels from any page in the Flywheel dashboard, whether you need a quick chat, to check the status of a ticket, or reference their handy help docs.
This host also takes security very seriously. They enforce significant login measures and take great pains to keep your site stays safe and malware-free.
Flywheel is one of the fastest hosts we tested. That benefit, combined with their wide range of plans, makes them a good choice for anyone that’s looking for a safe, fast WordPress host.
However, Flywheel is definitely a premium service; the cheapest plan is $15 per month for a single site install and a limit of 5,000 monthly visits. If you’re looking to host multiple websites with significant traffic, Flywheel will get pretty expensive pretty fast.
Flywheel is a serious competitor in the WordPress hosting business, with a wide variety of plans, and lots of advanced features. It’s a good choice for developers and agencies that don’t need too much handholding.
Bluehost is one of the biggest and most popular WordPress web hosts around, with a decent variety of plans at mid-to-high prices. WordPress-specific features include dedicated backups and an enhanced cPanel interface.
Bluehost offers the SiteLock suite of security tools to its users, which takes care of malware detection, removal, and firewall duties.
Moving on to support, Bluehost provided one of the worst experiences for us. Waiting times for the live chat often stretched beyond half an hour, and from our experiences, the staff isn’t particularly knowledgeable about WordPress.
Bluehost doesn’t lead the pack when it comes to speed or support. What they do offer, however, is a wide variety of plans at midrange prices and adequate security features.
Bluehost is far from the lead when it comes to WordPress hosting. That being said, it offers a decent set of security features and plans – even if they aren’t quite competitive when it comes to prices.
Most web hosts focus on either regular or managed WordPress plans, but not DreamHost. They offer plans of all different kinds, from stripped-bare shared hosting plans to superior managed plans replete with all the bells and whistles.
DreamHost offered decent support times. You can connect with a live chat agent in a matter of minutes – approximately six, in our case – and the support reps were fairly knowledgeable about WordPress security.
DreamHost fills a particular niche when it comes to WordPress hosting. They offer a decent service at reasonable prices ($16.95 per month for managed WordPress hosting and $7.95 per month for regular shared hosting), but won’t blow you out of the water with any particular feature.
Dreamhost offers a unique experience when it comes to WordPress hosting. It offers only two plans: one shared, and one managed. Their service is decent, except when it comes to loading times. We can only recommend this host to users who don’t want to choose between too many plans and aren’t too concerned with loading times.
InMotion is one of the largest names in the world of WordPress hosting. They offer only a few select plans, but plenty of WordPress-exclusive features, including WP-CLI support, a collection of free themes, and automatic backups.
Most of the time, InMotion offers swift support service via live chat, but in some cases, the wait can get quite long. We attribute this to their overwhelming popularity, but it can be jarring if you’re a new customer looking to fix a simple issue.
Despite the (occasionally) erratic wait times, InMotion’s support is friendly and knowledgeable. We’d even go as far as to say that it’s their strongest point.
Unfortunately, InMotion’s quality of customer support doesn’t translate to site speeds – at least while under stress. Despite this, their plans are very competitively priced (starting at just $2.95 per month) and offer plenty of WordPress-specific features.
Despite its bottom-of-the-barrel load speeds, InMotion does offer a decent set of WordPress-specific features, as well as competitive prices. Sadly, it also drops the ball a bit when it comes to their support experience. We would recommend this host to webmasters on a budget who don’t need top-shelf performance.
At this point, you should already have a good idea of where each web host stands when it comes to WordPress support. However, we decided to go one step further and include specific response times for each one, as well as an overall rating which relates to their level of helpfulness and initial waiting times.
|Response times /m||0.4||9||2||20||35*||6||12*|
|Overall score (0-5)||5||4||5||3.5||1||4.5||4|
Those results speak for themselves mostly, but let’s walk through them briefly.
SiteGround and WPEngine go right to the top of the list thanks to their swift response times and friendly staff, which should come as no surprise. HostGator, InMotion, and DreamHost almost tied with the previous two for the top spots, but their initial response times let them down somewhat. That being said, for a host that came near-last during our roundup, DreamHost offers a good support experience.
At the bottom of the barrel we find Flywheel and Bluehost. The first result is somewhat disappointing, considering the fact that Flywheel bills itself as a premium WordPress host. In Bluehost’s case, their support reflected the quality as their overall service.
Having covered each web host in detail, there’s nothing left to do but rank the seven WordPress hosts we’ve discussed. We’ve included an informative snippet alongside each to help you make your final decision:
Which WordPress web host are you leaning towards? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
|Bandwidth||10,000 visits||25,000 visits||25,000 visits||5,000 visits||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|