There are tons of different WordPress hosting providers and we could be here for days if I listed them all, so I wanted to only list the top 5. Several factors went into these decisions ranging from, speed, performance, customer support, and overall features.
Site: WP Engine
Cost: $29/month for a single site or $99/month for up to 10 sites. Get 2 months free with annual plan.
I rank WP Engine as the best WordPress hosting service provider. They are on the more expensive side, starting at $29/month, but you get what you pay for. I personally use WP Engine for any freelance development work I do and I encourage all my clients to purchase it as well. And if you have multiple sites, you get the $99/month plan and it really isn't that expensive, especially for the quality you are getting.
WP Engine is specifically made for WordPress and nothing else. That is all they do and they are the best. They have several features that no other hosting provider will give you without charging you ridiculous prices. Some of those features include:
WP Engine Page Speed Performance Tool
WP Engine delivers page performance intelligence to help you speed up your website, which improve your search engine rankings and keep your visitors happy. It is included in your monthly fee and built right into your user portal. You simply enter any page URL and it will run a series of tests and tell you exactly what needs to be done, how fast it loads, etc.
It will then provide recommendations of exactly what to do and also you show a timeline of what your users see and how long they have to wait to see that particular part of the page.
If you are a web developer and you are building a site for you client, you always struggle with trying to show the client the site before publishing it. You have to set up tunnels to your local server through complicated npm packages in your terminal that rarely work. I know because I've tried many times.
You can literally just click a button inside the WordPress dashboard to copy from live to staging. Then you can work on your staging environment and show the client your staging URL. When they give you the OK, you just click one more button and it is automagically pushed to the live site. It is ridiculously easy. Here is a brief tutorial showing you step-by-step how to set it up.
Best Customer Service
If you aren't the most technical person (which is perfectly OK), you may need to reach out to customer service to help you. I have experience with GoDaddy customer support and it is the absolute worst. WP Engine, on the other hand, is amazingly helpful. They are a 3x Stevie Award winner for "Best Customer Service and Support". They are available via phone or live chat 24/7. No more having to email and wait 24 hours for a return email and it didn't even answer your question.
Security is extremely important with any website and WordPress is no different. There are so many idiots out there trying to hack people's websites. WP Engine has the best security available. It was built specifically for WordPress just like everything else they do. No other hosting provider really provides anything in the way of security. You are on your own to secure your site. But not with WP Engine. (Remember, I said you get what you pay for).
They will automatically keep your WordPress installation up-to-date (if you want) and will even work with you directly to help you upgrade. They have real-time security threat detection running 24/7 and will automatically block anything they pick up. You don't need to worry about doing any of it.
Even with all that, it is still possible to get hacked. No website is hacker-proof. But if you do, WP Engine will fix your site for FREE, no questions asked. No other hosting provider would ever offer this.
Free Migration Plugin
If you currently have a WordPress site up and running on a different hosting provider, but you want to switch, WP Engine will give you access to their free migration plugin which will easily migrate your site to their new hosting platform. It is extremely simple and anyone with zero technical knowledge can handle it. You can sign up, choose your hosting plan, and migrate your site to WP Engine in under 30 minutes. If you struggle for any reason, simply reach out to live support and they will walk you through it, no sweat.
Cost: $6.48/month for 1 domain for 1 year payment up front with coupon WDA50. Total should be $77.70 for one year. This coupon is good until Dec.31st, 2017. Multiple domains is just a couple dollars more per month.
HostGator is a huge company with nearly 1,000 employees. They host over 8 million websites and counting. They are one of the top ten largest hosting companies, so they know what they are doing.
HostGator's Optimized WordPress hosting is an excellent choice for hosting on a smaller budget. Or maybe you don't need all the features that WP Engine provides, so you want a less expensive option. HostGator is a great option then. This site is actually hosted on HostGator and has been for a couple years now and have never had a single issue.
I did a load test on this page specifically and I was able to have 136 people on the website at the exact same time before my load time went above one second. 136 people may not seem like a lot, but it actually is. At the time of this writing, this site gets around 400-450 page views per day and I never even come close to 20 people at the exact same time. The most I have noticed in Google Analytics was five people, so you can see the value here. The starter plan is good for up to 100,000 visits per month.
Host Gator has a number of features that work well with WordPress and make your life easier.
This is the most important feature of HostGator. A fast loading website is great for Google rankings and provides a great user experience. You will increase your website's speed by 2.5x the cheaper shared hosting plans with their WordPress optimized cloud hosting. Your site is served up by a CDN (content delivery network) which caches your website on multiple layers and allows it to be served to your users much quicker.
Free Site Transfer
If you already have a WordPress site hosted somewhere else, they will gladly help you migrate it over for free, because let's face it, these companies want your money, so they will do anything to get you to switch to them. But that's a good thing and it works out in your favor.
Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth
This is pretty standard for most of the reputable hosting providers, but it is worth noting. Image you set up a WordPress blog and begin getting a ton of traffic and all of the sudden your host just shuts down your site with no warning. It wouldn't be the first time. But since you are unmetered, you are free to use as much bandwidth as you want.
Now, if you really do get that many people, you would probably want to upgrade your hosting anyway to make sure everything is still running smoothly, but you wouldn't need to worry about that until you are getting maybe 4 or 5 thousand people per day.
If you don't know what cPanel is, it is a graphical interface that allows you to manage your website, with no coding required. It really comes in handy with your WordPress installation.
You can use it to manage your WordPress databases, create email accounts like firstname.lastname@example.org, email forwarding, auto responders, and many more things.
Some other features worth stating:
- 99.9% uptime guaranteed
- Automatic malware removal
- 24/7/365 support vis live chat, phone, or email
- They back up your site automatically every week, just in case.
- Free email at your domain
- One-click WordPress installations on your domain
- $100 in free advertising with Google Adwords
- Green web hosting - Climate Friendly, Wind Powered, Certified RECs
Cost: $3.95/month for 1 site, $5.95/month for multiple sites
Site Ground has been around for a while and built themselves quite a reputation for being a great host for WordPress sites. They have specifically built their servers for speed and security and they work perfectly for WordPress hosting.
Their base plan ($3.95) covers all the standard WordPress hosting features you would expect. It has a one-click installation setup so you don't have to do any of the techie stuff.
They have an automatic updater that keeps your WordPress installation up to date, as well as your plugins. That is really important because most people never bother to update their plugins and that is how you get hacked. If you have really old third-party plugins on your site, you always run the risk of being hacked. They also back up your site on a daily basis just in case something does happen.
Free Cloudflare CDN
This is a really cool feature from SiteGround. If you don't know what a CDN is, it is a content delivery network. A CDN is a great way to speed up your site, which can mean better search engine rankings for you. It stores cached versions of your website in multiple geographic areas, which reduces the time it takes for the server to send your site to the user.
SiteGround is officially recommended by WordPress.org as one of the best and brightest WordPress hosting providers.
Cost: $3.95/month for one site and $5.95 for multiple sites
BlueHost has been around for a very long time, 21 years to be exact, so you know they must be doing something right. They are another host that is officially recommended by WordPress.org. They are rated #1 in hosting for small businesses and they have 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee with no questions asked.
BlueHost recommends you start small with the basic plan. Once you grow your site and begin getting serious traffic, you can easily switch to their more powerful servers and private dedicated hosting with a simple click of a button. There is nothing more to it.
They built an enhanced version of cPanel, based on cPanel with a few extra features to make hosting WordPress that much easier for you.
Free Domain Name
If you sign up for BlueHost, they will provide you with one free year of a domain name, up to $15.99, which is more than enough to secure a .com domain.
Cost: $5.99/month for two websites or $7.99/month for 6 websites
InMotion hosting is another company that has been around for a long time and has been doing dedicated WordPress hosting for many of those years. They are very well-known and have an excellent reputation. You can easily migrate your existing WordPress site to their hosting platform for free or create a new site with WordPress automatically installed on your domain by InMotion. They also give you a free domain with your purchase of hosting.
Optimized for Speed
Ok, so every company says this because this is obviously a top priority for most people, but they really do optimize for speed. They have upgraded all of their hosting plans to use SSDs (solid state drives), which are approximately 20x faster than standard HDDs (hard disk drives). If you have a SSD on your computer at home, then you know what I am talking about.
InMotion has all the latest security standards in place and monitor your site security around the clock. They offer protection from hacking, DDoS protection, advanced firewall protection and automatically back up your site on a daily basis.
If you don't have the time or you don't want to mess with constantly updating your WordPress to the latest version, don't worry, because InMotion hosting will take care of everything for you (if you want them to) at no extra charge.
Drag and Drop Web Builder
Your hosting plan comes free with BoldGrid drag and drop WordPress theme builder. They also have free pre-built themes in several different categories for you to choose from if you don't already have a theme or know how to code one from scratch.