Finding the best WordPress hosting provider for your website can quickly become overwhelming. Is reliability and uptime most important? Or fast servers and page load times? What about the cost? Why does one host charge so much more than the other? What if you want it all?
Finding the best hosting company for your WordPress website is not as easy as it should be. Our goal in this post is to help simplify the process and show you how to choose the WordPress hosting partner that is right for you.
Related Reading: “Why We Recommend Managed WordPress Hosting”
Why Do I Need a WordPress Host?
Hosting companies provide technology and server space for lease or sale to clients who want to run websites on the internet. You can think of a hosting company as an apartment landlord, where the individual apartments represent server space for rent. Just like you need shelter in order to live, a website needs a server and a hosting provider to exist.
But your website is powered by the WordPress web publishing software, which requires additional resources in order to run smoothly and scale when you site receives lots of traffic. Now, nearly every hosting company out there will claim that you can install and run WordPress on their servers. But you’ll quickly discover that just because you can install WordPress on a web server doesn’t mean that your site will hold up to traffic.
You need a web hosting provider who specializes in hosting WordPress websites.
Managed WordPress Hosting vs. Traditional Hosting
Traditional hosting essentially means you are provided with server space and some level of support. The hosting provider may claim that their servers can run WordPress websites. But you will need to be responsible for:
- Setting up your hosting access.
- Installing WordPress or migrating your old site to WordPress.
- Managing updates to WordPress core and plugins.
- Managing regular backups of your site.
- Handling any security breaches that your host is not responsible for.
- Handling traffic scaling when you have a surge in website traffic.
All of this on top of actually creating the website to begin with!
Managed WordPress hosting providers take care of all the above-mentioned items for you, so you can focus on what matters most to you — your content.
This is one of the many reasons we recommend managed WordPress hosting.
So, Which Is the Best WordPress Hosting for Me?
That depends entirely on what you need. Your needs will likely be different than the next person. To decide which managed WordPress host will best fit your needs, consider how important each of the following features are to you:
- Simple Setup?
Now, the obvious answer is going to be, “All of these are important to me!” But not all managed WordPress hosts can deliver equally on all of these fronts. So we’re going to recommend the best managed WordPress hosting for you based on the type of website owner you are.
Please note that we only recommend hosting providers who offer all these core features:
- WordPress already pre-installed.
- Automatic backups for peace of mind.
- Automatic WordPress updates, ensuring your site is always up to date.
- 24/7 security monitoring for malware or attempts to hack your site.
- Free repairs if your site is ever hacked. (This is huge!)
- Web servers that are specifically built for hosting WordPress sites… fast!
- Stellar support from people who know WordPress inside and out, not just reading from a book of scripts.
5. Are you a beginner who just needs affordable hosting? GoDaddy.
If you are looking for affordable (but fast) WordPress hosting with direct phone support, GoDaddy is a perfect fit. GoDaddy is focused on providing all the tools and resources you’ll need to run a successful WordPress site — or your small web-based business. And they can provide all of this at the lowest prices around. Plans start as low as $3.99 per month!
But don’t get the wrong idea. This is not some cheap, shared hosting. GoDaddy has built incredibly fast servers, optimized to run WordPress sites reliably. And they provide many tools that other hosts don’t even provide, or do so at a much higher cost.
For one, GoDaddy has an amazing migration tool that will help you move your WordPress website from your current hosting provider to GoDaddy with just a few simple steps. Honestly, no other WordPress host makes it this easy!
Even better, GoDaddy includes a staging server — essentially a copy of your website on a separate server — which enables you to test and make changes to your WordPress site in a protected environment, instead of on your live site. No other WordPress host provides this feature at this price.
If you’re a beginner, or if cost is your primary concern, you owe it to yourself to check out GoDaddy. You’ll be surprised!
4. Are you a DIYer who needs developer tools? SiteGround.
If you like GoDaddy’s low prices, but are looking for a more developer-friendly set of tools, you might look at SiteGround. Their pricing levels are slightly higher than GoDaddy’s, but they include more advanced features for developers like pre-installed Git, WP-CLI enabled, staging servers, CDN, and dynamic caching based on Nginx.
For the most features, you’ll want to check out their GoGeek hosting plan:
3. Are you a designer who builds sites for clients? Flywheel.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous user interface but still need powerful developer tools, check out Flywheel. Starting at just $15/month, Flywheel is built from the ground up for designers, developers, and creative agencies. They not only provide a gorgeous control panel, but also the ability to transfer billing to your clients after you’ve finished building a site. Plus, they include all the developer tools you’ll need, including high-performance servers, Git, WP-CLI, SSH, sFTP and more.
2. Do you run a business website and need to connect better with your audience? WP Engine.
Are you thinking about how to deliver personalized content to your audience? If not, you soon will be! Luckily, our friends at WP Engine are already building a platform to create individualized digital experiences using WordPress. They’re evolving beyond generic WordPress hosting to provide data-driven personalization that will help you better connect with your audience.
Of course, they provide staging servers, Git, SSH, and other developer tools. But their award-winning customer service team is unparalleled and will likely become your favorite ‘feature.’ And they hit the sweet spot on pricing, which means you won’t spend a fortune on managed WordPress hosting.
Remember those managed WordPress hosting features we suggested earlier to help you determine what is most important to you in a host? Well, if you were one of the people that said, “All of these are important to me!” then you’ll want to check out WP Engine.
1. Do you have an e-commerce website where speed matters? Liquid Web.
Liquid Web is for people whose website is their business. They provide enterprise-level features at mid-market prices.
If you rely on your website to make money, Liquid Web is your best choice. It’s specifically designed for business owners, agencies, and freelancers who run mission-critical sites.
Now, Liquid Web is not for hobbyists. They’re slightly more expensive than most of the others we recommend here. But then, they also offer some really cool features you can’t get from any other WordPress host.
First, it’s incredibly fast! The single biggest factor when someone arrives at your site is how fast it loads, so Liquid Web includes automatic image compression, delayed image loading, site-wide caching, and best of all — PHP 7. But they don’t stop there.
Other hosts include automatic updates to WordPress itself, but only Liquid Web also keeps your plugins up-to-date. Even better, they take a snapshot of your site before and after updating, perform an automatic comparison, and only apply the update if everything checks out. That’s a huge time-saver.
And if you build a lot of websites, you’ll love Site Stencils. Set up a basic WordPress install with all your favorite themes and plugins, then save it as a “stencil” — a snapshot you can use to spin up new sites quickly.
Of course, they include all the developer-friendly tools you’ll need like phpMyAdmin, Git, SSH, SFTP, and the command line. But they also include iThemes Sync Pro (a $130 value) so you can manage all your websites from a single dashboard.
Best of all, they don’t charge you for sudden spikes in traffic, or lock you out of your site until you purchase an upgrade, like some other hosts do. So if you’re looking for a better Managed WordPress partner for your business site, look no further than Liquid Web.
You’ll quickly see why we trust Liquid Web to host this site!
If you’re looking for the best WordPress hosting, we hope you’ll take our advice and consider using managed WordPress hosting instead of cheap, shared hosting. There really is no replacement for peace of mind when it comes to keeping your WordPress site secure, flexible, and online.
Good luck and happy hosting!