Finding the best web hosting for WordPress can be tricky: WordPress is the most popular platform for building a website, powering more than a quarter of all sites online today. It’s flexible and easy to use, making it an obvious choice for newbies and professionals alike. From pre-built themes and plugins to writing your own code, WordPress can accommodate just about anyone.
However, WordPress won’t get you online alone. It’s a content management system, or CMS, which means it creates and manages digital content. For a more practical definition, WordPress handles the organization of data for your website.
That’s where a web host comes in. It takes that bundle of organized data and puts it on a server, machines purpose-built for networked storage. Servers receive and send millions of requests per day, transferring data to the end user.
Best Web Hosting for WordPress
As WordPress grows in popularity, more hosts are expanding to accommodate it. While many shared plans masquerade themselves as “WordPress hosting,” a solution purpose-built for the platform has some specific factors that recommend it.
Before we dive into the dirt, though, we recommend you check out our guides to using WordPress. It’s quite a dense platform, and we cover everything from basic installation to writing your own plugins and themes.
What Makes Web Hosting Best for WordPress?
Hosting WordPress is, in essence, the same as hosting any other website. More resources and fewer people on a server will yield faster speeds and better uptime. However, there are a few ways, specifically with WordPress, that a host can improve both without precious server space.
Before looking into speeds, though, we checked which of our best web hosting providers would install WordPress for you. Setting it up manually is quite the process, especially for newbies, so having either the host do it or including a one-click installer was the first test each provider had to pass.
That’s a long list of web hosts, though, so we looked at speeds next to narrow it down. Again, server resources and density play a big part in this, but so does a CDN or caching plugin. While you’ll be able to find both for free on your own, providers that included either ranked highly in considerations.
Alongside technical features are visual ones as well. We kept in mind integrated marketplaces where users could buy new goodies for their site outside of WordPress. For example, Bluehost includes the MOJO Marketplace in its control panel, allowing you to install themes and plugins directly through there.
Lastly, we looked at value, but not much at cost. The providers on this list take up the entire range of web hosting prices, but we were careful to evaluate why each provider priced its plans in the way it did instead of just looking at the final cost (much like in our cheap web hosting article). Pagely, for example, is one of the more expensive ways to host a website, but also comes with every amenity a large operation needs.
Best Web Hosting for WordPress: SiteGround
We’ve found that SiteGround is the best WordPress host thanks to a laundry list of features that other providers struggle to keep up with. It has a competitive pricing model that scales as your site does, with excellent speeds and uptime.
Going down our list of criteria, SiteGround hits on both of the speed features we looked for. Each WordPress plan in integrated with a Cloudflare CDN, as well as the Siteground-developed Supercacher plugin. Both will help speed and uptime, and the CDN will even give you a little extra security.
Technical features like SSD storage are impressive, but only when the low cost is taken into account. WordPress plans start at only a few dollars per month and offer a stair-step pricing model that allows you upgrade your plan as your site grows.
This is, perhaps, the most attractive part of SiteGround for WordPress. There is a clear path of growth without switching providers or jumping from one form of hosting to another. You can get in at a reasonable rate and continue to grow as your website does, without any downtime.
Other Reasons We Like SiteGround
SiteGround backs these features with the best support staff we’ve seen from a web host, ever. You get all three forms of contact (chat, phone and email) with near instant response times on each. Even after testing, it’s difficult to decide which is best. SiteGround has a clear dedication to support, with a high bar set across every avenue.
For the shy ones, there’s plenty of DIY options too. The knowledge base serves as an FAQ of sorts, providing quick answers to common problems when operating a site. SiteGround goes a step further with the tutorials section, which is mostly the same, but with more in-depth instructions.
SiteGround provides features that many other hosts charge for. You get high-end configurations across all plans, with world-class support and low response times to boot. Read our SiteGround review if you want to learn more or test it out yourself with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Cloudflare CDN
- Supercacher plugin
- Lack of support for large networks
- Dated control panel
As a close runner-up to SiteGround, Bluehost drops some WordPress specific features in favor of a much smoother interface. Its implementation of cPanel melds with WordPress in the most seamless way we’ve seen, providing all the functionality a control panel should without sacrificing usability.
The MOJO marketplace is built right into it, allowing you to browse new plugins and themes for your site without ever opening another tab. You can install these directly through the marketplace, reserving the WordPress backend for publishing posts and updating your site.
WordPress plans come with top-notch security features as well. You get a free SSL certificate, SiteLock Pro and SiteLock CDN. SiteLock is an industry leading website security company, and Bluehost is one of the few providers that includes its services for free.
Other Reasons We Like Bluehost
There are plenty of attractive features outside of the WordPress specific ones, though. Each plan includes free daily, weekly and monthly backups of your site. Backups can often run $20 or more per month, so its inclusion is a huge plus for Bluehost.
We’ve already touched on the cPanel implementation, but it’s really that good. Bluehost has the most attractive and intuitive interface out of any web host we’ve reviewed. It has the feel of Dreamhost’s minimalist design, with all the power of cPanel.
Support is excellent as well, but there are a few more hoops to jump through when compared to SiteGround. It’s clear Bluehost intends for you to consult the knowledge base before contacting them, making a line to support staff a bit difficult to track down.
Even so, Bluehost is a provider that covers all the bases with an attractive UI and world-class features. Read our Bluehost review if you’d like the nitty-gritty, or try it for yourself with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- SiteLock included
- Attractive interface
- MOJO Marketplace built in
- No month-to-month payment
- Difficult to contact support
If all our readers had a bottomless pocketbook, then Pagely would take a natural first place. Unfortunately, that’s not the case so it must sit at a comfortable third. Make no mistake, though, Pagely is the best way to host a WordPress site if you have the money.
It only offers enterprise-focused WordPress hosting. For some prospective, Pagely powers titans like Visa, Disney and eBay. Personal sites or small networks aren’t really the focus, with the most inexpensive plan allowing up to 30 sites.
While individual sites will notice little difference, large networks will benefit from the number of resources here. Pagely hosts sites on Amazon c4, large instances, providing the best speeds and redundancy for WordPress. You’re shaving milliseconds off speeds, but that’s what matters when your site needs to be the best of the best.
Other Reasons We Like Pagely
With the impressive list of clientele, it comes as no surprise that Pagely has world-class security as well. It uses PressArmor, a Pagely developed utility, to protect your site against any possible exploit. The tool includes a web application firewall to limit incoming threats, as well as constant malware scrubbing to remove anything that gets through.
In the rare event that something penetrates PressArmor, Pagely will completely clean and restore your site, free of charge. You have automatic backups as well, so a restore is always possible too.
PressArmor is one of the tools included in what we’ve deemed the “Press Suite.” This includes PressDNS, PressCDN and PressCACHE. You can learn more about each in our Pagely review, but all you need to know now is that they help your site run as fast as possible. If you have the money for it, try out Pagely for yourself to see just how powerful it is.
- World-class security
- Ultra fast response times
- Little support for individual sites
DreamHost offers a middle ground between Pagely and the other options on this list. While Pagely is better suited for large networks, personal sites or small networks will see the greatest performances increases with DreamHost.
WordPress combines with DreamHost to create DreamPress. This spreads your site across two virtual private servers, one for the front-end and another for MySQL databases. Splitting the load like this allows the servers to respond much faster, only querying your databases when needed.
DreamPress also includes Jetpack Premium for free with each site. This first-party WordPress tool protects your site against malware, offers comprehensive analytics and creates daily backups of your website.
DreamHost didn’t develop this tool, but that’s a good thing. Instead of focusing on multiple areas, it focuses on ultra-fast web hosting and leaves security and backups to a plugin that can correctly implement it.
Other Reasons We Like DreamHost
As mentioned in the Bluehost section, the control panel here is about as minimalist as it comes. It’s effortless to navigate, with no advertisements about upgrading your plan or nonsense about adding extra features.
That comes at a price, though. Usability is strong, but functionality is limited. You won’t get the options presented with BlueHost’s cPanel or Pagely’s Atomic Core. While there are still ways to add email accounts or manage your DNS records, the control panel feels limited.
Security, however, is some of the best out there. This area is perhaps the strongest at DreamHost, with free SSL certificates and domain privacy included with each plan. To show how dedicated it is to privacy, DreamHost even went to court against the U.S. Department of Justice to protect a user’s information.
- VPS hosting
- Jetpack Premium included
- Simple control panel
- Lack of power in the control panel
Time and time again HostGator pops up on these lists simply because it can accommodate so many different users. WordPress is no exception to that, and while it isn’t the best way to host a WordPress site, it’s far from the worst.
It puts fewer users on each server, so there are more resources for everyone. This low-density configuration is aided by multiple caching layers and a CDN to make sure your speeds are as fast as possible.
Automatic daily backups help in the event you ever lose any information. While some other hosts offer backups, not many come close to the level in which HostGator does. One-click restores make the process simple, with options to bring back full backups or only snapshots.
Other Reasons We Like HostGator
Although, HostGator really wins in how easy it is to use. The control panel is a close second to BlueHost, building on the attractive and intuitive version of cPanel. All the power you need is included, laid out in a way that won’t overwhelm new users.
Apart from that, you get a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. While many hosts advertise this, HostGator actually delivers. In a given month, if your uptime ever falls below that threshold due to an unscheduled server outage, HostGator will compensate you for the entire month.
Between the dedication to customer service and excellent user experience, it’s hard not recommend HostGator. All of that is made even better with one of the largest selections of plans on the market with options for any need or budget. Read our HostGator review to learn more about the service or sign up today with a 45-day money back guarantee.
- Multiple caching layers
- Low-density servers
- Lack of support for large networks
As WordPress continues to rise in popularity, hosts will continue to grow and accommodate it. The shift has already made an impact with more and more dedicated WordPress solutions popping up. For reliable, managed WordPress hosting, SiteGround is still the best of the bunch, with balanced plans, affordable prices and a ton of features.
If you need more suggestions, though, make sure to read some of our web hosting reviews. We get into the specifics of each provider so you can make a more informed decision when you go to purchase hosting. We also have an article on how to backup your WordPress site once you have it installed.
What host are you going with? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.