WordPress Hosting: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing The Best Option

Posted on March 6, 2018 by in Resources | 135 comments

WordPress Hosting: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing The Best Option

The single most asked question I see around the internet is some variation of What’s the best company for WordPress hosting? It’s nuts how often this comes up, but it shouldn’t be that surprising–there are so many options and choices out there, it’s almost impossible to not get bogged down.

In many ways, the hosting companies are similar. They can offer one-click installations, cPanel admin dashboards, add-on domains, and that sort of thing. But in many other ways, the hosts can be quite different, and those differences are what you should look into when choosing where your WordPress site lives.

Traditional vs Managed WP Hosting

One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make when deciding on a WordPress host is whether or not you want to go for an all-in-one managed hosting package, or if you want to go for the more traditional, shared/VPS/cloud option. Both options have their merits and pitfalls, so it will be entirely dependent on what you need.

Traditional Hosting

Traditional hosts (or shared hosts) are set up to give you a section of a server. They partition off your area, and you can do what you want to with it, but like a subdivision in the real world, you have no choice of who your neighbors are, so if they’re doing shady things, your property value goes down (and becomes potentially damaged).

The trade-offs for that come in having bunches of control of your own area, often with hosting as many WP sites as you want for the same monthly cost, which is typically much lower than managed hosting. Because you handle the daily tasks and upkeep yourself.

The most well-known of these shared hosts are GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, and Siteground.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed hosting, on the other hand, offers you a single place where your WordPress install lives. It is reserved for you and yours alone. Your neighbors are off living in their own gated communities, and you’re off living in yours. You get security, updates, support, and fantastically optimized speeds (often far faster and more reliable than shared hosts) all handled for you.

But you pay for it. Again like in the real world, living in a walled-off mansion by yourself comes with a cost. You don’t get to control things yourself, as updates are handled automatically, the number of WP installs can be limited–so can the particular plugins you’re allowed to use–and the price-tag is much, much higher on average than shared hosting (especially when looking at price vs number of installs).

While many hosting companies are moving into managed hosting these days, the old standbys are WPEngine, Flywheel, Kinsta, and Cloudways.

A Deeper Dive into Some Hosts

But that’s all top-down generalization. Each host has its own quirks, benefits, and solutions that may make all the difference for you. And that’s what I want to talk about. Because while you may read the above and realize you definitely need managed hosting (or vice versa), there’s still a big decision to be made when you look at which WordPress hosting company to go with.

I’ll be looking into some of the old standbys and newcomers to the WordPress hosting scene.

GoDaddy

wordpress hosting

(heh heh) of hosting companies. It’s the Walmart of web hosts. People know the name, they’ve probably shopped there at some point, and they probably have an opinion about it, too. That’s not good or bad. It just is what it is.

In terms of WordPress hosting, GoDaddy offers both traditional, shared plans as well as managed WP hosting.

For WordPress hosting specifically, GoDaddy stays on brand. They mix their discounting and never-be-undersold mentality with the managed hosting philosophy of keeping focused on your singular product.

wordpress hosting

Digging in to GoDaddy

  • Basic
    • 1 site is typical.
    • You don’t get any SSH access, but SFTP is standard. This stays in line with their focus on new users.
    • The cost is crazy low, especially for the first purchase period.
    • 25k visitors on the lowest tier is higher than other managed hosts, but with even a modicum of success you will be paying more.
    • The amount of storage you’re given for basic is 10gb — standard, really.
  • Deluxe, Ultimate, Developer
    • Higher tiers offer SSH access.
    • 100k-800k monthly visitors is enough for most folks.
    • SSL is free for one year, then you pay a $70 up-charge.
    • The rest of the options, free domains, and SEO plugins are not really selling points for the increases in cost. Just download and you’re set.
  • Other Stuff
    • GoDaddy boasts about continuous malware scans, anti-bot protection, and stopping spammers, but they don’t go into any detail about how they’re handled on the backend.
    • That makes me very wary, especially because the continuous malware scan is an up-sell (Ultimate plan and up).
    • Their target demo probably doesn’t care about that stuff, which is why their verbiage uses phrases like “evil hackers”.
    • No choice of server specs, but that’s part of what makes it managed. That also means there’s no option to upgrade specs, either.

Final Thoughts on GoDaddy

In the end, without releasing anything but the most basic tech specs, not being transparent about what they use to protect your site, and up-selling at every opportunity, GoDaddy doesn’t seem to be a realistic choice for anyone who has already been a WordPress user for a long time. Even among managed hosts, their offerings are spare.

Flywheel

wordpress hosting

is one of the big names in managed WordPress hosting. Focusing on seamless migrations, ease of use, and your peace of mind, they put everything out there for you in the beginning. Their focus is on UX, both for the site visitor and site owner.

Like other hosts, they do offer tiered pricing with various features walled-off by tier. They don’t offer a lot of tech specs, either, but their target demo consists of designers and agencies looking for a smooth transition from the dev team to the end user.

wordpress hosting

Digging in to Flywheel

  • Pricing Details
    • Pricing is pretty standard among managed hosts. While they have a $14/month plan (aptly called Tiny), you will likely need at least the $28/month one. However, if you do go over any of your quotas, your site doesn’t stop working, though. Flywheel support just contacts you to work things out.
    • You get 1 WP install regardless of tier, unless you’re on a bulk plan (mucho dinero).
    • CDN and Multisites are up-sells, which isn’t the best, but it’s understandable given the resources required.
    • You get free SSL certificates for all sites, though, which is awesome.
    • Everything but the Tiny Plan includes a staging site within the dashboard. However, even the Tiny Plan can take advantage of their app, which will connect to any Flywheel account. If you haven’t tried Local before, you should — it’s great, and you can use it regardless of hosting provider, too. This might even be a better option than having staging included in your plan. Seriously.
    • <

  • Security and Other Stuff
    • Open about what they use. Sucuri is on every site, and they use IP blocking, limit login attempts, and scan for malware (though they don’t show what they use outside of Sucuri).
    • Automated, regular backups.
    • You can’t pick or use your own security or caching plugins. That’s handled by Flywheel. Again, this is really typical of managed WordPress hosting, so it’s not a big deal. I just wanted to mention it.
    • SFTP access is available for each site you have on your account. Just fire up FileZilla or Cyberduck, and you’re rolling. You can even give other folks SFTP access just by entering their email.
      • You do have database access only through the dashboard, but if you’re used to going through cPanel to get to phpMyAdmin and such, it’s the same, really.
    • You have to contact them to handle SSH-only tasks, which can be a killer for some folks and companies.
    • You can transfer billing and sites in a couple of clicks. This is a huge benefit for designers and agencies and freelance builders. If you do this, you don’t have to pay up front. I’ve set up sites like this, and it works like a charm.
    • , and in my experience in contacting them, my questions were answered without a lot of back-and-forth rigamarole.
      • There is 24/7 emergency support, standard support hours are M-F 9a-5p CDT (normal US working hours), and there is a ticket system, phone support, live chat, as well as an extensive knowledge base.

Final Thoughts on Flywheel

Flywheel is a good option for managed hosting, and it’s pretty standard all the way around, from cost to security to access. You do give up some freedom which is typical for managed hosting, but Flywheel won’t nickel-and-dime you on features, and the support is available to you even if you’re not paying up front and your client is.

BlueHost

wordpress hosting

is a newer entry into WordPress hosting (though it’s a veteran in the shared hosting scene). The options you get for WordPress hosting are spelled out much more explicitly than many companies, but the cost is a little higher, too.

wordpress hosting

I think, though, that you get what you pay for with them, and the extra transparency that BlueHost offers really makes it a worthwhile option. In my experience, the WordPress hosting here is pretty stable.

Digging in to BlueHost

  • Bluehost lets you know exactly how much space you have for backups (and separate space for storage), the amount of RAM for your servers, and the number of IP addresses you’re allowed (1 per site, typically).
  • Servers are NGINX and have to speed them up.
  • You can upgrade your server’s specs at any point. CPU, RAM, and file storage
  • They offer a WAF (web application firewall) for everything above the most basic tier. This is awesome.
  • They also include a CDN and SSL certificate at no charge with their basic plan. Again, awesome.
  • Even the basic plan offers 100 million visits a month. That beats the heck out of the 5-25k that’s standard. Let’s just say, you’re not going to be paying for any overages anytime soon with BlueHost. If you get Reddit-level surges regularly, you’re good.
  • Again, like other WordPress hosting solutions, you have a custom dashboard instead of the traditional cPanel and won’t be using your own security or caching plugins because BlueHost manages that part.

Final Thoughts on BlueHost

Flywheel focuses on designers and agencies, and GoDaddy focuses on new users. BlueHost, though, focuses on the technical agencies and businesses that make up the WordPress ecosystem. By providing details like their server architecture and giving you the ability to scale as you need, the higher prices they charge after the discount period seem to be worth it.

WP Engine

wordpress hosting

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a pretty big fan of transparency, especially with managed hosting. If they’re managing it, that’s cool, but I want to know what they’re managing.

is probably the most open managed WordPress company I know of. As you look into their plans, you see exactly what you’re being offered on what kind of architecture.

wordpress hosting

Digging in to WP Engine

  • Any of their main plans are on shared servers. Most of the other managed hosts are, too, actually, but WP Engine just tells you that up front.
    • The managed part is why this is okay–they handle security, uptime, backups, and performance optimization. You’re not left to fend for yourself, and you’re not at the mercy of your neighbors’ bad decisions.
  • Like Flywheel, they do nothing but WordPress hosting. They manage WordPress. That’s it and that’s all.
    • Because of that focus, WP Engine is able to have both Enterprise tiers and personal/small business tiers that other hosts can’t.
  • They tell you .
    • Disk-write limits that prevent even compromised plugins and code from executing.
    • They have an open list of disallowed plugins, and they tell you the
  • The lowest tier of service is limited like all the others–25k visitors, no CDN (without paying a $20 up-charge), and only a single WP install.
    • The next tier up is 3x the price (from $29 to $99/month), but includes 10 installs, 100k visitors, CDN, multisite, and double the storage space). Seems like a pretty hefty jump in price to me. It’d be up to you if it’s worth it, but if you’re already adding the cost of the CDN to your basic plan, go ahead and upgrade. It’s only double the cost that way.
  • The WP Engine dashboard includes page and content analytics, including renderings of visitor experiences and load times.
    • Again, these are paywalled behind higher tiers of their pricing plan (content performance, for instance, is in the $249/month tier).

Final Thoughts on WP Engine

WP Engine is the all-arounder of WP hosts. They don’t offer traditional hosting like BlueHost or GoDaddy, and they offer a more businessy, back-end oriented solution than Flywheel.

The no-nonsense way WP Engine approaches what they do is refreshing, and for many people, this is the hosting company you use with WordPress because of scalability. And they have a page that shows their entire development stack, which just makes my heart proud.

wordpress hosting

Transparency goes a long way for me, like I said. If you’re the same way, maybe WP Engine is the route you should go for WordPress hosting.

Cloudways

wordpress hosting

is a widely recommended managed WordPress host, and I spent a good period of time there, myself.

What really sets Cloudways apart from typical managed WP hosts is how they handle what services you get. They don’t technically host the servers themselves, but act as a kind of liason and agent between you and the a la carte options you need — they literally manage your WordPress hosting for you. Rather than paying for features you may not want or need, Cloudways gives you total control over pretty much every aspect of your servers and applications.

Digging in to Cloudways

  • You choose the hosting provider you’d like from Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, or Kyup. They each have different costs based on the server specs you choose, so there’s no set pricing at Cloudways.
    • Plus each provider has multiple server locations, so if you’re not from the United States, you can choose a server closer to you, for example.
  • You choose what CMS you want, and each installation is called an Application. You will likely pick WordPress, but they offer PHP custom apps, Laravel, Magento, Drupal, Moodle, Joomla, and tons more. These are one-click installs, and they are easy. And you can have as many of them on your server as it can handle.
    • For WordPress, you get a Cloudways-optimized one-click installation of a single-site with or without WooCommerce already set up, multisite, or a clean, typical installation.
  • The real beauty of Cloudways’ business platform is that you can control so much within your account dashboard (you do not get a cPanel here, by the way, but their dashboard is easy to work, so no worries).
    • Since they actually manage your services, you choose which a la carte options are best for you and your clients. If you need their DNS services, there’s an add-on for that. Same for Rackspace email if you need mailboxes and Elastic Mail for transactional email depending on how many you want to send or receive every month.
    • They have a CDN for your applications, and a special that can integrate with Slack or even normal emails that can alert you and work with you for any number of criteria you want.
  • You get a free first migration, then each other one is $25. If they handle it for you, that is. You can do whatever you want manually. Because, you know, that’s their thing.

Final Thoughts on Cloudways

If you want a managed host where you’re still the one in control, Cloudways is really for you. They may seem overwhelming if you’ve never dealt with setting some of this stuff up before, but they respond quickly to customer support tickets, and once you’ve got the hang of things, you’re going to love the amount of tweaking you can do to your servers. That’s an option you don’t get at most other hosts, where even if you have a cPanel rather than a proprietary dashboard, you can’t adjust nearly this much stuff. If you’re going to managed WordPress hosting because you want a hands-off approach, this may not be for you. But if you want the benefits of managed without your hands being tied behind your back sometimes, you really should look into Cloudways.

SiteGround

siteground managed wordpress hosting

has been around since, roughly, forever ago. They’re one of the biggest players in hosting, and they have an arm of the business specifically aimed at WordPress hosting. They have a lot of the options that other managed hosts have, but at a fraction of the price — at least for your first billing term.

Digging in to SiteGround

  • First off, pricing. Their largest plan is normally $29.95 a month, and you get everything they offer. Up to 100k visits, 30gb space, unlimited sites, all the cool stuff.
    • They tend to offer a significant discount for the first billing cycle, though, which can be up to 60% off. That means you can try out SiteGround for a year for what would cost you for a single quarter at others. That’s plenty of time to see if you and your clients need all the neato features.
  • Speaking of neato features, SiteGround really understands WordPress better than some hosts. And I don’t mean that in a bad way toward anyone else; however, SiteGround consistently keeps up with best practices and security measures that you won’t find at many shared hosts.
    • All plans come with WP-CLI installed and ready to go (plus SSH and SFTP), all servers support PHP versions 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2 right out of the box (hallelujah!), and as you go up in tiers, you get git integration, staging sites, and even PCI compliance.
    • All plans get free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, and they’re a couple of clicks to set up. Installations can use a free CloudFlare CDN, and their default WordPress caching plugin is actually pretty okay. (Yes, a host’s first-party plugin actually works well. Blasphemy, right?)
  • The support team is top-notch, too. All of their technology aside, SiteGround really appears to have build their business on customer support. And it works for them. They boast about 24/7 support, and you can reach out by chat, ticket, or phone (yep, even phone support).
    • In my personal experience, I haven’t ever had to resort to calling or even chat, as the tickets were taken care of so quickly and so well that there was no need.
  • You get a cPanel, unlike a lot of managed hosts, and SiteGround also has a decent dashboard where you can manage your installations and certificates and servers and all that stuff.

Final Thoughts on SiteGround

SiteGround has a very loyal following for a reason. When you treat your customers well, they want to continue working with you. SiteGround has made that very apparent in the way they handle support, and their customer satisfaction ratings are always high. Additionally, they keep up with technology (like having PHP 7.2 available for your servers) and provide a whole lot of tools for you to keep your WP installations running smoothly and quickly. You get a bit more control over your stuff than WP Engine, for instance, but you trade being with a company who focuses solely on managing WordPress at all times. With their intial discounts considered, giving SiteGround a try may be worth a shot.

Choosing the Best Option

Choosing the best option for WordPress hosting isn’t easy. There’s just so much to consider. When you break it all down, cost is similar and the services that are offered are pretty similar (though the up-sells and paywalls differ company by company).

In the end, I think the choice you make will depend on what demographic you fall into. You should choose…

  • if you’re totally new to WordPress. They walk you though everything and keep the scary stuff tucked away and take care of it for you. Incredibly newbie friendly.
  • if you’re a designer or design agency. You can’t go wrong with free templating and site blueprints that you can then transfer over to a client without shelling out a cent. The UX couldn’t be smoother.
  • if you’re a no nonsense company that likes doing business with no nonsense companies. They say what they do, and they do it well. Their prices are higher than some hosts, but they also include extras you’ll want without having to tack them on.
  • if you want to know literally everything that’s going on at all times with your site, but don’t want to deal with the nitty-gritty. Perfect for number crunchers and data geeks, WP Engine is focused on providing the best WordPress experience possible, whether you’re an individual or an enterprise-level corporation.
  • if you want more fine control over your hosting and WP installations, while having the speed and security of a managed host dashboard.
  • if you value customer support very highly and being able to reach a technician whenever a problem arises. Also if you want a managed host with a cPanel or want to try a managed host on the cheap.

What is your go-to WordPress host? What specs and options make a difference for you or your company?

Article thumbnail image by MSSA / shutterstock.com

135 Comments

  1. ServerPilot + Vultr Servers + Mailgun for transactional emails + Rackspace for hosted email.

    • B.J. Keeton

      You had me at Vultr servers. 😉

      • SiteGrounds managed Cloud VPS is by far the best option. You can have as many sites as you want on them, they are flexible in terms of drive space and hardware and offer more features.

        2 years ago, I went on a mission to find the best server to host my sites after being let down by the company I was currently hosting with. I tried Blue Host, InMotion, GoDaddy, DreamHost and a few more.

        SiteGround won by a mile. Soon after, they became a WordPress recommended company.

        I recommend Managed Cloud VPS and then use GoDaddys ManageWP to mange all your sites.

        These 2 work together like a Dream. You can manage your business wit a click of a finger and have equally good customer support should anything go wrong.

      • Trying to work out if that was sarcasm or not. Hehe!

        I tried many WordPress packages, but they were too limited. Great value, but I needed more options. At the same time, I did not want to manage my own servers anymore and found SiteGounds managed servers had the perfect balance. They allowed just enough freedom, without the need to mess about with all the backend stuff 24/7 🙂

        Love your weekly shows BJ. Keep it up. However; I don’t get to see them live because I’m in Australia.

        If you could, in your next show, can you talk about responsive CSS. Currently it’s desktop, tablet and mobile. However; I still have to code Divi independently for ultra widescreen and and smaller screens such as older iPad Mini’s. Are there any plans for a more flexible responsive area?

        Thanks 🙂

        • Just realised this was on the wrong thread. Ooops. Feel free to delete. I’ve reposted on the main thread.

    • Totally agree with you John. I use as well ServerPilot + Vultr Servers (Dedicated Instances or Bare Metal, they are the best).

  2. I know this post is not all-inclusive, but no Siteground? They deserve a nod or something.

    • Agreed! I have tried dozens of hosts, but Siteground offers reliable service at a good price.

    • I agree, in every ‘which host’ question they get thumbs up from most.

    • I moved from WP Engine to Siteground and I’m so glad I did. Siteground offers excellent pricing and exceptional support. My hosting costs plummeted after I moved across and my general experience improved.

    • Agreed – SiteGround is definitely worth a WORD OF WARNING. Don’t go there kids, they’re rude money-grubbers who for 30 days made my life as miserable as possible.

      40+ WordPress sites were migrated in (at great expense and the minute the last one was in the door, I had to start exporting to a better place.

      There are MANY better choices out there.

    • Exactly my thoughts, I don’t see how anybody can provide a better technical support than Siteground and amazing performances all along, they should be at the top of the list and Godaddy shouldn’t even be listed there…

      • B.J. Keeton

        Like Nathan mentioned in a comment a little way down, we’re going to be continually updating this post with new hosting options, and we are going to be including SiteGround asap. 🙂

    • Another thumbs up for Siteground – I spent a long time researching wp hosting as a wp newbie and they have really fulfilled my best expectations at what I would consider to be a very reasonable cost.

    • Yep, Godaddy wasn’t working for me, and YoastSEO listed several they recommended. Looking at all of them, SiteGround seemed to be the best choice, and I have been very pleased with them.

      I had a few issues after moving over, and they spent a lot of time working with me to find a solution, which they did.

      Also the price is one of the best out there.

      Two thumbs up for SiteGround

  3. Decent summary of the technical specifications but you did not consider what is most important regardless of whether or not they offer something like SSH access – performance. From personal experience I would strike two of those hosts off the list immediately on that basis alone. An assessment and comparison is not really useful without tracking the ultimate purpose, how well does it serve up your website. Your results and recommendations would be helpful with that metric included. a little side note on transparency which you mentioned many times. You have a lot of links to these services. In the name of transparency it probably would be a good idea to put in a disclaimer that they’re not affiliate links or if they are indicate that as well.

    • B.J. Keeton

      We don’t do affiliate links, so that’s not a worry, Corrinda.

      And I do see your point on performance. I think that’s actually a pretty hard metric to gauge because my experience with a host are going to be different than yours. I know lots of people who are happy with the performance of their GoDaddy hosting, for isntance,while others stay away from them like they’re plague-bearers. Overall, yeah, there are definitely trends, though — so I do see your point.

  4. I use Site Ground and so far I have no complaints! I don’t know all the technical details as I’m not an advanced WP user but tech support, price and security options seem great! Cheers!

    • I agree, Siteground have been nothing but great since I switched to them a few years back.

    • Another thumbs up to SiteGround hosting from me too. They have been great. We use their cloud hosting plans and their shared hosting plans.

    • Yes site ground has the BEST support ever, if you are running multiple sites and you want to get caching and CDN setup with no fuss, don’t want to pay much AND want to get super patient support and a FIX EVERY TIME even when you stuff up something “you shouldn’t be playing with” like .htaccess file when you are learning and tinkering, then YOU CAN’T beat siteground as stable setup and an AWESOME LEARNING ENVIRONMENT!!! They did saveth my sorry buttocks many a joyful time…

      • B.J. Keeton

        We have a SiteGround addition coming soon to this, so no worries there. Their customer service really is top-notch, and while I haven’t had them yell at me for playing with .htaccess and breaking it, they took some time and taught me what inodes were when I was baffled, so yeah. They are an awesome learning environment.

    • +100 on SG. They’ve been rock solid for the 2 years I’ve been with them (100% uptime), their costs are reasonable, their support is second to none and you have control over most of the webstack. They are a shade slower than some of the WP optimized hosts but not so much that it is a deal breaker. The only “complaint” I’ve run into so far is that PHP defaults to Version 5.X instead of the WP recommended 7.X. That takes 10 seconds to fix in the PHP manager. Good people and good company.

    • Anytime BH and GD are recommended, my BS detector goes off. Both are dreadful. Bluehost in particular should be avoided. I know that Carpetcleaninghaddontownship doesn’t take any of the enormous affiliate fees they shell out but please save a noob from making the awful mistake of going with either.

      One option I haven’t seen mentioned is the WPOven and I’m not sure why. They are reasonably priced with unmetered hosting, a full slate of options. scorchingly fast, and nicely set up for a WP developer. You control much of the server side sizing and configuration and can set up your sites as either shared or as a VPS depending on the client’s needs. Support is slow and you don’t get a lot of hand-holding but they are definitely worth a look. I like to control my own server configuration so they were a good fit for me.

      Finally, it’s not “hosting” per se but AWS, Azure, Google etc are making relatively easy to spin up your own hosting servers and are very cheap compared to the more managed sites. But, if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty with the stack, SSH and the DBA side (which I like to do), you can tinker with the setup to your heart’s content and really tweak things for a speedy WP site. Personally, I’m going with Digital Ocean for my hosting and I’ve been very pleased so far.

  5. WPX Hosting is a great managed WordPress hosting option if site speed is a priority.

    • I use WPX Hosting and I love their service, really fast and technical support is immediate, but I’m curious if anyone has switched between WPX and Cloudways and what their experiences are? I tested a couple sites with Cloudways and they were even quicker than WPX and seem to be (a lot) cheaper but curious about other’s experiences.

      • B.J. Keeton

        Yeah, Cloudways servers are super fast. I think, honestly, they might have been the quickest site speeds I’ve had on personal projects. I haven’t tried WPX, though. I’m glad to hear they’re a contender. I will definitely look into it.

  6. Just a heads up – WP Engine has essentially doubled their prices since you wrote this. 1 site: $35, 5 sites: $115, 15 sites: $290. This comes months after a $250 million dollar investment, so you know where their motivation came from. The only major difference in service is adding a 3rd site environment to each install for dev, which I personally I don’t think is necessary or worth the price hikes. I would really like to see a comparison of WP Engine and Kinsta hosting!

  7. Blue host support let me down badly. Based in India and tiered. Had to go through the same thing over and over again each time I contacted them. My problem was never resolved so I changed to InMotion. Totally US based and couldn’t be more helpful. Everytime I had a problem, they sorted through it and got me back on track. I learned a lot from just going to the support people and chatting. Nothing seemed too much of a problem. Always happy and helpful.

    • Ditto on InMotion. Very happy with their support and reliability. I moved my company’s site there several years ago.

    • I was with them for 10 years. They are sooooo bad and horrible at the moment. Wouldn’t recommend them to my worst enemy. Site-ground is where i moved my VPS and couldn’t be happier!

    • B.J. Keeton

      I hate to hear that, David! I’ve had that issue with a host in the past and had to leave. It’s really frustrating. I’m glad InMotion worked for you!

    • After the initial honeymoon, I had a terrible time with BlueHost. I opened a reseller account for 8 WP clients. They stopped supporting the reseller accounts and like many others I’m sure, I got totally screwed. I couldn’t update services, encryption, backups, nothing! When I asked them if I could pay them to migrate to eight individual sites, they wanted about $500 ea. to do so and finally didn’t offer to do it at all!

      So much for that. All my clients to move to Siteground (free migration) and be responsible for their own server fees. I really wasn’t looking to make money on hosting with BlueHost (I actually lost money), I just liked the idea of going to one panel to access all my accounts.

    • I totally agree with you !! I had the same BAD experience with blue host, lot´s of downtime and ver poor support, I don´t recommend that company. So I switched to InMotion and never had an issue. it´s my second year with them and never been happier !!

  8. We had more than 100 sites posted with WP Engine and we began experiencing a significant decline in page load speed. Their recommendation was to triple are hosting package, which would have cost us an additional $1200 per month. I was concerned to leave them because their support is fantastic, but our switch to Kenstyn produced unbelievable results for exactly half what WP Engine recommended.

    • I just noticed the typo’s. I guess that’s what I get for using voice to text. 🙂

      • B.J. Keeton

        The people in my life have just learned that if I say something completely off the wall, it’s because I am using Siri or OK Google. 😉

    • Chad – What is “Kenstyn”? I’m guessing that is one of the typos you mentioned but I can’t figure out what you meant for it to be. Thanks

      • “Kenstyn” is Kinsta, I think; “triple are hosting” should be “…our…”.

        And “the typo’s” in his self-reply should be “the typos”. But I am being facetious, of course. 😉😂

  9. What about pantheon.io? I’ve used SiteGround and Bluehost, while Siteground is kind of great, Bluehost in particular is one of the worst hosting services I’ve used. I can tell you pantheon.io is the best service for wordpress and Drupal sites.

    • I was an early adopter of Pantheon prior to WordPress managed hosting. I still use Pantheon for my Drupal sites but have since moved all but three of my WP sites to WPEngine for one reason – WP support. I’ve had the worst luck with Pantheon getting WP support. The support chats usually end with them referring me to a poorly written article in the knowledge base which has little to do with what I was asking. Not the same with WPEngine – I ask for something and its usually done within minutes. One thing I really like about Pantheon, which WPEngine does not have, is the Dev-Test-Live and Multidev environments. If Pantheon improves their WP support I’ll be back!

      • B.J. Keeton

        I will check them out. I haven’t personally used Pantheon yet, but it’s on my list (literally — I have a list of hosts to try and test). I know some of the folks there, and they’re just fantastic people to interact with.

        I hate to hear your experience with support wasn’t up to par, Chris. How long ago was that?

        • @B.J.

          My most recent interaction with Pantheon Support was last month. Support referred me to two article which had little to do with what I was asking. I do my best to avoid reach out to Pantheon support as it hasn’t been good. I’m still a fan of Pantheon when it comes to Drupal – just not for WordPress.

    • For a developer and/or an agency Pantheon offers the best hosting you can get. Fully integrated with git, upstreams, multi-branches and environments, database tools, global cdn, ssl ….and other supported tools like Kalabox/Lando makes this a killer hosting.

      I have hosted with most sites listed on this list for varying clients. I can tell you that I will never host with GoDaddy or Bluehost. Their security is poor, and they limit your access to server settings. Your site is bound to get hacked.

      Flywheel – They are growing and also making tools to facilitate development. Going in a good direction but not there yet.

      WP Engine – I call this the hand-holding hosting. You need to contact their support for anything. Git support is minimum but they offer a few good things like point-click SSL and CDN.

      Cloudways – Have not used them.

      SiteGround – Good, but it’s mostly a skin for Cpanel with some added tools.

  10. IMHO a comprehensive comparison on WordPress hosting should include SiteGround (and no, I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, with SiteGround other than we are now using them to host a couple of our clients’ sites).

    While the lack the one major draw of GoDaddy – 24/7 phone support – their support is passable and the folks seem to know what they’re talking about.

    As important to us is the server environments are built and set up for professionals, by professionals. We could fill a page with the technical issues we’ve encountered with so many others, not just GoDaddy, DreamHost, BlueHost and a bunch of other lower-cost providers, but big names like RackSpace and Liquid Web whose server offerings can cost upwards of $100US per month.

    So far, SiteGround has lived up to the terrific recommendations we’ve heard from others.

    I’d be curious to learn if others’ experience is similar or different. As I said, we do not have a pony in this race – only looking to run a web development and marketing company without wasting dozens of hours on hosting issues and technical problems.

    • I’m with you Jeff – we switched from 1and1 and Bluehost to Siteground and haven’t looked back since.

      • B.J. Keeton

        SiteGround’s overview is coming asap, and in my experience lines up with just what y’all said. 🙂

        Oh, and SG does have 24/7 phone support now. So hooray!

  11. A very nice discussion of price and functionality. Thanks.

    However, one critical element is missing: Support
    I really like GoDaddy because they provide tech support in person (not email), 24×7, by knowledgeable support personnel.

    What do the other companies provide?

    • B.J. Keeton

      It really varies by company, Tom. Cloudways has a really quick turnaround on tickets, while SiteGround has phone, chat, and tickets (really similar to GoDaddy), and the others like WP Engine have support portals where you can get directed to what you need based on your problem.

  12. After fighting with GoDaddy all last year (and 14 years previously), I finally had enough and switched myself and all my clients to SiteGround–and I’m an affiliate.

    All my GoDaddy problems went away like: people not receiving my emails, SSL certificate install nightmares/fees, slow or no website load time. Siteground has been a dream. GoDaddy tends to blame the client for everything that goes wrong on their servers and charge the client to fix it.

    • B.J. Keeton

      I am really sorry to hear about your problems, Christine. I know the specific pain of a host not working with SSL certs and charging exorbitant fees for their own without allowing Let’s Encrypt or access to using my own without paying. I am glad you found a host that works well for what you need!

  13. Things got complicated here in Europe. Basically we need web hosting with servers inside the European Union only, following the data protection laws of the EU.

    Are there any Managed WordPress Hosting Companies in the EU?

    • Check Siteground, they are rooted in Europe.

    • I know SiteGround have UK registration options and have some servers in Europe. Go to their online Chat for confirmation.

      • Hi Stefanie, I’m in the UK and using EU based siteground servers for 18 months now. All good.

      • B.J. Keeton

        A lot of the companies have servers all over the world. I know, for instance, that Cloudways and SiteGround have options in the EU. I haven’t specifically tried changing locations on others, but it’s a pretty common feature for hosts that, like Brian said, asking the support chat will be able to answer quick at most hosts.

    • You are in luck. The prices that are listed above are an insult for anyone living in the EU. Hosting costs are MUCH lower in Europe or at least in Germany. I never have a bandwidth restriction and you have more storage space and the performance is at least compatible (I would bet money it’s better).

      This post seriously made me alternate between laughing out loud and cry. Try all-inkl.com if you don’t have a problem with a German provider. They are the best in my personal opinion. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with GoDaddy and even the worst German providers are better than some of the supposedly better American providers.
      Plus, you can easily get a good amount of webspace for something like 70 EUR per year, so it is MUCH cheaper than these terrible options.

  14. @ B.J.Keeton, I cannot believe you did not give Site Ground a mention in your listing,I have been using them for a couple of years and find they are an excellent hosting provider for WordPress in all aspects, and get a 10 out of 10 from me every time

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Hey Rob, it sounds like a lot of folks want to see how Site Ground matches up with the options above. We’ll go ahead and add them to this post as soon as possible. Thanks.

  15. I know this is focussed on website hosting but Bluehost e-mail is just terrible. Basically mails never arrive. Ended up switching every client with e-mail to siteground or Gsuite – problem solved.

    • B.J. Keeton

      I had a lot of good luck with Rackspace, too.

  16. Final comment on this – does anyone know a provider hosting WordPress on Amazon AWS – I’ve seen one or two sites and they are the fastest thing I’ve ever seen. Yet trying to find a hosting service draws a blank. I know that pricing is difficult as its resource and traffic based but I’d love to have my sites this fast. I’m not that technical so can’t really set this up myself. Any comments ?

    • Amazon recently launched Lightsail, which lets you run your own virtual private server affordably and easily install WordPress. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds interesting:

    • I would suggest staying at managed WordPress servers if you are not technical.
      And if you don’t have high volumes of visitors a shared server will work well.
      Although you can’t beat the state of the art infrastructure of private servers, like hosting plans on Amazon, Google, …, but you would be willing to pay for that.
      My recommendations, choose Siteground for the price and support.
      If you have the budget go to Kinsta hosting.

    • B.J. Keeton

      Cloudways lets you choose an AWS server as your host. 🙂 I think the base cost for AWS there was around $30ish a month when I last looked, but you should definitely check them out.

  17. I love Carpetcleaninghaddontownship but using the term “Ultimate Guide” for this piece is literally FAKE NEWS. You should have done extensive homework on SiteGround. I also had hundreds of sites up on HostGator for many years until they converted my dedicated IP addresses (which I paid for) to shared IP… twice… without my permission or knowledge. There are many other viable vendors with millions of hosted sites that should be on a real “ultimate guide”. My suggestion: take this post down, do real research, and post a solid article that provides evaluations of all the top hosts.

    • I agree that the title is not covering the story.

      It’s more like a marketing piece to get the audience engaged. Exactly what is happening. Carpetcleaninghaddontownship has no direct interest in hosting WP Sites, but getting visitors and customers engaged in giving value is more the plan.

      I would say, fake news is a strong expression of your discontent, but definitely change the marketing title (no ultimate guide on elegant themes will beat the guides on other WP review sites) and include some of the audience recommendations.

      I support the recommendation of Siteground, and I would like to see the Kinsta hosting added too.

    • I sorta agree . . . sorry . . . maybe not “fake news”, but “ultimate guide” was a misnomer and should not have been used – as per above, you left out some biggies (siteground), and hostgator (who I also recently left with my hosting clients) and namecheap to name a few . . . namecheap is my current “flavor of the month” (actually the past year) for my clients and any new clients I get, since all my clients are small “mom ‘n pop” shops and cost is one of their major criteria . . . as for managed or not, you can manage them yourself with many free plugins . . . just saying

      • I’m a recent namecheap convert (I couldn’t stay with siteground for another term). I’m impressed with their support, and their pricing is great.

      • I can’t vouch for every aspect of Namecheap ( speed etc.) but their support team is absolutely beyond amazing and with starting price of less than £9 for a year & SSL FOR $1.99 they are brilliant value

    • Fake News is putting it nicely…

    • B.J. Keeton

      We are going to be continually updating this post, Mal, with new hosts and options. SiteGround and a more comprehensive overview of Cloudways is coming soon.

      That said, I really hate that you had that experience with HG. I haven’t had that specific issue before, but I can’t even imagine how frustrating that is, especially when dealing with privacy and security and what it would take to get it all fixed.

  18. I use Siteground. They offer phenomenal customer and technical support. I have been very pleased with them.

    • B.J. Keeton

      Their support is one of their biggest selling points. I know that kind of support made me a lifelong customer of Zappos, so I am not surprised to see this kind of brand loyalty for them in these comments. 🙂

  19. I just switched to Closte.

    It’s a pay what you use Google cloud hosting and Google CDN service.

    They are new, so it might be a risk to try, but so far so good for me and it’s the best in terms of performance and has all the bells and whistles (SSL, staging, backups etc).

    I’m not associated with Closte, just a satisfied user formerly on a cheap godaddy plan.

    • B.J. Keeton

      That’s really cool, John. I am not familiar with Closte, though I’ve toyed around with Google Cloud Platform some. I’ll add it to my list to play with and check out. 🙂 Thanks!

  20. Most other reviews of WordPress hosting options include SiteGround. I’m amazed this one doesn’t. And wonder why?

    I’ve used SiteGround for 12 years and administer a couple of dozen sites using them. I’ve transferred sites to SiteGround from GoDaddy and BlueHost (and other hosts) for the same reasons people mention above.

    SiteGround support is nothing short of astonishing in comparison with others. They respond within minutes, usually a maximum of 3, and fix problems within 10 minutes in most cases, occasionally 20 or so (usually if I’ve done something weird).

    I’ve needed less than 5 support calls per year over the 12 years, and that’s for around 15-20 sites on average.

    • B.J. Keeton

      We’ve got SG coming up. This is gonna be a post we update with new hosts and overviews over time, and SG is coming asap. 🙂

  21. This is a total JUNK article! This is obviously not written by someone in the trenches!

    GoDaddy should NOT be on this list. Why? There “Managed WP” is running PHP 5.6 and is a DOG loading.

    FlyWheel, in my opinion, isn’t worth the money at all. Overpriced for slow speeds and reliability.

    Don’t get me started on BlueHost, I’ve had enough issues there as well!

    The only two above that are worth it are WP Engine & Cloudways. So, why isn’t Kinsta (Google Cloud Platform backbone) or SiteGround with cheap hosting that is BLAZING FAST! Chat with Kinsta & SiteGround and you will see why they aren’t like BlueHost at all (and that’s a good thing)!

    -Aaron of Big Ten Web Design & Marketing

  22. From Brazil…
    I used GoDaddy, BlueHost and SiteGround. GoDaddy and Bluehost let you in the dark. SiteGround is very good and let you in home!

    • B.J. Keeton

      I’m glad you found a home that works for you, Fernando! I am also really glad to hear that the SG international offerings are as highly praised as their American ones are, too!

  23. Good article for describing shared hosting. Great analogy. I use inMotion Hosting for their reliability and customer service. My experience with managed WordPress is that they give you a false sense of security – they do not update ALL plugins, just some. I have worked on many managed WordPress sites well overdue for updates and which had malware. Also, often times decent plugins are blacklisted on managed WordPress servers. I never recommend managed WordPress. I haven’t had experience with Flywheel or Siteground. Looks like Siteground is popular – will have to take a look.

    • B.J. Keeton

      That amazes me about the overdue updates. I have had the opposite reaction from some clients I had — they wanted to avoid managed hosts because they did have auto-updates.

  24. We have been using Pagely for hosting for the past year. Their 24/7 tech support is stellar, and the peace of mind is well worth the cost.

    For smaller sites, we have been happy with HostGator, though their billing system does leave much to be desired.

    I’ve heard great things about SiteGround as well, and will definitely consider them in the future.

    • B.J. Keeton

      I will definitely check out Pagely. I haven’t had the opportunity to get in there and dig around, but I read a bunch of their blog content, and if their hosting is as high-quality as the other stuff they put out, then I’ll be in for a treat. 🙂 Thanks for the info!

  25. Was Hostgator not fit enough to be mentioned or reviewed? Be good to know where they stand also.

  26. As many people noted here, Siteground is unbeatable.

    Ps, I am interested AWS WordPress hosting, can you do some research on this:-)

    • B.J. Keeton

      I have used AWS through Cloudways, and it’s incredibly fast performance-wise, and just as easy to set up as any of their other stuff.

      I haven’t tried any WP installs on AWS EC2 or Lightsail yet, personally, but I fully intend to, as we move forward.

  27. Completely concur with the other comments about SiteGround shared hosting. I love their transparency and support is excellent – whether by phone, chat or support ticket. Given how many companies — and all in the EIG list — have abandoned a support ticket system, it is refreshing to have this option at SiteGround. Response is fast. And if I do a support chat, I can rely on having someone knowledgeable to address the issue. I especially like that there is always the option to request a more senior support tech.

    GoDaddy is just not the place for WordPress hosting… they overload their servers, have so many funky restrictions, and then nickel and dime for every resource level. They bait with a cheapo entry price that barely has sufficient memory etc. and then when a simple cron job like a backup eats up everything, they will throttle and push the upsell. Overall, I think they’re expensive. If you do get a support person, they are often helpful and do a decent job. However, their chat support is often down for specific topic areas.

    Bluehost used to be my go-to host, but since the EIG acquisition, everything changed. They do invest in infrastructure and marketing compared to many of the other EIG properties, but unless you have dedicated or VPS, you won’t get domestic help on a chat. And the shared chats are a challenge as the off-shored hired support staff often has a limited comprehension and communication ability.

    I recently cleaned a major hack for someone new who came to me for help. A standard Bluehost shared plan with SiteLock Basic CDN AND they paid around $100/year for SiteLock Security Fix. Their scanners failed to send the warning emails about malware, and should have automatically cleaned the malware based on what that service is supposed to do. It took me a couple hours to get things fixed, but then it took over a week to get SiteLock to purge their caches and realize that I had done their work. For a week, their dashboard displayed 4 old cached files that I physically removed from the site. I mention this as SiteLock and Bluehost are both EIG and this is an in sync service that is overpriced and obviously not worth the expense when it fails to do what is promised.

    My Bluehost WordPress Cloud Hosting experience was abominable. It is based on VPS technology, but with absolutely no access to WHM and for one of my clients, we needed a small tweak in NGINX settings for their main plugin app to work. They refused. I pinged SiteGround support about how they would handle it with just a standard GoGeek plan, and one of their senior engineers said they would be happy to implement the change for me. So, we moved the site to SiteGround and they delivered, and the site ran 4x faster, too.

    Between uptime and site speed – love the SG Super Cacher system that provides Static, Dynamic, and Memcache, as well as push-button, forced https, easy mechanism to test and change PHP versions from the WP dashboard, and of course, their push-button staging. That is a real value on GoGeek plans (not GrowBig).

  28. Nathan B. Weller

    Thanks for all of the engagement everyone! We’ve gone ahead and added Site Ground to the list 🙂

  29. I have been using Pressidium for about 4 years and they are super fantastic. You should do a review of them. Managed wordpress hosting, instant support, staging sites, instant back up etc. etc. but mostly their support is top notch – always reliable – 24 hours/day and always able to fix the issue.

    I manage 50+ wordpress sites – many with real estate DDF feeds (which all need cron jobs) and big websites so Go daddy and such were totally out for me.

  30. I will have to look into SiteGround. what amazing testimony here.

    YOu couldn’t GIVE ME Godaddy’s TOP WH for free. No thank you. Remove them from the list. Just awful.

    I switched to FastComet from A Small Orange. I don’t know much about them, but they performance is light-speed compared to ASO (and GoDaddy) and their support was more than reasonable to resolve issues.

    One thing I’ve learned is that one can never really trust any of these hosting recommendations/reviews sites as they are typically all self-interested to direct you to those partners that they make money off of. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s hardly an impartial, scientific review.

    While I make money going web consulting and SEO, just googling “hosting reviews” makes me want to puke with the BS that shows up with all the affiliate partners with their bogus review sites. Makes me sick.

    Hosting is a dirty business, lots of boasting, little delivery. It’s truly a rare company that deserves any recommendation at all. Self-serve is my preferred way to go, but unless you have the resources and technical acumen to truly do it yourself, you really do need a good provider. But we, as consumers, expect far too much for $5/mo. You get what you pay for. And, in many cases, you DON’T get what you pay for.

    What is happening here, in these comments, is the true gold: In the field, consumer-driven actual testimony and recommendations.

    And I agree, this is a fluff piece. Any reputable assessment wouldn’t have even mentioned Godaddy unless it was a warning to RUN FROM THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE. What a disgusting company they are. They aren’t worth spit.

  31. Great article thanks. On a slightly related note, do you have any preference as far as affiliate/referral programs go for these companies? I find myself building sites for clients and then either a) hosting their site in my name (I’d prefer they have their own cpanel in case I get hit by a bus), or b) helping set up their own personal hosting and missing out on an opportunity to make some residual income.

    • B.J. Keeton

      What I’ve done in the past is tell the client that they’ll need to set up the account themselves, but then they can pass it off to me for any work I need to do. And I offer them an affiliate link and a normal one, so they can choose.

      I am actually not sure on what the best practices are, but I tend to sign up for affiliate programs when I have the chance because you never know.

  32. Hi, Thank you for thank you for that. What about 1and1? Are they that bad? I am using them for few years now and am really happy and I tell all my customers to use them, am I making a mistake?

    • I’m in the same situation than you Anna, more than 4 years 🙂
      I like 1and1, their prices are competitive, and their support is really good about the knowledgne of the people working inside, at least in Spain.

    • I use 1&1 for most of my sites for over 6 years, and have been happy with the cost, hosting performance and their support. I prefer 1&1’s Control Panel over other hosting companies’ control panels, I find 1&1’s much easier to use and more intuitive. My only major negative experience with 1&1 was one outage that lasted several days but I was not alone, and now have a backup sever with another hosting company just in case.

      For every company and product, there will be a bunch of users happy and as many not happy. You need to know how many users are satisfied versus unsatisfied, and then you need to research into why they are not happy, or why they are happy, before buying, and for most people that takes too much time.

  33. Anyone try WPOven?

  34. Love, love, love SiteGround. As other have said, performance is great, support is fantastic, and the price is excellent.

    Here’s my recent experience with Blue Host support: I ask a question. Response from support rep: “Please hold for 5-6 minutes while I research that”. After 5-6 minutes they ask me a question and I answer. They respond “Please hold for 5-6 minutes while I research that”. After 5-6 minutes they ask me a question and I answer. They respond “Please hold for 5-6 minutes while I research that”. Rinse and repeat several more times. This has happened on several support calls, so I don’t think I got a newbie support rep.

    I have found SiteGround reps to be knowledgeable, fast, and courteous. Couldn’t ask for anything more. SiteGround is the only hosting company i recommend to clients.

  35. I’m so disappointed that you didn’t include DreamHost/DreamPress in this list.
    DreamPress is one of the recommendations on the wordpress.org/hosting/ page.
    I’m not objective here – been using their shared/VPS/DreamPress plans since last year and they have nothing but recommendations from me.

  36. I’m a loyal fan of HostGator. Their support is always kind and helpful, they really got a advantage on that. On the other hand, the pricing is reasonable and the service is above average in terms of speed and reliability.

  37. Flywheel is the BEST! I highly recommend them. Very easy to use and awesome support.

    I have had nothing but Nightmares with BlueHost. Their support is only as good as the person who answers the phone. You get different answers from each support person and it can take several calls to get the simplest of things handled.

  38. SiteGround is great! Nothing is perfect, not even SiteGround. Still, I’ve never regretted choosing them, and we’ve been happily with then for more than 2,5 years.

    • B.J. Keeton

      I read that totally wrong, Szabesz. I read it as 25 years, and I thought “now that’s customer loyalty!”

      If the other comments on this post weren’t enough of a testimonial, two decades…whew! 😉

  39. I liked your analysis, but it is very limited to just Managed WordPress hosting. I have used GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress host and it was terribly slow. The Dev Site building was awesome, but the performance of a site that had much functionality was terrible. For some reason PageSpeed likes GoDaddy and the rate high on Server Response, but using GT Metrics would normally show the difference of page loads pretty drastically.
    I have a Reseller Account with BlueHost, still, after 6 years. I do not like the performance and they actually contract it out now to resellerclub.com now. I only use it because I have CPanel and total control of the my reseller accounts.
    Currently, I have a monster site that has long outlived it’s GoDaddy Host, I redesigned it and added much in the way of functionality, but the video and sheer amount of content is had me pull out every bit of SEO and optimization as I can.
    I have been searching for the right solution for awhile and think I have finally found it. Liquid Web VPS, with CDN and it’s own image reduction functions. The only way to score high PageSpeed scores was to use LiquidWeb and completely rewrite the ATF scripts, CSS, and inline as needed. The issue is, can or could I have accomplished this through using SiteGround’s Managed hosting? The cost for the LiquidWeb VPS is substantial, even for just 1 site, but I’m not sure I could have had the control of this customization with managed hosting?

  40. I my experience, and after many tested hosting services I set down with siteground and Cloudways. Definitely best service available for the money paid.

  41. What are the Hosting Specs?
    I’l like to see more info than just the amount of space or filler options.
    Give me the Specs and whats allocated to an account.
    BlueHost almost got it right by listing the amount of Ram, still need CPU, and I/O …

    • B.J. Keeton

      I am working on gathering that up, Pete. 🙂

      • Thanks BJ,
        Looking forward to what you find

  42. I use SiteGround for almost all my sites and customer sites. They are awesome and really care of things when you need them. I have tried CW and they go in blame game for when things stuff up. Please note back of site for CW has lots of flaws so you better backup your things regularly outside CW to avoid downtime. I nearly lost everything once when the server was crashed.

    • B.J. Keeton

      Which of the hosting options did you chose, Gautam?

      I used Vultr for mine.

  43. Nice article. I have a few notes on GoDaddy, who I personally used–mainly because I was swayed by the relatively low cost and the staging environment that you couldn’t get elsewhere for the price.

    A few things to know are that you can’t use any cache plugins, If you run a WordPress site, you likely use ones like super cache or fastest cache, but you can’t, so forget that. Not only that, but GoDaddy had a built-in cache that actually broke a few of my customer sites.

    Also, they are still on PHP 5.x not 7.x for their WordPress hosting, and when you speak to them about the possible future roll-out, they say “But WordPress suggests PHP 5.6” except they don’t anymore. WordPress.org list recommended specs as PHP 7.2, so GoDaddy is lagging in what is advertised as a WordPress specific hosting plan.

    Well that’s my rant over 😅

    • B.J. Keeton

      We’ve all got our rants like that, Luke, haha. I ended up leaving a host early last year because they wouldn’t upgrade PHP versions beyond 5.2, and things just weren’t working anymore.

      I hate to hear that about the cache, though. I think that can happen to anyone, and that was unlucky for those clients. I had CloudFlare’s CDN on SG break some of mine a while back before I got it sorted out. Weird stuff, man.

  44. I’ve been with WPEngine for 4 years and just to moved to SiteGround. Support is better, performance just as good and cost is less than 25% of what I was paying at WPEngine. I tested Cloudways before settling on SiteGround and had 2 issues… 1) support was poor – I’m in Australia and the timezone difference was a big issue and 2) I couldn’t run multiple sites on a single server with different versions of PHP (which I need to do). WPEngine charge an extra $10/m for me to host in Australia whereas other options don’t whack you with a premium. While SiteGround’s closest DC is Singapore, the performance is only slightly worse than hosting in Sydney.

    • B.J. Keeton

      That’s a good point about the multiple PHP versions. Have you run into that issue on SG or WP Engine where you would need different PHP versioning for different installations?

  45. I wouldn’t recommend Godaddy anymore, simply because the service and quality of their host are going downhill. With divi installed, the website uses quite a lot of allocated resources and often overloads them. Besides, their live chat is not always available and hard to get them on the phone.

    On the other hand, for the same price, siteground host is much better in terms of performance and customer support.

  46. I’d preface the piece with a bit of a disclaimer, that these are the best option as far as *global players* are concerned.

    While you can’t possibly look at every market and feature players for each, it’s worth point out that folk should search options locally too.

    In Australia, for example, there are a number of hosting providers that offer a much better product then any of the above, cost less and offer superior support.

    I’m obviously biased here as I work for WP Hosting, but consider this, if you’re looking for hosting options in Australia:

    – We own our own network, use enterprise-grade tech and have plenty of capacity to spare. Our clients like that their data is not with Google, AWS or Microsoft.
    – We have been a WP hosting providers since 2008 – this year we turn ten.
    – When a client calls us they reach an engineer in our office in Melbourne, not a 1st, 2nd and 3rd level support person somewhere offshore.

    The other theme here is the distinction between large-scale providers selling a commoditised product and smaller players offering a more boutique service, so to speak.

    • B.J. Keeton

      That’s a really good point, Lawrence. There are some fantastic local hosts around the world. It doesn’t even have to be as wide a swath as Australia, either. I know some that try to serve a geographical radius around particular cities, even — which would tie into those boutique services you mention.

      That’s one reason I like WordCamps and local meetups so much. You can really meet the people who provide those services and put a face on them and see if that’s the right fit for you.

  47. I have used most of the hosts listed here and my favorite is definitely Cloudways. In addition, to what’s mentioned here:

    1) Their servers are for the most part super fast

    2) They have a great little wordpress plugin that will migrate your site to Cloudways (used it about 7-8 times without issue)

    3) And they have 24/7 chat support which I’ve used A LOT

  48. SiteGrounds managed Cloud VPS is by far the best option. You can have as many sites as you want on them, they are flexible in terms of drive space and hardware and offer more features.

    2 years ago, I went on a mission to find the best server to host my sites after being let down by the company I was currently hosting with. I tried Blue Host, InMotion, GoDaddy, DreamHost and a few more.

    SiteGround won by a mile. Soon after, they became a WordPress recommended company.

    I recommend Managed Cloud VPS and then use GoDaddys ManageWP to manage all your sites.

    These 2 work together like a Dream. You can manage your business with a click of a button and they have equally good customer support should anything go wrong.

    I tried many WordPress packages, but they were too limited. Great value, but I needed more options. At the same time, I did not want to manage my own servers anymore and found SiteGounds managed servers had the perfect balance. They allowed just enough freedom, without the need to mess about with all the backend stuff 24/7 🙂

    Love your weekly shows BJ. Keep it up. However; I don’t get to see them live because I’m in Australia.

    If you could, in your next show, can you talk about responsive CSS. Currently it’s desktop, tablet and mobile. However; I still have to code Divi independently for ultra widescreen and and smaller screens such as older iPad Mini’s. Are there any plans for a more flexible responsive area?

    Thanks 🙂

  49. Very helpful post – thank you! And, it is very timely for me.

  50. Why are shared SiteGround servers suggested? You can’t even change PHP variables to recommended values for Divi and WordPress.

    According to SiteGround’s knowledge base:

    The values of the following PHP settings cannot be changed on our shared hosting plans due to the globally defined PHP limits:

    memory_limit
    max_execution_timeout
    max_input_time
    post_max_size
    upload_max_filesize

    Note that the Cloud and Dedicated solutions provided by SiteGround do not have such PHP limitations.

    • B.J. Keeton

      Well, regarding the limits on SiteGround, I just went into my dashboard for the WordPress hosting to check, and you can adjust those from site to sitt. I was able to edit wp-config.php to increase memory limit without issue. for instance.

      • Yes, but that won’t be reflected in your phpinfo.ini values and you can’t change it with the cpanel PHP variable manager either (on a shared host).

  51. Good article. One fix is needed:

    Flywheel does offer ftp access. We use FileZilla to access our site and it works perfectly.

  52. What about pressable? Just made a switch with 8client sites. Any words of wisdom?

  53. For five years I used Bluehost but I found my websites went offline very often. I started using Pingdom to compare some friends websites on hosts like GoDaddy and discovered after about six months of comparison that Bluehost was simply lousy in comparison. The final straw was when my Websites went offline for a day or two after a major DDoS attack that wiped Bluehost out. I have been using GoDaddy shared hosting for a few years now and it’s much more reliable. I suggest people do their own research and compare reliability using free online tools for website up and downtime.

  54. I’ve used some of the hostings u mentioned and now I have all my sites and my client’s at Flywheel.

    They have the best support by far. I’ve had to contact them for several things and in most cases they have doubled me some of the resources I needed for free just to make my sites run better 🙂

    And I think u forgot to mention a really cool feature of Flywheel, if u’re site gets hacked they will clean it for free even with the cheapest plan!!! This is great since services as Sucuri costs around 199$/year with some limitations… There is no limit at flywheel, they will always clean it for u even if u get hacked several times (which, thanks to their security system, never happens, in my case not even once, but I do have been hacked repeated times at some of the other hosting services u’ve mentioned).

  55. As it has been said before, it’s just an overview of hosting companies, however I’d rather to know your opinion about Media Temple. I have been working with them since last year, and up to now I had no problem at all.

    But I’d like to hear from you guys what are your thoughts?

  56. Great topic! I did a lot digging a couple of years ago. So finally I decided to go with Siteground. I haven’t looked back since then…Their customer support alone is invaluable. They probably have the fastest response time I’ve ever experienced with a hosting company. This is all through chat. The email ticket response time is super fast as well.

    I was going to give managewp a try, but I saw somewhere in the comments that godaddy bought the company out…Godaddy is one company I will never work with.

  57. Could have tied this better for me everyone. I have been with Bluehost for, as long as I can remember and I don’t know what it is, but everything seems to have changed. Cost has gone sky high, customer service isn’t the best and cp issues have frustrated me quite alot. They seem to have fallen into the Godaddy school of thought after emptying new marketing strategists; that is, reel in the newbies with very cheap offers and then hike them up once we have them. Thats no good for the project I am working on.
    I have been doing a lot of research into a suitable Host to take it all over and narrowed it down to a few after speaking with most of them.
    Now after reading everyones comments and thoughts, I have finally made the decision and will migrate all my accounts over to the ‘new’ host.

    I think I just needed that final bit of convincing and you all did it, so thank you.

  58. Hi, When I was looking where to host my wp sites (multisite included) A2hosting came highly recommended. I am surprised it is not on this list. Could you please review it as well.

  59. I don’t see Servebolt in this list! They should definitely be checked out!

  60. I’m just wondering, what hosting company ET is with?

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