Best WordPress Hosting Providers

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) for websites. A CMS provides storage folders for text, image, and video, an editor to create the layout of the pages, a menu structure to aid access to the pages, and methods to insert header information and image labels that will help to boost the position of those pages in search engines.

The WordPress system is easy to use and is free of charge. These two factors make the CMS very popular. The system underpins more than 60 million websites. A third of the world’s top 10 million websites are based on WordPress. The software for WordPress is managed by WordPress.org and is free for anyone to download and install.

Website hosting vs WordPress hosting

However, running a web server is a complicated endeavor and only the largest web-based businesses bother to host WordPress in-house. Particularly now that businesses are becoming more attracted to cloud services, it makes more sense to rent space on a server rather than own one.

Web hosting services have long been a thriving sector even before cloud servers became popular. The leading web hosting companies also act as domain name registrars. As any business planning to start up a website needs to procure a domain name, these registrars were in a very good position to pitch their web hosting services to businesses right at the point that they were looking into the nuts and bolts of starting up a website.

As an incentive, many web hosting providers offer a free domain name with their website hosting plans so they can ensure that startups buy the hosting package and domain name together. Given the huge market for WordPress, it became a very good marketing idea to offer “WordPress website hosting” rather than pitching a website hosting plan that WordPress could be installed on.

In truth, just about all of the big hosting providers make the WordPress software available to their hosting account customers. The web hosting environment is usually set up so that people with no technical knowledge can manage a website.

The control panel of the hosting account usually includes an installer, which will install any of the system utilities in the hosting package’s library, including WordPress. In short, don’t pay more for a WordPress web hosting package than is being charged for a standard shared hosting plan because they work out to be the same service.

So, the main difference between a managed WordPress hosting plan and a regular shared hosting plan is that the managed WordPress hosting service will have the WordPress software already installed in it, but the user of a general shared hosting account will have to make one click on an installer utility and get it to install WordPress. In both cases, the WordPress environment will still need to be adapted to suit the specific requirements of the user.

WordPress benefits

WordPress doesn’t require any technical skills to use. As such, it enables small business owners to create their own websites without the need to hire-in expensive experts.

The main screen of the system has a menu down the left side that enables the user to set up a standard website and add pages to it. The nature of the site can be completely altered by WordPress plugins. There are a very large number of plugins for WordPress. Some are templates, that give a website a structure, some are utilities, such as extra layout formats or SEO assessment modules. Some, add-ons, such as WooCommerce, create an entire eCommerce site and others add on a shopping cart.

Depending on which plugins are installed, the WordPress environment will guide the user through the site creation process, like a website builder. For example, WooCommerce has alerts, telling users to add products and setting tasks, such as linking to a PayPal account.

Once WordPress has been activated on a hosting account, it will take over all of the website management functions, so those who plan to create a WordPress site, don’t need to look for managed hosting solutions or extra assistance, such as a website builder as features of the hosting package as long as the service includes an installer and WordPress in its library.

WordPress site hosting features

A WordPress web hosting package includes more than just a processor to run the WordPress software. The control panel of the hosting account is important.

The most common form of hosting package that WordPress users go for is the shared hosting plan. A shared hosting plan places several accounts on the same server. No one would want any of the other customers to be able to break into their accounts. This would be possible if account holders could get down to the operating system. Therefore, there is always a control panel a shared WordPress hosting account. This removes the need for hosting account holders to access the operating system because it includes all the functions that the users need, such as file directory management. While providing those utilities, the setup of the control panel makes it impossible for any user to get to the operating system.

Typical utilities in the control panel include domain name management functions and also web hosting settings. These include the management of software and the installation of an SSL certificate.

The SSL certificate is at the heart of the HTTPS system. HTTPS is a secure transport mechanism over the internet and it is vital for any e-commerce site. One common incentive offered with web hosting providers is a free SSL certificate. This is easy for them to do because they acquire them for free from Let’s Encrypt, a not-for-profit service run by the Internet Security Research Group.

A typical hosting package also includes disk space for file storage. These will be the files that hold the content of the website and also the programs that make up the software that runs the website. Other data that can be stored on web hosting disk space include log files and customer records. Many WordPress hosting packages include unlimited storage. SSD storage uses solid-state disks and provides quicker access.

Hosting packages also include email accounts. Often, the entry-level hosting plan will only include one email account but other plans include an email system manager and unlimited email accounts.

Other benefits frequently included in WordPress web hosting plans and shared hosting plans in general include free site migrations and automatic updates for WordPress software.

One more service to look out for is a content delivery network (CDN). This is a method to speed up delivery (load time) of a website by storing copies of its pages on intermediate servers located strategically around the globe. So, each site covered by the plan will be duplicated in several different data centers. This service also covers for the downtime of the main server. Some web hosting providers include Cloudflare CDN service with the plan while others offer it as a paid add-on.

The best WordPress hosting providers

Web hosting companies offer three types of server access. The most widely used of these is the shared hosting plan. However, there are two other hosting options. These are VPS hosting and dedicated servers.

A VPS is a virtual private server. In this configuration, several customers are hosted on the same server but the server is segmented right down to the hardware. Each account has its own operating system. This makes it impossible for each account holder to access the operating system of another account on the same server and so access to the operating system is allowed. A dedicated server is a server that is rented in its entirety to one customer.

In this hosting comparison, we will only examine the shared hosting plans because there are by far the most common types of hosting services in use today.

Here is our list of the five best web hosting providers for WordPress sites:

  1. Bluehost
  2. SiteGround
  3. DreamHost
  4. HostGator
  5. A2 Hosting

You can read more about each of these hosting options in the following sections.

Bluehost

Bluehost offers three WordPress hosting plans, and also four standard shared hosting plans that include WordPress. The three lower standard shared web hosting plans are the same as the three WordPress site hosting plans. The hosting service also gives its customers access to a plugin library, including WooCommerce, and a list of templates for free.

Shared hosting plans

The shared hosting services of Bluehost are delivered in four plans. The cheapest of these, called Basic, only hosts one website, but the other three have no limit on the number of websites that can be hosted. Disk space is provided by SSD hardware and, apart from the Basic plan, all plans get unlimited storage.

Managed WordPress plans

Bluehost.com also has more comprehensive managed WordPress plans, called WP Pro, that include marketing tools on top of the standard hosting benefits of the WordPress and shared hosting plans. 

Both the WP Pro and WordPress hosting plans include credits for Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising. To complicate matters, the company has three eCommerce plans, which include WordPress and WooCommerce. So, in total, the web hosting provider offers 13 different plans for customers who want to run WordPress Sites.

Pros

  • A free domain for a year 
  • A free SSL certificate 
  • 24/7 customer support 
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No native email system — customers are offered one month of Office 365 for free instead.

SiteGround

SiteGround hosts more than 2 million domains. The company offers shared hosting plans and cloud hosting solutions.

Shared hosting plans

SiteGround has three shared hosting plans that all include a managed WordPress option for free. The cheapest plan, called StartUp, can only host one website, and the two other plans, GrowBig and GoGeek, host unlimited websites. 

Managed WordPress plans

The company also markets its three plans as managed WordPress site hosting plans and as WooCommerce plans. So, there aren’t nine plans available for WordPress hosting at SiteGround, there are three.

Pros

  • A free domain name 
  • A free SSL certificate
  • All plans get a free CDN 
  • A free email account manager
  • Daily backups for free 
  • Free automated site migrations
  • Customer support team available around the clock
  •  A 99.9 percent uptime pledge
  •  A 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • A confusing relabelling of the same three plans

DreamHost

DreamHost has the greatest variety of WordPress hosting plans on the market. Although anyone can apply the WordPress software to any hosting configuration, the DreamHost menu of plans presents hosting solutions that already have WordPress bundled into them.

Shared hosting plans

Most web hosting providers adapt their shared hosting plans in order to create WordPress hosting options. DreamHost has those shared WordPress hosting plans but it also has VPS-based WordPress packages and dedicated servers for WordPress hosting.

Managed WordPress plans

There are four divisions of WordPress hosting solutions from WordPress and each contains multiple-plans. The plan categories are WordPress Basic, DreamPress, VPS WordPress, and Dedicated for WordPress.

The WordPress Basic division is the shared web hosting category of plans. This includes two hosting options: WordPress Starter and WordPress Unlimited. The starter plan will host one website and there is no limit to the number of sites that the Unlimited plan can host. 

The DreamPress category of service is a managed WordPress hosting solution that adds in a support team of WordPress technical experts. This division includes three plans that are all optimized for better WordPress performance and include a CDN service to improve load times. 

The VPS WordPress hosting options are offered in four plans. Each caters to an unlimited number of websites.

The two dedicated server solutions from DreamHost are both managed hosting plans and give the option of getting the support team to install WordPress on the server.

Pros

  • A free domain name 
  • A free SSL certificate
  • Storage is supplied by SSD disks 
  • Free email system
  • 100 percent uptime 
  • A 97-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • The email system is a paid addon in the Starter plan
  • VPS WordPress and DreamHost plans don’t include a free domain name

HostGator

HostGator has three WordPress hosting plans and three shared hosting plans that include a one-click install of WordPress. The WordPress services are all shared hosting plans as well. Both categories of hosting services include three plans.

Shared hosting plans

The three shared hosting plans, which can be used for hosting WordPress sites include the Hatchling Plan, which will host just one website and two more plans, both of which will host unlimited websites.

Managed WordPress plans

The WordPress plans offer hosting for one, two, or three websites. Rather than explaining the plans in terms of bandwidth, HostGator measures its capacity in terms of the number of expected visitors per month – 100,000, 200,000, and 300,000. 

Pros

  • A free SSL certificate
  • A free domain name, 
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • A 99.9 percent uptime guarantee
  • A free month of service if the service misses its uptime guarantee
  • A 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Bandwidth capped on WordPress plans

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting offers WordPress one-click installation with all of its shared hosting plans. 

Shared hosting plans

The web hosting provider has four shared hosting plans, with the cheapest, Startup, hosting one website. The Startup plan has a limit on its storage space of 100 GB and it doesn’t include automatic backups like the other plans. The three higher plans have unlimited storage.

Pros

  • A free domain name
  • A free SSL certificate
  • A free website builder, 
  • Free website staging
  • SSD storage disks
  • Free site migration
  • A free CDN from Cloudflare
  • Unlimited email accounts 
  • Customer service available 24/7 via email, phone, and live chat.
  • A 99.9 percent uptime guarantee 
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • The cheapest hosting plan has a limit on disk space

The best of the rest

If you can’t find a WordPress hosting plan that you like in this hosting review, here are some other hosting options that you could look into.

WP Engine

WP Engine specializes in hosting WordPress sites – the “WP” in its name stands for WordPress. The web hosting provider offers four managed WordPress hosting solutions, which are shared hosting plans. These host one, 10, or 20 sites and the top plan is a customized service.

WP Engine includes a free SSL certificate and a free CDN in all of its plans. The managed WordPress hosting service offers free site migrations, a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer support, a specialist WordPress technical support team, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting offers shared hosting plans, a VPS hosting service, and dedicated server options. All of the shared hosting plans have access to WordPress via an installer. The company also has four specialized WordPress hosting plans. These are all shared hosting plans and they include bundles of themes and plugins – many of which are normally charged for as extras. The main difference between the plans lies in the number of WordPress sites that they will host, ranging from one to six. All hosting accounts get the services of a technical support team and include the cPanel control panel.

As well as including WordPress, these hosting accounts all have malware protection, get free site migrations, have a 100 percent uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer support, and a 30-day no-hassle money-back guarantee.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a web hosting service run by WordPress.org, which owns the rights to WordPress. It is possible to create a WordPress site at WordPress.com and get it hosted for free. The free WordPress hosting account doesn’t get a domain name and it has WordPress ads in it. WordPress.com also offers three paid plans. All of these hosting accounts include WordPress and templates and plugins, such as WooCommerce. All plans also get a free SSL certificate.

The paid plans of WordPress include a domain name and the sites they host don’t get WordPress ads in them.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is the world’s largest web hosting service and also the world’s largest domain name registrar. The web hosting company has shared hosting plans that include the option to install WordPress and it also offers managed WordPress web hosting plans.

The WordPress site hosting solutions of GoDaddy are available in eight plans – four of them only host one website. GoDaddy doesn’t include a free SSL certificate with its two cheapest plans and its email system is actually the first year’s subscription to Office 365 for free. This is a good deal but you have to be aware that Office 365 is an expensive package and other web hosting providers include email account management services for free in their control panels. GoDaddy doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, just a 48-hour cancelation window.

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks offers an environmentally-friendly web hosting service and its plans include shared web hosting plans and managed WordPress site hosting plans. The web hosting providers has three WordPress hosting plans with the cheapest hosting one website and the other two hosting an unlimited number of sites. All plans include a one-click install of WordPress, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, and a free SSL certificate. The service of the PowerCacher CDN is also included.

GreenGeeks operates data centers in the USA, Canada, and the Netherlands. It uses SSD disks and includes automatic updates for WordPress software. WordPress sites can be migrated to the service for free and GreenGeeks guarantees uptime for 99.9% of the time. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Hostinger

Hostinger has 29 million customers and it is an employee-owned organization. The web hosting provider offers specialist WordPress hosting plans and also shared web hosting plans that include WordPress. All of the three WordPress hosting plans are billed as able to host up to 300 websites each. However, the disk space included with each plan would limit that capability. The cheapest plan includes 20 GB of disk space and the most expensive plan offers 140 GB of disk space.

The WordPress hosting plans include daily backups, a free SSL certificate, and Cloudflare CDN. They don’t include a free domain name, though. The standard shared hosting plans of Hostinger are cheaper than the WordPress plans. They also include a free SSL certificate and free Cloudflare CDN. There are three shared web hosting plans and the cheapest is designed to host just one website. That cheap plan doesn’t include a free domain name, but the other two plans do. All the shared hosting plans have access to the WordPress software and plugins and templates.

Hostinger offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and guarantees 99.9 percent uptime.