When it comes to hosting, there is a veritable smorgasbord of options, and over the last decade, I’ve had the chance to try quite a few of them. Through trial and error, I’ve found favorites at every price point.
I had a bit of a revelation this week: it turns out by recommending the same dang WordPress hosting I’ve been directing my clients to for years (because it’s great hosting), I can apparently make affiliate money. So full disclosure: these are affiliate links, but trust me: they’re good.
Nota Bene: There are other hosting companies too! Some of them are very good. I am big on these particular four because they cover several key price points for hosting and I have more than enough experience to know their servers are reliable, their security measures work, and their customer service is excellent.
Best Budget WordPress Hosting: Bluehost
Not Godaddy. Don’t use Godaddy. Already bought your domain on Godaddy because they have incredible name recognition? Don’t worry: you can point that domain to other hosting. Godaddy is fine as a domain registrar (they tell your domain where to point) but their hosting, in a word, sucks. It’s insecure, slow, and they will nickel and dime you for every feature they possibly can.
Instead, Bluehost is at the same price point, offers a free SSL certificate, great customer service, and an easy interface. It’s great shared hosting at a bargain price.
So which package on Bluehost to get? Either the Basic ($3.95/month for first term then $7.99/month after) or Plus ($5.95/month for first term then $10.99/month after).
If you have…
a) more than one domain to associate with your site
b) straight up more than one website
…you’ll need the Plus hosting. If you have just one domain pointing to one website, you should be fine with the Basic.
Best Mid-Range WordPress Hosting: Dreamhost
I’ve been using Dreamhost as my development server for six years. I rely on this hosting literally daily. Their servers are fast. Their hosting interface is not typical, but it’s easy to navigate. With Dreamhost, you get a little more oomph than Bluehost, plus you have the option of opting for WordPress Managed Hosting.
What’s that, you ask? It’s basically a fancy way of saying they have people on their support team that know about WordPress and can help you with WordPress-specific issues. Fun fact: much of the time, they will offer this support even if you’re not paying premiums for Managed Hosting.
Sometimes Managed Hosting also means they include a backup service and will run your site updates for you, which you would definitely not get for free without the premium.
In Dreamhost’s case, they offer the backups but not the auto-updates so, in this developer’s opinion, the Managed Hosting is not worth the extra dollars, especially if you have an Amazing Developer (cough cough) who you’d reach out to with WordPress-related issues before you contact your hosting anyway.
So save your dollars and go with their Shared Hosting as well, either the Starter or Unlimited depending on your needs.
Ansley Fones WordPress Hosting
Shameless plug: I offer hosting for my clients. Contact me if you want in!
Best WordPress Hosting That Exists (if you can afford it): WPEngine
WPEngine is just the tops. Of course it’s very very fast, but the real selling point is the above-and-beyond, 24/7, almost-never-a-wait-time customer service. Plus, it’s packed with features and tools like automatic backups, extra security, staging and cloning tools. The downside is that it starts at $35/month (as of this writing) and, as soon as you hit their traffic or storage limits (or need more than one website), your monthly bill jumps to $115/month.
Pretty steep but you get a LOT of bang for that buck.
I hope this is a helpful resource! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding any of these recommendations, and I will be happy to assist.