When building a WordPress website, whether for your business or personal blogging purposes, you need to consider, among other things, the user experience, search engine optimization tools, and of course, the cost. All these factors depend, to a large extent on the hosting provider you chose, which is why it’s important to only work with critically approved and reliable providers. We went on a little fishing trip and found out the 9 most reliable WordPress hosting services and reviewed each of them to give you enough information to make an informed choice.
But even before you look at some of the best WordPress hosting services, let’s first discuss factors that determine a provider’s suitability.
Key Factors of a WordPress Web Hosting Service
- Speed – You want a site that loads fast – ideally between 5 to 10 seconds – to reduce the bounce rate.
- Pricing – While the natural step would be to go for the cheapest option, a cheaper host is not always a better option. Instead, for a host that provides optimum performance at a fair cost, as well as utmost transparency on all applicable charges.
- Uptime – This is essentially the amount of time that a host’s server is up and running, expressed as a percentage of total time. It is arguably the most important factor to consider when selecting a hosting service, as you don’t want your site to always be offline. As a rule of thumb, avoid hosts who offer less than 99.95% uptime.
- Server Requirements – First off, familiarize yourself with the updated WordPress server requirements and ensure that the hosting provider you choose meets these requirements, which include: a minimum of 1GB local storage, MySQL version 5.0.15, and PHP 7.3 or greater.
So, what are some of the best web hosting providers in 2020?
Bluehost is the most popular hosting service for WordPress blogs. Their low-cost introductory prices (starting from $2.75/month) are particularly appealing to millions of small business owners and bloggers. It also doesn’t hurt that the service is approved and recommended by the WordPress.org forum, which is kind of a big deal.
In regard to performance, Bluehost offers 99.99% uptime. The average page loading speed of 348 ms, which is incredibly fast compared to other options.
What do you stand to gain?
- 24/7 customer service with a responsive live chat feature. – A beginner-friendly interface that allows you to customize and secure your website even with limited IT skills. This is coupled with an easy-to-install feature.
- Consistently reliable speed and performance. – Access to more than 80 user tutorials on WordPress to help you navigate through the whole process of setting up your site.
- A free https:// SSL certificate
Now to set the record straight, the cheap introductory rates come with an asterisk. To benefit from the $2.75/mo offer, you have to pay for 36 months at a go, which totals up to $99. When the 36 months are over, you will get the option of making monthly payments, with renewal fees starting from $7.99 per month. The only saving grace is the 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to cut your losses as soon as you realize the service is not for you.
Verdict: While it’s not the fastest (or the cheapest) service out there, it still offers good performance, and won’t break your bank. Further, the extensive educational guides and tutorials, and generally beginner-friendly environment make it especially ideal for beginners. Most importantly, being a very popular hosting company, you will definitely come across one or two people who use Bluehost and you can seek personal reviews from them.
With over 10 million domains in their portfolio, HostGator is easily a market juggernaut, and a name you will definitely come across in discussions on web hosting. Key to HostGator’s popularity among WordPress users is their specialized package called WordPress Hosting. This solution caters to all sorts of WP sites as follows:
Starter Plan – Tailored for sites with less than 100k monthly visitors. Offers hosting for 1 site,1GB of backup space and free SSL certificate. The plan costs about $5.95/mo.
Standard Plan – Designed for sites with up to 200k monthly visitors. It covers 2 sites and provides 2GB backup space. A free SSL certificate is also included, and you get to enjoy fast load speeds. Subscription costs start at $7.95/mo.
Business Plan – This is a premium package designed for multiple business owners, as it can support up to 3 sites with an average of 500k visitors per month. Each site gets a 3GB backup space and an SSL certificate. The loading speeds are also higher than those of the above packages. This plan is available starting from $9.95/mo.
Notably, all the WordPress Hosting packages include free site migrations and unlimited emails. As for the speeds, you will get to enjoy an average load time of 400 ms. However, for the Standard and Starter plans, page loading may lag when you get heavier traffic.
All in all, HostGator is a pretty good – albeit slightly expensive – hosting provider. Particularly, the free migrations, SSL certificates, email accounts, and storage space come in handy as you try to hit the ground running with your site. Nonetheless, its cPanel is not really beginner-friendly, and you may struggle if you don’t have some little knowledge on website management. And that’s why it ranks second on the list behind Bluehost, which is very beginner friendly.
SiteGround is among the few hosting services approved and recommended by the WordPress.org community, which effectively means it’s worth considering for your WP site. The Bulgaria company was launched in 2004 and hosts over 800,000 domains.
Imperatively, they have dedicated services for WP users as follows:
WordPress Starter – An automated installation system that allows you to create and customize your site in minutes, even with minimal tech knowledge.
Free Site Migration – Allows you to transfer your WordPress site from your current host to SiteGround in just a few clicks and without the risk of losing your data.
Security – Automatic updates for all your plugins and via a dynamic server firewall, and you get enhanced protection against common WordPress threats.
Performance Enhancement – You get access to optimized resource management tools such as dynamic caching, free CDN, PHP controls and image optimizations.
The first package is called StartUp, and is designed for new sites with a maximum of 10k visitors per month. The plan, which costs $3.95/mo, supports 1 site and offers up to 10GB of backup storage.
The intermediate plan is called GrowBig, and is meant for sites with 25k monthly visits or less. It costs $5.95/mo and supports an unlimited number of sites and customize emails. The storage space (20GB) is also quite impressive.
GoGeek is the most advanced package on offer, and goes for $11.95/mo. It is designed for sites that receive 100k visitors or less per month. Its features include unlimited websites and emails,30GB of storage and advanced analytical tools.
In terms of performance, the service delivered 99.99% uptime, with only 15 outages in 12 months. Still, it’s average page load time 632 ms – is a bit slower than what you’d get from Bluehost and HostGator.
DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosting services in the market, having been in operation for almost 25 years. It hosts over 1.5 million sites and has dedicated WordPress hosting plans. The plans on offer include:
Shared Hosting – The entry-level package goes for $2.59/mo and covers 1 site, with no traffic restrictions. One free domain name, pre-installed WordPress, free SSL certificate, powerful WordPress website builder and cheap emails ($1.67/mo), are the other features in this package.
Managed WP Hosting – Ideal for business owners, and multiple websites and costs $16.95/mo. Features include unlimited number of websites, a free domain, unlimited traffic support, fast SSD storage, customizable email function, and a free SSL certificate
VPS Hosting – With quite a steep asking price (ranging between $10.50-$80.00), this plan is only viable if your site is ultra big and requires lots of resources, or is an eCommerce site. It consists of 4 plans namely VPS Basic, VPS Business, VPS Professional, and VPS Enterprise, each offering different features. The general benefits of this class of packages include; SSD storage starting from 30GB, free SSL certificates, optimized support for unlimited traffic and unlimited email customization functionality.
DreamHost’s page load time is just “OK”, at 590 ms and so is the uptime, which stands at a respectable 99.92%. What we liked about this particular service is the extended money-back guarantee period (97 days), which is more than enough time to determine whether you like it or not.
While DreamHost is a decent all-round service, it may not work for you if you perform regular site transfers, as one transfer costs $99. Further, Live Chat support is not available outside US working hours, which is a drawback if you live outside the US. Further, they don’t have data centers outside the US. If your site’s visitors are mainly found outside the US, you may struggle with the DreamHost service, which means you are better off considering other options. Apart from the small issue of expensive services, DreamHost is super reliable, which explains its huge market share.
As the name suggests, GreenGeeks primarily offers eco-friendly web hosting solutions. Apparently, they return 3 times the power they consume into the national grid, courtesy of the renewable energy solutions they employ in their main offices in Agoura Hills, California. That’s noble and commendable but how good is GreenGeeks as a web hosting solution?
For one, GreenGeeks offers 3 key hosting options namely: Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and WordPress Hosting. The WordPress Hosting plan further includes 3 packages as follows:
Lite – This is basically the beginner plan and starts at $2.95/mo. Benefits include full hosting for 1 website, fast automated WordPress installation, unlimited storage space, free domain name (for a year) and free, unlimited data migration.
Pro – Ideal for websites on an upward growth trajectory that needs additional speed and performance. It goes for $5.95/mo and supports an unlimited number of websites, super-fast WordPress installation, in addition to all the features of the Lite package above. Extra features include a free Wildcard SSL and Power Cacher tool.
Premium – Tailored for eCommerce sites or very busy websites. Available for around $11.95/mo and supports unlimited websites too. The plan consists of all the features of the above plans, with some extra premium features. These include 4X higher speed (compared to the Pro plan) and dynamic Power Cacher.
The standout features of the GreenGeeks WordPress Hosting services are the modern caching technology that considerably enhances page loading times, averaging at 400 ms, and an uptime of 99.97%, which is fair compared to the monthly subscription fees. It also helps that the beginner plan is quite cheap and that they’re concerned about saving our planet.
Hostinger’s appeal comes from the fact that it is the cheapest WordPress hosting service in the market, with the basic package going for only $0.80. The company is headquartered in Europe, but has data centers in Asia and the USA, in addition to the ones in Europe. This typically means that if you are, for instance, residing in Europe and have visitors from the US and Asia, they will be able to access your content as fast as your European visitors, courtesy of the data centers.
Categorically, Hostinger offers WP hosting services in 3 levels, depending on the size of the site. These are:
Single WordPress Hosting – This is the $0.80/mo option (subject to a 48-month commitment), and is especially suitable for smaller sites, and new sites in general. With this package, you get hosting for 1 website,100GB of bandwidth, user-friendly control panel, and 10GB SSD storage space.
Premium WordPress Hosting – The intermediate plan is also quite cheap, starting at only $2.15/mo. Benefits include support for an unlimited number of websites and bandwidth,20GB SSD storage, powerful control panel, easy-to-use Access Manager and one free domain name.
Business WordPress Hosting – Designed for business sites and online stores. A 48-month subscription costs 3.45/mo, while subsequent renewals will set you back $7.95/mo. That’s exceptionally cheap for a premium package that offers unlimited number of websites, free daily backups, SSL certificate, free domain, and 30GB storage space.
With its price range, it is not a surprise that Hostinger has a lower average uptime (99.94%) compared to most of the other services. The loading speed, averaging 347 ms, is however top-notch. On our part, we liked this service a lot, and the fact that you only need to pay $38.40 upfront for the basic plan (with a 30-day money-back guarantee) means that you don’t have much to lose if things don’t work out.
This is another US-based hosting service that’s been operating for around 17 years, raking more than 300,000 web clients. To cater to the sizable WordPress crowd, InMotion offers an array of tailored hosting solutions, called WordPress Hosting. These packages are:
WP-1000S – Basically the beginner plan, starts at $6.99/m and gives you a free domain, hosting for 1 website and 40GB SSD storage. You also get access to an unlimited number of customizable email accounts, full WordPress Optimized Stack, and a Staging Environment.
WP-2000S – Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, and intermediate blogging. Rates start from $9.99/mo, for a 36-month commitment. Benefits include hosting for 2 websites, a free domain, and fast performance support for up to 50k visitors. Free access to BoldGrid (an easy-to-use WP website builder) and an impressive 80GB SSD storage space complete the list of benefits on offer.
WP-3000S – Recommended for growing businesses and large blogs (up to 120k visitors). Subscription starts at $12.99/mo and covers hosting for 3 websites, and a free domain. It gives you all the benefits of the above packages, with a slightly higher SSD storage space – 120GB.
WP-4000S – This is a dynamic and flexible hosting plan, specially designed for large eCommerce sites and businesses receiving up to 300k monthly visitors. The plan sets you back $19.99/mo and supports 6 sites and unlimited email accounts. Apart from all the features of the above packages, WP-4000S also gives you a free dedicated IP and Jetpack Professional service for a year.
Being an older service, you would expect InMotion to offer higher speeds than the 810 ms average they currently offer, especially when their basic plan costs $6.99. Nonetheless, we were satisfied with the 99.95% uptime.
This is among the few hosting solutions designed specifically for WordPress sites. The company offers 4 packages:
Startup – Great for new sites with up to 25k visits per month. The plan, which goes for $35/mo, covers only 1 site and offers 10GB storage, Genesis Framework, free transfers, more than 30 StudioPress Themes, SSL certificates, and a Global CDN.
Growth – Ideal for growing sites, with a maximum of 100k monthly visitors, and supports 5 sites. It costs $115/mo and 20GB local storage, 200GB of monthly bandwidth, SSH Gateway, and all the features of the Startup package.
Scale – Suitable for large websites with up to 400k monthly visitors. The package, which costs a steep $290/mo, covers 15 sites and offers 30GB storage, 400GB monthly bandwidth, imported SSL certificates, and 24-hour phone support.
Custom – This plan allows you to partner with WPengine technicians to come up with a solution that fits your business needs and hence, the price depends is not fixed.
WPengine also gives decent speeds (580 ms) and an average uptime of 99.99%, which is the market average. Further, it’s such a classy, sleek product that gives you maximum control over your WP site. Unfortunately, the packages are too costly and you will more or less find the same features for lower prices on Bluehost, HostGator and others.
While Liquid Web is far from being a big market player – with only 32,000 clients -, we had to include them in this list because they offer quite decent hosting products for WordPress and have a great portfolio that includes Home Depot and Motorola.
The Managed WordPress Hosting by Liquid Web is divided into two packages, based on the type of website. There is the Personal Plan, which typically covers only 1 blog. This plan, which costs $29/mo, comes with 20GB SSD storage,30-day free backups, Staging Environment, and 5TB of bandwidth.
The other plan is Freelance, which is designed for people with multiple sites, and big businesses. Freelance goes for $69/mo, and includes hosting for 4 websites and an automatic iThemes Sync function. This plan also offers a 5TB bandwidth, but with a higher local storage space of 40GB.
As you noticed, we didn’t include traffic limits as Liquid Web doesn’t have any, which is a good thing. They also offer automatic SSL Certification for every subscription in addition to access to developer tools such as SSH, Git, and WP-CLI.
The company offers an average uptime of 99.6%, and page load speeds of 540 ms. The support team is also excellent and offers Live Chat services 24/7.
All said, the Liquid Web is not affordable for small businesses and blogs, particularly considering there are cheaper alternatives offering similar services. Further, the Liquid Web WordPress Hosting solutions are all managed, which pushes away people looking for unmanaged hosting. It’s not a service we would recommend to a newbie site owner as it’s too expensive and doesn’t offer adequate educational tools. However, it’s definitely an option to consider if you run an eCommerce site, or if your blog grows to a point where you need to enhance performance and security.
Thank you for reading through our extensive reviews of 9 of the best WordPress Web Hosting Providers in the market. We went to great lengths to ensure our report would be honest and unbiased, and we hope you will now be able to make a better decision.