Basically, the internet is full of hosting reviews and recommendations claiming that a particular company has the best dedicated WordPress hosting. But how do you know that their advice is 100% honest? Why do some bloggers rate one of these companies above others?
Colocation is a big deal; in the U.S. alone, it's a $16 billion industry and growing at a rate of 10% per year. While it is difficult to determine the exact percentage of shared hosting, more than 50% seems like a reasonable guess.
The next time you read an awesome WordPress hosting review, keep this in mind: they offer the largest commission payout in the affiliate marketing industry. This simple fact alone makes up the large number of reviews you see online, and those reviews usually just find ways to get you to click on affiliate links. Our approach is different - buy a subscription plan and run real-world tests covering all aspects of the hosting experience, including account signup, backend management, WordPress installation, customer support, site performance, and more, all from long-term research in a real-world environment.
How to find the right WordPress hosting
If you wish to find out the best WordPress hosting brand, you must do at least two things.
- Ask some real users of popular hosting platforms about their website building experience
- Testing on multiple hosts to measure the functionality and features offered by each company
From our point of view, unless a brand is highly rated among real users, they cannot be the best WordPress hosting provider. In order to find out the real data, we have conducted extensive WordPress hosting surveys so far in order to find out more about the nature of WordPress hosting, the specific expectations of our customers, and what would best meet their needs.
For each hosting company, we sign up for the most popular entry-level WordPress hosting plans and launch a basic WordPress site. Each installation uses the default theme, and enables several popular plugins: Contact Form 7, Wordfence Security, and Yoast SEO.
In terms of performance, each WordPress site was tested by
- UptimeRobot: periodic monitoring of host uptime.
- Pingdom: test home page loading speed from several different geographic locations and make a table of the results.
1. SiteGround -- the best WordPress hosting
The list of the best WordPress hosts cannot be complete without SiteGround. This well-known hosting provider has long enjoyed a strong reputation in the WordPress community with a large and loyal following. The servers optimized specifically for WordPress are not only powerful, but also very affordable, and you won't find WordPress-specific hosting services at such cheap prices anywhere else.
It's worth pointing out that SiteGround is one of the few hosting brands officially recommended by WordPress.org. For performance testing, we sign up and purchase the StartUp package, but for more optimized WordPress-specific hosting, we recommend going higher with the GrowBig or GoGeek plans for some other benefits such as advanced caching, segmentation management, advanced wildcard SSL certificates, free PCI compliance (for e-commerce sites), and more.
With just a few clicks of a button, you can get WordPress up and running using the built-in installer, all easily and seamlessly. During the setup process, you can also choose your server location, and they have five data centers in the US, Asia and Europe.
Customer support is unparalleled and includes contact information such as chat, phone, Tickets, social media, etc. In addition to being able to access your account and resolve any issues, customer service representatives are familiar with WordPress and hosting technology and can help you with a range of other issues not related to hosting.
2. Kinsta -- the best high-end WordPress hosting
As a WordPress boutique hosting provider that focuses on optimizing hosting setups, however, just because they are a boutique doesn't mean they can't handle huge traffic loads.
In fact, Kinsta uses Google's infrastructure and has all the features of the Google Cloud Platform behind it, making it easier for you to access and use. Unlike most of its competitors, this company does not use a traditional cPanel control panel, but instead provides users with a clean and modern custom admin backend that puts the focus on what's important while hiding other unnecessary information.
Fully managed hosting means that Kinsta handles all the tasks related to the server for you. When setting up your account, you can tell Kinsta to install your WordPress site and all you need to do is just check a checkbox. They offer 24/7 chat and Ticket support, and the customer support staff knows WordPress very well and can help you with any problems you may encounter.
3. BlueHost -- the most affordable WordPress hosting
This is a very cheap WordPress hosting option, a shared WordPress hosting plan to be exact.
Note that BlueHost is the only colocation provider on this list that does not offer monthly subscriptions, with a one-time purchase of at least a 1-year paid plan. However, to some extent, a strong 30-day money-back guarantee more than offsets this.
In addition to the industry-standard cPanel control panel, they also offer a one-click WordPress installer -- handled by a service called MojoMarketplace. Unfortunately, the installation interface leaves a lot to be desired, multiple instances may be installed accidentally, and at specific steps What happens in a given step can be inconsistent and confusing. In our comparison between BlueHost and SiteGround, the latter instantly launches a WordPress site with just a few clicks of a button.
The support service provided via live chat was quick and friendly, helping to eliminate the initial WordPress installation problems we encountered, and they also set up a temporary URL to access the soon-to-be-launched website.
4. Flywheel -- excellent entry-level WordPress hosting
Flywheel has a range of attractive pricing plans for those who want to enjoy dedicated WordPress hosting, but don't plan to spend too much.
Functionally speaking, there is nothing wrong with Flywheel and you can get excellent performance. The cheapest plan allows you to host a WordPress site that handles up to 5,000 unique visitors per month, and you'll also get 5GB of disk space and free site migration with all servers running on Google Cloud Platform. Features associated with hosting include daily backups, multi-site support, segmentation management, SFTP, free SSL certificates, and more, and they also handle WordPress updates through the Flywheel main panel instead of letting you modify the site backend.
What's really impressive is the ease of use of the administration platform and user panel, everything is clean and clear, easy to navigate, and you don't have to be a web expert to perform basic site tweaks. There are three ways to install WordPress.
- Free migration of existing sites from previous web hosting
- Create a brand new WordPress website from the Flywheel dashboard with a few clicks of a button
- Use the Local by Flywheel tool to build the site locally and then export it to a remote Flywheel setup
Customer support is available 24/7 and you can also submit a Ticket at any time. since Flywheel only allows building WordPress websites, the customer team understands all aspects related to it. For your self-help problem solving, there is also an extensive knowledge base with many useful articles on web hosting.
5. WP Engine -- the most popular WordPress host
By choosing the entry-level plan, you can install 1 WordPress site that can handle up to 25,000 visits per month (extra charge for exceeding), which is more than enough for most new sites.
The registration process for WP Engine is very simple and the installation of WordPress is part of the whole registration step, in other words, you don't need to launch the site separately additionally, their technical team will do it for you. At the end of registration, you will receive an email with all access credentials and important data about your new site.
They offer an excellent array of customer support options: a help panel and live chat, and a dedicated phone line if you subscribe to a more advanced plan. Overall, the customer service is very attentive, and it's a great option for experienced users, web developers, or people who don't want to go through the hassle of dealing with security issues.
6. GreenGeeks - the best green hosting
An interesting option for the environmentally conscious, GreenGeeks is a WordPress hosting platform that takes into account the principle of maximum utilization, meaning that no resources are wasted anywhere. In addition, they claim that every amperage that colocation receives from the grid is triple reinvested in the form of renewable energy through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
On the WordPress side, you are able to subscribe to a dedicated WordPress hosting plan at an affordable price. All servers use solid state drives (which can significantly improve site performance), custom caching technology, free SSL certificates, Cloudflare integration, and more. In addition, you can get a free domain name for one year by setting it up.
GreenGeeks offers a convenient one-click WordPress installation, so you don't have to do anything manually. In addition to that, you will also get automatic updates which makes it easier and more comfortable to manage your website continuously. When setting up your account, you can choose from data centers such as Phoenix, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Amsterdam, etc. Customer support consists of three main channels: email, phone and chat, with the most convenient option being live chat - available 24/7 and phone support available only during business hours.
For testing purposes, we chose DreamHost's Standard Shared Hosting plan, one of the most popular WordPress dedicated hosting plans in the market, with a popular SSD server and an account registration process that was both easy and enjoyable.
The one-click installation option in the back panel works straight away and the user interface is very easy to navigate. Customer support is easily accessible via chat when we need help, and they are able to resolve issues quickly.
Despite the poor reputation of the user interface in the past, the entire registration process was smooth sailing. This feeling continues into the backend -- a modernized layout for the cPanel, which is by far the easiest one to navigate.
GoDaddy was the only WordPress hosting provider on this list that did not support providing temporary URLs, and we had to set up a standard subdomain for testing. Initial attempts to contact customer support via live chat were not ideal, with a wait time of over 40 minutes, so we made a phone call. In this regard, BlueHost allowed us to access the chat feature much faster.
Technical support was great, friendly and knowledgeable, they assisted us with setting up the sub-domains and helped change the account options. The follow-up continued with a series of actions through the Ticket system to clear some minor DNS anomalies that were occurring with the domain registration service.
Signing up for a HostGator account was easy and we were soon logged into the backend panel - a very traditional cPanel interface - without any surprises. Launching a WordPress site was also easy using the built-in one-click installer, although the theme must be updated after installation, but with just a few clicks of a button.
We contacted customer support again in order to set up a temporary URL and waited close to 10 minutes for the first hiccup we encountered in the process. Compared to other best WordPress hosting providers, they were not quick to point us in the right direction and there was some fuss in between, but the end result was quite satisfactory.
10. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is a relatively new brand when it comes to finding the best WordPress hosting services, however, this company has earned a high reputation for affordable pricing and above industry average performance. Their WordPress web hosting products are designed based on several principles: ease of use, high security, good performance, and an environment optimized for WordPress.
All hosting accounts come with WordPress pre-installed, and you can also launch a brand new instance of WordPress with Softaculous' one-click installer.
A2 Hosting prides itself on 24/7/365 Guru Crew support, and they claim to hand-pick their customer service team and work with only the most knowledgeable technicians. You can contact a customer service representative via live chat, email, hotline, etc., and based on our testing, they are willing to offer some solutions even if the problem is not entirely hosting related.