WordPress is our favorite platform for creating and maintaining a website. Whether you’re making a blog, a website for your school or organization, a small business website to attract new customers, an eCommerce shop to sell your wares around the world, or any other of the countless things you can do with a website, WordPress makes it incredibly easy to put your vision into motion.
WordPress is what we call a CMS, or content management system, but it can’t operate all by itself. WordPress needs to be paired up with a web hosting account in order to store your website on the internet where visitors can find it.
You’ll need a hosting account, a domain name (which is available through the webhost you choose), and WordPress itself. Depending on which hosting solution you choose, you’ll either need to install WordPress on your hosting account (referred to as your server), or you can choose an option that comes with WordPress already installed and ready for you to start using.
Types of WordPress Hosting
Some of the hosts we’re going to be taking a look at offer one-click installs for WordPress, others basically come with WordPress pre-installed and ready to go, and some of them require you to setup the server from scratch and are recommended only for power-users.
We’ll help you navigate the waters of choosing the best hosting for WordPress, and we’ll let you in on the pros and cons of the following different types of servers:
Shared WordPress Hosting
This is the most common and practical type of hosting for most websites. It’s very affordable, offers decent performance for most sites, and is perfectly suited for hobby sites, or more static sites that aren’t going to be seeing a ton of visitors all the time.
If you’re looking to create larger, more complex websites or online applications that require more control over your server, you may want to consider some of the other options we’re about to feature, but for the typical new website, shared hosting is the perfect route.
A really nice thing about shared hosting is that it’s managed, meaning you don’t have to setup or configure the server itself, and when things go wrong, the hosting company is responsible for fixing it for you.
With some other options we’re going to go over for hosting your WordPress site, you don’t have the same levels of support, which makes going the shared hosting route even more appealing to beginners.
Here’s Our favorite Shared WordPress hosting companies:
Managed VPS Hosting
Managed VPS hosting gives you the benefits of shared hosting, while adding an extra layer between you and the other sites on your server. You’re still sharing the physical hardware with other sites, but you have your own little blocked-off area, so it’s kind of like if you combined shared hosting and dedicated hosting, and met somewhere in the middle.
It’s a good solution for growing websites because it’s a lot less expensive than renting an entire server all to yourself (dedicated hosting), but it gives some solid middle-ground for people who have outgrown their shared hosting and need something better. Since you have a set amount of resources sectioned-off for your site, you can expect better and more consistent performance.
If you’re running any kind of business site or online store, this is a good place to start, although you can still get away with shared hosting to start out with, if you’re on a tighter budget. Another advantage is full access to customer support who will help you with mostly any issues you run into, whether they’re hardware related or software related.
Here’s Our favorite Managed WordPress VPS hosting companies:
Unmanaged VPS Hosting
This is quite a bit less expensive than managed VPS hosting in most cases, but you lose out on getting help from support staff for most software-related issues. You’re expected to take the bare bones server, and install an operating system, and setup the different programming langues and databases and all that good stuff, from scratch.
There are wizards out there which can help with the process, but it’s still un-advisable to go with unmanaged hosting of any type, unless you’re experienced with running websites and know what you’re getting yourself into.
If you’re just looking to setup something quick and focus on your site itself, this might not be the best option, but if you’re looking for a very affordable way to get access to a more powerful server without spending a lot, this is a good option for the thrifty webmaster out there who isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves.
Here’s Our favorite UnManaged WordPress VPS hosting companies:
Vultr, Digital Ocean, Linode…
There’s also dedicated hosting for large and busy websites, reseller hosting for people who are going to be managing several client websites, and more, but we’re going to be focusing on the three main groups above, and discussing the most popular and best hosting companies for each of them.
Best Shared Hosting for WordPress
Our top 4 picks for shared WordPress hosting are:
Bluehost is our top pick because they hit really hit the target for being perfect for beginners, but also great for more experienced WordPress developers.
They offer a variety of hosting plans, but their shared and WordPress hosting packages are what they’re most famous for.
They have a support staff of hundreds of people who are available around the clock, even on holidays, to help you with absolutely anything relating to your account, and keeping your website up and running.
They’ll even help with WordPress related stuff, like if you’re having trouble installing a new plugin, or if something’s just not quite working right.
There are a lot of hosting companies that won’t help with WordPress related issues, or any software issues at all for that matter.
When it comes to WordPress in particular, even WordPress themselves recommend Bluehost as their pick for hosting. When the team that’s responsible for creating WordPress recommends a host, you know you’re on the right track.
Bluehost has worked very closely with WordPress for a long time, they even have staff members who are also a part of the team that makes WordPress.
Other Great Shared WordPress Hosts
Aside from Bluehost, let’s quickly go over the other options we mentioned, and how they’re similar or different from Bluehost. Even if Bluehost isn’t the best fit for you, surely one of these other popular hosting brands will suit you very well.
Siteground is a similar platform to Bluehost, they also do a lot of great work for their community and for the internet in general, and have a long history of taking great care of their customers.
Siteground’s hosting packages specify how many visitors your site can support each month, which makes it a lot easier for people to choose the correct plan that will suit them best, without over-buying and wasting their money.
Siteground has a handful of shared plans, they’re all great value, it just comes down to what you need. If you just have one site, you can get away with using their smallest plan, if your site isn’t wildly popular yet.
If you get frequent visitors to your site already, you may want to go with their medium or high-end shared hosting plans. You can learn more about their offerings on their website, or by taking a look at our thorough Siteground review.
Hostgator is another good option. They are quite similar to Bluehost, as they’re owned by the same company, but their offerings do differ slightly. It’s pretty much a toss up, so check them both out and see which one appeals to you more.
Both Bluehost and Hostgator are flagship brands for the company that owns them, they’ve been around for a very long time, and they’re both leaders in this space.
WP Engine does things a bit differently. They are a premium option for people that don’t mind spending more each month in order to get a higher level of service and performance.
The nice thing about the other shared hosting brands we’ve featured is that they’re all very affordable. WP Engine’s plans start at $30 per month, but what you’re getting is a hosting platform that’s built from the ground up for WordPress, so it’s optimized very well, and their staff are obsessive over WordPress.
This is a good option for people who want a higher-tier of server than a regular shared server, but don’t mind paying a little closer to the price of a VPS. WP Engine is one of the best WordPress hosts we’ve ever seen, but it does come with a price-tag. For business sites and other very important websites, the $1 per day price tag isn’t a real deterrent when you need the best.
Still, Bluehost remains our top pick for overall value when it comes to shared WordPress hosting.
Best VPS Hosting for WordPress
We’re breaking this category down into two sections. The first one is managed VPS, which is more expensive, but comes with the convenience of having a fully managed server, like shared hosting, where the hosting company provides you with a server that’s all setup and ready to go in terms of having an operating system, having options to easily install WordPress, and so on.
Best Managed VPS for WordPress
If you’re looking for hosting that gives better performance than shared hosting, and don’t mind spending more, or if you need a little more control over the backend of your site, this is a good option.
Virtual private servers are available from hosting companies, but here are our favorites:
These are both excellent options offers solid VPS packages at very fair prices. Perfect for people looking to host multiple websites, to run online stores, or even popular blogs. When your server isn’t holding you back, the internet is your oyster.
Both of these companies have multiple plans available so you can find the one that is the best fit, and they both also offer shared hosting in case you want to start a bit smaller before working your way up to a VPS. In either case, you can’t go wrong, so if you’re on the fence then make sure you check them both out because one of them is bound to be a great fit, regardless of which direction you end up going on.
The appeal to this type of server is the added performance and having a larger amount of allocated resources so that your website can handle more users, and the added privacy and protection of having a virtual private server, which is your own separate piece of a larger server, as opposed to shared hosting where you’re sharing a larger server but without being partitioned-off to your own section.
This means with a VPS your site will be more reliable, and should perform a lot more consistently, regardless of how popular the other sites on the same server are. With shared hosting, you can run into hiccups and interruptions here and there if there are other popular sites sharing the same server, or if some sites are vulnerable to attackers. It’s not common, but it’s just another reason to consider a VPS.
- Knownhost’s VPS plans start at $28.00 per month, and you can find our full review of Knownhost here.
- InMotion Hosting’s VPS plans start at $27.99 per month, and you can find our full review of them here.
Now, despite all of the advantages of having a fully managed host for WordPress, some people do apprecaite rolling up their own sleeves and really taking ownership of their server by setting it up themselves, from scratch. If you’re one of those people, let’s take a look at some of our top picks for unmanaged VPS.
Best Unmanaged VPS for WordPress
Finally, the last option we’re looking at today, is unmanaged VPS hosting. It’s noticeably less expensive than a typical VPS, becasue you aren’t getting a whole lot of help and support along the way.
They’ll sell you an empty server, and you’ve got to know how to install an operating system like Linux, and then use Linux to setup the foundation for your site, and all of this happens before you even begin to think about installing WordPress, which is also a more complex process on this type of server compared to the other types we have featured thus far.
If you’re still into the idea of taking the DIY approach to save a few bucks, you’re not alone, so here are some of the most popular choices for this type of webhosting:
Vultr is the most affordable, with plans starting at $2.50 instead of $5 which is more standard for this type of hosting.
Final Thoughts & Taking The Next Step
Now, all that’s left to do is pick a hosting company and get started on your site.
From shared hosting, to managed and unamanged VPS, it really comes down to how technically savvy you are, how interested you are in managing things yourself versus having someone else take care of it for you, and how much you’re looking to spend.
Regardless of which path you go down, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands with all of these hosts.
Don’t wait any longer to get started, sign up for a hosting plan so you can get the ball rolling. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get your website up and running, even if this is your very first time doing it.
It doesn’t have to be a difficult process, especially with Bluehost and their incredibly simple setup process, here’s how you can start a blog in about 5 minutes.