Did you know that site loading speed is one of the 200 ranking factors that Google uses to rank your web pages on SERPs? If yes, then you must know the importance of a good web hosting service for your website/blog. Furthermore, if you too are a WordPress fan, it’s needless to say how important is to have the best wordpress hosting for your blog.
Did you know that WordPress powers more than 32% of all the active websites on the web? Often people opt for cheap hosting services that cost just a few bucks less than some of the best wordpress hosting out there. Choosing a cheap & less reliable web hosting service for your blog is, in my view, one of the biggest mistakes many beginners do just to save a few bucks.
With that said, this post is for those who’re looking for a guide to find the best hosting for a wordpress blog. In this web hosting buying guide, you will find answers to the below-mentioned questions:
With that said, let us begin the guide straight away.
What is Web Hosting & What is WordPress Hosting?
This is for beginners. I’ve come across many queries from various mediums like Quora, Reddit, Email, DMs asking the difference between web hosting & wordpress hosting. As a clarification, read this carefully.
Choosing the right web hosting service for your blog is as important as having great content on your blog. Good web hosting plans aren’t that expensive, Netflix is almost 3 folds more expensive than good web hosting. Furthermore, good web hosting improves overall SEO which further helps achieve your business goals.
There are various types of web hosting services/plans, but we will focus on wordpress hosting in this guide. The most important difference between regular web hosting & wordpress hosting is the personalization wordpress hosting comes with.
For the WordPress script to run smoothly, there are certain wordpress requirements that the server should abide by. Predominantly, there are three requirements that sideline wordpress hosting from regular web hosting.
These requirements are applied to servers to make them highly optimized for wordpress scripts to run. This is the only difference between wordpress hosting and regular web hosting.
Things To Consider When Choosing a WordPress Hosting
The market is getting saturated inch by inch. There are a lot of options to choose from and hence the price is getting more & more in favor of the consumer. But, it’s overwhelming these days to choose the best wordpress hosting out of these options.
There’s a lot of things to consider like security, speed, uptime & reliability. But above all that, one factor that rules all is ‘your needs’. Considering your needs, the options you go for will change. If you’re not running short of budget you can consider managed wordpress plans like Kinsta or WPEngine.
The benefit of managed wordpress is that you have nothing to worry about. Be it security, speed, uptime, or reliability, everything is in their hands and they do it like a pro. But these plans are not cheap & affordable for beginners. Hence if you’re just starting by, I encourage you to go for wordpress hosting on any of the hosting service providers I’ve compared in this post.
With that said, let me share top things to consider before buying a web hosting plan:
#1 Your Needs For Your Website/Blog
As aforementioned, your requirements make a lot of difference in the choice you make. Depending on your plan, demand & budget the service provider would change. If you have a deep pocket & a solid plan with a proper team, I’d highly recommend you to opt for managed wordpress from Kinsta or WPEngine. If not, self-hosted WordPress is the best option for you.
There are various types of web hosting plans available among various web hosting service providers, like shared, managed, self-hosted, VPS, Free, & Dedicated. Let me tell you a little bit about each of the types.
Free WordPress Hosting
As far as I’ve observed in many people begin their blogging career from wordpress.com or Blogspot. These two services are free, reliable, and beginner-friendly. But there’s another hack that people with unlimited domain hosting plans do to cover their cost of investment & advertise their websites/blogs.
If I have an unlimited domain hosting plan, I’d rent space for free with a condition to place links/banners of my blogs on the renter’s blog. This way, both win in this situation and both save money & time. Though this doesn’t work long-term sure it gets some traffic for me and saves money for the renters.
Nothing wrong with the idea, but you never know when I change my mind & stop offering the free service. I may leave you hanging in the middle of nowhere if I find some other more fruitful renter.
Shared WordPress Hosting
If you are a small business owner or a beginner blogger, shared web hosting is the best solution for your idea. By far the most popular web hosting service shared hosting is the most profitable for the service providers too. To begin with, shared wordpress hosting is the best solution for you. Since there are multiple sites hosted on the same server, all the server resources are shared among multiple sites. All your files are hosted on the same server along with files of other blog’s files.
To make this plan more fruitful and sizzling, you get ‘unlimited’ space, ‘unlimited’ email accounts, ‘unlimited bandwidth’, and much more. Every feature is unlimited in the top plan of shared hosting. Which is still very much affordable for beginners. But there’s a catch among all this. Every feature that I mentioned above is not ‘unlimited’. Once your website/blog crosses a certain threshold, the service provider will impose an upgraded plan for your blog. And then, your website/blog is no more eligible for a shared hosting plan, at least for that wordpress hosting service provider. You can either upgrade to a dedicated plan or managed wordpress hosting. But once you reach that mark, shared hosting is not suitable to withstand traffic. Other blogs residing on the same server will slow down your blog. So it’s better to upgrade to something reliable.
VPS Word Hosting
VPS (Virtual Private Server) is yet another famous service option you can consider choosing. For businesses, sufficiently funded can choose this plan. VPS is nothing but virtually bifurcating computer space to give a dedicated touch to your website/blog.
Though you share space with many other websites/blogs, you don’t feel the urge to upgrade the plan too soon. Sure, there is a threshold after which you will be asked to upgrade the plan. But that threshold is higher than shared wordpress hosting space. If you don’t have a technical bone in your body and want to simply focus on content, I’d encourage you to opt for VPS. You can even opt for a paid plan on wordpress.com. All you have to do is focus on the content and marketing, everything else will be taken care the service provider.
There’s a huge difference between wordpress.org & wordpress.com. Both have their merits & demerits. If you don’t want want to get into technicalities, either get VPS or business plan on wordpress.com. It costs around $11 a month, but it’s a perfect replicate of self-hosted wordpress hosting. These two plans are for those who don’t want to get into technicalities and don’t have a very tight pocket. $11/mo is cool, isn’t it? Again a catch, threshold. Once you reach a certain volume of traffic, you might need to upgrade or move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.
Dedicated WordPress Hosting Plans
This is the most expensive plan in this slot. The only difference between dedicated hosting and managed wordpress hosting is that you don’t have to manage anything when you buy managed wordpress hosting. Whereas the dedicated wordpress hosting has a powerful server and awesome bandwidth, except that you have to manage everything on your own.
If you’re not running short of budgets & don’t have anyone to administer the dedicated server, I would encourage you to opt for managed wordpress from Kinsta or WPEngine. Dedicated wordpress hosting is the best way to host very high-traffic websites with the proper team to manage the server end chores. Server end chores including software upgrade, security, speed, uptime, plugins management, server monitoring, etc. If you opt for this plan, you should have an administrator who can take care of all this. If you have a very high-traffic website and don’t have anyone to administer or prefer the pro to do these things, opt for the next plan.
Managed WordPress Hosting
I’ve been bragging about this since the beginning of this guide. Let me throw some more light on this little huge thing. Managed WordPress Hosting is only for well-established websites/blogs and highly funded ones. Managed wordpress hosting is the most premium plan you can have for your wordpress blog.
Once you opt for this plan, you don’t have to worry about ANYTHING. Everything I mentioned in the previous section will be taken care of by the service providers. These plans are solely dedicated to wordpress websites/blogs and nothing else can be hosted on their servers. Furthermore, almost all top-level hosting companies have managed wordpress plans, and depending on the comparison in subsequent sections you can choose the service providers.
Bottom line? In this plan, they will take care of software upgrades, server uptime, speed, the optimizing website for better performance, and all the regular administrator’s chores. You also get priority support to help you out of problems that seem to slow down your website/blog. For example, Kinsta is a pure managed wordpress hosting service provider. The company starts the plans with $30/mo for up to 20,000 visitors and free SSL & CDN. It goes up to $900/mo for 150,000 visitors and if you have traffic more than this, you can directly contact sales and discuss the plans. Furthermore, depending on the plan you choose, the number of wordpress install would increase. That is, if you have multiple blogs, you can opt for the plans accordingly.
Sure, this is not pocket-friendly for beginners. Hence, established bloggers with passive income coming from the blog can afford this as it adds value to their blog. If you’ve got a deep pocket, start with this, you would find every dime’s worth soon after. Many companies provide managed wordpress hostings like
#2 Disk Space
Most of the plans that are offered by the web hosting providers are based on disk space. Most of the web hosting providers offer at least 3GB of space for your website files to reside. The next thing you should consider is the bandwidth of the server, which shouldn’t be overlooked at all. Depending on the traffic on your website/blog the required bandwidth & disk space would vary. Therefore, depending on your requirement you can consider various plans accordingly.
#3 Price Of The Web Hosting Plan
The prices of the web hosting plans are based on your needs. Higher your requirements are more expensive it gets. So you need to round off your requirements first. Once you have, choosing the best wordpress hosting plan will not be a big thing.
If you are just starting, service providers like Bluehost or Hostgator would cost you around $30 per year excluding the domain. I recommend using Google Domains to buy the domain as it’s way cheaper and hiding your whois data doesn’t cost a dime. To begin with, you can directly opt for shared wordpress hosting as it’s the cheapest & most reliable for beginners.
#4 Customer Support
This is applicable for those who’re not technically sound. I am from a computer science background but web hosting was an alien topic to me. I needed a lot of handholding at the beginning but then the customer support came into the picture. Bluehost has helped me as a babysitter since the beginning and I must confess, I am a loyal Bluehost customer.
When you choose web hosting consider customer support as one of the most important factors. Most of the customer support have email support so you can quickly get in touch with them and get support. You can even get in touch on Twitter to get instant help.
With that said, let me share the comparison of wordpress hosting companies.
Best WordPress Hosting Providers
There are multiple checkpoints that a web hosting service has to go through to earn the badge of the best wordpress hosting service provider. Be it regular wordpress hosting or managed one. All the checks are the ones that decide the worthiness of a service provider.
There are tests carried out by industry leaders that reveal a lot about each of the companies included in this guide. Tools like Pingdom, Bitcatcha, & Load Impact are used to test the site loading speed, server response time & request handling respectively. With that said, let us see the comparison of various web hosting companies.
I’ve already reviewed Bluehost in detail. I’ve been personally using Bluehost for a very long time now & now I have switched to Siteground. The support I’ve got as a beginner has been second to none. That’s why I’ve placed it right at the top of the comparison list. As a cheery on the cake, Bluehost is recommended by the wordpress community itself.
Here is the score of the performance test:
This was the speed test, now it’s time to check the load test. The load Impact tool sends a certain number of virtual users to the website and tests the load the servers can handle. Here’s the screenshot of the test results.
The blue line in the graph shows the number of active users on the website, which keeps increasing. And the green line is the server load time for that website.
After this, it’s time to check the server response time. Here’s the self-explanatory screenshot of the test results.
Bluehost seems to have performed well considering the content on the tested website. In my detailed review, Bluehost seems to be the best for beginner blogs. I use Bluehost & recommend it to all beginners. The one-click install of wordpress makes it easy to start a website/blog.
HostGator is in business for ages & hosts millions of websites. I find HostGator the second most reliable for multiple reasons, the most important thing is their support. One of the best things Hostgarot is a website builder it provides. With that said, let’s straight away head to check the test results one by one.
That was about the speed test. Let’s check the load test on the test website by sending virtual users to that site.
This didn’t turn out to be too good for Hostgator. As you can see, the speed slows down with a higher number of users. Considering the fact the test has been carried out on a shared hosting plan, these test results are normal. Again, if you don’t find these results reliable, you can upgrade to VPS or managed wordpress hosting on Hostgator.
Now, let us check the server response time from BitCatcha.
Apart from these test results, which are good for a service provider of this stature. But one thing I find missing is the free domain & to make it worse, buying a domain is a dollar more expensive than Bluehost. But I use Google Domains to buy domains and then map the DNS to my hosting server.
Google Domains are the cheapest amongst all the web hosting service providers. Also, you get privacy for free. That is, your registration details are kept hidden for free. Therefore, you won’t get any annoying emails or calls from advertising web designing companies.
Siteground is yet another featured web hosting provider by the wordpress community. Speed, security, uptime, server response, etc are top-notch. Furthermore, you get a free domain & SSL if you buy wordpress hosting from siteground.
After three years of association with Bluehost, I decided to switch the table. The core reason why I switched is Siteground is completely hosted on the Google cloud platform, so whichever plan you buy, your blog is hosted on Google’s cloud ecosystem.
And, that’s awesome.
With that said, let me share the test results one by one.
First, here’s the screenshot of the performance test:
Next, let’s see what load tests have resulted in.
The blue line is the number of users, which kept increasing. The green line is the server load time. As you can see, the server load time has been on a rollercoaster. Also, this seems to look good for a shared server.
This takes us to the last test for siteground is the server response time. Let’s check it right away:
DreamHost is 18 years young in the industry. The cherry on the cake, DreamHost is a featured web hosting service provider by the wordpress community. With that said, let us take a look at the test results one by one.
The result seems justifiable considering the test website contents. Even for a high-traffic website, Dreamhost has performed quite amazingly. It is more surprising to note the Dreamhost has still maintained the standard of delivering good results even after this long journey.
This takes us to the next test of load performance. See the screenshot below to understand the performance.
As you see, the performance of the server is on a see-saw initially. But as the number of users reaches the peak, the server seems to catch up with it. This is the reason why Dreamhost is loved by the wordpress community.
Now let us check out the server response time from the BitCatcha tool for Dreamhost.
Sure, the overall cost that Dreamhost charges are higher than the others in the list, but the support & features it serves is nick-to-nick to the cost they charge. Worth it. You get a free domain, free SSL, one-click WordPress install.
Final Thoughts on WordPress Hosting Providers
Sure, if I were you, I’d be overwhelmed with whatever I’ve shared here in this guide. I was at this stage a few years ago. It’s absolutely fine to go through all the options available in your price segment. If you go wrong at this step, you may end up wasting the money and time you’ve chosen the plan.
If I were to set up a blog for you (which I can, use this contact form or drop an email to me), I’d choose Bluehost or SiteGround for you. Siteground & Dreamhost are expensive for beginners and they’re good service providers to upgrade to. As most of the bloggers are budget deficient, Bluehost & Hostgator are the best service provider, to begin with.
I’m even planning to prepare a dedicated post containing FAQs for wordpress hosting. If you have any questions bothering you, leave them in the comment section below. If you liked this post, share this with those who’re looking for similar solutions.