If your site runs on WordPress, you’re not alone. Over 36% of the web runs on WordPress. Originally created as a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into a robust, highly customizable content management system (CMS). Choosing WordPress to manage your site is a safe bet because it’s familiar to developers and most website content managers.

When it comes to hosting your WordPress site, does it matter who you use? In my experience, it matters a lot. You need to choose a web hosting provider that is dependable. You also need the site to load as fast as possible. WordPress sites can get bloated with extra plugins and widgets, which show down load time. There’s a lot you can do to speed up your WordPress site, but when it comes to your web host, you’ve got to choose one you can rely on.

I know there are a ton of hosting recommendations out there. It seems like everyone has a favorite web host (and usually one or more least favorite) and there are a million different factors you can consider when deciding where to host your site.

When it comes to choosing a web host, you should look at the features they provide, but don’t exclusively look at features and price. You need a web host that can handle your site (storage space, bandwidth, SSL, etc.), but don’t forget to consider the harder to compare features like speed and performance, dependability, and customer support. 99% of the time you won’t need to contact support, but when something goes wrong, you need to know that someone will be on the other end of the phone or email to help you solve your problem quickly so you can get your site back up and running.  

I’ve included my top three recommendations below, depending on your needs and budget. I’ve personally used each of these and been very happy with their service. Two of the three are on the official WordPress short list of recommended web hosts. You really can’t go wrong with any of these. The main determining factor for which to choose should be your budget and growth stage of your business.

Strong Starter: BlueHost

BlueHost signup

Who it’s Best For
First timers and small businesses just getting started.

What’s Good
BlueHost has staked out a position as the most popular shared hosting solution for small businesses and those getting started. I think it’s a great fit for anyone that falls into that category. They’ve expanded their offering to include higher end packages, including virtual private server (VPS) and even dedicated hosting. I haven’t personally used them for anything other than the basic shared hosting. I’ve read a lot of positive feedback on their higher end packages, too. 

Their basic shared hosting package packs a punch! With 50GB SSD storage, a free domain and currently starting at $2.95, it’s a bargain. Packages with unlimited domain hosting start at just $5.45. 

Millions of sites are hosted with BlueHost. They are also part of a much larger company, Endurance International, so it’s a pretty safe bet that they aren’t going anywhere and they’ll still be in business and hosting your site for as long as you need it. 

  • Includes free domain name for the first year.
  • Includes free SSL certificate.
  • One-click WordPress Install.
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Limitations/Drawbacks

  • Speed. In my experience, sites hosted on the basic shared plan are slower than other higher-paid plans.
  • No monthly plan. Even though they quote a low monthly price, you can’t pay monthly. You have to pay for a minimum 12 months up front. Fortunately the price is still so low, it’s usually not an issue and then you don’t have to worry about it again for at least 12 months. 

Sign up for BlueHost here

Multi-Site Mogul: SiteGround

SiteGround signup

Who it’s Best For
Serious entrepreneurs with multiple WordPress websites. 

What’s Good
This website is hosted currently on SiteGround. I signed up with SiteGround in September 2019 and my experience has been fantastic. No issues with the hosting service at all. It’s been fast and reliable.The only issues I’ve had were self-induced when I did something wrong as I was setting up a site or installing something. Every time that’s happened, SiteGround’s support team has been great to help me clean up my mess even though it was my own fault. I’ve really been impressed with the value they provide. 

Even with all the features they offer including unlimited sites, it’s still surprisingly affordable. The GrowBig package currently starts at $5.95/month for unlimited sites.  

  • Unlimited sites with free SSL (with GrowBig or higher)
  • Free site migration service
  • Automatic WordPress installation
  • Free CloudFlare CDN

Limitations/Drawbacks

  • Harder to use. The dashboard and control panel isn’t quite as intuitive and easy to use as BlueHost for first-timers. For advanced users it’s a breeze, though. 
  • Less storage. Seems like the included hard drive storage space is less for the price than what you get with BlueHost and other hosting companies. It’s still plenty for most sites, though.

Sign up for SiteGround here

Eager Enterprise: Kinsta

Kinsta Signup

Who it’s Best For
Larger, enterprise companies or smaller businesses with a single website, who have a need for speed. 

What’s Good
It’s fast! Speed is the the defining characteristic of Kinsta hosting. Their customer service is great. They specialize in WordPress hosting, and they’ve built their hosting platform for speed. When I moved from another host to Kinsta, with the exact same site, my speed increased by over 400%! It was impressive. 

They bill themselves as a “Premium” managed WordPress host, and that is definitely reflected in their pricing, but don’t let it scare you away if you just have one site and don’t want to spend a fortune on web hosting. Their packages start at $30/month, which is higher than BlueHost or SiteGround, but still pretty affordable, and with it you get a lightning fast hosting provider and premium service. 

  • Free migrations
  • Hack fix guarantee
  • Free SSL
  • Free CDN

Limitations/Drawbacks

  • Price. It is more expensive than other hosting options, but you’re paying for speed and quality of service. Starting at $30/month, it’s not bad for what you get.
  • Plugin limitations. There are restrictions on using certain plugins. Kinsta does this to keep sites on their platform from running too slow, and for security, so it’s actually a good thing, but if your fave plugin is on their list of banned plugins, you could be out of luck. 
  • Fewer sites. The base package only includes one WordPress install on a single domain. If you run multiple websites, it will cost you a lot more to add more sites to your account. 

Sign up for Kinsta here

Ok, so what if you read (or skimmed) all of that and you’re still not sure which hosting company to use? Is there a single best option you should choose? Really you can’t go wrong with any of these three options, but if you don’t want to do the analysis yourself, here’s the quick guide: 

  • Just getting started: BlueHost
  • Experienced and looking to upgrade or have multiple sites: SiteGround
  • Big company and/or just need it to be fast: Kinsta

Disclaimer: I receive an affiliate referral commission if you sign up for any of these (no extra cost to you), but that does not influence my recommendations. These reviews are based on my own experience using each company.

 

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2 Comments
  • Dan
    6:56 PM, 16 May 2020

    I use SiteGround and have loved it. One thing to keep in mind is you have to pay full price when you renew which is much more expensive. You can get around this by starting a new SiteGround account and they will move it over for you. Not a deal breaker but something to keep in mind.

  • Marjorie Schoelles
    4:17 PM, 23 May 2020

    Started looking at options for moving my multiple sites last week. Blue Host looked great but I would have to combine under a single umbrella. There are so many options it got frustrating quickly.

    Now that Site Ground is on my radar I’ve got a solution. Thank you for sharing ones that you have worked with and had good service. The service part was the only thing holding me to the other provider, but even that had declined this last year. Thanks Dave!

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