So, are you looking for the best WordPress hosting?Well, you've come to the right place, I'm going to cut the fluff and show you the best options (not just those that have the highest-paying affiliate program).
Keep in mind that a good portion of the sites I've tested are sites hosted with companies I've had or currently have hosting packages with, so there's a first-hand experience that walks you through every host.I have delved into researching real websites using these services for real-time testing and hope the information is useful.
We will test the sites based on:
- User interface
- Some extra features
Here's a table showing the best WordPress hosting options:
BEST WORDPRESS HOSTING COMPANIES
|WordPress hosting companies||Cost||Site Speed||User interface||Support||Managed WordPress||Does it include email?||Overall rating||Ideal for|
|Hosting BigScoots||$39.95 / month||A +||A-||A +||Yes||Yes||A||Managed Hosting|
|Hosting WPX||$24.99 / month||A||A||B +||Yes||No||A||Alternative to managed hosting|
|SiteGround Property||$3.95/month||B +||B +||A +||No||Yes||A||Budget buyers|
|Hosting Kinsta||$30/month||A||A-||A||Yes||No||B +||Sites with tons of traffic|
|Bluehost||$2.95/month||C||A||B||No||Yes||B –||Alternative to budget shopping|
The best WordPress hosting for you depends in part on your budget and the novelty of your site.If your site is brand new, I would go with Bluehost or SiteGround.
Just realize that once your site is getting around 20,000 visitors per month (or earlier) you'll probably need to find a different host that's better optimized.These are basic hosts that are cheap.Great to start until you've "tried" your site.
But then it's time to move on.
My main recommendation hands down for a site that goes beyond the "new" phase is BigScoots.Big Scoots is fast.Big Scoots has AMAZING customer support.Big Scoots has email (other managed WordPress hosting options don't).
You'll also need to figure out how to manage your email, which could cost you money every month if you use something like Google Apps to manage email.
And honestly, BigScoots is significantly cheaper than other options (depending on size).
I had my site (NichePursuits.com) previously hosted on WPX and Kinsta for some time.It cost me $200 to $300 (Kinsta is the most expensive) per month for my site.
My account with BigScoots is now only $95/month and my site is faster.
So, if you have a site that gets 50,000+ visitors per month, go with BigScoots.(And as a boss, I actually make less money as an affiliate if you go with BigScoots than I would with the other options. I honestly think they're the best wordpress hosts I've ever found).
GET FASTER, MORE SECURE AND BETTER HOSTING WITH BIGSCOOTS
CONTENTS[ -ERR:REF-NOT-FOUND-NASCONDI ]
- 1 BEST WORDPRESS HOSTING COMPANIES
- 2 OVERALL BEST WORDPRESS HOSTING: BIGSCOOTS
- 3 BEST SHARED WORDPRESS HOSTING:
- 4 MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING:
- 5 HOW I TESTED HOSTING
- 6 WHY MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING IS BETTER
- 7 CHOOSING YOUR HOST:
BEST WORDPRESS HOSTING: BIGSCOOTS
When I take everything into consideration, I recommend checking out BigScoots for WordPress hosting.
Overall rating: A
Site speed: A+
As you can see from the image above, I moved my site from Kinsta (a super high-end managed WordPress host) to BigScoots and my site speed increased by 61%!
And now I'm paying $200 less per month by switching from Kinsta to BigScoots.
If you have an established site and are looking for the best WordPress host on the planet, upgrade to BigScoots right here.
Support Grade: A+
Their support is AWESOME.You'll receive near-instant responses to chat or support tickets.You can also call them on the phone and get an answer right away.The fastest and best support I've ever experienced with a hosting company.
Click here to get started with BigScoots hosting on your website
RUN A FASTER, SAFER AND BETTER SITE WITH BIGSCOOTS
I've aligned eight different options for shared hosting.Each of these hosts is a host that I or someone from the Niche Pursuits team have had relationships and used in the past.With shared hosting, most hosts are quite similar.Most of them offer one-click installations of WordPress and from speed tests you will see that they are relatively close to each other in comparison.
It really depends on the price and your long-term goals for your website.
Here's what I compare with each host:
- Monthly cost: Paid upfront in 12-month or month-to-month plans, whichever is available
- Site speed: I rated a live site hosted on each server
- User interface: how easy or difficult it is to start and start when you start your account
- Support: How easy it is to reach someone if you have a problem
BEST WORDPRESS HOSTING BUDGET: SITEGROUND
SiteGround is another popular shared hosting option.They have a number of different packages and are well known for their user friendly support team that has a quick response time.
SiteGround is a reliable host, and they have a variety of different hosting options, similar to other shared hosts.They offer shared hosting (the most popular) and dedicated hosting for WordPress.They also offer a reseller account for people who intend to resell hosting services and rename them as their own.They also offer custom hosting options based on what you need.
The only downside SiteGround has for me is that they essentially reduce bandwidth based on your monthly subscription.I'll cover it in the cost section, but buying a "GrowBig" package will cost you more than a shared Bluehost option at first.
Click here to get started with SiteGround Monthly cost: C+Grade SiteGround gets a C+ because compared to Bluehost, once you exceed 10,000 visits per month, you'll end up upgrading to the next plan which is $5.95 per month.
This means you'll end up paying more for a shared hosting plan similar to what you'd do on Bluehost's basic plan.
You could argue that the support and speed are slightly better than Bluehost, making it a superior option, but I prefer to start with cheap and reliable until I have a significant amount of traffic.
That said, SiteGround is still extremely affordable, and their technical support is top-notch.If you feel it's worth the same initial investment that turns into a bigger financial investment before a Bluehost package, SiteGround could be the host for you.
Site speed: grade B+
For site speed, I tested iasct.net, which is currently shown as hosted by SiteGround.
GTmetrix Test: GTMetrix reads with a PageSpeed score of "F" but most of this returns as a result of poorly optimized images not being scaled appropriately.It's not Siteground's fault.
Tools.pingdom.com test: Pingdom's test for this SiteGround-hosted site went pretty well.The code is configured quite well, but resizing images is still affecting loading speed.The load time brings this page back to 4.92 seconds for 9.3 MB of data, which I'd be happy to consider how much the images are weighing on the homepage.
With the cleaned up images, the site loads much faster and gets better results here.
Test BitCatcha.com: With the response time of 200ms as Google's target, bitcatcha ranks this particular SiteGround server at 180MS for the west coast and 245MS for the east coast.Performance is rated C, so it's average like most shared hosts when it comes to speed.
Bluehost definitely has an advantage here for server response times when it comes to US-based testing.If you have a lot of international traffic, SiteGround is more balanced.
User Interface: B+
Grade I may have a slight bias with a lot of experience using Bluehost over the years, but SiteGround's user interface isn't as "dummy-proof" as what I'm used to with Bluehost.This is probably a personal bias since I might feel differently if I had started with SiteGround.
They have an aerodynamic design and is easy to use.However, most beginners need a helping hand to set up their first site, and SiteGround may have a slightly longer learning curve.Installing WordPress isn't as intuitive as other hosts, but it gets the job done.
Support Grade: A+
That's where SiteGround shines.As an SG customer, they offer a series of tutorials designed to help you learn WordPress, cPanel, their email features, and even FTP in case you need to access your website backend.They also offer a number of discounts on free software as part of being SiteGround members.
This sets you up for success, so you don't have to get in touch with them for questions and basic WordPress installation support.If you need support, it is available 24/7 whether via chat, phone or ticket submission.They are usually quite quick to respond to tickets, which is incredibly important for a host.Overall, SG's support is fantastic and should be taken into account when choosing a host.
Overall, this is the host I recommend to budget buyers.If you're just starting out or don't have much to spend, I don't think you can go wrong with Siteground.
Click here to get started with Siteground
RUN A CHEAP SITE ON SITEGROUND
BLUEHOST: OVERALL RATING B
Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting options for people who are just getting started with their websites.It's actually funny because in a recent conversation someone mentioned the only reason anyone would recommend Bluehost is for an affiliate commission.The reason it's funny is that it couldn't be further from the truth.
There are other hosts with a much higher affiliate commission that any blogger or website owner could promote.Is Bluehost perfect?Absolutely not. But they offer a decent hosting option at an affordable price.I personally used Bluehost for 3 years before moving my sites to a managed WordPress host after having some traffic (more on that later).
The thing is, as far as money goes, Bluehost is one of the most reliable hosting options you can choose.Niche Pursuits readers also receive a healthy discount at $2.95 per month.Yes, affiliate commissions are nice, but it's not worth sacrificing a good deal for people on a budget, especially loyal readers like Niche Pursuits did.
The entire staff at Niche Pursuits have used Bluehost at some point in time and some continue to use their services.Let's start looking at Bluehost a little deeper.
SEE BLUEHOST DISCOUNT HEREMonthly cost: A
grade With the Niche Pursuits discount, you can get the monthly cost up to $3.95 per month.You also get a free domain registration, which is a great deal.Domain registrations typically cost between $9.99 and $12.00 depending on the registrar (sometimes you can find them for a dollar when registrars run specials).That means you'll have a full year of hosting in addition to your domain for less than $50.00, which is great value.
Site speed: Grade C
For site speed, I tested sportsmgmt.com, which is currently shown as hosted by Bluehost.
GTmetrix test: The site scores relatively low with 3.3 seconds for 1.12 MB of page speed load time.Yes, this can be affected by coding, themes, and other issues, but hosting and images are the most important things that can affect speed scores.Typically a decent speed is around 1 second per MB of data, which we talk about in our WordPress theme guide.
The GTmetrix test here isn't great, but it's not horrible when you consider the cost.Keep in mind that some of the GTmetrix test servers are in Canada and the distance from the server can make all the difference in terms of speed.
Tools.pingdom.com test: The Pingdom test comes back very different.This test is performed from the San Jose, California location near where Bluehost's servers are located in Provo, Utah.The page speed here returns to 1.33 seconds of loading time per 1.3MB, which is what you'll get with some more expensive ManPress WordPress hosts.
For a site without heavy images, this is pretty decent.The site could make some changes to speed up, but for a shared host, I'd be happy with that.
BitCatcha.com test: BitCatcha.com's server response test takes us to 35 MS in US West and 77 MS in US East.This is probably due to the fact that a good portion of Bluehost's servers are located in Utah.
If you have a US-based site, this makes Bluehost an excellent option to choose as your first host since people in the US will access your website faster and loading times will be faster than foreign visitors.If you're planning to get large traffic flows abroad, we recommend installing CloudFlare to speed up server response times for foreign visitors.
User Interface: Grade A
Bluehost's user interface is one of the easiest to manage for a shared host backend.It's easy to navigate, and one-click installation is right in front of you when you access the site.It makes installing WordPress a breeze, taking literally 10 minutes or less to get your website up and running.
Support Grade: B
Bluehost's support is pretty good.They have a live chat feature or you can call.Some Niche Pursuits staff actually called them and had the support on the line to literally merge a couple of different hosting accounts and the tech representative moved the site from one hosting account to another for free.
This is usually a paid service, but they did it for free.Their support is open 24 hours a day, and the live chat feature is great if you have an immediate problem.
HOSTGATOR: GENERAL GRADE C+
HostGator is another popular shared hosting option for people who want to get into a hosting plan at a lower cost.It's comparable in popularity to BlueHost and SiteGround, and has different packages depending on your budget.
The smallest plan, the "Hatchling" is a decent initial hosting plan for anyone just starting out.Their pricing is comparable to BlueHost for this basic plan at $3.95 per month.
What many people don't know is that the same parent company actually owns Bluehost and Hostgator, so the service levels and other support-related metrics are very similar.Endurance International Group has been collecting and purchasing several hosting companies for many years.
For the different hosting companies in this group, you can check out all the details here on Wikipedia.You'll see a few other popular hosts they own, including FatCow, HostMonster, iPage, HostNine, and Domain.com.
Monthly cost: C+
grade BlueHost starts to seem like the best option if you have more than one website that you want to host on a single account.With HostGator, you have to pay to upgrade to the "Essentials" plan if you want to host unlimited domains on your plan, so upgrade to "Pro" if you want a private SSL/IP (which in most cases isn't necessary).
Since Bluehost allows multiple domains in their basic plan, Bluehost gets a nod to the costs.For individual websites, HostGator is on par with SiteGround and BlueHost, so your decision point should come from looking at the other areas that include support, speed, and user interface.
Site speed: Grade B-For site speed, I tested bulkdachecker.com, which is currently shown as hosted by HostGator.
GTMetrix Test: GTMetrix reads with a not great PageSpeed "E" score.This site has some image optimizations to do and could benefit from enabling Gzip compression with a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache.There is no doubt, however, that part of the slowness is due to the server's response time with the hosting provider.
You might be wondering why speeds would come back different if HostGator and Bluehost are owned by the same company.Remember, Endurance International Group has bought many companies over time, many of which already have their own infrastructure.
Tools.pingdom.com test: The Pingdom test for this site hosted by HostGator came back better than the GTMetrix results.The page loaded in 1.07 seconds with 1.1MB of data which is on par with where I'd like to see most sites.It's not until I started testing some of the internal pages of this site where it starts to slow down just a bit.
There are still some optimization issues that can be done on this site to speed up and improve Pingdom scores.
Test Bitcatcha.com: The Bitcatcha test returns with a response time of 31ms in US West and a response time of 94ms in US East.Anything outside the U.S. returns anywhere from 300 to 600 ms in response times.
This means that, like SiteGround or BlueHost, if your traffic is coming from outside the US, you'll want to think about your hosting options.A CDN like CloudFlare will help on any site currently hosted with a shared host since files can be stored locally in the cloud around the world, offering that content to the location closest to the real user.
User Interface: Grade B
I have a HostGator account since 2014. Its user interface is now much better than before.You can tell that they are trying to update the backend and make the interface more intuitive.When I first signed up for HostGator, I needed a hotline with their support staff just to install WordPress on my hosting account.
It's improved a lot, but it's still not as easy to use as Bluehost's backend.This may be a partial bias on my part since I started with Bluehost initially myself, but I feel Bluehost is slightly more intuitive.
Support Grade: B
So I'm picky here, but it's hard to navigate support.The default setting "get help" is to arrange a ticket.They have live chat support, but you'll need to do a Google search to find the landing page where you can get support.I guess it's because they never bothered to add it to the backend of the support area and that's really my only beef.
Navigation is great, especially for people who are just starting out who may have questions about how to install a website or have issues with technical support.Their support response times are good and I never went more than 24 hours without a response.
GODADDY: GENERAL GRADE C
GoDaddy is probably the biggest registrar out there besides NameCheap. It only makes sense that they get into the hosting game.While you'll see that their speeds aren't as fast as their competitors, they make up for it with a decent user interface and top-notch support.Their support team responds to tickets very quickly and is generally very helpful.
They're a more expensive host (which I cover in costs) but they do a really good job of marketing an "easy to use" user interface.They also offer some decent intro sales but end up hooking you into their hosting plans, and the charge ends up going when you pay your next subscription cost.
You'll get a free domain if you pay annually but other hosting providers offer the same thing, including Bluehost.Overall, GoDaddy is a decent hosting option for beginners and on par with other shared hosts.
Monthly cost: C+
grade My only craze with GoDaddy's costs is that their introduction rates are big, but don't expect to get them when you sign up again.And instead of being just "slightly" higher than their introductory offer like other shared hosts, you'll go from $1.00 per month for the first year as part of their promo plan and jump to $7.99 per month in the second year.
This is fine for your first year, like any other shared hosting option, but I encourage you to have long-term plans like a managed WordPress host in year 2.
Plus, it's more expensive to sign up again in the second year if you're not ready for a managed WordPress host, so it's something to keep in mind when evaluating costs.If you've chosen a competitive niche to get started, it may take more than a year to get serious traction.
Site speed: Grade B-For site speed, I tested allaboutframes.com, which is currently shown as hosted with GoDaddy.
GTMetrix Test: GTMetrix returns with a "B" PageSpeed score.The website layout for this site is decent and has been optimized well.It was created with HTML code that works significantly faster than a website that was created with WordPress, so PageSpeed scores will look a little better thanks to code cleanup.
In addition, it is not a site saturated with images, so it loads relatively quickly.It lowers 320KB in 2.7 seconds, which is still a bit high-end when you realize that 320KB is not a lot of data.
Tools.pingdom.com test: Tools.pingdom.com also renders data less than 320 KB in just over 2 seconds.Ideally, this should be a much faster response time since this site is designed in HTML.There are some small coding issues that could be fixed to help reduce page speed and improve the user experience.
Bitcatcha.com Test: this is where the tyre meets the road.This website was great to test because it wasn't a PHP WordPress based site.Bitcatcha's results show an overall performance level of a "C" for server response times, with an 18ms response time in US West and a response time of 57ms in US East.Overseas is significantly higher.
I'm going to assume that if this site was hosted by another provider, these scores would improve.It ignores the name "Host" in the Bitcatcha response, as doing a reverse IP lookup and running the domain through whoishostingthis.com shows that this site is indeed hosted through GoDaddy.com.
User Interface: Grade B
GoDaddy switched to cPanel a few years ago, so their user interface is pretty standard.If you're just starting to build websites and use GoDaddy as your registrar, GoDaddy wants you to believe that setting up your site is easier than setting it up with a different shared host.
It takes the same amount of time, regardless of the shared hosting plan, so don't let this be the only reason you decide to make GoDaddy your host.You can install WordPress on your website in less than 5 minutes on most shared hosting providers.
Support Grade: B+
GoDaddy's support is actually pretty solid.They are available 24/7, and you can chat or call to speak to a support representative.Don't be surprised if they try to sell you on a different product.It's part of their job to try to improve when they have a customer on the phone and it's grown in their culture.
This is good news in a way, as their support representatives are mostly friendly and if they can't fix the problem, they usually do a good job of escalating pretty quickly.
SITE5: GENERAL GRADE B-
Site 5 is another hosting company owned by Endurance International Group.Site 5 has a few different hosting packages, and they're typically geared toward the beginner crowd, just like Bluehost and the other shared hosting providers I've already covered.
Their speeds are relatively similar which I'll cover, so it basically boils down to backend support and UI functionality, as well as WordPress installation speed.
One of the benefits of Site5 is free migrations.If you already have a WordPress site set up on another host and you're looking to get away from them, they'll migrate your site to their hosting platform for free.
WPX does this as a managed WordPress host, and it's a nice touch.It makes it very easy to move your site.This is useful if you want to move hosts and you already have a site that's getting some traffic but aren't ready for the cost of a larger hosting plan.
Monthly cost: Grade Cw
Site5 is more expensive than the other hosts on the list without any kind of promotional code.For just 1 website, you're looking at $6.95 per month and this is only suitable for up to 10,000 visits per month.If you perform the appropriate strategies for creating your website, you will exceed this figure within 6 months.The next tier is the $10.95 hosting package for unlimited websites.
Obviously this costs over $120.00 per year, which is more expensive than the other recommended shared hosts, so it's something that should be taken into consideration.It's also good for 25,000 hits where other hosts offer unlimited bandwidth.
For 100,000 visits, you're looking at $13.95.At this point you should look at a mid-tier plan with WPX Hosting or another provider because your traffic numbers should mean that your site is earning a decent income.If you're making a decent income, it's worth upgrading your hosting plan and reinvesting in your business.
Site speed: Grade B
For site speed, I tried pupkinvinecyclery.com, which shows as hosted through a Site5 shared hosting plan.
GTMetrix test: The GTMetrix test provides one of the best answers I've seen for one of the shared hosts.This is also partly because the website is designed well, without tons of unnecessary code.The PageSpeed score scores 80%, and the site loads in 2.4 seconds for 972 KB of total data.
Tools.pingdom.com test: the Pingdom test is even cleaner.It records a load time of 1.27 seconds for just under 1 MB of total data and also shows only 24 requests.Sure, there's not a lot of content or ads on the site, but overall the site is built well with a custom WordPress theme.
The performance level is 90 overall, and the speed makes it one of the best shared hosting options from the Pingdom test perspective.
Bitcatcha.com testing: When testing Site5 servers, performance was solid for US-based traffic.The response times of the West Coast are 32MS and the East Coast is 36MS, both well below the 200MS or less recommended by Google.If you're outside the United States, the site's speed increases dramatically, as expected.
Using a CDN like MaxCDN or a service like CloudFlare would greatly speed up server response times as it would serve content from the server closest to the visitor's location.Overall, the D+ ranking of server response times is on par with other shared hosts.
User Interface: Grade B-
Site5's user interface is pretty vanilla.Once you "install scripts" it will guide you through the process of installing WordPress from cPanel.cPanel is standard with most Linux hosting companies, and it's pretty much a one-click install from there.You can install WordPress in less than a dozen clicks, making it pretty easy to go live and get the setup.
The backend isn't as easy to navigate as BlueHost is, so you might spend some time having to watch tutorials or view step-by-step guides on the Site5 website.
Support Grade: B
Site5 has support available via live chat, ticketing, and emailing.However, it does not have live phone support.If you require assistance, it will take you back to the "backstage" area for online submission via ticket or live chat.
If you'd rather talk to someone on the phone about support-related issues, BlueHost, SiteGround, or GoDaddy are all better options.Chat support is relatively quick to respond, and I've never had trouble getting the support I needed from an agent at tech support.
CHEAPNAME: GENERAL GRADE C+
Namecheap is a low-cost shared hosting provider.The biggest beef I have with NameCheap is that your cPanel login is not in your dashboard when you log into their website.You'll need to save the original email you received when setting up your account if you want to easily log in to cPanel and add new domains to your account or set up hosting your website for the first time.
Besides that, they are quite cheap and reliable.Their speeds lag behind other shared hosts, but their costs reflect this and don't impose a bandwidth cap on their sites.Their user interface is lacking behind other major hosting providers like Bluehost but if you need a very low cost option and can find a hosting coupon, Namecheap is a decent choice for anyone just starting out.
Monthly cost: grade A
NameCheap has a variety of different hosting options, but the most popular is the "Value" plan that will get you up to 3 websites and unlimited bandwidth at $9.88 for the first year and $38.88 for the second year.If cost is one of your biggest concerns, you'll want to consider NameCheap's hosting services.
While there are obviously other factors you should consider, $9.88 for the first year is the cheapest hosting package I've brought you in this guide.
While cost shouldn't be the only thing influencing your decision, whether you're going to do the customer's work or have other needs to maintain a shared hosting account for the long term, NameLowent's hosting option is incredibly hard to beat from a pure monetary value perspective.
Site speed: Grade B
For site speed, I tried tobywhelan.com, which shows as hosted through a NameCheap shared hosting plan.
GTMetrix Test: GTMetrix produces a PageSpeed of an "F", but this is largely due to the images used by this site and is the primary grade of an "F" in the category of optimized and resized images managed by GTMetrix.I guess the owner of this site built it himself and didn't do any resizing or compressing of any of his images.
Test Tools.pingdom.com: The Pingdom test came back much better than the GTMetrix test when it came to performance.The only suggestion to improve performance here was to take advantage of browser caching.The load time was 3.09 seconds for 3.3 MB of data, which is about 1 second per MB of data that I typically shoot for when trying to optimize speed.
Keep in mind that this site contains no ads and that it will definitely add loading time if you plan to use NameCheap as a host.
Test Bitcatcha.com: Bitcatcha gives us similar results to other shared hosts when it comes to server response times.The US West gets the fastest response with 15 ms and the US East lags at 88 ms. Overseas, NameCheap responds a little faster, at less than 700ms for each country tested.
Overall the results are a C from Bitcatcha which is not bad at all for a shared host considering other shared hosts I've tested in a D or a D+.
User Interface: Grade D+
I am categorizing NameCheap here specifically because there are no links or gateways in your NameCheap account to access cPanel.You will need to save your original email with login details or contact the support chat to send you an email.
It's inconvenient and for someone just starting out, they might forget where to access and this could cost quite a bit of time trying to figure it out.They need to add a gateway or link to cPanel so that people can access and use their hosting options, especially if they are using NameCheap as a registrar on it.
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The backend is a standard cPanel login and is easy to use once you have the login link.
Support Grade: B
NameCheap support responds quickly via live chat.They have a 2-hour SLA (service level agreement), so they respond quickly if there is a problem.They will ask for a pin, but once provided they will be useful and can usually solve most basic and even more intermediate technical problems.
Overall their support is solid, but they're the kind of person who would rather jump on the phone to fix a problem if I needed an immediate response, and like other shared hosts, there's no option to answer the phone and call.
DREAMHOST: GENERAL GRADE C
My first experience with DreamHost dates back to 2014 when I was experimenting with private blog networks.I purchased a DreamHost account out of necessity to need additional "Class C" IP addresses after reading all the professional studies.
It fixes that DreamHost would occasionally provide you with a "new" IP Class C range if you put a new domain into your hosting account every two weeks.It worked for a while and at one point I had about 10 different ranges of C blocks for IP addresses on a shared hosting account.At the time, this was one of the cheapest ways to accommodate a PBN.
DreamHost has come a long way since 2014 and has updated the user interface, support structure, and technology.I don't know if the IP range trick works anymore because I exited PBNs in 2014 after Google penalized several sites (including one of mine).
My experience has always been enjoyable with DreamHost and it's pretty easy to set up a new account.My biggest complaint with them compared to other hosts is the cost, which I'll cover in more detail later.
Monthly cost: Grade D+
You can sign up for a monthly fee of $10.95 per month or 1 year billed upfront and save $1.00 per month for a hosting plan shared with DreamHost.They offer managed WordPress hosting which is more expensive, but for shared hosting, this is what you can expect.As for shared hosting, this is quite expensive compared to other options.
For similar speeds, you'll pay $120.00 per year with DreamHost while paying much less with BlueHost or SiteGround for a similar experience.I love how easy it is to navigate DreamHost and they make it extremely easy to upgrade to a managed WordPress hosting option if you're already a customer.
Cost-wise, however, there are only better options.Even WPX hosting which is a managed WordPress hosting option, you're looking for $24.99 for a base price and the backend speed difference is definitely noticeable.
Site speed: Grade B
For site speed, I tried ctrlq.org, which shows as hosted through a DreamHost shared hosting plan.
The 4x load time of the amount of data is not what I would expect to see.1 second per MB of data or at most 2 seconds per MB of data should be the standard that most people aim for.
Tools.pingdom.com test: The Pingdom test answered much better.It may have something to do with the locations of the servers where the data is hosted.Pingdom retrieved the page in 802ms, which is less than 1 second for the same 1.9MB of data.
This test was run (like all others) from the San Jose test server, so it's possible that the DreamHost data structure is closer to the GTMetrix Pingdom servers.
Test Bitcatcha.com: For a site that doesn't use CloudFlare, the Bitcatcha response is actually pretty solid.The West Coast of the United States receives a server response in 26 ms, while servers on the East Coast of the United States reach 76 ms. What's different here is that all non-US servers have less than 700 ms, with most under 400 ms without using CloudFlare.
If your traffic is from outside the US and you don't intend to use CloudFlare, using DreamHost seems to produce better server response times than most other shared hosts.
User Interface: C+
grade DreamHost is easy to use.It's not as intuitive as BlueHost or some of their competitors, but you can install WordPress in just a few clicks on the main dashboard after placing domains on your account and pointing name servers at the host.Installing WordPress is also quite painless.
It used to be more clunkier in 2014 and it took a little more patience to handle it, but now it's pretty simple as they've gone through the UI and made some design improvements.
The only complaint I have regarding their UI is the fact that they are not using cPanel, so if you need to access your files once they are installed (think about moving hosts), then you will have to do so via an FTP file manager which can be time-consuming if you are not technically savvy (they are not).
Support Grade: B
DreamHost has decent support.Again, their phone support is missing, but you can chat or match with someone via their support ticket system whenever you need assistance with something you're unable to fix on your own.
I prefer to call if I'm really struggling with something, so DreamHost knocks here, but overall, their response times are very good, especially via live chat.
MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING:
Managed WordPress hosts are the way to go if you can afford it.As mentioned, in my opinion, the time you return from the WordPress admin panel alone is worth the cost.
When buying a managed WordPress host, there are a few things that should be taken into account since these types of hosting plans tend to differ in services and bandwidth more than shared hosting plans.
Full disclosure here – I have no UI experience with ALL managed WordPress hosts that I will appear.As a result, I will not evaluate the UI experience with each of these hosts, but only those that I have personally used.
To assess support response times, I gathered information from others who have had experience interacting with these companies.I also don't rate them unless I have had a personal experience with the host.
Here's what I'm covering with every managed WordPress host:
- Monthly cost: Paid upfront in 12-month or month-to-month plans, whichever is available
- Site speed: I rate a live site hosted on each server
- User interface (when I have experience): how easy or difficult it is to start working
- Support (when I have experience): how easy it is to reach someone in case of problems
WPX HOSTING: GENERAL GRADE A-
I was introduced to WPX about a year ago and honestly wish I had switched from a shared host earlier.As I said in the section on why "managed WordPress hosting is better," I pointed out that the time it saved me in the admin panel was worth the cost alone.
I'm an impatient person that's quite an OCD, and sitting while watching WordPress isn't something I like to do.
The speed upgrade here on a shared host is definitely noticeable, and that's just for me to be selfish and want extra time to be productive.The reality is that WPX gives you a fairly affordable cost to access managed WordPress hosting and offers speeds that your visitors will appreciate.They level prices based on usage, so you'll need to know what kind of data you use.
If you use a CDN or CloudFlare, this will significantly reduce your bandwidth usage and save you on monthly costs.When I used MaxCDN alongside WPX, I survived the "Business" plan for almost 9 months before I had to level up based on traffic to the "Professional" plan.Let's take a look at the prices.
TRY WPX HOSTING HEREMonthly Cost: Grade AWPX has 3 different price points.
I found that, along with MaxCDN's service, the Business plan at $24.99 per month was more than enough for me until I started hitting around 100,000 page views per month across all my sites hosted with their plans.This pushed me to the next level of the "professional" plan which is $49.99 per month.
Because of the value of what they give you for $24.99, I ranked them as one of our only "A's" in the cost category.
While WPX is more expensive than other shared WordPress hosts, this cost is minimal if you think about any drop you might experience in subscribers or loss of traffic due to a slower website.Instead of wasting money testing different WordPress themes, choosing the right host is a good monetary investment, and WPX is definitely worth the cost.
You can also order annually and save about 2 months on total hosting costs for the year, which helps.
Site speed: Grade A
For site speed, I tested with bloggerspassion.com, which shows as hosted via WPX from both its own website and validation with "whoishostingthis.com".
GTMetrix test: The GTMetrix test is solid again on this site.Looking at the source of the page, you can tell that they have a custom theme and it is well coded.2.6 seconds for 862kb is somewhat respectable, although I'd rather see this load in less than 2 seconds since most fast-moving hosts will send 1 second per MB of data, as I mentioned in this article.
The site is very well coded, however, with minimal suggestions for improvement and overall combined with WPX hosting, it ranks with a score of 94 PageSpeed.
Test Bitcatcha.com: Depending on response times, it is entirely possible that CloudFlare is installed on this site.Usually when a site has CloudFlare installed, they return as a "host" under the IP address in the Bitcatcha test.CloudFlare may be integrated via the W3 caching plugin, but Bitcatcha is not detecting a CloudFlare IP.
As a result, US-based traffic is reaching 62 ms on the West Coast and 22 ms on the East Coast.It is possible that WPX has its own servers in the United States on the East Coast.
Worldwide, however, we're at 300ms or less across the board, bringing this host as our first to rank as "A+" for Bitcatcha performance.With CloudFlare configured correctly, most Bitcatcha service times are less than 100ms when hosted via WPX.
User Interface: Grade A
WPX is one of the easiest hosts to install WordPress on.BlueHost is one of the simplest but WPX is not far away.I installed a site on my hosting account in less than 3 minutes for a relative.And because the backend is so fast, we had its entire website up and running from scratch within a 3-hour period.
It would have taken me much longer to load and edit content, move from one screen to another when installing plugins, etc. If you had been on a shared hosting plan.
Support Grade: B+
WPX goes down so they don't have an 800 number to call in case of a problem, but their ticket tracking and live chat services are spot on.I never logged into the support chat and received no response within 5 minutes of the question.They are extremely quick to respond and have done many things that I would consider "beyond and beyond" what a normal guest would do.
For example, they will install and configure W3 Total Cache for you on your site, so it is fully optimized with their settings.They will also install CloudFlare and configure it for you.Both of these tasks can take more than an hour to install if you are not familiar with the backend requirements.Overall, their support is top-notch.
KINSTA HOSTING: GENERAL GRADE B+
Kinsta is another guest who's been around for a couple of years.I'm a managed WordPress host that harnesses the power of the Google Cloud platform.After reading a lot of reviews, I've often been tempted to switch to Kinsta from WPX because of the amount of people enthusiastic about their service and support.
Since I have no direct experience in running a website on their platform, let me explain why I'm going with a "B" on my overall score.
The reason for the overall rating "B" is one thing – the cost.For what I'm doing right now in my business, there may come a time when I want to test a different hosting platform, and I love the fact that Kinsta allows unlimited page views and unlimited visitors.
But for me to host even 2 of my money sites with them, I am already increasing their level by 200/month.I like the fact that they have staging environments, and from all accounts, their speed is top-notch.
But with where my business is now, I can't justify the $150.00 per month increase when I'm already getting similar performance metrics with WPX hosting.Matthew Barby recommends them, as does Harsh Agrawal.Let's jump in and look at some details.
CHECK OUT KINSTA HOSTING HEREMonthly fee: Grade C
Kinsta has four main plans you can choose from.Most marketers who follow Spencer probably fall into the category of having 1 to 5 niche websites.This immediately puts most people (including me) on the "Business 2" plan which costs $200.00 per month.
If you get a lot of traffic from just one website, from the studies I've seen, this might be a better option because Kinsta can run with heavier loads "all at once" than WPX.
WPX can display heavy load times as a potential hacking attempt, so if you're used to getting 10,000 hits on your site in a short time after sending an email explosion, Kinsta might hold up better.However, most people are not in this situation, and if so, cost is a factor to take into account.
Site Speed: Grade A
For site speed, I tested none other than Matthew Barby's website matthewbarby.com, since it hosts with them and is advertised as a supporter on Kinsta's website.
GTMetrix Test: GTMetrix comes in with a PageSpeed score of 77 (C).Returns a fully loaded home page at 4.6 seconds with a total home page size of 1.29 MB.Kinsta allows you to choose your server locations based on your location, so it's possible that Matt decided to choose a server location near the UK since that's where it's based.
He has some tips that GTMetrix provides to further optimize his site, but being an SEO expert, I'm sure Matt is already aware of this and his branding is more important than someone loading a second faster on his homepage.Its content pages could be a different story.
Tools.pingdom.com test: Pingdom loaded its homepage faster, at 2.5 seconds with 1.2 MB of data.There are 113 requests, so this means that the site has multiple calls that the testing server needs to make before fully rendering its page.
Test Bitcatcha.com: Here's where the rubber meets the road: Kinsta performed at 35ms (the goal is 200ms or less) in the UK and 86ms in the US on the East Coast.The west coast of the United States is less than 200 ms to 143 ms.
What's surprising is that other locations around the world are in the 200-400ms range with CloudFlare installed.This is solid enough not to have CloudFlare as evidenced by the B+ performance level of Bitcatcha.com.
User Interface: A-
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I personally have no experience with Kinsta's user interface on the backend.However, both FatStacksBlog.com's Jon and ShoutMeLoud.com's Harsh are fans of hosting on the Kinsta platform and have done some in-depth reviews here and here on Kinsta.Harsh shows all the details behind the support structure and it seems that the user interface is very easy to use.
Support Grade: A
While I have no experience with Kinsta support, I interacted with their sales reps asking about their hosting plans when I considered testing their services.I received responses the same day on all my outreach activities and they were very accommodating in providing the requested information.
While I understand that sales are much more likely to hit immediately, it seems like other industry leaders have some good things to say about Kinsta's support team.
FLYWHEEL: GENERAL GRADE B+
Flywheel is a pretty sweet host.Their plans are pretty good if you're just starting out, and they're an entry level managed WordPress host for people just starting out.They have a limit of 5000 monthly visits and 250GB of bandwidth for their smallest plan which costs $14.00 per month.
They advertise that they are for small developers and individual sites, which is evident from their traffic requirements.When you start getting into the "Personal" or "Professional" plans, the cost is higher than WPX for what you get, but I'm still a good host.
I liked the fact that they allow you to test their sites and if you're ever going to freelanc, they have a fantastic option that allows you to bill customers directly and get an affiliate commission from the client by paying their hosting cost.It's a great feature.
Unfortunately that's not enough for a solopreneur who does all the work on his own to switch to WPX or Kinsta in my opinion. If you're planning to offer work to the client, this overall rating probably approaches the "A" sign since performance is pretty close to WPX for low-traffic sites.
Monthly cost: grade B
$14.00/month the entrance fee is good for people who are just starting out.You get 5,000 monthly visits, but after 5-6 months of running a niche site, you could increase that number.That pushes you to the $28.00 per month plan, which only gives you a WordPress install and 25,000 monthly visits.
Hosts like WPX load on bandwidth, and you can easily get by with CloudFlare installed up to 100,000 monthly visits on WPX's mid-tier plan.Once you get into the "personal" plan, that's when the competition starts to get more aggressive.You get their built-in CDN for free, which is a nice touch.
And again, if you're going to do the customer's work, the option to bill them directly for their hosting is absolutely fantastic.
Site speed: Grade A
For the speed of the site, I tried lemonly.com.They are a company that hosts infographics and are one of the testimonials on the Flywheel testimonials page.I also did some testing myself since they allow you to create a non-indexed test site for free for 14 days.
GTMetrix Test: GTMetrix extracted 7.86 MB of data from the lemonly.com home page in 6.5 seconds.Not bad when our typical target is 1 second per MB of data.They could do a lot with this site to reduce loading times, but since they're an infographic service, having a lot of large images makes sense.
The flywheel has slower loading times below major traffic peaks, but they advertise it in advance, so there's no surprise.
Tools.pingdom.com test: Pingdom removed the lemonly.com homepage at 4.82 seconds with 22.4 MB of page data.This is excellent speed and I'm not really sure why the GTMetrix test lowers considerably less data from the page, but I suppose it's due to how each speed test software reads the code.
Test Bitcatcha.com: The Bitcatcha test here is pretty impressive.I might consider it "a bit" a cheat since, as Pagely.com, they have their own CDN – but most server response times look pretty good.US-based traffic on the West Coast comes in at 67ms and only 9ms on the East Coast.London comes in at 120ms and the rest of the world is under 460ms across the board.
User Interface: Grade A
After navigating to the back of my Flywheel account, it's super intuitive and easy to use.I might be slightly biased because I tend to like sites that have bright colors that tell me what to do since I'm a visual learner.The user interface is definitely easy to use, especially for beginners.
Support Grade: N/A
I personally didn't have to use Flywheel's support team, but they are available 24/7 for emergencies, including an option to call them during office hours which I love.I like to get on the phone with someone when I have a problem more than dealing with someone via live chat.I'm not considering support since I've never had to use it, but the option is definitely there.
ENGINE: GENERAL GRADE B
WPEngine is one of the longest managed WordPress hosting companies.They have the main part of managed WordPress hosting, so you'd think they'd be the best option for almost everyone, right?While WPEngine has many people who have died followers of the brand, they are missing in an area that other managed WordPress hosts don't have and that's speed.
WPEngine gets a lot of positive feedback for its support structure, and I love that they have an option to call them on the phone, chat, or submit a ticket.But that doesn't get the better of speed, which is a big chunk of what it's about finding the right host.
The other blow against WPEngine is the fact that they don't host emails with their service (this can be overcome) and that they also have some plugins that they don't allow on your site if you host with them.
Monthly cost: grade B
WPEngine has a few different plans depending on where you are in your business.The personal plan costs only $29.00 per month and will serve most people who are just starting out.You can only 1 WordPress install on this plan and you can only get about 25k hits per month.It's not a bad entry level plan, but it's not as good as WPX offers with their entry level 5 web plan.
Their next tier is the Professional plan, which is $99.00 per month for 10 sites, and WPX offers a hosting plan that's about half of the one with 15 WordPress installations.The cost is cheaper than Kinsta but more expensive than WPX.If you like the idea of having someone you can jump on the phone with when there's a problem, WPEngine might be a good fit for you, especially if you're just starting out.
Site speed: grade B
For the speed of the site, I tested eofire.com, run by John Lee Dumas.John Lee Dumas is a respected entrepreneur and moved to WPEngine when their bandwidth at EOF exceeded what BlueHost could offer them.
Test Bitcatcha.com: Bitcatcha brings server response times in the U.S. to 70ms for the West Coast and 16ms for the East Coast, both of which are respectable.The UK comes in at 130ms, but everywhere is at 350+ ms, making it less optimal if you have traffic coming from abroad.You can integrate CloudFlare with WPEngine, which will produce better results for anyone who comes to your site abroad.
User Interface: N/A
grade Just like Kinsta, I have no personal experience with WPEngine Dashboard.There are many different articles that talk about how easy it is to use.Since WPEngine is a large company, it is able to reinvest in support and user experience, so this is definitely a selling point for WPEngine compared to its competitors.
Support Grade: N/A
As with the user interface, I have no direct experience here, but from what I've read, they've made investments in their support team and you can call or chat with someone 24/7 on your website.I like phone support and chat support, but I'm not quite sure I'm convincing myself to give them a try, given some of the issues I've read about with other bloggers.
However, things have come a long way since 2014, when that post was written, so it's possible they've improved since then.
PAGELY: GENERAL GRADE A (IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT)
Pagely is a high-end managed WordPress host.They run on Amazon SSDs with the privacy of a VPS and allow unlimited page views/visitors.Unfortunately the biggest drawback here will be the cost.They are quite expensive, and the cost will be somewhat out of reach for many people who have established sites.
If you need someone to handle a large influx of traffic, Pagely is definitely worth a visit as a hosting provider if you can afford it.
There are many enterprise-level WordPress websites that use Pagely's service, as they have to withstand huge traffic flows and high load levels when they have an influx of readers due to viral activity.They have different plans depending on what you need, including a plan that "isn't published" but is cheaper than the others they've advertised on their website.
Pagely definitely caters to the corporate crowd, especially sites that get millions of visits per month.
Monthly cost: Grade C
I got a paid C here because many people who read the NichePursuits blog should invest $499.00 per month for content, not hosting.Pagely.com offered lower-tier hosting packages that were "somehow" affordable for kids, but now they've definitely steered their resources toward other sites.It is possible that they also catere to retailers, although I have no experience there.Allow 30 WordPress installations at $499/month.It's not bad if you're working with clients, hosting their sites and charging them $50.00 per piece for monthly maintenance.
They have an "unpublished" pricing plan that starts at $299.00 per month, but you'll need to contact their sales team directly to find out that price.It only allows 15 WordPress installations, which is still pretty decent considering you get unlimited bandwidth.
Site speed: Grade A
For site speed, I tested the pagely.com website.When I asked a sample site to run some tests, they explained that their site is hosted on their servers and could be tested.They provided me with another website that produced similar results from a testing perspective.
GTMetrix Test: GTMetrix loaded the Pagely site fully loaded in 4.8 seconds with 1.22 MB of data.There are some speed tips on the site and GTMetrix reads that no CDN is installed.This is incorrect since Pagely actually has its own CDN that it uses with its own hosting service, which is a nice touch.
There are 113 requests on their homepage, so there's more to loading this page than in server speed.If you take a look at the homepage, there's a lot of activity, so I'll guess that some of the codes could hold back their speeds with a simple tap.
Test Bitcatcha.com: The Bitcatcha test for Pagely was impressive.The US West Coast server has a response time of 62 ms with the East Coast of 4 seconds.All other countries besides India had less than 240ms, which is the fastest server response time I've ever seen on any site that doesn't have CloudFlare installed.
User Interface: N/A
grade Like Kinsta and WPEngine, I have no experience with the Pagely UI.From what I've read, their user interface is different from the fact that you don't actually "install" WordPress, as it's already installed for you completely ready to be ready to go.
It can be confusing for anyone who thinks they will access a default WordPress since the previous article mentions that it looks a bit different from a standard WordPress installation.
Support Grade: N/A
As with the user interface, I have no direct experience with their support.They don't list a phone number to contact them, but they do have ticket support and live chat support.Their support is available 24/7, and I would find it hard to believe that the big brands would have hosted Pagely without having a fantastic support team ready to take on the challenges that might arise.
HOW I TESTED HOSTING
I provide a lot of details below, which I hope you can read.However, if you want to see a summary of my results, use this simple chart below to help you choose the best wordpress hosting.
Here's how I found websites using each host (so you can do the same if you choose):
- Use a site like webhostinghero.com to find sites that potentially use the service
- Use whoishostingthis.com to confirm that nameservers are pointing to bluehost
- Use yougetsignal.com for a reverse IP lookup to locate other sites on the same IP (I do this so I can do steps 1 and 2 on these sites to validate the host)
I'll take you through the speed scores of both tools.pingdom.com and gtmextrix.com which are both tools that are popular to use when testing different hosting companies.I will also run each site through bitcatcha.com to see the actual server response time for each host. Bitcatcha.com measures server reliability and response time which is different from page load time.
I've broken down our hosting options into two distinct categories: shared hosting which is typically the cheapest option for beginners, and then a faster option that's better for SEO, managed WordPress hosting that was designed specifically for WordPress.
Long story short, if your budget is $25.00 per month and above, look at a managed WordPress host.If it's lower because you're just starting out and want to maintain overhead, choose a shared host until you increase some traffic.
If this 10,000-word post is too much for you to read, you can feel free to upgrade to the budget-based simplified version, right here:
- Shared hosts ($5.00 per month or less): Bluehost or SiteGround
- Managed WordPress hosts (less than $25.00 per month): WPX or Flywheel
- Managed WordPress Host for Heavy Traffic ($100-$400 per month): Kinsta
Before I get into the details, I want to start by saying that I'm not a tech guy.I'm just an affiliate marketer who has a lot of experience with different hosts over the past few years.I've tried to keep my tests as unbiased as possible, but obviously given that I have experience with some hosts over others, there will be some preference based on my personal experiences.
If you're a tech-savvy person, I encourage you to check out this amazing reviewsignal.com article that offers a really nice overview test of each host and their response times under heavy loads.Their picks aren't necessarily my favorites, but some are right there.My favorites are my favorites because of my personal experience.
WHY MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING IS BETTER
Before comparing actual hosting companies, I want to go through Managed WordPress versus a shared host.Managed WordPress essentially means that the host takes care of everything from security to speed and support.It's fair to say that all managed WordPress hosting plans will be more expensive because of what they offer.
If you can afford a managed WordPress host in advance, you should consider it.If it's not in the budget, a shared host is fine, but if you can afford the extra monthly cost, a managed WordPress hosting plan is a far superior choice.While there are many reasons for this, I emphasize the less obvious.
The only area I found absolutely worth the cost is the speed that occurs in the ADMIN sections of WordPress.
Not what your users experience, but what YOU experience.
Instead of taking 5-6 seconds to save a post or navigate through admin panels, you'll do it in half the time.This might not sound like much, but when you work in WordPress to build your site, you'll find that saving 30 minutes a week on something you didn't know was a problem is a factor that makes all the difference.
If speed and time are worth a few extra dollars per month for you, skip ALL the shared hosting reviews below and go straight to managed WordPress hosting options.
CHOOSE YOUR HOST:
Hopefully, everything that's laid out here will help you choose the right host for whatever your plans are with your business.There are many different options and it can be quite confusing if you don't know what your long-term plans are.
If you're still scratching your head after all the testing I've done here, I'll reiterate how I would approach hosting if I were just getting started.
- Shared hosts (I have a very small hosting budget): Bluehost or SiteGround
- Managed WordPress Hosts (I'm interested in speed and have a slightly bigger budget): BigScoots or WPX
- Busy Managed WordPress Host (I Can Afford $100-$400 per month): Kinsta
Anything in between will work, but these four are the hosts I would recommend based on personal experience and learning curve over the past few years of testing different hosts.
If you have different experiences or feel you have lost your favorite host, please send us a line in the comments section!