The 11 Best WordPress Hosting Sites - H2H Comparison - 2020

Let’s do a small experiment.

Go out on the street and ask a random person if they know some famous bloggers.

Chances are they can name at least one.

Ask the same question 10 years ago, and you would just get a bunch of “huhs,” “ehs,” and “blo-whats.”

With over 500 million blogs and 2 million new posts daily, blogging has proven it’s more than just a fad. One platform has been the key reason for this worldwide acclaim.

Yes, you know the one.

Today we’re going to analyze the best WordPress hosting sites so any new or established blogger can find a provider to realize their ideas.

That’s important, folks.

We are not just talking about your average provider — this list only includes companies that offer WordPress-specific services and optimizations.

If you do a quick search for the “best WP hosting sites,” you will find a lot of suggestions. Tons even.

In reality, providers tend to speculate a bit with such offers because, frankly, the name WordPress sells. They like to throw around standard shared accounts and tout them as WP-optimized. But when you ask about the specifics, their answers are intentionally vague and unclear.

So how can you tell if a provider is well-versed in a particular CMS or just pulling the wool over your eyes?

Here’s how we did it.

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The Best WordPress Hosting Providers in 2020

Kinsta

Specialized WP host

Exceptional speed

Staging and testing environment

Sign Up READ REVIEW

WP Engine

Developer, Staging, and Production areas

Global CDN

Exceptional support

Sign Up READ REVIEW

DreamHost

Plenty of server resources

Excellent speed results

JetPack plugin preinstalled

Sign Up READ REVIEW

1. Kinsta

Specialized WP host

Exceptional performance

Staging and testing environment

Sign Up

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When it comes to WordPress, Kinsta is as close to perfection as one can be. The company focuses solely on the most popular CMS, and it shows by the numerous optimizations and customization in their offers.

Read full review

Best for

Professional sites

Performance

Features

Support

Price

2. WP Engine

LargeFS storage

Global CDN

Exceptional support

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WP Engine offers a well-rounded platform, packed with tons of useful features for developers, agencies, and businessmen alike. The price might seem a bit high for smaller and startup businesses, but if you can fit it in your budget — it is worth every cent!

Read full review

Best for

Devs & agencies

Performance

Features

Support

Price

3. DreamHost

Plenty of server resources

Excellent speed results

JetPack plugin preinstalled

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DreamHost's managed WordPress service is suitable for growing and large-scale businesses alike. It provides enough resources to build and maintain a successful WP project. Novices benefit from the convenient drag-and-drop site builder, which helps them quickly launch a cool and stylish website.

Read full review

Best for

Devs & medium-sized businesses

Performance

Features

Support

Price

4. SiteGround

Excellent performance

Industry-leading support

Powerful caching plugin

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SiteGround actively participates in the WordPress project and various WordCamp events around the world. Every employee has regular training sessions with the CMS, which results in exceptional technical assistance and customer care.

Read full review

Best for

Small & medium sites

Performance

Features

Support

Price

5. GreenGeeks

High-speed servers

Eco-friendly

Quite affordable

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GreenGeeks does not offer WordPress-specific optimizations, but its shared solutions are powerful enough to be a great home for your WP site. The eco-friendly approach and impressive speed test results make the provider a notable contender for the best hosting company for WordPress.

Read full review

Best for

Small sites

Performance

Features

Support

Price

6. FastComet

Personal care

BitNinja server security

Affordable for starters

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FastComet is one of the best hosts for WordPress because the staff is well-versed with the platform and takes the time to assist its clients thoroughly. Startups and SMBs will enjoy a feature-rich and secure environment for their projects.

Read full review

Best for

Small blogs & SMBs

Performance

Features

Support

Price

7. InMotion Hosting

Wide range of plans

Powerful WordPress drag-and-drop builder

Staging environment

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InMotion is a WordPress-friendly provider with nicely-scaled plans and helpful support. Developers and growing businesses can utilize a rich set of features, while newbies can find all kinds of support and even hire a professional to build their website.

Read full review

Best for

WordPress site buidler

Performance

Features

Support

Price

8. A2 Hosting

Turbo servers

LiteSpeed cache

HackSafe protection

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A2 Hosting is a reliable provider that constantly looks to expand and innovate. It packs a lot of features and extra services for the WP user in need. Plus, it's green-friendly, let's not forget about that.

Read full review

Performance

Features

Support

Price

9. BlueHost

Superb uptime

Jetpack preinstalled

Marketing center

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The BlueHost WordPress hosting is reliable, with a few WP-specific features, but nothing really stands out. Bluehost has substantial financial backing from a multibillion-dollar fund, so you can be sure the company won't disappear overnight and leave your site in limbo.

Read full review

Performance

Features

Support

Price

10. GoDaddy

Excellent uptime

Cheap

Gravity Forms preinstalled

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GoDaddy has a few of the features that can significantly help your site-building efforts, and the prices are rather reasonable.

Read full review

Performance

Features

Support

Price

11. HostGator

Automatic malware removal

Free SSL

$100 AdWords credits

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The HostGator managed WP hosting packages suffice for low-demand clients. You have enough features to get started, but not many options as you get bigger.

Read full review

Performance

Features

Support

Price

How We Created This List - Our Ranking Factors

  • Speed and Uptime — the two make-or-break factors when it comes to building a successful website. A lightning-fast site can benefit you in many ways. Your pages will rank better in search engines. Visitors will enjoy seamless load times. You can even earn more. We ran averages for TTFB (Time-to-first-byte) and onload speeds, based on numerous tests from GTMetrix, Pingdom, and WebPageTest. Each second of downtime can be devastating for any online business. You cannot afford to pay for a host that is not up to the task of keeping your website up and running smoothly.We have monitored all WordPress hosts in this list for at least one month, running automated checks every few minutes. The minimum entry for our contenders was 99.5%.
  • Features — all the top managed WP hosts know the application inside and out. You will recognize them as they go way and beyond with their package features. Staging and testing environment, automatic updates, preinstalled plugins, security enhancements — those are all essentials to look out for. Consider all the little things that can save you time and effort and check if your potential WP host offers them.
  • Support — having in-depth knowledge about the app should reflect on the level of support assistance. So any potential candidate for Best WordPress Hosting in 2019 should harness WP-savvy, easy-to-contact operators. Don’t be afraid to test your potential candidates beforehand, especially if you know a thing or two about the most popular CMS. What makes this different than a shared deal? How are the servers optimized specifically? Are you taking care of core and plugin updates? How scalable are my account resources? Do the tests a few times to ensure you will be taken good care of once you become a client.
  • Price — this is not such a determining factor but a good indication if your host is trying to mask a shared account as WP-optimized.Check the prices on the WordPress deals — suspiciously low? Now go to the Shared plans — how are the rates there? The same? But how can that be if the WP configuration is more elaborate than your generic environment? The answer is simple — this is your basic setup with WordPress, slapped there for marketing purposes. Now, to be fair, some hosts give you so much power, even their lowest-tier deals can outmatch some providers from the WP niche.
  • Reputation — you cannot get a feel of all the potential perks (or problems) without having enough first-hand experience. Luckily, a lot of people do, and they are ready to share it with the world. I went through hundreds of WordPress hosting reviews to try and pinpoint opinions (good or bad), which might influence your decision. Are the clients happy with their website performance? Have they experienced downtimes? How efficient is the support when technical issues arise?

Now that you know how the magic happens, let’s jump straight to the best WordPress hosting sites and see what makes them so unique.

At a Glance

  • Specialized WP host
  • Exceptional speed
  • Staging and testing environment
  • White-labeled cache plugin
  • A bit pricey
What Is Kinsta?

Kinsta is a relatively new provider that specializes in WordPress hosting.

And by “specialize,” we mean this is all they do.

Kinsta was founded in 2013 but already hosts the WordPress projects for industry giants like Ubisoft, TripAdvisor, and Buffer.

This high-end host utilizes the Google Cloud data centers so you can pick between an amazing 20 locations on five continents. These include:

  • North America (the US and Canada)
  • Europe (UK, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Finland)
  • Asia (India, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan)
  • South America (Sao Paulo)
  • Australia (Sydney)
Features

Targetting a specific niche is no easy task.

You have to prove you are an absolute wizard in the chosen field and know how to add value for each client.

Buckle up as Kinsta enters the stage.

Starting with the hardware, the host applies server-level caching on all machines, as well as a proprietary cache plugin for optimized performance.

The results?

With a 0.13 TTFB and 0.5 onload speed. Kinsta is easily the fastest WordPress host out there.

You can work on your WP project offline in a staging environment and even clone your website for testing purposes.

Time to secure your WordPress website?

Kinsta has got you covered.

The accounts come with automatic malware scan and removal, daily backups, and free SSL certificates, making it one of the most secure WordPress hosting providers.

Support

A lot of hosts like to advertize customer support via as many communication channels as possible.

Kinsta is not one of those providers.

The company puts quality over quantity so you can forget about phone lines or social media assistance. New clients can send questions via mail, and existing users have a live chat available in their Kinsta account.

That’s it.

I get the idea. Focusing on just a few means of contact lets you focus on each issue and deal with it in the most efficient manner.

The question is — does Kinsta do it properly?

My email correspondence was a pleasant experience — swift yet detailed replies, polite operators, and just the right links and pointers.

Reviews around the Web confirmed my impressions. Kinsta is well-liked, and existing clients are not shy when it comes to praising the company support.

Hands down, one of the best WordPress hosting providers.

Kinsta Plans & Prices

Kinsta boasts a wide variety of plans that cater to sites of all sizes: from small business websites to vast corporate web portals. The prices vary accordingly.

  • Starter — from $30/mo
  • Pro — from $60/mo
  • Business 1 — from $100/mo
  • Business 2 — from $200/mo
  • Business 3 — from $300/mo
  • Business 4 — from $400/mo
  • Enterprise 1 — from $600/mo
  • Enterprise 2 — from $900/mo
  • Enterprise 3 — from $1,200/mo
  • Enterprise 4 — from $1,500/mo

Reasons to Buy

When it comes to WordPress, Kinsta is as close to perfection as one can be. The company focuses solely on the most popular CMS, and it shows by the numerous optimizations and customization in their offers. Reliable hardware, rich feature set, and expert support — that's a winning combination any day.

At a Glance

  • Developer, staging, and production areas
  • LargeFS storage
  • Global CDN
  • Exceptional support
  • Not very affordable
What Is WP Engine?

WP Engine is very proud of the diversity in its team. The company website reveals some intriguing statistics:

  • 66% women in leadership roles
  • 31% people of non-white ethnicity
  • 30% employees without a college degree
  • 8% LGBTQ staff members

WP Engine comes very close to Kinsta when we talk about data center locations. The provider employs Google and AWS servers in 18 locations across four continents.

Just this year, WP Engine expanded its services by acquiring one of the best-managed WordPress hosting providers FlyWheel.

Features

Depending on your website needs, you can choose between three fixed WP Engine hosting plans and one custom deal.

The Startup package lets you host one website, but you can easily add more for $20 each.

That’s one of the beauties of WP Engine — you can scale server resources and improve your experience with various add-ons at any time.

Each account comes with a Staging, Development, and Production environment, which is immensely helpful for testing and updating purposes.

There is freedom for a lot of in-depth customizations if you know what you’re doing. But even newbies will find the WP Engine interface quite user-friendly.

Oh, and have you heard of LargeFS?

This is a fantastic proprietary storage product that lets you keep and process virtually unlimited amounts of data.

Such feature-rich packages and WP Engine still manages to keep things light and fast.

Like, really fast.

The provider averaged at 0.13s TTFB and 0.9s onload speeds, which is as close to Kinsta as anyone can get.

Support

WP Engine does not shy when it comes to keeping its customers happy and content.

You can easily reach the host via messenger, phone, email, and social media (though I never recommend the latter).

I had a couple of live chat conversations with support members, and they were thoroughly enjoyable.

The operators were swift and confident with their replies and assured me they will always lend a helping hand along my journey.

That’s the beauty of WP-centric hosting sites.

When you focus on a single product offering, you can put all your time and effort into mastering it to perfection.

WP Engine is a clear proof of that.

WP Engine Plans

WP Engine has

  • Startup — from $35/mo*
  • Growth — from $115/mo*
  • Scale — from$290/mo*

*Get two months free if you prepay yearly.

Reasons to Buy

No list for top WordPress hosting sites is complete without the WP Engine name in it. The company offers a well-rounded platform, packed with tons of useful features and scalability options. The price might seem a bit high for smaller and startup businesses, but if you can fit it in your budget — it is worth every cent!

At a Glance

  • Plenty of server resources
  • Excellent speed results
  • JetPack plugin preinstalled
  • Support could improve
What Is DreamHost?

DreamHost is one of the oldest hosting providers and domain registrars on the market.

The Los Angeles-based provider started servicing websites back in 1997 and now hosts over 400,000 customers around the world.

DreamHost is one of three officially recognized WordPress partners.

The company powers over 750,000 WP installations, so it’s only natural its users get some special attention.

Features

The three DreamHost WordPress deals come with a lightning-fast SSD storage and unmetered monthly bandwidth.

There are several distinct benefits for WP clients.

First, we have an easy drag-and-drop site builder for novice users. Clean, straightforward, lets you create and publish a website within minutes.

Another fresh addition is the one-click staging environment. Setting up a testing area for your website has never been easier.

DreamHost speed tests rank it among the fastest WordPress hosting providers, which is a humongous achievement considering some of the names they are up against.

Support

On the managed WordPress plans, DreamHost advertizes expert support from seasoned WP professionals. That is if you can get a hold of them.

Despite the 24/7 support promises, I’ve had a few occasions where no operator was available, so I had to talk to a chatbot.

Now, anyone who has ever spoken with a bot knows how limited they are.

Certainly not sufficient enough for any technical query.

The good news is, once you get a hold of the support operators, they can be pretty helpful. You can quickly tell how well-trained they are, which gives a much-needed sense of safety and reliability.

The higher-tier offers include priority support, which is hopefully there for you round-the-clock.

DreamHost Plans & Prices

DreamPress has fairly straightforward plan structure.

  • DreamPress — from $16.95/mo
  • DreamPress Plus — from $24.95/mo
  • DreamPress Pro — from $71.95/mo

Reasons to Buy

DreamHost's managed WordPress services are a noticeable step up from its shared hosting offers. The platform is suitable for growing and large-scale businesses alike and provides enough resources to build and maintain a successful WP project. Complete newbies have access to a convenient drag-and-drop site builder, which lets them quickly launch a cool and stylish website.

At a Glance

  • Excellent performance
  • Industry-leading support
  • Powerful caching plugin
  • WP-CLI preinstalled
  • Limited space
What Is SiteGround?

SiteGround entered the hosting business 15 years ago as a tiny startup from even tinier Bulgaria. Today it is one of the most recognizable names in the industry, housing over 2,000,000 domain names.

Unlike other companies that expand through acquisitions, SiteGround relies on sheer customer satisfaction.

The happier your clients are — the more friends they will bring in.

As simple as that.

SiteGround employs the services of five data centers in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Singapore.

Features

SiteGround knows WordPress through and through. WP founder Matt Mullenweg is good friends with the company and frequently visits the offices to discuss new and exciting plans.

Maybe that’s the reason you can’t find any distinct SiteGround WordPress hosting deals.

I mean, why would you, when all the servers and accounts are optimized enough to run the CMS smoothly and efficiently.

You can find many perks that are typically available only on WP-specific accounts with other hosts. One click installer, automatic updates, spam and hack prevention — that’s how well SG packs its shared accounts.

Developers who are used to operating WordPress through WP-CLI will be happy to know the command-line tool comes preinstalled with their account.

If you go for the GrowBig or GoGeek plans, you are now looking at one-click staging, proprietary caching plugin, and Git repositories for easy access.

In short — SG and WP go together like two peas in a pod.

Support

SiteGround employs over 500 people, and most of them have had at least one WordPress website of their own. It’s an inevitable part of the journey with the company.

This first-hand experience with the CMS proves invaluable when you have to help others.

SiteGround offers 24/7 support via live chat and technical assistance via tickets.

The best thing is that almost every sales employee can also assist with basic tech queries as well. Even if you have to escalate your issue through the ticketing system — there is a 15-minute first response time guarantee.

I have been hosting a few projects with SiteGround for years now, and the only time a support operator messed up, another colleague was there to back him up.

A perfect example of teamwork.

SiteGround Plans & Price

All SiteGround plans are optimized for WordPress.

  • StartUp — from $4.35/mo*
  • GrowBig — from $7.12/mo*
  • GoGeek — from $13.20/mo*

*Prices carry an introductory discount for new clients.

Reasons to Buy

SiteGround is one of the best WP hosting sites for a reason. The company actively participates in the WordPress project and various WordCamp events around the world. Every employee undergoes regular training sessions with the app, which results in exceptional technical assistance and customer care.

At a Glance

  • High-speed servers
  • Eco-friendly
  • Quite affordable
  • No WP-oriented services
  • Support is hit-and-miss
What Is GreenGeeks?

GreenGeeks came to be 11 years ago in California. The managing team was well aware of how saturated the web hosting market really is, so they needed a unique selling point.

The Geeks already had a plan — renewable energy.

Did you know that server cooling accounts for 40% of the entire energy consumed to power the internet?

We are talking about an excess of 8 million data centers, full of servers, spewing out as much carbon emissions as the whole airline industry.

GreenGeeks returns 300% of the power it consumes in the form of renewable energy, making it one of the few carbon-negative providers.

That commitment, paired with the reliable and easy-to-operate hosting solutions, won the hearts (and businesses) of over 40,000 clients, bringing in 500,000+ websites.

Features

You can choose between three WordPress plans with GreenGeeks — Lite, Pro, and Premium.

As you will quickly notice, there isn’t much in terms of WP-specific services. You get a 1-click installer, free CDN, daily backups, but that’s something you can get from most shared hosts out there.

So what makes GreenGeeks special?

How about servers that can skyrocket your website?

Our WordPress hosting speed comparison revealed an average of 0.29s TTFB and 0.86s full onload times, making it one of the fastest WP providers.

All accounts are SSD powered and mainly differ in terms of allocated server resources. But even the entry-level plan gives you unmetered space and bandwidth, so you are all covered in that aspect.

Not too shabby after all.

Support

The GreenGeeks Team is available 24/7 for support queries via live chat, phone, and email.

In fact, they even recommend the online messaging system, which is something hosts rarely do.

Alright, let’s give it a go.

My first chat convo was pretty short, as I didn’t have much time for extensive questions. I had a bunch of sales queries and was shooting them at the operator like a tennis ball machine. He had competent answers for all of them, so I left thoroughly satisfied.

The second try, I was not so lucky.

I had more time, so I decided to try with some trickier sales and tech questions. I started with one of my favorites:

What makes your WordPress plans different from your shared deals?

The operator tried to weasel his way out of it by pointing out the servers are WP-optimized, but how exactly- remained a mystery.

All in all, GreenGeeks is a helpful host, and its operators are really there 24/7. It’s just a matter of getting the right one.

GreenGeeks Plans & Price
  • Ecosite Lite — $2.95/mo*
  • Ecosite Pro — $5.95/mo*
  • Ecosite Premium — $11.95/mo*

*Introductory rates carry a discount. Renewals are on the standard rate.

Reasons to Buy

GreenGeeks does not offer much in terms of WordPress-specific optimizations. Still, the shared solutions are powerful enough to secure a great home for your WP site. The eco-friendly approach and impressive speed test results make the California-based provider a notable contender for the best hosting company for WordPress.

At a Glance

  • Personal care
  • BitNinja server security
  • Affordable for starters
  • Speed & uptime can improve
What Is FastComet?

Founded a little over six years ago, FastComet consists of long-time hosting professionals with a focus on reliability and customer care.

The rumors of extensive know-how and personal attitude quickly spread from mouth to mouth, and the provider grew to 50,000 active clients and 2,000 servers worldwide.

FastComet ensures excellent coverage for all clients with a wide range of data center locations. You can choose from:

  • USA (Chicago, Dallas, and Newark)
  • Canada (Toronto)
  • Germany (Frankfurt)
  • Netherlands (Amsterdam)
  • UK (London)
  • Singapore (Singapore)
  • India (Mumbai)
  • Japan (Tokyo)

Wherever you may be — you will never be far away from your target audience.

Features

Whether FastComet names its plans WordPress hosting, PHP hosting, or something similar, they are, in fact, shared packages.

That being said, they are very powerful shared packages. The provider ensures full account isolation, making your server resources…well…yours.

You can get a deal with 15-35 GB SSD storage space and utilize an unmetered bandwidth cap. Even on the lowest plan, you can still employ 2 CPU cores and 2 GB RAM, which is more than enough to build and grow a business.

FastComet could’ve scored better on the WordPress performance test. But with extra options like free CDN and MemCached/OpCache on the higher plans, you can only upgrade in that direction.

The prices?

It’s actually quite affordable to start with FastComet, but I’d advise going for a longer initial deal as the renewal prices are much steeper.

After all, you have a 45-day moneyback guarantee in case something goes wrong.

Support

I’ve had the pleasure of testing the FastComet support numerous times, and every single one, the operators went above and beyond my expectations.

One time they even went as far as sharing what internal training procedures they undertake and the scope they’re covering.

Honesty, knowledge, and a friendly approach — you can certainly get used to that.

Sales assistance is available 24/7 via a toll-free phone line, as well as chat and email. Unlike most web hosting providers, FastComet also answers technical queries in the live messenger. Still, for more complicated or time-critical issues, the ticketing system remains the best way of reaching support.

Fast Comet Plans & Price
  • FastCloud — from $2.95/mo*
  • FastCloud Plus — from $4.45/mo*
  • FastCloud Extra — from $5.95/mo*

*Introductory rates come with a 70% discount from the standard price.

Reasons to Buy

FastComet is one of the best hosting sites for WordPress because the staff is well-versed with the platform and takes the time to assist its clients thoroughly. Startups and SMBs can also enjoy a feature-rich and secure environment for their projects. Just watch out for your budget as renewal prices rise significantly after the initial billing period.

At a Glance

  • Wide range of plans
  • Powerful WordPress drag-and-drop builder
  • Staging environment
  • Average performance
  • Entry plans quite limited
What Is InMotion Hosting?

InMotion Hosting first entered the industry in 2001 and still remains one of the top 20 providers in the US, holding 0.89% market share.

The company is heavily-oriented toward WordPress services, so it partners with big WP names like WPBeginner, Envato, Sucuri, BoldGrid, and more.

InMotion makes a great effort to preserve the environment as well.

From cutting cooling costs by 70% to planting trees all over the world — this is one host that likes to repay Mother Nature as much as it can.

Features

When InMotion advertizes WordPress hosting, it really means it.

You can not only take a pick between shared plans, but also consider WP VPS or dedicated servers if your project is too complicated or resource-hungry.

I always appreciate freedom of choice, and InMotion offers just that.

You want to host a simple, small blog with a limited audience? Here is something affordable.

How about a dedicated IP address? Sure, you can add some if you wish.

A free SSL certificate? We can’t see why not.

Complete newbies have access to an extra service, which can save them a lot of hassle. You can hire an InMotion professional dev for a one-time fee of $99, and in two days, your new project will be online and ready to shine.

The only visible downside was when I started testing server speeds and performance. InMotion’s scores were below par, and even the checkout process felt slow and clunky.

Such things can easily tick anyone off.

Support

InMotion offers a 24/7 live chat for sales and design queries. There is a phone line and email for technical assistance, but probably the best thing is the Skype support option.

Now, I know, it may sound funny to you.

Skype? What is this — 2010?

But when your site is down, and you are losing money by the minute, you will get how important it is to get prompt assistance.

Despite the multitude of channels, I could’ve gotten better support from Inmotion.

Only one of the three operators I spoke with was fast and knowledgeable enough to make me feel at ease. The other two were slow to respond and often resorted to templated responses and unnecessary links.

InMotion Plans & Prices
  • WP-1000S — from $6.99/mo*
  • WP-2000S — from $6.99/mo*
  • WP-3000S — from $9.99/mo*
  • WP-4000S — from $14.99/mo*

*Various discounts for new clients, rates are for 2-years pre-payment.

Reasons to Buy

InMotion is a WordPress-friendly provider with nicely-scaled plans and helpful support. Developers and growing businesses can utilize a rich set of features, while newbies can find all kinds of support, even hire a professional to build their website. InMotion's prices fall somewhere in the middle range, but the 90-day moneyback policy guarantees a risk-free experience.

At a Glance

  • Turbo servers
  • LiteSpeed cache
  • HackSafe protection
  • Plans not really cost-effective
  • Uptime could improve
What Is A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting is one of the long withstanding hosts which managed to keep its services privately-owned. Operating since 2001, the provider has focused efforts on supercharging its hardware and ensuring every client grows in a safe environment.

A2’s hometown is Ann Arbor (hence the name) in Michigan, also known as The Tree City.

That’s why the host takes green initiatives very seriously. A2 is a proud partner of CarbonFund.org and actively supports reforestation, development of renewable energy, even telecommuting.

In terms of WordPress, just last year, the company launched its managed service, aimed to challenge even the top WP hosting providers.

How good is it?

Only one way to find out…

Features

A2 knows that good hosting starts with a powerful server, so the managed WordPress plans flaunt only top-of-the-line hardware and optimizations.

The package names indicate just how many websites you can host on each one.

The actual accounts are bursting with features and free goodies. Get a load of this:

  • Turbo Server option
  • LiteSpeed cache
  • Site staging
  • WP-CLI preinstalled
  • Jetpack personal license
  • Automatic backups
  • Free CDN

…and that’s just an excerpt of what you can get with A2’s managed WordPress platform.

Storage-wise the numbers are not that great, but should still be enough for a small-to-medium project.

The uptime score of 99.78% was the lowest out of all reviewed hosts.

Support

You can reach the A2 sales team via live chat and email, while their technical support is only available via a ticket.

The problem with tickets is, urgent cases can sometimes take too much time to resolve.

In fact, that’s exactly where the rare negative comments about A2 are coming from. The company holds a stable 4/5 user rating with 81% excellent reviews on TrustPilot, but a few recent posters indicate that support might be hit-and-miss.

My impressions were rather favorable.

While the operators did not shine with exceptional care or attention to detail, they still managed to come up with the needed information (even if it took a couple of tries).

Not great, not terrible, as comrade Dyatlov might say.

A2 Hosting Plans & Price
  • 1-Site — from $9.78/mo*
  • 3-Sites — from $15.50/mo*
  • Unlimited — from $30.19/mo*

*Introductory rates carry a 60% discount for the initial billing period.

Reasons to Buy

Here we have one of the best WordPress hosting sites in terms of server power and security. A2 Hosting is a reliable provider that constantly looks to expand and innovate. It’s not the cheapest solution you can find, it still packs a lot of features and extra services for the WP user in need. Plus, it's green-friendly, let's not forget about that.

At a Glance

  • Superb uptime
  • Jetpack preinstalled
  • Marketing center
  • Poor support
  • Pricey managed plans
  • Servers only in the USA
What Is BlueHost?

Bluehost officially started doing business in 2003, but CEO Matt Heaton had already launched a couple of successful hosting companies by then.

BH quickly took off, and by June 2008, it hit the 1 million mark for hosted domains.

This got the attention of the big corps, and soon the Bluehost executives got an offer they could not refuse. In 2010, the host officially became a part of the Endurance International Group (EIG).

The company headquarters are in Provo, Utah, the same place where its web servers reside.

Features

For what it’s worth, Bluehost is not just masking its shared plans as a WordPress-optimized solution — it dedicates an entire department around managed WP services.

Users of the most popular CMS can benefit from a free staging environment, auto-installer, and a marketing center to keep a watchful eye over your audience.

Security is also in the spotlights.

Bluehost sets up the Jetpack plugin for you and adds advanced virus and malware protection so every project is safe from unwanted hacker attention.

The price might throw you off, though.

Starting at $19.95/mo (with a discount), you can easily find a host with similar features at a much better rate.

Support

The EIG name is well-known in the industry, both among clients and other hosts.

The thing is, it’s not known for something good.

EIG now owns over 30 hosting brands, and they all went through the same churn-and-burn process:

  • find a successful host
  • throw heaps of cash at it
  • move all servers to Utah
  • replace the support staff with cheaper labor from India
  • milk as much as you can before clients figure out something’s changed
  • rinse and repeat

Simple yet effective.

The Bluehost operators I found over chat were not particularly helpful, but I am well used to that by now. All my WordPress-specific questions got replied with links to the WP deals or tutorials, which had nothing to do with the subject.

BlueHost advertises 24/7 support via phone as well, but It’s unlikely the level of assistance is any better.

On the Grow and Scale plans, you have access to a more streamlined support service called Blue Sky. It gives you access to WordPress-trained designers and developers who can prove an immense help during your website building process.

BlueHost Plans & Price
  • Build — from $19.95/mo*
  • Grow — from $29.95/mo*
  • Scale — from $49.95/mo*

*Discounted rates for new customers

 

Reasons to Buy

The BlueHost WordPress hosting seems reliable, but nothing extraordinary. Especially when you take price into account. There are a few WP-specific features, but you can find most of them with pretty much any other reliable provider. Bluehost has substantial financial backing from a multibillion-dollar fund, so you can be sure the company won't disappear overnight and leave your site in limbo.

At a Glance

  • Excellent uptime
  • Automatic WP updates
  • Gravity Forms preinstalled
  • Inadequate support
  • Limited plans
What Is GoDaddy?

The biggest domain and hosting provider holds an impressive share of the market.

GoDaddy houses over 19 million clients and a whopping 78 million domain names. Over 70% of its projects are WordPress-based.

The GoDaddy name has been all over the news, because of numerous scandals in the past. From sexist ads and controversial Super Bowl commercials to CEO Bob Parsons defending his elephant-hunting hobby — GD likes to stay in the hot news.

Features

GoDaddy offers four WordPress-infused packages for projects of any size…well, project, singular.

On three of the four deals, you can only host a single website, which is an unnecessary setback.

The starter package comes 10GB space, about 25k monthly visits, and a free domain. In terms of your WordPress security, your account includes daily backups and automatic malware scans. The Gravity Forms plugin comes preinstalled…

…aaaaaand that’s pretty much it.

It gets gradually better as you get to the more expensive GoDaddy WP hosting plans.

One-click staging, free SSL certificates, real-time monitoring — those are all cool features you can find with the Deluxe, Ultimate, and Pro packages.

Support

You can find many similarities between the support assistants of GoDaddy and EIG-owned hosts.

Both companies outsource their customer care services to maximize profits, which is not a problem in itself. The real issue is they don’t seem to put any effort into staff training.

I won’t dive into too much detail, but let’s just say the plethora of negative WP host reviews about GoDaddy is well-justified.

If you prefer to get assistance over the phone, you have a lot of choices here. GD opens its phone lines in more than 50 countries, and most of them are available non-stop.

GoDaddy Plans & Price
  • Basic — from $6.99/mo*
  • Deluxe — from $9.99/mo*
  • Ultimate — from $12.99/mo*
  • Pro 5+ — $29.99/mo*

*Discounted rates for new clients.

Reasons to Buy

GoDaddy might be the biggest but certainly not the best hosting service for WordPress. Three of the four plans are not suitable for multiple projects, and speed tests rank GD among the slowest hosts in our analysis. Still, a few of the features can significantly help your site-building efforts, and the prices are rather reasonable.

At a Glance

  • Free SSL
  • $100 AdWords credits
  • Not very feature-rich
  • Limited number of websites
  • Poor support
What Is HostGator?

HostGator was founded in 2002 and has been building a solid reputation and loyal following for the next ten years.

Then EIG happened.

Today the company is still one of the top WP providers in terms of market share, but a mere shadow of what it used to be before the acquisition.

Apart from the hosting and domain services, HostGator also offers professional backup solutions, web design, SEO, and PPC solutions as an extra.

Features

The managed WordPress accounts with HG come with a free domain if you prepay yearly.

But there’s a catch.

After the initial year, you continue renewing the domain on the standard rates.

The HostGator deals are similar to what Bluehost and GoDaddy can offer. You get a simplified interface and easy-to-use control panel. All packages include a free SSL, automatic malware removal, and $100 in the form of Google AdWords credit.

There are no caps on space and bandwidth, but the storage is HDD, which is significantly slower than SSD.

Another setback is the number of websites you can have on one account — even with the Business plan, the maximum is three.

Support

HostGator shares the same staff with all the other EIG hosting clones, so there was no point in testing it separately.

From what I can gather, HG houses a humongous number of clients and tries to juggle with multiple support conversations at once. Quantity inevitably affects quality, and HostGator users often suffer from a lack of adequate assistance.

You can reach out for assistance 24/7 via live chat, phone, and fax (yes, fax, remember those?).

HostGator Plans & Price
  • Starter — from $5.95/mo*
  • Standard — from $7.95/mo*
  • Business — from $9.95/mo*

*Introductory discount if you prepay for 36 months.

 

Reasons to Buy

Verdict The HostGator managed WP hosting packages are not the star of the show here, but can still suffice for low-demand clients. You have enough features to get started, but not many options as you get bigger. Both speed and support can use some serious improvements.

The Difference Between WordPress Hosting and Web Hosting

There are a bunch of things we have to learn about WordPress first.

There are a few ways you can tell a real WP host from your average provider, so let’s go over them one by one.

Types of Server

There is a big difference if your hardware is set up to run a basic configuration or a software-specific environment. When all the clients on a server use the same application, you can afford to tweak your machines to meet their specific needs.

We are talking about far more than the standard Apache with PHP/MySQL support.

Performance boosts, security improvements, preinstalled add-ons.

Everything that ensures you are getting 100% of your WordPress website.

Server Resources

WP users generally get more resources compared to shared clients. A large part of that is due to the number of users on one server. With fewer customers, each one can utilize more resources and guarantee a better performance for their website.

This can work miracles when you run promotions or get sudden spikes of incoming traffic.

The Importance of Upgrades and Maintenance

WP services are often fully-managed, so you should expect your future blog home to come with additional perks.

For starters, you should waste no time downloading or installing your blog. Your host can take care of that.

Same when an update comes — the provider should at least test and check if the new version will run smoothly.

Support & Level of Knowledge

Knowing what WordPress is and what it does is sufficient enough for most shared hosts. WP-specific providers thoroughly analyze what makes the software tick and how to make it better.

This know-how should be evident in every aspect of the service — from the hardware setup to the streamlined support.

Convenience

The best hosting sites for WordPress ensure clients focus solely on building their website. This includes taking care of security implementations, development optimizations, and software updates, so the user doesn’t have to.

The backend interface is something to consider as well. You have to be able to navigate around seamlessly and understand what is what.

As you can see, these factors easily tip the scales in favor of WordPress hosting providers.

Common Questions about WordPress Hosting

Q: Why or when WordPress needs cloud hosting?

A: Cloud hosting utilizes a whole network of servers to store and process information instead of a single machine. By doing that, it ensures clients get faster speeds, better scalability, and enhanced security.

This can prove particularly useful for:

– growing businesses

– enterprises

– mission-critical projects

Startup projects can also enjoy the benefits of cloud hosting, but the prices might cool off those on a tighter budget.

Q: How to choose the best WordPress hosting?

A: Before rushing into any decisions, first sit down and outline your needs.

How much space and traffic would fit your needs?

What can your potential host offer in terms of WordPress-specific services?

Are you well-versed with the CMS, or you would need a lot of help along the way?

How much can you afford to spend for WP hosting monthly?

It’s a much easier task afterward. Just look for the provider that can best help you achieve your goals and grow your WordPress website for a reasonable fee.

Q: Are there any Free WordPress hosts that are actually free?

A: WordPress is open-source software, so it’s absolutely free to use and customize. The trick is how you choose to host the app.

WP creators Automattic offer a commercial service that includes both hosting and supporting your WordPress website.

But pretty much any host able to run PHP and MySQL can suffice.

There are plenty of free providers out there, but you have to prepare for severe resource limitations, pesky ads, and lack of adequate support.

Q: What is the best WordPress hosting?

A: All of the best WordPress hosting sites try to find the most optimal combination between:

  • server optimization
  • resource allocation
  • feature set
  • security enhancements
  • support know-how
  • cost-effective offers

As you may guess, hosts have to juggle to find the right balance. Some will actively invest in their hardware to ensure its optimal performance. Others will continually train their support staff to be the best WordPress professionals out there.

The most suitable host will be the one that matches your priorities the most.

And the Best WordPress Host Is...

There you have it, folks.

As you can see, there are plenty of reliable WordPress hosting providers, each with a unique strategy on how to penetrate the niche further.

Some try to allocate as much server resources as possible.

Others rely on personal care and assistance for every client.

And, of course, we have those who try to lure you in with a cheap price tag.

To each their own, at the end of the day.

There is no universal formula that works for everyone, so make sure to pick a host that hits all the sweet spots for you and your project alone.

I’ll be more than happy if this list helps you find your next WordPress partner.