Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Best Web Hosting for WordPress

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best web hosting for most people is definitely Bluehost.

So you’ve decided to build your site with WordPress.

Great choice!

Your next step is to find the best web hosting for your WordPress site. A WordPress-specific web hosting solution is absolutely worth it for the better service, performance, and support for WordPress installs.

We’ve gone through all the hosts and ranked the best options available for WordPress—including providers WordPress itself recommends.

(If you need it, there’s more on how WordPress hosting works later in this post.)

The Top 8 WordPress Web Hosts for 2021

  1. Bluehost – Best for creating your first WordPress website
  2. Hostinger – Best for hosting hundreds of sites on a shoestring budget
  3. WP Engine – Best for hosting multiple WordPress sites with tons of traffic
  4. Nexcess – Best for effortless website staging
  5. Siteground – Best for ecommerce websites with easy site migration
  6. Flywheel – Best if you want pros to migrate your site for you
  7. Kinsta – Best for auto-scaling for unexpected surges in traffic
  8. Scala Hosting – Most freebies in WordPress hosting plans

Continue on for our in-depth reviews on the best WordPress hosting services today.

#1 – Bluehost — Best for Creating Your First WordPress Website

  • Normally $8.99/month
  • Free domain and SSL certificate
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Get a 67% discount

Bluehost is one of the most popular and trusted web hosts on the market.

That’s because of three things:

  • Ease of Use. BlueHost holds your hand through the entire start up process. Once you sign up, you’ll be able to install WordPress immediately. You’ll have your site live within 15 minutes from starting. Pro tip: If you want some help, here’s our full guide on how to create a website.
  • Hands-On Customer Service. While we don’t think you’ll ever need to interact with a customer support representative, we can say confidently that you’re in very good hands if you ever need to. Bluehost has an award-winning 24/7 customer support team on hand to help you if any issues arise (e.g. cyberattacks, website crashes).
  • Budget-Friendly Pricing. Bluehost also has some of the lowest pricing around, with plans as low as $2.95/month. That’s incredibly cheap.

As such, they’re the perfect host to choose if you’re just starting out.

Yes, you will be on shared hosting. So, if you or someone else on your server gets a huge spike of traffic, your site could go down.

But, honestly, this almost never happens. I’ve had websites on shared hosting for over a decade and never had a site go down.

If you ever want to upgrade, they also offer managed WordPress hosting that starts at $9.95/month. Not the lowest price point I’ve seen—but it’s still one of the lowest-cost options out there for managed hosting.

The value you get from Bluehost can’t be beat. It’s powerful enough for most websites and they’re also widely recommended throughout the industry.

Bottom line: Bluehost is the best option for the vast majority of people reading this—but especially if you’re just getting started.

#2 – Hostinger — Best for Hosting Hundreds of Sites on a Shoestring Budget

  • Normally $7.99/month
  • Month-to-month pricing
  • Free domain and SSL certificate
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Get a 90% discount

Hostinger stands out for their stellar loading times along with their low prices.

How low? Normally Hostinger is $7.99/month. But there’s a deal right now that gives you a 75% discount on their rates.

That means you could pay just $1.99/month for single shared hosting—which is unbeatable compared to other web hosts out there.

But here’s the kicker: for just another dollar more per month, you can build 100 websites along with 100 GB of SSD storage, free email, and unlimited bandwidth.

That’s right, for the price of a single cup of coffee each month, you’ll be able to host up to 100 websites. That’s a stellar deal.

With their great prices, does that mean you’ll be sacrificing quality? Nope. In fact, you’re going to get solid uptime reliability with Hostinger.

In our research, we found that sites on Hostinger had some months in the 99.8% range and dipped to as low as 99.04%. But some months also delivered 100% uptime. Overall, you’re not going to worry too much about their uptime, especially if you have a smaller personal website.

Loading times are pretty speedy too. According to their website, their server response time clocks in at around 43 milliseconds, which is very fast. To give you a comparison, that’s just 13 milliseconds “slower” than a lightning strike.

Overall, this is a great web host if you want good prices with quality hosting. If you want to maximize the number of sites you can host at a low cost, get signed up with Hostinger today.

#3 – WP Engine — Best for Hosting Multiple WordPress Sites with Tons of Traffic

  • Starts at $22.50/month
  • Biggest name in WP hosting
  • A premium product with a premium price
  • Easily the all-around best
Get started

For pros, I recommend WP Engine. It’s great for managed WordPress hosting.

In fact, WP Engine is what we use here at QuickSprout—and for very good reason. If you’re trying to get serious and build a high-traffic blog or business, it’s by far the best managed WordPress host out there.

But I don’t recommend it for anyone who’s just starting out, since it’s much more expensive. We’re talking between $30 and over $100 each month versus a range of $4 to $15. Most WordPress sites would do much better with Bluehost or Siteground. Not only will you save a bunch of money—you won’t need the serious features that come with WP Engine.

For $22.50/month, paid annually, you can host one 10GB site with a limit of 25,000 monthly visitors. The next tier of service is $44.25/month for ten sites and 100,000 monthly visitors. If you get a spike in traffic and go over these traffic limits, you’ll get hit with overage fees.

That might seem like a lot of money for fewer resources (especially when compared to services like Hostinger and Bluehost) but, remember, this is managed WordPress hosting.

As a managed host, WP Engine professionally maintains speed and security at the server level—meaning you don’t have to do anything to maximize performance on your end.

You don’t have to research and rely on plug-ins to shave seconds off your load time, or become an expert on the best practices for building a lean site.

Nor do you have to carve out time to install and update your plugins, run backups, or implement security features to ward off brute force attacks. WP Engine takes care of it all behind the scenes.

The customer service is also excellent, with 24/7 support with trackable service tickets and a comprehensive knowledge base.

WP Engine’s support staff are WordPress experts, providing detailed answers to your questions and issues.

Every time I’ve had to reach out to their customer support, I’ve always been impressed. The speed, thoroughness, and expertise is world-class.

Bottom line: WP Engine is an excellent solution if you want to get serious about growing your WordPress sites.

#4 – Nexcess — Best for Effortless Website Staging

  • Price starts at $12.67/month
  • Designed for advanced users
  • Extreme customization available
  • Server-level access
Get started

Nexcess, by Liquid Web, is a powerhouse designed to service other powerhouses, like if you’re an enterprise customer or are charged with manning multiple WordPress sites.

What I really love about Nexcess, though, is how easy they make it to stage a website. Their one-click staging tool allows you to easily create a facsimile of your website that you can edit and test to your heart’s content—without worrying that you’re screwing up the actual website.

They also offer a ton of great plans that make it easy to scale. Prices start at just $12.67/month for one website. After that, it jumps quite a bit—to $52.67 per month—but you get up to five sites and 40 GB storage with that plan.

In all, they offer seven plans. If you’re an agency or freelancer who plans to host websites for clients, this is a great solution for you.

If you need more control but doing everything yourself through AWS isn’t appealing, then Nexcess is for you, too. You won’t have to do nearly as much setup and upkeep as AWS while still having a lot more control than other hosts give you.

It also automatically updates WordPress and your plugins. That’s less headaches for you and your team.

You’ll get all-level access to MySQL, SFTP, and SSH. You also get Git version control. Security, speed, and customer support are virtually unparalleled.

Nexcess is obviously not right for everyone. Small businesses should choose one of the other options, as Nexcess plans would be overkill.

For power users, though, Nexcess is the WordPress hosting that you’ve been looking for. Use coupon code QUICKSPROUT to get 40% off 2 months of any Nexcess hosting plan.

#5 – SiteGround — Best  for Ecommerce Websites with Easy Site Migration

  • Starts at $4.99/month
  • Free SSL, email, CDN, & backups
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Get a 53% discount

SiteGround is another of WordPress’ recommended web hosts. They offer incredibly affordable managed hosting solutions that are powerful as well.

Where they really shine is how easy they make it to:

  • Migrate to their host. Their free migrator tool lets you easily port your old website over to their website in just a few days time. No development or coding knowledge required.
  • Set up an online store. With the powerful combination of WordPress and WooCommerce, you’ll be able to set up an ecommerce site to start making money in a snap. Seriously, it just takes a few clicks.

I also like their advanced features for WordPress, like automatic updates and enhanced security on all the SiteGround plans. You’ll also get free daily backups. That’s an amazing deal for the lowest tier pricing.

This covers most of the problems you could run into, freeing up more of your time to focus on your business or project. You can read even more about their offered services in my complete SiteGround hosting review.

I recommend the StartUp plan. It gives you 10GB of space and up to 10,000 visitors for one site. This intro-level plan is $4.99/month for your first year (paid up front).

You can boost your WordPress or WooCommerce site even further by going one step up to GrowBig. That lets you tap into SiteGround’s own Ultrafast PHP to speed up the visitor experience even more. Plus, you get the safety of on-demand copies of your site backups as well.

All told, this is a great host for web stores on WordPress, ecommerce sites who want to switch to a better host, and anyone who wants solid security and easy site backups for their pages.

Get started with SiteGround today.

#6 – Flywheel — Best If You Want Pros to Migrate Your Site for You

  • Price starts at $14/month
  • Geared toward freelancers and agencies
  • Easily build and transfer sites to clients
  • User-friendly interface
Get started

Flywheel is a managed WordPress host that really puts the “support” in customer support.

They offer a great migration service that takes care of the often stressful process of site migration for you. They have a dedicated team that handles the entire process of moving your site to their web host so you don’t have to.

The best part: It’s absolutely free.

That’s right. They’ll take care of everything at no extra cost.

They’re also fantastic because of great features like “blueprints” that allow you to save customized themes and plugins you use over and over again.

You’ll also have 14 days on a free, password-protected demo site to show your work before having to pay. You can also easily transfer billing on any of your sites to a client.

That makes FlyWheel an excellent option if you’re an agency or freelancer working on client websites. If you build sites for clients, we highly recommend you start using Flywheel.

Flywheel offers a single-site plan with 5,000 monthly visitors and 5GB of disk space for $13/month. From there, you can scale up to a souped-up single-site plan for $25/month, or accomodate more sites in the two highest packages.

Bottom line: I’d use Flywheel if I were looking for a hassle-free migration experience and/or developing websites for clients.

If that sounds like you, go with Flywheel as your web hosting provider.

#7 – Kinsta — Best for Auto-Scaling for Unexpected Surges in Traffic

  • Price starts at $30/month
  • Premium managed WordPress hosting
  • All features included across all plans
  • Built for scalability
Get started

Kinsta is a a great alternative to WP Engine if something about WP Engine doesn’t gel with you.

What truly separates them from WP Engine, though, is their auto-scaling feature. In the event of an unexpected surge in traffic, their servers will automatically allocate more CPU and RAM to your website.

That’s great for websites that frequently see infrequent spikes in traffic like when an article goes viral or if you have sporadic product launches.

That means you won’t have to worry about your website slowing down or crashing when you get an influx of readers. Instead, Kinsta takes care of it for you.

This can be very good for websites that experience inconsistent traffic performance (e.g. viral articles and videos, big product launches).

They also offer a ton of pricing plans for excellent scalability. In fact, they offer 10 plans as well as a customizable enterprise solution.

Pricing starts at $30/month for 25,000 monthly visitors and scales up from there.

Bottom line: Kinsta can handle any volume of traffic that you need. You won’t have to worry about switching from outgrowing them.

One especially nice thing about Kinsta is that you get access to the same features across every plan, as opposed to upgrading to a higher-priced plan to unlock something.

It also makes Kinsta’s pricing super simple. Pick the plan based on your traffic and you’re good to go.

#8 – Scala Hosting — Most Freebies in Every WordPress Hosting Plan

  • Affordable plans across the board
  • Free migration of as many sites as you need
  • Seven daily backups
  • Robust security features
Try it Today

WordPress hosting can be deceiving. While a lot of providers will boast about WordPress optimization on their servers, what more are you getting from them specifically?

Scala Hosting not only makes sure their servers help your WordPress site perform better, they also throw in a ton of useful features on almost every plan.

It starts with a free website migration, which not every provider offers. And it’s not just one website—Scala’s specialists will carry over as many WordPress sites as you need to their service, free of charge.

They’ll handle the migration and verify everything’s working before you point the site to your new servers. That way, there’s no downtime for your sites whatsoever in the process.

Security features are also prevalent in all Scala WordPress hosting plans. You get a dedicated firewall installed on your behalf, plus a brute force attack blocker, custom security rules that Scala’s team implements without you having to lift a finger, malware scans and removal, and automated updates to prevent vulnerabilities from arising.

All their plans also include:

  • Seven daily backups with restore points kept for a week
  • Free content delivery network
  • Free SEO analysis and tools

You can also unlock additional useful features by going with plans above Scala’s entry-level WP Mini (one website, 20 GB storage) package. Those are:

  • WP Start: unlimited websites, 50 GB storage, double the CPU power of WP Mini
  • WP Advanced: unlimited websites, 100 GB storage, quadruple the CPU power of WP Mini

On those plans, you get managed service, meaning Scala’s support team of WordPress experts will help you with everything from plugin issues to overall troubleshooting.

You also get a free domain if you opt for WP Advanced. And not just one year, either, like most providers. Each year that you prepay for, you get a free year of your domain. That’s a very nice bonus.

Scala’s pricing is also very competitive with other providers on this list and in the WordPress hosting space at large:

  • WP Mini: $3.95/month for a three-year commitment, $4.95 for two years
  • WP Start: $5.95/month for a three-year commitment, $7.95 for two years
  • WP Advanced: $9.95/month for a three-year commitment, $10.95 for two years

You can even start with a free trial month on any of those three plans for just 99 cents. That’s a great option if you want to get your feet wet in WordPress hosting before taking the full plunge.

Give Scala Hosting a try or get connected with their representative to learn what more they can do for you. If you want worry-free WordPress hosting at a competitive price, Scala Hosting should be near the top of your list.

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting for WordPress

Now you know of a few good choices for web hosting — but, what’s the best one for you and your business?

Below are the top considerations we made when crafting this list. Use them to inform your decision when choosing a WordPress web hosting provider.

Note: We intentionally didn’t include speed and uptime on our list. Those two things should be self-evident when looking for a good web hosting provider of all stripes.

Instead, we took a look at some important considerations you wouldn’t think of right off the bat—but are no less crucial.

Multi-Site vs. Single-Site Hosting 

Each provider on our list offers different solutions if you’re looking to host multiple sites. That’s why it’s important to make sure the providers can support all the sites you plan to host.

You’ll also need to factor in the price and the features you’ll be getting with each specific package.

For example, WPEngine offers a few great packages if you’re looking to manage multiple websites. Their multi-site hosting packages start at $44.25 per month with three sites included. You’ll also get 125 GB of bandwidth each month along with 15 GB of storage.

It scales up from there to their Growth package that’s $86.25 per month—quite the jump. But you end up getting 10 sites included in that package with more bandwidth and storage.

Kinsta is also another great option if you’re looking for multi-site solutions. Their packages scale well, too. So, if you end up getting more clients who need websites, you can just upgrade your package as you go.

With providers like Bluehost, you can get unlimited websites at just $5.45 per month—but that comes with a catch: It’ll be completely unmanaged.

That means it doesn’t come with the level of customer support and automatic maintenance that you’d get with managed hosting (but we’ll get into that more later).

How Supportive is the Customer Support?

You want your website to be working as smoothly as possible, especially if you’re making money from it. So, when something goes wrong—like your website goes down or you encounter a security breach or cyber attack—you want someone in your corner to get you out of this jam.

That’s why good customer support is such an important consideration when deciding on a WordPress host.

One of the best-reviewed WordPress hosting customer support teams is WPEngine’s. Their team is on hand 24/7/365 to help you with any matters if your website experiences issues.

Of course, the trade-off there is that they’re a managed WordPress host. That means they come at a steeper cost. With that price tag comes a great hosting service, though, along with a support team that’ll be at your disposal to help you optimize your website and guide it through any down times.

The help desk and support staff of a managed WordPress site are WordPress experts. They understand your site and the plugins you’re using. They are essentially optimized to help you—not a normal host with customers running all sorts of applications.

On top of that, managed hosts have built their business model on providing service, unlike cheaper hosts that may have not invested in customer support or who may even purposely provide “unbearable tech support.”

That’s not to say that unmanaged options don’t offer great customer support. In fact, hosts like Bluehost offer award-winning 24/7 customer support for all of your needs. They might not know your site as well as a managed WordPress host, though.

They can especially be helpful if you’re moving or upgrading your hosting provider from a different one. That brings us to our next consideration…

Managed vs. Unmanaged Hosting

This is probably one of the most important decisions when it comes to choosing a WordPress web host from this list.

It determines everything from your level of customer support, to your security, to your price.

First, let’s go through normal WordPress hosting. You’ll get a regular web host and that host usually gives you an easy way to install WordPress. You have a host, WordPress is installed, and that’s it.

This is known as unmanaged WordPress hosting—and most WordPress hosting works like this. After a one-click install, you get the basic version of WordPress, the same version that you’d get if you installed WordPress on a server that you owned.

Managed WordPress hosting steps things up a notch, and you get a bunch of extra stuff.

Instead of a basic host with WordPress installed, everything is built from the ground up with WordPress in mind. The hosting infrastructure is tailored to WordPress and the hosting company usually customizes WordPress itself to make it better.

Your site will be a lot faster, will be more secure, and you’ll have much better support since the hosting team specializes in WordPress.

The downside is that managed WordPress hosting is more expensive. This makes sense, you’re getting more value so the price is higher.

Headache-Free Site Migration

WordPress hosting is typically an upgrade from old shared hosting solutions.

As such, you’re likely migrating your website to a new web host if you’re reading this.

A good web host will help you migrate your website between web hosts easily and seamlessly. This might mean that they’ll have a dedicated technician work through the process for you, or they’ll have a customer support team to guide you through the process yourself.

Some might even charge you a little more in order to migrate your site—and it’s typically completely worth the price in our opinion.

As you research, see what each hosting provider gives you in terms of site migration. SiteGround, for example, has a free migrator tool that you can use to get your website on their host.

WPEngine is another one that offers a migration plugin. Once downloaded, the plugin takes care of all the complicated work for you.

Flywheel has experts on hand to help you migrate your website if you want. Their migration team will take care of the whole process, so you don’t have to.

If you’re looking to transfer your website from a new host, be sure to check what the WordPress hosting provider is offering to help transfer your website. You’ll want as much help as you can in this regard.

Recap: The Best WordPress Web Hosts

  1. Bluehost – Best for creating your first WordPress website
  2. Hostinger – Best for hosting hundreds of sites on a shoestring budget
  3. WP Engine – Best for hosting multiple WordPress sites with tons of traffic
  4. Nexcess – Best for effortless website staging
  5. SiteGround – Best for ecommerce websites with easy site migration
  6. Flywheel – Best if you want pros to migrate your site for you
  7. Kinsta – Best for auto-scaling for unexpected surges in traffic
  8. Scala Hosting – Most freebies in WordPress hosting plans

If you’re making your first WordPress site or looking for your first host, go with Bluehost. Once you set up your account, you can easily install WordPress with just a few clicks. From there, you have a fully functioning WordPress site at a low hosting cost.

Anybody looking to build or host a WooCommerce store should home in on SiteGround.

Agencies and those who managed multiple websites with be well served by one of Hostinger, Nexcess, or Flywheel.

We use managed WordPress hosting for QuickSprout. WP Engine is the best option for that, but Kinsta is a solid option if you have highly variable traffic.

Scala Hosting offers some of the most comprehensive WordPress hosting packages, including free migrations and extra security features, at a very palatable price.

from Quick Sprout