One of the oldest web hosts started in 1996, Bluehost has become the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting. They are an official "WordPress" recommended hosting provider. You never have to worry about your website being slow even when there is alot of traffic. They also offer a Free Domain and a Free Site Builder with templates. Not to mention that they have a special offer for ThemeLab users.
Are you looking for WordPress hosting? Well there are a lot of options out there such as shared hosting, VPS, Dedicated servers, and even managed WordPress hosting.
Choosing the best hosting option for your needs can help improve SEO and increase sales. But how do you know which is the best option for you? With so many WordPress web hosting companies and tons of fake web hosting review sites, choosing the best hosting can be hard.
My goal in this guide is to walk you through the process of selecting the best web hosting option based on your needs, so you get the best service without overspending your money.
Evaluating your Needs
Aside from quality service and great support, the most important factor in choosing the best web hosting is your needs. WordPress itself is a fairly light-weight script, and it does not require a lot of resources. However based on the traffic your site gets, your needs and cost will vary.
I have put together this quick chart for those who don’t like reading. If you want the detailed analysis then skip this chart.
What best describes you?
I’m a Blogger
- Affordable Low Cost
- 1 Click WordPress Install
- Good Customer Service
I’m a Small Business
- Somebody You Can Trust
- 24/7 Support
- Easy Upgrade Path
I’m a High Traffic Site
- Staging Area
- One Click Restore Points
- Super Fast and Secure
The above chart is just a quick overview, and my recommendation can vary based on specific needs.
If you want to understand all of the reasoning that goes behind choosing the best web hosting plan, then lets take a detailed look at each of the hosting options available.
Shared hosting is the most popular WordPress hosting option. If you’re just starting out, then shared hosting is for you.
It is popular because it is the most affordable and offers the most bang for the price. You can get started with Bluehost, the best shared hosting provider, for as low as $3.95 per month.
But why is shared hosting so cheap?
Most small websites don’t need a lot of resources, so web hosting companies allow hundreds of different websites to share the same server. Since the sever cost is being divided amongst several users, it makes shared hosting the most affordable option.
So what’s the catch?
The biggest catch with shared hosting is the word “unlimited”. Most shared hosting companies boast unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, etc. But in reality, there is no such thing as unlimited.
Shared hosting option is for smaller sites such as new bloggers and small businesses. If every site used excessive resources, then shared hosting would not work. However since very few do, it works out nicely for everyone. You as a user get a very affordable deal, and the web hosting company can make their profit.
However if your website gets popular and starts to use up tons of server resources, then they will ask you to upgrade. Some will ask politely while others will simply suspend your site and send you an email. That’s why it is extremely important that you pick the company that has a good reputation.
Another reason why I recommend Bluehost is because they have an easy auto-upgrade process. If you want to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated servers, then they will do the migration for you. No need to worry about the technical stuff.
Long story short, shared hosting is the best option for those who are just starting out. My favorite shared hosting companies are:
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Think of it as shared hosting, but with a lot less people and pre-assigned resources. VPS is a method of partitioning a server into multiple servers with respects to each customer’s need. You have the privacy of a separate physical computer, and it can be configured specific to your requirements.
VPS is a great option for intermediate users, medium-sized bloggers, designers, and developers.
If you’re not savvy with the server lingo, then I recommend that you make sure to only get managed VPS solutions. Basically this means that the web hosting company does all system upgrades and are available to help as needed.
You can find a good VPS starting at around $30 per month.
From that point onward, based on your needs you can upgrade your resources.
Dedicated server is a physical server that you can lease from the web hosting company. This allows you to have full control over the configuration, choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Dedicated servers are good for large sites. Larger sites like Facebook use clusters of dedicated servers across various data centers.
Dedicated server is also a good choice for web designers and developers who want to offer web hosting as part of their service. I know several developers who do this, and the profit generated is more than enough to cover their own web hosting costs and then some.
Themelab is using a dedicated server from Bluehost. First because they offer managed dedicated servers. Second because they have the best support. Every time I give them a call, they’re always very helpful.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is by far the most hassle-free and fast hosting solution for WordPress sites. Managed WordPress hosting companies optimize your site for faster speed, they make sure that your site is secure, and they also keep regular backups. Not to mention, they are highly skilled WordPress folks, so they can also advise about specific plugins and such.
Now don’t confuse managed WordPress hosting with managed VPS or managed dedicated servers. It is actually very different. You see with managed VPS and Dedicated servers, you still have to worry about your site going down. While the support is there to help you, they’re not actively monitoring your site 24/7.
Whereas on managed WordPress hosting, the providers make sure that your site never goes down. Due to the wide-popularity of WordPress, some web hosting companies have chosen to offer managed WordPress hosting. What this means is that you get an account that only allows you to run WordPress based sites and nothing else. Your website is crazy fast, practically hacker proof, and you get mind-blowing support which makes you feel like king. Think of it as like having your own army of WordPress experts on your side for assistance.
This all sounds very good, What’s the catch?
The catch is that you get what you pay for. Managed WordPress hosting is slightly more expensive in cost compared to the other options.
Managed WordPress hosting starts at $29/month where you can only host 1 site with maximum of 25,000 visitors per month. If you want multiple sites, then your next level up will cost you about $99/month with maximum 100,000 visitors per month. A person just starting out with their blog generally cannot afford this.
But if you’re a business, and you want to focus on doing what you’re good at and not having to worry about any of the technical things, then manage WordPress hosting is for you.
I recommend using WPEngine. They’re the best in business. Brands like HTC, FourSquare, SoundCloud, Balsamiq, and others use their service as well.
Which is Best WordPress Hosting Company For You?
I’ve tried my fair share of web hosting companies while working on my own sites and clients. I have had good experiences with some while bad with others. What I learned over the years is that the best way to limit your risk of getting a bad hosting company is by choosing the one that has the best reputation for quality and service.
It doesn’t matter which web hosting company you’re considering, someone had a terrible experience with them and wrote about it online. But there are probably a lot of other people who love them.
If you were to ask me what are the 3 Best WordPress hosting companies I would recommend to my family and friends? Then my answer would be:
InMotion hosting has been a well-known industry brand with reliable performance for business class hosting. With award winning technical support and 99.9% uptime, they are a user favorite. Their unmatched U.S. based support is always there to help. InMotion Hosting's WordPress Hosting is optimized for active bloggers, and offers great scalability for your blog's growth.
WPEngine is VIP WordPress hosting. Their hassle-free hosting offers fast and robust servers that can handle anything. Your website is practically hacker proof, and their mind-blowing customer service makes you feel like king. They offer automatic security updates, daily backups, one-click restore points, automatic caching, top-tier security, one-click staging area, and more. WPEngine is like having an army of WordPress experts on your side for assistance. It is slightly more expensive in cost compared to all of the other hosting providers in the list, but rest assured we can entirely vouch for the quality and service that you will be getting. Brands like HTC, FourSquare, SoundCloud, Balsamiq, and many others use WPEngine for their WordPress hosting (Just sayin'). If you are a business who do not want to deal with the technical side of running your blog, then WPEngine is the solution for you.