Best WordPress Hosting Compared (Based on Latest Test Results)

Article by Jerry Low . .
Updated: Aug 09, 2018

 

Through out the years we have signup, tested, and tested more than 60 web hosting services (see all our reviews here). Based on this experience, we found that there are some hosts that seem to go above and beyond when it comes to catering to WordPress users.

At this point of writing (May 2018), we think the following web hosts fit WordPress sites / blogs the best. Read on to get more info – from hosting uptime and speed test results to pricing and special WP features, about each of these hosting companies below.

Compare WordPress Hosting Services

WP Host Entry Cost Money Back Managed WP? Site Staging? Order
SiteGround $3.95/mo 30 days Click
Kinsta $25.00/mo 30 days Click
Hostgator Cloud $6.95/mo 45 days Click
InMotion Hosting $4.99/mo 90 days Click
WP Engine $35.00/mo 60 days Click
LiquidWeb $69.99/mo 30 days Click
A2 Hosting $12.97/mo Anytime Click
BlueHost $19.99/mo 30 days Click
Pressidium $42.00/mo 30 days Click
WebHostFace $19.95/mo 30 days Click

 

My Top WP Hosting Picks: SiteGround & Kinsta

If you are in a hurry, SiteGround and Kinsta are the top two I highly recommend.

1- SiteGround

PROS –

  • Premium WordPress features for their StartUp package.
  • Great hosting speed and reliability at reasonable price.
  • Customer-first mentality with amazing after sales support.

Order: https://www.siteground.com/wordpress/

2- Kinsta

PROS –

  • Top class hosting infrastructure and WordPress support
  • Excellent performance for all server speed test
  • Site management interface that’s developer-friendly with lots of useful features

Order: https://kinsta.com

You can’t go wrong with either of these two as they all offer great uptime, fantastic customer support, high-speed loading, and amazing prices for their service.

 


 

Top 10 WordPress Hosting Service Providers

1- SiteGround

Website: https://www.siteground.com/wordpress/ . Starting Price: $3.95/mo

SiteGround has been around since 2004 when it was founded by a group of university friends who wanted to provide website owners with a hosting service that’s both reliable and flexible.

For us at WHSR, we didn’t start using them until 2013 where we were given the opportunity to test out their services and interview their CEO, Tenko Nikolov.

SiteGround Server Test Results

SiteGround uptime (March 2017): 100%

SiteGround uptime (July 2016): 99.95%

We check our SiteGround-hosted site speed using Bitcacha and the host passed the test with flying colors. SiteGround scored an “A” in this test and was the second best among all the web hosts tracked by us.

 

SiteGround Users Feedback

Based on our findings, SiteGround excels in all the areas that you would need for your website and more.

Beyond the high-performance uptime and speed, SiteGround – as one of our best hosting picks, offers the full package of great hosting features, excellent customer support, and most importantly, affordable pricing for premium hosting.

Though we have to give high marks for their support as they not only managed to solve all of our issues in a fast and professional manner, they do so with a human touch. If you’re big on customer service, then you’re going to love SiteGround’s support team.

 

PROS:

  • Great hosting speed and reliability
  • Multiple choices in server locations
  • Customer-first mentality with amazing after sales support.
  • 1-click WP staging, pre-installed GIT for WordPress development.

CONS:

  • Expensive renewal price

RECOMMENDED FOR: Serious business sites / blogs with excessive budget

 

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2- Kinsta

Website: https://kinsta.com . Starting Price: $25/mo

The California-based company was founded by Mark Gavalda in 2013 and currently hosts a number of global-recognized brands such as Ricoh, Ubisoft, General Electric, and ASOS.

They are one of the top managed WordPress hosts with excellent overall server performance. Based on our test, Kinsta hosting hits uptime above 99.98%, A+ rating in Bitcatcha speed test, and TTFB at 111ms for test server in the same region.

Tons of positive reviews on Kinsta across multiple platforms shows the quality of their services, which is reasonably priced. Offers support for NGINX, PHP 7, HHVM, and MariaDB.

Kinsta Hosting Performance 

Kinsta 30 days average uptime score (March/April 2018): 99.98%.
Kinsta server response speed below 350ms world wide.

Kinsta Users Feedback

 

PROS:

  • Excellent server speed
  • WordPress expert support
  • 15 data center locations available across the globe
  • A custom-built control panel that’s both impressive and intuitive.

CONS:

  • Expensive for bloggers running multiple low traffic sites
  • Does not support email hosting

RECOMMENDED FOR: WP sites with high volume traffic/enterprises with excessive budget

 

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3- Hostgator Cloud

Website: https://www.hostgator.com/cloud . Starting Price: $6.95/mo 

Established in 2002 by Brent Oxley, Hostgator has been around for over 10 years and has been providing solid web hosting for newbies or individual bloggers.

Their current plan consists of the Hatchling Cloud ($6.95/mo), Baby Cloud ($8.95/mo) and the Business Cloud ($10.95/mo).

While it lacks certain features such as NGINX and HTTP/2 support, they more than make-up for it with good server performance – 99.99% uptime, TTFB below 500ms, and rated A at Bitcatcha speed test. Based on Jerry’s recent experience – we think they are the go-to choice for new users or individual bloggers who want a solid hosting provider.

Hostgator Cloud Hosting Performance 

Hostgator cloud hosting uptime (March 2018): 99.99%.
Hostgator cloud hosting uptime (September 2017): 99.9%

Hostgator cloud hosting uptime (April 2017): 100%

Speed test result for site #1, April 2017 – Test site scored an impressive “A” on first test. Most other web hosts in this price range do not score above A- in Bitcatcha speed test. This result (and the few that I am going to show you below) convince me that Hostgator is back to the top of their game.

Hostgator Users Feedback

 

PROS:

  • Newbie-friendly user interface.
  • Solid server performance.
  • Most popular hosting among bloggers based on our 2015 and 2016 survey.
  • Comprehensive support documentation, users forum, and okay live chat support.
  • Signup price is ~45% cheaper than your renewal fees.

CONS:

  • Server location in United States only.
  • Does not support NGINX and HTTP/2 till date.
  • Expensive renewal fees.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Bloggers with average budget and new site owners

 

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4- InMotion Hosting

Website: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/wp-hosting . Starting Price: $4.99/mo

The Los Angeles-based hosting company has been around since 2001 and the fact that they are still around should give you an indication of how good these guys are. They are so good, we’re still using them to host the website that you’re currently reading right now.

It was back in 2009 when we first started using their shared hosting plan and the performance and stability of their servers impressed us so much, we ended up switching to their VPS plan which we’re still using today.

InMotion Hosting Uptime & Speed Test

September 2016: 100%

July 2016: 100%

InMotion Hosting speed test result: A+.

Not only does InMotion Hosting gives amazing server performance, they also have top-notch customer support, chock full of essential features, flexible hosting plans, and FREE site migration for first-time customers.

The only downside that we can think of is that pricing can be on the more premium side, however, given the excellent quality you get in return, we think it’s worth it!

 

PROS

  • Solid server performance
  • Topnotch live chat support experience
  • Free site migration for first time customers
  • 90 days money back guarantee (industry’s #1)
  • Special discount for WHSR users – save 57% on your first bill

CONS

  • Hosting price increased during renewal

RECOMMENDED FOR: Newbies and blogs / sites with excessive budget

 

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5- WP Engine

Website: https://www.wpengine.com/ . Starting Price: $35/mo

WP Engine began their journey to become the go-to Managed WordPress hosting provider back in 2010. Their ability to consistently provide high performance and great speed for WordPress websites proved to be a hit with bloggers and businesses such as HTC, FourSquare, SoundCloud, and Balsamiq, to name a few.

We did an interview with one of their co-founders, Jason Cohen, and it gave us great insight into the company’s vision and also an opportunity to try out their services. Immediately, we saw significant improvements in areas such as uptime rate and response time.

WP Engine Server Test Results

May 2017: 100%

March 2016: 99.97%

Speed test at Bitcatcha: B+. For more test results and data, please refer to my in-depth WP Engine review.

Add to that an experienced support team who are dedicated and knowledgeable about WordPress, WHSR ended up staying with WP Engine for more than 2 years!

It should be noted that during 2014/2015, WP Engine suffered a drop in their support team quality but has since taken actions to address the issues, with users feedback marking the improvement of their customer service. For WordPress websites, you can’t go wrong with WP Engine as they are one of the top WordPress hosting services in the market. If you’re not using WordPress, then you might want to look elsewhere.

 

PROS:

  • GeoIP targeting and offsite backups
  • Agile developer environment – development and staging sites ready
  • Solid server performance.
  • 60-day money back guarantee with no lock-in contract
  • Supported by WordPress experts

CONS:

  • Costly for owners running multiple WP sites
  • No email hosting
  • No direct access to .htaccess file
  • Not everyone is happy with WP Engine customer support

RECOMMENDED FOR: WP sites with high volume traffic/enterprises with excessive budget

 

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6- LiquidWeb Hosting

Website: https://www.liquidweb.com/ . Starting Price: $69.99/mo

Focusing on providing web hostings for web professionals around the world, LiquidWeb has grown from its small beginnings in Michigan back in 1997 into one of the fastest growing companies today with over 32,000 customers in over 130 countries.

LiquidWeb Hosting Performance

LiquidWeb uptime, March 2018: 100%.
LiquidWeb rated A+ in Bitcatcha speed test.

With solid performances across the board on speed, uptime record, and response time, LiquidWeb is an excellent choice for those who want a solid hosting provider that can handle specific needs. For example, a gaming company who needs a game server hosting or a medical facility that needs HIPAA-compliant hosting.

This is where LiquidWeb shine as their managed WordPress plans are for those with bespoke purposes. Need an enterprise level hosting service? Running multiple WordPress websites? In need of an excellent VPS plan? All these can be solved by LiquidWeb.

However, for those looking to start a website or a blog, LiquidWeb is probably not the best choice as their pricing falls on the expensive side, especially for their VPS hosting plans. Unless you plan to host over 20 WordPress website, it can be hard to justify signing up for their plans.

 

PROS

  • Extremely reliable – LiquidWeb offers 100% network uptime guarantee.
  • 30 – 50% cheaper than most managed WordPress hosting services in market.

CONS

  • Entry level price at $69.99/mo – not for small blogs or sites owners with low budget

RECOMMENDED FOR: Big enterprise sites / agencies

 

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7- A2 Hosting

Website: https://www.a2hosting.com/wordpress  . Starting Price: $12.97/mo

Founded as Iniquinet in 2001, the hosting company renamed itself as A2 Hosting back in 2003 as a tribute to its founder’s hometown — Ann Arbor, Michigan.

We’ve been using their A2 Prime (their shared hosting plan) since 2013 and one thing’s for sure, these guys are speed experts.

If speed kills, then A2 Hosting is murdering the competition. And that’s not hyperbole. Since all of their hosting plans are stored in SSD and are using pre-configured CloudFlare CDN with Railgun Optimizer, they managed to whizz through multiple speed test on Bitcatcha and received an A rating for their shared hosting plans, which is very impressive.

A2 Hosting Speed Test

Our test site hosted at A2Hosting loaded in less than 60 ms for US West Coast test port. Host is faster than 86% of samples according to Bitcatcha.

And they are no slouch when it comes to hosting uptime either with an average uptime rate of 99.98% throughout our testing. With all the essential features that you would need for a hosting provider, such as scalable hosting plans and free site migrations for first time customer, A2 Hosting makes a strong case for those who want a hosting company that performs well, priced reasonably, and gives room to grow.

 

PROS

  • Excellent server performance – average hosting uptime above 99.98%, TTFB below 550 ms
  • Almost 20 years of proven business track record
  • Risk free – anytime money back guarantee
  • Free sites migration for new customers

CONS

  • Site migration is chargeable when downgrading
  • Live chat support not 24×7 based on my test

RECOMMENDED FOR: Serious bloggers / site owners with excessive budget

 

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8- BlueHost

Website: https://www.bluehost.com/wordpress .  Starting Price: $19.99/mo

With over 2 million sites hosted on their servers, Bluehost is definitely one of the most popular WordPress hosting provider today. Established by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in 2003, Bluehost is one of the few hosting companies that’s recommended by WordPress.org.

In terms of performance, Bluehost is pretty much on average with metrics such as uptime rates at about 99.95% and B/B+ for Bitcatcha speed test.

Based on our research, their customer support was pretty good as well and managed to solve our issues on the spot.

BlueHost Hosting Uptime & Speed Test

BlueHost uptime (March 2018): 99.98%
Longer load time for request from US (w) and (E); but better result in general when compared to previous test.

Bluehost’s strength, however, lies in its ability to provide a beginner-friendly hosting service for those who are just starting out.

With a control panel that’s easy to navigate and flexible hosting choices, you have a pretty solid hosting provider that lets you scale up your WordPress website when needed.

 

PROS

  • Recommended by WordPress.org.
  • Excellent server performance – average hosting uptime above 99.95%, TTFB below 500ms.
  • Web host with almost 20 years of proven business track record.
  • Plenty of room to grow – users get to upgrade their hosting servers to VPS and dedicated hosting at reasonable price.

CONS

  • Price increases during renewal.
  • Most server upgrades come in additional cost.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Newbies or bloggers with limited budget

 

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9- Pressidium Hosting

Website: https://www.pressidium.com/ . Starting Price: $42/mo

Pressidium Hosting vision is to provide users with a premium WordPress hosting that can be tailored to any needs. Consisting of IT experts, software engineers, and senior developers, Pressidium offers a variety of plans that range from the small (Micro plan that’s targeted for bloggers) to the huge (Business plan with unlimited bandwidth for heavy traffic).

Their claim for providing a premium WordPress hosting experience is not untrue as our tests with their servers yield impressive results. For starters, they maintained a 100% server uptime rate throughout our entire testing process and managed to keep the site loading fast with very low response time.

Pressidium Hosting Performance

Add to the fact that it’s built from the ground up to include advanced WP features, adding and configuring a site on Pressidium is surprisingly easy. Of course, what’s even more impressive is that their pricing is relatively affordable compared to other hosting companies that offer the same WordPress specific service.

This makes Pressidium an excellent choice for those who want a site that loads ultra-fast and is capable of handling huge traffic.

PROS

  • Extremely reliable – Our test site at Pressidium (during 2016 test period) hardly go down in one year.
  • Pinnacle Platform Pressidium’s built-from-the-ground hosting platforms come with all sort of advanced WP features.
  • Fujitsu, Modern Retail, 6 Yards, and Transifex are some of the big names that reside at Pressidium.

CONS

  • Expensive entry cost – not for individual bloggers with low budget

RECOMMENDED FOR: Big enterprise sites and blogs

 

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10- WebHostFace

Website: https://www.webhostface.com/ . Starting Price: $19.95/mo

A hidden gem amongst the sea of hosting companies, WebHostFace is undeniably one of the best choices for individual site owners or bloggers who are looking for a budget web host that delivers solid performances.

Lead by CEO Valentin Sharlanov (whom we interviewed twice), WebHostFace offers reliable server performance with its 99.95% uptime rate and comprehensive hosting features that includes built-in DDoS mitigation, brute force detection, and R1Soft Backup.

WebHostFace Hosting Uptime & Speed Test

June 2017: 99.99%

March 2017: 99.64%

Speed testing my dummy site hosted on WebHostFace – server scored “C” when compared with other results at Bitcatcha. This is a revised result from the original A grade (see speed test #2 below) it received when first tested.

While all that is great for any website owner, what makes WebHostFace stand apart from other hosting companies is their managed WordPress plan which offers a personal WP assistant that you can ask for help on things such as SEO or security configuration.

But the real reason why WebHostFace is one of the fastest growing hosting providers today? It’s because they are a company with a face and puts the spotlight on the people behind the company. The same people who aim to provide quality hosting services for your WordPress website.

 

PROS

  • Extra secured hosting environment + daily backup
  • Excellent live chat support
  • Built-in DDoS mitigation, brute force detection and R1Soft Backup
  • Comprehensive users support with written and video tutorials
  • The only managed WordPress hosting company that comes with personal WordPress training.

CONS

  • Users save up to 90% on first bill but prices increase during renewal
  • Rated “C” in our recent speed test

RECOMMENDED FOR: Users with excessive budget and need hand-to-hand support

 

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In Summary: Who has the best web host for WordPress sites?

Trying to decide on the best WordPress hosting company is hard as it all depends on what you need for your website. However, if I had to pick the top WP hosts that you should definitely consider for your site, then I recommend either SiteGround or Kinsta.

Why these two? Here’s a quick recap:

1- SiteGround

PROS –

  • Premium WordPress features for their StartUp package.
  • Great hosting speed and reliability at reasonable price.
  • Customer-first mentality with amazing after sales support.

Order: https://www.siteground.com/wordpress/

2- Kinsta

PROS –

  • Top class hosting infrastructure and WordPress support
  • Excellent performance for all server speed test
  • Site management interface that’s developer-friendly with lots of useful features

Order: https://kinsta.com

You can’t go wrong with either of these two as they all offer great uptime, fantastic customer support, high-speed loading, and amazing prices for their service.

 

 

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What Makes A WordPress Host Great?

WordPress

Technically there’s no such thing as WordPress hosting.

Any host can be turned into a WordPress host as long as they have the two basic requirements: PHP 5.2.4 or higher and MySQL 5.0 or higher.

However, just because a hosting company has PHP and MySQL does not mean it is the right hosting company for your WordPress sites. Not all WordPress hosts are created equal.

A good WordPress host should at least meet the following three basic requirements:

  1. Pre-configured or one-click WordPress installation
  2. Built-for WordPress tools and services (ie. WP staging, caching tools, and constant monitoring for WP related vulnerabilities)
  3. WordPress expert supports.

As we’ve said before, the internet is filled with people offering their recommendations and reviews on all the different web hosts available. With so many differing opinions, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out the different factors that make a web host great.

For us, we try to break it down and focus on a number of key factors that we believe makes a web host great for WordPress websites with different needs. Factors such as the cost, performance, server reliability, uptime guarantees, and more are essential for determining the quality of a WordPress hosting company.

How our WP hosting reviews work?

There are a number of factors and guidelines that we adhere to when it comes to reviewing a WordPress hosting company.

For starters, all of our reviews are based on our own user experience and actual server data. Using third-party data application software (Uptime Robot, Bitcatcha, Web page Test, etc.), we collect as much relevant data to provide better insight on the web host’s performance.

The six main factors

Once we’ve collected the necessary data, we break down the review into six main factors, which are:

  • Server Performance
  • Essential features
  • After sales support
  • User friendliness/customer care policy
  • Company reputation/feedback from legit users
  • Price / Value for money

Questions we ask

In addition to that, we set up different web hosts to answer questions such as,

  • “What is the average 30 days server uptime?”
  • “How quick/slow is the server loading?”
  • “Is the host value for money in long-term?”

All this help set our reviews apart from any other hosting review sites on the internet as it keeps us honest in how we conduct our reviews and ensure that you get all the answers you need.

For more details on we review and judge a web host, check out our review policy page.

 


 

Types of WordPress Hosting Services

Most web hosting companies will offer several types of hosting plans that you can pick and choose, depending on the needs of your website.

It’s important that you know the difference between them and the services they offer so you can choose the one that fits your website’s needs and budget.

Shared Hosting

What Is Shared Hosting?
Majority of the WP sites are hosted in shared hosting environment (click to enlarge image).

A shared hosting plan is when you have multiple websites sharing the same IP address and resources, such as the memory, bandwidth, and disk space. It’s the cheapest and often the best choice for beginner websites.

It’s great for first-time bloggers and low-budget projects due to its low cost, however, the disadvantages are things such as slower site speed, limited memory, and having to share server resources with multiple websites.

Host: InMotion Hosting, A2 Hosting, BlueHost

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

What Is VPS Hosting
The pros and cons of VPS hosting for a WP site.

A VPS hosting is a step up from shared hosting and is a popular choice for those in need of more server resources. While you still share a physical server with other VPS users, you will have dedicated resources (memory, space, etc.) that are allocated to your website. Due to its flexibility, you can add more resources anytime you want at additional costs.

Plus, your website won’t suffer any slowdown as other users cannot hog more than the resources that they’ve been allocated with.

Host: SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, A2 Hosting

Dedicated Hosting

What Is Dedicated Hosting?
The pros and cons of dedicated hosting for WP sites.

With dedicated hosting, you will have complete control over an entire server’s resources for your website. Since you will be the only user on the server, you can make use of the entire bandwidth, memory, and hard disk space, while retaining control over things such as speed, SEO, and security.

The only downside is that dedicated hosting can be expensive and is only recommended for large online enterprises who have a large number of visitors on a daily basis.

Host: SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, A2 Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting

A fairly new technology, managed WordPress hosting is a concierge service where all of the technical aspects of running a WordPress website is handled by the host. Things such as WordPress updates, daily backups, security, speed, and more, are handled by the host so that you can focus on running your websites.

In addition to that, you will also get premium support from WordPress experts to help you with any problems that you encounter.

Host: Kinsta, WP Engine, Liquid Web, Pressidium, WebHostFace

Here’s a quick summary of all the different hosting type

  1. Shared hosting offers the cheapest option but comes with compromises such as security and performance.
  2. VPS hosting gives you better resources and features than shared hosting but is also costlier.
  3. Dedicated hosting offers the best in terms of performance, resources, and security for bigger websites but is the most expensive.
  4. Managed WordPress hosting handles both hosting and management duties for WordPress users. A great choice if budget is not an issue.

 


 

Wait, how about WordPress.com?

WordPress.com, operated by Automattic, Inc.,  is a service site where you can build and host your WordPress sites.

WordPress.com is the most popular blogging platforms out there – and for good reason.

Wordpress.com stats
More than 77 millions posts published on WordPress.com in June 2018 alone (source)

Its existing templates are so easy to use that even the most novice website architect can navigate them to create a beautiful, professional website – not to mention that for the seasoned developer, the site is highly customizable. WordPress.com also comes with thousands of ready-made plugins and built-in site metrics.

And best of all, it’s completely free!

Sounds good? Not really. There are several issues that you need to know with WordPress.com.

  1. Limited monetization – For many bloggers, their blog is their business – meaning they need to monetize it. But WordPress.com applies tons of limitations to users’ blog – for example, no affiliate links are allowed.
  2. Ugly domains – the built-in hosting in WordPress.com provides site owners with a partially selected domain – meaning that they can select their domain name, but that the system adds on an additional string to the end of it; the result is a long URL (something like myblog.wordpress.com) that is not only difficult for potential visitors to remember.

Paid hosting providers, like the one we mentioned above, offer far more flexibility for things like storage, owning your ad space, security, and site portability.

* Note: WordPress.com is not the same as WordPress.org. WordPress.org is the site where you can download the WordPress application you use to build a site.

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