WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS. It powers more than one-third of all websites across the globe.
So if you’re using WordPress to build your website, you’ve made an excellent choice.
But unlike other website builders and content management systems, WordPress doesn’t offer web hosting out of the box. You’ll need to get that from a third-party web hosting service.
With more than 300,000 web hosting providers out there, how can you decide which one is the best for your WordPress site? Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. As a veteran WordPress user, I’ve narrowed down the top six WordPress hosting services based on my personal experiences and extensive research.
I’ll give you an in-depth review of each WordPress hosting service below, and provide you with the methodology required to choose one for yourself.
The Best WordPress Hosting Services to Consider:
When it Makes Sense to Invest Into WordPress Web Hosting
There are actually two different versions of WordPress—WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
You can use WordPress.com to get a free subdomain without the need to worry about hosting. But this is not ideal. The site will be “yourdomain.wordpress.com.” No legitimate website has a URL structure like this. Growing a business or even a small personal site with a subdomain is near impossible.
So building your site with WordPress.org is the way to go. However, this the self-hosted version of WordPress. You’ll need to install it on your own server using a web hosting service.
Fortunately, this is very easy to do. The best WordPress hosting services come with features like one-click WordPress installations, pre-installed WordPress versions, or even fully managed WordPress hosting services.
You’ll need to invest in a WordPress web hosting plan as soon as you’re ready to build and launch your WordPress website.
If you’re just using WordPress.com to create a free site with a subdomain, a web host won’t be necessary. But I don’t recommend this for businesses or anyone trying to build a legitimate site.
#1 – Bluehost Review — Best Overall WordPress Hosting Service
Bluehost powers more than two million websites worldwide. It’s one of the most reliable and popular web hosting services on the market today.
WordPress has been recommending Bluehost for web hosting since 2005. As a WordPress partner, Bluehost can support whatever you need to build a powerful and flexible WordPress site.
Bluehost has specific web hosting plans for WordPress users.
- Basic — $3.95 per month
- Plus — $5.95 per month
- Choice Plus — $6.95 per month
All WordPress hosting plans come with automatic WordPress installation, automatic WordPress updates, a free SSL certificate, and $200 in marketing credits. You’ll also benefit from a free domain for one year.
That’s right. If you haven’t registered your domain yet, you can bundle your web hosting service with a domain registration directly from Bluehost to get a free domain.
Bluehost has exceptional customer support available 24/7. If you need assistance, you can rely on the expert support team for help. Plus, the Bluehost staff knows the ins and outs of WordPress. So troubleshooting won’t be a problem.
For those of you looking for a fully-managed WordPress hosting service, check out WP Pro from Bluehost. These managed WordPress hosting plans start at $19.95 per month.
The only drawback of using Bluehost is that that you’ll need to commit to a long-term contract to get the best possible rate. The promotional rates will increase upon renewal as well, although this is standard practice in the web hosting industry.
#2 – WP Engine Review — The Best For WordPress Experts
With a name like WP Engine, you’d expect this web hosting provider to specialize in WordPress hosting—and that’s exactly what they do.
WP Engine is trusted by 120,000+ customers in 140 different countries. While it’s not as popular as Bluehost, this web hosting service isn’t geared toward the masses. WP Engine is the best choice for the pros.
If you’re building a high-traffic website, blog, or business, WP Engine is your best bet.
WP Engine offers custom enterprise hosting solutions in addition to managed WordPress hosting for those of you who are just getting started. Here’s an overview of their plans and pricing.
As you can see, these hosting plans can accommodate the needs of high-traffic websites with complex requirements.
While WP Engine does have plans for beginners and new websites, I wouldn’t recommend it to those of you who are just starting out. These prices are significantly higher than other web hosting providers on the market.
In most cases, this is overkill for small websites and new websites starting from scratch. You won’t need a web host like this.
WP Engine’s managed web hosting provides excellent customer support for its clients. Everything is maintained at the server level. So you won’t have to worry about plug-ins slowing down your site or installing updates. All of this is handled by WP Engine behind the scenes.
WP Engine will take care of your site’s security as well. They block more than two million attacks for their customers every day.
#3 – DreamHost Review — Best Cheap WordPress Hosting
DreamHost is another popular web hosting provider. It’s trusted by 1.5+ million sites across the world. Like Bluehost, DreamHost is also recommended by WordPress, which explains why they have 750,000+ WordPress installations.
Overall, DreamHost is a reliable and reputable web hosting provider. They have plans and services to accommodate a wide range of hosting needs, depending on the management level you need and the resources your site requires.
DreamHost offers basic shared WordPress hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and VPS hosting for WordPress as well. All of these plans are affordable.
For $2.59 per month, you won’t find a better deal from a WordPress recommended web host. Even the managed WordPress plans are more than 30% cheaper than WP Engine’s best rate. In fact, the DreamHost VPS for WordPress is more in line with the entry-level hosting plan from WP Engine.
So if you’re looking for the best rate for WordPress hosting, DreamHost will be a top choice to consider.
But price isn’t the only reason why DreamHost ranks so high on our list. You’ll also benefit from a wide range of features and benefits by choosing this web hosting provider.
I’m referring to things like a free SSL certificate, automated backups, instant WordPress setups, automatic WordPress updates, and free email hosting. You’ll also benefit from DreamHosts’s award-winning 24/7/365 customer support.
#4 – SiteGround Review — Best Simple WordPress Hosting Service
Along with Bluehost and DreamHost, SiteGround is the third web hosting provider recommended by WordPress. It’s trusted by more than two million domains, which makes SiteGround one of the most popular web hosting providers in existence.
SiteGround’s WordPress hosting services are simple, powerful, and affordable.
As a full-service hosting provider, SiteGround manages security and updates for your WordPress site. They promote WooCommerce hosting services as well, which an ideal option for any WordPress user using this plugin to run an ecommerce shop.
For those of you currently using another web hosting provider, you can transfer your website to SiteGround for free.
For a limited time, you can try SiteGround for $0.33 per month for your first three months.
All plans come with a free SSL certificate, email service, daily backups, a staging tool, and a developer toolkit.
SiteGround has the resources to accommodate growing websites. So it’s a great choice for new sites that are scaling quickly.
The only real drawback of SiteGround is its pricing. While they offer low promotional rates, they are notorious for spiking your contract upon renewal. All of this is clearly stated on the website and in your contract. As I said before, this is standard practice in the web hosting industry. But SiteGround’s spike is higher than most.
For example, the promotional rate for the GrowBig plan (which is the best seller) starts at $5.95 per month. That plan renews at $19.95 per month when your initial contract expires.
#5 – Kinsta Review — Best WordPress Hosting For Scalability
Kinsta isn’t the most well-known hosting provider on the market today. But it’s an excellent choice for growing WordPress websites. This provider has the resources needed to accommodate traffic spikes.
Kinsta is a fully managed web hosting service. It’s the best alternative to WP Engine for those of you who are comfortable at that price point.
You’ll benefit from daily backups, fast site speeds, free migrations, and top-notch security.
Pricing starts at $30 per month. As your traffic increases, you can easily scale up from there. You’ll never have to worry about outgrowing this web hosting provider.
Kinsta’s support is unmatched. They have 24/7 server monitoring and check your website’s uptime every two minutes. With a 100% solve rate, they’ve never encountered a problem that can’t be fixed.
Kinsta is developer-friendly and provides you with all of the tools you need, including the ability to choose your data center.
For those of you who are expecting spikes in web traffic due to a promotion, sale, or another event, you won’t have to upgrade your plan to access enough server resources. Kinsta has transparent overage prices and won’t scale your site down if you go over your plan limits.
Similar to WP Engine, the drawback of Kinsta is its price point. It’s on the high side, which is unnecessary for most beginners. But they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and two months for free with annual contracts.
#6 – Flywheel Review — Best WordPress Hosting for Freelancers and Agencies
Flywheel is another lesser-known web hosting service. They offer hosting plans specifically for freelancers and agencies.
If you or your agency is building websites for other businesses, Flywheel makes it easy for you to create and transfer those sites to your clients.
Flywheel’s plans come with a free SSL certificate, easy SFTP access, free CDN, custom caching, and powerful developer tools. Flywheel’s hosting is optimized for WordPress, and delivers blazing-fast loading speeds while keeping your site safe and secure.
Agencies will benefit from team management tools, like individual login credentials and a real-time activity feed.
For freelancers, you can easily transfer the billing to your clients once the site goes live as well. You can still remain as a collaborator on the website, which gives you full access, minus the cost.
As expected with a premium web hosting service, Flywheel has superior customer support. Their team of WordPress experts can be reached 24/7/365.
The downside of Flywheel is that it’s so niche-specific. Most businesses and websites won’t need a hosting provider that offers these services. But if you build websites for clients, use Flywheel.
Methodology For Choosing The Best WordPress Hosting Service
Most people struggle when choosing a WordPress hosting service because they don’t know what to look for. But there are certain factors that will help you find the best web host for your needs.
This is the methodology that we use and recommend for evaluating a WordPress hosting service. You can weigh these elements against your personal needs.
The first thing you need to do is determine if you want a regular hosting service or a fully managed WordPress hosting provider.
Regular WordPress hosting is cheaper, and usually just gives you a simple way to install WordPress. That’s really it.
But managed WordPress hosting services deliver much more. The entire hosting infrastructure is tailored to WordPress. It’s faster and more secure. Plus, the customer support team is more familiar with WordPress and how it works.
Managed WordPress hosting services handle all of the maintenance as well. From backups to automatic updates, you won’t have to worry about a thing.
The extra price for managed WordPress hosting is worth it if you’re looking for the absolute best. But for new or small websites that don’t have complex needs or high volumes of traffic, you can get away with regular hosting.
When you’re choosing a WordPress hosting service, the amount of traffic your website gets will have a significant impact on the provider and plan that you select.
For example, if you’re starting a new website from scratch and don’t expect to have tons of traffic, you’ll be fine with an entry-level hosting plan from Bluehost.
But if you needed a to accommodate 200k or 400k+ monthly visitors, you’d be better off using WP Engine or Kinsta.
Assuming your site is growing, you should find a WordPress hosting service that can grow with you as your traffic increases.
Performance is always crucial when you’re evaluating web hosting services. Uptime and site speed are the two most important factors.
If your site loads slowly or goes offline, what’s the point of using that provider?
Fortunately, all of the options on our list are reputable and deliver strong performance metrics. You just need to choose the right plan to accommodate your needs and traffic.
Some of you might need special features. For example, Flywheel allows you to easily build and transfer websites to your clients as a freelancer or agency. The performance isn’t affected at all during these scenarios. But not every web hosting provider offers this type of specialty service.
Eventually, you’re going to need to contact your web hosting provider for troubleshooting. This is just an inevitable part of running a website. Make sure that your web host will be there to support you when you need help.
If you’re using a managed WordPress hosting service, lots of support issues will be taken care of automatically. You won’t even need to be contacted.
But if you’re just using a regular WordPress hosting plan, you might need to be a little bit more proactive when it comes to this.
The cost for WordPress hosting varies dramatically depending on the provider and plan that you choose. Entry-level WordPress hosting can be purchased for less than $3 per month. Managed hosting services start around the $25 to $30 range.
For both of these options, the price will obviously increase depending on the resources required to run your website.
While managed WordPress hosting providers are undoubtedly better, not every website will need that extra level of service. If you’re just starting out or you’re price-sensitive, you can save some money by skipping the managed plans.
If you’re using WordPress to create and manage your website, you should look into a WordPress hosting service.
Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround are all “officially” on the list of hosting providers recommended by WordPress. But WP Engine and Kinsta are both exceptional choices if you’re looking for managed WordPress hosting.
For agencies and freelancers that build websites for clients, I’d go with Flywheel.
Use this guide to find the best WordPress hosting service for your specific needs. I know you’ll find the perfect option on our list.