It’s easy to underestimate the effect hosting has on how well your WordPress website operates. The right hosting plan can improve performance and even affect your level of site security. For this reason, it’s essential you pick from the best WordPress hosting providers when you’re ready to start a WordPress website.
The beauty of web hosting is that there’s a wide range of available plans, so it’s easy to find one that suits your needs. You can even select a plan specifically designed with WordPress users in mind.
In other words, when you choose use a WordPress hosting company, you’ll receive access to some handy extra features that were designed specifically with WordPress in mind.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of choosing a quality web host and explore some of the key criteria that any hosting provider should meet. Then, we’ll highlight five of the best WordPress hosting providers in the market for you to consider.
Why Choosing a Quality WordPress Host Is Essential
Although not essential, a WordPress-specific hosting plan is likely to provide extra features. These features will vary from host to host, although one common option is integration with popular plugins like WooCommerce. Other perks include free staging sites, regular updates, and pre-installed sites.
That said, there’s more to investing in top WordPress hosting companies than just great features. In fact, here are the most compelling reasons why choosing a high-quality web host should be a priority:
- Faster Page Loading Times: a good web host will have built-in speed and performance features (such as PHP 7 or higher support). A sluggish website causes people to bounce. If you want to boost engagement and drive more traffic to your site, you’re going to need to focus on site speed.
- Increased Uptime: there’s no avoiding some downtime throughout the year. That said, you should make sure the web host you want to use has excellent uptime records.
- Better Search Rankings: the better your website performs, the higher you’ll rank in search results. A fast web host with built-in SEO optimization tools will help you improve your SERPs.
- Support When You Need It: the last thing you want to do when you have a problem is scramble frantically trying to get in touch with your host’s support team. A good web host will have WordPress experts available 24/7 to help.
- Site Backups (Just in Case): we always recommend you back up your own WordPress website. That said, a high-quality WordPress web host will also create site backups (and have one-click restore options).
As you can see, the way your site performs relies heavily on your web host.
Criteria to Look for in the Top WordPress Hosting Providers
Just to recap the importance of good WordPress hosting providers, here’s a quick look at the top criteria you should look for before committing to a web host:
- Built-in security measures such as WAF (web application firewall), malware scanning and removal, and offsite website backups
- Uptime guarantees and compensation for unexpected downtime
- Speed and performance features like PHP 7, caching solutions, and free CDN services
- Site backups and one-click restore options
- Top-notch customer support through various channels (email, phone, live chat, etc.)
- Generous bandwidth and storage limits so you can grow your site without issue
- Domain management tools for adding subdomains and managing multiple websites
- Scalability so you don’t have downtime as your site grows
Of course, this is just a short list of some of the top features to look for when researching WordPress hosting providers. And what you need in a web host might not be what someone else needs.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the top 5 WordPress hosting providers in the market to help narrow you search and make a better decision.
1. WP Engine – best managed WordPress hosting for professional
To kick off our list of top WordPress hosting providers, we’re starting with WP Engine. As one of the most popular WordPress hosting providers around, WP Engine aims to provide a full-package solution.
Its managed WordPress hosting plans include many useful features, such as:
- Access to more than 36 StudioPress themes and the Genesis Framework
- Free full site migrations
- Easy integration with eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce
- Page performance analysis, so you can keep track of how well your site is doing
Although this feature set is impressive, a quality hosting provider will need to offer more if it wants to be competitive. With that in mind, let’s see how well WP Engine scores in these key areas:
- Security. Managed WordPress hosting plans on WP Engine come with a free SSL certificate pre-installed. They also offer unlimited developer environments, flexible workflows, staging areas, and Git integration.
- Scalability. The WordPress plans come in several tiers, each better suited to a certain level of site traffic. This means you can easily upgrade your chosen plan when your site starts to grow in popularity.
- User Support. WP Engine offers some solid support options, including a help desk and 24/7 chat service. Those who are operating on more advanced plans can also contact the support team via telephone.
- Performance. This hosting provider has a near perfect uptime record, meaning there’s little chance of unexpected downtime for your site. WP Engine is also well-optimized for performance. If you’re running WooCommerce store, there’s even a plugin that can help you optimize performance in your Woo store. Our own benchmark tests found average loading times to be around 1.02 seconds, which is an excellent result.
- Strictly managed WordPress hosting plans, so you know the support team is full of experts
- Hacked sites fixed for free
- No long-term contracts
- Exceptional support (including fast response times)
- Built-in EverCache technology to boost site speed
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
- More expensive than some other WordPress hosting providers
- Some WordPress plugins and themes are not allowed
Price: The most basic WP Engine WordPress hosting plan starts at $35 per month. Use the coupon code db20 to get 20% OFF any WPEngine hosting plan.
2. A2 Hosting – best for beginners
Launched in 2005, A2 Hosting is a relative newcomer to the hosting circuit. However, that hasn’t stopped it from gaining rapidly in popularity.
This is due in part to the range of features included with its managed WordPress plans:
- Full compatibility with eCommerce options like WooCommerce and osCommerce
- A free personal license for the Jetpack plugin
- Unlimited transfers
- A simple staging environment, so you can test any changes before they go live
What’s more, this provider manages to check most of the key boxes when it comes to WordPress hosting:
- Security. Regular site backups are included in all A2 Hosting WordPress plans, meaning you have something to fall back on in the event of a breach. You’ll also get a free SSL certificate.
- Scalability. High performance speeds mean that all plans come fully equipped to handle your site’s traffic, no matter how high it gets. Plus, there’s a range of different plans to suit all website sizes.
- User Support. All customers receive access to the 24/7/365 live chat, email, phone, and ticketing systems provided by A2 Hosting.
- Performance. This hosting provider prides itself on its high performance. In fact, that’s its primary selling point. The managed WordPress plans are ‘Turbo Optimized’ – meaning that websites using A2 Hosting can perform quite a bit faster than normal. Our benchmark tests with a basic site found a loading speed of 0.94 seconds – an excellent overall time.
- Unlimited storage, data transfers, websites, and databases
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates
- Website staging environments
- Free Cloudflare CDN services
- Solid State Drives for faster load times
- Some features (e.g., unlimited websites and databases, and Turbo Server) require higher plan purchase
- Setting up an account can be tricky for beginners
- There are tons of upsells
Price: Managed WordPress hosting plans start at $9.78/month for one website.
DreamHost has been around since 1996, so there’s no surprise that it’s one of the more well-known WordPress hosting providers on this list.
Its WordPress specific-plans come with a wide range of vital options and features, including:
- Unmetered bandwidth, so you don’t need to worry about loading times or scaling
- A free domain and domain privacy
- A customized email account that reflects your chosen domain
- One-click WordPress installs
This is a great start, but let’s talk about how DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting compares when it comes to the four key dimensions we’ve been focusing on:
- Security. If you’re a seasoned website owner, you know just how important caching is. With DreamHost, that capability comes built into your plan. You’ll also get a free SSL certificate and your site will be regularly backed up.
- Scalability. The kind of plan you opt for will determine how many visitors your site can handle. The options start at 100k visits per month and can accommodate up to one million site visitors.
- User Support. DreamHost provides 24/7 ticketed support. If you don’t want to wait around, however, there’s also a live chat service available.
- Performance. Although not as speedy as some of the other options on our list, DreamHost still offers a solid level of performance. Plus, the traffic-specific plans help ensure that you always have access to the resources you need. In our benchmark tests, our test site loaded in an average of 1.49 seconds, which is a perfectly respectable result.
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and websites
- One-click software installs, including WordPress
- 100% uptime guarantee
- Impressive 97-day money back guarantee
- Free domain name and WHOIS privacy (which many web hosts don’t provide)
- Custom control panel can be tough for those used to cPanel
- Some people complain of long live chat wait times
Price: DreamHost managed WordPress plans start at $16.95/month for 100k monthly visitors.
4. Flywheel – best for freelancers & agencies
For those of you who desire a solid hosting experience, but wish to keep costs low, look no further than Flywheel.
This hosting provider specializes in WordPress solutions – as evidenced by its extensive list of features:
- Free migrations for any site
- A free staging site to use in development and troubleshooting
- Zero overcharge costs
- Pre-installed WordPress sites
Let’s explore how well Flywheel holds up when it comes to the areas that matter most:
- Security. SSL certificates are included in all managed WordPress plans, as well as site backups.
- Scalability. Flywheel offers an extensive range of plans, with six different ready-made tiers, as well as the option to create a custom plan. Upgrading between these tiers is a simple process, so you don’t need to worry if your site begins to grow in popularity.
- User Support. All Flywheel customers automatically receive 24/7 online support. Since Flywheel only serves WordPress websites, you can expect its support team to know their way around the platform.
- Performance. Flywheel gives you multiple server locations to choose from, including New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Amsterdam and London. This means you can host your site somewhere close to your target audience – which is an excellent way to improve performance. When we ran benchmark tests, our Flywheel site loaded in 0.85 seconds on average – the fastest result of any provider on this list.
- Cloud-based infrastructure means you can scale with ease
- Partners with Sucuri for guaranteed site security (plus free site hack fixes)
- Varnish caching system to increase site speed
- Easy backup and restore functionality
- One-click staging environments and free demo sites to help you get started
- Can’t access SSH shell, which may not sit well with those that need additional control
- Can become pricey especially if you have more than one website
Price: Flywheel’s lowest tiered plan starts at $25/month for one website and 25k monthly visitors.
5. Kinsta – best for large sites
Kinsta only provides managed WordPress hosting solutions, meaning that this provider knows exactly what it takes to make your WordPress site a success.
In addition to that specialized knowledge, Kinsta managed plans also include:
- One-click WordPress installations
- Frequent software updates
- Free white-glove site migrations
- Multiple global server locations
With those handy features in mind, here’s what else Kinsta has to offer:
- Security. All of Kinsta’s plans, no matter the tier, come with a free SSL certificate. Regular site backups and caching are also included.
- Scalability. Just beating out Flywheel, Kinsta offers ten different kinds of WordPress plans. These range from Starter kits (equipped to handle up to 20,000 monthly visits) to advanced Enterprise plans (built for 3,000,000 monthly visits). Put simply, there’s an option for every sized site.
- User Support. Much like Flywheel, the specialized service means that you can expect to receive expert advice from Kinsta on a 24/7 basis.
- Performance. The range of plans means that your site’s performance will be customized to suit its individual needs. You won’t be paying for unnecessary features, but you can still guarantee fast loading speeds and minimal downtime. Our Kinsta benchmark test returned an average result of 1.58 seconds, which is on the slower side but is still well under the golden two-second mark.
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Cloud-based infrastructure for the ultimate in scaling
- Nginx, PHP 7, Kinsta CDN services, and HTTP/2 help with site speed and performance
- One of the best managed WordPress hosting providers in terms of doing everything for you
- Strict support team screening means support is stellar and knowledgeable
- Free SSL certificate and daily automatic backups
- Intelligent site caching, which is great for eCommerce sites
- Very steep price points, which doesn’t help those on tight budgets
- No email hosting, which many website owners want connected to their hosting provider
- No telephone support, which makes complex troubleshooting difficult
Price: Kinsta hosting starts at $30/month for one website and 20k monthly visitors.
In this post, we’ve highlighted five of the best hosting providers for WordPress users:
- WP Engine. One of the leading names in WordPress hosting, WP Engine offers many features that make website management simple. Enjoy free site hack fixes, exceptional customer support, and free SSL certificates.
- A2 Hosting. This hosting provider leads the way when it comes to fast performance. Plus, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth, free CDN services, and staging sites.
- DreamHost. With easy, one-click WordPress installations, this host is a great option for beginners. And if you don’t like what you get, you have an unheard of 97 days to get a refund.
- Flywheel. A newer addition to the list, Flywheel is a WordPress-specific host, which can provide a whole range of features that make running your site easier. For example, free site migrations, zero overage charges, and a built-in caching system help you succeed.
- Kinsta. This is a hosting provider of choice for WordPress users who are looking to find a fast and secure home for their websites. It also boasts extensive online resources, which come in handy if you’re looking to improve your website management skills.
Using a hosting plan designed specifically for WordPress can have a very positive impact on your site. It will provide you access to plenty of handy features, not to mention an improved level of security and support. Once you have all of that under your belt, you’ll likely be well on your way to crafting a successful website.
If you’re still not sure about what type of web hosting you need for your WordPress site, hop on over to this article and check out the most common types of WordPress web hosting.
Do you use any of the above-mentioned WordPress hosting providers to host your website? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!