Looking for the best website hosting for WordPress sites? Then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out all about WordPress hosting, why you need it, and who the best providers are.
WordPress.org is the website building software that powers around a third of the web, and there are many good reasons for that. First, the software itself is free to download. Secondly, you don’t need to understand code to use it. And thirdly, there are lots of free resources to help you learn WordPress, not to mention a thriving community to ask for advice.
But while the website building software is free, you will have to pay for website hosting separately. So in this article, we look at the five best web hosting companies for this specific purpose.
The best website hosting for WordPress right now
01. Bluehost – the best overall option
Why is Bluehost our best overall pick? Well, firstly, it’s super-easy to set up; the interface is intuitive, and makes site management a breeze. Secondly, Bluehost has a great managed hosting option, which includes analytics tools, 100 free WordPress themes, backups, malware protection and a whole lot more besides.
03. DreamHost – best hosting for privacy
DreamHost is officially recommended by WordPress, so you know you’re getting a good package here. There’s high-performance hosting, automated backups, and a one-click install, as well as free domain privacy. This basically means that no one can see who owns a particular domain (even the government), if hosted on DreamHost.
How to choose website hosting for WordPress
There are a number of things you should look for in website hosting for WordPress. Firstly, it should save you from having to manually download and set up the WordPress.org software on your computer, which can be a complicated and tedious process. Instead, your hosting provider should either install it automatically, or allow you to, using a ‘one-click’ installer.
Secondly, your hosting providers should back up your WordPress software, ensuring you’ll always have the latest version. Thirdly, and most importantly, they should be known to operate a robust, reliable hosting service. That means you’ll be able to trust them to look after your website, serve it up to users around the world at high speeds, and secure your data responsibly.
Every one of the companies on our list ticks all of these boxes. For this reason, we’d recommend any one of them for your WordPress website. However, some may meet your needs more precisely than others. So in this article, we’ll focus mainly on pointing out the (relatively small) differences between them, and how to choose the best one for you.
Starting at just £2.22 / $3.95 per month, Bluehost is certainly cheap for beginners. But that’s no reflection on the quality of its service. In fact, we believe it offers the best website hosting for WordPress users overall.
First, it’s very easy to set up. If you buy a Shared Hosting account, WordPress is installed automatically, while with any other plan, you can install it in one click. You get a very straightforward control panel to manage your site. And you can transfer a WordPress.org site from another host for free within 30 days of signing up (although note that won’t include the domain name). No wonder that Bluehost is one of a handful of hosting providers that’s officially recommended by WordPress itself.
If you’re running a professional operation, meanwhile, you might want to investigate Bluehost’s more expensive, managed WordPress hosting options. Starting at £14.88, these include analytics tools, 100 free WordPress themes, daily scheduled backups, malware detection and removal, and enhanced domain privacy and protection.
Whatever package you opt for, though, Bluehost is known for offering reliable, high performance hosting, so your visitors should always be able to access your site, quickly and efficiently wherever they are in the world. And if you get stuck, you’ll benefit from best-in-class 24/7 customer support via phone, email, or live chat. Be aware, though, that Bluehost doesn’t actually operate a ticket based support system. That won’t be a problem for most people, but might be a deal-breaker if you specifically prefer that way of dealing with issues.
Another thing we noticed is that while you get a free domain name for one year, the price of that domain name is higher than average on renewal. So, as with all the hosting providers on our list, you really need to drill down into the various pricing options to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Whether you’re a nervous beginner, or a WordPress veteran who’s just short of time and patience, customer support may be your number one priority. In which case, we’d recommend SiteGround.
This company’s team of experts are fast, friendly and helpful in dealing with enquiries. And you can contact them 24/7, via live chat, phone or helpdesk tickets, which receive a first reply within 15 minutes on average. SiteGround also takes a thoughtful approach to self-help, with useful pinned ‘Help’ articles on every page, and a chat bot that can be quicker than dealing with humans.
Beyond that, SiteGround provides everything you need to host your WordPress site, or build one from scratch. While you don’t get a free domain, you do get one-click WordPress installation, automated software updates, free migration of an existing WordPress.org site, and free daily backups, even on the cheapest ($3.95 / £5.99 per month) plan, StartUp. Meanwhile, if you pay a little more for the managed WordPress hosting plans (Grow Big at $5.95 / £8.99 per month or Go Geek at $11.95 / £12.99 per month), you’ll get faster performance, better security features and a priority level of support.
Officially recommended by WordPress and powered by Google Cloud, SiteGround is known for its fast, efficient and WordPress-optimised servers. Plus it’s one of very few companies that allows you to decide where you host your data, out of six locations in the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and Singapore.
DreamHost is the third and final hosting provider on our list to be officially recommended by WordPress. And it’s broadly comparable to the first two, in that its basic plans, which start at $2.59 / month, offer high-end performance, one-click WordPress install, and automated WordPress updates and backups. So choosing between these hosts really comes down to small details. For example, with DreamHost, you don’t just get a free domain, but free domain privacy.
Unsure what that means? Well, when you purchase a domain, you have to submit personal details including your name, address, phone number and email address. This info is then accessible to anyone running a WHOIS lookup. DreamHost, however, will hide these details from the public for free. (You can get this with other hosting providers, but usually you have to pay extra.)
DreamHost supports online privacy in other ways, too. In 2017, it resisted a search warrant issued by the US Department of Justice for information about visitors to the DisruptJ20 website, which organised political protests. So if you want to protect your own site visitors from government snooping, you can expect DreamHost to have your back. They’ve further boosted their ‘good guy’ credentials by becoming a certified carbon-neutral host, and a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.
On a more practical level, one small detail that may make Dreamhost less attractive is that there’s no live chat or phone support, just a ticket system. They aim to respond to all requests within 24 hours, but that might be a deal breaker for some, especially WordPress beginners.
Beyond its basic hosting plans, DreamHost also offers a managed WordPress service called DreamPress. This is more expensive, but also more than five times faster, and better able to deal with sudden spikes in traffic spikes. Whichever plan you go for, though, you can benefit from a 97 day money back guarantee, which is the most generous on our list.
The worst thing a hosting company can do is allow your website to go down and be inaccessible to visitors. That’s not only frustrating; if your website is part of your business, it can cost you serious money. So all companies talk a good game on ‘uptime’, the percentage of time they guarantee your site to be available (usually something like 99 per cent or 99.9 per cent). Hostgator, however, goes one better and promises if you experience downtime below 99.99 per cent, you’ll get back one month’s credit on your account.
Further showing confidence in its hosting, HostGator offers a generous 45-day money back guarantee. Customer support is available 24/7 via phone, email or live chat. And if they don’t solve your problem, you can even ask your ticket to be sent directly to CEO Adam Farrar, who will personally deal with the issue himself. And he used to work in tech support, so that’s by no means an empty gesture.
Hostgator further aims to lure WordPress website owners with a user-friendly dashboard that makes it easy to manage your hosting plan, including one-click WordPress install; $100 of free Google Adwords and Bing credits to help you promote your site; free WordPress site transfers; and unmetered bandwidth, even on the cheapest plan.
When it comes to the health of the planet, the computing industry has a lot to answer for, as one of the biggest users of energy and contributors to climate change. So GreenGeeks is going the extra mile, as a hosting company that puts its environmental responsibilities front and centre.
Recognised by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Green Power Partner, the company works with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) in Oregon to calculate its yearly energy consumption and carbon footprint. Greengeeks then buys back wind energy credits worth three times as much as it’s consumed, and puts that energy back into the grid.
But does this mean inferior website hosting for WordPress? Not a bit. GreenGeeks offers all you need to host your WordPress website, including one-click WordPress installation, a free domain, free site migration, fast performance and free nightly backups. That said, if you have a lot of websites, or very big audiences, you may prefer to look elsewhere, as the company doesn’t offer managed or specialist WordPress hosting plans beyond that.
Also note that, while GreenGeeks’ customer support is good, it isn’t quite as comprehensive as other companies on this list, with phone support limited to 9am-midnight EST Monday-Friday, and 9am-8pm EST Saturday and Sunday.