Without a doubt, WordPress is one of the most important tools on the internet today. The content management system has become almost synonymous with blogs and websites, and for good reason thanks to its expansive SEO and developer tools. Even so, hosting your WordPress website comes with its own set of unique challenges and considerations.
Today, you can find managed WordPress hosting that lets you focus on the important parts—creating an amazing website full of engaging content—and worry less about the nuts and bolts. The best WordPress hosting solutions are optimized out of the box to handle your needs, plugin requirements, and website goals. More importantly, even cheap WordPress hosting offers you great features and benefits if you’re using the CMS to administer your website. If you’re looking for the right WordPress hosting for your new blog, learn more below and read our expert reviews to find the one that works best.
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What is WordPress Hosting?
WordPress web hosting is simply hosting that has been designed to get the most out of the popular CMS and meet its security and performance requirements. When you use the WordPress CMS to build your website, you’ll still need to host it somewhere.
You can choose regular web hosts which may or may not include tools to connect with the WP engine (if you’re wondering, “what is WP engine?” it’s simply the infrastructure that makes WordPress run), but it requires some work. Instead, choosing the one that is already configured out of the box will save you time and make it easier to build your website to comply with WordPress’ requirements. There are two general categories when you’re looking for WordPress hosting—shared or managed. The former simply means that your website will share a server and resources with other websites. This is a great option if you’re seeking to get a starter website up, or if you’re not building a large project. Managed WordPress hosting offers your own server, as well as generally better performance—though it comes with a higher price tag.
When Should I Choose WordPress Hosting?
It’s worth noting that a managed or shared WordPress hosting plan isn’t a requirement if you’re using the CMS to build your website. However, if you are using WordPress, then it would make the most sense to use tools that are already optimized out of the box to use the WP engine to its fullest potential.
The more important question is whether you need shared WordPress hosting or its managed variant. Shared options are a much better choice if you’re just starting out, or if your website is small enough that you don’t require significant resources. Because shared hosting distributes resources among many users, you’ll have slightly slower speeds (though by no means slow), but you’ll also be able to save thanks to more affordable plans. On the other hand, managed WordPress hosting is ideal if your website is larger, of if you have higher traffic and bandwidth requirements. You’ll also get some speed advantages and added features, but these plans tend to be more expensive, and can be out of content creators’ initial budgets.
The Main Benefits of WordPress Hosting
WordPress VIP Service
Designed for paid subscribers of WordPress, the VIP service is usually included in managed WordPress hosting plans and gives you a significant performance boost. This includes fully administering settings for security and optimization, as well as back-end tools like hourly backups, advanced firewalls, and on-demand scalability.
Exceptional Performance Innovation
WordPress is at the top of the CMS market because it has worked hard to provide a popular and intuitive service. This also extends to the performance side, where it offers outstanding page loading speeds thanks to innovative caching, processing tools, and even search engine optimization. Using WordPress hosting really helps you take advantage of these tools’ full functionality.
Great Software Development
Building a website from scratch is both expensive and time-consuming. WordPress offers built-in tools that make it easy to deploy custom websites that are built directly using templates and assets already on the platform. This cuts down your development time and makes management and maintenance significantly easier.
The Main Questions to Ask when Considering WordPress Hosting
What Are the Server Requirements?
WordPress is a very flexible CMS, but it does have some standards that any website and hosting service must meet. These are:
- HTTPS Support (SSL certificates are required)
- MySQL 5.6 or newer, or MariaDB 10.1 or newer for your database
- PHP 7.0 or newer
Ideally, your WordPress hosting will include these by default.
What is The Page Load Speed?
More than ever, fast loading pages are a must if you want to keep visitors to your site engaged and browsing. It’s vital that your chosen hosting service offer speeds that surpass Google’s page load recommendations. Today, the best WordPress hosting tools offer load times between 200 and 400 milliseconds on average.
What is the Uptime?
Performance is about more than speed, and making sure your website is consistently available online should be a priority. Check your hosting options’ uptimes (which should never be lower than 99.9%) and see if they offer guarantees in their service level agreements (SLA) to ensure their performance.
What Support is Available?
No matter how well you build your website, you’re likely to have some small issues or questions to resolve. Having a support team that is available on multiple channels and around the clock should be a priority. Additionally, look for hosting providers that offer educational resources and extensive knowledge bases.
What’s the Price?
Last, but not least, is considering your budget and which hosting solution meets your needs in that regard. Remember that shared hosting is usually more affordable despite its small disadvantages and can help you get started without putting you in an early hole. However, it’s also worth considering that more expensive doesn’t mean better, and you should choose a plan that checks all your boxes.
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How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting
To make sure you get the most out of your chosen platform and select the best WordPress hosting solution, you can follow these easy steps:
Define What You Need
Not every website is built the same, and not every business has the same requirements. Before putting money towards a plan, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. You can accomplish this by defining what your website will do and its scope, as well as by projecting your growth.
Shared or Managed?
Depending on what you need, you’ll be able to choose from a shared and cheap WordPress hosting plan, or a slightly pricier managed solution. The key here is to know what you need and determine which can deliver exactly you what you need without exceeding those very needs. Don’t feel obligated to choose a managed plan when a shared one will do just the same.
Know What Features You Need
This is another important step, because it will inform what type of hosting you get. While the best web hosting for WordPress includes a wide range of features, sometimes you may be better served choosing something a little more back-to-basics that fits your skill level or budget more neatly. Look at what each host offers, and if you really need it.
Read Expert and User Reviews
Before making the final decision and locking in your subscription, it’s worth exploring what others are saying and what experts think of the products you’re considering. Read through our user reviews to see what people like you are saying in real time and dig deeper in our expert reviews which break down each WordPress hosting tool.
How to Install WordPress Hosting
Fortunately, today your WorddPress hosting is usually ready to go as soon as you open it, with very few steps to take. Once you’ve chosen your subscription, you’ll be able to access your hosting dashboard, which will include all the tools you need. From there, you can use one-click installers such as Softaculous—which most companies offer for free with their hosting—to get started. You’ll need to add your WordPress credentials and URL, but once you’re ready, you’ll be good to start working on building the best website you can. To get the fastest WordPress hosting, make sure you look for an option that comes optimized with better storage, faster connections, and smart resource usage.
Top 5 WordPress Hosting Companies
Although it can be hard to sift through WordPress plans and hosting alternatives, we have you covered. Below are our top picks for the best web hosting for WordPress. Read on to see how the contenders stack up:
Hostinger is one of the best-known web hosting services, and its WordPress plans leave little doubt as to their quality. The company offers low-cost domain hosting, as well as prices that start as low as $0.99 per month. Additionally, uptimes that average above 99.96% and loading speeds that consistently measure around 340 milliseconds make it a fast and reliable host. With special optimization tools and a speed boost for WordPress sites, Hostinger is a top option. Around-the-clock support also ensures you never have a problem you can’t solve.
A2 Hosting makes some bold claims about their service, but they manage to mostly come through on them. Perhaps most impressive is the company’s use of SSD storage for its data centers, which results in a claimed 20x speed increase than other hosts. Although it has a slightly lower average uptime than Hostinger (at 99.93%), A2 Hosting is known for its blazing speeds which average 282 milliseconds but have been known to reach much faster. Additionally, they offer free CDN tools and SSL certificates which are required for WordPress. With great support to go with it, A2 is ideal if you’re looking for speed and performance on your website.
FastComet is another well-known host that offers specific WordPress hosting solutions. The company’s service stands out for its super-fast speeds, which average roughly 395 milliseconds per page. On the uptime front, FastComet also provides a reliable 99.9%, which is included in its SLA. Additionally, you gain access to Softaculous for a variety of one-click installations, as well as the company’s free drag-and-drop website builder, which can help you get started in no time. With support for multiple PHP versions, unlimited FTP accounts, and even support for Git repositories if you’re familiar with web development, FastComet is great for both beginners and experts.
With one of the most expansive lists of locations available and outstanding scores when it comes to customer reviews, Chemicloud gives you a blend of reliability (with an impressive 99.99% uptime guarantee) and excellent features. Chemicloud will waive the cost of your domain name for as long as you’re subscribed and includes solid state drive storage on all the hosting packages it offers. Additionally, Chemicloud even includes analytics tools so you can track traffic and visitors to your website. If you need help, the company offers both phone and live chat support around the clock. Overall, we were impressed with Chemicloud’s blend of price and performance.
With an eye toward more advanced users, Cloudways offers a variety of cloud hosting services including Amazon Web Services, Digital Ocean, Google Cloud, and Vultr. With access to more than 60 data centers worldwide from a single account, you can ensure everyone sees your pages instantly and with no drop-off. Cloudways also optimizes its performance with the use of PHP7, advanced caching tools, and even a proprietary CDN. It also gives you dozens of free applications that you can add with a single click. If you’re looking for a little more control and technical capacity under the hood, Cloudways may be your best choice.
WordPress Hosting for Free
Even if you’re looking at shared WordPress hosting, sometimes that may be more than you need. In some cases, several companies offer free WordPress hosting that includes bare essentials but can help you get started if you’re on a tight budget. These free website hosting plans involve some limitations, such as bandwidth and storage restrictions, a limited number of websites, and walled-off features. Still, if you need a quick solution that doesn’t cost you anything, these free plans could be a great answer.
Wordpress isn’t going anywhere, and you need to make sure your website is optimized for the greatest impact and performance. Finding a valuable and cheap WordPress hosting solution takes a little time but can help you in the long run if you deploy it right. Read through our expert reviews, and see what others are saying in our user reviews before you make a final choice.