You already know that good web hosting makes a difference in website performance.
But choosing the best host for your particular needs isn’t easy.
Search for “web hosting” and you’ll get thousands of results.
Even if you throw out all the hosting that costs less than $10 a month (almost always slower than molasses in January), there’s still dozens to choose from.
Now, I can’t speak to every single host out there, but these are the ones that I’d at least think about when considering where to host a WordPress site.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links.
Managed WordPress Hosting
These are hosts that not only optimize their servers for WordPress installations, but also offer some form of help: either updates, security, or extra upgrades.
WP Engine has quickly become the measuring stick for all other managed WordPress hosts.
WP Engine offers one WordPress install for $35 a month and up to five installs for $115 a month. Like the other managed WordPress hosts, they have plans for more traffic and installs, if you need it.
WP Engine had daily backups of your site. If something goes sideways, you can easily restore your site to the previous day’s backup. That’s convenient.
Like some other managed WordPress hosts, WP Engine has 24/7 security and malware scans in place.
All sites are SSL and CDN ready. WP Engine has it’s own caching system, so using caching plugins is completely unnecessary.
While WP Engine doesn’t perform manual site migrations, they have a checklist to help guide you through the migration process.
They also have a migration plugin that basically picks up your existing site and clones it over at the new WP Engine install. This is extremely easy to use. You can preview how your site will look on your new WP Engine server before pointing the DNS (domain name system) toward the new installation of your site. That’s very helpful.
You can’t have a conversation about WordPress hosting without talking about WP Engine. They are a solid hosting choice.
If you’re looking for a managed WordPress host that has just about everything, Flywheel is hard to beat.
Of the managed WordPress hosts, Flywheel is one of the fastest when it comes to page speed. As we’ve discussed many times, fast loading times translate to more conversions and more money.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: Flywheel offers free manual site migrations!
Like WP Engine, Flywheel has staging sites that you deploy straight to production.
The Personal plan starts at $30 a month for 25K monthly visits an 10GB hard drive space. This is enough for most businesses.
The Professional plan is $75 a month for a single install with 100,000 visits a month and 20GB hard drive space. This plan also comes with free SSL, CDN and Multisite support.
Need more than one install? Flywheel also has bulk plans: 10 installs for $100 a month and 30 installs for $250 a month.
Flywheel has to be considered one of the best overall options out there for managed WordPress hosting, one that most people should consider.
Siteground is a popular choice for many people. They are a more economical choice for businesses that are just getting started.
Siteground is based in Europe, but has data centers in the United States and Asia. Their Go Geek plan under $30 a month (right now, it’s about $13 a month after the exchange rate.)
For that plan, you get a PCI compliant server, and one year free SSL certificate — both of which you’ll need if you’re running an e-commerce website. You also get free caching, which helps speed up your site.
What I like about Siteground is they do things the right way. They patch their servers immediately when common vulnerabilities become known to the community — something some other hosting companies don’t do.
My advice if you’re interested in hosting with Siteground for a US-based site: Get the Go Geek plan, pay the fee to have your site moved to the Chicago data center (less than $30, a one-time fee). This will help speed up your site, and be a safe and economical place to host your WordPress site.
I’ve never used Pagely before. But some of the highest trafficked sites in the WordPress ecosystem do.
Pagely is fully managed WordPress hosting powered by Amazon Web Services.
They have a variety of hosting plans for various degrees of site traffic.
Included in this are daily backups of your site, auto updates of WordPress and your plugins, security, and other perks.
Their plans are built for large or performance intensive sites, like an e-commerce, membership or WP Multisite installation.
If you just need to run a personal blog, Pagely probably isn’t for you. But if you’re running an enterprise level business, Pagely is a good choice for WordPress hosting.
These are hosts I’ve worked with, that aren’t necessarily managed WordPress hosting, but are still worth considering.
At one time, Media Temple was the preferred hosting company of web designers everywhere.
When Media Temple was purchased by GoDaddy in 2013, some web designers turned on their perennial favorite, and moved their sites off of (mt).
However, I still know many studios I’ve worked with still host their sites on Media Temple on their Grid service. Media Temple now offers WordPress hosting — so what’s different between the two?
The WordPress hosting on Media Temple features daily backups, automated updates of WordPress, site staging, and removal of malicious plugins. Certain plugins are actually not allowed on these installs, as they are serious drains on resources.
How is support? At least one person I trust reports that Media Temple support for WordPress hosting could be improved. The main complaint seems to be that the support team doesn’t really understand WordPress, and simply Google answers, which most people can do themselves. It seems like there are hosts that understand WordPress better in 2015, but if (mt) can improve their knowledge base of WordPress over the next year, they may be a major player in managed WordPress hosting.
So What’s The Best Hosting For You?
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but want a solid WordPress host, go with Siteground.
If you want fully managed WordPress hosting, and are willing to pay for peace of mind and automation, choose WP Engine, Kinsta or Flywheel.
If you want fully managed WordPress hosting, and your traffic is growing to the next level, check out Pagely.