Best WordPress hosting of 2021: top 8 options to choose from
This article will go through the best WordPress hosting providers out there as well as give you the lowdown on what to look out for.
WordPress is the #1 tool for website creation. So every hosting provider wants a slice of that pie. They promise the best hosting for WordPress with auto-installers, auto-updates, and a bunch of other WordPress features.
Sounds good, right?
Newsflash: all providers support WordPress. Plus, all of them come with auto-installers for the platform and even auto-updates. This doesn’t make them the best WordPress hosting providers though.
So does actual WordPress hosting exist? In short, yes.
Good WordPress hosting offers additional optimizations for this CMS to make it faster, safer, and overall better. At the same time most web hosting providers, be it shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting, can offer some WP-focused tools, but their main focus won’t be WordPress.
That’s why I decided to test and compare all of the providers to see if they are actually better for WordPress or is it just a marketing strategy. After vigorous testing and intense scrutinization, this list has the best optimized WordPress hosting providers out there.
Best WordPress hosting: ranked
- SiteGround – best web hosting for WordPress overall
- Bluehost – beginner-friendly WordPress host
- Hostinger – low price and performance-focused hosting
- DreamHost – best WordPress hosting for reliability
- HostGator – straightforward WordPress hosting
- GoDaddy – best WordPress hosting for small business
- WP Engine – managed WordPress hosting option
- Flywheel – premium WordPress hosting plans for creatives
Not sure how to pick? There's a step-by-step guide down below with some extra tips on how to choose the best hosting service for WordPress.
1. SiteGround – overall best WordPress hosting
|Features||Staging, caching, free SSL, daily backups|
|Best for||Business websites|
SiteGround tops the list of best WordPress hosting for offering truly WordPress-catered services. Its whole hosting platform is focused on the CMS, offering custom management, security, and speed solutions to make it even more powerful.
- For starters, you get all of the basics – auto WordPress installation, updates, and migration services. The auto-setup process will also help you launch a website in mere minutes.
- Additionally, management features include WordPress staging – you can create a copy of your site to test out changes securely and easily. Also, it's possible to add collaborator accounts for your designers/developers. This way, they don't need to share the same account details.
- Performance features are also focused on WordPress – SiteGround has its own pre-configured caching system, PHP setup (Ultrafast PHP), and plugin for on-site optimizations. This altogether makes the host one of the fastest WordPress hosting providers.
- Last but not least, 24/7 customer support team, which is available via live chat, phone, and tickets, are absolute pros when it comes to WordPress issues.
So while SiteGround is not limited to host just WordPress sites, it definitely focuses on it. All of the tools and features are meant to make the CMS more powerful, secure, and functional.
Among managed WordPress hosts, SiteGround is affordable but compared to regular shared hosting, it’s a premium solution with prices starting at $4.99/mo. Keep in mind that these are highly discounted prices that are available for a limited time. So if you're interested in SiteGround, it's the best time to get it.
The provider has 3 plans. All of them include free SSLs, CDN, daily backups, and caching. You can also take advantage of auto migration and email features.
At the same time, I personally don't see a lot of attractiveness in the cheapest plan. Sure, it features advanced caching, adding collaborators, and daily backups. However, one of the most helpful tools is not there, and that's staging.
So the best options are GrowBig ($7.99/mo) and GoGeek ($14.99/mo).
- GrowBig is the most universal option for all websites. It includes all the important perks such as staging, adding collaborators, and Ultrafast PHP. The server resources allow hosting unlimited sites with 20GB SSD storage and inviting up to 25 000 visitors a month.
- GoGeek adds white-label hosting and priority support as an extra. Server resources support unlimited sites with 40GB SSD storage for around 100 000 monthly visitors.
The GrowBig plan is the best option for the majority of websites and small businesses. Meanwhile, GoGeek is best for eCommerce stores and agencies. By the way, don’t forget to look if a discount is available!
SiteGround has some of the best performance results both when monitored in long term and when page loading speed is considered.
Over 2 months, SiteGround uptime was 99.99%, which is the best we can really expect in the long run. Just 3 outages that lasted 7 minutes.
Server response time was also speedy, averaging at 217ms. Comparing to other hosts, SiteGround sets the speed standard for this metric.
Now, page loading times are also important, and SiteGround loads a fully-built WordPress site in 1.1 seconds.
Is this good? Here are some benchmarks for you:
- Fully loaded time is considered to be good up to 3 seconds.
- Largest contentful paint should fit into 2.5 seconds, while SiteGround here doesn’t even take a full second!
To achieve such results, SiteGround has invested in developing its own setups to boost the speed. Additionally, you get to pick where your site will be hosted during the purchasing process – the US, Europe, Asia, or Australia. This helps to cut the latency for your target audience.
So speed and reliability considered, SiteGround definitely deserves its place on this list. It’s a contender that sets very high standards.
All in all, SiteGround offers a unique WordPress web hosting solution – by developing its own tools and technology, it’s the best option for those who need a fast, reliable, and very functional solution. Business websites, eCommerce platforms, and agencies are on the top of the list.
- Premium performance-focused platform
- Servers in 4 continents
- Website staging, custom caching, and security solutions included
- High-end shared hosting prices
- Entry plan does not include staging
2. Bluehost – very beginner-oriented WordPress hosting
|Features||Free SSL and domain, staging, CDN|
|Best for||Ease of use and functionalities|
Bluehost is among the most beginner-friendly and affordable hosts that focus its services on WordPress. Its main attraction lies with the functional and intuitive dashboard as well as several helpful features for businesses.
- The first Bluehost’s attraction is the main dashboard. Beginners get to use a step-by-step interactive guide that goes through all of the WordPress website launching steps. Meanwhile, the dashboard is full of other management tools that include speed, security, and general website configurations all in one place.
- Next up, we get marketing-focused features. Straight from the dashboard, you can launch a Google Ads campaign or list your business on Google My Business.
- Also, each WordPress installation comes with a Bluehost plugin that features a staging tool. You can use it to clone your site and work on development securely in a private environment.
Just like many, Bluehost is not a WordPress-exclusive host, but many of its features are designed for the platform. And, it’s one of the 3 hosts that have an endorsement from WordPress creators.
Bluehost WordPress hosting is on the affordable side, with prices starting at $3.95/mo.
In total, it has 4 main options, where each shared hosting plan includes a free domain, SSL, unlimited bandwidth.
- Basic ($3.95/mo) comes with generous 50GB storage (more than SiteGround’s most expensive plan). But it’s limited to 1 website only.
- Plus ($5.95/mo) lifts the limit from the number of websites and storage.
- Choice Plus ($6.95/mo) adds daily backups for a year and domain privacy to all of the above. The catch is that renewal is quite high.
- Pro ($13.95/mo) includes dedicated IP, daily backups, and domain privacy for the whole term.
The cheapest plan is often too limiting. Meanwhile, the Pro plan is on another pricing level – if you need this plan, consider going after Managed WordPress plans that start at $9.95/mo.
Overall, the best plan is Plus, as it renews at good rates. Plus, it lifts all of the Basic plan limits. And, don’t forget to check if there’s a discount available.
Bluehost is not a performance-focused provider, but it does deliver steady results at all times.
Over a bit more than 2 months, Bluehost was up for 99.99% of the time. That’s just 6 outages that, in total, lasted 11 minutes.
Response time was slower when all of the outages happened, but it did even out at 361ms. Which is very speedy.
Page load times are steady as well. Bluehost loads a built WordPress site in 1.8 seconds.
Looking at the visual, we can see that Largest Contentful Pain is also 1.8 seconds – no further delay until fully loaded. Plus, they both fit into the recommended 2.5s and 3s benchmarks.
So while not mind-blowing, Bluehost delivers steady website loading speed. At the same time, you’d only see such good results in North America. Bluehost has servers only in the US, so it’s not possible to choose where your website is hosted.
Altogether, Bluehost checks all the boxes if you’re looking for an easy WordPress hosting for your small business website. It’s great for beginners and has many tools to help you start.
- Affordable plans with generous functionalities
- Helpful tools for WordPress website launch and management
- Free SSL and domain included
- Servers located in the US alone
- Platform is not focused on speed
3. Hostinger – the cheapest WordPress hosting
|Features||Free SSL, 7 data centers, LiteSpeed, caching|
|Best for||Performance-focused cheap WordPress plans|
Hostinger is one of the cheapest WordPress hosting services around. With prices starting from as low as $1.39/month, it focuses mainly on the performance of the platform. At the same time, you don’t miss out on ease of use or good customer service, either.
- Despite the cheap pricing, Hostinger’s main attraction has become its performance. The provider uses all the latest technology to deliver the fastest and most reliable results. That’s LiteSpeed web server technology with caching, the latest PHP, and servers in 7 locations worldwide.
- The basics are also included – automatic WordPress installation and backups straight from the dashboard, free website migration, and tools for managing general WordPress settings globally.
Overall, Hostinger’s offering of comprehensive features at cheap prices makes it one of the best WordPress hosting sites around.
Hostinger has both shared and WordPress hosting plans that essentially offer the same resources. However, shared hosting starts at $1.39, while WordPress hosting is priced at $1.99 a month.
As we are focusing on WordPress here, let’s remain in that category. No matter which of the plans you choose, free SSL, weekly backups, and practically unlimited email accounts will be there.
Talking about the specifics:
- Single WordPress ($1.99/mo) – 1 website with 30GB SSD storage and bandwidth for around 10 000 monthly visits.
- WordPress Starter ($2.99/mo) – 100 websites with 100GB SSD storage and bandwidth for 25 000 visits monthly. It also adds a free domain, Google Ads credit, and SSH access.
- Business WordPress ($5.99/mo) – 100 websites with 200GB SSD storage and bandwidth for 100 000 monthly visits. Free CDN and daily backups are also included.
- WordPress Pro ($11.59/mo) – 300 websites, 200GB SSD storage, bandwidth for 300 000 monthly visits.
Overall, WordPress Starter looks like the best option. It’s just a dollar extra to the Single, but website limits are lifted. Plus, you get a free domain for a year.
Hostinger’s investment into performance pays off – it’s WordPress hosting puts it among the most reliable and fastest providers.
In 2 months, the provider had 0 outages. That’s a 100% uptime result.
The average response time was 511ms. Better than the industry average 600ms, but not by much.
The page load time, however, made the biggest impression. Hostinger was the fastest so far, loading a fully built WordPress website in 936ms. Do I even need to say how fast this is?
Largest Contentful Paint, at 849ms, further supports the result. Knowing that it’s considered good up to 2.5 seconds, Hostinger really leaves no questions.
And, you can have similar performance all across the globe. You can choose a server location from the US, UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brazil. This way, your target audience doesn’t need to experience latency, which’s caused by a long distance from the server.
Altogether, Hostinger is a top hosting for WordPress that manages to offer such services at a really low rate. No matter if it’s your first site or a business development project – there’s enough power to support it.
- Very cheap prices for generous plans
- Performance-focused tech and 7 datacenters worldwide
- Easy to use control panel
- Entry plan does not include domain name
- Features are on the basic side
4. DreamHost – highly reliable WordPress hosting
|Features||Free SSL, domain, domain privacy, automatic backups|
|Best for||Affordable and all-inclusive WordPress hosting service|
DreamHost impresses me by offering no-fuss all-included hosting services with the main focus on WordPress websites. It’s actually the only host that’s 1-click installation is actually 1-click. Really, you click the button, and your site is live in 10 or so minutes.
Jokes aside, there are several things that helped DreamHost reach this list:
- First of all, it includes everything that’s needed to get your website live without any other expenses and more – free domain, free SSL, daily backups, and domain privacy. More so, a variety of security tools makes it a secure WordPress hosting provider.
- WordPress basics such as auto-installation, updates, and migration are there too.
- The main selling point is a WordPress website builder BoldGrid. It’s a premium builder that comes with its own themes and a drag-and-drop editor to make website development into a visual and beginner-friendly process.
To put it briefly, DreamHost has all the resources for easy, smooth, and secure WordPress website development. It’s a great and reliable hosting option your first website.
DreamHost has affordable plans starting at $2.59/mo. The best part is, it’s affordable with both long-term subscriptions and yearly or even monthly plans.
Dreamhost only offers 2 WordPress shared hosting plans: Starter ($2.59/month) and Unlimited ($3.95/month). Both of them are very affordable and include a free domain, SSL, domain privacy, and automatic backups. More so, the prices are very reasonable for monthly WordPress hosting too.
- Starter ($2.59/mo) has a 1-hosted-website limit and 50GB of SSD storage. With this entry-level plan, email accounts must be purchased – $1.67/mo exta cost per email account.
- Unlimited ($3.95/mo) lifts the websites, SSD storage, and email accounts limits. You get everything included – it’s the best plan overall.
To get the most bang for your buck, pick the Unlimited plan. 1-year subscription has the lowest monthly rate ($2.95/mo). However, the 3-year subscription will have a lower renewal rate.
Continuing the trend of good impressions, DreamHost showed reliable performance results too.
Over 2 months, DreamHost had just 1 outage that lasted… One minute. That’s >99.99% uptime. Sure, the provider has a 100% uptime guarantee, but I’m not going to complain. That’s the second-best result on the list.
Response time was equally good, averaging at 231ms. It was quite stable too, showing good server health.
The page load times were great. DreamHost loaded a fully built WordPress website in 1.6 seconds.
Largest Contentful Paint stood at 1.4s seconds, which leaves over a second of wiggle room till the maximum recommended 2.5 seconds. Say it how you like it, that’s fast.
The only thing that might be not-so-great is that DreamHost only operates data centers in the US. So if your audience is based elsewhere, they might experience slightly longer page load times due to latency.
So performance considered, DreamHost is really a no-fuss option – fast and reliable, but nothing exceptional.
Altogether, if you’re looking for the most reliable WordPress hosting option – DreamHost might be it. I like its transparent approach to prices, ease of use, as well as good performance.
- Great prices for all billing terms
- Easy website launch and management
- Free domain with privacy, SSL, automatic backups
- Servers located in the US alone
- Staging tool is not available
5. HostGator – simplistic WordPress hosting provider
|Features||Free domain and SSL, cPanel|
|Best for||Smooth experience and classic interfaces|
While HostGator is best known for its affordable and very beginner-friendly shared plans, they are excellent for WordPress website hosting as well. In fact, it took me no longer than 5 minutes after the purchase to get WordPress live with a functioning domain, SSL certificate, and professional email account.
Sure, HostGator won’t do backflips to impress you, but all the essentials that make hosting WordPress sites easy are there:
- HostGator main dashboard features shortcuts to all the essential setup steps: 1-click WordPress installation, SSL, domains, and email. Go through all of them, and you’ll have a website live in less than 5 minutes, just like me.
- cPanel is also available for more advanced management tasks. You can easily create subdomains or reach file manager there.
To put it briefly, HostGator gives you a smooth experience with all tools functioning flawlessly.
HostGator is a very affordable host if you’d like to get an “all-included” hosting package. The prices start at $2.75/mo for shared hosting plans.
The plans are 3, and all of them include: free domain, SSL, and unlimited storage and bandwidth.
Hatchling has a 1-site limit while Baby, for an extra $0.75/mo, lifts it. So it immediately looks like a better option. Alternatively, Business adds a dedicated IP, Positive SSL upgrade, and SEO toolkit.
Overall, the Baby plan for $3.50 is the best option. It gives you space to grow for a very affordable price.
If general shared hosting seems not enough, HostGator also has managed WordPress plans. They start at $5.95/mo for 1-site and include additional perks like automatic backups and malware protection.
The smooth and stable experience continues onto performance as well. HostGator delivers reliable no-fuss results.
In more than 2 months, HostGator uptime stood at >99.99% – significantly more than the 99.9% promised. It had just 3 outages that lasted 5 minutes in total.
Server response time was slightly bumpy yet evened out at 525ms. That’s better than the industry average of 600ms.
Meanwhile, page load time was exemplary. HostGator loaded a fully built WordPress website in 1.2 seconds.
In fact, there was almost no delay from Largest Contentful Paint, which was 1.1 seconds. This leaves more than enough wiggle room to fall out of the recommended 2.5 seconds.
Yet, among a few other providers, HostGator’s servers are located in the US alone. So if your audience is based elsewhere, page load times could be longer for them.
Nonetheless, HostGator has steady performance and fast page load times. It’s a good option if you target North American audiences.
In all, I really enjoyed the smooth experience with HostGator. It’s a perfect option for beginners who want to try out classic web hosting for their WordPress sites.
- Quick and smooth WordPress site launch process
- cPanel control panel is included
- Free website migration
- Servers located in the US alone
- No extra tools or features
6. GoDaddy – WordPress hosting for business sites
|Features||Free domain and SSL, cPanel, WordPress themes and editor|
|Best for||Ease of use and a bunch of WordPress perks|
GoDaddy doesn't make my head spin when it comes to the regular shared plans, but small businesses may find its WordPress hosting packages quite appealing. They come with all the essentials to easily start a website, plus – premium themes and editor you'll not find with other providers.
Here's exactly what makes GoDaddy WordPress plans great:
- Free domain and professional email for the first year are included, while SSL is free for the duration of your billing period. That's the trinity of essential website/business features.
- Automatic website setup upon your first login to the hosting platform: WordPress is installed automatically together with domain and SSL setup. Plus, you get to choose a server location.
- Premium themes and a WordPress website editor for those who need some extra help when building a site. The themes are beautiful and the builder is simplistic for a quick website launch.
All these features make GoDaddy look like a great WordPress hosting for small business option – the ease of use and essential features among helpful perks are all there.
GoDaddy is not the cheapest in the bunch, with WordPress hosting prices starting at $6.99/mo with annual billing. Good to know is that sometimes you can get a discount for other billing terms.
There are 4 plans available ranging from pretty basic to premium options. Nonetheless, all of them include a free domain, SSL, business email, automatic backups, and malware scanning. However, all plans allow you to host only 1 website.
Basic ($6.99/mo), with 30GB storage looks like a very good option for a small business website, online stores included.
Starting with Deluxe ($8.99/mo), you also get staging environment, which is a big bonus for business websites. Also, 75GB of storage is very generous.
Now, the more premium, Ultimate ($12.99/mo) and Ecommerce ($19.99/mo) both include unlimited storage and additional tools. Ultimate adds SEO optimizer and malware removal, while Ecommerce adds features such as GoDaddy payments, Appointments, Real-time shipping rates, and free access to premium WooCoomerce extensions.
I personally think that the prices of Ultimate and Ecommerce are a bit too high for 1 website, but some of the business features definitely look attractive. In any case, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee to change your mind.
Overall, I'd go with the Basic plan to test out the waters and see how you like GoDaddy features. It's $6.99/mo with 1-year billing, or you may try to catch a discount on longer terms. For example, the monthly rate can go as low as $4.99/mo with 36-month billing.
GoDaddy delivers good performance on its hosting plans. Uptime is better than promised, and page loading times a great.
The uptime, over 2 months, stood at 99.98%. There was a total of 3 outages resulting in 16 minutes of downtime.
The response time was even better, averaging at 341ms. It was pretty stable too, helping GoDaddy maintain good performance.
Meanwhile, talking about speed, GoDaddy loaded a fully built WordPress website in 1.5 seconds. That's 2 times better than the maximum recommended.
Talking of more detailed metrics, it gets even better. For example, there's no delay from the Largest Contentful Paint. Plus, TTFB, which should not exceed 600ms, is just 224ms.
Additionally, you get to pick a server location. Available options include the US, UK, and Singapore datacenters. Choose the closest one to your primary audience for optimal performance results.
To put it shortly, GoDaddy performance doesn't disappoint.
All in all, if you need the ease of use and all the perks WordPress hosting can offer, GoDaddy is definitely a good option.
- Automatic WordPress setup process
- Premium themes and design editor
- Free domain and SSL
- Pricing geared towards premium level
- You can only host 1 website
7. WP Engine – best managed WordPress hosting
|Features||Free SSL, custom staging, caching, multiple server locations|
|Best for||Premium hosting service for WordPress sites|
WP Engine is a WordPress-exclusive provider that offers managed WordPress hosting on Google cloud infrastructure. Its prices are on the higher end of the spectrum. However, you do get premium features designed to enhance and simplify the dedicated WordPress hosting experience. Plus, the provider delivers excellent performance.
- For starters, WP Engine offers various tools/features for easy WordPress management. This includes dev/stage/prod environments to improve development workflow. Then, there are also a custom dashboard, daily backups, and access to StudioPress themes on the Genesis framework.
- Besides that, WP Engine has wonderful features for faster WordPress hosting, too. In fact, it has servers across the world — including in America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East — to minimize response times. Plus, there’s a global CDN to route local requests to the nearest server.
- WP Engine also developed its proprietary caching technology — Evercache — for better performance. This technology reduces the burden on your WordPress site’s resources by caching static content on your site. Additionally, it helps in improving page loading speed.
As a whole, WP Engine definitely has some of the best and most powerful features to optimize WordPress management.
WP Engine pricing
WP Engine is a premium provider offering WordPress-exclusive plans that start at $22.50/mo with a discount applied.
There are 4 main plans, and all of them include the same features: free SSL, CDN, caching, daily backups, and staging.
You can also opt for a different set of features with other pre-packaged deals, yet the base remains the same:
- Startup ($22.59/mo) comes with 10GB storage and 50GB bandwidth for 1 website and around 25 000 monthly visits.
- Professional ($44.25/mo) includes 15GB storage and 200GB bandwidth for up to 3 sites and 75 000 monthly visits.
- Growth ($86.25/mo) offers 20GB storage and 200GB bandwidth for up to 10 websites and 100 000 monthly traffic.
- Scale ($217.50/mo) comes with 50GB storage and 500GB of bandwidth for up to 30 websites and 400 000 visits monthly visits.
You can try out any plan for 60-days and get a full refund. A generous term that’s very much appropriate for a premium host.
At the same time, Scale offers the best cost-per-site value as 1 website would cost just $7.25 if you’d host all 30 allowed. That’s a perfect plan for a medium agency.
WP Engine performance
Among the top perks of WP Engine is the performance. Here, you’ll get top-of-the-class reliability and speed.
In 2 months, WP Engine had 0 outages which translates into 100% uptime. Is that good, you ask? How dare you.
The response time was 489ms which is not the fastest on the list. However, it’s among the most stable ones – it fluctuates within 100ms most of the time.
Now, page load speed is what made an impression. WP Engine loaded a fully built WordPress website in 1.1 seconds.
Largest Contentful Paint didn’t even reach a second. Like GTMetrix, I grade this performance with a fat green A.
To be honest with you, WP Engine really fulfills my expectations as a premium WordPress managed hosting provider. Sure, it’s a business and agency option, yet worth every penny.
- Premium WordPress service with custom tools
- Great performance results
- WordPress staging, caching and CDN
- Premium-level prices
- Low server resources with entry-level plans
8. Flywheel – best WordPress hosting for creatives
|Features||Free SSL, automatic backups, staging, caching, blueprints, 14-day free trial|
|Best for||Creative agencies|
A WordPress-only managed cloud hosting provider, Flywheel is an addition to WP Engine’s network. Just like the former, it uses the same Google cloud infrastructure. At the same time, it is known as a solution for creatives that want to leave all the management tasks to the provider.
- One of Flywheel’s most notable features is its set of development tools. Here, Flywheel offers staging, blueprints, and website cloning. These tools essentially make it easier, as well as faster for you to build, develop, and work on your WordPress site.
- Additionally, Flywheel comes with some speed-boosting tools too. One of them is FlyCache — the provider’s proprietary caching technology. FlyCache cuts load times by serving cached content for coming back visitors. Then, Flywheel also has a CDN powered by Fastly to speed up page loads by serving content from the server that's closest to the audience.
- Besides that, Flywheel also covers the more basic features you need for your WordPress site. This includes free migrations, updates, nightly backups, themes, SSL certificates, and malware cleanup.
Overall, Flywheel includes in its hosting plans some of the best and most practical WordPress features available.
Just like many other WordPress-exclusive hosts, Flywheel is a premium option. Yet, compared to WP Engine, it has a cheaper starting point at $13/mo – the plan that can be great for personal use.
All of Flywheel’s plans share some common features: This includes SSL certificate, FlyCache, CDN by Fastly, StudioPress themes and Genesis Framework, and nightly backups.
But, there are some differences when it comes to the number of resources:
- Tiny ($13/mo) offers 5GB of storage, 20GB of bandwidth and can support up to 5,000 monthly visits for 1 site. Perfect for small projects like personal blogs and small websites.
- Starter ($25/mo) accommodates up to 25,000 monthly visits on 1 website, 10GB of storage, and 50GB of bandwidth. Opt for Starter if you need more resources or if your site is seeing growth.
- Freelance ($96/mo) comes with a 10 websites limit, 20GB of storage, 200GB of bandwidth, and can receive up to 100,000 monthly visits. High-traffic websites would suit this plan.
- For larger businesses and agencies, the Agency ($242/mo) plan is for you. It includes 30 websites, 50GB of storage, and 500GB of bandwidth. It can accommodate up to 400,000 monthly visitors.
Tiny is a great plan if you’re planning a small personal site for commercial purposes. Other than that, choose Agency for the best cost-per-site value; just $8 per site.
Just as expected, Flywheel more than delivers in terms of performance – both in reliability and speed departments.
Flywheel maintained a nice 100% uptime throughout the testing period. Which is… Flawless, for the lack of other words.
Meanwhile, the average response time was also very speedy at 371ms. It was also quite stable, apart from 1 bump when all the performance tests took place.
Now, the most impressive is page loading speed. Flywheel is among the fastest providers, loading a fully built website in 881ms.
Largest Contentful Paint is also 881ms, so there’s not even a millisecond delay until the site is fully responsive. That’s the best performance result on this list.
With Flywheel, you also get to choose a server location from the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia locations. The closer the website is hosted to your main audience, the faster it loads for them due to the minimal latency.
So performance is definitely among the strongest features that Flywheel offers.
All in all, Flywheel, being cheaper than WP Engine is not just a business solution. You can use it as a personal high-power provider too. However, agencies that want to keep technicalities to the pros can also highly benefit from this host.
- Premium managed WordPress service
- Advanced workflow management tools and staging
- Full server management
- Premium-level prices
- Low server resources with entry-level plans
Best WordPress hosting: final recommendations
WordPress hosts and plans are plenty in the market. However, only a selected few are actually optimized for the platform and with powerful tools and features to back them up. Plus, with the many sham providers around, it isn’t that easy to choose the best one.
So, a quick recap:
- SiteGround is a premium shared WordPress hosting provider offering top-of-the-class performance and features.
- Bluehost is a beginner-friendly and affordable WordPress hosting option with helpful tools and features included.
- Hostinger is the cheapest option for WordPress sites that you can rely on when it comes to performance and ease of use.
- DreamHost has generous feature-filled WordPress plans that are both reliable and user-friendly.
- HostGator makes its way on this list for a smooth experience when setting up and managing WordPress sites.
- GoDaddy is an easy-to-use and feature-rich WordPress hosting option geared towards small business websites.
- WP Engine is a powerful WordPress-exclusive host with premium features, reliability, and speed.
- Flywheel is an option for effortless business creation on WordPress. It manages all technical aspects so you can focus on development.
WordPress hosting comparison
For better visualization, let's see how all the best WordPress hosting providers stack up against each other in terms of performance, features, and tools included.
|Data center location||Yes, 5||US only||Yes, 7||US only||US only||Yes, 3||Yes, 7||Yes, 7|
|Control panel||Site Tools||cPanel||hPanel||custom||cPanel||cPanel||custom||custom|
|Price range||From $4.99/mo||From $3.95/mo||From $1.99/mo||From $2.59/mo||From $2.75/mo||From $6.99/mo||From $22.50/mo||From $13/mo|
|Review||SiteGround review||Bluehost review||Hostinger review||DreamHost review||HostGator review||GoDaddy review||WP Engine review||Flywheel review|
How to choose the best WordPress hosting provider?
The sheer number of providers offering WordPress hosting can be overwhelming. To make an informative decision on which one to choose, take these 4 steps:
- Research and evaluate WordPress requirements for best performance,
- Evaluate your website's size – the bigger, the more resources it'll need,
- Set a budget – cheapest doesn't mean the worst or priciest – best,
- See if you need any additional tools – staging, automatic backups, workflow tools.
Let’s jump right into the minimum requirements you need in order to host WordPress.
Step 1: Know the requirements for WordPress hosting – PHP and MySQL versions
For what it’s worth, WordPress’ requirements are fairly basic. In fact, any provider in the market that is worth its salt can support the CMS.
But just to be on the safe side, you’ll need: PHP version 7.4 or greater, MySQL version 5.6 or greater/MariaDB version 10.1 or greater, HTTPS support.
However, there are certain things that make for faster and more powerful WordPress hosting. If you see some of the following, know that you’re in good hands:
- Latest PHP version – currently it’s PHP 8.0, although many providers are still testing it and yet to release for public use. It is a scripting language used for web development. Essentially, it’s a programming language. Each new release focuses on performance and security enhancements.
- Nginx or LiteSpeed – modern and fast web server technology. Web server works to respond to the visitors, that enter your site, requests. LiteSpeed also comes with its own caching plugin, so you can expect an even faster website with it.
- FastCGI/PHP-FPN/LSAPI PHP handlers – handlers allow web servers to interpret the meaning of the code so it can be delivered to the visitor. PHP-FPN is one of the fastest handlers available, although FastCGI is also used as a fast alternative for Apache and Nginx web servers. LSAPI is showing the best results with LiteSpeed.
Basically, this is the foundation that makes up the fastest WordPress stack. So while the basic requirements are simple, looking deeper into the provider’s used tech is helpful to get the best out of the best.
Step 2: Evaluate your needs – is it a small or a big project?
Here, you’ll need to consider your WordPress site’s needs. Start by deciding the parameters of your site — especially in terms of size. Then, you’ll be able to narrow down what you need from your WordPress host including the type of hosting, storage, bandwidth, and more.
Size matters when it comes to WordPress hosting.
- For small-scale projects like personal blogs, small business websites, and portfolios, you can make do with the minimum for resources. In fact, you can probably scrape by with just 1GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth. Therefore, you can opt for the cheapest shared hosting plan to keep the cost down.
- But, you’ll struggle with those limitations if you’re running medium-sized websites like small online stores. For these, you’ll need at least 10GB of storage and 50 of GB bandwidth. Shared hosting is still fine here but you should probably start considering cloud or VPS services for the not so distant future.
- If you’re a go-big-or-go-home kind of person and need WordPress for large projects, forget about shared hosting. Opt for Cloud or VPS WordPress services, instead. But, if you’re still loyal to shared hosting, bear in mind that you’ll need at least 50GB of storage and 200GB of bandwidth.
Step 3: Think about your budget – from entry level to premium
WordPress hosting can cost anything from less than $1.00 to thousands of dollars a month. This is where a realistic budget will help to narrow down the options to more suitable ones. And, as with most things, hosting services can be classified as entry-level, mid-tier, or premium.
Now, there’s no hard and fast rule on how much the best hosting for WordPress should cost. But, here’s a general benchmark:
- Entry-level ($1.00 - $5.00/month)
This should cover all the essential features. Look for one with an SSL, free domain, and basic WordPress tools (like automatic updates and backups). This is perfect for small projects like blogs, small business websites, and portfolios.
- Mid-tier (less than $20.00/month)
This is great for more complex sites or those that have higher-traffic. You can expect the basics and also some handy extra tools. This includes features like free CDN, caching, and staging.
- Premium (more than $20.00/month)
Premium prices usually mean advanced features. For example, expert and priority support, multisite, CDN, and powerful caching. This is the one for you if you have high-traffic websites, eCommerce, or media-heavy publications.
In brief, opt for a plan within your budget that still meets your needs. And, if this is not possible, you may need to adjust either one or the other.
Step 4: Identify the extras that you need – from staging environment to expert support
WordPress providers often throw in some extra features to attract more users. Some are catered to beginners while other features are meant to reel in veterans and professionals. These additional features can both simplify and enrich your WordPress experience. Hence, a closer look at them is warranted.
Some of the more vital and commonly-offered additional features for WordPress hosting are:
- Staging environments
- Workflow management tools
- Business management tools
- Website builder plugin
- Premium WordPress plugins
- Expert WordPress support
So, determine the ones that you need and the ones that can make your life that much easier.
Best hosting for WordPress FAQs
WordPress hosting vs web hosting: is there a difference?
WordPress hosting is a type of hosting that has been optimized for better WordPress performance and security. Typical web hosting concentrates on all CMS equally. However, standard web hosting can also include some WordPress optimizations.
How much does WordPress hosting cost?
WordPress hosting can cost anywhere from less than $5.00/month to a few thousand dollars a month. The cost varies wildly depending on the type of hosting you’re looking at, the nature of your WordPress site, and your needs. Shared WordPress hosting is generally the cheapest option.
Do I need special hosting for WordPress?
You don’t need special hosting for WordPress as this application is supported by all of the providers. However, for large WordPress projects, managed service is recommended. This way, you’ll get the optimal performance and helpful tools to develop your website.
What’s the difference between shared and WordPress hosting?
The difference between shared and WordPress hosting is that WordPress hosting is specifically configured to optimize WordPress. So, everything from the provider’s server to its tools and features are designed for easy WordPress-management.
How do I migrate my WordPress site?
You can migrate your WordPress site yourself manually, via control panel or plugin. Besides that, the majority of WordPress providers on this list also offer free migrations.