Hey guys, in this article, we’re going to discuss the best WordPress hosting companies out there in 2020. The good ones, the bad ones, and the ugly. I know there are a lot of videos and articles on this topic already, but I’m tired of seeing them promoting just affiliate products everywhere. Bluehost is the best host? Really? Let’s find out.
So, I want to make this article as honest as possible, so please keep in mind that whatever I’m saying is from my experience and I’m not endorsing any one company here. In the last 15 years, I’ve jumped around a lot and moved hosts more than a couple of times.
So today, I have a fair good understanding of which is a good host and which is not and most importantly know how to choose a host for yourself. And that’s what I’m hoping to share with you.
You know back in 2005, the choices were simple. You had three choices. Cheap shared hosting, a bit expensive VPS, and dedicated hosting. That’s it.
I remember when I started blogging I could only afford a super-cheap shared hosting and I soo wanted to be on dedicated hosting like the big guys. But only popular websites that made a lot of money could afford dedicated hosting. I can afford it today 15 years later though. But then, look at the options today. There are almost 25 different WordPress hosting services to choose from. Wow!
And I’m not even going to mention the obviously cheap and bad WordPress hosts here, but just stick to best of the best.
But for namesake, if you’re looking for super cheap hosts to get started, GoDaddy and Hostgator are your best choice. I can’t guarantee your satisfaction though. Of course, they are cheap but almost everyone I know who started with these two companies had to move on and switched to other hosts later.
So, if you’re a beginner you don’t have to compromise on the quality of hosting though. Today, you have so many options that even at less than 5$, you can get a good solid host for your blog.
Best WordPress Host for Beginners
And two companies I recommend for those starting out with blogging, are SiteGround and Hostinger. They are super cheap and gives you better tech than GoDaddy or HostGator. Let’s look at SiteGround first.
If you budget is under $10 per month and you need a headache-free, solid host that can run your blog without bothering about technical stuff, then SiteGround is a good choice.
They have been around for a while and know their game. Their technology is not top notch, as in when compared to premium hosts but it’s good enough to get you started and perhaps keep you with them as you grow.
Their smallest plan lets you run one website, with 10,000 visits maximum and all the bells and whistles to speed up your website, all in 7 dollars. This is including a special offer and discount. If you need the discount coupon, hit me up on insta or email and I’ll send you the coupon.
For a beginner, I think this is a great deal. Now, note that there is a limit of one website and 10,000 visits per month. It should be enough for a beginner. If you gradually grow your traffic more than 10,000 you can always upgrade to the next level plan at 10 dollars per month and have unlimited websites with 25,000 visits monthly. Even that is a good plan to be on.
What I really like about SiteGround is that over the years they’ve optimized their game and know what works and what doesn’t. Their plans are well thought out and favors beginners. They don’t have any hidden fees or restrictions, or any frills that you don’t need. It’s pretty straight forward and you get a good deal for your money.
To add, their customer support is very good and can help with free migration and other initial setup glitches if at all.
My second WordPress host recommendation for beginners and young bloggers who are cost-conscious and want something reliable to get started with, until they get serious about generating revenue from their blogs is Hostinger.
Hostinger is a new entry to the hosting space. In fact, it was called Hosting Media but since it hit one million subscribers, it rebranded to Hostinger and ever since then have been pretty aggressive with their marketing. You’ll see them all over social media today.
Since it’s a new entry, we don’t have all the information we need, like long term experience, etc, unlike SiteGround, but Hostinger is killing it in one area – price. I mean, we’ve seen many WordPress hosts that are cheap, but almost all of them compromise on the tech.
I can say with confidence that Hostinger is one host that is both cheap and has good tech to support it. When I say tech I mean the technical specifications like server performance, bandwidth etc.
In fact, in one of the studies where server response times and page load times were compared, Hostinger came in the top performers league beating even some of the expensive hosts.
Litespeed cache is a technology that makes websites load faster, and as you know Google recommends that you make your websites load faster for better user experience. Hostinger provides Litespeed cache on all their plans pre-installed. I think that’s a great plus.
Their customer support too is good, I mean we only have so many years of data but from what we know, they have a decent service going on.
Hostinger’s pricing is super competitive and starts at 1 dollar per month. This is including discount offer, so if you need it, hit me up on instagram or on email and I’ll share it with you.
If you can get a litespeed optimised server for 1$ per month, it can’t get cheaper than that. So, Hostinger is my recommendation for anyone new to blogging and is looking for a reliable host.
Let’s move to the next section. Best WordPress hosts for beginners and websites that are growing in traffic.
Best WordPress Hosts for Growing Websites
So, when you go beyond that 25K visits per month, you’ll notice problems showing up. Your host charging you more for overage charges. Website taking too long to respond. Page load time going for a toss and bandwidth limit exceeded – those type of errors.
That’s when you need more resources for your website. More bandwidth, more traffic, more storage space etc.
Or, you might be like me. I have this bad habit of starting off multiple side projects based on shower thoughts. You know you’re in the shower, and a new idea pops up. What do you do? You grab a domain name and install a WordPress blog and start working on it. Until another idea shows up and you move on with it.
Over a period of time, I’ve been doing this, starting projects, killing them after a while, and the cycle goes own. What I ended up with ore than a dozen unfinished projects and a bloated server space.
That’s when I moved to a cloud server. With cloud servers, it’s so much easier to deal with multiple projects and websites with occasional high traffic.
Cloud servers are so elastic that they can contain a bunch of small sites as well as high traffic websites alike. And my cloud server of choice is Cloudways.
If you were to set up your own WordPress installations on these servers yourself, it would be bit of a work. CloudWays makes it easy. You just have to choose your data center, your server location, your choice of server space and you’re done. You can keep adding as many WordPress installs as you want, and you should be good to go at any time.
I currently have around 20 websites on my CloudWays server and it runs perfectly. Not all of them are high traffic websites, most are low traffic and some are medium traffic and they’re all getting amazing server response times, page load times and uptime.
If you start with Digital Ocean servers, you can get started with as low as 10 dollars per month and if you choose Google Cloud, you can be all set at around 30 dollars per month. That’s it.
If your website is on another host, bringing them to cloudWays is super easy with their migrator plugin. They also have custom caching options with their own plugin etc and the whole set up is plug and play. No hassles ever.
I’ve had some small issues once a while though. Like once when one of my websites got hit by a DDOS attack, the site wouldn’t load and threw a database connection error. I quickly contacted their live chat support and they fixed it in minutes. I’ve noticed that their customer support folks are so knowledgeable and recommends the right thing always.
I would highly recommend you CloudWays if you are a growing blogger with multiple projects or blogs or even an agency with multiple clients and want the same seamless, standard experience for all your websites. If you have a high traffic website, you can either upgrade to their higher plans, or even better try a managed WordPress host – which is our next category.
Best WordPress hosts for High Traffic Websites
So by high traffic websites I mean anything from 50K upwards.
Most of my high traffic websites suffered from slow page load times before I moved to managed hosting.
The problem is you wouldn’t really know that your website has an issue. Especially slow page load times. But once you start measuring it with tools like Pingdom or Google Page speed insights you’ll know that even though your website is loading, it is slow compared to other websites. And this si when you realize that you’re losing out on traffic.
Google has hinted that it recommends websites to load fast and offer a better experience for users. Page load time may not be affecting google ranks directly but it sure affects user experience and the faster your website loads the better it is.
Two of my high traffic websites are with Kinsta and I’m super happy with them. They aren’t cheap. At one point, I was paying 200$ plus per month on Kinsta but it was totally worth it.
Their technology stack is top notch and is optimized for high traffic volumes. One would think that getting started or the settings on a Managed WordPress host is tough and sophisticated. But that’s not true. Kinsta in my experience have been pretty much a plug and play experience.
Migration to Kinsta is free so they do it for you. And once you’re on there, the difference is so evident. When you’re on sites like SiteGround and even Cloudways like servers, it’s like driving a powerful sedan or something but on Kinsta, it’s like driving a Tesla.
Everything about them is top notch. Like be it their content on the website, or their backend UX, or their customer support it’s too good that you can’t resist it.
Talking about customer support, I got to say this about Kinsta. You know how typical hosting companies do customer support – you ask a question and you get a template like answer. Do they solve your problem? Yes, but is that all? No.
Everytime I have an issue – which is very rare – they not only solve my problem, but they go above and beyond to tell me what’s going on, what might happen, what I should do prevent this and sometimes even why I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.
I mean, they don’t have to do it but they do. So, I fell like they’re very honest and know their stuff. Like, they aren’t trying to sell you anything you don’t want or trying to trick you into upselling. They’re a very relatable bunch of folks who’re passionate about what they’re doing. And that always comes across and I value it.
The problem, so to speak with Kinsta is that they are expensive and unless you can see that value, it might seem like too much. Especially when you compare with cheaper options, which we will discuss in the next segment.
If you’re budget conscious I wouldn’t recommend Kinsta. Or if you’re one of those types where you hate everything pre-built and packaged for you, instead would love to build your own stack, then Kinsta may not be for you.
I almost forgot about WP Engine, which is the second recommendation I have for high traffic websites. Everybody knows WP Engine. I think they kind of championed this whole segment of “WordPress optimized servers” in the market. They have top-notch tech, great customer support, and a very popular ecosystem – just everything you need from a reliable web host. But I find them a bit too aggressive and sales-y. You know what I mean.
Overage charges are basically extra payment you have to make for every additional visitor that comes to your website, beyond the allowed limits.
Like on the 100 dolar plan, the allowed number of visitors are 100,000. Fair enough. But things turn ugly if you get more traffic.
Back in 2011, I believe, Alyssa Milano shared one of my articles on Twitter and that crashed my server. And I got charged for every visitor beyond the 100,000 limit. So, even though my plan was at 100 dollars, I ended up paying 900+ dollars for all that additional traffic.
It could have happened with Kinsta too, as they too have additional overage charges but that one experience with WP Engine kinda made me rethink my decision and I moved to Cloudways.
So, in my opinion WP Engine is a great option if you have a high traffic website but be mindful of their additional charges and limits. I’m sure they must’ve optimized their pricing plans ever since, but that bad taste still lingers in my mouth.
Ok, so let’s move to our bonus section that I promised. Let me share with some of the lesser known, but mention worthy WordPress hosts you might want to try. Some of these are impressive and even better than some of the mainstream and popular hosts, like the one I mentioned earlier in this video.
First such company is called Closte.
It’s a Europe based company I believe that is doing some interesting and competing things. I tried Closte by moving one of my websites from Kinsta just because I had that itch to try something non-mainstream, you know kinda like an underdog.
They don’t have the frills or charm like Kinsta or WP Engine, but their technology stack is super impressive and even better in some cases than Kinsta.
One issue, so to speak I have with Kinsta is that, even when they boast of cutting edge technology on their servers, they don’t have LiteSpeed Caching available on their servers. The argument is that you don’t need it because, Kinsta makes sure that everything else is taken care of in your tech stack that you don’t need a new technology, just because it’s new.
However, if you’re someone who wants to chase the new thing and want to try out things, then you might as well ask ‘Why not try LiteSpeed as well?”.
The downside is that they don’t have great customer support.
No live chat, everything is on email and you don’t really know or identify with them as much as you’d like to. Heck, I don’t even know who runs Closte. They’re very rarely on social media and there’s no face to see. Whereas, Kinsta or WP engine like companies are all over the place and very accessible.
That might be an issue for some of you.
Another interesting and lesser known WordPress host is 10Web.
Now, I haven’t tried them in the past but have heard great feedback about them from those who did. Their features are pretty interesting.
To start off, they claim that every website that is hosted on 10Web get a 95+ score on Google page speed test. Wow! That’s a tall claim. I want to try it and see if they tell me, ah well, it’s actually dependent on the website theme and plugins you use. We meant it for a simple theme.
I hope they don’t say that.
They have real time backups – which is great. Free SSL, Elementor website builder, 50+ premium wordpress plugins, free SEO plugins and scanners, free premium wordpress themes, 8 data center locations, staging, premium DNS, free migration, image optimization service and runs on Google cloud. That’s a whole lot.
They’re not super cheap but come loaded with features! If you don’t want to take the pain in optimizing your website for page speed, and want a ready-made solution, then you might want to consider it.
Now, before I wrap up, I also got to mention few things.
Why not include Bluehost and Dreamhost in the list?
You might have seen that in many articles and videos published discussing about wordPress hosts, BlueHost tops the charts.
Well not in all cases but ost cases. And there are two reasons to it. One, is their generous affiliate program. Most bloggers promote Bluehost because they have a good affiliate program.
BlueHost and Dreamhost both are among the three recommended hosting companies by WordPress. But I personally have found that BlueHost is kind a mass appeal product. In the sense that they have nothing customized, is not speed optimized and offers really bad customer support. It’s been there for a while and it’s been a good run.
Today, the landscape have changed and they aren’t worthy enough to be recommended. Nothing wrong though. They still have a decent service, it’s easy to get started etc. But I think it’s high time, WordPress looked into their official recommendations and switched to a better quality host or hosts.
Hosting to avoid
So, I’d not consider choosing BlueHost, GoDaddy, Dreamhost and HostGator if you’re serious about growth and need a fast wWordPress site. They might be cheap, price wise but definitely not reliable.
Let me know in comments if you’re on BlueHost and what your experience has been. Who knows, may be I’m wrong.
So, that’s pretty much it guys. Five of the best WordPress hosts that I think are of great value in today’s market.
I know that there are some 25 odd WordPress hosts available today and it won’t be fair to include all of them. Instead what I wanted to do was do an honest review from my experience. I’m sure there are good companies out there trying new things in this space, and they deserve a mention here, so I’ll be checking them even after publishing this article and will add them in the description below.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section. All the best!