Shared hosting is a popular hosting option where a provider hosts multiple websites on one physical web server. Typically, most websites don't use many server resources, so shared hosting lets providers offer stable service at a low cost.
8 Best WordPress Hosts 2020: Which Providers Present Perfection?
Web hosting can be a confusing subject. That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide that introduces you to the web’s top providers.
WordPress now powers over 30% of the internet. That’s not to say it’s on some sort of mad conquest for global domination – it’s just the most popular and one of the best platforms for building websites on.
But with a great website comes great responsibility. More specifically, you need a great hosting package to accompany your website.
Step forward WordPress hosting – specially designed for the needs of all WordPress users. Trouble is, there’s so many providers out there that offer WordPress hosting, it’s hard to know where to start!
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in need of a little help. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
Website Builder Expert takes ‘getting online’ very seriously. It’s why we conducted our own, full-scale research project into web hosting. We wanted to know which providers offer the best service, and which ones excelled at certain types of hosting.
When it comes to WordPress hosting, there’s two types to choose from: shared and managed. Below, we’ll explain in detail what each one is, and who should use it – but for now, here’s a quick snapshot of the top five providers for each.
5 Best Shared WordPress Hosts
5 Best Managed WordPress Hosts
In this guide, we’ll break down the key differences between shared WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting, review each of the above providers, and provide you with a checklist of things you need to host your WordPress site.
Best Shared WordPress Hosts
So, what actually is shared WordPress hosting?
Shared WordPress hosting is where your site is hosted on a server that it shares with other sites. You’ll share everything, from bandwidth and storage space to support and security.
Because the hosting is WordPress specific, you get access to useful features like one-click WordPress installs and automated WordPress updates.
This is the cheaper of the two WordPress hosting options, and is best suited to personal sites – such as blogs – or small static sites.
To give you an idea of the type of features available, resource limits, and the costs involved, here’s a side-by-side look at our top five shared hosting providers.
Bluehost Unmetered Yes Yes Yes Yes* $3.95 – $5.95 HostGator Unmetered Yes Yes Yes Yes $14.95 – $27.95 iPage Unmetered Yes Yes Yes No* $7.49 – $10.49 DreamHost Unmetered Yes No No Yes $4.95 – $10.95 A2 Hosting Unmetered No No Yes Yes $7.99 – $24.46 *Bluehost only offers free backups on its highest priced plan, while iPage offers backups at an additional charge.
Best All-Around WordPress Host
Bluehost Pros and Cons: Shared WordPress Hosting
Bluehost Pros Bluehost Cons * Cheapest shared WordPress hosting available
* 99.98% uptime
* Only a 30 day money back guarantee
* No automated plugin updates
Bluehost came top of our WordPress hosting research, and it’s easy to see why. It offers a free domain, backups and SSL security, automated software updates and one-click installs, unmetered bandwidth and storage, and 24/7 support. All of that, at a starting price of just $3.95/month, makes Bluehost impossible to beat. Plans start from $3.95/month.
Best for Uptime
HostGator Pros and Cons: Shared WordPress Hosting
HostGator Pros HostGator Cons * Automated updates to software and plugins
* 99.99% uptime
* Expensive pricing plans
* No managed WordPress hosting plans
Bluehost may be the WordPress top dog, but HostGator emerged as the overall best hosting provider from our research. It offers strong plans across the board, and WordPress hosting is no different. Free domain, SSL security and backups, unmetered bandwidth and storage, automated updates, and 24/7 help and support – all its missing is the option to upgrade to managed WordPress hosting. Plans start from $14.95/month.
Best Value for Money
iPage Pros and Cons: Shared WordPress Hosting
iPage Pros iPage Cons * Unmetered bandwidth and storage
* Automated updates to software and plugins
* No free backups
* 99.94% uptime
iPage is a solid choice for shared WordPress hosting. It offers most of the basics you’d expect: free domain, automated updates, SSL security, and unmetered bandwidth and storage. However, while generally known for cheap hosting plans, its shared WordPress hosting prices are actually fairly average. You also may experience slightly slower site speeds than with Bluehost or HostGator. Plans start from $7.49/month.
DreamHost is very up and down with its offerings but, depending on what you need, it may well be perfect for you. There’s automated software updates, but not for plugins; there’s unmetered bandwidth and storage, but no 24/7 help and support. We’d see DreamHost as a provider for those who want a cheap plan and are confident in their own technical ability. Plans start from $4.95/month.
#5 A2 Hosting
Best for Customer Service
A2 Hosting Pros and Cons: Shared WordPress Hosting
When it comes to A2 and WordPress hosting, its managed plans are far better than its shared ones. Sure, you get unmetered bandwidth, storage, and 24/7 support – but as we’re guessing you’ve seen, these features tend to be commonplace. Having no automated updates is a big flaw, and although there’s an anytime money back guarantee, we’d recommend choosing a provider higher up this list. Plans start from $7.99/month.
Best Managed WordPress Hosts
So that’s shared WordPress hosting covered! Now let’s take a look at the best managed WordPress hosts.
While shared WordPress hosting is solely shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting can come in many forms, such as VPS, or dedicated hosting.
The main benefit of opting for managed WordPress hosting is the level of support and maintenance you receive. With shared WordPress hosting, you have to wait around for updates, as you’re on a shared server and not a priority. With managed WordPress hosting, you’ll be seen to right away.
Think of this like a theme park. You have a normal waiting queue, and a fast track. Both are ultimately getting the same thing, but with fast track, it’s quicker, you’re a priority, and the experience is better.
Not only is the experience better for you, it’s also better for your site’s visitors. Managed WordPress hosting comes with faster loading speeds and a higher level of security.
Managed WordPress hosting tends to be used by businesses of any size that need plenty of resources and tight security around customer data.
Using our top five providers as an example, here’s a side-by-side breakdown of some of the features they do (and don’t) offer.
Bluehost Pros Bluehost Cons * Free domain, SSL and backups
* 99.98% uptime
* Only a 30 day money back guarantee
* No automated plugin updates
Living up to its billing as the best provider for WordPress hosting, Bluehost again came out on top in the managed WordPress hosting category. Similar to its shared WordPress offerings, you get free backups, SSL security, and domains, automated software updates, unmetered bandwidth and storage, and 24/7 expert support. It’s as close to perfect as you can get. Plans start from $29.99/month.
#2 A2 Hosting
Best for Customer Service
A2 Hosting Pros and Cons: Managed WordPress Hosting
A2 Hosting’s managed WordPress hosting is far better than its shared service. On top of the unmetered resources and automated updates, you’ll receive 24/7 support, be able to host an unlimited amount of websites (on its top-tiered plan), and qualify for A2’s anytime money back guarantee. Given A2 is renowned for its customer service, though, we’ll doubt you’ll need to use it. Plans start from $24.46/month.
Cheapest Starting Price
InMotion Pros and Cons: Managed WordPress Hosting
InMotion Pros InMotion Cons * Cheapest managed WordPress hosting available
* Automated updates to software and plugins
* No shared WordPress hosting plans
* Limit on the amount of sites you can host
InMotion is famous for its sharedand VPS hostingplans. It’s also the cheapest provider if you’re looking for a bargain, and need a cheap managed WordPress hosting package. Automated updates to both software and plugins are a major plus, with unmetered bandwidth and free backups ticking another two boxes. The uptime is pretty good too, at 99.97%. Plans start from $35/month.
Best for Help and Support
WPEngine Pros and Cons: Managed WordPress Hosting
WPEngine Pros WPEngine Cons * Great 24/7 help and support
* Free backups and SSL security
* Bandwidth and storage limits
* 99.95% uptime
If the name hasn’t already given it away, WPEngine is a provider that’s designed specifically for WordPress hosting. It’s pretty expensive in comparison to other providers, but it does a solid job nonetheless. Automated updates, SSL security and free backups are just some of the features you can expect, while its support is some of the best around. Plans start from $8.99/month.
Best for Reliability
SiteGround Pros and Cons: Managed WordPress Hosting
SiteGround is a nice, cheap, reliable hosting provider. You’ll get the usual: automated updates, free backups and SSL security, and unmetered bandwidth. Storage space is the only let down; SiteGround only offers between 10GB and 30GB depending on your plan. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend SiteGround for sites with lots of pages or heavy media content. Plans start from $11.95/month.
Alternative WordPress Hosting Providers
Given how WordPress dominates close to a third of the internet, it should come as no surprise that there are more options than the eight providers we’ve mentioned.
We’ve listed the top five shared and managed WordPress hosts from our research, but there might still be another provider that’s better suited to yourspecific needs.
Here are a few more options to mull over:
Far from a spinoff of its pizzeria namesake, HostPapaoffers shared WordPress hosting plans that come with all the major things you need. There are no free backups or automated plugin updates, but there isunmetered bandwidth and storage, plus 24/7 support. It offers three plans in total, ranging from $8.99 – $21.99/month.
1&1 IONOS is famed for its website builderfirst and foremost, but it’s also renowned for offering some of the cheapest hosting deals of any provider. In terms of WordPress hosting, it offers managed plans that come with automated updates, unmetered bandwidth, and a very respectable 99.98% uptime.
GoDaddy has many strings to its bow. For starters, it’s the world’s largest domain registrar. It too boasts an impressive website builder, and offers managed WordPress hosting. There’s free domains and backups, automated software updates, unmetered bandwidth, and 24/7 support, all starting at the reasonable price of $8.99/month.
What do You Need to Host WordPress?
The best WordPress hosting provider is not necessarily the same as the best web hosting provider. Different services try to cater to different needs – that’s why so many can co-exist in (relative) harmony.
WordPress has its own set of needs. It recommends a host that supports:
* PHPversion 7.2 or greater
* MySQLversion 5.6 or greater, OR MariaDBversion 10.0 or greater
That might sound like a whole lot of not terribly meaningful letters, and it’s not essential that you know about these things inside out, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. With that in mind, here’s what that all means in a nutshell.
PHPis… an open-source scripting language for web development. It can be mixed with HTML, which makes it an excellent liaison between a website and its servers.
MySQLand MariaDBare… database management systems. MariaDB is an offshoot (or ‘fork’, if you want to use the technical term) of MySQL. Think of them both as digital filing systems.
HTTPSis… a means of making a secure communication over a computer network. You can tell if a site’s got one by looking out for the little padlock symbol next to the URL. Most of the world’s largest websites now advocate for HTTPS implementation, Googleamong them.
All the providers we’ve mentioned come with PHP and HTTPS, so they’re not things you’ll need to factor in when weighing up two hosts in this guide.
Best WordPress Hosts: Conclusion
Deciding which provider you want to host your website isn’t always straightforward. There are many things to consider when searching. One thing we can say with confidence, though, is that WordPress hosting is almost always the best option for WordPress websites.
The whole hosting process becomes a lot simpler, as your plan is designed to make hosting a WordPress site as simple as possible. One-click installs, automated updates, specialist support – it’s all there and readily available.
The main decision to be made, then, is whether to go for shared or managed WordPress hosting. Shared tends to be for personal sites or small businesses, whereas managed is better suited to medium-to-large scale companies, or those who hold customer-sensitive information.
To refresh your memory, here’s the top providers for both, based on our detailed and expert research:
5 Best Shared WordPress Hosting Providers: Recap
5 Best Managed WordPress Hosting Providers: Recap
It’s clear that Bluehostis the best option for anyone looking for a WordPress hosting provider. It has everything you need; from automated updates and one-click installs, to 24/7 specialist support and almost limitless resources.
It’s the standout provider in our books, and is the ideal place to bring your WordPress website to life.
Best WordPress Hosts: FAQs
How much does WordPress hosting cost?
The cost of WordPress hosting will vary depending on if you’re on a shared or managed plan. Shared WordPress hosting normally costs between $4 – $20/month, while managed WordPress hosting can be between $10 – $200/month. Most small businesses will pay around $15/month.
What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
WordPress.com is a blogging platformthat is hosted for you. It’s very similar to a website builder in that everything, including hosting, is incorporated into your monthly bill. WordPress.org is a self-hosted content management systemwhere you may need WordPress hosting.
Do you have to use WordPress hosting with a WordPress website?
No – you can use any type of hosting you please. However, we’d recommend you use WordPress hosting, as it’s designed to make your life easier. Features like one-click installs and automated WordPress updates can save you hours of maintenance work.
Can you host a non-WordPress website with WordPress hosting?
No – WordPress hosting is reserved exclusively for WordPress websites. If your website wasn’t built on WordPress, you can see other types of hosting and our overall top-rated providers here. Alternatively, check out our web hosting comparison chart herefor a side-by-side look at the best web hosts.
Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight.