pAre you planning to launch a site on WordPress? As the world’s most popular content management platform, WordPress makes it easier than ever before to design and manage your own website.
Finding a hosting service – a business that provides the technology and services to get your site actually online – is a crucial part of getting started. It can be a confusing, frustrating and time-consuming process.
I’ve tried to give you a roadmap here. The following hosting companies all support WordPress. Depending on your preferences, budget and level of tech skill, one or another of them should be perfect for getting your site up and running.
WordPress hosting service essentials
If you’re looking to run a WordPress site, you’ll want a hosting service that provides at least these essential benefits.
- Unlimited monthly data transfers, email, and storage
- 24/7 support
- SSL encrypted connection
Prices are all over the map, and a specialized WordPress plan with most companies will cost you more, but often it’s worth it for better service and smoother functioning than in a traditional hosting environment.
Bluehost – the most popular
Bluehost is the host that caters most to WordPress users. With 1-click installation and an abundance of tools, features and bonuses for WordPress, there’s a reason Bluehost is their #1 most recommended hosting service. Its enhanced cPanel makes it incredibly easy to set up and manage your website.
- Pros: Top-notch WordPress service. Most plans include unlimited domain hosting, email addresses, bandwidth and disc storage, plus a free domain name for one year. Excellent security.
- Cons: Mixed reviews on customer service. Upsells a lot of useful (and sometimes necessary) features. Some have reported inconsistent performance with higher traffic.
SiteGround – for the technically adept
Geared towards professional developers, SiteGround stands out for its features oriented towards the technically adept. Their “GoGeek” plan offers extremely useful features such as PC compliance, free Git and WordPress staging (they’re one of WordPress’s top recommended hosting services). They’re on the cutting edge with product integrations. With SiteGround, you can expect speed and consistent high performance.
- Pros: Clear and transparent, with a strong feature set. Data centers around the globe mean better performance for international audiences. Great integrations and full-spectrum hosting solutions to help you grow your site.
- Cons: Charge extra for some features, including Site Builder software, even at top tier plans. Many features don’t appeal to a general audience. Renewal pricing can get expensive.
Dreamhost – when you want to go fast
Another of WordPress’s most recommended hosting services, Dreamhost boasts phenomenal uptime (99.97%), fast loading speed (about 50% higher than average) and truly unlimited bandwidth and data transfer. They have a straightforward onboarding process for inexperienced users while a wide array of technical tools are available for those who want.
- Pros: One-click installation for WordPress. Lots of free bonuses, including a domain name, site builder and over $200 on major advertising channels.
- Cons: Only offers a single shared hosting plan. No cPanel (though their streamlined alternative will appeal to non-techies.)
InMotion Hosting – reliability above all
InMotion is one of the largest independent hosting companies in the world. With 99.9% uptime, you can rely on them to keep your site up. Unlike many shared hosting companies, they don’t overbook their servers, so they can handle traffic spikes. They’re a good choice for someone who wants to run only a few websites and who’s willing to pay a bit more for higher performance and support.
- Pros: Unlimited storage and email. Easy-to-use software for building websites. Lots of freebies when you sign up (Google Ads, Google Apps Integration, Website Builder, etc.) and free data backup.
- Cons: Limits the number of websites and databases you can run. Unlimited plans are more expensive than with other shared hosting providers.
A2 Hosting – best value hosting packages
A2 can boast of impressively fast loading times – averaging 361ms, 191% faster than the industry average – and excellent uptime at 99.96%. By limiting the number of people on shared services and caching information, they keep their loading times stable and lightning quick. A2 isn’t the biggest name on this list, but they might offer the best value.
- Pros: Nearly instant loading, efficient customer support, and free HackScan security software. Packed with useful features.
- Cons: Not every plan has Windows-based servers. No managed WordPress hosting. Relatively expensive.
GoDaddy – easy and simple
Flexible, dependable and well-rounded, GoDaddy is a well-established company that gives a strong base to quickly set up a website. They provide over 300 professional-looking templates and an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Their WordPress auto-install couldn’t be easier. You can run it on their normal plan, or choose their specialized “WordPress Hosting” with automatic upgrades, higher security and other perks.
- Pros: Minimalistic and easy to use. Unlimited bandwidth. Allows you to create backup copies of your website whenever you want.
- Cons: No e-commerce tools. Once you’ve picked a template, you can’t switch without losing all your content. Restrictive data policies. Forces you to use a proprietary hosting panel for WordPress unless you pay extra. Also, it’s a giant corporation with shady ethics.
HostGator – good for beginners
My top pick for novice webmasters. HostGator is reliable, simple to use and offers great shared packages, plus reasonably priced VPS and dedicated servers. It has an amazing track record for uptime, averaging 99.95% over the past year. They include 1-click WordPress installation and their service is optimized for WordPress speed and security.
- Pros: Easy to use, offers a variety of plans with lots of features. Great uptime and customer service.
- Cons: Slow loading, which will hurt your bounce rate and organic ranking. No Windows-based VPS hosting (only Linux).
With the many hosting companies out there, multiplied by the dizzying array of plans, options, add-on’s and limitations, finding the right one might seem like a search for a needle in a big, constantly changing haystack.
If you don’t know where to start, you can always find people with websites similar to yours, ask what service they use and how it works from them
I recommend making a list of your top priorities from a hosting service. Is it more important for your site to load fast or have top-notch security? Do you need something that’s easy to use or do you want all the latest technical features? What’s your price limit?
Once you have a “profile” of your ideal company, it will be easier to find one that fits it like a glove.
Ocean theme specializes in free responsive WordPress theme, our vast experience with different hosts show the hosting services above are highly recommended.