I get asked several times a day where to host WordPress websites. The answer changes ofte and varies from person to person. Here’s why.
The history of web hosting
Hosting used be a big deal. You had to house a server or co-locate it, that is, physically put a server in a building which houses machines connected to the Internet. In the 2000’s shared hosting came along. Immediately, so did the “reseller” packages. Overnight, everyone and their brother was a web host. Even now, in 2016, for $20 a month you can host about as many websites as you’d like on any of the server farms. In the 2010ish era a few big players bought out many of the smaller web hosts.
Bad information online
This page will likely not rank well. It is rare I place something on this powerful website that won’t hit the top of page 1 within 90 seconds of going live. But, I will be pointing people here in the future. All. The. Time. My point is, the Internet is FILLED with pages called “best hosting”, “best wordpress hosting”, “best whatever hosting”. Zero of the pages can be trusted as they all contain either affiliate links or it is owners of the business spamming up the web. After 20 years of false information being spread around, getting good information is practically impossible.
Where is the Best Place to Host a WordPress Website in 2016?
My answer may be much different next year as companies are bought out and trashed overnight, but as of June 2016 I recommend the following companies:
NoSupportLinuxHosting.com. I have been using this service for years. It is $1/mo. You truly get no support. This is for the brave or advanced users only. Still, if you know what you’re doing, $1 a month is great!
Bluehost.com. This is hands down the best of the cheapie shared hosting. Please use this link to get Bluehost. It is an affiliate link, which means I’ll make a few bucks. But, I personally use this service and stand behind it. Bluehost is neat as you can log in, buy an account, and do a “1 click install” for WordPress. You do not need to FTP in or configure MySQL servers. All for $3.95/mo. Wow.
LiquidWeb, SiteGround, Etc: These are all middle of the road hosts. They offer misc support and are determined to stay online. They are, in my opinion, better than the “big guys” like GoDaddy / Hostgator, etc. If you have an business you want to keep online and would like competent tech support then go with a company like this. You’re usually looking at around $10/mo for hosting.
WPEngine. I have never used this before. I hear good things about it (for low traffic blogs). Maybe people are just pushing affiliate links, or maybe people are truly happy with the service. For around $30/mo you get “managed WordPress hosting”. This means in addition to the hosting, WPEngine keeps your WordPress site backed up, they update your WordPress install for you, they keep your WordPress plugins updated, etc. As a note, I have heard many bad experiences from people who get too much traffic- apparently WPE charges for “overages”.
Telapost.net. I host a few sites. A very few. I often don’t even offer this to my own clients. Last I checked our server was at 0.02% capacity. Dual quad XEONs and RAID SSDs. Woohoo! This server mostly hosts Telapost.com. But we just have 1. Although it is new, there is a disadvantage: if a part were to break it would be down for a couple of days, which I can’t have for clients. This is leased through a company which leases servers. It is like owning it, but it costs more, and there is someone available to fix it if it breaks.
VPS. You’re out of luck here. I have heard so many mixed reactions from people about every company out there I have no clue what to suggest.
Get your own server. I personally use my own server. If you don’t mind shelling out a couple hundred dollars a month for something you could get done for $5, you can get your own server.
Google email / gmail for business. If you are an SEO agency or a web host, don’t even get mixed up with hosting people’s email. If you are a business owner, just do this. You can easily check your email anywhere, the spam filtering is awesomely awesome, and your email is hosted w/ Google forever no matter where you host your website.
Here’s a cool picture of Google’s Douglas County, Georgia, data center:
Your domain name
Just a quick note about domain names. I personally use namecheap or GoDaddy for my domain names and prefer to keep my registrar and host as 2 separate companies.