As the #1 open source script with over 60 million users, WordPress is compatible with nearly all web hosting companies. This sounds good, but the difficulty in choosing a proper web host keeps increasing because there are numerous options open to you.
If you are not sure where to start, then start by reading this simple guide. We will detail the steps you can take to select a good WordPress hosting company that is reliable and has the ability to get your needs covered. The process requires some time, so be patient when taking actions.
Step 1: Think about Your Needs and Budget
Before reaching out to any web hosting company, take a minute to think about what you need. Do you need a fast and secure hosting platform to start an online shop? An affordable package to host a personal blog? Or a server with large space to upload photos? Knowing your own needs helps you concentrate on the right options.
Besides, you have to make sure what prices you can afford to pay. Making clear more requirements will enable you to wipe out unsuitable web hosts more easily.
Step 2: Choose a WordPress Hosting Type
There are many types of WordPress hosting services available, such as free hosting, shared, VPS and dedicated server. Now let’s look at those popular types so that you can make a choice based on your needs and budget.
Free WordPress hosting
This is a costless option with which you don’t need to pay for the hosting space. But the downside is that there are less freedom and reliability. The providers usually put ads on your site to cover their cost, and they may terminate the service at any time without notice. Free WordPress hosting is not recommended if you care about your online presence.
Shared WordPress hosting
This is the most popular WordPress hosting type used by millions of beginners and small businesses. With a cost from $3/mo to $8/mo, you can obtain a hosting plan which includes many features, such as 1-click WordPress installer, cPanel, and a certain amount of server resources. The cost is low because you are sharing a server with a lot of other users. The only concern of shared WordPress hosting is that you have to pay close attention to the provider’s usage restrictions.
There are thousands of web hosting companies offering this type of service. The ones in this list are our recommendations because they are honest and do not oversell their servers.
WordPress VPS hosting
A VPS is a virtual server created on a physical machine. Although you are still sharing a server with others, the number of users is much less compared to shared hosting, and you have full control over your own virtual server. VPS falls into two groups, which are:
- Unmanaged VPS. A server of this kind allows you to configure the server to run specific software. So it is popular among developers, medium-sized bloggers and businesses. An unmanaged VPS can be purchased at approximately $15/mo.
- Managed VPS. It does not require as much technical knowledge as unmanaged VPS because the server software is managed by the provider. The cost of a managed VPS starts at about $30/mo.
WordPress dedicated server
Purchasing a dedicated server, you have complete control over an entire physical server, so you can run almost any software you like and configure the server in any way. However, you do not need to consider this option when you are starting out. The cost is high, which is usually more than $100/mo, and the requirement for system administration skills is quite strict.
Managed WordPress hosting
This is a relatively new service that is tailored for hosting WordPress. With such a service, you are only allowed to host WordPress sites. The benefit is that you can have a worry-free hosting experience since the provider manages the security and performance. Managed WordPress hosting is expensive. Hosting a single domain could cost $30/mo, and a multi-domain plan is usually priced at about $100/mo.
Step 3: List the Top Choices
After deciding which WordPress hosting type to use, you can now search on Google to see which companies in the type are the top recommendations. Also, you can visit WordPress.org to see the hosting suggestions. Then, make a list of the top 5 or top 10 web hosts. Remember only to include those large companies.
Step 4: Look into the Uptime and Speed
Uptime and speed are the key factors for the success of a website. If your WordPress site is inaccessible, it is nothing, and if it is slow, there is no possibility to gain good rankings in search engines.
It is hard to find out the real statistics of a company’s uptime and speed. But you can read customer reviews to see whether there are many complaints about these two things. Making a performance rating for each company on your list, and avoid the ones with poor uptime or slow speed at all costs.
Step 5: Choose the Best One
Before making the final choice, you can contact the web hosting companies on your list if you have special requirements. Another secret is that you can also ask them to give you a special discount if it is available.
Based on your evaluation of the price, performance and customer service, now you are able to make the decision.
Special Tip: Make Use of the Free Trial
Nowadays, most web hosting companies offer a free trial or a refund guarantee. During the specified time, you could try their services without risk. If you are not completely satisfied, you can cancel your account and get your hosting fees refunded. This gives you the opportunity to test several hosting companies and experience their reliability, usability and support.