I’ve tried a very wide-array of web hosts over the years. In the majority of cases I’ve ended up being quite disappointed with most of them due to performance issues, absurd downtime and horrid customer service. Rather than speak about the hosts I can’t stand, I’ll just focus on the ones I’ve been satisfied with. WordPress has pretty minimal hosting requirements so it’s possible to run it on the majority of the popular web hosts, but if you want to not have any issue paying your monthly WordPress hosting bill I’d recommend one of the following best WordPress hosting options. I’ve broken them down by your specific use case to make selection easy and I’ve kept it to only five options to avoid overwhelming you.
I’ve taken the best WordPress web hosts and performed a thorough load time comparison. I setup the exact same WordPress installation on all five of the best WordPress Hosting options, in their categories of cost, in order to compare their load times out-of-the-box and with CloudFlare for your reference. The following load time results are the average of three tests, for each location, for each host.
Types of WordPress Hosting
What is Shared WordPress Hosting?
Shared hosting is the most popular type of WordPress hosting. It’s the cheapest type of WordPress hosting because the server on which your WordPress website is hosted is shared with several other WordPress websites owned by other people. While the server provided may claim to offer “unlimited” resources, in reality this is not actually the case. If your site becomes mega popular, eventually you will be required to move your site to a more expensive hosting plan to accommodate all of the resources needed by your website to handle your website’s traffic. Usage caps are still in place, but they say unlimited because for the vast majority of websites a shared WordPress hosting plan can easily accommodate their website’s fairly minimal resource needs. A shared hosting plan is an ideal starting point for anyone creating a brand new website, so long as extreme performance requirements aren’t immediately necessary.
What is WordPress VPS Hosting?
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a type of hosting that runs on a virtual machine. One web server can accommodate several virtual servers; whereas, with a dedicated server you get the entire web server to yourself. This allows you to have significantly more control over your server than a shared hosting plan and makes a VPS hosting plan more economical than a dedicated hosting plan. Even though you may share the same web server with others, your virtual server is still entirely separate from the other virtual servers. For example, if you were on a shared hosting plan and another website had a huge spike in traffic it could slow down your website. On a VPS server your virtual server would not be impacted by another virtual server on the same web server getting a spike in traffic, meaning VPS offers increased reliability, performance & security. If you don’t have any technical knowledge and a VPS hosting plan sounds right for you, you’ll want to make sure to get a managed VPS hosting plan or possibly a managed WordPress hosting plan instead.
What is WordPress Dedicated Server Hosting?
Dedicated hosting provides you with your own, exclusive, rented physical web server and offers you complete control over it. This is extreme overkill for most websites. Dedicated servers are only necessary for extremely high traffic websites. If you don’t have any technical knowledge, but you need the power of a dedicated server you’ll want to make sure to get a managed dedicated hosting plan. Managed means the web host will have dedicated system administrators looking after and maintaining your dedicated server for you. This usually includes software updates, server monitoring and ongoing support as needed.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Because of the insane popularity of WordPress, hosts have begun offering hosting services for WordPress exclusively. These hosts gave gone to great lengths to optimize their web servers and software specifically for WordPress. This means faster performance, better security, automated backups and convenience features for WordPress bloggers, designers and developers. With managed WordPress hosting you don’t need to worry about your site going down, getting hacked or loading slowly. Plus, these services offer support teams with lots of WordPress experience. Because this service is so specialized it comes with a premium price tag, but this price is well worth it for those who can justify it.