Often overlooked, web hosting is one of the key features in running a website. There are various different types of web hosting options that are available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting. Choosing the wrong option can come back to haunt you in the future. "How to choose the best WordPress hosting?" is one of the most commonly asked questions from our users. In this guide, we will cover what technical specifications you need to run WordPress along with the things you should consider when choosing a web hosting service. Lastly we will share our list of top WordPress Web Hosting providers.
You will be surprised to hear that WordPress is a very light-weight script, and it is compatible with almost all web hosting providers out there. The simple requirements that WordPress put forth are:
- PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
- MySQL version 5.0 or greater
Due to the fact that WordPress is extremely popular, all major hosting providers come with easy installers for WordPress. The web hosting companies that we recommend all support WordPress.
Speed, security, and reliability are all important factors that you need to consider when choosing your WordPress hosting. However, the most important factor that you should consider is "Your Needs". Evaluating your needs before purchasing your WordPress hosting can save you hundreds of dollars.
Evaluating Your WordPress Hosting Needs
As we have mentioned above, there are different types of web hosting options available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Managed. Let's take a look at each of these optionsy to determine which one web hosting option is best for you.
Free WordPress Hosting
There are free web hosting available, but almost all of them have some sort of catch. Usually, you can find free WordPress hosting being offered in online forums or small groups. In most cases, these are managed by an individual who is reselling a small part of his server space to cover up some revenue. Often the catch is that you have to put their banner ads on the site. Some may ask you to put a text link in the footer of your site. These folks will sell that banner ad or text link to cover up the cost of your free space along with pocketing the profits. The biggest downside of having a free host aside from the ads is that they are unreliable. You never know when this person will stop offering the free service. They can leave you hanging at any time. If you are serious about your website or business, then avoid Free WordPress hosting at all costs.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared hosting is by far the most popular type of WordPress hosting used by beginners. It is the most affordable and quite frankly a good starting point for new users. Shared hosting is where you share a large server with a lot of sites. By having multiple sites on the same server, hosting providers can offer the service at a much affordable rate. The biggest catch that we see with shared hosting across all providers (including the ones we recommend below) is the unlimited resources. There is no such thing as unlimited. While it says unlimited, you still have usage restrictions. If your site starts to take up substantial server load, they will politely force you to upgrade your account. If they don't take this action, then it can have a negative effect on the overall performance of other sites hosted on the same server. It gets back to conventional wisdom. As your business grows, so will your overhead cost.
Shared WordPress hosting is the best solution for small businesses, and starting bloggers
WordPress VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) refers to a virtual machine. It is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers with respects to the individual customer's need. Even though, you are sharing the server with a handful others, this gives you almost as much control as a dedicated server. It also has the privacy of a separate physical computer and can be configured to run specific server softwares. Often developers, intermediate users, and medium-sized bloggers utilize VPS to scale their websites. If you do NOT have any technical knowledge, then you need to make sure that you purchase a managed VPS. This means that the WordPress hosting provider manages all system upgrades, and they are available to assist you if needed.
VPS WordPress hosting is best for medium-sized businesses, high traffic blogs, and aspiring designers/developers.
WordPress Dedicated Server
Dedicated server is a physical server that you can lease from the hosting provider. This allows you to have full control over the server including the choice of operating system, hardware etc. You DO NOT need a dedicated server if you are just starting out. Once your site is receiving a significant amount of traffic, only then you should consider upgrading to a dedicated server. WPBeginner runs on a dedicated server by HostGator. If you do not employ a system administrator or have no experience with servers, then we recommend that you get a managed dedicated server. WordPress hosting providers that offer managed dedicated servers employ full-time system administrators that maintain your servers. Along with doing software updates, they also do server monitoring, offer phone support etc. Most top websites use clusters of dedicated servers.
WordPress Dedicated Servers are best for extremely high traffic blogs.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Due to the large number of users using WordPress, few web hosting providers have chosen to offer managed WordPress hosting. An account with one of these providers only allow you to host WordPress based sites and nothing else. The benefit of Managed WordPress Hosting is that you do not have to worry about ANYTHING. They optimize your site for performance, make sure that your site is secure, and keep regular backups. On top of that they advise you if a specific plugin is having a negative impact.
Bottom line, managed WordPress hosting is hassle free fast WordPress hosting with high-quality support from staff with lots of WordPress experience. While all this sounds amazing, the plans for managed WordPress hosting is usually on the higher end of the scale. For example a personal account with a popular managed WordPress hosting provider costs $29/month where you can only host 1 site (getting maximum of 25,000 visitors per month). The next level higher where you are allowed multiple domains will cost you $99/month. A person starting out a blog cannot afford this.
Managed WordPress hosting is great for established bloggers who can justify the expense with their revenue. It is for people who do not have the skills/time to deal with the technical side of things. We recommend WPEngine for Managed WordPress hostingNow that you know all of your WordPress hosting options, it is time for you to make a decision. We run several sites that get millions of pageviews per month. We have tested and worked with all major web hosting providers in the industry. After having helped 100,000+ users and years of experience, our founder have personally hand-picked some of the most well-reputed WordPress hosting providers for you. Each of these WordPress hosting companies provide excellent service and support. We give each of them a perfect 5 out of 5 star rating. Check out the list of best WordPress web hosting providers.