Picking a good hosting plan for your WordPress website can be tricky. Given that there are thousands of companies to choose from, it can make it that much harder to choose.
After working with about 15 different companies, I can confidently say that I found SiteGround to be the best so far in terms of speed, support, and overall features when it comes to WordPress websites. With that being said, there are still lots of great hosting companies out there—I just wanted to share my personal experiences with SiteGround and other companies.
But to start off—here’s a list of hosts I’ve worked with so far and how I would describe them on a “Poor, Average, Good, or Great” scale (I will talk more about some of them below):
- BlueHost (Average)
- Domain.com (Poor)
- eHost (Poor)
- Gandi (Average)
- GoDaddy (Poor)
- Host Color (Poor)
- HostGator (Good)
- InMotion (Great)
- Lunar Pages (Average)
- PowWeb (Poor)
- SiteGround (Great)
- TotalChoice (Good)
- Web Hosting Hub (Average)
Ultimate Pick: SiteGround
When I first started out in the web design business, I purchased the “best” cheapest hosting plan I could find—at the time it was called eHost (it has since then been shut down, and for good reason). I then switched over to BlueHost; this was a step up from eHost, but still not what I was looking for. After a short time I switched over to HostGator, where I stayed with them for about 1.5 to 2 years. Though HostGator had a straight-forward, easy-to-use cPanel and customer portal, I noticed their support had slowly started decreasing over the years to the point where it became a chore to try and contact their support—it didn’t help that my website was going down a lot due to disk space/server issues. I did more research and came across SiteGround; a lot of reviews raved about how great the support was. I decided to finally switch over to SiteGround.
Since I’ve switched over to SiteGround, I’ve found that my website is faster, more secure, and easier to work with; and by this I mean that I haven’t experienced as much server-related problems that interrupt me from working on it like I did with past companies. A lot of what I was doing required a high use of disk space, and SiteGround seemed to be handling the job really well. The speed alone—and the built in SG Optimizer WordPress plugin—made me like SiteGround even more.
Some highlighting features I like to tell people about SiteGround:
- Great built-in server speed and cache plugin—built in CDN feature allows for even faster speeds
- Free reliable backup system—stores up to 30 copies and can easily be restored
- Fast and knowledgable support—able to solve almost any issue in one interaction
- Easy-to-use, one-click CRM installs
- Unlimited SSL / Wildcard SSL certificates on all domains
More Budget-Friendly Alternatives
HostGator is a good alternative for someone who’s looking for similar features but is on a tighter budget.
Pros: Easy management, good prices, unlimited SSL, one-click installs
Cons: Slower site speed, hit or miss support
Get If… You’re looking for something simple with all the features you need and that’s cost effective
Don’t Get If… You’re running a website that requires high disk usage, or a large website with lots of images/videos
TotalChoice offers good low-priced hosting plans with no hidden fees. These plans are great for people who are starting out or need something very simple.
Pros: Great prices (no hidden costs), free SSL
Cons: Support system is poor compared to other companies (ticket-based, no support phone number)
Get If… Your website is small/simple (i.e. one-page website); you’re looking for something under $80 a year
Don’t Get If… You rely on a 24/7 support system
Hosts to Stay FAR Away From
Out of all the web hosts I’ve worked with, GoDaddy has taken the cake for being the absolute worst company to ever work with when it comes to WordPress websites. Every interaction/problem/issue I’ve had to deal with has been unpleasant to say the least.
Though their support team is very friendly; they can be extremely unhelpful when it comes to fixing common issues (such as SSL and email) and will instead try to rope you into buying more over-priced features as a “fix.” Not only this, but their server speed with WordPress has been proven to be unbelievably slow time and time again.
Cons: Almost everything—extremely slow server/site speed, overpriced features and plans (lacks basic features that are free elsewhere, such as SSL certificates), unhelpful support, poor user experience/customer portal, greedy, etc.
Similar to GoDaddy, Domain.com unfortunately has extremely slow server/site speed when it comes to WordPress. Doing basic tasks on a WordPress website (i.e. adding new pages or products) was proven to be a chore alone—the site would often break by itself if too many tasks were being run in the background.
Cons: Extremely slow server/site speed, unhelpful support—will also try to upsell you with features/add-ons that should be included in the plan.
If you look online for top rated hosts, you’ll find lots of great companies that can fulfill your business needs. The most important thing to keep in mind is whether it’s a reliable company that provides the support customers need. Also, looking at features within the hosting plans (SSL certificates, bandwidth, disk space, etc.) can help you decide what fits your needs best.