Choose from 2016’s Best WordPress Hosting Options
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Given that WordPress is one of the most popular website content management systems, which has been used to build more than 20% of the world’s websites, there is no shortage of options when it comes to WordPress hosting. Finding the best WordPress hosting, however, can often be a challenge. This guide will help you weed through all the noise and flash marketing distractions and provide you with the bare bone basics on everything you need to know to choose the best WordPress host for you.
To start, we'll outline the requirements to be a WordPress host. Surprisingly, despite being so robust, WordPress has very few hosting requirements. All WordPress hosing companies need to successfully support your WordPress website or blog is this:
- PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
- MySQL version 5.5 or greater
With such few requirements, how do you go about choosing your WordPress hosting company when so many providers out there have the functionality to support your WordPress site? Great question. Pick from the best… and you’ll find those here.
The reality is this: as long as you choose a host that meets the bare minimum requirements for WordPress, you’ll be okay. Your site won’t spontaneously combust if you happen to choose a web host that isn’t on this list, or one that isn’t particularly popular for its WordPress hosting support. That said, you’ll likely experience better service and support when you choose a host (like the three listed here) that are known as some of the best WordPress hosting options available. Why? Because generally speaking, you get what you pay for and every host can't be everything to everyone. Some are especially good for some sites, and especially awful for others.
There are lots of hosts that offer seemingly amazing bargains for their hosting. And sure, they’ll be able to host your site. But chances are they won’t do it well. You could find yourself on an overcrowded server, with an unhelpful customer support team, and poor availability. I generally encourage people to shy away from the super crazy sign up deals – because a) those deals don’t usually last and b) because, again, you get what you pay for.
What Type of WordPress Hosting Do I need?
There are several types of WordPress Hosting options available. The type you need will depend on your website – what do you plan to use your site for? How much traffic will you have? What sort of content or media (if any) will you have available on your site? The answers to these questions could very guide you to choosing the best WordPress hosting company and package for you. We'll cover Free Hosting, but generally speaking, the 3 best website hosting options for WordPress sites include Shared, VPS, and dedicated.
Free WordPress Hosting Options
Yes, there are free WordPress hosting options available – but be wary before opting for this seemingly flawless option. With web hosting, you typically get what you pay for (can’t say that enough). When you pay nothing, you’ll soon realize that there’s a catch, or several. Free WordPress hosting, or any type of free hosting for that matter, isn’t the most reliable option. Their uptime stats are low and they could close their doors for business at anytime, without warning. Beyond unreliability, there’s a high likelihood that your free WordPress hosting will scatter ads all over your site and you’ll likely have a thirdparty name included in your domain name. You’ve likely seen sites with domains like “domainname.wordpress.com” - yuck. It’s not professional, and it’s not attractive.
Free WordPress hosting is best for people who are just creating a blog for personal purposes. My sister, as a teenager, created a free WordPress blog for her journaling hobby. The free option was perfect for her and her goals. If you’re trying to do anything more than personal blogging (or even if you’re hoping to accrue an audience for your blog) – it’s better to opt for shared WordPress hosting.
Shared WordPress Hosting Options
Shared WordPress hosting is great for beginner bloggers, or small to midsize business owners creating a site. This option is ideal for college students looking to create a portfolio website, or for any professional trying to pull together a portfolio. Shared WordPress hosting is the most affordable starting point for people launching a site. The downside for shared WordPress hosting is that you’ll have to share server resources with hundreds of other sites located on the same server – hence the “shared” in Shared WordPress hosting. This could mean potentially slow loading times, and limited bandwidth. That said, as your site grows you can scale to an upgraded plan or to another type of hosting option: WordPress VPS hosting, or WordPress dedicated server hosting.
WordPress VPS Hosting
VPS hosting is short for Virtual Private Server. WordPress VPS hosting is one step above shared hosting in that some resources are shared, but a certain amount of resources are dedicated to each website - meaning less stress and strain. Think of it as one large server divided up into several separate mini servers. VPS WordPress hosting offers greater privacy and more control than typically provided in a shared hosting option. Websites that experience large volumes of traffic and house a lot of media should consider WordPress VPS hosting packages as opposed to shared.
WordPress Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting is exactly like it sounds. When you purchase WordPress dedicated hosting you’re essentially renting an entire physical server for your own personal use. You’ll have full access and control over every aspect of your server. All resources are dedicated entirely to you. WordPress Dedicated hosting is a great option for very large websites that experience incredibly high volumes of traffic and need lots of storage space. There is no need for an individual or a business just starting out to invest in a WordPress dedicated hosting package – that would be a waste of valuable resources. Large, well established sites which require extra support and sturdy infrastructure to manage their site are suitable candidates for dedicated servers.
Should I use Managed WordPress Hosting?
There’s a difference between web hosting packages that support WordPress and Managed WordPress hosting. The latter allows you to turn over all host and server management tasks to the web host. Rather than worrying about operational and management procedures and tasks, Managed WordPress hosting takes control over administration tasks that might be out of your realm of expertise, tasks that you might not have time to get to, or tasks that you can afford to outsource. Managed WordPress hosting is definitely a more expensive option, but it can ease a lot of burden. It’s definitely something to consider.
Number 1: Bluehost rated best WordPress Hosting Company
Bluehost is a certified WordPress host (per WordPress) so it definitely meets (and exceeds) the mimimum requirements for hosting WordPress sites. Bluehost, as a recommended brand for WordPress hosting, offers great quality and are an excellent option for beginners looking to create a site. Bluehost customers enjoy cPanel on Bluehost, and easy WordPress 1-click install. They are a top rated shared WordPress hosting provider, especially for small businesses, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands with Bluehost.
Number 2: HostGator
HostGator is one of the most popular web hosts within the industry. With just over 8 million domains (you read that correctly – 8 million domains!), HostGator is a very competitive player within the web hosting world. They are definitely over qualified to host WordPress websites and they even make things easy for beginners with 1-click install (gone are the days of installing WordPress on your own through 5-min install). You’ll enjoy helpful customer service and reliable uptime stats by choosing HostGator to host your WordPress website.
Number 3: SiteGround
SiteGround receives high regards and ratings from the vast majority of its customer base. They are well known for their reputability and incredible customer support (something that many hosts struggle with). They have great stats, a reliable service and extensive features and functionality. SiteGround is definitely a top contender as far as WordPress hosting is concerned. They are right up there with Bluehost as a recommended host by WordPress and they are definitely one of the best WordPress Hosting providers out there.
For information on how to install WordPress on Bluehost - click here.
If you're looking for a beginner WordPress Guide (the 101 everything you need to know guide) click here.
If you're ready to setup your WordPress site and want step-by-step instructions, click here.