Best WordPress Hosting 2020
19th June 2020
51 min read
What is WordPress Hosting?
If you’re looking at creating your own website with one of our WordPress themes, there’s one thing you need to pay special attention to before you launch your website, and that’s WordPress hosting. Your website can’t function without a host! You need to decide who is going to be responsible for hosting your WordPress site. This article compares 10 WordPress hosts and the packages they have, to help you make a more informed decision.
How does hosting work?
All websites, WordPress or not, have to be hosted somewhere. They have to be physically hosted on a server computer somewhere in the world. When a person enters your website address into their browser, they connect to the server that your website is hosted on. The browser then returns the data from the server to display the website within the browser.
What’s different about WordPress hosting?
WordPress hosts specialise in hosting sites built on WordPress, including those built on a theme. Whilst you don’t need a WordPress host to run a WordPress site, they are specifically designed for people with WordPress sites and provide lots of benefits over standard hosting:
- The server is configured more specifically for WordPress and server upgrades usually happen quicker and in bulk, causing less disruption.
- Security is usually tighter, as the servers can be quickly secured to protect against WordPress-specific threats.
- The technical and customer support teams are focused on resolving issues found only on WordPress.
- Many WordPress hosting plans provide convenient, pre-configured SSL certificates.
- Due to the standard WordPress format, set up is usually quicker and convenient. Some WordPress hosts often boast set-ups in minutes.
- Since the host only runs WordPress, they can better configure the server and allocate resources.
Because everything is all about one platform, WordPress hosts are usually a lot more efficient for WordPress sites.
What to look out for
Despite the clear advantages of having a WordPress host for a WordPress theme site, different hosts provide different packages. It’s important to consider what each company is offering for the price you’ll be paying.
Is there enough physical storage space for your website? Websites take up space and depending on the images, content, functionality and the number of pages you have, you may need to look at your options.
Some WordPress hosting plans will provide unlimited SSD storage, while others may limit the storage space in exchange for a lower hosting cost. If website speed and reliability are crucial for your website, you should try to avoid a server using a hard disk drive (HDD). Solid-state drives (SSD) are much more efficient, but will sometimes come at a price.
Bandwidth relates to the amount of traffic and data that is permitted to transfer between your site, it’s users and the internet. Each hosting plan will offer a level of bandwidth, often restricting your site to a certain amount of visitors per month. You need to make sure that the host you’re choosing will accommodate the activity you’re anticipating on your website.
Another important aspect is the customer and technical support you receive. It’s likely that you’ll experience technical issues at some point during the hosting of your site and it’s crucial that the necessary work is carried out.
For some, a website is the main or only source of income. If this goes down, it could have detrimental effects on your business. It’s important to check whether the host sets targets for issue resolution or whether it promises a certain uptime. Remember, even a host that promises 99% uptime means it expects 3 days of downtime. Whilst server upgrades and website downtime are inevitable, the host needs to deal with it quickly and effectively.
Your website will be hosted on a company’s server computer. The server’s location in the world will affect the page and download speed. If you’re only expecting visitors from your own country, then your server should also be nearby. Pay attention to where a hosting company’s servers are. Some larger hosting companies will have multiple servers worldwide.
Sometimes, accidents or mistakes can happen and you’ll need to restore your website to what it was. Perhaps there was a fire at the data centre, a security breach or just human error. Whatever the cause, the solution usually starts with a backup.
Not all website hosts will back your website up for you. Decide whether you want this done for you, or whether you’re happy to do this on a regular basis on your own.
Different types of WordPress hosting
When it comes to WordPress hosting, there are different types of hosting available. Each type provides different benefits and drawbacks. The speed, security and reliability of your website may depend on which you choose.
Below is an explanation for each type of hosting, followed by a breakdown of the pros and cons.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Shared hosting is the most popular form of hosting and is a good starting point for new websites and businesses. This type of hosting involves multiple websites sharing one large server.
Because everyone shares, it usually means a lower cost but it means your website shares bandwidth with others. If another site on the shared server has too much traffic, this can affect your site performance too.
Virtual Private Servers
Whilst you still share a physical server, your website is virtually sectioned off as if it were on its own machine. You’ll have a set allocation of server space that is less susceptible to influence by other websites on the server.
WordPress Dedicated Hosting
With a dedicated server, you’re no longer sharing the physical space. Everything is yours to lease from the server provider. It’s dedicated to you. This is ideal for sites with a large amount of traffic as the bandwidth is not shared with other sites that would limit it. You’ll also have full control over all of the technical aspects related to the server and be responsible for its maintenance, such as server updates.
Managed WordPress Hosting
A managed WordPress hosting is the most convenient of all the hosting types. All of the technical aspects are managed by the host’s support team of WordPress experts, including updates and server maintenance. So, if you’ve not got a WordPress expert on your payroll and don’t have time to work on it yourself, managed hosting is probably the best option.
In addition, the server architectures are designed specifically for WordPress sites, which provide benefits to security and speed.
In short, they’re designed to allow you to focus on the front end of your website, such as writing content and choosing a design. This convenience does come with a higher price tag, however.
Instead of your website being hosted on one server, Cloud hosting allows your website to be hosted on the cloud. The cloud is a global network that can bounce your website hosting between servers as it adjusts to performance spikes and other stresses. As a result, Cloud hosting is a more adaptable and dynamic hosting option, allowing for better performance.
Popular cloud services include Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Hosting on these platforms can be done directly with the cloud hosting platform.
Alternatively, they can be set up and managed for you by a cloud hosting company. They will usually configure it for WordPress or other content management systems.
This type of hosting is sold to agencies that resell server space for a profit. Company A may hire a dedicated server from a hosting company and configure that server for hosting websites for Company B, C and D.
We’re assuming that this is not what you’re looking for and we won’t be going into detail on this. However, it’s good to know that this type of hosting exists so you can recognise whether the host you choose is a reseller or not – and save some money in the process!
Now we’ve got an idea for all the different sorts of hosting available out there, it’s time to take a look at the companies that provide these WordPress services.
Best WordPress Hosting Providers
Each company will have different advantages and disadvantages to their service, in addition to different price points. Some may provide an unlimited number of visitors to your site, whereas another might allow you to have multiple websites. Some hosts may be more expensive, but it could have servers closer to you. All of these aspects can have an impact on your website performance, in addition to the performance of your venture overall. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer:
- Liquid Web
- WP Engine
- A2 Hosting
Bluehost has been in the hosting game for many years now and is one of the longest-running providers for website hosting. With 750 employees working around the clock, it hosts over 2 million domains. This is anything from large businesses to individual blog owners and it does a great job across the board. It has been recommended by WordPress.org since 2005 and one of the most popular hosts today.
Whilst it can host many different website types, it has servers and price plans dedicated only to WordPress hosting. These plans, configured especially for an immediate setup in WordPress, come in the form of shared hosting or managed hosting. They’re ideal for people who are less interested in the technology behind it all and more concerned with just getting started on their new website.
Bluehost’s pricing starts as low as £2.38 per month, a very attractive offer. However, this is a promotional price for a term of hosting, which can be anything from 3 months to 36 months. The prices are advertised per month, but paid upfront.
Below are the price plans for each type of WordPress hosting available with Bluehost, not including VAT.
Shared WordPress Hosting
Note: With these plans, you’re only able to pay in 12-month, 24-month or 36-month instalments upfront. The longer the term you commit to, the cheaper it is overall. After this, the promotional rate increases to the standard rate, at a minimum of £6.45 per month.
Note: With managed hosting, you have the ability to pay in 3 monthly instalments, but as with the shared hosting plans, the price increases if the instalments are more frequent.
In addition to the benefits of shared hosting, Bluehost provides 24/7 customer support, regular backups, spam protection and marketing and analytics tools to its managed plans.
Bluehost is known for its expertise in WordPress hosting. The team even contributes to open source platforms and their integration into WordPress. Their team lives and breathes WordPress, so they’re highly likely to be able to assist when you need it.
Bluehost has servers in the United States, China, India and the UK. It provides great coverage around the world, but make sure you consider the location of your website visitors.
Storage & Bandwidth
Bluehost gives 50GB of SSD storage as a minimum and increases this to unlimited space* in its standard and premium plans. It also offers an unmetered bandwidth* across all of its packages.
50GB of storage should be more than enough space for a new blog or a small to medium-size business. And even then, there are things you can do to reduce the size of your webpages, such as compressing images before uploading to the WordPress content management system. We recommend each web page should be no more than around 2MB.
*Bluehost states that: “While rare, we occasionally constrain accounts utilizing more resources than should be the case in the normal operation of a personal or small business website.”
Weighing up the pros and cons
Bluehost is a great host for all kinds of websites but is especially ideal for beginners. WordPress integration is quick and couldn’t be easier. They have a 24/7 customer support team on hand to assist, in addition to providing free web hosting elements such as an SSL certificate, that people new to web hosting may not have thought of. Here’s our summary of the pros and cons…
Liquid Web is a hosting company primarily dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses grow, by providing more power and stability. Although, they have also provided hosting for companies such as Audi, Fedex and Toshiba.
They offer a large range of services, such as VPS and cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, WooCommerce hosting and high-performance enterprise products. In this article, we are of course focused on their WordPress plans.
Deciding to do away with shared hosting plans, Liquid Web now focused on managed hosting plans for WordPress, which is via Nexcess. As with all WordPress hosting plans, they’re configured specifically for WordPress and come with the all the associated benefits listed in the previous section.
There are six different options to consider, with prices starting at $19 per month for a basic plan, all the way up to $999 per month! With the managed plans, Liquid Web really has considered the needs of different businesses, so if you’re a business owner, you should easily be able to find a plan that meets your requirements.
Liquid Web Pricing
Let’s start by taking a look at Liquid Web’s different price brackets and features. Whilst some of these look expensive at first glance, the premium products offer an incredible amount of customer service, bandwidth, storage and website allowance. It may not be as cheap as some hosts but it is competitive for what it offers, which is a better service overall.
For a WordPress website built on one of our themes, it’s unlikely you’ll need the higher plans, but we’ve put them here just in case.
Regardless of which you choose, all managed price plans come included with the following:
- 30 Day Backups
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Beaver Builder Lite
- iThemes Security Pro
- iThemes Sync
- Automatic SSL
Paying annually is the cheaper option as it effectively gives you two months free if you commit to a year’s hosting. The basic “Spark” plan also comes with a 14-day free trial (no credit card required), so if you’re new to hosting, we’d recommend taking advantage of that too.
Liquid Web prides themselves on human support and it’s one of their biggest selling points. In fact, they’re so serious about it that they even have a trademarked statement about how helpful they are! If you’re unable to manage a WordPress hosting yourself or are new to the game, then you’ll find Liquid Web to be an ideal partner.
They offer a 59-second initial response guarantee for phone calls and live chat and 59 minutes for emails. And this is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If they do not achieve this, they will provide you with a form of reimbursement for the time. They also boast a 100% uptime, offering 1000% account credits for unplanned outages.
Liquid Web has privately-owned data Centres in Michigan, Arizona and Amsterdam. These privately owned servers mean they’ve got full control over them and they’re directly responsible for overseeing security of the server’s physical location.
However, when we signed up for WordPress hosting, we were able to choose from the following data centres: London, Sydney, San Jose, Amsterdam and Detroit. For someone new to WordPress hosting, this could be a little confusing. In addition, there doesn’t seem to be much support for Asia or the Middle East, so bear this in mind when considering Liquid Web.
Storage & Bandwidth
The first thing we notice about Liquid Web’s hosting is that the bandwidth appears to be limited. However, whilst the unmetered hosting providers are sometimes a little sketchy when it comes to defining what this actually means, with Liquid Web, you know what you’re getting. And when asked what happens if someone goes over, they answered, “nothing”! There’s no real penalty or charge for going over, but the helpful team will be in touch to make sure your website expectations are being met.
The bandwidth starts from 2 TB. Considering the maximum they offer is 10 TB for 250 websites, 2 TB should more than enough for a single standard website.
In terms of storage space, 15 GBs on the basic plan doesn’t seem like much. Whilst it’s ideal for a small site, it means you’re likely going to need to upgrade if you’re looking to grow your business. But this is what Liquid Web is all about.
Pros & Cons
To summarise, we put together the top pros and cons of Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting.
Kinsta is a premium managed WordPress hosting provider. Founded in 2013 in Los Angeles, they’ve hosted websites for companies such as Ubisoft, TripAdvisor and Buffer.
Their sole focus is WordPress hosting with only managed hosting solutions on offer. Instead of shared, VPS or dedicated hosting, Kinsta makes use of the Google Cloud Platform for its server infrastructure. The website is hosted on the cloud platform with an isolated container for each website, with 100% of the container’s resources dedicated to a single site.
Kinsta Pricing Plans
Kinsta offers a vast range of different plans – 10 in total! In this section we’re going to cover the first three plans and what you can expect if you choose a plan beyond this. Kinsta positions themselves as a high-quality provider, which explains why their prices are much higher when compared to previous hosting providers.
Every single plan comes with the following:
- Free SSL
- Staging Area
- Multi-user environment
- 24/7 live chat support
- Automatic Daily Backups
- Google Cloud Platform Powered Servers
- Unlimited basic migrations from other hosts
As with all managed hosting, you pay extra for the service and support you receive. Kinsta is no exception, here. They offer 24/7 live chat support from a team of WordPress specialists across the world, with an average ticket response time of 1 minute and 19 seconds. Their technical support team is not tiered, so you can expect help right away from the person you’re talking to.
The Kinsta team aim to be proactive rather than reactive in its support approach. They run checks every few minutes and they’ll help you keep on top of everything, such as SSL certificates expiring or website disruptions.
The only drawback here is that there is no telephone support on offer for those who prefer to call. Sometimes you just want to speak to a human, right?
The Kinsta server architecture is intertwined with Google’s Cloud Platform. The state-of-the-art platform is hosted on data centres located throughout North America, Europe, the Far East and Australia. There’s limited coverage in South America, with no servers in Africa or Central Asia.
The advantage to using Google’s Cloud Platform means that the site can be hosted in any one of the 22 locations in the world, with the ability to pull in resources from other servers in case of a surge in traffic. This confirms that Kinsta is geared towards more resource-heavy customers.
Bandwidth and Storage
With Kinsta, you’re measured on how many visits to the site you have per month, rather than how much bandwidth you use. One of the drawbacks is that it’s not unlimited and you’re charged extra if you go over. On the basic plan, this is 20,000 per month. For a small blog or small business, this is not a big issue, but if you start to grow your website, you’ll need to upgrade eventually.
It all depends on what you find to be the most valuable. A visit on the same day from the same IP address counts as 1 visitor, even though they may have used bandwidth more than once.
On the other hand, 20,000 people may visit a blank website that requires little resources and be charged for going over. It’s also much easier to quantify visitors than it is to grasp bandwidth usage when all you really want to do is get on with your website.
Pros & Cons
Overall, Kinsta is good value for money. They may charge more than most WordPress hosting providers, but this is easily made up for by the benefits of 24/7 service, 99.9% uptime and use of Google’s Cloud Platform. Here are the highlights of what we like and dislike about Kinsta’s WordPress hosting service:
As the name suggests, WP Engine focuses solely on WordPress hosting. Like Kinsta, they specialise in providing hosting that is configured for WordPress only, which gives them an edge with regards to the features and support on offer. It’s fully managed, meaning you don’t need to worry about security or WordPress updates. They’ll even test the minor updates before they recommend them to you or not.
Running since 2010, WP Engine seems to be the standard to which most other WordPress hosts are compared to. In our research for this article, we saw many other reviewers using WP Engine as a benchmark. Even hosting companies themselves were comparing WP Engine’s capabilities to their own to prove their worth. With over 500,000 customers in 120 countries, WP Engine appears to be a real contender and worth your consideration.
WP Engine Pricing Plans
WP Engine offers three pricing options – Starter, Growth and Scale. There’s also a custom option if the Scale plan is not enough for your requirements, which can accommodate millions of monthly visits. You’re able to pay per month or annually, with annual plans resulting in better value overall. The prices listed below are from the annual plan but shown here per month for better comparison with other providers.
All of these plans come with the following:
- Genesis Framework
- 35+ StudioPress Themes
- 24/7 chat support
- Dev/Stage/Prod Environments
- Transferable Sites
- PHP 7.4 ready
- Global CDN
- Page Performance
- Automated SSL certificate renewal
Note: There are add ons such as geotarget and enhanced security features, even for the highest plans. There’s no plan that covers everything, and you only find out the price of these extra add-ons once you start the signup process
Whilst WP Engine prides itself on its customer support, this is mainly focused on its live chat capabilities. They aim to respond to all live chat requests within 3 minutes. However, the drawback is that telephone support is only available once you reach the standard “Growth” plan. On the basic plan, you only receive the live chat but it’s accessible 24/7, every day of the year.
WP Engine has a list of sub-processors that help with its server infrastructure. Two notable sub-processors are Amazon Web Services and Google’s Cloud Platform. This enables a global coverage in terms of data hosting, analytics and backups, putting WP Engine in a great position, both physically and figuratively!
With such a reliable architecture, they’re able to offer a solid 99.95% uptime guarantee, with an optional add-on for a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Bandwidth and Storage
WP Engine limits both bandwidth and website visitors. Unlike unmetered plans with a soft cap that throttles bandwidth for using too much, WP Engine will charge you as soon as you exceed the determined bandwidth allowance or visitor count.
The advantage is you shouldn’t see a drop in performance, but you’ll get charged. And you’ll know when that happens. With unmetered plans, you don’t fully know at what point the throttling starts and the website performance dips.
WP Engine offers a monthly minimum of 25,000 visits, 50 GB of bandwidth and 10 GB local storage space. Compared with other high-tier pricing plans such as Liquid Web, we found WP Engine to be less value for money in terms of bandwidth allowance.
Pros & Cons
Cloudways is a hosting company that provides developers with a wide variety of hosting options. In addition to WordPress hosting, they also offer support for PHP, Laravel, Drupal, Joomla, WooCommerce and many more. Even within their WordPress hosting plans, they have plenty of options on offer. By giving developers a product for every eventuality, it surely makes it a candidate for consideration, right? It depends on what you need!
The first thing we notice about Cloudways is the vast amount of different plans on offer due to the different cloud service providers it works with. They work with DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS and Google Cloud – a total of 59 data centres. Cloudways has a number of price plans for each type of hosting and for each cloud platform. For example, there are 14 different plans to choose from on the AWS cloud alone.
For this reason, we’d recommend fully exploring all the options on offer with Cloudways before deciding. It can become quite confusing if you’re not tech-savvy or don’t know what you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you are, Cloudways has everything covered. It scales up massively from simple websites to large enterprises and multiple website hosting for agencies.
Cloudways Pricing plans
Cloudways actually offers pay-as-you-go hosting, which means if you wish, you can pay hourly for their services. It’s truly designed for developers or people who desire more control over everything.
In an attempt to simplify the complexity of Cloudways hosting and allow you to make a decision based on best value, we’ve collated their monthly starting plans for all 5 cloud platforms and compared them to the highest possible plan.
Cloudways Managed WordPress Hosting Plans
Every managed plan from Cloudways comes with the following:
- Unlimited WordPress Installs
- SSD-Based Hosting
- Varnish, Memcached, and Redis
- HTTP/2 Enabled Servers
- Free WordPress Cache Plugin
- Staging Area and URLs
- Dedicated Server IP & Firewall
- Free SSL Certificate
- Regular Security Patching
- Server Auto Healing
- Automated Backups
- SSH and SFTP Access
- 24/7 Real-time Monitoring
- Team Management
If you’re unsure about the plan you’ve chosen, Cloudways offers a 3-day free trial for you to test its features and get your head around everything.
As you can tell from the chart above, the prices for Google and AWS (Amazon) are a lot higher in comparison to the other cloud services. Google offers 2 GB of bandwidth for just over $33. For less than a third of the price, you can receive 1 TB from DigitalOcean.
It’s worth considering what value each platform brings to the table. For example, DigitalOcean is a smaller company with fewer data centres. Google has a vast network with a large number of people behind it. Although you’re getting fewer server resources, you’re compensated with better coverage, reliability and a well-known brand.
Like many of the managed hosting providers, 24/7 support is included with every plan. This can be done through live chat, submitting a ticket or the chatbot. However, for an additional cost, you can opt for support add-ons: Advanced Support or Premium Support.
This means that whilst you’re able to report an issue at any time of the day or night, your issue will not get priority resolution unless you’re signed up for one of these add-ons. Live chat issues that are unsolved after 15 minutes are converted to support tickets. These support tickets should receive an initial response within 12 hours, or 3 hours for high priority tickets.
The advanced support offers speeded up response times and greater expertise on offer from the support team. Issues unsolved after 30 minutes are converted to support tickets. They have an initial response within 6 hours, or 30 minutes for high priority tickets. You’ll also get proactive investigation into performance and security with the ability to customise your server configuration. Prices start from an extra $100 per month for these extras.
The premium support starts from $500 per month and offers everything from the advanced support add-on, in addition to a 24/7/365 private slack channel and phone support. The live chat has an unlimited duration, whereas a ticket’s initial response will be within 2 hours, or 10 minutes for high priority tickets.
Cloud hosting is becoming increasingly popular. Some hosting providers are learning to use the cloud infrastructure provided by big players such as Google and Amazon to increase their global data centres all whilst providing reliable services.
WordPress hosting on top IaaS cloud providers ensures maximum performance, security, and high-availability. (DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr AWS, Google Cloud) There are 6 plans available on each of these data centres. You must choose one of these.
Whilst it boasts 59 data centres in 33 cities, you’re actually only choosing to be hosted on one of the networks. Whilst this is no different to a host like Kinsta, which also offers cloud data centre hosting, Cloudways uses misleading language and numbers to make you think you’re getting a better deal.
Bandwidth and Storage
As you’ll see from our pricing overview, the amount of bandwidth and storage you receive is entirely dependent on which cloud service you choose. With Cloudways, you pay a different overage fee for each cloud service. These are as follows:
- DigitalOcean – $0.02 per additional GB of bandwidth
- Linode – $0.02 per additional GB of bandwidth
- Vultr – $0.1 per additional GB of bandwidth in North America/Western Europe. $0.025 in Singapore and Japan and $0.05 in Australia.
- AWS is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis at $0.12 per GB used.
- Google Cloud Platform is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis at $0.14 per GB used.
Pros & Cons
If you’re looking for managed hosting that uses a vast network of reliable and trusted servers, then Cloudways is ideal for businesses or developers. If you’re more inclined to maintain the server yourself, then there’s nothing to stop you bypassing Cloudways altogether and approaching the cloud platforms directly for your hosting. Cloudways adds a support team and a managed interface between the two parties, which works for some people.
Launched in 2003 in Michigan, A2 offers a variety of different hosting services. They offer shared hosting, VPS, reseller hosting, dedicated hosting and hosting specifically for WordPress. We’re going to be looking specifically at its WordPress hosting plans, to help you come to a decision regarding your WordPress theme site.
The company boasts friendliness throughout – in its support along with its user-friendly and developer-friendly software solutions.
A2 Pricing Plans
For WordPress hosting, A2 has seven different plans to choose from, each of these is relatively cheap compared with some of the other hosting options we’ve evaluated in this article. Four of the plans are based on shared WordPress hosting, and three are managed WordPress options. A2 provides an in-depth overview of all its features across its plans.
Note: In order to receive the lowest price possible for your chosen plan, you need to pay 36 months upfront. The price shown is how much you are paying per month.
Shared Hosting Plans
What we especially like about A2 hosting, is that every single plan comes with the same 99.9% uptime guarantee and includes 24/7/365 support, via email, tickets, phone and live chat. You don’t have to pay for a higher plan just to obtain phone support or ticket support. You’re free to use the method which is easier for you.
There’s an option to access a priority support add-on, which comes with extra benefits and faster resolution times but this is accessible to anyone regardless of the plan they have selected for their website. A2 realises that just because you aren’t a large enterprise account, it doesn’t mean you have no reason to need priority support.
A2 Hosting provides reasonable coverage across the world. It has two data centres in the USA (Michigan and Arizona), one in Europe (Amsterdam) and another in Singapore. These data centres are owned by A2 themselves, which means they have greater control over them when it comes to maintenance and updates.
When investigating the managed hosting plans, we discovered within the list of features that it is only available on the Michigan servers. This is worth paying attention to when choosing a plan.
Bandwidth & Storage
When it comes to bandwidth limitations, A2’s policy states that they may charge you fees at their discretion for using too much. The account may also be suspended if they deem it necessary. They don’t explicitly state their bandwidth limitations on their website, which suggests an unmetered allowance.
Pros & Cons
Cheaper than most providers, A2 Hosting is great for people starting out. It gives 24/7/365 phone support and provides a lot of its features across all plans, where other providers limit these features. Every plan gets a website staging area and most plans get some form of speed optimisation plugins. We believe it’s certainly worth its value.
However, if we’re splitting hairs, other hosts do provide 99.99% uptime, compared to A2’s 99.9%. The industry standard these days is around 99.95%, so we wouldn’t recommend A2 for projects such as e-commerce, as you’re not guaranteed to receive as much uptime. That said, you get what you pay for. A2 is much cheaper than most of the hosts in this article.
Downtime: This commitment is applicable for any unscheduled downtime of your website for more than 0.1% of the total time per month. We will provide a service credit in the amount of 5% of paid fee for the month, for every hour that your website is unreachable due to an internal network or equipment failure.
SiteGround was founded in 2004 and is based in Sofia, Bulgaria. They’ve been a big name in website hosting for many years and they’re officially recommended by WordPress.org, Yoast SEO and WooCommerce. Alongside managed WordPress hosting, SiteGround also offers Shared Hosting, WooCommerce, Cloud Hosting, and hosting for resellers.
SiteGround Pricing Plans
SiteGround provides 3 different hosting plans especially for WordPress hosting. They’re managed hosting options designed to allow you to focus on your content and front end. Their updates can be scheduled or left on auto-pilot so that everything goes on in the background with minimal effort. As managed WordPress hosting goes, SiteGround is very competitive with it’s pricing and can be set up within minutes.
Each of the plans comes with the following:
- Unmetered Traffic
- Free WP Installation
- WordPress Auto Updates
- Free SSL
- Daily Backup
- Free CDN
- Free Email
- WP-CLI and SSH
- Unlimited Databases
*These prices are based on an upfront cost for 36 months. Prices do not include an optional annual domain registration fee of £14.95.
SiteGround boasts a fast, friendly and helpful service. They have a 90% rate for resolution at first contact, meaning the majority of issues. They typically respond to tickets within 15 minutes and answer quickly through live chat and phone support. These contact options are open to all plans and don’t require add-ons or high-cost plans to be able to speak to a real person.
SiteGround also provides you with an auto channel recommendation for your support requests, which directs you to the quickest method of contact depending on your query. If you’re not tech-savvy, this will help you to decide the best method to contact support.
If you prefer to resolve issues on your own, SiteGround offers a large knowledge base on its website, complete with tutorials and other information.
SiteGround offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If they fall between 99.9% – 99.00% uptime, you’ll get 1month free hosting and an additional month of free hosting for every 1% of uptime lost below 99.00%.
SitGround has several of its own data centres worldwide. These are located in Iowa (USA), London, Eemshaven (NL), Frankfurt, Singapore and Sydney. This offers great coverage in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia.
From January 2020, all of SiteGrounds new customers will get access to the Google Cloud. This powers a large part of SiteGrounds infrastructure, which allows for optimal performance across the world.
This hosting provider measures its bandwidth in visitors rather than in GBs. It does not offer any plans with unlimited or unmetered bandwidth. No matter which plan you choose, you’re limited by website visits. For the high tier plan, this is 100,000 visits per month. If you’re expecting more than 100,000 visits per month then a host like Kinsta or WP-Engine may be a better choice. However, given the low monthly price for these plans, we still feel it is good value for money.
Pros & Cons
SiteGround is good value for money. It offers a low cost managed hosting service that allows bloggers, small businesses and medium businesses to get themselves online, without having to worry too much about management or cost. Their uptime guarantee, like A2, is slightly lower than some, but there are reimbursements for downtime. For such a cheap promotional price, which you are tied into for 36 months, be sure you’re happy with SiteGround before you proceed.
Founded in 1998, iPage is a long-running hosting company that offers Shared Hosting, VPDS, Dedicated and WordPress Hosting services. It currently hosts more than one million websites. It’s mainly aimed at small businesses and those who are new to website hosting, however, some of their high-end VPS and Dedicated plans cater to bigger websites also. In our review, we are of course interested in their WordPress hosting.
iPage Pricing Plans
The hosting plans for WordPress appear limited at first, but there are different add-ons you can apply before checking out. This pricing below is before the add-ons.
*Note: Promotional price is for the first term only, whether this is 1 month, 1 year, 2 years or 3 years. All terms are paid upfront and the price quoted here is the cheapest based on a 36-month term.
All plans come with the following:
- Free SSL Certificate
- Unlimited Domains
- Website Builder
- Email Addresses
- 30 Day Moneyback*
*if a free domain is registered and you cancel, the domain fee is non-refundable and will cost £15.
The starter plan doesn’t come with WordPress expert support, automatic malware removal or SiteLock professional security but iPage still gives you the ability to add this as an add-on during checkout. Beware, as it will cost you more to add it as an add-on rather than take the WP Essential plan from the start.
The checkout process is rather confusing, as these add-ons are also available to be added to the WP Essential plan, which seems like you’re being charged twice for the same thing. Some add-ons are automatically added to your cart, so be careful.
To add to the confusion, the add-ons are all priced differently. The G Suite add-on is billed monthly and the security and backup add-ons are billed yearly. Coupled with a 36 month hosting paid upfront, you may need to take a moment to work out what’s going on.
The add-ons are charged as follows:
- Website Security – £23.88 for the first year. Increase to £47.88 per year afterwards.
- Site Backups and Restore – £14.99 for the first year. Increases to £17.04 thereafter.
- All in one WP bundle – £36.00 per year.
- G Suite – £6.00 per month
In addition to a Knowledge Base, iPage offers 24/7 support via phone, chat and online form submissions. They offer more expert support however if you purchase the all-in-one bundle or opt for the more expensive plan. It means if you’re on the starter plan, the support you receive may be limited. Given its low cost of £3.75 per month, we can accept that this would be the case.
Interestingly, iPage doesn’t seem to offer a Service Level Agreement, detailing their commitment to you, including a target uptime percentage. As a result, we wouldn’t recommend this for e-commerce sites or large businesses that rely on 100% uptime.
iPage only has 2 data centres and these are based in the United States. This provides great coverage across North America, but users accessing it from other places in the world may experience a longer loading time. If speed is important to you, make sure you consider this.
Both of the iPage plans come with unlimited bandwidth. As we’ve learned from this article, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can have millions of visitors to your site. It’s a shared structure, with other iPage customers and whilst the bandwidth isn’t capped at a specific point, it is monitored to ensure you aren’t hoarding all the resources. If you’re regularly doing so, iPage will likely contact you to suggest upgrading to their virtual private servers.
Pros & Cons
iPage is ideal for cheap hosting for a limited term. Once the term ends, the promotional prices can increase and with the add-ons, it can sometimes be confusing knowing what you’re paying for. We’d recommend this for a new starter and then reassessing after a term of 1 – 3 years.
Hostgator was founded in 2002 and has been a popular and trusted website host for many years, with recommendations from WordPress.org over the years. It is part of the Endurance International Group that also owns Bluehost. Much like Bluehost, they have a wide offering of hosting products including shared, cloud, dedicated, VPS, reseller hosting. Their WordPress specific hosting is a managed plan.
Hostgator Pricing Plans
Hostgator has three, easily-digestible levels of managed WordPress hosting. They say they’re great value over other competitors but we found it lacking in specific details when compared to other hosts.
All plans come with the following:
- SiteLock Automatic Malware Removal
- Unmetered Storage Space
- $100 Google Ad Words Credit
- Free SSL
- Free email hosting
- Instant Account Activation
- 24/7/365 support by phone, live chat or email
*Prices are listed for a term of 36 months but can be selected for 1, 3, 6, 12, 24 or 36 months. Promotional prices only apply for terms of 12 months or more.
Hostgator offers 24/7/365 support on live chat, phone and email. These are accessible to all plans and there’s no extra fee to receive high-tier expert support. They also have a knowledge base that anyone is able to access for information on how to fix issues yourself.
They also offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, not including scheduled maintenance. Approval of any credit is at Hostgator’s discretion, resolved by a support ticket. This means there’s no reimbursement commitment as you might find with some of the other hosts we’ve reviewed in this article, but it’s good to see a cheaper hosting with an uptime commitment.
Hostgator’s main servers are located in Utah and Texas in the United States. Their website states that you cannot choose which data center houses your server, but you can optionally activate CloudFlare, which routes your content through to an additional 23 data centres across the world in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Hostgator is another hosting provider that measures their bandwidth via number of visits. Their basic plan allows for 100,000 visits. Comparatively, this is a great deal, since it beats the other providers discussed in this article and it’s still affordable. SiteGround’s top tier plan has a maximum of 100,000 visits.
Pros & Cons
Hostgator is one of the most well-known hosting providers. It comes from its reputation as a reliable host and although we found very few details on each managed WordPress plan, we found them to be good value for money, given what they do offer. They offer more website visits per month than any of the other providers that measure bandwidth in this way.
Best WordPress Hosting in 2020 (Recap)
Each of the hosting providers has its benefits and drawbacks – it just depends on what you’re looking for exactly. Hosts such as Bluehost and SiteGround are ideal for bloggers and small businesses that perhaps aren’t quite ready for a large investment into their website. On the other end of the spectrum, hosts such as Cloudways, WP Engine and Kinsta can offer huge scalability and are tailored to larger companies or those with a lot more to spend.
WordPress Hosting FAQs
How much does WordPress cost?
The WordPress CMS is free, however, the web hosting account and domain registration will cost you money. Depending on which plan and provider you choose, you could spend from £40 per year up to £10,000 per year and beyond.
How much does a domain cost?
A brand new domain could cost as low as $10 for a year. However, if you’re buying an existing or expiring domain, expect to pay a bit more than this. Prices can vary depending on the quality of the domain you’re buying.
Aren’t WordPress sites just blogs?
No! Whilst you can absolutely use a WordPress site for your blog, it is also the CMS of choice by many businesses, large and small, all over the world.
How do I select a theme for my WordPress site?
WP Themes Point has a selection of WordPress themes to choose from on our site, to help you transform your site the way you want. They’re designed to be easy to use and quick-loading. Each theme includes a step-by-step guide on how to install the theme. For more help on the installation of our themes, see here.