Hosting is one of the essential parts of getting a great WordPress site. However, selecting the best WordPress hosting isn’t as easy as comparing prices and the number of users. Factors like host speed, amount of traffic allowed, storage space, and administrative features all go into deciding which host offers the best deal.
For this review, we’ll look at the factors that make a host better than the others, then explain why our top hosting choice – SiteGround – stands out as the best choice for a web host.
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Quality of your future WordPress host service
Determining the quality of a hosting company is difficult because people often disagree on what quality means. Is it the average response time around the world? The number of positive reviews? The reliability of customer service? How much disk space they offer?
What makes a high-quality host differs between people because everyone has a different reason for building a site. If you’re running a business, you want a great customer support team that can keep your store up and running. If you want to host a vast art gallery, you want lots of storage space for high-quality images.
Given these considerations, the quality of a website is best judged as its overall performance in primary user metrics. We can also think of it as the host not doing anything too poorly. If two hosts are similar, but one of them offers 24/7 customer support and the other doesn’t, most people will pick the option with better support.
Similarly, we want to be sure that a web hosting provider offers complete hosting services, rather than only part of what you need. Some companies may offer a free domain name, a dedicated server, or exclusive web hosting services. An excellent control-panel is a sign of a high-quality hosting service.
One thing not mentioned as often is the types of background website hosting options a company has. For example, you may need Linux hosting for your site to use certain apps. It’s hard to call a company the best hosting option if they don’t provide OS choices on request.
WordPress itself reviews many hostsing providers to see how well those companies match their expectations. After all, they don’t want to recommend bad hosts to their users. Their top hosts are listed here, and that page is always a good place to start when you’re looking for web hosting optionscompanies.
WordPress hosting Hardware
What type of hardware does a hosting company use? A poorly-kept secret of the industry is that many hosting companies don’t own much of their hardware, assuming they own any. In fact, many of them rent servers and network access from other companies.
To be clear, this isn’t fundamentally a bad thing. Using cloud computing can offer a company instant, scalable access to as much bandwidth or processing power as they need. It also gives access to the most reliable networks, which means more uptime.
That said, the hardware a host chooses to use has a significant impact on overall performance and reliability. Features like solid-state drives can allow faster data transfers for large files while using renewable energy sources can appeal to customers who prefer using green technology. High-quality hardware also reduces downtime.
Most companies do not publish the full specifications of their servers online, and the servers themselves may vary. However, you can often find out more information if you contact them directly and ask what they can do.
Unlimited bandwidth is usually sold as a feature, but it’s based on the hardware capabilities the company has. This is always better than limited bandwidth unless you only expect to have a few visitors.
Hosting services Subscription Plans
Almost every hosting company advertises its starter plans. These are the cheapest option (except for any free plan), and they’re ideal for casual websites that don’t need much storage and won’t have too many visitors. This is all many people want or need, so we can take it as a given that the plans exist.
What separates hosting companies are their other plans, which can range from hosting moderately-popular sites with 20,000 visitors or more a month to enterprise-level plans suitable for large businesses.
To some extent, plans help us understand how much the company can do. If they can handle many large businesses simultaneously, they can often handle small websites with no trouble at all. On the other hand, if the company only focuses on personal plans, it may be too small to provide the same level of customer support.
Free site hosting is a great way to try out a service before you start buying from them.
Balancing These Factors
These three factors – quality, hardware, and the plans they offer – are the main criterion we use to judge how good a hosting company is. Which of these factors matters most depends on your needs, but we rate them in that specific order.
Keep in mind that company quality is often the most widely-varying factor. Even if two companies have similar hardware and subscription plans, details like how easy it is to contact customer service can make all the difference for users.
Why We Recommend SiteGround
As of mid-2020, SiteGround is one of just three hosting companies that WordPress particularly recommends. Some estimates put the number of web hosts as high as the hundreds of thousands, which means that a company needs to be especially good to stand out and get this kind of recognition.
Pros Of SiteGround
- Fully-managed hosting and updating
- Maintains a team of security experts that work daily to patch vulnerabilities
- 24/7 customer support
- Uses the Google network for outstanding reliability
- It has a 30-day money-back guarantee
Cons Of SiteGround
- Relatively strict data use policies
- Lower data caps than most companies
Our Verdict, who is the best WordPress hosting ?
SiteGround is a great host for typical websites. By typical, we mean that the site only attracts a moderate amount of traffic and doesn’t have special requirements, such as an unusually large amount of hosting space for holding high-quality pictures. This includes most websites on the internet, so it’s not as restrictive as it sounds at first.
SiteGround’s active management is particularly useful because it means you don’t have to worry about installing updates. At the same time, their in-house security team can fix security flaws faster than almost anyone else. The 24/7 access to customer support means there’s always a way to get in touch with someone if some aspect of your site goes wrong.
When all of that is combined with affordable monthly plans, SiteGround stands out as the best overall choice. However, if you want to grow your site to the point you get more than a few thousand users per day, consider a different host instead.
SiteGround doesn’t quite support large, particularly popular websites, and they could throttle your site or even take it offline if you receive too many visitors, too quickly. The low storage caps – about 40 GB on their best plan – can also be an issue if you want to upload many files.
If you’re not sure which hosting company to go for, keep in mind that SiteGround has a 30-day money-back guarantee on its plans, so you can shut everything down and leave without any financial loss if it turns out it’s not right for you.