Every couple of years I recommend my top picks for best WordPress web hosts. My picks this year reflect a changing server landscape. The number of websites registered and hosted each year is growing at an exponential rate. Some hosts are keeping up with the demand by adding more server bandwidth and improved customer service, and some are going to get left in the dust.
It might be time to switch web hosts if you experience any of the following:
– Your site is running slowly
– You are about to launch a new website
– Customer service support has diminished
– Site visitors are experiencing unexpected downtime
– Your site has crashed because you had too many visitors
– Your site was hosted by a private re-seller that you are no longer working with (like a developer)
– You have been hacked recently
– Your web host is GoDaddy
Without further ado, here are my pics in order of preference…
BlueHost VPS (Virtual Private Server)
I have had many clients on BlueHost with great results on both their shared hosting and VPS platforms.
At this point, I am recommending only their VPS hosting services since Bluehost is a larger company and their userbase is growing quickly. The Standard package level will be sufficient for most sites.
What I love about BlueHost
– Reliable customer service
– Reliable up time and fast site speeds
– Traditional Control Panel account management
– An emphasis on WordPress support
I have several clients who use WPEngine with great results. They have a very useful and (in my experience) bug free WPEngine Migration Plugin. The Plugin itself is free and available from the WordPress repository.
What I Love About WPEngine
– 24/7 customer service chat support
– WPEngine features a slick and intuitive Dashboard
– One click backup/restore
– Knowledgeable, friendly support staff
– Free one click install SSL certificate installation
I recommend the Personal level. If you expect to see site visits of 100k and upwards a month, you can upgrade to Professional. You can get even faster site speed with an added CDN for a reasonable price if you want best-in-class performance without the cost of a dedicated private server.
WordPress Recommended Web Hosts – 2017
The team over at WordPress.org recommend the following webhosts:
Personally, I’ve had less and less clients using Dreamhost over the past couple of years. There seems to be no particular rhyme or reason to this fact, so my recommendation on them is neutral this year.
I have limited experience with SiteGround, but I have never had a problem with their service and other awesome developers I know think that SiteGround is a great option. They also have a one click SSL installer which is a huge perk with Google’s latest algorithmic update.
If you use another web host that you think should make this list, feel free to drop a comment, and I’ll be happy to check them out!
A Word About GoDaddy!
I know many of you reading this likely got started with GoDaddy!, and as a popular domain reseller network with a massive marketing budget, I can understand why. However, of all the web hosts I have ever worked with, GoDaddy! is the worst.
– As of 2016, GoDaddy quietly removed their Chat support feature. All tech support must now go through email (slow) and phone. The average wait time for callers is upwards of 40 minutes on a good day now.
– Historically speaking, they supported SOPA (bbc.com).
– Tacky ad campaigns that are demeaning to women (think Danica Patrick in a bikini)
– They just made the switch to the current version of PHP in December, 2016…2 years after it came out.
– Potentially unscrupulous domain re-selling. Many people have reported that they searched a very random specific domain on GoGaddy, and came back a few minutes later to find out that the domain had been purchased by a reseller, and was now being sold for an exorbitant amount of money.
The only case I can see where you might stay with GoDaddy! (ethical issues aside), is if you have a ton of domains with them already. If you are up for a move, it can be quite tedious, but it may well be worth it.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of smaller web hosts out there that can still be a viable option to host your WordPress website. Make sure that your host meets the following criteria:
– 1 click Simple Scripts Installer
– Current version of PHP (Version 5.6 as of August, 2014. Supported until December 31, 2018)
– Dedicated 24/7 chat support OR highly knowledgeable, accountable account representative if using a Ma and Pa web host.
Get Help If You Need It
If you need to breakup with your current web host (speed issues, database bugs, etc.), but are worried about losing your site or just don’t know where to start, feel free to contact me. I can help you select a quality web host, and get your site moved over to your new host without any downtime or loss of data. I also offer support for email client moves to G Suite (formerly Google Apps).
Please Note: I am not an affiliate for any of these companies, and don’t profit from suggesting them.