Which WordPress Web Host?

So you want to blog about the world’s greatest superheroes? Or maybe you’re a web developer with a client who runs a clothing store and wants to move their stock online?

You’ve gone ahead and downloaded the latest version of WordPress and all you need now is a host.

Too easy. But which one?

We’ve put together comprehensive reviews of five of the most popular web hosts – Page.ly, Bluehost, Go Daddy, DreamHost and WP Engine – investigating their features, usability, speed and reliability, cost and support to help you decide which host would work best for you.

To read the reviews in this series:

Web hosting review

Choosing a host can be a confusing affair when there are so many options out there. Some have big names (think Go Daddy and it’s gross Super Bowl ad – it’s best to watch with the sound off) and there are smaller hosts you may not be familiar with that are still getting their feet off the ground.

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Then there’s the decision on what kind of hosting you need – shared hosting, virtual private server (or VPS) dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, and the newest kid on the block, managed WordPress hosting.

Page.ly web host review
Arizona-based Page.ly has been on the web hosting scene since 2006.

And how much are you willing to pay for your hosting? Will you fork out $3.95 a month for something basic or would a dedicated server for $249 a month better suit your business’s needs?

There’s a lot to consider and to help you choose the right host for you we’ll be posting our series of web hosting reviews over the next fortnight.

In putting together this review, we bought our review accounts just like any other customer – via the sign-up link on each of the host’s websites. We didn’t let the hosts in on the fact we were reviewing their services to avoid any special treatment.

WP Engine web host review
Texas-based WP Engine hosts tens of thousands of the 75 million WordPress sites and apps in the world.

There’s no one size fits all approach to hosting – what a mommy blogger with a dozen hits on her site in the past month needs is very different from a commercial WordPress theme and plugin company. An occasional blogger doesn’t necessarily need 10GB of storage, a traffic allowance of 25,000 visits a month and daily backups – such as WP Engine’s basic Personal plan offers.

We are in no way affiliated with any of the web hosts we are reviewing. We won’t be telling you which host you MUST sign up with. Our reviews will explore what each host offers to help you decide what works best for you.

At the end of the series next week we will be posting a final review comparing each of the hosts and what they offer.

So stay tuned for the first review tomorrowPage.ly.

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Comments (33)

    • Looking forward to this series but would like to see some data rather than just opinions as everyone has good and bad experiences. Which host actually offers the most for the money and has the best overall feedback?

  1. Wait until you’re moved to Hostgator’s new ‘upgraded’ servers. You won’t be so happy with HG then. I recommended HG to everyone until they began ‘upgrading’. Now I’m very anti HG.

  2. I am a current HostGator user. Have been for about a year. I used rackspace before, but it just began to cost too much. I feel like I may have been experiencing what you are referring to. I was getting 20 sec+ load times the other day and they told me it was because of the upgrade in progress. Still getting those load times. Is that what you are talking about? Who did you move to?

    • Willee, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. The homepage of my main personal site was taking 60+ seconds to load on the new HG servers; secondary pages took 4 or 5 seconds. I’d spent a lot of time optimizing the site so those load speeds were previously 3 or 4 seconds for the home page and near instant for secondary pages (homepage slider slowed it down). On namecheap I’m running faster than ever.

      My clients who’ve been moved to the new servers are also experiencing slow response times, errors and slow load times since the server upgrades.

      The new HG servers have SSD database storage but tighter resource limits and a different PHP configuration. My guess is that those new servers will be shared among more people.

  3. I’m about to move from HG as well. They locked my sites for 30 hours with no notice last week because I was overloading their CPUs, supposedly. They blamed everything under the Sun. I asked if their servers could be configured better, and I got a terse reply. Their service had been fine, but I can’t have those types of issues. I’m looking closely at Site5. Media Temple is good, too. WP Engine is too premium for my budget, considering my needs.

    • I looked around and consider Heart Internet’s Hybrid servers (they look very tasty) but went with a namecheap reseller package. I’m happy with namecheap.

      HG has gone downhill since EIG took them on. I looked at Bluehost (another EIG family member) but they couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t ‘upgrade’ their servers soon.

  4. I’m looking forward to hearing hosting recommendations for a growing multisite network—5,000+ members & 1,500+ sites. Most review posts like this only address single WP installations.

    We’re already on our own dedicated box, but it may be time to investigate load balanced hosting.

  5. Really affordable and worked for me the last two years: http://justhost.com/
    Maybe also an option to review :)
    I have also a dreamhost account, but I must say the head-start they had 5 years ago is very small today. The admin interface is still great but they haven’t changed it the last five years, while the other companies catched up rapidly.

    • Yes! Glad to see someone else mentioning Site5. I absolutely love them as a hosting company and they have hosting locations all over the US and in several other countries.

  6. its nice that you have a brought this topic which is important for me as a wordpress user and enthusiast. i would also like to see review about some more managed wordpress host such as wpwebhost, lighteningbase which provide very cheaper wordpress hosting. Also Wpoven and synthesis which are loaded with some exclusive features. As I want to make more informed choice for my new site.

  7. I made a small test between WPEngine, Websynthesis and Page.ly Hosting sites using webpagetest.org and pingdom tools and page.ly won, also sent at the same time 3 questions and WPEngine answered me 4 days later, Websynthesis 2 days later and Page.ly 3 hours later..

    Before switching I was using Google Speed Services as a CDN with a VPS and with Page.ly and Amazon I got the same speed and better qualification 97/100. They have their own CDN but I haven’t use it.

  8. Rackspace Cloud Sites is $150 per month and can handle an almost unlimited amount of traffic if you can pay the scalable cost

    Media Temple Grid Service is $20 per month for the basic set up.

    Both have good support and scale to meet demand.

  9. Any chance of a similar series for reseller accounts? I’m guessing a lot of the wpmu user base has at least looked at reselling before. And I’ve found that a reseller account is great for making dev sites with their own cPanel, which I then migrate to a shared host for the client. But I’ve been unsuccessful in finding unbiased (and non-affiliate) reviews in the last 2 years.

    Thanks for this great series!

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