As a web agency with 30+ active hosting accounts, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what defines a great web host.
These are our best WordPress hosting providers, quality web hosting without breaking the bank.


Best WordPress Hosting: Our Top 5 – May 2017

Web Hosting Company - click to view site/reviewCompany LogoOverall RatingPrice/mo.Disk SpaceOne Sentence Reviews (Top 5 only)Shared HostingCloud HostingDedicated HostingReseller Hosting
SiteGround Web Hostingsiteground29.3/10$3.95 (Temporary 60% Discount) - 30 day money back guarantee!10 GBPowerful, Fast, + Affordable = Win!YesYesYesYes
Hostgator Web Hostinghostgator8.7/10$2.78 (up to 60% off using our coupon - MANGOGATOR)UnlimitedCheap + Unlimited Disk Space!YesYesYesYes
A2 Hosting Web HostingA2HostingLogo8.5/10$3.92 (down from $7.99)UnlimitedUnlimited Disk Space!YesYesYesYes
InMotion Web Hostinginmotion8.3/10$5.99 (25% off)UnlimitedExperienced, reliable, slightly more expensive.YesNoYesYes
DreamHost Web HostingDreamhost8/10$7.95UnlimitedGreat performance & supportYesYesYesNo

WordPress Hosting: The Details

WordPress is probably one of the most recognizable names in the content management system industry. It’s free availability, intuitive user interface, and versatility is why it is one of the most popular CMSs for numerous bloggers, e-commerce retailers, social networks, and businesses all over the world.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that is written in PHP. A CMS allows website owners to customize the layout, design, and presentation of content on the webpage in addition to managing the content itself. Anything that appears on a webpage—texts, images, videos, MP3s, gifs—can be edited and customized through a CMS.

From themes and font styles to navigation panels and URLs, the best WordPress hosting enables users to choose how they want their services and products presented to customers, and shape how customers engage with their websites.

Is WordPress easy to use?

Website owners with only a basic knowledge of coding can use WordPress. That being said, it is not a website building program, but a CMS. The difference means that once it is installed, the admin still will need to go through the steps of selecting a template and theme, and adding content. Novice users will find that the embedded instructions and tips clearly indicate where certain information should be placed. A view option allows users to check on the development of the website throughout the creation process.

Who can benefit from WordPress?

WordPress is optimal for small businesses, entrepreneurs, bloggers and other entities that understand the value of having a website but do not need the scalability that other, major retailers might require. Since it is free, it is also an excellent choice for businesses that are just starting out or for businesses who want to maintain low overhead costs. The simple user interface also makes the best WordPress hosting ideal for people who do not have extensive knowledge of website development.

Versatility

WordPress has thousands of templates to choose from, so setting up a unique website that reflects a particular brand image is easy. In addition, the intuitive user interface facilitates customization, so users have the power to get a website to look exactly as they envisioned.

In addition to numerous themes and layout templates, there are also options to include RSS feeds, URLs that are SEO-friendly, sticky pages and more. Extensive plug-ins are available to add or enhance functionalities.

Format Limitations

For all its versatility, it should be noted that WordPress works best for blogs, e-commerce and other retail-related websites. Compared to other CMSs, such as Drupal, WordPress is not as unlimited in scalability and customizable features. Since the user develops a website based on a template, it is a given that some limitations are built into the system, and after extensive usage of WordPress and familiarization with the templates, users might begin to recognize certain templates and recycled designs on other websites. That being said, highly-customizable CMSs like Drupal are more difficult to use and require more advanced knowledge of PHP skills, whereas WordPress is well-suited for general users.

SEO-Friendly

One of the many overlooked but important perks of WordPress is that their templates encourage SEO-friendly designs and structures. SEO—search engine optimization—when applied to website development entails making a webpage easier for search engines to crawl and pull up in search. Because search engines do not have the reasoning skills of humans, they rely on headings, URLs, site maps, and other webpage components in order to parse the information and determine its relevance to the user’s search.

WordPress supports SEO-friendly content design. The URLs they provide (which the site also checks for uniqueness) are not hindered by excessive numbers or symbols that are unrelated to the page content and that can confuse search engines. In addition, the various templates with indications for headings and meta-descriptions further support SEO. WordPress also has a built-in taxonomy system, so users can tag relevant keywords and related subjects to increase the connectivity of their webpage to other items tagged with the same keyword, and through that method, increase the online presence of the website overall.

Fees and Installation Costs

The basic WordPress package is free, and it comes with access to thousands of templates and dozens of plug-ins. There are many businesses that are able to eliminate the overhead cost of creating a website by sticking to the standard WordPress package.

There are, however, premium packages, as well as premium plug-ins and themes, all of which can end up costing some money. Novice users and businesses just starting out may not need to spend money to purchase these advanced features, but as the website grows, it may become necessary to upgrade to a premium package for the best website performance.

Installation

There are a couple ways to install WordPress. It can be downloaded as a zip file from the WordPress website itself and installed manually, which can take a few hours and can be technically difficult. For installation that is fast and easy, choosing a hosting provider is recommended. Many of the best WordPress hosting providers offer one-click installation, which means that installation can take as little as a few minutes.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very easy to use with intuitive user interface
  • Basic features are available as an open-source, free package
  • Versatile design functionalities
  • Scalability optimal for adding content or keeping up with increased visitor traffic
  • Quick and simple installation
  • Compatible with most hosting platforms

Cons:

  • Free themes are sometimes overused
  • Feature-heavy themes and/or extensive plug-ins can slow down site performance
  • No auto-backup
  • Minimal support—most support is from fellow users or from hosting providers

System Requirements

WordPress is based on MySQL and PHP. The current version requires MySQL 5.0+ and a PHP version of 5.2.4+. For web servers, Apache or Nginx are recommended. The hosting service used for WordPress will also need to support the Apache module mod_rewrite, which can alter a URL’s appearance. Most hosting providers are compatible with WordPress. Most Linux hosting providers and Windows servers can support WordPress.

FAQs

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source CMS that allows users flexibility in designing and managing webpage content. From blogs and portfolios to e-commerce sites, it is a versatile website designing application.

How does WordPress compare to other CMSs like Drupal or Joomla?

WordPress is certainly the most popular CMS, and some estimates suggest that 20 percent of websites worldwide operate using the WordPress platform. Joomla is a comparable CMS although it is less well-known and therefore has fewer support networks. Drupal is a more advanced CMS system and outperforms WordPress in terms of customizations. However, Drupal requires knowledge of coding whereas WordPress does not.

Is it necessary to know how to code to use WordPress?

The short answer is no. The simple and user-friendly interface allows novices and people who know none-to-little code to customize various features of the website. Most of the templates have areas where users can fill in information (such as about, history, etc), and drag-and-drop capabilities and image-upload functionalities mean that users do not need to know HTML or other coding language.

Can shared hosting support WordPress?

WordPress is compatible with just about any hosting provider. The web server requirements for WordPress are PHP 5.2.4+ and MySQL 5.0+. Shared hosting should be able to support most WordPress sites, but as more content is added to the site, and with the use of additional plug-ins, the site may outgrow the capabilities of the shared hosting provider. Businesses and e-commerce retailers will especially need to consider a dedicated VPS or upgrading from shared hosting to maybe a managed WordPress hosting plan. To find the best hosting solutions for your website, see the list of recommended hosting providers.

Is WordPress easy to install?

Many hosting providers let users install WordPress with just one click using an install wizard. It also is possible to manually install the CMS. Most websites for bloggers, small businesses, and -commerce retailers should be fine with one-click installation.

The one-click installation is very convenient, but there are certain quirks to look out for. One-click installers may have default settings that may not be optimal for all users. For website owners who want control over certain database settings, for instance, manual installation is preferable.

What is hosted versus self-hosted WordPress?

There are two types of hosting services for WordPress, hosted and self-hosted. Hosted WordPress can be installed from WordPress.com, and because it is hosted, the implications are that someone else will have control over management of your website. This can be a convenient option for small websites and businesses that do not expect to spend many resources on maintaining the website. The limitations of this option are that website owners cannot install additional plugs-ins or themes.

Self-hosted WordPress can be downloaded from WordPress.org, or installed on a personal hosting account, or with the installer offered by the host provider. The self-hosted option gives website owners and managers free reign over all aspects of the website and full customizable capability.

Are there security features included with WordPress?

WordPress is relatively secure, but because it is so popular and easy to access, it is more vulnerable to hacks. For better security measures, main administrator accounts and content management accounts should be kept separate. There are also security plug-ins available for free. These plug-ins can detect malware, file changes, failed log-in attempts and more.