Prior to 2013, if a business owner or private entity wanted to build an attractive website, they were pretty much at the mercy of web developers who would sell them every bell and whistle they probably didn’t need. With the rapid expansion of WordPress and the quick availability of customized templates perfect for any application, building a top-notch website with WordPress has never been easier.
Believe it or not, the process of finding the best host for your new WordPress website doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, when you understand the basics of WordPress Web Hosting and have a general idea of your website visitor base; choosing an online solution that is affordable, secure and dependable is a snap. Recently there has been a huge uprising in private, WordPress-focused hosting companies that have significantly raised the bar in regards to hosting, performance, user-friendly c-Panel access and most importantly – competitive pricing.
What Hosting do I Need for my WordPress Website?
The search for the best WordPress hosting service begins by asking the inevitable question; “What do I need in my WordPress hosting service?” Let’s start off by digging into a few of the most important things you NEED to have, regardless of what hosting service you choose.
• Security: When you read most WordPress web hosting review pages, they often begin by highlighting the importance of speed. But in today’s world, the threat of cyber-attacks is extremely real. This is why we suggest you pick a hosting company known for security. Make sure they offer SSL security certificates for WordPress.
• Speed: Yes; it’s vital that your website host offers your site with powerful speed and memory; since today’s consumers are notoriously impatient people.
• Support: If you’re new to WordPress and website maintenance, having a knowledgeable staff ready to assist you with technical support is a not a luxury – it’s a mandatory service.
• Value: It’s awesome if you have an incredibly fast, ultra-secure WordPress website; but it’s got to be affordable also. Look for a WordPress host that offers value as opposed to the cheapest price.
What are the Types of WordPress Web Hosting?
Now that you have a general understanding of what attributes you should be looking for with any WordPress Hosting service, now we’ll throw a curve ball and talk about the different types of services available:
• Traditional Shared WordPress Hosting: Shared hosting is the most common type of website hosting package, where a hosting company divides the memory and space of its servers to host different types of websites. Some require more space, while others require less. The benefit of this type of host is price – typically very cheap. The drawback is less security, slower speed, and reliability issues.
• Managed WordPress vs. Unmanaged: The managed hosting package is offered by a company that will handle all aspects of the setup and hosting for you. They’ll set up server configuration and security settings; pretty much ensuring your site is bullet-proof. The unmanaged host is essentially an unfurnished apartment; where you’re given space but need to fill it.
• Virtual Private Server (VPS): The VPS is a great option for people with high-volume visitors however these types of hosting accounts require quite a bit of user-management. So, if you have your own IT department; awesome! If not, you might want to consider another, easier and more user-friendly option.
• WordPress Dedicated Hosting: This is pretty much the Cadillac of WordPress hosting services. When you want 100% full control over all aspects of your website, and have the resources to effectively manage it in-house, this is where you want to park your online presence.
Rating the Top Five Managed WordPress Web Hosting Services for 2017
Now that you have a clear understanding of what you should be looking for with a WordPress hosting service in 2017, (we hope), let’s take a look at our top five for managed WordPress hosting companies for 2017. Keep in mind, that when ranking these, we’re doing so based on our criteria listed earlier.
Unlike other review sites, we’re not being paid for our findings, so it’s completely open and honest.
1. WP Engine
First on our list is one of the biggest players in the WordPress hosting field: WP Engine. For the average business owner or private individual that is looking for a very secure, efficient, reliable, user-friendly and affordable WordPress hosting service, it’s hard to beat WP Engine. What we really like about this company is their no-holds-barred marketing approach; as they promote their company as “The Best WordPress Hosting” available. However, tough talk aside, they really have emerged as being THE leaders in managed WordPress hosting services.
The company itself is backed with incredible infrastructure that delivers site security, speed and incredible customer support from people that don’t talk over your head or to you as if you’re six years old and trying to figure out a puzzle. They currently have more than 225,000 WordPress sites active on their multiple secure servers. However, since the company is backed by some pretty big financial fish, they have plenty of room for expansion throughout 2017.
WP Engine is different than many other e-tech companies in that they keep their overhead costs down, passing along savings to the customers. They offer many packages, separated by storage capacity, site traffic expectations and the number of individual sites that each account can host. The pricing ranges anywhere from entry ($29.00 per month) to their premium packages ($249 per month).
SiteGround™ has been a leading website hosting company for several years and recently has expanded its product offerings to Managed WordPress hosting. Similar in many ways to a company like GoDaddy.com, but not a HUGE, SiteGround™ is a great option for smaller companies or private individuals who are looking for a dependable and efficient WordPress host that will handle most maintenance for you; including automatic WordPress updates and one-click installs of many WordPress features. Their hosting service is efficient in that they offer daily site backups, 24/7 customer support and dedicated WordPress server isolation. SiteGround™ also offers template upload services for those customized templates you can buy from ThemeForest.com and others; which is a really nice feature for people not wanting to hire a WordPress website developer.
Some of their premium packages offer special features, such as WordPress Staging and GIT support. Their packages are very affordable, starting at $9.95 per month to $29.95. They offer ala-carte upgrades per added memory and user features, so the overall pricing can get expensive when you start adding bells and whistles.
Check out our in-depth SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting Review
Bluehost is an example of a WordPress hosting service that has developed positive reputation because of association, not necessarily due to their body of work. For many years, Bluehost was the official WordPress hosting page recommended by the folks that brought us WordPress.
It still offers many specialized tools and options for customers looking to host WordPress websites, but their user interaction and customer service is less to be desired. Bluehost does offer many WordPress server set-ups that are specifically optimized for WordPress sites with many custom PHP-FPM configuration options available that can really spice up a WordPress platform. They also offer ManageWP, which is a very handy tool for managing WordPress websites, but this comes at a premium price-tag. One nice attribute is the Site-Lock website SSL security packages they offer that keep WordPress sites very safe from cyber-attacks.
Starting packages at Bluehost begin at $24.99 and climb to $169.99 per month, again, based on site volume, memory and the number of individual sites you want to host.
If WP Engine caught our eye because they claim “The Best WordPress Hosting” – imagine our surprise when we learned that Pagely claims to be “The most scalable WordPress platform in the world”. For some people, scalability is the number one feature they are looking for in a WordPress website; as growth for business is a very good thing. However, when you host huge corporate clients like Twitter, Disney, and Facebook; it’s quite possible you’re doing something right.
Pagely is a premium WordPress hosting company, and with a price-tag of $99 per month for their entry-level business account; it’s easy to see why. Pagely is a very good hosting company for people with e-commerce WordPress websites due to their very quick servers (Amazon Web Servers), enhanced security platforms and again, scalability opportunities.
How scalable can you get at Pagely you ask? Well, considering their premium packages tip the pocket book at $1799 PER MONTH, it’s easy to see that this place was built for the big fish and not the small business with monthly payroll or budget restrictions.
Flywheel is one of the newest web hosts in the field but is growing extremely fast. They market themselves at WordPress Hosting for Designers and Agencies, so chances are if your on this site this could be useful to you with all the tools they offer.
If you are a business that sells website hosting services, by hosting your client websites through other hosts, Flywheel might be good for you. This WordPress hosting company exclusively targets creative agencies and website development firms to use their service thanks to a very attractive reseller and advanced site collaboration platform they’ve developed.
The hosting itself is amazing with site speed equal to WP Engine. We actually host DesignRope through Flywheel and have had nothing but great experiences with them. They offer free UNLIMITED migrations whether it be for your own personal site or for client’s sites.
However, their pricing structure is incredibly complex due largely to their business philosophy, and unique billing transfer options for clients. Also known as the “WordPress hosting built for designers” Their pay-per-site billing structure begins at $15 per month and can grow to $75 per individual website. They have bulk plans that cover 10 to 30 websites that start at $100 per month and climb to $250 per month. When I tried to get a custom plan since I didn’t really need the bulk option (I have a few sites) I was told they couldn’t do it. I ended up paying for a year up front with their 10 sites “bulk” plan which also gave me 2 months for free for doing it. Click here if you want to get the same discount!
Have a WordPress hosting company you recommend? Share it with us in the comments below!