The most common, popular and robust web publishing platform is WordPress. It’s free, but you’ll need to pay for hosting. I have used WordPress across a variety of different servers and one question I’m always getting asked is: “Who is the best WordPress host?”
Of course, it depends on what you’re looking for but here I’ll specify some excellent shared and VPS hosts for WordPress.
The best WordPress shared hosts
If you are just starting out as a blogger I could not recommend a better host than Bluehost.
Bluehost shared hosting is cheap, has many powerful tools and the support is very impressive. The replies from support may not come super quick but you do at least get a human answering your questions not copy-and-paste answers. BlueHost is one of the largest web hosts, hosting over 450,000 domains. Highly recommended.
Second to Bluehost, and almost as equally highly recommended, is Hostgator.
Hostgator was founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley, who got a taste for hosting from his dorm room at college. Much bigger than Bluehost, HostGator accounts for roughly 1% global internet traffic with over 2,000,000 domains. They came up many times as being a reliable host with good support.
More info about the best WordPress shared hosting here.
The best WordPress VPS hosts
If you’re serious about blogging and you want to increase the speed and reliability of your website, you may consider VPS hosting.
Shared hosting is cheap but you share the resources so speed and security can be compromised. A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the next step up. Your website will sit on a computer which is partitioned into multiple servers each running its own OS.
The best VPS host for WordPress, in my opinion, is Dreamhost.
Dreamhost offers reasonable prices, good support (they’ve gone over and above the call of duty for me!) and great recommendations. Some people may prefer cPanel or Plesk but Dreamhost have their own control panel. Prices start at $15/month. You can change your RAM levels from the back end. Just slide a slider to change the values – no reboot is needed!
Use IWANTADISCOUNT7 as a coupon code to get 50% off when you sign up to Dreamhost.
Rackspace runs on a series of clusters so protection and redundancy are in built. Multiple versions of your site are created so, if a server goes down, your site will always stay up-and-running. They have their own cloud control panel. Cloud Sites™ start at $149/month. Rackspace is used by the famous technology blogger Robert Scoble.
Another cloud-based host is VPS.net. They will move your site for you! cPanel has to be purchased if you want it. An example price package would be: 25GB disk space, 500GB network transfer for an average 125k visitors for £40 per month. VPS.net is used by SEO blogger Joost de Valk (Yoast).
More info on VPS hosts for WordPress here.
But first, what do you want to look out for in a host for your WordPress blog?
Essential requirements for a WordPress host
If you are running a WordPress blog it should be on a Linux host running Apache. I have run WordPress on a Windows IIS host and it is possible but problematic.
Otherwise, the requirements specified on the WordPress site are for PHP 5.2.4 or greater and MySQL 5.0 or greater. But you’ll be hard pushed to find a Linux host that doesn’t provide these!
A further requirement is the mod_rewrite Apache module for creating SEO-friendly page URLs. Again, most hosts with Apache will have this module. But with some hosts you have to jump through a few more hoops to enable pretty permalinks – adding code to your .htaccess file, for example. However, all the hosts recommended here will give you custom permalinks easily and efficiently – you can set them in the WordPress administration area and don’t have to get your hands dirty with code.
A good WordPress host is one that will allow you to tweak and customize the installation without problems.
Other requirements for a WordPress host
- Reliability: you will want to find a host with good uptimes. Google will penalize a site that is often down.
- Support: I like 24/7 responsive email support but some people prefer to talk with people on the phone which can be more expensive
- Server software: you may want a host that offers cPanel and a one-click WordPress install service like Fantastico – some host may offer their own software
- Space/CPU/Bandwidth: you get what you pay for when it comes to space, CPU and bandwidth values
- Price: the hosts I’m recommending provide good value for money. Always ensure you are aware of the exact price you will be paying. You can Google for coupons or offers to get some money off I will be providing one of these later.
How about you?
What host do you use for your WordPress site? What are the pros and cons?
If you have found this article useful, please feel free to tweet or vote for it using the buttons below. Also, if you do follow any of the links in this article and purchase some hosting, I may be reimbursed for the recommendation. However, have no doubt that I have personally used all these hosts and I wholeheartedly recommend them!