Looking for the best WordPress hosting for your new site? This article is for you.
Already have a WordPress hosting company? This is where I try to convince you to switch.
I’ve tried to make this the most honest and helpful WordPress hosting review on the internet.
I’ve been building WordPress websites for more than 10 years. In that time, I’ve built and worked on more than 500 WordPress websites and blogs. I’ve dealt with every major hosting company out there and had a range of good and bad experiences.
This is my attempt to summarize those experiences and recommend a single hosting company that I’ve found to be the best when it comes to WordPress hosting.
If you stumbled upon this page when searching for WordPress hosting reviews, you may have noticed that there are a lot of opinions out there. I’ve read a bunch of these reviews and noticed a few things that disappointed me:
- Most WordPress hosting reviews are written by people who don’t have experience developing WordPress websites. – I’ve built hundreds of WordPress sites on every major hosting company.
- Most reviewers recommend a bunch of different hosting companies instead of just one or two. They often just list and link to all the big hosting companies and present them as being equally good choices. How is that helpful? – I recommend a single hosting company for your WordPress site, instead of just giving you a list.
- Pretty much every hosting company has an affiliate program and some of them pay big commissions to people who promote them. I’ve noticed that the companies who pay the largest commissions tend to be the ones these reviewers recommend most. This seems questionable to me, especially since the companies who pay the biggest commissions have been the same companies I’ve had the most problems with. – I recommend a company that pays a lower referral fee than average because they have truly been the best hosting company I’ve dealt with. I’d rather earn small commissions by writing an honest review than selling out and giving you a recommendation I don’t believe in. Honesty over profit has always been my long-term business strategy, and it’s worked out really well for me and my clients.
A lot of people will tell you that the best WordPress hosting company is whichever company pays them the highest affiliate commission. I’m not going to do that. I will lose money because of that, but that’s ok with me.
In the name of transparency, I’ve partnered with InMotion Hosting. If you sign up for a hosting account at InMotion, they give me a referral fee. However, that is NOT the reason I recommend using InMotion Hosting, and I’ll prove it to you below.
OK, let me tell you a story.
I’ve been building websites for 10 years. I’ve used every major hosting company out there. Bluehost. Hostgator. Dreamhost. WP Engine. All of them. I’ve used some of them on client websites. Some on my own blogs and websites. We’re talking about over 500 websites on a multitude of hosting companies. I’ve had plenty of good experiences, many average experiences, and a few really really bad experiences.
Here are some things you should know about web hosting.
1. It’s a commodity. Mostly.
Website hosting isn’t a super complicated business. I know because I used to run a hosting company. Basically, a company buys a bunch of servers and then “leases” you space on one of those servers to host your website. Yes, there’s more to it than that–these companies have to hire engineers to manage their server architecture and they develop or license software that manages your hosting account and they make efforts to keep your website secure and online.
So, how do you choose between different hosting companies?
Even though WordPress hosting is a straightforward business, the details that separate different hosting companies are really important.
You should choose a hosting company that:
- uses high quality servers. Not mediocre servers they bought in bulk.
- offers good pricing.
- has great tech support.
- offers reliable service and uptime for your site.
- offers website backups to keep your site safe.
- uses the latest technology.
2. Bigger isn’t better!
You’ve probably seen people recommend the big hosting companies like Bluehost and Hostgator (possibly because those companies pay out huge referral fees to people who recommend them). What you won’t usually see people talk about is the fact that those companies are now owned by the same parent company.
In fact, a lot of the biggest hosting companies are now owned by one giant conglomerate. Bluehost, Hostgator, Hostmonster, A Small Orange, FatCow, FastDomain, JustHost, Site5, WebHost4Life, and more than 40 other hosting brands are actually owned by a single publicly traded corporation called Endurance International Group.
A lot of these brands started out as independent companies, and some of them used to be great hosting companies. I used to have an account with Hostgator and Bluehost, and I thought Hostgator was particularly good (before they were acquired by EIG).
After these companies were acquired, I started to notice problems with the sites that were hosted there. My websites were getting slower. Some of my client’s websites started crashing. Bluehost even lost one of my client’s websites completely! The client was furious. I was furious. Luckily I had a backup of the client’s site, because Bluehost wasn’t helpful at all. We had to move hosts.
I started doing research and noticed a pattern. These brands started out good, but service and speed and reliability (and pricing) seemed to be getting worse over time. It makes sense that cramming more and more websites onto the same aging servers would result in a deterioration of customer experience. Bluehost and HostMonster now share the same 50,000 square foot datacenter in the middle of Utah.
Bottom line: Competition is good for customers. A publicly traded company is loyal to its shareholders before anyone else.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money. I have multiple businesses and I strongly believe in and support entrepreneurship. But I also believe in fairness and honesty and delivering great customer service. You don’t have to sacrifice service for profit.
That’s why the hosting company I recommend is a private employee-owned company that has a vested stake in providing excellent service to its customers.
3. Details matter.
4. You’ll read a lot of biased reviews online by people who are paid big bucks to promote big hosting companies. Most of those people have never run a web hosting business or built hundreds of client websites.
Oh, did I mention that I used to run my own hosting business? It’s true.
Back in the good old days, when Hostgator was king of the hosting world, I signed up for a “reseller” hosting account with them. That basically allowed me to run my own server (their server) and sell hosting plans to my clients on that server. It was a good business. My clients were happy. I was happy. The sites were fast. I lost a little bit of money at first, but eventually was able to give my clients good service at fair prices, and even turned a monthly profit. I liked Hostgator very much. All was well in the world.
Until January xxx, when I heard a rumor.
Easy WordPress setup.
Bonuses and ad credits.
Get WordPress Pre-installed.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that this is my attempt at writing the most honest WordPress hosting review online. I pointed out the inherent conflict of interest that can arise when hosting companies pay people for referrals. So, to prove that I’m not just recommending InMotion Hosting because they’re paying me a referral fee, I’m going to give you the option of signing up for InMotion with a regular (non-affiliate) link. That means, if you click the regular link and sign up for an account with InMotion, I don’t get a referral fee. If you click the affiliate link
I’ll give you a choice of two different links:
– One is an affiliate link to InMotion Hosting. If you click that link and sign up for a hosting account, I get a referral fee.
– The other is a regular link to InMotion Hosting. If you click that link and sign up for a hosting account, I get nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero dollars. True story. Seriously. Why would I do that? Why would I go to all the trouble of writing this comparison post and risk not making any money from it? So you can trust that this is not just another BS sales pitch or glowing review of a hosting company in the name of getting paid.
If you google “WordPress hosting review” you’ll see countless people recommending giant/crappy hosting companies who pay out huge referral fees but offer mediocre service and sneaky pricing. Cough cough bluehost cough. Honestly, I’d rather lose money than compromise my ethics.
I’m giving you the option of removing my own financial incentive here, just for the sake of objectivity.
Maybe just talk about how great InMotion is, and then have a section called “but, what about Bluehost and Hostgator and the other big hosting companies?”
Also link to WP Engine review just based on my experience hosting MonthlyExperiments.com