The Best WordPress Hosting Providers in the World [By the Numbers + INFOGRAPHIC]

Finding the best web hosting (and shared WordPress hosting usually) has traditionally been the first port of call for those new to self-hosted WordPress. The combination of server administration, low monthly fees, and tempting add-ons (such as free domains) make it an attractive option for new webmasters.

Better still, prices have remained low over the years, while competition between the top WordPress hosting providers has continually driven the functionality on offer to new heights.

That said, it can be a confusing world to navigate at times.

In this article,  we’ll break down the offerings of five of the most prominent WordPress hosting firms, and put real numbers next to different aspects of their performance, to help you choose the best WordPress hosting in 2016. 

But before we dig into the numbers, let’s begin with some background on shared hosting and hosting generally, and the approach we took with our testing. We’ll start with the latter.

Bonus info: There’s a dirty little secret that many WordPress hosting reviews have. Find out what it is. Learn how to tell an honest WordPress hosting review from a fake one. And ultimately, how to pick the right hosting plan for your own unique needs. Click here.
 UPDATE (August 2016). Here’s the short version  if you’re in a hurry and you just want to see who the winners are among the best WordPress hosting plans out there:
Best WordPress Hosting Companies Compared 2016
NamePrice / monthAv. load time *Survey Rating
SiteGroundSiteGround$3.95 **0.41s4.6
WP EngineWP Engine$24.170.37s4.2
HostGatorHostGator$7.160.79s3.5
* from the nearest location
** just for the first year

The dirty little secret of most WordPress hosting reviews

The next time you’re reading some breathless paean to a hosting company, bear this in mind: they offer some of the biggest payouts in the affiliate marketing industry.

This simple fact alone is responsible for a substantial percentage of the “reviews” you’ll come across online, which are often little more than barely researched puff pieces designed solely to get you to click on an affiliate link.

Our approach is fundamentally different. We purchased real plans and performed real-world tests, and in this feature we cover every aspect of the hosting experience, from initial offer presentation and sign-up through to backend administration, WordPress installation options, customer support, and site load speed.

What you’re reading here is not some rehashed piece cobbling together a couple of existing reviews, or the result of a cushy backroom deal with a hosting partner. It is the product of actual research in a live environment.

With that mini-rant out of the way, let’s get cracking!

Some background on best WordPress hosting as a market

Hosting is big business. It’s a $16 billion industry in the US alone and growing at 10% per year. And while it’s hard to isolate the exact percentage of that made up by shared hosting, over 50% seems a reasonable guess.

As the name implies, “shared” hosting means your website will be sharing space on a server with potentially hundreds – or even thousands – of other websites.

A simple way of thinking about this is that it’s the equivalent of renting a cheap apartment. You’ll have very little idea of what your immediate neighbors are going to be like in advance.

 
The actions of those around you will also have a much higher chance of impacting on your life than if you were, for example, securely tucked away in a stately mansion on a faraway hill. Our stately mansion in this scenario would be the world of managed, dedicated WordPress hosting.

Also, just as in shared accommodation of any kind, there will be pooled resources at play. Imagine server RAM and CPU as being the equivalents of plumbing and electricity in an apartment building. If the building’s electricity goes down, everyone’s electricity goes down.

Let’s summarize the implications of all that with a little help from a classic Sergio Leone title:

 
The good: You are not in charge of running the actual server yourself. This can require an unusual combination of skills which you or your team may not currently possess. It is also highly affordable.
The bad: You’re at the mercy of overall usage patterns on the machine you happen to be installed on. If your neighbor somehow breaks the MySQL server, it’s your problem just as much as his.
The ugly: If you find yourself in a bad neighborhood, you could be inadvertently associating with some genuinely unsavory elements. A 2012 APWG survey estimated over 50% of online phishing attempts originate from shared hosting servers.
 
So is shared hosting the best WordPress hosting for everyone? Let’s find out:

Who shared WordPress hosting is a good fit for

If any of the following scenarios are true for you, shared WordPress hosting could be an excellent fit:

  • You are a new business: As a new business, your immediate priority is getting a basic online presence established. Shared hosting is an excellent way of doing that quickly and affordably.
  • You have a limited budget and/or IT resources: Serious hosting and custom development require a major investment of both time and money. If you have neither to spare, shared hosting is a great way of getting started without breaking the bank or needing to hire full-time IT people.
  • Reasonable traffic expectations: If you’re simply looking to get your small brochure site or a basic e-commerce site set up, shared hosting is a great fit. If you are looking to launch a service with thousands of users that will IPO in six months, it is not.
Also remember, despite what the marketing material may say, you will be required to deal with technical issues somewhere along the line. Topics such as DNS settings and cPanel management are going to rear their head. If these areas are brand new to you, expect to have to do some quick learning.

Let’s move onto the typical elements on offer with a WordPress hosting package.

 

Typical shared hosting package components

Like their cousins in the ISP and mobile phone provider space, hosting companies are often far too fond of blind-siding consumers with an overload of options and information in the hopes of forcing a sale.

An example here from the milder end of the spectrum would be the HostGator shared hosting comparison page »»

gator-list2
 
In an attempt to keep things manageable, we’ve highlighted the following most important areas for our overall package comparisons:

  • Cost per month: Hosting companies have a nasty habit of quoting the cheapest of all possible prices as the standard monthly price. To simplify matters, we’re taking the bare-bones, entry-level package from each provider and listing monthly fees at 12-month and 36-month contract durations, so you can compare like with like.
  • Space: The amount of physical storage space listed as being available on the server.
  • Bandwidth: The amount of traffic it can handle per month. Be aware from the outset that “Unlimited” will nearly always mean “Unlimited subject to certain terms and conditions”; just as with space, check your provider’s terms. DreamHost have admirably clear guidelines in this respect.
  • Sites: The number of websites you are allowed to run on the package.
  • Domains: Any free domain registrations on offer.
  • Marketing options: Any significant marketing incentives, such as free Google Adwords or Facebook advertising vouchers.

Please note: All of the sites we are reviewing here offer 24/7 customer support as standard. We strongly suggest you do not even consider a provider who does not offer this.

As we walk through each package, we’ll point out other relevant features on offer on a case by case basis.

We’ve also provided a separate Online Reputation listing per provider, which talks about relevant impartial customer opinions and data coming from our hosting survey.

 

A word on pricing

As you’ll shortly see, the monthly figures offered by our best WordPress hosting companies are extremely affordable. It’s all too easy when assessing shared hosting providers to get hung up on what are ultimately not very significant price differences.

To put things in perspective, all of the providers on our list offer a 24/7 service with 24/7 support for the price of less than three Tall Chai Tea Lattes at Starbucks per month.

Not-chai-tea-latte

(Not an actual chai tea latte.)


 

Our WordPress testing strategy

We decided to go for a stripped-down WordPress install to make comparisons as fair as possible.

Each install used WordPress with the standard Twenty Fifteen theme and all plugins and caching disabled.

For the purposes of testing customer support, we installed each site on a temporary URL with the WordPress hosting provider, and reached out to them for assistance with how to set that up.

WordPress performance

In terms of performance, each WordPress install was tested in the following two ways:

 
Pingdom
Pageload tests with Pingdom: The homepage is loaded from three separate locations and the results tabulated.
LoadImpact
Basic load testing with LoadImpact: We used LoadImpact to simulate up to 40 concurrent users hitting the homepage over a five minute period. The figures you see here are based on test runs with servers geographically close to the WordPress installations themselves. We also sense-checked these results with limited tests on more geographically dispersed servers.
 

A caveat on testing

Due to the nature of WordPress hosting, there is no magic single definitive test that will hold true under all circumstances.

What we were looking for here were illustrative page load times and reasonable overall performance indicators at low usage levels. Remember that your mileage may, and probably will, vary.

The candidates

Let’s move on to our candidates – the (allegedly) best WordPress hosting providers.

Three of the candidates – Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround – are taken from WordPress’ very own shortlist of recommended hosting partners. The remaining are leading providers in the overall and shared hosting spaces.

Here’s the lineup for our WordPress hosting comparison:

SiteGround vs WP Engine vs Bluehost vs DreamHost vs HostGator vs GoDaddy.

Now let’s look at the providers individually:
 

SiteGround

We went for the StartUp package. Although for a generally more WordPress-optimized package, we’d recommend the GrowBig plan. It’s a tad more expensive, but it comes with additional features, free SSL and priority support.

Initial signup with this shared WordPress hosting plan was simple and to the point. The backend impressed as well, with its presentation of a carefully considered initial set of options.

WordPress installation

Getting WordPress up and running with the built-in installer took just a few clicks.

Customer support

As in with the other hosting providers, SiteGround customer support were able to help us get a temporary URL working quickly and efficiently.

Special mention has to go out to the slickness of their customer support software and the extra mile the staff were prepared to go in offering detailed account advice and providing screenshots. (This makes it a great HostGator alternative, for instance, if you want a more refined support environment.)

SiteGround
PACKAGE NAME: StartUp
Cost per month (12 months): $3.95 (for the first year)
Cost per month (36 months): $3.95
Websites: 1
Space: 10GB
Bandwidth: 10,000 visits/month
Free domains: 1
Marketing offers: –

Pingdom test

Server location: Amsterdam

Not surprisingly, the only install on the list hosted on a European server performed particularly well from Amsterdam. Melbourne, on the other hand, was thoroughly underwhelming.

Testing locationLoad time 1Load time 2Load time 3
Amsterdam0.40s0.40s0.42s
New York1.07s1.16s1.15s
Melbourne3.76s3.76s7.75s

LoadImpact test

Server location: Amsterdam

Testing machine location: Dublin, Ireland

Minimum response time: 0.46s

Maximum response time: 0.87s

There were superb times on a geographically close test server, but we experienced more variance with different locales.

SiteGround LoadImpact test

Online reputation

SiteGround rated 4.6 / 5 by users in our hosting survey.
93% of users will extend their hosting subscription when it’s up for renewal.
SiteGround support rated 4.7 / 5 by users.

WP Engine

The plan we’ve tested here is called Personal, and it’s the entry-level plan with WP Engine. As part of it, you’re allowed to have 1 WordPress install, and it can handle up to 25,000 visits a month, so probably more than enough for most new websites.

WordPress installation

The whole sign-up process with WP Engine is very straightforward, and I’m only mentioning it here because getting WordPress installed is an integral part of that initial sign-up. In other words, you don’t need to do any WordPress installing on your own, the WP Engine team takes care of that for you.

At the end of sign-up, you simply get an email with all the access credentials and important data regarding your new site.

Customer support

WP Engine offers some great support options – via helpdesk and chat (plus phone if you’re on a higher pan).

Overall, users report very good quality of WP Engine’s support – currently rated 4.5 / 5 by our survey respondents. And we can only confirm this, as the quick interaction we’ve had with the support team has been nothing but positive (helped us get the test site going after solving a billing issue).

WP Engine
PACKAGE NAME: Personal
Cost per month (1 month): $29
Cost per month (12 months): $24.17
Websites: 1
Space: 10GB
Bandwidth: 25,000 visits/month
Free domains: –
Marketing offers: –

Pingdom test

Server location: California

WP Engine shows great performance when accessing the site from a New York server (even though New York and California are properly away). European connections are also really good. Lastly, Melbourne connections get a bit lower performance.

Testing locationLoad time 1Load time 2Load time 3
Stockholm0.94s0.79s0.77s
New York0.42s0.36s0.34s
Melbourne1.16s1.14s1.13s

LoadImpact test

Server location: California

Testing machine location: New York

Minimum response time: 0.21s

Maximum response time: 0.36s

Really good performance across the whole spectrum. The number of concurrent user connections had little impact on the results.

WP Engine LoadImpact test

Online reputation

4.7 / 5 – that’s how users rate WP Engine’s level of WordPress optimization.
92% of users say they will extend their hosting subscription with WP Engine.
WP Engine reliability ranked 4.5 / 5 by users.

Bluehost

We went for the starter package here.

One immediate point to note is that Bluehost was the only alternative on the list that doesn’t offer a monthly package. Twelve month commitments are the minimum, though that is offset somewhat by a strong money back guarantee policy that I have personally invoked without issue.

WordPress installation

In addition to the standard cPanel options in place, Bluehost’s one-click WordPress installations are handled by a service called MojoMarketplace.

The MojoMarketplace interface for installing WordPress left a lot to be desired. It was possible to install multiple instances accidentally, and overall feedback on what was happening at any given point was inconsistent and confusing. (For instance, when we look at Bluehost vs SiteGround, the latter gives you WordPress installs in just a few clicks.)

On the plus side, this gave us an instant opportunity to talk to support!

Customer support

Service via chat support was fast and friendly and helped us with clearing up the initial WordPress installation problems and setting up a temporary URL to view our site.

Bluehost
PACKAGE NAME: basic package
Cost per month (12 months): $4.95
Cost per month (36 months): $3.49
Websites: 1
Space: 50GB
Bandwidth: unmetered
Free domains: 1
Marketing offers: –

Pingdom test

Server location: Utah

Load times reported via Pingdom were broadly respectable but showed the sort of variance often expected in a shared hosting environment.

Testing locationLoad time 1Load time 2Load time 3
Amsterdam1.8s3.14s1.57s
New York1.01s0.92s0.87s
Melbourne1.73s1.71s1.72s

LoadImpact test

Server location: Utah

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

Minimum response time: 0.62s

Maximum response time: 4.9s 

The variance our initial Pingdom tests suggested seemed to be confirmed here with occasional spikes up over four seconds as load increased.

Bluehost LoadImpact test

Online reputation

Bluehost reliability ranked 3.4 / 5 by users.
23.7% of Bluehost’s customers are first-timers to web hosting.
Bluehost is the first hosting platform ever recommended by WordPress.org.

DreamHost

We selected the standard shared hosting package with DreamHost, which was the most expensive of the base offerings we tested.

Overall account signup with this shared WordPress hosting provider was slick and painless, and I was eager to see how DreamHost’s much-touted SSD servers would perform.

WordPress installation

The one-click install options in the backend worked straight out of the gate and the interface was generally straightforward to navigate.

Customer support

We needed some help in configuring a temporary URL as a subdomain on the main Dreamhost domain. Customer support was easily reachable via chat and able to help us clear the issue up quickly.

DreamHost
PACKAGE NAME: shared hosting
Cost per month (12 months): $9.95
Cost per month (36 months): $7.95
Websites: unlimited
Space: unlimited
Bandwidth: unlimited
Free domains: 1
Marketing offers: –

Pingdom test

Server location: Los Angeles

DreamHost load times were impressively stable across locations and went into an early lead in terms of US response times.

Testing locationLoad time 1Load time 2Load time 3
Amsterdam1.51s1.25s1.26s
New York0.93s0.79s0.79s
Melbourne2.74s2.06s2.18s

LoadImpact test

Server location: Los Angeles

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

Minimum response time: 1.24s

Maximum response time: 1.68s

DreamHost stayed impressively solid throughout our test with just a small range of variance, but there was little evidence of the performance boost promised by SSD disks.

DreamHost LoadImpact test

Online reputation

DreamHost rated 4.3 / 5 by users in our hosting survey.
DreamHost rated 4.4 / 5 by users when asked how happy they were with the value they’re getting for their money.
DreamHost’s user-friendliness ranked 4.2 / 5.

HostGator

We went for the Hatchling package here.

Signup with HostGator was straightforward and we were soon logged into a pretty traditional cPanel setup on the backend without incident.

WordPress installation

Installation was also painless using the built-in cPanel WordPress installer. We did find ourselves having to update themes post-install, but that was just a matter of a few clicks.

Customer support

Again, we reached out to customer support for assistance in setting up a temporary URL. Here we hit our first minor inconvenience with a wait time of eight minutes on chat. They weren’t quite as quick to point us in the right direction as previous providers, but we got there in the end. (E.g. when comparing HostGator vs. Bluehost, the support chat is much easier to access with the latter.)

HostGator
PACKAGE NAME: Hatchling plan
Cost per month (12 months): $7.16
Cost per month (36 months): $5.56
Websites: 1
Space: unlimited
Bandwidth: unmetered
Free domains: 0
Marketing offers: $200

Pingdom test

Server location: Houston, Texas

Again, the initial load times were more than respectable across territories.

Testing locationLoad time 1Load time 2Load time 3
Amsterdam1.31s1.28s1.22s
New York0.93s0.72s0.72s
Melbourne2.47s2.45s2.45s

LoadImpact test

Server location: Houston, Texas

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

Minimum response time: 0.78s

Maximum response time: 0.89s 

There’s a clear difference here in terms of both overall speed and consistency, firmly under the one second barrier and staying there. Tests from servers in other geographical locations were slower but the consistency remained impressive.

HostGator LoadImpact test

Online reputation

HostGator rated 3.9 / 5 by users when asked how happy they were with the value they’re getting for their money.
HostGator rated 4.1 / 5 on reliability .
74% of users will extend their hosting subscription when it’s up for renewal.

GoDaddy

We went for the basic package here.

Despite their formerly less than stellar user interface reputation, signing up to GoDaddy went without a hitch. I recently spoke to a GoDaddy customer representative at WordCamp London 2015, and it is clear that they’ve put a lot of work into the front-end to possibly become the best WordPress hosting out there.

This feeling continued on into the backend, which was a modern take on cPanel and intuitively laid out – the easiest one to navigate so far in fact.

WordPress installation

WordPress installation was a snap with the built-in installer.

Customer support

GoDaddy was the only provider on our list not to support the provision of temporary URLs, so we were forced to set up a standard subdomain here.

Our initial attempt to contact support via chat was less than ideal, with wait times of over 40 minutes reported, so we hit the phones instead. (E.g. when comparing GoDaddy vs. Bluehost, the chat can be accessed much quicker with Bluehost.)

Support here was superb. Extremely friendly and professional, they talked us through the subdomain options and assisted in making changes on the account itself.

This continued on in subsequent chat support tickets that were required to clear up some minor DNS snafus that emerged on the registrar side.

GoDaddy
PACKAGE NAME: basic plan
Cost per month (12 months): $6.14
Cost per month (36 months): $4.91
Websites: 1
Space: 10GB SSD
Bandwidth: 25,000 visits/month
Free domains: 1
Marketing offers: –

Pingdom test

Server location: Arizona

GoDaddy impressed instantly with consistently strong US and European load times.

Testing locationLoad time 1Load time 2Load time 3
Amsterdam1.06s0.93s0.92s
New York0.52s0.42s0.41s
Melbourne3.04s1.82s2.14s

LoadImpact test

Server location: Arizona

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

Minimum response time: 0.63s

Maximum response time: 0.83s

As with HostGator, GoDaddy got down under one second and stayed there. Their performance in other tests wasn’t quite as consistent admittedly, but the numbers posted here are impressive.

GoDaddy LoadImpact test

Online reputation

GoDaddy is the biggest hosting company on this list.
78% of GoDaddy customers are likely to extend their hosting subscription.
GoDaddy’s reliability ranked at 3.8 / 5.

 

Other WordPress hosting options to consider

If neither of the options presented above speak to you, feel free to look into the following companies as well.

Note. They have all been proven to perform nicely for WordPress users, which our hosting survey confirms.

Here are the possibilities along with their important, user-rated ratings:

Best alternative WordPress hosting
COMPANYOVERALLSUPPORTVALUE FOR $RELIABILITY
Kinsta4.9 / 54.8 / 54.3 / 54.9 / 5
Flywheel4.7 / 54.8 / 54.1 / 54.8 / 5
DigitalOcean4.6 / 53.8 / 54.6 / 54.7 / 5
InMotion4.3 / 54.2 / 53.8 / 54.4 / 5

The overall verdict

Upon reflection, we would lean away from Bluehost on the grounds of a clunky backend interface, comparatively poor WordPress installation tools, slightly erratic performance and inflexible long-term contract requirements.

DreamHost, though more than respectable across their service offering and performance, didn’t do enough for us to justify the price differential in their offering.

Each of HostGator, GoDaddy and SiteGround had slightly different plus and minus points, but none were ultimately persuasive enough to pick out a clear winner. We were extremely impressed with the price point, setup process, backend and performance of all three providers.

On the managed hosting side, WP Engine has proven to deliver a really good performance, and it should be more than enough to handle any new or growing WordPress site.

In Olympic style – to highlight that all services are surprisingly good – we’ll hand out medals accordingly:

 Update. Taking our newest survey findings into account, we’d actually recommend you to go with the GrowBig plan at SiteGround. You get WordPress-specific features, free SSL, priority support, plus a great track record with our survey respondents. 

Conclusion

We’d like to stress that none of the shared WordPress hosting providers here failed any test. The overall standard was refreshingly high. Furthermore, all providers also offer a full range of more advanced hosting options if you start to outgrow the entry-level packages.

Our hope is that the information above will help you do two things:

  1. provide a framework to distinguish between high-profile providers, and
  2. use their overall offerings as a sensible reference point if you are comparing with other hosting services in the market.

We’d love to hear more about your experience in finding the best web hosting for WordPress in the comments below. Get in touch!


Finally, one more look at the lineup, the pricing, and a quick overview of basic service offerings by our featured WordPress hosting companies:
 
SiteGroundWP EngineBluehostDreamHostHostGatorGoDaddy
SiteGroundWP Engine logoBluehostDreamHostHostGatorGoDaddy
Plan testedStartupPersonalStarter packageShared hostingHatchling planEconomy
$ / month *$3.95 ***$24.17$4.95$9.95$7.16$4.99
$ / month **$3.95$24.17$3.49$7.95$4.86$3.99
Websites111Unlimited11
Space10GB10GB100GBUnlimitedUnlimited100GB
Bandwidth10,000 visits per month25,000 visits per monthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Free domains101101
Marketing offers$50$100 Google Adwords
VISIT:
* 12-month contract
** 36-month contract
*** just for the first year

Infographic

best wordpress host

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* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and then purchase the product, we’ll receive a small fee. No worries though, you’ll still pay the standard amount so there’s no cost on your part.

All current updates + design by Karol K.

  • Chris Finiksopoulos

    It would be awesome if you could write an article about VPS compare

    • We would probably do that, however getting different accounts here and there would be more expensive 🙂

  • I have been using Hostgator for 5 years (Business plan) and remain satisfied. Good uptime, very few problems and fast loading are some of the things I like. Recently they have switched to MojoMarketplace for the one step WordPress install and it is awful. A confusing interface and when I delete the WP installation in my test subdirectory it also deletes the installation on my main domain the old c-panel app never did this. This is one of those cases of money over customer service that we are seeing in too many places now.

    • I’m very happy with HostGator too.
      After more than 5 years of Baby plan, I’m on a dedicated server since a few months.
      Uptime is fantastic and I love the technical assistance.

  • Bryan Jackson

    I might have considered this to be a worthwhile comparison until I saw that GoDaddy was in the line up for evaluation which pretty much nullifies this as being anything near a serous study.

    • What is it that leads you to distrust the study because of GoDaddy being in it? Please?

      • Bryan Jackson

        I guess my reply din’t post so I’ll give it one more try – I never said I distrust GD, I said they are not a company to be mentioned in any serious discussion about hosting because their platform is sub par to say the least. Maybe there is a GD spy lurking who had my reply removed so if you are not reading this, then it will further prove my point because only a sub par service would go to great lengths to quite unfavorable comments

        • christopher carfi

          Hi @disqus_4WoXEtvG1n:disqus . (Disclosure, I work for GoDaddy. And not a spy. Well, if I was, I couldn’t tell you anyway. You know how it is with spies.) A *lot* has changed over at GoDaddy since 2011. The results here are, frankly, pretty consistent with what we’re seeing from other neutral, third-party assessments from folks like ReviewSignal (http://reviewsignal.com/blog/2014/11/03/wordpress-hosting-performance-benchmarks-november-2014/ ) and CloudSpectator and others. This review was on our shared/cPanel infrastructure, which has been totally revamped over the last 18 months. If there are particular, current issues you’re having with any performance-oriented things, ping me at ccarfi@godaddy.com and we’ll look into them. (And forward-referencing this as an answer to @Joshua Mans:disqus’s comment below as well.) By the way, thank you, @a9poker:disqus for doing a thoughtful job on this analysis.

          • If godaddy will be the only hosting provider I will have to change my career.

            By the way have you heard about nshost? You should try to see what a great hosting service it should be 😉

            I don’t work at nshost or in not affiliate with then in any way except I move all my clients from godaddy or hostgator to them😉

        • Suefour profit

          Thats the thing Bryan, companies and corporations can’t stand when people say negative things about them, whether it is said online or offline. For this reason, yes they do have spies, very large teams of them in fact. The difference is that instead of calling them spies they call them “public relations”. Mr. Carwifi down there is an example. Want to test it out further? Go on Twitter and say something bad about a company, then tag them in it. More often than not, you’ll have a response within the hour, or a serving from their lawyers in your email.

    • John Owen

      Also known as NoDaddy

    • Brian Rice

      I had the same opinion, but I have heard they have really turned things around with their hosting. I haven’t tried them in the last 4-5 years but I might give them a shot. Also Bob Parsons (AKA: Elephant Killer) stepped down as CEO, which was a step in the right direction, although he is still the biggest shareholder.

      I have been with hostgator and they have declined. I have clients with Bluehost and Siteground. Both are solid. Siteground feels a bit more modern/current. Example – Siteground supports “Let’s Encrypt” a free SSL service.

  • I am a user of Hostgator, Bluehost, Hawkhost and One.com. I am very happy with all but HG and bluehost are working great when it comes to load time and uptime.

    One.com is quite well in all aspect, but their chat support is just awesome and even better than the big players mentioned in the article.

    I loved this post as it is clear unbiased whereas most of the reviews I read online seems to be either get paid for the review or they are affiliates.

    Loved the infographic as well.

    You have done a great job Tom.

  • fatherb

    This would possibly be a reliable review if it weren’t for the fact you included GoDaddy, easily the worst place to put a WordPress hosted site on. Just moved a client’s site from GoDaddy and got a 400% boost in speed. The biggest problem with them is the number of sites that share your ip. We were on an ip address with 3000 other sites on it!

    • Bryan Jackson

      I feel your pain. As many clients as I can save from them, I will. As many as I can persuade to never go near them the better. Of course they are not entirely without merit. I do enjoy the .99cent domain sales which is pretty handy for scooping up 20 or so domains at a bargain price for testing.:)

      • Thanks for feedback Bryan! We will make sure that from time to time we will go even deeper and test those hosts again/add others. While Tom shared his own experience with GoDaddy, he also linked to different external sources for reviews, so people can check for themself, those along with real users comments here, should help our visitors decide what is the best for them 🙂

    • Thank you for the feedback, would be awesome for our readers if you can back up the comment with data, if you blog a small case study about your experience I am sure that will be helpful.

  • Mike G

    Curious why my host, WPEngine, is not included. It is certainly a hosting site, but are they a shared hosting site? What is the difference? Were the contenders selected from data that shows the most popular hosting sites?

    • Hey Mike,

      WPEngine is a managed WordPress hosting company, I don’t really know how they infrastructure looks like, probably for lower plans is still shared hosting, however due to the pricing difference, is hard to compare with companies like hostgator/siteground .

      • I’m pretty that’s exactly right Ionut: I’m pretty sure the lower spec WPEngine plans are run on shared infrastructure. Nice post btw. 🙂

        • 2000 MB (2 GB) SSD Cloud
          Monthly traffic unlimited
          Shared Ip Address LiteSpeed
          1 domain hosted
          Daily Backup Files & MySQL
          Unlimited email accounts
          Control panel – cPanel Cloud

          How this sound for 1.7 usd / month sounds 😂😂😂

  • John Owen

    Oh how the mighty BlueHost has fallen

  • Joshua Mans

    Why is GoDaddy on this? And why would something like webhostingbuzz not be included? I can attest over and over again that WHB beats GoDaddy hands down. Have moved a few clients away from GD and NetSol to WHB with fantastic results.

    • Hey Joshua,

      This is not about the fact that GoDaddy beats WHB, we just picket 5 the most popular ones for now and analyzed those and Tom had a good experience with GoDaddy, which was posted along with different online reviews as well.

      Here is what article say “In this article, we’ll break down the offerings of five of the most prominent shared WordPress hosts “

      • Joshua Mans

        I was just using WHB as an example. The fact that GoDaddy was included is in fact troublesome. Not to mention that the title of your article amounts to clickbait because it’s not comprehensive, and it’s clearly not “the best” I’d expect GoDaddy to not be on any article that describes “The Best…” of anything.

        • Kind of agree with you on the title, maybe most popular would have been more objective. Again I can’t say that Tom tested GoDaddy for years with different sites/accounts, but as he says his experience was a good one and me as a blog owner, I trust the writers .

          However having the comments enabled, just allow everybody to share their thoughts, experience and I am sure the readers will make the right choice.

  • Greg Smithhisler

    I have websites at three of the five hosts reviewed and three of them are multisite installs. My experience has been good to excellent with both features and customer support. SiteGround is the latest host in my experience and I really like the extra features they offer but support, while still excellent, has not been as responsive as the support at BlueHost or even HostGator. Somewhat surprisingly, I’ve also had a great experience with test sites at NameCheap hosting (price-wise a real bargain), which is the only host I’m currently using that allows the Softaculous automatic backups. I also manage a small site hosted at Arvixe and they have also been reliable and responsive, although the biggest downtime and server headache has been on Arvixe. All of these are small sites and the challenge, as noted above, is determining the best “fit” for the type of site you want to build. With that said, I know that If I was starting over I would start with SiteGround, both for price and features, and that’s my first recommendation to anyone who asks. But with this one caveat: the reviews on TrustPilot linked above highlight problems with the autorenew feature–and I can’t see it readily in my customer dashboard (like I can at HostGator, for instance) and I can’t turn it off either. I also got caught with what I considered an early autorenew charge at an incovenient time, just like the disgruntled reviewer did. And since SiteGround requires a minimum one-year payment it can be a chunk of change. Bottom line: read the “Terms of Service” and other policy statements for ANY hosting company you’re considering BEFORE you give them your card number. If necessary, don’t be afraid to call and ask questions–this goes double if your building a multisite.

  • Oh my goodness, wish I had seen this yesterday. Went with iPage and boy howdy are they amazingly difficult to work with. I love all the intertwining data in determining the best solution that works for myself or my clients.

  • I’m not going to say anything bad about any of the hosts on the list, other than to say that it is the most popular doesn’t usually mean the best and I would encourage people to look far beyond these five. I mean McDonald’s sells a whole bunch of cheeseburgers, but no one is saying that they make the best cheeseburger. I work with Nexcess, and as a shared WordPress host they offer great service and support and succeed within a few niche areas. Smaller hosts with a specific focus will usually offer a much better level of service and support than bigger hosts who see clients purely as a numbers game. That’s how I feel.

  • Cesar S Falcao

    In my experience A Small Orange beats in speed and support, by far. Very cheap shared plans, all with SSD.

  • Reading Wench

    It’s interesting that this article doesn’t bother to mention that Bluehost and Hostgator are owned by the same parent company, EIG. Also, the companies mentioned are hardly the “best” shared hosting companies that offer WordPress.

  • Martin

    Hi

    Thanks for the very useful Post

    I’m trying to decide if a Low-End (approx $30 a Month) Managed Hosting Service is likely to save me valuable ‘time’ over a Low Cost Host Service. I want to spend 90% of my Time Marketing, not learning WP or dealing with WP related Issues. I’m envisaging Shared Server Hosting (even if I go with a Budget ‘Manged Hosting’ Service).

    I’m a complete WordPress Beginner and think that – what I’ll need most of all – is fast, reliable help, advice and assistance with any Hosting Issues I encounter. The speed, quality and patience of the Support Team therefore seem to be the primary consideration.

    Alternatively, I could go with one of the Low Cost Hosts you’ve reviewed, but take out some sort of 3rd Party WP Annual Support Contract, which might mean I could save even more time, by being able to call on assistance – not only with Hosting Issues – but also for other WP Challenges not directly related to Hosting.

    Any idea on how much a Third Party Contract of this type might cost, where I could buy such a Contract, and if this idea makes sense?

    Also, would a Managed Hosting Plan mean I could side step the cost of a Site Monitoring Security Service Plan, or would it still be advisable to have one of those anyway.

    I’ve only looked at one Managed Hosting Service Provider (who specializes in WP Hosting) at an entry level $30 Per Month, but was appalled when my Pre-Sales Inquiry took took 4 Days to get a response (though admitted that included a Weekend). You’d think that if any Customer Inquiries should be handled ‘fast’ it would be those from prospective new customers. They failed my Responsiveness Test so I wont be using them. The (much Cheaper) Hosts you’ve reviewed seem much more on the ball.

  • Cloe Martin

    Learnt a lot about wordpress shared hosting providers, all thanks to your
    blog. This is a new chapter in the web hosting book. Looking forward
    to it.

    • I’m glad you find this article useful. Thank you for reading us and gook luck! 🙂

  • Clearly you didn’t hear about nshost. Don’t know about blue host but host gator is one of the worst services you can use I moved all my clients from hostgator to nshost and since then my life become much enjoyable.

    You should try other services not only leaders which in 99.99%of the time offers shity services.

    By the way your website is not responsive and it’s really a pain to browse our from a mobile phone.

  • In my experience DreamHost is always good because, they keep their hardware and site updated to modern standards and their customer support is fantastic. They offer SSD drives on all plans even on their shared plans which give an added speed boost to your site. Even the best guarantee won’t stop your site going offline – they are giving me 100% uptime even though they have promised 99.9% uptime. However, their web hosting admin panel is custom designed, which is clean and easy-to-use.

  • MOHAN NAYAK

    I am a user of HostGator, as of now I am not facing any problem. their uptime score and Server response time are just fantastic.

  • Juan Rodrigues

    I’m new to the hosting world. I wanted to go with Hostgator but i read on reddit that they are EIG and their support is very bad.
    I am not very experienced with Linux so I want a very good support from my host. After long search on the internet I decided to try with Rosehosting.
    Does anyone have experience with the Rosehosting services?

    • a.janos

      I have been with RoseHosting for more than 6 months, and I am very satisfied with their level of service. Highly recommended.

  • Michael

    Ok, I have to put it out there. How in the hell did bluehost get the bronze based on those numbers? That is ridiculous, like seriously?!?!

    As the amount of users jumped up the whole system got erratic with a 4.9sec load time when it hit 30+ users. The platform wasn’t scaling quick enough to cover the load and 4.9sec is an eternity online. I can guarantee you all of the 30+ users having to wait almost 5sec would have clicked away. This alone should have made them come last. But it didn’t just happen once but twice during the scaling process (seriously?).

    Where as GoDaddy was one of the most stable and consistent platforms tested here. It consistently stayed under 800ms and scaled impressively as the load increased and got down to a very respectable time of almost 600ms at 40 users and it didn’t have to deal with that load just once (as every other test you did), but stayed stable for 3 consecutive 40 user attempts. Now that’s impressive and it looked to be getting quicker the more attempts at that load. I wonder what would have happened if that continued?

    If that’s not what you want your hosting to do then you’re in the wrong business.

    I know there are lots of GoDaddy haters out there, but it looks like they are getting their stuff together (finally) and the numbers don’t lie…Lol. The Siteground figures were impressive though.

  • I am a former site developer for commercial clients, and I have used Bluehost for at least ten years. I stuck with them because of their good customer service and reliable server performance. But the last several months I have experienced many, many server resets as I worked on client sites, causing me to lose data repeatedly. They also went with that useless MojoMarketplace. But the main thing is server performance, which is not consistent at all, followed by a degradation in technical support among their first level responders. They are not up to speed on technical issues and have to ask someone else every time I contact them. So after well over a decade of delight w/ Bluehost, I am looking for smaller, faster, better – elsewhere.

  • Greatly balanced post that makes a nice & smooth read! It provides nice insights on best WordPress hosting, keep up the good work!

    • Hey, we are glad it helped. Thanks for reading us.

  • Impressive comparative review. This is very well written in detailed information. These web host providers are truly the top of the game. However, have you considered WP Engine? I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome article by the way!

  • David London

    So I guess Managed WordPress hosts are left out from this piece. I’m surprised WP Engine and StackPress were not included. These guys focus solely on WordPress.

  • I think sitegroud is good but i recommend bigrock beacuse of live chat support and many awesome feature

  • Adam

    Hi ,I have also researched about hosting providers .you can check that here http://shoutmyidea.com/best-hosting-for-wordpress/

  • I’m using Bluehost from more than one & half year. And I’m happy with Bluehost. If any beginners Want to start their blog then I think bluehost and siteground is best for them.

  • Hasan Raza

    Cloudways also provides excellent WordPress managed cloud hosting, the best things about Cloudways is that they offer 1-click setup, user friendly easy to use console and cloud scalability.

  • Hi! Thanks for giving us new suggestions.

  • Hi! We have featured InMotion here, you can check it out: http://www.codeinwp.com/blog/siteground-vs-bluehost-vs-hostgator-vs-inmotion-hosting/

  • Hi, thanks for the suggestion. It’s good to hear new names that are not so known. 🙂

  • nhmtnbkr

    I honestly don’t know how you guys can seriously include HostGator, GoDaddy or Bluehost in this mix. HostGator is one of the most abysmal
    hosting providers on the market and their customer support is terrible, very hard to reach and frequently useless when you do get them. They
    recently had a WordPress breach that should never had occurred, if they had the property server-side security measures in place. I’ve used them for a number of client installs, as well as my own staging server and totally regret ever believing any of the positive reviews on them. Bluehost is
    little better, likely because they’re both owned by Endurance International – they too suffer from rampant performance issues and have
    atrocious support, forcing me to help two clients migrate to other providers. GoDaddy once was decent, many years back, but grew too big and their hosting performance has suffered because of it.