Best WordPress Hosting Providers Compared [By the Numbers]

This comparison of the best WordPress hosting providers is based on pure performance data, actual speed test experiments, user ratings from the largest WordPress hosting survey to date (skip to learn more about our testing methodology), plus our own experience running websites regularly visited by 670,000+ people each month.

Dig in to find out which firm is going to be the best WordPress hosting match for your individual needs:


Need help?

WordPress hosting can be a complicated thing, and we understand that.

So we just want you to know that we are here to support you. If you find yourself stuck while setting up your site, or have any WordPress hosting question at all, we’re here for you and we’re happy to help. Feel free to shoot us a comment or reach out via social.

What makes a host great + why

Bonus: The dirty little secret of most WordPress hosting reviews
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.

Also, the next time you’re reading some breathless paean to some best WordPress 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 WordPress hosting 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!

Basically, the web is chock full of hosting recommendations and glowing reviews proclaiming this company or the other to be the best WordPress hosting around. But how do you really know who’s 100% honest with their recommendations, and why Company A is higher rated than Company B by some reviewer?

Well, you don’t.

So if you really wanted to find out where specific web hosting companies come in the race, you would have to do two things:

  1. Ask the actual users of some popular hosting platforms what their experiences are.
  2. Do some testing yourself on multiple hosts and measure the performance you’re getting.

We did both:

a) We found out what real users think of best WordPress hosting
In our point of view, you can’t really name some company the best WordPress hosting around until you’ve seen that company rated highly by real users (and a lot of them) – people who have tested the company themselves and have gotten top results out of it.

So to find out who actually comes on top according to the users, we’ve conducted the biggest WordPress hosting survey to date. That survey has taught us a lot about the nature of WordPress hosting, what people’s expectations are and who’s best at meeting them.

(If you’re interested to see the whole thing take place, click here.)

So that’s the first element in our puzzle to discover the best WordPress hosting in the market. The other element: performance tests. For that, check out section b):

b) We did performance tests ourselves
For each hosting firm, we’ve signed up for their most popular or entry-level WordPress hosting plan and launched a basic WordPress website on it.

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

Each install used WordPress with the default theme, a pack of sample data, plus a couple of popular WordPress plugins (Contact Form 7, Wordfence, Yoast SEO) enabled.

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.

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

  • Pageload tests with Pingdom: The homepage is loaded from three separate locations and the results tabulated.
  • 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.

Disclaimer. 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.

Also, you can check out our live stats page featuring the current performance data for a shortlist of the very top hosting selections for WordPress.

THE OVERALL RANKINGS

Top 10+ best WordPress hosting platforms
HostPrice from (monthly)User ratingGo to
Bluehost$2.953.0View Details
SiteGround$3.954.6View Details
GreenGeeks$3.95N/AView Details
A2 Hosting$4.494.6View Details
InMotion Hosting$4.994.3View Details
HostGator$7.953.7View Details
GoDaddy$8.603.5View Details
DreamHost$9.954.3View Details
WP Engine$23.334.2View Details
Kinsta$25.004.8View Details
* from the nearest location

The best WordPress hosting providers compared (in full)

1. SiteGround (www.SiteGround.com)

No list of best WordPress hosting could be complete without SiteGround playing a prominent role. The company has been making a name for themselves in the WordPress community for a while now. And not without a reason. Their hosting platform is strong when it comes to for-WordPress optimized servers, plus they offer managed WordPress hosting at price points that are unheard of (read: you won’t find a cheaper managed host of the same quality anywhere else).

What’s also worth pointing out is that SiteGround is one of the few officially recommended hosts by WordPress.org.

For the tests, we went for the StartUp package. Although for a generally more WordPress-optimized package, we’d recommend the GrowBig or GoGeek plan. They are a tad more expensive, but come with additional perks such as advanced caching (custom-built by SiteGround), staging, premium wildcard SSL certificates, and free PCI compliance – should you want to run an e-commerce store.

The initial signup with this 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. There really isn’t anything more to say here … the installation process really was as seamless as possible.

During this setup process, you also get to choose your server location. There are five data centers available – in USA, Asia and Europe.

Customer support

SiteGround offers what they call “unmatched” support (via chat, phone, tickets, social media), and it’s hard to argue with that, honestly. Apart from being able to access your account and fix any issues, the support agents are also knowledgeable about WordPress and can help you out with a range of other issues that might not be strictly hosting-related.

In our little test, the SiteGround customer support was 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
Cost per month (36 months): $3.95
Websites: 1
Space: 10GB
Bandwidth: 10,000 visits/month
Free domains: –
Free SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt

Uptime and response times

It’s hard to say anything bad about SiteGround’s response times or uptime, really.

Responses in the range of 500ms (over a three-month period) are more than you can hope for with many of the other hosts in the market, and the uptime record is nothing short of great.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
SiteGround uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
100%99.99%100%
SiteGround response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Amsterdam

Not surprisingly, since we’re hosting our test SiteGround site on a European server, it performed particularly well from Stockholm. Melbourne, on the other hand, was a bit underwhelming.

Just as a note; it was us who chose the European server location, and if your audience happens to be somewhere else, you can select a different location (data centers in USA, Singapore, Milan, Amsterdam, London), which should ensure fast loading times.

Map viewTable view
SiteGround load times av. of six months
New York: 1.03sStockholm: 0.74sMelbourne: 2.66s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Amsterdam

Testing machine location: Dublin, Ireland

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

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
SiteGround load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.46s0.87s
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.

Back to the ranking table

2. A2Hosting (www.A2Hosting.com)

A2 Hosting is a relatively new player for us when looking for the best WordPress hosting. The company has been making a name for themselves in the WordPress space lately thanks to their affordable prices and very good performance (compared to other similarly priced hosts).

The company has more than 10 years of experience in the hosting world, and seems to know a thing or two on how to deliver a high-quality product. Their WordPress web hosting offering is set on a couple of principles: being developer friendly, offering high security, good performance, and a WordPress-optimized environment.

WordPress installation

All WordPress hosting accounts with A2 Hosting come with WordPress preinstalled. You can also install new instances of WordPress through Softaculous’ one-click installer.

Customer support

A2 Hosting prides itself on giving you access to “24/7/365 Guru Crew Support.” They claim to hand-pick their support team and only work with the most knowledgeable technicians.

When contacting the support, you can use live chat, email or even phone. The agents don’t disappoint when it comes to basic WordPress knowledge and, based on our quick test, they are ready to recommend some solutions even if the question you have for them isn’t entirely hosting-related.

A2 Hosting Logo
PACKAGE NAME: Lite
Cost per month (12 months): $4.49
Cost per month (24 months): $3.92
Websites: 1
Space: unlimited
Bandwidth: unlimited
Free domains: –
Marketing offers: –

Uptime and response times

A2 Hosting offers a satisfactory uptime, with only some slight hiccups here and there.

The response time could have been better, with the average over the last three months at 1.1s. The alarming detail here is that the response time has been on the rise continuously, which you can see in the following graph.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
A2 Hosting uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
99.17%99.99%100%
a2 response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Michigan

A2 Hosting gives you three main server locations to choose from: Michigan, Amsterdam, and Singapore. The loading times are okay, but they could be better. To improve the performance, A2 lets you integrate your server with CloudFlare Free CDN.

Map viewTable view
A2 Hosting load times av. of six months
New York: 1.23sStockholm: 1.98sMelbourne: 3.58s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Michigan

Testing machine location: Ashburn, US.

A2 Hosting’s ability to withstand load is pretty good and surely puts it up there among the best WordPress hosting platforms in this segment. The results are a bit worse the more load we put on the server, though.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
A2 Hosting load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.60s1.01s
A2 Hosting Load Impact test

Back to the ranking table

3. WPEngine (www.WPEngine.com)

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): $28 (promo)
Cost per month (12 months): $23.33 (promo)
Websites: 1
Space: 10GB
Bandwidth: 25,000 visits/month
Free domains: –
Marketing offers: –

Uptime and response times

WP Engine has a near perfect uptime record with no surprises.

The truly impressive thing, however, is their average response time. Over the last three months, it’s at 186.29ms. We literally couldn’t have asked for anything more.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
WP Engine uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
99.99%100%99.99%
wp engine response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Michigan

WP Engine shows consistent performance when accessing the site from all over the globe, with only slight differences here and there.

Map viewTable view
WP Engine load times av. of six months
New York: 0.76sStockholm: 1.02sMelbourne: 1.30s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Michigan

Testing machine location: Portland, OR

Incredibly good performance across the whole spectrum. The number of concurrent user connections had little impact on the results, and the times speak for themselves.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
WP Engine load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.13s0.15s
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 WordPress web hosting subscription with WP Engine.
  • WP Engine reliability ranked 4.5 / 5 by users (the top rank among the best WordPress hosting firms here).

Back to the ranking table

4. Kinsta (www.Kinsta.com)

Kinsta is a boutique hosting provider for WordPress that focuses mainly on optimized managed hosting setups. However, them being “boutique” doesn’t mean that they can’t handle the load.

In fact, Kinsta has the full power of the Google Cloud Platform behind it. They take Google’s infrastructure and make it more accessible and easier to use. Kinsta doesn’t use the traditional cPanel UI, but instead gives users a custom panel that puts focus on what’s important while hiding everything else.

The fact that this host is “managed” means that it’s Kinsta who handle every server-management-related task for you.

(We have a separate review of Kinsta here.)

WordPress installation

As you’re setting up your account, you can tell Kinsta to install WordPress for you. All you need to do is tick one box.

Customer support

Kinsta offers 24/7 chat and ticket support. The representatives know WordPress and can help with anything you might be struggling with.

Plus, the fact that you don’t have to deal with cPanel will also reduce the number of times you need to contact support in the first place.

kinsta logo
PACKAGE NAME: STARTER
Cost per month (paid monthly): $30
Cost per month (paid yearly): $25
Websites: 1
Space: 3GB SSD
Bandwidth: 20,000 visits/month
Free domains: 0
Marketing offers: –

Uptime and response times

Kinsta’s uptime is nothing short of exceptional. There are hardly any problems with it, and the numbers speak for themselves.

The response times are perhaps even more impressive. The 157.68ms average over a three-month period isn’t something you see every day with other hosts.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
Kinsta uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
100%100%99.99%
kinsta response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Virginia

The loading times are okay across the board – sitting at above the 1 second mark, except for connections from Australia, which could be better.

Map viewTable view
Kinsta load times av. of six months
New York: 1.68sStockholm: 1.32sMelbourne: 3.28s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Virginia

Testing machine location: Ashburn

The response times are very impressive, but this has to be due (at least partly) to the close proximity of the connecting servers.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
Kinsta load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.01s0.07s
kinsta load

Online reputation

  • Rated 4.8 / 5 overall by our survey respondents.
  • Rated 4.3 / 5 for “value for money” by our survey respondents.
  • Rated 4.8 / 5 for “WordPress optimization” by our survey respondents.

Back to the ranking table

5. BlueHost (www.BlueHost.com)

We went for the basic package here. As you can see, a very cheap WordPress hosting option – a shared WordPress hosting plan, to be exact.

One immediate point to note is that Bluehost is 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): $2.95
Websites: 1
Space: 50GB
Bandwidth: unmetered
Free domains: 1
Marketing offers: –

Uptime and response times

Bluehost offers nearly perfect uptime records with no problems along the way.

On the response times side, there’s an increase around the beginning of August, and it sticks around, effectively increasing the response time average to 803.62ms.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
Bluehost uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
100%100%99.99%
bluehost response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Utah

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

Map viewTable view
Bluehost load times av. of six months
New York: 0.93sAmsterdam: 2.17sMelbourne: 1.72s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Utah

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

The variance our initial Pingdom tests suggested seemed to be confirmed here with occasional spikes up over four seconds as load increased. Far from what we’d expect from a firm aspiring to offer the best hosting for WordPress.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
Bluehost load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.62s4.9s
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.

Back to the ranking table

6. DreamHost (www.DreamHost.com)

We selected the standard shared hosting package with DreamHost, which was the most expensive of the base offerings we tested. Still, a very popular WordPress website hosting in the market.

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: –

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Los Angeles

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

Map viewTable view
DreamHost load times av. of six months
New York: 0.83sStockholm: 1.34sMelbourne: 2.32s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Los Angeles

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

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.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
DreamHost load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
1.24s1.68s
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.

Back to the ranking table

7. InMotion Hosting (www.InMotionHosting.com)

InMotion offers a lot of hosting options, but we wanted to look into the ones that are optimized for WordPress specifically, so we went into the “WordPress hosting” section and selected the plan called Launch . This one is the most affordable.

The great thing about it is that you get SSD disk space without any additional fees (SSDs are known for their superior performance compared to the other hard disk technologies). Also, you can have 2 websites on this plan, and you get a free SSL certificate.

WordPress installation

Another surprise with InMotion is that you get WordPress preinstalled as part of your WP hosting package. All you need to do is tick the right checkbox during the checkout process. In other words, you don’t actually need to do handle WordPress installation on your own, it’s all being done automatically. Also, during install, you get to select your preferred “max speed zone.” There are two settings: east and west. Depending on which you choose, the site is going to be faster in some parts of the globe vs the others.

After everything is done, you’ll get the access details to your new WordPress dashboard, which is all that’s needed, honestly.

Customer support

Right after you sign up, you’ll realize that InMotion has a lot to offer in terms of support and helping you to launch your website. There are tens of different guides and tutorials on various hosting-related matters. There’s also a separate knowledge channel all dedicated to WordPress.

But that’s not all, the support chat is available 24/7. We’ve tested it by asking some domain-related questions regarding the temporary URL of the site. The person on the other end was able to solve those at first try. Really cool.

inmotion hosting logo
PACKAGE NAME: Launch
Cost per month (12 months): $4.99 (promo)
Cost per month (24 months): $3.99 (promo)
Websites: 2
Space: unlimited
Bandwidth: unlimited
Free domains: –
Marketing offers: $250 of free advertising credits ($100 Google AdWords, $75 Bing advertising, $75 Yahoo advertising)
Free SSL certificate

Uptime and response times

The uptime records with InMotion Hosting can be a bit wonky from time to time.

When it comes to the average response times, the inconsistencies have straightened out over time and are quite okay now. The three-month average is at 546.61ms.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
InMotion uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
99.56%99.98%99.94%
inmotion response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Los Angeles, CA

InMotion shows good performance near the sever location and also reasonably good results for Europe and Australia. This isn’t the fastest WordPress host on this list, but surely nothing we’d call uncomfortable.

Map viewTable view
InMotion load times av. of six months
New York: 0.62sStockholm: 0.92sMelbourne: 2.24s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Los Angeles, CA

Testing machine location: Portland, OR

InMotion’s performance is very good in the mid range of load, but there are some hiccups at the beginning (when there are only 6 active users) and at the end (with 24 users). For the most part, the performance remains steady. Overall, more than enough for normal usage and server load.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
InMotion load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.78s1.32s
inmotion load test

Back to the ranking table

8. HostGator (www.HostGator.com)

We went for the Starter 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: Starter plan
Cost per month (12 months): $7.95
Cost per month (36 months): $5.95
Websites: 1
Space: unlimited
Bandwidth: unmetered
Free domains: 0
Marketing offers: $100

Uptime and response times

HostGator is one of the very few companies on this list that have managed to pull off a perfect uptime record. No problems across a three-month period.

When it comes to the response times, they’re stable, but could be a bit better. Currently, the three-month average is at 583.51ms.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
HostGator uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
100%100%100%
hostgator response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Provo, Utah

The load times are kind of all over the place. There are some good results here, but you can come across a holdup quite frequently as well. Surely not the top performing host on this list.

Map viewTable view
HostGator load times av. of six months
New York: 1.35sStockholm: 2.97sMelbourne: 4.03s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Provo, Utah

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

There’s some jumping around here in terms of load impact times, but overall, the results are okay. Tests from servers in other geographical locations were slower but the consistency remained impressive.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
HostGator load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.60s1.86s
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.

Back to the ranking table

9. GoDaddy (www.GoDaddy.com)

We went for the basic package here.

Despite their formerly less than stellar user interface reputation, signing up to GoDaddy went without a hitch. One time I spoke to a GoDaddy customer representative at WordCamp London 2015, and it was 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): $8.60
Cost per month (36 months): $4.90
Websites: 1
Space: 10GB SSD
Bandwidth: 25,000 visits/month
Free domains: 1
Marketing offers: –

Uptime and response times

GoDaddy’s uptime has its problems from time to time, although still nothing too brutal. You can expect your site to offer you good-enough performance year round, especially for the price you’re paying.

As for the response times, they’re really impressive. The average response time across a three-month period is at 161.73ms, which is on par with the other far more expensive hosts on this list.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
GoDaddy uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
99.51%99.99%99.88%
godaddy response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Arizona

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

Map viewTable view
GoDaddy load times av. of six months
New York: 0.45sAmsterdam: 0.97sMelbourne: 2.33s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Arizona

Testing machine location: Palo Alto

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.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
GoDaddy load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.63s0.83s
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.

Back to the ranking table

10. GreenGeeks (www.GreenGeeks.com)

GreenGeeks is an interesting alternative for those of us who consider themselves being environmentally-conscious. The platform has been built with the principle of “maximum use” in mind, which means that the architecture makes it possible for no resources to be wasted anywhere.

Also, the company claims that for every amperage they pull from the grid, they re-invest three times that in the form of renewable energy via Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

On the WordPress side of things, GreenGeeks offers WordPress-specific plans at affordable prices, and with lots of features.

All of their servers use Solid State Drives (giving you better loading times), there’s customized caching technology, you get a free SSL certificate to use, and you can integrate your setup with Cloudflare. Here are all the details about GreenGeeks’ platform.

As a great added bonus, you also get a free domain name for a year with your setup.

WordPress installation

GreenGeeks gives you handy 1-click WordPress installs, so there’s not much you have to do by hand.

Apart from that, you also get automatic updates, which should make managing the site on an ongoing basis more hassle-free.

While setting up your account, you also get to choose from data centers in Phoenix, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal and Amsterdam.

Customer support

You can use three main support channels with GreenGeeks: email, phone, and chat. Probably the best option of the three is the live chat – available 24/7. The phone support is available during working hours.

GreenGeeks also gives you access to a knowledge base and a range of tutorials on their website.

greengeeks
PACKAGE NAME: WordPress hosting
Cost per month (12 months): $5.95
Cost per month (36 months): $3.95
Websites: 1
Space: unmetered
Bandwidth: unmetered
Free domains: 1
Free SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt

Uptime and response times

GreenGeeks offers good uptime, with only short periods of unavailability. Overall, very satisfactory.

As for the response times, there is a slight increase over the last weeks, which has brought up the three-month average to the level of 510.54ms.

UptimeResponse time over a three-month period
GreenGeeks uptime
June 2018July 2018August 2018
100%100%99.7%
greengeeks response

Loading times (six month average)

Server location: Amsterdam

Since the server location is in the EU, you can expect the loading times to be good for the European market. When it comes to the US, the load times are very satisfactory as well, with not too much delay. Australia is a bit under-performing.

Map viewTable view
GreenGeeks load times av. of six months
New York: 1.22sStockholm: 0.73sMelbourne: 2.86s

Load impact test (multiple requests to site)

Server location: Ashburn, USA

Testing machine location: Ashburn, USA

Those results are slightly inconsistent, and tend to go up and down randomly as the number of concurrent users grows. However, the number still don’t rise to a deal-breaking level, so they’re still acceptable.

Key valuesDetailed load impact chart
GreenGeeks load impact tests
Minimum response timeMaximum response time
0.16s1.51s
greengeeks loading test

Back to the ranking table

The overall verdict

So who wins the battle to become the best WordPress hosting overall?

That’s a tough question, but:

  • 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.
  • Both HostGator and GoDaddy had slightly different plus and minus points, but none were ultimately persuasive enough to pick out a clear winner. We were impressed with their price point, setup process, backend and performance though.
  • 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.
  • (Oh, and there are also some free WordPress hosting options available on the web that we haven’t talked about here, but we’d generally not advise you to entrust them with any website built for any business purpose. As the old rule of the internet says, “if you’re not paying for the product you’re using, then you’re the product.”)

In Olympic style – and to highlight that all of the following need to be considered the best hosting service for WordPress – we’ll hand out medals accordingly:

Launching a new website?
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, the best satisfaction scores, plus a great track record with our survey respondents.

Also, another thing that we didn’t point out earlier is that SiteGround is very strong when it comes to their security solutions. For instance, they act very quickly whenever a new vulnerability in WordPress gets discovered and a patch needs to be released (usually done on the same day).

In other words, this is the best WordPress hosting that you can buy in 2018.

Already have a larger site with an established audience
Do you have a larger site with an already established audience? Or maybe your site *is* your business and you can’t afford to have any problems with your host later down the road? In this case, you best look into managed WordPress hosting, and particularly: WP Engine – the leading managed WordPress hosting solution out there.

WP Engine allows you to host WordPress websites *only*, which means that their entire server infrastructure has been optimized to provide the best WordPress experience possible.

It’s a little more expensive, but it’s the right choice for a serious WordPress-based project (website on the rise, e-commerce store, popular online publication with a lot of traffic, and also good for developers who just want to avoid any problems in the future when working on client sites).

If you want something a bit more affordable, consider the GoGeek plan by SiteGround ($11.95 / mo.) – also a managed hosting plan, and also a quality one.

We’d like to stress that none of the 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 WordPress host in the comments below. Get in touch!

* 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.