Looking for WordPress hosting recommendations online is a bit tough. Sure, you will find loads of reviews from various publishers – including us – but how can you know which of the hosts go beyond that initial positive impression and deliver good experience long term?
That’s the kind of stuff you can only learn from actual users and website owners. This is where our WordPress hosting survey comes into play! ⚽
This sort of survey isn’t a new thing for us. We’ve been doing them since 2016, and every year we’re discovering something new about the WordPress hosting market!
The way we conduct the WordPress hosting survey every year is pretty similar. It always runs very quietly in the background, with no advertisements and without social media shares – basically without any active promotion at all. We want to keep things under the radar just to avoid any potential interruptions or spam entries.
The survey ran as a pop-up on three of our sites. Here are the questions that were asked:
- Which web hosting company do you use?
- How likely are you to recommend it?
- Which hosting are you planning to switch to?
- What do you value the most about your hosting?
- How many websites do you manage with your host?
- How much do you pay for hosting each month? ($ USD)
I’m going to show you the results in just a minute, but before I do that, I just wanted to mention that if you’d like to analyze the data yourself, you can do so by downloading the raw CSV file at the bottom of this post. 📥
🧐 The main differences vs our previous WordPress hosting surveys
I already spilled the beans a bit in the intro above, but here’s the bigger story:
As you probably know, hosting is a topic that’s very important to us. First off, we have reviews and comparisons of most of the popular hosting options available out there. Starting with our main comparison charts of the top companies, and then going into all sorts of niches and angles:
- 🆓 Best Free WordPress Hosting
- 🏎️ Fastest WordPress Hosting
- 💸 Best Cheap WordPress Hosting
- 🤝 Best Managed WordPress Hosting
- 🤔 Shared vs Managed WordPress Hosting Compared
- ☁️ Best Cloud Hosting for WordPress
- 📊 Best High-Traffic WordPress Hosting
- 💼 WordPress Hosting for Agencies
Secondly, affiliate income from various hosting firms adds up to a significant chunk of our overall revenue. People trust our hosting recommendations, and this carries a huge responsibility. Knowing this, we want to learn as much as we can about the hosting landscape and the quality that the top companies offer in the real world vs what it says on the tin.
The thing is that we can’t really know who is actually the top hosting company if we only have our own handful of test sites to examine. The real-world insight is something we can only get from other users. Even though we do a lot of testing ourselves, the data sample is still small, and it’s nothing compared to our readers’ collective opinions.
Over the course of our various WordPress hosting surveys, we’ve taken different approaches to collecting the data.
In some of our earlier surveys, we focused on gathering data from a smaller number of “pro” WordPress users.
However, in this survey (and in our 2020 WordPress hosting survey), we focused on gathering data from a much broader collection of users. Basically, we want to reach as many WordPress users as possible, whether they’re “pro” or total newbies getting their feet wet with WordPress for the first time.
As I mentioned, to make that happen, we primarily collected data by running the survey as a pop-up on our network of sites. Those sites cover a broad range of topics, so this includes both newbies and advanced users. The Themeisle blog skews more towards topics for beginners, while the CodeinWP blog covers topics that are also interesting to more advanced users (such as coding a plugin for the block editor or mastering CSS Flexbox).
The biggest potential skew in our WordPress hosting survey is that we’re only really able to reach people who speak English well enough to consume content written in English (or are willing to put up with Google Translate). This is why you’ll see that English-speaking countries are the most popular respondents.
With all that being said, here’s the truth about WordPress hosting and which hosts people actually use:
🔥 GoDaddy takes the market…again (and again)
Did you expect it to be any other way?
Like really, did you?
Indeed, GoDaddy is the most popular host in this edition of our WordPress hosting survey for 2022 (it also topped the list in our 2020 edition…as well as our 2019 edition…as well as previous years).
GoDaddy’s lead had dipped in our 2020 survey, but it’s opened up again as GoDaddy is once again well ahead of its competition (or it could also be a change in our survey pool, of course).
There were some bigger changes further down the list, though, with Hostinger making a big jump in popularity and SiteGround and HostGator dropping a couple of places.
Hostinger has some of the cheapest hosting plans in existence, so this isn’t too surprising.
Similarly, SiteGround flirted with increasing their intro prices a couple of times over the past two years, so it’s no surprise that it would drop in terms of overall popularity.
Here are the top six hosts in terms of popularity in 2022:
GoDaddy is not a big name with advanced WordPress users, but it’s massively popular with WordPress users as a whole. GoDaddy has also been making a massive investment in the WordPress space, acquiring companies, sponsoring WordCamps, and launching new WordPress-focused hosting products.
Basically, it’s no surprise that GoDaddy regularly comes in at the top of this list.
With that being said, GoDaddy had the lowest rating of any popular host on our list, so it appears that being popular doesn’t automatically mean people are happy. 🤷♂️ More on ratings later.
As we mentioned, one interesting change in this year’s WordPress hosting survey was a big increase in Hostinger’s market share. This seems to mimic larger trends beyond our survey, as Hostinger has had an absolutely massive pop in Google Trends over the past year.
Looking at data from the past five years, Hostinger was at the bottom of Google Trends when compared to other popular hosts until jumping into the lead in 2021:
* Note, the big spike at the beginning of 2022 corresponds to Google Trends making an “improvement to its data collection system,” so that’s why you see such a sudden shift when before it was a slow change.
Of course, you might have noticed one name missing from the previous screenshot – GoDaddy. When adding GoDaddy to the mix, you can see that Hostinger will still need more time to catch up to them:
One group of hosts that you might notice aren’t on the list are the more “premium” managed WordPress hosts like WP Engine, Kinsta, and so on.
While these hosts are big names in the managed WordPress hosting space, they still don’t come anywhere near the popularity of cheaper hosts.
For example, WP Engine received 21 entries, and Kinsta hosting received just 10. In comparison, GoDaddy got 377 entries and Bluehost got 286.
🏆 Who’s the top-rated WordPress hosting company of 2022?
Okay, let’s cut to the chase! Here are the top-rated WordPress hosting companies according to our 3,400+ survey respondents:
* This is only the top 15. You can get the full data file at the bottom of this post.
For the above table, we’ve only decided to feature the companies that got more than 20 entries. While this does make it harder for smaller companies to appear, it’s even harder to get a meaningful rating for hosts with just a few responses.
WP Engine leading the pack is no surprise – when you’re paying a premium price, you’d hope that you’re getting a premium product…and WP Engine doesn’t seem to be disappointing many customers. InMotion has also found themselves very high on the list – no. 2 rating-wise. However, both them and WP Engine have relatively few total votes.
On the other hand, SiteGround got roughly 5x the number of votes that WP Engine did, which still probably makes them a safer overall bet considering their similarly high score.
While Kinsta didn’t make our 20-response cutoff, Kinsta had a similarly high rating over its 10 responses (9.13).
However, even the cheaper hosts still seem to be generally well-liked. For example, DreamHost and Namecheap have some of the cheapest plans around ($2.59/mo and $1.58/mo respectively), but both still received mostly positive ratings.
Finally, it’s a bit interesting to see that GoDaddy is the most popular host…but also had the lowest rating of any host with more than 20 responses.
In fact, GoDaddy’s 6.31 rating was well below the overall 7.20 average rating for all submissions in our WordPress hosting survey. However, this low rating doesn’t seem to have had any effect on GoDaddy’s market share.
🌎 Popular hosts and ratings vary by country
The US market is kind of predictable in terms of who’s going to be popular. I mean, all those Super Bowl ads have to account for something, right?
But what about the international markets? Is GoDaddy just as popular in, say, India as it is in the US? Let’s see:
As in our previous surveys, we collected responses from users all around the world.
This year was a bit more USA-heavy in responses than previous years. But even with that, only ~35.8% of respondents were in the USA (versus 22.4% of respondents in 2020).
Other popular countries were the United Kingdom (~9.8%), India (8.5%), Canada (6.1%), Nigeria (3.9%), Australia (3.7%), Pakistan (2.8%), and South Africa (2.1%).
One of the biggest drops in respondents was India – 22.2% of our respondents in 2020 were from India, so Indian participants making up just 8.5% of responses for the 2022 survey was notable.
The increase in US respondents and decrease in Indian respondents were definitely the biggest shifts in demographics this year.
The list above is by no means the full list, though. In total, we had responses from 154 different countries on every continent except Antarctica.
As you’d expect, hosting preferences differ by country, but maybe not as much as you’d expect. For example, GoDaddy is still the most popular host in most countries. But there are some outliers, such as 1&1 Ionos, getting double the number of responses as GoDaddy in the UK.
Here are the most popular hosts for each country, along with how this data compares to our previous surveys:
|Country||Most popular host in 2022 (% of votes)||Most popular host in 2020 (% of votes)||Most popular host in 2019 (% of votes)|
|USA 🇺🇸||GoDaddy (15.91%)||Bluehost (20.66%)||Bluehost (16.43%)|
|United Kingdom 🇬🇧||1&1 Ionos (9.01%)||Bluehost (7.94%)||SiteGround (6.69%)|
|India 🇮🇳||GoDaddy (19.03%)||GoDaddy (15.32%)||GoDaddy (19.94%)|
|Nigeria 🇳🇬||Namecheap (21.05%)||Namecheap (11.09%)||WhoGoHost (12.25%)|
|Canada 🇨🇦||GoDaddy (14.01%)||Bluehost (14.71%)||Bluehost (18.18%)|
|Australia 🇦🇺||GoDaddy (13.60%)||GoDaddy (9.30%)||Bluehost (10.71%)|
|non-US||GoDaddy (8.38%)||GoDaddy (9.12%)||GoDaddy (9.69%)|
One interesting outlier is that Hostinger was used by 18% of survey respondents from India (almost surpassing GoDaddy for first place) and 9% of respondents from Nigeria, whereas it only had a 1.3% market share in the USA and 0.9% in the UK. This suggests that a lot of Hostinger’s growth has come from lower-income countries, which makes sense given its ultra-low prices.
Anecdotally, we’ve noticed that Hostinger does a lot of marketing outside the USA and Europe. For example, they have a localized Vietnamese site and run a lot of retargeting ads in Vietnam.
Beyond the different market shares of hosts in different countries, another intriguing bit of data is the difference in ratings between countries.
For example, GoDaddy had just a 6.03 rating in the USA, which was below its overall 6.31 rating. In contrast, it had a 7.13 rating in India, which is well above its average rating.
You can actually see this trend play out in general, where respondents in the USA, UK, and Australia had overall ratings much lower than respondents from India and Nigeria:
|Country||% of Respondents||Avg. Rating|
This is a slight departure from our previous surveys. In 2020, Indian respondents actually rated their hosts lower than the USA, UK, and Australia. But in 2022, it’s been completely flipped, and India is now noticeably higher than those other countries.
👍 People are generally happy with their hosting (but less happy than before)
The overall rating this year across all hosts and all responses was 7.20 out of 10.
This means that most people are still generally happy with their hosting provider. And that makes sense – if a person were unhappy, you’d think they would switch to a different host rather than sit around being unhappy.
With that being said, this year’s average rating is the lowest that it’s been in any of our surveys. It was 7.61 in 2020, 7.40 in 2019, and 7.70 in 2017.
Most of this average drop can be explained by a smaller percentage of people giving a perfect 10 rating. While a perfect 10 was still by far the most popular response, it was noticeably lower than in our previous WordPress hosting surveys.
In our 2022 survey, 29.33% of respondents gave their host a 10. Comparatively, this number was 34.37% in 2020 and 34.40% in 2019 (almost identical).
In contrast, the percentage of people rating 1-5 was higher than in previous years for each rating in that range.
So – people are still happy…but not as happy as in previous surveys.
Here’s the full breakdown of the percentage of people leaving each rating:
|Rating||% of users|
☯️ Is “WordPress” a host? The ambiguity continues
As has been a difficulty in previous surveys, we had hundreds of respondents tell us that they host their website(s) with “WordPress.”
Because of the ambiguity of naming in WordPress (most notably, WordPress.org vs WordPress.com), it’s tough to know what this actually means.
One potential meaning is that these people are using WordPress.com to host their sites, either via the free/cheap plans or the more full-featured Business or eCommerce plans.
Unlike our 2020 survey, we didn’t get any specific responses for WordPress.com this year, so it could be that all the WordPress.com users simply put “WordPress.”
On the other hand, it could also just be people trying to say that they’ve created their site with the WordPress software rather than a website builder like Wix or Squarespace (these website builders also generated a number of responses in our survey).
If we do interpret these responses as “WordPress.com,” it still does seem to make sense. That would make WordPress.com one of the most popular hosts, but still below giants like GoDaddy and Bluehost.
However, the ambiguity makes it tough to draw any meaningful conclusions.
Wouldn’t things be so much simpler if WordPress.com had a different name? Just throwing this out there… 🤷♂️
🏎️ Is speed essential for users?
If you’re a WordPress pro, the performance of your servers is probably one of the key components of your overall satisfaction. But is it the same for everyone else? Do people really care that much?
While we did have a direct question on what people valued about their hosting setups, we’ve decided to go a step further here and actually use our own performance test data for this analysis.
The following table reveals not whether people say that speed is important to them, but instead focuses on the correlation between user ratings and real speed test data:
|Host||Rate||Speed av. US, EU (s)||Uptime av. (%)|
Based on this specific chunk of data, there doesn’t seem to be any significant correlation.
However, it’s worth pointing out that the loading times we get on our setups aren’t necessarily what other users get.
Let’s take a broader look at what people value the most:
⭐ What people value about their hosts
This was an optional question in this year’s WordPress hosting survey, but it still got 580+ valid responses.
I think you can make a good guess what the no. 1 most valued thing is, but let’s see the table anyway:
|What||% of users|
|Ease of use||14.07%|
First off, why do these numbers add up to more than 100%? That’s an excellent question, indeed. Our respondents often listed more than one thing when asked what they valued about their WordPress hosting. So out of all the answers we got, we extracted the individual categories of “things” and then put them into a large spreadsheet. The results are what you see above.
So yes, customer support quality takes the first spot!
Another thing we can look at here are the leading hosting companies for each of the most popular, top-valued “things.” In other words, which hosting company got the most votes for their customer support, ease of use, price, and reliability & performance. Here are the answers:
Granted, the numbers are not huge here, but it’s still an interesting tidbit of info to ponder.
♻️ Which hosts are people planning to switch to?
Most respondents in our WordPress hosting survey were happy with their current hosting. However, for those who intend to switch, we also inquired as to which hosting provider they would go for.
Here’s what they said:
|Host||# of votes||% of votes now||% of votes in 2020|
Most people who are planning to switch don’t have any specific host in mind. However, the list of destination hosts for people who already know where they’re going looks quite similar to the list in our 2020 survey (and previous surveys).
The list doesn’t really bring any surprises, either, as these hosts are also the most popular.
Bluehost does punch a little above its weight as a destination for people switching hosts, whereas GoDaddy punches a little below its weight. But in general, the hosts roughly match their popularity.
The last confounding variable is people who say they’re switching to “WordPress.” Unfortunately, we can’t say exactly what they mean here.
🖥️🖥️🖥️ How many sites do users host?
Most people – a huge plurality and almost a majority at 47.5% of respondents – only host one website.
This was pretty much identical to our 2020 WordPress hosting survey, so not much has changed in people’s habits.
Here’s how the data breaks down:
|# of sites||# of votes||% of votes|
One interesting conclusion from this data is that it shows one part of how cheap shared hosts are able to get away with advertising “unlimited” websites – most people are only going to host a single site anyway.
One interesting thing is that people are more likely to host between three and five websites than they are to host two websites (something that was also true in our 2020 survey). I guess if you’re already creating a second site, it’s tempting to create a couple more, too.
These trends are not that surprising on their own. It’s expected that most people don’t have that many websites. However, let’s have a look at something a bit more interesting – how happy people are with their host vs how many sites they host:
In general, the more sites you host, the happier you are. As the number of websites hosted increased, the overall rating also increased across the board.
|# of sites||User rating|
|over 10 websites||8.68|
This isn’t a fluke, either – we saw the exact same trend in our 2020 WordPress hosting survey data.
Logically, this makes sense. If you’re going to commit to hosting multiple sites with the same provider, you’re probably more likely to be happy with that provider than someone just hosting a single site.
You’re also probably more likely to have tested a few different providers before choosing one to host all of your sites, whereas someone with a single site might still be with their first hosting provider.
The prices people pay vs the number of sites they host
Another thing we must talk about in relation to how many sites people host on their setups is how much they pay for it.
With so many companies offering “unlimited” plans, we wanted to see if the cost does indeed grow with the number of sites hosted or if it plateaus at some point.
Here’s what we found:
|“How many websites do you manage with your host?”||Median cost per month|
|3 – 5 websites||$10.00|
|6 – 10 websites||$15.00|
|over 10 websites||$12.00|
Something we’re not showing you in the table above are the average costs. Those were actually surprisingly high. For example, the average cost of hosting one website turned out to be $18.57 per month. What this means is that a handful of people are really overpaying for hosting. This raises the average value by $13.57 compared to the median.
Here’s a broader look at people’s hosting bills:
💰 How much people pay for WordPress hosting
Let’s not keep you waiting:
The median WordPress hosting bill is $9.00 per month.
This is an increase of exactly 50% compared to our previous survey. The median price back then was $6.
Why the increase? The reasons can be plenty. Starting from the fact that we’re not polling the exact same demographic of users every year. But also, many hosting companies have quietly raised their prices over the last few years. Those increases didn’t hit the introductory prices that much, but focused more on renewals. It’s an open secret that even though companies like Bluehost or SiteGround might welcome you for a very low price, renewing your setup for another term can be as much as 4-6x more costly.
Here’s a deeper look that compares the percentages of people who fall into a given pricing bracket:
|Price bracket||Percent of users||in 2020|
|$1 or less||4.33%||6.56%|
|$1.01 - $2||4.20%||5.88%|
|$2.01 - $3||6.74%||7.40%|
|$3.01 - $4||3.44%||4.85%|
|$4.01 - $5||6.87%||7.28%|
|$5.01 - $8||6.11%||7.24%|
|$8.01 - $10||9.41%||9.46%|
|$10.01 - $15||9.92%||7.91%|
|$15.01 - $20||7.89%||6.36%|
|$20.01 - $30||8.40%|
|$31 - $50||5.73%|
|$51 - $100||5.98%|
|$101 - $200||1.78%||2.15%|
|$201 - $499||1.53%||1.87%|
- The most popular bracket? $0. Nearly 17% of people who gave us an answer pay $0 for WordPress hosting.
- The most popular paid bracket? $10.01-$15 per month at 9.92%.
- More than 17% of people pay between $2 and $5 per month.
Some of the happiest users pay between $3.01-$4 for their hosting
This is an interesting piece of data to analyze. As it turns out, if you want to be really happy about your WordPress hosting experience, you should look for a host that costs between $3.01-$4/month. The average rating among users who pay this amount is 8.48.
Can you be even happier? Well, yes, there’s a tier above 8.48. But going that extra mile from 8.48 to 8.83 will cost you at least $500/month. Granted, however, we only got six respondents who said that they pay that amount.
Here’s the entire picture:
|$1 or less||7.38|
|$1.01 - $2||7.76|
|$2.01 - $3||7.81|
|$3.01 - $4||8.48|
|$4.01 - $5||7.80|
|$5.01 - $8||7.77|
|$8.01 - $10||7.14|
|$10.01 - $15||7.54|
|$15.01 - $20||7.55|
|$20.01 - $30||7.47|
|$31 - $50||7.29|
|$51 - $100||7.94|
|$101 - $200||8.29|
|$201 - $499||5.42|
How much people pay vs the company they host with
We were curious how much people pay on average with each of the most popular hosting companies. Here’s what we found:
|Host||Votes that mention price||Avg||Median|
- Of the hosts that got at least 20 votes, Namecheap is the cheapest on our list – at $5/month.
- Hostinger, even though it has one of the lowest entry prices, ends up costing their users around $6/month.
- Most budget hosts like Bluehost, HostGator, DreamHost end up costing people much more than what’s advertised.
🤔 What do the results of this WordPress hosting survey mean to us?
As we said in the intro, one of the main reasons we’re doing these hosting surveys is to learn which hosting companies the users actually enjoy over the long term. We can then take this insight into account when recommending hosting setups across our many resources on the blog.
If you’re active in one of the popular WordPress hosting Facebook groups, you’ll pretty much never see GoDaddy or Bluehost recommended as top options (rather something like SiteGround). But despite not being touted with advanced WordPress users, these types of hosts still absolutely dominate the marketplace.
However, we find it difficult to always point readers to hosting that’s around $30 a month and tell them that it’s the only reasonable option while there are hosts out there that ask for 10% of the price – particularly if it’s for hosting a new blog.
We look at it like this: are those hosts 10x worse? Is the support quality 10x less satisfactory? It turns out that’s not the case, and these surveys prove it. Judging by the answers we received, users aren’t generally getting a worse experience from the cheaper hosts. While more expensive companies have good ratings as well, there’s no longer a gap between the cheap and the premium.
Of course, we do realize that everyone has different needs, and the more pro-like your server must be, the more you’ll probably benefit from a tailor-made managed setup with a premium company.
For new websites and small business owners, though, cheap hosting will be more than enough. There really isn’t a reason to pay more than $4/month for hosting in 2023.
💬 But what do you think? Are you likely to recommend Bluehost or Namecheap to someone looking for a WordPress host? Let us know in the comments.
👉 Get the data file of this WordPress hosting survey
Here’s the raw-data file in case you want to analyze the results on your own. Don’t forget to let us know if you find anything interesting!
Looking for data files from our previous WordPress hosting surveys?
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. Learn more below:
Original text by Colin Newcomer and Karol K.
Layout and presentation by Karol K.
* 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 commission. No worries though, you’ll still pay the standard amount so there’s no cost on your part.