Best WordPress Hosting Service

Best WordPress Hosting Service

Editor's Rating

We review the top wordpress hosting service providers.
9
10 WP Engine
9 Media Temple
9 Blue Host
8 Hostgator

If WordPress is your blogging platform of choice, you want the best WordPress Hosting Service available. When choosing your WordPress host you need to consider:

Hosting Features – Disk Space, Bandwidth, Media Types Allowed, Managed Hosting, Virtual Private Server Available, Domain Name Registration Service, SLA or Performance Guarantee, Email Hosting, SSL (free and paid)

Service and Support – 24/7 Online Help, Telephone Support, FAQ Quality, Trouble Ticket System, Overall Support, Quality, Scheduled Backups (daily or weekly), Network Security Robustness

WordPress Features – One Click WordPress Install, Plug-Ins, Add-Ons, Themes, Widgets, WordPress Automatic Updates, WordPress Migration Service

Infrastructure – Internet Connection Robustness, Infrastructure Robustness

Costs – Monthly Hosting Costs, Discount Coupons Available, Contract Terms Monthly, Contract Length Discount (yearly)

In this review, we compared four top WordPress Hosting Services to see how they stack up. We looked at:

Media Temple (mt) offers shared and VPS hosting. Media Temple is used by major International Corporations such as Sony, Samsung, Volkswagen, Adobe, and many others.

WPEngine is a WordPress Only Managed Host. They specialize in WordPress hosting and offer a 60 day Risk Free Trial. WP Engine host companies like FourSquare, SoundCloud, CMA, and more.

HostGator host over 9 million sites using shared or VPS hosting; and offers a wide range of plans with excellent WordPress hosting features.

BlueHost like HostGator offers shared and VPS hosting. They host millions of websites and have been in the business for over 15 years.

WordPress Hosting Service Evaluation

These service providers concentrate solely on WordPress or put a lot of emphasis on WordPress hosting. These providers were selected because they offer exceptional service, do not shut you down when you go over your allocated bandwidth, and offer a range of plans that will cover the needs of entry-level bloggers or major corporate players alike.

Evaluation Results

 

WPEngine


WPEngine ranked highest in our evaluation of the best WordPress hosts.  WPEngine concentrates exclusively on Managed WordPress hosting. If you want to concentrate on blogging and leave the technical work to others, WPEngine should be on the top of your list. Managed Hosting means their staff handles the technical details of running your site. WPEngine uses an advanced set of technology they refer to as their front-end layer which they describe as:
“All web traffic is handled by our sophisticated front-end system, a key part of WP Engine’s famous “secret sauce” layer. This proprietary layer is built off of thousands of carefully designed code rules”

This along with what they refer to as “Ever Cache” and “Content Delivery Network” provides exceptional speed and performance. Client testimonials praise their performance. Their prices are competitive and their extensive service offerings include:

• WordPress Managed Hosting starts at $29/month with 25,000 visits/month, and 10GB of storage.  A 60 day Risk Free Trial.

• Unlimited data transfer with minimal fees if you go over the 25,000 visits/month count.

• Exceptional online support and help features including an extensive list of FAQs, a trouble ticket system, and phone support if needed.

• Exceptional speed and the ability to have your site hosted in the UK, Japan, or the US.

WPEngine does not offer domain name registration services or email hosting, but provide lots of information, in their extensive online help section, on how to get these services working with your WPEngine WordPress blog.

Media Temple


Media Temple scored second in our review of the best WordPress hosts.  Media Temple has plans for Shared Hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. Their shared hosting which they call Grid-Shared Hosting ensures sufficient processing power for every user. They offer Managed VPS hosting which includes an impressive array of services and guarantees 99.999% uptime.

Key offerings include:

• “Optimized for WordPress” shared hosting starting at $20/month with 100GB of storage and 1TB of bandwidth.

• High-end Support Services.

• 1-click app installs.

• Faster loading websites and Reddit-ready bandwidth – bandwidth expands when you get wide recognition and start getting a burst of hits.

• CloudFlare Controls – a custom product that enhances performance and security.

• Email hosting with your account.

HostGator


Host Gator – HostGator offers a wide range of plans that are sure to meet any bloggers needs. Entry-level shared hosting packages offer affordable rates while still providing plenty of features and services. VPS packages are available with an option for “cPanel” which adds full managed support. With guaranteed 100% WordPress compatibility and 1-click installs, they make it easy to get your blog up and running. Their network connects to the Internet via 10 backbone providers that should provide great fault-tolerance. Key features include:

• Shared WordPress hosting with unlimited disk space and bandwidth starting at $6.95/month. Special promotional discounts are offered to get you started.

• Free shared SSL with all accounts and the availability of private SSL.

• A wide range of plans including multiple levels of VPS hosting.

• Email hosting with your account.

BlueHost

 


Blue Host – Like HostGator, BlueHost offers a very wide range of shared hosting plans at affordable entry-level prices. Additionally, they offer four different VPS hosting plans. Their shared hosting includes “Resource Protection” designed to prevent some of the problems normally associated with shared hosting.

• Shared WordPress hosting with unlimited disk space and bandwidth starting at $9.95/month for a 12-month term. Special promotional discounts are offered to get you started.

• Free shared SSL with all accounts and the availability of private SSL.

• Email hosting with your account.

 

Verdict

All of the reviewed hosting services are major players and would cover the needs of bloggers large or small.

• If you are not too technical, you may want to consider WPEngine since they provide Managed Hosting and handle the technical aspects of hosting your WordPress Blog.



• If you want high-end hosting at affordable starting cost, by a company that serves industry giants, look at Media Temple for top end performance.

• If cost is an issue, BlueHost or HostGator can get you up and running for minimal cost while still provide top of the line hosting.

          
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Behind the scenes


Evaluation Criteria

A Weighted Evaluation was used for this review. A weighted evaluation lists key features, sets a weighted value to rate how important each feature is to the overall goal, and then scores each product by how well it does at satisfying the listed feature. The weighted value and score are used to create a final grade. Scoring was done based on how well the hosting service addressed the feature under review. For each vendor, some services had explicit information on the feature being scored while others may not have had explicit information, but had some information supporting the described feature.

Following are additional details on the criteria used in this evaluation.

Managed WordPress Hosting –Managed hosting providers do more than just setup your WordPress site and leave you to it! Managed WordPress hosting means you do not have to be a techie and learn to deal with the day-to-day operation of the site. The managed hosting service staff handles the setup and operation of WordPress and most other hosting issues. This leaves you to your core task – Blogging! While fees may be slightly higher, if you are not technically oriented and just want to blog this may be the best WordPress hosting solution for you.

Disk Space – Most hosting services provide a sufficient amount of disk space with their basic plans to support blogging with a moderate amount of images and graphics. If you are planning to host video or animation from within your site, you need to ensure the plan you pick offers sufficient storage capacity. Some web hosting companies may limit video hosting because it not only puts a large demand on storage, but also taxes bandwidth.

Bandwidth – As with disk storage, the amount of bandwidth provided by most basic hosting plans will support a typical blog. But again, if you are planning on a lot of video or images pay close attention to this aspect of the hosting plan you choose.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) vs. Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting – Almost all hosting services offer shared hosting for a low monthly fee. While shared hosting may sever the needs of an entry-level blogger, it can have disadvantages as your needs grow. With shared hosting, the provider uses a single instance of a web server to host several, often hundreds of sites. Performance on the server is shared between all the hosted sites. In addition, the provider will put limits on the amount of the overall system resources your account can use.
With VPS hosting your site is hosted on a virtual server and runs its own instance of the operating system and web server software. VPS systems can be expanded to provide additional capacity and often include additional features. Dedicated hosting provides a dedicated computer connected to the hosting service’s network. This is usually used by high-end sites with special needs and comes with a higher price tag. If blogging is going to be your main business shared or VPS hosting will serve your needs. Some hosting services use grid computing. This spreads the processing load across multiple computers as a way to ensure sufficient processing performance.

Domain Name System (DNS) Registration – You need a name! Many hosting providers can also register and host your domain name record. Those that do not offer name hosting provide you with the information you need to point your domain name at their web servers. If you need to transfer a domain name, you will have to initiate the transfer from your existing name host. If you have to do a domain name transfer, look to see if your new hosting service offers detailed instructions.

Service Level Agreements (SLA) – If your website is mission critical, then a hosting service that guarantees minimum performance levels is important. A SLA may specify minimum uptime, minimum bandwidth, and/or time-to-restore after an issue. SLAs do not provide any guarantee of network performance outside of the control of the hosting service. Some hosts offer compensation if there is an interruption of service for an extended period of time. Temporary outages for a blog may not be that critical, but for a large web based business SLAs are important and usually involve legal contracts. There is no such thing as 100% uptime!

Statics – Many hosts provide statistical tools for use in analyzing traffic to your site. In addition, there are WordPress plugins that provide details on site visits and page views. There are also plugins that easily integrate Google Analytics into your WordPress site. On the lighter side, there are Widgets that simply show page visits on each page. Plugins and Widgets are tools that you can add to WordPress to enhance functionality.

Google Analytics is a powerful statistical tracking service that is free for sites that get less than 10 million hits per month.

Security – Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are the mechanisms that provide a secure link between your user’s browser and your website. This is what gives you https and the lock icon when you visit a secure website.
Most hosting services can provide this for an additional fee. Some hosts provide a shared security certificate, which is not as good as a dedicated certificate, but can be cheaper (or free with the service).

Backup and Recovery – You have probably lost data on your computer at some time in the past. Whether it was a simple fix, or a big nightmare, probably revolved around whether you had a backup. This is a service most hosting services provide, however, the level and frequency of backups, and the complexity of getting that data restored are of primary importance. It is nice to be able to manually execute a backup before making major changes to your site. Backups are usually timed (daily, weekly, monthly), but some hosting services allow you to trigger a manual backup when you want it. Restoration from a backup may be included as part of the service or may require you to pay an additional fee.

Email Hosting – Many hosting services offer email hosting as part of their packages. This makes it easy to setup an email address using your new domain name. If a hosting service does not offer email hosting you will have to setup email through a third party. This is pretty easy since domain name registrars support setting the MX record (DNS pointer for email) to point to your selected email host. This can be done with Gmail Apps for Business and other email hosting services.

Shopping Carts – If you are interested in direct eCommerce you will need a shopping cart. Some hosting services have third-party shopping cart tools that can be used in conjunction with WordPress. There are also several good WordPress plugins that allow seamlessly integration of shopping cart functionality into your blog. Shopping carts are not addressed in detail as part of this review.

Service and Support – Running a website is a complex technical task; beyond the skill level or desire of many bloggers. That is why we look to hosting services. Once you give your business to a hosting service and pay your subscription fees you hope everything will go smoothly. However, that is not always the case and when issues arise you need help! Do not overlook the importance of good customer service. Check to see if the hosting service offers good online help files, Frequency
Asked Questions (FAQ), phone support, and/or online chat.

Infrastructure – Infrastructure deals with the physical facility, electrical power, environmental control (AC, heat, and humidity), and broadband Internet connections. The speed of the host’s Internet connections is important because these connections carry the traffic for all the websites the company hosts. Almost all major hosting providers have redundant Internet connections. Redundant connections, provided through different Internet communication companies, provide a level of fault-tolerance.

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sagarpatil86@gmail.com'
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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.
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