What Are Your WordPress Hosting Options?
1 – Shared Hosting
This is where a lot of new bloggers and small business owners start out. Shared hosting means you will be on a server hosting hundreds of sites, so you share the resources and costs of the server. It is the cheapest option because it is affordable (starting at $5-10 per month). Shared WordPress Hosting plans are often sold as ‘unlimited’ bandwidth and storage which is misleading because there are some real-life tough restrictions connected to bandwidth and storage limits and if you break them it can lead to some very expensive additional charges. You can find a lot of online comments saying something like this,
“Shared server will provide your site with plenty of power for a few thousand visitors a day.”
I don’t agree with statements like this because I’ve found that the requirements of modern website design and the additional “whistles and bells” that a lot of WordPress eCommerce and Membership sites need a lot more server resources then what normal shared hosting can provide.
2 – Managed WordPress Hosting
This is pretty new option connected to WordPress hosting, which was semi-started and effectively popularized by WP-Engine. It can be shared on VPS hosting on a physical server with other clients, but the server will typically host much fewer customers, and you also get custom level access to the back-end administration functions. Also the server should have been set-up for WordPress requirements and it usually only runs WordPress websites.
On the far less attractive side, a lot of these managed WordPress hosting set-ups have a semi-long list of plugins that you are not allowed to run on your WordPress website. Also you won’t have the access to the control panel that you get with traditional hosting options.
3 – VPS (virtual private servers)
VPS hosting plans will come equipped with some kind of control panel (but not always!), which allows even least technical users to manage the various server functions via a web interface. You get a lot of power and if the VPS is set-up and maintained correctly they are typically more secure than shared hosting set-ups. In effect, it runs like your own server.
However, it is still a server with other users. If your site has grown increasingly popular, and you need the additional capacity and speed, but you are short of time or know-how, then a managed VPS hosting plan can be a great option for you. This is what we offer with Digital Ocean managed set-ups.
4 – Dedicated WordPress Hosting
If your site has a lot of traffic day in and day out then you will possibly want to get your own dedicated server (though for 95% of all business sites a shared server or VPS is more than enough).
This means you’ll have your physical server hosted in the provider’s location, dedicated to just you. There are of course many levels of a server you can lease, from smaller cheaper servers right up to very powerful servers with a huge amount of processing power.
Hosting companies that it might be best to avoid?
If you spend enough time looking around at the various WordPress hosting offers out there, you will come across plenty of cheap WordPress hosting offers to start from $3 to $10 per month for your hosting. In my experience, these ‘too good to be true’ deals always tend to end badly. Why? Because their only hope to make money is by doing serious volume and keeping their costs low. In the hosting game, the biggest cost is people, so that means less support.
One of the biggest hosting companies in the U.S. that we feel uses this basic model is EIG (Endurance International Group) who owns an extensive list of different branded web hosting companies in the USA. Here’s a link to an online resource that lists all the hosts that EIG controls. The two best-known hosting names that EIG controls are Bluehost and HostGator. We are not saying that EIG is terrible, however, we just feel there are companies out there that are offering a much better value to service mix.
Best WordPress Hosting Options
Here’s a list of hosting companies that we have personal experience with that we feel offer some great value hosting options to our listeners (and readers!).
Best Shared Hosting Plans
InMotionHosting: We like this middle price shared hosting product from InMotionHosting at $9.99 per month, if you looking for good quality basic shared hosting package from a well known hosting player in the WordPress community this could be the right value choice for you.
Best Managed WordPress Hosting Plans
Siteground: We recommend their GoGeek service at $14.95/month for first year then it goes up to $29.99 per month however you do have to pay for the whole year upfront. We personally think this is great value because of the first year special deal price.
FlyWheel’s: Their tiny package is good value at $15 per month, however we do feel this particular package is only suitable for small, semi-low traffic websites because the 250GB bandwidth limit. You could go up to the next level which is $30 with a 500GB bandwidth limit however this is still bit low compared to WP-Engine or Digital Ocean.
WP-Engine: They start at $29, however they really are restrictive on the plugins you can run. On the basic plan you can only use a SSL that WP-Engine provides at $49 per year which isn’t a bad deal. Unfortunately, if you need a Wildcard SSL certificate this will cost you $199 per year and it’s only available on the next level plan (that’s $99 per month).
VPS (virtual private servers)
Digital Ocean: We just love Digital Ocean and we run WP-Tonic on one of their VPS droplets which is a kind of special VPS set-up. Also, the prices are an amazing value, starting at $5 per month. However, we would recommend the next two levels up as better for most WordPress websites and these prices start at $10 and $20. The technology specification are also an amazing value. But we must point out this is not a managed system: you normally have to be either a hard-core developer or Linux junkie to run Digital Ocean droplet. This is where WP-Tonic comes in – we manage your Digital Ocean droplet for you.