Last year, the proportion of websites using WordPress surpassed 25% - and the tendency of new website owners to use it has seen that market share continue to increase. Consequently, many web hosting companies now offer specialized, cheap WordPress hosting - we have gathered the list below to provide you with the best options available.
Our list of hosting providers is based on:
- Wordpress recommended
- Ease of use
What is WordPress Hosting?
Although you can get your WordPress website or blog online by hosting it on other web hosting services, specialized WordPress hosting generally provides better feature support, ease of use and a value for money.
Many reliable and affordable hosting companies, such as the ones we list and review above, have come up with their own offerings aimed towards meeting the varying demands of different kinds of WordPress users. We have prepared this guide to help you quickly ascertain which hosting provider is best suited for your needs.
Why design a website on WordPress?
In recent years, WordPress has developed from a blogging platform (which currently serves over 60 million users), to being widely recognized as the strongest Content Management Systems (CMS) in existence.
Creating and hosting a WordPress website or blog is cheap, easy and fun. Its versatility stems from the vast array of plugins and documentation available, which are often contributed by the legions of passionate supporters that make up the WordPress community. Check out our Beginner's Guide to Wordpress to get started today.
Pros and cons of WordPress Hosting
- Designed and configured with the particular requirements of WordPress in mind
- Secure - only properly vetted and secure applications get introduced into the server environment
- Easy to use
- Restrictions and limitations on certain plugins
- Poor compatibility with eCommerce scripts
With WordPress hosting plans, you house your website on a server leased from a web hosting company. That server is configured by the hosting company to run WordPress as efficiently as possible - keeping your site safe, fast, and accessible at all times.
Some WordPress hosting services even include bonuses, such as free plugins and themes, tutorials and discounts to WordPress-related services. This reflects a change in approach from web hosting companies, who are now providing for WordPress specifically instead of simply offering WordPress support within their existing services.
What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Blogs and Websites on WordPress.com are hosted, backed up, and secured by WordPress. You can use themes, view stats and even upgrade to a custom domain.
Retains the familiarity of WordPress.com's Content Management System (CMS), but you or your web host assumes responsibility for hosting and maintaining your site, as well as performing backups and security checks.
Why would I want to use WordPress.org then?
WordPress.org sites have much more versatile functionalities. You can install custom themes, or build your own, and use plugins to tremendously increase your website's capabilities. All of this, plus the glamour of having your own domain name, contributes to creating an attractive, functional, professional-looking website.
- Read our guide to Migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
- Find out how Migrating to WordPress from another CMS could benefit your website or blog.
Types of WordPress Hosting
Due to its growing popularity, WordPress Hosting is now available on a variety of hosting environments. Below we have listed four such options with a brief description; more information about each one can be found on the specialised page for that type of hosting service, which is linked to in the text.
Cheap WordPress Hosting (Shared Server)
The cheapest WordPress Hosting solution is unsurprisingly also the most common, allowing you to get your blog or website online for as little as $2/month. Your site will be housed in a server along with hundreds of others - making it crucial to ensure you use a reputable web hosting company that keeps your server performing well without overcrowding it.
Read more about hosting on a shared server here.
Benefits of Shared WordPress Hosting
+ Very Affordable
+ Beginner-friendly features such as one-click installation
+ Often allows installation of non-WordPress applications and scripts
Drawbacks of Shared WordPress Hosting
- Other sites hosted on your server can affect performance
- Less control
Virtual Private Server (VPS) WordPress Hosting
With VPS WordPress plans, your website is hosted on a server along with other sites but is allocated its own resources and quotas by occupying a virtual partition. This is the next level up from shared hosting, and is recommended when your site outgrows cheaper hosting plans.
Learn more about VPS Hosting.
Benefits of Hosting WordPress on a VPS
+ Good amount of control and customization options
+ High performance as your site 'virtually' has its own server
+ Less sites on the same server means more privacy
Drawbacks of Hosting WordPress on a VPS
- Requires some technical knowledge
- Pricier than shared server hosting
Hosting WordPress on a Dedicated Server
By hosting your WordPress site on a dedicated server, you are renting an entire physical (i.e. not virtual) server for the exclusive use of your website. This gives you maximum control over what you can or cannot install, almost unlimited storage space and enough bandwidth to handle high amounts of traffic.
Visit our Dedicated Server Hosting page to find out more.
Benefits of Hosting WordPress on a Dedicated Server
+ Maximum control and customization
+ High performance and bandwidth
+ Near-unlimited capacity giving you room to grow
Drawbacks of Hosting WordPress on a Dedicated Server
- Requires advanced server administration skills to maintain (unless you choose a 'managed' plan - see the Dedicated Server Hosting page for more information)
- Not cheap
WordPress Cloud Hosting
WordPress can also be deployed 'in the cloud', which means it is hosted over a network rather than a single physical server. This is ideal if you think your site will grow quickly or if you anticipate frequent traffic peaks as you only pay for what you use.
See why Cloud Hosting could be the best option for you here.
Benefits of Cloud Hosting WordPress
+ Quick start
+ Highly flexible, can accommodate sudden or large traffic spikes
+ Pay as you use billing system
Drawbacks of Cloud Hosting WordPress
- Requires some technical knowledge to set up
- Performance dependent on quality of computers serving the network
Managed WordPress Hosting
WordPress is simpler to install and use than most other blog or Content Management Systems (CMS), which is one of the main reasons it is now so popular.
However if you prefer not to get involved with the technicalities of hosting a website, there is Managed WordPress Hosting. With these plans, the web hosting service handles the server side administration for you and allows you to focus on other priorities, such as content and design.
Example: How to set up WordPress
This video is a useful step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a WordPress.org site if you’re hosting it on a Shared Server, VPS, or Dedicated Server plan. The steps followed in the video are:
- Register a domain name (i.e. www.yourwebsite.com) - head over to our Domain Checker to see if yours is available
- Get a WordPress web hosting plan - see our list of the best providers
- Install WordPress
- Pick a theme
- Add content and have fun!
What to look for in a WordPress Hosting plan
PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
MySQL version 5.0 or greater
Reliability - look for 99.9% uptime
Optimized for search engines
User-friendly control panel
- Apache or Nginx servers
- suPHP or similar applications - these limit access to files to improve security
- Access to premium WordPress themes and plugins
- “Hardened” or secure implementation and other features that protect your site from attacks
- Reliable support staff with extensive WordPress knowledge
- Ability to migrate your site from its current CMS easily
- Your own username
Is WordPress Hosting the right web hosting service for you?
For WordPress blogs and websites, WordPress Hosting is generally the best option as it is optimized for maximum speed, functionality and security. It is available in a number of different web hosting environments, which means you can benefit from a specialized hosting service which is tailored precisely to your site's needs.
However, most hosting plans now provide WordPress support in some form, and although they may not have the specialism there may be other factors that make them a better option for you. If you know what you are looking for, try out our Advanced Hosting Search and our Web Hosting Service Comparison tool.
If you are still unsure you can use our Hosting Wizard and Knowledge Base for more ideas, or Compare Hosting plans side by side - whatever you decide, Web Hosting Search is here to help you find the best deal!