“Who should I host with?”
We get that question a lot! And the answer?
- What kind of site are you running?
- What’s your budget?
- Will intermittent downtime be a problem for you?
It can become quite a back-and-forth discussion. 🙂
So we’ve gone ahead and put this post together, recommending companies that we use ourselves, or companies that are strongly favoured by the people we know and trust.
You can jump straight to the recommendations or read on to learn how we’ve grouped them.
Disclosure: We’re using affiliate links in this post. Clicking through to these hosts and making a purchase will give us a small referral commission in return.
Understanding the Options
There are many kinds of web hosts, so we’re focusing on three levels: Managed WordPress Hosts, Upper-Level Shared Hosts, and Entry-Level Shared Hoss.
Managed WordPress Hosts specialize (obviously enough) in WordPress.
These companies only host WordPress sites. Their systems are configured to optimize WordPress performance for speed and security.
Their support teams are also much more helpful in troubleshooting WordPress-related problems.
The tradeoff is that managed hosts do not provide other services (like email*), and they’re a bit more expensive month-to-month. But, as they say, you get what you pay for!
Managed hosts are a great choice for medium-large company websites, online businesses, and publishers who can’t risk slow sites or downtime.
*If you choose to go with a managed WordPress host, you should consider using a service like Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 to handle your email.
Shared Hosts are the comfortable middle ground.
They offer better performance and customer support than their entry-level counterparts, but provide more flexibility than managed WordPress hosts.
You can host multiple WordPress installations on a single account, along with other applications, and services like email.
They’re less expensive than managed WordPress hosts, but more expensive than entry-level shared hosting.
The Best WordPress Hosting in 2015
Shared Hosting: InMotion
InMotion are supporters of the WordPress community and they are dedicated to providing awesome, simple to use hosting. They are the creme de la creme if you will of Shared WordPress Hosting.
Everything from support that goes above and beyond to a literal stack of help and support documentation. You won’t be disappointed in this shared host option.
Their Power Plan ($8 USD/month) includes a free domain, SSD drives, backups and WordPress caching.
Kick things up a notch with their GoGeek plan ($15 USD/month) for faster speeds, PCI compliance, and staging tools. (Bam!)
Upper-Level Managed WordPress Hosting: WP Engine
We’re huge fans of WP Engine and just like last year, we still use them for all our high-end client sites. They remain at the forefront of managed WordPress hosting.
Why? WP Engine provides 24/7 support including phone, live chat and email. They manage all your updates and provide enhanced security, amazing speed, and a bunch of other awesome features including SIDEKICK in their account center.
Plans start at $29 USD per month.
Entry-Level Managed WordPress Hosting: Go Daddy Pro
This is a new category in Managed WordPress Hosting but 2015 has already seen a number of entrants. Our recommendation by a wide margin is Go Daddy’s new Pro service.
Why? The new Managed Pro service offers a simple to use control panel, quick WordPress Install and comes with some very useful onboarding tools like SIDEKICK for WordPress (a $50 value). Not to mention Go Daddy also offers 24/7 phone support and they’ve recently been making huge strides in supporting the WordPress Community. They aren’t the Go Daddy you remember and we suggest you give them a try.
Plans start at just $1 USD per month. (Limited time)
Specialty Managed WordPress Hosting: FlyWheel
Another new category gaining traction is Specialty Managed WordPress Hosting. FlyWheel is the premier host in this space. Their focus is on designers who typically don’t have the time or experience to manage a complex hosting account and they do a spectacular job.
Why choose them? Aside from their easy to use control panel they offer better than average uptime, a slew of managed services like free migrations and expert support. If you’re design focused or just not technically, give FlyWheel a shot for your WordPress Hosting needs.
Plans start at $15 USD per month.
Image credit: Sarah Reid on Flickr