WordPress Hosting Comparison
Within this WordPress hosting comparison I will help you find the best host for your needs.
I have been involved with WordPress for roughly a decade now. Over the years I have experimented with many different hosting providers. I hope to pass on some of what I believe is important, while also providing you with real data.
This WordPress hosting comparison will rank the hosting providers from best to worst. Additionally, I’ll also compare each host to one another in specific categories. The comparison categories include: uptime, site speed, pricing, support, refund policies, and more!
Before we dive into each of the rankings I’ll cover the category evaluation process in more detail. This way you can see how I’m ranking each category. Without further ado let’s dive in to the WordPress hosting comparison!
Hosting Uptime is one of the most important factors when considering which host to use. For those of you who do not know, uptime is the amount of time a server has stayed running.
Your website’s uptime should be as close to 100% as possible. Most hosting companies boast 99% or higher uptimes on their websites. But, this isn’t always the case from some of the studies we’ve performed over time.
Our uptime tests have tracked hosting providers for various amounts of time. Some of our hosts we stuck with for longer as they offered special promotions.
Tracking so many hosts gets expensive. Therefore, we had to limit some hosts to shorter plans. With that being said I’ll provide you with the average hosting uptime based on our experience.
Before we get into the rankings I want to review why website speeds matter. Website speed is such an important factor when deciding on a web host. It is now something that can affect your search engine rankings. The faster your site speed is, the easier it is for Google to crawl your website.
Additionally, site speed is important from a user’s perspective.
Just think about it. If you went to a website and had to wait for 20 seconds for each page to load it would be very annoying. No user wants to have to deal with that.
Long wait times can drive traffic away from your website. They can also increase your bounce rate, which Google doesn’t like. Bounce rate is the percentage of users that leave your site after viewing a single page.
For these tests we used blank WordPress installs. We did this to keep things on as level of a playing field as possible. Each of the results will be the averages from month to month based on speed tests.
What kind of WordPress hosting comparison would this be if we didn’t discuss pricing?
Pricing is something you should consider before picking a hosting provider. Comparing pricing can be a bit tricky. I say this because not all WordPress hosting plans are created equal. Additionally, something like support is a factor that can’t really be measured. This makes it hard to factor in when determining what you’re getting for the price you’re paying.
The way that the pricing is broken down here is based on WordPress plans offered by each host. This again can be tricky. Not all WordPress hosting offered by companies is managed WordPress hosting.
I want to be upfront with you about this. Managed WordPress hosting plans tend to rank higher within this WordPress hosting comparison. I assume most people would agree that managed WordPress plans have a lot more to offer.
Hosting support is hard to quantify. The best ways to actually break down hosting support is by how many options are being offered. For example, is there live chat support, phone support, a ticket system, and a knowledge base?
These aspects of support are all very important. But, the knowledge and helpfulness of the actual staff members is far more important.
Again, this is something that is hard to quantify. I have also tried to make sure to account for how quickly the support staff responds. I’ve based my rankings for this on my own experience and interactions with each company.
Money Back Guarantees
Money back guarantees are another factor to consider when choosing a hosting provider. But, of the categories covered within this post it is the least important long term.
This is obvious because after the guarantee period is over it’s irrelevant. Each of the other categories are still very important long term.
The way that I’ve broken down the money back guarantee rankings is straight forward. They’re based on the three factors. Lengths of the guarantee, how you’re refunded, and if you can be refunded on the domain name purchase as well. The biggest factor of these is how long the refund period is for.
WordPress Hosting Comparison: Overall Hosting Rankings
Throughout this WordPress hosting comparison we’ve covered many different things. Now we’re going to move into the overall hosting rankings.
As a reminder, these hosting rankings are based on the categories covered above.
This WordPress hosting comparison is broken down into five groups. The five groups are the best, above average, average, below average and worst overall hosts.
I will also provide some extra thoughts on why I’ve ranked each company where I have. Additionally, I’ll try to add other helpful information that may have not been covered before. I hope you enjoy the overall hosting rankings section below!
Best Hosting Providers
SiteGround – Coming in at the top spot in my rankings is SiteGround. I use SiteGround to host this website. I actually switched to them after testing them for this article when I saw how good they were. They come in at, or near the top in a variety of categories such as site speed, hosting support, and pricing. To learn more check out our full SiteGround review post.
GreenGeeks – GreenGeeks is an interesting hosting provider. Their environmental efforts are right in the name. They’re a very good option, and could be ranked first if you desire a more eco friendly hosting provider. They had surprisingly fast speeds during our tests as well as some of the best support around. Learn more about what makes them different in my GreenGeeks review.
HostPapa – HostPapa comes in 3rd place for me. This may be a shocker to some. However, they offer great priced managed WordPress Hosting plans and good speeds. My only gripe with them would be that their site speeds can fluctuate a bit, but there isn’t much to complain about. You can learn more about their pros and cons in my HostPapa review.
A2 Hosting – I’ll admit positions 3 through 5 were very close. I went back and forth about this for a long time. The deciding factors for the number 3 spot came down to pricing and slightly better uptime for HostPapa. However, A2’s site speeds were always at or near the top when comparing every host. If site speed is what you’re after they could be the best option for you. Our A2 Hosting review has more info if you’re interested in learning more about them.
Hostinger – Hostinger may be a bit of a surprise to some people reading this as well. A big reason why they finished this high was due to their low-cost plans. They also offer helpful resources and above average live chat support. With them you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Learn more about this inexpensive host in our full Hostinger review.
Above Average Hosting Providers
BlueHost – BlueHost could have easily been higher depending on what’s important to you. I ended up putting BlueHost in the 6th spot on this list. They had some of the most reliable uptime when comparing all the hosts. However, the 4 hosts ranked above them were both faster. Take a look at our BlueHost review for more info about what they offer.
HostGator – Hostgator comes in at 7th place. The EIG host is one of the oldest within the hosting industry. Over the years their support and uptime has seen much improvement. They’re a solid option for new users. Find out more about them in the full HostGator review post.
InMotion Hosting – Rounding out the above average hosting providers is InMotion Hosting. InMotion could really be in the top 5 depending on what’s important to you. One of their biggest selling points is their 90 day money back guarantee. To learn more about why they’re ranked here take a look at the InMotion Hosting review.
Average Hosting Providers
TMDHosting – TMDHosting arrives on the list at 9th. Before making the switch to SiteGround I had been with TMDHosting for several years. The thing I liked most about TMDHosting is their friendly and helpful support. It’s what kept me with them for years. You can learn more about them in my TMDHosting review.
DreamHost – DreamHost arrives on the list at number 10. DreamHost is a solid hosting provider. They offer a variety of plans to meet your needs. In particular I like what their managed WordPress plans have to offer. Their support needs to improve if they want to move up on this list though. If you’re interested I’ve written a full DreamHost review here.
iPage – iPage falls within the average group of WordPress hosts were comparing here. They offer some of the cheapest introductory plans in the industry. If low cost upfront plans are important to you then you might want to take a look at the full iPage review.
Below Average Hosting Providers
JustHost – JustHost is probably my favorite name of all the hosting companies listed. They offer good, but not great introductory rates for their plans. They also feature free SSL certificates. You can get more information about JustHost from our full JustHost review.
A Small Orange – A Small Orange is not that bad of a host. I’m a fan of their straight forward plans. They also provide a 90 day money back guarantee. But, they currently do not provide any phone or email support. You can learn more what they have to offer in our A Small Orange review.
Site5 – Site5 is next up on our list. Like many hosts they provide migration and recovery backups. They also guarantee 99.9% uptime with their plans. But, they do have some issues as well. To learn more about them read the full Site5 review.
FatCow – FatCow was founded back in 1998. Because of this they are a more well known company. However, they have many issues going on including site speed. If you still want to learn more about them and why they’re ranked here check out the FatCow review.
Worst Hosting Providers
HostMetro – Despite being this low on this list HostMetro has a couple things going for it. They have cheap prices and several support options. Despite the prices they finish this low because of bad uptime and speed. If you’d like to get more information on them check out the HostMetro review.
WebHostingPad – WebHostingPad comes in as one of the worst providers we tested. Their prices aren’t bad. But, they finished near the bottom of our results in both uptime and site speed. We have a WebHostingPad review if you’d like to read more.
Arvixe – Last place on this list belongs to Arvixe. This host consistently had bad uptime and speed results. On top of that, they do not offer the low pricing that HostMetro and WebHostingPad do. However, if you’d still like to learn more about them you can read our full Arvixe review.
WordPress Hosting Comparison: Final Thoughts
I wanted to end this WordPress hosting comparison post with some final thoughts.
In the end most of the hosting providers I’ve discussed here are worth checking out. You also need to decide what is important to you when picking a host.
If you are on a budget Hostinger might be the best option for you. If you’re trying to focus on high quality support you might want SiteGround or high-end managed hosting. Figuring out what’s important to you is half the battle. The second half of the battle is trying the host out for yourself.
I hope that you were able to find some good takeaways from this comparison post. I put a lot of time, effort, and money into this research. With that being said, hosting plans and companies can change a lot over time. I’ll do my best to keep this article up to date with current information. Again, I hope you benefited from this post. If you did enjoy it please consider sharing it with others.
I’d also love to hear your thoughts about this WordPress hosting comparison in the comments below. Do you think I’ve missed the mark? Is there something you’d also like to see covered within this review? Please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your input about how I can improve this article. Lastly, I wanted to say thanks for taking the time to read this post!