With so many WordPress Hosting providers out there, choosing the right one for your needs can be a daunting task. If you are just starting your WordPress blog, then you will find yourself at a loss when trying to distinguish between the similarly packaged offers. If, on the other hand you already have a blog and are considering to change your hosting provider, then you need to be sure that you make a smart move. In this section I have compiled a list of my preferred hosting solutions based on my personal experience.
Disclaimer: I have not been paid to carry out these recommendations, nor am I involved with any of the companies behind them. I only recommend products or services that I have used personally and which I believe will add value to my readers. Some of the links in the following reviews are “affiliate links”. This means that if you click on the link and purchase the product or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please note that this will not affect the price you pay. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” and Google’s Guidelines on Affiliate Programs.
When reviewing Bluehost, I am at a loss from where to start, really! These guys have been around in the web hosting business since 1996. Today they have more than 300 employees working with them and they boast one of the best network infrastructure in the business. Specializing in shared WordPress hosting, they are one of the official WordPress recommended hosting providers. However, Bluehost also specialise in hosting for Joomla, Drupal, Zen Cart and several other popular Content Management Systems.
I had switched the hosting of UsabilityGeek to Bluehost earlier on this year and so far I am very impressed with the service that they provide – particularly with regards to the features that come with their hosting package and their impeccable support. One of the greatest advantages is that they allow multiple WordPress installations on the same hosting – something that other hosting providers offer with premium hosting packages.
In fact, Bluehost only offer 1 hosting package so you do not have to worry about choosing the right package for you. And what is great is that this package is priced at only $4.95 a month and among a lot of things such as an advanced version of the cPanel, it includes the following goodies:
- Free domain
- Free drag and drop website builder with templates
- Unlimited domain hosting, unlimited hosting space and unlimited email accounts
- 99.9% network uptime guarantee (except scheduled maintenance)
- Round the clock monitoring of the network infrastructure
- 24/7 online (typically in under 30s), email and phone support
- Extensive knowledge base that helps you resolve issues yourself
- Secure Shell, SSL, FTP and stats
- SimpleScripts 1-Click installs
- Money back guarantee (anytime)
At just $4.95 per month, a hosting package with Bluehost is truly a bargain!
DreamHost is also one of the pioneering companies in web hosting. Established in 1997, it now hosts over 500,000 domains and boasts one of the most loyal customers in the business. With regards to the infrastructure, DreamHost is one of the most reliable around – no wonder they are one of the 3 recommended hosting solutions by WordPress.
Needless to say, the ability to host more than half a million domains requires a reliable infrastructure. DreamHost have hundreds of multi-CPU servers and boast a UPS system, with back-up generator and multiple redundant internet connections. This is why they guarantee 100% uptime.
Perhaps one of the most “controversial” topics that always crops up in every DreamHost review is that they offer a customized control panel to manage their services (unlike other hosting companies whose control panel is the cPanel or modified versions of it). Some like it and some not – so it is purely subjective. Personally, I think that the customisations offer a simpler interface that most users will find easier to operate. However, more advanced and technical users who are accustomed to cPanel may initially find themselves limited. With regards to infrastructure, support and reliability, I definitely recommend DreamHost. They are a bit more expensive than the other shared hosting providers, but the service is impeccable.
Key features of the Dreamhost shared hosting package are:
- Free domain
- Unlimited disk space, unlimited hosting, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited email accounts
- 1-click application installation
- Free WHOIS privacy
- Web-based FTP
- 24/7 technical support via phone and email
- 100% uptime guaranteed
- 97-day money back guarantee
The price for DreamHost shared hosting is $8.95 per month – a bit more pricey than its competitors but definitely one of the best hosting companies around.
“We eat up the competition”. The HostGator slogan says it all. With over 12,000 servers and hosting over 2 million domains, the company is considered by many as the leading provider of shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated web hosting services.
Unlike its competitors, HostGator offers 3 different shared hosting solutions:
- Hatchling: $3.96/month – unlimited space, bandwidth and shared SSL certificate
- Baby: $6.36 – as above but includes unlimited domains
- Business: $10.36/month – as above but also provides a private SSL certificate, IP and a toll free number
In addition to the above, all HostGator shared hosting solutions come with
- Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
- Unlimited subdomains, FTP accounts and email accounts
- 1-Click script install
- Free website builder – including 4,500 free website templates
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- 45-day money back guarantee
- 24/7/365 technical support via live chat, email or phone
- Large selection of freebies and features
- Free website transfers including domains and databases
From personal experience, I have used HostGator for a number of my clients. The main drawbacks that I used to hear was the pricing. However, with the basic shared hosting now at just $3.96 per month it is actually the cheapest. Moreover, HostGator offer so many hosting options and features that they can appeal to both the newbie as well as the techie alike.