Finding the best WordPress hosting can be a painful process. Finding a solution that will do justice to your content, offer rock-solid reliability and hopefully not break the bank is a task that requires lots of research.
The good news is, now that you’re here, you don’t have to do any of that research. Because we did all the work for you by testing the best WordPress hosting platform available today.
In this article we feature some of the best WordPress hosting companies out there:
We went ahead and created an account with each and every one of these platforms. We set up a test website and ran some tests to see which one offers the best performance.
Keep reading to find our results.
In a hurry? Here’s a quick summary table of our top picks for budget hosting and premium managed WordPress hosting.
|Budget WordPress Hosting||Managed WordPress Hosting||Managed WordPress Hosting|
|Host||InMotion Hosting||WP Engine||Kinsta|
|TTFB||246 ms||123 ms||122 ms|
|Fully Loaded Time||759 ms||630 ms||569 ms|
|Load Focus Avg. Response||435 ms||249 ms||474 ms|
|Visit||Go to InMotion Hosting||Go to WP Engine||Go to Kinsta|
InMotion Hosting offers excellent performance for a surprisingly low price. Starting at just $6.99 per month, you can get stellar managed WordPress hosting that was able to hold up under our load test, which caused most of the other cheap hosts to slow down. Beyond that, you also get useful features like staging sites, free SSL certificates, automatic backups, and more.
WP Engine is one of the most expensive WordPress hosting providers on the market, but its quality more than makes up for the high cost. This WordPress-centric web host is especially well-suited to rapidly growing sites. In addition, they offer enterprise-grade security features, albeit at a cost of disallowing a few popular plugins due to security vulnerabilities. You can get started with their cheapest plan, then upgrade as necessary.
Kinsta is also another solid option in the premium WordPress hosting space that put up near-identical numbers to WP Engine. In addition to similar performance, Kinsta also has an identical starting price to WP Engine. Honestly, at this price point, both WP Engine and Kinsta are top-notch options and you won’t go wrong with either.
A managed WordPress hosting plan includes lots of benefits for building WordPress websites. Such as hosting on servers optimized for WordPress software with high-tech caching systems. Automatic WordPress software updates and daily website backups. And much more. Basically, managed WordPress hosting offers faster and more reliable hosting features.
Shared WordPress hosting plans are much cheaper compared to managed hosting. However, they don’t offer the same benefits of managed hosting plans. When you use a shared hosting plan to host a website, your website usually gets stuffed on a server full of hundreds of other shared websites. This, of course, means slower website performance.
Overall, it’s best to use a managed WordPress hosting plan if you have big plans for your website. Or you can start with a shared plan and upgrade to a managed plan later, depending on the hosting platform you choose.
(If you’d rather cut straight to the chase and dive into our WordPress hosting comparison, go for it!)
Let’s quickly talk about how we tested these hosts. Then, we’ll share more detail on all nine hosts that we put through the paces.
Unlike many other hosting guides that are biased in favor of one particular provider from the get-go, we’ve reviewed each of the hosts totally independently. One of our key focuses is performance, as how quickly a host can load your websites is one of the most important factors in choosing a host.
To assess performance, we used two different tools:
We used an identical test site for all the hosts. To create a realistic test scenario (rather than just testing a blank site), we created our test site using the Astra theme and its block editor-powered Sierra Industry demo site, which includes common plugins like a form plugin.
Now, let’s get to the hosts!
InMotion Hosting is one of the biggest names in hosting. Their WordPress plans are particularly attractive due to budget-friendly prices.
Their prices are a lot lower than premium managed WordPress hosts, but InMotion Hosting still manages to offer surprisingly good performance for their low prices. The performance isn’t quite as good as pricier options like WP Engine or Kinsta, but it does offer very good value for the money.
Their cheapest plan comes in at a surprisingly low $6.99 per month. For the features they offer, that’s one of the best prices around.
InMotion Hosting performed surprisingly well in our performance tests when you consider its prices. In WebPageTest, it had excellent metrics across the board, though its TTFB could be a little bit faster.
Most surprisingly, though, it passed the Load Focus tests with flying colors. This is impressive because a lot of the other budget WordPress hosts failed in the load tests. This shows that InMotion Hosting will still be able to load your site quickly even in high-traffic scenarios.
WP Engine is the biggest name when it comes to premium managed WordPress hosting. It’s a big company, with a valuation that’s likely over a billion dollars. It offers top-notch features, performance, and support. You also get goodies that other hosts don’t offer, such as free access to the Genesis Framework and all 30+ StudioPress child themes.
Overall, if you want top-notch WordPress hosting and you’re willing to pay for it, WP Engine is a great option.
WP Engine offer a number of standard packages split out by traffic, storage, and the number of sites that you can host. These range in price from $30 to $290 per month, with discounts if you pay annually. For our tests, we ran on the entry-level StartUp package.
As you’d expect from a host at this price level, WP Engine nailed all of our performance tests, including the load testing from Load Focus.
Basically, if you pay the premium for WP Engine, you’re going to get your money’s worth when it comes to performance.
Kinsta is one of the rising stars in the managed WordPress hosting industry. It offers a range of services for all sizes of websites at an unmatched price range.
Even though Kinsta is a fairly new contender to the industry, it’s already being recognized as a solid hosting provider. And is trusted by major brands such as Ubisoft, Ricoh, and more.
Their pricing starts at $30 per month for hosting one website and goes all the way up to $1500 a month for hosting 150 websites.
Like WP Engine, Kinsta put up excellent performance results to justify its higher price tag. Especially in the load test, you can really see where you get your money’s worth when it comes to WordPress hosting.
Whether you have a low-traffic or a high-traffic site, you should be very happy with the performance that Kinsta provides.
Nexcess is the brand that Liquid Web uses for its managed plans. If you’re not familiar with Liquid Web, it’s a popular and well-respected hosting company.
Nexcess offers managed plans for both general WordPress sites and also special managed plans for WooCommerce stores (complete with a lot of unique options)
Overall, Nexcess had some of the best performance in our tests, but it’s plans are still quite affordable starting at just $13 per month for managed WordPress hosting.
Overall, Nexcess had excellent results in our WebPageTest runs. The TTFB was a little higher than WP Engine and Flywheel, but the overall load times were quite impressive.
Nexcess was even more impressive in our load testing from Load Focus, where the average response time across the entire test was just 400 ms, which puts it in the same area as WP Engine and InMotion Hosting.
Nexcess offers seven different pricing plans, so there’s something for everyone. However, the higher-tier plans run in the hundreds of dollars, so we’ll just focus on the first four plans. You can also save some money if you pay for a year upfront.
Flywheel is a managed WordPress host that markets itself more towards creative freelancers and agencies building client sites, though it also makes a great option to host your own sites.
If you are building client sites, though, you can take advantage of Flywheel’s Growth Suite offering, which is a really unique option in the WordPress hosting space.
Note – Flywheel was acquired by WP Engine (an earlier entrant on this list) in 2019. The two companies are still run separately for the most part. One area where they’ve homogenized, though, is pricing. Flywheel and WP Engine now have very similar pricing plans and limits, though there are still a few differences.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test Flywheel using Load Focus because Flywheel’s security kicked in to block our load test because load testing can look a lot like a DDoS attack. Honestly, this is a great thing from a security perspective because it shows that Flywheel is proactively protecting your site…but it does mean we can’t test Flywheel’s ability to hold up under load.
With that being said, Flywheel’s performance in the one-off WebPageTest tests was excellent and, based on experience, you can expect those same results to hold true under load just like you saw with WP Engine (Flywheel’s parent company).
You can get a discount if you pay for a full year upfront.
Bluehost is a beginner-friendly budget WordPress hosting option. In addition to offering unlimited resources on most of its plans, one of Bluehost’s standout features is just how user-friendly it is.
Simply put, Bluehost makes it super easy to launch a WordPress site, even including its own drag-and-drop WordPress website builder tool. Or, if you already know your way around WordPress, you can just install the regular version of WordPress.
In terms of performance, Bluehost is good enough for low-traffic sites. But for serious, high-traffic sites, you’ll probably want to invest in a host that offers better performance.
Overall, Bluehost can be great when you’re starting out, but you might need to migrate to something like WP Engine or Kinsta once your site starts growing.
Bluehost also offers its own managed WordPress hosting plans though, at those prices, you’d probably be better of just moving to WP Engine or Kinsta.
Bluehost had some interesting results in our performance tests. In our one-off WebPageTest tests, Bluehost actually did quite well, with respectable load times and TTFB. If you look at just this single test, you’d be rightfully impressed by Bluehost’s performance.
However, in the load testing, Bluehost showed some cracks, with an average response time over 3.8 seconds, which was one of the slower hosts on this list.
This suggests that Bluehost might be a solid option for simple low-traffic sites, but probably isn’t a good host for high-traffic sites because of its poor load testing results.
* These prices assume a three-year commitment – you’ll pay slightly more for shorter-term commitments.
A2 Hosting is another popular shared WordPress host. With low entry-level prices, it can be a solid option for cheap WordPress hosting. Like Bluehost, they offer unlimited websites and resources on most of their plans, as well as some user-friendly features like staging sites and free SSL certificates.
On their higher-tier shared plans (called Turbo), they also offer LiteSpeed server, which will offer even better performance than the plans that we tested.
A2 Hosting’s performance looks a lot like the other cheap WordPress hosting options on this list. It performed fine in the one-off WebPageTest run, but it struggled to handle our load testing scenario from Load Focus.
Again, our Load Focus scenario is pretty difficult, so it’s a tough task for any shared host to handle. But when you look at A2 Hosting’s 6+ second average response time in Load Focus, you can really see that you get your money’s worth when using the more premium managed WordPress hosts.
A2 Hosting offers four different plans The prices below are for a three-year commitment, but you can also pay yearly or monthly for a slightly higher rate.
DreamHost offers multiple WordPress hosting plans, including cheap shared hosting and an affordable managed WordPress hosting product called DreamPress.
For our testing, we looked at the shared plan, which is one of the better budget options. A standout of the shared plan is that it offers affordable month-to-month billing, whereas most other shared hosts will force you to pay for at least a year upfront (or charge a really high monthly price).
In the one-off WebPageTest, DreamHost did pretty well for being shared hosting. It’s similar to Bluehost and A2 Hosting, which is what you’d expect at this price range.
For being cheap shared hosting, DreamHost did fairly well in the load test. It didn’t perform anywhere close to WP Engine or Kinsta, but it did beat out a lot of the similarly-priced shared hosts such as Bluehost and A2 Hosting.
HostGator is a renowned name in the web hosting world, but not a beloved one. Lots of experienced users tend to look down on their hosting plans, but they’ve now come out swinging with a strong offering for WordPress users – their WordPress Cloud Hosting plans.
Their basic plan obtained decent results during our tests (more of which later), and they start at a reasonable $5.95 per month, going up to $9.95 per month.
HostGator’s test results look a lot like similarly-priced hosts such as Bluehost and A2 Hosting. You can see that, in the one-off WebPageTest runs, HostGator had quite respectable load times, though its TTFB was a little bit higher than you’d like.
However, things aren’t quite so smooth when the heat is on, and you can see HostGator struggle in the load tests with an average response time over 4 seconds.
Overall, this indicates that HostGator can be a good budget option for low-traffic sites, but it’s probably not the best spot for important high-traffic sites.
We’ve summarized the results of our tests in the following table with leading results highlighted in green and lower-ranking results in red.
|SSL||Email Hosting||Free Domain|
|1. InMotion Hosting||$6.99/mo||759 ms||✓||✓||✓|
|2. WP Engine||$30/mo||630 ms||✓||X||X|
|3. Kinsta||$30/mo||569 ms||✓||X||X|
|4. Nexcess||$19/mo||955 ms||✓||✓||X|
|5. Flywheel||$15/mo||523 ms||✓||X||X|
|6. Bluehost||$2.75/mo||1,098 ms||✓||✓||✓|
|7. A2 Hosting||$2.99/mo||1,241 ms||✓||✓||✓|
|8. DreamHost||$4.95||1.335 ms||✓||✓||✓|
|9. HostGator||$5.95/mo||2,072 ms||✓||✓||X|
Choosing the best WordPress hosting is tricky because a lot of it comes down to your own unique situation.
If you asked us to pick the absolute best hosting without thinking about price, it would be WP Engine (use our 20% off coupon) or Kinsta. These two hosts had the best performance, have the best features, have top-notch support, etc.
However, most of us can’t afford to ignore price, and you might be motivated by something else.
With that in mind, we think InMotion Hosting is a great budget option for most people. Is it as fast as WP Engine or Kinsta? No it isn’t…but it is still pretty fast and less than one-third of the price of those two hosts. So if money is tight, definitely give it a look.
Or, Nexcess is another option that offers managed features and top-notch performance at a more accessible price than WP Engine or Kinsta.
On the other hand, while we think performance is king, it might not be what you value most in a host. If you’re a total beginner just building a hobby website, you might value affordability and beginner-friendliness above performance. In that case, Bluehost might be the best option for you. Are they the fastest host? Definitely not. But Bluehost did have respectable load times in the one-off test and Bluehost stands out for its user-friendly experience.
The followings are some of the most common questions and answers that’ll help you understand WordPress hosting a little bit better.
The WordPress software itself is completely free to download and use. Make sure that you download it from wordpress.org website. When using a WordPress hosting provider, you can install it directly from your hosting account dashboard. It only takes a single mouse click.
Yes. Even though WordPress software is free to use, you need to install the software on a server to set up your website using the software. And to make your website accessible to everyone on the Internet. There are many different types of hosting you can use to set up a WordPress website at different price ranges.
Unless you set up a website with WordPress.com, which puts lots of restrictions and limitations, you won’t find free hosting to make a professional WordPress website. Even if you come across any free hosting sites, avoid them. Because they will only offer slow hosting and fill your website with advertisements.
Managed WordPress web hosting platforms offer free daily backups of your website. However, it’s always a good idea to have an alternate option. You can use a free plugin to set up an automatic backup system for your website. Follow this guide to pick the right plugin for the job.
Yes. Using third-party plugins such as WPML and Polylang you can easily add multilingual support to your website. And offer translations in dozens of languages.
The main difference between WordPress hosting and shared hosting is that WordPress hosting includes servers that are specially optimized to boost the functionality of WordPress software. They also include special caching systems to speed up your websites. Shared hosting, on the other hand, doesn’t provide any special features but offers affordable pricing.
This is a complicated process that involves multiple steps and it can also differ depending on the type of hosting you use. It’s best to contact your web hosting provider and ask for their help. Most WordPress web hosting providers will even offer to move your site for free.
If your host doesn’t offer free migrations, you can use a WordPress migration plugin like Duplicator.
If you started a blog on WordPress.com and want to transform it to a self-hosted blog, you can do so by transferring all your data to a new hosting account. Follow this guide to learn how it’s done.
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