Choosing a quality WordPress website hosting provider

Wordpress website hosting engineer monitoring servers

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If you’re in the process of building a website, you’ll need to consider where you want to host it. Good quality website hosting is one of the most important decisions you can make, because your website hosting will directly influence the security, speed and reliability of your website.

Before going through some of the popular options, let’s rewind and go through the basics so you can get an idea of what website hosting actually is, and why it matters.

The following information is specific for WordPress website hosting, and most of the providers listed here are WordPress specific. If you’re website isn’t WordPress based, many of the same factors are still relevant in finding a suitable hosting provider.

What is WordPress website hosting?

Website hosting is the service that makes your website accessible online. Your website is made up of files and databases that need to be stored so that users can access it online. To put it simply, a website hosting provider stores and serves up your files to users, so to have a website online – you need a website hosting service.

If your website is built on WordPress, then it’s important to choose a hosting provider that is built specifically for WordPress. While WordPress can easily run on most website hosting platforms, choosing a WordPress specific provider means that the hosting is setup and configured specifically for WordPress websites. In general, this will mean that the performance, security and overall ease of using the platform are going to be significantly better, so we always recommend choosing a host that is designed specifically for WordPress sites.

What are the different types of website hosting?

There are many different types of website hosting available, and what type you will need will depend on your website and its specific requirements. 

Some examples of types of hosting available

  • Shared hosting – Best suited for small to medium businesses with simple websites
  • VPS hosting – More resources & control for larger sites
  • Dedicated hosting – Full control & dedicated resources for large and complex websites
  • Cloud hosting – Hosting across a network of servers that offers better scalability
  • Platform specific hosting – Many providers offer hosting designed for specific platforms – eg WordPress or Joomla

Your website designer or developer should be able to recommend the type of hosting that’s most suitable for your business.

What makes a good WordPress website hosting provider?

A good website host can be the difference between your site running smoothly and performing well, and being slow to load and having regular issues. There are many really good quality hosting providers out there, so here’s what to look for in a good quality host.

Security

A good website host will have features that help keep your site secure. Exactly how this is setup can vary greatly, but you should look for features like:

  • Multi factor authentication
  • Locking down core files to prevent from unauthorised access
  • Regular security scans
  • SSL setup and management
  • Web application firewall (WAF)

Reliability

Having a reliable website host is critical. Look for uptime guarantees, read user reviews on independent review sites to ensure your host offers a reliable and stable experience. It’s also really important to make sure your hosting provider is running regular automated backups that are easy to restore. While you can do this via a plugin, it’s less reliable and more prone to issues.

Performance

Good website hosting should help make your site quick to load for visitors. The exact same site on a low quality host can load significantly faster with a better quality hosting provider. Look for features that help speed up your website like:

  • Server based caching
  • Quality hosting infrastructure (SSD drives, latest PHP versions, included CDN)
  • Platform specific tools and guides to improve performance

Quality support

When there is an issue with your website, it’s important to be able to get good quality support you can access quickly. This often means having live chat or phone support with low wait times, and quick and efficient resolution of issues. It’s worthwhile testing out the process of contacting support to find out how easy (or hard) it is to get help when you need it.

Easy to use

Website hosting can get complicated quickly. Unless you’ve got the server administration background, look for a managed hosting provider. This option means you leave all the really complicated parts of hosting to your provider for them to manage. While this means you will pay a bit more, it’s worth it to know that there is a team of technical engineers that are configuring, managing and testing the huge amount of options and features in a way that will work best for you. Another advantage of a managed hosting provider is that the back end interface is easier and simpler to navigate; there aren’t 50+ pages of settings and features to look through – just the key ones you need to effectively manage your hosting.

Recommended quality WordPress website hosting providers

Siteground

Siteground are a great option for any small to medium business. Siteground has all the features you would expect of a good website hosting provider, including automated backups, 24/7 support, and free SSL. One of the best features of Siteground is their included plugins for security and speed, which work well to provide a foundation for security & speed that would normally require a combination of several plugins with other providers.

Siteground also includes some features that are great for new businesses such as free domain name and DIY migrations. Something else Siteground offers that most other managed WordPress hosts don’t is email hosting, so you can have a professional email address at your website domain. I generally recommend not bundling website and email hosting, but this option is there if you want it, and Siteground have also recently added in an option for Google Workspace.

Best features: Great support, easy back end interface & 100% renewable energy match. Huge discounts for the first 12 months.

View Siteground plans or signup here

WP Engine

WP Engine has a long history as a high quality WordPress hosting provider, and has some great features for larger traffic sites where security, speed and reliability are more important. WP Engine is definitely one of the best performing website hosts, so if getting the best possible speed and performance are important for your business, then they are a great choice. There are also some paid add ons that are worth considering like Cloudflare Global Edge Security, and automated plugin updates.

If you’re running an eCommerce website, then WP Engine has some really clever features that will help speed up your site and increase conversions. These include an instant store search feature, a WooCommerce caching setup for quick loading times and a custom live cart so that your store can handle more customers shopping at once without slowing down. WP Engine isn’t the cheapest option, but with eCommerce or large stores where your website is critically important, then it’s worth it.

Best features: Great performance, unique built in WooCommerce features and some really useful add on services.

View WP Engine plans or signup here

Flywheel

Flywheel is a part of WP Engine, and is a really good option for websites that want the best quality support, with a really well designed and easy to use admin interface. Flywheel sites are fast with their own custom caching engine FlyCache enabled on each site, and have all the features you would expect for a top quality hosting provider. One area where Flywheel really shines however is the support. Flywheel includes 24/7 live chat and phone support, which is great quality and will be there to quickly provide support for any issues on your website.

The back end admin interface for Flywheel is made for non-technical people, and is easy to use and well setup to put all the key options you need at your fingertips. One easy to miss benefit of Flywheel is how they handle emails from your website. Emails from your website can sometimes get blocked or not get delivered, but Flywheel routes all website emails via email platform Sendgrid for improved deliverability. This can make a huge difference and save you paying for an external service to handle emails.

Best features: Well designed and simple interface, some of the best support of any website host, and included Sendgrid integration with all plans.

View Flywheel plans or signup here

Kinsta

Kinsta is another hosting provider with a great reputation in the WordPress community. Kinsta promotes itself as a modern WordPress host, and this definitely feels spot on when using their platform. Kinsta offers very good performance, and a very nicely setup hosting interface that is easy to use but still has some great technical features. One of the big things that makes Kinsta different is how they handle caching. Kinsta have their own custom ‘Edge Caching’, which can increase load times by up to 200%.

Kinda also includes some really high level monitoring and security features which make it a great pick for large sites where you need the best for speed, performance reliability. Kinsta is more expensive than other options, but with sites of a certain size and quality it’s worth investing in quality hosting.

Best features: Modern, clean interface and admin interface, custom edge caching setup for great performance and security features important for large websites.

View Kinsta plans or signup here

Other worthy mentions

Some other hosting providers we’ve heard great things about and seen recommended regularly are listed below. We haven’t had direct experience in using these platforms, but because they are regularly mentioned as good quality in the WordPress community we wanted to include.

Why a good WordPress hosting provider matters

Your website needs a hosting provider to be available to the world, and the quality here really matters. The biggest factor in the speed, security and reliability of your website is your WordPress website hosting, so it’s critical to choose a quality host.

If your website is slow, has security issues or just isn’t working as expected – it means your great website has gone from a valuable asset to a liability.

Choose a quality managed WordPress website host and you will help minimise any issues with your website and ensure it is running well and serving your business effectively.

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