Finding a good web host is probably the first headache of any person trying to build his own site, along with choosing a domain name.
Shared web hosting is the affordable hosting solution for people looking to start a personal website, blog or small business. By hosting on a shared web server, you are able to cover all your hosting needs while keeping monthly fees as low as possible. This is achieved by hosting your website on a server that is shared with many other website owners.
I’ll make things simpler for you by gathering the best shared hosting providers I’ve used and comparing them in this post.
BlueHost are a truly great hosting provider, you will find lots of rave reviews about them, because they really rock. They have been a recommended hosting provider on WordPress.org since 2005.
Bluehost’s website hosting accounts also come with reliable, easy-to-use email accounts. Set up domain name unique email addresses that can be used within an email client such as Outlook, Outlook Express, and Thunderbird or as webmail. Bluehost offers mail forwarding, anti-SPAM software and mailing lists. Each email account is secure and is effective for personal email accounts, or corporate email services.
BlueHost also has 1-click install scripts for popular CMSs including WordPress, making it really easy for you to get started using self-hosted WordPress.
BlueHost offers website hosting customers with award-winning customer service. Bluehost’s team members are highly trained, friendly, and dedicated to your success. Bluehost offers a help desk with informative and useful tutorials and videos that help you with all aspects of hosting your website and all their staff are 100% in-house.
They have an anytime money-back guarantee, which shows the confidence they have in their service. Signing up to BlueHost couldn’t be easier, there is a wizard that helps you go through all the steps, and live chat which is only a click away should you have any queries.
Paying for 36 months will get you the lowest cost of $4.95/month, but you can also pay on a shorter 1-year term at $6.95/month.
A good host that distinguishes itself for its value for money. They have features usually found on much more expensive hosts such as staging areas, reliable backups, and 24/7 support via multiple channels.
We’ve already written an in-depth review of DreamHost here on WP Mayor, and we can recommend them as one of the top WordPress shared hosting providers.
Their prices are slightly higher than the competition, but you can also host as many domains as you want, and the hosting is optimized for WordPress. They also have 50GB backup space which is a good thing to have. That way you will have plenty of space to have backups you can fall onto if something goes wrong with your live site.
You have 97 days to evaluate Dreamhost and receive your money back, an unusually long satisfaction guarantee period. Dreamhost is one of an increasing number of self-described green hosts, meaning they neutralize their carbon footprint by purchasing renewable energy, running more efficient servers, and a variety of other measures that they’re happy to tell you about.
InMotion Hosting is another long-standing favourite with many of my clients and peers. They offer very solid and affordable hosting packages starting at just $4.89 (with the WP Mayor 30% discount applied). InMotion Hosting have sponsored several WordCamps and are definitely close to the WordPress community in general. You can rely on InMotion Hosting engineers to know a thing or two about WordPress in case you run into some problems when hosting with them.
They have an astounding 90 day guarantee, which goes to show how convinced they are that they offer a superior deal when compared to run of the mill hosting providers. They’ve been an industry leader for over 10 years and are also very popular for VPS hosting, but that’s another subject altogether. For those who want an extra layer of support and relationship, InMotion Hosting have a managed hosting service.
Whichever package you go for, InMotion Hosting is a solid choice, and with the 30% offer discount offer we are currently running, they are a great choice for hosting your WordPress site!
GreenGeeks is a greener alternative for hosting. They are a hosting company that is committed to a 300% renewable energy commitment, so when you host with them, you also know you’re helping the environment.
Besides being a green option, GreenGeeks are also a great hosting company. Their simplest hosting plan starts at $3.95 per month (down from $9.95/month during the sale). They also offer reseller hosting, VPS hosting, as well as dedicated hosting.
They offer such benefits as having unlimited domains on one account, unlimited SSD space, a free domain name or transfer, a free website builder and templates, a free website transfer service, and 24/7/365 expert tech support, among others.
Is this your first time signing up with a web hosting service? Then I recommend Bluehost, as they have an excellent wizard that will make it very easy for you to sign up and handhold you all the way. Moreover, they also have live chat to answer all your questions.
If you’re unsatisfied with your current host and want to move to a new reliable shared web host, I suggest going with HostGator, as they can handle all the nitty-gritty of the migration for you absolutely free. If you are looking for a bargain, HostGator is also hard to beat, and they offer great value for money.
I’ve found the best support experience at SiteGround, the guys there are really awesome and go beyond their call of duty. If you’ve been to any WordCamps you’ll probably have come across them as well as they’ve been very involved in these events over the past few years.
All things said, the hosts mentioned above are all very reliable and you can’t really go wrong with any of them.
And if you’re looking for a step upward from shared hosting, I urge you to read our comparison of the best WordPress managed hosting providers.
but siteground is very expensive for beginner like me
I appreciate it!. I really like it when people get together and share ideas. I like this post,enjoyed this one appreciate it for putting up. When looking for well-managed WordPress hosting provider, there are specific attributes you focus on. Of course, many claims to offer the best WordPress hosting services in the industry. It is important to do a background check on them. Read product reviews to find out if a web hosting service has what you are looking for. Having more useful features means that you will have to spend more. Take a look at plans and packages and find out whether they meet with your budget estimates. Don’t spend too much on plans that you don’t exactly need especially if you are starting out. You can upgrade your packages as your website grows.
If you could find a web host who has been in business for over 20 years, responds to all customer service requests in minutes, provides email, chat and voice support, and who does not have a single negative review within Google search over the past 10 years, would you consider them?
Nice article. Thanks a lot.
Good insights in hosting companies.nice to see you have touched many points.You can find and compare various hosting plans at http://www.comparemyhost.com/ and choose which one suits you best.
Nice article. I bought a shared hosting at http://rosehosting.com at very affordable price and I’m completely happy with the service. I would recommend everyone to try them.
Why are some WordPress Hosting so expensive?
Is there really such a difference between something like Websynthesis.com ($47) Pagely.com (24$) or WpEngine (29$) and something like MyWoHo.com (1$) or Bluehost.com (3.5$)?
Or is the reason why most blogs list only companies like websynthesis, pagely or wpengine the fact that this companies earn 30-40 times what others earn and that they can spend this money in advertising?
There is a big difference in that the ‘expensive’ ones you mentioned are managed hosts which means that you can go to them if you have any WordPress problems and they’ll help you out (to a certain degree). You’ve also got staging servers, reliable backups, Git functionality etc. It also depends on what kind of site you have and what features you require.
MyWoHo.com and Bluehost.com also have support and daily backups.
Personally I don’t think WebSynthesis.com is worth 47 times MyWoHo.com.
Sure, but a host like WP Engine can give you much more support and better overall performance and WordPress specific help. I’ve tried them both so I can see the difference clearly.
In the last month I made some tests with MyWoHo, WebSynthesis and WpEngine.
I tested the performance (pingdom.com), the support and the backup function.
What I can tell you is that 90-95% of people that are hosting their WordPress Sites on expensive Hosting provider are wasting their money. If you have a few thousands of monthly pageviews, you really don’t need to spend 47$.
The fact is that blogs advertise providers with the highest affiliate commissions. It’s normal that they prefer wpengine with a 200$ affiliate commission instead of MyWoHo with no affiliate program.
I’d love to see the results of those tests. I hope that after taking the trouble to conduct such time consuming tests you noted them down for everyone to see, as such tests are very useful.
I haven’t heard of MyWoHo before and having a browse through their website I wouldn’t trust them at this stage; there are no contact details and the terms and conditions are a bit confusing. Would you trust them with your precious data? I wouldn’t.
If you have a few thousand monthly page views, have only one site, and don’t care about having the extra help that hosts like WP Engine provide, then by all means go for a cheaper plan. The best host for entry level websites that I have come across is SiteGround. Try them out and then let us know what you think.
Thank you for the reply Jean. I will also try SiteGround for one or two months and then I will provide you with all my results
Excellent looking forward to that.
Regarding some of the smaller companies – I’ve been using HostAwesome for a little while now, and even though they’re a relatively newer WP Host, the service and support could not be more fantastic. In the end, I believe that quality of support really trumps most of the other things, and that everyone should be looking at that first, even above things like site speed.
this is very good post
Or, instead of comparing on price, or because they are giving better than usual affiliate payouts this week, why not consider using facts which we can all test and verify?
Below are what I’ve compiled using the WordPress Benchmark plugin.
“Just the facts ma’am”
BlueHost VPS ($59.99 per Month)
CPU Speed: 22,842 BogoWips
Network Transfer Speed: 4.03 Mbps
Database Queries per Second: 2,542 Queries/Sec
DreamPress WordPress Hosting ($19.95 / Month)
CPU Speed: 8,293 BogoWips
Network Transfer Speed: 18.78 Mbps
Database Queries per Second: 776 Queries/Sec
Godaddy Shared Hosting ($5.99 / Month)
CPU Speed: 19,082 BogoWips
Network Transfer Speed: 2.39 Mbps
Database Queries per Second: 1,051 Queries/Sec
Hostgator Shared Hosting Reseller ($24.99 / Month)
CPU Speed: 14,625 BogoWips
Network Transfer Speed: 5.47 Mbps
Database Queries per Second: 1,577 Queries/Sec
Media Temple (gs) Grid-Service ($20.00 / Month)
CPU Speed: 15,707 BogoWips
Network Transfer Speed: will not load
Database Queries per Second: will not load
TVC.Net SSD cPanel Hosting, ($3.00 / Month)
CPU Speed: 45,233 BogoWips
Network Transfer Speed: 7.71 Mbps
Database Queries per Second: 3,422 Queries/Sec
WPEngine Professional ($99.00 / Month)
CPU Speed: 22,121 BogoWips
Network Transfer Speed: 4.51 Mbps
Database Queries per Second: 176 Queries/Sec
I personally don’t think that data is very useful to a beginner-intermediate WordPress user. Are we just talking about CPU speed and DB queries per second here, or are things like support and uptime more important considerations when choosing a shared host? From my experience it’s the latter, combined with overall good performance levels of course. All the hosts mentioned in the post are consistently the best performing in the shared hosting industry.
I heard that Bluehost and HostGator were down about 9+ hours in August 2013. Here is a reputable blog assessment of that event, http://goo.gl/FtgyAI
And then the EIG brand hosts (Bluehost, Hostgator, et al) were down again for more hours just this past week. Here is an article on Whir, http://goo.gl/hYayQs
So if uptime is a factor, from customer reports, the top two on this list faire poorly uptime.
It’s all about perspective I think, Gmail was down for hours once as well, but we cannot say that Gmail is a poor service or has poor uptime. When going for shared hosting, you have to set your expectations right. If your site warrants a bigger investment, go for managed hosting (WP Engine or others). In any case, if you’re concerned about the EIG brand and its subsidiaries, there are other hosts listed here which you can choose from. I’ve used all the hosts on this list so I’m comfortable recommending them.
How’s life in the warmth? Quick Q from your native Malta: we’re looking into hosting for several of our domains, and were thinking of Bluehost. Alex and I wish to have more control over our blogs. But we wish to retain our domains with Godaddy. On the first sign-up screen of Bluehost, it doesn’t seem to give an option to just point domains. It seems to require transfer, or am I missing something? I was also thinking of host9. Would that be a better option, as it does talk about just pointing current domains? Tnx and may see you come Malta’s summer!
Hi Liz, life’s good here 🙂 You can keep your domains at Godaddy for any of the hosts mentioned above. With Bluehost it is a bit confusing, but you can just use the option of using an existing domain, and you won’t need to transfer anything.
SSD shared hosting is the current future. Once you’ve “felt” a secure managed SSD shared website host you’ll never want to go back to one of those “Walmart” hosts ever again. Just ask me and I’ll recommend a few low cost options and give a demonstration if you’d like. The world has changed…
What do you feel are the advantages of SSD shared hosting?
Solid State Drives are “literally” ten times or more faster than older SATA drives.
If your website uses a large database (and WordPress is virtually all database) imagine the advantages of 10x+ faster database reading/writing…
That definitely makes sense for larger databases.
thanks for sharing Jean, I really found this article usefull, I will consider following these instructions when find host for my blog
I have 4 WP sites and 4 HTML sites hosted at Dreamhost, for a total of 2 years. After success with the first site, I migrated the 7 others from [email protected], which is the worst host ever. Horrible. Anyway, although several people have complained about Dreamhost’s tech support, I have nothing but praise. They have helped me get through 2 emergencies on 2 domains.
Good to hear that Jeff!
Nice review Jean… there are a few I have yet to try. Finding a reliable hosting service lately has seemed to be challenging. We’ve tried 3 over the last 9 months…maybe time to give WestHost a shot.
Looks like you’ve been a bit unlucky there Michael. I’ve been lucky with hosts for the last few years, thanks to the hosts mentioned above as well as WP Engine and BlogDroid, who have been powering my sites with no trouble at all. I had a really bad experience when starting out around 10 years ago however, my web host at the time (I had a reseller a/c and several clients on it) one day just disappeared off the face off the earth, leaving hundreds if not thousands of clients without access to their data. No warning, now you see it, now you don’t. Quite a horror story, but I sure learnt the lesson about taking backups and making a careful choice with web hosting 🙂
All of those hosting companies you have listed employ shameful false advertising. There is no such thing as ‘unlimited disk space / Bandwidth”. Don’t believe me? try and buy a hard drive that has unlimited storage capacity. It doesn’t exist. Even if you bought every single hard drive in the world, you would still be a long way from ‘unlimited’.
They all have ‘reasonable use’ clauses buried in their terms of service. This completely invalidates their front page claims of ‘unlimited’. How this blatant false advertising is legally permitted is beyond me…
Unfortunately the ‘unlimited’ trend has been with us a few years now. Not only is used with reference to disk space, but also for bandwidth, which again is obviously impossible. I don’t remember which hosting company started it, but since it was apparently legally permitted, I guess all the others had to follow suit. Since shared hosting is used mostly by beginners who tend to be attracted by claims such as ‘unlimited’ or ‘99.9% uptime’, it’s hard for a company to go against the current and try to explain why that is not strictly true. It’s an unfortunate situation but as long as it remains legal to state so I don’t see it changing.
With WordPress managed hosting, on the other hand, you pay as much as 4x more per month, but you get a superior service, and these kind of tactics you mentioned are not used at the moment within this niche. Again, it’s got much to do with the target audience. The experienced webmasters or developers who are usually searching for managed hosting would immediately spot the falsity of such claims.
Having said that, and while I fully agree with you on that point, I can still highly recommend the above hosting companies for providing a basic shared hosting service. It’s also worth praising WestHost for not employing such tactics, as you can see above they offer 50GB of web space. If I was concerned about space I’d take a definite 50GB over the vague ‘unlimited’ any day.
I also find HostNine to be one of the most transparent companies when it comes to the ‘unlimited’ claim. Back when I signed up they didn’t include the word ‘unlimited’, but competition seems to have forced them to do so. However, as soon as you click on ‘unlimited’ you will get a very clear usage policy. This policy basically applies to any shared hosting offering ‘unlimited’ space or bandwidth.
Grazzi hafna Jean,
It’s very rare you get an honest reply to a comment that would normally get binned!
To be fair, for the vast majority of WP users, the supposed ‘unlimited’ hosting suppliers provide a very economical way of getting sites onto the interwebs.
In the past I have used such hosting, but unfortunately have been stung by the often fuzzy ‘fair usage’ policies. Nothing worse than getting you account slammed just when your site is getting popular!
Two shared hosts I currently use are Gandi and Webfaction. Both set realistic hard limits and allow you to increase them if and when needed.
For really popular sites, I always go VPS / Cloud. So far Unixy (managed) and Dediserve (unmanaged) have been very reliable. Nothing beats a high performance stack (Varnish, Nginx, Memcached, APC). I’d love for you to do an article on advanced WP hosting. And maybe a tutorial or three?
Either way, keep up the good work. The Mayor has now become my go-to site for daily WordPress news.
Narak iktar tard!
Oh, some Maltese there! 🙂 Nice to hear hehe. I actually ran a mini-series a while back on how to set up your VPS for WordPress. There was one more part I wanted to write but it was taking a lot of time to research, try things out and document it, so I didn’t do that final part in the end. If you’re experienced in VPS management you might be interested in contributing a guest post to complete the series.
Thanks Jean, what I found from using Bluehost and Hostgator is that they offer really cheap rates for new customers, but in some cases more than double of that when you want to renew. They do not care about loyalty and returning customers are penalised instead of being rewarded.
Hi Mohsin, indeed the prices shown are the introductory prices, although one is free to sign up for 3 years and have the cheap rates fixed for this time. For BlueHost you can see the regular pricing here: https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/help/price.
If you want a more straightforward approach with no enticing sign up discounts and promotions, I suggest HostNine. I’ve been paying the same for the last 5 years or so I’ve been with them.