WordPress Hosting Review

Teli Adlam —  April 22, 2012

It’s no secret that I’ve been using the WordPress blogging software for a while and in that time, I’ve gone through a number of hosts as well. Since “Who do you recommend for WordPress hosting?” is a frequent question, I figure it would be a good idea to address it in a blog entry.

Rather than tell you my top pick, I’ll list a few of the hosts I recommend with a short review of each and let you decide which one best suits your needs. Initially, I had planned to split the list into “Recommended” and “Not Recommended”, but due to its length, my server pitched a conniption fit and I’ve had to drop an entire section. (Don’t worry, I’ll do a follow up entry on the hosts I don’t recommend later.)

Now, without further ado, the hosts I recommend in order of recommendation…

Recommended WordPress Hosts

HostGator (4.5/5)

I stumbled onto this web host about two years ago when I was looking for a replacement for the worst host on my not recommended list.

The reason I decided to go with HostGator (HG), besides the price, was the fact that they were a business out of Florida and they had received high praise from many respected online marketers and friends. All I have to say is that was one of the best hosting decisions I’d made in a while.

At the time of this writing, I actually have three accounts with them. Two are shared hosting plans (Baby for $7.95/mo) which I use to host my affiliate websites and one reseller hosting package (Copper for $34.95/mo) which I use to host some of my larger affiliate and content sites.

My current packages include the cPanel account manager, which is fairly common and easy to navigate, unlimited add-on domains/subdomains, email addresses, and databases.

HostGator Control Panel

One thing I should note is that running a mailing list from your HG account may not be an easy task as they limit the number of outgoing messages you send each hour–this is to help curb spammers who may end getting a server blacklisted.

Since I’ve been with HG, I’ve had few problems. When I did have problems, they were all resolved promptly (read: less than an hour each time). Plus, the customer service was always courteous. I learned the hard way that you should go with a host who offers phone support. And as if they weren’t already good enough, they also accept PayPal which makes my life a bit easier.

All of the above is why HG receives my top honours as a hosting provider and is also my top pick. I have no problems recommending them to clients, family, and friends–in fact, it’s who I set my sister up with when she launched her website.

WPEngine (4.0/5)

WPEngine is my favorite managed WordPress host, they offer great support and unparalleled security. If you are looking to host your website and know that it won’t get hacked, I recommend WPEngine.

Dreamhost (4.0/5)

Although I canceled my Dreamhost account, I would still recommend them for WordPress hosting. Why? Because the number of problems I had while hosting with them were minimal. My reasons for leaving were simply that my blog had outgrown them.

Like MT, DH has its own homegrown control panel which also worked against them in my opinion. It wasn’t intuitive to me and the learning curve was rather annoying. But, others have said that it grows on you. I hadn’t found this to be my experience because I avoided logging in unless I truly needed to.

One major plus to DH, though, is their newsletter. Yes, you read that right. If you can get their sense of humor, then you will surely enjoy reading it as well. Plus, DH participates and helps fund some altruistic causes so it’s safe to reason you could earn some karma points just from hosting with them.

As for overall performance, I’ve only had a few serious issues with them, but they were all taken care of. In one case, however, it took hours for their support staff to get back to my ticket. When a site had gone offline (for a few hours), I was frantic and had no number to call. A harrowing experience to say the least.

That said, if you truly need telephone tech support, then DH is not your choice.

Teli Adlam


29 responses to WordPress Hosting Review

  1. Very useful post. It’s a perennial quest: finding a good and reliable host, whether you’re handling your own site(s), or are a reseller for your design and development clients.

    I need to pop in with my 2 cents and say that, though they have their fans, I’ve not been very impressed by Dreamhost. I’ve done work on a site hosted on Dreamhost, and I always seem to suffer a “lag” when updating files. They have a “non-traditional” control panel area, too (which is not necessarily something bad; non-traditional could mean less open for bugs).

    In my years (eons? it seems so sometimes :-)) of exploring hosts, the two best I’ve used to date have been http://idologic.com and http://dotable.com … But those are general observations and not specific to WordPress installations.

    Thanks again for the post!

  2. I’ve been using Hostgator for around 3 years now. I looked at all the various hosting companies out there at the time, and choose them. I’ve never had any issues with them, and always had courteous and prompt service.

    I have two accounts with them – a $12.95 Swamp account, and an aluminum reseller account, hosting about 30 sites.

    I would recommend them to anyone.

  3. I have started using Hostpapa for my wordpress blogs. They were easy to set up and no significant problems so far.

  4. Why does wordpress need separate hosts? Is there anything different in wordpress with normal website?

  5. After many researches on the internet, evaluating all the pros and cons of all the hosts, going through all the forums where a discussion about the favorite host has been going on, I ended up with Doreo hosting. I couldn’t find any cons of it and I’m a satisfied customer of them as of now.

  6. Teli,

    I’ve wondered about the indexing of sites on Media Temple’s grid servers. Have you any concerns with this. I’m not using the Primary Domain name on the account and am instead setting up different domains on the account. I don’t know enough about IP addresses and c blocks or whatever but I’m paranoid that setting up multiple sites under one primary domain on MT is going to somehow cost me in the serps. Not sure on this.

  7. Hi Steve,
    I’ve not had any problems personally with indexing of the sites I have on Media Temple’s grid servers. I do have about three accounts with them (which I went ahead and consolidated into a single management panel), each hosting multiple websites, and none of the sites are suffering ill effects in the SERPs.

    Frankly, I think it comes down to whether or not you’re promoting your websites properly and whether the site would be considered spam in the search engine’s eyes. If you keep your hands clean, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

    ~ Teli

  8. I have used HostGator for my blog for about 2 years now, and the experience is superb. I had little to no downtime. Support is quick. Servers are not over loaded. And I’m using the Baby Plan. I would give them 5/5

  9. Thanks for this. I have a site hosted with hostgator. I like them, but was unsure about how they would be with a wordpress blog. Now I guess I have no excuse for not starting some wordpress blogs.

  10. billig fagforening October 22, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    That is a nice review. I have all my sites hosted at HostGator and still now I have been having absolutely no problems with them. I am on the reseller plan with HostGator for last 6 months now.

  11. I’m glad to see hostgator of your list – at least I’m doing something right!

    Will be interested to see which sites you don’t recommend.

  12. I’m also a Gator host user and have several sites on just a baby croc account. The few problems I’ve had have quickly been resolved by their on-line ticket system.

  13. Thanks for sharing. I was thinking of which one to select for wordpress hosting, thanks to the reveiw I guess now I will go for HostGator. Cheers

  14. Five years with dreamhost. I was thinking on moving to another provider, but they have great support. They answer within few hours, also offer unlimited space and bandwith. But also have several downtimes (for a very short time) during a month. Also, if you have any problem, they will fix it.

  15. Timely post. I have a few new blogs on the horizon that will need hosting, and I’ve been digging around for recommendations. I was always leaning in the HG direction, but I think your rundown may have given me the little extra shove I needed to move on to bigger and better things.

  16. I am another reader of yours who has his blogs on Hostgator for about 3 years now. I am very pleased with them.

    I have several plans, but I have to admit that even the baby plan is very reliable and fast.

  17. I’ve used a number of web hosts but have had an account at hostgator for almost 5 years. Recently migrated all my sites to a reseller account and it went without a hitch. Definitely the best I’ve used.

  18. The printable calendar dude November 4, 2008 at 6:19 am

    I’ve been using BlueHost for a few years now…

    Always been excellent for me. They will let you know about any forthcoming potential hiccups and are pretty open and honest about everything they do. No complaints from me whatsoever, despite me hitting their help desk with incredibly naive questions heaps of times!

    Thanks and hope that helps. 🙂


  19. I got suckered into a NetFirms account. They were running a $10 for the first year hosting package. I’ve been with them an additional year but I may now give hostgator a try. The only thing holding me back is I’m a bit freaked out that I may screw up my sites during a host transfer.

  20. Those are all great hosting options for shared hosting. However if you have high traffic and a much bigger website you want to go with Dedicated Servers or VPS like those liquidweb and kiosk offer.

  21. I got a client of mine onboard with Hostgator, and recently helped them move from Shared Hosting to Dedicated. Hostgator are generally very helpful with everything.

  22. I heard Media Temple oftenly down for quite long. The worst was on March when it was down for 15 hours. I can’t imagine if my site down for that long time.

  23. I whole heartedly agree with you, Host Gator is one of the best around. I am a bit bias as I use it myself, but I love that it comes with AWSTATS automatically. Rule of thumb: If you’re using hosting for WordPress make sure they have PHP and MySql, (2) Make sure they have great customer services BEFORE HAND. So call or email before you sign up to ensure this. (3) Stay away from companies that oversell. Many promise obscene guarantees esp. in the way of bandwidth. And lastly, make sure they have at least 98%+ uptime.

  24. Host Gator just recently did over their CPanel page. It is very user friendly now!

  25. I to am very satisfied with Hostgator plus they also have Fantastico. Their phone support is first rate, no matter what time of the day or night I call there’s only a few minutes wait at most.

    Another host tried to convince me why submitting a ticket was so much better. Yeah right, for them.

    I’ve used Hostgator for about 3 years now and haven’t got a complaint.

  26. Useful post! Loads of WordPress Host are scattered in the internet right now. One should be confused of what to choose but I guess, after reading the advantages and disadvantages. This host is a great one and I think anyone should have a try, including me. 😉

  27. I am a Hostgator hostee and love them so much. All of my blogs where hosted there and did never experienced any problem 🙂

  28. I have been with ICDsoft.com for more than 5 years. Support has consistently taken less than 5 minutes and has always been resolved to my satisfaction. Usually it was me doing something dumb.

    They are worth a look at.

  29. Hello, I currently have site hosted with DreamHost and HostGator, Hostgator is by far my favorite and i’ll be moving all of my sites to them soon and closing my Dreamhost account. I have found Hostgator to be fantastic on price, support and uptime