I keep this page up to date with my opinions of the best choices for inexpensive, secure, WordPress hosting with a decent level of support. The links below are affiliate links, so I get a payment if you buy service from them after following those links. However, I list the companies I honestly think are best and have worked with myself. They frequently run sales, so compare their current prices. The differences among them are not sharp enough to outweigh a 60% discount.
All of these providers have a lowest-price plan that allows only one website, and a next step up for multiple sites.
Recommended for Hosting
- Greengeeks.com has environmentalism as a major selling point. They advertise carbon-negative web hosting. I haven’t used their service, but I’m about to move a site to there because of their eco-friendly characteristics and after having quizzed them to assure myself that they meet my other criteria for cost, ease of use, security and so on. Their administration screens are not as easy to use as some, but acceptable.
- Dreamhost.com comes highly recommended for reliability and support. Among the top-rated services, they have good pricing and there are frequent sales. They offer a discount for paying for multiple years of hosting at a time, which is not an introductory offer — it’s just their regular deal — unlike others listed here. They are my current hosting provider. Their administration screens are not as easy to use as some, but acceptable.
- Siteground.com gets excellent marks for performance and service in tests (and in my personal experience), and their prices are reasonable. If you can afford to, prepay for multiple years to lock in the introductory price for the longest period. This is my previous hosting provider, and I was happy with them except that the discount ran out and they wouldn’t renew it at the same rate.
- Hostgator.com also gets good ratings, and like these others, lets you host multiple domains for one price and includes SSL (aka TLS) and mailboxes. Don’t sign up for their “professional” email service. The “non-professional” service included with hosting is fine.
There are many decent companies out there, and the picture changes over time. I tend to trust the top ten lists posted by PC Magazine. Read reviews.
Recommended for “Sandbox” Test
If you haven’t chosen a domain name yet or just want to dip your toe in the WordPress pool without committing any resources, the following sites let you set up a limited-time “sandbox” WordPress site in a subdomain of their site, and customize it however you like. Unless they are also listed in the above section, these sites are recommended only for testing — they’re not necessarily the best hosting companies.
- sandboxcms.com — I tried it and it was very simple to set up a demo site — you just have to create an ID and choose the WordPress version (choose the highest number available). Email functions seem to be disabled, even if you set up an SMTP plugin.
Bluehost used to be good, but I no longer can recommend them. I used to host my sites there, but after they were unable to solve frequent slowdowns and error messages on the shared server, I closed my account and moved everything to a different provider. Everything I’ve heard since then has confirmed this was a good choice.
WordPress.com is probably the largest service specializing in WordPress hosting. I don’t recommend them, because they’re more expensive (unless you like your website free with truly horrific advertising on it), and because they have everything locked down to just a few approved site designs.
Godaddy.com is also popular and not recommended. They’re not the very worst hosting provider, but when website developers talk about the very worst, they’ll say things like, “Even godaddy has better performance.”
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When signing up, be cautious about buying extra services which in many cases may be included by default, so you have to opt out. These can push the price way up, and really all you need is hosting. The following, in particular, you don’t need to buy:
- Site monitoring: is available at no cost.
- “Professional” email (regular email is included)
- “Professional” SSL/TLS certificates (unless you’re a bank, the free certificates are fine)