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. I’ve personally worked with all these providers, and only list companies I honestly think are best. They frequently run sales, so compare their current prices. The differences among them are not sharp enough to outweigh a 60% discount. Also pay attention to their regular prices, because unless you want to move your website every couple years, that’s the price you’ll pay long-term.
Providers generally have a lowest-price plan that allows only one website, and a next step up for multiple sites and greater speed. The higher-priced plan will sometimes also be on faster servers — which they will mention in their comparison chart.
All the providers I recommend offer free SSL certificates (a.k.a. TLS), which you will want.
Recommended for Hosting
- My current hosting company, Greengeeks.com, has environmentalism as a major selling point. They advertise carbon-negative web hosting. Their support is excellent, and they meet my criteria for cost, security and so on. However, their administration screens aren’t as nicely organized as the other choices here — they use the older cPanel admin interface. So I rate them as a good choice for the slightly more technical user, or if you can put up with a little inconvenience in the service of the environment. Once your site is set up, you use these screens infrequently. GreenGeeks is also currently having serious problems with spam filtering on their email accounts — a lot of spam is getting through. I’m talking with them about it, but meanwhile, if you want to have an email account in your domain (“firstname.lastname@example.org”), either don’t sign up with GreekGeeks, or have the domain’s email hosted elsewhere, e.g. G Suite.
- Hostgator.com gets good ratings, and has a relatively lower regular price for equivalent service. They will offer you “professional” email service for an added fee, but I don’t recommend it. The “non-professional” email service included with hosting is fine. Administration screens are top-notch, very well organized.
- 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 for some sites. 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). I used them for my own websites previously. I was happy with them except that when the introductory discount ran out, they wouldn’t renew it at the same rate. Their regular prices are a lot higher than the others listed here.
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 (if regular email is included)
- “Professional” SSL/TLS certificates (unless you’re a bank, the free certificates are fine)