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  • Setting up a WordPress website is elementary, but choosing the right hosting platform is critical.

    WordPress is an application that builds websites and publishes content online seamlessly. It was launched as a simple blogging platform back in 2003 but eventually developed into a sophisticated Content Management System (CMS). Whether you are a blogger, startup, small to medium business, personal site, corporate page, or giant news publisher. WordPress fits everywhere.

    The software is built using PHP scripting language. It is released under GNU Public License, implying software is free to use and download.

    WordPress is opted for by most website owners due to its versatility. It can be used to create various forms of online content that include blogs, eCommerce websites, forums, online retailer sites, directories, galleries, and much more.

    Today, WordPress represents more than 42% of the internet traffic.

    That’s amazing. Isn’t it?

    Why host WordPress on a specialized platform?

    WordPress is robust, secure, and flexible but hosting is something you need to pay attention to. If you have a world-class site design, business idea and are hosted by a non-reliable hosting provider; then your business is at risk.

    Risk of losing revenue, customer, traffic, SEO, etc…

    Based on experience and review feedback, here are some of the best WP hosting providers.

    Before we dive deep into listing the hosting platform, we must understand the different types of hosting and options to consider.

    WordPress Hosting Plans

    Several WP hosts customize their hosting plans to boost cross-sells and upsell. However, most hosts use common parameters to distinguish between multiple plans.

    The driving factors that hosts consider while presenting their plans include no. of visitors per month, no. of WordPress installations, multisite WordPress support, PCI compliance (must-have for eCommerce sites), staging environment, free SSL, and others.

    For most sites, it is important, to begin with, bare minimum requirements. You can upgrade the features later as most hosting companies offer the facility to upgrade as the site grows.

    WP Hosting Setup & Configuration

    Once the hosting plan is finalized, WordPress hosts present you with the options necessary to set up your site. Additionally, they also elaborate on advanced features that are optional and can be applied in the near future. Let’s glance through some of the common options that you may encounter while setting up WordPress hosting.

    Note: The factors vary depending on hosts. The presented list is thus not comprehensive but highlights some common offerings of most hosts.

    Server Location

    Server location is chosen before website installation. It has to be chosen wisely, as changing server location can be cumbersome.

    Server location defines the physical location of your server. Some hosts prefer to have servers distributed across the globe. However, the closer the physical proximity of your server and website visitors, the faster the load time of your websites.

    Consider, for example, you run a small business in the state of California. In this case, you can choose a server located in the U.S. itself.

    Consider another example where your website has an equal number of visitors from all parts of the world. In this case, server location is irrelevant – instead, you can avail a CDN facility.

    SSL Certificate

    SSL is an optional feature, but some hosts ask about it upfront.

    An SSL certificate makes the website secure, cutting down a significant percentage of cyber-attacks. Additionally, Google search results give preference to such sites rather than non-secure sites.

    Today, we live in a digital world that weighs utmost importance to security. Several hosts offer free SSL certificates. Website owners need to take advantage of it right away.

    CDN (Content Delivery Network)

    CDN is an optional feature, generally sold as an add-on by hosts with some additional costs to go with it.

    cloudflare cdn example
    Source: Cloudflare

    A CDN creates copies of a website’s files and distributes them across global servers to provide a faster experience to your site’s visitors. In situations where your website is are handling global traffic, a CDN feature is a go-to option for site owners.

    Types of WordPress Hosting

    Various types of hosting are available on WordPress. Let’s take an overview of each type.

    Shared Hosting

    Shared hosting is a viable option for someone just starting with WordPress. It provides an affordable hosting solution.

    shared hosting

    In a shared plan, you split the use of a single server with other users. This means that all the resources, including memory, bandwidth, and hard drive, are shared.

    Virtual Private Server

    Virtual Private Server is hosted on a virtual machine on a single server. It employs a robust technology that separates users operating on one machine. Such hosting type is suitable for people that need access to more resources while containing the expenditure.

    In VPS hosting, you pay for the resources that are allocated to you. The resources are not shared with others, as seen in shared hosting.

    Dedicated Hosting

    In dedicated hosting, you have an entire server allocated to your website. Here, you do not share resources with others or be restricted with a virtual partition.

    It is a rather expensive hosting category but great for overall performance. This WordPress hosting is suitable for websites that experience high traffic regularly.

    Managed WordPress Hosting

    Managed WordPress hosting services are available on many platforms, and it is great for someone who doesn’t want to worry about underline infrastructure maintenance. This hosting type is suitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes that do not want to engage in the technical complexity of hosting niches but rather zero in on enhancing business performance.

    Cloud Hosting Platform

    In cloud hosting, your website is hosted on cloud architecture instead of one physical server. The financial model of cloud hosting works on a pay-per-use basis. This hosting type is suitable for all users, as it’s easy to scale, both prices and resources based on need. Hence, it can fit websites of all sizes, small or big.

    cloud hosting

    Now that you are aware of the various offerings of WordPress, let’s take a look at some of the reliable hosting platforms for WordPress sites.

    Selecting the right hosting platform for your WordPress website is critical to its optimal performance. The health of your WordPress site lies in the hands of the hosting provider you use.

    Although you are free to choose a host of your choice, it is essential to consider the following WordPress hosting factors before giving it a final go:

    • Load time – refers to the average speed of the page to load on your screen
    • Uptime – recommended being at least 99.94%.
    • Customer support – support team answers your queries related to WordPress.

    One must bear in mind that your website cannot have top-notch uptime or load time always, as the results depend on several factors, such as your website size, visitor traffic per day/hour, the hosting plan you chose, and others.

    Let’s now jump to some of the best WordPress hosting platforms for small to enterprise businesses.

    A2 Hosting

    A2 Hosting provides low-cost WP hosting services. It offers fast shared and managed WordPress hosting. They claim to provide 20x faster page loads in comparison to other managed WP hosting providers.

    Similar to SiteGround, A2 hosting permits change in server locations. They currently offer data centers in the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Asia. This allows the site owners to choose the site’s location depending on the location of their target audience.

    Features:

    • Offers free migration
    • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
    • Money-back guarantee
    • WordPress optimized servers

    Besides, A2 hostings offer plans with SSL, free Cloudflare CDN, fast servers, unlimited bandwidth, and 100GB storage space.

    SiteGround

    SiteGround is a popular WordPress hosting service. It provides VPS, managed, and dedicated hosting and is recommended by the WordPress.org community.

    SiteGround hosts offer the flexibility to change data center locations, for example, from Europe to the United States. In scenarios where your site visitors are primarily from Europe, SiteGround can be a viable option as a hosting service for you.

    Features:

    • Excellent customer support through support tickets, phone, and email.
    • Cutting-edge speed technologies for fast loading site
    • Three levels of caching
    • Reliable uptime
    • Stable speed.

    Additionally, SiteGround offers several offerings, including free HTTPS (SSL), free email, free site migration, free CDN for caching purposes, image optimization features, and a cPanel to ease out WordPress installation in just a single click. SiteGround also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Kinsta

    Kinsta is a premium Google Cloud managed hosting platform for WordPress. One of the best ways to enjoy the Google Cloud low latency platform. They are focused on providing the best WP hosting for your business.

    Features:

    • Daily backup
    • Free migration
    • Next-gen infrastructure to keep performance and security in mind
    • Awesome, friendly support
    • Security monitoring and protection out of the box
    • Provides custom panel that allows owners to focus on important tasks.

    Bluehost

    Bluehost is one of the popular hosting platforms chosen by small business owners and bloggers who use WordPress. They offer shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting facilities.

    Bluehost has low introductory prices starting from ~$2.75 per month or optimized managed to host at ~$14.95 per month. The platform is easy to use and usually does not pose performance challenges.

    Features:

    • The platform offers strong uptime and load time,
    • Provides free domain name for 1 year
    • WordPress.org recommends this service.

    In addition to the above factors, Bluehost offers one-click installations, a standard cPanel to manage the site, and free SSL certificates.

    WP Engine

    WP Engine provides a managed hosting platform that focuses on WordPress. If you are looking for a dedicated platform that only caters to WordPress, WP Engine is your choice.

    The platform takes care of infrastructure and needs minimal effort for installation, configuration, maintenance, and security. WP Engine takes care of everything at the infrastructure & WP level for you to focus on your online business.

    Features:

    • Excellent support by real WP & hosting expert
    • Enterprise-ready to support heavy traffic & big organization
    • Easy SSL implementation
    • Tuned hardware and software for better performance

    You can get it started on the startup plan and scale up when necessary.

    DreamHost

    DreamHost is a popular hosting service with over 340,000 customers. Similar to BlueHost and SiteGround, it is recommended by the official WordPress.org site.

    The platform provides fast, reliable, and optimized services for WP users. It offers shared, managed, and VPS services.

    Features:

    • Top-notch performance at a lower price
    • Offers one-click installs and expandable storage
    • SFTP/SSH/WP-CLI access

    Besides, all WP plans of DreamHost provide WordPress website builder and free SSL. They also offer SSD storage with unlimited bandwidth, one-click installations, regular updates, and high-performance servers. DreamHost also provides a free domain facility and online threat protection via optimized WAF.

    Cloudways

    Cloudways provides a synchronous balance between affordability and functionality for cloud-based WP hosting-type services. It offers fully managed hosting services with a guarantee for improvement in slow-loading WP sites.

    The PaaS cloud servers hosted by Cloudways allow owners to upscale their resources as the website grows. Their platform is speed, performance, and security optimized.

    You can choose WordPress web hosting from the following IaaS providers:

    Cloudways offer WP optimized platform for a secure and fast-loading site. It provides real-time monitoring, automated backup, user-friendly panel, etc.

    ScalaHosting

    ScalaHosting is one of the top-rated WP hosting platforms, house of over 700,000 websites globally. It provides SShield security that safeguards sites against malware attacks, unencrypted file transfers, unauthorized access, and other cyber-attacks.

    Besides, ScalaHosting offers free SSL, free migration, free security scans, and provisions for automated daily backups. They also provide a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Nexcess

    Nexcess offers optimized hosting for WordPress. It provides solutions ranging from shared hosting, VPS to dedicated servers and server clusters.

    Nexcess has a customer base of about 30,000 across 130 countries. The platform is specifically suitable for small businesses, high-traffic blogs, e-commerce shops, digital agencies, etc.

    Nexcess offers a free trial, auto-scaling, scalable cloud-based hosting, managed hosting, and advanced security features.

    Conclusion

    WordPress is a sophisticated content management system that offers flexible, secure, and robust website building features. For a website to have optimal performance and generate substantial traffic, hosting is something that site owners need to worry about.

    Although you may have a great website design and a novel business idea, your business can take a hit if a non-reliable hosting party hosts it. You then become vulnerable to various risks such as loss of revenue, customers, site traffic, negative SEO, and others.

    By providing a list of top hosting platforms, we hope you will be able to choose the right one depending on your needs. As most hosting solutions offer a money-back facility, you can leap WordPress hosting by trying out what suits you.