WordPress Hosting Guide

There is a lot to consider when looking for WordPress hosting for your site.  Of course, you don’t have to self-host your site as outlined in this post on How to Install WordPress.  If you do choose to self-hosted WordPress Hosting, you’ll need a hosting provider.  However, not all hosts are created equal and there are a number of parameters that need to be considered. WordPress.org has a hosting suggestion page which currently includes:

If you choose to look further than the WordPress sponsored hosting partners, use the following criteria to make your selection.

Meet the basic server requirements

Many hosts meet the minimum requirements for hosting WordPress, but not all.  They include:

  • PHP version 4.3 or greater although version 5.2 is recommended
  • MySQL version 4.1.2 or greater although version 5.2 is recommended
  • Mod_rewrite Apache module
  • A Linux based platform with either Apache or NGINX

The official WordPress Hostingrequirements page suggests sending an email to hosts you are considering working with to make sure they meet the requirements.

That’s all WordPress.org has to say.  We have more suggestions when searching for a host.

Excellent Support

  • Peruse the forums and see what kind of support is given.  Dead threads and complaining customers is a big red flag.
  • Look for 24/7 support, an indication the host is dedicated to the business they’re in.
  • Live chat support is a big help and suggests the host is there to help and backs up their service
  • Give them a test.  Send a pre-sales support question – maybe asking how their servers meet the WordPress hosting requirements and note the response time and tone of their response.

Site design

We don’t mean to be design snobs, but if a web host can’t even manage their own website, how can they be expected to support you in managing your own?

Look closely

Does the web host have advertisements, unrelated text links or skeezy operations meant to build links but not necessarily customers?  These are all signs of a host that is not operating ethically.

Hosting other WordPress sites

Look at your favorite WordPress powered blogs and use this tool to find out who’s hosting them.

Look for these key features

  • They offer one-click WordPress installation like Fantastico
  • They offer unlimited MySQL databases (for running lots of WordPress sites)
  • They support WordPressMu (just ask them)
  • They support AJAX

Based on everything, we recommend these hosts in addition to the ones listed above:

Our Recommended WordPress Hosting Options

Additional resources:

Image credit: Verseone.com

42 thoughts on “WordPress Hosting Guide”

  1. I am a customer of Godaddy. It is the number one place online to get your domain and hosting account. It usually costs about $10.00 to get your domain and then it is yours for life, or for as long as you choose to renew it every year.

  2. I’m a customer of EUK hosting. I have found some of the requirements listed in this post. Is that mean I have the right provider for installing wordpress?

  3. I’ve never used a hosting plan before My blogs have been hosted by blogger and I just linked my own domain up to my blog, good points here and probably good to know for the future.

  4. I’ve been wanting to move to WordPress engine on their blogs, and even thought that they could be some difficulty with the choice of hosting, thank you for your helpful advice.

  5. Dreamhost, gator , bluehost they are all almsot same in plans and prices , now one should look for the Customer support, How fast , How friendly

    1. I have only hosted blogs on hostmonster so far and for that purpose i can really recommend them. When it comes to online shops there’s not much I can say though because I have no experience from hosting shops on hostmonster. But from what I’ve read about it, it seems to work just fine.

  6. I would also recommend looking at their TOS (Terms of Service), for any resource usage limitations. I know HostGator has a few, and so does GoDaddy. Great post.

    1. This is a major thing. Many hosting companies say they have unlimited bandwidth but as soon as you are starting to get traffic they simply limit you are say that you have to pay more.

  7. WordPress is an amazing tool, and definitely one of the easier content management systems available for the average webmaster. It requires a Linux-based serve, which most host companies at least offer. It is free, easy-to-use, features rich, SEO friendly, and most importantly, WordPress is widely supported which make it to be one of the most in demand host today.

  8. Thanks for these great tips! I’ve been using Hostgator for quite some time and I can highly recommend their services: not too pricey and very stable when it comes to WordPress blogs.

  9. I must say that KnownHost are great. I have a managed VPS with them and i am hosting about 40 WP sites with quite a bit of traffic with no problems.. The support is always a few clicks away and they do things fast.

    Also thanks for the interesting post!

  10. I have been using Hostgator over a year now and I can highly recommend it. Their support is one of the best out there. Problems are usually fixed within a few minutes.

  11. I am using a very cheap web hosting package of only $1 per month; they offer 1250GB webspace and unlimited bandwidth which is Huge and truly unlimited for my personal domain name. I am also monitoring the uptime. My blog is also hosted here.

  12. Marin, what problems are you talking about? I’ve heard from my brother that they never have problems, but I want to know what your experience with their problems has been.

  13. I am using godaddy as well the price seems very fair for what they do. And we have unlimited hosting. Does anyone know if there are limits in the TOS even for the UNLIMITED? Also how is the G blogger for serps?

  14. WordPress.org has a hosting suggestion page which currently includes:

    * Bluehost.com
    * Dreamhost.com
    * MediaTemple.com
    * GoDaddy.com
    * LaughingSquid.net

    Please forget those, and make a better search at google, this days exists so many good companies that give what you want

  15. Having good support is more important than people think. I can remember a few occasions when dealing with problems and not having the proper support. I’m not going to name names but I just wanted to concur that it is very important.

  16. We tried several self-hosting options. This includes Fasthosts, One.com and Pickaweb. Speed seems to vary between them with Fasthosts loading fastest.

  17. I do use hostgator They are are OK, but a little bit more expansive than the justhost. The difference between them is really minimal.
    Of course price is important, but I think it is important to evaluate the support, because what is the site good for, if you will not get timely and good support.

  18. Wordlpress is great with all this pluggins and free recouurces awailable at the click of the search buttons. The other day I wanted to filter some text from my blog and I just type filter in search for plugins and tons of they came up in the search results .. one click intall .. few seconds set up and filter went to work. This is amazing how plenty of good resource are out there.

  19. I use a self-hosted wordpress site personally, and I love it. There are soo many useful plug-ins – there’s never been anything I can’t do with wordpress. Also, I use and recommend BlueHost to any readers – great service and price.

  20. I think that, For hosting, Hostgator is best. I use hostgator for hosting. Excellent support and your recommended WordPress options are best and useful for me.

  21. Startlogic and liquid web are also pretty good hosts that meet the requirements. Of course, you could always just get hosting from wordpress.

  22. The main thing I always look for is 24/7 support and live chat support. I just love when I bump into a problem and with a mouseclick I can contact the help staff :)

    In about 2-3 minutes my problem is solved and I can continue working.

  23. Hi Dusty,
    For the sterling customer service, I am a devoted Hostgator client. Their customer support is outstanding and they never make me feel like I am the idiot I feel like at the moment for having messed up my site. You present some other good choices though.

  24. I’m going to chime in here. No many people have mentioned Bluehost.com. I am hosting many websites with them for myself and my clients and they have always been great. Their customer service is so responsive and have always helped me out when ever I’ve needed it.

    And just when just ordering their basic hosting, I’ve always gotten different class-c IP addresses which is an added bonus.

  25. Hey Dusty,

    I will install wordpress on my site soon, I have installed Joomla but it is too complicated, thanks for providing the link on how to install wordpress, it seems easy to me “hopefully” as I am not a technical person.

    I was having issues with the php version, I couldn’t install many plugins for Joomla because of that, can you tell me if most plugins will work with the new php, I think 5.3? my host updated it and they never told me so I am having issues.

    Linda

  26. I would also add there are a lot of cheap hosting companies out there. Sometimes you do not get what you pay for. That is even though they are cheap they provide very good hosting. I have found some hosting companies that are very good and very cheap. You just need to do your research since most of the time you do get what you pay for. There are some diamonds in the rough, you only have to spend a little time to find them.

  27. I gotta say name cheap is prob one of the main competitors of all those mentioned above. They have good deals to fair prices, and what i’ve experienced really nice support.

  28. I would also consider site5. And for website monitoring, uptimerobot has been really great for me so far. It’s also free.

    Other less known webhosts are also good especially those with hourly backups. But I’d be really wary of hosts that claim unlimited space and bandwidth.

  29. The things I look for regarding hosting are:
    -one click wordpress installation (because I’m lazy)
    - 24/7 customer support: there is nothing more frustrating than having a problem setting up a website’s hosting and not being able to talk to someone straight away to fix the problem
    - I always shoot off a pre-sale email. If I receive a prompt courteous response, I’m willing to give it a go
    - I like to have a different hosting company to the domain name registrar
    - I always start off with monthly hosting – never yearly hosting unless I’ve used that host before

  30. Godaddy I use exclusively for registering domains. Dreamhost is used by a lot of people I know by so far hostgator has been great for me. As long as they have cpanel, it would work for me.

  31. Hi Dusty,

    you are right WestHost has been a great hoster so far. And you need a great hoster. At all please invest in quality you will thank yourself later on ;)

    Andi

  32. I’ve used the majority of the hosts mentioned above and Hostgator has by far been the most consistent in terms of uptime and good customer support. Bluehost is a close second but if you get any good amount of traffic then your site will eventually be bogged down with their CPU throttling.

  33. If you are looking to host your blog in the US, then you cannot go wrong with:

    - Hostgator
    - Bluehost
    - Dreamhost

    If you in the UK, you may try the UK2 group.

    WordPress has come of age though. So, hosting your blog on any established host is a matter of your own convenience and comfort.

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