WordPress has become a powerhouse of a CMS, and for that, it is now used on over 74,386,104 websites (as of 1-15-2014).
And while WordPress is a solid choice for most websites, what is the best WordPress host to use?
Let’s focus on features, reputation, dependability, customer service and price.
Below are our “best-in-class” choices for hosting. Each one of these hosts has great customer service, a proven track record, and good service – This boils down to a hassle-free hosting experience for you.
Freelancer – Affordable, simple, and time-saving hosting
As a freelancer, you likely exchange time for money. Because of this, you need hosting that gives you what you need then gets out of your way. And, that hosting needs to be priced affordable enough that you can still turn a profit.
Whether you are looking to host in-house projects or dozens of client projects, we have chosen two hosts that are sure to meet your needs
Media Temple – The host of choice for multiple websites
Media Temple has long been the host of choice for websites that have outgrown standard shared hosting. This is largely because of Media Temple’s attractive introduction pricing which allows you to have up to 100 websites for just $20 per month.
But, Media Temple isn’t just affordable. They have a rock solid service that runs your website on multiple servers as well as dedicated MySQL resources and MediaTemple includes CloudFlare’s Railgun service which will help protect your website from hackers, botnets, and phishing scams.
Media Temple is also a very agile WordPress host. Not only does Media Temple save you money by allowing you to start with a $20 Grid plan and grow from there, but they also support Subversion and Git out of the box.
Bottom line, if you are a freelancer that needs to host multiple websites on a budget, then you can’t go wrong with Media Temple.
WP Engine – Premium WordPress hosting that’s within reach
It’s hard to not mention WP Engine when talking about WordPress hosting. WP Engine took the WordPress community by storm in just a few short years, and for good reason…
Although there are several managed WordPress hosts, and more coming onto the market every few months it seems, WP Engine still holds the top spot due to truly innovative features, such as:
- Staging Area – Do you need to try out some custom PHP code or maybe even update a plugin and don’t want to risk breaking your site? Push one button, and WP Engine will create a safe testing environment where you can make any changes possible. When you’re done, you can simply merge the changes back into your primary site.
- Un-Hack Guarantee – To our knowledge, WP Engine is the only company that believes in their service enough that they will fix your website if it is ever hacked.
- Git Push – WP Engine allows you to easily use source control to push a local copy of your website up to the WP Engine servers. While this is possible with hosts such as Media Temple, this is not yet possible with other managed WordPress hosts who are only able to deliver their service by imposing various restrictions.
Add on to this the fact that WP Engine has truly spectacular support and you’ve got a winning combination of power and flexibility that is ideal for a freelancer.
But, there is a price for all of this power. WP Engine’s cheapest plan is $29 a month and allows you 1 WordPress install and 25,000 visits per month, where each visit is a unique IP address in a 24 hour period.
The next plan that WP Engine has is $99 per month and allows up to 10 WordPress installs and 100,000 visits.
Bottom line, WP Engine brings the goods, and we highly recommend them for a freelancer that needs to manage a handful of websites or a freelancer that needs to get a client set up with hassle-free hosting.
Small Business – Easy to use and reliable hosting with amazing customer service
Small businesses demand more performant and secure hosting options than freelancers. But as an agile small business, you also demand that your hosting experience be as painless as possible.
WP Engine – Scalable and reliable with time-saving features
Not only are we recommending WP Engine for small businesses as well as freelancers, but WP Engine is our first pick for small businesses who need to host their company site.
As mentioned above, WP Engine tops the charts on uptime, security and customer service as well as providing super simple pricing, which is based on the sum of the daily unique visitors to your website for a month.
After considering WP Engine’s more advanced features, including a staging area, GIT Push, and their Un-hack guarantee… it’s easy to see why exactly we would recommend WP Engine to small businesses.
For small businesses that are looking for top-notch scalability and uptime as well as great customer service and time-saving features that go above and beyond regular hosting, WP Engine is the clear choice.
Rackspace – Scalable and simple hosting for small businesses
Rackspace has solutions that cover the smallest website up to gigantic brands such as Under Armour. Much of Rackspace’s appeal is that your hosting scales with you, and you can opt for managed hosting which will allow your company to focus on tasks other than managing software updates and monitoring IP addresses.
And while Rackspace’s abundance of pricing plans is enough to confuse most, we are most interested in Rackspace’s cloud sites plan.
- For $150, you receive 50 Gb of storage, 500 Gb of monthly bandwidth, unlimited domains, and 10,000 compute cycles (equal to 10,000 2.8 Ghz computers running for an entire month). All of this running on Rackspace’s load balanced and redundant servers.
For the small business that wants a host that simply does a great job of managing your host and then gets out of the way, Rackspace could be the way to go.
Enterprise – Robust enough to handle any traffic spikes
Enterprise WordPress websites require an incredible amount of resources, and quite frankly, a large investment in both infrastructure and human capital if a company were to run their system administration in house.
And while there are great managed hosting options that have proven reliable when put through the ringer (think Rackspace), if your company has chosen to use WordPress, it is usually best to work with a managed WordPress hosting provider.
There are several reputable managed WordPress hosting options that could support you at the enterprise level, but in our experience, if you’re looking for the absolute best in uptime, scalability, and support, then there are really only two options – WP Engine or WordPress VIP.
For a more detailed write-up of the the two and an explanation of which one is best for your needs, please view the WordPress VIP vs. WP Engine writeup.