Choosing the Best Place for WordPress Hosting

Every year I help launch at least two dozen WordPress sites. It's a part of the work I do, outside of my full-time job, to help coach and launch people's projects. And every time I help get a WordPress site up and running the same questions come up. The first is almost always the same:

Which hosting provider should I use to host my WordPress site?

My answer is that it depends on your budget, your skills, the security you need, and how many sites you'll be running. But let me start by telling you what I don't recommend. I don't recommend that you pick the absolute cheapest hosting provider simply because paying less than 2 or 3 dollars a month seems like a great bargain. Even if these companies are well known for registering domain names, it doesn't make them qualified to protect and secure your hosted WordPress site. Personally, I also don't recommend you use the online hosted version of WordPress though for a journal site it may be fine. But when you want custom, premium, themes and plugins that may be particular to your own site, it's harder to do at wordpress.com.

The $10/Month Solution – DreamHost

If price is your main motivating factor, then DreamHost is a great hosting partner for you. It's inexpensive while giving you a ton of space, performance, and control. You will start on a shared server – sharing resources with other accounts, but you can certainly pay small amounts for little extras (like private IP addresses if you need an SSL certificate). They understand wordpress well, have auto-installers, and make it easy to get started. If the shared solution isn't for you and you want your own space, DreamHost starts at about $15/month – not much more.

The $20/Month Solution – Page.ly

If security and ease is your main motivating factor, no one is better than Page.ly. They are more than a web hosting partner – they're wordpress specialists. By that I mean, they have created a custom infrastructure for hosting wordpress so that you don't have to worry about a thing. They not only make it easy and fast to get started (counted in minutes, not hours), but they provide advanced security to protect your site from intrusions while also providing auto-updating services so that you don't have to worry about anything except your content.

The $20-60/Month Solution – MediaTemple.net

If you care about control and fine tuning your high performance wordpress site, then you should take a serious look at MediaTemple as a hosting partner. Why the variable rate? Because you'll likely start with a grid-service (GS) account that includes your mySQL database, but once you start scaling out, you'll want to move mySQL into it's own container (an additional $20/month). And after that, you may want to look into using a content distribution strategy (known as Content Delivery Networks – CDNs) that pushes all the javascript from those plugins you're using, and all image files, out to various internet nodes to make your site load up real fast. MediaTemple provides an integrated CDN solution that really rocks (for another $20/month)! You can read my write up on configuring it over here.

So the Answer to the Question is a Question: What do you Care about Most?

Note: the links on this page are not affiliate links and I get nothing from them. So I can share this information in an unbiased way. If you know what motivates you, you should have no trouble at all figuring out which partner will deliver the best wordpress hosting for you. In the end, you won't go wrong with any of these players.

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.