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The WordPress Hosting Review: Results

hosting-review

Thanks to our content partner!

With the help of 252 WPShout readers, I’ve put together a comprehensive andindependent review of the best UK WordPress hosting. These are the results.

HostWhy they're goodWho they're good forMonthly bandwidthStorageHow much they cost
WPWebHostThis site is hosted with them! Prompt support and no downtime problems.Small and medium sized blogs.500GB50GB$6.95
BlueHostReliable host with very few problems.Those experiencing problems with current hosts, wishing to move.UnlimitedUnlimited$4.95
Site5No problems with downtime, support handles WordPress.Those in need of WordPress specific support.UnlimitedUnlimited$4.95
ZybriteOverwhelmingly positive reviews, with impressive support.Small and medium sized sites.15GB3GB$7.95

Last March I asked for people to review their hosts so I could find out which hosts were the best for hosting WordPress powered sites. A fantastic 252 people responded and I’ve now put together all of the answers into the promised comprehensive list.

There were a lot of hosts which only received one or two reviews and for those I can’t really offer a verdict as two reviews isn’t going to be representative. I’ve used the answers to the questionnaire to provide a simple fact based verdict on 12 hosts, giving them a verdict of Recommended, Consider or Avoid. Thank you again to everyone who submitted their answers.

I’d like to stress again the results are completely unbiased and unaffiliated. There are a couple of affiliate links, however, which have been added to the recommended hosts after the post was written. These affiliations did not alter the editorial direction in any way.

1&1

1&1 had six reviews, all of which ranked the overall experience as “good” and had no problems with downtime. However, five of the six reviews ranked support as “average”, as it seems they offer little to no help with WordPress related issues. Whilst the service seems solid, the support means they can’t be recommended.

Very little direct support for WordPress or WP-related issues. With a VPS you’re pretty much on your own… wouldn’t even help with a JSON installation.

Avoid.

BigWetFish

BigWetFish are a relatively small UK hosting outfit who had seven reviews. People had been there on average about two years and most had used a couple of hosts in the past.

All of them described the overall experience as “good” and hadn’t had any problems with support. Only one person had problems with downtime and the comments people made gave me the impression that they actually care, providing support quickly and actually solving issues over Skype and Twitter.

Support is always fast and friendly.  If there are ever any problems you will always be notified and kept up-to-date with the progress of things until the problem is resolved.  Prices are very competitive and the servers (especially UK servers) are very quick.

Recommended.

Dreamhost

Dreamhost had 12 reviews, 11 of which described the overall experience and support as “good”. Comments about downtime were mixed.  Five people had problems with downtime, and this seems to be a consistent comment regardless of which plan people were on. Comments about support were generally positive.

Shared hosting may not offer sufficient resources to run a WordPress site and a number of other dynamic PHP sites if FastCGI is used.

Consider.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy had 22 reponses, but many more people had mentioned they had moved away from GoDaddy. 12 responses said the overall experience was “poor” or “average”, which is far worse than any other host. 8/22 had problems with downtime and 13 people described support as “poor” or “average”.

This is by far the worst for any host. Despite this, GoDaddy customers had been with them for the longest — the average was around five years. The results are overwhelmingly negative, though. Don’t host here.

The WordPress/GoDaddy combo seems to have slow load times. Even with a basic fresh no content/no plugins install it is below average.

Avoid.

Hostgator

Hostgator had 23 reviews and, impressively for such a large number, everyone rated their experience and support as “good”. A couple of people had had “some” problem with downtime, but comments gave the impression support was quick and friendly.

However, a number of people had moved away from Hostgator to another host and commented that their new hosting was much faster, suggesting Hostgator’s a bit slow, just you don’t really notice when you’re hosting with them. For this reason, I’d consider the other hosts with more solid performance across the board.

Support is mainly through live chat.  Support appears to be offshore, but is generally quite good and they get the issue solved.  Sometimes you need to have an issue escalated and occasionally, it’s wise to ask the support folks exactly what they did to solve the problem.

Consider.

MediaTemple

MediaTemple had 20 reviews from people who generally hadn’t been there that long — the average was roughly 1 year. Eight described the experience as “average” or “poor”, whilst seven described support as “average” or “poor”. The telling results came from people who’d left making comments.

I went to Media Temple as I’d heard loads of famous geeks raving about their hosting on podcasts. I was incredibly disappointed with Media Temples Grid Service. It was by far the worst hosting I’ve had. I don’t say that lightly either!

Avoid.

Site5

Site5 had five reviews, with four of the five ranking the overall service as “good”, and the fifth as “average”. None had any problems with downtime and all rated support as “good”. The comments praised the prompt support, which seems to be able to handle WordPress specific questions.

Site5 support is outstanding – quick response with relentless effort to solve the problem or fix any snag. Their support is the primary reason I stick with Site5 and recommend them to clients. They also work extremely hard to support WordPress.

Recommended.

VPS.net

There were only two reviews for VPS.net, but the reviews agreed with each other and they’re a fairly large name so I’m going to include them. Whilst both reviews ranked the overall experience as “good”, both had problems with downtime and one ranked support as “poor”.

The comments said that they were good when it works, but when it doesn’t there’s a lack of documentation to help you out and you’re on your own.

The basic support is pretty poor. You can get decent support but only if you pay for an On Demand ticket.

Avoid.

Conclusions

Six hosts: BigWetFish, BlueHost, Heart Internet, Site5, WPWebHost and Zybrite all receive the WPShout badge of recommended host. Thank you again for all of the people who submitted their hosting experiences and made this possible!

At some point in the near future, I’ll be putting some extra detail into the reviews and creating some sort of eBook with more comprehensive detail. I’ll be keeping this post updated too, so if you’re still welcome to submit answers to the survey.

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About the author

Hello, I'm Alex! I started WPShout in 2009, just before my 16th birthday. Get in touch with me, I'd love to chat. You should also follow me on Twitter :)

70 Comments

  • adokara

    Hello,

    what about infomaniak.ch ?
    I have more than 10 sites with this hosting, they are very good !!

    • Alex Denning

      I’m afraid nobody responded to the survey about them, so I can’t pass judgement. Sorry!

  • Missing quite a few good WordPress hosts, like WPEngine, Page.ly, and LiquidWeb.

    • Alex Denning

      Yep, it’s a pity I didn’t have more data — WPEngine and Pagely only had one review each and so I couldn’t base a balanced opinion off just the one review.

      • We’re happy to tell you all about us, and refer you to some of our customers for more reviews. Feel free to reach out to me directly.

    • Jann Krynauw

      I just moved my clients’ sites to WP Engine and the results are amazing. Also, WP Engine is run by WordPress experts whose main focus is to provide optimised hosting for WordPress. I do not believe a company that provides generalised hosting can compete with this.

  • I actually disagree with the opinion of those who were surveyed. I find MediaTemple to be an excellent choice for hosting. I had no issues getting WordPress up and running using their service.

    • Alex Denning

      That wasn’t quit what the responses were getting at — hence it’s “good when it works, but when it doesn’t there’s a lack of documentation to help you out and you’re on your own.”

      One response I didn’t have space to include said the following:

      “Security seems to be a real issue with MT’s databases. I’ve had multiple problems, despite relatively good security on my part with WP. They also have some very shady billing practices, including charging for “grid processing units” (GPUs) (something I’ve not seen other hosts do). A site I wasn’t actively maintaining had some issues with some old plugins not being updated, and I ended up with a hosting bill for over $250 for one month because of GPU usage.”

    • I agree – Media Temple is great. I have over 100+ clients/sites all running on MT servers and have been extremely impressed. And this includes performance, and security.

      I think if you don’t update your WP and plugins then you are inviting security risks with all hosts.

      Most of the wordpress sites we build are large, highly focused on performance, and seo. For the record we are extremely particular about using plugins, since many are overly coded and are heavy on processing.

  • My experiences with 1&1, VPS.net and Media Temple echo your responses perfectly. I switched to Rackspace’s CloudSites which has been fast and reliable. Plus, they often answer questions faster than I think they should be able to type.

    • Kind of surprised to hear that you had a positive experience with 1&1.

      I’ve had clients’ domains and hosting there, and it’s been nothing but a nightmare. Had one client move over 1,000 domains away from them because their tech support was so hard to get ahold of.

  • Hi there!

    It’s quite unfortunate that the people who responded to you were generally unimpressed or unhappy with (mt). I’d like to invite them to contact me personally to speak about their experiences. Any (mt) customer, active or former, can email me at social@mediatemple.net to do just that.

    In regards to “shady business practices”, I am confident that this is simply a misunderstanding. Our GPU’s (or Grid Performance Units) are not hidden in any way as they provide a way for us to measure CPU usage on our (gs) Grid-Service. We offer documentation about how GPU’s are broken down, understanding the tool that measures & monitors usage & how to work with and prevent overages:

    http://mediatemple.net/webhosting/gs/faq.php#63
    http://kb.mediatemple.net/questions/269/Understanding+the+GPU+tool#gs
    http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/%28gs%29:Reduce_GPU_use

    Everyone’s experiences are different & unfortunately, negative experiences tend to resonate more so than positive ones. Regardless, we will continue to support the WordPress community in our commitment to providing the best service possible for our customers. As a recommended host by WordPress.org (http://wordpress.org/hosting/), we take all feedback seriously & are always aiming for improvement.

    Thank you to everyone for their feedback, and again please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me about your experience.

    • I have tried MediaTemple twice now and both times have left disappointed. When all the hype came out about cloud computing and the grid, I was excited to try MediaTemple. After multiple downtime issues and very slow response times on my site, I left. After a couple of years, I figured all of the grid issues should have been addressed, so I tried again. Still, slow sites and more downtime than I’d experienced elsewhere. I like WiredTree for VPS and HostGator simply has been outstanding – on both the uptime and support. As much hype surrounded MediaTemple – and as many sites as I see hosted by you, I have just never found the grid very reliable.

  • Thanks for publishing these reviews of @bigwetfish and thanks to our 8 clients for reviewing us we really appreciate you taking the time to do that.

    We are a small company and we feel we genuinely care about our clients. Feel free to follow us on Twitter and judge for yourself :)

    As the company owner I invite you to contact me personally with any questions at all – email me at sk@bwf.co any time or give me a call at the office (number on the website).

  • Just thought I’d throw in that I like Media Temple (gs). Use it for a few WP websites. Interface could be a bit more intuitive but up-time has been good and support is quick.

    I’ve heard good things about Site5 from WP people.

    Would be interesting to hear experiences from users of RocketPress.me. They’re a WordPress-only host. Also there’s Page.ly which is a managed WordPress host that seems to have some clout.

    • Alex Denning

      The only controversial result seems to be MediaTemple! The data speaks for itself, though. Nobody seemed to be staying more than a year and whilst people were generally happy with the overall service and there were a good handful of glowing reviews, there were just too many negative reviews; it seems when it goes well it’s great, when you don’t get on it doesn’t work out at all.

  • Great writeup, I’m surprised to see HostGator as a “consider” because so many people seem to rant and rave about it… and then add their affiliate link…

    That’s one of the biggest problems with getting honest hosting reviews, the affiliate plans pay out so much so people are being genuine 100% of the time.

    I can say from experience that BlueHost & Page.ly work well enough for my sites, so I definitely agree with your stance on BlueHost.

  • Was a shame to read a couple of the first responses were “what about..” – of course you can’t test everyone. Really appreciate what you’ve done here. I’ve been with Dreamhost and now I’m with Doreo. Doreo has been really good although I’ve had a couple of break-ins to the site – but I doubt this is a result of the host. No downtime has been yet experienced.

  • I just migrated away from JustHost (AVOID!) to MediaTemple (dv) and so far I’m very happy with Media Temple’s response times on several of my tickets, and their KnowledgeBase is pretty sufficient too. I went from dozen single WP installs on JustHost and consolidated a few of them into a WP MultiSite install with Domain Mapping. It stretched my capabilities and knowledge of domain mapping experience, but with the help of MediaTemple and their KnowledgeBase I was successful. So far, so good.

    BTW – I do not work for MediaTemple, but if they want to upgrade my hosting package for this then I cannot stop them (hint, hint) ;)

    • Alex Denning

      As I just replied in another comment, there seems to be a complete polarisation between “oh, they’re amazing” and “oh, they’re useless”.

      I’ve picked out another summary somebody submitted which summarises what I’m getting at:

      “I’ve been with them since last week and already I have suffered through a 16-hour outage and two major issues with my server that they won’t fix because it’s outside of the scope of their agreement.”

      • Once again – We have been using MT for over 3 years and have a lot of WP sites and clients with them, and we’re very happy.

        One of the big issues I see with people using WP is that use too many plugins (many of which are overly coded, and use excessive amount of processing)

        Ultimately if you’re concerned with performance, or SEO you shouldn’t be on shared hosting with anyone.

  • I use many hosting services and also using Media Temple for 2 years for 10+ domains.

    Generally, it is a very good service with a decent customer support and I am happy with them.

    Although, I never contacted them for WP issues (which I solve myself).

  • I have to say I am a little surprised at one of the “consider” hosts considering the bad wrap they get from WordPress users.

  • LOVE HostGator. If I had known about the survey, I would have raved about them.

  • +1 for Rackspace Cloud Servers (aka VPS). I’ve been with them for a few months now and the uptime / response time has been much better than previous hosts. It’s also the first host I’ve been with who have proper 24/7 telephone support.

    Having access to the Akamai CDN via Cloud Files was the clincher for me. It means you can setup a plugin like W3TC and have all your media and CSS/JS files served off that, leaving WordPress to just serve the HTML.

  • We’re honoured! We want to thank our customers for their amazing reviews and WPShout for including us as a recommended host :)

  • Weird… Hostgator had 23 reviews… Majority said their experience was good… And then a number of people said they moved.

    I would like to know how many actually moved… And where did they move to?

    I don’t understand why it is not in the Recommended list of WPShout. It clearly had more votes…

    • Alex Denning

      Hey Syed :)

      It wasn’t a case of the number of reviews, I was more concerned with the approval ratings. Hostgator had a lot of people rating their overall experience as good and hence I gave them credit for it. I was concerned that people didn’t seem to be staying long (I only asked how long they’d been with the host and not where they moved to, so I’m afraid I can’t answer the second bit) and a number of people who were with other hosts mentioned that they were finding their new host much faster than Hostgator was, as I mentioned.

      Their service isn’t *bad*, but I felt the evidence showed there were better options available.

  • Chiming in here! Just submitted another review, I use Heart Internet and have to say they really are that good.

    From my relative newbie experience a couple of years ago till now I have and will always be with Heart, awesome web host, awesome.

  • Pirduan

    This is a great unbiased survey, hoping to see more people participating in this survey. Perhaps, extend it for a couple of months to get bigger pool of participants.

    I’m using Hostgator and iPage. I only had one rude experience with the online support staff at Hostgator when I was enquiring about SSL.
    iPage support staff were excellent. Felt like they are near you helping out with your problems.

  • WordPress.org actually recommends 4 hosts for deploying sites. You reviewed three of them – Bluehost, Dreamhost, and mediaTemple. You should have included the fourth – LaughingSquid – for completeness, even if it was to mention it as a “no comment” and to solicit reviews. It’s not so much that you should include every host ever, but there’s two possible stories with high relevance here: either LS is a great host and the suggestion by WP is warranted, or they’ve fallen off whatever reputation they’ve had and they’re no longer a good place to host. We should know either way. (I mean, us people who’ve been around the block with hosting know GoDaddy and 1and1 are going to be lackluster or terrible. I told one of my clients to get the hell off of GoDaddy last year after their site kept biting it)

    I have some feedback on LaughingSquid if you’re interested in a revision.

  • Hedley

    I’ve been using HostGator for several years now, as a reseller of hosting, and I’ve had very little problem with service or downtime, and also have had few problems with hosting WordPress sites (I currently host seven of them).

    Out of curiosity, I took a look at BlueHost’s reseller package. For $50 a month, one gets 250 GB of disk space and 25Mgbs of bandwidth. On Hostgator, for half that price ($24.95 a month) I get 50GB of disk space and 500GB of bandwidth. If I were using BlueHost, I’d already be exceeding the bandwidth allotment at 2x the cost. Given the minor differences between BlueHost and HostGator in reviews, it seems to me that at the very least, Hostgator should rate as an equal to Bluehost, if not superior based on value for money alone.

  • I’ve used Blue host for a few years and recently moved over the Hostgator for my small websites. Bluehost was good (had some downtime issues) and support was good, though not spectacular.

    I moved to Hostgator because my last client had so many issues with their website (due to a designer who thought they could figure out WP development, but messed up the website) and I spent several hours with their hosting service (Hostgator). I was so impressed with the support I received that I wound up switching my hosting too. I’m not sure about downtime issues yet, but the support is great.

  • I agree with the outcome re: Godaddy. Bad security, bad customer service, bad interface, bad marketing…just bad.

    I switched over to Hostgator and am pretty happy with them. They respond quickly – especially if you tweet at them. I agree that my site is a ‘touch’ slow but I can’t pinpoint if it’s my host, or my site / theme. I’m using hostgator for my personal blog and an rss aggregator and our new forums are also on hostgator.

    • Batfan

      I would partially disagree with you there.

      I’ve hosted multiple WP sites on various different GoDaddy shared hosting plans for years and I’ve never had an issue with slowness or security.

      If you know what you are doing, YOU can control (for the most part) the speed and security of your site.

      As for the mention of poor support, you need to understand that it takes little to no ‘tech’ experience to get hired as a level 1 support rep. So . . . they are barely going to know what a server is, let alone be able to help you troubleshoot your WordPress site.

  • Many of my customers use Hostgator and all are very happy. As for Godaddy, as I’m in Australia, people here are setup on Godaddy Singapore servers and they are very slow with some downtime.
    Thanks for the article. It’s nice to see a Host review without affiliate links.

  • James

    I personally would recommend WPWebHost as well. Looks like you hosted with them and do not have any issues. Same goes to me, their personnel are all very WordPress savvy. They can solve my issues comprehensively and also explained to me what went wrong and by far I have the best customer experience with WPWebHost

  • Craig Mullins

    Just posted a review for Servint. I love those guys! Support is awesome.

  • Tieson Wooten

    I have been using Hostgator for over 3 years with over 2 dozen websites. Uptime is decent, only had a few problems, but over the course of 3 years, I felt it to be pretty good.
    However, I recently had the need to install an SSL cert for a client and it was a disaster. Literally spent over 10 hours on the phone with support and the website was down the entire time. VERY unimpressed.
    I am shopping for a new company and this article has been INCREDIBLY helpful!

  • I’ve had good experience w/ 1&1 as far as response times and with uptime until recently. The past three weeks have seen downtimes in the 3-4 hour per week range, and I’m becoming concerned. 1&1′s response has been that some of it is from server upgrades but some is caused by outside forces — connectivity issues, I suspect, although they don’t say.

    As others have noted, the 1&1 support is very weak. It seems the company expects the customer to actually know what’s up, but their ‘documentation’ is turgid at best.

    Recently, they have improved their UI. It’s faster and less maddening to navigate, but still is far from as good as even GoDaddy (which I abhor, BTW).

    On the plus side, 1&1 keeps their apache servers up-to-date. I don’t know about the windows servers, as I don’t use them. I have had no real troubles with their support, but it’s slow and seems to be heavily scripted. My solution has been to educate myself as much as possible about the system and fix things on my own, with only occasional interaction with support.

    I stick with them because they are less expensive than others, their billing is straightfoward, and, until very recently, downtimes have been in the seconds per week range.

  • I would suggest you cross reference a survey like this with an independent forum like webhostingtalk to ensure your results haven’t been manipulated by seo ass-hats.

    I can tell you that at least 2 of the hosts you’ve given thumbs up to are terrible; from personal experience and from others on various, independent, host review boards.

  • Brian

    My time with WPWebHost has turned into a nightmare. I have four websites with them and, from the beginning, I’ve experienced a lot of downtime and load-times in excess of 20-30 seconds. At one point, I was arguing with them all day. It was only when I submitted screenshots of their own website down that anything got done.

    I’ve been complaining for five weeks about a problem with one site. Now it’s been hijacked for a phishing/virus scam. WPWebHost’s solution? Block my IP address and blame me. Never mind that this happened while I was complaining about downtime, or that I had been working on a reformatted PC, or that not a single other account had been compromised.

  • I know it’s late, but I submitted a review for FutureQuest. Have been using them on and off for the past 10 years, they are hands down the best. They specialize in hosting, unlike some companies that try to do it all (and are average at best). For anyone thinking of using Godaddy, I would read this article first:

    http://yoast.com/godaddy-link-building/

    And if you were hosting WordPress on HostGator I would double check to make sure they’ve stopped adding footer links on your site.

  • My 2 cents on Dreamhost:

    Don’t use their auto-installer for WordPress! When you do, it will install in excess of 30 themes and 18 plugins. I have spent months cleaning hacked WordPress sites with the timthumb vulnerability due to outdated scripts in these themes.

    When I contacted Dreamhost about this vulnerability, they’re response was they auto-install these themes to give their customers a “choice” of how they want their blog to look.

    And last I checked, the themes are still the same – outdated!

    If you don’t need it, DELETE it!

    WordPress.org is available to all of us to find themes and plugins of our liking. We don’t need a hosting provider giving us additional garbage as a “choice.”

  • I’ve been with media temple for like 3 years now, and they rock and roll. They even answer support requests through Twitter which I think is fantastic! I’m on a (ve) server though, the grids are useless I agree.

    ~ K

  • Got off to a bad start with WP Engine. Could not log into my WordPress instance with the instructions they provided. I notified support 6 hours ago (during business hours) and they have yet to solve the issue. I find this unacceptable.

    • Hi, this is the founder of WP Engine, and I agree with you that it’s unacceptable!

      We had some trouble with new sites yesterday. I don’t have enough to go on from this comment but if you can ping support again I’ll tell them to look out for you!

  • Hi,
    I have hosted my blogs in Netfirms.com and one of my friends mentioned about Hostdime.com. what about these services?.

  • This is a pretty good list. I’ve personally used Site 5 and may go back to them because of the great support. Right now I’m hosting myself and clients on 1and1… I’ve had no downtown problem but you’re right – they have no WP support at all whatsoever. I had an issue not long ago and found the solution via google, and implemented the solution while the customer service person was “investigating” the matter lol. After my time is up with 1and1 I’ll likely go back to Site5, I believe they will even transfer all of your sites from whatever server you’re using to theirs free of charge when you switch.
    As for WPWebHost… I had a problem with them with a domain name so I will not turn back to them for hosting. They pretty much suck to me but that’s more of a personal opinion than based on any hosting capabilities they have.
    I absolutely loathed GoDaddy… Their customer services people are wonderful but they don’t know shit because GoDaddy changes things daily. I run into many clients that host on GoDaddy and whenever I have to log into their account to make changes it’s always a mess. I can never find what I’m looking for.
    Netfims I only use them to register domains. They have reasonable prices and free privacy. While we’re on the subject of domain registration – never search on GoDaddy to see if a domain is available UNLESS you’re ready to grab it instantly. I have no way of proving this, but it’s happened to me and other I know. Go look for a name it’s available – go back tomorrow to buy it and it’s gone. Never happened to me with any other site but GoDaddy. Okay I’ve said enough.

  • I hear bad things about Godaddy all the time. I must be really lucky as I have hosted numerous sites over ten years on Godaddy and only have had to ring them up once about a folder not deleting, I got through straight away and they sorted it within a day. I use Hyper Cache for WP and the site runs great.

  • What about Web HostingHub? they are great!

  • Thanks for the review. It does help. A LOT!

  • I host many sites for a few years at Godaddy and don’t have any unusual problems. They do have a special section in support department for wp sites….you need to ask for wp specialist if one is needed. I Find most wp site owners foul up their own performance with bad or too many plugins then blame the host.

  • I’m on WPEngine servers and they’re super fast.

    Consistently under 1 second loading times. If you can beat that please let me know.

    Tried VPS level 4 with Hostgator but always had problems and around 3-4 seconds loading times.

    I also know that Bluehost now integrates with Cloudfare so i think they should be faster on that CDN network.

  • NodeKi should have been included. I got a lifetime hosting from them and there has been no problems [except for the ones I created myself :( ]

    One of their packages for lifetime is perfect for any small business and cost less than a full years hosting at DreamHost.

  • I am not familiar with Zybrite. If it is really good and they provide good service then people should also try to consider them. I have heard plenty of issues with Go Daddy, which I hope they will have to resolve soon. Hostgator seems a good choice but if they have little problems then they should fix it as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing these great review, which will provide insights to bloggers who are looking for web hosting provider.