The Best WordPress Hosting in 2020: An Honest Guide

Looking for the best WordPress hosting for 2020? We’ve analyzed thousands of unbiased WordPress hosting reviews from real users, to bring you the up-to-date, definitive list of the best WordPress hosts—and the hosts to stay away from.

The Best WordPress Hosting to Buy in 2020

Host NameAggregated User RatingPriced FromNotes
SiteGround
siteground | best wordpress host
89%$3

Best shared WordPress hosting.
Best choice for most buyers.

Buy It »
Kinstakinsta | best managed wordpress host96%$30

Best managed WordPress hosting.
Best choice for high-traffic sites that need optimized.


Buy It »
Cloudwayscloudways | best cloud wordpress host84%$10

Best cloud/VPS WordPress hosting.
Best choice for tech-savvy buyers who want customization.


Buy It »

And there you have it: the top-rated hosts in each of WordPress hosting’s major hosting categories. The best WordPress hosting for 2020 is SiteGround for shared hosting, Kinsta for managed hosting, and Cloudways for cloud/VPS hosting.

The best #WordPress hosting for 2020 is @SiteGround for shared hosting, @Kinsta for managed hosting, and @Cloudways for cloud/VPS hosting. Click To Tweet

Which to Choose: Shared, Managed, or Cloud/VPS WordPress Hosting

If you’re not sure what hosting category you should be considering, go with the single WordPress hosting recommendation that’s right for the most people: buy SiteGround’s GrowBig plan.

The single #WordPress hosting choice that's right for the most people is @SiteGround's GrowBig plan. Click To Tweet

Why do we recommend shared hosting by default? Shared hosting is just fine for most people’s needs, and it’s cheaper and more flexible than the other options.

Why GrowBig? It’s SiteGround’s second-cheapest plan, and it’s a lot faster and more powerful than the cheapest StartUp option. See our comparison of SiteGround plans for details, and for a discussion on SiteGround’s renewal prices, which are the one “gotcha” to be aware of.

If you want to learn more about the different hosting types (shared, managed, and cloud/VPS), we’ve written an in-depth guide to help you better understand your options.

What WordPress Hosting Not to Buy in 2020

If the hosts above are the best WordPress hosting of 2020, who’s the worst?

The answer is simple: the three hosting giants of GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator are among the worst choices for WordPress hosting in 2020. They sit at the very bottom of our user satisfaction table, beaten out only by two other brands that Bluehost and HostGator’s parent company, Endurance International Group (EIG), also owns.

The three giants of @GoDaddy, @Bluehost, and @HostGator are among the worst choices for WordPress hosting in 2020. Click To Tweet

The Worst WordPress Hosting of 2020

Overall RankingHost NameHosting TypeAggregated User RatingPriced FromNotes
19HostGatorShared55%$3Bad shared hosting with a huge marketing budget. EIG-owned. Avoid.
20BluehostShared55%$3Bad shared hosting with a huge marketing budget. EIG-owned. Avoid.
21GoDaddyShared55%$6Bad shared hosting with a huge marketing budget. Also does managed hosting. Avoid both.
22A Small OrangeShared54%$9Sharp loss in quality since 2012 purchase by EIG.
23ArvixeShared44%$8EIG-owned.

It might seem crazy that the well-known brands of Bluehost, Godaddy, and HostGator are actually the worst in the market. After all, if you Google “best wordpress hosting” and start reading reviews, almost all of them will recommend Bluehost in the #1 or #2 spot. Who’s telling the truth?

Why So Many Sources Recommend Bad Hosts

The reality is simple: Most hosting reviews that recommend GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator are misleading you for money.

Most hosting reviews that recommend @GoDaddy, @Bluehost, and @HostGator are misleading you for money. Click To Tweet

Online web hosting reviews are very highly distorted by misinformation, because, unfortunately, it’s highly profitable to mislead people like you into buying bad hosting. If you’re curious how this works, read our full explanation of the topic.

Most Hosting Recommendations for WordPress Suck. Here’s Why.

If you read nothing else in this article, please take one thing to heart: don’t buy GoDaddy, Bluehost, or HostGator.

While you’re at it, don’t buy hosting by brands that that GoDaddy or EIG owns. EIG owns HostMonster, Site5, A Small Orange, Arvixe, and others, which are all bottom-tier for user satisfaction. Here’s a full list of EIG-owned brands. GoDaddy’s main hosting acquisition, Media Temple, is very low on our satisfaction list as well.

No matter what other hosting reviewers tell you, thousands of actual user reviews are very clear that you’re best off staying away from these brands.

Ranking all WordPress Hosts: Our Full 2020 WordPress Hosting Comparison

If you want to see the full list of the best WordPress hosts for 2020 (and the worst ones, and the ones in the middle), it’s below. You can sort by any column, to see how a given hosting category ranks out.

Overall RankingHost NameHosting TypeAggregated User RatingPriced FromNotes
1KinstaManaged96%$30

Best managed WordPress hosting.
Best choice for high-traffic sites that need optimized.


Buy It »
2SiteGroundShared89%$3

Best shared WordPress hosting.
Best choice for most buyers.

Buy It »
3GreenGeeksShared88%$3Eco-friendly corporate policy. Note renewal prices.
Buy It »
4CloudwaysCloud/VPS84%$10

Best cloud/VPS WordPress hosting.
Best choice for tech-savvy buyers who want customization.


Buy It »
5FlywheelManaged81%$25Very good managed hosting. Unclear future after 2019 purchase by WP Engine.
Buy It »
6Liquid WebManaged81%$29Managed hosting and a range of other products.
Buy It »
7DreamHostShared78%$3A longtime WordPress community partner.
Buy It »
8WP EngineManaged75%$27One of the first and biggest managed WordPress hosts, trending downward in customer satisfaction. Buy It »
9NamecheapShared74%$2
10A2Shared72%$3
11HostPapaShared71%$4
12Digital OceanCloud/VPS70%$5Scalable cloud/VPS hosting that can be a good choice for very technical buyers.
13One.comShared70%$3
14InMotionShared68%$7Developed BoldGrid site builder system.
15Heart InternetShared66%$15UK-based.
161&1 IONOSShared62%$8
17Media TempleManaged61%$20Sharp loss in quality since 2013 purchase by GoDaddy.
18iPageShared58%$2
19HostGatorShared55%$3Bad shared hosting with a huge marketing budget. EIG-owned. Avoid.
20BluehostShared55%$3Bad shared hosting with a huge marketing budget. EIG-owned. Avoid.
21GoDaddyShared55%$6Bad shared hosting with a huge marketing budget. Also does managed hosting. Avoid both.
22A Small OrangeShared54%$9Sharp loss in quality since 2012 purchase by EIG.
23ArvixeShared44%$8EIG-owned.

A Closer Look at the Top Hosts in Our 2020 Hosting Review

This section gives more detail on the top host in each hosting category to supplement our user-generated data.

SiteGround: Best Shared WordPress Hosting in 2020

siteground | best shared wordpress hosting 2020

Trust Pilot (5)WhoIsHostingThis (5)CodeinWP (10)Review Signal (100)Aggregate (100)
4.858.6473%89%

Standing at or near the top of the list in every one of our data sources, SiteGround continues in 2020 to be the most widely loved host in WordPress.

In 2020, @SiteGround is the most widely loved host in #WordPress, and by far the best shared host. Click To Tweet

SiteGround is also by far the best shared host in WordPress. Shared hosting is the least expensive type of WordPress hosting, and it’s what most people need, unless your site is already well-trafficked enough or income-generating enough to justify spending more on slightly faster managed hosting. For that reason, we recommend that most people looking for the best WordPress hosting for their needs start with SiteGround’s GrowBig plan.

Pros of SiteGround

A major thing to love about SiteGround is that they’re continually getting better. After using cPanel like most shared hosts for years, they recently released a brand-new, much more streamlined account dashboard that is a clear improvement. Their shared hosting comes bundled with tools you can’t expect on regular shared hosting, such as free backups, free staging sites, a free CDN, a deluxe bespoke caching and optimization solution called SG Optimizer, and a Git tool for developers. They were among the first hosts in the world to adopt free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt. The list goes on.

SiteGround is also known for super-short wait times for phone support and great customer service techs, fast performance for shared hosting, and an ongoing attitude of genuine partnership with the WordPress community. Read our full SiteGround review for lots of detail on each of these elements.

Cons of SiteGround

The major thing to know about SiteGround is its “hook” pricing. Plans start at low prices for one to three years (depending on how much you buy), then renew much higher. GrowBig, for example, starts at $6 a month and renews at $20 a month. SiteGround is worth it anyway, but knowing that your low monthly hosting bill will eventually more than triple is something to pay attention to.

SiteGround also occasionally does other things we find a little irritating, like making it harder to find its phone support number. Read our full SiteGround review for full detail.

SiteGround: The Bottom Line

SiteGround was our host on WPShout for more than five years (we just switched to Kinsta in December 2019 looking for next-tier server speeds), and during that time they made us happier than we’d imagined a hosting company could. We still use SiteGround for every other site we own, and almost every site we build for clients.

Bottom line for most people: put your site on SiteGround hosting—you’ll be happy you did.

Try SiteGround now

Kinsta: Best Managed WordPress Hosting in 2020

kinsta logo | 2020 best managed wordpress host

Trust Pilot (5)WhoIsHostingThis (5)CodeinWP (10)Review Signal (100)Aggregate (100)
4.859.2296%

Managed WordPress hosting is a pretty well-defined category: hosts who only host WordPress sites and who optimize around WordPress’s specific design; who provide lots of WordPress-specific features like caching, staging, backups, and auto-updates; and who charge quite a bit more than shared hosting, typically starting around $30 and scaling quickly with traffic.

Kinsta sits smack-dab in the middle of this category, and simply does its job better than its competitors. In 2020, Kinsta offers the best WordPress managed hosting available.

In 2020, @Kinsta offers the best #WordPress managed hosting available. Click To Tweet

Pros of Kinsta

As our traffic continued to grow and site speed became more and more important (both for SEO and for our user experience), we recently switched WPShout’s hosting from SiteGround to Kinsta. We have a full review coming on that experience, but for now here’s what we can say for sure.

First of all, Kinsta is fast. Our server response times—how long the server takes to do the bunch of calculations needed to start communicating back to the requesting client—went from around 2 seconds to less than 0.5 seconds across the site.

The hosting offering is outstanding overall: very easy-to-manage WordPress staging and install flows, automatic daily backups, a free CDN, free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, and so on.

Kinsta also has a polished custom hosting dashboard that’s a joy to use. In addition to making it easy to spin up staging sites and manage backups, the dashboard includes a healthy number of analytics and monitoring tools to help you monitor both high-level data, like visits, and specific metrics, like PHP throughput and average PHP response time.

Cons of Kinsta

One big thing to keep in mind is that Kinsta does not offer phone-based technical support of any kind. Instead, it has a 24/7 chat-based customer support team. I’ve used chat support a number of times, and each times I’ve been able to resolve my issue as well as if I’d been on the phone with someone; but there was still that feeling of “Huh, I’d sure like to be able to say this to someone.”

Switching WPShout’s hosting to Kinsta has really been a “trust fall” into chat-only support, and so far I’ve had no complaints. Just be aware that phone support isn’t an option if you get stuck.

It may also be helpful to point out that, in 2020, Kinsta is both extremely good and still a bit in its “boutique” phase. Don’t be surprised if there are growing pains as it scales over the next five years—every fast-growing host we’ve ever seen experiences them, and the really good ones stay good even as they grow.

Lastly, this may go without saying, but Kinsta, like most managed WordPress hosts, is way more expensive than shared hosting. Costs scale quickly with site traffic. We’re now paying quite a bit more for hosting on WPShout than we’re used to. It was worth it for us, but make sure it is for your business too before you commit to Kinsta instead of SiteGround or Cloudways.

Kinsta: The Bottom Line

The bottom line, really, is simply that Kinsta is the best managed WordPress hosting in 2020. WP Engine has been steadily slipping in quality for the past several years. Flywheel is great, but was just bought by… WP Engine.

If you need managed WordPress hosting and don’t have an extremely strong reason to go with someone else, start with Kinsta. The only thing to be alerted to as you take the plunge is the chat-only support.

Try Kinsta now

Cloudways: Best VPS/Cloud WordPress Hosting in 2020

cloudways wordpress hosting

Trust Pilot (5)WhoIsHostingThis (5)CodeinWP (10)Review Signal (100)Aggregate (100)
4.34.58.1478%84%

Sometimes, different is good. Cloudways isn’t a straight-ahead Digital Ocean-style VPS provider. It actually resells Digital Ocean, Linode, and other VPS hosting, at a higher price.

What do you get in return? Two huge things: tech support and a WordPress-friendly hosting interface. The idea is that you get the best of both worlds, and for the most part Cloudways is delivering on that promise. If you want more bang for your hosting buck, but don’t have a degree in server administration, Cloudways could be a great option to check out in 2020.

If you want more bang for your hosting buck, but don't have an IT degree, @Cloudways could be a great option to check out in 2020. Click To Tweet

Pros of Cloudways

Cloudways has a very creative business model, which tries to fuse two distinct advantages: the cost-effectiveness of buying pure VPS hosting through a service like Digital Ocean or Linode, plus the support and user-friendliness of shared or managed WordPress hosting.

In general, you’ll get a lot more actual hardware for each dollar you spend through Cloudways than you would buying either shared or managed hosting (although less than if you bought VPS hosting directly), while also getting a lot more support and a much more intuitive hosting management interface than you would buying straight VPS hosting (although less than if you bought shared or managed hosting).

Overall, it’s a very successful blend for the right kind of customer, who needs some support and who doesn’t want to spend all day Unix bashing the mainframe just to create a staging site, but who still has some level of technical chops and wants a more cost-effective hosting experience.

Cons of Cloudways

Cloudways is not a great fit for you if you have very little technical knowledge. For example, to manage your files, you’ll need to understand how to use an FTP client. Support is chat-only; you can get phone support, but it’s part of Cloudways’s “Premium” support tier that starts at $500 per month.

Neither of these things will be an issue for the type of person who should be considering Cloudways. For other people, they will be. The overall tone of VPS is “Thanks for your money, here’s your hardware, now don’t bother me.” Cloudways’s whole business model is to make that tone more inviting, but it’s still more in that style than if you were buying from, for example, a shared host, which will be entirely built around the reality that most of its customers have no specialist knowledge whatsoever.

Cloudways: The Bottom Line

Cloudways is designed to take the abject terror out of VPS hosting, and for the most part it succeeds. If you’ve got a slightly adventurous spirit, and are generally on the more-comfortable side technically, Cloudways can be a great option to get more raw performance at a lower price.

Try Cloudways now

Methodology: How We Created the 2020 WordPress Hosting Review

Our results are an unbiased analysis of thousands of WordPress hosting reviews from real users.

The WordPress hosting ranking above isn’t our opinion. It’s an honest, unbiased analysis of the most trustworthy data we could find: WordPress hosting reviews not from a few affiliates with something to gain, but from thousands and thousands of real users.

Below we describe our process in compiling our guide to WordPress hosting.

Our Data Source: Thousands of Real, Unbiased User Satisfaction Reviews

As we mentioned, individual online hosting reviews are usually unreliable. We don’t use them.

Instead, we built our WordPress hosting comparison from four data sources that all have something in common: each one is a source for thousands of honest, user-driven reviews. Here’s detail on each data source:

  1. TrustPilot has been a top source for millions of honest user reviews of all kinds of products since 2007.
  2. WhoIsHostingThis is an all-in-one web hosting review site that—unlike most hosting review sites—accepts and honestly displays thousands of real user reviews.
  3. CodeInWP does an annual WordPress hosting survey that is the largest in the community, with over 6,000 real respondents in the 2019 version.
  4. Review Signal has a unique algorithm that tracks positive and negative social media postings about the largest hosts in and out of WordPress. Review Signal’s annual performance benchmarks are also the most rigorous and unbiased hosting performance comparisons available.

Again, none of the information in our recommendations is based on our personal biases, or on what we’ll get the biggest affiliate check to recommend. It’s all based on thousands of real, honest, unbiased user reviews.

How We Developed Our Aggregate Ratings

Our aggregate ratings are simply the average of each host’s ratings from our four data sources. A few hosts were not present in one or another data source; in those cases, we’ve averaged their scores from among the three sources where they are present.

The full data is below. You can sort each column to see how each host fares in each review source’s data.

Host NameTrust
Pilot Rating (5.0 Max)
Trust
Pilot Count
WhoIs
Hosting
This Rating (5.0 Max)
WhoIs
Hosting
This Count
CodeIn
WP Rating (10.0 Max)
CodeIn
WP Count
Review Signal Rating (100% Max)Aggregate Rating
Kinsta4.82265469.229-96%
SiteGround4.83,136527098.6430173%89%
GreenGeeks4.72424.53518.1124-88%
Cloudways4.31794.5918.14778%84%
Flywheel3.78--9.081278%81%
Liquid Web3.81014.5868.571672%81%
DreamHost4.693342758.255956%78%
WP Engine2.8464438.862577%75%
Namecheap2.54084.5788.19149-74%
A2 Hosting4.28434.52578.334532%72%
HostPapa4.522843968.071734%71%
Digital Ocean2.21254188.6529471%70%
One.com47,7773997.0748-70%
InMotion3.316946417.827049%68%
Heart Internet4.116833.5508333%66%
1&1 IONOS4.110,6552.53267.4710940%62%
Media Temple2.363.5687756%61%
iPage1.68844367.685345%58%
HostGator1.45193.55937.8440244%55%
Bluehost1.42613.54838.0759241%55%
GoDaddy1.93,82836017.4372346%55%
A Small Orange1.9162.5358549%54%
Arvixe1.58734016424%44%

You can also see this raw data in a Google Sheets document. And if you’re curious how WordPress hosting has changed in the past year, you can compare this year’s results with our WordPress hosting comparison from last year, which used a similar methodology.

Our Affiliate Disclosure

We are affiliates for some of the hosts in this article: specifically, the ones that real users actually like.

Currently, the hosts in this article that we’re affiliates for are Cloudways, Flywheel, Green Geeks, Kinsta, SiteGround, and WP Engine. If you click one of those links and go on to buy the hosting, we’ll earn a commission.

We’re affiliates for these companies because we know they’re the best, not the other way around. We created affiliate accounts for GoDaddy, Bluehost, and other low-performing hosts, but we haven’t used those links in years: we don’t even want to make it easier to visit those companies’ websites, because we really, really don’t want you to buy their hosting.

The more important point is that—unlike most sites’ focus on individual reviews that amount to the reviewer’s opinion (plus seemingly scientific but easily manipulated numbers on “Uptime” and so on)—we have actually gone out and collected real, unbiased data on the WordPress hosting world from thousands of people, and presented that data honestly and without bias. We’re absolutely confident we’re giving you the truest advice on WordPress hosting possible, and in that context we’re happy acting as affiliates for the top-performing WordPress hosts of 2020.

Go Forward with the Best WordPress Hosting in 2020

If this information has helped you, please share it along.

Thanks for checking out our analysis of the best WordPress hosts in 2020, based on trustworthy data from thousands of real users. If this information has helped you, please share it along: there’s a lot of misinformation out there about WordPress hosting, and we’d love for your friends and colleagues to get the good stuff.

What are you currently into for hosting? Let us know your own WordPress hosting experiences—in the comments below, or in our Facebook group.


9 Responses

Comments

  • Rick says:

    You are absolutely correct. I spent a week investigating this topic. I liked one.com a lot, but they force me to pay for my domain registration with them- even if I don’t transfer it to them. Poison pill. I also like GreenGeeks a lot because they use SSD and give me 200 GB of storage, and have fast page load times. You should have really included page load times in your criteria, as there are vast differences there. I ended up going with FastComet.com because they also use SSD, but limit me to 25 GB, which is less than GreenGeeks allotted 200 GB, but still plenty for me. Page load times for FastComet are not premium, but I’m kind of in the learning phase, so there may be something for me to figure out. I came FROM Hostmonster.com. Some time ago EIG came up with the brilliant idea to offshore their tech support dept – which actualy used to be very good. That move, combined with a HUGE renewal price, sent me packing.

    I agree with everything you said. Include the page load times and you will have an invaluable survey. By the way, Siteground was recommended to me by numerous people, but I just didn’t like their website and their prices were a bit higher than others, but they seem to be the favorite for many people because of their excellent support (I am told).

    You are also right about the trash reviews on the internet. 9 our of 10 reviews are pure garbage. When Hostgator or Blue come up as number one, I stop reading right there – and that happens a lot. Like TV and radio – the internet seems to be destined to become a huge landfill of crap. So much promise – but so much deception…

  • Rendt Gorter says:

    I use Hostinger and am very satisfied with their performance, features and support, so was keen to see how they ranked but found them omitted. Why?

  • Edwin says:

    The link to Inmotion position 14 is incorrect. It leads to an page with a revoked certificate.

  • Jeff says:

    Good read,

    To bad WPX was not included. They would be right up with the top guys.

  • Andre Joubert says:

    Any comments on Chemicloud?

  • Ramesh says:

    i will go with VPS instead of shared hosting.

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