The Best WordPress Hosting: An Honest Guide

Best WordPress Hosting

Looking for the best WordPress hosting? We’ve run our own performance tests and analyzed thousands of user ratings from our proprietary WordPress hosting survey to bring you the most up-to-date, definitive list of the best WordPress hosts in 2023 and beyond.

🥡 Key takeaways – in case you don’t have the time to read the whole thing:

The best WordPress hosting to buy in 2023

Host User Rating Priced From Notes
Cloudways 9.33 $10 Best cloud hosting.
Not for total beginners, but excellent value for most people.
Kinsta 9.13 $29 Best managed hosting.
The top option for people willing to pay for the best all-around product.
InMotion Hosting 8.40 $4 Best shared hosting.
A quality option for people who want to keep costs down.

There you have it: the best hosts in each of WordPress hosting’s major hosting categories. The best WordPress hosting is Cloudways for cloud/VPS hosting, Kinsta for managed hosting, and InMotion Hosting for shared hosting.

However, there are still other quality options to consider that might work better for your situation, so we encourage you to read through the full post to discover all of the best WordPress hosting providers.

Which to choose: shared, managed, or cloud/VPS WordPress hosting

Beyond individual hosts, it’s also important to choose the best WordPress hosting type for your unique situation.

On this list, we’ve collected hosts that roughly fall into three buckets:

  1. Shared hosting
  2. Managed WordPress hosting
  3. Cloud/VPS hosting

Let’s go through them, and when to use each.

Shared WordPress hosting

In general, shared hosting is best for people with low-traffic sites who want to keep costs down. While shared hosting usually doesn’t have the best performance or features, it’s the cheapest way to host a WordPress site because the host “shares” a server’s resources between multiple accounts.

If you choose a good shared hosting provider like InMotion Hosting or SiteGround, you can also still achieve good enough performance for most use cases.

As such, shared hosting is fine for most beginners and casual use cases like a brand new blog, a personal portfolio website, a basic brochure website for your local business, and so on.

Managed WordPress hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is more of a premium product for people who are willing to pay a little more for the best performance, features, and support.

Managed WordPress hosts give you top-notch performance and infrastructure, along with tools to improve your site’s speed – like server-level caching and built-in content delivery networks (CDN).

They also typically offer custom hosting dashboards that are packed with tools and features to help you manage your WordPress site, such as automatic backups, staging sites, and more.

And if you need any help, you can access expert WordPress support who can go above and beyond to help you with your site’s hosting.

The main downside of managed WordPress hosting is that it costs more than shared hosting. Additionally, managed WordPress hosting will have specific limits on websites, storage, monthly visitors, and so on – there’s none of the “unlimited resources” that you get with shared hosts.

As such, we recommend managed WordPress hosting for serious websites, such as income-generating blogs, eCommerce stores, membership sites, online courses, and so on.

Basically, if you earn money from your website (or have plans to earn money from it), paying a little extra for quality managed WordPress hosting is a good investment in your website.

Cloud WordPress hosting (VPS hosting)

Cloud WordPress hosting, also sometimes known as cloud VPS hosting, is a type of hosting where you get a specific amount of resources allocated to your site, such as one vCPU, 2 GB RAM, and so on.

Unlike shared hosting, these resources are 100% dedicated to your site, which means there’s no danger of your server being overloaded because of other accounts on the server.

Because of this, cloud VPS hosting can offer very good performance for a low cost. You can get the performance of a managed WordPress host, but at a price that’s closer to shared hosting.

However, the main downside of cloud VPS WordPress hosting is that it’s a little more complicated than other hosting types. For example, you’ll need to be able to figure out the optimal resources for your server.

Additionally, the level of support isn’t typically as good as what you’d get with a managed WordPress host.

However, Cloudways, our recommended cloud WordPress hosting provider, does a good job of mitigating some of these downsides by offering an easier way to use cloud WordPress hosting.

For more advanced users who want to keep costs down, this cloud approach can be one of the best WordPress hosting types.

Ranking all WordPress hosts: our full WordPress hosting comparison

WordPress hosting ranking 2023
Host Hosting Type User Rating US Load Time Priced From* Notes
Cloudways Cloud 9.33 1.07s $10 Good performance for the money. Not recommended for total beginners, though.
WP Engine Managed 9.21 0.52s $25 All-around excellent product. Has special WooCommerce hosting plans.
Kinsta Managed 9.13 0.55s $29 All-around excellent product. Offers built-in Edge Caching on Cloudflare Enterprise.
InMotion Hosting Shared / Managed 8.40 0.48s $4 Good performance for the money. For shared hosting, InMotion Hosting is pretty fast.
SiteGround Shared / Cloud 8.10 1.15s $4 Good performance for the money. For shared hosting, SiteGround is pretty fast.
Bluehost Shared 7.46 0.76s $3 Very beginner-friendly. Can be a good option if this is your first WordPress site.
HostGator Shared 7.83 0.67s $6 High visit limits. Can support high-traffic sites (for the price).
A2 Hosting Shared / Managed 7.76 0.83s $3 Good performance for the money. Use the LiteSpeed-powered Turbo plans for best results.
GreenGeeks Shared 7.73 1.29s $3 Good performance via LiteSpeed. Also has a focus on being environmentally friendly.
Namecheap Shared 7.63 1.3s $2 Very cheap. This is one of the cheapest WordPress hosts that you’ll find.
DreamHost Shared / Managed 7.58 1.9s $3 Cheap month-to-month billing. A solid option if you want to pay monthly.
Hostinger Shared 7.58 1.27s $2 Very cheap. This is one of the cheapest WordPress hosts that you’ll find.
1&1 Ionos Shared 6.62 0.37s $1 Europe focused. 1&1 is very popular in Europe.
GoDaddy Shared / Managed 6.31 0.73s $9 (managed plans) Very popular. GoDaddy is the most popular web host in existence, but its quality lags other hosts.

*the starting monthly price when paid annually. Prices might be higher if you want to pay month-to-month. Some hosts also use promotional prices that only apply to the first year, so you’ll want to check the regular prices as well.

A closer look at the top hosts in our hosting review

Now, let’s dig into more details on some of the best WordPress hosts as rated based on our user survey data and hands-on performance tests.

Cloudways: Best WordPress hosting for advanced users

Cloudways is one of the best WordPress hosting providers for cloud hosting

Cloudways is one of the best WordPress hosting providers for more advanced users, thanks to its unique cloud VPS approach.

Rather than offering its own hosting infrastructure, Cloudways lets you choose your preferred cloud hosting from five different providers:

  • DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud

Cloudways then handles configuring everything for you. Rather than needing to work from the command line like you would if you purchased cloud hosting directly, Cloudways lets you do everything from a user-friendly interface.

You also still get access to tons of helpful features, including the following:

  • A backup tool to set up automatic daily backups or create manual backups
  • Staging sites
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Built-in server-level caching system with Varnish and Redis, along with a companion WordPress caching plugin (Breeze)
  • Security features and firewalls

Overall, Cloudways is definitely one of the best cloud hosts for WordPress thanks to its user-friendly approach.

Note – Cloudways was acquired by DigitalOcean in 2022, but it still allows you to choose other cloud hosting providers beyond DigitalOcean.

Cloudways rating

Overall Rating Number of Survey Respondents
9.33 11

Cloudways loading times

East Coast, USA: 0.8sWest Coast, USA: 1.34s
London: 0.28sParis: 0.28s
Mumbai, India: 1.35sSydney: 2.53s

Pricing

Pricing at Cloudways depends on the cloud provider and server resources that you choose. All of the prices are the total price and include both the cloud hosting charge and the Cloudways management fee.

The cheapest option is the entry-level DigitalOcean server, which costs $10 per month for the following:

  • 1 GB RAM, 1 vCPU, 25 GB storage, 1 TB bandwidth

Pros of Cloudways

  • Good performance for the money – Cloudways is one of the best ways to get fast performance for a very low price.
  • Simplifies cloud hosting – cloud hosting performs very well for the money, but it’s usually too complex for casual users. Cloudways simplifies the process of using cloud hosting so that you can access those performance benefits without needing to be a developer.
  • No arbitrary billing limits on monthly visits – unlike a managed WordPress host, Cloudways doesn’t use visits as a billing metric. As long as your server resources can support your sites, you’re good.
  • Lots of tools – despite being cloud hosting, Cloudways’ dashboard still gives you access to helpful tools such as backups and staging sites.

Cons of Cloudways

  • A little more complex than other hosts – while you definitely don’t need to be a developer to use Cloudways, it is a little more complicated than some of the other hosts on this list because of the way it uses cloud hosting. If you already have experience hosting WordPress sites, you should be able to figure it out without issue. But if this is your first WordPress site, you might want to choose a different host.
  • Support scope is more limited than many other WordPress hosts – Cloudways’ 24/7/365 support is there to help you with your server, not your WordPress site. They can help you if your server itself has a problem, but they won’t be able to help with your actual WordPress site like a managed WordPress host might do.

Kinsta: Best managed WordPress hosting

Kinsta is the best WordPress hosting for people who want a manager experience

Kinsta is one of the best WordPress hosting providers for people who want more of a managed experience, and one of the overall top performers in the hosting survey data as well as our performance tests.

With Kinsta, you get excellent performance, 24/7 expert support, and a custom dashboard that’s packed with features and tools to help you manage your sites.

Kinsta also recently moved to integrate Cloudflare Enterprise into its hosting stack, which means that you can fully cache your site’s pages (not just static assets) on Cloudflare’s global network. This edge caching approach leads to very fast load times all around the world.

Here are some of the features that make Kinsta one of the best WordPress hosting providers:

  • Custom hosting dashboard (MyKinsta) that’s packed with bonus tools such as a redirect manager, search and replace, and lots more
  • 24/7/365 expert WordPress support
  • Server-level caching for improved performance, along with a Cloudflare edge caching option
  • Automatic daily backups with 14-30 day retention depending on the plan. You can also upgrade to more frequent automatic backups for an extra fee.
  • Manual on-demand backups when needed
  • Staging sites, along with conditional staging pushes
  • Local WordPress development tool (DevKinsta)
  • Application performance monitoring tool (Kinsta APM) to really dig into your site’s performance
  • Security rules and protections, along with a free hack fix guarantee
  • Free SSL certificates

If you want to learn more, check out our full Kinsta review.

Kinsta rating

Overall Rating Number of Survey Respondents
9.13 10

Kinsta loading times

East Coast, USA: 0.39sWest Coast, USA: 0.7s
London: 0.84sParis: 0.83s
Mumbai, India: 2.88sSydney: 1.58s

Pricing

Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting plans start at $29 per month for the following:

  • 1 WordPress site
  • 25,000 visits
  • 10 GB storage

Pros of Kinsta

  • Excellent performance with fast load times and high scalability – both are even better with its new Cloudflare-based Edge Caching solution. This lets you cache your site’s full pages to Cloudflare’s global network, which leads to excellent load times around the globe.
  • Automatic performance optimization – the Cloudflare integration also lets Kinsta offer features like automatic image optimization and code minification, which can eliminate the need to use third-party image optimization plugins or code optimization plugins.
  • Managed WordPress experience lets you focus on growing your site – Kinsta handles a lot of basic stuff for you, such as backups and security.
  • Top-notch custom hosting dashboard that’s packed with tools and value-adds – the custom MyKinsta dashboard offers tons of tools such as staging sites, a redirect manager, an application performance monitoring (APM) tool, and more.
  • Excellent 24/7 support available via live chat – the always-available Intercom widget creates a great support experience and Kinsta’s support staff are always helpful.

Cons of Kinsta

  • More expensive than shared hosting – the tradeoff for the excellent performance, support, and features, is that Kinsta is a little more expensive than some other popular managed WordPress hosts and a lot more expensive than shared WordPress hosting.
  • No email hosting – Kinsta doesn’t offer email hosting (which is common for managed WordPress hosts). If you want to create a custom email address, you’ll need a third-party service, like Google Workspace or MXroute.
  • No phone support option – while we don’t see this as a drawback because Kinsta’s live chat support is excellent, it might be a drawback to you if you’re the type of person who likes being able to get someone on the phone.

WP Engine: Best managed WordPress hosting

WP Engine managed WordPress hosting

WP Engine is another top-rated managed WordPress host that’s neck-and-neck with Kinsta when it comes to offering a high-quality managed WordPress hosting experience.

Like Kinsta, WP Engine offers excellent performance, a user-friendly custom hosting dashboard, and easily accessible expert WordPress support. This makes it one of the best WordPress hosting providers for people who are willing to pay for a quality experience.

You also get access to all the features that you’d expect from a managed WordPress host:

  • Server-level caching stack
  • Built-in CDN
  • Automatic daily backups with 30 days of storage
  • Manual on-demand backups when needed
  • Multiple staging environments (Staging and Development)
  • Integration with the Local WordPress local development tool
  • Smart plugin update tool that uses visual regression testing to detect issues automatically (extra fee)
  • Free SSL certificates
  • WordPress-specific security protections
  • 24/7/365 support via live chat (all plans) and phone (excludes the cheapest plan)

If you’re running a WooCommerce store, WP Engine also offers dedicated WooCommerce hosting plans that build in some unique eCommerce features. This can make WP Engine one of the best WordPress hosting providers for WooCommerce stores.

If you’re not sure how to choose between WP Engine and Kinsta, you can check out our full WP Engine vs Kinsta comparison.

WP Engine rating

Overall Rating Number of Survey Respondents
9.21 21

WP Engine loading times

East Coast, USA: 0.73sWest Coast, USA: 0.31s
London: 1.26sParis: 1.3s
Mumbai, India: 2.09sSydney: 1.39s

WP Engine pricing

WP Engine’s plans start at $25 per month for the following:

  • One website
  • 25,000 visits per month
  • 10 GB storage
  • 50 GB bandwidth

Pros of WP Engine

  • Excellent performance with fast load times and high scalability – it’s a great option if you’re willing to pay for top-notch performance.
  • Managed WordPress experience lets you focus on growing your site – you can focus on growing your site because WP Engine handles lots of basic technical details for you, such as backups, security, and so on.
  • 24/7 support available via live chat on all plans and phone on higher-tier plans – if you value phone support, this is a big advantage as many managed WordPress hosts don’t offer phone support.
  • Dedicated WooCommerce hosting plans – while these plans are a bit pricier than the regular WordPress hosting plans, they build in unique WooCommerce optimizations such as better product search powered by Elasticsearch and a live cart feature to eliminate cart fragments.

Cons of WP Engine

  • More expensive than shared hosting – like any other managed WordPress host, the biggest “con” of WP Engine is that it’s a lot more expensive than shared hosting.
  • Above-average visitor overage fee – at WP Engine, you’ll pay $2 per 1,000 visits over your plan’s limits, whereas most other managed WordPress hosts only charge $1. If you think there’s a chance you might go viral and greatly exceed your plan’s limits, this might be something to factor into your decision.
  • No email hosting – like Kinsta, WP Engine also doesn’t offer email hosting, so you’ll need to use a third-party service to create a custom email address.

InMotion Hosting: Best shared WordPress hosting

InMotion

InMotion Hosting is a popular provider that offers both shared WordPress hosting and cheap managed WordPress hosting. In terms of what InMotion Hosting is known for, though, the shared hosting plans are probably the most popular option.

Overall, InMotion Hosting is one of the best WordPress hosting providers if you’re on a tight budget but you still care about performance and load times.

Here are some of the key features that you get with InMotion Hosting’s shared WordPress hosting plans:

  • cPanel hosting dashboard
  • 24/7/365 support via phone, chat, and email
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Free Jetpack Personal or Professional license
  • Staging sites
  • Server-level caching
  • Free email hosting
  • Free domain name for your first year
  • Automatic backup add-on (extra free)

InMotion Hosting rating

Overall Rating Number of Survey Respondents
8.40 24

InMotion Hosting loading times

East Coast, USA: 0.29sWest Coast, USA: 0.67s
London: 0.9sParis: 0.75s
Mumbai, India: 1.83sSydney: 2.5s

InMotion Hosting pricing

InMotion Hosting’s plans start at $4.49 per month for the WP Core plan if you pay for a year upfront. That plan gets you the following:

  • Free domain name for your first year
  • Two websites
  • 100 GB storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth

If you want unlimited websites and storage, the cheapest plan that supports that is the WP Launch plan, which starts at $8.99 per month.

Pros of InMotion Hosting

  • cPanel hosting dashboard – unlike all of the other hosts that we’ve featured, InMotion Hosting still uses cPanel for its dashboard. So if you’re a fan of cPanel, that’s a big point in InMotion Hosting’s favor.
  • Unlimited websites – excluding the cheapest tier, all of the plans support unlimited websites.
  • Good performance for the money – for its low prices, InMotion Hosting offers surprisingly good performance.
  • Free Jetpack license on higher-tier plans – either the Personal or Professional license, depending on your plan.

Cons of InMotion Hosting

  • Big renewal price increase – like a lot of other shared hosts, InMotion Hosting has a big price jump after your first year. While the WP Core plan costs just 3.99/mo for the first year, it will renew at $11.49/mo from then on.
  • Automatic off-site backups cost extra on the cheapest tier – if you want to automatically back up your site’s data on the cheapest plan, you’ll need to pay extra for an add-on.

SiteGround: Best shared WordPress hosting

SiteGround

SiteGround is one of the most popular shared WordPress hosts out there.

Like InMotion Hosting, SiteGround is another one of the best WordPress hosting providers for people who want to keep costs down while still accessing quality WordPress hosting.

While SiteGround’s regular prices are a little above average for the shared hosting space, the upside is that SiteGround doesn’t overload its shared resources like some cheaper shared WordPress hosting providers. This means your sites can still load quickly, even though SiteGround is using a shared hosting approach.

Here are some of the main features that you get with SiteGround’s shared WordPress hosting plans:

  • Custom Site Tools hosting dashboard (this is one of the key differences in terms of your hosting’s technical setup when it comes to SiteGround vs InMotion, which uses the classic cPanel)
  • 24/7/365 support available via live chat, phone, or email
  • Automatic daily backups and manual backups when needed
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Staging sites (excluding cheapest plan)
  • Free SiteGround Optimizer plugin to optimize your site’s performance (can replace the need for a plugin like WP Rocket)
  • Free SiteGround Security plugin to further protect your site from malicious actors
  • Free email hosting

To learn more, check out our full SiteGround hosting review.

SiteGround rating

Overall Rating Number of Survey Respondents
8.10 104

SiteGround loading times

East Coast, USA: 0.86sWest Coast, USA: 1.44s
London: 0.31sParis: 0.3s
Mumbai, India: 1.57sSydney: 1.92s

SiteGround pricing

SiteGround’s plans start at $3.99 per month for the StartUp plan if you pay for a year upfront. That plan gets you the following:

  • One website
  • 10 GB storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth

If you want support for hosting unlimited websites, you’ll need to upgrade to at least the GrowBig plan, which starts at $6.69 per month for the first year.

For a deeper look, check out our full guide to SiteGround pricing plans and which to choose.

Pros of SiteGround

  • Good performance for the money – for its prices, SiteGround generally offers good performance and fast load times.
  • The custom Site Tools dashboard offers lots of features – you get access to lots of tools and features, such as automatic backups, staging sites, a redirect manager, IP blocking, and more.
  • Quality support (when you reach them) – SiteGround’s human support is still some of the best in the shared hosting space.
  • Free plugins to improve your site’s performance and security – these can eliminate the need to purchase third-party plugins such as WP Rocket.

Cons of SiteGround

  • Big difference between promo prices and regular prices at renewal – for example, the StartUp plan costs $3.99 per month for the first year but jumps to $14.99 at renewal. While SiteGround is still a good deal at full price, you’ll want to factor in those regular prices when making your decision.
  • Annoying hoops to access human support – while we understand the desire to cut down on routine requests that could be answered with a knowledge base article, it’s still frustrating to feel like you need to navigate through a maze to get in touch with a human. Once you do get in touch with a human, SiteGround’s support is still quite good, though.

Our methodology: how we created our best WordPress hosting review

To make our roundup of the best WordPress hosting as useful and authentic as possible, we chose to use objective data rather than subjective opinions.

As such, we relied primarily on two types of data:

  1. User survey data – on CodeinWP, we asked 3,400 real WordPress users about their hosting experiences. Our user ratings are based on this proprietary data set. You can view the full WordPress hosting survey data here.
  2. Performance data – we have real hosting accounts for all of the hosts on this list (plus more). We use these hosting accounts to run our own performance tests and collect standardized performance information to compare different hosts.

Because we used these objective sources, none of the information in our best WordPress hosting recommendations is based on our personal biases. Instead, we rely on thousands of real, honest, unbiased user reviews as well as cold, hard performance data.

Go forward with the best WordPress hosting

Thanks for checking out our analysis of the best WordPress hosting providers, based on trustworthy data from thousands of real users.

If this information has helped you, please share it with others. 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.

Here are our top picks again:

Host User Rating Priced From Notes
Cloudways 9.33 $10 Best cloud hosting.
Not for total beginners, but excellent value for most people.
Kinsta 9.13 $29 Best managed hosting.
The top option for people willing to pay for the best all-around product.
InMotion Hosting 8.40 $4 Best shared hosting.
A quality option for people who want to keep costs down.

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


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