The WordPress Hosting Review: Results
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.
|Host||Why they're good||Who they're good for||Monthly bandwidth||Storage||How much they cost|
|WPWebHost||This site is hosted with them! Prompt support and no downtime problems.||Small and medium sized blogs.||500GB||50GB||$6.95|
|BlueHost||Reliable host with very few problems.||Those experiencing problems with current hosts, wishing to move.||Unlimited||Unlimited||$4.95|
|Site5||No problems with downtime, support handles WordPress.||Those in need of WordPress specific support.||Unlimited||Unlimited||$4.95|
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 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.
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.
BlueHost had ten reviews from people and people had generally been through four of five hosts and had been with BlueHost for a couple of years. Everyone described their experience as “good”, but three of the ten had experienced problems with downtime. One person described their experience with support as “average”, but the comments largely said support was fast and accurate.
A lot of people commented that they’d been with other hosts before and weren’t happy but hadn’t had any issues since moving.
I’m totally happy with BlueHost.com. Best move I ever made. I’ve been with BlueHost for over a year and couldn’t be happier. Glad I moved away from GoDaddy.
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.
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.
Heart Internet are another UK based host, who only had four reviews, but they’re worth a mention as all the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with the overall experience and support ranked as “good” and no problems with downtime. Reviewers had been with them for three or four years and all seemed very pleased with support which has a turnaround time of minutes rather than hours or days.
Their support is brilliant. All tickets have been responded to within 5 minutes, and problems resolved really rapidly. Problems usually turn out to be clarification issues rather than actual issues with the hosting service, too. I have never encountered support this good in any facet of my life, let alone just webhosting.
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.
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!
WPShout is hosted by WPWebHost and I happily recommend them to people when I’m asked. There were only two reviews for them, though, and two of these ranked their overall experience as “average”, whilst the other two were “good”. They all ranked the support as “good”, however and only one had “some” problems with downtime.
Personally, I’ve not had any problems with WPWebHost in the last year and will continue to recommend them as a solid solution for small and medium sized sites — WPShout doesn’t get any special treatment, it’s hosted on the standard Freedom Plan.
The guys at WPWebhost actually give individual attention, with a person providing instant help through mail all the time.
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.
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.
Conclusion of the Best Hosting for WordPress
In 2011, five hosts: BigWetFish, BlueHost, Heart Internet, Site5, WPWebHost 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.