When you are first starting your blog, it can be tough to decide on which hosting company to go with. After all, there are so many to choose from. Here are some companies that we recommend and don’t recommend and what our thoughts are on them.
Hosts We Recommend
This is the company that we use for most of our sites and love. We started out using GoDaddy. I know big mistake since they are one of the worst hosting companies out there. Their name is pretty funny but they are a great host. They are a pretty small company based out of the USA. They are most known for their WordPress optimized plans. They are super fast (faster than almost any host we’ve come across) and pretty cheap.
BigScoots is one of the few hosts we have found that actually allow you to pay month-to-month for your hosting plans instead of yearly. While this does increase your costs per month, but it might be worth it for you to try them out or if you can’t afford to pay for the whole year upfront.
SiteGround is a great hosting option with super-fast servers. The reason is the have very fast servers (all running SSD), extremely fast support, and cheap promotional pricing.
One of the great things about them is that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get them either. Their base shared hosting plan starts at $3.95 per month (paid annually). Keep in mind that this is their promotional pricing, which is something that all hosts do for the most part.
WPX Hosting’s support is stellar and they seem to respond to live chat requests very quickly (like SiteGround). Their pricing is also pretty reasonable. You can get 5 sites hosted for $25/month.
They run with solid-state drives, you get staging areas for your site and they have a fix-it guarantee. They also never charge you to move your site. You can also get your domain email set up with them.
CloudWays is for people who know how to use servers and set them up. In that aspect, they probably aren’t the best for beginners. You can set up servers in just a few clicks. Then you can pick your hosting backbone, like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Google, Amazon, and others.
WordPress sites only take a few clicks to set up. They also have great chat support and pricing. Remember to only choose these guys if you know what you are doing or you are hiring someone that does.
WP Engine is a managed WordPress host. One thing you will want to be aware of is that they only provide updates for core WordPress. They do NOT update your themes or plugins for you. This is something that a lot of people get confused around managed WordPress hosts. You’re still responsible for a lot when on these hosts.
WP Engine also doesn’t allow some plugins like backups, caching, security, and a few other things. So make sure you do your research to see if any of the plugins that you use are on their no-no list.
Their plans are more expensive than others and they do monitor your usage quite closely. You care charged based on how many visitors you get to your site.
WP Engine is also the owner of the popular Genesis Themes. You do get a free Genesis theme with their hosting, although not all of them are included in this.
In spite of their price, WP Engine is a good host, with fast speeds, automated backups, and free SSL certificates. They also have great chat and ticket support.
LiquidWeb kind of got a bad rep when they sold their shared hosting to the wrong company. Their hosting platform is pretty great and their support is very good. All in all, they know what they’re doing.
Nowadays, they only offer VPS, dedicated, and Cloud hosting. However, they even have a managed WordPress hosting plan for those who want to have the host handle much of the work, like WPEngine or Flywheel.
They have pretty good chat support and have very little downtime. In my opinion, despite the issues they had when they sold their shared hosting, they are a pretty solid company.
NameHero has pretty fast servers, great support, and their prices are in line with other hosts. Like most other companies, they do have promotional pricing, but the jump from that price to the regular is not as significant as SiteGround.
If you are planning on having more than one site on your hosting plan, then I recommend their Plus Cloud plan. Their plans include CloudFlare, SSD, free SSL certificates, firewall security, and nightly backups.
TechSurgeons have been hosting websites for over 20 years, they know how to handle WordPress and sites that get a ton of traffic.
They don’t play the pricing game like other hosts, but you’ll get what you pay for. Their servers are fast, they have new software and good hardware. If you need them, they have your back.
Hosts You Should Move Away From
Please remember that these are just our opinions. I am an affiliate for some of these companies if you would like to try them anyway, but I personally would not use them.
This company used to be a pretty great company. Once EIG bought them out, they started to go downhill. They have extremely poor customer service and have a high percentage of downtime. They have random server errors and connection timeouts on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it looks like they just have too many sites on one server so they can try and maximize their profits. Then they tell you your site is fine when you have issues.
The main reason that people recommend them is because they have an excellent affiliate program and have high payouts. Some people will argue that they have excellent pricing for when you are just starting out, but the truth is, their price is only great if you prepay for at least 3 years. Then their prices take a pretty big jump.
If we are being honest here, SiteGround is only $0.50 more per month than Bluehost’s smallest plan and you only have to prepay for 1 year in advance instead of 3.
HostGator is a sister site to Bluehost and they are also owned by EIG. Their downtime isn’t as bad as Bluehost’s, but their customer service is pretty bad. I used to use HostGator for one of my sites, but I have since moved it to another host.
GoDaddy is the absolute worst hosting available. Their sites are constantly down. Before I knew the ins and outs of the different hosting options available, I set up an antique store site for my boss. It was a WordPress site, and if there were more than 2 people adding products to it at the same time, the whole site would crash. Heck, the site would go down even when nobody was on it!
Basically the only thing they are good for is registering domains with. Their email handling causes problems with delivery rates and spam control. Many plugins don’t play nice with their system. They are known to nickel and dime you until you want to cry. Take SSL certificates, for example, there are a lot of hosting companies that give you a free SSL certificate with your hosting. GoDaddy charges you an additional $60 some bucks a year just for an SSL for your site.
Their managed WordPress service is even worse and they will try their best to get you to switch to it.
Deciding on the right hosting company is a tough decision. There is a lot to factor in, including the cost after the initial introduction cost. I hope that this gives you some thoughts on which company to go with. If you have any experience with any hosting sites, I would love to hear your thoughts on them.