This hosting guide is aimed at site owners with less than 20k monthly visitors per month.
Having said that, you can absolutely trust the hosting services mentioned in this guide for high-traffic websites.
Anyway, Let me be blunt.
Don’t fall for the Free Domain name or Free email accounts. Let’s start there.
There are tons of web hosts for WordPress. Some of them are good, some of them are bad and some of them are exceptional that you could just blindly purchase their service.
So, when it comes to the best WordPress Hosting, the only three things that come into my mind are:
Also, if you are serious about your website, you should allocate at least 20$ per month on your wordpress hosting expenses.
20$ / month budget is not cheap. I understand. But that kind of monthly budget on hosting will give you peace of mind.
Now, you could ask…
This is because of the premium prices they charge us with.
These charges are put to good use in companies like Kinsta, LiquidWeb, WPEngine, etc.
Expensive web hosts spend more money on:
This is quite the opposite when it comes to cheap web hosting providers. It’s not their fault. More on this later.
I am now presenting you with the Comparision table of three best hosting services that I have ever worked with. These are the hosting services that I would recommend purchasing.
The verdicts and opinions that I am about to share with you are purely based on my experiences. I hope you would find this useful.
Full disclosure: I earn a commission if you end up purchasing Siteground, LiquidWeb, and, Kinsta hosting through our referral links in this guide. This helps me to keep UsableWP up and running and up-to-date. Thanks for your support.
The following table doesn’t contain every good WordPress hosting company. I can only recommend hosting companies I have thoroughly tried and tested.
So, I am not going to talk about WordPress Hosting services like WPEngine, WPX Hosting, etc. even though they are equally good.
I maintain nearly 40 client websites. Some of them are on Kinsta, Some of them are on SiteGround and Most of them are at LiquidWeb as individual sites.
So, the above stats forms the foundations of the below comparison table.
|WordPress Host||SiteGround||Nexcess (from LiquidWeb)||Kinsta|
|Hosting Type||Shared hosting||Managed hosting||Managed hosting|
|Avg. Page Load Time||1.7s to 4s||1.6s to 2.4s||1.7s to 2.2s|
|Performance||Better. But falls behind LiquidWeb and Kinsta as it is a shared hosting service.||Best in the market.||Best in the market.|
|Pricing||14.99$ / month for the first term and 39.99$ / month after that.||19$ / month||30$ / month|
|Pricing Discounts||Better discount (Almost 94$ savings) if you are purchasing Hosting for a couple of years or more.||Save 38$ yearly when you go with Annual Plan||Save 60$ yearly when you go with Annual Plan|
|Monthly Contract||No. You have to purchase a yearly plan. Kind of a limitation.||You can pay on monthly basis. Yearly contract is optional.||You can pay on monthly basis. Yearly contract is optional.|
|Money Back Guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee||Nope. But it provides a 14-day free trial without asking for credit card details.||30-day money-back guarantee.|
|Pricing Judgement||Expensive in the long run and not worth the 39.99$ / month from the second term.||Affordable and least expensive compared to the other two.||A bit expensive compared to LiquidWeb but it makes it up with easy dashboard and Free Malware cleanups.|
|Customer Support||Nice and Reliable but sometimes you might have to wait for up to 45mins.||Best in the market and responds with in first 3 minutes.||Best in the market and responds with in first 3 minutes.|
|Free SSL Certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Default Security||Good but it’s shared hosting. So even if another site on the server gets hacked, it could be a problem to your site too.||Best in the market||Best in the market|
|No. of Websites||Unlimited Websites||One Website||One Website|
|Any Limit on the website Traffic?||Yep, Good for up to 100,000 visitors per month, you need to upgrade to a new plan after that.||No limit on traffic but there is a bandwidth limit of 2TB. This is a good thing compared to the other two.||Up to 20000 Visitors, you need to upgrade to a new plan after that.|
|Free Malware Cleanup||Nope. You have to rely on a third-party service like Sucuri to get your site cleaned manually.||No. Same as SiteGround.||Yes|
|Good for an e-commerce site?||Nope, a lot of my clients faced a 100% CPU usage issue when Woocommerce is installed on the site.||Absolutely. LiquidWeb comes with a special Woocommerce Managed Hosting plan at the same price. You can launch your error-free Woocommerce website at 19$ / month.||Yes, but Kinsta recommends a 100$ plan for that. So, LiquidWeb clearly outshines here.|
|Server Locations||USA, Singapore, Australia, UK, Germany, Netherlands||USA, UK, Australia, Netherlands||24 Locations from all over the world. Kinsta Clearly outshines here.|
|Am I any good for hard-core developers?||Yes and no. You get SSH access but you don’t get root access because it’s a shared hosting environment. For example, it’s tough to install performance monitoring service like NewRelic APM.||Yes, you get full server access. No limitations.||Yes, you get full server access. No limitations.|
|Why am I in the list?||Read Here||Best Performance, Customer support and helps you launch your site with low budget. The best choice for any kind of single-site owner. Looking to launch your Woocommerce website? Your best bet is LiquidWeb at 20$ / month budget.||Best Performance, Customer support and got you covered during difficult times with manual malware clean up.|
It’s always a good idea to use a completely different service for:
I recommend keeping the domain name different from the hosting service because it’s difficult to migrate your domain name to a different host when you part ways with the old host (this could happen every year).
I usually recommend Godaddy for purchasing and managing all your Domain names. This way, if you have multiple websites, it’s easy to manage all your domain names from one dashboard. I maintain 14 different domains using Godaddy.
For Reliable email delivery, I recommend G-Suite.
At 5$ per month per one business email account, it’s easily affordable and provides peace of mind when it comes to email delivery rate.
I did not delve much into Shared Vs Managed WordPress Hosting differences because the GoGeek plan from SiteGround.
It is a shared hosting service yet it is an exceptional case with good performance and much-needed premium features.
Frankly, GoGeek plan is the odd one in the list.
I don’t usually like shared hosting services for serious website owners but the GoGeek shared hosting plan is really awesome.
You can go with it at least for the first two years of the site until you reach 100k visitors.
But It might not be your cup of tea because of the following limitations.
A shared hosting plan is a shared hosting plan at the end of the day no matter how cool the GoGeek plan is.
Shared Hosting Providers don’t spend much money on premium support, so most of the time, Premium Support from Managed WordPress Hosting companies like Kinsta and LiquidWeb are no match to Shared Hosting customer support.
The difference is managed WordPress hosting companies like Kinsta hire high-quality customer support technicians and trains them well. They can afford this because of the premium prices they charge us.
But this is not the case with Shared Hosting Support.
For example, if you ask the Kinsta Support to adjust the settings of the server in a certain way to make it more performant, they will go above and beyond to help you out.
I must say this point alone makes the Managed WordPress hosting win the battle with Shared hosting because quick and reliable support is everything for more than half of the customers.
Note: No matter what type of hosting it is, customer support doesn’t include appearance or feature changes to your website. They also do not deal with WordPress plugin conflicts.
On the other hand, Shared hosting support staff are not this much well trained. Sometimes, they even say it’s not their problem and provides you with directions and recommendations leaving you on your own.
For example, I once faced a frontend caching problem on my site. They couldn’t solve it and moreover I was not at all happy with the way the support member assisted me.
When the same issue occured on LiquidWeb, the support jumped in and solved the problem like I paid them 100$ / hour.
Another good example would be setting up Server Side WP Cron jobs. SiteGround Staff just provided a good direction about how to set up Server Cron jobs.
But Kinsta Customer Support went ahead and set it up for me. A developer/customer support agent worked on it for 40 mins dedicatedly.
It’s not the fault of Shared Hosting Providers. They always try to do their best.
They just don’t hire well trained or experienced support staff because they can’t afford them.
So, obviously, when it comes to dealing with complicated things like caching since the staff doesn’t have enough technical knowledge, they just provide us good directions or recommends us to go with trusted WordPress freelance networks like Codeable.
The reason behind this in-experienced staff is, Shared Hosting Providers give us heavy discounts on hosting plans and domain names. And they make up for it by cutting these costs on customer support.
This is why they recommend customers go through multiple steps encouraging them to read the documentation before letting us reach the chat for support.
So remember this.
Next comes Performance of the Website.
Managed WordPress hosting services are specifically fine tuned for WordPress.
That’s why they are much more performant when compared to Shared Hosting servers who are commonly built for all kinds of applications.
This is true with Siteground’s GoGeek Plan too. If you notice the above table, sometimes the average page load time is 4seconds.
There could be a number of reasons behind this.
One reason is since it is shared hosting, one of the other sites (which is not ours) might be receiving a lot of traffic during a particular time.
And since shared hosting means sharing resources like CPU, RAM with other sites, our site slowly responds to its visitors where there is high load the other sites.
The other reason could be the fact that Nginx or Apache server is not that fine tuned for WordPress specifically. They give us the control to modify the settings ourselves with SSH access.
But you’ll still need a paid WordPress developer’s assistance for this.
On the other hand, this is not at all a problem with Managed WordPress Hosting services like Kinsta, LiquidWeb, WPEngine, etc.
For example, as I said before, If we tell Kinsta that the server is posing a problem, they will perform a troubleshoot and will fix the problem for you in most cases.
Having said that, since performance also depends on what plugins are activated on your site, they do recommend a trustable WordPress network like Codeable to perform a detailed performance job on the site.
Managed WordPress Hosting services are more secured because each WordPress site is isolated from others.
This is not true with Shared Hosting. If one website gets hacked, there is a good chance that Hacker could take over other websites too.
And the fact is, if you are serious about the security of the website, you’ll end with a 30$ per month Hosting budget no matter which hosting you choose from the above table.
Let’s assume that your site got hacked and the hacker had put malware in your WordPress files.
LiquidWeb and SiteGround doesn’t come with a free manual malware clean up service like Kinsta.
And a third-party security and clean up service like Sucuri would cost you 199$ / year. That means almost 16.5$ extra per month.
So, karma Kaali, if you end up purchasing a manual malware cleanup service like Sucuri, the yearly budget would become 389$ (190$ + 199$ ) for LiQuidWeb and 342$ ( 143$ + 199$ ) for GoGeek Plan on SiteGround.
This is pretty serious issue.
Now, you might be thinking that why a manual malware clean up is such a big deal.
It is. Only a site owner who got his site hacked will know the pain.
So, if now compare SiteGround’s 342$ / year and LiquidWeb’s 389$ / year with Kinsta’s 300$ / per year budget, Kinsta is still the one of the best choice for hosting your website.
This is why Kinsta is included in the list even though it might look expensive at 30$ / month.
Having said that, you still need Sucuri for Kinsta for adding additional layers of security.
I use Siteground’s GoGeek plan for UsableWP.
It is currently costing me 49$/ month as I am in my second term with SiteGround web hosting service.
So although it’s double expensive when compared to Kinsta or LiquidWeb, why I did not move to them?
The answer is simple.
I host 6 client websites whose traffic is less than 10k visitors per month and I keep the remaining 40k visitor count for UsableWP even though it is am receiving little less than 10k visitors per month currently.
If we compare the prices of LiquidWeb and Kinsta for hosting 10 websites per month, it would cost me 109$/ month on LiquidWeb and 200$ / month on Kinsta respectively.
So, when it comes to budget, I am saving at least 60$ / month which is a good amount to save in India.
Also, performance of the server is not at all bad either.
Yes, it is definitely a bit slower compared to LiquidWeb and Kinsta.
But I am ok with 2-3 seconds page load on my site. Do you feel any slowness on this website?
For example, How to create a WordPress website, the longest guide on this website with 10000+ words, and more than 75+ images fully loads under 2.3 seconds.
Did you see those scores and fully loaded time? Aren’t those scores are Awesome?
I believe that is a good enough performance for any website.
If I host the same website on Kinsta or Liquid, I could definitely load the entire page under 1.8s saving 500ms at least, but I am ok with 2.3 seconds full page load time because the “Time to Interactive” metric is 0.6s.
Which is “WOW” in my opinion. That means, my visitor can access start interacting with the page with in 0.6s and this is a pretty good user experience.
Next comes the customer support. I agree it is not as perfect as LiquidWeb or Kinsta.
But, I am a developer. So, I rarely need to any advanced help that LiquidWeb or Kinsta provides.
Finally, the security is a bit weaker compared to them Kinsta and LiquidWeb because of the nature of Shared Hosting.
But I am ok with it because I purchased Sucuri security service for UsableWP and other client sites.
When it comes to adding a security service, you must add it to any website hosted on LiquidWeb and Kinsta too. This is not something that you can skip.
Considering its expensive renewal prices, I could only recommend SiteGround Hosting in the following two scenarios:
If you are looking for a good discount and if you have multiple websites (non-Woocommerce) that you want to host. It saves you and your clients a ton of budget.
Unlimited websites with an overall count of 100,000 visitors per month is not a joke. Since performance and customer support is good enough, this is a really good deal.
If you are a developer, it’s a no brainer because you can host at least 20 not-so-serious WordPress sites which get less than 5k visitors per month.
If you are not a serious website owner and if you are ok with 4second page loads, you save the half of the money during the first term by going with Siteground’s GrowBig plan. It only costs you 70$ / year.
When I launched one of my hobbyist websites back in 2016, I bought 2 years of GrowBig plan and it’s not a decision that I regret.
On GrowBig plan, you’d still get most of the GoGeek’s plan features. But since it’s comes with a lesser server resources compared to GoGeek, your site’s performance will be a bit slow but still good enough for most of the time.
If you want to learn how to set up your WordPress site using the GrowBig plan from SiteGround, read this guide.
LiquidWeb’s Nexcess WordPress Managed Hosting is suitable for all types of single-site owners who are serious about their website.
There is no monthly traffic cap limit which makes it suitable for traffic spikes and here is what LiquidWeb says about it:
That’s a bold promise and I have seen them keeping that promise several times.
With 19$/ month hosting plan, it’s the least expensive yet reliable partner for your website.
If you notice the above comparison table, Nexcess outshines SiteGround hosting completely, be it pricing, premium features, or heroic support.
It also provides a free 14-day trial where you can try it out and cancel it.
Even your credit card is not involved during the launch process.
So, Nexcess Hosting is also good for you if you are just trying out WordPress to figure out if it suitable for your needs are not.
Having said that, if you are trying to launch your Woocommerce Store, Nexcess’s Managed Woocommerce Hosting plan is the best option that you have got.
This is because you can’t trust SiteGround with heavy Woocommerce websites as they present us with 100% CPU usage issues plus it costs you 39$ / month while Nexcess Managed Woocommerce Hosting plan only costs you 19$ / month with no traffic limit.
Most of the time, you can not afford 100$ / month plan which Kinsta recommends for Woocommerce websites.
Another interesting fact is, Kinsta provides only 4 PHP Workers at 100$ / month while Nexcess Managed Woocommerce Hosting plan gives you 10 PHPWorkers at the same time.
This is huge if you care about the performance of your e-commerce store when there are 100s of concurrent users visiting your store at the same time.
And the good thing is, the pricing is still 19$ / month. Most of my client’s Woocommerce websites are on Nexcess and we never really faced any problems.
Some of them handle 150+ orders per day once they are even more fine-tuned by the support team on a store by store basis.
So, if you are single site owner, just blindly go with Nexcess, a brand of LiquidWeb.
If LiquidWeb is good at something, Kinsta is definitely good at it.
So, I blindly recommend Kinsta if you have 30$ / month budget or if you have premium clients.
Kinsta has the best client-friendly dashboard when compared to Siteground and Liquid Web.
According to my experience, my non-techie clients love the Kinsta dashboard. They navigate through it easily.
Kinsta outshines LiquidWeb and SiteGround with one extra thing.
Free manual Malware Cleanup.
If purchased separately from a security service like Sucuri, it costs you at least 199$ / year.
Isn’t that a huge saving?
Now, you might be thinking that why a manual malware clean up is such a big deal.
It is. Only a site owner who got his site hacked will know the pain.
You never know when your website will get hacked. It could still happen even if you have a firewall setup.
So, it’s really good to have a free malware clean up service at your disposal, especially from a super company like Kinsta.
At the end of the day, it depends on two things.
Your budget and how serious you are about your website security and performance.
If you are single website owner, go with LiquidWeb or Kinsta.
If you are a multiple websites owner and a bit techie, go with SiteGround.
Since all the three hosting services are great with some limitations, you can choose any of the above mentioned hosting services blindly.
These WordPress hosting services will never give you any kind of heart attack 🙂
If you are interested in learning about WordPress, please start with the following guide:
Thanks for your time and I will see in my next guide.