Getting started with WordPress website hosting doesn’t have to be expensive, after all the 15-year old WordPress is free (and open source). Even the cheapest shared hosting plan usually comes with a one-click WordPress installer, allowing the greenest of blogging newbies to have their first post ready in less than 60 seconds (we tried it).
Managing a blog over time is much more challenging, though. You’ll need to find your own themes and plugins. And also keep them, and WordPress itself, up-to-date (although you can even get that done automatically).
Blogs are often targeted by malware, so it’s important you have some way to detect and remove any threats, and you’ll want regular backups to help get a broken blog working again.
There’s a long list of hosting companies offering WordPress plans, but we’ve picked out five of the best to point you in the right direction. Whether you’re a first-time user or a big business, there’s something for you here, and with prices starting at around a pound per month, it’s well worth taking the time to find out more.
Budget WordPress hosting can have a lot of appeal, but it usually won’t deliver the features, performance or reliability that high traffic sites need. If you’re the demanding type, opting for a premium hosting plan will give you much better results.
Bluehost has created its own VPS-based architecture to deliver optimum WordPress performance via NGINX, a custom PHP-FPM setup and intelligently allocated resources through KVM hypervisor. (If you’re not a hosting geek, this just means Bluehost has taken the time to optimize the low-level setup of its platform for WordPress, rather than simply making do with a standard configuration.)
The company doesn’t waste time by pretending to offer ‘unlimited’ resources, and instead tells you exactly what you’re going to get. For the WP Standard plan, this means 30GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, and key resources – 2GB RAM, two CPU cores – which are allocated to you, and not shared with anyone else.
Premium features include SiteLock Pro to keep your website malware-free, SiteLock CDN to optimize performance, a dedicated IP, and the ability to manage multiple sites with the excellent ManageWP.
This isn’t cheap, with even the baseline Standard plan costing $19.99 (£15.20) a month for the initial term, rising to $39.99 (£28.60) afterwards. But you are getting a lot for your money, and if you’re more interested in power than price, Bluehost has even more available.
The top-of-the-range Ultimate plan, for instance, gives you four CPU cores, 8GB RAM, 240GB storage and a monster 4TB bandwidth. SiteLock Enterprise handles all your security and CDN needs, and there’s a wildcard SSL thrown in. Ultimate costs $49.99 (£35.70) a month initially, $129.99 (£93) after that, but that’s a fair price for this spec, and Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you feel the service doesn’t deliver.
Note: Currently, there is a Black Friday sale, so plan pricing and specifications will be different.