Oh, website hosting… you strange and frustrating creature, you.
I’ve worked with tons of hosting companies, including 1and1, Network Solutions, GoDaddy, WebHostingPad, Rackspace, and WPEngine. There is a large difference in pricing, services offered, and support when you compare hosting companies. From my experience, you get what you pay for.
Some days I can end up spending hours troubleshooting website hosting issues. Dealing with hosting issues is a huge barrier preventing me from the work I am being paid for: building a website… so I have strong opinions about which hosting companies provide not only great service and support, but also proactively work to avoid issues. Not only will choosing the best hosting company save me time and brain cells, but it will make managing your website after it is built 10000 times easier (I’m not exaggerating that’s actual science).
BEST HIGH VALUE PREMIUM WORDPRESS WEBSITE HOSTING COMPANY: WPENGINE
WPEngine is in my opinion the best hosting company for WordPress websites. Period. They only host WordPress websites – that means they can focus 100% on optimizing their servers for WordPress site specific needs, which are different than non-WordPress websites. It also means their support staff (oh, did I mention they have 24/7 support?) is hyper-focused on WordPress issues and can help with pretty much any issue that comes up, whether or not it is a hosting issue. Another great perk is they automatically update your site (WordPress core) and its plugins. They also create automatic nightly backups of your site(s) that you can easily restore with the click of a button if something goes wrong one day. This, and their support, are the 2 things I could not live without in a WordPress website hosting company.
Starting at $29/month for a personal plan (1 site) and $99/month for a business plan (up to 10 sites, allows for SSL Certificates), their pricing is higher than you would pay at a place like GoDaddy or Network Solutions, but it is ABSOLUTELY 100% WORTH IT.
The only downside to hosting your website at WPEngine is that you will need to find a different place to host your company’s email. I use Google Apps for Business and pay $5/month per user. I recommend this unless you literally have no budget, in which case I say checkout Zoho Mail. It’s free, and I’ve used it for some non-profit clients. So, really, not that big of a downside.
BEST LOW COST WEBSITE HOSTING COMPANY: WEBHOSTINGPAD
I left WordPress out of this heading because this company can host any kind of website, not just WordPress websites.
If you are on a tight budget (and by tight budget I mean you’re bootstrapping a start up and have no funding and no income yet), I would recommend WebHostingPad for your website host. I have used them for 4 years for my blogs that are non-business critical. I pay around $70/year for low level hosting from them that I find works just find for my small WordPress blogs.
The main reason I recommend them is that I have had such a great experience with their support team. They work mostly with support tickets and in a support forum (more so than phone/chat), and I have always gotten extremely fast responses to all my inquiries and issues, and all have been resolved quickly as well. The main reason I am NOT recommending the other cheap website hosting companies in this competitive space is their poor support.
If you go with the cheap hosting option that lacks some of the premium features (like automatic backups & the ability to restore) that WPEngine has, I recommend checking out Maintainn. They offer some of those premium services like automatic backups and updates starting at $39/month.
I’d be happy to talk to anyone personally for more detailed input on why these two companies are my favorite website hosting companies out there. There are so many options it can be hard to make a choice without friendly input, and I’d be glad to help!
Domain Names: Also, you may want to purchase a domain name if you are looking into building a website for you or your business. I have found that most people purchase domain names from GoDaddy, simply because they have some serious awareness marketing game. I recommend using Namecheap – they are more simple to deal with and don’t sell you on other products/services. I use them for all my domain name registrations just because of the hassle-free nature of the company.