One of the most common questions I get asked is – what is the best hosting service to use with WordPress? My hosting preference is Siteground.com. Read below to see why.
First let me say I am completely unbiased. You can look reviews all over the internet and each different place will have something different to say – some probably paid for by the hosting companies that they recommend. So let me say right up front that I don’t get kind of benefit from writing this article. Siteground does not pay me or offer me any kind of free service or benefit.
I have a lot of experience with a lot of different hosting services. As a web developer, I am often forced to work with whatever hosting service my client has chosen. And who knows how they chose them! Most hosts I’ve worked with are fine, some are better, and some are terrible. Some cost a little money and some cost a lot more.
My number one criteria for a hosting service is that is should be as cheap as possible. One of the most popular hosts is Host Gator. In fact, that’s the host that this site is running on. Why? Because it’s cheap (I’m all about cheap or free) and because it’s always worked well for me. I’ll also tell you right now that I’m paying about $4/mo to host this site. It’s the cheapest plan they offer.
My second criteria is site speed. Now let me give you some background. I’ve been working with Siteground for years. It stemmed from the time I was working with Joomla sites and Siteground specialized in Joomla, so they were the host I went with, even though I didn’t know much about them. When I started out, I didn’t have much experience and they seemed to get good reviews, so I chose them.
So now, advance years later. I’ve had much more experience and much more time dealing with different hosting companies. I had my personal sites on Siteground where I was paying about $7/mo, but I was lured in by HostGator.com’s $4/mo offer, so I moved my site.
Almost immediately, the speed on this site slowed down to a crawl. What had changed? Only the hosting. So I started doing everything I could to optimize this site and get it to speed up, and although I did make some progress, as you can see, it’s just not as fast as it should be. So lesson learned. And now Siteground is offering hosting plans for just $4/mo. I guess it was a hard lesson.
My third criteria for hosting is customer service. Without good customer service, the rest of it doesn’t really matter. As long as you have good uptime, once you get a site going, you rarely need customer service from your hosting company, but when you do need it – you NEED it. In the early days, Siteground’s customer service left something to be desired, but now days, they have improved that a great deal. They offer 24/7 support (a must for me) and have a very quick turn around time when I have to submit a support ticket. I also like their chat support which is always quick and really helpful for little questions.
In fact, I’ll tell you a little support story. I have two Joomla sites that I still maintain from my old days of working with Joomla. Now however, all my attention goes into keeping up with WordPress and these Joomla sites needed to be updated. I tried to find someone to update them for me, but no one wanted to touch them because they were so out of date. One of them was having terrible downtime problems with another hosting company. I moved them to Siteground. Siteground moved the site for me free. They moved the emails files for me free. They upgraded the site for me for just $50. All in all, Siteground’s service was excellent.
In conclusion, there are a lot of decent hosting providers out there, but as for me and for my clients, I choose Siteground. If you would like to sign up for Siteground hosting, please use this link so they’ll know I sent you: http://www.siteground.com/index.htm?afcode=b420ba6c0e1411c07761dd54e3499eaa
Jun 20, 2015 Update:Siteground is again ranked #1 by those people in the know: http://www.codeinwp.com/blog/best-wordpress-shared-hosting-providers/
Nov 30, 2014 Update: I see that MakeUseOf agrees with me too: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/best-web-hosting-services/
Oct 16, 2013 Update: I see that WPLIft agrees with me! See his even more detailed review here: http://wplift.com/siteground-hosting-for-wordpress