Everyone likes a bargain, right?
Or at least that’s what I thought before I ordered a cheap laptop charger from AliExpress that almost fried my laptop.
Well, when looking for cheap hosting services for WordPress the same applies: finding a good deal is good, but the host should not break / slow down your site.
And this, my friend, is what this post is going to be about: finding the best bang for your buck when choosing your next WordPress hosting service, without compromising your site’s well-being.
Let’s commence, shall we?
The cheapest way to host a WordPress site (with a decent provider), would be to give DreamHost shared hosting a go – it starts at $6.99/mo for annual plans. It’s true that some providers (e.g. Hostinger or Namecheap) offer cheaper deals for the first term, but those increase at renewal, and neither provider performs too well.
But of course, if you are looking to host larger sites and need some WordPress features that can make your workflow more efficient, as well as providing higher performance, SiteGround, DreamPress and A2 Hosting can be good alternatives – they start at $14.99, $17 and $8.99 a month at renewal.
Table of Contents
That is an excellent question. First of all, let me tell you that we have tested all the affordable WordPress hosts listed here, so we have a pretty good idea of what works well and what doesn’t.
Typically, our WordPress projects require some extra performance, and our developers appreciate having some features that make their lives (and ours) a bit easier. Therefore, we could not use the cheapest WordPress hosting.
This website you are on right now is hosted in WP Engine (not the cheapest). But we have other projects hosted in Kinsta, SiteGround and DreamHost. We are thrilled with all these, but that doesn’t mean that other providers also offer good services, like the ones mentioned below.
|From $6.99 to $12.99||The best bang for your buck. Decent performance and reliable support, but live chat only US biz. hours.|
|From $8.99 to $24.99||Affordable WordPress-focused features like staging and caching. Good performance.|
|From $10.95 to $25.95||Cheap and green WordPress hosting with good performance.|
|From $10 to $42||The best cloud hosting provider.|
|From $14.99 to $39.99||Managed WordPress hosting at an affordable rate. High performance.|
|From $9.99 to $28.99||The most famous WordPress hosting provider, but not the greatest performance.|
|From $8.95 to $16.95||Speed should be better. Support is a bit slow at times.|
|From $8.99 to $24.99||A giant hosting provider that doesn’t deliver.|
|From $2.90 to $8.75 a month||Performance issues, but very cheap WordPress hosting.|
|From $5.99 to $10.99||Cheap prices and bad uptime.|
There are several types of hosting services out there, I am sure some names ring a bell: shared hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, etc. And as you probably imagine, each of them are good options to host different WordPress sites.
Let me give you a quick overview of the different alternatives.
If you are just starting out or have a smallish project (e.g. up to 30,000 visitors/month) that doesn’t require advanced WordPress features (e.g. staging areas to test your code), a cheap shared hosting provider that allows you to host WordPress should be enough.
This type of hosting is called ‘shared’ because you share a server (e.g. a computer that hosts your website), with several other users. And yes, that brings the operational costs down for the host, which is why this one is the cheapest option when hosting a WordPress site.
DreamHost Shared Hosting Plans
If you think that an affordable shared hosting plan is the best option for your WordPress site, I’d suggest checking out DreamHost (starts at $6.99/month), GreenGeeks (starts at $10.95/month), A2 hosting (starts at $8.99/month) or SiteGround (starts at $14.99/month).
Of course, shared hosting won’t be a good alternative if you are looking to accommodate a massive site with thousands of visitors a day, or need a special server configuration. In that case, you are better off with a dedicated server to host your site.
A2 Hosting Dedicated Hosting
Be warned, one of these dedicated hosting services for your WordPress site won’t be cheap; expect to pay around $150 a month for a decent one. Of course, this is not exactly cheap, so it might not be the type of hosting you’re looking for.
You can understand this type of hosting as a network of interconnected servers that host your site. For example, you could have one server located in the US serving the content to US users, another one in Europe and another one in Asia, and so on.
Cloud hosting services are interesting for those projects that want to be able to quickly add more resources to their hosting infrastructure. For example, if you are running a social media campaign, and you are expecting a traffic spike, with cloud hosting you could just add more resources (e.g. RAM and processing power) so your site can absorb the traffic increase.
SiteGround Cloud Hosting Plans
Typically, cloud hosting is cheaper than a dedicated server, but you will still need some budget (e.g. $50 a month) for a well-performing service. Check out SiteGround or Cloudways if you think you need a cloud solution.
Because WordPress is such a popular platform, some hosting providers offer WordPress-focused hosting plans for WordPress site owners.
These are typically a bit more expensive (starting at $20 a month for 1 site), but they also offer some convenient WordPress features that can make your life easier (or your developer’s). Some of these are:
- WordPress is pre-installed
- Automatic WordPress (and sometimes also Plugin)-updates
- Easy to set up staging areas to test your code before pushing it live
- Malware and security monitoring
- Reliable back-up systems
- WordPress migration plugins
- WordPress server optimization technology (e.g. caching, CDNs, etc.)
- WordPress knowledgeable support team
For smaller budgets I would recommend checking out SiteGround and DreamHost. Those looking for the cream of the crop (and not cheap) WordPress managed hosting providers can check Kinsta and WP Engine out.
WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting
Please, be aware that there are many hosting providers (e.g. Ionos) offering cheap ‘managed’ WordPress-focused hosting services, but those are often nothing else than overpriced regular shared hosting plans. If it’s really ‘managed’ the price is usually twice as high as for the shared hosting.
The Best Cheap WordPress Hosting Providers
Let me now tell you a bit more about all these providers offering economical hosting plans for WordPress.
DreamHost isn’t the most popular host (e.g. not a Bluehost or a GoDaddy), but truth to be told, it’s not a nobody. In fact, over 400K users host their sites with this Californian provider, which amount to over 1.5M websites hosted.
As we’ll see later on, they offer one of the cheapest entry-level hosting services for WordPress sites. But moreover, they also have one of the most affordable WordPress managed plans.
Yes, you are right, I am a big fan of DreamHost. But let me tell you a bit more why.
- Shared Starter: $6.99 to host 1 site with unlimited storage and bandwidth. Be aware that if you need email accounts these are paid separately with this plan, they will cost you around $1.70 a month extra.
- Shared Unlimited: $12.99 to host as many websites as you need, it comes with unlimited email accounts, storage and bandwidth too.
- DreamPress (Managed WP Plans): Starts at around $17 a month for 30 GB of storage and recommended for not more than 100K visitors. Comes with 1-click staging, built-in caching and its WordPress migration plugin – more information.
Note: These are DreamHost prices at renewal for 12-month deals, the full amount (e.g. price plan x 12 months) needs to be paid upfront.
What do I like about DreamHost?
- Cheap: Well, as far as I can tell, DreamHost offers the most affordable (and reliable) shared hosting plans at renewal. Also, its managed WordPress plans are fairly priced.
- Performance: DreamHost speed is very decent, only 0.25 seconds slower than the fastest provider tested (SiteGround). As you can see below, its uptime (99.97%) is well above the 99.95% standard.
- Unlimited: Unlike most other providers DreamHost doesn’t directly limit the traffic and storage that you can have with your WordPress sites.
- Generous money-back guarantee: If you opt for an annual shared hosting plan, you’ll have over 90 days to see if you are happy with it.
- Backups: It’s one of the few providers offering a usable backup system with all its plans; some other providers try to push you to purchase a backup add-on.
What could DreamHost do better?
- Server location: Sadly, there are only 2 locations to choose from when hosting a website, and both are within the US. This may be a deal-breaker for site owners that don’t target North America (e.g. if most visitors come from Europe or Asia).
- Support: I am very pleased with the quality of the support they offer. However, the chat support is limited to US business hours. After hours there’s only the ticket system.
- Email accounts: If you go for the entry-level tier and need email accounts, you’ll need to purchase those separately. But at $1.70 a month you won’t need to break the bank to be able to afford them.
Who should consider DreamHost?
To be fair, DreamHost should be a good choice for many WordPress site owners. It’s one of the most affordable providers, but its shared hosting plans perform well enough to host small and medium WordPress sites. Larger site owners will also love its inexpensive managed WordPress services.
A2 Hosting is one of these providers that has been around forever (they started in 2001). This Michigan-based host is one of the most popular providers around, and its website really sells its services – e.g. claiming to have 20X faster servers.
A2 Hosting Pricing
- Startup: $8.99 a month to host 1 site and 100 GB of storage. No advanced backups.
- Drive: $11.99 a month with unlimited sites and storage, and more backup options.
- Turbo Boost: $19.99 a month for unlimited sites and storage. Higher performance with premium CDN integration, advanced caching options and more resources (CPU & RAM).
- Turbo Max: $24.99 a month for all the previously mentioned features and even more resources (RAM & CPU).
Note: These are A2 Hosting prices at renewal for 12-month deals, the full amount (e.g. price plan x 12 months) needs to be paid upfront. All plans come with unlimited bandwidth.
What do I like about A2 Hosting?
- Performance: A2 Hosting offers good speed and excellent uptime – more on this below.
- Bang for your buck: Even if A2 Hosting isn’t the cheapest WordPress host, it does offer a fair price for its features and level of performance.
- WordPress features: Unlike many other cheap shared hosting providers, it comes with some WordPress features only available on pricier services (e.g. staging area and built-in WordPress caching).
- Server locations: You can choose to host your website in the US, Europe or Asia.
- Storage and bandwidth: A2 Hosting storage is pretty generous, even unmetered for most plans. On top of that, you won’t have any limitation on the number of visitors you can get.
What could A2 Hosting do better?
- On-demand backups: If you think you’d like to create your own backups, you will have to purchase its add-on or opt-in for the higher plans.
- Concurrent HTTP connections: Shared hosting plans with A2 Hosting limit the amount of concurrent HTTP connections you can get – from 15 to 50 depending on the package.
- Checkout: You will be offered a ton of upgrades and upsells during the check-out process. Watch out for those!
Who should consider A2 Hosting?
Medium to large WordPress site owners looking for a WordPress host with advanced features (e.g. caching and staging) should, in my view, consider A2 hosting. But if you don’t need all the bells and whistles, DreamHost could be a cheaper WordPress hosting alternative.
Green Geeks is definitely not the most well-known provider out there, however, that doesn’t mean they offer a bad service – quite the opposite as you’ll see. Nonetheless, over 50,000 site owners host more than 600K websites with this environmentally-friendly host.
- Lite: $10.95 a month for 1 site and unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- Pro: $15.95 a month for unlimited sites, storage and bandwidth. It offers twice as much performance.
- Premium: $25.95 a month. Same as Pro, but comes with 4X more performance than the entry-level plan.
Note: These are GreenGeeks prices at renewal for 12-month deals, the full amount (e.g. price plan x 12 months) needs to be paid upfront.
What do I like about GreenGeeks?
- Green host: Well, if you are concerned about your carbon footprint, GreenGeeks has your back.
- Performance: Don’t let this green approach fool you – this provider also offers good speed and decent uptime as you can see below.
- Storage and bandwidth: All GreenGeeks plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, – very generous.
- Server location: You will be able to choose where you’d like to host your site: The US, Canada or Europe.
What could GreenGeeks do better?
- WordPress features: There aren’t any WordPress-focused features like staging areas or built-in speed optimization systems – check out SiteGround or DreamPress for that.
- User management: There isn’t a good system to manage hosting account users and roles.
- Backups: Your site will be backed-up every 24 hours, and you are entitled to 1 free restore per month; if you need more you’ll have to open your wallet.
Who should consider GreenGeeks?
GreenGeeks is a good alternative to DreamHost if you are looking for a reliable host that also has servers outside the US. And of course, if you are looking for a green host. However it’s probably not the provider to choose if you have a large team and/or need advanced WordPress features.
Cloudways offers a clear unique selling point, cloud hosting – hence the name. This hosting provider was launched in 2011, and since then, they have gained some popularity. They actually offer an easy-enough-to-manage cloud hosting system that relies on top cloud infrastructure like AWS (Amazon), Google or DigitalOcean among others.
Its pricing is a bit different as you can choose to host your site with different providers (Amazon, Google, etc) and decide on the resources you need to accommodate your WordPress site.
However, I’ll tell you that you can start for as little as:
- $10 a month for 25 GB of storage, 1 TB of bandwidth.
- $22 a month for 50 GB of storage, 2 TB of bandwidth.
- $42 a month for 80 GB of storage, 4 TB of bandwidth.
Note: The prices above are for the DigitalOcean tiers, other providers like Google or Amazon are a bit more expensive.
What do I like about Cloudways?
- Scalability: Scalability options are endless, and you can pick and choose how much power you need. Not many providers offer this.
- Price: Even if Cloudways can get expensive, small-to-medium WordPress sites should be able to get hosted at a very competitive price.
- Performance: Cloudways speed wasn’t bad when we tested it, and its uptime could not be better – read more about this below.
- Server locations: There are dozens of server locations to choose from when hosting your site.
What could Cloudways do better?
- Ease-of-use: In my opinion, this hosting provider is geared towards the technically minded users as it has many options and that makes it not super-intuitive – but still better than managing your own cloud infrastructure.
- WordPress features: Sadly, there isn’t a great deal of advanced WordPress features. For example, no staging and no built-in system updates.
- Support: Support is limited to 15-min chats. If you need more, you’ll have to purchase the support add-on – I’ve never seen a provider charging for this.
Who should consider Cloudways?
Any WordPress site owner wanting to experiment with cloud hosting should consider Cloudways. Also, those wanting their sites hosted in big cloud datacenters like Google’s or Amazon’s.
SiteGround launched in 2004. It has over 500 employees and hosts over 2 million domain names. Impressive numbers for a company that’s not part of any humongous hosting group (e.g. EIG).
If you read the website copy, you’ll quickly realize that they are WordPress enthusiasts. In fact, WordPress itself recommends SiteGround, along with a couple of other hosting providers. But does that really mean that they’re good?
Let’s check them out.
- StartUp: $14.99 a month for 1 website and 10 GB of storage.
- GrowBig: $24.99 a month for unlimited websites and 20 GB of storage. Includes advanced features like staging areas and on-demand backups.
- GoGeek: $39.99 a month for 40 GB of storage and unlimited sites. On top of the GrowBig features, you get Git repositories, priority support and white-label hosting (e.g. for clients).
Note: These are SiteGround prices at renewal for 12-month deals, the full amount (e.g. price plan x 12 months) needs to be paid upfront. SiteGround offers juicy discounts for the first term. It also offers cloud hosting if you need more resources, starting at $80 per month.
What do I like about SiteGround?
- Performance: SiteGround is one of the best-performing providers I’ve tested. It has both impressive uptime and speed.
- Site optimization: Besides providing many caching levels, SiteGround has a self-developed speed optimization WordPress plugin you can use for free (e.g. image lazy loading and compression, code minification and so on).
- Staging: You’ll be able to easily create a copy of your site to test new code and updates without affecting the live site – not available with the StartUp plan.
- Backups: SiteGround offers a good backup system, you’ll be able to restore easily to one of the available backups at no extra cost. Moreover, GrowBig and GoGeek users can create backups on-demand.
- Datacenters: There are many locations to choose from when hosting your site: USA, UK, Australia, Singapore, Germany and Holland.
- Bandwidth: SiteGround’s plans don’t limit the amount of traffic that your site can get.
What could SiteGround do better?
- Price: Well, as you’ve seen above, SiteGround is not the cheapest alternative. Also, be aware that the renewal prices are quite high.
- Database size: SiteGround has a limitation on the database size – 1 GB max. for each database.
- Memory: Some users seem to have issues with the PHP memory limit with SiteGround, which is 768 MB. Most likely you won’t have issues with this unless your WordPress site is poorly optimized – e.g. using faulty plugins.
Who should consider SiteGround?
WordPress projects that depend on their hosting (e.g. serious bloggers or online stores) and need a top-performing host with WordPress-focused tools like staging or site optimization options. But of course, it’s not the cheapest WordPress host out there.
If you are looking for affordable WordPress hosting, chances are you’ve bumped into Bluehost, as they have deep pockets when it comes to marketing. This Utah-based host is home to over 2M websites and has over 750 employees, a true GIANT.
They are part of one of the largest hosting groups, the EIG, home to brands like HostGator and iPage. However, this is not a popularity contest, so let me tell you what you’ll find if you check under Bluehost’s hood.
- Basic: $9.99 a month to host 1 site and 50 GB of storage.
- Plus: $13.99 a month for unlimited sites and storage.
- Choice Plus: $18.99 a month for the same as Plus and advanced backups (for the first year only).
- Pro: $28.99 a month buys you extra-performance and a dedicated IP.
- Build (Managed WP Plans): $24.95 a month for 1 website with 20 GB of storage. Good for around 50K visitors a month (traffic not limited), it comes with malware removal, advanced caching and staging areas. There are higher WordPress managed plans if needed.
Note: These are Bluehost prices at renewal for 12-month deals, the full amount (e.g. price plan x 12 months) needs to be paid upfront. Bluehost plans don’t meter the traffic your site can get.
What do I like about Bluehost?
- First term prices: Bluehost offers big discounts for the first purchase term. However, be aware that after renewal, the prices increase a lot.
- Storage: Bluehost storage is generous. Be warned that there is a 200,000 inode limit (or 300,000 for the highest plan) – inodes equal the total number of files in your account.
- Bandwidth: There isn’t a limitation on the amount of traffic that your site can get.
- Uptime: Bluehost uptime rates are pretty solid.
What could Bluehost do better?
- Speed: Sadly, when we tested Bluehost, the speed was very disappointing.
- Backups: Bluehost backup options are disappointing, only 3 (1 daily, 1 weekly and 1 monthly), unless you purchase the most expensive plan.
- Upsells: With Bluehost (and other EIG products) the backend and registration process is packed with constant upsells and aggressive marketing messages.
- Server location: Sadly, there is only 1 location to choose from, your website will only be hosted in the US – e.g. not ideal if most of your site’s traffic comes from outside North America.
- Entry plan limitations: The entry-level plan of Bluehost is quite limited with the email accounts and storage, sites you can host, and the databases you can create.
Who should consider Bluehost?
There is nothing wrong about hosting your site with Bluehost, its system works and the performance of its servers is OKish. However, there are cheaper WordPress hosts offering a similar (or better) service – e.g. GreenGeeks, SiteGround, A2 Hosting or DreamHost – compare them here.
$225 million is what EIG (Bluehost’s parent company) paid to acquire HostGator in 2012. HostGator was founded in 2002 – it’s one of those hosts that has been around forever.
Let’s see if HostGator suffers from the same issues as other EIG products do: limited features and so-so performance.
- Hatchling: $8.95 a month for 1 site and unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- Baby: $11.95 a month for unlimited sites, bandwidth and storage.
- Business: $16.95 a month if you need to add a dedicated IP to the Baby plan features.
Note: These are HostGator prices at renewal for 12-month deals, the full amount (e.g. price plan x 12 months) needs to be paid upfront.
HostGator offers some WordPress hosting plans, but they don’t really seem to offer any of the interesting features that others do: staging areas, advanced WordPress caching system or site optimization options.
What do I like about HostGator?
- Storage is technically unlimited. But be aware that you can’t have more than 250,000 inodes, which should be enough for most projects.
- Bandwidth: The traffic of your WordPress site won’t be metered in any way.
- Flexible terms: HostGator will let you pay for 1, 3, 6, 12, 24 or 36 months.
- Uptime: HostGator’s uptime is not bad at all.
What could HostGator do better?
- Renewal prices: The first time that you buy a hosting plan with them, it will be cheap. However, watch out for steep price increases at renewal.
- Speed: When I tested HostGator’s speed, it was disappointing – more information below.
- Aggressive marketing: Similar to Bluehost, its backend is packed with upsell pitches for superior plans and add-ons you most likely don’t need.
- Backups: HostGator offers a paid add-on for advanced backups, and unless you purchase it, you are left with access to only 1 backup.
- Support: It’s difficult to say how good or bad a provider’s support is, as it depends a lot on how lucky you are with the assigned support agent. However, with HostGator sometimes I found myself waiting for over 30 minutes, which is not acceptable.
Who should consider HostGator?
Hmm, it’s difficult to recommend HostGator as its performance is not the greatest. Especially if you consider that there are more affordable WordPress hosts offering more for similar or lower price tags (e.g. GreenGeeks or DreamHost).
Along with Bluehost and HostGator, GoDaddy is another internet giant. In fact, they seem larger than any other hosting provider with 20 million customers and 9,000 employees. Of course, they offer much more than just hosting plans for WordPress.
But as we’ve seen with some previous providers, popularity doesn’t always correlate with quality when talking hosting services.
- Economy: $8.99 a month for 1 website, 10 databases and 25 GB of storage.
- Deluxe: $11.99 a month for 10 websites, 25 databases and 50 GB of storage.
- Ultimate: $16.99 a month for 25 websites, 50 databases and 100 GB of storage.
- Maximum: $24.99 a month for 50 websites, 100 databases and 200 GB of storage.
What do I like about GoDaddy?
- Storage: GoDaddy plans are pretty generous when it comes to storage, but they are limited.
- Bandwidth: GoDaddy doesn’t cap the traffic that your site can get.
What could GoDaddy do better?
- Price: It’s one of the most expensive providers out there, especially if we consider what’s offered and the performance level.
- SSL options: I find it very cheeky that SSL certificates aren’t offered to every customer for free as every other provider does.
- Backup: There aren’t many backup options unless you purchase its separate add-on, effectively this makes GoDaddy even more expensive.
Who should consider GoDaddy?
I can think of several cheaper and better hosting providers for WordPress. I feel GoDaddy is just not a reliable service. Check out DreamHost, GreenGeeks, A2 Hosting, Cloudways or SiteGround as alternatives – all of them offer a better service.
We are big fans of Namecheap when it comes to registering domain names; they offer a straightforward system and competitive prices. If you check its WordPress hosting plans, those are also inexpensive, but are they actually any good?
- Stellar: $2.90 a month for 3 websites and 20 GB of storage and 300,000 inodes.
- Stellar Plus: $4.90 a month for unlimited sites and storage – limited to 300,000 inodes. Adds more backup options.
- Stellar Business: $8.75 a month for unlimited sites, 50 GB of storage and 600,000 inodes.
Note: These are Namecheap prices at renewal for 12-month deals, the full amount (e.g. price plan x 12 months) needs to be paid upfront. Namecheap offers big discounts for the first purchase term. There are also WordPress-focused hosting plans that are a bit more expensive and are meant to offer more features and better performance.
What do I like about Namecheap?
- Price: Namecheap plans are affordable even after renewal.
- Storage: With Namecheap the storage is generous.
- Bandwidth is not metered with Namecheap.
- Server location: You can choose between hosting your site in the US or the UK.
What could Namecheap do better?
- Performance: Sadly, when we tested Namecheap’s hosting the performance wasn’t too good.
- Backups: Namecheap will only back up your site twice a week.
Who should consider Namecheap?
Due to its performance, I’d not recommend Namecheap for medium or big sites, or in fact, to anyone who has a serious project. It’s an affordable WordPress hosting option for sites that don’t need a top-performing service – e.g. a small business website.
Back in the day, Hostinger used to offer free hosting, and that I believe, gave them a reputation of being (too) cheap – in my personal view they still suffer from this. You may have been attracted to its low-priced WordPress hosting, but read below before you get an account with them.
- Single Shared: $5.99 a month for 1 website and 30 GB of storage. A maximum of 2 databases.
- Premium Shared: $8.99 a month for up to 100 websites and 100 GB of storage.
- Business Shared: $10.99 a month for daily backups (for 30 days), storage limited to 200 GB.
What do I like about Hostinger?
- First term price: If you’re okay with locking yourself into a long contract, you can snatch Hostinger for as little as $1 a month – mind the renewal price, though.
- Bandwidth: The traffic isn’t limited with Hostinger.
- Easy to use: Its backend is nicely designed and intuitive.
- Speed: When we tested its speed we were impressed.
What could Hostinger do better?
- Uptime: Sadly, Hostinger is one of the poorest-performing hosting providers I’ve tested when it comes to uptime. I’d not host any (half) serious project with them.
- Renewal prices: If the first term price tag is very low, the renewal one is extremely high. Not worth what’s offered.
- Backup options: are limited to once a week unless you opt for the most expensive plan.
Who should consider Hostinger?
Since its uptime is so bad, I would not consider Hostinger unless you are looking for a dirt cheap hosting provider for WordPress as a hobby – e.g. students learning to program. But mind the renewal prices, they won’t be as cheap!
Alright, this is an important one!
Sure, there are many dirt cheap hosting providers to host your WordPress site, but, most of them also offer frustratingly bad performance.
In other words, would you be happy with your host if you paid less than $3 a month (which is cheap), but your website loaded slower than molasses?
Probably not, right?
You’d end up losing visitors, or worse, potential sales or clients. In this day and age, users aren’t patient enough to wait for a website to load – I know I am not!
Besides the speed, site owners should also consider uptime when evaluating a WordPress host performance – uptime measures the service interruptions of your server; serious sites should aim for a 99.95% or higher.
We have tested all these cheap WordPress hosts, so you can get an idea of what performance they offer:
|Test Average speed (in seconds)||2021 Uptime (12 -month test)||Monthly prices at renewal for 1 year deals|
|SiteGround||1.54||100%||From $14.99 to $39.99|
|Kinsta||1.77||100%||From $25 to $83.33+|
|WP Engine||1.65||99.99%||From $25 to $241.67+|
|GreenGeeks||1.56||99.98%*||From $10.95 to $25.95|
|Cloudways||1.73||100%||From $10 to $42|
|A2 Hosting||2.01||99.98%||From $8.99 to $24.99|
|DreamHost||1.84||99.96%||From $6.99 to $12.99|
|GoDaddy||1.94||99.96%||From $8.99 to $24.99|
|HostGator||2.78||99.99%||From $8.95 to $16.95|
|Bluehost||2.87||99.99%||From $9.99 to $28.99|
|InMotion||2.75||99.95%||From $11.99 to $24.99|
|Hostinger||1.61||99.92%||From $5.99 to $10.99|
Note: We don’t have recent performance tests for Namecheap, but we were disappointed every time we tested this provider in the past.
Managing expectations is always hard, so I will try to explain what can you expect from an inexpensive WordPress hosting service – you can’t (always) have your cake and eat it, right?
I’ve divided these expectations into basic features that your WordPress host should offer, and some that would be nice to have but aren’t so critical for most medium projects.
Personally, I’d move away from any cheap WordPress hosting that doesn’t offer the following:
- Decent performance: Having a site that loads reasonably fast, and isn’t constantly down is not negotiable. Stay away from poor-performing, (and maybe too) cheap WordPress hosts.
- SSL included: Your site should be HTTPSed, pretty much all hosting providers will offer SSL certificates for free with all their plans – not sure why GoDaddy didn’t hear this one.
- Support: You will need expert help at some point, so having a provider that offers reliable support (ideally 24/7) is something to consider.
- Daily backups: It’s not common for a WordPress site to ‘break’ (e.g. when updating plugins), and sometimes figuring what went wrong can take time. But if your hosting provider keeps fresh copies of your site, you can bypass most hiccups (and hopefully sleep better at night).
- Migration plugin: Moving an existing WordPress site from one provider to another can be a complex chore, so it’s always better if the affordable hosting provider you choose has some sort of system (e.g. a plugin) to speed the process up.
- 1-click WordPress installations: Finally, you want your WordPress host to have a system to install WordPress, and spare you from the technicalities (e.g. creating and connecting databases to a new WordPress installation). I must say, I have to yet see a hosting provider not offering this.
But then, larger WordPress sites with more complex sites and perhaps development teams, may require some advanced features/services. These will come at a cost, you can expect to pay at least $24.99/month.
- Top performance: Of course, the more you pay, the more performance you should expect from your hosting provider. Check if they offer WordPress optimization plugins, advanced caching or CDNs.
- Several server locations: Another good perk of not-so-cheap WordPress hosting providers is that they normally allow you to store your website in different regions. For example, with WP Engine you have around 30 locations to host your site, pretty convenient if your website primarily targets visitors outside the US.
- Staging areas: WordPress developers will appreciate having an area where they can test new code or updates without breaking the live site.
- WordPress-expert support: Support should not only be good, but have extensive WordPress knowledge.
- On-demand backups: Besides offering daily backups of your site, you should be able to request manual ones – e.g. before you push some WordPress updates, to be able to quickly revert to a working version of your site if things go south.
- Managed updates: Some providers will keep an eye on your environment to check that your system is up-to-date (e.g. your WordPress version).
- Professional migrations: In some cases, WordPress expert hosts will offer migration services where one of their experts will take care of migrating your whole site.
As you can imagine there is not a straight answer to this question.
It’s similar to asking how much should I pay for my next car? Well, that depends – do you need your car for long journeys? Does it need to be spacious? Will you be driving off-road?
The same applies to finding a cheap host for your WordPress site, but I’ve added a couple of examples below on how much you should expect to pay, to make sure you are not buying a 4-wheeler when you only need a small urban car.
|Type of project||Expected visitors a month *||Type of hosting||Expected Price a month||Suggested Providers|
|Personal project||Up to 5,000||Shared Hosting||From $6.99||Check out DreamHost|
|Small brick and mortar business site||Up to 10,000||Shared Hosting with Email||From $12.99||Checkout DreamHost (Unlimited plan), GreenGeeks or A2 Hosting basic plans|
|Serious blogger / niche site||Up to 25,000||Reliable shared hosting||From $11.99||Checkout A2 Hosting, Cloudways and SiteGround middle plans.|
|Medium online store||Up to 50,000||Entry-level Managed WordPress Hosting||From $17||Check out DreamPress, A2 Hosting (top plan) or SiteGround.|
|Large online store||More than 50,000||Managed WordPress Hosting||From $25||Check out DreamPress and SiteGround top plans.|
|Big project||More than 100,000||WordPress-Exclusive Managed Hosting||From $95.83||Check out Kinsta and WP Engine.|
* This is not a hard limit but rather a recommendation. For example, DreamHost shared hosting doesn’t limit the visitors you can have, but sites that get over 25K visitors a month, will most likely experience performance issues.
Tip: The longer you purchase a WordPress hosting plan for, the cheaper it gets. But before you commit for a long term, please make sure you are 100% happy with your provider.
Hopefully, I’ve answered all your questions that you had about choosing the best affordable host for your WordPress host.
But please, if you are still unsure, leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to help you.
17 Sep 2021 – Bluehost, Hostinger and HostGator update
08 Sep 2021 – Test performance update
31 Aug 2021 – General update
14 Apr 2021 – SiteGround new sites allowance
10 Feb 2021 – Initial article