WordPress is the most commonly used blogging platform on the Internet, powering 22% of all Web sites. While you can opt for the ready-to-use hosted solution at WordPress.com, if you’re a power user who likes the ability to control and customize your site, you’ll want the self-hosted WordPress solutions, available at WordPress.org. But you still need to find a Web host that supports WordPress.
(Related post: Top 100 Resources for WordPress Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials)
As of February 1, 2013, in order to run the most recent version of WordPress, your webhost needs to support PHP version 5.2.4 or greater and MySQL version 5.0 or greater. Apache or nginx are the recommended server platforms, but are not required. (You can view the current requirements here.) Pretty much any web hosting provider worth its salt will have the latest versions of PHP and MySQL, so beyond those two requirements, you also need to make sure that you’ll have a host that has reliable performance.
The following sites all support WordPress (some even offer one-click installations!) and are recommended by WHdb as having reliable performance.
- BlueHost (Recommended by WordPress.org!): BlueHost is one of three hosts recommended by WordPress.org, as hosting services include unlimited disk storage, unlimited data transfer, the ability to host unlimited domains on one account, and most importantly, WordPress auto-install with automatic updates. Also, BlueHost provides for as many as 50 MySQL databases, enabling you to store up to 50 different WordPress blogs on one host, if you choose. (If you want to do even more than that, you can actually store multiple WordPress blogs on just one database, but we recommend a different database for each blog, for sake of organization.) Blue Host boasts 24×7 network monitoring, 99% uptime guarantee, mirrored storage backups and no hidden fees. All hosting accounts are paid up front and in full at sign up, but hosting comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. Currently, users can sign up with Blue Host for $4.95 per month, a two-dollar per month savings off the normal $6.95 price.
- DreamHost (Recommended by WordPress.org!): DreamHost is another WordPress.org-recommended hosting solution. Like BlueHost, they offer 1-click WordPress installation with automatic updates, as well as unlimited hosted domains, unlimited disk space, and unlimited bandwidth. DreamHost offers several packages with a wide range of monthly fees. With the longest money-back trial period in the industry (97 days), you can rest assured that they have tremendous support. As of early 2013, DreamHost is powering 600,000 WordPress blogs worldwide. Hosting packages start at $8.95 per month. But WHdb readers can use coupon code “WHDB1FREE” at checkout to receive one year free when ordering two years of pre-paid hosting.
- Laughing Squid (Recommended by WordPress.org!): Laughing Squid is a reseller of the Rackspace Cloud Sites hosting platform. While they are one of three companies recommended by WordPress.org, WHdb prefers BlueHost or DreamHost, as they both allow for unlimited domains, disk space, and data transfer. Laughing Squid does provide dependable and secure hosting services to artists, individuals, bloggers, non-profits and small businesses. The nature of their service caters to smaller sites, and they are proud of this status, offering great customer support. One of their goals is to “rescue you from the endless void of impersonal and unreliable web hosting.” But, Laughing Squid also is known for reliability and functionality. They offer two hosting plans, both of which focus on using WordPress as a featured blogging software. Micro Squid is $6 per month for 1 GB of disk space; Mega Squid is $8 per month for 2 GB of disk space.
- IX Web Hosting: IX simply put is one of the most reliable Web hosts in the industry. And to prove it, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee. Two other reasons why we like them? 1) They’ve been around since 1999; 2) they control their own data centers. (That’s right: they’re not just another reseller, like Laughing Squid for instance.) WordPress is one of over 30 applications that IX Web Hosting offers right out of the box. Installing WordPress at IX is a simple one-click installation process that even a dummy can figure out! With plans starting at $3.95/month, IX Web Hosting is a highly-recommended solution for WordPress.
- Go Daddy: Although Go Daddy is known for its domain registration capabilities, they’re building a huge reputation for their reliable hosting at bargain-basement prices. Go Daddy is connected to multiple diverse upstream providers with rocket-fast Tier-1 bandwidth and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. They employ 24×7 support personnel, so you can have questions answered at any time through tutorials, email, online tickets, phone and community support. Even their budget-priced solutions are adequate for WordPress users, so you can build upon a basic plan and work upwards as your site grows. And best of all, they offer one-click installation, so you can get your blog up and running in less than a half-hour. With prices starting at under $5 per month, Go Daddy is hard to beat.
- StartLogic: StartLogic provides two data centers in the Boston area, and both networks include a pooled server environment that provides faster loading times and fewer service interruptions than traditional hosting infrastructures. Thousands of business the world over depend upon StartLogic for their advanced and easy-to-use system as well as their 24×7 toll-free technical support and 99.9% uptime guarantee. Currently, StartLogic offers a bargain with free setup and domain starting at $6.50 per month. However, if you don’t need the setup or domain, you can secure a hosting solution that supports WordPress for as low as $3.99 per month.
- InMotion Hosting: InMotion is a Top 10 WHdb web hosting provider and offers superior WordPress support. All InMotion business hosting packages come with Softaculous, which provides an easy one-click install option for numerous Web hosting applications, including WordPress. With included data backup, unlimited disk space, and unlimited data transfer, InMotion makes a great webhosting provider for almost any type of website. If you have an existing WordPress blog at WordPress.com or another host, InMotion promises hands-on support with helping you get everything transferred over to them. Business hosting plans start at $5.95 per month.
- Liquid Web: This host has been around since 1997, predating WordPress by six years, and they’re still one of our favorite Web hosting providers, offering unlimited MySQL databases, large disk space, and tons of bandwidth. With Fantastico, users can auto-install WordPress with one click. Plans start at $14.95 per month and include “heroic support”, which is truly exceptional, validating the price tag, which admittedly is higher than most shared hosting providers.
- Dot5Hosting: This hosting solution has won the “Best Budget Hosting by Hosting-Review and “Best Web Host” by Top-10-Web-Hosting. They’re known for their ability to host everything from small personal sites to the busy commercial site with several databases. Dot5 guarantees maximum uptime along with mirrored storage backups, and they provide more than adequate hosting power for any WordPress user. Their hosting plans range from quarterly to two years, and their 24×7 call center technical support is included with any plan. Currently, Dot5Hosting provides WordPress solutions at $5.95 per month.
- PowWeb: PowWeb calls their system a “Load-Balanced” hosting solution, which helps to handle traffic spikes and eliminates all single points of failure. It’s the same system that many large corporations use when hosting mission-critical Web sites, so you can rest easy knowing that your WordPress site will flow smoothly – even if you’ve accumulated several databases. Additionally, this WHDB featured host uses its own equipment and their downtime is minimal as they monitor their system constantly. Their team also provides customers with excellent support through support forums, a blog, eTickets, by phone and through online technical support. Finally, PowWeb provides various payment options, so you can pay monthly or up to two years in advance. PowWeb now starts at $3.88 per month for their “All in One” Web hosting that includes WordPress features.