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Blog Hosting

What is Server (Hosting)

The term “server” (English for servant) is used ambiguously in computer science. A server is both a computer that provides resources over a network and the program that runs on that computer. Accordingly, there are two different server definitions:

Definition server (hardware): A hardware-based server is a physical machine integrated into a computer network on which one or more software-based servers run in addition to the operating system. An alternative term for a hardware-based server is “host”. In principle, any computer with server software can be used as a host.
Definition Server (Software): A software-based server is a program that offers a special service that can be used by other programs, so-called clients, locally or over a network. Which service is available depends on the type of server software. Communication is based on the client-server model. Service-specific transmission protocols are used for data exchange.

How does a server work?
The provision of server services via a computer network is based on the client-server model. This concept makes it possible to distribute tasks to different computers and make them accessible to several end users independently of each other. Every service that is available over a network is provided by a server (software) that is permanently on standby. This is the only way to ensure that clients such as web browsers or e-mail programs can actively access the server at any time and use the service as needed.

Which servers are available?
How client and server communicate depends on the respective service and is determined by a specific transmission protocol. This principle can be illustrated by the example of common types of servers:

web servers: The primary task of a web server is to store and prepare web pages and deliver them to clients such as web browsers or search engine crawlers. The communication between server (software) and client is based on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) or its encrypted variant HTTPS. As a rule, HTML documents and the elements included in them, such as images, style sheets or scripts, are transferred. Common web servers are the Apache HTTP Server, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) or Nginx.
file server: A file server is used for the central storage of files that are to be made available to various clients over a network. Companies rely on this type of file management to give several workgroups access to the same files. A file server prevents conflicts due to different local file versions, enables automatic versioning of files and centralized backup of all company data. If the file server is accessed via the Internet, transfer protocols such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol), SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), FTPS (FTP over SSL) or SCP (Secure Copy) are used. In local computer networks (LAN), the protocols SMB (Server Message Block) and NFS (Network File System) have become established.
mail server: A mail server consists of several software modules whose interaction makes it possible to receive, send, forward and hold e-mails ready for retrieval. Usually the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is used for this purpose. Users who want to access a mail server need an e-mail client that retrieves the messages from the server and makes them available in the e-mail mailbox. This retrieval is done via IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) or POP (Post Office Protocol).
Database server: A database server is a computer program that allows other programs to access one or more database systems over a network. Corresponding software solutions with high market share are Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL and DB2. Database servers generally support web servers in storing and delivering data.
game servers: A game server is a server (software) that is set up especially for online-based multiplayer games. Game servers manage the data of the online game and enable synchronous interaction with the virtual world. The hardware base of a game server can be located in the data center of a specialized provider or be provided locally in the home network.

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Reviews Blog Hosting Wordpress

Best WordPress Hosting Review

Best WordPress Hosting

Choosing a WordPress host is step one for ensuring the health and  success of your website. Unfortunately, exploring hosting options is often overlooked by webmasters. Low-performance hosting leads to poor user experiences and even lower rankings. As such, it’s important to use one of the best wordpress hosting services to avoid the hiccups that often accompany sub-par hosting.

best wordpress hosting

With a growing number of WordPress hosts coming to market, knowing which is best for your site may not be so apparent, but today, we’ll make this decision an easier one for you to make.

There are many WP hosts to choose from: A2Hosting, Blue Host, HostGator, and SiteGround (just to name a few), but no matter the provider you choose, always consider these factors before entrusting your site in the hands of a host:

Pricing:

The cheaper the price the better, right?  However, you never want to sacrifice speed and performance for a lower cost.  Furthermore, a good host should have transparent pricing.  Shady hosts tend to camouflage hidden fees into their pricing; hosts you want to avoid.

Customer Service: 

Nowadays, customer service is everything.  The best wordpress hosting providers offer round-the-clock assistance through live-chat or over-the-phone support.

Uptime Guarantee:

If you’ve noticed your downtime to be under 99.95%, it may be time to switch hosts.  One of the biggest contributors to your site’s health is the uptime.  Downtime means your visitors will see no content when visiting your site.  Furthermore, if Google crawls your site while it’s down, you run the risk of being organically penalized, or worse, de-indexed altogether for returning an invalid URL.

Performance:

The speedier your hosting is the better off your site will be.  It’s common knowledge among optimization experts that one-second response times (or less) is best.  If your WordPress-built website takes longer than one second to load, switching to one of the best WordPress hosting providers reviewed below would help.  If you’re unsure what your website load time is, free-to-use services, such as Pingdom, allow you to determine just that.

Server Compatibility:

Most WordPress hosts are compliant with WordPress’s latest server requirements (which you can view here).

Over the past year, our team used and evaluated some of the top-rated WordPress hosts in the space.  Throughout this time, we monitored their speeds and uptime to bring you the most accurate results possible.

While we can’t guarantee you similar results as uptime and performance are influenced by a number of factors, such as the size of your site, your selected hosting plan, and the number of website visitors you receive, these reviews will give you a good idea as to what you can expect.

BlueHost 

Widely popular among bloggers and small business owners; BlueHost is a budget-friendly hosting service with attractive pricing, especially for first-time customers. Their WordPress hosting plans begin at only $2.75 per month, their software is user-friendly to navigate, and their speed-to-cost value is some of the best we’ve tested.

Using up-time monitoring tools (which BlueHost displays within their interface), our website had an average uptime of 99.99%.  If that’s not impressive enough, over the past year, we only noticed a total of eleven outages (which last for no more than an hour) and page-load speeds averaged 304 milliseconds. Furthermore, WordPress.org endorses only a few hosts for their platform, and BlueHost is one of them.  Likely, this is because BlueHost prioritizes good-value hosting, user-friendly navigation, and consistent performance.

Each of their plans is bundled with a complimentary SSL Certificate (https://), an intuitively-designed WordPress development environment, and a one-click WP installation feature.  BlueHost caters to webmasters and designers of all experience levels, but for newcomers especially, their library of 80+ tutorials is especially useful. Of course, they wouldn’t be ranked as one of the best WordPress hosting providers without good customer support.  They offer round-the-clock, live-chat support so you can receive immediate help at any time of day.

A 36-month hosting plan starts at $2.75 per month.  When the three-year renewal is made, the monthly cost rises to $7.99 monthly.  This is not at all uncommon in the web-hosting space.  Many hosts offer new-customer incentives and pricing that increases at a later date.

If you choose BlueHost (which we recommend you do), we suggest you subscribe to a 2-year or better plan; the longer you choose the cheaper you pay per month (so you’ll save on costs).  While we doubt you’ll be unsatisfied with BlueHost’s performance and customer support, if you are, you can request a no-hassle refund within thirty days.

HostGator

With millions of parked domains and many years in the business, HostGator is one of today’s most popular web hosts (and for good reasons, too). Similar to that of what BlueHost offers, HostGator offers a one-click WP installation with specialized hosting designed for WordPress-built sites.

HostGator is a hosting service ideal for webmasters that receive high-volume traffic to their WP site.  This is because HostGator limits the number of sites hosted on a single server which decreases the amount of time it takes your website to load for visitors, regardless of their region. With HostGator, our mobile users saw the greatest speeds but desktop users did as well.  In the past year, the average load time we experienced was 398 milliseconds.

Their uptime, which was greater than 99.99%, was equally impressive.  If not impressive enough, their total annual downtime totaled only twenty-one minutes which is an incredible accomplishment. Furthermore, HostGator also offers free migration to all clients (a big plus for webmaster newcomers that may not know how to migrate a website). Unlike some hosting companies that limit the number of email accounts, storage, and bandwidth you consume, HostGator does not.  Their new-customer incentives are attractive with plans starting at $5.95 monthly and later renewing at a rate of $9.95 per month.

However, you can sign up for hosting at a cost that’s less than both of these rates by using the promotional code “WEBSITESETUP”.  This code will give you the $3.99 per month rate.

Regardless of the plan you choose, free migration is bundled at no added cost.  If you only have a few sites to host, we would strongly recommend you consider their “Managed” hosting plan.

SiteGround

SiteGround has been around since 2004 and is a WordPress.org-endorsed hosting service.

Since SiteGround was founded sixteen years ago, they’ve amassed to nearly a million domains parked globally.  They have many servers in many locations around the globe but have a Bulgarian-based support team that’s very friendly and quick to help customers when in need. One aspect of SiteGround that I and most webmasters really appreciate is that they allow you to change your data center locations, which, not too many hosts offer.  With SiteGround, you can change your region from Europe to the US or vice versa.

SiteGround is considered to be one of the best WordPress hosting providers as they offer free website migrations in addition to a cost-free CDN (used for caching) and image-optimization services.  Combined, you can expect a blazingly-quick WP site. In regards to uptime, we noticed only thirty outages in the year we tested their hosting.  We also saw an uptime of over 99.99% with a load-time speed hovering around 613 milliseconds.

While the website we hosted with SiteGround didn’t load as quickly as the sites with HostGator and BlueHost (which is why we’ve ranked this third), they are a great hosting service that offers excellent cost-to-performance value. Of course, a hosting company can’t be recommended without having solid customer support.  So, to get an idea of their customer service, we made some inquiries through their live chat support.  They were quick to answer each of our questions and their support went above and beyond to ensure we were properly helped.

There really are no cons when it comes to SiteGround except for the fact that renewal rates increase once the introductory, new-customer rate expires.  However, this is a common practice among web hosting providers and shouldn’t deter you from their low-cost pricing, good performance, and knowledgeable staff.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting is known for being a low-cost host which is impressive considering their website’s promise to be 20x quicker than your current host.  But is that a true statement?

Well, we wanted to find out and so we used their hosting for a year to see if their promise holds true.  According to our tests, when compared to other “shared” WordPress hosting providers, they were indeed the quickest.  The website we hosted with them averaged a 264-millisecond load speed.  However, their claim to be 20x faster isn’t as accurate as we had hoped. They’re one of the best WordPress hosting providers though and offer highly-optimized SSD storage servers for lightning-fast performance.  Plus, they offer Litespeed Cache which greatly enhances site performance.

managed wordpress hosting

This feature is $9.31 per month unless you order the Turbo plan which includes it for free. No matter the plan you choose, you’ll receive a free SSL, unlimited SSD storage/bandwidth, and a free Cloudflare CDN to ensure your site is always accessible to visitors, even during outages. Similar to that of SiteGround, A2 Hosting allows customers to change server locations.  Currently, they offer USA (Arizona), USA (Michigan), Singapore, and Amsterdam server centers. If I had to find one thing to complain about throughout the A2 Hosting review process it would be that their customer support took seven minutes to respond through my live-chat inquiry.  However, they do offer round-the-clock support and both online and over the phone so I didn’t mind the few minutes it took to receive a response.

Their plans start at $2.94 per month for a 36-month plan which later renews at the $5.99 rate.  Customers receive an unlimited number of website transfers and twenty-five email accounts (something many hosts charge for).  If you own a lot of WordPress sites, A2 Hosting is a great option for you.

They also offer a thirty-day, money-back guarantee so if you’re unhappy with their services for any reason you can request a no-hassle return.

While there were many things we loved about A2 Hosting support and performance, their uptime for us averaged out to 99.91% with six hours of downtime throughout the year.  Nonetheless, they’re an excellent WordPress host and are ideal for multi-site webmasters wanting an affordable and reliable solution. 

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks is one of my favorite hosting providers; they’re scalable, secure, affordable and yet a fast hosting service for WordPress users.

Their name is inspired by their environmentally-friendly hosting approach which I didn’t know until recently. All of their packages come bundled with a cost-free SSL, an unlimited number of email accounts, unlimited bandwidth, free CDN, and unlimited SSD storage.  What more could one ask for? Once you’ve created an account and selected a plan, you’ll be prompted to select a server location.  You can choose between Europe, Canada, and the United States.  Also, WordPress migrations are offered at no cost.

In regards to their support, they offer round-the-clock support by phone and through email and their live chat feature. Furthermore, they offer a number of guides and tutorials to help you make the most of your website. Their support is incredibly helpful, quick to respond, and was pleasant to work with each time I reached out with questions.

With GreenGeek’s, we had a load-speed average of 389 milliseconds (which is pretty decent) with an experienced uptime of over 99.99% (very, very reliable).  Throughout the year we used them, thirty-three outages occurred, although, the total amount of downtime amounted to only an hour. If I had to pick one downside of their service it would be their increased renewal fees, but as previously mentioned, this is a commonality for web hosts.  Their $2.95 monthly plan later renews at $9.95 but they have a 30-day, money-back guarantee which protects you and your investment from disappointment.

Keep in mind, if you’re a first-time customer that claims their “free domain” offer and later request a refund, domain registration costs will be redacted from the refunded amount ($13.95).

Hostinger

As one of the cheapest WordPress hosting providers in the market, Hostinger has become one of the most popular hosts in the space.

Hostinger is a European-founded host with data centers in Europe, Asia, and the USA. At the moment, customers are unable to change data locations themselves.  However, their customer support is happy to change locations based on customer requests.

This is a convenient offering that not all web hosts extend to customers.

Hostinger is a great option for webmaster newcomers developing their first site.  This is because Hostinger offers a WordPress development environment where users can use a built-in website builder to craft and launch beautifully-built websites within just a few hours’ time.

They offer 24-hour support and an extensive library containing tutorials and guides for anything and everything related to WordPress. Even though they’re one of the cheapest WordPress hosts around, their servers offer surprisingly-good performance.  Over the past twelve months, our website had an average load speed of 329 milliseconds with an uptime of 99.94%.  Not the absolute greatest, but when considering the price, these are more-than-fair figures.

Their cheapest plan runs $0.80 per month on a four-year agreement.  This later renews at $2.15.  This plan will get you 100GB of bandwidth and 10GB of storage.  This is an ideal plan for smaller WordPress sites that don’t have a lot of media.

Hostinger customers will enjoy one complimentary email account and a free SSL certificate.  These are included with all plans and a nice inclusion considering the eighty-cent price tag.

If you’re unsatisfied with your Hostinger purchase for any reason, which I doubt you will, you can request a no-hassle refund within thirty days.

DreamHost

DreamHost is a US-based web hosting service with over half a million users.  They also joined SiteGround and BlueHost as being a recommended host by the WordPress.org community.

Their mission is simple; offer optimized and reliably-fast hosting at budget-friendly pricing.

They offer shared, managed, and VPS (Virtual Private Server) plans with all including a built-in WordPress development environment.  They also provide customers free SSL, unlimited bandwidth, and SSD storage. Unfortunately, site migrations aren’t free, they cost $99.

best wordpress hosting review

They also don’t offer 24-hour support, although, they do offer live-chat support that operates on US business hours. They’re not the ideal host for websites mostly serving non-US visitors, but our 534-millisecond load-speed average and 99.91% uptime didn’t disappoint (considering the price point). They do offer a high-performance plan for $16.95 per month which you may want to consider depending on the size of your site and the number of visitors you serve monthly.  Their cheapest subscription is $2.59 per month on a 36-month agreement which renews at $4.95.

Unlike most other hosts that offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, DreamHost extends a 97-day refund policy instead (they’re that confident you’ll be enthused with their hosting).  Email accounts run $19.99 per year with the free-domain renewal costing $15.99.

InMotion

InMotion is a US-based host with over 300,000 hosted domains.  InMotion has become of the best WordPress hosting services around, and, for many reasons too.

To start, each one of their plans are bundled with a complimentary SSL, a free CDN, two-hundred WordPress themes, and unlimited email accounts.  The only limitations they impose are bandwidth, disk space, and the number of sites you can have on the server.

They offer over-the-phone and live-chat support (24 hours per day) and also provide site migration service that’s available for free to customers.  They also have their own website builder known as BoldGrid which is a developmental environment that makes launching a website easy, even for someone that has never designed one before.

While their speed and uptime is average for other hosts at this price point, they are reliable.  Uptime in the past year was 99.95% with an average speed of 791 milliseconds (not the greatest but not the most expensive either). One drawback of InMotion is the fact that new customers don’t receive instant access to their account and service.  So, if you’re an international customer (located outside of the United States), verifying and having access to your account may be delayed. Keep in mind, you’re not permitted to host multiple sites on their cheapest subscription.  That said, if you have multiple websites to host, you will be required to pay extra for the added server space.

They offer a number of different plans catering to all budget types.  Their cheapest plan is $6.99 that later renews at the $8.99 rate.  Their most expensive plan runs just shy of $106 which gives you options that include unlimited bandwidth, storage space, and websites.

They have a managed WordPress service as well and are one of the few in the space that offer dedicated support to WP webmasters.

Site5

While not the cheapest option for those needing a shared WordPress host, Site5 claims to be the best platform for developers and designers as they offer a well-optioned control panel, five-star customer service, and reliable hosting.

Similar to other hosts, Site5 customers enjoy complimentary CDN (through Cloudflare) and site migrations.

Site5 customers are also offered round-the-clock, live-chat support and they advertise a 99.99% uptime guarantee. This past year, we noticed their uptime to be 99.98% (close enough for us) with an average speed of 612 milliseconds. 

While their servers aren’t as speedy as those used at A2 Hosting and BlueHost, their 99.98% uptime outperforms many hosts in today’s market. Their cheapest hosting plan will cost you $6.95 per month on a 24-month agreement.  One this promotional rate expires it renews at $8.95 monthly. The only gripe I have with Site5 is the way they conduct their billing.  While they offer no-hassle refunds within thirty days of all purchases, their billing system automatically charges customers fifteen days before the current term ends.

However, the bright side to this is that you never need to worry about your cycle lapsing and your website being taken down.

There are some add-on services you may want to consider if choosing Site5 as your host.  Upgrading your plan will give you more room for growth as you’ll receive more bandwidth and server space.  One thing worth mentioning is that Site5 users are unable to change their data center location.  By default, servers are selected for central USA.

iPage

iPage has been around for quite some time and now offers WordPress-exclusive hosting to customers.

They offer two unique WordPress plans.

One costs $3.75 per month (renewing at $7.49) and the other $6.95 per month (renewing at $10.49).  Both plans come bundled with free one-year domain registration which saves you some money. Their mission is to deliver exceptional user experiences, from sign-up to customer service and everything in between. 

Their platform is mainly designed for newcomers as “expert” WordPress assistance is inclusive in their $6.95 per month subscription. They offer both live-chat and by-phone support which is available twenty-fours per day, seven days per week.  Furthermore, each of their hosting plans come one-click featured.  As such, with iPage, installing WordPress is a walk in the park, even for someone that has never done so before.

Bandwidth and storage are also unlimited and both plans include a cost-free SSL certificate so you can securely collect user data and payments on your site compliantly without the added expenditure.

Of course, no host is absolutely perfect and iPage is no exception to this; they have some minor but tolerable drawbacks.  They don’t provide a CDN (content delivery network), you’re unable to change your data server location (the US is currently the only available location), and site migrations are $150 per transfer.

Even though their uptime has consistently been 99.95% (or better) with load-time speeds hovering around 700 milliseconds, performance-wise, they don’t lead the pack in comparison to other WordPress-focused hosts.

You can choose a one, twelve, twenty-hour, or 36-month plan with pricing starting at $3.75 per month.  All monthly and yearly packages renew at the $9.99 rate.  All 24-month plans renew at $8.99 with 36-month plans renewing at $7.99.

All plans are eligible for their 30-day refund guarantee so if you’re unsatisfied for any reason you can expect a no-hassle cancellation.  Add on services you may want to check out are the automatic backups ($1 per month) and a G Suite email account for $6 monthly.

When it comes to the best WordPress hosting provider there are many things to consider, namely, pricing, performance, and customer support.

Based on our experiences with each of the hosts reviewed in this guide, we’ve determined BlueHost, SiteGround, and HostGator’s Managed WP plan to be among the best of the best.  That said though, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones we shared in this guide.

We hope these reviews will help you to excel your site to its full performance potential. 

With many great hosting providers to choose from and WP-managed plans that make creating and launching a site easier than ever before, we’re confident you’ll be exceeding yours and site-visitor performance expectations in no time.