“Just like flowers need the right environment to grow, WordPress works best when it’s in a rich hosting environment.” So say WordPress, a noted authority on WordPress.
It’s true. WordPress now powers over 30% of the internet, and there’s no shortage of web hosts competing for that hefty business opportunity. Most of them meet WordPress’s minimum requirements (it would be business suicide not to) but picking the right service for your website’s needs can save you masses of trouble in the long run.
So, who’s the best of the bunch?
Bluehost. It’s Bluehost. Bluehost is the best website hosting provider for WordPress. It’s not the only one worth considering, but if you want a service that WordPress recommends and which ticks all the boxes, try Bluehost. That’s what we think.
Bluehost comes second in our all-round ranking of web hosting providers — second only to HostGator — scoring 91%, but it tops the lot where WordPress is concerned. It’s not just our opinion either: Bluehost hosts over 2 million WordPress sites and counting.
This piece will explore Bluehost’s WordPress credentials, with a couple of honorary mentions to other WordPress specialists in the industry. Read on for a slightly less hysterical endorsement of Bluehost’s features.
WordPress recommend Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround, calling them the ‘best and brightest of the hosting world.’ They should know. Of those three, our research shows Bluehost is the pick of the bunch.
As we mentioned earlier, in our all-round rankings of web hosting providers, only HostGator scored higher than Bluehost. HostGator is an excellent all-rounder ideal for beginners, but Bluehost has the the jump on it where WordPress is concerned. It’s their specialty.
Good hosting lets you focus on your site. Good hosting doesn’t bog you down in technical jargon and a laundry list of maintenance jobs. Ease of use is Bluehost’s thing. It wants setting up a WordPress site to be as simple as possible, and it is.
One-click setup is one of Bluehost’s main selling points, and we’re pleasantly surprised to report it really is that simple. In our own guide for installing WordPress on Bluehost, the actual installation bit is one step:
Once you’re up and running, maintenance is almost as simple. The Bluehost dashboard is clean and clear; you don’t need any technical nous to use it. Bluehost has a team of engineers working full-time on WordPress development, but it takes great pains to ensure that work reaches users in terms everyone can understand and take full advantage of.
If you want to dabble in the more complex elements of web hosting, you can. Just go to the ‘Advanced’ section of the dashboard. The option to get technical isn’t kept from you; it’s just not an obligation.
Bluehost is one of the all-round standouts in web hosting, with a variety of features and excellent support. It has 99.98 percent server uptime, which translates to less than two hours of downtime a year. No web host can guarantee 100 percent uptime, so Bluehost is as close to perfect as is reasonably possible in that respect.
Bluehost comes with cPanel, the industry standard for website management. Free backups are included, which is especially handy for WordPress sites. It even throws in a free domain when you sign up, so it’s possible to set up and maintain a fully-functioning WordPress website solely through the Bluehost dashboard.
Like most of the big players in web hosting, Bluehost understands the value of 24/7 support and an extensive knowledge center. Even the best services benefit from documentation. Nothing wrong with a bit of knowledge.
Bluehost customer support comes in just about every form short of telepathy:
Variety is always welcome. Where some prefer to browse documentation, others want the immediate attention of live chat or a phone call. Should your WordPress hosting hit a snag, Bluehost has the resources for it to be addressed quickly and in a way you’re comfortable with.
To be clear, you don’t need to buy Bluehost’s WordPress Hosting plan to be able to host a WordPress site with them. That’s for when you’ve really made it (think tens of millions of visitors a month). To start with, their shared hosting plans will do just fine. Only HostGator and GoDaddy can really compete with Bluehost on entry-level pricing.
If you’re up to your eyeballs in traffic and want some heavy duty support, the optimized WordPress hosting plans start at $19.99 per month, going up to $49.99.
Value and price are not the same thing. Does Bluehost offer good value for the WordPress service it offers? We think so. Like most providers, the add-ons will add a few dollars to your annual expenditure, but the standard of service is high enough to justify it.
The breadth of options Bluehost provides means you can scale as your site grows without changing provider, which is another big plus.
The best WordPress hosting provider is not necessarily the same as the best web hosting provider. Different services try to cater to different needs. That’s why so many can co-exist in (relative) harmony.
WordPress has its own needs to be met. It recommends a host that supports:
- PHP version 7.2 or greater
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater
- HTTPS support
That’s a whole lot of not terribly meaningful letters. It’s not essential that you know about these things inside out, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. With that in mind, here’s what that all means in a nutshell.
PHP is… an open-source scripting language for web development. It can be mixed with HTML, which makes it an excellent liaison between a website and its servers.
MySQL and MariaDB are… database management systems. MariaDB is an offshoot (or ‘fork’, if you want to use the technical term) of MySQL. Think of them both as digital filing systems.
HTTPS is… a means of making a secure communication over a computer network. Most of the world’s largest websites now advocate for HTTPS implementation, Google among them.
Any web host worth their salt will look after all of these things. Bluehost does, and if you opt to look at other providers, make sure they do as well. All strong websites are built on these foundations.
Good WordPress hosting does its job and lets you focus on WordPress. Bluehost does that splendidly, which is why it’s so widely used and highly recommended. There are providers who offer dedicated WordPress hosting — WPEngine and the like — but Bluehost hits a great balance of class and scalability.
When you look at what WordPress requires, what the average user needs, and what Bluehost offers, there’s very little amiss. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk of getting drawn into a contract with a service you don’t rate.
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