Choosing the best or fastest hosting for WordPress is like navigating a minefield. They all look great on compare sites, however once you’ve paid and go live, you find out what you’ve really paid for. In most cases, if you’ve paid less than $150/yr you will most likely be sharing your hosting server with 25 – 50 other websites.
On top of slow loading time, you also need to worry about the security of your website. So, how do you solve this? You either get a high performance hosting environment that you optimize for WordPress hosting yourself or you get a plan with a managed WordPress hosting service provider.
To aid our readers, we’ve tested and painstakingly compiled a list of managed WordPress hosting services that are not only the fastest when it comes to load times, but reduce server administration and don’t cost an arm and a leg every month.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
These are WordPress hosting providers that cover all the essentials in an easy to manage environment. They provide built-in security, managed WordPress core upgrades, cache, free SSL, automated daily backups and dedicated WordPress support. Advanced features such as SSH, WP-CLI, staging environments, CDN, malware scanning, are also generally within the plan or paid extras.
So what more would you need or get from each of these providers? Here, we get into some nifty features that each of them offer so you can choose the best WordPress hosting.
Based out of Nebraska, USA, Flywheel is managed WordPress hosting for Designers. So why choose them? All plans have free SSL (provided by Let’s Encrypt), staging sites, CDN, malware protection, collaboration tools on all their plans. SFTP and a Database management interface is built-in and easy to use.
Flywheel also gives the option to host your site from any of the ten data centres in the world. This option alone makes them a great choice for local sites or global sites with a majority audience in one region.
Flywheel gives a Tiny plan at $25/month. This includes 1 WordPress install, 25,000 visits, 5 GB Storage and 50 GB Data Transfer. Their next plan – Freelance costs $115/mo and is good enough for 10 sites, 100,000 visits, 20 GB Storage, 200 GB bandwidth. If you pay annually, you get two month off.
They provide demo sites too, however there is a time lock of 14 days on it after which you need to pay. Demo sites have password protection. Other nifty features provided by Flywheel are Site Blueprints, Performance Insights and Managed Plugin Updates. Site Blueprints gives you pre-packaged themes and plugins of your choosing to launch / build new sites quickly. They are a great choice for bloggers, personal sites, and small businesses. Performance Insights give you insights on your site performance whereas Managed Plugin updates is self explanatory. Both are paid add ons.
In 2020, WP Engine acquired Flywheel. While the team has merged, the service quality remains the same as well as their pricing. Flywheel’s 24×7 support remains the best and this extends to their sales and management staff as well.
Kinsta caters to a wide variety of customers. Running on Google Cloud Platform, Kinsta’s hosting also gives users the option to host their site in the US, Europe or Asia-Pacific – 25 locations in total. All Kinsta plans include free SSL, SSH, Staging sites, HTTP/2 support, Premium DNS and automatic scaling to take care of sudden traffic peaks. 24×7 support, 14 day backup retention and built in cache allow you to run your website with ease.
Their smallest plan named starter is for $30/mo. The plan gives 1 WordPress site, 10 GB SSD storage, 50 GB CDN, 25,000 visits and 1 free premium migration. The Pro plan costs $60/mo and allows 2 WP sites, 20 GB SSD, 100 GB CDN, 2 free migrations, multi-site support and 50,000 visits. You can see their list of plans here.
Besides the usual, Kinsta has a couple of handy tools hidden in their platform. Their search and replace tool is possibly the most useful tool to toubleshoot and fix url issues in the DB. Other very useful tools are redirects, logs, phpMyAdmin and Application Performance monitoring.
Kinsta minimizes website downtime via their 2 min uptime checks and 24×7 uptime monitoring of their internal and external systems
WP Engine has gone from strength to strength with all their recent purchases. Thankfully their acquisition of StudioPress, Synthesis as well as Flywheel is beneficial to their customers. They are now the most comprehensive Managed WordPress hosting provider on this list.
WP Engine has structured their plans based on usage / requirement type. These are divided into four broad categories. These are:
Managed Hosting: 24/7 customer support, 30+ premium themes, automated migrations, daily backups, free SSL and SSH, one-click staging. Managed hosting plans start from $30/mo for 1 website.
Managed Hosting Plus: Includes everything in Managed Hosting. Automated plugin updates is a unique feature that tests updates with AI and auto rollbacks if there is a problem. Users can choose to disable specific plugins from auto update. Plans start from $34/mo for 1 website.
Secure Hosting: This plan includes everything in managed hosting plus. You also get DDoS protection and Web Access Firewall. Plans start at $53/mo for 1 website.
Ecommerce hosting: This is a new plan which includes everything in managed hosting plus a host of features useful for creating and running woocommerce websites. One click store creation, optimized store theme, WooCommerce template and automated plugin updates are part of this. WordPress plans start at $36/mo for 1 website. The higher plan includes instant store search (powered by Elasticsearch) which is useful if your site has over 100+ products. This plan is for $75/mo for upto 3 websites/stores.
All WP Engine WordPress plans include: High speed cache, Upto date PHP, have 24/7 chat support (or higher depending on plan level), give dev, staging and production environments for each site, use a global CDN, provide free SSL certificates and give real time page performance monitoring, activity and usage logs, local developer tools, threat detection and blocking SSH access with WP-CLI, GIT and SFTP connections. Addtionally, you also get access to StudioPress themes and Genesis Framework
There are some paid add-ons available to enhance visitor experience through Smart plugin manager, Geo targeting and Global Edge Security. WP Engine migrates all sites for free and gives a 60 day money back guarantee. This is more than enough time to give their platform a decent try and measure its performance.
If you signup using our link with the code WPE3FREE you would get 10% off on your first payment or 3 months free on a shared annual plan.
Pressable is another cost effective managed WordPress hosting provider. They have been around for over 20 years and can easily be called WordPress experts. Now, a part of Automattic (creators of WordPress), Pressable relies on the same infrastructure that powers WordPress.com and WordPress VIP.
WooCommerce hosting plans start from $45/mo and allow upto 3 WooCommerce websites, 30GB SSD and upto 50,000 visits.
Managed Hosting plans start from $25/mo and cover 1 website, 20 GB SSD and upto 30,000 visits. All plans have optional upgrades for additional site installs, more visitors, extra storage and slack channel.
All Pressable plans include CDN, 99.999% uptime guarantee, 24/7 online support, free managed migrations, performance monitoring and optimization free SSL, staging environments, daily backups, managed WordPress updates, Malware scanning & threat detection, web application firewall, hack recovery assistance and Jetpack Security Daily.
They are a great platform for those looking to run their personal blogs and ecommerce websites that are just starting out.
All plans are 30 day risk free. If you pay annually, you save 2 months of hosting fees.
A UK based hosting provider, WPX hosting operates data centers out of UK, USA and Australia. They are an ideal choice if you are starting out your own blogging business where your focus is churning out content. Their support is unbelievably fast and responsive.
WPX claim to fix problems for you instead of telling you what to do or claiming an issue to be outside of their support purview. Then there is enhanced security, free email, free ssl, 99.95% guaranteed uptime, staging sites, 28 day backup retention, and 24×7 live chat support on all their plans. WPX hosting migrates WordPress websites as part of their offering. Hence if you’re looking to switch and don’t have the time or expertise then they would be the most logical choice.
WordPress hosting plans starts at $20.83 yearly and allows upto 5 websites with 50 GB of bandwidth and 10 GB storage. This is more than enough for mid sized blogs with decent traffic.
Pressidium is a WordPress hosting provider out of UK. Their USP – besides UK based data center – is enterprise security and high availability on all their plans. Yes, thats right, the Presidium Pinnacle Platform reads like a hackers worst nightmare and ensures that dunce webmasters do not lose you business.
Their robust management portal gives access to logs, 1-click staging deployments, cloning, usage statistics & cache status. They have a micro plan for $24.90/month that is limited to 1 WordPress install, 10,000 visits and 5 GB SSD space. Pressidium Personal plan starts off at $49.90 for 3 WordPress installs, 30,000 visits and 10 GB SSD storage; this includes Free CDN upto 100GB data transfer.
Free SSL, staging environment, automatic daily backups, free migrations and expert support is available on all their plans. They are one of the cheapest platforms with an Enterprise grade security out there right now.
Lightning Base is an interesting WP hosting provider. They have great support and are one of the cheapest for the level of uptime and service they offer. However, they are minus many of the bells and whistles (read custom control panel/site management) provided by others on this list.
For starters, developers who adore CPanel or just moving away from shared hosting companies such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator etc should definitely use them since they give access to CPanel to manage your sites and databases via PHPMyAdmin.
Their Personal plan gives you 1 WordPress install for $9.95 and includes 1 GB SSD storage with 10 GB Data transfer, 10 GB CDN and approx 10,000 page views a month. Caching is included in all their plans. Migrations are free. We used them for one of our sites and they are terrific in all aspects (support, migration, uptime, site speed) and are one of the fastest WordPress hosting providers given their price.
With the starter list out of the way, we have another list for Businesses and organisations with very specific needs such as media and publishing.
Managed WP Hosting for Businesses
We have added this section here mostly because some of the best Managed WordPress Hosting services have shifted their focus to businesses.
Pantheon is possibly the fastest platform for WordPress and Drupal managed hosting. Their price list combined with feature list is enough to make organisations consider using their platform over others. To start with they give free sandbox environment with dev, test and live environments in all their plans.
You pay only when the site is ready to go live. Their Basic plan starts at $50/mo or $41/mo (paid annually). The plan supports 25,000 visits, 125,000 page views, automated and manual backups and 20GB SSD. EdgeCache, free SSL and Global CDN is included in all their plans so your site will be fast from day 1.
Performance plans are tailored for businesses that need guarnteed uptime and high performance websites. These start at $175/mo and go upto $1,000/mo. If you go via an agency partner you can get upto 30% off on all plans via preferred pricing. Performance plans guarantee 99.9% uptime, inlcude Redis (app cache), Solr search and New Relic Pro for application and website performance analyses.
In WordPress performance testing, Pantheon’s base plan continues to beat the rest when it comes to site speed. For those who wish to have an edge over others in organic SEO results should definitely consider this platform.
Read our dedicated review on Pantheon.
Initially listed above, Pagely has moved down below because they’ve done away with their personal plans and are focused on Business and Enterprise only. They are the original creators of Managed WordPress Hosting and pretty much live and breathe WordPress.
They host with AWS and have developed their own PressArmour to address security concerns with WordPress. There is no site or platform which is 100% secure, however they try to be.
Their base plan, VBurst-1 allows upto 5 websites and includes PressCDN, PressCache, PressDNS and PressArmour. The plan also includes 30GB storage, 20 GB bandwidth and 150 GB CDN. This is decent for a $199/month price point if you are running / managing multiple websites for clients and don’t want to worry about the small stuff. They also have SSH, WP-CLI, GIT/SVN and staging sites.
For a full list of features across all plans, see here.
Those with bigger budgets, over 100K page views per month and need to have their sites served from multiple locations via their data centres should definitely check out PressLabs. Their Publisher plan , starts at $299/month. So what is included besides getting your content served from all over the globe? They give a development environment, built-in GIT control, High Availability, CDN and on going monitoring of your site to ensure its up, running smoothly and free from malware. PressLabs also provide logs for your site so you know exactly where the bottle necks are.
They specialise in hosting WordPress Media / News websites hence they should definitely be considered if you’re starting a global publication.