Where Should I Host My WordPress Site?

by Mick Harper
Code, Design, & What Not

Key Takeaways

  • All sites go down periodically, even Facebook & Google.
  • Downtime is best paired with wine!
  • WPEngine is a great managed hosting option
  • WebFaction is affordable, reliable, and has served us well
Choosing site host

We’ve had clients on a bunch of different hosts and tended to move them in one of two directions: WPEngine or WebFaction. The deciding factors really come down to whether your site is profitable, how much traffic it has, and whether you have a developer helping you out.

Before delving into the options, it’s important to note that all sites will go down and no host is perfect. It can be frustrating, but it happens to everyone. Whether your site is offline for 15 minutes or an hour or two, have a glass of wine and be nice to the tech support team when you get connected.

Managed Hosting: WPEngine

If you have no tech help, WPEngine can be a great solution. It costs more than the average host since it is a “managed hosting” solution, but you get a lot of nice built-ins and support like daily backups, a speedy content delivery network (so your images load faster), and a staging server if you want to preview changes safely. We’ve run sites with them that had over a million visitors a month and experienced few problems. Additionally, even if you have a developer, WPEngine can be a great option for your site since they simplify a lot of maintenance and can free up your devs time to work on other things. If your site is growing and making money, it should pay for itself.

That said, if the price feels too steep, GoDaddy recently launched an affordable, competing product which we have used for a couple of sites and been decently happy with. It lacks a few features WPEngine provides, but you can always fill in some of the gaps with plugins.

Shared Hosting: WebFaction

There are A LOT of hosts out there in the $5 – $10/month price range, and I’m sure many of them are great. Webfaction has been solid for us through the years on a bunch of projects (using WordPress, Django, etc), so they get a gold star. If you’re totally non-technical, their Support section is very helpful and should be able to get you answers to almost anything you can think of. Much like GoDaddy above, if you want to get extra features like daily backups or a content delivery network, plugins like Vaultpress and W3 Total Cache can do the heavy lifting to give you more peace of mind and speed in a few clicks.