Disclaimer: Two of the links in this article are affiliate links, but I have used and heartily recommend both hosts.
There has been a lot of discussion on whether or not WordPress specific managed hosting or regular WordPress hosting works for people who want to make and maintain a WordPress site. There are more and more solutions coming out daily, but I wanted to focus on who NOT to host your site with.
Why WordPress Hosting is important
When I started my first WordPress sites, I just wanted the cheapest thing out there. I was on a budget like a lot of folks and just wanted to get my site up quickly, have something that looked good, and everything else would just “work out”. As I got deeper into WordPress and especially helping and tutoring WordPress clients, I realized more and more how a web host is a business partner that you can’t afford to skimp on.
A Webhost is a business partner that you can’t afford to skimp on.
At 1 am when your site has crashed and you need support, you want someone on the other end who is:
I’ve seen a lot of companies over the years and there are a lot who just don’t care. One set of “companies” has really slacked on WordPress sites and just hosting in general and they are those owned by Endurance International Group.
Why EIG Brands are not good for WordPress Hosting:
EIG owns several big brands on the web in hosting because of acquisitions, one of the most notable ones being Host Gator. You can see a list of their brands at the link below:
Ipage, Homestead, and Bluehost are among their brands as well.
They have created a systematic approach to doing web hosting that focuses on packing a lot of sites on a server which reduces performance. Additionally, they charge extra for special “WordPress packages” but in my experience have not truly trained their workforce on how WordPress sites are different than other “regular” web sites. If you look online and in other forums you’ll see there are a lot of people who share my sentiment that these hosting companies are really horrible when it comes to WordPress site hosting and have been in decline for some time now.
Recently I had a client who was hosted with an EIG brand’s account who needed to restore his site. This was before I could get him to a reliable backup solution. After not being able to restore through the control panel, and his other backups were useless I needed to reach out to the host to see if they could help. Long story short, I waited over 40 minutes while my client’s site was down to be told that it would take a technician up to 24 hours to restore his site and database from a backup. By the way, to get access to this backup it would be a fee of $12.95 for the year to get backup support from them. See my story – Why your WordPress backup is useless
Granted, this could have been any non-WordPress site as well, but that is ridiculous. A restore shouldn’t take anywhere near 24 hours to execute on any host. I wish that was an isolated incident but it wasn’t.
Another Reason: Security
Years ago on a particular one of my sites I had I received notices from one of EIG’s hosts that security had been compromised. I regularly try to keep things updated and use good passwords, but everyone makes mistakes, so maybe one of my old sites I wasn’t using got compromised- I wasn’t sure. I was working to get everything cleaned out and all of the sudden my site was non-accessible. I could only reach it through FTP. Once I got everything cleaned up according to their instructions, I had to wait a number of hours for them to restore my site.
I understand that security is important but to almost immediately take my site down before I have time to do virus scanning and delete the offending files is doing me a great disservice. Fortunately, the site was not a high traffic or e-commerce site, but a site with high traffic and more visibility would have cost me income due to their inability to allow me to react properly.
General WordPress Knowledge
The problem that I think plagues these companies the most is just a general lack of WordPress knowledge for the first level support. In all honesty, I’m sure they have WordPress trained techs on the higher levels of their support, but because of the high number of non-WordPress sites they support they just don’t bother to make sure everyone has a good amount of WordPress experience.
There have been multiple times that I’ve called one of the EIG brand’s host companies for support and had to go to another level of support to get in touch with someone who really knew about WordPress. This would have to be very frustrating for one of their customers who really needs help, but knows very little about WP as well. When your site is down you really need someone who is knowledgeable and can help you get up and going with as little pain as possible.
Now in all fairness, there are some people who host with EIG brand’s web hosts who have never had a problem with their WordPress site, but as security, performance, and support become more important in the upcoming years, I see these people eventually having problems with hosting anything but the most basic of WordPress sites. I urge those who are looking for hosting to use different hosts.
So What do I do?
The main thing that draws people to EIG brand’s hosting is their price point. $2.99/mo, $1.99/mo, $1/mo, all scream value to new WordPress customers- until they really need support, and/or the price is ratcheted up the second year. For budget conscious WordPress customers I recommend SiteGround. They have a starter plan that is $3.95/mo and they have superior reviews from the WordPress community for their knowledgeability and responsiveness. I highly recommend them for someone who is on a budget, but wants a good solid WordPress Host. As your business grows you can move into their higher tier plans.
If you want the Cadillac of WordPress hosting, I recommend WPengine. They are more expensive, but if you want truly expert WordPress support, great speed, and security, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better host.
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