Inevitably, one of the most common questions that we get asked is “what is the best company to host my WordPress site?”
There are a lot of different hosts and from the outside, most of them look pretty similar. They all claim to be super fast, super secure, super reliable, have great support and be perfect in pretty much every way. But of course the reality differs massively from one host to another.
The best host is always somewhat subjective and does depend on your unique requirements, but we’ve put together this general list of our overall top 5 UK Wordpress hosts for 2014 to give you a nudge in the right direction.
#1 – WP Engine
WP Engine has been around now as one of the leading managed WordPress hosts. A number of our clients use them and they have always been reliable, fast and had great support. Although they are a US based company, we have generally found it pretty easy to get responses to support requests within UK business hours. As a managed WordPress host they have everything tuned for optimum performance and upgrade the WordPress core for you automatically. The icing on the cake is their 1 click dev environment, which as the name suggests allows you to create a development site at the click of a button, work on improvements and then push them back to the live site when you’re ready. This is really a dream feature that we have not yet seen with any other hosts. You can also have your site hosted in the UK.
Check them out: http://wpengine.com
#2 – Flywheel
Based over the the Silicon Prairie of Omaho, these are the new kids on the block and they have certainly made a splash with their managed WordPress hosting. This website is hosted with them along with a number of our clients and we are massive fans. The truth is that I wanted to put them at number 1. They do pretty much everything that WP Engine do but they don’t (yet) have a 1 click dev site feature and although their support is fantastic, it doesn’t quite line up with UK working hours. You also can’t have your site hosted in the UK but we have found that hosting in their US data centre doesn’t seem to cause any problems for UK clients and if required they can host sites in Amsterdam.
We love the design of their dashboard. Even though it takes a bit of getting used to if you are a die hard cPanel user, it is actually really intuitive and makes hosting sites stress free. They also have an entry level plan that is a fair bit cheaper than WP Engine’s basic package and that is great news for smaller businesses who want the benefits of a managed WordPress host.
One of the best things is that you could not hope to get support from a more friendly and helpful bunch of people. They give you personal service and make you feel valued as a customer, which is the advantage of the fact that they are still new, small and enthusiastic. I hope that they can keep this culture as they grow (which I am sure they will) and fingers crossed next year we can bump them up to #1 in our rankings.
Check them out: http://getflywheel.com/
#3 – Evohosting
Evohosting are one of the few UK based hosts that we have actually been happy with (along with TSO – see #5). Don’t be put off with their 1990’s website! They have always been reliable, their servers are configured to work with WordPress without any dramas and their support is good.
They are a regular shared host, so you don’t get WordPress installed and upgraded for you. They are also not as fast as WP Engine and Flywheel in our experience. However, if you are looking for a cheap and reliable WordPress host in the UK then these guys are the best we have found.
#4 – Dreamhost
These guys pretty much live up to their name. We have always used their unlimited shared hosting which is incredible value for money. It is pretty quick, always been very reliable and they have good support. Plus, you can host a whole bunch of sites on one account if you need to. You can also buy domains really cheap from them.
They really only lost out to Evohosting because they are US based, but that’s not a big deal. They also had a big security issue a little while back, but they seem to have learned from it and we’re not holding a grudge.
I should mention that they have recently launched their own dedicated WordPress hosting service called DreamPress, but we haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.
Check them out: http://www.dreamhost.com/
#5 – TSO Host
TSO are UK based and like Evo and Dreamhost, they provide great value shared hosting that performs well in terms of speed, reliability and in general the support is very good. They were actually going to at #3 but as we were planning this post they stuffed up a couple of our support tickets with really lame responses and they got relegated to #5. Sorry guys!
Check them out: https://www.tsohost.com/
Are there others?
Of course there are other really good WordPress hosts an these are just our favourites based on our own experiences. We would love to hear your experiences and recommendations so please do feel free to leave a comment below.
Also, there are also some hosts (and some of them very well known) that are a nightmare to deal with and worth avoiding where possible. We won’t name and shame them here but if you need advice choosing the right WordPress host then we are happy to help.