Best WordPress hosting for small businesses 2021 Affordable, easy to use, and highly customisable, WordPress is a great choice for your small business website. But which hosting provider should you choose to support it? Henry Williams July 15, 2021 10 min read Our experts We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by: Henry Williams Content Manager WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, powering more than 42.1% of all websites.And no wonder. It’s highly customisable and easy to use, and, with more than 55,000 plugins, even beginners can create a highly functional, professional-looking website.So, if you’ve decided to use WordPress for your website, good choice! The next decision you’ll have to make is which WordPress hosting provider you want to use.Do you know yet whether you’re going to use shared or managed hosting? Don’t worry if you don’t – we’re going to explain the pros and cons of each, and we’ve ranked the best providers offering both shared and managed, and those offering just managed WordPress hosting plans.Here at Startups, for 20 years, our mission has been to help small businesses succeed. That’s why we’ve taken the time to test, research, and rate each of the nine WordPress hosting providers featured on the page. If you think any provider sounds like a good fit for your business, just visit their page to find out more about their plans. This article will cover: Best WordPress hosting providers offering shared and managed plans Best WordPress hosting offering managed plans only Shared vs managed WordPress hosting: What’s the difference? How did we choose the best providers for small businesses? Why do you need a WordPress-specific hosting plan? This article will focus exclusively on WordPress hosting. You can read an extensive review of the best web hosting providers here. Best WordPress hosting providers offering shared and managed plansThe following three providers offer both shared and managed WordPress hosting plans. The managed plans offered by these providers tend to be quite a bit more expensive, but equally offer a lot more than the WordPress providers offering just managed plans.BluehostBest overall hosting provider Try BlueHost for WordPressA2HostingBest for affordabilityTry A2Hosting for WordPressDreamhostBest storage spaceTry Dreamhost for WordPressBluehost – Best overall hosting providerWith superb help and support, great features, and by far the best uptime in this ranking, Bluehost is our number one shared and managed WordPress hosting providerBluehost has been recommended by WordPress since 2005, and offers a range of shared and managed hosting plans to cater to businesses of all shapes and sizes.SharedBluehost offers three shared WordPress plan’s, ranging in price from £2.11 per month to £3.90 per month (for an initial 36-month term). All plans come with custom themes, 24/7 customer support, and a free SSL certificate.Once a plan is selected, Bluehost automatically installs the latest and most secure version of WordPress for you, which automatically updates to keep your account secure.BasicPlusChoice Plus£2.11 per month* (£6.44 per month on renewal)£3.90 per month (£8.50 per month on renewal)£3.90 per month (£12.16 per month on renewal)1 website50GB storageCustom supportCustom themes24/7 supportFree domain for 1 yearFree CDNFree SSL certificateUnlimited websitesUnlimited storageOffice 365 free for 30 daysUnlimited websitesUnlimited storageFree domain and privacy Office 365 free for 30 daysAutomated backup free for 1 year*All prices are for an initial term of 36 months and exclude VAT. Managed hostingWith marketing tools, daily backups, and significantly improved speed, Bluehost’s managed hosting plans are capable of scaling to meet the needs of any growing business.Ranging in price from £10.70 per month to £35.76 per month for an initial term, Bluehost’s managed plans come with a wealth of features. From advanced analytics and ‘auto-scalability’ to SEO tools and PayPal integration, everything you need to build and grow a WordPress website or online store is right here.BuildGrowScale£10.70 per month (£21.47 per month on renewal)£21.44 per month (£28.63 per month on renewal)£35.76 per month (£42.95 per month on renewal)Best for up to 50,000 visitors per month20GB storageDaily backups Domain privacy and protectionMalware detection and removal Jetack PersonalBest for up to 150,000 visitors per month40GB storageBluehost SEO tools 10GB video compression Blue sky ticket supportJetpack PremiumBest for up to 500,000 visitors per month80GB storageUnlimited backups and restorePayPal integrationUnlimited video compression Jetpack ProfessionalVerdictAffordable, full-featured, and with generous allowances, both Bluehost’s shared and managed plans are a great choice for any business creating or migrating a WordPress website – and great value to boot.Whether a blog, a business site, or an online store, you’re sure to find a Bluehost WordPress hosting solution for you. And with excellent uptime, you can be confident in premium reliability.A2Hosting – Best for affordabilityScoring top marks for its excellent help and support, A2Hosting also deserves commendation for its range of great value shared and managed WordPress hosting plans.WordPress is pre-installed on your A2Hosting account, so there’s no need to download WordPress install files once you’ve signed up for an account. And all A2 plans come pre-configured with the best technical settings for your WordPress site.Shared hostingA2Hosting’s shared WordPress hosting plans are reasonably-priced, full-featured, and generous in their allowances – and it offers four to choose from. A2Hosting’s most advanced plan Turbo Max, promises “5 times” more resources than the preceding plan – a great option for websites that require maximum speed and performance.Like Bluehost, all advertised prices are for an initial 36-month term and exclude VAT.StartupDriveTurboTurbo Max£2.15 per month (£7.91 per month on renewal)£3.59 per month (£9.34 per month on renewal)£7.19 per month(£15.10 per month on renewal)£10.78 per month(£18.69 per month on renewal)1 website100GB SSD storageFree site migrationUnlimited email accountsFree SSL certificate99.9% uptime commitmentUnlimited SSD storageUnlimited websitesFree automatic backupsUnlimited add-on domainsUp to 20x faster page loadingHandle up to 9x more trafficHigher SEO rankingsLower bounce rates5x more resourcesManaged hostingA2Hosting’s managed WordPress hosting plans trump Bluehost’s for introductory prices, but thereafter are the more expensive option. It offers generous enough storage, though Bluehost offers twice as much on every comparable plan, and the promise of “20x faster page loads than competing managed WordPress Web Hosting providers” is certainly appealing – but impossible to verify independently.Looking at features, A2Hosting’s managed plans come with everything you’d hope for including automated backups, managed WordPress updates and 1-click site staging. However, it’s hard not to notice that Bluehost is the more feature rich option. For example, A2Hosting only grants users a Jetpack Personal licence on all its managed plans, whereas Bluehost offers progressively more advanced Jetpack plans with each plan.1-site3-sitesUnlimited£9.34 per month (£23.44 per month on renewal)£16.54 per month (£39.59 per month on renewal)£31.64 per month (£60.14 per month on renewal)10GB storageFree SSL certificateTurbo (20x faster)Speed optimised WordPressOptimised SSD hardware 24/7 Expert WordPress supportJetpack Personal25GB storage2 add-on domains40GB storageUnlimited add-on domains VerdictIf you’re after low introductory prices and excellent help and support, A2Hosting could be the WordPress hosting provider for you. It has the lowest first term monthly cost of any of the three shared and managed suppliers in our list, and the pre-configured WordPress settings are very helpful for newcomers. However, after those first three years, you should be aware that A2’s renewal price is actually more expensive than its rivals', and uptime performance is middling.Dreamhost – Best storage spaceLike Bluehost, Dreamhost is a recommended provider by WordPress.org. While its shared plans are limited, where Dreamhost really shines is its generously kitted out managed plans.However, if you’re in need of help and support, don’t hold your breath. Our researchers found the 24/7 live chat support and knowledge base to be quite disappointing.Shared hostingDreamhost offers just two sweet and simple shared WordPress hosting plans. They come with everything you’d expect, including free SSL, free automated migrations, and unlimited bandwidth and storage.One thing to note is that, at £4.32 per month for the Starter plan and £7.93 per month for Unlimited, Dreamhost has the lowest renewal prices of any of our top shared and managed WordPress hosting providers.WordPress StarterWordPress Unlimited £2.13 per month (£4.32 per month on renewal)£2.85 per month (£7.93 per month on renewal)1 websiteUnlimited bandwidth and storageWordPress pre-installed Free automated migrations Free SSL certificate Fast SSD storageUnlimited websitesFree domain Unlimited email @ your domainManaged hostingWe’re a big fan of Dreamhost’s managed WordPress hosting offering. Its plans don’t come with a first term discount, but they’re competitively priced, and there’s no danger of being caught unaware by a sudden vast cost increase upon renewal.Dreamhost is also very generous. Take storage: it offers a third more storage space than Bluehost on every managed plan, and for a comparable price. You also get unlimited email, on-demand back ups, and unlimited CDN. This basically means the content of your website is replicated to servers all over the world, limiting redundancy, and ensuring it loads as quickly as possible for all visitors, no matter where they are.DreamPressDreamPress PlusDreamPress Pro£12.22 per month*£17.99 per month£51.89 per month100k monthly visitorsUnlimited email 30GB storage Unmetered bandwidth24/7 support1-click staging Built in cachingOn-demand backups and 1-click restore300k monthly visitors 60GB storage Professional Jetpack plan3 phone support callbacks Unlimited CDN1 millon+ monthly visitors120GB storage5 phone support callbacks Priority support Best WordPress hosting offering managed plans onlyThe following six hosting providers only provide managed WordPress hosting plans. They are:HostGatorBest customer serviceTry HostGator for WordPressInMotionBest features Try InMotion for WordPressSitegroundBest for reliability Try Siteground for WordPressGoDaddyBest for ecommerceTry GoDaddy for WordPressiPageBest for cheap plans (but at the cost of speed)Try iPage for WordPressHostGator – Best for customer serviceRanging in price from just £4.29 per month to £7.18 per month, HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting plans are all simple and affordable.Indeed, there’s very little to distinguish between them. Every plan offers the same features, including a free domain, a free SSL, $150 Google Ads credit, and three free security solutions. The main difference is the monthly visitor allowance, and the number of sites each plan can support. But we actually like that HostGator doesn’t reserve all the decent features for the more expensive plans.HostGator is also our uptime champion. While many providers boast a 99.9% uptime guarantee, HostGator’s claim actually passed our researchers’ uptime test.StarterStandardBusiness£4.29 per month (£7.18 per month on renewal)£5.74 per month (£11.51 per month on renewal)£7.18 per month (£16.56 per month on renewal)100,000 monthly visitors1GB backupsUp to 1 siteFree domainOne-click WordPress installsFree SSLBackups24/7 support$150 Google Ads creditFree CodeGuardFree SiteLock Fix200,000 monthly visitors2GB backupsUp to 2 sitesFree domainOne-click WordPress installsFree SSLBackups24/7 support$150 Google Ads creditFree CodeGuardFree SiteLock Fix500,000 monthly visitors3GB backupsUp to 3 sites Free domainOne-click WordPress installsFree SSLBackups24/7 support$150 Google Ads creditFree CodeGuardFree SiteLock Fix36-month cycle VerdictVerifiably reliable uptime, stellar help and support, and a generous share of features across all plans make HostGator our top managed WordPress hosting provider.It might not be as feature-rich as some rivals – hence the average value for money score – but your WordPress website will certainly do well with a HostGator plan.InMotion – Best featuresInMotion is on the pricier end of our rundown of managed WordPress hosting providers, but you’re getting a fair bit more for your money.Every plan comes with over 200,000 free themes, a drag-and-drop WordPress page builder, Google Apps integration, unlimited bandwidth and email, malware and hack protection, and much, much more besides. All for between £5.04 and £10.82 per month (for the first term), which makes it pretty great value for money.However, HostGator has much more generous visitor allowances when you compare plan to plan. You also have to factor in that InMotion’s first term is only two years before you start paying the increased renewal price. This is unlike most providers, which tend to offer a three-year first term.WP-1000SWP-2000SWP-3000SWP-4000S£5.04 per month (£6.49 per month on renewal)£5.04 per month(£9.37 per month on renewal)£7.21 per month(£12.26 per month on renewal)£10.82 per month(£23.81 per month on renewal)20,000 monthly visitors1 website50GB SSD storage4x performanceFree domain and SSLUnlimited bandwidthUnlimited emailMalware and hack protectionDDoS protectionCustomer management tools50,000 monthly visitors 2 websites100GB SSD storage6x performanceJetpack Personal with 100+ themes and social media integration125,000 monthly visitors3 websites150GB SSD storage8x performanceJetpack PersonalDedicated Opcode Cache Pool*300,000 monthly visitors6 websites200GB storage12x performanceDedicated IPJetpack Professional*Stores most recently and frequently requested website content in the server’s memoryVerdictIf you’re looking for a hosting plan with a full arsenal of features to get your WordPress site up and running, look no further than InMotion. Even its most basic plan comes with a nice range of marketing and security features, and a generous storage allowance.On top of that, uptime is above average, and InMotion’s help and support is great. However, you might end up upgrading your plan sooner than you’d like, as those visitor allowances just aren’t as substantial as other providers'.Siteground – Best for reliabilitySiteground offers three managed WordPress hosting plans, which are all reasonably full-featured, while its uptime performance puts it in the top three providers for system reliability. However, when you look at plan prices in comparison to other providers, they don’t represent great value for money.Siteground is unique in that, while it does offer monthly, yearly, 24-month and 36-month billing cycle options, the best deal is to be found if you pay yearly, as this is the only one on which the first term discount is available.One thing that does make Siteground stand out is its 100% renewable energy match. Google Cloud, Siteground’s main data centre partner, offsets 100% of its energy usage with renewable energy. As far as we can see, no other provider does this.StartupGrowBigGoGeek£5.99 per month (£11.99 per month on renewal)£8.99 per month (£19.99 per month on renewal)£12.99 per month (£29.99 per month on renewal)10,000 monthly visitors1 website10GB web spaceUnmetered trafficFree WordPress migration and installationDaily backupWordPress auto-updatesFree CDNFree email100% renewable energy match25,000 monthly visitors20GB spaceOn-demand backup copiesUltrafast PHPStagingAdd collaborators100,000 monthly visitors White-label clientsHighest tier of resourcesPriority supportVerdictAs the only one of our top hosting providers to offset its energy usage with renewables, Siteground is to be highly commended, and its uptime performance is great. However, in our opinion, this doesn’t quite make up for its limitations. Those plan prices and billing cycles just aren’t competitive, especially when you consider what you’re getting for your money in comparison to other providers.GoDaddy – Best for ecommerceGoDaddy has a decent range of four managed WordPress hosting plans, including one that’s designed specially for ecommerce in partnership with WooCommerce.It offers all the features you’d expect. Allowances are fairly generous – there's unlimited storage and visitors on its Ultimate and Ecommerce plans – and prices are reasonable at first glance. That said, taking everything into account, our researchers found GoDaddy to offer quite poor value for money, and the help and support available to be average at best.However, we would like to highlight the Ecommerce plan, as it's the only provider on this page that will suit businesses using WordPress to create an online store. And, well, it’s pretty good, with no transaction fees, unlimited products, and free access to premium WooCommerce extensions.BasicDeluxeUltimateEcommerce£2.99 per month(£6.99 per month on renewal)£3.99 per month(£9.99 per month on renewal)£10.99 per month(£10.99 per month on renewal)£10.99 per month(£10.99 per month on renewal)1 website30GB storage1-click restoreDaily malware scansFree domainFree business emailFree SSL1 website75GB storageSEO optimiser1-click testing site1 websiteUnlimited storageUnlimited malware removal and hack repair1 websiteUnlimited storageNo transaction fees Unlimited products Appointment schedulingReal-time shipping ratesFree access to top premium WooCommerce extensionsVerdictAll in all, GoDaddy is a pretty average supplier. It offers enough features to please most WordPress users, uptime is fine, and help and support is okay but not great. The Ecommerce plan is a high point, and we think it’s definitely worth your consideration if you’re using WordPress to build an online store. But if value for money is your main concern, look elsewhere.iPage – Best for cheap plans (but at the cost of speed)iPage offers just two different managed WordPress plans. This keeps things simple, but it doesn’t give businesses a great deal to choose from, and neither plan offers much in the way of features beyond what you’d expect. Prices, however, are pretty competitive – although uptime performance is the worst of any provider tested by our researchers.Unusually for a hosting provider, iPage‘s prices don’t decrease the longer the billing cycle you choose for the initial term, but the renewal prices are cheaper the longer your billing cycle. But strangely, paying monthly is the cheapest option on the Essential plan. Confusing, we know…WP StarterWP Essential£2.72 per month (£5.79 per month for 36-month terms)£5.04 per month (£8.05 for a 36-month billing cycle, but just £6.99 if you pay monthly)1 websiteFree SSL certificateFree domain for one yearUnlimited storageUnlimited bandwidthPre-installed themes & plugins24/7 WordPress supportUnlimited websites Automatic malware removal SiteLock professional securityVerdictWhile iPage’s two plans might be simple, you run the risk of overpaying for things you don’t need, or not having the flexibility to upgrade as you grow. However, as WordPress hosting providers go, iPage is pretty good value, and the help and support is useful.Where iPage lets itself down is on its range of features, and on uptime. Our researchers scored it a disappointing 2/5 for its uptime performance. Shared vs managed WordPress hosting: What’s the difference?The key difference between shared WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting is that, on a shared plan, your website shares space with other websites on the same server. This makes it much cheaper, but means you don’t have as much resource available for your website.Managed WordPress hosting provides you with dedicated services, performance optimisation, and other tools that make it easier to build and manage a WordPress site. Security, speed, updates, uptime, and scalability are all managed by the host. Shared prosMuch cheaper than managedGenerally no cap on the number of visitors to your siteCan host unlimited sites for one flat rate Managed prosHost manages all technical aspects of running your WordPress siteBetter site performanceDedicated WordPress features and support Shared consYour site may load more slowly because it’s sharing server space with other websitesDon’t get the same WP-tailored features and support as you do with managed Managed consMore expensive than sharedOften imposes limits on website visitor numbersSometimes imposes restrictions on plugins How did we choose the best providers for small businesses?To choose the best WordPress hosting providers for small businesses, our researchers ranked each provider from one to five based on five key areas of investigation: types of WordPress plan, help and support, WordPress specific features, value for money, and uptime.Range of plansThe higher the number of different plans a supplier offered, the higher the score.Help and supportProviders were rated on the range of help and support on offer (e.g. phone, email, live chat), their ability to deal with WordPress-related queries, and the usefulness of their knowledge centres.FeaturesThe more WordPress tools, features, and optimisations a provider had, and the more effective those were in a practical assessment, the higher the score.Value for moneyWe considered the quality of each provider’s offering – including its features, help and support, and uptime – against the cost of its plans.UptimeA measure of server reliability. Many providers claim to have 99.9% uptime, but they don’t all in practice. We put each to the test, and scored them higher the closer they were to that ideal percentage. Why do you need a WordPress-specific hosting plan?Theoretically, there’s no reason why you can’t use a standard hosting plan for your WordPress website. But if you do, you won’t benefit from the WordPress-specific features, tools, and optimisations.WordPress hosting is designed to maximise your WordPress website’s speed, performance, and security. Your WordPress hosting plan will also offer ‘1-click’ WordPress installation or migration, which is the easiest way to to set up or migrate your WordPress website, whether you have any technical ability or not.You can also expect your managed WordPress plan to automatically update your software and security, so you don’t have to worry about it.Next stepsHopefully, one of the above hosting providers strikes you as the right choice to get your WordPress website up and running.Bluehost is our number one shared and managed WordPress hosting supplier, scoring more than four out of five for every area our researchers investigated. It has a comprehensive range of features, great uptime, and superb help and support, all for very reasonable prices. You can visit Bluehost to find out more about their special offers for WordPress users.If you’re after a cheaper managed solution, then HostGator and inMotion are probably your best bets. Both are great all-rounders, offering full-featured, affordable hosting plans.Primarily, you should choose one that offers a wide range of WordPress specific features, decent help and support, and at least above average uptime.If any of the above providers take your fancy, why not visit their websites to get a clearer idea of what they could do for your WordPress website? Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Henry Williams Content Manager Henry has been writing for Startups.co.uk since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.