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?

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:

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 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 plans

The 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 WordPress
A2HostingBest for affordabilityTry A2Hosting for WordPress
DreamhostBest storage spaceTry Dreamhost for WordPress

Bluehost – Best overall hosting provider

Bluehost wordpress screenshot

With 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 provider

Bluehost 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.

Shared

Bluehost 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.

Basic

Plus

Choice 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 website
50GB storage
Custom support
Custom themes
24/7 support
Free domain for 1 year
Free CDN
Free SSL certificate

Unlimited websites
Unlimited storage
Office 365 free for 30 days

Unlimited websites
Unlimited storage
Free domain and privacy
Office 365 free for 30 days
Automated backup free for 1 year

*All prices are for an initial term of 36 months and exclude VAT. 

Managed hosting

With 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.

Build

Grow

Scale

£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 month
20GB storage
Daily backups
Domain privacy and protection
Malware detection and removal
Jetack Personal

Best for up to 150,000 visitors per month
40GB storage
Bluehost SEO tools
10GB video compression
Blue sky ticket support
Jetpack Premium

Best for up to 500,000 visitors per month
80GB storage
Unlimited backups and restore
PayPal integration
Unlimited video compression
Jetpack Professional

Verdict

Affordable, 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 affordability

Scoring 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 hosting

A2Hosting’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.

Startup

Drive

Turbo

Turbo 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 website
100GB SSD storage
Free site migration
Unlimited email accounts
Free SSL certificate
99.9% uptime commitment

Unlimited SSD storage
Unlimited websites
Free automatic backups
Unlimited add-on domains

Up to 20x faster page loading
Handle up to 9x more traffic
Higher SEO rankings
Lower bounce rates

5x more resources

Managed hosting

A2Hosting’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-site

3-sites

Unlimited

£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 storage
Free SSL certificate
Turbo (20x faster)
Speed optimised WordPress
Optimised SSD hardware
24/7 Expert WordPress support
Jetpack Personal

25GB storage
2 add-on domains

40GB storage
Unlimited add-on domains

Verdict

If 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 space

Like 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 hosting

Dreamhost 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 Starter

WordPress Unlimited

£2.13 per month
(£4.32 per month on renewal)


£2.85 per month
(£7.93 per month on renewal)

1 website
Unlimited bandwidth and storage
WordPress pre-installed
Free automated migrations
Free SSL certificate
Fast SSD storage

Unlimited websites
Free domain
Unlimited email @ your domain

Managed hosting

We’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.

DreamPress

DreamPress Plus

DreamPress Pro

£12.22 per month*

£17.99 per month

£51.89 per month

100k monthly visitors
Unlimited email
30GB storage
Unmetered bandwidth
24/7 support
1-click staging
Built in caching
On-demand backups and 1-click restore

300k monthly visitors
60GB storage
Professional Jetpack plan
3 phone support callbacks
Unlimited CDN

1 millon+ monthly visitors
120GB storage
5 phone support callbacks
Priority support


Best WordPress hosting offering managed plans only

The following six hosting providers only provide managed WordPress hosting plans. They are:

HostGatorBest customer serviceTry HostGator for WordPress
InMotionBest features Try InMotion for WordPress
SitegroundBest for reliability Try Siteground for WordPress
GoDaddyBest for ecommerceTry GoDaddy for WordPress
iPageBest for cheap plans (but at the cost of speed)Try iPage for WordPress

HostGator – Best for customer service

HostGator WordPress screenshot

Ranging 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.

Starter

Standard

Business

£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 visitors
1GB backups
Up to 1 site
Free domain
One-click WordPress installs
Free SSL
Backups
24/7 support
$150 Google Ads credit
Free CodeGuard
Free SiteLock Fix

200,000 monthly visitors
2GB backups
Up to 2 sites
Free domain
One-click WordPress installs
Free SSL
Backups
24/7 support
$150 Google Ads credit
Free CodeGuard
Free SiteLock Fix

500,000 monthly visitors
3GB backups
Up to 3 sites
Free domain
One-click WordPress installs
Free SSL
Backups
24/7 support
$150 Google Ads credit
Free CodeGuard
Free SiteLock Fix

36-month cycle 

Verdict

Verifiably 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 features

InMotion 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-1000S

WP-2000S

WP-3000S

WP-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 visitors
1 website
50GB SSD storage
4x performance
Free domain and SSL
Unlimited bandwidth
Unlimited email
Malware and hack protection
DDoS protection
Customer management tools


50,000 monthly visitors
2 websites
100GB SSD storage
6x performance
Jetpack Personal with 100+ themes and social media integration


125,000 monthly visitors
3 websites
150GB SSD storage
8x performance
Jetpack Personal
Dedicated Opcode Cache Pool*


300,000 monthly visitors
6 websites
200GB storage
12x performance
Dedicated IP
Jetpack Professional

*Stores most recently and frequently requested website content in the server’s memory

Verdict

If 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 reliability

Siteground 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.

Startup

GrowBig

GoGeek

£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 visitors
1 website
10GB web space
Unmetered traffic
Free WordPress migration and installation
Daily backup
WordPress auto-updates
Free CDN
Free email
100% renewable energy match

25,000 monthly visitors
20GB space
On-demand backup copies
Ultrafast PHP
Staging
Add collaborators

100,000 monthly visitors
White-label clients
Highest tier of resources
Priority support

Verdict

As 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 ecommerce

GoDaddy WordPress screenshot

GoDaddy 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.

Basic

Deluxe

Ultimate

Ecommerce

£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 website
30GB storage
1-click restore
Daily malware scans
Free domain
Free business email
Free SSL

1 website
75GB storage
SEO optimiser
1-click testing site

1 website
Unlimited storage
Unlimited malware removal and hack repair

1 website
Unlimited storage
No transaction fees
Unlimited products
Appointment scheduling
Real-time shipping rates
Free access to top premium WooCommerce extensions

Verdict

All 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 Starter

WP 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 website
Free SSL certificate
Free domain for one year
Unlimited storage
Unlimited bandwidth
Pre-installed themes & plugins
24/7 WordPress support

Unlimited websites
Automatic malware removal
SiteLock professional security

Verdict

While 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 pros

  • Much cheaper than managed
  • Generally no cap on the number of visitors to your site
  • Can host unlimited sites for one flat rate

Managed pros

  • Host manages all technical aspects of running your WordPress site
  • Better site performance
  • Dedicated WordPress features and support

Shared cons

  • Your site may load more slowly because it’s sharing server space with other websites
  • Don’t get the same WP-tailored features and support as you do with managed

Managed cons

  • More expensive than shared
  • Often imposes limits on website visitor numbers
  • Sometimes 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 plans

The higher the number of different plans a supplier offered, the higher the score.

Help and support

Providers 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.

Features

The 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 money

We considered the quality of each provider’s offering – including its features, help and support, and uptime – against the cost of its plans.

Uptime

A 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 steps

Hopefully, 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?


Henry Williams headshot
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.

Back to Top