#1—GoDaddy WordPress Hosting
GoDaddy should be listed first on any top-five list because they are clearly the top domain name provider by the number of domains and customers.
It isn’t clear whether or not they’re the top WordPress website provider—but they certainly give other companies a run for their money.
GoDaddy’s chief advantages over other companies are their low prices and huge marketing budget. (Surely you’ve seen their racy advertisements.) The low prices come from GoDaddy’s investment in huge modern data centers.
The large data centers don’t just keep your price down, they also help ensure that you have room to grow. GoDaddy’s plans start at $3.74 a month (with a 36-month contract), which is the lowest price for WordPress website hosting on this list.
But low price doesn’t mean low service. Your WordPress website plan includes all of the following key features:
- One-click installation of WordPress and other great software
- 10 gigabytes of free storage—enough to host 400,000 typical blogs, 10 million comments, or 10,000 medium-resolution images
- Unlimited bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about extra charges if your blog makes it to the front page of Digg or Reddit
- Several hundred free WordPress website plugins ready for immediate installation so your blog can truly be your blog
Of course they have gathered their fare share of bad publicity but overall, considering how much of the market they control, this is probably not a bad ratio. I personally have used this company and no longer do.
#2—HostGator: Another Affordable WordPress Website Host
HostGator WordPress websites start at just $3.96 a month—that’s only 22 cents more a month than GoDaddy. What do you get for an extra $2.64 a year? The usual price is $4.95 but they always have a sale on. But even cheaper with my coupon code MITZSave25 and my free WordPress installation offer.
For starters, you get an $100 Google AdWords credit to help promote your new WordPress website. Although I prefer to grow WordPress websites with strong content and SEO, it sure is fun watching the traffic roll in from a successful AdWords campaign.
Your also get a 45-day money-back guarantee from HostGator. If you aren’t entirely happy with their service, they’ll give you a free refund. That can be quite a valuable guarantee if you sign up for a 36-month contract and discover, one week in, that your don’t like HostGator. (Not that you would though as they rock!)
You also get unlimited bandwidth and disk storage. There’s no 10 gigabyte limit to trip you up just as your blog is becoming successful.
Finally, for your extra 22 cents a month, you won’t have to deal with the number one compliant I hear about GoDaddy—people who don’t like their advertisements.
I recently wrote an article about 5 horrible web hosting failures (on Comluv.com) and the amount of people who commented about how happy they were with Hostgator was amazing. It really shows they have great customer service.
#3—Is WordPress.com A WordPress Website Host?
For as little as $12 a year ($1 a month), they’ll host your website using a custom domain, so your WordPress website will appear to be self-hosted. The nice thing about your own custom domain is that your can always move it to another WordPress website hosting company latter without losing any of your regular readers or referral links.
For another $30 a year, WordPress will remove all of their advertisements from your site, making it look more professional. However, if you can stand the advertisements, not paying this fee is a great way to save money.
For a separate $30 a year, you can add your own custom design. Again, this is a great fee to avoid if you don’t mind the default layouts. Since most of the default layouts let you include your own advertisements, there’s really no financial reason to change your layout.
The one fee you probably will end up paying is the extra storage fee which goes from $20 a year to $300 a year.
If you combine the domain name fee with the cheapest storage fee, WordPress.com offers WordPress website hosting for less than $3 a month—cheaper than any other plan on this list. But if you need to add any other options, you’re best off moving to a dedicated WordPress website host.
#4—BlueHost: More Expensive, More Options
But you also save money right off the bat—BlueHost will pay for your first domain name. That instantly saves you $7–15 in your first year. Plus you get a $75 dollar Google AdWords credit to help promote your new site.
BlueHost also offers features you don’t get (or have to pay extra for) on GoDaddy, HostGator, or WordPress.com. One feature is a complete shopping cart solution. If you’re planning on selling eBooks or other digital or physical merchandise, an integrated shopping cart can keep customers on your site and increase your profits.
Also unlike the other three providers listed earlier, BlueHost offers you unlimited everything. There’s no disk space limitation like on GoDaddy, or domain limitation or surcharge like on HostGator and WordPress.com. From the moment you start your one-click installation of WordPress on BlueHost, it’s smooth sailing. (or so they say)
#5—DreamHost: The Geeks Dreamland WordPress Website Host
DreamHost is by far the most expensive WordPress website hosting company fighting for your business. At $8.95 a month, they’re more than twice as expensive as GoDaddy or Hostgator, and there are no discounts to offset this high price. So why am I listing them here?
Simple: DreamHost is legendary for making customers happy. Their customer service is reputed to be the best in the business, and they give their customers full shell access to their websites so customers can build their own custom solutions.
Furthermore, DreamHost is known for anticipating their customers’ needs. Did your WordPress website hit the front page of Reddit today? DreamHost will move your website to a dedicated server for free until traffic dies down—and they’ll do it all while you sleep, blissfully unaware of the 10,000 people a minute now reading your blog. You don’t even need to submit a support ticket.
DreamHost includes all the features you’ve come to expect from a dedicated WordPress website host, so even if they cost twice what other hosts cost, you don’t have to be worried about being shortchanged.