Get an objective view on hosting options for WordPress sites, specifically for agency owners.
A good hosting partner is one of the first things agency owners look for when starting out.
Every website you create needs hosting. Most of your clients won’t know where to start, so they’ll rely on you to give them expert advice.
Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of WordPress hosting providers out there. There are also hundreds of sponsored blog posts that promise to tell you all about the “best WordPress hosting provider” around.
The problem is that most of these articles are paid for by the providers themselves. That’s why one blog will tell you that BlueHost is the best, and another will tell you that HostGator is better. There’s a lot of money to be made in sponsoring these posts.
Why Trust Us On Web Hosting?
UnlimitedWP is host-agnostic. We’ve worked with dozens of different hosting options – from the biggest names in the industry to hosts nobody has ever heard of before. Over time, we’ve become familiar with the way many of them work.
Since we don’t prefer one host over another, we have no bias. UnlimitedWP accepts no compensation whatsoever for writing about web hosting companies. You can be sure you’re getting an objective, unsponsored opinion from us.
What Agencies Need to Look For When Hosting WordPress Sites?
Most web hosting companies want you to believe that their technology and their features make them the best choice for your agency. This is only partially true.
Most web agencies have experience working with many different hosts. Despite this, there are very few (if any) web agency owners who are so impressed by a web hosting experience that they move all of their websites to that host. In most cases, there is very little preference at all.
The fact is that the web hosting industry is one of the most mature Internet industries out there. Almost every possible innovation that could improve the value of web hosting is already available. That doesn’t leave much room for world-changing improvement between competing hosts.
Instead of looking at features and technologies, web agency owners should look at their client portfolios. There are several ways your choice of host will impact your clients’ user experience:
- Location. Internet speed is highly reliant on the physical distance between servers. If the majority of your clients live in a single geographic area, the benefits of choosing a local host will outweigh any extra features that a more distant host may offer.
- Consistency. Your website maintenance and updating tasks will be much easier if you don’t have to constantly sign into and out of dozens of different hosts. Many agencies start with a particular host and simply keep going with that one because the consistency makes their lives simpler.
- Support. Website hosting is complicated. There will be issues, and you’re going to need them resolved. The ease with which you can get a hold of your provider and get those problems solved is more valuable than any single feature or technology.
Of course, sometimes clients will come to you with their own hosting arrangements already made. You can’t always convince every client to switch to your preferred host, so there will always be cases where you need to sign into and out of different providers to get things done, or hire a white label web agency to do it for you.
Looking for a Place to Start? Here Are Our Three Favorite Choices
If you’re still not sure where to start, we’ll share three of the hosts we regularly work with, and explain why we chose them. As mentioned above, we haven’t received any compensation whatsoever for linking to these hosts. They are simply the companies we generally have good experiences with, and they’re all optimized for WordPress.
Our first choice is an obvious one. WPEngine promises WordPress optimization in its name. It has a great reputation for security, and offers a wide range of agency-friendly features.
Some of the benefits that this hosting service offers include fully managed hosting, daily backups, and regular malware scans. Higher-priced bundles also include 24/7 phone support, which is worth the price if you plan on hosting a large number of sites using the service.
WPEngine is not the cheapest option out there, but in our experience the service is well worth the price. They have datacenters located throughout North America, East Asia, Europe, and Australia.
- Cloudways Managed WordPress Hosting
Cloudways has been a great option for Custom Web Applications. Recently it has been growing traffic with its newly introduced Managed WordPress Hosting. Cloudways provides you the option to choose from your preferred cloud providers such as Digital Ocean, Google, AWS etc, as well as provides complete managed wordpress hosting features with few clicks. Moreover there are no limitations on the number of sites that can be hosted.
The main advantage of Cloudways is the flexibility of cloud hosting of your choice for the best performance and security along with the features of managed WordPress hosting like WPEngine.
- Liquid Web
Liquid Web is a fully managed cloud and web hosting service with datacenters located in Michigan, Arizona, and the Netherlands. This gives it less coverage than WPEngine, but the Liquid Web team makes up for it in a few ways.
Namely, Liquid Web employs a team of 100 customer support technicians, and has no plugin restrictions. In fact, they can auto-update your plugins for you, which can be a huge help for developers who need to efficiently manage large numbers of plugins.
Like WPEngine, however, Liquid Web is a pricey option. An entry-level plan costs several times more than what most hosts charge. The team behind Liquid Web isn’t interested in offering any less.
SiteGround is a great option for agencies who don’t want to spend too much on hosting. Despite having some of the cheapest plans available, SiteGround still offers excellent security and backup services.
Their partnership with CloudFlare gives SiteGround-hosted websites an excellent defense against DDoS attacks and data breaches. They backup their clients’ websites daily, and have servers located on three continents.
In terms of support, SiteGround offers an effective chat response system. Getting answers to most questions doesn’t usually require any waiting time, though the system is better suited to quick answers than long, drawn-out technical explanations.
When Choosing a Web Hosting Service, Think of Scalability
Scalability is one of the most important things you should think of when choosing any technology or service for your web agency. A scalable web host will offer the same high-quality service to you whether you host five sites with them or five hundred. The cost may rise, but so too will your profits, and the better you organize your agency’s technical needs, the more efficiently you can run it.