As more and more companies take control over their online web presence, they are turning to WordPress, the most popular platform in the website content management system (CMS) market. The simple ease of updating content like text and images without contacting a web developer is intriguing for business owners. While most of us would agree that WordPress has changed the way businesses present their brand online, there are a number of business owners who are confused about website hosting, how it works and most importantly which company to use to store their website files. In this article we will look at the best web hosting for WordPress websites. When it comes to price, performance and support we see it as a competition between GoDaddy and WP Engine.
GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting
GoDaddy is known for so much more than just hosting but they having been signing up bloggers and business owners alike to website hosting accounts for many years now. As recent as three years ago, GoDaddy developed a hosting platform that was dedicated just to WordPress websites, as this open source platform continued takeover the world of CMS. Offering an alternative to the traditional Linux platform also know as cPanel, this type of hosting was built to accommodate many types of web applications and platforms, making it hard to optimize WordPress website performance.
When it comes to pricing, there is no competition here. If pricing will be the deciding factor for your hosting selection, than GoDaddy is the winner. Their entry level hosting starts at $7.99 a month ($95.88 a year). They often offer a 50% discount when you first sign up, which means you can get a year of hosting for $47.88. GoDaddy also gives you the opportunity to lock in that price for multiple years if you pay for it up front.
Pro Tip: If you choose GoDaddy for pricing reasons, sign up for at least 2-3 years to really get your money’s worth.
Between the different packages that GoDaddy offers you have the ability to run one or multiple websites. They offer various amounts of storage based on your websites needs with the minimum of 10GB on industry recommended solid state drives. For most small to medium size business (that don’t sell products online), this will usually never be a concern for you. The bandwidth offered starts at 25,000 visitors a month. Once again for small business owners, receiving 25,000 visitors a month isn’t a concern and would be an excellent problem to have. Each package comes with SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) instead of FTP (file transfer protocol). This is an extra layer of protection that most managed WordPress hosting websites offer. Another cool feature that is not just specific to GoDaddy (but is offered), is their staging area and migration tool. The staging area allows you to clone a copy of your website to a separate domain to make updates to your website, while NOT affecting your live site. The migration tool is another feature that is great for non-web savvy business owners who need to move a website from their old host to GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting.
GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting option is great for those who are on a tighter Internet marketing budget. As previously stated, the automated setup, migration and staging area is essential for those business owners who don’t have a background in website development. Although GoDaddy claims to have “industry leading load times,” we have noticed that their proprietary caching system often doesn’t offer anywhere the hosting speed needed, to land them in the tier position for load time. GoDaddy does offer 24/7 support to help with most of you hosting needs and questions.
WP Engine WordPress Website Hosting
Over the past few years a new web hosting company has come on the scene and has help changed the way website run online. WP Engine is a company that was built and dedicated to hosting WordPress websites. The company was started with and hires top tier WordPress professionals to help businesses with their hosting needs.
On the surface when you compare the pricing plans it looks like WP Engine offers the same specifications as GoDaddy for a higher price. Their entry-level package starts at $29 a month ($348 a year). What you are actually paying the extra money for is speed!
Similar to GoDaddy, WP Engine starts with an offer of 10GB of local storage and a bandwidth allowance of up to 25,000 visitors. They also offer a staging area to clone a copy of your website to work on without effecting the live site. Their migration tool is a little more involved than GoDaddy’s migration tool, yet still easy enough for a novice to figure out. Also here you will have access to SFTP for file transfers.
To be completely transparent, we use WP Engine because we do consider them the best web hosting for WordPress websites. They pride themselves on security, speed and customer service. As many WordPress website managers or business owners know, security for your website is vital. It’s no easy task to keep your website up-to-date for security but is essential for any website. WP Engine’s state of the art technology helps to alleviate some of that pressure with a secure platform. In terms of speed, there are a number of technical tweaks you can make to a website so it will run faster. To make this comparison apples to apples, if you host the exact website on GoDaddy’s platform and also on WP Engine, there is no question which site loads faster. WP Engine’s technology for speed is the gold standard for WordPress. They also provide 24/7 customer support for their hosting services. The reason their customer service wins out here is that they have highly knowledgeable WordPress professionals standing by for online chat that already have access to your account. It’s as simple as clicking the chat button at the bottom of you WP Engine portal screen. They will patiently work through your hosting questions with well-informed solutions.
For many business owners, website hosting decisions will come down to pricing and in that case GoDaddy is the clear cut favorite. For others there will simply not be enough value in website hosting, which is a bit shocking that some business owners still don’t find significance in representing their brand in the best way possible online. Now that we are living in a mobile first world where search engine rankings are partly calculated by the speed of your website, you should definitely make sure you consider that value of speed for your company’s website. For more information on the best website hosting option for you business call us at (202) 683-6881 or send us a message.