2018's WordPress-Approved Hosts Officially Endorsed by WordPress.org

WordPress, the wildly popular open-source software, now supports more than 74 million websites, and the most reputable hosting providers are answering the demand with plans tailored to its use. For some hosting shoppers, the abundance of plans is daunting, and the information is often clouded with marketing jargon. While many experts, including yours truly, have set out to review and rank the best WordPress hosting plans, it’s always wise to go straight to the source.

Who better to recommend a host for WordPress usage than the developers of the software itself? Several requirements and recommendations for hosting the software are posted on the official website — but only a select few companies have been deemed WordPress-approved. Here, we discuss the three web hosts that have been given the WordPress.org seal of approval and why.

1. DreamHost

Last, but certainly not least, DreamHost boasts “supercharged” managed and unmanaged server plans for WordPress users. Standard WordPress shared hosting customers benefit from one-click software installations and automatic updates, and your domain is free for your first year with DreamHost. Many members of the DreamHost team have been actively contributing to the WordPress Core for 10-plus years. The company knows the platform inside and out, and the expertise shows up in the in-house solutions DreamHost continues to roll out to better serve the WordPress community.

For those looking for a little more oomph, we recommend looking into DreamPress: the fully managed, preconfigured, VPS-powered solution for WordPress. For a complete rundown of DreamHost services, check out our full review below:

WORDPRESS RATING
4.9/5.0
  • Preconfigured and fully managed option available with DreamPress
  • Multiple caching layers with Varnish, Memcached, and OPcache
  • 1-click install and automatic updates
Starting Price/Mo. $7.95
Money Back Guarantee 97 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.dreamhost.com/wordpress

Our Expert's DreamHost Review

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the incredibly popular content management... read more +

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the incredibly popular content management system, and plans include easy setup, automated updates and backups, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 specialized support.

DreamHost does an admirable job tailoring their shared hosting service around WordPress, but we're most impressed with their fully managed WordPress solution, DreamPress. Launched in 2013, DreamPress offers enhanced speed, scaling, and security by configuring various settings and plugins that streamline WordPress installation, databases, and server operations.

DreamPress adds multiple caching layers and isolates server resources to perform more than five times faster than shared hosting. We love that DreamHost allocates two VPS servers for each DreamPress customer: one optimized for the frontend and the other for MySQL. You'll get the same SSD storage found elsewhere in DreamHost plans, but DreamPress dynamically auto-scales memory to grow with your traffic.

Support and security are further tailored to WordPress with automatic updates and a firewall that blocks known WordPress vulnerabilities and offers protection from brute-force attacks. DreamPress uses NGINX, HTTP2, and Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS certificates to balance performance and privacy.

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2. Bluehost

Bluehost frequently tops the charts when it comes to WordPress-friendly hosting. The team prides itself on its WordPress services, and the company is widely known in the shared hosting space. Every account features one-click installations for the WordPress software, and the Bluehost team is made up of WordPress veterans who are ready, willing, and able to assist you every step of the way. Enjoy a complimentary domain name registration for the first year of service, and sign up with the confidence of an anytime money-back guarantee.

We frequently recommend Bluehost to first-time site owners, and you can check out our expert review below to determine whether this is the best WordPress host for you:

WORDPRESS RATING
4.9/5.0
  • Formally endorsed by WordPress
  • VPS technology and included CDN
  • ManageWP pre-installed
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/wordpress

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization... read more +

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost.

Built on top of their VPS platform, Bluehost's WordPress managed hosting, though not as customizable as others, focuses on simplicity and speed. Their interface is easy to navigate and the instant provisioning allows for speedy setup. Integrated features, such as the MOJO Marketplace and ManageWP, are nice touches as well.

Though simple by design, Bluehost isn’t shorting you on some of the more important technical features. Integrated W3 caching, SiteLock security, and a CDN are standard across all WordPress packages. It’s also important to note that data backups are automated and resources are guaranteed.

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long been one of the foremost shared hosts on the planet, and they now power more than two million websites. What’s more, Bluehost is on a short list of providers with the official WordPress seal of approval, doled out by the WordPress Core team. With an experienced team, competitive pricing, and always-there support, Bluehost is King when it comes to WordPress hosting services.

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3. SiteGround

Getting into the more geek-tastic features for WordPress, SiteGround has its bases covered. All plans include single-click installations, automatic updates to the WordPress Core, and command line management (WP-CLI), and the deal only gets sweeter. Enjoy three layers of caching for performance (SuperCacher), a website staging area, and preinstalled Git with premium plans.

Should you run into any trouble, I can personally vouch for the custom ticketing system and chat software. A fleet of WordPress gurus is on call at all times, ready to give you the tools to troubleshoot yourself or handle any issues for you. For more on this, I invite you to check out our comprehensive SiteGround review below:

WORDPRESS RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Officially endorsed by WordPress.org as a top host for WP
  • FREE WordPress transfer or site setup with 1-click install
  • Pre-installed Git, 3 caching levels, and FREE CDN
Starting Price/Mo. $3.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name New or Transfer
WordPress Hosting Plans www.siteground.com/wordpress

Our Expert's SiteGround Review

Want a hassle-free, WordPress-compatible hosting service? SiteGround has thought of everything you need to get your site up and running. Starting with the essentials, users get free email accounts, site transfer, Cloudflare CDN, and cPanel... read more +

Want a hassle-free, WordPress-compatible hosting service? SiteGround has thought of everything you need to get your site up and running. Starting with the essentials, users get free email accounts, site transfer, Cloudflare CDN, and cPanel license. Then they make it simple for you to start rolling out content by offering easy, single-click installs for popular CMSs, including WordPress.

Getting Started: SiteGround Shared Hosting & WordPress

With SiteGround's WordPress hosting, you'll find features you would normally only have access to with managed (more cost, less control, compared to shared) WordPress hosting services. "Our WordPress product has several distinct characteristics that make it attractive to the end user," Ivo told us.

Seamless Site Transfers & SiteGround's Downtime Prevention Mechanism

Users experience a seamless site transition with transferring conducted by SiteGround's WordPress experts, with a free template and template installation included as well. Sites experience no downtime during the transition, but that's no surprise given that SiteGround is reputed for an incredible 99.999% monthly uptime rate (99.996% annually!).

SiteGround's unique downtime prevention software monitors servers' statuses in real-time and resolves over 90 percent of server issues instantly and automatically. With most competitors, it can take an average of 5-20 minutes to detect, plus up to 20 minutes to react to and resolve issues.

WP Features: Autoupdates, 1-Click Staging, & Git Version Control

SiteGround's WordPress hosting also features autoupdates to the core and plugins, with WordPress caching built-in as well. Users can easily stage and deploy changes to their site, with SiteGround's single-click staging, and Git is available for version control. "Our customer feedback on these features has been extremely positive," Ivo said.

Tech Support: From Server Isolation to Online Tutorials

SiteGround's technical support and reliability is uncanny. In addition to downtime prevention, they've developed a server isolation system that prevents vulnerable servers from devastating entire networks; SiteGround was the first to innovate in such a way in the shared hosting space.

When their team of about 26 developers, designers, and DevOps gurus isn't writing and building premier solutions from scratch, or coming up with new tutorials and knowledge base articles for the SiteGround site, they're talking to customers directly.

Customer Support: 2 In-House Solutions

On the customer support side of things, SiteGround hits the ball out of the park. Two innovations contribute to their unbeatable customer service: their ticketing/help desk and chat system. Both of these user-focused software solutions were custom-built in-house.

1. Support Ticketing System

The ticketing system they designed uses an algorithm to select appropriate tech ops team members for specified jobs. Users can submit support ticket requests under an array of categories and can expect a reply in 10 minutes or less (usually less). The algorithm calculates based on skill level and specialty, assigning the most appropriately qualified developer to each job in the queue.

2. Chat System Portal

The custom chat system harnesses the relationships built in previous chat scenarios by allowing users to select team members they've previously worked with, rather than waiting on the next available agent. Customers can also preview profiles and rate representatives based on their experiences.

Tenko and Ivo took us through an impromptu demo of the chat system, revealing both the ease of use of the product and the genuine helpfulness and responsiveness of their Support Team members, who had no idea who they were chatting with at the time.

Conclusion: We Welcome SiteGround as a WordPress Host

From in-house solutions on the technical side to warm and unwavering support from a customer service angle, SiteGround has crafted a complete package for any hosting need. For WordPress-specific hosting, they offer popular perks that you wouldn't necessarily get with other shared hosting providers. Get started with all of the awesome freebies, enjoy their helpful and polite team, and prepare to be blown away by SiteGround's commitment to building hosting solutions intended to make your web experience easier than ever.

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Seal Your Website’s Fate With a Host Bearing Our Seal of Approval

As WordPress continues to dominate the online world, we’ll continue to identify and discuss the tools and services that will help users like you succeed. As noted on the official WordPress site, the ideal WP hosting provider will support:

  • PHP version 7.2 or later
  • MySQL version 5.6 or later OR MariaDB version 10.0 or later
  • HTTPS support
  • NGINX or Apache webserver with mod_rewrite module

We recommend finding a host that anticipates your every need — from initial domain setup to performance optimization and marketing tools. The hosts that climb to the top of our recommendation list feature seamless WordPress setup, advanced caching features, SSDs and application-specific speed boosts, staging areas, and expert assistance with plugin maintenance and WordPress version updates. We have many favorites, but our experts’ top three choices for WordPress hosting are revealed below. Drumroll, please…

WORDPRESS RATING
4.9/5.0
  • WordPress pre-installed with NGINX server caching
  • FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
  • Optional automatic plugin, theme, and core updates
Starting Price/Mo. $4.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress

Our Expert's InMotion Review

InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do... read more +

InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features to help justify that cost difference.

Build on an all-SSD infrastructure, their speeds are very good. We would have loved to see options like integrated staging and caching included in order to help take full advantage of the nice, modern hardware. The choice of datacenters (East or West) is nice however, as it allows you to target your local audience with better load times.

InMotion offers three different levels to their WordPress hosting offerings, which allows you to tailor the hosting to your needs or budget. For those needing eCommerce support, their middle or top offerings have you covered. Their top offering also allows unlimited installs for WordPress, which is great to see.

Each hosting package they offer comes with a free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited emails, and free data backups for data security. If you need it, each plan also has support for PHP, Ruby, Perl, and Python, and includes SSH access.

InMotion Hosting has made a name for itself on support and reliability. While not the cheapest of the budget WordPress hosts out there, the packages offered are solid in performance and feature sets.

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WORDPRESS RATING
4.9/5.0
  • Formally endorsed by WordPress
  • VPS technology and included CDN
  • ManageWP pre-installed
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/wordpress

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization... read more +

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost.

Built on top of their VPS platform, Bluehost's WordPress managed hosting, though not as customizable as others, focuses on simplicity and speed. Their interface is easy to navigate and the instant provisioning allows for speedy setup. Integrated features, such as the MOJO Marketplace and ManageWP, are nice touches as well.

Though simple by design, Bluehost isn’t shorting you on some of the more important technical features. Integrated W3 caching, SiteLock security, and a CDN are standard across all WordPress packages. It’s also important to note that data backups are automated and resources are guaranteed.

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long been one of the foremost shared hosts on the planet, and they now power more than two million websites. What’s more, Bluehost is on a short list of providers with the official WordPress seal of approval, doled out by the WordPress Core team. With an experienced team, competitive pricing, and always-there support, Bluehost is King when it comes to WordPress hosting services.

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WORDPRESS RATING
4.9/5.0
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and 1-click installs for WordPress
  • Turbo Server, SSD speed boost, and A2-optimized caching
  • A2-optimized WP plugins for performance and security
Starting Price/Mo. $3.92
Money Back Guarantee Anytime
Disk Space Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name $14.99
WordPress Hosting Plans www.a2hosting.com/wordpress

Our Expert's A2 Hosting Review

If shared web hosting is what you need, A2 Hosting is the perfect host to help launch your site with your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. As part of A2's promise... read more +

If shared web hosting is what you need, A2 Hosting is the perfect host to help launch your site with your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. As part of A2's promise to emphasize performance, they've concocted several A2-optimized features specifically for WordPress.

Getting Started: cPanel, 1-Click Installs, and Softaculous

A2's shared web hosting plans come with cPanel 11 control panel, where users can access Softaculous auto-installer. Easily install popular web applications, including your choice of CMS, with one click.

"If you land on our WordPress landing page, and order WordPress hosting, we auto-install WordPress and our optimization plugin," Bryan said. "You don’t have to do anything."

A2-Optimized Software and Caching Tools

"We wanted to make these performance enhancements really accessible to people," Andy said, so A2 has come up with several plugins and tools designed to operate in their online environment. These features are available for all users, including VPS and managed services customers.

A prime example of A2's custom performance enhancers would be their exclusive Site Accelerator, which helps A2 users experience page loading up to 20 times faster than that of the average web host.

Auto-Configurations for WordPress, Joomla, & Drupal

A2 has optimized tools to auto-configure popular software, including WordPress, with auto-optimizations like compression and caching. "We're trying to ease all the friction points for the users and make sure we’re solving their problems," Andy told us.

Auto-Configurations for PrestaShop and eCommerce Options

Once you've installed PrestaShop, an A2-optimized cPanel plugin will automatically detect it and allow you to set up all "normal" optimizations. "We'll go in and configure everything the way that we know it will work best on our servers," Andy said.

Other eCommerce features include access to SSL certificates, PayPal merchant accounts, and a Merchant ID with E-onlinedata (with instant activation). When it comes to marketing your site or online store, A2 users can get $50 towards paid ads. Plus, with Attracta, a free SEO tool available in cPanel, sites are listed in Google within 24 hours.

A2-Optimized Enhanced Security

In addition to enhanced speed and performance, A2 Hosting includes "Perpetual Security," which features several custom technologies.

HackScan & KernelCare

All A2 accounts are offered a free hacking detection scan, featuring their own hacker detection mechanism: HackScan. A2 Hosting users also benefit from KernelCare: A2's product for conducting daily, rebootless auto-updates to kernels.

Proactive Protection & 24/7 Network Monitoring

A2 has built another custom plugin for WordPress users to prevent hacking. The software auto-hardens WordPress sites for proactive protection against hackers. Additionally, A2 offers virus scanning, a dual firewall, and brute-force attack protection — not to mention SPAM filtering for emails, which are also IMAP, POP3, and SMTP supported.

Final Words on A2 Hosting for WordPress

A2 Hosting offers 24/7 customer support and tons of A2-optimized features made with WordPress users in mind. Whether you're an online retailer looking to launch a fresh site with PrestaShop, or a moderately web-savvy WordPress user looking for speed and security excellence, we'd highly recommend A2 Hosting.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandra Leslie

Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.