WordPress Reviews (2019’s Best Hosts, Themes, & Plugins)

WordPress Reviews (2019’s Best Hosts, Themes, & Plugins)

For those looking to dip a toe into the ocean of web design and publishing, here’s our comprehensive WordPress review of all things hosting, themes, and plugins. With millions of contributors, themes, and plugins out there, getting started with WordPress can seem overwhelming — but we’re here to tell you the most user-friendly and efficient ways to leverage the world’s most popular content management system.

The WordPress reputation and open-source community are glowing and well known, and the rave reviews are not without just cause. Take a look as we cover WordPress inside and out.

5 Best WordPress Hosts

If you’re going to use WordPress, you’ll need web hosting. This just means you need a company to host your site — you’re essentially renting out space on the Internet so that visitors from around the world can find your business, blog, or online store 24/7. For more on this, we take you through the basics of web hosting in our beginner’s guide.

A huge selling point for WordPress is its popularity in the industry and compatibility with the top web hosts. We evaluated the top providers based on their WordPress-friendly features (i.e., 1-click installs, WordPress-specific support, blogging tools, etc.) and here are our top recommendations:


InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $4.99

  • WordPress pre-installed with NGINX and PHP 7
  • FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
  • Optional automatic plugin, theme, and core updates
  • Features a FREE drag-and-drop WP page editor
  • Premium themes and plugin subscriptions
  • Get started on InMotion now.



InMotion: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion Hosting, long known for affordable and high-performance shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon the company's reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
90 days 40 GB SSD - 120 GB SSD FREE (1 year) www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress


Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • Recommended by WordPress Core since 2005
  • FREE SSD storage and SSL certificate
  • FREE domain registration and email
  • Automatic installation and updates
  • 63% discount exclusively for HostingAdvice shoppers
  • Get started on Bluehost now.



Bluehost: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 5 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): 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... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
30 days 50 GB SSD - Unlimited FREE (1 year) www.bluehost.com/wordpress


A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $3.92

  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and 1-click installs for WordPress
  • Turbo Server, SSD speed boost, and optimized caching
  • A2-optimized WP plugins for performance and security
  • SSL certificates, PayPal integration, and 24/7 support
  • FREE HackScan and KernelCare
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.



A2 Hosting: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): As experts in performance optimization, A2 Hosting is a top choice for powering resource-heavy WordPress websites. The company offers shared or managed plans for the ultra-popular content management system, with the benefits extending to Joomla, Drupal, and... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
30 days Unlimited SSD New or Transfer www.a2hosting.com/wordpress


HostGator review

Monthly Starting Price $2.75

  • Easy-to-set-up WordPress hosting on shared servers
  • Install WordPress with one click via cPanel dashboard
  • Unlimited email addresses hosted at your domain
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee means your blog stays online
  • $100 in Google Adwords credits to kickstart marketing
  • Get started on HostGator now.



HostGator: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 4 minutes
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already clean and intuitive cPanel dashboard, wherein users can... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
45 days Unlimited New or Transfer www.hostgator.com/wordpress


SiteGround review

Monthly Starting Price $3.95

  • Officially endorsed by WordPress.org as a top host
  • FREE WordPress transfer or setup with 1-click install
  • Pre-installed Git, 3 caching levels, and FREE CDN
  • FREE WP setup wizard, staging, and auto-updates
  • 99.9% uptime, 24/7 support, and custom chat system
  • Get started on SiteGround now.



SiteGround: Our Expert's Review

Setup time: 6 minutes
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): Want a hassle-free, WordPress-optimized 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 the... Go to full review »
Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name WordPress Hosting Plans
30 days 10 GB SSD - 30 GB SSD New or Transfer www.siteground.com/wordpress

See more WordPress hosting reviews ­»

5 Best WordPress Themes

Themes are essentially a premade website template that gives seasoned developers and inexperienced site owners alike an awesome jumpstart on building the beautiful site they want. Below we feature the most popular themes for WordPress and why we love them.

1. Adroit

A visually appealing theme that combines elements common to photography websites and blogs, Adroit is a fantastic theme to showcase strong imagery without losing content. The column-based layout is fully adjustable, and Adroit responsively transitions across virtually any screen size.

Adroit WordPress Theme

Developed by CPOThemes, Adroit blends photography and blogging layouts to give users the best of both worlds.

2. Sydney

Sydney is an increasingly popular theme among professionals in particular. Complete with an array of customization tools, this leading WordPress theme is responsive and mobile-friendly, bold and custom-brandable, and easily manipulated to meet a variety of design goals.

A responsive theme ideal for professionals, Sydney offers Google fonts, logo upload, full-screen sliders, and more.

Sydney includes access to Google fonts, logo uploading, full-screen sliders, and many more customization capabilities.

3. Zerif Lite

This single-page parallax theme allows you to showcase your personality in a fluid display. Zerif Lite includes options to display testimonials, team members, news updates, and contact information, with a customization experience that’s as intuitive as the resulting user experience.

Zerif Lite WordPress theme screenshot

One of the year’s most popular themes for WordPress, Zerif Life features fluid, 1-page design options.

4. Spacious

As the name suggests, Spacious is perfect for those who want a clean, modern look for their site. It’s a fully-responsive theme complete with options for layout, blogging, color palettes, and widgets. With theme-specific support included, customization doesn’t get much easier.

Spacious WordPress theme screenshot

For a clean, modern look, try Spacious — featuring custom widgets and responsive design.

5. Evolve

Featuring sliders, custom widgets, Font Awesome icons, and compatibility with your favorite social media platforms, Evolve is a fully-responsive futuristic theme with a look that lives up to its name. Modify virtually anything about the design and have a custom-made site live in minutes.

Evolve WordPress theme screenshot

Evolve includes an extensive list of customization options, including navigation, slider, social, and widget elements.

6. Customizr

If a flexible customization experience is what you’re looking for, Customizr’s name speaks for itself. Beloved by site owners in a variety of niches, Customizr is favored for its compatibility with popular eCommerce plugins and extensive options for matching your site’s look to your brand.

Customize the eCommerce site you're envisioning with Customizr—which is compatible with Woocommerce, bbPress, and Jetpack.

Customize the eCommerce site you’re envisioning with Customizr.

See More WordPress Themes »

20 Best WordPress Plugins

Plugins are powerful tools for adding more functionality and customization to your WordPress site. With the click of a button, you can add forums, product review capabilities, page caching, comment/contact forms, and more to your site.

A word of caution, however, you don’t want to add just any plugin to your web pages. You want to make sure the code you’re adding has been made by a credible source — basically to ensure that it’s going to jibe well with the existing code of your site, theme, and even other plugins.

Below we cover the most popular plugins for WordPress:


How Do We Rate WordPress Itself?

It’s no secret that we are huge WordPress fans at HostingAdvice.com, but below we go into the nitty gritty details of what makes WordPress great and when there are alternatives to consider. We break down our overall review by categories, covering ease of use, support, cost, and more.

1. Ease of Use: 4.6/5.0

The WordPress platform is incredibly powerful and will allow you to manipulate any aspect of your site — however, its functionality comes with a learning curve. This is probably the leading complaint against the increasingly popular platform. If you’re not ready to put in the time to get familiar with the nuances and figure out your way around the backend, I would suggest opting for a WYWIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web builder, like Wix, instead.

2. Custom Design: 5.0/5.0

Customization is an area where WordPress truly shines. Experienced developers love how flexible it is, and even less-seasoned website managers can easily build a custom site with the help of templates. There are literally millions of these premade websites for WordPress available to give you a head start on design.

Whether you’re building from scratch or using one of the popular themes, designing and customizing a site with WordPress can yield some of the most beautiful and professional-looking results on the Internet.

3. Support: 4.5/5.0

WordPress support is exhaustive — and exhausting. There is a huge community behind the platform and its followers are eager to offer their advice and expertise, which means the hard part is sifting through the wealth of offered information for useful information.

The other option is to hire a WordPress-savvy developer to build your site for you, or consult him/her when needed. Unfortunately, expertise can get expensive.

4. eCommerce: 4.4/5.0

While eCommerce functions are possible with WordPress, that’s not what it’s made for — though there are a multitude of merchant plugins and tools available for adding eCommerce features (e.g., Shopify, Woocommerce, or Ecwid). Platforms like Magento or PrestaShop are specifically made for eCommerce — and you can check out the top Magento hosting services here.

5. Blogging: 5.0/5.0

There’s a reason WordPress is typically the first platform that comes to mind when you think of blogging. It’s set up perfectly for bloggers — in my opinion, blogging is the easiest task to get started on with WordPress.

Within minutes of signing up with a WordPress host, you can blast your first blog post, create new categories and tags, and later share your most popular posts with a hand-dandy plugin.

6. Cost: 5.0/5.0

Ahh, the crème de la crème of reasons to choose WordPress: it’s open-source — AKA, FREE! Yes, the world’s most popular website building companion is available for download, install, and web-building usage for zero cost. You just have to pay for the hosting, which, fortunately, should only cost you a few bucks a month (if you use one of the best hosts, coming up next!).

We Love WordPress — Shouldn’t You?

It’s no secret that WordPress is renowned in web hosting. Now that you know that the functionality and the features live up to the hype, you’re hopefully ready to begin your relationship with WordPress. Yes, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but if you’re willing to take the time to self-teach upfront, you’re in for a wonderful ride. Browse the best WordPress hosts to get started.

Alexandra Leslie

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