Our Web Hosting Recommendations for 2016

We’re able to work with almost* all hosting companies the following companies are well regarded in the industry for speed and service, and not known for either limiting service to get you to upgrade or for other sales-driven annoyances.


SiteGround The basic StartUp package would be good for your crisis management site but if you’re planning to have more than one site then their GrowBig package isn’t that much more expensive and it’s got… well… room to grow big!  We particularly appreciate that SiteGround was one of the first hosting companies to offer free, one-click, automatically-renewing Let’s Encrypt security certificates.


DreamHost They don’t have “special” introductory offers but then they don’t nickel and dime you later.  Their basic shared hosting is great — we’ve used it for years.  We haven’t tried their more expensive but theoretically more reliable dedicated WordPress service.  We don’t think you’d need it, but do read their materials just in case.

WPEngine logo

WPEngine The folks at WPEngine offer highly-dedicated, optimized, and secure, highly scaleable, and actively managed hosting specifically for WordPress websites.  They’re great for mission-critical, revenue-generating sites that have to stay up even under very heavy loads.  They’re pricier than our other recommendations but we’ve had good experiences with our clients who choose WPEngine.  Note: Unlike typical shared-hosting companies they don’t offer domain registration, email hosting or other amenities.  Since we recommend that our customers host their email with an independent email provider (Gmail/Gsuite, Microsoft 365, etc.) we don’t feel this is necessarily an obstacle.


Update: We no longer recommend hosting plans that don’t include free basic SSL/TLS security certificates. As of Google’s deadline of October 1 (they’re now downrating and warning users about sites without security certificates) some of our previous recommendations still don’t offer this now-basic service.

Site5 Their hostBasic and hostPro are comparable in service to SiteGround’s StartUp and GrowBig packages.  I’m not (yet) personally familiar with Site5 but they keep showing up at or near the top of (uncompensated) industry recommendations.

Note: If for any reason you’re concerned that we’ve used affiliate links in our recommendations, above, we’d like to offer an alternative.  We stand by our recommendations with or without the no-cost-to-you commissions we receive here are non-affiliated links if you’d like to use those instead: https://www.siteground.com/web-hosting.htmhttp://www.dreamhost.com/hosting, https://wpengine.com/plans http://www.site5.com.

* By “almost” we mean not GoDaddy or a handful of small, older, privately-operated hosting companies.

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David Innes, RealBasics.com

I've been building and maintaining websites since 1997 and building and supporting similar hypertext-driven software since 1987. I've done maintenance, support, and maintenance for physical and digital systems since 1981. And no, I still haven't seen it all but by now I usually know where to look. More about David Innes...