One thing we learned in reviewing the services listed here (and many more) is that even though the packages are very similar, they are not identical. Some are more security-focused than others, offering anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts we've reviewed have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider using a more-robust third-party online shopping cart application like Shopify instead.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew. You can a find Jeffrey online at jeffreylwilson.net, or send him a tweet at @jeffreylwilson
An SSL connection encrypts the data that travels between your site and users' web browsers, thus safeguarding the transmission of purchasing information. All the WordPress hosting services in this roundup offer SSL certificates, but the prices vary from company to company. Some companies include a free SSL certificate when you sign up for a hosting plan, while others charge close to $100.
Note that we're speaking here of the WordPress.org CMS that acts as the foundation for your self-hosted website, not WordPress.com. The latter CMS has more in common with website builders than traditional website hosting. In effect, WordPress.com is a turnkey (and more limited) WordPress solution, whereas the services in this roundup offer a vastly more flexible (and labor-intensive) DIY approach.
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Our Turbo Server solution offers an additional speed boost with LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress. This powerful plugin communicates with your Turbo server and LSCache to statically cache your dynamic WordPress pages and greatly reduce your site's page load time. LSCache is built right into your server. This means overhead is greatly reduced and caching is more efficient compared to other PHP-based caching solution.
For plans or packages featuring unlimited websites, domains, or email accounts, we do not enforce any official limitations. Customers are able to utilize as many of these features as they wish. That said, these are of course not infinite resources and there are inherent maximums associated with the technology powering them. For example, while email account creation is unlimited, these rely on the file storage available on the account. Therefore customers need to be operating within the Terms of Service to ensure resources are available to fully enable email functionality. Customers operating within the Terms of Service have yet to come up against technical boundaries for email, domains, or websites.
WordPress hosting prices are all over the map. Entry-level plans should cost roughly the same as shared web hosting, but higher-tier plans can scale upward to around $60 per month. The upside? Your WordPress installation should run more smoothly and setup should be easier in a WordPress environment than in a traditional hosting environment. In addition, going the managed WordPress route may save you money in the long run, as it might save you the cost of hiring a system administrator to perform the same tasks. This can be particularly beneficial to small businesses.
The first step in customizing your WordPress site is to log into your WordPress install. From there, you'll actually find an "Appearance" section within your WordPress dashboard dedicated to helping you customize your site. The easiest and most likely the method you'll find most effective is by using a pre-made WordPress theme. Just click the "Add New Theme" button to browse through a number of theme options. You can search for themes as well as use the Feature Filter. The Feature Filter is an excellent way to discover a theme that you like the most. This is where you can narrow down themes based on features, the type of layout you want and the subject of your site.
You also need to consider how long you'll need WordPress web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you'll typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, while others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.