As the owner of White Buffalo Websites, I have worked with many website hosting plans. I am hosting over 100 websites for my clients and students.
From my experience I recommend two website hosts, Flywheel and SiteGround. In addition, I have worked with the following website hosts: Big Scoots, GoDaddy, Dream Host, WP Engine, Green Geeks, Blue Host, and HostGator.
Please note that hosting plans pay developers to recommend their hosting plans to potential clients. If you click on a link on this page, I will receive a referral fee.
I provide free hosting to my students on Hostgator. If you have been one of my students, feel free to contact me and I can provide you with a small hosting plan at no cost.
I shopped around all of the available website hosting plans for Managed WordPress, and the top plan that I recommend is Flywheel. What caught my eye about Flywheel is its pricing plans. Flywheel is the only Managed WordPress Hosting provider that has a plan for as low as $150 a year. Most Managed WordPress Plans start at $400 – $500 per year.
As long as your website is below 5,000 monthly visits and 5GB of storage, you can sign up for their robust “Tiny” plan with Flywheel for $150 per year. Most of our clients have websites that fit into this size.
And the service is Flywheel is fantastic! Unlike other website hosts, in which you have to jump through hoops to get assistance, Flywheel has a chat service that encourages you to click on it.
With Managed WordPress Hosting, email is not available. The focus of a Managed WordPress Host is to single-mindedly provide fast and reliable WordPress hosting.
Depending on your budget, another option for hosting is Shared Hosting with Siteground. Siteground sells Shared Hosting for as low as $60 a year. The Siteground plans includes some of the features of Managed WordPress, with daily backups, one-touch restore and staging websites.
This website is hosted on Siteground. I have approximately 20 websites I am hosting on one Siteground plan (the Go Geek plan). If you are setting up a business selling websites, Siteground may be the better option to get started.
One benefit of hosting your website with Siteground is that plans include email. While Siteground doesn’t include cPanel like most shared hosting plans, Siteground does use PHPmyAdmin, which is a tool for managing MySQL.
Key Features of both Flywheel and Siteground
In looking for website hosting, these are the features that are important and why:
Daily Backups: With WordPress, a website is constantly changing as themes and plugins are updated. It is critical that your website host have at least daily backups. Both Siteground and Flywheel store 30 days worth of backups.
One-Touch Restore: When your website crashes, you need a way to bring it back to life immediately! Remember that Murphy’s Law is in effect: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. The last thing you want to be doing Friday at 4:30 is trying to bring a website back to life before the weekend.
Automatic WordPress Install: It can be challenging to install WordPress, and having a tool at your website hosting plan that makes it easy can save you a lot of work.
Free WordPress Transfer: It can be challenging moving a WordPress website, because it is a combination of MySQL tables and website files. With Siteground, they will move one website for free, and for the others they have a handy free tool. With Flywheel, they will move all of your websites, but you need to pay for hosting for each website.
Free SSL: SSL is the little lock in the website corner that comes with HTTPS instead of HTTP. Most website hosting plans include free SSL now.
Strong Caching and CDN Services: These are advanced hosting features that make your website faster.
Other Website Hosts
Big Scoots: I follow some food bloggers in order to support a successful one, farmtojar.com. The food bloggers and their developers all love Big Scoots. (Note: if you follow my link I will receive a referral fee.) Their starting price is rather high, though, so until you have a lot of traffic, Flywheel or Siteground will be a lower cost option for you. Even so, it is the only website host that has offered to make the necessary DNS changes for me. They have a website transferring system that allows you to move the website without any down time.
GoDaddy: Many of my clients have GoDaddy hosting. I can’t recommend GoDaddy because they relentlessly sneak on additional costs. GoDaddy has excellent service, but you need to be constantly wary because the service staff, while helpful, get paid on commission.
WPEngine: WPEngine has the strongest reputation of the Managed WordPress Hosts, and has purchased my favorite host, Flywheel. I haven’t have a much luck with their services, but I have only used them with one client.
DreamHost: DreamHost has a strong reputation in the WordPress community. I have only used it on one website, and I didn’t have any problems with it. The User Interface isn’t nearly as nice as Flywheel, though.
HostGator: I have used HostGator for many years and have a long standing “Reseller” account with them. Since I have over 100 websites on the one reseller account, the cost per website is almost negligible. I use the Reseller plan to give my students, friends, and family website hosting space. I have had a lot of problems with domain registry with HostGator, and finally had to transfer all of my domains to another domain registrar.
Blue Host: I have moved many websites off of Blue Host. Blue Host websites can be very slow. The service is the worst that I have experienced. I have also had problems with the domain registry on Blue Host. You may find some WordPress experts recommending Blue Host, and I am assuming that they do it because they are earning generous commissions.
Green Geeks: I only worked on one website with Green Geeks, and from that experience the hosting plan was not terribly feature rich. However, servers are using a tremendous amount of energy, so if you are looking for low cost hosting, it may be good to give them a try. If you click on my link, I will receive an affiliate fee.
Can I make money as a Hosting Affiliate?
Perhaps you can! You would need to have an audience to share your links with, but it is easy to sign up. It is important to have some experience with a website host before you recommend them. As you make websites for clients who already have hosting you will gain that experience.
Frequently Asked Questions on Website Hosting Plans
There are two big reasons why we recommend Managed WordPress Hosting. First, Managed WordPress Hosting specializes in WordPress and ways to make WordPress run more quickly. Most Managed WordPress Hosting providers also provide access to free CDN (content delivery network) service, placing your website on servers all over the world to make websites load quickly. The second reason why Managed WordPress is worthwhile is because of the security and backup features give you (and your developer) great peace of mind. For example, if your website crashes for some reason, you can simply click a one-touch-restore button and your website will come back to life.
Managed WordPress Hosting is more expensive than shared hosting. We recommend Flywheel for Managed WordPress Hosting, because it has low-cost plans for small websites.
1. Daily Backups and One-touch Restore
2. Automatic WordPress Install
3. Free WordPress Transfer
4. Free SSL
5. Strong Caching and CDN Services
6. 24/7 customer service
When you are ready, you will want to purchase a hosting plan that allows for multiple websites on one plan. Right now I recommend Siteground for hosting multiple websites. The cost is much lower the first year, but goes up dramatically after one year. The service is a bit hard to use, the the website speed has been excellent.
You may want to charge your clients for the hosting services you provide, if they use your hosting. Charging monthly for hosting is a great way to build up regular income.
I also use Hostgator for students and very small clients, and I use Flywheel for my largest clients.
The Bottom Line:
If you have a single website, a lot of website traffic, and it is critical that your website always be functioning at its best, then I would recommend Flywheel Hosting. With Flywheel, you know you will have excellent service.
If you are running multiple websites or you are on a more limited budget, then I would recommend Siteground hosting. If you are starting a business and you need website hosting for your clients, definitely start out with Siteground, because you can place several websites on one account.
White Buffalo LLC is an affiliate of Flywheel and Siteground hosting. If you click on a link on this website, it may earn a small affiliate fee.