WordPress Hosting

comparing dedicated WordPress hosting packages: price vs. features

Alex from UnderStrap Alex from UnderStrap November 16, 2019

With the number of WordPress websites growing year-on-year it would only make sense that the market for specialised WordPress hosting is growing too.

Many hosting companies both big and small offer some sort of WordPress package with the prices ranging from a few dollars a month to $50+.

What is the cause for these huge differences in price? Surely you would choose the cheapest option? It seems that’s not the case and we will talk about that here.

We haven’t included the shared hosting providers who offer WordPress as a one click install. The performance is terrible in comparison to the dedicated WordPress hosting providers on this list and their support just doesn’t isn’t geared up to help with WordPress specific issues that commonly occur.

Jump to: Just Show Me The Price Table | Explain Each Provider In-Depth | Vouchers & Special Offers

The Most Important Features

You pay a premium for WordPress hosting in comparison to normal shared hosting. In exchange for the increased price you will want to expect:

  • Speed Improvements – your hosting company will optimise the server to make sure that your WordPress website performs to the best of its ability. This varies across providers.
  • Security – your website will be easy to secure if your provider knows it is WordPress. Malware scans can check out the common files and structure to make sure everything seems as it should do.
  • Up-time – using a mix of load balancing (using multiple servers for performance and to fall back on) and a CDN your WP provider should be able to deliver amazing up-time.
  • Backups – automated backups are becoming an expected feature on all types of hosting. Ensure your WP hosting has it.
  • Support – the higher-end WordPress hosting providers will be able to help with more than just simple hosting related and setup queries. You get what you pay for.
  • Easy Setup – all of the WP hosting providers here have an easy to use control panel for installing WordPress. Not all install it automatically after purchase though.
  • Included Extras – the higher end WP hosting solutions usually include added extras to give them an edge over the competition like premium themes and WordPress support (for theme development and installing/setting up plugins).

Side-by-Side Comparison Table

Provider Value For Money Speed Starter Package Included Extras
WP Extend Favicon WP Extend (4.7) 0.315s $29/month Migration Icon WordPress Support Icon Premium Themes Icon Premium Page Builder Icon Agency Features Icon
WP Engine Favicon WP Engine (4.2) 0.285s $39/month Premium Themes Icon Agency Features Icon
Kinsta Favicon Kinsta (4.0) 0.329s $30/month Migration Icon WordPress Support Icon
Flywheel Favicon Flywheel (3.7) 0.354s $25/month Migration Icon WordPress Support Icon Agency Features Icon
SiteGround Favicon SiteGround (3.2) 0.456s $20/month Migration Icon Agency Features Icon

*starter package = 25,000~ visitors
*speed = same site tested, home page download 100 times to find average in seconds

Included Extras Guide

WordPress Support WordPress Support: Help with WordPress issues such as theme development and speeding up loading times.

Migration Migration: Hands-off migrating of your website from your old provider to them.

Premium Themes Premium Themes: Access to paid themes to start building a high quality website.

Premium Page Builder Premium Page Builder: A premium plugin that allows you to build your website without using code.

Agency Features Agency Features: Push websites to client accounts and revenue share for introducing them.

In-Depth WordPress Hosting Comparison

With the comparison summary now out of the way, lets take a deeper look at these WordPress hosting companies and see whats really under the hood. We will work chronologically through the value for money list above.

WP Extend

WP Extend LogoIn terms of value for money, when compared against the other WordPress hosting providers on this list WP Extend comes out top. The features and included extras paired with the fast loading times put WP Extend at the top of our value list.

The WordPress support that is offered by WP Extend (also available from Kinsta and Flywheel) is in our opinion the most important feature of a WordPress hosting plan (after the basics like speed and security).

The less than easy control panel is a thumbs down as you have to jump from window to window to access security and backups for example.

The agency features that are included were useful but no white-label is available. This means you are unable to provide clients a self-branded solution but you could push an order/website to a clients account and be rewarded with lifetime commissions based on whatever they sold, a monetising feature not seen with any other provider.

The cost was roughly in the middle of the pack yet the features and speed are closer to the top giving WP Extend the top spot in terms of value for money.

WP Engine

WP Engine LogoThe Rolls Royce of the WordPress hosting world is WP Engine. They are the highest priced but only perform marginally better than the rest in terms of speed. Although they are let down in terms of value for money when you start to weigh up whats included with other providers. If you have deep pockets then they are the guys to go to.

Unfortunately as you want to expand and add more features to your plan the costs start to skyrocket. Take a look at the price configuration after clicking Get Started on the price list.

With a lack of free migration and no WordPress support you are left to fend for yourselves. Other providers like Kinsta and WP Extend provide expert WordPress help to make sure that your site runs even if you were the reason its crashed (which is really what sets apart WP hosting from normal shared hosting).

A pro for WP Engine is that you get access to the Genesis framework, which is sort of like UnderStrap but you have to pay for it!

Kinsta

In the middle of the pack is Kinsta, a hosting company dedicated to WordPress hosting. Packages start as low as $30 a month and shoot up to several thousands of dollars to serve the big guys.

Included features with Kinsta are impressive, they don’t seem to charge additional fees on top for everything like some others do. The little extras that you get when you sign up are almost non-existent and the agency features you would want to help manage clients are thin.

They are one of a few companies that do include WordPress support with their hosting. This can be very valuable if you are trying to get a website up and running with limited time or depend on it as a source of revenue. Getting expert help from a knowledgeable developer can stop you wasting valuable days looking for solutions and is indispensable during a crisis.

Flywheel

Flywheel LogoAn impressive control panel paired with high quality marketing material but a slightly slower experience puts Flywheel in the middle in terms of value for money.

The hosting features are impressive but the added extras get pricey pretty easily much like WP Engine. Extras like white-label for agencies cost an additional $100/month just to be able to provide a self-branded experience to your clients.

If you want live chat support you will have to order the $266/month package unlike the others that include that for all levels.

The packages do not come with any premium themes or a page builder but this isn’t exactly deal breaking, just a luxury.

SiteGround

SiteGround LogoA more traditional hosting company that offers a bit of everything, SiteGround do have a dedicated WordPress offering but its not as fast as the others we compare here. Although the price does reflect this they do lack the additional features that you see with the others.

An easy to use control panel makes it easy to find your way around and add sites for example.

The lack of additional features like premium themes and WordPress support make this feel more like a glorified shared hosting plan with WordPress features. If you are looking for some budget development hosting rather than a home for a high quality WordPress site then this will do the job.

The other bonus for developers is the unlimited sites. The other providers limit the number of sites you can create per package you buy due to the resources needed for security and performance. This is a downside though to owners of websites that aren’t under development and need to be kept in the fastest and most secure environment possible.

Vouchers & Special Offers

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