A lot of people look at what features make up a WordPress hosting package in order to determine what is the best. While those are important things to look at, WordPress themselves have presented some criteria that they consider in order to determine the value and quality of a host.
Does The Host Provide Value To The WordPress.org Community?
One of the criteria that WordPress looks at is the contributions made to WordPress.org. This can be the amount of support requests they have handled, or perhaps their contributions to the themes and plugins freely available on the site. This can help gauge the host’s experience with WordPress and their committment to building and helping the community.
There is also often a forum section specific to a web host on WordPress.org so it is easy to see at a glance if any problems are being handled in a timely manner. It also indicates if there are common issues that should not exist if the host kept files and programs up to date.
Does The Size Of The Customer Base Matter?
While it may be looked upon as a bad thing if a hosting provider hosts many WordPress sites, it is more appropriate to consider the level of support that they are likely capable of providing. Having many WordPress sites hosted can also indicate popularity. Popularity suggests that ther are doing something right, whether it be their support, their feature set, their price, or the overall value of their product or service.
WordPress Recommends BlueHost
BlueHost has been a WordPress.org recommended web host since 2005. Their WordPress hosting package has the standard “unlimited” space, bandwidth, email accounts, and domain hosting. There’s also a $100 Google advertising offer which is pretty standard. This is usually for new AdWords customers only that are based in the U.S. and the coupon usually has to be used within a certain time frame, often a month or two.
Out of the ordinary though for a web host is the offer of a free domain name with the purchase of the account. There is also an anytime money-back guarantee. This isn’t a full upgrade in every case though. After a few days the domain cannot be refunded, and after 30 days the refund is pro-rated meaning that the customer pays for what has already been used. And it’s only the hosting that can be refunded anytime. It seems that other features like Whois Privacy and Site Lock etc. don’t qualify.
Another common, but great feature for many is the “1-click” WordPress install feature. This feature includes auto-upgrades as well which is a key security feature. It is always important to keep WordPress installation files up to date especially when a security update was made. Failure to do so can leave a site vulnerable for attack.
BlueHost claims to host millions of web sites with more than 850,000 of those being WordPress blogs at the time of this writing. They also boast less than 30 second hold times typically and they host all of their customer support staff in house in their Utah offices.
BlueHost Charges $3.95 Per Month For WordPress Hosting
BlueHost offers a very affordable hosting package on their shared servers. The cost is only $3.95 per month when paying 3 years in advance. It become more expensive the less that is paid in advance. For 2 years the cost goes up to $4.95 per month, and when just paying one year in advance the cost becomes $6.95 each month.
The most expensive price is still of value when comparing the feature set with other hosts and considering that WordPress puts BlueHost at the top of the list for the best host for WordPress sites.