Given the huge success that WordPress is having as a platform to develop websites, today I decided to dedicate an article to all those hosting services that offer special plans to make WordPress run at maximum efficiency: they are servers configured ad hoc and optimized for the WordPress platform, so they generally cost a few dollars more than the standard plans, but ensure the server side presence of a much more performing machine.
Before moving on to the review of hosts I would like to make a small preamble on WordPress, for those who do not yet know it. WordPress is absolutely the most used CMS in the world, and the four main reasons for its success are easy to guess: it’s free, it’s versatile, it’s beautiful and it’s very easy to use.
You can use it to create an e-commerce or as a showcase for your business, to make an online newspaper or simply a personal blog. Nowadays it only takes a few clicks to get your website online in a few minutes, and nowadays carving out your own space on the web is essential for any type of activity, and it will be even more so in the years to come.
Over the years then, given its great popularity among both professionals and newcomers to the web, were born hosting services designed precisely to make this CMS run at its best, and to make life even easier for those who are unfamiliar with the web, or for those who do not want and time to lose to configure the server to make the best of this platform.
Among the many hosting services for WordPress that I have tried over the years I will describe the two that should meet the needs of all, and that provide data centers in Europe: an aspect not to be underestimated.
1- SiteGround: the simple one
SiteGround is a great hosting for WordPress, well known and widely advertised among WordPress fans. The reason? This service has a whole series of solutions designed for those who need to put online their site with a few clicks and at maximum efficiency.
The basic plan (StartUp) is only 3.95$ per month for the first payment (renewals then at 11.95€), with free domain registration and 10GB of space. It also allows you to have a single online site, or to choose an intermediate package such as GrowBig, ideal if you intend to put more websites online.
The GrowBig package costs 5.95$ per month (always for the first payment, then €19.95 for renewals), and also gives you 10GB more space than the base. Considering these factors, SiteGround becomes convenient only if you decide to opt for advance payment up to 3 years, so that the price for renewals will be triggered only later.
During the domain registration process you can also select the data center that will host your site in WordPress: specifically, you can choose between Chicago, Singapore, London and Amsterdam. If you intend to make a site for the German market you should leave Amsterdam selected. If you plan to make one in English, better choose Chicago. SiteGround has a very good assistance always very timely, and if you need to transfer the site from another hosting service, they will take care of it without charging you any additional cost.
WP Engine: the professional
WP Engine is without a doubt the best hosting service dedicated to WordPress: their servers are optimized exclusively to run this platform, so those looking for the best performance will find in WP Engine the most professional service currently on the market.
There is only one thing, however: the price, which is absolutely not affordable for everyone. Just consider that the basic package, for a site, costs the beauty of 35$ per month: for this reason, I would recommend it only to those who have sites that are already making money and need high security systems and maximum levels of performance.
I would compare this hosting service to a Porsche: the top for those who want to run fast with their WordPress site, at a cost not for everyone.
What I did to “save” with WP Engine, since I manage several websites, was to buy the plan up to 15 installations, at a cost of 290$. In total it would be about 19$ per month per site, which is not bad at all considering that, in the end, we run all the most challenging sites. I preferred this solution rather than taking a dedicated server that I had to manage myself, because I would have spent more or less the same money and had a lot more trouble…
I forgot one thing: if you decide to pay one year ahead, you get 2 months.
WP Engine is a service designed only and exclusively for WordPress, and has the advantage that you will never have to click to manually install the CMS yourself. The same goes for the first registration procedure since, even afterwards, you can go and add from the control panel all the wordpress sites you want, in a fully automated way and with just one click.
Among the most interesting functions I found there is definitely “Staging”: this option is located inside your WordPress administration panel, and allows you to create a live copy of your current website, on which to experiment without affecting the original version.
Of course you can decide to replace the original version with the “Staging” version at the right time. The backup and recovery service is also very simple and intuitive: just a few clicks you will be able to restore an earlier version of a backup.
Let’s come to the security question: in addition to having an exclusive system for the protection of computer attacks and hacking, WP Engine has an automatic update system for both the core and the plugins and themes themselves, so you’ll never find yourself having dated and unsafe versions of your WordPress installations.