6 Blogging Trends to Capitalize on This Year

6 Blogging Trends to Capitalize on This Year

It’s no secret that blogs can be very profitable in the world of content marketing.

Over 409 million people view blogs each month, bringing brand awareness, consumer trust, and a higher likelihood of positive returns. What’s more, blogging results in a 434 percent increase in indexed pages and a 93 percent increase in indexed links.

This means more inbound traffic and more repeat customers for your company. What’s not to like?

That said, there are 8.2 million blog posts being uploaded worldwide each month, and that talent pool is only growing. To stay competitive, you need to be on top of the latest blogging trends and keep up to date with content marketing strategies.

Here are some of the biggest blogging trends to look out for this year, along with quick and easy ways to implement them into your blogging strategy.

Blogging Trend #1: Visual Content

No blogging trends list would be complete without reminding you of the importance of visual content.

There’s no doubt about it; visual content is on the rise. Studies have shown that readers can recall 65 percent of the visual content they’ve seen, even three days later.

That’s a big boost for your brand’s visibility and retention. 

As blogs become longer and more detailed, design and interactivity grow in importance. Visual content can offer readers a way to scan content without reading it all the way through.

HubSpot found that only 16 percent of online readers take in content word-by-word. The rest are scanning, looking for quick and efficient information.

If you want readers to stay on your page, be engaged, and promote your content on other platforms. This will make your information easy to scan and remember – simply by using visuals.

Using Visual Content in Your Blog Posts

Adding images and videos to your content breaks up heavy chunks of text and offers a new, responsive way for your audience to engage with your content.

It’s always preferable to use original content in your blogs, but stock imagery can still be useful when designing an engaging blog. For example, an infographic offers readers a way to easily consume your information without wading through the entirety of your post.

Here is a great infographic example from Oberlo.

infographic of average blog length from oberlo blogging trends

Likewise, video content is another one of this year’s hottest blogging trends that offers readers a more engaging way of interacting with your posts.

Surveys from Wyzowl have found that people watch an average of 2.5 hours of video content per day, so integrating video content into your blog is a great way to optimize user time spent on your pages.

Blogging Trend #2: Affiliate Marketing

Another important factor in today’s blogging trends is the implementation of affiliate marketing links in your blog content.

Affiliate marketing allows you to create an ongoing sales funnel outside your website.

For example, if you’re running a B2C business, you might hire a blogger to write a review post about your product. From there, you could offer their followers a discount if they buy it from that post.

Not only does this improve your sales reach, but it also introduces you to new audiences.

Blogs make up more than 40 percent of all affiliate commissions in the U.S. – making affiliate marketers an average of $65,800 per year. 

It’s no wonder affiliate marketing is one of the hottest blogging trends of the year. So how can you take advantage of this technique?

Using Affiliate Marketing on Your Blog

When creating a blog, think about affiliate marketing techniques you could employ.

If you’re mentioning a product or service, reach out to that company and see if they have any affiliate programs you could join. You can do this with a simple Google search for: product + “affiliate program.”

It’s always best to choose a product you know and love, as your results depend on how well you sell it.

That said, no one wants to read a sales pitch. A successful affiliate blog should be educational and informative and should employ other blogging techniques such as SEO and visual content.

It’s also important to note that the FTC requires you to disclose any affiliate programs, which you can do with a simple byline in your post.

Blogging Trend #3: Critical Readers

One of the more relevant blogging trends today is the inclusion of critical readers in your audience pool because public perception of online content is changing.

With terms like “fake news” and increased competition for content, readers are less willing to trust content that isn’t reputable.

Today’s reader needs reassurance that your content is accurate and fair. They expect citations, sources, and statistics to back up your claims. Likewise, you need to keep in mind the scope of content that’s readily available online.

Every year, more people and more brands enter the blogging scene.

To stay competitive and harness your SEO, you need to write content that is verified and well-sourced.

Writing for Critical Readers

It’s important to write logical, truthful, and high-quality content that uses authoritative sources and consistent citations.

Making baseless, unverified claims is a good way to lose your readers. Not only that, but bad sources can actually negatively affect your SEO and overall page authority.

Here are a few easy tips to follow when writing for critical readers:

  1. Write honest content that is backed by reputable sources.
  2. Use backlinks to cite sources or include them as footnotes.
  3. Do not make any claims you cannot prove.
  4. Do not promise anything you can’t deliver.

The biggest takeaway here is to avoid writing anything that isn’t true or that can’t be verified with accurate sources.

Losing credibility can be a big hit to your business. Stay informed and improve your brand integrity.

Blogging Trend #4: Mobile-First Format

Blogging trends often come and go, but mobile-first formatting is here to stay. These days, everyone uses their phone to read online.

From news articles in your Facebook feed to swipe-up blogs on Instagram, your consumers are constantly surfing the web from their phones.

It’s crucial that your website, blog, and any other digital content you create is optimized for mobile. No one wants to click on an article only to have it pixelated or cut off on their screen.

If you don’t have mobile optimization set up, you risk readers logging off before they have a chance to read your content. A study from Small Biz Genius shows that 88% of consumers won’t return to a website if they’ve had a bad experience.

Writing in a Mobile-First Format

When creating mobile-friendly content, it’s important to consider how your content will look on a mobile screen.

One sentence on a desktop screen can look like a paragraph on mobile.

Therefore, breaking up your paragraphs, using short sentences, and ensuring your website is optimized for mobile are very important.

Here are a few other points to consider:

  • make navigation as easy as possible
  • make your content easy to scan
  • ensure the on-page loading time is fast
  • use a mobile responsive web theme
  • don’t use text wrapping for images

As always, writing content that is simple, accurate, and concise can improve your overall mobile accessibility.

example of content marketing blog on neilpatel.com blogging trends

Blogging Trend #5: Estimated Reading Time

Another recurring theme in modern blogging trends is estimated reading times.

Estimated reading time can improve reader engagement by setting up their expectations from the start.

If you know a blog takes 15 minutes to read, but you only have 10 minutes before your next meeting, you might save that blog for another day. Likewise, if a blog takes two minutes to read, you may get excited about the convenient length of the article and open it right away.

Tempesta found that readers were 40 percent more engaged with blogs that included an estimated reading time. What’s more, search engines factor in estimated reading times when determining your rank. The longer your users dwell on your page, the better your chances are of looking authoritative to search engines.

Using Estimated Reading Times in Your Blog

The average reading speed of most adults is 200-250 words per minute.

To estimate your blog’s reading time, divide the number of words in your article by 200 or 250.

Always round up your number when estimating reading times. For example, if your blog takes 1.7 minutes to read, estimate 2 minutes. This ensures your reader’s expectations are met and increases the likelihood that they read your entire blog.

You can also use online calculators, such as Read-O-Meter or Decimal to Time Calculator, to help you. Some web hosting services, such as WordPress, have plugins available to estimate the reading time for you.

Blogging Trend #6: TL;DR Summary

One of the latest blogging trends you shouldn’t miss is the “too long; didn’t read” summary.

Commonly referred to as TL;DR, these summaries act as an abstract of your blog, giving readers the most important information without making them skim, scan, or read through the entire piece.

This point is important in blogging trends as we continue to see global attention spans drop.

A study by Microsoft found that global attention spans have been declining since 2000, with the average person’s attention span now resting at a mere eight seconds.

By including a TL;DR summary at the start of your blog, you can appeal to the new generation of online readers.

TL;DR summaries can also have a positive impact on your SEO, as they answer questions for readers clearly and distinctly. For example, if a customer is looking for consulting services, they don’t want to read an entire post just to get to the recommendations at the bottom.

If you include your TL;DR at the top of your post, search engines can use that as the summary in search results as well (but there’s no guarantee that they will).

Answering user questions right off the bat can improve your ranking and get you more clicks.

Adding TL;DR to Your Blog Posts

Your TL;DR should be the first thing your users see.

You can include this as a bulleted list or a paragraphed summary at the top of your blog post. Always have a catchy headline in your TL;DR to engage your reader and draw attention to your piece.

Similarly, your points should be succinct, clear, and short. Don’t write an entire essay in this space.

If you find a TL;DR formula that works for you, keep using it. Having a standardized format throughout your blogs will make your content consistent and reliable.

There are also online tools now offering TL;DR services. For example, TLDR claims to help you summarize an article in one click. You can also use TL;DR-ify for similar services.

Frequently Asked Questions on Blogging Trends

Is blogging a dying trend?

Although consumer preferences are definitely leaning towards visual content, blogging is still a perfectly valid content marketing strategy. Using images, videos, graphics, and infographics in your blog post will help you engage your audience, increase retention times, and meet all audience tastes. 

Are blogs popular in 2022?

Blogs are incredibly popular and are a great tool for many writers and marketers who want to position themselves as industry experts. Right now, there are around 600 million blogs live on the internet.

How is blogging used in marketing?

Blogging when combined with SEO optimization can help websites increase their traffic. This leads to more brand exposure and allows content marketers to control brand perceptions.

To this end, blogging has become a key part of many sales funnels – and efficient CTAs can engage and motivate audiences to sign up to mailing lists or even buy products.

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Blogging Trends Conclusion

Now that you know some of the latest and greatest blogging trends, how will you implement them?

If your goal is to create a better content marketing strategy, you should be including most, if not all, of these blogging trends.

If your goal is to improve your SEO, you may want to focus on mobile-first formats or visual content.

Ultimately, tapping into each of these blogging trends can open up opportunities for new success.

What blogging trend are you most excited to use for your business?

Source: New feed 2

SiteGround Review

Main homepage for SiteGround Review

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

SiteGround is one of the most popular web hosting providers out there. They host over 2.6 million domains currently.

They offer a wide range of hosting options, plans at different price points, and phenomenal customer support. Whether you’re a small blog, medium-sized business, or large online store, SiteGround has an option for you. 

In a nutshell, SiteGround is a host that your business can grow with, which is pretty darn important. 

SiteGround Compared to The Best WordPress Web Hosts

SiteGround fares exceptionally well against other products in its category. It’s without a doubt a key contender for top web hosting for WordPress services. 

But what I love most about it is that they’re both extremely scalable and dedicated to supporting your WordPress website. They are actually one of only three web hosts that are officially recommended by WordPress.

And their plans are built to handle your site, no matter how popular you get. Their mid-tier GrowBig plan supports 100,000 visits each month, while their top-of-the-line GoGeek plan can handle around 400,000 monthly visitors.

SiteGround also supports your WordPress website with their specifically designed features (which we’ll discuss below) and their 24/7 WordPress wizard customer support team. 

But I appreciate that you may have different needs or wish to explore your hosting options a bit further before committing to one host. 

That’s why we’ve taken the time to research and test some of the top web hosts for WordPress for you. Be sure to see all of my top picks before making your decision. 

Who is SiteGround Best For?

If I were extremely broad, I would say SiteGround is excellent for just about anyone who wants to host their website on WordPress. 

But to get specific, I’d say SiteGround is best for a small website owner who has little to no experience running a website and expects their website to grow over time. With flexible plans and excellent customer support, SiteGround is great for beginners and scaling over time.

SiteGround: The Pros and Cons

The Pros

Top-Notch Customer Support: Ever had seemingly unresolvable issues with technology and tried everything under the sun to fix it to no avail? Yeah, me too. 

Building a website doesn’t have to be scary or traumatic when you have SiteGround support on your side—your wish is their command. The customer support team is phenomenal. They receive almost a 100% satisfaction rating every year. 

Their 24/7 support comes via a live chat channel, phone support, and a helpdesk ticketing system. Even the most complex issues are resolved in an average time of 15 minutes, so you can get back to business asap. 

These things are super important for a beginning website owner to combat the inevitable challenges they face.

WordPress Recommended: SiteGround comes recommended by WordPress, and with good reason. Their WordPress hosting plans are some of the most comprehensive and feature-rich you’ll find today.

Many of the support team are highly trained in WordPress and will happily assist you with WordPress related troubleshooting, compared to other hosts, who will simply tell you it’s not their issue (which truthfully, it isn’t). 

To further earn its place as a WordPress-recommended host, SiteGround keeps developing new features for their WordPress hosting plans.

From automated WordPress updates and on-demand backups of your sites to their SuperCacher technology which speeds up your site without you having to touch a thing, SiteGround supports WordPress users so well because they understand the most pressing needs their websites face.

Low Introductory Price & Money-Back Guarantee: With a monthly hosting solution starting as low as $3.99 per month, SiteGround is a perfect option for even the most beginner website creators. 

Furthermore, the lead-in hosting plan includes all of the key features a new website owner would want in a plan, rather than having the absolute bare-bones to get the user to commit to a higher plan immediately. 

If something goes wrong, or your website doesn’t function the way you expect it to, you can get a full refund of your hosting fees within 30 days of signup.

Excellent Uptime & Site Speed: Uptime and site speed go hand-in-hand. Uptime refers to the amount of time the server stays up and running, while site speed refers to how quickly your website loads. 

Between independent tests my team has run and what I’ve heard from other longtime users of SiteGround, you can count on reliability in both these aspects.

Uptime is never a problem for SiteGround to maintain, especially after they’ve made some upgrades to their servers in recent years. On my most recent month-long test of their shared hosting, I only experienced two seconds of total downtime for the month. That’s extraordinarily reliable.

And site speed was nothing to sneeze at during that testing period, either. Shared and WordPress hosting aren’t exactly known for lightning-fast loading times. I’ve seen some big-name providers (who say all sorts of glowing things about site speed on their servers) return tests where they’ve averaged well over a full second for during a month.

Averaging over one second implies either it’s never faster than that or that there were significant periods where page load times approached or even exceeded two seconds.

In today’s internet, that’s an eternity.

But for our most recent test of SiteGround’s shared hosting, we found our demo site consistently loaded in just over half a second, averaging around 600 milliseconds. Better still, it was steady just about the entire month, with no crazy spikes in load times that would have ruined a visitor’s experience if they had found the site during that period.

That speediness is further bolstered by some extra features SiteGround has developed. The SiteGround Optimizer handles optimization and caching to help you deliver your content to visitors in the blink of an eye. And, the company’s proprietary Ultrafast PHP (available on the GrowBig and GoGeek plans) reduces the time to first byte by 30%.

Free Website Transfer: Many people are worried about making the switch to a new host. After all, it’s a scary process. What if you lose your entire website or cause irreparable damage? 

With SiteGround, you don’t need to worry. They’ll do it for you.

Most hosts will just move the files over. But SiteGround will also make the necessary tweaks to ensure everything is working smoothly for you after the transition. 

No blood, sweat, tears, or big bucks required in switching to a new host. SiteGround includes the WordPress migrator plugin in their plans, though if you prefer a professional to do it, it will cost you only $30 per website. 

Free Daily Back-Up: Most hosts will only back your website up every other day or even once a week. So, if anything happens to your website that you can’t fix, you might be forced to go back an entire week, meaning you’ll lose everything you’ve done in the meantime. 

But, with SiteGround, the worst-case scenario is that you’ll only lose the changes you’d made in the 24 hours since the last back-up. If that’s not peace of mind for someone making constant changes to their website, I don’t know what is! 

Great for Scalability: When you’re just starting out in business, there is no way but up, right? With SiteGround’s flexible range of plans, you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your host. Simply upgrade your plan as your business grows.  

The Cons

Renewal Price: As dreamy as the promotional rates of SiteGround’s hosting plans are, once the honeymoon is over, it’s truly over. 

When you renew, your rates will jump up quite high. The cost of your plan will essentially triple across the board once your promotional period is over. Ouch.

One of the main issues with this is that SiteGround’s best deal is usually for a one-year term and not the longer-term two- or three-year options.

However, there’s an easy workaround to reducing the pain of steep renewal rates. You can still grab the best deal for your first year and then minimize the renewal spike by renewing for a longer term. You get 20% off the renewal rate when you renew for 24 months or 30% off if you commit to 36 months.

Storage Limitations: The low amount of storage space available on the shared hosting plans is unlikely to bother most of you reading this post. However, if your site does grow beyond 40 GB, you’ll have no choice but to switch to the more expensive cloud hosting plans. 

The StartUp plan includes just 10,000 site visitors, so if your website traffic grows exponentially too quickly off the bat, you may find yourself needing to upgrade your plan sooner than you think. 

SiteGround Pricing

SiteGround offers three tiers for their hosting options:

  • StartUp
  • GrowBig
  • GoGeek

These tiers’ pricing remains the same across the board for standard shared web hosting, WordPress hosting, and WooCommerce hosting.

Cloud hosting has its own levels and pricing, which we’ll discuss in a bit. 

SiteGround pricing page for SiteGround Review

StartUp 

As the name suggests, this plan is perfect for those new to business or looking for smaller websites. The StartUp plan allows you one website, 10 GB of space, and up to 10,000 monthly visitors. Pricing starts at $3.99 per month on the introductory offer, which requires a one-year commitment.

However, it’s no slouch when it comes to included features. With this plan, you’ll get:

  • Free WordPress installation
  • Free SSL
  • SiteGround Optimizer plugin included
  • Automatic daily backups
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • Free mail 

Overall, it’s a great plan for those who are just getting started. The only thing to be wary of is outgrowing your monthly visitors limit. If you think you’re going to scale quickly, it would be worth starting straight off with the GrowBig plan.

GrowBig  

The GrowBig plan is perfect for medium-sized businesses or those who know they will be managing more than one website. You’ll have access to unlimited websites, 20 GB of web space, and up to 100,000 monthly visitors. Pricing starts at $6.69 per month for a one-year term. 

Aside from the features included in the StartUp plan, this plan also includes:

  • On-demand backup copies
  • Ultrafast PHP
  • Staging environment 
  • Add collaborators to your site

It’s easy to understand why GrowBig is SiteGround’s best-selling plan. It includes a range of great features that are easy to use and will fit the brief most in need of a website out there that expects a steady traffic flow. 

GoGeek

The GoGeek is the most extensive shared hosting plan SiteGround has to offer. As the name suggests, it’s designed for ‘technology geeks’ who want lots of control over their website. 

The GoGeek plan will give you unlimited websites, 40 GB of web space, and up to 400,000 monthly visits. Needless to say, it’s truly designed for large businesses with a high volume of traffic. Pricing starts at just $10.69 per month when you sign up for a full year of hosting up front. 

The GoGeek plan includes all the features mentioned above, as well as: 

  • Register your clients with white-label access to Site Tools
  • Use more server resources for higher process execution time
  • Git integration
  • Ultrafast PHP for faster page loads
  • Priority support from SiteGround’s most experienced customer support agents

In a nutshell, this plan is for those of you who know what you’re doing with websites. If you don’t understand some of the plan’s technological features, it may not be the best plan for you. Unless, of course, you have a specialist on your team to manage your website and need access to high volume traffic capabilities. 

Cloud Hosting

We’ll touch on the cloud hosting product offerings shortly, but in terms of pricing, there are four plans for SiteGround’s cloud hosting: Jump Start, Business, Business Plus, and Super Power. 

As you can see in the screenshot below, the pricing ranges from $100 to $400 per month. The major difference in the plans is CPU cores, memory, and SSD space. 

Due to the easy scalability of the cloud hosting options (which you’ll learn about shortly), you can confidently start with the Entry plan if it’s your first time using cloud hosting. 

SiteGround Offerings

SiteGround Web Hosting

SiteGround offers fast and secure web hosting for websites of any kind. Their general web hosting product is optimized for a range of Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and more. 

You’ll be able to build and launch your website quickly and easily with their full website solution, including your choice of site builder: WordPress or Weebly. If you’re an online store, you’ll be able to install the shopping cart of your choice for free. 

Domain registration is easy and affordable with SiteGround, so you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience of managing both your domain and your site in one place. 

You’ll also have access to an unlimited number of email accounts when you create your domain, which is perfect for managing different areas of your business. 

SiteGround WordPress Hosting

SiteGround is one of the few web hosting companies that offer hosting options specifically for WordPress. As mentioned previously, they are even highly recommended directly by WordPress. 

With SiteGround, you won’t need to download and install WordPress manually. Instead, you’ll be able to automate the process with a simple click of a button using the WordPress Launch feature. 

Upon login to your new website, you’ll be prompted to set your site up simply and easily with SiteGround’s WordPress Starter kit. The whole process takes minutes from start to finish, even for a beginner!

One of the most popular features of SiteGround’s WordPress hosting is the free SiteGround Migrator plugin. This feature is perfect for users who may hold their website with another host and wish to transfer over to SiteGround. 

Better yet, if you’re not confident in your abilities to navigate the migrator plugin, you can have a WordPress whiz from SiteGround do it for you for an additional fee. 

SiteGround WooCommerce Hosting

SiteGround also offers hosting options for users looking to build a powerful online shop using WooCommerce. This plan comes with WooCommerce pre-installed, saving you time and hassle, allowing you to straightaway focus on uploading products to your online store. 

With WooCommerce, you can sell any type of product or service online. SiteGround will support your ecommerce growth by keeping your website safe with a unique AI anti-bot system, free pre-installed SSL, and custom Web Application Firewall (WAF).

If you choose the WooCommerce GrowBig or GoGeek plan, SiteGround will also include a convenient staging tool. You’ll be able to develop your store safely, testing changes and updates made on the staging copy before going live. 

SiteGround Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a relatively new way to host websites. It’s an ideal solution for businesses and websites of medium to larger sizes, who have the capacity to grow very quickly. If you are starting to outgrow your shared hosting plan, cloud hosting is the next step. 

SiteGround’s cloud hosting will provide you with guaranteed resources with your very own RAM and CPU. You can also upgrade the RAM, CPU, and disk space of your cloud plan at any time. Better yet, there is no downtime with this process—the resources are added immediately. 

If you want to automate the scaling process, you can do that, too! SiteGround’s unique auto-scale option will adjust your CPU and RAM to meet the needs of unexpected traffic surges, preventing any slowness or downtime. 

The best part is that the scalable amount is pre-determined by you, so you’ll still have control over the scale’s parameters. 

Finally, cloud hosting with SiteGround will also include a free dedicated IP. This feature will give you peace of mind that your website is safe from IP blacklist due to other webmasters’ actions.

The Best WordPress Web Hosting Service

Not sold that SiteGround is the perfect match for you? Or maybe you simply want to know what else is out there, so you can ensure you’ve chosen the best of the best. I get it. 

That’s why we’ve written a whole post about the best WordPress web hosting services out there. Here are the contenders I’ve reviewed:

  1. Bluehost — Best WordPress hosting for new websites
  2. WP Engine — The best for managed WordPress hosting
  3. Hostinger – The best for cheap WordPress hosting
  4. SiteGround — The best support for affordable WP hosting
  5. DreamHost — The lowest day one spend for WP hosting
  6. Nexcess — The Best For Customized Managed Hosting Solutions
  7. A2 Hosting — The best for moving an existing site to better WP hosting

The bottom line: Would I recommend SiteGround for your web hosting needs? Absolutely.
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They have a range of plans to suit any business and budget, and they compete well with their competitors in terms of features. They excel in site speed time and offer phenomenal customer service. With all this in mind, they are a sound choice.

Source: New feed 2

How You Can Leverage Gamification for Marketing

Gamification for Marketing

More and more companies are throwing traditional marketing out the window. Old-school techniques are uninviting, boring, and slow.

In comes gamification for marketing.

This marketing strategy allows users to personally engage with your business and have the opportunity to achieve or win something along the way.

Chances are, you see gamification in marketing all the time without even realizing it. The best marketing techniques market to you when you least expect it. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to use these strategies, too.

What Is Gamification for Marketing?

Gamification in marketing involves leveraging game-like elements to promote your business.

A great example is adding scratch-off tickets to email marketing campaigns. Companies send a virtual lottery ticket to subscribers who use their cursor to virtually “scratch off” and reveal what’s underneath.

What Is Gamification for Marketing - Example Scratch off

The result could be discounts like free shipping or merchandise.

Right off the bat, you can see a few clear positives. It’s engaging. You’re doing something different than the competition and allowing your subscribers the opportunity to win something in exchange for their time.

There’s science behind why this is so effective. Experts believe gamification for marketing increases dopamine in the brain, which provides a feeling of pleasure and positivity. This becomes an immediate association with your business which shines a big positive light on your brand. People begin to associate that feeling with you which in turn, has a ton of good side effects.

Benefits of Using Gamification for Marketing

There are very few downsides to gamification for marketing other than the process of setting it up. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits.

Increase and Improve Engagement

Gamification not only “increases” engagement, but also “improves” engagement. There’s a difference. You can always increase your engagement, but it doesn’t mean people will take action. However, you’re creating customers or clients when you improve overall engagement.

Games encourage people to interact with your brand and create a real relationship. They’ll remember you, and are likely to come back to enjoy whatever your gamified campaign has to offer.

Grow Brand Awareness

People love it when they have the opportunity to win stuff. We’re constantly attracted to anything associated with a giveaway. Once again, there’s a lot of psychology behind this.

The word “free” is often a death sentence in the marketing world because it can reduce your email results, send you to the spam folder or get your PPC campaigns blacklisted. Luckily, there are other ways to entice people to your brand without giving stuff away for free.

By including gamification in your marketing campaigns, you can create a rollercoaster of emotions. This increases their connection with your brand and increases the chances of them telling someone else about you, bringing them back for more.

Gather More Customer Data

Data is king right? We’re always trying to get people to enter their information in exchange for lead magnets like e-books, swipe files, and free content.

What if all you had to do was give someone a chance to spin the wheel of fortune in exchange for an email subscription? You can also gather information about demographics and interests that you can use to better target your marketing.

Makes You More Interesting

Research shows younger generations are harder to reach with marketing. Kids are growing up with a “skip ad” button in the corner of every screen. Even if they have to watch an ad, they often tune them out.

However, they are less likely to skip the ad if it asks them to do something or invites them to try a game while they wait.

In general, younger generations are less likely to shop based on ads and are more emotional with their purchases. They prefer to buy from companies they like, even if that means paying a little more.

Types of Gamification in Marketing – How Gamification Can Be Used in Marketing

Gen Y and Gen Z are the consumers of the future. They have an attention span of eight seconds, so you need to attract them quickly.

Here are a few ways to do that using gamification.

1. Playable Games

The most obvious way to include gamification in marketing is with actual game play. This doesn’t always have to be super fancy. For example, designing your own kitchen before purchasing the cabinets from a kitchen remodeling company.

Another example is Chipotle creating a playable game modeled after their popular “A Love Story” film.

Doing so allows the user to picture their brand new kitchen before it’s complete. Plus, they feel like they have an actual role in the design process. You can skip of a bunch of steps in the sales process because the user tells you what they want without even realizing it.

2. Games of Chance

Games of chance give users the opportunity to win something by spinning a wheel, drawing a number, or scratching off a ticket.

Car dealerships are known for this strategy—1,000 people receive keys in the mail, and they’re told one key will fit in a brand new Honda down at the dealership. Everyone rushes down to the car dealership, which provides the company with the opportunity to sell to all those people. It’s worth giving away one free car in exchange for the new business and brand awareness.

This strategy can be used by ecommerce businesses, retail stores, restaurants, even service providers. Features like digital scratch-offs or virtual wheels make it easy to send these types of games through email as well.

3. Contests and Leaderboards

This is similar to a game of chance but instead, it’s a contest involving community and competition. For example, a brain training app could have users take a test for free and the score is displayed on a leaderboard stating the app helps raise your score.

Duolingo uses a similar approach to keep users engaged with their app and encourage users to sign up for their paid version.

gamification in marketing example duo lingo

If you find you’re scoring low, you might consider paying for the app to get more chances to raise your score. This gamification marketing strategy works great in competitive industries like fitness, gaming, and sports.

4. Rewards Programs

Rewards or loyalty programs are another popular example of gamification for marketing. Have you ever been to a coffee shop that tracks your points every time you go? You earn so many points for each dollar spent with the opportunity to get free things such as bagels, pastries, and coffee.

Starbucks does this with their “My Starbucks Rewards” program. It encourages people to come back to that coffee shop to earn (or redeem!) their points. People will go out of their way to go to a Starbucks instead of a Dunkin Donuts because they know they’re working towards a free reward.

Gamification for Marketing Examples

Here are some real-life examples of gamification—and why they work. Use them to inspire your own campaigns.

1. State Farm

Gamification for Marketing Examples - State Farm

You’ve probably heard of the “Drive Safe and Save” app from State Farm. When you sign up they send you a device to attach to your car that records and tracks your vehicle’s activity while you drive.

Factors such as quick acceleration, hard braking, speeding, and distracted driving lower your score.

As you increase your score, the amount of money you save increases. This is one of the best examples of gamification in marketing I’ve ever seen. It takes a mundane daily activity such as driving and turns it into a fun, memorable experience.

2. McDonald’s

Gamification for Marketing Examples - McDonalds

Another popular example is the McDonald’s Monopoly game. It’s so popular that people have created guides on increasing your odds of winning.

The game offers a tiered incentive structure, which drives engagement. By dangling a small reward, such as a free order of fries or a soda, users are more likely to keep trying to win that big prize.

People have the opportunity to play the game online to win up to $100,000, free vacations, hot tubs, cars, and more. To win, users have to collect stickers from food boxes and soda cups. Some contain instant rewards such as free food, while others require you to go online in order to win smaller rewards like cash or gift cards.

This tiered reward system is incredibly powerful and adding the gamification element with the Monopoly theme makes it better.

3. Domino’s

Gamification for Marketing Examples - Dominos

The Domino’s app has paved the way for gamification in marketing by making the process of ordering a pizza fun, simple, and fast. You create your own pizza and progress in the app as you add toppings, change the crust, and play around with sides and drinks.

Then, you see the Domino’s Tracker, which tells you what step of the process your pizza is in. The bar fills up as the worker prepares the pizza, puts it in the oven, and then tosses it in the car to deliver.

It’s simple, and it keeps you engaged while you wait for your pizza to arrive.

Best Practices for Creating a Gamification Marketing Strategy

Now that you’ve seen some types of gamification used in marketing, let’s look at how to make the most of your campaigns.

1. Know Your Audience

Get clear idea of your target customer persona before adding gamification to your marketing. If you don’t know who you’re marketing to, your campaign will fail. Know your target audience, understand what makes them tick, then create a campaign.

Who are they? What gets them excited? What pop culture references are they familiar with? Use that info to build an irresistible game.

2. Keep It Simple

One of the reasons why the examples above work is because they’re simple and have a low barrier of entry. For McDonald’s, all you need to do is peel a piece of paper and enter a code, which takes a few seconds.

If you make it complicated, fewer people will participate. If there are too many rules, people will feel their chances of winning are too small and won’t bother. Keep it simple and streamline the process as much as you can.

3. Offer a Tiered Reward System

The McDonald’s tiered reward system works because you almost always win something. Even if you don’t win a big prize, you might win a fry or an ice cream. Best of all, you’re not going to use that free Big Mac reward after you just had one, right? You’re going to come back again for something else and another opportunity to win.

4. Keep Them Engaged

The State Farm app does a great job of keeping you constantly engaged with the reward system. This keeps the game—and the company—fresh in your mind. If there are long periods between interactions, users will lose interest.

5. Encourage Sharing

Offer ways for people to invite their friends to participate. Many interactive and competitive games do a nice job with this. A clickable link allows someone to let their friends know they’re participating in something, which can direct new people to your offer.

You can also offer additional entries for sharing, depending on the type of game you create.

Gamification for Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

What is gamification in digital marketing?

Gamification in digital marketing is the process of adding gaming elements to your online marketing campaigns. These can be rewards programs, games of chance, and actual gameplay.

What is gamification in marketing?

Gamification in marketing involves adding gameplay, competition, and rewards to your marketing campaigns. This might include online games, scratch-offs, stamp cards, or any other methods that attract your audience with engaging elements or chances to win.

How much do marketing campaigns with gamification elements cost?

Gamification is a billion-dollar industry so don’t expect it to be cheap. The cost will depend entirely on what you’re creating and what industry you’re in. If you’re looking to level up your marketing campaigns, we can help.

What are the benefits of gamification in marketing?

Gamification is fun and engages users more than other forms of marketing. It also helps drive brand awareness (people are more likely to share games when they are having fun!) and can help businesses gather crucial customer data that can be used for retargeting or marketing personalization efforts.

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Conclusion: Gamification for Marketing

Gamification is a powerful marketing strategy that can engage your audience, drive social proof, and increase sales.

Generating interest in your business is always a challenge and keeping attention is even more difficult. Adding gaming elements to your marketing campaigns increases engagement and keeps you fresh in the minds of your ideal customer.

Have you tried gamification in your marketing? What worked and what didn’t?

Source: New feed 2

10 Website Performance Metrics You Need to Understand

10 Website Performance Metrics You Need to Understand

If you want to succeed in online marketing, your website needs to be effective.

How do you tell if it’s actually working? Website performance metrics are the key.

The problem is there are so many metrics available through Google Analytics and other tracking platforms. It can be overwhelming to determine how your site is performing — or even which metrics you should track.

From bounce rate to page views, the metrics that form the shape of your site’s traffic can be hard to discern.

Plus, some of those metrics don’t really matter in the long run.

In this blog post, I’ll share 10 website performance metrics that will help you understand your site’s overall performance.

Why Is It Important to Track Website Performance Metrics?

Outside of the sheer financial or time commitment required to build and maintain a website, tracking website performance metrics provides an understanding of how users are behaving on your various pages.

By identifying actions and movements, you can see if they’re following the path you’ve pre-charted for them. If they’re not, you can adjust and optimize your pages to drive visitors to the conversion you’re aiming for.

Website metrics can also help you track and diagnose issues with:

  • Effectiveness of your content strategy
  • Keyword ranking
  • The best traffic sources
  • Paid ad success
  • Conversion rates

Essentially, if you want to know whether your online marketing efforts are paying off, you need to track your website performance metrics. The exact metrics you track, however, can vary by industry, target audience, even where users are in the marketing funnel.

How to Identify Which Website Performance Metrics to Track

Website metrics provide a clear view of your business’ performance. While the term metrics may seem overwhelming at first, it shouldn’t; these figures can only help you.

Before you dive into tracking every available metric, first identify which metrics matter most to your business.

This can be ascertained by assessing your goals. If you’re hoping to skyrocket to number one on Google’s first page, you want to track metrics that align with search performance. That might mean tracking which keywords you rank for using a tool like Ubersuggest.

If your quarterly goal is to increase web sales, then you should track conversions, as well as how visitors are behaving on your site and when cart abandonment occurs.

In short, the metrics that you track should speak directly toward your goals. While it may be compelling to simply cherry-pick the metrics that reflect the rosiest image of your business, actual change and opportunity comes from identifying areas that need improvement.

Top 10 Website Performance Metrics to Track

While the metrics you track will depend on your individual goals, there are 10 website performance metrics that provide a 360-degree performance review, regardless of business benchmarks.

1. Website Speed

While the term website speed may simply conjure load time, insights into this particular metric actually go much deeper.

As attention spans shorten, you need to determine how your site is performing in a number of speed-related functions.

These include:

Time to Title

This time measurement refers to the amount of time from a visitor’s website request to the moment your site title manifests on the browser tab. This matters for visitors as a speedy title appearance ensures them that your site is legitimate.

Time to Start Render

This time measurement refers to the amount of time elapsed between a user request and when content materialized in-browser. Much like time to title, the quicker this happens, the more likely the visitor is to stay on the page.

Time to Interact

Referring to the time it takes from request origination and when the visitor can take an action (click on links, scroll page, type, etc.), time to interact is also vital when it comes to how long a visitor will stay on your site.

While there are more in-depth metrics associated with website speed, starting with these three can be the first step toward improving your site speed overall.

To find these numbers for your respective pages, you can use a free webpage speed test tool.

Top 10 Website Performance Metrics to Track  - Website Speed

2. Number of Assets

The term “assets” refers to the materials that compose your page. Think: text content, audio, video, etc. Behind the scenes, each of these elements takes time to load. As you include more and more assets on a page, you can seriously slow down your page-load time.

There are many tools that assess the size of your page and assets. If you find that your assets are lowering load speed, you can always consider hosting them on an external site to speed up on-page load.

Top 10 Website Performance Metrics to Track  - Number of Assets

3. Error Rate

This metric tracks the percentage of request issues your site generates in comparison to the total number of requests. If you see a spike in these figures, you know you are about to run into a major issue. By keeping an eye on your error rate, you can diagnose and fix issues preemptively. However, without an eye toward your error rate, you can run into challenges that can take down your entire site and leave you correcting in real-time.

You can use a tool to track your error rate.

Top 10 Website Performance Metrics to Track  - Error Rate

4. Bounce Rate

This metric refers to the number of users who are departing from your site shortly after arriving. In addition to impacting conversions and overall performance, a high bounce rate can have a negative impact on SEO since it can serve as an indicator that your site isn’t delivering what it promised.

To find your bounce rate via Google Analytics, navigate to Behavior>Site Content>Landing Pages Report, then scroll down to see bounce rates for individual pages.

Check out these tips to reduce your bounce rate.

To reduce your bounce rate, check out these actionable tips.

5. Unique Visitors

This term refers to a single browser that has accessed your site over a specified timeframe—this can be daily, weekly, or monthly. This metric is valuable as it indicates growth.

While there is benefit in repeat return visitors, if you’re focused on brand growth, you want to see your number of unique visitors rising steadily.

This specific metric is easily viewable through the Audience tab in Google Analytics account.

6. Traffic Source

When you track traffic sources, you can determine where your traffic is coming from, rather than just using volume alone.

This matters as it allows you to determine where your visitors are coming from; organic search, social media, or referrals. Ideally, you want to have an evenly-weighted bag when it comes to traffic sources. If it’s leaning more toward a specific source, you can adjust your content strategy to rebalance.

To see where your traffic is coming from, visit Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.

7. Conversion Rate

Convert, convert, convert is a common mantra in the marketing world. When you track your conversion rate, you gain viability into the quality of your leads, as well as how effective your website is as a whole.

For example, if you have a low conversion rate and a high traffic rate, you can infer that your on-page conversion tactics are not working as well as those off-site.

This information allows you to edit properties of your site to better meet the needs of your visitors.

To view your conversion rate in Google Analytics, navigate to Conversion and then Overview.

8. Top Pages Website

You always want to know which pages on your site are performing best—whatever best means for your particular goals.

To this end, keep an eye toward which pages are converting and which are not. By identifying what works, you can replicate that success in other pages across your site.

As you assess which pages are performing best, you should also track landing pages and exit pages.

Landing Pages

These are the pages that users land on when they enter your site. Since we all know there’s no second chance at a first impression, these pages need to be optimized and perform seamlessly.

To check out how these pages are running, access Google Analytics then Behavior, Site Content, and Landing Pages.

Exit Pages

An exit page is the last page a user visits before ending their session. By identifying these pages, you can better optimize them, encouraging visitors to stay longer.

To explore your exit pages, go to Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages.

9. Keyword Ranking

Although keyword rankings are in constant flux, a sudden, deep drop can be cause for concern.

Of all the SEO metrics to track, keyword ranking should top your list.

Why?

These terms allow you to double-check that your SEO strategy is working and can help you tangibly measure your progress.

Looking for a tool to help you track these metrics? Ubersuggest can help.

10. Lead Generation

You know lead generation is vital to your organization’s growth. You also know how challenging lead generation can be, not to mention a nebulous space to navigate.

To help you gain a more analytical view of your lead generation strategy, there are three key website performance metrics that you should track: bounce rate, average session duration, and click-through rate (CTR).

While we unpacked the bounce rate above, here’s why you should track CTR and average session duration.

CTR

This metric identifies what percentage of site users interacted with a specific CTA and is vital in determining overall lead success.

Average Session Duration

This metric refers to the average amount of time a user spends on your site. A longer duration indicates highly-engaged users, while the opposite signals changes and optimization are necessary.

Website Performance Metrics Frequently Asked Questions

How do you measure website performance metrics?

Website performance metrics can be aggregated through Google analytics or a number of other external tools that can help site owners gain a 360-degree view of site performance.

What are the best KPIs for a website?

The best KPIs for a website include click-through rate (CTR) and average session duration.

How much does it cost to track website performance metrics?

Regardless of your budget (seriously, you can track website performance metrics for free), there are price-ranging tools that can track website performance metrics.

How much time does it take to track website performance metrics?

While viewing your site’s performance can take just a matter of seconds, to have a true understanding of your site’s efficacy, you need to have a longitudinal assessment of your site’s performance over time.

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Website Performance Metrics Conclusion

Whether you’re building a brand-new website or simply hoping to optimize your existing site for better performance, the above 10 website performance metrics can help you gain a clear view of user behavior on your website, as well as how your site is running overall.

By optimizing functions you can control, like site speed and number of assets, you can make your site much more user-friendly, encouraging visitors to spend more time on your pages.

While you can’t technically control how your visitors behave on your site, you certainly can optimize content to drive behavior.

What are the best website performance metrics you use to gauge efficacy?

Source: New feed 2

Best VPS Hosting Plans

Hostinger splash page for Best VPS Hosting

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best VPS hosting services for most people are Hostinger or Bluehost.

Upgrading to one of the best VPS hosting plans will drastically improve your site performance if you’re currently using shared hosting.

VPS stands for virtual private server. It means you get a private slice of server resources–no more sharing them with other websites–and the ability to customize the server, which you can’t do with shared hosting.

You get the exact resources your sites need, but you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars a month for an entire dedicated server of your own.

Or, maybe you need VPS for a different reason, such as corralling all the data from a fleet of smart devices or vehicles, running gaming servers, or computing ungodly amounts of data.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Using VPS servers for edge computing offers a far more efficient way to get data to the end-user than sending everything through a single central server.

Let’s run through everything you need to know to make an informed decision. I’ll start off with in-depth reviews of my top recommendations for VPS hosting and conclude with a brief buyer’s guide to help you select the best fit for you.

#1 – Hostinger — The Best VPS Hosting for First-Timers

Hostinger splash page for Best VPS Hosting

Hostinger has some really inexpensive VPS plans and an approachable interface that makes it perfect for new users. 

You won’t get as much assistance setting things up as you do with a fully-managed plan, but it’s a fraction of the cost. 

It’s not like you don’t get support. Far from it. Hostinger has customer service agents available. 24/7/365. The company promises short wait times for answers whenever you reach out, even though it’s an unmanaged plan.

And compared to some of the unmanaged plans aimed solely at developers, Hostinger is a lot more welcoming. You’re not expected to know everything, and helpful context is always linked or a click away.

Consider how easy it is to backup and restore your VPS server. Weekly or daily backups are generated automatically, depending on your plan, and available in your control panel. 

You can also create a snapshot of the VPS at that exact moment whenever you want. This is great if you are about to try a major change on your site. Something goes wrong, just restore your site to the way it was before in a couple clicks. No harm, no foul.

You get a solid range of OS choices: CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, or Suse. These are one-click to install.

Hostinger describes its plan structure as “semi-managed” VPS hosting. It’s good for starting out because you get a mix of support and freedom at a really low cost.

Hostinger doesn’t include licenses cPanel with the budget VPS hosting plans. There’s just no way they can give it away when you are only paying a few bucks a month for VPS hosting. The good news is that it’s cheaper to get cPanel with Hostinger than it is with any other host, starting at $1.95 per month.

Hostinger has six levels with increasing amounts of server firepower. VPS levels 1-4 are shown below:

Hosting pricing for Best VPS Hosting

Start off small and scale as big as you want. VPS 1 is an excellent price for getting your feet wet, and comes with more than enough resources for your first project. If you have to upgrade, you have options that remain extremely affordable.

To get the lowest price, you’ll have to sign up for a 4-year deal. This might be a turn off if you are just looking to experiment, but it’s pretty great to be able to lock in 48 months of VPS hosting at $3.95.

And if you just want to pay month to month, the price of VPS 1 is only $9.99. That is really reasonable. Honestly, that is a normal price for shared hosting, and this is way more powerful.

The last thing you need to know about Hostinger is the 30-day money back guarantee. It’s zero risk to try and easy to start using. If you’ve ever thought of seeing how VPS hosting could give you a leg up on the competition, give Hostinger a shot today.

#2 – Bluehost — The Best For New Sites that Need Top Performance

Bluehost splash page for Best VPS Hosting

If you have a new app, project, or website that needs it’s own dedicated set of server resources, Bluehost has you covered.

You can get a VPS set up for a great price, without adding a ton of complexity to your IT maintenance. 

Everything is easier to configure with Bluehost’s enhanced cPanel, which comes free with all VPS plans. You’ll be able to manage emails, domains, websites, and more within the user-friendly interface.

Usually you have to pay extra for even a basic control panel. Not with Bluehost, though, which starts at $18.99 per month.

And Bluehost includes a lot of services in every VPS hosting package. This means less to spend and try and figure out on your own. You’ll get:

  • Free domain name (for the first year)
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 Customer support
  • Multiple FTP accounts
  • Multi-Server management
  • Role based access control

You’ll be able to manage all of your sites from a single location with multi-server management. This is helpful if you have sites that are fine on shared hosting and only need the VPS for a particular site or application.

Bluehost offers three different plans for VPS hosting.

Bluehost VPS pricing for Best VPS Hosting

The Standard plan is on the low-end of pricing, especially when you consider that cPanel is included for free. This is normally going to cost you $10-15 per month extra.

Bluehost has also improved the control panel with specific tools for managing your VPS.

You can definitely get a cheaper VPS if you are a DIY type who doesn’t want cPanel taking away from their VPS resources. But for your typical user that just wants a simple interface to manage their VPS, Bluehost is a bargain.

Getting the domain name free for the first year is another $10-15 saved.If you are thinking about VPS hosting for a new site or app, you should definitely consider Bluehost.

#3 – HostGator — The Lowest Cost for Managed VPS Hosting

HostGator splash for Best VPS Hosting

For many people, HostGator is going to be the cheapest way possible to get a managed VPS plan–that means high-power servers with low-stress maintenance for a great price.

In fact, the only reason I can’t say this is the cheapest managed VPS plan for everyone is that you have to use cPanel for server management. If you use something else, HostGator can’t provide the full-service management that makes this option so attractive.

It’s a little unusual, the fact that the hosting control panel impacts the level of service you get. But given that cPanel is one of the most widely used options on the planet, many users are going to be able to benefit from HostGator’s excellent managed VPS plans.

Why am I such a big fan? 

First off, the generous amount of resources you get. The entry-level HostGator VPS plan comes with 2 GB RAM, 120 GB storage, and unmetered bandwidth. That means you won’t get charged based on a set level of traffic coming to your site.

Obviously there’s an acceptable use policy, but you don’t have hard fast limits.

You’ll have root access and total control over what you install on your VPS. The Softaculous script installer (included free) lets you load hundreds of the most popular web apps onto your server in a single step.

Whenever you run into trouble, day or night, you can reach out to HostGator by phone, chat, or Twitter, if you really want to catch HostGator’s attention. Premium support comes with every managed plan, as well as server monitoring and remediation. 

You can definitely find unmanaged plans for cheaper, but having a service team there around the clock to troubleshoot issues is a tremendous value. 

HostGator’s support really goes to the next level with free content transfers. Sign up and HostGator will transfer everything from your old site to its new home–files, databases, scripts–you don’t have to stress or worry. 

With HostGator, everything is set up right the first time and you have all the help you need moving forward. HostGator provides courtesy weekly backups, which is helpful, but you can also schedule your own backups and create them on-demand.

Such flexible backup capabilities can easily run $10-20 per month if you purchase them separately (to say nothing of the time it takes). Affordable hosting plans usually cut corners, but HostGator is loaded with cost-saving features:

  • Unlimited email
  • 2 dedicated IPs
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Softaculous script installer
  • Free SSL certificates
  • DDoS protection

You have the option of going with a semi-managed plan or a fully-managed plan. The prices you see below are the semi-managed plan:

HostGator VPS pricing page for Best VPS Hosting

For people who know their way around the command line, or already have a hosting control panel they like, these semi-managed plans will be great. But if you want the fully-managed services, you will have to purchase cPanel, which is $10 per month more.

It’s still a great price, especially when you think about the 24/7 premium service and all the backups and security responsibilities that are taken off your plate.

CentOS is the default operating system, so there is a little less flexibility than some of the other web hosts on my list. That said, for most people, this is going to be fine.

So there are a few limits and asterisks to this deal (you have to use cPanel, for instance), but they are not going to get in the way of most people seeking a managed VPS plan.

Give HostGator a call today and have your site migrated for free.

#4 – Liquid Web — The Best for Upgrading From Shared Hosting

Liquid Web splash page for Best VPS Hosting

Liquid Web doesn’t offer shared hosting, and if you want to leave that world behind, the company has a great deal to get set up. 

Go with one of the managed VPS plans, and Liquid Web throws in a free migration. This involves a team of specialists moving all of your content and data over to the new hosting. I think that’s a pretty big deal because it saves you money, time, and the cost of screwing something up.

And once you get set up, you kind of get to keep the good parts of the shared hosting experience without the downsides. 

VPS with Liquid Web is still really affordable, especially when you consider what a dedicated server costs. So you are not breaking the bank to get the increased VPS performance and stability you need.

Plus you get to keep a relatively low-key maintenance schedule, which is something people really love about shared hosting. There’s more to do with VPS, for sure, but much of the backend legwork is handled by Liquid Web if you want.

If you are happy managing your server, get an unmanaged plan. If you want to avoid all responsibility, get a fully managed plan. And if you fall somewhere in between, you can check out the Core VPS plan, which Liquid Web describes as semi-managed.

Just pick the level of support that matches your technical confidence and time constraints.

Bear in mind that the support level you choose for your plan is an additional level of premium support on top of Liquid Web’s customer service team. No matter what plan you pick you can connect with an on-site service agent by phone, chat, and email 24/7.

So you have more freedom to build, better resources to do it, and support whenever you run into issues. It’s an all-around improvement from shared hosting, complete with:

  • Integrated firewall
  • Remote backups by default
  • DDoS prevention
  • Proactive monitoring
  • ServerSecure protection

You won’t have to worry about managing any of this. It just happens in the background while you focus on your business.

Liquid Web offers a range of plans and bundles with extremely low introductory pricing. Upon renewal, it goes up to the monthly rate.

Liquid Web VPS pricing for Best VPS Hosting

To get the lowest price, you have to sign up for a 2-year deal. I think it’s definitely worth it, although it’s a higher upfront cost. You just save so much money by doing this. Looking at the 2GB packages, it’s normally $59 per month and worth every penny.

I mean look at the bandwidth. 10 TB is far and away the most you will see with an entry-level plan. Getting that for $15 a month is an outrageous monster-step up from shared hosting at basically the same price.

You can also go with a Value Bundle, which is available for any plan. This gives you business email service, and additional 100 GB of remote backup, and additional security benefits.

There is also separate pricing for using Windows servers. The resource allocations match the 4, 8, and 16 GB plans you see above, but start at $54, $74, and $149 per month, respectively.

I recommend going with CentOS, if you can, because then you can use Interworx as your control panel for free. If you want to use something else, you’ll need to get cPanel or Plesk, which is included as an extra charge.

So if you are looking at VPS as a way to boost the performance you’re getting with shared hosting, Liquid Web is a really good option. You’ll get the blazing speed you need without a ton of additional maintenance headaches associated with private servers.

And remember, Liquid Web will bring everything over from your old host for free. This is the easiest and most affordable way to get your online assets the dedicated server resources they deserve.

If you pay monthly and use coupon code NEIL40, you can get 40% off your first four months. Get started with Liquid Web today.

#5 – Scala Hosting — The Best VPS Hosting for Scaling on the Fly for Free

Scala Hosting splash page for Best VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is the most powerful game in town outside of having your own dedicated servers. Chances are, you’re looking for VPS because you know (or at least hope) that your site is going to need a lot of CPU cores, RAM, and/or storage to give visitors a good experience.

But you may not know exactly what you need from server resources until you’re live. Fortunately, Scala Hosting gives you tremendous flexibility in every way.

It begins from setup—Scala lets you choose between fully-managed and self-managed VPS, each of which allow you to finely customize the CPUs, memory, and SSD disk space you’re getting.

And by finely, I mean finely. Just look at the range of resources available to you on both:

Self-managed VPS:

  • CPU cores: as few as two CPU cores, maximum of 24
  • RAM: as little as 8 GB, maximum of 64 GB
  • SSD storage: minimum 80 GB, maximum 2 TB
  • Can add additional CPU cores ($4 each), RAM ($1.50/GB), and disk space ($1/10 GB) beyond maximum
  • Select your preferred operating system

Fully managed VPS:

  • CPU cores: as few as one CPU core, maximum of 24
  • RAM: as little as 2 GB, maximum of 128 GB
  • SSD storage: minimum 20 GB, maximum 2 TB

But, better still, your resource allocation choices are not carved into stone. You can scale up or down your number of CPU cores and how much RAM you need (you’re only able to upgrade SSD storage, though, not downscale). And you won’t be charged for doing so at any point in your plan.

So, if you find you miscalculated on your initial plan setup—or, better still, your site is more popular than you bargained for—no sweat. You’re able to tweak your VPS plan anytime, so you’re only paying for what you need while also not missing out when you need more.

Scala Hosting build your own plan sliders for Best VPS Hosting

As far as pricing goes, the self-managed VPS from Scala starts at $26/month for the bare minimum (two cores, 8 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD). The prices above in the bullet list for adding CPUs, RAM, and disk space apply throughout.

So, a plan comparable to Bluehost’s top-of-the-line VPS (four cores, 8 GB RAM, 120 GB storage) runs you just $38/month, better than Bluehost’s $59.99/month.

Scala’s fully managed VPS is, understandably, pricier, but allows for lower monthly cost by committing to longer terms, up to a three-year commitment.

The steps up are more expensive—$6 per additional core, $2 for each additional GB of RAM, $2 for each additional 10 GB of storage—but, again, you aren’t charged just for the act of adjusting resources and you’re still coming out ahead compared to some other higher-end managed VPS plans.

Compared to GreenGeeks’ 8 GB plan (6 CPUs and 160 GB SSD), Scala comes in cheaper on month-to-month pricing ($87.95/month), as well as any longer commitments.

So, with Scala Hosting VPS, you get exactly what you need from their servers, both when initially setting up your web hosting and throughout the life of your commitment with them. That’s true freedom, flexibility, and customization.

Get started with Scala Hosting today.

#6 – GreenGeeks — The Best Off-the-Shelf Managed VPS Hosting

GreenGeeks splash for Best VPS Hosting

GreenGeeks offers a complete package of managed VPS hosting services. You aren’t spending extra to fill in the cracks or get the setup you want. 

It’s ready to go out of the box, and perfect for the buyer who wants the performance of VPS without the IT headaches that come with.

Top-notch customer support is included with the package deal. GreenGeeks admins will help with everything from sluggish sites to network problems. Basically, they will help you with anything except the apps and websites you build yourself. 

The price for GreenGeeks is definitely a little higher than some of the others you’ll see, but you’re not spending extra to purchase stuff like “premium support” or licenses for cPanel. That’s all lumped into the monthly price. 

You are able to get all of your sites and apps deployed without opening your wallet up again and again.

There are no upsells on the platform. Those don’t bother me a lot, but some people really don’t like paying for a service only to be shown more products to buy at every turn. GreenGeeks will even transfer your website for free as long as you are using cPanel.

Another reason I like this option is the high bandwidth limits. You get an astonishing 10 TB with GreenGeeks entry-level VPS hosting plans. 10 terabytes? For real? Yes. 

So if you are expecting boatloads of traffic, GreenGeeks gives you the bandwidth not to worry. Most other hosts aren’t giving you 10 TB unless you are paying significantly more. Some of the other standout features of GreenGeeks include:

  • cPanel/WHM included, 
  • Free cPanel migrations, 
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 server monitoring
  • Custom security rules
  • DDoS protection
  • 300% renewable energy infrastructure

If you were wondering about the name GreenGeeks, yes, the company is very much concerned with the environment. For every bit of energy you pull from the power grid to run the hosting of your site, GreenGeeks puts three times that amount back into renewables.

This is the only eco-friendly host I know of. If that’s important to you, know that you are making a positive impact by choosing GreenGeeks as your host.

And even if environmental concerns aren’t something at the forefront of your mind, GreenGeeks is just a great VPS hosting provider. Yes, it’s a little pricier than some, but it is hardly expensive when you look at what you get.

GreenGeeks VPS pricing for Best VPS Hosting

I really like GreenGeeks for users who want an all-in-one VPS hosting solution. All of the key aspects are covered. 

There’s no catches, asterisks, or fine print to figure out. Just pick your plan and start building.

On top of that, you get comprehensive, truly managed support. GreenGeeks is there to help with any hosting issue. There’s no red tape separating you from the service you need, whenever you need it.

For the socially-conscious company, GreenGeeks should be your first choice. But like I said, even if you don’t worry so much about the environment, choose GreenGeeks for the solid price on resources for your VPS. Getting 10 TB bandwidth and 4 CPU cores is remarkable for an entry-level plan.

If you are looking for a VPS hosting solution that works out of the box, GreenGeeks should be on your shortlist. Get in touch with them today.

#7 – InMotion — The Best for Hosting Multiple WordPress Sites

InMotion Hosting splash page for Best VPS Hosting

InMotion is a phenomenal hosting company that’s beloved by power users and first timers. 

You’ll find that they offer the full range of VPS services. Get a small slice of a server that’s completely yours for a cheap price, opt for a managed hosting plan with hands-off maintenance, or get a reseller plan built for your bottom line.

What I want to focus on in this review is InMotion’s WordPress VPS hosting. This is a great solution for companies that have a lot of high-powered WordPress sites.

Once you reach a certain point, shared hosting is not going to be enough to keep your sites fast. Some companies choose managed WordPress hosting, but that can get expensive. Plus you lose a lot of the control over how the server is configured with those plans.

With InMotion’s WordPress VPS, you get to set up your server any way you want, but you still get a lot of the benefits of a managed WordPress hosting plan: an exclusive WordPress hosting environment, top-of-the-line performance, built-in security, on-demand and automatic backups, and more.

And it’s likely going to be a lot less expensive than a traditional managed WordPress hosting plan for a lot more resources.

Another way to think about it is that you get the performance you need for your sites without the loss of customizability.

To make the transition to InMotion easier, the company offers Launch Assist. This is two hours with an IT specialist to help you set everything up right the first time. Avoid costly downtime, frustration, and mistakes down the road.

As I noted, you’re going to get a lot more resources than you could get with a managed WordPress plan, but it’s not like you are on the hook for a ton of maintenance. It’s a nice balance.

All of the tools you need are included. You get:

  • cPanel/WHM
  • Ecommerce optimization
  • Snapshot backups
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Malware and hack protection
  • Free domain name
  • 3 dedicated IPs

A lot of VPS plans you’ll see come with a single dedicated IP. With InMotion, you get three, which is helpful if you have a few WordPress sites or want to keep them separate from mail servers and other projects.

And if you need more resources, scaling up remains very cost-effective.

With some plans, you have to pay $10+ per month on top of your monthly bill just to get a cPanel account. InMotion gives you five with their entry-level plan. You’ll also have a Resource Monitoring Dashboard that gives you performance metrics at a glance.

To get the lowest price, you’ll have to sign up for three years in advance, but InMotion offers one-year, six-month, and monthly plans as well.

One of the reasons I like InMotion so much for WordPress VPS is the security. WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, and a favorite target of hackers. InMotion gives you a free SSL certificate, as well as protection from malware, hacks, and DDoS attacks.

That’s a great set of offerings for managed VPS hosting. InMotion really takes care of so much on your behalf and sets you up for success. But, if you’re comfortable with self-administrating your server, you can get a steal with InMotion’s unmanaged cloud VPS.

Those plans are affordable, easy to scale, and give you complete control. They start $5 per month for 1 GB of RAM, 1 TB of bandwidth, 25 GB storage, and one CPU. Plans increase by $5 to $10 per month for each step up in resources.

Either way, if you want top-tier performance without sacrificing control, InMotion WordPress VPS is a really great choice.

#8 – GoDaddy — The Best for Spending as Little as Possible

GoDaddy splash page for Best VPS Hosting

GoDaddy is one of, if not the most, recognizable player in the hosting space. It can be a great option for people looking for an unmanaged VPS plan with no-frills.

Now GoDaddy does offer managed VPS plans that take a ton of the server maintenance and monitoring off your plate. But it’s really expensive, especially looking at some of the other managed VPS plans I’ve reviewed. It wouldn’t be my recommendation.

But if you are in the market for a DIY hosting plan that gives you total control along with the exact resources you need, GoDaddy VPS plans are a great place to start.

You can get three years of GoDaddy VPS for under $180. It’s a barebones plan targeted at users who know what they are doing. So you won’t get a ton of tools to help you stay organized or white-glove support, and there are going to be upsells at every turn. 

But if you are comfortable managing your own server, why pay for things you don’t need?

You also get more flexibility to choose your resources. GoDaddy offers both Standard and High-RAM plans, which give you double the memory. Most other providers don’t give you that option. 

Usually you are stuck jumping from one plan to the next, but GoDaddy will let you increase RAM, which may be all you need to get your sites loading faster.

Another helpful bit of flexibility is GoDaddy’s month to month pricing. VPS hosting starts at $7.99 per month with no contracts or commitments. This is an insanely low price for your own private resources.

And there’s quite a bit included with the low price of VPS hosting. It’s not as complete a package as GreenGeeks by any means, but GoDaddy doesn’t cut corners on the fundamentals. Some of the features included are:

  • Free SSL certificate (for one year)
  • Automated, weekly, and snapshot backups
  • Performance monitoring
  • PCI compliance
  • Phone support

If you are the DIY type, this is more than enough support and assistance to keep your site running smoothly. And when you think about paying $4.99 per month to get started, you can see why GoDaddy is so popular.

GoDaddy VPS pricing for Best VPS Hosting

There’s really no way to spend less and get VPS hosting from a reputable provider. The pricing above is for Standard RAM plans. 

If you opt for High RAM, the lowest plan becomes $9.99, but you get two GB of RAM instead of one. Basically, you double your RAM for any plan and pay a slightly higher price.

The storage limits on the entry-level plan are on the low end compared to some of the others I’ve reviewed. If that’s a concern, you might want to look at another plan, though it’s still fairly affordable to upgrade with GoDaddy and get a ton more resources.

For someone who knows their way around a server, GoDaddy VPS is the cheapest option. If you just want to be left to your own devices, this is a great option. Reach out to GoDaddy today and see what kind of a deal you can get.

#9 – Media Temple — The Best VPS Hosting if You Manage Sites for Clients

MediaTemple splash page for Best VPS Hosting

Media Temple is a great choice for companies that need VPS to support their clients sites and projects. This is true whether you want to worry about the technical backend yourself, or if you’d rather let Media Temple handle the day-to-day maintenance.

They offer two types of VPS hosting, self-managed and fully managed.

All their VPS plans provide your choice of control panel for easy server management, as well as world-class support from IT experts. Chat, tweet, call, or request support any time of day. You get 99.99% uptime guaranteed, with money coming back to you if Media Temple doesn’t live up to it. 

In fact, you get 20% of your monthly hosting cost back in your pocket for every 20 minutes of downtime that month. 

The fully managed plans are not quite as flexible as the self-managed options. But there’s a lot less work to be done.

You won’t have to worry about updates or security patches to keep your VPS safe. You can use cPanel/WHM or Plesk, and know that the control panel is always going to be working.

This is a big deal for resellers and agencies that have to manage their client’s sites. The control panels are always working properly and, whenever there is an issue you can’t figure out, Media Temple is there to help.

For companies that want to outsource more of their IT and security responsibilities, Media Temple offers an Agency Bundle. This includes advanced support, a technical account manager, and a suite of security services you can deploy to multiple sites.

The all-in-one bundle makes it easier than ever to outfit your clients with secure, high-speed sites in very little time.

You choose what level of support makes sense, and Media Temple ensures your hosting foundation is secure for business.

Media Temple self-managed pricing page for Best VPS Hosting

I prefer the self-managed VPS plans if you’re up for handling the extra administration, because the savings are massive.

You can start for as low as $10, which is a steal, but it is limited on resources. However, you can get ample processing power, RAM, and storage for just $35 per month.

You can also just double the RAM for any plan for an extra monthly fee, making the entry-level $20 per month for 2 GB of RAM or the second tier $55 per month for 8 GB of RAM.

One thing to keep in mind is that Media Temple includes 24/7 support with all plans. Some unmanaged plans from other hosts really skimp on support, but Media Temple does not.

Media Temple managed VPS pricing page for Best VPS Hosting

If you want to go the fully managed route, it’ll cost you a good deal more.

A single-core CPU setup with 2 GB of RAM and 40 GB of storage starts at $130 per month. Much like the self-managed track, you can double your RAM for a little more per month.

However, it’s easy to scale. While that baseline price is quite a bit, it’s only about $30 per month more to take a step up in resources. You can get a robust array of resources for under $200 per month.

Media Temple provides a turnkey solution that gives you the resources you need. For resellers, the peace of mind of having top-quality performance and support is a non-starter. Troubles will compound quickly when there are issues. But with Media Temple, there won’t be. 

Go with Media Temple. Your clients will thank you.

#10 – InterServer — The Best Deal If You Want Total Control

InterServer splash page for Best VPS Hosting

InterServer has some of the best prices in the VPS hosting space. 

Part of the reason is that they slice up servers into 16 different packages. You can really hone in on the exact set of resources you need. It’s simple: choose between one and 16 CPU cores that come with an increasing amount of memory, storage, and bandwidth.

What’s really nice is that fully-managed support comes free as long as you purchase four or more slices. That’s what InterServer calls each tier, and you can add slices at any time.

You get a lot of hosting resources for every dollar you spend. It’s not hard to find comparably-priced VPS plans with a fraction of the memory or storage you get with InterServer.

For the buyer that doesn’t need managed support, the value is unbeatable. Yes, the $6 per month cost is slightly higher than GoDaddy, but InterServer’s VPS is a lot less barebones.

First off, you get the DirectAdmin control panel for free. It makes it easier to configure your server and set mail accounts. You can add cPanel or Plesk for an additional price, but only if you need them. 

With GoDaddy any sort of control panel will be an extra cost. 

InterServer is extremely reliable. They offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee. The company actually uses an artificial intelligence system to scan their network for potential performance issues. Instead of your site taking a hit, the AI detects and solves the problem far faster than any human response.

The value is really there. As I’ve said, you get very high resource limits at a low price.

InterServer resource slider VPS pricing for Best VPS Hosting

The starting price for a single CPU core is $6 per month. You also get more than 1 GB memory, 30 GB storage, and 1 TB bandwidth. That’s 10GB more storage than GoDaddy for a dollar more each month.

You can add slices for $6 at any time. This boosts all of your resources across the board. I like this arrangement a lot, because it’s so flexible. Instead of being catapulted into a much higher pricing package, you can grow incrementally.

And remember, at 4 slices and higher, InterServer throws in fully-managed service for free. This should put InterServer on the map for the non-DIY crowd as well.

InterServer offers Windows VPS hosting starting at the low cost of $10 per month. The pricing arrangement works the same–you can purchase anywhere from one to 16 slices in $10 increments.

You can also get WordPress VPS hosting through InterServer. InMotion is my top choice for WordPress VPS hosting for most users because it includes cPanel/WHM. If you don’t need that, or have a fairly small WordPress site, InterServer may be more cost-effective.

For advanced users, InterServer is going to give you a great deal on whatever selection of resources you are after. The free control panel is a huge standout, which is going to make simple tasks easier.

Get in touch with InterServer today to secure a great price on a VPS hosting plan that meets your exact needs.

#11 – iDrive Compute — The Best for Supporting Networks of Smart Devices

iDrive Compute splash page for Best VPS Hosting

The future is likely to be dominated by smart devices. Believe me, between personal devices like health monitors and smart watches all the way up to fully autonomous vehicles, factories, and production lines, handling all of that data is going to crush many current tech infrastructures.

I love iDrive Compute for that reason. They make it easy and accessible for any organization to wield the power of edge computing so that you can manage, monitor, and collect from devices anywhere in the world.

They rightfully boast of their 4,000 servers spread across every continent. Their 20 U.S. data centers alone make it easy for an American company to, for example, troubleshoot a faulty pallet loader in Spokane, adjust smart thermostats in several storage centers across the Midwest, and collect data from wireless inventory trackers in facilities all along the east coast.

With iDrive Compute’s VPS for edge computing, you can stay on top of all of that without fretting about low latency, poor syncing, unreliable connections, or security vulnerabilities.

That’s just one practical example of what edge computing is useful for.

You can leverage iDrive Compute for online gaming, streaming video delivery, running cloud-based applications, big data processing, or even patient monitoring.

Whether you’re a startup looking to get into a cutting-edge field or a mature, enterprise grade operation that has massive demands for data transferring and processing worldwide, you get a great service at a great price from iDrive Compute.

Plus, they’re offering 90% off your first year, whether you choose a shared package or one that is CPU or RAM-optimized.

Resources scale up to 32 CPU cores, 64 GB RAM, 1280 GB of NVMe storage, and 12 TB of data transfer on the shared track. For the optimized, dedicated plans, you’ll max out at eight CPU cores with varying ceilings for the other resources.

With that 90% off, you can get a year of the most basic shared VPS from iDrive Compute for just $6! Even the most elaborate packages won’t run you more than $390 for your first year. That’s a great way to get started and see what edge computing can do for your business.

Get with iDrive Compute today and start using edge computing for your needs.

What I Looked at to Find the Best VPS Hosting Plan

VPS web hosting occupies something of a middle ground between shared hosting and getting a dedicated server for yourself.

Some people have outgrown shared hosting. They need server resources that aren’t impacted by other sites on the server. VPS hosting offers a much more stable, scalable solution.

Others need an email server or a space to develop apps. VPS hosting lets them buy exactly what they need to build and access their assets whenever they want, wherever they are.

For people hosting ecommerce sites and other resource-intensive applications, a VPS gives them all the server firepower they need. Adding more resources is easy, weathering traffic spikes is no issue, and they can configure the server as they see fit.

And VPS is way cheaper than dedicated hosting. $1,000 per month is completely acceptable in that space, usually it’s more.

A lot of companies will get there eventually, but a dedicated server is complete overkill where they are today. 

VPS gives you your own slice of dedicated resources. Scale as need be.

The providers I reviewed have excellent speed and uptime. If you go with one of these VPS hosting plans, your sites will be up and they will be fast.

But you can’t just pick a vendor with a good reputation. I’ve gotten you to the right dealership. You need to pick the right ride. 

When it comes to VPS hosting, there are sports cars and work trucks. Both are fantastic machines, but only for the right company. The moving crew may have fun in the Mustang, but it’s terrible for getting sofas from A to B.

By understanding your way around VPS hosting, you can select a setup that takes care of what you need at the right price. Here’s how to find your way.

Enough Resources Not to Worry

Each host clearly lays out the exact resources you get. These are the guts of the computer that you are paying to use, and they will impact every aspect of performance on your site. Here’s what you are looking at:

  • Storage
  • Memory
  • CPU
  • Bandwidth

I would want to have a clear idea of what I plan on using in each of these resource categories before starting my search. If you are unsure, ask your current host where to find stats on your usage.

For people thinking about VPS for a new project, reach out and talk with the sales team at a host which checks your other boxes. They will be more than happy to help you determine a resource amount that makes sense. And even if you don’t go with them, now you know.

You’re trying to find something that gives you more than you need. Even though these are your dedicated resources, maxxing them out all the time can lead to issues with your host.

Looking at the different vendors, you’ll see a lot of jargon about different resource types. They do matter, but I will say that most top quality VPS hosts use the best technology available.

That said, some web hosts have specific plans geared toward people who need more of a certain resource. GoDaddy has High RAM plans for people who need more memory, for example, and InterServer offers Storage Optimized VPS plans that come with an insane amount of disk space at a low price.

If you’re trying to make a decision between two different vendors offering the same package of resources, I’d sign up for a free trial of both and see which gives you the better performance.

Since it’s not always feasible to really test hosting limits during a trial period, I’d focus on going with a vendor that will still make sense economically if you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan than you thought.

This train of thought also applies well to VPS for edge computing use cases. The spread of resources from the cheapest plans to the most expensive are awfully similar. Make sure you get at least enough for what you currently need, whether that’s to accommodate a lot of users, devices/virtual machines, or data.

One thing you might have to additionally decide on, in this case, is whether you want to optimize for processing power or memory. The former is better for handling CPU-intensive applications, like dynamic or streaming content delivery, gaming, or machine learning. The latter is a boon for intense computation and and big data analysis.

Make sure you can scale in this situation, too. The growth potential that VPS edge computing unlocks means you might find yourself needing more sooner than you think.

There’s more to this decision than simply looking at the nuts and bolts, so let’s move on to other factors that can help you decide between similar offerings.

Total Control vs. Shared Responsibility

Some people choose VPS hosting because they are excited to control every aspect of the server. 

Others are looking for predictable, high-power performance, but they’re less jazzed about the IT responsibilities of managing their own virtual machine.

Where do you fall in this spectrum? 

There’s basic server maintenance, patching, and updates that need to happen. Otherwise your VPS may get hacked and wind up powering some crypto-mining scheme on the other side of the world. And that’s a benign example of what could happen if your site is compromised due to a server management oversight.

If you’re a first-timer who wants a helping hand setting things up, or you don’t want the hassle of dealing with the IT backend, I recommend finding a managed VPS plan

With this arrangement, your hosting provider takes over much of the basic, day-to-day, IT maintenance that goes into keeping a server healthy and secure. This leaves you to enjoy the faster hosting and focus more on your business.

The experience of managed hosting is geared towards people that are less familiar with making changes on a server using the command line. With a managed VPS plan, you’ll get a visual control panel that allows you to configure everything with clicks instead of a computer language.

People with a lot of development know-how don’t need the extra hand-holding or tools that simplify server management. In fact, those things might just get in the way.

If you fall in this crowd, I recommend an unmanaged VPS hosting plan. You basically just get the server resources and manage everything yourself. You’ll still have some helpful tools and in some cases a control panel, but for the most part you are entirely responsible for the security and configuration.

The biggest plus for developers is total control–do whatever you want, however you want. It’s also way less expensive. GoDaddy, for example, offers unmanaged plans starting at around $5 per month. The same server resources on a managed plan from GoDaddy start at about 20-times that price.

Not every web host has such a stark pricing difference, but it’s usually significant. And it makes sense. With self-managed plans, you are on the hook for a lot more IT legwork. If that’s not a drama, then don’t pay for it.

If you are on the fence about what you need, I suggest going with a managed VPS plan. Better to pay a little more than have your new hosting account compromised because of some basic technical slipup.

This isn’t a concern for those of you looking to get into VPS for edge computing or IoT device wrangling. Most options out there right now are fully-managed, thankfully. The providers are the ones offering their data centers to you, so it’s only right that they should be responsible for maintenance and upkeep.

No Issues Running Your Sites or Apps

Are you planning on running anything on your VPS that has unusual requirements?

If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re probably fine, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check that the operating system (OS) you plan on using is supported by the host you choose.

This is especially true for managed VPS plans, because the OS often comes pre-installed. With unmanaged plans, you just have to make sure the one you want is available for install. There’s usually a pretty wide range of choices, but not always.

Even more so, this is crucial for edge computing. If you’re running virtual machines on your VPS servers or incorporating a wide array of smart devices, compatibility with the infrastructure you sign up for is of paramount importance.

Most VPS hosting is Linux-based, and works seamlessly with basically everything on the internet. There are different Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, but in general they will all work for most users.

The major exception is Windows hosting. There are certain Microsoft apps and services that can’t run on Linux, like SharePoint, Exchange and MSSQL databases.

Many hosts don’t offer Windows hosting. I’ve called out the ones that do in the reviews.

One important thing: You can have a Windows PC and use Linux hosting. That doesn’t matter at all. Windows hosting is only necessary if you need to run specific Microsoft products on your VPS.

Timely and Tech-Savvy Support

If this is your first time using VPS hosting, I’d be very conscious of how much assistance you’re going to get. Even if you opt for a managed VPS plan, there’s still a few steps you have to take to ensure that your new hosting set up is secure and running as intended.

I would strongly recommend customer service that provides free migrations or data transfers, like Liquid Web or HostGator. Having them help you set everything up right will be quicker and easier, there’s just nothing else to be said.

If you’re moving over from shared hosting, know that the range of technical issues is much greater. You are going to need a tech that really understands what’s going on. 

This is only more true for self-managed plans where you may have configured your server in a very unique way. Troubleshooting your issues will likely require a high-level of knowledge and understanding.

Every vendor that made my list for best VPS hosting has some form of round-the-clock support. Where you will find differences is in the number of channels you can reach out on. Some will offer live chat only whereas others will have phone, email, or ticketing systems as well.

As you are gathering a sense of the customer service quality you are likely to get, I encourage you to read online reviews. Take them with a grain of salt, however, because any long-standing, popular host is going to have one-star reviews from their millions of users.

The best thing you can do is reach out to the company as much possible before, during, and after you sign up. Submit lots of tickets and clock the response. Use the online knowledge base to solve problems on your own. Is the content actually helping you?

Most of the plans I’ve reviewed offer free trial periods. Sign up and test the support staff. This is your relatively risk-free way of getting an actual read on the service quality.

In general, premium customer support costs extra. This is how you get immediate call backs and additional service channels beyond the basic coverage they provide for all customers.

If you think that you need frequent guidance, I suggest looking into the premium support plans. It’s an extra cost, but saving a few hours of frustration each month is plenty of value.

Summary

If you need top performance and aren’t interested in a dedicated server, then VPS hosting is good option.

Use the buyer’s guide and reviews to work your way to a sensible decision. You’re looking for something that gives you a comfortable level of control and more server resources than you think you’ll need.

Here’s a complete list of my recommendations with links for you to explore further:

  1. Hostinger — The best VPS hosting for first-timers
  2. Bluehost — The best for new sites that need top performance
  3. HostGator — The lowest cost for managed VPS hosting
  4. Liquid Web — The best for upgrading from shared hosting
  5. Scala Hosting — The best VPS hosting for scaling on the fly for free
  6. GreenGeeks — The best off-the-shelf managed VPS hosting
  7. InMotion — The best for hosting multiple WordPress sites
  8. GoDaddy — The best for spending as little as possible
  9. Media Temple — The best VPS hosting if you manage sites for clients
  10. InterServer — The best deal if you want total control
  11. iDrive Compute — The best for supporting networks of smart devices

There’s a range of options on here. The managed plans will work well for people who don’t have time to handle the technical stuff. Some of the really affordable plans just give you the server resources and let you build from there.

To find the right one for you, follow the methodology described above. It will help you make sense of all the options available, and find one that has the features and support you need.

Source: New feed 2

The Best Web Hosting Services (In-Depth Review)

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best web hosting service for most people is Hostinger.

With today’s web hosting services, it has never been easier to get your site online. For a few bucks a month, the host takes care of all the technical stuff and you get to enjoy casually updating your website.

The options I like are affordable and walk you through the setup process. You can have a website up and running within an hour or less, even if you’ve never done it before.

Here are my recommendations for the best web hosting services of 2021 for you. Keep reading for my top picks, and a brief guide about how to find the right choice for you.

#1 – Hostinger Review — The Best Low-Cost Shared Hosting Options for Startups

Hostinger is offers some of the most affordable shared hosting solutions on the market.

Their prices literally start from $1.39/month. WOW.

You’ll have to sign a four-year contract to get the lowest deal possible, but that total contract is going to be way less than a single year with other hosts.

You don’t get a ton of storage, but your site will be able to handle around 10,000 visits each month no problem.

You can take an easy step up to either of Hostinger’s other plans and reap the benefits of more resources and the capability to host up to 100 sites while still paying some of the lowest rates around.

With Business Shared Hosting, which is only $3.99/month, you can get unlimited bandwidth, 200 GB storage, and daily website backups.

That means even if you mess up badly, you always have access to previous versions of your website.

Another reason I really like Hostinger is that 24/7/365 support is baked into the price of every plan.

For companies with a small or non-existent IT staff, the expert customer service is a huge perk.

It is the best option if you’re searching specifically for a shared hosting service that’s affordable and reliable.

Hostinger provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee and a 30-day money-back policy. That’s hard to beat for a monthly hosting price that’s less than a cup of coffee.

#2 – DreamHost Review — The Best Option if You Want Quick and Responsive Website Changes

DreamHost has been going above and beyond for their customers since 1996. 

Because of their ability to adapt quickly to new trends they’re still considered one of the best in the business.

They don’t look at your website as just another website.

They know that your website is your own vision for the future.

Just look at their two shared hosting packages. Both are eminently affordable while also including a boatload of useful features and benefits.

With Shared Starter, you get 50 GB of storage for one website, up to five subdomains, WordPress preinstalled and ready to go for you, and a domain, SSL certificate, and WordPress builder included for free.

Get the best price on that by signing up for three years up front.

Scale up to Shared Unlimited with no effort and very little extra expense to handle unlimited websites and subdomains, with unlimited storage plus free email attached to your domain. So that plan is very true to its name.

Either way, you’re never looking at more than $4 per month, unless you choose a month-to-month plan. In fact, you can even get DreamHost’s Shared Unlimited for the same low price of $2.95 per month on a one-year plan today.

#3 – Bluehost Review — The Best for WordPress Hosting

If you’re looking to set up your website in less than a week, you’re probably considering WordPress.

And if you’re looking for the best hosting option for your WordPress website, you can definitely trust Bluehost.

They’ve been doing WordPress hosting for a long time. You can get a web host that fits your site like a glove and at a very low price, to boot.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Bluehost is one of three hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress.org.

Bluehost WordPress hosting pricing page for Best WordPress Hosting

Their pricing options are competitive. Basic WordPress hosting starts at just $2.95, while mid-tier plans run just over $5 per month. Either way, that makes it easy to get a plan that’s more powerful than entry-level for cheap.

This is really affordable considering all the unlimited features they bring to the table.

Regarding website loading speed, as long as you don’t fill your WordPress site with plugins, you should be good.

And even if you make a crucial mistake or overload your website with different plugins, you’re in good hands.

Their Customer Support is extremely responsive. They have both an active telephone line and a live chat you can rely on at all times.

#4 – Nexcess Review — The Best for Ecommerce Hosting

Nexcess main page for Best Web Hosting Services

If you want a hands-off hosting solution for your online store, Nexcess is an incredibly smart choice. Use coupon code NEIL40 for 40% off 4 months.

They offer a fleet of fully-managed hosting options, including specialized packages for WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Magento.

Plus, you get one-click auto-scaling to handle unexpected traffic spikes, 24/7 monitoring and customer support, and premium SSL certificates to keep your site and visitors safe.

So, you get everything you need to start, manage, and scale your online store.

On top of the amazing features, Nexcess has been around for 20 years with more than 500,000+ websites under their belt.

As such, they know a thing or two about how to help make your life easier.

Nexcess pricing for best web hosting services

With that said, it’s not the cheapest option on this list. But you do get more features, better support, and improved performance with the higher price tag.

So, if you need advanced security or expect to grow quickly, Nexcess is an excellent e-commerce hosting solution.

WordPress hosting plans start at $15 per month for one store, 15 GB of space, and two TB of bandwidth.

However, pricing varies based on the platform you choose. Use coupon code NEIL40 for 40% off 4 months. Sign up now.

#5 – HostGator Review — The Most Affordable Option for Startups

HostGator is one of the most preferred options when it comes to blogging.

They are perfect if you’re looking for the most affordable way to begin posting online.

Pricing options start from the jaw-dropping $2.75/month.

Once again, you can’t expect the best features for such a low price.

But it’s a great alternative for startups that want to get their website up and running.

And just like Bluehost, they have a responsive telephone line with a live chat you can access at any moment.

You can also find a giant database with common questions beginners have, together with professional opinions and solutions to those problems.

Everything is explained and demonstrated step-by-step and if you’re still not sure that you can do it on your own.

Just shoot them a message and start chatting with their professional customer support.

#6 – WP Engine Review — The Best for Managed WordPress Hosting

We’re getting to the more advanced options now.

With WP Engine you get a blazing fast and ultra-reliable WordPress site without any work on your part.

The company invented the idea of managed WordPress hosting—where the provider takes over all the backend technical work—and WP Engine is still the leader in the field.

WP Engine hosts WordPress exclusively. Their servers are optimized for just this type of site. And when you reach out to customer service, you will be talking to an expert who handles WordPress issues 24/7.

Of course, the top-notch uptime, speed, and customer service is not as cheap as some of the others on the list.

But if you don’t have to hire a WordPress developer to maintain your site’s security and performance (or spend time figuring that out yourself), going with WP Engine can actually be cost-effective.

And, as a reader of my site, you can use the neilpatel20 coupon to get 20% off your first payment, which makes WP Engine an even better deal:

WP Engine pricing page for Best Web Hosting Services

There are two tracks to choose from: one for standard managed WordPress hosting and another for managed WordPress with ecommerce functionality. The former starts at $25 per month, while the latter’s entry-level plan is $30 per month.

Every plan comes with best-in-class tools to develop your WordPress site. No other host offers such a variety and depth of features, such as one-click staging areas where you can build and test your site before it goes live.

Test that new social media WordPress plugin in the staging area to make sure it doesn’t cause problems for other plugins or themes. This is way better than discovering an issue after it breaks the site and kills traffic.

It’s a great hosting service if you’re looking to take your WordPress site to the next level without the IT headaches and responsibilities. Your teams can focus on creating great sites and let WP Engine ensure everything is running correctly.

Don’t expect cheap services, but expect great quality and support on the way to your successful business.

#7 – InMotion Review — The Best Option for Scaling BIG

Are you positive that your website is going to dominate the online space?

If you’re 100% sure, then you should definitely take a closer look at InMotion.

Their VPS and Dedicated hosting services are far from cheap.

But with Premium prices come Premium services. We are talking fast loading speed and devoted customer support.

InMotion dedicated server pricing for best web hosting services

Obviously there’s also affordable WordPress Hosting and Shared Hosting options.

But if you’ve tried these before and now you’re looking for the next step.

InMotion is going to overdeliver on every promise.

Check out their plans and choose the one that fits your needs best.

#8 – SiteGround Review — The Best for WooCommerce Hosting

SiteGround main page for Best Web Hosting Services

Do you want to sell your products online? Then you’re probably in need of a good, reliable WooCommerce hosting service.

If that’s that case, then you should take a look at SiteGround. They have a dedicated set of hosting plans that will make it easy to get your WooCommerce site off the ground.

SiteGround really wants to overdeliver, even if you choose their cheapest options. You get unmetered traffic and 10 GB of storage space on their lowest-cost hosting plan.

You also get a bunch of useful extras for free, like a CDN, SSL certificate, email, and daily backups, as well as a free site migration and one-click WordPress installation.

SiteGround pricing page for Best Web Hosting Services

That all comes in the StartUp plan, which costs just $3.99 per month. That only requires you to commit to a year, as well. A lot of other hosts only give introductory pricing this good on two- or three-year upfront commitments.

If you’re looking to launch and host a fleet of web stores, SiteGround’s two higher-octane plans allow for unlimited websites. GrowBig and GoGeek give you progressively more storage space and monthly visits while also adding power user and agency features.

So if you’re looking for the best WooCommerce solution, SiteGround is the hosting service for you.

#9 – GreenGeeks Review — The Best for Always-On Support

Nothing is more frustrating than having something go wrong and there’s no one available to ask for help.

And, in the high-stakes world of web hosting, not having a support center to contact is unacceptable. Just think of the lost revenue and frustrated visitors (who may never come back) if your site is down at a crucial time.

With GreenGeeks, you get a robust knowledge base, 24/7/365 live chat support, email support that gets back to you within 15-20 minutes, and live phone support available Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight (Eastern Standard Time).

That’s not only a lot of options to get help when you need it—that’s support that’s always available in the moment. Which is better than a lot of other web hosts out there.

“Sure, the support’s great,” I hear you asking, “but what about the, you know, actual hosting?”

Well, not only does GreenGeeks offer the full array of hosting options—from basic and WordPress-specialized options to VPS and reseller hosting—but they provide an eco-friendly option at incredible prices.

GreenGeeks options for best web hosting services

Seriously, most of its hosting plans start at $2.49/month (including WordPress and WooCommerce hosting).

If you want a bit more power, GreenGeeks’ VPS hosting plans start a little pricier than others ($39.95/month), but don’t require an annual commitment to secure. So, no price hikes after a year and no surprises.

I mentioned, too, that GreenGeeks is an eco-conscious hosting solution. You probably guessed that anyway by the name. But they’re very committed to offsetting some of the negative environmental impact that maintaining server farms creates. For over a decade, GreenGeeks has been buying renewable energy credits at 300% what they consume.

So, if that matches you company’s environmental philosophy, you’ve just found another reason to go with GreenGeeks.

Check out their hosting options and sign up with GreenGeeks today.

#10 – Cloudways Review — The Easiest Way to Get the Performance Boost of Cloud Hosting

Cloudways main page for Best Web Hosting Services

A lot of my picks on this list focus on getting the best deal on shared hosting. But what if you know shared hosting isn’t going to cut it for your site?

You don’t need to spring for dedicated hosting, nor do you need to go with a difficult option that requires serious technical know-how. Cloudways makes it stupendously easy to get all the performance benefits of better hosting without sacrificing ease of use.

Cloudways, true to its name, delivers the exceptional speed, reliability, and scalability of cloud hosting. With cloud hosting, your site can pull from a wider infrastructure of servers spread across the country or globe. That way, if there are load time or uptime troubles with one, your site can pull the same data from another without a dip in visitor experience.

Scalability is another prominent virtue of cloud hosting and Cloudways makes it easy to tweak resources to your site’s exact needs.

Start with selecting your initial package. Choose your preferred server provider and site platform, then set your preferred levels of memory, storage, and monthly bandwidth. If ever you need to adjust your specs or even switch infrastructure, Cloudways allows you to do so quickly and without incurring penalty fees.

Plus, you get the benefits of fully managed hosting. That means Cloudways will take care of automated backups, caching, monitoring, and server maintenance for you. You never have to get your hands dirty to ensure you’re getting top performance.

That’s further supported by their always-on customer support. Get live chat help any time of any day.

And for those who do have the technical prowess to handle administration and deeper hosting features, you get powerful features for supporting virtual machines and agency work. Spin up as many instances as you need on any plan and stage demo sites for clients since you can host unlimited websites.

Cloudways blends power and ease of use in a package unlike many others out there. And their pricing model is also novel and appealing.

Cloudways custom plan pricing for Best Web Hosting Services

It’s your choice to pay monthly for your hosting or go with an hourly rate and be only billed for what you use. Cloudways’ most basic package—1 GB of RAM, 25 GB of storage, 1 TB of bandwidth, and a single-core CPU on Digital Ocean servers—starts at $10 per month or $0.0139 per hour.

Plus, you can even get started on that plan for free. That’s right, Cloudways offers a free trial with no credit card required, allowing you to test drive it and then scale resources up when you’re ready to pay.

It’s a great total package at a reasonable price. So, if you don’t want to mess around in the shallow end of shared hosting any longer, look to Cloudways for the easiest route to getting better performance with cloud hosting.

#11 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best for Sites with Lots of Visual Content

A2 plans on main page for Best Web Hosting Services

Among the factors that differentiate one hosting plan from another, speed and uptime grab all the headlines. And, for good reason—no one wants a slow or unavailable site.

But if you have ambitious plans for displaying lots of media on your website, or large files like videos and 3D renderings, don’t sleep on judging web hosts by the amount of storage they offer.

If that resonates with you, give A2 Hosting a serious look as your next web host. They come with some of the most generous storage space allotments in all of web hosting.

This applies no matter what type of hosting you’re in the market for.

A2’s entry-level shared hosting, called the Startup plan, starts as low as $2.49 per month yet comes with 100 GB of SSD disk space. Most other providers’ cheapest shared plans might go as high as 50 GB. Right off the bat, A2 is leading the pack and giving you more room for videos, images, GIFs, and more.

Any of A2’s shared plans above Startup come with unlimited storage, and its highest two tiers upgrade you from SSD to NVMe drives which tend to be at least three times faster.

“Unlimited” storage might set off some alarm bells to you if you’ve done some web hosting research. And, truly, that doesn’t mean you can just start uploading terabytes worth of files to your A2 website willy-nilly.

But they are generous with their acceptable use policy regarding your plan’s disk space. Your primary limit to keep in mind in the raw number of files you can upload. As of this writing, their total limit is 600,000 files—that should be more than enough for most of you.

And, heck, if you’re approaching half a million media and other files on your website, it might be time for some spring cleaning anyway.

The other thing to keep in mind is any limits on your backups and server rewinds. A2’s emergency site recovery service only covers up to 50 GB of site data. If you’re blowing past that, make sure to stay vigilant about storing your own backups.

But that’s really it for stipulations. A2 sets you up for media-rich websites on every plan better than any other hosting provider.

That applies, too, to their WordPress and VPS hosting options. The former gives you NMVe storage on every plan, starting at 50 GB on the cheapest one. That means you can have plenty of content on your WordPress site and know that it will load faster for visitors than it would on comparable WordPress hosts.

With VPS, you have three standard and three turbo plans to select from, with the former utilizing SSD and the latter employing NVMe.

Any way you slice it, A2 Hosting brings the goods for people who want to make their websites pop with images and video—or even if you want to let your site visitors upload pics and videos of their own.

What I Looked at to Find the Best Web Hosting Services

When it comes to the best web hosting services you have to look at various important factors.

If you jump in too quick you might get into something that’s not suitable for your business.

But don’t let any of that doubt creep into your mind. 

Instead, sit back and relax while we present to you all the factors that you need to be aware of before making a decision.

You can weigh the different web hosting services and decide which is the best solution for your specific business.

Hosting factor #1 – Uptime reliability: 

If your hosting is down, no one would be able to access your website.

And obviously you want your website running 24/7.

Luckily, in 2021 this is not a huge problem since most web hosting providers offer a ‘99.99% network uptime guarantee’.

That means that your website would go down very rarely.

And even when it does, you can contact your hosting service and you will get compensation.

Most of the time that would be in the form of hosting credits.

If you want to prepare for the worst, you can check out our Website Downtime Survival Guide.

One of the best practices to making sure everything runs smoothly even when you’re taking a break is to sign up for a tracking tool like uptime robot

If your hosting service crosses the line, this tool will notify you that you need to find a new webserver to host.

Hosting factor #2 – Speed is key:

Website loading speed is extremely crucial when it comes to SEO optimization in 2021.

That’s simply because if your pages load slowly, people will bounce out of your website and your ranking will fall down the drain.

You need a trustworthy host provider that can guarantee optimal website loading speed.

The thing is that you can’t know the exact loading speed before you try the hosting service yourself.

But you can always optimize your website loading speed using free tools and effective loading speed practices.

And the best news is that even if your budget is tight, you can still get a good loading speed.

But don’t expect anything spectacular for say $4/month.

Generally, the higher the price, the faster your pages will load.

Anyways, we will include our personal experience regarding loading speed for each of the options down below.

Hosting factor #3 – Customer service:

Good Customer Service will come in handy when something goes wrong.

Especially if you’re new to websites, you’re bound to make mistakes that may lead to your website being down for a while.

And the more time it’s out, the more it will cost you.

So a good support team will help you get the issues solved in no time.

Even if you made a major mistake that’s impossible to come back from…

Most support teams will have a full backup of your website so you can get back to a working version.

You always want your support team to have a live chat or a telephone you can call.

Email just doesn’t make the cut if you want to resolve the issue fast, which you should want, given that your website is down.

We made sure to include only website hosting services with strong communication skills.

Conclusion

You’re most likely going to have a long-term relationship with the hosting service you choose. So carefully look into every option that caught your eye today and select the one that fits your needs best.

To recap my top picks:

  1. Hostinger Low-cost shared hosting options for startups
  2. DreamHost – Best option if you want quick and responsive website changes
  3. Bluehost Best for WordPress hosting
  4. Nexcess Best ecommerce hosting
  5. HostGator Most affordable option for startups
  6. WP Engine Best for managed WordPress hosting
  7. InMotion Best option for scaling BIG
  8. SiteGround Best for WooCommerce hosting
  9. GreenGeeks Best for always-on support
  10. Cloudways Easiest way to get the performance boost of cloud hosting
  11. A2 Hosting – Best for sites with lots of visual content

These are all dependable hosting providers with a record of quality service. Whether you choose one of my top recommendations or scout out your own, use the tips and best practices we talked about to make an educated decision.

Having a reliable web host is a must in today’s world. Make this decision like the future of your business depends on it.

Because it does!

Have you worked with any website hosting companies in the past? How did it go and did you get the results you hoped for?

Source: New feed 2

Best Web Hosting for WordPress

Bluehost for WP for Best WordPress Web Hosting

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best WordPress website host for most people is Hostinger and Bluehost.

WordPress is what I use to manage my blog and other sites. Millions of visitors read content and interact with my site each month. Without the best WordPress web hosting, there’s no way I could deliver a high-performance experience.

It’s different from regular hosting in that your provider is only going to host WordPress on the servers you use. This makes it easier to optimize performance and maintain security because there’s only one type of software on it.

So, if you’re currently using WordPress or planning to use WordPress for your website, you really ought to invest in web hosting that’s made for that platform. 

And it’s extremely affordable.

Which WordPress web hosting provider is the best? Keep reading for reviews of the top providers I trust. The reviews are followed by a brief guide to help you find a host that makes sense with your goals and budget.

#1 – Hostinger Review — The Best for Cheap WordPress Hosting

Hostinger WordPress splash page for Best WordPress hosting

Hostinger offers optimized WordPress hosting for as low as $1.99/month. Even at that rock-bottom pricing, it has the essential package of features and resources necessary to get a WordPress site off the ground and looking sharp.

Everything is easy to set up, even if it is your first time getting hosting or using WordPress. 

A four-year contract is required to get the best price. So, there is a little bit of a commitment, but the total price tag of four years at those low rates is still well below a single year with other options.

You also save with the free email account, domain name, CDN, and a free SSL certificate that’s super easy to enable. Your site will be faster and more secure with hardly any effort on your part.

Hostinger’s entry-level plan is not aimed at developers and the like who need to put a big strain on their site. You get 30 GB of storage, two databases, and weekly backups. 

The lack of daily backups might not work for some users, but if you don’t need to update your site all the time, a weekly backup is a comforting insurance plan.

At the low price, there’s obviously no white-glove customer service, but it is still available 24/7/365. Customers tend to review Hostinger’s support very well, even if the response time is slower than you get with a managed plan. 

There are going to be upsells in the platform, but there’s no catch. It’s a really great value because Hostinger hasn’t cut costs where it counts. 

You get a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee and site speed is great for up to 10,000 visitors each month. If you are just getting started, this is more than enough not to worry.

And the Hostinger really has optimized the WordPress experience. The LightSpeed cache accelerates your site and works well with most popular plugins. 

It’s not just increased performance—Hostinger provides a helpful suite of tools to get your site looking professional.

One-click WordPress installation, a site setup wizard, and lots of helpful tutorials. You’ll be able to take advantage of free WordPress plugins and themes to improve your site at no cost.

Hostinger has ultra-competitive introductory pricing for all of the WordPress hosting plans they offer:

Hostinger WordPress hosting pricing page fo Best WordPress Hosting

You’ll notice the renewal rate is considerably higher than the introductory rate, but that has a lot to do with just how deep of a discount they offer. Don’t be thrown by the jump in pricing, the full rate is comparable to other shared WordPress hosting.

At the end of the day, if you are looking for a low-cost hosting plan that’s optimized for WordPress, Hostinger is a very good option. It’s a no-frills plan that covers all your bases and delivers great performance.

You can sign up and try Hostinger risk-free for 30 days.

#2 – Bluehost Review — The Best for New WordPress Sites

Bluehost WP for Best WordPress Web Hosting

Powering more than 2 million sites across the globe, Bluehost is an industry leader in the web hosting space, especially for WordPress sites. In fact, it’s one of the few web hosts that’s officially recommended by WordPress.

Bluehost is a great option for anyone building a new website from scratch. When you sign up for hosting, you get a free domain name for a year and WordPress is a one-click install.

Normally a domain name costs $10-15, but your saving time in addition to money. Instead of having to go and register a domain and download WordPress, you can get everything done in a single step.

Plus, the cost of WordPress hosting is about as low as you will find.

WordPress hosting from Bluehost starts at just $2.95/month. You’ll have to sign a 3-year contract to get the best deal. If you are always going to need hosting, I say lock in the best discount for as long as possible.

Getting everything set up is really easy. I walk you through the whole process in my post about how to start a WordPress blog

Trust me when I say you don’t need any special skills to start blogging right away.

Navigating around your new WordPress dashboard is fairly straight-forward, but you can reach out to Bluehost support if you have questions. Representatives are available any time of day by phone or live chat.

Lots of the best parts are baked right into the service—a free CDN to boost performance and security and a free SSL certificate is always enabled. You don’t have to configure any of it in order to benefit from the faster speeds and safer traffic.

It’s easy enough to take advantage of free WordPress themes and find a layout you like. Plus, there are tons of incredible options via the Bluehost WordPress marketplace if you are willing to spend a couple bucks. 

Other noteworthy highlights from Bluehost include:

  • Automatic WordPress updates
  • Unlimited traffic
  • 50 GB storage
  • $200 in free marketing credits (Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising)
  • Securely configure your WordPress login credentials

All of this comes with Bluehost Basic WordPress web hosting, starting at $2.95 per month. For an entry-level plan, 50 GB of storage is a lot. More than twice as much as you get with other plans. 

There are no arbitrary limits about traffic, but if your site starts to impact other sites on the server, they may ask you to upgrade to a higher tier plan.

The Plus and Choice Plus plans let you build as many sites as you want, whereas Basic limits you to just one. You will also get unlimited storage (within acceptable use limits, of course) and greater server resources with the higher tier plans.

Or, you can choose to take advantage of either managed hosting plans for WordPress or Bluehost’s specialized WooCommerce hosting.

Bluehost WordPress hosting pricing page for Best WordPress Hosting

Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting starts at $9.95/month with a three-year contract. The introductory rate is very attractive compared to other managed plans, which is great for getting managed-level service locked in for the near future.

However, it is lacking some features compared to more robust managed WordPress plans, like the ones offered by WP Engine.

But if this is your first site, you shouldn’t even be worried about managed hosting. You’ll be fine with shared WordPress hosting. Bluehost will get you set up with everything you need at an affordable price.

I really like their online store-specific hosting, as well. It’s a great way to get a WooCommerce store set up in a pinch, with its included store builder, preinstalled WooCommerce and Jetpack, one-click install for payment processing, and capability for manual order creation.

Get in touch with Bluehost today.

#3 – WP Engine Review — The Best for Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Engine splash page for Best WordPress Web Hosting

WP Engine is the original managed WordPress hosting provider and still leads the pack in terms of providing concierge service and expert support. The company has also developed a platform full of exclusive tools designed to help you take your WordPress site to the next level.

If you are just getting a small site or blog online, WP Engine is overkill. This is a good option for people with online stores, a bunch of sites, and other complex WordPress hosting needs. 

WP Engine allows you to get high-performance sites without having to hire a developer or stress about maintenance.

You’ll unlock blazing fast speed, incredible uptime, and best-in-class security without any work on your part. 

In addition to optimizing the IT environment, WP Engine will keep the WordPress Core and PHP up to date. The company is constantly monitoring and blocking threats, keeping your sites fast and safe.

WP Engine has a legendary customer service record. The company does not host anything besides WordPress. You are always going to get a rep who knows the platform inside and out and handles relevant issues all day, every day.

With so much taken care of with WP Engine, you have more time to focus on building a great site. 36 premium StudioPress themes are included with every hosting plan.

Normally, that would cost hundreds of dollars, but you are free to experiment and customize these powerful themes as you like.

Some of the other highlights include:

  • Automatic WordPress updates
  • Free CDN
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Geotargeted content
  • Free automated WordPress migrations
  • Development, staging, and production environments

No other managed WordPress host offers separate dev/staging environments. This is a boon to WordPress developers, as it solves some of the pesky problems associated with one-click staging environments.

Managed WordPress hosting starts at $25/month with a one-year contract. You can also sign up for one month at a time—which some hosting providers don’t allow—and it’s only $30/month.

Normally, it costs a little more, but the price I’m giving you here includes a discount for being a reader of my blog. So definitely click through the link or remember to use the NEILPATEL20 coupon code at checkout to get the savings.

WP Engine pricing page for Best WordPress Hosting

Although WP Engine isn’t cheap, there are no skyrocketing rates or hidden charges.

The Startup plan works for one site and comes with 10 GB storage and 50 GB bandwidth, which can handle about 25,000 visits each month.

Upgrading to the Professional, Growth, or Scale plans will let you build more sites and host more traffic. At the top end, Scale, you’re allowed 400,000 visits each month while getting 50 GB of storage 500 GB of monthly bandwidth.

There’s also a separate track of plans for ecommerce. Those plans scale resources in the exact same way as the standard managed WordPress plans, they just include powerful web store features as well. The Startup plan for WordPress ecommerce starts at $30 per month when paying annually.

For most people, the standard WP Engine plan is everything they need and more. This is my top recommendation for managed WordPress hosting, and I am hardly alone in that opinion.

Make WP Engine for your first and last stop for managed WordPress hosting. Sign up for a year today, and get two months free.

#4 – SiteGround Review — The Best Support for Affordable WordPress Hosting

SiteGround homepage for Best WordPress Web Hosting

To get the best possible white-glove, rose-petals-on-your-pillow customer service, you have to get a managed WordPress hosting plan. It’s an order of magnitude more expensive than shared plans, but you get a level of support that outclasses everything else.

For people that want high quality support, but aren’t ready to commit to an expensive managed plan, I suggest checking out SiteGround

What the company offers is called managed WordPress hosting, but in truth it straddles the gray area between shared and managed WordPress hosting plans. Essentially, you can get a lot of the benefits of managed WordPress hosting at a price that is similar to shared.

SiteGround is officially recommended by WordPress and has consistently outstanding reviews. You don’t win two Stevie awards for customer service by accident.

All of their WordPress hosting solutions come with platform-specific support. From assisting with migrations to troubleshooting plugins, SiteGround is ready to help. Customer service is always available via phone, live chat, and tickets.

In addition to solid support, SiteGround takes care of updates, security, and caching configuration that keeps your site fast. 

Some of the other features include:

  • Automated WordPress installation and powerful WordPress starter kit
  • Free website builder
  • Free WordPress migrations
  • Managed security and updates at the server and application level
  • Performance optimized for WordPress sites
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Unlimited free email accounts

SiteGround offers a low introductory rate for all plans, starting at $3.99 per month for a one-year commitment:

SiteGround pricing page for Best WordPress Web Hosting

You aren’t going to find a more feature-rich WordPress hosting option with as much support as SiteGround’s StartUp plan. And, getting it for just under $50 for your first year is a steal.

After the promotional pricing ends, the same plan renews at $14.99 per month. That’s a steep increase, but still very competitive considering it’s a fully-managed WordPress hosting plan with a lot of great features.

The GrowBig and GoGeek plans can hold their own with other managed WordPress hosting plans. You’ll get a staging area, on-demand backups, improved caching, and more resources to power your sites.

During the discount period, the higher-tier plans are an absolute steal as well.

If you aren’t ready to pull the trigger on a premium managed WordPress hosting plan, but you still want your provider to handle a good amount of the backend legwork, SiteGround StartUp is a good fit.

The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee. 

Try SiteGround today risk-free and see just how good their customer support truly is.

#5 – Cloudways Review — The Best for Total Customization

Cloudways splash page for Best WordPress Web Hosting

If you’ve been shopping for WordPress hosting for a bit, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of providers start to run together after a while. It can be a parade of largely similar options with only slight differences in price, management, or other options.

Cloudways does everything a little bit differently, though—and that could be to your benefit.

This provider’s goal is to strike a unique balance between user customization and the stress-free nature of managed WordPress hosting.

It starts with something novel right off the bat. You select the cloud server infrastructure you’d like from five of the top platforms out there:

  • DigitalOcean
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud
  • Vultr
  • Linode

Each offers at least eight data centers to choose from, sprinkled across North America, Europe, and Asia (with some even having options in Australia, Africa, and South America).

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customizing your Cloudways package. Each infrastructure option comes with four pre-set pricing packages, but you can easily adjust or reallocate resources after getting signed up (for free).

Plus, all plans are billed monthly for pay-as-you-go pricing, so you only pay for the resources you’re actually using and can make plan changes with ease.

There’s even an hourly billing option that can come in handy for super short-term site projects and testing endeavors.

Plus, depending on your comfort level with server management, there are a host of ways to fine-tune your hosting experience, including:

  • One-click backups on demand
  • Automated backups
  • One-click application force stop
  • Varnish cache settings
  • App web root changes
  • Supervisord process manager
  • WP-CLI control over WordPress
  • Cron job rules and scheduling

You get all of this control, plus deep optimization features for WordPress sites, robust security, and expert support with Cloudways.

Pricing varies greatly based on the server infrastructure you choose, resource levels, and premium options (for DigitalOcean and Vultr). For ease of comparison, here are Cloudways’ entry-level plans for DigitalOcean:

Cloudways pricing for Best WordPress Web Hosting

As you can see, you can get started for just $10 per month with no commitment. That gives you more storage and bandwidth than a lot of other base WordPress hosting plans from other providers, while giving you a truly managed hosting experience with extra-fine levels of control on your end as well.

Cloudways isn’t for beginners, but if you know enough to handle some server-side maintenance and management, you can really reap all kinds of benefits from this provider. Get everything just the way you want it—without getting a bill that punishes you for customization—by getting started with Cloudways for free.

#6 – DreamHost Review — The Lowest Day One Spend for WordPress Hosting

DreamHost splash page for Best WordPress Web Hosting

DreamHost, along with SiteGround and Bluehost, is one of the few hosting providers that’s officially recommended by WordPress. Unlike the other two providers, DreamHost offers extremely competitive month-to-month rates.

This is really attractive for people who aren’t looking to sign onto a long contract in order to get a good price. DreamHost does offer discounts with longer contracts, but you can still access the WordPress Starter plan for $4.99 a month. No contract or long-term commitment.

Another reason DreamHost keeps your day one spend down is that a free domain name is included for the first year. That saves another $10 to $15 right there. 

DreamHost also includes domain privacy, which keeps your personal information off the public record. That may cost as much as $15 each year with other hosts.

Bluehost will give you the domain for free, but you don’t get as many tools to help you build your site. DreamHost gives you a full website builder. 

Get set up quick with more than 200 starter sites built for restaurants, real-estate, fashion, web design, and more. Use the simple drag-and-drop builder to add your content and finishing touches.

DreamHost handles all of the WordPress and security updates and includes automatic daily backups. This is unusual for shared WordPress hosting and saves you the expense of buying a plugin like JetPack to backup your site.

You also get:

  • 50 GB storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 ticket support
  • Live chat support
  • Developer access
  • Free automated WordPress migrations

DreamHost offers a wide range of plans to choose from. In addition to the affordable shared WordPress hosting, the company offers DreamPress, a managed solution, and WordPress hosting on a virtual private server (VPS):

DreamHost pricing for Best WordPress Web Hosting

The DreamPress managed hosting solution is a cost-effective no-contract option for people wary of putting down a few hundred dollars to sign up for a traditional plan.

Similarly, the VPS for WordPress plan will work well for people who need more resources and control over their server than a shared plan allows.

The price is competitive across all DreamHost plans, but there’s nothing to be anxious about. The company has a 100% uptime guarantee. DreamHost will actually pay you for your troubles if your site goes down unexpectedly.

Plus they offer an unbelievable 97-day money back guarantee. No other host will give you as much time to try their service risk-free. 

DreamHost is confident about the quality of service it provides. You can be too. 

Get started with DreamHost today for just a few dollars down.

#7 – Nexcess Review — The Best for Budget-Friendly Managed WordPress Hosting

Nexcess homepage for Best WordPress Web Hosting

Nexcess has a unique pricing and plan structure that puts managed hosting within reach for businesses which can’t justify the spend necessary to get WP Engine.

Plans start as low as $19/month with no contract or $12.67/month if you sign up for a year. 

Nexcess is truly managed WordPress hosting. One of my favorite aspects of the service is that every feature they offer comes with every plan.

With SiteGround, another affordable managed hosting solution, you have to upgrade to get site staging and on-demand backups. With Nexcess, on the other hand, you can move up from plan to plan to get more hosting resources, but you never have to upgrade to access capabilities.

Nexcess takes care of a ton of the tedious maintenance through plugin updates and 30-day backups. Just to note, you only get plugin updates with WP Engine’s Managed Hosting Plus plan, whereas Nexcess includes it standard. 

Some of the other benefits you get with Nexcess managed WordPress hosting are:

  • Free CDN
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • IThemes Security Pro
  • Visual regression testing
  • 24/7/365 phone, live chat, and email support

I also want to draw attention to the generous hosting resources. The 15 GB of storage that comes with the Nexcess entry-level plan, Spark, is great for the price and the 2 TB of bandwidth is beyond belief. That’s four to five times the bandwidth that comes with other WordPress hosting plans that are more expensive.

And if your site consumes more resources than your plan allows, Nexcess will auto-scale it for 24 hours free of charge. That’s time to get in front of a positive trend or weather a random traffic spike without an issue.

As I mentioned, Nexcess has a really flexible pricing structure that accommodates small businesses looking for top performance and enterprise businesses that need excellence every minute. 

Let’s take a quick look at the most affordable options first:

Since every plan has every feature, you really only need to consider the number of sites you want and hosting resources you need. 

Nexcess pricing for Best WordPress Web Hosting

Spark completely outfits one site and comes with everything I’ve mentioned so far. The Maker plan is good for five sites, increases bandwidth to 3 TB and 40 GB storage. The next plan up, Designer, works for more sites and gives you more storage and greater bandwidth. 

In total, there are seven different plans. Whether you have one site or hundreds, Nexcess has a managed WordPress hosting solution to fit your needs.

If you want managed WordPress hosting at a low price, Nexcess Spark is your choice. And, you will be able to stick with the company as you grow.

You won’t get all the WordPress tools that come with WP Engine, but you get serious hosting resources and a platform that’s been optimized for WordPress. Don’t worry about speed, security, or uptime with Nexcess.

Get set up with Nexcess hosting today for less than $13/month. The Spark plan has a free trial, so you can test out the platform risk-free.

#8 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best for Moving an Existing Site to Better Hosting

A2 Hosting splash page for Best WordPress Web Hosting

Lots of providers offer “free migrations” to help you move your WordPress site over from your old hosting situation. What this means in reality is that you can use a plugin that automates a lot of the process. 

It’s not too bad, but A2 Hosting has an actual team of humans dedicated to making the switch.

The result is a stress-free and problem-free transfer. Your site is in a better place now with incredibly fast servers, a top-rated customer support staff, and phenomenal pricing.

A2 is going to work whether you want shared hosting optimized for WordPress or a managed plan that’s more hands-off. The account migration is free either way, but you can pick from a lot of different options.

Looking at the shared WordPress hosting plans, it’s remarkable how much is included:

  • 100 GB storage
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Virus scanning and hack defense, 
  • Ecommerce integrations, 
  • Cloudflare free CDN compatibility
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • 24/7/365 email, live chat, phone, and ticket support

Yes, I’m talking about the Basic shared WordPress hosting plan from A2. The 100 GB storage is way more than you get with other plans. And unlimited free email? Usually you don’t get more than a couple free accounts, if any, with shared hosting plans.

So if you are looking to move your site to a more feature and resource-rich platform, but you don’t want to commit to managed hosting, A2 is a very attractive option.

The Basic plan is good for a single site. Upgrading to get additional sites and resources remains cost-effective higher-tier A2 plans:

A2 Hosting pricing for Best WordPress Web Hosting

One of the benefits of upgrading to Turbo Boost or Turbo Max hosting plans is the increased performance. You’ll be able to handle up to nine times as much traffic with A2 Turbo Servers, and your site speed will be up to 20 times faster.

A2 managed WordPress hosting starts at $10.99/month with a three year contract. It’s got a lot to recommend to it, but the renewal price puts it well over solutions like WP Engine.

At the end of the day, A2’s managed WordPress hosting just isn’t as convenient out-of-the-box as plans with WP Engine or Nexcess. With A2, you’ll have to use plugins like Jetpack to accomplish a lot of maintenance that is just handled for you by the other vendors.

You also don’t get a free domain name, but if you are trying to move your site, you’ve already crossed that bridge. There is no reason whatsoever to stay with subpar hosting. A2 will make the transition completely stress free for as low as $2.49/month.

Give A2 Hosting a call today and get onboard with a quality host.

What I Looked at to Find the Best WordPress Web Hosting

Before you can find the best WordPress hosting plan for your site, you must know what to look for as you’re shopping around.

Since I’ve been using WordPress blogs as a major part of my business for many years, I’ve had to use and evaluate multiple web hosting options.

Now you can launch a WordPress site with any web host, but in this post I’ve focused on providers that offer WordPress web hosting. Unlike general hosting, which can support any type of site, the plans I am looking at only work for WordPress sites.

The upside is that servers for these hosting plans are configured perfectly for WordPress. Everything about the backend IT environment has been optimized for WordPress in ways that wouldn’t work if there were other types of software. This boosts performance and minimizes crashes.

If you want a hosting solution that works for WordPress and other types of sites, I recommend checking out the overall best web hosting services.

If you know that you just want hosting for WordPress, keep reading. I’ll walk you through the major criteria you should evaluate in order to find the option that suits you best.

Shared vs. Managed WordPress Hosting

If you want the most affordable option, go with shared WordPress hosting. It’s got all the benefits of WordPress-specific hosting at a very low price. 

With shared WordPress hosting, you’ll still have to do the maintenance and updates in order to keep the site running great.

The good news is that the user interface for maintaining your WordPress is designed for just that. It’s going to be way easier than working with something meant for all-purpose hosting.

If you don’t want to handle the backend maintenance of your site, then you want a managed WordPress hosting plan. 

Your hosting provider will take care of the IT legwork that goes into making your site fast, secure, and easy to use, including:

  • Automated daily backups
  • Easy on-demand backups
  • WordPress Core Updates
  • Built-in staging area to test sites
  • Malware scanning and removal
  • Security updates and patches
  • Premium 24/7 support

Instead of fussing with plugins to accomplish all of this, your teams are free to spend more time creating killer content.

Understandably, managed WordPress hosting plans are more expensive. For some companies, there’s a lot of value in having someone else manage their WordPress. Spending a little more each month on hosting might mean not having to hire a developer.

Plus the customer service that comes with managed WordPress hosting is a cut above. The ability to connect with an expert 24/7 minimizes serious problems and eliminates the need for an in-house WordPress guru.

WP Engine, the original managed WordPress hosting provider, continues to satisfy their customers with prompt and comprehensive service. People are more than happy to pay a premium for the peace of mind and high-performance.

Here’s the thing. There used to be a clear dividing line between managed WordPress plans and everything else. Now there is more of a spectrum of services available.

In one sense, this means you need to be aware that “managed” doesn’t mean the same thing for every hosting provider. 

If you see managed WordPress hosting for something like $10/month, double-check that you are getting everything you expect.

How do they define premium WordPress customer support? Also know that the price might be a low introductory rate that could jump on renewal.

The upside is that it’s not black or white. You can get less expensive managed WordPress plans. They might not be as full-bodied as WP Engine, but you can still get some of the essential maintenance off your plate.

Traffic Volume

How much traffic does your website get? For new sites, how much traffic are you expecting?

The answer to this question will definitely have an impact on the type of WordPress hosting solution that’s right for you.

A site that has 5,000 visitors per month should be on a different plan than sites with 50,000 visitors per month. Plans that can accommodate 100,000 visitors per month won’t necessarily be suitable for sites with millions of monthly visitors.

Some hosting providers give you approximate numbers for the amount of traffic each of their plans supports. SiteGround, for example, gives an approximate number for the suitable number of monthly visitors each plan can handle:

SiteGround summer WP pricing for Best WordPress Web Hosting

This is pretty straight forward, but what about the shared hosting options that offer “unlimited traffic” or “unmetered bandwidth”?

Shared WordPress hosting from Bluehost, Hostinger, Dreamhost, and A2 Hosting doesn’t set any hard and fast limits on traffic. 

It’s not truly unlimited though, because there are the physical limits of the shared server. If your site gets too much traffic, it will strain resources like CPU and memory usage, which will cause problems for every site on the shared server.

Dreamhost Basic, for example, starts at less than $3/month and comes with “unlimited traffic.” You will never get an overage charge if you have too much traffic, but Dreamhost may ask you to upgrade or restrict your site out of courtesy to the other tenants on the shared server.

So shared WordPress hosting is good for small sites, but it may not be enough to power larger, high-traffic sites. If your Dreamhost Basic plan is not enough, you might want to look at one of Dreamhost’s other options:

DreamHost pricing for Best WordPress Web Hosting

You could opt for a DreamPress plan, which is managed WordPress hosting and more resources. There are three tiers of DreamPress plans, with the top tier built for approximately one million visitors per month.

Alternatively, you could upgrade to VPS for WordPress, which is hosted on a virtual private server. This isolates your site from others on the same server, which gives you more control and your own dedicated resources.

Unlike shared hosting, VPS hosting will not be impacted by traffic spikes on other sites.

VPS WordPress hosting can be a good option if you are extremely comfortable with managing your WordPress backend. If not, I would find a shared or managed plan that fits with your expected traffic.

Speed and Uptime

By getting WordPress specific hosting, you are already guaranteeing better performance than you are likely to get anywhere else. 

So what separates the better from the incredible?

SiteGround, Dreamhost, and WP Engine have WordPress specific caching tools that boost site speed. Caching creates a static version of your site and serves it to visitors, which cuts down on the work your server has to do to respond to requests.

Normally, you’d have to install a caching plugin to do this, but most WordPress hosts build this functionality right in.

Another thing to look for is a content delivery network (CDN), which is included for free with some of the plans I’ve reviewed. A CDN stores images, pages, and other assets across a network of servers distributed around the globe.

Having a CDN will boost speed and make your site more resilient–a single point hardware failure won’t jeopardize your site because so much of the content is distributed.

Nexcess, SiteGround, Bluehost, and WP Engine include a CDN with every WordPress hosting plan they offer. 

Caching is one of the best ways to optimize your WordPress because it delivers information

Spoiler: you don’t have to worry too much about uptime if you pick one of the options I reviewed. They all have phenomenal uptime.

Hostinger, for example, guarantees 99.9 percent uptime for their Single WordPress hosting plan, which starts at $1.59/month. A2 Hosting also provides a 99.9 percent uptime commitment for every plan.

One thing to be aware of, with regards to speed and uptime, is that your site’s performance hinges on how well your site is managed. Even with the best hosting environment and configuration, a faulty broken plugin can have a huge negative impact.

The question here is do you want to invest the time and resources to develop in-house WordPress experience, or pay more for a managed plan?

Support

Like everything good on the internet, WordPress sites have their bad days. When something goes wrong, how quickly can you resolve the problem?

Getting timely and quality support is important, especially for users that aren’t jazzed about getting into the WordPress backend to fix issues.

One of the benefits of WordPress hosting is that customer service reps really understand plugins, themes, and other common site issues. With non-specific hosting, there is no guarantee the repr is going to knowledgable about WordPress.

You may notice that all of the options on my list include some version of 24/7 support.

But you want to pay attention to the quality and availability of support. Do you get to make support requests via live chat or waiting for email responses. How quick is that email response?

For the shared WordPress hosting plans, A2 Hosting and SiteGround had some of the best customer service reviews. 

A2 offers chat, email, phone, and ticket support from hand-selected expert technicians. Any time you have a problem, you are going to get knowledgeable support quickly.

On top of that, A2 provides free site migrations, which is a huge time-saver if you already have a WordPress site and want better hosting.

SiteGround has a similar range of support as A2 and is able to address most issues in under five minutes. Lightning-fast resolution is going to save you a lot of frustration and money.

When it comes to managed plans, WP Engine is in a class of its own. WP Engine techs don’t handle anything other than WordPress, and they are true experts of their domain. 

Plus, WP Engine knows that support is one of the major reasons its customers stay. You can always count on the company’s reps to go the extra mile to ensure everything is working perfectly.

Summary

If you’re running a WordPress website, you should definitely consider a hosting plan that’s optimized for WordPress.

Which plan is the best? It depends on what you’re looking for. The recommendations listed above will definitely be the best place for you to start your search. Here they are, just to recap:

  1. Hostinger – The best for cheap WordPress hosting
  2. Bluehost — The best WordPress hosting for new websites
  3. WP Engine — The best for managed WordPress hosting
  4. SiteGround — The best support for affordable WordPress hosting
  5. Cloudways — The best WordPress hosting for total customization
  6. DreamHost — The lowest day one spend for WordPress hosting
  7. Nexcess — The best for budget-friendly WordPress hosting
  8. A2 Hosting — The best for moving an existing site to better WordPress hosting

For new sites, I recommend Bluehost. You get a free domain name included with your hosting, and the platform is very welcoming for first-timers.

If you aren’t looking to sign a long contract to get up and running, DreamHost offers your best month-to-month pricing. For a few bucks and no commitment, you can get set up on one of the fastest, most dependable WordPress hosting platforms.

Another good option for people on a budget is Hostinger. You’ll have to sign up for a long contract to get the best price, but there isn’t a lower-cost option I trust. I mean 99.9 percent uptime for 10,000 visitors at less than $2 a month? That’s phenomenal.

Looking at the managed WordPress hosting plans, WP Engine is the clear overall winner. No platform comes with more tools and customer support.

However, if you want managed-level support and total control over your resources and setup, look no further than Cloudways. They offer a unique blend of customization and managed care that no one else can match.

If the price of a managed plan like WP Engine is putting you off, take a look at Nexcess. The entry-level managed hosting plan, Spark, is very reasonable and includes more server resources than any other plan I looked at.

Another good “lite” managed hosting solution is SiteGround. The entry-level plan there, StartUp, is a good midway point between shared and managed WordPress hosting. You will get some of the essential features you expect with a managed plan, but at a price that’s comparable to shared hosting.

What do you use for WordPress hosting?

Source: New feed 2

7 Tips for Image Optimization

7 Tips for Image Optimization

Are you looking to gain an edge in SEO? If your image optimization isn’t up to snuff, you could be missing out on traffic, user engagement, and sales.

Google looks at more than 200 factors when deciding which website to rank for a specific search query. While having a well-optimized image won’t help sub-par content rank number one, it can help you stand out from other sites that don’t optimize their images.

The good news? Image optimization isn’t particularly complicated. Just a few changes to your current image process could help your site gain more traffic and leads, resulting in more sales.

Why Is Image Optimization Important?

Well-optimized images get better visibility in Google, which brings in more traffic. That’s the number one reason sites need to optimize their images, but there are many other benefits as well:

  • Improve the user experience: Well-optimized images that display correctly improve UX by making your site easier to navigate. Large images, for example, can take up the entire screen or cover other elements on the page.
  • Faster site speed: When it comes to SEO, speed matters. Images that are large or formatted incorrectly can slow down your site, killing your ranking and annoying site visitors.
  • Makes your site more accessible: Some optimization steps, like adding alt tags, can make your site easier to navigate for those using screen readers. Web accessibility is not only good for site visitors; it’s good for SEO, too.

While image optimization might feel like another step in a never-ending quest to improve SEO, it can have a significant impact on ranking and UX.

How do you make sure images aren’t holding your site back?

7 Image Optimization Tips for Your Website

Technical SEO can get pretty complicated, especially if you aren’t familiar with the latest Google algorithm updates and what they mean. The good news is image optimization isn’t as complicated as other aspects of SEO—and it doesn’t seem to change quite as often.

Ready to make sure your images help your SEO? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Choose the Right Image File Type

Using the wrong image file type can cause your images to be displayed incorrectly, look blurry, even impact whether users can see your images. But there’s a ton of different formats for images—vectors, JPEGs, raster, PNG, GIFs.

Which image type is best for SEO? Generally, you’ll want to use either JPEGs or PNGs.

JPEG, aka Joint Photographics Expert Group, is a popular image file type. They can be displayed by just about any type of device and can show millions of colors, so they preserve the coloring of your images well. JPEGs do use lossy compression, resulting in some lost data during compression, so they’re not ideal for professional photography. However, they work fine for featured images in blog posts, and similar images.

Another popular type of image is PNG, which can also be displayed on any type of device. These use lossless compression, which means they don’t lose data during the compression process. They also support elements like transparent backgrounds. However, the file sizes tend to be much larger.

These are the most popular images for web publications. Here’s when I recommend using them:

  • Use JPEGs for blog post images, screenshots, etc. The smaller size will protect site speed, and most images will be clear enough. If the quality isn’t good enough and your site speed is good, feel free to switch to PNG format.
  • Use PNGs for icons, logos, and images where someone might zoom in. PNGs are larger but slightly higher-quality images. When image quality matters, use a PNG file.

I strongly recommend against using other image formats on your site, especially GIFs. I love a good GIF, but they really do slow your site down.

2. Compress Your Images

Image compression takes large image files and makes them smaller so they’re easier to load on the internet or store on your device. Image compression strikes the perfect balance between size and image quality when done well.

The two types of image compression are lossy and lossless compression. Lossy compression, which JPEGs use, essentially throws out some of the data while lossless preserves all the data. (PNGs use lossless, as I mentioned above.)

Therefore, the type of compression you use depends on the image type you select.

Here’s an example of compressed images:

Image Optimization Tips for Your Website - Compress Your Images

The image to the far left is 824KB, which is quite large. The middle image looks virtually identical (there’s a little graininess in the background if you look carefully) but is far smaller at 76KB. The third one is even smaller, but image quality is definitely impacted.

Aim to strike the right balance between size and quality.

When deciding how much to compress your images, think about your user. In most cases, they are unlikely to care whether an image on a blog post is a tiny bit less crisp. However, if you are sending a client a new logo, that’s a different story.

The point is, use the compression type based on the file format you use and select the file format based on how the image will be used.

Now, how do you compress images? There are several tools.

I like resizing.app, it’s a free Chrome extension that lets you convert file formats, crop, and resize images in just one click. Other photo compression tools include Photoshop and PicResize.

3. Add Description Alt Text

Alt text (aka, alternative text) is a written description of an image that describes what it is and what purpose it serves. Screen readers use this data to describe images to their users, and Google uses it to determine whether an image is relevant to a search query.

If you use WordPress, adding alt text is very simple. Just highlight the block with an image and add the alt text to the provided box, like this:

image optimization guide alt text in wordpress example

In Google Docs, right-click on images, then click Alt text, and a box will appear that allows you to add the alt text.

What do you write as your alt text? While it’s up to you, here’s the formula I use:

“Main keyword – description of image”

For the image above from WordPress, I used “image optimization guide alt text in the WordPress example.” This format makes sure screen readers know what the image is and tells Google the image is relevant for image optimization search queries.

Pro tip—if you want to see how your competitors use alt tags, navigate to their site, right-click and select “Inspect.” You’ll see the alt tags in the code of their site.

4. Write High-Quality Image Names and Descriptions

Image title provides users (and search engines) with a little more context about your images. While they don’t impact ranking directly (according to Google’s John Mu), they do provide a bit more context, and they show up in your site code.

I recommend using a short phrase that describes the image, along with the key term the post targets—similar to your alt text.

This can also make your images easier to find in Google image search since Google generates a title and snippet for images. If you include a title, they’ll take that into consideration.

5. Ensure Images Are Mobile-Friendly

If you’ve used the correct file type and compressed your images, they should be pretty mobile-friendly. However, sometimes things don’t always display the way we expect.

More than half of all internet traffic comes from a mobile device, so you want to ensure images don’t mess up the mobile experience.

For that reason, I recommend viewing your site from several different mobile devices to ensure images look their best. Remember, tablets, iPhones, and Android devices may all display your images a little differently.

I also recommend using Google’s mobile-friendly test to make sure your images aren’t slowing down site speed on mobile.

6. Use Schema Markup

Schema markup, also called structured data, is a type of code that helps search engines better understand your data.

Imagine you want to collect recipes to make a book of family recipes. Rather than having everyone send in their favorite recipe—which might use different measurements, different title formats, etc.—you send out a form and ask your family to input their recipe.

Now, all the recipes are in the same format and you can easily view the ingredients, measurements, and cooking steps.

Essentially, that’s what schema makeup does. It formats your data so Google can understand if it’s a list, a recipe, an image, and so forth. Here’s what it looks like:

Image Optimization Tips for Your Website - Use Schema Markup

Schema.org lists three types of image schemas, including:

This is a more technical change, so don’t stress if this feels like too much. Schema.org lists the coding you can use to add structured data to images here.

If you need more help, feel free to reach out to my team; we can help you get this set up.

7. Optimize Image File Names

According to Google, it uses the URL path and the file name to understand your images better. This means you should organize your image URLs logically and include key terms in the file name.

This can help you stay organized and help Google understand your images: a double win.

File names don’t have to be complicated. I usually use the alt text as the file name, which makes it easier to upload posts to WordPress.

I recommend using the keyword in the file name and describing the image.

Frequently Asked Questions About Image Optimization

What does image optimization mean?

Image optimization means making sure both Google and users can easily understand and view the images on a website. Examples include compressing images so they load faster and adding alt text so Google can better understand what the image is about.

Why is image optimization important?

While image optimization isn’t the most important SEO tactic out there, it can help you stand out in the competitive online world. You’ll still need high-quality content and to follow other SEO best practices, but image optimization is another way to increase your Google ranking.

What is the best image format for SEO?

There’s no specific format that is better for SEO. In general, you want images as small as possible while preserving as much data as possible. I recommend PNG if it doesn’t slow your site down too much.

How does image SEO work?

Image SEO works by making your images easier for Google to understand and making them as useful as possible to your site visitors. For example, adding alt text helps Google understand what your image is about and makes it easier for screen reader users to navigate your site.

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Conclusion: Image Optimization

Google gives us a lot of information about how to optimize our sites and our images. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the small details.

The tips above will help you make the most of your images; however, I recommend focusing on making sure your images bring value to users. Don’t cram images in just to meet a quota, and don’t add images that don’t make sense for your content.

Have you optimized images on your website? How did it impact your traffic?

Source: New feed 2

Best Cheap Web Hosting

Hostinger splash page for Best Cheap Web Hosting

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best cheap web hosting service for most people is DreamHost or Hostinger.

There’s no need to pay a fortune for web hosting if you’re launching a new website. Cheap web hosting will work just fine.

But how cheap is too cheap? There are a lot of attractive options out there. Separating the good deals from the scams is important.

If you are looking for a lowest price on hosting, there are really only one or two dozen reputable vendors to consider. That list gets even smaller when it comes to cheap web hosting plans that actually deliver good service.

Ready to get your site online for as little as possible? These are my top picks, followed by a brief guide to help you assess your options.

#1 – DreamHost Review — The Lowest Spend on Day One

Not everyone wants to sign a long contract for hosting, but you usually have to in order to get the lowest price. Typically, you have to pay the whole amount upfront, which can get expensive even when you are looking at cheap plans.

DreamHost offers similar discounts if you want to sign a contract, but if you don’t, DreamHost’s month-to-month pricing is the lowest out there. 

DreamHost Shared Starter is only $1.99/month for one site. No contract necessary.

There’s really no way to get a lower price without a commitment. This can be really important for cash-strapped startups betting on growth. Instead of a big upfront spend, they can budget a predictable monthly hosting cost into the equation.

Freedom isn’t free, they say, and it’s especially true with hosting. Many young companies have found themselves locked into a long contract with no way out. Now they’re spending money on a service they don’t like at a time when every dollar counts.

With DreamHost, you can still get cheap hosting, but you don’t have any of the long-term risk that comes with a multi-year contract.

When you look at the month-to-month pricing for other plans on this list, there is no competition. A2 Hosting is $10.99/month, Hostgator is $10.95/month, and Hostinger is $9.99 with a $4.99 set up fee.

Bluehost and iPage don’t even offer plans without at least a year-long commitment.

All of these other plans are great, don’t get me wrong, but if you are looking for a no-contract option, DreamHost is the clear leader. Especially because you get such a solid range of features and free tools to build your site:

  • Unlimited traffic
  • 50 GB storage
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free WordPress website builder
  • Free automated WordPress migrations
  • Automated WordPress updates
  • 24/7 live chat and ticket support

Like Bluehost, DreamHost is officially recommended by WordPress. The integration is deep and all of the updates are handled automatically. This is good for security purposes and saves you the trouble of doing it yourself.

So you can get all the benefits of tight WordPress integration without the commitment and large down payment required by Bluehost.

Now you might think that no contract would mean no money-back guarantee. The truth is DreamHost has a zero-risk 97-day money-back guarantee. That’s the longest time to try a web host that I know of.

DreamHost offers a Shared Unlimited plan that starts at just $2.99/month that works for an unlimited number of sites:

DreamHost pricing page for Best Cheap Web Hosting

If you just have one site, Shared Starter is all you need. 

Stop worrying about when the honeymoon period of your introductory pricing is going to end. 

Get DreamHost and pay a low, predictable rate each month. No more contracts, no more inflexible commitments. Just reliable hosting at a consistent price.

Try DreamHost today and use it risk-free for more than 3 months!

#2 – Hostinger Review — The Best Web Hosting Plan Under $1.50

Hostinger has the absolute cheapest price for hosting at $1.39 per month for the Single Shared Hosting plan. So what’s the catch?

You have to sign up for a 48-month contract, which sounds a little heavy. But, bear with me. 

Four years of Single Shared is going to cost less than a single year of hosting through most other providers. 

Seriously, other low-budget hosting plans are still twice to four times as expensive. Plus, the introductory rates you get with competitors might skyrocket when you have to renew. Once the honeymoon period is over, you might be looking at $10 or more each month.

With Hostinger on the other hand, your rate for shared hosting goes from $1.39 cents to $2.99/month upon renewal. That’s still a great price.

In other words, the Hostinger full rate is still less than introductory rates from other good cheap hosting options.

Okay, great. But I know you’re thinking the low rate must mean that there are annoying domain limits and few free tools to build your business. 

Untrue. Hostinger is loaded to the brim with features and function.

Hostinger’s Single Shared Hosting plan supports one site, and includes:

  • 100 GB bandwidth
  • 30 GB storage
  • 1 email account
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7/365 customer support
  • Optimized for WordPress with one-click installation
  • User-friendly control panel
  • Cloudflare protected nameservers

There’s no free domain name included, which isn’t a big deal if you already have one. Bluehost and DreamHost come with a free domain name for the first year, but higher per-month rates.

If you need a free domain name, more storage, or unlimited bandwidth, Hostinger lets you upgrade your plan while keeping costs low:

Hostinger pricing for Best Cheap Web Hosting

Say you need to move to Premium Shared Hosting to support another site. That will cost $2.59/month to start and $5.99/month when you renew. That’s not going to break the bank, and you can host up to 100 websites.

Hostinger does a lot to ensure that the service is easy to use. Set up takes minutes and absolutely zero technical skill.

If you ever have issues, Hostinger’s customer service is always available and has a phenomenal reputation. The company gets you in the door with budget-friendly prices, and keeps you around with quality support.

Choose Hostinger for the lowest per-month plan on the market. Try it today risk-free, as Hostinger will refund your purchase if you aren’t happy within the first 30 days.

#3 – Bluehost Review — The Best for New Sites (Especially WordPress)

Bluehost shared homepage for Best Cheap Web Hosting

There’s probably no easier way to get your new website off the ground than with Bluehost. And it won’t cost you much at all, as the company offers incredibly feature-rich shared hosting starting at $2.95/month.

For most people with a new site—especially if it is their first site—Bluehost is what they want.

If you are building a WordPress site, I really recommend checking out your options at Bluehost. The company is one of only three hosting providers that is officially recommended by WordPress. The integration is amazing and installation is automatic.

We’ll talk more about why it’s so good for WordPress in a second, but I want to talk about why it’s good for just about anyone with a new site.

First off, Bluehost has some of the cheapest hosting rates around. And even the most basic plans are loaded with features and value. 

You get a free domain name for the first year. Not only do you get to skip that expense, but the convenience of registering your domain through Bluehost cuts down on the time it takes to go live.

If this is your first site ever, you will be grateful at how simple the process is. If you’ve built sites before, you will really appreciate everything that’s done for you. 

For example, you get a free SSL certificate for your site,and enabling it takes one click on the dashboard. This is critical for keeping all of the information on your site secure and lets visitors know that the site is safe to visit.

You can get free SSL certificates from other places, but they will not be this easy to install, trust me. And you will have to renew them every couple months. 

With Bluehost, it’s completely hands-off and you are always protected.

You also get a free content delivery network (CDN) through Bluehost’s partnership with Cloudflare. This is going to improve site speed and performance with near-zero work on your part.

Okay, so on top of the free domain name, SSL certificate, and CDN, Bluehost gives you:

  • 50 GB storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • 24/7 customer support via phone and live chat
  • $100 Google Ads credits
  • Automatic WordPress installations and updates
  • Custom WordPress themes
  • 30-day full refund if you aren’t satisfied

All of these features are included with the Bluehost Basic shared hosting, which starts at $2.95 per month. If you have to upgrade, prices stay affordable at the higher tiers.

You can even go for the second-most powerful package, Choice Plus, for the same price as the Plus package. Bot offer unlimited websites and storage, but Choice Plus comes with domain privacy included and one year of free automated backups.

Bluehost pricing page for Best Cheap Web Hosting

One thing to be aware of is that Bluehost renewal rates are about two to three times higher than the introductory rate. This is why I recommend signing up for a long plan to max out the discount period.

Even at full price, though, Bluehost is really competitively priced compared to the field. This is especially true when you consider the long list of features you get and the ease of getting set up.

It’s as hands-free of a hosting experience as you could ask for and when you want to develop your site, all the tools are right there. 

WordPress is automatically installed on Bluehost, for example. This means full integration and automatic WordPress updates. 

With Bluehost shared hosting, you can use another content management system (CMS) besides WordPress if you want. 

But if you know that you are only going to use WordPress, I highly recommend going with one of Bluehost’s WordPress Shared Hosting plans

These start at $2.95/month, which is the same price as regular shared hosting. The difference is that the servers that have been optimized exclusively for WordPress. There’s no other type of software on them, so servers can be better configured and more easily protected.

If you have a new site in mind, make Bluehost your one-stop-shop for getting online. Get everything set up in a single place instead of having to go through a domain registrar. Best of all, you’ll get a great deal in the process.

So if you have a new site: Get Bluehost Basic shared hosting.

And if that new site is a WordPress site: Get Bluehost Basic WordPress hosting.

There’s a reason that more than 2 million sites are hosted through Bluehost. Find out why today.

#4 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best Web Hosting Under $3 for Online Stores

A2 Hosting main page for Best Cheap Web Hosting

If you grow your ecommerce site past a certain point, the cheapest web hosting options won’t work. But, if you are just getting your online store up and running, there is no better budget-friendly option than A2 Hosting.

In fact, you can get everything you need to launch for $2.99/month with the A2 Startup plan. You’ll have to sign a contract to get the lowest rate, but you’ll be ready to go within minutes.

Along with PayPal integration, the cheapest A2 hosting plan comes with one-click installs for five of the top ecommerce platforms, including WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Magneto. There’s hardly any backend IT work to start selling.

A2 Hosting offers some of the best site speed and security for the price, which are really important for online stores. 

Shoppers won’t stay if your content is slow to load. A2 takes care of all the technical legwork that goes into maintaining high performance servers. It’s compatible with Cloudflare’s free content delivery network, which can boost your speed as well.

Most shoppers won’t even come if Google says your site’s not safe. That’s going to happen if you don’t have an SSL certificate. A2 includes one for free, and it’s always enabled.

This is a huge perk, because you can get free SSL certificates elsewhere, but it’s on you to configure and renew them, which can be frustrating.

Most of the other security benefits are similarly hands off. The virus scanner, firewall, and brute force defense are on autopilot—you’ll receive notification if there’s something you need to do, but A2 handles a lot on its own.

And if you have an issue you can’t solve, A2 will help. Go read reviews. The company has some of the happiest web hosting customers on the planet. If you need to move your old site to A2’s servers, they have a team that will do it for free.

Some of the other excellent benefits of A2 Startup include:

  • 100 GB storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited email addresses
  • 24/7/365 customer support via phone, live chat, email, and ticketing 
  • 99.9% uptime commitment
  • Optimized WordPress hosting
  • DNS management tools
  • Website staging

Website staging is really useful for online stores. You can test new features and buttons on a page in a development area before pushing it live. This way you can see if anything breaks before it impacts your customers.

The A2 Startup plan is aptly named—it won’t be enough once your site matures. But by the time you’ve hit that milestone, your site will be bringing in more than enough money to justify the cost of upgrading.

A2 Hosting pricing page for Best Cheap Web Hosting

I like A2 Hosting for online stores because of the speed, security, and generous limits on storage. 100 GB is twice as much as you get with Bluehost.

And if you aren’t happy with your service, A2 Hosting will refund your account within 30 days of purchase. It’s a true hassle-free money-back guarantee.

Your online reputation matters, so it’s a huge peace of mind to know that customer service is always there. A2 Hosting representatives are extremely knowledgeable. They will help you resolve issues quickly, before your online store takes a hit.

Sign up with A2 Hosting today for the cheapest possible way to host your online store.

#5 – HostGator Review — The Best Way to Host Your Existing Site for Cheaper

HostGator splash for Best Cheap Web Hosting

When your current host jacks up the rates or takes a customer service nose-dive, you need to switch. Whatever the cause, there is no reason to pay for substandard hosting.

Hostgator will help you migrate your old site for free. This includes the cPanel, email accounts, files, databases, scripts, etc. They also include one free domain registration transfer, which saves a few bucks, too.

All you have to do is fill out a transfer form within 30 days of signing up. Hostgator will do the rest.

You get the free migration with any of Hostgator’s shared hosting plans, including Hatchling, which starts at $2.75/month with a contract.

With Hostgator, you can lock in a really low rate and get great uptime for less than you paid before. After the zero-stress migration, you get high quality customer support available any time of day by phone and live chat.

It’s cheaper web hosting, better service, and very few limits on what you can do. Some of the highlights include:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free email
  • Free domain (or registration transfer)
  • One-click WordPress install
  • Free website builder
  • Free Google Ads and Bing Ads credits

The good news is that Hostgator provides tons of tools to help you optimize the content on your site and keep things running at top speed. The interface is very easy to use, which gives you complete control over your site and databases.

It’s comparable to Bluehost in a lot of ways, which I like better if you have a brand new site. But if you already have a website, Bluehost won’t move it over for free. Hostgator will. If you have more than one site to migrate, Hostgator will give you a quote for the cost, but the first one is free.

This makes your transition to cheaper hosting a lot easier. Plus, Hostgator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like what you see, you have more than a month to jump ship without paying a cent.

Quit spending too much on hosting and find out why so many people love Hostgator.

#6 – iPage Go Review — The Best If You Have Multiple Sites

iPage homepage for Best Cheap Web Hosting

iPage Go lets you create unlimited websites for under $2/month. Every other plan on my list requires you to purchase an upgraded plan to support more than one site.

I really like iPage Go because there is one plan. Without tiered pricing, you don’t have to worry about upgrading your plan until you need something more substantial than shared hosting.

In other words, you can build as many websites as you want without having to stress about paying more to do more.

With iPage Go it’s unlimited sites, domains, and storage. Like similar “unlimited” offerings, your service has no hard and fast limits, but there are restrictions on how much your site can demand from the shared server.

So, when iPage says they offer scalable bandwidth, it means they aren’t metering the traffic to your site. You could still hit restrictions, but there is no set cap for the number site visitors.

Most people looking for cheap hosting for their websites won’t have to worry too much about these limits. iPage is able to support 99.5% of customers without any issues at all. In fact, the company will work with you to make sure you’ve optimized your site if you start to approach restricted usage limits.

In addition to providing the cheapest multi-site hosting option, iPage gives customers access to a ton of free tools to build and nurture their site.

You get a free domain name for the first year, along with a free SSL certificate. On top of that, you get free email with autoresponders. You can use the email provided, or manage your website accounts with Microsoft Outlook and other third-party apps.

iPage hosting includes a free website builder, which can help you customize the look and feel of all your sites. WordPress is a one click installation as are other popular content management systems like Joomla and Drupal.

For less than $2 per month, all of this is yours. Other benefits include:

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Unlimited databases
  • One-click installs for OpenCart, Magneto, and PrestaShop
  • PayPal integration
  • Integration with popular email marketing software services
  • Site traffic reporting
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

There is no month-to-month pricing for iPage Go. You can sign up for one, two, or three years. The longer the contract you sign, the lower the introductory pricing and renewal rate you get:

iPage pricing terms for Best Cheap Web Hosting

I’m not aware of another hosting provider who gives you a discount on your renewal rate for signing a long contract, so that is a unique perk.

As I mentioned, you’ll never have to upgrade to a different shared hosting plan. You get everything they offer with iPage Go. There are hardly any limits on your resources, and if your site gets too popular to be supported by shared hosting, iPage has some more powerful hosting solutions at competitive prices.

Until then, host all of your websites for one low price with iPage.

#7 – GreenGeeks Review — The Best Price for Managed WooCommerce Hosting

GreenGeeks homepage for Best Cheap Web Hosting

If you’re starting with a WordPress site (as many people do) and you’re looking to transform it into a potent online store, you ought to deploy WooCommerce. Sure, the plugin is free, but you’ll still need hosting and to manage your newly WooCommerce-enhanced site.

But, if you go with GreenGeeks, you can take care of all that in one fell swoop.

Much like A2 Hosting, you can get an affordable hosting plan that allows for an easy, one-click install of WooCommerce on your site. But, unlike A2, you get managed features like daily backups and automatic updates even at the lowest pricing tier.

GreenGeeks managed WooCommerce hosting pricing page for Best Cheap Web Hosting

Speaking of pricing, GreenGeeks offers three levels of managed WooCommerce Hosting:

  • Lite: starting at $2.95/month
  • Pro: starting at $5.95/month
  • Premium: starting at $10.95/month

The only drawback of that pricing structure is that the starting price is for a three-year commitment.

That could be a bit too much of a commitment for someone just trying GreenGeeks on for size or worried about massive, rapid scaling over that time. But GreenGeeks’ prices don’t jump up wildly for shorter terms, unlike some other providers.

For example, with the Lite package, a two-year commitment only raises the monthly cost $1 to $3.95/month. For a one-year term, it’s $4.95/month. Of course, month-to-month is the most expensive, but that rate of $10.95/month is right on par with A2’s base plan rate.

I mentioned above that even the Lite plan has daily backups and automatic plugin updates, but it also includes a free Wildcard SSL, unmetered data, a free domain name for the first year, and 50 GB of space for one website.

And, if you’re worried about scalability over the long haul, GreenGeeks’ Premium plan can put those fears to bed. With it, you get everything mentioned above, plus LSCache, LiteMage shop accelerator, a free dedicated IP, capacity for unlimited websites, and more.

All of this comes backed by some of the best customer support in the category. You can browse the GreenGeeks knowledge base or reach out to a rep via live chat, phone call, or email. Their phone center is available Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to midnight Eastern and GreenGeeks has a great track record of responding to any email request within 20 minutes.

Get a great deal on WooCommerce hosting by starting with GreenGeeks today.

What I Looked at to Find the Best Cheap Web Hosting

You’re looking for the cheapest plan out there, but you still need a dependable host.

There’s no shortage of budget-friendly web hosting options available. Each one promises great uptime, site performance, and customer support.

It seems like anyone can get their site up for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

What’s the catch?

If you understand your options and pick the right one, there is no catch.

I’m going to guide you through saving every dollar possible without getting scammed or locked into a plan that you’ll regret later.

Use these four criteria to cut through the advertising gimmicks, rule out plans that are “too good to be true,” and hone in on the best deal for lowest price.

Price

When looking for web hosting in general, price is pretty important. But in looking at cheap web hosting, I’ve made pricing the most important criteria by far. 

In other words, I asked myself: How can I get dependable hosting at the absolute lowest price?

Since you have to pay for hosting each month, even a few dollars’ difference between plans will add up over time.

I focused on web hosts with a rock solid reputation because their cheap hosting options don’t cut corners. These plans are no-frills hosting, for sure, but I made sure they cover all the essentials. 

With some of the less reputable hosts out there, you can get a rock-bottom price and a rock-bottom experience. 

The providers I chose have super-affordable plans that won’t cause trouble now, trap you into upgrading, or wind up costing a fortune down the road.

Contract Terms

Lots of web hosts might seem cheap at first glance, but you need to review the contract terms to truly get a sense of the actual cost. 

To lock in the lowest possible rate, you’ll likely have to commit to a two, three, or even a four-year plan. 

Importantly, these contracts are typically paid up-front and in-full. 

That means that web hosting advertised at $3 per month could actually cost you upwards of $100 today.

Along with the length of the contract, you need to check the renewal rates. It’s common practice in the web hosting industry for hosting plans to skyrocket upon renewal.

Promotional pricing might cost $3 per month, but then automatically renew at something like $10 per month.

That would more than triple your rate upon renewal. Suddenly it’s not so cheap anymore.

Domain Limits

How many sites do you want? 

If you add a site or two, you could accidentally get forced to upgrade and pay a lot more.

iPage, for example, lets people create as many websites as they want with their cheapest hosting plan. 

With Hostinger, on the other hand, you’ll have to upgrade to host more than one site. That said, Hostinger’s next plan up is still less than $3 per month and you can build up to 100 websites.

Another important limit to consider is bandwidth. This is the maximum amount of data your site can transfer to users during a set amount of time. 

Now there’s no such thing as unlimited bandwidth, but you are definitely going to see that advertised with a lot of the cheapest web hosting plans out there.

Why can they say this?

Because these are shared hosting plans where your site is on a server with a bunch of other sites. On a typical day, these sites are not going to use all of the server’s resources, so they say it’s unlimited.

The truth is that you will definitely still have limits on how much of the server’s central processing unit (CPU) your site can use. 

Getting too many visitors to your site may exceed your CPU limits, and the provider may ask you to upgrade.

Shared hosting plans with unlimited bandwidth are perfect for cheap web hosting, just don’t equate it with unlimited visitors.

Free Tools to Build and Grow Your Site

You’d be surprised, but even some of the least expensive web hosting plans are packed with free tools and capabilities. Getting these freebies as part of a bundle can help you save in other areas.

Some of the features to look out for include:

  • Ad credits: free Google or Bing advertising credits to target your audience
  • Domain name: your site’s online address at www.your-domain-name.com
  • Email account: an address @your-domain-name.com
  • SSL Certificates: protects online privacy and lets visitors know your site is secure
  • Visual website builder: an application that lets even total newbies design beautiful pages

Everything that’s included with your hosting plan is something you don’t have to spend more money on. 

It’s not hard to register your domain name, but if your hosting plan includes it, that’s going to save you $10-15 in the first year.

Getting a free professional email is another $30 in your pocket. The freebies add up.

Even Hostinger, which can be purchased for less than $1/month, comes with an email account, SSL certificate, and a website builder that requires zero coding knowledge to use.

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend very much to get your site online, but if you aren’t careful, web hosting can wind up costing a lot more than you think.

Choosing a reputable provider is the first step, but you don’t have to worry about that if you stick to my list of best cheap web hosts. These are all really well-known companies with a long history of dependable service.

  1. DreamHost — Lowest spend on day one
  2. Hostinger — Best web hosting plan under $1.50
  3. Bluehost — Best for new sites (especially WordPress)
  4. A2 Hosting —Best web hosting under $3 for online stores
  5. HostGator — Best way to host your existing site for cheaper
  6. iPage Go — Best if you have multiple sites
  7. GreenGeeks — Best price for managed WooCommerce hosting

To get the lowest per-month price, go with Hostinger. At less than a buck fifty per month, there is nothing else even close.

Of course, if you don’t want to lock into a long contract to get low rates with Hostinger, I recommend DreamHost. You can get high-quality hosting for less than $5/month without any commitment.

If you have a new site in mind and you want to get it off the ground quickly, Bluehost is the choice for you. It’s a little pricier than Hostinger, but still under $3/month. Plus Bluehost includes a free domain name for the first year (you’re going to need that for a new site), which saves another $10-15 right there.

If you have multiple sites to host, iPage should be your first and last stop. Unlimited websites for less than $2/month. Say no more.

Shortlist A2 Hosting for online stores. It’s well set up to handle the extra security and performance demands of ecommerce. If you’re running a web store on WooCommerce, think about GreenGeeks for a little extra savings for comparable performance.

And if you are tired of your current hosting situation, let Hostgator help. They will migrate your site to their servers for free. Then you can start saving money and enjoying quality customer service again.

Source: New feed 2

Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Website Migration

Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Website Migration

Do you want to migrate your website but are worried about impacting its performance and tanking its rankings?

Website migrations can be useful, but they are never without risk. That’s why it’s important to follow a proven process.

Below, I’ll explain what a website migration entails, draw up a checklist you can use when migrating your website, and explain each step of the process in detail.

If you’re planning to migrate your website, this should be the only guide you need to read.

When you’re ready, let’s get migrating.

What Is a Website Migration?

A website migration is a change to your website that’s so significant it impacts the site’s structure, performance, or traffic.

The most common form of website migration is moving from one domain to another. But transitioning from HTTP to HTTPS and changing your URL structure are also types of migration.

In some events, website migration is necessary for your business and certainly has many benefits, but you need to be careful. You could crash your site, cut your traffic in half, or change your site’s usability so much that revenue falls off a cliff.

Those risks may sound scary, but all of them can be overcome by following a tried and tested site migration strategy—just like the one I will cover below.

Still, you shouldn’t ignore the danger entirely.

Migration has the possibility to derail your site’s performance, traffic, and other metrics, so you need to treat it as a major project and assign the resources (and budget) it deserves.

Website Migration Checklist

Because website migrations can be so complex and challenging, it helps to have a checklist to follow. Use this checklist as a guide when migrating your website, and tick off each step as you go.

  • Define why you want to migrate your website.
  • Establish measurable objectives and goals.
  • Set a budget and timeline for your migration.
  • Start assembling your team.
  • Draw up a marketing plan to promote your new site before launch.
  • Put a content freeze in place.
  • Crawl your existing site, and create a repository of all your pages.
  • Create a 301 redirect plan that maps your existing content to your new site as accurately as possible.
  • Run tests in a closed environment to check that redirects work and pages load as expected.
  • Work out how you will track the success of your migration.
  • Execute the migration.
  • Track the impact of your migration for a year and make improvements as required.

Now you know what to expect, let’s cover each step in more detail below.

How to Do a Website Migration

Below, I’ll cover all of the checklist steps in more detail. I recommend reading through the advice before getting started with your website migration.

1. Define the Goals of the Website Migration

Start your process by defining why you are migrating your site and what it will look like. Do you need to transfer the entire site to a new domain name, or will it only affect a portion of your current site?

There are many reasons for a website migration, including:

  • moving from HTTP to HTTPS
  • reaching a wider audience with a better domain
  • taking your site international
  • increasing search traffic
  • improving your site’s design

By defining your reasons for a site migration, you can draw up a set of sensible objectives and goals.

For instance, if you’re moving your site to HTTPS, an objective may be to retain traffic levels. On the other hand, you may want to grow traffic if you’re moving to a .com domain for the international reach.

It will also help you to plan better going forward. As John Mueller says, everyone’s heard a migration horror story. You don’t want to create a new one.

The best solution is to be as diligent and prepared as possible.

John Mueller Twitter Website Migration

Speak to as many people inside and outside your business as you can. IT experts, SEOs, designers, analytics teams; they’ll all have invaluable opinions and advice on how to get it right—but also explain what can go wrong.

2. Set Website Migration Budgets, Timelines, and Teams

Now you know what you’re trying to achieve and why, it’s time to create a website migration plan that includes:

  • a sensible budget
  • a timeline
  • the teams and their responsibilities

Having a clearly defined strategy is crucial. Your website migration won’t happen in a day. It’s a complex process with several moving parts and requires great communication between different team members to achieve success.

Your timeline will be easy to create once you’ve read this entire article. Just break down all of the steps in this list into deliverables, assign them to relevant teams and set realistic deadlines. Draw this up in a project management tool like Wrike, Trello or Asana so that everyone can communicate and collaborate in one space.

Successful Website Migration with Trello

A cross-department team will have the best chance of success. System admins, developers, SEOs, designers, UX developers, copywriters, and more will all have a part to play in a successful migration, so make sure everyone has a seat at the table.

Finally, when creating a timeline, know that there will almost certainly be a period of downtime due to your migration. That’s why it’s best to schedule migrations during periods of low traffic (such as late at night) to limit the number of visitors affected.

Assuming you have the right skills in-house, a website migration shouldn’t require a huge amount of budget. There are several tools I’ll cover below that can streamline the process, but they aren’t that expensive.

Nevertheless, it’s best to fence off a contingency budget if the worst happens and your migration runs into problems that only an expert consultant can solve.

3. Promote Your New Website Before the Website Migration

One of the hardest parts of a site migration is getting everyone to understand your site has moved. A 301 redirect will make sure outdated links aren’t a complete waste, but they will lose impact and confuse customers if they remain outdated for long.

It’s relatively simple to tell Google that you’ve changed URLs, but it’s a lot harder to get the message across to your customers. That’s why the best migrations include a pre-migration promotional campaign that teases the new URL to customers and gets everyone on board with the move before it happens.

There are several ways you can do this. Start by creating a coming soon page on the new URL while working on the background migration. Promote the new URL using email and social media to customers and the press. The more buzz you build before launch, the smoother the migration will be.

Take care not to lose out when people still search for your old URL or brand name, either. Create a page on the new site that will rank for your old brand name and explain the move. Set up PPC ads on Google to rank for queries related to your old name or URL. Paid campaigns targeting your new brand name can also limit the fall in traffic that may occur directly after the migration.

4. Pull All Website URLs From Tools for the Website Migration

The vast majority of migrations will involve changing URLs. If this isn’t the case for you, you can skip this and the following step. If not, roll up your sleeves because this is where things get serious.

It starts with creating a content map.

Before you can go ahead and migrate your site, you need a complete picture of all your content. This will allow you to see which URLs need to be directed, which don’t and where’s best to point them. Creating a content map will also highlight existing errors like bad redirects, 5xx errors, and pagination issues that you can fix before migrating.

There are a couple of tools you can use to pull all of your existing URLs and create a content map, but Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is probably the best choice. It will extract all of the URLs on your website, find broken links, errors, and redirects. It’s free to use if your site has less than 500 pages. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay £149.

Successful Website Migration with Screaming Frog

Of course, don’t add new pages to your site while you’re creating your content map. Freeze content on your site at least a month before getting started with your migration.

5. Create a 301 Redirect Map for Your Website Migration Starting With the Most Valuable Pages

Once you’ve got a list of every URL, export the CSV file into a spreadsheet. Next, go through each URL one by one and note which need to be redirected and which don’t.

While you should endeavor to account for every single page, this simply won’t be possible on very large sites. That’s why you need to prioritize your efforts and focus on the pages that matter most.

Which pages are they? Typically these will be pages that drive the most traffic or generate the most revenue.

You’ll want to redirect a legacy URL to the most relevant new page possible.

Avoid redirecting a legacy URL to your new homepage at all costs. Firstly, this will lead to a poor user experience. Second, Google has said that mass redirecting pages will result in soft 404 errors. If a relevant page doesn’t exist, consider creating a new page or removing the legacy URL altogether.

Make sure you confirm the URL structure of your new site before you do anything else—then consider making changes to optimize your site’s SEO. The last thing you want is to spend time mapping out content for URLs that get updated when the site goes live.

6. Do a Test (in a Closed Environment) of Your Website Migration

You wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it for a test drive, would you? Migrating your website should be no different. A thorough test in a closed environment can help you identify errors or issues that, if unaddressed, cause havoc with your site’s UX or traffic when the full migration goes live.

You’ll want to test the migration in a closed environment for several reasons. First, any changes you make won’t impact your live site. Second, keeping the old site live allows customers to still use it and gives you a reference point for your changes. Third, if something goes really wrong, you can always do away with the closed environment and start again.

What kind of migration you are making will determine when you can start testing. If you’re launching a new design, for instance, you can begin testing it as soon as it’s developed. In general, the earlier you start testing, the better.

The earlier issues get noticed, the more time you’ll have to address them. Some errors you may be able to live with. Others could ruin your site’s future (and get you penalized on Google).

There are several things you should be checking in the test. These include:

  • site architecture
  • usability
  • mobile responsiveness
  • metadata
  • internal linking
  • search functionality and other site features

Remember, this is a team effort.

Don’t give one person sole responsibility for testing the migration. It’s easy for one person to miss a typo or an error, especially when they’re operating outside of their expertise. It’s a lot harder for a multi-disciplinary team to miss things.

7. Set Up a Process to Track Your Website Migration

As I mentioned at the start of this guide, you’re going to want to track certain metrics to see how successful your migration is. To do so, set up tracking before you execute the migration.

You probably already use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to track your site’s performance but if you don’t, install it now. Next, track the performance of your site’s traffic levels and top pages for at least a couple of weeks. This will provide a set of performance and traffic benchmarks that you can use to judge the impact of the migration going forward.

You’ll also want to use a tool like Ubersuggest to track your site’s rankings and monitor changes over time.

Ubersuggest for website migration

8. Execute the Website Migration

If you’ve followed all of the steps above, it’s now time to complete your website migration. It’s probably taken weeks, even months, to get to this stage, but all that work will be worth it if you complete a successful migration.

Regardless of how long it took to get here, speed is now essential. The trick is to execute as quickly as possible. You’ll need to take your site offline to migrate, so it’s important to avoid extensive downtime. The longer you leave your site offline, the more chance your rankings will be affected.

Once you’ve completed the migration, double check your robots.txt file is no longer blocking search engines, test out several redirects (especially those of your most valuable pages), and upload your new XML sitemap to Google Search Console.

9. Track Your Website Migration and Make Improvements as Needed

If you thought executing the migration was the final step of the process, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The last thing you need to do is track your migration’s success and improve where needed.

Keep track of the metrics you outlined at the start of the process and benchmark beforehand over the course of the following weeks and months. Are they in line with your expectations? If so, great. If not, you’ll need to find what’s wrong.

It’s normal to see a change (and quite possibly a decrease) in traffic and rankings following a migration, but a significant and long-term drop can signify bigger issues, usually because of bad redirection practices.

You’ll also want to track the traffic levels and rankings of the legacy site. These should gradually drop to zero over the year. If not, double-check to see if the pages still receiving traffic are being redirected.

If everything meets your expectations after a year, you can stop worrying about tracking everything and get on with enjoying your new site.

Frequently Asked Questions About Website Migrations

How long does a website migration take?

It can take less than an hour to execute a migration but months to plan the entire move, depending on the size and complexity of your website.

How much does a website migration cost?

A website migration for a small site shouldn’t blow your budget. It shouldn’t cost more than $500 to migrate your website. However, larger or more complex sites (like enterprise or ecommerce sites with many pages) can cost much more.

If you rebrand or redesign your site at the same time, those costs are in addition to the migration.

How do I prepare for a website migration?

There are several things you can do to prepare for a migration. Create a timeline and a migration team, assign a budget, and create a content map of your entire site.

What software do you need for website migrations?

You will need a website crawler, an analytics tool, and a keyword rankings tracker to migrate your website.

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Conclusion: Website Migrations

A website migration may seem daunting, but you shouldn’t be scared to make the move.

Read up on the best approach to take when redesigning your website and follow my step-by-step guide to migrate your website properly. This should give you everything you need to avoid any major drops in traffic or rankings.

Why are you migrating your website? Let me know in the comments below.

Source: New feed 2