I always recommend you use some form of WordPress managed hosting. These are hosts that cater specifically to WordPress websites. Their servers are usually better configured, caching is already set up for you, and their support is more knowledgeable about WordPress issues. They typically offer functionality that non-WordPress hosts don’t, like one-click backups and restores, a staging server, and security monitoring.
WPEngine – My Top Recommendation
WPEngine is priced reasonably ($29/month) and leads the market in quality and features. They are fast with a built-in caching system, have a great backup solution, a staging server, security monitoring and remediation (they fix hacked websites). Their support is fast and knowledgeable. And if you’re changing hosts, use their free, automated migration tool to quickly and easily move your site to WPEngine (I use this to migrate clients to my WPEngine development server).
As a developer they offer wp cli and git push. You can create unlimited password-protected, transferrable installs, which I use for developing client sites. When a client is ready to go live, you type in their email and the install gets transferred to them – no migration necessary.
I think they’re the best fit for almost all of my clients. They even have a Speed Test Tool to see what improvements you can expect to see if you host there.
Other WordPress Managed Hosts
There are many other WP hosts available. On the lower priced end are SiteGround and GoDaddy (make sure you are looking at their managed WordPress hosting, not generic hosting). These might be a good option if WPEngine is outside your budget and you don’t need all the features or support of WPEngine.
Don’t use generic, cheap hosting
There are lower cost hosting plans out there, priced around $3-5/month. You get what you pay for. First, the support won’t be in the same league as WPEngine. Support is one of the largest costs in web hosting, so lower priced hosts do everything they can to minimize support. They also don’t include easy-to-access backups and security monitoring/remediation. If your website gets hacked, it’s on you to restore it.
To keep their costs low, these hosts fill their servers with many sites. Some poorly constructed websites on your server could affect the performance of your site and others on that same server. Whether your site performs well is partially determined by luck on these hosts.
If you do choose a lower priced host, I recommend also using BackupBuddy for backups and Sucuri for security monitoring/remediation. If you subtract the cost of these two services from the price of WPEngine (since you wouldn’t need them at WPEngine), the effective cost of WPEngine’s hosting plan goes down to $7/month.