Hosting Alternatives: WordPress Hosting vs. Cloud Hosting
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, and for good reason. It’s free, easy to use, and packed with features. If you’re looking to start a blog or web site, you’ll probably come across WordPress. It’s also fairly easy to use, so even complete beginners can get up and running fairly quickly.
But what are you going to do once you’ve got your WordPress blog or website up and running? Where are you going to host your content? Will you be publishing lots of posts? Will you be featuring a lot of media? How much traffic are you going to draw?
There are a lot of considerations to make when choosing a web host, not least of which is price. But you might also want to investigate hosting solutions that can provide additional features or give you a free domain. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting a web host and provide some guidance on what to look out for.
The Best Free WordPress Hosting
If you go to wordpress.org and enter “free wordpress hosting” into the search bar, you’ll be presented with a list of some of the best, free WordPress hosting solutions out there. Let’s take a look at the features and pricing of each solution.
This is the granddaddy of all free, wordpress-based hosting solutions, and for good reason. With over 20 million users worldwide, 1&1 is one of the biggest players in the hosting industry. What makes 1&1 special is that they provide a fully featured platform that is not only free but also requires literally zero customization. If you’ve ever used their shared hosting, you’ll know exactly what we mean.
When you log in to your 1&1 account, you’ll see a landing page that looks something like this:
As you can see, there are multiple links on the page. You can choose to keep your blog or website active, install WordPress, or choose to use their managed WordPress service. If you opt to keep your blog or website active, you’ll be charged $2.95/mo. Their shared hosting plans start at just $2.95/mo and go up from there. But you must be aware that all web hosts, including 1&1, limit the amount of data you can store.
One of the newest entrants on this list is Bluehost. Like the other hosts on this list, Bluehost is also a fully featured platform that is free. What sets Bluehost apart is that they provide a special discounted price for bloggers and webmasters. For example, their “Basic” plan is just $2.95/mo, and offers all the features you’d need to launch a basic blog or website. Their shared hosting plans start at just $5/mo.
As you’d expect from a reputable company, Bluehost is very stable and secure, and they feature a money-back guarantee. If you go through their quick start guide, which is filled with helpful links and information, you’ll be able to launch your blog or website in no time.
Speaking of reputable companies, Cloudways is another hosting platform that provides a fully featured, free platform. What makes Cloudways unique is that they allow you to launch a blog or website immediately and affordably. Their shared hosting plans start at $2.95/mo and go up from there. Like Bluehost, Cloudways is also a popular choice amongst bloggers and webmasters. But what makes them even more attractive is that they provide a special discounted rate for publishers, bloggers, and website owners. For example, did you know that you can get a free domain and hosting with every single plan? Not to mention that you can install WordPress in a snap and get blogging quickly and easily without having to worry about a thing.
Despite all this, one of the biggest downsides to both Bluehost and Cloudways is that their support is relatively bad. You’ll get an email reply in 24 hours only in the most dire cases. But if you’re looking to build a sustainable business, you might want to consider an alternative that provides more robust support.
Recommended WordPress Hosts
There are a number of things to consider when selecting a web host for your blog or website. The most important thing to look out for is price. As we’ve established, pricing varies from one host to another. But you must be aware that all web hosts, including the recommendations below, limit the amount of data you can store. You’ll also want to investigate whether or not the host is PCI (Payments Card Industry) compliant. And finally, you should look out for any signs of malware (adware, viruses, or malware).
The best host for you depends on several factors. If you’re looking for a free solution that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then Bluehost or 1&1 are reliable options. If you’re looking for a solution that provides additional features or is completely free, then take a look at Cloudways. If you’re looking for something in-between, then check out WordPress.com or WP Engine.