I do a lot of technical, backend work with WordPress that includes securing such websites, cloning them to hidden staging servers, and more. These tasks require a deeper understanding of WordPress than just how to use it to design a custom website. In these cases, I rely heavily on the web host for help when things don’t go well or I need modifications to things like available memory.
Many web hosting companies have innovated over the past few years in order to offer their customers a great technological and customer service experience. But even more have not put in such efforts, choosing instead to outsource overseas customer-facing aspects such as tech support. Here I’ll list out what I consider to be the best web hosting companies based on my direct experience. They are in no particular order. All are fantastic.
- Baremetal: Located in Victoria, British Columbia, Baremetal.com has been a favorite of mine since the 1990’s. I have never had to call Baremetal for tech support. E-mail always suffices. Their setup is simple and their prices are very reasonable. When you send an e-mail request for help to Baremetal, you get a fast response from a top level engineer. I’ve experienced same-day e-mail response times as fast as 30 minutes or at worst, 4-hours. Their servers are fast and easy to configure, and they offer many affordable price points, including e-mail only options. They also offer e-mail hosting.
- Flywheel: Getflywheel.com offers both chat based support and support by e-mail. They also offer an easy mechanism for cloning a website to an associated staging server. This enables a best practice of updating on the staging website first to see how it goes before performing the same update on the live site. For web designers, the use of their software “Local by Flywheel” can be a game changer. This software runs on your PC / Mac and turns it into a web server where you can test out ideas in WordPress design and functionality on your local machine. When ready you can push your changes to the live or staging site, and you can also pull from such sites to setup your local instance. They have fast servers with great tech support. The longest I waited for chat support was 5-minutes. You also get to create your own server backups and can restore from those backups very easily.
- SiteGround: Siteground.com is another company that has invested in their technological infrastructure and customer service offerings. As with the previous web hosts mentioned, SiteGround’s technical support is professional-grade. They also offer a staging server along with the ability to create server-level backups and restore from them. But it’s the lightning fast speed of WordPress on their servers which is most interesting. This is accomplished with a server-side cache system called the “Dynamic Cache”.
- WP-Engine: The web host at wpengine.com boasts all of the great aspects of the previous hosting services plus they provide HIPAA compliant web hosting. WP-Engine even offers WordPress developers resources on how to build headless WordPress and other highly technical aspects.
Knowing who to trust when it comes to web hosting means everything to the health of your website. I hope you find this short list helpful in your own decision making process.