Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting. The Big Corporate vs Geeks

A yellow folder with Uncovered, Revealed and Truth in black text in the center of the folder. A blue/gray document with white space representing lines of print on the left of the document, a red, yellow, gray/blue colored circle with a white "H" as the logo on the right of the document. Used in the article Uncovered! the best wordpress hosting.
Who is hosting your site?

Time to renew my hosting. For 3 years I went through the motions and just paid up. It was still 2 weeks before my payment was due so thought I would check out the wider world of hosting companies. I spent over a week trawling through various plans and company information, to see which company really provided the best WordPress hosting.

Unfortunately...

It was a disappointing experience.

What did I uncover? A lot of promises and not much else.

The Corporate monster that looks like it is trying to corner the market for hosting is… Shall we say 2nd rate?

At least on WordPress hosting

The best hosting providers I found are managed by the guys who started them.

I take a look at a corporate love child, Bluehost, an old WordPress favorite, and two companies run by Geeks.

The Geeks win hands down in my humble opinion.

Uncovering the Best WordPress Hosting.

Bluehost

Like many, my introduction to WordPress was through Bluehost.

The features of Bluehost's Pro Plan used in the article Uncovered! The best WordPress Hosting.

Back in the day, Bluehost was regarded as the top dog for WordPress.

Well… if you were to believe all the reviews written about them today you would think that is still true.

I looked at the Pro plan which usually is $28.99 a month.

So about $348.00 a year, with an introductory price of $13.95 p/mth.

What I saw was pretty much the standard fare, maybe a little less.

  • Unlimited Websites.
  • Free Domain- for a year.
  • Custom themes included, ok for beginners I guess. I use a premium theme from My Theme Shop
  • All the rest I have, plus:- Hacking Prevention, Site Speed extreme caching, 500,000 monthly visits, and a few other bells and whistles.

Clicking on Optimized CPU Resources (We all want speed don’t we?), gives this little pop-up.

A screen shot of Bluehost's Optimized CPU resources. Used in the article Uncovered! The best WordPress hosting.
Optimized for low to moderate-traffic websites.

A comprehensive Bluehost review in this video by Tool Tester.com


Bluehost Reviews

My old Bluehost was never the fastest-loading website on the web.

And admittedly I was pretty clueless when I started using WordPress.

I think I probably preferred using a typewriter rather than the WordPress classic editor.

But that was back then…so, back to the now.

I went and checked out some reviews.

Mel W. The customer service is terrible at Bluehost so if you have problems it could take quite some time to get it resolved. 27 October 2022.

Angie. Do not subscribe.

Customer service is horrible from day 1. Constant problems and they charge you for every little step so it ends up costing more time and money than Go Daddy. I would NOT use this host. Nothing but problems, a slow server, horrible customer support, difficult to reach, and site down, bad links, bad migration. Headache.

Date of experience: October 27, 2022 (Trust Pilot)

They don’t sound like happy campers.

There are good reviews ( some seem to be done by Newfold Digital employees), but there is a deeper problem.


Bluehost is now part of Newfold Digital.

A photo of Sharon Rowlands CEO of Newfold Digital, used in the article Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Sharon Rowlands. CEO of Newfold Digital. Postgraduate Certificate in education from the University of London.  BA in history from the University of Newcastle, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Member of Loch Lomond Golf Club

Clearlake Capital Group paid $ 3 billion for Endurance International Group (EIG), which was settled back in February 2021.

They then set up a new entity called Newfold Digital.

One thing we know is, that Corporates understand money, not users.

They mess with us. (I try not to swear in these articles).

What Bluehost is really interested in is Being your Advertising, Website Design Consultant

Pay-Per-Click services, website design, SEO advice, and even assistance with your content.

They want businesses that can pay for their high-end services.

WordPress is basically a bait-and-switch for them.

Here is a list of Hosting Companies Newfold Digital owns.

The acquisitions sent to hell.

List of hosting companies owned by Newfold Digital. Used in the article Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Some well-known names

Think about it.

If Angie or Mel (above), drop Bluehost and move over to say, Hostgator.

Newfold Digital won’t care, they don’t lose anything, but Mel and Angie will keep having their “heads done in” while they keep using it.

Stay away from them and probably any in the list above.

Siteground is not on that list let’s check them out.


Siteground Logo. used in the article, Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Siteground Logo.
 a passport-size photo of Ivo Tzenov founder of Siteground, used in the article Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Ivo Tzenov founded Siteground with soime friends while at University. Every new SiteGrounder goes through a series of extensive trainings and we believe this is the best investment in the future of the company

Let’s start at the backend.

Founder and Year2004. Ivo Tzenov.
HeadquartersSofia. Bulgaria. Offices in data center locations as well.
Number of Employees500+ approx.
Data centersGermany, The United States of America, Australia, the Netherlands, the UK, Singapore, and a new one in Spain.
Number of websitesApprox 2,800,000
Provides Hosting forWordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, and others, it also connects to Weebly.

How refreshing! A company that invests in itself.

Unlike the big corporations who buy and “consolidate” (sack employees), this one hires and sets up data centers in different areas of the world.

Founded by some university students back in 2004 they are all still invested in the company.

It might be a European thing.

Alidropship was founded by students looking for a way to help pay their way through university.

What does Siteground Offer

They are consistently updating new technologies for speed, compression algorithms, and protocols like Brotli, HTTP/2, TLS 1.3, and OCSP stapling, plus the latest PHP versions are integrated so you can take advantage of them immediately.

And more.

This is what they offer.

  • Integration of the latest technologies and backups.
  • Fast-loading pages. It is the top-rated host for speed and uptime
  • Top-rated support. I have dealt with both and have no trouble giving Siteground a 5/5
  • Built on Premium Google cloud infrastructure for reliability, speed, and security
  • The cost is competitive. More on that below.

Reliabilitygraph of the top performing hosting companies Showing Siteground at the 100% and Bluehost at 99.95%. used in the article,  Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Image courtesy of Tooltester.com

202020212022
Uptime%
Siteground99.97%100%100%
Bluehost99.96%99.99%99.95%

The features below are of the “GoGeek” plan at $39.99/ mth.

The free migratory is available on all plans.

Details of the Siteground "GoGeek" WordPress Plan at $39.99 mth. Used in the article,  Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Siteground’s “GO GEEK” Plan.

How Much Does Siteground Really Cost?

Unlike many of the other hosting providers, depending on where you are, you can get Siteground at country-specific pricing.

Bluehost and the rest of Newfold Digital companies are priced in $USD.

If you are not in the USA converting your currency to $USD can cost you 30- 60% or more.

So, you can save yourself some money by paying in your own currency.

$39.99 in CAD or AUD can often be $50.00+ in USD

Cons of Siteground

There are some upsells. But not as bad as Bluehost.

It is upgrading from the free versions to the premium versions of the ones below if they are not included in your choice of hosting package.

Basically, everything is for increased speed, and increased security.

Up sells from Siteground. Advanced SSL, Sitebuilder, CDN upgrade, Site Scanner, Dedicated IP, Hosting relocation, Private DNS., Used in the articleUncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting.,
Upsells.

Like many people, once I had WordPress set up with a good theme the only other plugins I run, are an SEO plugin, a Table-of-Contents plugin and that is about all I run.

If you use lots of images get Smush to compress them.

Siteground’s security is good.

The benefit of having it within your hosting is that it saves adding more plugins which can affect site speed.

They also have a good blog section giving advice on various aspects of WordPress, including video walk-throughs on setting up your site, Information on Siteground, and different plugins.

Obviously, some upsell’s among them.

What is better than Siteground? I hear you ask

Obviously, I have an element of bias towards Siteground, but it does have some good competitors.

let’s exclude all those in the Newfold Digital conglomerate.

Hostamarda: Quite inexpensive.

Pressable: WordPress Experts. A lot to like about Pressable. (originally called Zippykid).

It was taken over a few years ago by Automattic the owner of WordPress.com

Contabo: Another European company.

A2. Maybe this North American company?

Another company not very well known for WordPress hosting is Wealthy Affiliate.

The reason is, they are not a hosting company per se.

They are a training/educational company and the hosting is exclusively for its members.

It combines hosting services with advanced blogging tutorials, videos, an image library, a super-engaged chat group, and more.

It has over a million users and is by no means a slouch when it comes to hosting.

Check it out against some other popular Hosting Companies

Wealthy Affiliate pricing comparison with Pagely, WP Engine, and Kinsta. Used in the article Uncovered! the best WordPress Hosting.

Comparison with Pressable.

Pressable hosting price chart. and inclusions. Used in the article Uncovered! the best WordPress Hosting.

Bloggers need Hosting for Bloggers.

Which is what Wealthy Affiliate does.

It just hosts WordPress, nothing else.

It is a company that started in 2005 and is still run by a couple of dudes who looked at making extra income by dabbling in IT to pay their university dues.

A rounded snapshot of Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim owners of Wealthy Affiliate. Used in the article, Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim. Both have backgrounds in Computer Science and programming, Kyle has also studied Internet business and marketing.
Wealthy affiliate hosting features, Used in the article Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Wealthy Affiliates Hosting Features

Screenshot showing a snapshot of Wealthy Affiliate support features and Affiliate training. Used in the article Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Support and training features of Wealthy Affiliate.

Its hosting is super fast and reliable. Important for SEO.

24/7 Site support with a wait time for a response of 5 minutes or less, and you are answered by a person.

There are extras included in the price, which include a free domain, a site content publishing platform with over 1 million free images, and a duplicate content checker.

The hosting (see feature’s image above), includes image optimization which saves the cost of a good plugin like Smush for compressing your images, hence helping improve the responsiveness of your site.

A list of Categories covered by Wealthy Affiliate training used in the article, The Best WordPress Hosting
Some of the categories covered by Wealthy Affiliate.

Domain Names

Wealthy Affiliate has the World’s Only Inclusive Domain Platform

With the domain platform at Wealthy Affiliate, you have access to all the features you would expect other domain registrars to charge for.

Included with every domain is: WHOIS protection/privacy, Domain security, Advanced DNS automation, and management.

Every domain includes

  • Full access to emails.
  • Full privacy and domain protection.
  • Full email accounts are included with each domain purchase.
  • You don’t have to worry about being sold on various upsells or being charged more in subsequent years like other domain registars.
  • With SiteDomains you have everything included all in one place…at ONE price.
  • This is included with EVERY single domain
A double yellow border shaped like a price tag, including the circle to attach it to a product.In gray text are the words No Upsells in capitals
Below it I$14.99 per year.Below that is Everything Included.Used in the article Uncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Domain Cost at Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate Pricing

There is a free trial before you buy option.

However, if you pay monthly the cost is $49.00 which is around $20.00 p/mth. more expensive than the top Bluehost plan, and $10.00 p/mth. more than Siteground’s “Go Geek” plan.

But you learn to do your own marketing, PPC campaigns, search engine optimization, blog presentation, etc with one on one help from experts, tutorials, and videos and without having to worry about consultants or pay for upsells.

The yearly cost is $497.00 which is still above Siteground’s top plan.

But that is it, there is nothing else to pay.

Unless you want to move to their top plan which is $99.00 p/mth. or $697 p/yr.

For many bloggers or wanna-be bloggers who want to earn money with their website, the Premium option is really a screaming bargain.

You have a week to look around (it won’t cost anything), and make your decision from there.

You can start your look around Wealthy Affiliate Here.

Bloggers need Images

I made a few not-very-nice comments about Newfold Digital hosting above.

Corporations are always sniffing around looking for companies they can make a few bucks off.

Bloggers need good hosting too, and WordPress has about 40%+, of the websites online.

Photos:- Bloggers use images. If they don’t have their own, there are sites like Pixabay, Unsplash, etc; where they can choose a good image to put under their headline.

Along came Getty Images who made an offer Unsplash could not refuse.

I am sure you can see where this is going.

Photos from Unsplash. The one on the left is showing a man with a camera trying to get a close up picture of something. The green background is blurred with Unsplash+ superimposed across on it and a black button with Unsplash + in white text 
The photo on the right shows a man in a blue shirt with tatoos on his right arm sitting at a wood slated table, with a laptop, a cup of coffee and documents on the table, looking through images on his camera. At the left bottom is a black Samsung logo with white text and in white text beside it in white text are the words Samsung Memory. Memory storage made for everyone.
Unsplash images with ads and upsells.

Now you have Unsplash images encouraging you to get a paid subscription as well as ads for whoever.

Essentially they temp you with crappy free images and get you to buy an average one.

Many of the good photographers have headed for the hills.

There are plenty of alternatives for them.

I know AI is getting better and If you have the time you can create your own photos using AI.

Artificial Intelligence created art passport size images of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. Elon Musk has what looks like a space suit  and a dark background with two vertical lights in the background. mark Zukerburg is colored ice blue, has a stretched neck in front odf a red and black background. Used in the articleUncovered! The Best WordPress Hosting
Artificial created art. Image credit: Lexica.art

Wealthy Affiliate has its own free-to-use photo library that includes pictures from Unsplash and others without the ads.

If you don’t have time to play with AI, then you will still have access to pictures without getting caught up in some corporation trying to stuff up your day.

Conclusion

Many of the popular IT advancements that help users are created by individuals, not big Corporations.

Siteground (above), is one, Backlinco is another (until it was acquired by Semrush), Alidropship, Rank Math, and Wealthy Affiliate are others.

I could name lots more.

Not to mention the hundreds of WordPress plugin creators.

I don’t mean to be hard on Bluehost. It used to be ok once.

But corporations don’t understand users. It is all about money.

Which company has the best WordPress hosting?

Go with the Geeks they understand users.

If you don’t have a website, the two below are as good as, or better than most.

The link to Siteground again Click Here

For Wealthy Affiliate: Click Here.

Thanks for reading.

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