When it comes to hosting your blog, you get what you pay for. The minimum we recommend spending on hosting is $20 per month. Anything less than that, and you're hurting your ability to rank in search engines.
You were so right… what Blue Host couldn't fix, BigScoots fixed in about 20 minutes. THANK YOU so much for referring me to them.Lori at SweetOrdeal.com
Note: WordPress.com is a service, not a host. Our themes and plugins are not compatible with WordPress.com
Recommended hosting companies
Which one you choose is largely a matter of personal preference - these are all good quality hosting companies.
These hosts all have a few mandatory features:
- Free SSL
- WordPress optimized hosting environment
- Caching (sometimes needs to be turned on)
- Daily backups
- Staging environment
- Responsive support
Food blogging is competitive, and in our opinion, there is simply no alternative to being on a quality host.
WordPress releases updates that can break a site - especially major version updates. Because of this, we recommend avoiding immediately updating to the latest version, so that bug fixes and patches can be released.
Any competent host will allow you to defer updates, or specify only "minor" version updates.
In BigScoots, this should be set to "Minor" in the Automatic Updates tab (requires login):
Hosting companies like BigScoots that specialize in managed WordPress hosting have the experience of managing and supporting thousands of sites, along with the rare but severely damaging intrusions.
- Network wide DDOS protection
- Hardware firewalls
- Server firewalls
- Proactive monitoring of security exploits
- Malware scanning
- Investigating and cleaning of intrusions
This removes the need for performance-degrading security plugins and overly technical, complex configurations that come with them.
You're not a security expert, and you never will be, so don't waste your time trying to manage this yourself. Hire hosting companies that do this for a living.
These hosting companies have shown to be adequate, but don't offer the same support relative to the cost and WordPress optimized hosting as our recommended hosts.
We won't call out any hosts here specifically, but if you're paying under $10/month you're on a garbage host. Period.
Some of these are recommended EVERYWHERE around the web. These are not genuine recommendations by people who know what they're talking about. They're affiliate links by people who are trying to figure out how to make money online.
Most of these hosts put you on a shared hosting plan, with hundreds of other websites sharing your server resources. This means that if one of them gets hit with a lot of traffic, or are using too many server resources, your site slows down as a result.
In most cases, those shared hosting plans are also associated with some low-quality, seedy websites that send email spam and could be blacklisted by search engines.
See this Cloudways article on how poor quality hosting affects your SEO.
Aside from lower quality support and worse server allocations, these hosts almost never come with staging environments or daily backups. Daily backups is a bare essential feature, that can not and should not be handled by plugins. Downtime caused by site errors or failed plugin updates happen regularly, and having a daily backup to restore from is worth 100x what you pay for hosting.
Just don't sign up for garbage hosts.
Interested in what actual customers are saying about their hosting company? ReviewSignal.com crawls social media and runs an algorithm to determine whether people are saying positive or negative things about their hosting company.
There are a couple hosting companies out there run by mom n' pops (single guy with a small team, or family-run businesses). Some of them actually have a good reputation, and are good, legitimate companies as far as we can tell.
We recommend against these for the simple reason that it introduces a single point of failure: if the owner decides to retire, or dies, or move on to better things, you're out of luck.
This happens. All. The. Time. It's simply too risky from a business perspective.
Contrast to a professional company like the ones listed above, who have processes in place and a large staff with multiple redundancies. These companies have legal liabilities, and can't just disappear over night.
Another factor is that the expertise of hundreds of employees can't be replaced by a team of 3 people. Among other factors, security issues are surfaced and mitigated against by having thousands of sites being constantly monitored, rather than a couple dozen or hundred.
Having large support staffs also means that many of these people come from other hosting companies where they've already resolved issues. This cross-polinates industry knowledge, which gets built into system settings and their support knowledge-base.
Your business relies on hosting. Get on a professional quality host and pay the $30/month - this is CHEAP.
High volume food blogs
Food blogs that see high volumes (100,000+ monthly visits) should be using a CDN (content-distribution-network) like Cloudflare.
Typically, the hosting costs at those pageview levels start to skyrocket, which is where the CDNs become valuable.
We don't offer support for issues relating to CDN usage, because this is not theme related. CDNs introduce a lot of complexity and require paid technical support from specialists like nerdpress to help manage this.
If you're struggling with high pageviews and hosting, please reach out to Casey Markee for recommendations.
I'm wondering if you have any current thoughts on web servers? I am using Cloudways but the price fluctuates depending on usage which is frustrating. Was looking at BigScoots or maybe WP Engine. I have also seen good reviews for Hostinger. What are most food bloggers using now? Thanks.
Our recommended hosts are listed above.
So, I currently have BigScoots but on the shared 105CC plan (I literally have no money and am not making any). Does this mean that if I bump that up to a 20/month plan, my site will start doing better? Is just being on Bigscoots at all not enough?
The managed WordPress plan ($35/month) is what you want to be on for true optimization.
This is only a factor if pagespeed/performance is holding you back, which generally happens after 12+ months or 100+ high quality keyword-research posts or 100+ backlinks: https://feastdesignco.com/how-to/launch-your-food-blog/