Seeking help selecting hosting company for multiple WP Network Sites

(Rob) #1

Hello WP Chat community,

I’m grateful for the feedback I’ve been receiving to the many questions I’ve posted on here so far. Soon I will start pushing my sites live and looking for recommendations on selecting a hosting company. Not sure how to qualify or select a hosting service for them, even though I’ve looked up much information, I still don’t feel confident to pick a hosting company. My hosting needs are particular and that’s probably part of the challenge.

Most of these ideas will use a WP Network Site setup w/ domain-mapping feature enabled. My strategy is to start all my sites on a single Shared Hosting plan and then once one of them start receiving traffic and looks like it has potential I would transfer that site to it’s own VPS.

I’m open to Cloud Hosting instead of VPS but just don’t know too much about it.

Here are my hosting needs:

  • Ability to host WP MU sites w/ domain mapping - I noticed that some hosts don’t host multisite installations

  • Offer both Shared Hosting and VPS plans - I will have have several WP Network Sites and trying to manage costs, hence think it would work best to start sites on Shared Hosting plan and then once one of them start receiving traffic and looks like it has potential I would transfer that site to it’s own VPS.

  • User friendly - I noticed some hosting plans are more technical and offer more options than I would prefer to learn about and customize.

  • Affordable - would prefer to stick on the low to average price range of hosting services.

  • Dedicated IP - One of my plugins requires this… here is a short description from their documentation:
    “For using A Record setups, you need to ensure you have a dedicated IP. This IP would fall onto your multisite setup. i.e. when you enter the IP you see your multisite. This is known as the DocumentRoot for the IP, your host will be able to sort this quickly and easily.”

    So, any recommendations?

  • So far I think BlueHost might be a good fit = Shared Plus plan ($11/mo), VPS ($40/mo)

  • Considering HostGator as well = Shared ($9/mo), VPS ($80/mo)

  • InMotion = Shared ($10/mo), VPS ($45/mo)

  • Flywheel looks good but they don’t offer a shared hosting plan to start my sites on :frowning:

There’s a couple of parts of this that I’m not sure of:

  • Is it typical that on a VPN you can have multiple WP installations? I think I noticed some companies have a limit on some plans to 1 WP installation for example.

  • Will it be a straightforward process to transfer one of my sites from a shared hosting plan to a VPN hosting plan (within the same hosting company of course)?

(Leland Fiegel) #2

Just to clarify some terminology, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is not the same thing as a VPS (Virtual Private Server). You’re thinking VPS.

I don’t want to get into specifics of hosting recommendations, as that could get messy (if hosts catch wind of this thread, every single one will be coming here to pitch you on their own offering).

It depends on how each host defines “installation.” One host might consider one multisite network with a million subsites to be one installation. Another host might consider that same setup to be 1,000,001 sites.

It would be best to ask for clarification on hosts you’re considering, because some managed WordPress hosts do adjust pricing for multisite.

It’s also important to note that you don’t need to keep all your eggs in one basket. It’s totally fine to host your multisite network on one host, and your other sites on another. I wouldn’t let this factor into your decision too much.

In any case, I always advocate for starting small and working your way up as needed. Many go all in with an expensive VPS or dedicated server, even though their site would’ve performed just fine on a much cheaper, shared host. Then complain about “wasting money” when it turns out their site wasn’t as successful as they hoped.

I’d just pick any one of the options you mentioned, but keep a nice backup/migration solution at the ready in case you need to move. It’s difficult to evaluate a host for your unique needs without actually trying it first. It’s not worth getting into “analysis paralysis” over it.

(Dan Knauss) #3

Shared hosting is almost never worth it. I’ve only encountered a few shared hosts that didn’t cause more problems than they were worth, and sooner or later most will. Overselling remains the name of the game. It’s usually worth it to pay a premium for better service.


I would recommend Digital Ocean + ServerPilot or similar service for managing it. There is possible scalling if you will need it. With service like ServerPilot it’s managable with few clicks, I think it’s even easier than in control panel from stoneage.

There more cloud providers, it’s just my personal recommendation of few years experience, considering power,reliability,uptime/price.
When you will grove up and would like to invest something, then you can think about some managed service in cloud … maybe something like Pagely.(you will pay 10 times more)
Shared hostings today are not even good for grandma’s receipts.

Cloud acts like you own a server, so you can do whatever you want there (almost). So there is not such thing like limit of how many sites, domains, subdomains. It’s just limited/priced by data, space, power …

(Rob) #5

All I wanted to do was build awesome websites and now I have to figure out which hosting plan is a good fit. haha, just part of making it all work I guess.

@leland yes, VPN that was just a typo.

I’ve received some good advice from different sources. One good one is to have a reseller account to lower the cost and then I can place my sites in their own inexpensive hosting plan instead of having multiple ones on a shared plan.

Avoid EIG hosting plans, this definitely narrows down my list. I read about EIG and am leaning towards doing just that, going with a non EIG hosting company.

After researching, I’m leaning towards SiteGround and looking at inMotion as a 2nd choice. Both have great support which is something I’ll be relying on to get started. SiteGround comes with a lot of bells and whistles for WP installation it seems.

@petercralen thanks for the recommendations and I did have a chance to check both of those out.

Thanks everyone for the input.