Setting the ratings themselves aside (we’ll talk about those in a minute), it’s worth mentioning that we did get very different numbers of entries for each company. Please take this into consideration when interpreting the results for yourself. What this basically means is that those ratings don’t all carry the same weight.

Every survey is a snapshot in time telling something about a specific group of respondents. In our case, that group are WordPress pros and people generally taking care of multiple websites. Among them, SiteGround is the most popular choice (getting 16.27% of all survey entires).

However, please keep in mind that this doesn’t reflect the market as a whole since SiteGround is not the top player out there – this you can see if you sort the table above by the last column. The same goes, or even more so, for companies like Cloudways and Kinsta.

Whatever you see in this WordPress hosting survey should be compared to at least two other sources of data. First, let’s look at a more general survey that we did in 2017.

That one reached the casual WordPress user since it was conducted based on pop-up questions on our blogs and websites.

In it, we discovered that GoDaddy is still the sole giant in this market. Followed by HostGator and Bluehost, with everyone else far behind. This is also in tune with the Alexa data that we’re quoting above. That general survey also indicated nearly no entries for “boutique” (excuse the term) companies like Kinsta and Cloudways.

Then, there’s an even more objective source of data – Google Trends. I do realize it’s not a perfect metric, but still gives us a good overview of how popular these companies actually are compared to one another. Here’s a quick search comparing the popular hosts as per this survey:

hosting trends

Here’s what happens with HostGator and Bluehost added to the mix:

HostGator and Bluehost trends

Now see what happens when we add GoDaddy:

GoDaddy trends

Even though we need to be careful here since GoDaddy is much more than a hosting company, we still need to realize its dominance.

HostGator and Bluehost are 5x (ish) bigger than SiteGround, with Cloudways and Kinsta barely even registering when looking at the grand scheme of things.

With that said, we have to give credit where credit’s due … no matter how we do these surveys, no matter if they reach the casual user or the WordPress pro, SiteGround is still there near the top or at the top when it comes to user ratings and overall popularity. This year, they’ve scored the second best rating at 4.6 / 5 while getting the most entries.

The main differences vs our previous hosting survey

Our 2016 WordPress hosting survey featured similar questions and reached a similar audience. This allows us to compare the differences in the ratings for our featured hosts.

Company 2016 rating 2018 rating Difference
SiteGround 4.6 4.6 0
GoDaddy 3.5 3.5 0
WPEngine 4.2 4.4 0.2
HostGator 3.7 3.7 0
Bluehost 3.0 3.3 0.3
Kinsta 4.9 4.8 -0.1
DreamHost 4.3 4.1 -0.2
Flywheel 4.7 4.6 -0.1

As you can see, the differences are very slim. This actually makes us happy, since it’s evidence that these surveys really provide actual insight and represent the WordPress hosting market fairly well.

Shout-out to Bluehost for improving by 0.3. Maybe one day…

Though, in all honestly, the mainstream hosting companies do tend to get a lot of bad press that’s not always deserved. Here’s Syed Balkhi raising a very interesting point:

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