Unfortunately, most small, reliable hosting companies are getting swallowed up by the big guys. These boutique companies start out with great service and tiny monthly fees. Then they get bought out, enter into greedy price wars, and things start to fall apart.

A colleague called to tell me that a client of hers lost their entire WordPress site when A Small Orange Hosting went down and the website couldn’t be restored. The idea of losing months worth of work gave me a stomachache and is still gnawing away at me.

I guess the bottom line is this: Forget about cheap hosting unless you can afford to lose your website and don’t mind starting over from scratch. People roll their eyes at me when I suggest WPengine at $39 per month. Yet it starts to sound like a very good deal when you realize they backup their client’s sites every 24 hours so, whether their servers are struck by tornados or vicious hackers, you can easily restore when bad things happen.

So, based upon discussions with local experts and extensive experience working with various hosting companies, these are my recommendations:

Do you want to support local? You can walk right in and talk with someone, too. Always nice. Use Cruzio  for $20 or I can host for you at $15 per month.

Flywheel hosting is a new player who is tuned for WordPress, features fast load times and nightly backups.  For a “tiny” site it’s only $14 per month and includes free SSL with 5GB disk space.

Do you mean business with your site? wpEngine costs a bit more but worth the expense with superb customer support, built for WordPress clients. The $39 personal plan should be fine for most clients.