WordPress is a free and open source content management system, commonly used to manage a blog, but is also used to run large publications (including HowToGeek). While the software itself is available, you still need web hosting so that the audience can visit the site. These hosting providers run WordPress on their servers and usually handle most (if not all) the technical work for you.
While you can create a basic website on wordpress.com, the default ad has ads, you can not add your own ads to their usual plans, and they offer much less flexibility and freedom than a paid web provider. Most of them have plans for just a couple of dollars a month, so if you are serious about starting a website, it is best to look for current hosting.
What to look for
Web hosting usually falls into two categories:
Managed hosting is when hosting hosts WordPress (or any service) for you and handles everyone behind the scenes IT stuff. If you just started to start a website, it is best to look for managed hosting.
Shared hosting is when the web hosting provider runs your site on the same physical server as other sites and is generally much cheaper than having a dedicated server for your website. If you do not expect millions of visitors to your site, shared hosting is often a cheaper and easy option.
Hosting providers often differentiate their services at different levels and offer different products for more money. Usually, they limit how many different WordPress websites you can, limit your storage for images and videos, and sometimes limit how much traffic your website can get. Be realistic about how much you need, as you can always upgrade to a better plan if the need arises.
Which providers should consider
There are no shortage of hosting providers out there, and many of them look pretty similar to all claiming they offer the same services). We've compiled a list of industry-leading providers to help you choose the one that's right for you.
Recommended by WordPress itself, Bluehost is the safest bet on this list. Their plans start at $ 4 per month, and they offer managed WordPress host in addition to the ability to set it up. Their higher level plans offer "indefinite" storage and bandwidth, but be aware that this is not completely unlimited, as the top 0.05% will need to upgrade plans.
Realistically, you will probably not fall in this range unless you specifically try to use space, and you will probably want a better server if you are.
HostGator is another great alternative; They are fast, cheap and offer managed WordPress hosting. They split their plans into "monthly visits" so you need to upgrade if you plan to get more traffic.
1 & 1
1 & 1 offers managed hosting in addition to having a tool for building tools so you can easily create a custom site. Their basic plan starts at $ 1 per month, but the price increases after the first year.
Inmotion offers complete web design packages, where they will work with you to create a custom site (including customized WordPress websites). They have managed to host, but tend to cost a little more than the competition.
Rent your own server
If you run a large publication, are serious about site load times or just rely on someone else to do your job, you can always hire a dedicated server and set up everything yourself. The options listed above have dedicated servers for sale, but if you manage multiple servers in different locations, it's best to go with a more flexible web hosting. Therefore, we recommend Digital Ocean and Amazon Web Services.