Best WordPress Hosting in 2019 (Compared)

Are you looking at different hosts and trying to find the right one for you? We’re speaking directly with our founder Syed Balkhi in this video to bring you his recommendations based on your needs. Come take a look at our video to help you decide what WordPress hosting would be best for your needs.

In this video, we mention hosting providers we are affiliates of and have negotiated discounts for. The hosting providers and our links are here:

Best Starter Hosting:



Best Managed:

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For those just starting out, we recommend starting with a smaller, shared hosting to get you up and running with your site’s content. Shared hosting is a section of a server that you are sharing with other users. While your site’s content is your own, the resources your site uses to run are part of that server’s resources rather than all of them.

VPS is the next step for your site as it grows, this is a server that separates a specific section virtually so all of that sections resources are for your specific site. This is similar to a dedicated server where the entire server is yours but these require more technical knowledge than other servers.

Finally, there is managed hosting, which is a style of hosting that scales with you as your needs grow. There are some limitations on what can be added to these sites but you will benefit from better support as well.

With the different types of hosting covered, there are four factors to consider when selecting which hosting provider you want to use. Uptime as you want your site to never go down if able. Speed, a slow server will eventually cause issues with your SEO. Features, a feature-rich hosting provider gives you even more tools based on your needs. Finally, support, having good support is great for if you ever run into any issues with your site and need a hand with solving the issue.

Keeping the above factors in mind, for a beginner we recommend not overspending, only purchase the plan level that would suit your specific needs rather than an oversized plan for a site just starting out. We’re recommending BlueHost, SiteGround, and HostGator as we’ve worked with them and have discounts that we have negotiated to get you a discount.

For enterprize or similar users, we recommend Pagely or WPEngine. For most we would recommend Pagely unless it is a starter site then we would still recommend BlueHost, SiteGround or HostGator.

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How to Upgrade PHP to Latest Version

This year is an exciting time for PHP as the core development is accelerating in a good direction. At the time of this writing, PHP7.3 has just been released with a handful of new features, functions — like array_key_first, array_key_last, array_value_first, and array_value_last — and that it’s also the fastest PHP to date being about 9 – 10% faster as compared to the PHP7.2.

So if you’re thinking to update PHP on your machine, take a look at the following post in which I’ll show you how to do so in several ways.

Shortcut to:

Upgrade PHP in macOS
Upgrade PHP in Windows
Upgrade PHP in Ubuntu
Upgrade PHP in Docker
Upgrading PHP in macOS

To begin with, you’ll have to check the PHP version that’s currently installed in your system by typing the following command line:

php -v

As we can see below, we are currently using PHP 7.2.7 on our macOS.

php version macrosphp version macros

To install PHP 7.3, run the following command line in terminal.

curl -s | bash -s 7.3

Another way to install and update PHP on your macOS machine is by using Homebrew. Homebrew is a kind of package manager for macOS, which it is now available in Linux and Windows too. With Homebrew, you can type the following command.

brew upgrade php

The process may take a bit long, however, once it’s done you can run the php -v command again. You should now see that the version is updated:

php73php73Upgrading PHP in Windows

If you’re using Windows, you’ll likely be running your PHP application on a pre-packaged localhost environments such as WAMP and MAMP which comes with PHP pre-installed and configured. You will just need to update them to their latest version or install it using the built-in tool to get the latest PHP version.

In addition to that, both WAMP and MAMP provide an option within the application to switch PHP easily.

php and mampphp and mampUpgrading PHP in Ubuntu

As mentioned previously, you should first check the PHP version that’s in your Ubuntu machine.

php and ubuntuphp and ubuntu

As you can see above, currently I have PHP7.2 installed. In Ubuntu, the PHP package can be installed from the ondrej/php respository. First, run the following command to tap the repository.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt-get update

Then, we can run the following commands to install PHP7.3. Please note that this command will install the PHP7.3 core, some command extensions and packages, and the PHP CLI.

sudo apt-get install php7.3 php7.3-common php7.3-cli

That’s all. Your Ubuntu machine will successfully be running PHP7.3.

php ubuntuphp ubuntuUpgrading PHP in Docker

The latest PHP version is also available as an official Docker image. Docker is compatible in several different platforms including macOS, Windows, and Linux so you should be able to follow the same procedure for all these operating systems.

To do so, first I’d like to see if I have the Docker image for PHP7.3 in my machine.

php docker imagesphp docker images

It looks like that I don’t have it yet. Let’s type the following command to download the image. This command will download the Docker image for PHP7.3 in the Alpine Linux flavour which smaller than the Debian-based image thus also faster to download. You can find the full list of the Docker image available in Docker Hub.

docker pull php:7.3-fpm-alpine

Once downloaded, we could run it as standalone container with this command below:

docker run –rm -i -t php:7.3-fpm-alpine sh

The container should be up and running in a second and immediately creates a Shell session inside the container. If we run the php -v, we should be seeing that it is the PHP7.3 within the Docker container.

php docker runphp docker runWrapping Up

That’s all how to install and update PHP version to the latest. It’s not as complicated as you’d expected, isn’t it? Finally, PHP core development is progressing at fast rate with PHP7.4 and PHP8 currently being discussed. It’s an exciting time to be a PHP developer.

The post How to Upgrade PHP to Latest Version appeared first on Hongkiat.

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How to Enable SSL for Localhost using MAMP

Having an SSL (Socket Secure Layer) installed is one way to secure your website. Basically, SSL will encrypt data transactions between the browser and the server. Thus, you would probably want to test your website in an SSL environment as early as during the development stages.

URLs and other website assets such as CSS and JavaScript are pointed correctly via the https protocol. So, how do we enable SSL in our localhost? It will require some command lines, file modifications, configurations and a few more cumbersome steps. But let’s bypass all that and use MAMP Pro instead.

Enabling the SSL

Launch MAMP, and create a VirtualHost with a custom domain; this domain can be set in an extension like .dev or .local. In this case, I’ve created which is used to host development.

ssl virtualhostssl virtualhost

Each of the VirtualHost you create in MAMP will have individual options on which you can do some configurations.

To enable SSL for the VirtualHost, go to the SSL tab and tick the SSL option. Afterwards, you would need to locate the SSL certificate files. If you have got one, locate and assign the files. If not, click the Create self-signed certificate button to let MAMP create the certificates for you.

To create one, MAMP will ask you some information like the Country Code and State to assign in the certificate, like so:

create sslcreate ssl

Save the file in a proper folder, and SSL is set.

ssl certificatessl certificateMake Chrome Trust Your Website

Once SSL is set, you should now be able to view your website through the https protocol. But hold on, instead, you see an error (like below) as the SSL certificate is not recognized by the browsers in this case, Chrome. Note that if you run WordPress-based websites, you would need to modify the siteurl and home entry from the wp_options table in the database.

ssl errorssl error

Unless you have a trust issue with yourself, you could just go to the Advanced option and click Proceed to {your website name} to view your website.

If you are annoyed with the red cross shown in Chrome, you would need to force Chrome to trust your generated certificate:

First, Click that crossed-out padlock icon, and then click the Certificate Information link. Chrome will show you a popup with all the information of the SSL certificate assigned in the website. Drag-and-drop the Certificate icon onto your Desktop.

If you running OS X, opening this certificate file will bring you to the Keychain Access app.

ssl trustssl trust

And, as you might be expected, you should select Always Trust. Select your website certificate, then click the [i] button to reveal the details of the certificate Trust level. Within the Trust tab, you will see the option that says ‘When using this certificate’. The default value is set to ‘Use Custom Settings’ at this stage. Make your certificate be trusted, by setting this option to ‘Always Trust’; you will be prompted for your password once to update this setting.

ssl always trustssl always trust

We are all set. Reopen the website on Chrome and you should now see the green padlock. Congratulations, your SSL certificate is now trusted.

ssl greenssl green

The post How to Enable SSL for Localhost using MAMP appeared first on Hongkiat.

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A Look Into: Setting Up Local Server with AMPPS

MAMP is one of the most popular application in OSX to run local server; for Windows users, WAMP or XAMPP is likely the most widely used options. These 3 applications are sufficient for the job. But if there is another tool that can make a developer’s job faster and more efficient, we’d jump on that tool at every chance.

Recently, we came across an application called AMPPS. It is packed with loads of feature, and it does more than just run a local server. If you are currently looking for an alternative app, let’s check out what AMPPS has to offer, and see how to deploy a website in a local computer with it.

Getting Started

Similar to the 3 applications mentioned above, AMPPS is packed with Apache, MySQL, and phpMyAdmin which let us run and develop PHP-based web locally in the computer. In addition, AMPPS also includes MongoDB, Python, and RockMongo to cater to wider tech needs and preferences.

Furthermore, AMPPS comes with Softaculous that allows us to install web applications in the shortest way possible with the auto-installer. At the time of this writing, there are more than 280 web apps that can be installed through Softaculous which includes WordPress, Drupal, Mangento, and even the new blogging platform Ghost.

With it, we can also create domain names for the websites that we created, instead of using the default name localhost.

Installing AMPPS

AMPPS is a free application, and available for both Windows and OSX. Download it here, and follow the installation instruction as per your OS. Run it, then open the AMPPS Admin. Ensure that the Apache and MySQL have been started.

apache mysqlapache mysql

Then, open your Browser and go to localhost/ampps. This is the page where things like installing apps, setting up password for AMPPS, creating database as well as managing domain names are done.

aamps adminaamps adminUsing AAMPS

On the left hand side, as shown in the above screenshot, you can see that there are several categories of Apps ranging from Blogging, CMS, E-Commerce to Educational apps.

As an example, we will install Magento. It is an e-commerce platform that is very well-suited for big-sized and complex online stores. Before proceeding, we need to create a domain name for it.

Creating a Domain Name

Click the Add Domain icon. In this case, let’s name it, you can, of course, freely name the domain. Note, if you are currently having Pow running in your system, you have to uninstall it. Otherwise, the domain will not be accessible, and will just return a Not Found error.

creating domaincreating domain

Select the “Add an entry to Host File ?” to register then domain name into the hosts file.

Upon clicking the Add Domain, you will be prompted with your Administrator credential username and password, as it attempts to write the hosts file.

At this point, we are done adding the domain name. You can try it in the browser to make sure that it is accessible. If it is not, it’s likely that you have another application that occupies the virtualhosting as well, such as Pow. If you have that installed, uninstall it.

Installing Magento

Get an app installed and running with AMPPS is so easy with the one-click auto-installer tool. And as mentioned, we are going to install Magento. So, let’s head over to Ecommerce > Magento and click the Install button.

install buttoninstall button

Fill the required setups, and (again) click the Install button at the very bottom of the page.


The process may take a while, and if this is the first time you install Magento or any other apps, AMPPS will have to download the package source. When the process is complete, the website should be accessible, as follows.


That’s it! It took me less than a minute to install Magento. Compared to the traditional way, which could take around 10 to 15 min, this is really a time-saver. It also eliminates most of the hassle (setting up Magento can be distressing; been there).


As you can see above, AMPPS comes with a Domain Manager, and an auto-installer tool for hundreds of web apps. In addition, there are literally a bunch of free features that we haven’t explored yet. By comparison, I think AMPPS could really be a better alternative to MAMP, WAMP, and XAMPP.

The post A Look Into: Setting Up Local Server with AMPPS appeared first on Hongkiat.

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