What Web Hosting Works Best with MemberPress?
Picking The Right Web Host For MemberPress
We're asked this question a lot, so we've decided to share what we've learned about various popular hosts and their compatibility with MemberPress. We've outlined this information below.
Most importantly, caching that is too aggressive just doesn't mesh well with the dynamic needs of Membership sites. And web hosts that are unwilling to work with customers to make some caching exclusions should be avoided. We've found most decent WordPress web hosts are willing to work with caching exclusions or at least have options to disable their caching.
Therefore, no matter what hosting you pick, be sure to spend a little extra time investigating what form(s) of caching they use and how configurable those features are.
Following are our recommendations, listed in alphabetical order.
Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting
We haven't heard of many issues with Bluehost Managed WordPress hosting aside from the Varnish caching feature they have enabled by default. So be sure to turn off Varnish caching if you use MemberPress with Bluehost's Managed WordPress hosting.
Bluehost Shared Hosting
Though there shouldn't be any issues with Bluehost's shared hosting, we've received some recent reports of Bluehost forcing server-level Varnish caching on sites using too many resources, which can cause unexpected issues with MemberPress.
Therefore, if your site is growing and traffic is picking up, we recommend moving off of shared hosting.
For both types of hosting, please check whether you have the Must-Use plugin section in your Dashboard Plugins section and if you do, make sure that the Endurance Page cache plugin is disabled.
GoDaddy / MediaTemple Managed WordPress Hosting
GoDaddy's Managed WordPress Hosting uses an aggressive form of caching, which, due to the dynamic nature of membership plugins like MemberPress, can cause unexpected behaviors.
We cannot recommend nor do we support GoDaddy's Managed WP Hosting, as we've seen continued issues with it, and GoDaddy has so far not allowed anything to be excluded from their over-aggressive caching.
If you must use GoDaddy, we recommend moving onto one of their Shared or Business (may be a better option for higher traffic sites) hosting plans that do not use aggressive caching.
GoDaddy / MediaTemple Shared or Business Hosting
GoDaddy's and MediaTemple's Shared and Business Hosting plans are not subject to the aggressive caching used in their Managed WordPress plans, and both work just fine with MemberPress.
Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting
Though we don't have any direct experience with Kinsta, their support has reached out to us to let us know that they've seen many MemberPress customers using their Managed WordPress Hosting without any issues.
It's important to note that they use strictly an Nginx based web-server, which means you will not be able to use our Apache .htaccess rewrite Rules that are typically available to Apache-based web-servers. This is not a problem if you don't plan to use our Custom URI Rules to protect any locally hosted static files like PDFs, ZIPs etc. All other content protection Rules will work just fine with Nginx. As an alternative, you can use our free Downloads add-on to manage and protect files instead.
Kinsta also uses various forms of caching, so we make the following recommendations for our MemberPress users on their awesome platform:
- Disable their HHVM option (this will prevent object caching from being enabled, which can have some unexpected results). Update: It looks like HHVM is no longer available with Kinsta. Object caching can still be enabled if you purchase their Redis add-on, which we do not recommend.
- Do not use any caching plugins like W3TC, WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, or WPFC etc. These are not necessary given the other caching options that are provided for free with your Kinsta hosting plan.
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Kinsta Cache, and make sure that these pages are not cached.
- /register* (This may be different if you've set a different Memberships slug in your MemberPress options)
- /login* (Don't cache the login page)
- /account* (Don't cache the account page)
- /mepr* (Don't cache the IPN, Webhook, and other Notification and API endpoints)
- /thank-you* (Don't cache the Thank You page)
- /unauthorized* (Don't cache pages related to built-in redirect in case of unauthorized access)
You can find detailed instructions here.
Liquid Web Managed WordPress Hosting
Liquid Web's Managed WordPress Hosting uses a built-in Varnish cache that is automatically enabled on all their Managed WordPress websites when they are created. However, it interferes with the proper operation of MemberPress.
Luckily, Varnish caching can be easily disabled from the Managed WordPress Portal. Disabling it is a quick process that takes just a few clicks.
- Click on Manage Site for the site you want to disable Varnish for.
- From the site management page, scroll down to the Advanced Settings section at the bottom of the page.
- Click the button next to Varnish Cache to disable it.
- Confirm that you want to disable it, in the pop-up.
- Varnish Cache is now disabled.
Namecheap EasyWP Managed WordPress Hosting
Namecheap's Managed WordPress Hosting uses object caching and EasyWP caching plugin that can't be disabled. Due to the dynamic nature of membership plugins like MemberPress, this causes all kinds of unresolvable setup issues. They also have NO_AUTO_VALUE_ON_ZERO being set in the SQL_MODE in the database that causes issues with the MemberPress database.
Do not use it.
However, Namecheap's shared hosting runs well with MemberPress.
SiteGround WordPress / Shared Hosting
SiteGround has also been a very good host for MemberPress users. But as with WP Engine and other caching hosts, we recommend disabling their SG Optimizer that comes pre-installed with every shared hosting plan. At the very least, ensure that register, thank you, mepr, account, unauthorized, and login pages are not cached.
Also, you'll need to disable the Memcached at the bottom of the same page.
Detailed instructions are located here.
Strato Shared Hosting
If you experience an issue where Stripe transactions are not getting through on Shared Hosting plans, please contact their support and ask to deactivate two functions that are active by default in the hosting profile:
- ServerSide Security (ServerSide AntiVirus, ServerSide AntiSpam)
- PHP Boost
Another reason that causes both Stripe and Paypal transactions to fail is the setting in the Strato Dashboard that stops "Guestbook Spam":
You need to disable that if payments are not reaching MemberPress. More about that in this article (in the German language) - Strato und Paypal: IPN kommt nicht an - webdecker - Webseiten PHP Contao Programmierung Berlin.
WP Engine WordPress Hosting
WP Engine has been a very good host for MemberPress, and we have no problem recommending them. However, there are a few things you should do if you plan to use WP Engine and MemberPress.
- Contact their support and ask for your /register, /login, /mepr, /account, /thank-you, and /unauthorized pages to NOT be cached
- Disable their Object Caching as it can cause some unexpected issues.
- If you plan to protect static files like PDFs, you'll need to have them add some code to your Nginx host file to allow this to work properly with MemberPress' file protection Rules (Custom URI Rules). To learn how to do this, please see the Nginx section on this page. Or, as an alternative, you can use our Downloads add-on, which is included free with MemberPress.