Hey Caroline, WordPress.com is a bit of a different animal because you don’t run a self-hosted WordPress site on there. That means, you can’t install all the plugins you might want to (especially on lower plans, where you can’t install plugins at all) and overall have less control over your site than with a self-hosted site. That’s why we didn’t include it in this list. For more information, I recommend this article: https://websitesetup.org/wordpress-com-vs-wordpress-org/
SiteGround is one of the most popular and highest rated hosting provider in the WordPress community. They provide unique in-house WordPress speed and security solutions to make your site as fast and secure as possible. They are known for the best 24/7 support in the industry which is why they're an official 'WordPress' recommended hosting provider. This is also why we use SiteGround for hosting the WPBeginner website. SiteGround features include automatic upgrades, built-in WP caching, CDN, one-click staging and GIT version control. They are also one of the few companies offering location specific hosting with 3 data centers in USA, Europe, and Asia. On top of all this, they have а special 70% discount for WPBeginner readers.
Rather than storing data on physical servers, cloud customers are hosted on a connected network of virtual machines. The service is software-independent and perfect for folks who benefit from high availability and on-demand, pay-as-you-go resources. Ranked #1 for cloud-based VPS hosting, InMotion offers performance-enhancing SSDs, free data backups, and managed server options.
Beyond that, DreamHost is a top website hosting company for many reasons. It operate its own control panel, which is convenient and easy to understand. While phone customer support isn't available 24/7, it is responsive to live chat and tickets. The company uses super-fast SSDs for all its storage, has a free SSL certificate (for more secured web browsing) and provides SSH access for those plans that are intended for more technical users.