Web hosting is an important part of getting online. In fact, you might even call it essential.
Everyone needs it. Some larger sites do it themselves, but us mere mortals use web hosting providers.
There’s a lot of talk around web hosting, with thousands of suppliers providing almost as many plans. We’ve used data to cut through the noise, pitting the features of leading services head-to-head to work out who offers the best value.
From our thorough research, we’re now in a great position to tell you the best web host providers in 2020. Here’s our list of the top choices:
Uptime, disk space, pricing, support, and speed all factored into our research. We figured you’d want to know more about the cream of the crop, so this piece takes the top performers and unpacks them below.
Keep in mind — there isn’t one web hosting service that’s better than all others in every respect – it all depends on the demands of the site being hosted. Accordingly, we’ve considered strengths and weaknesses in different contexts.
A successful site needs a strong foundation. Signing up with the right one means you can kick on with more important things — like your site!
The Best Web Hosting Providers at a Glance
Our chart is interactive so you can personalize your comparison of the web hosting services you are most interested in. Using the ‘close’ buttons in the first row, you are able to remove columns and then add other web hosts using the plus button that will then appear.
You are also able to add and remove feature sections to more easily compare exactly what suits your needs. This means that you can get a better understanding of each host or even find your perfect web hosting service in a matter of minutes.
An average of all the criteria we have researched to rank the best web hosting services on the market today.
Different types of website need different types of hosting, so we’ve shown you which web hosting services provide which types.
Shared hosting is where your website sits on a server with other websites. It’s generally the cheapest type of hosting but you share your resource limits with the other sites.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is where multiple sites use the same server, but have their own set resource limits. You can also ‘borrow’ resources from another site if it doesn’t need them and you’re maxed out.
WordPress hosting is a service specifically designed for WordPress websites. It usually comes with set features like a one-click WordPress install and automated WordPress updates to make life easier for you.
Cloud hosting is where you’re not tied to one specific server. In fact, your site is hosted across several servers, pulling a flexible amount of resources from each. It’s a modern type of hosting that’s growing in popularity.
Dedicated hosting is where your site gets a server all to itself. You’re not reliant on anyone else, and get huge resource limits. Naturally, this is reflected in the price.
The overall score of all the hosting features each host provides.
Short for control panel, cPanel is an industry-standard dashboard used by most hosting providers. You can manage your site’s hosting through this dashboard. It’s very intuitive and easy to use.
The flow of data between your website and its server. Every time someone lands on your site, your server has to send the information to them. Unmetered essentially means this data transfer is unlimited and can’t run out.
A domain is what you see in the URL of your site e.g. ‘www.websitebuilderexpert.com’. We looked at whether the provider offers you your domain free of charge for the first year.
Most providers will back up your website every 24 hours. This feature looks at whether it’s free to restore your site to the last saved backup, should something go wrong.
Uptime refers to the percentage of time your website is online and accessible to users. No web hosting service can guarantee 100% uptime, but the top providers in this chart come pretty close.
Scored on the number of ways you can receive support from the provider. Does the provider offer a help center, ticket system, phone service, and live chat? And is the phone/live chat support available 24/7.
No one likes getting stuck, so it’s reassuring to know there’s help on hand, should you need it. The 24/7 service is particularly important, as it adds a personal touch and means there’s always someone around to help you.
Are the services provided by each web host worth the money you’re paying each month?
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Best overall hosting provider
Pricing plans from: $2.75 a month
Bluehost has been a reliable force in the web host space since 2003. Today, it powers over 2 million websites, and is one of only three providers to be recommended by WordPress itself. It’s big on flexible packages for meeting the needs of a wide range of users, because it cares – and because it means more customers, of course. Can’t begrudge them that.
Bluehost also offers excellent customer support via ticket, phone and live chat. Offering these services and offering these services well are two different things, in our experience – but having tested Bluehost’s support thoroughly, we definitely feel it’s of a really high standard.
Bluehost’s three shared hosting plans are Basic, Plus, and Prime, all of which come with 100GB of disk space and 99.98% uptime. If you value the wiggle room of unlimited disk space, you’re better off with HostGator or GoDaddy.
Signing up gets you a free domain, free backups, and cPanel, which is very handy for managing your site hosting.
If you’re looking to integrate with a WordPress site, then Bluehost is a fantastic option. It has been optimized for WordPress since 2014, offering a one-click setup. You can see from our guide how simple it is to set up when you sign up.
WordPress review – our full breakdown of WordPress.org, featuring tips for getting the most out of it.
Bluehost has a healthy variety of top-level domains to choose from when you register. Unless you’re planning a particularly unconventional site address, you should be able to set everything up in-house.
Bluehost offers excellent value for money, though that’s partially because you can only sign on for long-term contracts (the shortest contract is 12 months). As with many providers, the cheapest rate requires signing up for at least 36 months.
These are the price brackets of Bluehost’s three plans:
- Basic: $2.75 – $7.99 per month
- Plus: $5.95 – $10.99 per month
- Prime: $5.95 – $14.99 per month
If those prices look a little odd to you, that’s because they are — but in a good way. There always seems to be a sale on at Bluehost, meaning the starting price of the Plus and Prime packages are a fraction of what they ‘normally’ are.
Bluehost also recommends its most expensive plan. Uncanny. Its Basic plan can be a bit restrictive to larger sites, but for most, it’s a great option. SSL, unlimited bandwidth, and 99.98% uptime come with each plan, so it’s just a question of how big you’re going.
Bluehost is a reliable service with excellent performance and ease of use. Although support isn’t quite as strong as Hostgator’s, odds are you won’t need to use it. Bluehost prides itself on simplicity – this is an excellent provider for beginners, especially if you’re looking to set up on WordPress.
Bluehost Pros and Cons
|Bluehost Pros||Bluehost Cons|
Best for uptime
Pricing plans from: $2.75 a month
HostGator is one of the old guard of web hosting, having been around since 2002. Like a lot of tech giants, HostGator started in a dorm room, but it’s come a long way since. It now hosts millions of domains, offering a variety of plans and features.
For all-around, reliable performance, HostGator is a safe bet. Its plans cater to personal blogs and business empires alike, with competitive pricing and good usability. Although support can be a little on the automated side, it’s largely superb, and offers the best uptime guarantee of any provider.
HostGator has three shared web hosting plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business. Although features obviously ramp up with each, the baseline features are strong. All plans offer unlimited disk space, 99.99% uptime, and extensive support. It takes these commitments seriously; if it falls short on uptime, for example, HostGator will add one month of credit to your account.
The Business plan comes with free SSL, but for Hatchling and Baby, you need to select it as an add-on (or not deselect it, to be more accurate). All packages include an integrated cPanel, which is essentially a streamlined control panel.
The Hatchling plan limits you to one domain, while Baby and Business are unlimited. The variety of top-level domains (.com, .org, .tech, etc.) you can acquire as part of signing up is also impressive, though for more niche domains like .art or .coffee, you’ll need to go to a registrar like Namecheap and register the domain separately.
HostGator offers excellent value for money, though it’s not without conditions – ‘starting price’ isn’t always the same as the finishing price, after all. That said, all HostGator asks in return for its cheapest pricing is long-term commitment, which is mutually beneficial in the world of web hosting.
These are the price brackets of HostGator’s three shared plans:
- Hatchling: $2.75 – $10.95 per month
- Baby: $3.95 – $11.95 per month
- Business: $5.95 – $16.95 per month
You’ll notice there’s some variety in cost. Short-term contracts will be closer to $11 than $3. You can pay monthly on HostGator, which is a good, but for the cheapest rates, you need to lock in for 36 months. Once you’re convinced by their service, it’s hard to argue against taking that step.
A sound approach is to sign on for a month and see how the service holds up to your needs. If you’re impressed, you can renew on a longer-term contract. If not, you’re in a position to look elsewhere and won’t be out of pocket.
HostGator is an excellent service. On the off-chance it doesn’t satisfy, its customer support is comprehensive and available 24/7. In an unremarkable twist, HostGator recommends you sign up for its most expensive plan. We recommend you consider what you want, start small if you’re unsure, and upgrade as necessary.
HostGator Pros and Cons
|HostGator Pros||HostGator Cons|
- Read our HostGator Review for a more detailed breakdown
Best for shared and VPS hosting
Pricing plans from: $6.39 a month
Similar to HostGator, InMotion is an old-timer when it comes to web hosting. Founded in 2001, the U.S based company has two data centers with thousands upon thousands of servers.
InMotion prides itself on support. Employees are armed with over 160 hours of training, putting InMotion hosting in an unrivalled position in terms of its staff’s expertise and the help they can offer.
All InMotion accounts come with unlimited bandwidth and disk space. While most other companies provide limitless bandwidth across the board, unlimited disk space is rarely included in the lowest tiered pricing plans. This is a big reason why we’ve commended its shared and VPS plans so highly.
You also receive free SSL Security, which is critical when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as Google will punish sites without it. Speaking of security, you’ll also get free backups and hack protection.
Unlike some other competitors, you’re also not tied to WordPress. InMotion hosting comes with its own drag-and-drop website builder, meaning you can opt for an easy all-in-one solution if you’re yet to build your site.
InMotion has 12 pricing plans starting from $6.39/month, split across five different services:
- Basic shared business hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
- Dedicated servers
- Reseller hosting
All plans offer 99.97% uptime, although in reality, this isn’t a standout figure in comparison to other providers in the market.
InMotion’s basic plan is ideal if you’re looking to host a start-up or small business or personal website and need a helping hand. If you’re a large enterprise, however, you can get better value and features elsewhere.
InMotion Pros and Cons
|InMotion Pros||InMotion Cons|
- Read our InMotion Review to find out more
#4: A2 Hosting
Best for cloud hosting
Pricing plans from: $3.92 a month
From the small confines of a shared office in Ann Arbor, Michigan comes A2 Hosting. The company has operated from the same location since 2001, but has since seen a grand upgrade in its working space.
A2 Hosting now has data servers worldwide, and hosts thousands of well-known websites.
With A2 Hosting, you get both Windows and Linux shared hosting plans. Linux hosting is more common, and best for basic sites like blogs. The starting Linux plan comes with unlimited storage and data transfer, free SSL security, and SSD storage for your website.
Windows hosting offers the same, but with the addition of a Plesk Onyx 17.8 control panel. You’ll also get a free site migration, with one click installs for WordPress, Drupal, B2evolution, phpBB, BlogEngine and Joomla.
Above the lower-tiered pricing plans, you can expect make use of a ‘turbo server’. Put simply, these are web servers that operate 20 times faster than your typical platform. A2 Hosting also sells VPS and dedicated server hosting.
For shared hosting, A2 has three pricing points: Lite, Swift and Turbo. Below, you can see the breakdown of costs for both Linux and Windows hosting:
- Lite – $3.92/month (Linux) $4.90/month (Windows)
- Swift – $4.90/month (Linux) $5.88/month (Windows)
- Turbo – $9.31/month (Linux) $10.78/month (Windows)
It’s important to note, however, that these prices are only for an initial term. Prices will increase after that term is up: for example, Linux hosting on the Lite plan will jump from around $4/month to near $8/month after the initial period.
Unmanaged VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting starts at about $5/month, while the managed solution starts from $33/month. A2 hosting also has a money-back guarantee at any time. The plans may be expensive in comparison to the competition, but that’s a massive perk.
A2 Pros and Cons
|A2 Pros||A2 Cons|
- Read our A2 Hosting Review to make sure they’re the right provider for you
Best for reliability
Pricing plans from: $80 a month
Brought to you by some buddies from Bulgaria, SiteGround came into existence in 2004 and hasn’t looked back. Expanding from a university dormitory to three offices across Europe and one in the U.S, the company has gone from strength to strength.
The platform now hosts more than 1 million domains, and is regarded as being among the best hosting providers around.
WordPress websites and SiteGround go hand-in-hand. SiteGround offers WordPress hosting at every plan level and deals with updates on WordPress automatically, meaning you can relax and put your feet up. You’ll also get a WordPress hosting command line manager on every plan for extra support.
It’s not just WordPress either. SiteGround is arguably the most adaptable hosting provider, offering dedicated packages and one-click installations for numerous content management systems.
If you’re looking to move from an existing host, SiteGround will let you transfer for free on any of its plans. Its most basic plan is StartUp, which includes:
- 10GB disk space
- Unmetered data transfer
- Free drag-and-drop website builder
- Free email accounts
- Free daily automated backups
- cPanel hosting control
- One-click installer for WordPress
As mentioned, StartUp is SiteGround’s base plan and costs $3.95/month. The next step up is GrowBig, which retails at $5.95/month. The top plan is GoGeek and will set you back $11.95/month. Similar to A2 Hosting, these are promotional starting prices, which will increase in time to $11.95, $19.95 and $24.95 respectively.
SiteGround also have four tiers of cloud hosting:
- Entry – $80/month
- Business – $120/month
- Plus – $160
- Super Power – $240
Entry offers a Linux container (virtualized operating system) with 2 CPU cores, 4GB of memory, 40GB of SSD storage, and 5TB of data transfer. The top tier, Super Power, comes with 8 CPU cores, 10GB of memory, 120GB of SSD storage, and the same 5TB of data transfer.
SiteGround Pros and Cons
|SiteGround Pros||SiteGround Cons|
- Read our SiteGround Review to get the full lowdown
#6: GoDaddy Hosting
Best for extra features
Pricing plans from: $2.99 a month
You’ve probably heard of GoDaddy as a place to buy domain names, but it also provides web hosting. It does a pretty good job, too, performing admirably in our research. GoDaddy’s hosting service isn’t as complete as Bluehost or HostGator’s, but it’s great if you want to combine with some of GoDaddy’s extras – like email marketing.
GoDaddy ticks just about all the hosting boxes. Its three plans — Economy, Deluxe, and Ultimate — include unlimited disk space, 99.99% uptime, and cPanel integration. You also get one domain name free when you sign up.
The Economy plan limits you to one website, while Deluxe and Ultimate allow as many as you want.
The variety of domains is slightly limited, which is surprising given GoDaddy’s registrar status. CLUB, CO.UK, COM, NET, XYZ, UK, ORG, or CO are the only options available to you. For anything else, you’ll need to register your domain name separately.
Although its support has improved in recent years, GoDaddy is still lagging behind its competitors. It doesn’t provide 24/7 live chat and tickets, although the phone support is very good.
The cold hard truth is that GoDaddy charges more and provides less than its rivals. These are the price brackets of GoDaddy’s three core hosting plans:
- Economy: $4 – $8 per month
- Deluxe: $6 – $11 per month
- Ultimate: $9 – $17 per month
Those baseline prices are high enough already, and that’s saying nothing of added fees. An SSL certificate is an extra $6 a month, for example. Furthermore, GoDaddy is one of the only providers that doesn’t offer a money back guarantee – not ideal when you’re testing the waters.
A handy thing about GoDaddy is that it offers domains, hosting, and website building tools all in one place. The standard of the hosting service it provides is top drawer; it’s the value that causes issues. The sheer number of plans means it’s worth a look, but odds are you’ll be better off with Bluehost or HostGator.
GoDaddy Hosting Pros and Cons
|GoDaddy Pros||GoDaddy Cons|
Best for discounted pricing
Pricing plans from: $0.99 a month
In the world of web hosting, Hostinger is relatively new to the block. Founded in Lithuania in 2004, this web host is European-based but offers data centers in seven countries, and delivers fast load speeds accordingly. 10,000 people join Hostinger every day.
Hostinger offers shared, VPS and cloud hosting. In not offering dedicated hosting plans, there is effectively a cap on how big you can grow your site. This is a big factor behind its seventh place position, but it’s worth noting that the top VPS plan is so advanced that this will never become a problem for the vast majority of sites.
Hostinger has proven itself to be a fast hosting provider, due in part to how spread out its servers are, appearing in seven countries across the globe. However, uptime is bit of a low point. While we really respect that Hostinger is super transparent about server performance, it does deliver less uptime than the industry-standard 99.97-99.98%.
Another area of note is disk space. While this does amp up on the more expensive VPS and cloud plans, on the shared plans in particular it’s really low – 10-30GB. Disk space is essentially your website’s storage. If you’re planning on having a fairly simple, ‘static’ website, this won’t be a problem. However, if you want to post regularly, or add a lot of ‘heavy’ media (like high-res images and videos), you may find you’re having to upgrade pretty regularly.
Hostinger offers plans starting from just $0.99, which is unbelievably cheap. The catch? You need to commit to a 48 month contract to lock in this plan. Still, at a total cost of $47.52, and with a 30-day money back guarantee on the table, this actually isn’t as much of a commitment as it sounds. Even after the initial promotional period is over, the renewal cost is just $2.15/month – significantly cheaper than pretty much any other provider.
Here’s an overview of Hostinger’s pricing*:
Shared hosting plans: $0.99 – $3.99/month (renew at $2.15 – $7.95/month)
WordPress hosting plans: $2.15 – $14.95/month (renew at $3.49 – $31.80/month)
VPS hosting plans: $3.95 – $29.95/month (renew at $8.16 – $65.56/month)
Cloud hosting plans: $7.45 – $37/month (renew at $15.90 – $80/month)
* All these prices relate to the equivalent cost per month over a 48month contract (paid upfront). This can feel like a big commitment, but often works out at a similar price to the one or two year plans because there’s such a big discount.
Hostinger Pros and Cons
|Hostinger Pros||Hostinger Cons|
Best for cheap plans but at the cost of speed
Pricing plans from: $2 a month
iPage are one of the oldest companies in the web host game. Founded in 1998, it began life as a web service provider (essentially a landing page, like Yahoo). Web hosting was brought to the table in 2002 by the Endurance Group, who also own Bluehost and HostGator. Today, iPage hosts over a million websites and owns two data centers.
iPage hosting has just one plan.This may sound weird, but it’s described as a “one size fits all” shared hosting package. Let’s take a look at what you get:
- Unlimited disk space
- Scalable bandwidth
- Free domain
- Unlimited domain names
- Free website builder
- vDeck control panel
Most basic web host plans don’t give you unlimited domain names, so that’s a nice bonus. However, its 99.95% uptime can be bettered by its competitors.
iPage also includes one-click install for WordPress, plus support when it comes to other CMS platforms like Drupal, Joomla and PixelPost.
iPage may only have one web hosting plan, but it does vary in cost. The price is dependent on how long you sign up for: for example, if you commit to a three-year deal, you can pay as little as $2/month. After the initial period, however, this price rises to $8/month.
Two-year sign-ups will part with $2.50/month and then $9/month, while those only interested in a year’s subscription will pay $3/month followed by $10/month.
WordPress hosting comes in two parts – $3.75/month ($7.50/month thereafter) for the basic plan, and $7/month ($10.50/month thereafter) for the more advanced plan. VPS packages can range from $20/month right the way through to $240/month.
iPage Pros and Cons
|iPage Pros||iPage Cons|
- Read Our iPage Review – for an in-depth breakdown
Best for storage space
Pricing plans from: $2.95 a month
DreamHost is another old-timer when it comes to website hosting, having been around since 1997. It’s clear in this instance, though, that experience counts – after all, supplying hosting to 400,000 customers and 1.5 million sites isn’t to be scoffed at.
DreamHost offers shared, managed, VPS, Dedicated and WordPress hosting packages. The pricing is reasonable, and it’s a great solution for anyone with a personal website like a portfolio or blog.
Given there are between two and four pricing plans with each hosting option, the features you receive can vary. Using shared hosting as an example, there are two plans available: Starter and Unlimited. If you opt for Unlimited, you’ll receive:
- Unlimited websites
- One free domain
- Unlimited traffic
- Unlimited SSD storage
- SSL security
- Email hosting
Quite a standard offering by all accounts, but it’s the dedicated hosting plan where DreamHost proves that size really does matter. It compares itself to GoDaddy, Bluehost and HostGator, offering users more RAM (64GB) and free SSL security beyond the first year – two features that the other providers either can’t compete with, or don’t offer at all.
Shared hosting comes in two different packages which both have two sets of pricing, depending on whether you pay monthly or annually. Here’s the breakdown:
- Starter – $2.95/month (annual payment)/$4.95/month (monthly payment)
- Unlimited – $7.95/month (annual payment)/$10.95/month (monthly payment)
Beyond that, WordPress hosting ranges from $2.59/month to $19.95/month. VPS hosting is between $13.75 and $110 monthly, and dedicated web server plans start at $169/month.
Dreamhost Pros and Cons
|DreamHost Pros||DreamHost Cons|
Best for help and support
Pricing plans from: free – $40 a month
As you may have guessed from its name, WPEngine offers web hosting exclusively for WordPress based websites. It launched in 2010 under the umbrella of the WordPress brand, and has since gone on to acquire 80,000 paying customers in 140 different countries, powering a little over half a million sites.
WPEngine has four plans: StartUp, Growth, Scale and Custom. The first three come at a set price, while the latter requires you to get in touch for a quote. Depending on which plan you opt for, you can get:
- Starts with 15 sites
- 3 environments/site
- 400k visits/month
- 400GB bandwidth
- CDN and SSL included
- Free migrations
- Free page performance
The CDN support is interesting. This is a backend service that helps deliver your website to users around the world. On top of all that, WPEngine works automatically with WordPress to keep you up to date (obviously), and performs daily automated backups.
WPEngine plans aren’t cheap. But if you have a WordPress website, you can’t deny that you’ll be in the safest pair of hands possible, and will be well looked after. Prices are as follows:
- StartUp – $35/month
- Growth – $115/month
- Scale – $290/month
- Custom – Contact WPEngine for a direct quote
One important point to add is that you can claim a discount by paying for any of these plans annually. If you pay a years’ lump sum up front, you get two months free – in other words, instead of paying $420 over the course of a year for the StartUp plan, you’ll pay a one-off fee of $350.
WPEngine Pros and Cons
|WPEngine Pros||WPEngine Cons|
- Read Our WPEngine Review – to find out more
Best for stinging you with expensive renewal costs
Pricing plans from: $7.99 a month
HostPapa – much like its pizza-peddling namesake, John – has been serving up fresh deals for years. Since 2006, it’s grown to host over half a million websites, and offers a range of different hosting options including shared, VPS and reseller.
HostPapa provides three shared hosting plans to choose from. Depending on the one you go for, you can get access to the following:
- Unlimited number of websites
- Unlimited disk space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free website builder
- Unlimited email accounts
- Free SSL security
- Enhanced SSD drives
- cPanel control panel
An important feature you don’t get on any HostPapa plan is free backups. This is significant, as if anything goes wrong and you haven’t paid for a backup, you’re in trouble. This is just one example of the extra expenses you’ll have to fork out if you opt for HostPapa.
HostPapa’s three shared plans are called Starter, Business and Business Pro. Each have special offers on where you can save up to 70%, but the regular monthly fees are:
- Starter – $7.99/month
- Business – $12.99/month
- Business Pro – $19.99/month
If you need dedicated WordPress hosting, you can choose between plans that range from $3.95/month to $22/month. HostPapa also covers VPS hosting across five different plans – these start at $50/month, all the way through to $300/month.
HostPapa Pros and Cons
|HostPapa Pros||HostPapa Cons|
- Read Our HostPapa Review – for a more detailed look at this provider
When launching a new business, money is not normally free-flowing to begin with. And until you’ve built up a solid user base, you can’t expect to have high volumes of traffic visiting your site. For this reason, shared hosting is a great option, given its affordability and capability of handling regular amounts of traffic.
Best providers for Startups:
Once you’re established in your field and need a website to advertise your services, you’ll either need a solid shared hosting plan or VPS hosting. The purse strings should be a little looser, and you’ll need to focus on quality over the cheapest package.
Best providers for Small Businesses:
- Read our article on the Best Web Hosts for Small Business to delve deeper into why these hosts came out top
When it comes to ecommerce websites, hosting needs to be a priority. You rely on your site as a source of revenue, and need it to be able to handle spikes in traffic during popular online events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Automated backups are also an important feature to ensure you don’t lose anything.
Best providers for Online Stores:
- Check out our article on the Best Web Hosts for Ecommerce to find the perfect match for your online store
At the top end of business sites, shared hosting is no longer a viable option. You should be looking at dedicated hosting with advanced features, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage. It’s all about having the best quality hosting to match your established brand.
Best providers for Enterprise Businesses:
Unless you’re a celebrity, personal sites shouldn’t experience huge surges of traffic. If you have your own blog, portfolio, or even online résumé, you can rely on a shared hosting plan with reliable uptime. Added features are a bonus, but really, it’s a matter of picking an affordable provider who offers an intuitive service.
Best providers for Personal Sites:
This one speaks for itself really. If you’re new to the field of hosting, you’ll want to prioritize things like user friendliness and great support. If you don’t already have a website, a provider that offers an easy-to-use website builder would also be favorable.
Best providers for Beginners:
Photographers will mainly want to consider uptime, storage space and price. Which provider you go for may depend on whether you simply showcase pictures, or actively sell your snaps. Either way, shared or WordPress hosting should have you covered.
Best providers for Photographers:
Although artists are creative by nature, when it comes to hosting, it has to be a logical decision. Cheap deals, state of the art features, and a reliable customer service with lots of storage all come to the fore. Art may be a vocational calling, but your hosting provider can help you master the industry.
Best providers for Artists:
Blogging sites, for the most part, will be set up on WordPress (given its extensive blogging options). For this reason, one-click WordPress installation is a vital feature, alongside good support and uptime. Offers of free domain names and email accounts also won’t go amiss.
Best providers for Bloggers and Authors:
Like most websites, the type of hosting you require will change on how much traffic your site receives, or may one day generate. For example, you need to be prepared for peaks in traffic in case a subject related to your topic area has some big or breaking news. VPS hosting would be our recommendation as a good way to keep the cost down, but ensure you site can manage.
Best providers for Forum Sites:
Any hosting to do with money needs to be as secure as possible. Should anything go wrong, you will run into legal problems that could damage much more than just your brand. Dedicated hosting is a good route to go down; think of it as investing in your website’s future.
Best providers for Finance:
Because every single website needs to be hosted, there’s a plan or package for every type of need. You can choose between Shared, Dedicated, VPS, Cloud, Reseller and WordPress hosting (shared or managed). All cater for different types of people and websites, but most hosting providers offer a range of services.
Best providers for types of hosting:
As discussed throughout this article, there are standard features that every provider offers. These include the amount of bandwidth, uptime and storage, security, control panels, and free domain names/email accounts. The platforms below are the ones who offer you the very best deals.
Best providers for features:
The term ‘unlimited’ gets bandied about a lot in the web hosting space, and the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t always literally mean unlimited. There is a limit, and you will be prompted to upgrade if you surpass it. That said, if you pick the right plan, chances are you won’t get anywhere near your limit.
Best providers for disk space:
As the name would suggest, uptime refers to the amount of time your website is ‘up’ or ‘live’. If your server goes down, people will no longer be able to access your site until the problem is resolved. Every hosting provider offers a near-perfect uptime, but for the very best ratings, look no further than the three below.
Best providers for uptime:
When purchasing any service, you want to be sure that there is help on hand should issues arise. It’s also nice to get a range of help options, such as phone, email and live chat. We’ve done the research to provide you with the best web hosting providers in regards to the support they offer.
Best providers for help and support:
Everyone loves a bargain, but there’s a difference between saving a few bucks and getting quality for your money. You have to weigh up the benefits (like features, help and support etc.) against how much you’re willing to pay. Lucky for you, we’ve done the leg work and picked out the hosting providers who hit just the right balance.
Best providers for value for money:
Shared – 1&1 IONOS
VPS – 1&1 IONOS
Dedicated – 1&1 IONOS
- Read our article on the Cheapest Web Hosts to find out more
Currently, no hosting provider offers a free service. However, if you opt to create your site using a free website builder like Wix, then you won’t have to pay for hosting. Most other website builders incorporate the hosting cost into the monthly fee you pay.
This is where you share a web server with a bunch of different websites. It tends to be the cheapest option when it comes to web hosting, and is ideal for small or personal websites, like portfolios or blogs. The downside is that it doesn’t deal well with high volumes of traffic, and you won’t get the same level of security you do with other types of hosting.
Best providers for shared hosting:
Try out our article on the Best Shared Web Hosting Providers to find out more.
On the flip side to shared hosting, dedicated is where you have your own server that you are in full control of. You don’t need to worry about other websites impacting on your site’s performance, but you do pay more for this luxury. Dedicated hosting is designed for large-scale websites who need to manage loads of visitors on a daily basis.
Best providers for dedicated hosting:
Theoretically, VPS hosting is both shared and dedicated hosting rolled into one. You will be put on a virtual server which acts as a dedicated server, but operates in a shared hosting environment. It works as a great middle ground for those that need to upgrade from shared hosting, but aren’t quite ready for the expense dedicated hosting entails.
Best providers for VPS hosting:
Cloud hosting is the newest option on the market. The basic concept is that hundreds of servers combine to operate as one massive server, forming a ‘cloud’. Cloud hosting is great for sites that have fluctuating traffic. In other words, it’s great at handling surges of site visitors, as it has more resource to pull from.
Best providers for cloud hosting:
- Check out our article on the Best Cloud Hosts for the full breakdown
For the more business savvy out there, reseller hosting presents itself as a great alternative to shared hosting. You get more control and can resell hosting space you don’t use. This is predominantly used by people who want to host third party sites themselves.
Best providers for reseller hosting:
- See our article on the Best Reseller Hosting Services for more in-depth information
WordPress is the most popular content management system on the internet, powering an estimated 75 million sites worldwide. There are almost endless hosting options when it comes to WordPress, but you’ll want to look at providers who either specialize in it, have one-click install, and/or run automated updates.
For WordPress, there are two types of hosting: shared and managed. Your decision really boils down to the size of your website and how much you’re willing to pay. While shared WordPress hosting is the cheaper option, managed gives you dedicated support, greater storage, and the ability to handle more traffic.
Best Providers for WordPress:
- Read our article on the Best WordPress Hosts to find out more
Despite its overwhelming popularity, WordPress isn’t the only CMS on the market. Joomla is predominantly used by developers and businesses thanks to its advanced customization. Not every hosting provider installs with Joomla, but most major ones do.
Best Providers for Joomla:
Drupal is another interesting open-source CMS on the market today – and it’s not limited to just being a CMS, either. With Drupal, you can build any type of site or online store. It is an application development framework with a familiar dashboard and interface. Premium hosting, one-click installs, and 24/7 support are all things to consider.
Best Providers for Drupal:
Magento is an open-source platform specifically designed for ecommerce. It gives online store owners flexibility and control over their sites, and integrates seamlessly with a range of other platforms. As always, one-click installation is desirable from a hosting provider, as are custom hosting packages created just for Magento.
Best Providers for Magento:
As we’re sure you’ve guessed from the name, PrestaShop is another ecommerce-specific CMS. It’s also a completely free platform to use, with only add-ons coming at a premium. Easy installation and great uptime are vital features when it comes to hosting.
Best Providers for PrestaShop:
If you’re looking to build an international site with lots of detail, TYPO3 is a fantastic choice. TYPO3 uses PHP scripting language and is also free to use. Built for complex websites, things such as storage space, bandwidth and uptime are all important features to look for in a hosting provider.
Best Providers for TYPO3:
ExpressionEngine is a powerful CMS that’s probably the platform most capable of making your website look like it wasn’t built on WordPress. It’s hard to use, but essentially provides you with a blank canvas to create your website from scratch.
Best Providers for ExpressionEngine:
For a CMS, TextPattern is easy to use and highly flexible. Its stripped back layout makes it ideal for those who need a bespoke design, but don’t want to go down the web developer route. Cost, uptime and support should all be key considerations when searching for hosting for TextPattern sites.
Best Providers for TextPattern:
Radiant is as basic as CMSs come. Built on Ruby on Rails, Radiant is built for developers, and can be seen as a step between the simplicity of a web builder and a fully-fledged CMS like WordPress. A lot of hosts don’t support Radiant, but the three below are the best that do.
Best Providers for Radiant CMS:
Geo-Redundancy hosting is where all your data is stored and backed-up in multiple physical locations. This is to avoid the loss of your data, and also provides an extra layer of security. Geo-Redundancy is perfect for enterprise-level businesses with lots of important data.
Best Providers for Geo-Redundancy Hosting:
If you’re searching for an all-in-one package whereby you can create your site and host it under one roof, then you’ll want to look at website builders. They provide pre-made templates and an editing interface where no code is required. The hosting providers below are the ones which also sell hosting separately.
Best Providers with a Site Builder:
Most hosting providers these days have website builders. It’s a logical add-on, but that’s not to say the ones that don’t aren’t great at what they do offer. Some of the best hosting on the market comes from companies without their own dedicated website builder.
Best Providers without a Site Builder:
Google Adsense is designed to let content producers or publishers monetize their websites. Through HTML code, you can add onsite adverts that are tailored to your content, and work on a CPC (cost per click) basis. Not all providers allow for advertisements, so it’s worth checking out it if it’s part of your long-term plan.
Best Providers for Google Adsense Hosting:
Being green has never been more important. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, it’s best to go with a hosting provider that is carbon neutral. Some use renewable energy, while others highlight the work they do with their employees to keep our planet ticking over.
Greenest Hosting Providers:
From conducting our own thorough research and testing, we’ve put together our very own expert reviews for you to sink your teeth into. But what if you’re scratching your head, undecided between two providers? Well, fear not – we’ve thought of that too.
Our detailed comparison articles pit two or more of the very best hosting providers against each other. We break down each one’s pros and cons, run through key areas to consider, and discuss which is better for specific types of websites. After reading, you should have a clear idea about which is right for you.
The price of web hosting varies drastically depending on the type you need. Hosting can cost as little as a couple of bucks a month. If you are running a small business site, though, you’ll probably want to fork out a little more for a better quality, feature-rich service. For top-of-the-range dedicated hosting, you could be looking at anything from $100/month to $600/month.
Do Any of Them Offer Free Plans or Trials?
No providers currently offer free web hosting, but a lot have money-back guarantees should you be dissatisfied with the customer service you receive. Dreamhost, for example, offers a 97-day money-back guarantee. For totally free hosting, you’ll have to use a free website builder to design your website.
When deciding upon a hosting provider, there are so many things to take into consideration. The size and type of website you own will dictate the type of hosting plan you need.
Your budget, the features you require, and how you built your site will also play a part in your decision.
Being the largest company in a field often means you are associated with sluggishness and penny-pinching. In the world of web hosting, however, size translates to a cheaper, more reliable service.
There’s little to separate the quality of hosting offered by the top providers, but it’s when you step back and look at the full package that the differences become clear. GoDaddy has excellent high-end plans, but for beginners, it’s hard to look past Bluehost, HostGator and InMotion
All three are ahead of the field in regards to their features, but they’re not for everyone. If your website is hosted on a lesser-used CMS, then SiteGround may be your best bet. Likewise, if you require top-of-the-range support, WPEngine is worth looking at.
So long as you’ve put the time into researching your decision, we’re sure it’ll be the right one.
If you’re starting out, we’d recommend our top-rated provider, HostGator. Have a browse of its plans, be wary of ‘starting costs’, and rest assured you’ll find a package that works for you without breaking the bank.
First off, you’ll want to know what types of hosting they offer – you should be looking for a specific type (e.g. shared hosting). You’ll also want to know what features they offer, the cost of the service, and whether it integrates easily with your site.
Although most have similar offerings, there are certain elements that matter. For example, if you use PHP to build any of your pages, you’ll need a provider that has a PHP processor module. Some have better uptime, while some lend themselves better to certain CMSs, like WordPress.
A web host is a service that allows your website to be put live online for others to see. A website builder is a platform that helps you create the website itself. Most website builders will have hosting included as part of their service.
There are numerous types of web hosting. The main ones are Shared, Dedicated, VPS, Cloud, and WordPress hosting (both shared and managed). The size and type of website you have will dictate the type of hosting you need, but all serve different purposes.
There is no one universal regulator of web hosting, but most providers are easy to get in touch with. If you’re having issues with their own support – like over email or live chat – you can try contacting providers on social media or reach out to forums.
It’s difficult to pinpoint specific companies, as all have server issues on the odd occasion. There are things to be wary of though: for example, a monthly fee may seem reasonable, but it’s important to dig deeper and look for any additional add-ons or hidden costs.
When deciding, you want to check if the provider offers an SSL certificate and HTTPS as standard. These both help secure your website and boost your SEO. For extra protection, providers that use Geo-Redundancy will protect your data against crashing and hacking via automated backups.
Some platforms have a free site migration process. This is the easiest and simplest way to transfer, as all you need to do is provide your account details. For manual transfers, use FTP. Download your files onto your computer, then upload them to your new hosting provider.
Many providers use the terms web hosting and domain hosting interchangeably, but they can relate to separate things. Domain hosting refers specifically to your domain name (used in your URL) and can be purchased alongside web hosting, although it is not mandatory.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Having an SSL certificate means your site’s visitors can view your website securely. You should always ensure your site has an SSL certificate, and most hosting providers offer them free as part of their package.
Our top hosting service is HostGator. It has amazing uptime, is great value for money, and is very beginner friendly. You’ll need to assess what you need, though – HostGator may be the best overall, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best for you.
cPanel is the control panel used by Linux web hosting providers. In other words, it’s what you see when using web hosting services. It provides both the interface and tools you use, and helps make web hosting a simple and hassle-free process.
Data centers is a large group of computer servers that are held in one location. They are used for data storage, and are where your website’s information is kept. It is generally preferable to use a data center in your own country, although it won’t have a massive impact if you opt for an overseas one.