Windows Hosting: The 5 Best Providers

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Which Is the Best Windows Host for You?

Windows hosting is – you guessed it – website hosting that uses a Windows operating system. But what does that really mean? 

Basically, Windows hosting is the most compatible hosting solution for anyone with a website that also uses other Windows tools and languages, like Microsoft Exchange or ASP.NET. However, there’s a difference between using Windows tools and simply having a Windows computer – you don’t need to use Windows hosting just because you have a Windows PC! 

A pretty small number of providers offer Windows hosting – apparently, being ‘the ideal hosting type for Microsoft technologies’ is a bit of a niche superlative. But those that do offer it each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and we’ve detailed them in this guide to help you choose the best windows hosting provider for your site.

Best Windows Server Hosting Providers

  1. HostGator: best value for money
  2. A2 Hosting: best for security
  3. GoDaddy: best for features 
  4. Hostinger: best for Windows VPS hosting
  5. DreamHost: best for flexibility 
1

HostGator

Best Value for Money

Best Value for Money

4.7out of 5

Top Choice
Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Disk Space

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.5 out of 5 stars

Key Features:

Uptime99.9%
Price Range$4.76-$148.98/month
BandwidthUnmetered 
StorageUnmetered
Customer SupportPhone and live chat available 24/7
Plesk Control PanelYes

Pricing

With plans that are competitive and affordable, HostGator earns the “best value for money” title for Windows hosting. It has the second-lowest starting price on this list, and still doesn’t skimp on features. 

Pretty much every hosting provider on the market offers noticeably low introductory prices, which then get hiked up when you renew your plan. HostGator is no exception – you get 20% off your initial payment, which can cover 1-36 months up front. 

The price range for shared plans is $4.76-$15.96/month. Check out the complete chart to see HostGator’s shared Windows saving options:

hostgator shared windows plans

HostGator also offers Windows hosting on its dedicated plans, which account for the higher end of the price range. Dedicated plans range from $118.99-$289/month.

hostgator dedicated windows plans

These prices might seem like a big jump up from the shared prices, but HostGator’s dedicated prices are on par with the rest of the industry. The reason they’re so much more expensive is because on a shared plan, you literally share a server and its resources with other websites, while on a dedicated plan the server is entirely dedicated to your website and its files.

Security

HostGator provides a free SSL certification with all its Windows hosting plans, which ensures that your website is flagged securely. The HostGator support team also conducts 24/7 server monitoring on shared Windows plans, to properly allocate server resources, and automatic weekly data backups to keep your files safe. HostGator even uses the SpamAssassin filter to protect emails for your Windows site.

Other Features

HostGator’s email features aren’t just secure, but robust, too: you get unlimited accounts, forwards, and autoresponders, along with 25 mailing lists. This will all come in handy if customer engagement is important for your site’s success. 

HostGator’s Windows plans also integrate very well with other applications. If you’d like to, you’ll be able to host a BlogEngine blog, a WordPress blog, or even a Wiki site. You’ll also be entitled to HostGator’s free website builder and 4,500 free website templates. 

HostGator’s 24/7 phone and live chat support is a major plus, too. In fact, live chat received the most votes (32%) when we asked users how they would most like to receive support, beating out email and online tutorials. In our experience, HostGator live chat has had quick response times and supplied us with useful information.

Get more information from our HostGator Review

Check out our ranking of the Best Cheap Hosting Providers

We’ve also ranked the Best Cheap Shared Providers and Best Cheap Dedicated Hosting Providers

2

A2 Hosting

Best for Security

Best for Security

4.2out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Disk Space

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Key Features:

Uptime99.9%
Price Range$4.90-$104.99/month
StorageUnmetered
Customer SupportPhone and live chat available 24/7
Plesk Control PanelYes

Pricing

A2 Hosting is no different from other providers in that it offers much lower introductory prices – with this provider, you’ll get 51% off in the first year. Just make sure to keep an eye out for the inevitable jump in prices when the time comes to renew your plan.

You also might have noticed the wide range of prices in A2 Hosting’s plans, as listed in the table above. That’s because A2 Hosting offers both shared and VPS Windows hosting plans. 

We’ve written a Shared vs VPS Hosting Comparison, but to give you the gist, shared hosting is cheaper because VPS hosting allocates much more server resources specifically to your site. You’ll want a shared plan if you’re starting out, and a VPS plan if you’re hosting a larger site, such as a business page or an online store. Dedicated plans, which we mentioned earlier, are the next step up after VPS. 

The price jump between shared and VPS plans is pretty notable. Below is the pricing information for A2 Hosting’s shared Windows plans:

a2 hosting shared windows plans

…and below are the prices for VPS Windows plans:

a2 hosting vps plans

A2 Hosting also offers an anytime money-back guarantee, which makes it easy to try out any of the provider’s hosting plans.

Security

Like most providers, A2 Hosting provides a free SSL certificate with all of its Windows plans. But A2 Hosting also goes above and beyond with its unique Perpetual Security initiative, which it describes as “unrelenting and constant hosting protection, squashing threats before they potentially develop into something larger.” 

A2 Hosting’s Perpetual Security features include: 

  • Dual Web Hosting Firewall 
  • Reinforced DDoS protection (against floods of harmful traffic) 
  • Server hardening
  • Virus scanning
  • Brute Force defense (against typical hacking strategies)  

Other Features

A2 Hosting’s cheapest Windows plan includes one website and five databases, while the rest of its Windows plans offer unlimited websites and databases. It also offers free site migration, which will make life easier if you decide to switch to A2 Hosting from a different provider.

Check out our A2 Hosting Review for more information
3

GoDaddy

Best for Features

Best for Extra Features

3.9out of 5

Types of Hosting

4 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Disk Space

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

3.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

2.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Key Features:

Uptime99.9%
Price Range$5.99-$16.99/month
BandwidthUnmetered 
StorageUnmetered
Customer Support24/7 phone, plus live chat all day Monday-Friday
Plesk Control PanelYes

Pricing

GoDaddy’s introductory Windows prices let you save a maximum of 33% in the first year, and they range from $5.99-12.99/month. The Economy plan is the cheapest, and offers one website, 100 GB of storage, and unmetered bandwidth. The Deluxe and Ultimate plans both offer unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage, and unlimited websites. The Ultimate plan goes one step further by including unlimited MySQL and MSSQL databases, as well as unlimited FTP users.

godaddy windows pricing plans

$5.99/month, $7.99/month, and $12.99/month are all good entry prices. Keep an eye on the fine print, though: Economy renews at $8.99/month, Deluxe renews at $11.99/month, and Ultimate renews at $16.99/month. 

Security

All of GoDaddy’s Windows plans include 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection to keep your server safe, and its security measures are up-to-date with industry standards.   

Additionally, you can choose to purchase Website Backup for $2.99/month on any annual plan. Website Backup automatically backs up your data every day, which you can then restore with one click. This is a great feature, but if it’s your top priority, then you’re better off with a provider like HostGator, which conducts backups for free (albeit only on a weekly basis).   

Other Features

GoDaddy earns the “best for features” title when it comes to Windows hosting providers. That’s no small feat, since “features” was voted the most important factor when choosing a hosting provider, with 32% of the votes from people we surveyed.

Many GoDaddy features allow you to integrate different programs and applications with your site. All of GoDaddy’s Windows plans include 1-click install of popular applications like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, as well as 1-click setup for GoDaddy registered domains. You also get free Office 365 Email for the first year, with 5 GB of dedicated storage. Just remember to cancel the auto-renewal if you don’t want to pay for email after year one!

Find out more from our GoDaddy Website Builder Review
4

Hostinger

Best for Windows VPS Hosting

Best for Windows VPS Hosting

3.7out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Disk Space

2.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Key Features:

Uptime99.9%
Price Range$26-$300/month
Bandwidth4,000-7,000 GB
Storage50-400 GB
Customer SupportAvailable 24/7
Plesk Control PanelNo (uses custom panel)

Pricing

Hostinger’s introductory prices save you 17-28% on Windows VPS plans in the first year. After that, the price range is still pretty wide – the cheapest Windows plan costs $36/month, while the most expensive plan comes in at $300/month.

hostinger windows plans

You might be wondering why Hostinger’s Windows plans cost so much more than those of GoDaddy or HostGator. This is because GoDaddy and HostGator offer shared Windows hosting, while Hostinger offers VPS Windows hosting. We’ve written a comparison of shared vs VPS hosting, but to sum it up, VPS hosting has more resources to dedicate to larger sites and online stores.   

Basically, while you pay more for VPS hosting, you also get your money’s worth in features and resources. Hostinger also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try a Windows VPS plan and see if it’s the best fit for your site. 

Our VPS vs Dedicated Hosting Comparison puts the two advanced hosting types head-to-head

Security

Hostinger uses high-level enterprise data backups that allow you to restore your files easily, so peace of mind is never more than a few clicks away. However, Hostinger’s support team explained to us that “VPS plans have root access, so basically the majority of security concerns should be taken care of from your side.” 

Root access is an administrator-level authorization that gives you full access to your server. To go the extra mile and implement your own security measures, Hostinger recommends “setting up strong passwords and installing intrusion detection or prevention systems, such as Snort.”

Other Features

Hostinger doesn’t use the popular Plesk control panel for its Windows plans. Instead, Hostinger has developed its own custom control panel, which is just as intuitive and easy to use:

hostinger control panel screenshot

This is where you can manage everything from domains and email accounts to billing information. When you sign up for a Windows VPS plan, you’ll gain access to the more specific VPS Control Panel. 

Hostinger’s four different Windows VPS plans offer 50, 100, 200, and 400 GB of storage and 4,000, 5,000, 6,000, and 7,000 GB of bandwidth, respectively. This pales in comparison to most other providers, which offer unlimited storage and/or bandwidth. On the plus side, Hostinger provides dedicated IP addresses on all of its VPS plans, which means more direct access to your website.

5

DreamHost

Best for Flexibility

Best for Flexibility

3.5out of 5

Types of Hosting

5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Disk Space

5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

1.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

DreamHost describes itself as “completely a Linux environment” – so if you’re looking for the provider with the most resources or support for Windows plans, you’ll want to look elsewhere. That being said, while DreamHost’s cloud service (called DreamCompute) is the only DreamHost plan that supports Windows, it’s nothing to write off just yet!

See where DreamHost ranks on our list of the Best Cloud Hosting Providers

Key Features:

Uptime99.9%
Price Range$4.50-$96.00/month
BandwidthUnmetered 
Storage100 GB included
Customer SupportLive chat from 5:30am-9:30pm PST, seven days a week
Plesk Control PanelNo (uses custom panel)

Pricing

DreamCompute pricing is different from most pricing plans, in that you only pay for the amount of resources you end up using each month. In other words, you won’t be charged at sign-up, but you’ll be billed monthly for what you use. 

DreamHost offers six different options under its DreamCompute hosting plan:

dreamhost dreamcompute plans

The price range in this table ($4.50-$96.00/month) is a maximum range. Here’s how that works: you’ll be billed for each hour of usage until you reach the monthly cap, and then additional hours for that billing cycle are free. 

Right now, bandwidth is also free on all six DreamCompute plans, but heads up: DreamHost has decided that free bandwidth will only be available for a limited time. There’s no date yet for when free bandwidth will end, but DreamHost says that once the special offer is over, “a notification will be sent to customers well in advance of when your bill will change.” 

Security

DreamCompute uses a self-healing storage system called Ceph, which creates and manages replicas of your data, and can automatically detect potential data corruption. However, with DreamCompute, you’ll still be responsible for your own backups.

Other Features

What DreamHost lacks in breadth for Windows customers, it makes up for in flexible pricing. But DreamCompute plans have more to offer than just the pay-by-hour model, including full root access and great server speed.

dreamcompute homepage

DreamCompute servers are also very scalable, by nature of cloud computing. Dreamhost promises to help you migrate your work to your own private cloud if/when the time comes. This is doable because DreamHost is powered by OpenStack, a popular open source cloud computing platform that’s used by both public hosting companies (e.g. DreamHost) and private internal clouds.

Get more information with our DreamHost Review

Best Windows Hosting: Recap

As you can now see, Windows hosting isn’t the most common type of hosting out there. But if you run your site with any Microsoft applications, then it’s the right type for you, and your top five choices are as follows: 

Best Windows Hosting Providers

  1. HostGator: best value for money
  2. A2 Hosting: best for security 
  3. GoDaddy: best for features
  4. Hostinger: best for Windows VPS hosting
  5. DreamHost: best for flexibility

If you’re excited about the scalability that the cloud provides, then Dreamhost’s DreamCompute option could be best. If your site has already outgrown shared servers, then Hostinger’s VPS plans are worth looking into. 

The good news is, if you’re looking into Windows hosting, then you won’t exactly feel overwhelmed with choices. Many providers, including A2 Hosting and Hostinger, also have generous refund policies that you can take advantage of to test the waters!

FAQs

Plesk and cPanel are the two most common web hosting control panels, and the two are similar in a lot of ways. But while cPanel is only available on Linux operating systems, Plesk is available on both Linux and Windows systems, and so is a popular choice for Windows servers.

It all comes down to what you need. Linux is a little cheaper, but Windows is a little easier to use. cPanel only runs on Linux servers, but programming languages like .NET are only available on Windows servers.

About Maura Monaghan

Maura Monaghan

I grew up scribbling in notebooks, and until recently the thought of relocating my writing to the digital world seemed like an impossible goal. But when I finally took the plunge and created an online portfolio, I immediately saw the benefits of having my work out on the web. Since then I’ve learned everything I can about creating different websites, so that I can help those in a similar situation get online without a similar headache.

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