Best Web Hosting For Developers: In-Depth Review
This guide offers an in-depth review of the current best web hosting for developers, based on your own specific needs in terms of resources, prices, and supported languages/technologies.
Over the years, web hosting has been made easier in order to fit the needs of people with little to no coding experience.
While this is a good thing overall, web developers often need a more complex environment and a platform that would allow them to directly control all important aspects of their hosting packages.
What Is Developer-Friendly Hosting?
As you already know, there are literally thousands of different hosting companies, offering various plans and services.
As a web developer, your needs aren’t the same as those of a small business or a blogger.
Let’s identify and review your hosting needs.
A coder would need a hosting offer which:
- Allows the hosting and execution of code written in languages you work with. PHP is a popular language that comes as standard on most hosts, but if you are using Python or Node.js, you have to take it into account. Shared hosting plans won’t allow you to execute server-side Node.js, Java Server Pages or Python.
- Is reliable: Web development is their job, and they need the right tools to create amazing applications.
- Offers scalability: As a developer needs to work with different clients and technologies, a scalable hosting plan will allow developers to adjust their environment to their current tasks.
- Is reasonably priced: Hosting can quickly become pricey, so developers need to carefully select their provider in order to keep their monthly hosting expenses under control.
Front-End or Back-End Development?
What kind of website you have plays a pretty big role in what kind of hosting you could benefit from to test out your code. Websites can ultimately be divided into two types: static and dynamic.
A dynamic website has HTML files, of course, but also makes use of server technologies such as PHP to dynamically build a webpage when a user visits the page. What’s happening behind the scenes when a user goes to a web address is that the server is finding different bits and pieces of information that it then writes into a cohesive webpage, which is what the user sees. Dynamic websites deal with more flexible data and can utilize things like databases.
Best Free Code Hosting Services
Free hosting is usually far from being the best hosting for developers: Sure, you won’t spend a dollar on it, but most free web hosting services are actually filled with ads or offering a loading time so bad that you would be ashamed to show your site to your clients.
However, those tools are made to display code snippets, not full applications or websites. They do not allow developers to execute any server-side languages such as PHP or Python, and you can’t use your own domain names on them.
As its name suggests, 000Webhost‘s monthly cost is $0.00. This free provider belongs to Hostinger, and it shares its main engine as well as its 99% guaranteed uptime.
A domain name isn’t included, and the offer is limited to 1GB of storage space and 10GB bandwidth. On the other hand, 000Webhost offers PHP and MySQL as well as cPanel, is super easy to manage and doesn’t run ads on your pages behind your back.
While 000Webhost isn’t the greatest web hosting for developers, it can be a handy solution for hosting demos and code snippets.
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting service in which many websites are sharing the same server resources. Shared hosting plans are usually the cheapest, and also the most limited.
Shared hosting would be a good option for beginners and aspiring PHP developers. However, if you’re looking to use another server-side language than PHP, shared hosting isn’t the greatest solution for you.
Pros of shared hosting:
- Cheap (Offers start at $0.99/month!)
- Easy to use for beginners
Cons of shared web hosting:
- No SSH access/No possibility to install anything on the server
- Limited performance and speed
With prices from $0.99/month, Hostinger is currently the cheapest hosting on the market. The company offers a basic but solid service with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and free weekly/daily backups.
Hostinger’s starter plan doesn’t include a free domain name and is limited to 10 GB storage and 100 GB bandwidth, with no support for server-side languages apart from PHP.
- PHP (Versions 5.2 to 7.2)
- Custom control panel (but no CPanel)
- Possibility to edit several php.ini options.
Bluehost is an American hosting company founded in 2003 and based in Utah. It hosts over 20 million sites and is one of the biggest and most popular hosting service providers worldwide. For developers, Bluehost’s strong point is its support of many server-side programming languages such as PHP, Python, Ruby, and Perl. Unfortunately, you’ll need a Bluehost VPS or a private server to install Node.js.
Bluehost offers shared, VPS, and dedicated server hosting. Plans start at $3.59 month and include a free domain name for the first year.
- PHP 7.2
- MySQL databases
- Free SSL
- Perl 5
- Ruby/Ruby on Rails
A2 Hosting is a company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In business since 2001, they offer a wide range of hosting services. Their shared hosting offer is one of the most interesting plans to host small, low traffic websites.
A2 also offers windows hosting.
Best Cloud Hosting For Developers
Cloud hosting is a way of storing data across multiple computers and accessing that data via a network connection like the Internet. As a whole, the cloud behaves like a single physical computer, with endless processing power and storage space.
The main interest of cloud hosting is the possibility to access the server via SSH, and the ability to install whatever technology you need. For example, if you created an amazing Node.js app, you can install Node.js support on your hosting and smoothly run your app.
Cloud hosting pros:
- Cheaper than a dedicated server
- Possibility to install anything on your server
- Great performance
Cloud hosting cons:
- More pricey than shared hosting
DigitalOcean is a New York-based cloud infrastructure provider with data centers worldwide.
Unlike most internet hosting providers, DigitalOcean clearly focuses on web hosting for developers, with all packages featuring a 99.9% uptime guarantee, extreme scalability, and SSH access allowing you to install what they need on their domain.
HostGator is one of the most well-known web hosting companies, keeping millions of websites on its servers for over 25 years. HostGator offers various web hosting plans, ranging from shared to dedicated. But it’s definitely their cloud hosting that offers great value for money.
Best VPS Hosting For Developers
A hosting VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a machine that is functionally equivalent to a dedicated server but shares the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes. As a result, they are seen as a compromise between shared and dedicated hosting.
A hosting VPS allows its user to install any needed software as on a dedicated server. As a VPS still shares the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes, VPS plans are priced much lower than dedicated servers.
Starting at $7.18/month, MochaHost offers quality VPS web hosting at an affordable price. The web host is located in San Jose, California and has been in business since 2002.
The company isn’t too big, which means that clients can expect top-notch service from technical support when needed.
Best Managed WordPress Hosting For Developers
If you are a WordPress coder, managed WordPress hosting could be the perfect choice for you. This type of hosting provides an environment tailored for the popular CMS, with an emphasis on website speed, uptime, and security. It is, therefore, the top option for hosting WordPress sites.
While WordPress can be run on any hosting plan that supports PHP and MySQL, using dedicated WordPress hosting will provide your site with outstanding performance and top-notch security, as well as extra features like automatic WordPress core updates.
Managed WP hosting is overall more costly than shared web hosting, with plans available from $10/month, but the difference in terms of performance is notable.
Pros of managed WP hosting:
- Made for WordPress
- Very fast servers
- Expert-level customer support
Cons of managed WP hosting:
- More pricey than shared hosting
- More limited than a dedicated server
Cloudways is based in Malta, specializing in high-quality, affordable WordPress hosting. Cloudways hosting features an amazing performance, great uptime and a cheap hosting price (Plans starts at $10 monthly).
For more information about Cloudways, please take a look at our detailed Cloudways review.
Pros: PHP 7, MySQL, PhpMyAdmin, Dedicated public IP, very fast servers, dedicated environment, free trial, easy setup and SSL certificate.
Kinsta has quickly established itself as a popular WordPress hosting provider, thanks to their service’s performance and customer service’s quality.
Kinsta’s hosting plans provide all features needed for serious WordPress coding, great speed, free SSL certificate, PHP 7.3 support, and an expert-level email/live chat/phone customer support according to many hosting reviews.
WP Engine is one of the most well-known and best WordPress hosting providers. Since 2010 they have been providing developer-friendly hosting plans with an emphasis on performance and security.
WP Engine hosting plans include automatic WP core updates, 24/7 chat and email support, SSH gateway, SSL, Global CDN, PHP 7.3 and MySQL as well as 35+ premium WordPress themes and the Genesis framework. Plans start at $35/month.
Best Dedicated Hosting For Developers
A dedicated, private or managed server is a web server leased to you by a hosting provider, and not shared with anyone else. This results in fast loading times, speed, very good uptime, and the possibility for you to fully manage components and install everything you need for your website to run smoothly.
Dedicated hosting is pricey, but allows you to have your own server and manage every aspect of it: To install your choice of an operating system, server, and use any server-side programming languages your application requires.
Pros of dedicated hosting:
- Full freedom to manage every aspect of your web server
- Server resources are only yours and aren’t shared with other customers
Cons of dedicated hosting:
- Expensive costs
InMotion hosting is a well-known name in the business, and the company has been around for over 15 years.
Regarding dedicated servers, InMotion offers two main options: Available from $75.69/month, “Bare Metal” dedicated servers are unmanaged and you will be in charge of running every aspect of server management, including software updates and security routines. Therefore, those dedicated servers are aimed at system administrators or any developer with a significant sysadmin experience.
Managed dedicated servers are available from $105.69/month. Unlike the unmanaged option, InMotion will provide the customer with free server management, updates, and patching. This offer is a great choice for developers who are too busy coding to manage a web server.
All of InMotion’s dedicated hosting plans come with customer support via email, live chat or phone, a free SSL certificate, and free setup.
Recommended for: Developers in need of a 100% manageable hosting environment, web developers who need to host multiple sites, developers working with a wide array of languages and technologies.
Reseller Hosting For Developers
Reseller hosting is hosting made for people to resell. It is commonly used by web professionals who need to host sites for their customers. As a web developer, a hosting reseller package isn’t the best option for you to run your code, but it definitely is a good way to enhance the services you offer to your clients.
Pros of reseller plans:
- Easily host your clients’ projects and bill them for it
Cons of reseller plans:
- Limited performances and choice of components
Founded a decade ago, Greengeeks aims to provide green energy services that are scalable, secure and fast.
Greengeeks hosting plans feature unlimited SSD web space, unlimited bandwidth, 10 to 50 cPanel accounts and the WHMCS billing system, which allows you to easily bill your clients.
Recommended for: Developers who want to make extra money by providing their clients with hosting and set their own prices.
As a web developer, choosing the perfect hosting plan to showcase your coding skills isn’t an easy task due to the number of different providers to choose from. In my opinion, the core aspect of choosing a web host is to clearly identify and review your needs in terms of resources, performance, and server management.
Let’s sum up this review – here are the current top options (most of which offer a money-back guarantee):
- Hostinger would be a great pick for a beginner web developer, or those who only need to run some HTML/CSS/JS/PHP based code in a simple hosting solution.
- Cloudways is the top pick for any WordPress or PHP developer in need of a very fast site and high-performance environment.
- Digital Ocean would perfectly fit for developing and hosting Node.js or Python applications.
- Greengeeks is a wise choice for any web developer who needs to be able to host their client’s websites
- InMotion Hosting is the most excellent option for a web developer who needs full control of their server for a demanding app, working with many different server-side languages, or hosting a large number of sites.
- Bluehost is the perfect option for hosting a large number of small sites.