Best Web Hosting Services Review: An In-Depth Guide
The truly best web hosting isn’t easy to find.
There’s no good website without a good server.
As website owners, we always face the dilemma of choosing the right hosting package.
There are many hosting companies available, and it’s often complicated not to get lost in all the information available.
This is why we put this in-depth guide together to help you compare and find the best hosting provider.
What is the Best Web Hosting?
In order to find the best hosting providers to host your website, it is important that you clearly identify your needs in terms of web hosting services:
- If you’re a beginner, go for a simple, shared web host which offers a control panel and tools like PhpMyAdmin which will allow you to run a website without technical knowledge. Also, make sure to choose a host with excellent support. A site builder could also be useful if you aren’t a developer.
- If your site has a significant amount of visitors (over 1000 page views/day) avoid shared plans and opt for a dedicated server or VPS, which will provide the best results.
- If you need to host many websites under the same account, you can choose a dedicated plan or VPS hosting, if you have some system administration knowledge. If you don’t, many shared hosting plans allow you to host an unlimited amount of websites.
- If your site is running on WordPress, pick up a dedicated WordPress hosting package for extra features.
Shared web hosting is generally considered entry-level hosting. As the name suggests, on shared web hosting, a server is shared between multiple users. Consequently, it is not the fastest hosting available, but prices are very affordable.
Basic shared hosting is the best choice for low traffic site owners who want to keep the cost as low as possible.
A2 Hosting is a company from Ann Arbor, Michigan. In business since 2001, they offer a wide range of top options. Their shared package is one of the best shared hosting plans to host small and low traffic sites.
FastComet provides website owners with top Shared Cloud Hosting since its creation in 2013. Using modern cloud technologies, FastComet is significantly faster than the average shared hosting like Bluehost or GoDaddy, making it a great shared hosting plan for medium traffic domains and one of the top web hosting services out there for website building, as highlighted in this review.
Headquartered in Orange, CA, Lunarpages is a web host that has been hosting millions of pages for 20 years. The company provides most plans with an extra drag and drop website builder, making it a great choice for website owners who aren’t advanced developers and designers.
The Best Cloud Hosting
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 for your files.
Cloud hosting is the best solution for medium and growing sites, as the cloud technology makes it easy to scale resources according to your site’s needs.
HostGator is one of the finest web hosting companies, keeping millions of websites on its servers for over 25 years. As shown in this web hosting review, HostGator offers various plans with money-back guarantee and decent customer support, ranging from shared server to dedicated. But it’s definitely their cloud hosting that offers the best value for money.
The Best Cheap Web Hosting
When you start a new website, it’s very common to be on a budget. Many web hosts offer affordable basic hosting, but unfortunately performance is often neglected as those companies need to host lots of sites on limited server resources.
Luckily, it is still possible to find cheap hosting that offers quality service and customer support. Cheap hosting is a smart choice for beginners and small sites with little traffic. Medium to high traffic site owners should avoid it, as the limited hosting options won’t be enough for your traffic, which will ultimately result in a slow load time and downtime due to lack of memory.
Hostinger is an employee-owned domain name registrar and web hosting provider from Kaunas, Lithuania. With prices starting at $0.80 per month, Hostinger is simply the cheapest basic web host you can find.
Despite the very low prices, this host provides a great performance, 99.9% uptime and money-back guarantee, and 24/7 customer support. It is currently the best cheap web hosting you can find, and one of the highlights of this guide.
With over 25 years of online presence and being a web host, GoDaddy is one of the biggest and most popular web hosts. The successful American company currently offers pricing starting at $2.49 a month with unlimited bandwidth and a free domain name.
The Best Hosting for Small Businesses
As a small business looking to host a website, there are many things that you need to take into consideration. First of all, you need reliable hosting with a good uptime and a fast server. You also need quality live chat, phone or email support in case something goes wrong.
Here are reviews of the leading small business hosting providers: Bluehost, iPage and Dreamhost.
Online for 20+ years and hosting well over 2 million pages, Bluehost is a trusted web host. For small companies, their hosting “Bluehost Shared Plus” plan is a very good choice and among the finest services on the market.
Our Bluehost guide indicates that for a $5.85 monthly cost, you’ll get many features: Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited domains, a free SSL certificate, and helpful customer service/support via live chat, phone and email, are included.
iPage is in business since 1998 and is based in MA. The provider offers website hosting for a small business with a plan that features a free domain, 30 day money back guarantee and a free extra website builder that allows people with little to no technical knowledge to build their own website.
Dreamhost is often noted as a favorite when it comes to affordable hosting services and ease of use. The reputed website hosting company offers small businesses an affordable yearly plan, starting at $2.59 a month. As a customer, you’ll get standard SSD storage for your website to load fast, unlimited visits and a free domain.
Among Dreamhost’s features, it’s good to note that WordPress comes pre-installed on their hosting plans: That’s a lot of good news for bloggers and small businesses that don’t want to invest an extended period of time in installing softwares they need. Dreamhost also offers a live chat option for quick customer support and scores on ease to use.
The Best Dedicated Server Hosting
A dedicated or managed server is a server leased by only yourself, 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 any tools (such as cPanel) you need for your website to run smoothly.
This type of hosting will fit people with system administration knowledge, web developers, and high traffic domains.
InMotion Hosting is another big name in the industry. They have been around since 2001 and offer a wide range of services, from shared hosting to dedicated servers.
Starting at $105.69/month, InMotion’s dedicated servers are fast and offer a reliable uptime of 99.95%. The servers come with a dedicated IP address and are entirely configurable. Many pre-installed Linux distributions are available for your hosting dedicated server.
The Best VPS Hosting
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a machine which is functionally equivalent to a dedicated plan but shares the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes. As a result, they are seen as a compromise between shared and dedicated hosting.
A VPS allows its owner to install any needed softwares as on a dedicated plan. As VPS hosting still shares the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes, they are priced much lower than dedicated servers.
This type of a web host is perfect for web developers and medium to high traffic sites.
Starting at $7.18/month, MochaHost offers VPS plans at an affordable pricing. The provider 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.
The Best Hosting for WordPress
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System/CMS. In recent years, a lot of website hosts have been launching plans consisting of servers especially aimed at those who use WordPress.
While WP can run on the vast majority of plans (as long as they feature PHP and a MySQL database), using dedicated WordPress hosting will enhance your site’s performance and security. Managed WordPress hosting is a perfect solution for medium to high traffic blogs, and therefore an option to consider.
Based in Malta, Cloudways offers various hosting solutions, including managed WordPress hosting. Cloudways’ services provide efficient some of the fastest servers starting at $10/month and a helpful technical support.
Cloudways is also one of the rare companies that offers a free trial as an option. All you need is a valid email for building your hosting account, and then you are ready to sign in and test their set of products for 72 hours.
Created in 2010, WP Engine is one of the most well-known solutions for WordPress users, and is constantly receiving compliments in customer reviews. All plans include a web server optimized for WordPress, 24/7 chat support, SSH gateway, SSL, Global Content Delivery Network, PHP 7.3 as well as 35+ WordPress themes and the Genesis framework.
This relatively new company is one of the leading providers for WordPress. It was founded by WordPress enthusiasts with the purpose of focusing on getting WP sites online in no time.
Based in Bulgaria, WPX is another relatively new company. With a cost below average, top-notch support and very fast servers, WPX is one of the top web hosts for WordPress.
The company has been praised for its attractive service by many high-level bloggers.
The Best Reseller Hosting
Reseller hosting is hosting made for people to resell. It is commonly used by web developers and designers who need to host websites for their clients. Some people also use reseller hosting to start their own web hosting service.
As a web professional, reseller offers can be a good way to enhance the services you are offering to your clients, but make sure to carefully check all the specs as bad plans would end up being a turnoff for most of your clients and hurt your image as a professional.
GreenGeeks is, as its name suggests, one of the providers that aim to provide green energy web hosting.
This is indeed a good idea, especially since GreenGeeks is without a doubt one of the leading providers for resellers in the industry. All GreenGeeks reseller accounts offer the WHMCS billing system, which makes billing your clients super easy.
The Best Ecommerce Hosting
As an online merchant, it is mandatory that you get the greatest provider for putting a web app or ecommerce site online. As those sites handle monetary transactions, security should be one of your biggest concerns when choosing a plan.
SiteGround is very popular among ecommerce sellers, especially those who use WooCommerce to power their online store. All plans are made with ecommerce in mind, and feature a high level of security, expert support, SSL, daily backups and a free CDN.
The Best Magento Hosting
Magento is a very popular open-source ecommerce/cms platform, the main competitor of WooCommerce. If you plan to start an ecommerce website based on Magento, or already have one, it is necessary to carefully review your host specs and make sure Magento will run smoothly on the proposed architecture.
Among other tips, it is recommended to choose a web host that offers a pre-installed Magento option, so you will save time and the hassle of configuring the software.
InterServer has been around since 1999 and is hosting millions of web pages. They offer a lot of different options, from shared to dedicated. Among those, their standard plan is probably the greatest for Magento, as it features a 1-click install of the popular ecommerce platform.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the technology that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.
When subscribing to a service, an individual or organization rent resources from a computer (named server) which is always on, making the hosted websites accessible worldwide using the Internet.
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where multiple websites are hosted on the same server, sharing resources as such as storage and RAM.
This type of a host have little options and is usually considered entry-level, and isn’t recommended for sites with a large amount of visitors. On the other hand, shared hosting provides sufficient resources for you to create small sites or sites with little traffic, and are priced much cheaper than vps/dedicated servers. For beginners, it provides you with the opportunity of creating your site in no time.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud defines a way of storing data across multiple computers and accessing that data via the Internet. As a whole, the cloud behaves like a single physical computer, but provides endless processing power and storage space.
As cloud hosting is entirely scalable, it provides you with an endless amount of resources and allows your hosting specs to grow according to your site popularity and needs.
What is WordPress Hosting?
As its name suggests, WordPress hosting specializes in websites built with WordPress. While those plans can host virtually any kind of PHP or HTML site, it provides features that allow clients to make the best out of their WP installs.
The idea behind WordPress hosting is to offer a real hassle-free experience to customers by having essential WordPress features (security, updates, site speed, malware detection, etc.) controlled by the provider. That way, you can focus on running your business and doing what you are good at.
What is VPS Hosting?
A VPS is a virtual machine that runs its own copy of an operating system and offers users superuser-level access. This allows the user to install any software that runs on the VPS operating system.
VPSes are often referred to as a middle-ground between shared servers and dedicated architectures. VPS hosting features more options and much better performance than shared hosting plans, while the involved costs are lower than those of dedicated hosting.
What is Dedicated Server Hosting?
When subscribing to a dedicated server plan, a client basically rents its own physical machine from the host. A wide amount of servers specs and options are available: OS (Linux, Windows hosting, etc), amount of RAM, type of hard drives…
Dedicated hosting offers best control to its owners. On the cons side, as they need to be controlled by the client at anytime, system administration skills are a must. Dedicated servers are also much more expensive than a shared/VPS plan.
What is Managed Hosting?
These types of packages have gained popularity during the recent years. It refers to a model in which the host leases dedicated servers and associated hardware to a customer, while managing those systems on the customer’s behalf.
Management services are a key aspect in making this type of plan different from dedicated hosting services in which customers take care of managing the server themselves.
Do I Need Email Hosting?
Email hosting allows users to have their own personalized email addresses under the form firstname.lastname@example.org. This feature is nowadays offered by most providers. When running a business, those personalized emails will show professionalism to your clients, so I recommend you to consider the option.
Does Free Site Migration Matter?
Some hosts offer new clients free site migrations. This process refers to the action of moving your existing website from its current server to a new one.
While this operation is easy and only takes a few minutes for system admins and most web developers, it can be a real struggle for a customer who lack this particular skill.
Therefore, non-tech savvy people should best take into account the free site transfer offered by some hosts, which would make them save time and hassle.
Why Uptime and Site Speed Matters
Uptime and site speed are often neglected when subscribing to a hosting plan, but both are extremely important when picking one of the many great providers.
Uptime is the time during which your server is functional and your website can be accessed via the Internet. When looking for the best webhosting, it is essential that you select a provider which guarantees a good uptime, somewhere between 99 and 100%. Without a good uptime, a lot of people won’t be able to access your website and therefore, will instead visit your competitors.
Site speed defines how fast your website will load when a visitors access it. It’s a very important factor as most people don’t like waiting endlessly or a site to display, especially those accessing it through slow, shared Wi-Fi connections.
Site speed is also one of the many factors taken into account by Google when ranking websites.
Why Not to Use Free Web Hosting
A few companies provide a free hosting service. It might sound good on paper, but the reality is way less flattering. First, almost all free providers display ads on your site, as this is how the company makes money. You won’t have any control over those ads.
Secondly, the performances are disastrous: Slow load times, bad uptime, very limited options, etc. When in need of basic hosting, it is best to opt for paid but cheap plans from Hostinger that will give you high quality for a cheap price rather than a free but bad host.
How to Pick the Best Hosting Service & Company
Finding the most excellent web hosting providers isn’t an easy task, due to the amount of offers available. In order to find the most suitable offer for you, you need to clearly identify your needs. Here are a few questions I recommend you to ask yourself as the first step:
- How much am I willing to pay?
- What is my website traffic?
- What kind of a site am I looking to host? Ecommerce? Blog? Web app?
- Do I need specific services like email accounts?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to identify the most appealing offers for you using our guide. To make sure you’ll get the most out of your package, here are a few more questions that can help you pick the best hosting services:
- Does the hosting service offer free backups?
- Do they offer a way to try the service first, or a refund if you aren’t happy with the product? Some providers offer a 97-day/3 months money-back guarantee. Some others have a 45-day money-back guarantee policy instead, and a few others offer a 30 days instead.
- Does the plan come with a free SSL?
- How many different sites can you host with a single subscription?