Best Web Hosting Providers

THE BEST WEB HOSTING IS FAST, SECURE, RELIABLE, AND HAS CUSTOMER SUPPORT THAT CAN COMPLETELY SUPPORT YOU.

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best web hosting provider for most people is definitely Bluehost.

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Web hosting services come in all shapes and sizes.

Shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS, managed hosting, server cores, different RAM, CDNs, SSL certificates. It’s endless.

We’ve managed hundreds of websites ourselves over our careers. Using our first-hand experience, we waded through all the hosting options and narrowed it down to the best web hosting providers.

Read in-depth reviews of these below — plus, tips for saving money, the best types of hosting for different situations, and our method for picking the right web host.

The Top 10 Best Web Hosting Providers

Bluehost – Best Web Host for Beginners

Bluehost is one of the most popular and best choices for web hosting.

They’ve been around a long time, offer great hosting at a great price, and have a great reputation for supporting their customers.

If you get stuck or have a problem, they have 24/7 support by phone or live chat. No hoops to jump through either. They list their support number and live chat options right on their site, you can reach it within two clicks.

They also offer fantastic analytics and SEO tools to help you optimize your site’s performance—while attracting more visitors.

 

They also offer hosting that will support whatever direction your business grows.

Let’s say you start with a standard shared hosting plan and want to install WordPress. They have an easy 1-click install to make that happen. Then if your site keeps growing and you want to upgrade to managed WordPress hosting to speed up your site and improve security, they have that too. Or if you want to get more control by upgrading to VPS or dedicated hosting, they have plans for both.

The point is that Bluehost covers everything you could possibly need from a host. That’s what makes them the best for beginner website creators.

If you start with them, you’ll never need to switch to someone else.

Interserver Webhosting and VPS

Ease of Use. We found that InterServer can be useful for a wide range of users, though choosing the right plan is important for best results. The company’s standard shared hosting plans give you enough features that make it easy to get started, migrate or build your website, and launch it.

(WHUK) WebHosting UK COM Ltd.

Webhosting UK offers a full range of services and at the start you are asked to choose between different types of web hosting: basic shared web hosting, email hosting, WordPress hosting or reseller hosting. As for servers, they offer VPS, cloud and complete managed dedicated servers both for Windows and Linux.

The least costly, as well as their bestselling plan, is the Premium Web Hosting plan and it starts at £2.49 ($3.24) for a month and offers a free domain, but for annual or higher plans only. This comes with 5GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited websites and email addresses and the capacity to host two websites.

Cloudways

Cloudways delivers fully managed hosting and promises no more slow loading WordPress sites and no more WordPress hosting headaches. Their platform-as-a-service cloud servers come with a fantastic feature set, and you can scale hosting resources as your website grows

3dcart

Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a complete and robust eCommerce platform designed to help online store owners thrive in a competitive market. With hundreds of features built directly into its software, merchants can effectively open, operate and maintain a successful eCommerce website with relative ease and efficiency. 3dcart currently powers more than 17,500 global merchants, and its support team is always available, at no additional cost, 24/7/365. 3dcart is an Inc. 5000 company, a Visa PCI Certified provider and a pioneer in mobile commerce and social media marketing. Fully scalable and completely customizable, 3dcart continues to be the solution of choice by industry experts all over the world.

Namecheap

Namecheap’s hosting plans offer fast, reliable service with a 100% uptime guarantee. … If you have an existing website, Namecheap will move it for you for free. In addition to a solid knowledge base, you can consult if you need help, Namecheap offers 24/7 chat support. You can also submit tickets for review.

Which Type of Hosting Is Right for You?

Now, let’s look at the best hosting for different situations (see definitions of hosting types at the bottom of this post).

The Best Shared Web Hosting

For most, shared web hosting is the way to go.

Shared web hosting means that your website is on the same server as other websites. Most sites are small enough that they don’t need an entire server to themselves so web hosts bundle a bunch of sites together and put them all on the same server.

This is how web hosts get the price of hosting down.

In most cases, it’s a great deal.

There are downsides. If one site on the server gets taken down, yours could get taken down too. If several sites are on the same server and one of those sites gets a huge traffic spike that takes the server down, all the sites go down. So it’s possible for your site to go down at no fault of your own.

In practice, this rarely happens. Especially for smaller sites that can handle a little downtime every once in awhile, having shared hosting is a great trade-off in order to get the hosting bill lowered.

Think of shared hosting as the ideal “entry-level” package for your site.

The Best WordPress Hosting

I’ve managed multiple sites with hundreds of thousands or millions of visitors per month. My favorite (and one of the easiest) ways to draw in traffic is through a good blog.

When it comes to blogs, WordPress is by far the best option for running the blog.

These days, I always get managed WordPress hosting for my high traffic blogs. Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting package that’s optimized for WordPress.

There’s a few major advantages to getting specialized WordPress hosting:

  • Everything is streamlined around WordPress
  • Security is extra tight
  • WordPress updates and server maintenance happen automatically
  • Backups happen automatically
  • The support team has advanced knowledge of WordPress
  • The site can handle much higher traffic volume since everything is built around WordPress

There is one major downside though: the cost.

Managed WordPress hosting tends to be more expensive. If you’re building a site with the goal to generate tons of traffic (50,000+ visitors/month), it’s absolutely worth it.

I go this route even if I don’t have the traffic volume yet. As long as I’ve set a goal to build that traffic over time, I’ll choose a managed WordPress host from the beginning.

If you’re a smaller site and intend to keep it that way, skip managed WordPress hosting. The premium features won’t provide enough value to justify the extra cost. Just about every host out there allows you to install WordPress easily and quickly.

The Best Small Business Hosting

Small business owners have a lot to juggle. From marketing to employees, their resources are often stretched thin—and limited.

The best web hosts for small business are super reliable, have world-class support when the odd issue does come up, and have a reasonable price. This minimizes the extra tasks for the owner while also keeping expenses low. And when things do go wrong, a solid support team makes the fix as painless as possible.

You’re looking for that sweet spot between price, reliability, and an amazing support team.

The Best Cheap Hosting

There are plenty of ways to save on web hosting. And since they recur every month, getting them as low as possible does add up over time.

I want to give you a quick warning though.

Cheap definitely isn’t always great when it comes to web hosts. There is a point where reducing the costs any further seriously impacts the quality of your hosting. Your site will be down on a regular basis, you’ll never be able to get a competent support rep to help you, and every task you try to complete will have a horrendous user experience.

We’ve found the best cheap web hosts. While their service isn’t quite as good as the others that we recommend, it’s good enough if you’re trying to get the cost down. Just be careful about shopping around for even cheaper deals, it’s usually too good to be true.

We recommend these 2 hosts if you’re trying to get your hosting costs as low as possible:

  • Hostinger
  • Dreamhost

They’re also good for side projects or ideas that you’re playing around with. Then if it becomes a real project or business, you can always switch to one of the better hosts later.

The Best Cloud Hosting

If you’re building a larger site or want to guarantee your uptime, you’ll want to look for cloud hosting.

Cloud hosting is a bit different than shared hosting.

Instead of a bunch of different sites using the same server, your site will get spread across multiple servers. This has a few major advantages:

  • Other sites can’t take your site down. If they get a spike, your server can simply start using other servers.
  • You can quickly scale your site bandwidth up and down. Since you’re already using multiple servers, it’s really easy to add more or take some away.
  • Since there’s redundancy across multiple servers, server uptime gets a lot better.

All these benefits do come with a higher cost. No matter which cloud host you choose, it will be noticeably more expensive than a shared hosting package.

I use the 50,000 visitors rule. If my site has above 50,000 visitors a month or will in the foreseeable future, I move it to cloud hosting.

Consider cloud hosting if you’re planning on building a large site or have a business that can’t afford any downtime whatsoever.

These are the 3 best cloud hosting companies:

  • Dreamhost
  • WP Engine
  • Siteground

How To Find The Best Host For You

Before diving into all the criteria on how to evaluate web hosts, I have some simple rules for you on picking your web host:

1. If you plan on building a high traffic WordPress blog, get WP Engine. The extra cost is well worth it. This is also a good option for folks that want to pay a little extra so they never have to worry about anything related to their hosting.

2. For all other sites, get a web host that’s fast, has great uptime, and amazing support. Bluehost, Siteground and InMotion are your best bets here.

3. If you really want to get the cost down, do with Hostinger or Hostgator. Both are decent at low prices. I wouldn’t consider hosts that are any cheaper than this though.

By following these rules, you’ll be happy with the host that you get and won’t have to switch any time soon.

So how do we evaluate web hosts? What actually matters?

Let’s go through all the key items.

Site Uptime

If people can’t access your site, why have it at all?

First and foremost, you want a web host with great uptime. This means you’re site is always available and never goes down.

To try to avoid the “just trust us” promise of near-perfect uptime, most hosts provide some sort of guarantee of at least 99.9 percent uptime. However, that guarantee isn’t much of a guarantee. It just means your bill can be discounted in the event of any unplanned downtime. There’s a lot of fine print on these guarantees, too, including not accepting self-reported or third-party uptime data, and not providing refunds for downtime that was out of the host’s control (for example, a hurricane).

Site Speed

Site speed impacts everything related to your site. Want search rankings? Get a fast site. Want conversions on your site? Make it fast. Want happy users? Speed it up.

Every part of your business is impacted by the speed of your site.

When looking at different web hosts, make sure you’re choosing a host that can serve every page lickity split.

There is some nuance with site speed.

In the early days, you need a host that’s fast “enough.” It doesn’t have to be blistering fast but it needs to be fast.

Think of Amazon. Back in the day when Amazon just sold books, their site needed to be fast but it didn’t need to be instantaneous.

Now that many people use it for all their shopping, Amazon’s site can’t be fast enough.

The bigger you get, the faster you’ll want to be. If you’re planning on building a high-traffic site, you’ll want a host that can maintain crazy-fast speeds on large sites.

Customer Support

When running your own site, web host customer support is the single most important thing a web host can offer.

Digging through use reviews doesn’t always give you a conclusive answer on the quality of support at a particular web host.

There can be a discrepancy between reviews and quality. Take, for example, HostGator. Technology publications tend to rank its products highly: it earns a score of 4.5 out of 5 on both CNET and PCMag. But it has 1 and a half stars on Trustpilot and only 4 and a half stars on WhoIsHostingThis — and nearly all of negative comments are directed at customer service.

Watch out for glowing reviews on top publications, they don’t always reflect reality.

There is one true test for assessing the customer support quality at any host.

The free trial customer support test.

Pretty much every web host has some sort of money-back guarantee on their shared hosting plans, which means you can set up your website and see what you think of the service with relatively low stakes — just your time and any add-on fees you opt into, like paying for domain registration. We recommend going to town with customer support during that trial period. Get on live chat, open tickets, hop on the phone as much as possible to see if you like what you’re being served up.

Most web hosts offer some sort of free trial period. I recommend using this time to really dig into your host’s customer support — its knowledge center and especially support staff across all channels. That’ll tell you the real story.

Traffic Volume

The amount of traffic that you get has a huge impact on the hosting that you need.

For a site that gets 300 visitors every month, pretty much any standard hosting package will be good enough. As long as your web host has strong customer support, you’re good to go.

As you get bigger, all sorts of small details start to matter a lot more.

Is the PHP on your server being updated regularly? Do you have a CDN for your content?

Is your site being backed up daily and can you restore it within 15 minutes if something goes wrong?

Do you have an SSL certificate? Can your server handle a giant traffic spike during a marketing promotion?

Whenever I have a larger site, I look for premium hosting that takes care of all this for me. And if I’m planning on building a large site, I look for a host that can easily scale to millions of visitors per month. I’m happy to pay a premium price in order to guarantee easy upgrades in the future.

Don’t skimp if you’re going big.

And if you plan to stay under 50,000 visitors/month, get a standard shared hosting package. There’s no reason to worry about the advanced stuff.

Price

While you don’t want to overpay on hosting, you definitely don’t want to underpay either.

Avoid choosing a host exclusively on price.

Most basic web hosting plans are in the $10-$20/month range. Yes, there are cheaper options. Some of them are promotional offers that go away at renewals. Others are hosting plans with terrible support and uptime.

My rule is if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I also don’t worry about chasing promotional offers to save a few dollars. For every site I’ve ever managed, we used our host for years on end without ever switching once we had a host we were happy with. Promotional offers come and go pretty quickly.

Migration Features

The ability to easily and quickly migrate an existing site will save you weeks of time.

Even a basic WordPress site can be a real hassle to migrate. First you have to set up a new WordPress install on your new host. Then you need to export the database of content from your old site and import it into your new one. Finally you have to re-configure everything in WordPress like the theme, plugins, and settings.

That’s a real pain and that’s why we put together an entire guide on WordPress migration.

It is possible to skip all this.

Some hosts will offer a 1-click migration for popular site builders like WordPress.

If you’re switching hosts and handling the migration yourself, look for an easy migration feature. This is a great way to make the final decision once you’ve narrowed it down to a few final options.

Managed Hosting

Here’s how a normal host works:

  • After you sign up, you get a login.
  • The login takes you to cPanel. The cPanel is an app on your server that lets you manage it through a UI without needing to know how to code anything.
  • You configure your server however you want.
  • There’s a FTP option to upload files manually to your server.
  • There are also quick options for installing WordPress and other site software if you want.
  • You get full access and can do anything you want. It’s a “choose your own adventure.” Install WordPress, Drupal, Magento, or code your entire site by hand.

Most web hosts work like this.

There are also managed web hosts. These hosts customize the hosting environment and manage a lot more of it for you.

WP Engine is the best example, they’re a managed host for WordPress. Instead of getting a cPanel login that lets me do anything I want, WP Engine gives me a login to their custom interface that’s built to manage WordPress sites specifically.

When a web host is optimized exclusively for WordPress, three key things happen. First: It gets faster than pretty much any shared hosting provider can dream of. Everything can be tailored to making WordPress work its best, whether that’s optimizing website caching or tinkering with the command line tools. The host only needs to know how to support WordPress, as opposed to, say, Joomla and a Node server and some sort of custom-made site and on and on.

Second: Sites get more secure and stable. A managed WordPress host can build a system that predicts, accommodates, and patches all of WordPress’s vulnerabilities. That means fewer malicious attacks and less downtime.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly for small businesses: Admin and site maintenance get a lot easier. And that service is vital because managed WordPress hosting is significantly more expensive than shared web hosting services.

While I give up some flexibility from not having a basic web server like other hosts, a managed host takes care of a lot of ongoing tasks that I’d normally have to handle myself.

If you have a small business site, a normal host is fine. If you’re building a larger site, a managed host will save you a ton of time in the long run and is worth the extra cost.

Last Tip: Ignore Free Web Hosting

For just about everyone, free hosting is not worth it.

Web hosting is not where you should save money. If you’re worried about the price of hosting, I’d say you need to worry about generating revenue and traffic before trying to save a few extra dollars cutting hosting costs.

A free host is only good for something like an event one-pager or an extremely small, extremely low-traffic site. If you are doing either of those things, you should still skip the free host route and jump straight to a free website builder that’ll let you link your site to a custom domain for free, like UCraft or Google Sites. They’re both very basic limited builders, but they are easier to get up and running than a free web host.

That being said, there are some great free and discount web hosting plans for nonprofits and educators. If that’s you and you want to know more, head over to my best free web hosts review. I go into lots of detail there.

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