January 26

Best Web Hosting Providers

Choosing the best web hosting provider can get a little complicated. With so many providers to choose from, their features and their pricing, how are you supposed to know which one is the best. Most importantly, how do you know which one is best for you. A good web hosting service should be able to provide consistent uptime, good load speed, not cost you an arm and a leg and provide good customer support.

Below we have listed out 10 of the best web hosting providers and their features along with detailed information regarding types of hosting, as well as things to review and consider when choosing a web hosting plan.

Web Hosting Company Reviews

Our web hosting provider reviews below list out each one's uptime and load speed along with each of their plan's features. We have also included company information, pricing of basic plans and a summary of other features and addons provided. All uptimes and speeds provided are based on data gathered over the last 24 months.

Best Overall Web Hosting Provider

1. Bluehost

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Speed: 405ms

Originating in 2007,  BlueHost has more than 3 million websites and is considered to be one of the best overall options for hosting new sites . Their introductory rate is $2.95 a month with a 3 year plan sign up and a renewal fee at their higher regular rate. It is important to note that only lengthier plans will receive discounts. Their basic web hosting plan includes:Bluehost Review

  • Free Domain
  • 50 GB of storage
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Website Builder
  • One click install for Joomla, WordPress and Drupal applications

With all hosting plans you will receive 24/7 live customer support(chat and phone), free email accounts. SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) and a 30 day money back guarantee. With instant activation, you can get your site up and running in no time. They do offer managed WordPress, as well as dedicated and VPS hosting plans for sites that have higher traffic volume.

Most Affordable Cloud Hosting Plan

2. HostGator

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Load Speed: 399ms

A favored shared and cloud hosting provider,  HostGator was founded in 2002 and has garnered over 2 million websites . They offer plans as low as $2.75 a month(12month plan), which renews at a higher rate of $8.95 a month. All plans come with a 45 day money back guarantee. Other features of HostGator web hosting plans are:

Hostgator Review

  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Unlimited email account
  • Free SSL cert
  • Unmetered disk space
  • Built in Cache
  • Easy WordPress installs
  • Free domain for a year with 12, 24 or 36 month plan sign up

To create a custom website, Gator Website Builder can help you with that. Its easy drag and drop building feature is great for eCommerce website beginners. HostGator also offers VPS, dedicated and WordPress hosting plans for businesses big and small. All plans have a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Least Expensive Provider

3. Hostinger

  • Best Uptime: 99.95%
  • Best Load Time: 350ms

Hostinger was created in 2004, and also owns Hosting24. Noted as least expensive provider when it comes to web hosting plans, Hostinger comes in at $1.59 a month with a 48 month plan sign up and a renewal rate of $3.99 a month.  All hosting plans come with a standard 30 day money back guarantee . Cheap on price, Hostinger is full of features such as:

hostinger review

  • 1 website/ 1 email account/ Free domain
  • 10GB SSD storage
  • Website builder
  • Free SSL cert
  • Managed WordPress hosting
  • 24/7/365 Customer Support

Depending on the plan, bandwidth, disk space and databases are limited. It is also important to note that the least expensive plan does include a free domain, but it requires a 48 month plan sign up. Hostinger does offer VPS, WordPress, email and cloud hosting as well.

“Greenest” Hosting Service Provider

4. GreenGeeks

  • Uptime: 99.98%
  • Load time: 445ms

Started in 2008, GreenGeeks now hosts over a half a million websites. They have plans starting at $2.95 a month with no hidden fees and a 30 day money back guarantee. However, the rate does jump to $9.95 a month at renewal. All plans come with the following:

greengeeks review

  • Free domain for a year/unlimited number of domain names
  • cPanel access
  • PowerCacher
  • Free Wildcard SSL
  • Unlimited SSD storage
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • 24/7 Customer support
  • Nightly backups

GreenGeeks offers multiple hosting options that include WordPress, WooCommerce, Reseller and VPS for when your website grows. Also,  they will migrate your site to them from its current host for free . What makes GreenGeeks so eco-conscious is that they put 3 times of the power they use back into the grid.

Monthly Pay/No Expensive Renewals

5. DreamHost

  • Uptime: 99.94%
  • Speed: 648ms

As one of the oldest web hosting providers, DreamHost was founded in 1996 and has over 1.5 million sites, applications and blogs spanning more than 100 countries. The thing that makes DreamHost different from other providers, is that you can pay monthly rather than yearly. So, for $4.95 a month you can sign up and access your account immediately. You can also pay $2.59 a month with a 3 year commitment. Their basic web hosting plan includes:

DreamHost Review

  • Free domain
  • One website with drag and drop building
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • WordPress comes preinstalled
  • 50GB of SSD storage
  • 24/7 live chat support

For added monthly cost you can enjoy an email account, unlimited data transfer, strong security features and domain management tools. Although they do not have cPanel, they have their own admin panel which is pretty similar to cPanel or Plesk.  DreamHost offers a generous 97 day money back guarantee .

Leading Customer Service

6. SiteGround

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Adequate load time: 673ms

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2004, SiteGround hosts over 2 million websites. SiteGround hosting plans start out at $3.95 a month for a one year plan sign up, and then renew at $11.95 a month.  The least expensive plan comes with 10GB of web space and unmetered traffic . All plans with SiteGround come with a 30 day money back guarantee as well as the following features:

Siteground Review

  • Cloudflare CDN
  • SSL certificate
  • Daily backups
  • Email account
  • Site builder
  • SSH access
  • Unmetered traffic

SiteGround includes other services that include dedicated servers, cloud, enterprise and WooCommerce hosting. As for their servers, they are rented from Google Cloud. They also offer managed WordPress hosting plans and automated WordPress site migration for free. SiteGround boasts exceptional customer service and a standard 30 day return policy on their plans.

Fastest Load Time for Shared Hosting

7. A2 Hosting

  • Uptime: 99.93%
  • Load Time: 317ms

Considered the fastest shared hosting service,  A2 Hosting has acquired over a half a million sites since their start in 2002 . Although the fastest, they aren't as reliable with over 6 hours of annual downtime. A2 Hosting plans start at $2.96 a month with a $7.99 renewal rate. All plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee, and the cheapest hosting plan comes with the below:

A2 Hosting Review

  • Domain name free for 1 year
  • 25 email accounts
  • 1 website
  • Cloudflare CDN
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • LetsEncrypt SSL cert
  • Free website migration

A2 Hosting works well with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and OpenCart applications. In addition to shared hosting, they offer dedicated server, VPS and reseller hosting. They provide 24/7/365 client support through their Guru Crew, who is available via phone, chat, email, and tickets.

Good Option for Small Businesses

8. WestHost

  • Uptime: 99.98%
  • Load time: 881ms

Started in 1998, WestHost is a good choice for small businesses due to its affordable plans. For $1.99 a month(12 month sign up) and a renewal rate of $8.00 a month you will get good uptime and load speed along with the following features:

westhost review

  • 1 website
  • Unlimited 10GB emails
  • 1000GB Bandwidth
  • 1 database
  • Free setup

In order to get SSL, free domains and quick installs for WordPress, you'll have to upgrade your hosting plan. Also, since they only offer shared hosting, its likely you'll have to transfer your site when it experiences growth.  WestHost offers customer service support via live chat and phone . All their hosting plans come with a 30 day refund policy.

Well Known Hosting Solution

9. GoDaddy

  • Uptime: 99.97%
  • Speed: 554ms

With 44 million sites and 14 facilities worldwide, GoDaddy is definitely known the world over.  They offer four plans with the cheapest starting at $5.99 a month(12 month plan) and then a $8.99 a month renewal . The Economy plan comes with the following features:

godaddy review

  • 1 website
  • 100GB storage
  • 10 databases
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free one click install for WordPress
  • Free office 365 email
  • Free domain

GoDaddy hosting has many upsells when it comes to SSL, backups and email accounts. For custom site building, they make it easy with their GoCentral setup. They also have tools such as MySQL, multiple versions of PHP, cPanel, CloudLinux and Python. They offer 24/7/365 U.S. based support and a 30 day money back policy on all of their plans.

Great for Web Developers/Designers

10. Site 5

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Load Time: 629ms

Site5 was created in 1998 and is owned by Endurance International Group.  EIG also owns BlueHost and HostGator . Their most basic hosting plan is $8.34 a month when you sign a 2 year contract. Although the basic plan doesn't come with a free domain or SSL certificate, it does feature the below:

site5 Review

  • Unmetered Disk space
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Backup recovery
  • Free site migrations

Applications like ZenCart, Drupal, Joomla and PrestaShop through cPanel/WHM can be easily installed. More for developers and designers rather than beginners, Site5 offers 24/7 client support and 45 day money back guarantee for shared/reseller hosting. For their virtual servers they offer customers a 15 day money back guarantee.

How To Choose The Best Web Hosting Service

Choose The Best Web Hosting Service

As you have seen above, there are ten really great web hosting company reviews with a lot of information. So the question now is how to choose the best web hosting service for your website. First, you have to decide on what type of web hosting you need. From shared to VPS and cloud, what is the best for you. Continue reading below, as we have listed out each type of hosting and what they are.

Shared Hosting – used with new websites, shared hosting is cheaper, and utilizes a single server for multiple websites. We will go further into shared hosting in the next section.

VPS Hosting – VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS uses dedicated resources and the sites share servers. It's great option for a site that needs something more than just shared hosting.

Cloud Hosting – This type of hosting is a popular alternative to VPS hosting. Server resources are divided across multiple cloud servers and do not generally experience traffic upticks and downtime.

Dedicated Hosting – A single dedicated server is used to host the site. This is usually excessive for most sites, and is quite expensive.

Once the type of hosting has been determined there are other major factors to look at regarding your hosting provider and the plan's features they are offering. Those factors are:

  • Uptime
  • Load Speed
  • Site Traffic
  • Price
  • Support

Uptime

When reviewing web hosting providers, uptime is important to note. Without sufficient uptime your site cannot make money.  Most hosting services will guarantee you a 99.9% uptime, however that may not always be the case . Found in the fine print, they will credit your account if downtime should occur. The terms of agreement will generally also state stipulations regarding their planned downtimes and things that may occur outside of the provider's control.

Load Speed

Website loading speed is everything when it comes to web hosting. Whether an ecommerce site, a blog or a site driving conversions, you are going to want your page to load as fast as possible. Depending on the hosting provider and plan you have, your site will be impacted by them if the speed is not adequate. A slow loading page is a bad first impression and can cause a site to lose visitors quickly.

Traffic

Site traffic and performance go hand in hand. For example, if your site is receiving 100,000 visitors regularly every month, you cannot run your site on basic shared hosting plan. From crashing servers to downtime and a slower than slow site loading time, your site will ultimately reach its demise. You must have a hosting plan that will accommodate your site's needs. If you are beginning a site and you expect it to grow, be sure to find a web hosting provider that can has plans that can grow with you.

Price

Hosting plan pricing can be a bit tricky if you are not paying attention to the details of monthly cost, plan length and renewal rates. With enticing introductory pricing, it can be easy to get caught up in a provider's promotion. Be sure to note the features offered for the price stated and if the renewal rate will increase. Best advice, look over your needs and then compare that to the plan's price and length. From there you can determine if it is suitable for what your site will need. We will expand on renewal rates later on.

Customer Support

Whether it's the first day your site is up or a year down the road, customer support will be key to helping you with your web hosting needs. You'll want to look for a provider that offers multiple means of support communication such as live chat and phone. Also, they need to be available all day every day. If it is important to you, some providers do offer U.S. based support for ease of communication. Free site migration and managed services are other great support features to look for as well.

What is Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting

What is shared hosting? Briefly mentioned above,  shared hosting is when multiple sites share a server . So what exactly does that mean, and why is it important to you. Every website on the internet is hosted on a server(type of computer). Through the server it is publicly viewed and available to users on the internet. When you type the sites URL into the browser, it browses the internet and determines where it is stored. The browser will then ask for the information from the server regarding that site, and then voila! The server provides the info and the webpages appear in the browser.

Opposite of a dedicated server, a shared hosting server will store all the files for many sites at once. Shared hosting tends to be less expensive because sites on a shared server take up less resources. Also, the hosting provider who owns the server will be the one who maintains it and keeps it secure. A small monetary investment, lack of maintenance and ease of use make shared hosting an attractive choice for new website owners.  Shared hosting is best for blogs as it handles WordPress sites easily . The only downside to shared hosting is that sites can end up competing for resources. The following questions should be considered when choosing a shared hosting provider:

1. What is your level of technical skill?

With shared hosting, maintenance and security are handled for you. Shared hosting offers ease of installation and 24/7 customer support.

2. What is your budget?

Shared hosting costs very little to get started and is great for beginners and sites with low traffic volume.

3. What features do you need?

Many shared plans offer a variety of features and addons for you to set up your site and have it run smoothly from the start.

4. Is the dashboard easy to use?

Dashboards should be easy to use and not leave you banging your head. Find one that works for you. Don't be afraid to try them on for size.

5. How big is your website/traffic?

Based off your traffic volume, you will be able to determine a lot right from the beginning. If you are a massive online store and have many visitors to your site or you expect your site to grow rapidly, a basic shared hosting plan will not work for your website.

6. What resources will your site require?

This is a key question based off what type of site you are wanting to set up or have and the amount of traffic the site will receive.

7. Are their any restrictions to the hosting plan?

Look closely at what is included versus what is an add on. What are the limits on bandwidth, storage, emails or security. Knowing your needs will help you decide if you need limits or not.

Shared hosting has the largest user base because of two things: unrivaled affordability and being incredibly user friendly. Selecting a shared hosting provider and plan does not have to be hard. Whether you are a blogger, small business or web developer, take the time to learn about what is offered and if it fits your website's needs. Continue reading below about how shared hosting is great for variety of sites such as WordPress.

Best WordPress Hosting Company

Best WordPress Hosting Company

So you have a WordPress site and you are ready to host it, but with who? Well we have that all figured out for you. Below we have compiled a list of five, each one being the best WordPress hosting company in its own right.

Bluehost

Known as the official WordPress hosting provider, Bluehost really hits it out of the park with a deep discount for WP users. As a WordPress user, you will get secured hosting, automatic WP install and updates and hundreds of themes to make your website unique. Along with all of that, everyone of their WordPress plans include free domain, free SSL certificate, available Microsoft 365 email account and verification on Google My Business. WordPress has recommended BlueHost since 2005 , and has partnered with them so you can build and grow your WP site effortlessly and affordably.

Pros and Cons
+ Discounted Pricing
+ Free domain and Free SSL
+ Recommended by WordPress
Support can sometimes be a little slow

HostGator

Noted as world class hosting for WordPress sites, HostGator has everything you need to host a WP site.  HostGator offers one click installation with cPanel, free domain, free SSL cert and free WordPress migration . With the Hatching plan you can get 1 website, but with the Baby plan you can have unlimited websites. You'll also have access to themes and plugins as well as free advertising and marketing credits. Deep discounts and a generous 45 day money back policy, HostGator is another great option for hosting a WordPress site.

Pros and Cons

+ Reliable, fast hosting
+ 24/7 customer support
+ Inexpensive introductory prices
+ Free site migration
Higher renewal rates

DreamHost

For over 18 years,  DreamHost has been serving over a half a million customers . For their WordPress clients they offer one click WordPress install, automatic WordPress updates and a free domain. With the power of WordPress and the easy drag and drop builder, setting up your site and getting it hosted is a breeze. In addition to those features, they also offer over 100 design blocks, a real time SEO recommender and over 200 themes to choose from to create your WordPress site. They also offer managed WP sites.

Pros and Cons

+ Good Speed
+ Free SSL cert and free domain with privacy protection
+ One click WP install
+ Recommended by WordPress
+ Free web app firewall
The control panel is somewhat outdated

SiteGround

SiteGround provides great WordPress speed and security solutions, as well as outstanding 24/7 customer support. They are recommended by WordPress themselves, and feature built-in WP caching, automatic upgrades, CDN. For the first year you can have a free domain for free.  SiteGround is optimized for WP and is top-rated in customer satisfaction . With 6 data centers in the USA, Asia, Europe and Australia they can offer location specific hosting.

Pros and Cons

+ Free SSL and great WP customer support
+ Multiple data centers
+ Free website migration
No free domain after the first year
Pricing is higher due to it being premium hosting service

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks has one click install, managed updates, and free site migration for WordPress site users. Well known in the WordPress community, GreenGeeks offers a WordPress team with expertise capable of delivering the best WordPress hosting experience possible . Built for speed, enhanced security and great for developers, GreenGeeks has got you covered when it comes to WordPress hosting.

Pros and Cons

+ Free domain and SSL cert
+ Great pricing, uptime and load speed
+ Free site migration
Renewal rates are higher

Now you may be wondering how much traffic these WordPress hosting providers can handle. Most shared WP hosting plans can easily handle 1000 to 2000 visits daily . All that to say, your website needs to optimized for performance. Also, it is important to note that most WP hosting plans do offer a professional branded email.

From our in depth review of WordPress hosting providers above, we hope it helps break down each one's capabilities. All of the web hosting companies mentioned work great with WordPress and provide solid uptime, great speed, low pricing plans and quality customer service and support.

In regards to all the hosting types, not just WordPress, there are a few more things to consider when choosing a web hosting provider and plan. Above we have discussed many things about web hosting providers and their plans. From renewal rates and types of hosting to pricing and limits, we need to take a closer look. Continue to the next section of things you needs to consider when choosing your hosting provider.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

1. High Renewal Rates and Free Domains

As you were reading above, I am quite certain you saw how the rates at renewal time were higher than the introductory monthly price. Most web hosting plan's pricing will double or even triple at the time of renewal. Rates can easily rise to $7.00 or more for a basic hosting plan that may have originally started at $3.00 a month. Although the features and performance you are receiving stay the same, the price will ultimately go up at renewal time.

So why could this be problematic for you? Well, if you sign up for a an annual or biannual plan at one price and then at renewal you forget, you will easily go from single digit to double digit monthly cost in no time. All that to say, not all providers follow this industry-standard pricing structure. Some companies have their plan's pricing stay the same from introductory to renewal.

In addition to renewal rates, free domains for the first year can cause you a surprise at renewal. What free for the first year actually means is that you will get the domain free for the first 12 months, but upon renewal you will pay the full price for the domain.  Generally domains renew anywhere from $10 to $20 annually .

2. Migrations/Site Transfers Are Not Always Free

Migrations, also called site transfers are quite common and happen. Let's say you choose a host provider and upon using them you realize you do not want to continue the service with them. Now what? This is where a migration, or rather a site transfer is needed. This is simply the movement of your site from one host to another. This transfer will involve moving the site's databases and files, a site configuration and pointing the site's domain DNS towards the new host.  The cost to migrate a website will usually cost anywhere from $150 to $400 depending on the new host .

There are some web host providers, like those mentioned above in our list, that will provide you with free transfers. Companies who charge for site transfers will often migrate more than one website for you. Migration of websites is not typically a quick thing and will take a few days. The amount of time a migration will take will depend on the receiving host provider. Some providers can take anywhere from 5 to 7 days. It's important to note that you should modify DNS entries before migration so as to save time. Your new hosting provider can do this for you.

3. Limits, Limits, Limits

When it comes to web hosting, limits are important to the life of your site. When looking at each provider and their plans, look closely at the bandwidth and storage limits. Some plans offer unmetered bandwidth in their plans along with 100GB of storage. This is typically enough for one website. Others will offer scalable bandwidth and unlimited storage. There are a plethora of combinations, and if you are concerned about bandwidth and storage look to hosts such as Bluehost, SiteGround, HostGator or GreenGeeks for unmetered plan options.

Emails are another feature that may come with limits. Many of the hosting plans in our list above include a free email account, however some will only provide an email account free for the first year. As we learned earlier though, at renewal time you will see the full charge for that email account. If you need unlimited email accounts there are providers offering plans that will give you an unlimited number of email accounts.

4. Hosting Plans for Site Growth

As noted previously, web hosting providers offer their clients various types of hosting. Every provider will usually have an array of plans to choose from. Whether VPS, shared, cloud, or dedicated, you will be able to find what you need for your site. But what happens when your site grows, and you now have higher traffic. That basic shared hosting plan will no longer fit your site's needs. Let's take a look at hosting plans below to better understand each one's capabilities.

Shared Plan – If your website doesn’t get much traffic, this is the best place to start. Plenty of bandwidth, good uptime and speed will have your site running smoothly for when you first start out.

VPS Plan – Although VPS plans are similar to shared hosting plans in regards to load speed and uptime, it provides more customization. You will have more options and control over your site. VPS also allows for you to scale your resources depending on your site's needs as it grows.

Managed WordPress Plan – A managed WordPress hosting plan is great for WP sites with high traffic numbers. These plans cover essentially the same web hosting features as a general hosting plan, except it will focus on the best way to optimize and perform for a website that uses WordPress.

Dedicated Plan – Dedicated hosting plans come with a dedicated server. These plans are suited for high traffic, large enterprise websites. A dedicated plan, although more expensive, will provide customization that is specific to a site with high volume traffic. This will include the ability for site owners to adjust their needs as they see fit regarding their software and hardware.

Cloud Plan – Utilizing integrated computing resources, cloud hosting plans for websites will access resources of multiple servers. Essentially, all server hardware is virtual and not limited to a location of a single server. Considered somewhat of a new way to host, cloud hosting has been growing rapidly as a solid hosting solution.

With unlimited resource expansion, cloud hosting is perfect for websites that are expected to grow quickly. This type of hosting will protect your site from malfunctioning servers by switching to another server if your site shows underperformance.

Conclusion

From cloud based hosting to web hosting and everything in between, the important thing to remember is to always think about what your site's needs are as well as your own. If you are a beginner who wants your site up and running as of yesterday, then a shared hosting provider and plan will most likely be what you need. But, if your site is expected to grow exponentially, then you may need cloud hosting or dedicated hosting for customization and management.

Creating a successful website is a long-term investment. We hope that our above reviews and detailed information has helped you understand the important keys of choosing a web hosting provider and plan that's right for you.


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About the author 

Tim Schmidt

Founder, Ice Cold Marketing, SkinPro, South Beach Herbals, & More

Since 2002 Tim has made his living online, from many exotic locations. Skilled in E-com, Amazon FBA, SEO, & Affiliate Marketing, Tim is also a best selling author.

MarketingCourses.com is for digital nomads, industry leaders and online business owners.

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