Every website on the Internet must be hosted on a server. The easiest way to host your site is with a web hosting service.
But choosing the best web hosting provider can be complicated if you don’t know where to start. There are different types of web hosting—like shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated server hosting.
I’ve managed hundreds of different websites throughout my career. Using my first-hand experience in addition to conducting extensive research, I’ve narrowed down the top seven web hosting services on the market today.
This guide contains an in-depth review of each hosting service, the best web hosts for certain scenarios, and our methodology for choosing the best web host for you.
The Best Web Hosting Options to Consider:
When it Makes Sense to Invest Into Web Hosting Services
Who needs a web hosting service? Everyone with a website.
If you’ve purchased a domain name or you’re ready to buy a domain and launch your site, you’ll need a web hosting service to get your website live on the web.
Some of you might already have a website, and you’re looking to switch web hosting providers. It makes sense to switch web hosts if you’re unhappy with your site’s performance, and you’re getting poor support from the hosting provider.
For those of you who are just thinking about starting a website, but haven’t finalized your decision yet, you can hold off on web hosting until you’re ready to proceed.
#1 – Bluehost Review — The Best Overall Web Hosting Provider
More than two million websites across the globe trust Bluehost for web hosting. It’s one of the most popular and reputable hosting providers on the market today.
Bluehost has exceptional 24/7 customer support via phone or live chat. This can be a life-saver if you’re having problems or need some assistance.
Bluehost offers shared hosting plans, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers as well. The shared plans will be the best option for those of you starting a new website from scratch.
It’s also worth noting that Bluehost is recommended by WordPress as a top hosting provider for that CMS. This hosting provider will automatically install the latest WordPress version when you sign up. You’ll also benefit from automatic WordPress updates to keep your hosting secure.
Here’s a quick overview of the shared hosting prices and plan names:
- Basic — $3.95 per month (renews at $7.99)
- Plus — $5.95 per month (renews at $10.99)
- Choice Plus — $6.95 per month (renews at $14.99)
- Pro — $13.95 per month (renews at $23.99)
Bluehost is extremely affordable, but there is a catch. To get the lowest introductory rates, you’ll need to commit to a 36-month contract and pay upfront in-full. VPS hosting and dedicated servers start at $19.99 per month and $79.99 per month, respectively.
All plans come with a free domain for one year, free SSL certificate, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
#2 – DreamHost Review — The Best For Month-to-Month Plans
DreamHost powers more than 1.5 million websites. As another top hosting recommendation of WordPress, the hosting provider has done over 750,000 WordPress installations.
Like most web hosts, DreamHost has a wide range of hosting options for you to consider. They offer shared hosting, VPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, dedicated server hosting, and cloud hosting. But the shared hosting plans are definitely the most popular.
In addition to its compatibility with WordPress, DreamHost has a one-click installer for Joomla and other CMS platforms that you might be using.
DreamHost has a custom control panel, award-winning 24/7 support, and a 100% uptime guarantee.
Let’s take a closer look at DreamHost’s pricing options. The following rates are based on an annual contract:
- Shared Starter — $2.59 per month
- Shared Unlimited — $3.95 per month
- DreamPress — $16.95 per month
- DreamPress Plus — $24.95 per month
- DreamPress Pro — $71.95 per month
VPS plans and dedicated servers start at $13.75 and $149 per month, respectively.
DreamHost is an appealing option for new websites that don’t want to lock in a long term contract. In addition to the affordable annual rates, DreamHost has month-to-month hosting plans starting at just $4.95 per month. You won’t find a better monthly rate from such a reliable host anywhere else on the market today.
The hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate and a free WordPress migration. Although I’ve seen mixed reviews on the simplicity of migrating to and from DreamHost.
#3 – HostGator Review — The Best For Scaling on a Budget
HostGator is another well-known name in the web hosting industry. It’s a popular choice for new websites and small businesses.
This award-winning web host has 24/7 phone and live chat support, a 99.9% uptime promise, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
HostGator offers shared hosting plans, VPS hosting, WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers. But the cloud hosting services provided by HostGator are arguably the brand’s biggest standout.
Compared to the shared plans, HostGator Cloud is up to two times faster and four times more scalable. With just one click, you can ramp up your resources on-demand without any downtime, reboots, or data migrations.
This is an excellent option for smaller websites that are growing quickly and want a hosting service that can scale with them.
There are three different cloud hosting plans offered by HostGator:
- Hatchling Cloud — Starting at $4.95 per month
- Baby Cloud — Starting at $6.57 per month
- Business Cloud — Starting at $9.95 per month
These rates are affordable for any business. If you compare these to the HostGator shared hosting rates, you’ll see that prices are very reasonable.
- Hatchling Shared — $2.75 per month
- Baby Shared — $3.95 per month
- Business Shared — $5.95 per month
Like most web hosting providers, the advertised rates are only for the introductory offer, and you’ll need to commit to a long-term contract to get the lowest possible price.
For example, the entry-level shared plan starts at $2.75 per month with a 36-month contract. The plan renews at $6.95 per month. If you wanted that same plan, but on a month-to-month basis, it costs $10.95 per month.
HostGator also offers one year free for domain registration on select annual plans.
#4 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best For Speed
A2 Hosting is best known for having the fastest web hosting speeds in the industry.
With every hosting type (shared, VPS, dedicated), A2 Hosting edges out other web hosts in terms of speed. So for those of you looking for the fastest site loading speeds, this will be a top option to consider.
A2 Hosting has a 99.9% uptime commitment, free automatic backups, and an industry-leading anytime money-back guarantee.
This web host offers simple one-click installations for the most popular CMS platforms on the market—WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento. It’s also compatible with OpenCart ecommerce software.
For WordPress users, A2 Hosting has both shared and managed WordPress hosting options for you to consider.
Here’s a closer a look at some of the introductory pricing rates from A2 Hosting:
- Shared Hosting — Starting at $3.92 per month
- VPS Hosting — Starting at $5.00 per month
- Reseller Hosting — Starting at $9.80 per month
- Dedicated Server — Starting at $99.59 per month
In addition to the blazing-fast speeds, A2 Hosting also has exceptional customer support. They are available 24/7/365 via phone, email, and live chat. For those of you looking to switch to A2 Hosting from another web host, you’ll benefit from a free account migration as well.
A2 Hosting has one month, 12-month, 24-month, and 36-month plan options. To save some money, the long-term contracts provide the best rates. But you’ll need to pay upfront in-full.
#5 – Hostinger Review — The Best For Cheap Hosting Plans
Hostinger may not be as well known as some of the other web hosting providers on our list. But if you’re looking for a reputable web hosting service at the lowest possible price, Hostinger should be at the top of your list.
The entry-level plans start at just $0.99 per month.
Keep in mind; these are promotional rates. They’ll increase upon renewal. But with that said, the renewal rates still beat the promotional pricing for other web hosting providers.
For a single site, you can lock in $0.99 for 48 months. That’s right—$47.52 for four years of web hosting. Then renew at just $2.15 per month.
Hostinger does offer cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and WordPress hosting plans. However, I’d only recommend Hostinger to websites looking for a cheap shared plan. You can get better performance elsewhere if you need additional resources. Unlike other web hosts on the market today, Hostinger does not offer dedicated hosting.
The best part about using Hostinger is that it doesn’t feel like you’re getting cheap service.
We’ve all tried to cut corners and save some money at one point or another in our lives. In many instances, we end up regretting it. But Hostinger is still a very good web host.
They do have a handful of annoying upsells, but it’s not that bad compared to other services.
Hostinger has 24/7/365 support via live chat, easy setups, a user-friendly control panel, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
#6 – InMotion Review — The Best For VPS Hosting
InMotion is far from a household name. But it’s an exceptional web hosting provider with top of the line technology, a wide range of hosting plans, and thousands of happy customers.
If you’re looking for a reliable and dependable web host, InMotion is a company that you can trust. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have been certified by CNET for 17 years.
They have a 99.9% uptime rate and a 90-day money-back guarantee. Here’s a closer look at some of the other top features and benefits of InMotion:
InMotion offers shared hosting rates starting as low as $6.39 per month.
But for those of you who have outgrown shared hosting and need to upgrade, I’d recommend InMotion as a top consideration for VPS hosting.
- VPS-1000HA-S — $29.99 per month
- VPS-2000HA-S — $49.99 per month
- VPS-3000HA-S — $83.99 per month
If you’re looking for a cheap web host, InMotion is not for you. While these VPS plans are a bit more expensive compared to some of the other rates we’ve seen in this guide, the performance is unmatched.
These plans are ideal for larger websites and ecommerce sites with higher volumes of traffic. InMotion will provide you with the resources needed to ensure your site runs smoothly.
You’ll have optional root access, unlocked CPU cores, cPanel & WHM, free site migrations, and the ability to choose your own data center.
If you’ve outgrown your shared web hosting service and need to upgrade to a reliable VPS, InMotion should be at the top of your list.
#7 – SiteGround Review — The Best For Customer Support
Alongside Bluehost and Dreamhost, SiteGround is the third web host recommended by WordPress. Free WordPress installation and automatic WordPress updates come standard with each shared hosting plan.
More than two million domains are hosted via SiteGround, making it one of the most popular web hosting services on the market today.
SiteGround offers shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting, managed WooCommerce hosting, reseller plans, cloud hosting, and enterprise hosting solutions.
If you value exceptional customer support, SiteGround will be a top choice for you to consider.
In addition to the phone, live chat, and ticket support, SiteGround customers have a 99.7% happiness rating. This provider is an industry leader in terms of customer satisfaction.
The one downside of SiteGround is its pricing. Like most web hosting services, the introductory rates are lower than the renewal rates. But SiteGround nearly quadruples renewals after the promotional period expires. Since the promotional rates change so frequently, here’s a look at the normal prices:
- StartUp — $11.95 per month
- GrowBig — $19.95 per month
- GoGeek — $34.95 per month
You can try StartUp for three months at just $0.99 per month. The plan renews at 50% of the regular rate. To get the best bang for your buck, you can lock in a 36-month contract for as low as $5.95 per month when you pay in-full.
The GoGeek plan is a popular choice for developers. It comes with extra tools and resources that you’ll find extremely helpful if you know your way around the backend of a website. This plan can also accommodate roughly 100,000 monthly visits.
But most starter websites and small business sites will be fine with StartUp or GrowBig. Those can handle about 10,000 and 25,000 monthly visitors, respectively.
Methodology For Choosing The Best Web Hosting Service
Now that you’ve had a chance to check out the top web hosts on the market, it’s time to determine the best option for your website.
This is the methodology that we used when evaluating the potential choices for this guide. I’ll explain the specific considerations that must keep in mind during your search. Use this resource to weigh everything accordingly based on your personal needs.
The first thing you need to do is determine what type of web hosting you want. Generally speaking, these are the options that you’ll have:
These are entry-level plans made for new websites and sites with low volumes of traffic. They are cheaper, but you’ll be sharing server resources with other websites. If another site on the same server gets a huge traffic spike, it can impact the performance of your website.
VPS stands for “virtual private server.” Like shared hosting, multiple sites will be on the same server. However, you’ll have dedicated resources that improve performance. It’s not quite the same as a dedicated server, but it’s an affordable option for websites that are outgrowing shared hosting.
Cloud hosting has recently become a popular alternative to VPS hosting. Rather than your server resources living on one virtual server, they are split across multiple cloud servers. Cloud hosting is resilient to traffic spikes and downtime. If one server in your cloud network goes down, the others can keep your site up and running.
As the name implies, a dedicated server is just for you. You’ll have complete control over all of your server settings and won’t be impacted by other websites. Dedicated hosting is expensive and overkill for the majority of websites. That’s why I didn’t go into much detail about this type of hosting in the reviews above.
I’d recommend shared hosting to any website with less than 50,000 visitors per month. Once you get above that threshold, you can consider upgrading to a VPS or cloud plan.
Uptime is arguably the most important element to consider when evaluating a web hosting service. If people can’t access your site because it’s down, it could be detrimental to your business.
Most web hosts promise a 99.9% uptime guarantee, or something along those lines. But you can’t always take their word at face value. In many cases, this promise just means that they’ll credit your account if they fail to deliver. There are also lots of stipulations in there about planned downtimes and circumstances out of the host’s control.
You want your website to be as fast as possible. This is especially true for ecommerce websites and sites trying to drive conversions.
As we previously mentioned, the type of hosting plan you have will impact your speed. But the hosting provider you choose will also have a significant impact on this crucial element.
For example, A2 Hosting has the fastest hosting speeds in the industry. So if that’s your top priority, I’d go with this option.
From a hosting perspective, there’s a direct correlation between site traffic and the performance of your website.
If you’re getting 100,000 visitors per month, you can’t expect to run your site on an entry-level shared hosting plan. The servers will crash, your site will go down, and there will be painfully low loading times.
Make sure the plan you choose can accommodate your estimated traffic volume. For growing websites, you’ll want to choose a hosting provider that can scale with you as you grow. HostGator is a top pick for these circumstances.
Price is always important when you’re evaluating anything—including web hosting services.
However, you shouldn’t choose your web host based on price alone. The majority of hosting providers out there offer enticing promotional rates. But those rates renew at prices that can be double, triple, or even quadruple your initial contract.
Expect to pay between $10 or $20 per month for a basic web hosting service upon renewal. The introductory prices will usually start for less than $5.
Avoid free web hosting at all costs. If you’re looking for a cheap plan, try Hostinger.
At some point or another, you’re going to need some help. Whether it’s tomorrow, next month, next year, or two years from now.
When that happens, you want to make sure that your web host is there to support you. The best web hosts offer 24/7/365 support through multiple communication channels.
Other top indicators of good support include free migration features and managed services.
Web hosting is the backbone of your website’s performance. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to evaluate the best web hosting service for your needs.
At a quick glance, we recommend Bluehost as our top overall pick. But for those of you with unique needs and circumstances, you can find an alternative option using this guide.