It's time for a web hosting post, in which we'll tell you about the best hosting providers around the world. There are thousands of hosting services to compare. Then how do you choose the best web hosting provider for your business?
These services offer different performance levels, functionality, ease of use, and pricing – not to mention additional discounts and savings at checkout.
So, in this post, I will also try to show you a different type of affiliate marketing. Most affiliate marketers are great at promoting services and products they know nothing about. For them, the best web hosting provider has the highest sales commission (i.e., Bluehost).
In our case, when the Internet is full of lousy customer reviews about a provider’s customer support, performance, and practices, we will classify them among the ones to avoid.
I would much rather be an expert reviewer than a person who tries to convince you that black is white.
Top Web Hosting Providers: Must-have features
Firstly, we won’t consider features like built-in CDN or WordPress and WordPress plugin updates advantage in this post unless they offer something extraordinary and actually save you money.
In most cases, you will still pay for the built-in CDN, and WordPress and plugin updates are part of WordPress. All web hosting providers typically allow WordPress and plugin updates. If they don’t, they have no place on this list.
Most businesses use Cloudflare Pro, Business, or Enterprise to get the CDN part out of the way. We use Cloudflare too, and it also offers a WordPress plugin, so we will not focus on built-in CDNs or “Cloudflare integrations.”
That is unless a premium Cloudflare subscription is included in the hosting plan.
Furthermore, we will not consider unmetered connections on shared hosting a feature. On the contrary, I would say that bandwidth limitations are a detriment to the hosting provider on cheap shared plans. Unlimited bandwidth should be the default in all shared plans, and bandwidth limitations only make sense on more premium plans.
What to look for in Hosting Providers
In hosting, performance, scalability, uptime, and highly qualified and available support and administration teams are the features that matter. Along with easy staging to apply website updates effortlessly.
Back in 2020, I started this website on WordPress.com. I soon realized that was a mistake, and I overpaid for features that other providers provide out of the box. At that point, I knew I would have to switch my hosting provider at the end of my one-year business, but I was pleased with WordPress.com.
So, eleven months into the plan, we have already moved to Cloudways, as I am a big fan of cloud hosting and vertical scaling. Simultaneously, in July 2021, Borderpolar went from 50,000 users per month to 300,000 users per month.
WordPress.com could not handle that much traffic, but we experienced no downtime. Instead, we experienced considerable bumps in page load speed, and we started losing positions in Google SERP.
The issue was primarily visible in developing countries, but our homepage ended up having a 7-minute page load time. WordPress.com did not inform me of the situation, so we wasted a significant amount of time before making the switch.
But all WordPress.com could offer was a transition to their VIP plan for $2,000/month. No thanks. I’ve had enough overpaying, and I don’t want Borderpolar’s audience overpaying.
So, I won’t necessarily recommend the cheapest options in this list, but the most reliable ones. In essence, you will save money by not wasting it.
The Performance aspect
Bad hosting performance leads to bad UX and as Brian from Woorkup called it, having a bad hosting provider is like having a car with a slow engine. No matter what other optimizations you do, they won't be enough.
I believe I have done a solid job in terms of performance for Meta Game Guides with the help of both Brian's and Tom Dupuis' articles on performance optimization.
A premium hosting provider, like Kinsta, will even go as far as offering features like server-side redirects instead of WordPress level redirects to enhance performance. This is a feature we don't get with Cloudways' VULTR High Frequency infrastructure.
If you really want to avoid sacrificing conversions and UX I recommend studying the above two articles as you will get actionable info to improve your site's speed, and many tips on what to avoid (aka page builders, shared hosting, RocketCDN, and more).
The Support Aspect
Typically, higher-quality hosting providers will resolve your major issues in a matter of minutes or prevent them from even occurring in the first place. All my requests on support chat with Cloudways have been resolved within minutes, with a few very complex ones being escalated to tickets that are resolved in 24-48 hours. Anything else equates to bad hosting.
The Uptime Aspect
Meta Game Guides has 100% uptime. Anything else is not acceptable as it loses me money. 99.9% uptime won't cut it, especially if the hosting provider takes several minutes or hours to bring the server back online (read DreamHost, WordPress.com).
Is Cloud Hosting the Way to Go Then?
Not necessarily. If you are targeting hundreds of thousands of visitors or even millions, as we do, I believe it is. But this is not the case for small businesses or micro-blogging.
Regardless, I have encouraged readers to use Cloudways if they want a premium web hosting provider, even at a small or medium scale, or Kinsta if they aim for large-scale and enterprise solutions.
They are both cloud-hosting providers, and while Cloudways provides multiple cloud platforms, Kinsta only uses Google Cloud (arguably the best cloud platform).
Cloud hosting can be very affordable too, starting as low as $10/month. Meta Game Guides requires $100/month at the moment (Cloudways//VULTR High Freq) and it will move to around $300/month by Q3 of 2022.
To give you an idea of what this means, we generate money in less than a day, so proportionally, our hosting costs are minimal. We are also very much willing to move to Kinsta in the future; however, by that time, we will need a custom hosting plan since a single server won't be enough for the website.
Shared hosting is still the best affordable option
Our list will mostly contain providers that focus on shared hosting services. Consequently, they will not be the fastest, targeting reliability, support, and ease of use.
Even VPS and cloud hosting can be overkill for most people, let alone dedicated hosting. At the same time, most hosting providers should handle a single medium-size website on an appropriately performant server.
I believe that Cloud hosting will replace shared web hosting in the future. As cloud hosting plans become more affordable, it becomes more viable for any website hosting.
Is this post limited to Web Hosting recommendations?
No. I will try to get discount coupons from all the web hosting providers we are affiliated with and are among the top picks.
What is the Best Web Hosting Provider?
An ideal web hosting service should provide reliable site speed, security features, availability, ease of use, and integrations that your website needs.
However, there is no perfect shared web hosting provider as you share resources with other clients. Hosting companies generally offer steep discounts during introductory periods, making getting started easy.
There is always the option to hop from one provider to another each time your first 1, 2, or 3-year plan expires. But this is something you will have to evaluate in the future.
I don’t like this practice for my blog because it can affect performance and reliability. That’s why I went premium before the end of my first year as a blogger.
My favorite pick for shared web hosting (i.e., most website beginners start with) is a single one.
DreamHost is the most reliable shared hosting provider for one reason that overshadows all the others. Most hosting providers on our list offer 30-day money-back guarantees.
DreamHost offers a 91-day money-back guarantee limited to their shared hosting plans. Meanwhile, I don’t believe the 30-day money-back guarantees most providers offer are enough. But 91 days might be enough.
So, I consider DreamHost the best because they give you three months to ditch them.
Before we get down to the list of hosting providers, let’s first look at their TrustPilot and BBB scores.
Web Hosting TrustPilot and BBB Ratings & Customer Reviews
I believe TrustPilot and BBB ratings can give potential customers a good indication of a web hosting provider’s competence. Many positive reviews on TrustPilot are from direct invites from the hosting provider or even fake reviews. Still, it is essential to study the negative customer reviews and evaluate their relevance and validity.
No matter how you see it when there are hosting providers with a score of 4.5+, you have to worry about those scoring below 4.0.
Whatever I or any other affiliate marketer tells you, I highly recommend avoiding any web hosting provider with a score lower than 4.0. However, I could make an argument that even 4.0 is too low considering how critical web hosting is for your business.
While I have included many hosting providers in this list for completeness, please note that I recommend avoiding the following providers based on their scores or lack of enough reviews.
- Bluehost (really bad reviews – you can also read our detail Bluehost review).
- HostGator (not enough reviews and bad score – Owned by Newfold Digital (owned by EIG), the same company that owns Bluehost)
- InMotion (not enough reviews and bad score).
- HostPapa (not enough reviews).
- GoDaddy (suspiciously large amount of reviews).
- Namecheap – EasyWP (keep away – most of the reviews on TrustPilot are fake).
- iPage (also owned by Newfold Digital, the same company that owns Bluehost – also bad reviews).
Read below for my recommendations of web hosting providers.
|Hosting Provider||TrustPilot Score||BBB Rating||BBB Customer Reviews|
|A2 Hosting||4.2 (1,205 reviews)||A+||4.32/5 (139 reviews)|
|AccuWeb Hosting||4.1 (77 reviews)||A+||No reviews|
|Bluehost||3.2 (1,681 reviews)||A+||1.06/5 (121 reviews)|
|Cloudways (Malta)||4.8 (1,100 reviews)||N/A||N/A|
|DreamHost||4.8 (2,072 reviews)||A+||1/5 (5 reviews)|
|GoDaddy||4.0 (20,379 reviews)||A+||1.13/5 (267 reviews)|
|GreenGeeks||3.9 (418 reviews)||A+||4.71/5 (78 reviews)|
|HostGator||3.5 (1,402 reviews)||A+||1.06/5 (121 reviews)|
|HostPapa||4.0 (465 reviews)||A+||3.44/5 (36 reviews)|
|Hostinger (Lithuania)||4.3 (2,565 reviews)||N/A||N/A|
|InMotion Hosting||3.6 (392 reviews)||A+||1.93/5 (14 reviews)|
|Kinsta||4.6 (432 reviews)||A-||No reviews|
|Liquid Web||4.5 (484 reviews)||A+||No reviews|
|Namecheap||4.4 (9,528 reviews)||D-||1/5 (37 reviews)|
|Nexcess||4.3 (156 reviews)||C+||No reviews|
|SiteGround||4.7 (9,088 reviews)||A+||4.62/5 (149 reviews)|
|WebHostingPad||4.4 (27 reviews)||A+||4.2/5 (10 reviews)|
|WP Engine||4.0 (177 reviews)||A||1/5 (1 review)|
At this point, I would like to mention the negativity surrounding companies that owned Newfold Digital. Thus, I honestly believe you should avoid them in general as it seems the negative reviews overwhelming outweigh the positive ones:
Don't take our word for it; just look up the reviews. Yet I feel responsible for putting hosting providers associated with this brand at the bottom of my list.
My Personal Top Web Hosting Provider Picks
Here are my personal picks for those short on time:
- Best for beginners and experimentation: Hostinger, due to their low price and good performance. Please note that this hosting provider is not US-based. Several customers have reported issues related to language limitations on the support team’s part.
- Best shared hosting to get started with blogging or small businesses: DreamHost, A2 Hosting.
- Best for eCommerce hosting: SiteGround, Nexcess.
- Best for Scalability: Cloudways, Kinsta, WP Engine.
- Best for Enterprise solutions: Cloudways, Kinsta, WP Engine.
- Best Green Energy Hosting provider: A2 Hosting.
- Best for website speed: A2 Hosting, SiteGround, Cloudways, Kinsta.
- Best for dedicated hosting: Liquid Web.
- Best money-back guarantees: DreamHost (91 days), InMotion (90 days – average reviews though).
- Best overall: Kinsta, Cloudways.
How I would start from zero as a blogger
I think this is particularly helpful for those just getting started. So, this is what I would do if I started a blog today. First, I would purchase a Cloudflare Pro subscription and WP Rocket for one site (annual license):
- Initially, I would start with DreamHost as they are cheap and reliable with decent performance and great customer support.
- When the time came for better performance, I would either upgrade my DreamHost plan, or move to A2 Hosting or SiteGround. This is an optional step as it is niche-dependent. In some cases you may need to jump straight to a large scale solution (case in hand: Borderpolar).
- At this point it’s time to move to the cloud; I would go with Cloudways as they are more affordable than Kinsta. Moreover, they have very good customer reviews and came recommended by experts. At the moment we are on step 3.
- The final step would be an optional move to Kinsta to go full Enterprise at a premium price tag. Once again, this is an optional step. In our case, we might as well come up with a custom Cloudways solution in 2022 and switch our server to AWS or Google Cloud Platform.
These are my honest recommendations, and I hope they will help you make the right decisions.
Top-Tier Hosting Providers
Managed, reliable, and performant cloud hosting for maximum scalability. The provider we currently use.
The highest praise I can give to Cloudways is that I host this blog and all of my blogs on their cloud platform. Their key feature that attracted us? Vertical scaling. With vertical scaling, you can upgrade and downgrade your subscription with a single click.
Keep in mind, though, that the Cloud Platform you choose has to support the downgrade option too. Otherwise, you will have to clone your server to downgrade your plan.
For instance, we use VULTR’s High Frequency plan, which is probably their best affordable offering, but it doesn’t allow one-click downscaling. In our case, that’s a none issue as we are only interested in upscaling.
So far we have enjoyed 100% uptime with Cloudways and VULTR and zero performance issues:
Cloudways is a robust hosting service that allows PHP developers to deploy containerized applications and other advanced features. Cloudways also supports other high-performance technologies such as Apache, Nginx, New Relic, Varnish, and Memcached, along with PHP FPM.
Adding cloud servers to an account is free of charge for all Cloudways customers. You can also set up virtual cloud servers within minutes. Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Drupal are most popular with Cloudways.
They also offer Breeze, their built-in caching plugin, but I honestly cannot recommend it over WP Rocket. Most websites have not adopted it, so it’s better to stick with the industry standard.
They also offer CloudwaysCDN, their built-in CDN solution.
However, it can get pricey if you serve large traffic volumes, so I recommend sticking with other options like Cloudflare or Rocket CDN. I use both.
Depending on the server spec and cloud provider you choose, pricing is tiered. You can start for as low as $10/month, and you can try it for free for three days. Admittedly, it is not an ideal free trial period, so I hope they extend it in the future (I have asked them to do so).
Cloudways also offers one free website migration, and based on my experience, it’s speedy and uneventful for small and medium-size websites. Our website was up and running within 36 hours.
Contrary to Kinsta and WP Engine, they don’t have a monthly max visitors restriction, and in my experience, they are among the fastest large-scale options. To give you an idea, our front page loads in 1.1s, and I’m talking about a full-blown website here, which is not 100% optimized yet.
As far as security is concerned, they offer SSL certificates with domain mapping. You will also be able to use SSH and SFTP using passwords or public keys.
To conclude, I highly recommend Cloudways to developers like me, who want more control over their website’s running services, cron jobs, caching, and security. You can also read my full Cloudways review for more insights.
Cloudways’ Best Price Offering
- Plan: Digital Ocean (1 Core, 1GB RAM, 25GB Storage, 1GB bandwidth) at $10/month
- Plan duration: monthly
- Cost: $10
- Amount Saved: N/A
Premium managed WordPress hosting, high reliability, and performance, industry-leading support.
Kinsta is the cream of the crop in terms of hosting, but the real catch is that the price tag is really premium. Other than that, if you can afford to host your business on Kinsta, you should go for it.
Kinsta was founded in 2013 in Los Angeles, California, with the sole purpose of creating the best WordPress platform in the world. The company focuses on speed, security, and stable hosting to set the industry standard for WordPress hosting.
Kinsta's cheapest plan is the Starter Plan. It will set you back $30 per month ($25 if you go for the annual plan). The plan comes with the following features:1 WordPress install, up to 20,000 site visits, a free SSL certificate, CDN, and 5 GB of storage.
Kinsta is a different beast, albeit a very pricey one.
In my experience, they go head-to-head with Cloudways in terms of speed.
What makes Kinsta standout is its expertise in managed WordPress hosting and excellent technical support. Kinsta offers 24/7 support via the Intercom widget, a live chat, and a ticket solution, and their team consists of some of the best WordPress experts worldwide.
Kinsta is ideal for medium, or large-scale businesses and agencies that aim to host multiple websites. It offers great stability and 99.9% and easy scalability options with its plan upgrades.
In essence, what you pay for here guarantees that nothing will go wrong on the host provider’s side and cost you thousands of dollars.
They also work in tandem with Cloudflare for maximum security and performance. All their plans include Cloudflare’s Business Plan, although with bandwidth limitations. The starter plan offers 50GB of CDN traffic, which is more than enough for small businesses.
Their dashboard allows you to view multiple sites simultaneously, analytics reports, manage users, and see your resource usage.
All plans include free unlimited migrations from several hosts, automatic daily backups, manual backup points, and 14-day backup retention, which goes up to 30 days on pricier plans. You also get one free premium migration with the starter plan, while other plans offer more premium migrations. These are performed by Kinsta’s engineers instead of automated software.
Overall, Kinsta is a great choice for any kind of serious business and brand.
Kinsta’s Best Price Offering
- Plan: Starter (Annual) at $25/month
- Plan duration: 12 months
- Cost: $300
- Amount Saved: $60
3. WP Engine
A premium hosting provider, ideal for Startups, businesses, and eCommerce.
WP Engine mostly targets businesses, eCommerce stores, and enterprises. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and offers managed hosting services. Scalability, security, and speed are their primary concerns.
Managed WordPress hosting is more expensive and specifically designed for WordPress websites. You are not exactly hosting your WordPress site but rather using a dedicated service.
WordPress Engine excels at site speed as they compete with companies like Kinsta and Cloudways for the top spot.
With WP Engine, you can rest easy knowing that your files are backed up daily. Their high-end business plans are also complemented by premium dedicated customer service.
As you may have guessed, WP Engine is overkill for most, but if you are looking for Enterprise hosting solutions, they are among the best.
They offer 25k visits/month for $31.50/month for one website on the Startup plan, 50GB of bandwidth, free SSL, great performance measurement tools, and premium themes.
You can also pay for automated yearly plugin upgrades and maintenance. Each single-environment license includes visual regression testing to spot and roll back any issues detected.
You can also include Cloudflare CDN in your subscription, app-layer protection, and DDoS mitigation. In essence, you can leave all the work to WP Engine and focus on expanding your brand if you can afford it.
WP Engine’s Best Price Offering
- Plan: Startup at $25.50/month
- Plan duration: Yearly
- Cost: $300.00
- Amount Saved: $60
A highly recommended provider for small and medium businesses managed WordPress and WooCommerce. Great performance and customer support.
Since 2014, SiteGround has offered to host software, and they pride themselves on their fantastic customer support. Client satisfaction was 98% in 2018, and they respond to phone calls within seconds, respond to support tickets within 10 minutes on average, and are available 24/7 via chat.
The uptime for SiteGround users in 2018 was 99.99%. Even when traffic spikes occur, their platform is extremely stable as it is built on isolated Linux containers, so your website won't be affected in most cases. Additionally, their page load times are under 750 milliseconds on real websites, which puts them right at the top tier in terms of performance.
Rather than pay for three or more years, they offer the largest discounts on one-year terms. The basic plan starts at $3.95/month (plus a $14.95 setup fee) and includes a free Let's Encrypt SSL, daily backups, and 10,000 monthly visitors.
You should definitely give SiteGround a try if you are looking to get almost everything right in most aspects.
SiteGround’s Best Price Offering:
- Plan: StartUp at $3.95/month + $14.95 setup fee
- Plan duration: 12 months
- Cost: $62.35
- Amount Saved: $81.53
A great fully managed WordPress hosting provider for eCommerce
Nexcess specializes in fully managed WordPress and hosts over 500,000 websites. They are definitely not the cheapest hosting provider you can find, but they are worth it.
Especially if you run an eCommerce Store as they have specific plans for WooCommerce and Magento. Also, they are part of Liquid Web's umbrella, and I consider Liquid Web a very trustworthy provider.
Please note that all their plans come with bandwidth and orders-per-hour limitations, starting from 3TB and 500 orders per hour, along with 30GB of storage.
In addition, all the plans come with free WordPress migrations.
Moreover, their customer support staff is always available to answer questions. There is always someone available to answer your questions via phone or live chat at any time during the day.
The following features are included: caching, backups, lazy image loading, unlimited email accounts, along with WordPress core and plugin updates. You also get one-click staging sites (for seamless website updates), a built-in CDN with 22 server locations, unlimited traffic, 24/7/365 customer support.
All plans include One-Click staging, Astra Pro, the Beaver Page Builder, IThemes Security Pro, visual regression testing, and much more. If you use these plugins, you will save a lot of money this way, along with the money you would spend on CDN.
As a result, I recommend Nexcess to those looking for full-featured eCommerce hosting solutions.
Nexcess’s Best Price Offering
- Plan: WooCommerce Starter (Annual) at $15.83/month
- Plan duration: 12 months
- Cost: $190
- Amount Saved: $38.00
6. Liquid Web
Great provider for fully managed web hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. Amazing customer support.
Liquid Web is without a doubt one of the most powerful web hosts for managed web hosting. A variety of packages comes with great features – features that will set you back quite a bit.
Liquid Web does not offer shared hosting packages. Instead, they focus on premium services.
You will find excellent dedicated and VPS hosting packages qualify it as one of the web hosting elite services. Any brand owned by Liquid Web comes with a strong guarantee of excellence and customer satisfaction.
First of all, their 24/7 customer support has an unbeatable 59-second guarantee. Their Managed WordPress hosting begins at $19.33/month if you're starting a new site. The plan comes with one website, 20GB of SSD storage, 5TB of bandwidth, free staging, and 30K backups per year.
Liquid Web excels at cloud or VPS hosting services for small or medium-sized businesses.
Liquid Web’s Best Price Offering:
- Plan: Managed WordPress Hosting – Personal (Annual) at $19.33/month
- Plan duration: 12 months
- Cost: $232.00
- Amount Saved: $116.00
Low-Tier Hosting Providers
In general, I would avoid the hosting providers below, possibly with the exception of A2 Hosting, and even then it would only be for their pricier plans. The performance hit you are going to suffer is significant and you are signing yourself up for second-tier support in most cases.
A lot of these providers tend to try to bind you to their ecosystem with custom page builders too. Keep away from those and instead focus on using a fast theme like GeneratePress Premium + Generate Blocks or Astra Pro + UAG.
I mostly use GeneratePress as you can get a lifetime license with unlimited websites, but Astra is a great alternative which I have also used in the past.
Avoid page builders like Elementor, Divi, Beaver, and Oxygen. It's the s**t that leads to cancer.
1. A2 Hosting
Speedy and reliable shared web hosting with Turbo options available.
A2 Hosting is not a bad choice at all, especially for those who want to only commit to shared hosting. However, you will have to with their pricier shared hosting plans to get a performance boost.
A2 Hosting offers solid uptime and industry-leading performance in shared hosting. A2 Hosting was established in 2001 in Ann Arbor, MI, and they target efficiency and green energy. They have a green hosting partnership with carbonfund.org to reduce the CO2 emissions of their servers, and all their servers use energy-efficient SSDs and NVMe SSDs.
If you decide to go with A2 Hosting, I highly recommend going for the Turbo Boost or Turbo Max shared plans. Both plans offer NVMe SSD storage and up to 20x faster performance. They are indeed one of the fastest shared web hosting providers out there.
The speed of a site affects rankings and bounce rate, time on page, and conversion rates. The speed of your site is one of the most important considerations when choosing a web host.
A2 Hosting also offers a wide selection of SSL certificates, including Let's Encrypt, Single-Site, Wildcard, Premium SSL, and Advanced SSL.
Like most other hosts, they offer 1-click installation of WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and other content management systems (CMS).
Additionally, they offer free migration services, SSDs on lower-cost plans. SSH, performance tuning that includes Memcached and OPcache, and 4 datacenter locations; 2 in the US, one in the Netherlands, and one in Singapore. The Turbo plans also offer HTTP/3, which is up to 20-30% faster than HTTP. They are also compatible with all versions of Cloudflare, but again, that's not an extra point.
You will also find VPS hosting plans and managed WordPress hosting plans
A2 Hosting Best Price Plan
- Plan: Lite Web Hosting at $3.92/month
- Plan duration: 36 months (3 years)
- Cost: $140.94
- Amount Saved: $146.70
The most affordable hosting provider, coming with great performance for the price. Great for beginners.
Firstly, its speed and low price make Hostinger a noteworthy hosting company. Their prices start as low as $0.99/month on this company’s paid plans currently being offered. For $66.72, you can get four years of web hosting. But there is more to Hostinger nowadays. However, you will find a lot of fake reviews for Hostinger and their support level is far from ideal, especially since most of the time you will notice a language gap with their support agents.
You will find some of the most affordable Cloud hosting plans for $9.99 on the four-year plan.
PHP, FTP, cPanel, and MySQL can be explored and learned quickly with Hostinger. It is possible to build free WordPress sites and develop your skills simultaneously by using free hosting sites and learning PHP.
The Customer Success Team is multilingual (20+ languages) and picks up live chats within two minutes, but customers have reported communication issues with their English-speaking team. Undoubtedly, they have cut some corners in terms of support to keep their prices so low.
They are also among the fastest web hosting providers, with a page load speed under 200 milliseconds and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. You will find them at the top of most shared web hosting performance lists.
Their proprietary hPanel is extremely simple and easy to use. You will also find deals frequently that offer free SSL.
With Hostinger, you can even start your blog free of charge within minutes with a free WordPress site. Additionally, you can build your website with Zyro's website builder.
Both the hPanel and Zyro are a matter of personal preference, so I suggest you try them first.
To sum up, Hostinger is an excellent choice for beginners, but I don't recommend them for small businesses. Developing free WordPress sites is a great way to improve your skills and learn at the same time.
All plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hostinger’s Best Price Offering
- Plan: Single Shared Hosting at $1.99/month
- Plan duration: 48 months
- Cost: $66.72
- Amount Saved: $388
Good performance, reliability, extremely low downtimes, generous money-back guarantee (91 days).
DreamHost is a decent shared hosting platform recommendation, primarily due to their 91-day money-back guarantee on shared hosting plans, reliability, and customer support.
My personal experience with DreamHost includes quite a lot of downtime for a small blog I run with only 2 pages, so that part was very disappointing on their cheapest plan. Due to the lack of resource isolation and scaling, even a blog with 2 visitors per month can keep being offline with shared hosting.
The 3-month money-back guarantee may help you evaluate DreamHost and whether it suits you. That's why they are so high on my list.
You also get a free domain for the first year with the 1-year or 3-year plan, free SSL included, FTP, 24/7 customer ticket support, live chat support, and phone support callbacks.
WordPress comes pre-installed, but most providers offer 1-click installations, so I don’t consider this a significant advantage.
DreamHost also offers SSD storage (limited to 50GB with the basic plan, but that is enough for most people). Both bandwidth and visits per month are unmetered, but you get a limit on the number of subdomains (5), FTP/SFTP/Shell users (6), and MySQL databases (6).
The starter plan is limited to one website, but the shared goal lifts all the above restrictions.
My experience with DreamHost has shown that their uptime is virtually 100%. They use a custom-built control panel instead of the usual cPanel you find in most hosts.
This was no issue for me, but it might be an obstacle if you are accustomed to the cPanel.
You will also get the regular automated daily backups, WordPress updates, and free automated WordPress migrations with their automated tools.
DreamHost also comes with its own website builder, but it is better to stick to vanilla WordPress. Or a website builder like Oxygen that will help you keep your Core Web Vitals intact.
In terms of speed, DreamHost is a middle-of-the-pack performer at around 300ms page load speed around the US for a small website. In my case (no CDN, no caching), their TTFB (time-to-first-byte) is lackluster, even for a small website. I believe they are worth trying out due to the 91-day money-back guarantee.
Plus, their pricing does not grow exponentially upon renewal.
DreamHost’s Best Price Offering
- Plan: Shared Starter at $2.59/mo
- Plan duration: 36 months
- Amount Saved: $99.91
Affordable managed WordPress hosting that comes with good performance.
Inmotion Hosting provides reliable web hosting, while they are among the fastest providers in the industry too.
Hosting options include shared hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), hosting using cPanel, and WordPress hosting. Additionally, you will find free tools for online sellers.
The company's plans include secure servers, hacking protection, custom firewalls, and DDoS protection.
Customers get one website, 40 GB of storage, and unlimited email addresses for $4.99/month after a 37% discount with its shared plans.
Among their best features are updates, security, and performance optimization. Security management includes both backing up data and protecting it from hackers. The optimized speed plans feature 10x speed over the average shared plans, free SSD storage, NGINX, and PHP 7 on a Cloud Linux platform.
They also offer a ludicrous 90-day money-back guarantee.
Inmotion Hosting Best Price Plan
- Plan: WordPress Hosting WP-1000S for $4.99/month
- Duration: 36 months
- Amount Saved: $108
A decent option for VPS and ASP hosting.
Hosting plans from AccuWeb Hosting include shared reseller and VPS hosting for Windows and Linux. Established in 2003, this company is based in New Jersey, NY.
As a Microsoft WebMatrix compatible hosting provider, they are an ideal hosting company due to their ASP.NET components.
A customized host, they offer fast performance, additional RAM, and add-ons. A Dedicated Server plan allows for even more customization.
In addition to the processor and RAM, you can specify the number of hard drives, the make, and model of the industry, or how fast the computer works. The features you need can be scaled up or down according to their many and what you need.
For $2.99/month, they offer a basic shared web plan, and for $10/month, they offer a VPS plan. This latter category of plans includes SSD storage and Windows Server 2016 operating systems.
Choose this option if you are looking for an affordable and reliable dedicated VPS solution.
It is a decent option and the best Green Web Hosting provider, but they still have some way to go in terms of support.
GreenGeeks is another eco-friendly web host founded in 2007 in Los Angeles that focuses on green energy. All their plans offer a 300% green energy match. To account for the energy used to power GreenGeeks' platform, the company purchases 3x wind energy credits. All plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You may want to consider GreenGeeks if you are looking for an environmentally-friendly web host. They primarily target the US and Canada as they have 2 data centers in each country and one in Amsterdam.
With their services, you get unlimited file storage and bandwidth, any number of email accounts, and overall decent performance. They also offer a built-in CDN with Cloudflare's free plan. Note that some experts suggest that Cloudflare's free plan may even reduce your page load speed.
Overall, their load times are around 500ms, with a 99.95% uninterrupted time, slightly higher than the industry standard.
They also use VPS, a container-based approach that isolates accounts and provides better shared resource management. Secure vFS will offer top-notch protection against malware and any malicious activity.
Compared to their introductory price of $2.95, their renewal fee is $9.95, but you can lock in the price for three years, just like in most other shared web hosting cases. You will also enjoy the perks of HTTP3 with them.
GreenGeek’s Best Price Offering:
- Plan: EcoSite Lite at $2.95/month
- Plan duration: 36 months
- Cost: $116.15
- Amount Saved: $225.85
A solid performer for small businesses, offering great discounts.
HostPapa offers everything a small business would need to run its website. They are an above-average company in the industry overall, with solid performance and around 99.98% uptime.
Their offerings include domain registration, 400+ business apps to connect to, CloudLinux server, free SSL certification, and a free domain for one year. They also have their own website builder if you don't want to use WordPress, free migration, and more.
You will also get 100 free email addresses on the Starter plan (unlimited on Business and Business Pro). HostPapa uses SSD storage with 100GB on the Starter plan and unlimited storage on the two pricier plans.
They also use cPanel for hosting management for those who want a familiar dashboard.
Their most popular plan is the Business Plan, available for $3.95/month.
They also offer 24/7 phone, ticket, and live chat support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
HostPapa is a solid option for most small businesses.
HostPapa’s Best Price Offering
- Plan: Business at $3.95/month
- Plan duration: 36 months
- Cost: $142.20
- Amount Saved: $396
Good speed for the price, 45-day money-back guarantee, and free ad credits. Multiple customer complaints. Owned by EIG.
HostGator is a hosting company based in Houston that currently hosts over 9 million websites. With prices starting at $2.78/month on 36-month plans and savings of 30-60%, they are one of the cheapest options available. Their starting price can go down to $2.08/month as they run offers frequently.
Their average speed clocks a bit higher than 500ms, so they are not too shabby for the price tag, especially in the US. They also hit a 99.93% uptime, slightly lower than the industry average of 99.94%.
HostGator offers free 1-year domain registration and SSL certification, as most providers do, and a free website builder. Once again, I’m not big on proprietary website builders.
What I like about them are their free Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising credits offerings. They offer $150 Google Ads spend match credit and $100 Microsoft Advertising credit on all plans.
You also get free email on all plans.
Note that the catch with companies that offer low-cost or free email accounts is that your emails will probably end up in someone’s spam folder.
Customer support is available 24/7 by email, live chat, or phone, but their support has received a lot of criticism.
Hatchling, Baby, and Business are the three main plans offered by the company. Plans on the higher tiers include dedicated IP addresses and tools to grow your online presence.
HostGator’s 45-day money-back guarantee does not reach DreamHost’s standards, but it’s still better than what most hosting providers offer.
Overall, HostGator offers decent performance, uptime, and features, but the amount of negative reviews and dissatisfied clients leads me to put it at the bottom of this list.
HostGator’s Best Price Offering:
- Plan: Hatchling at $2.78/month
- Plan duration: 36 months
- Cost: $100.08
- Amount Saved: $150.12
No free migration, great toolchain, below-par performance, good support. Possibly fake TrustPilot reviews.
I have placed GoDaddy so low because they just don't do well enough in terms of performance and uptime to be among the best web hosting providers. With this provider, you can choose from a range of hosting plans, from cheap shared plans to business hosting and VPS servers to dedicated servers for maximum power and control. They offer plans starting at $5.99 and can reach $89.99 per month.
Additionally, if you are moving from another hosting site to GoDaddy, you can upload website files from their servers or FTP. If your website is hacked, they also have malware scanners available to assess the damage.
In addition to SSD storage, you also get a web-based management console and multisite management. DDoS protection is included, and WordPress problems can be troubleshot using interactive walkthroughs.
Those who subscribe to an annual plan receive a domain name registration for free, as well as a staging environment for testing any changes.
GoDaddy's uptime guarantee is 99.9%, which is the industry standard for hosting providers. The hosting is available for a minimum of $15 per month, but the amount of storage available leaves a lot desired.
Their starting price of $3.66 is quite reasonable. GoDaddy purchased Media Temple in 2013, and they use it for chat, ticket, and phone support. Also, they will take care of all your site's technical issues, unlike some other hosting companies. Their team manages updates, configurations, and security patches, allowing your site to run smoothly.
You can host one website with their Economy plan, while you can host unlimited websites with their Deluxe, Ultimate, and Maximum programs.
GoDaddy’s Best Price Offering:
- Plan: Economy at $5.99/month
- Plan duration: 36 months
- Cost: $215.64
- Amount Saved: $108
What is the Best Cheap Web Hosting Provider?
My favorite picks for cheap web hosting are Hostinger and HostGator, as they maintain good performance even at a low cost. However, I have ranked the best cheap web hosting providers below exclusively based on cost.
Keep in mind that except for DreamHost, there will be a significant bump in prices upon renewal. In that regard, Hostinger stands out as they offer a low-cost plan for 4 years instead of 3.
By that time, you will have sorted your business out and know the scale and performance your website requires. Once again, keep in mind that they don't offer a money-back guarantee.
1. Hostinger Single Shared Hosting
$0.80/Month for 4 Years.
Hosting is ranked #1 on this list because of its 90% discount and $0.80/month hosting for 48 months. With their $0.80 plan, you get one website, one email address, one MySQL database, and 10GB of disk space, as well as technical support. A great option as you still get great performance.
Total cost: $38.40 for 48 months
2. Dreamhost Shared Starter
$2.59/month for 36 months.
Dreamhost stands out from the other cheap options because their renewal fees are similar to your intro offer. Additionally, they upgraded this plan to include a free domain name, which costs $9.95/year. In addition, you get unlimited traffic and bandwidth, SSD storage, and WordPress pre-installed. The site is also faster than average, coming in under 750 milliseconds.
Total cost: $93.24 for 36 months
3. HostGator Cloud Hatchling Plan
$2.78/Month for 36 Months.
The Hatchling Plan offers excellent performance for a cheaper host, with 99.98% uptime and load times under 450 milliseconds. You get one website, unlimited bandwidth and disk space, technical support, and a $100 Google/Bing Ads credit. I don’t really recommend HostGator, but they are cheap, just like their sibling below.
Total cost: $100.08 for 36 months
4. Bluehost Basic Shared Hosting
$3.95/Month for 36 Months.
Their support and performance are not ideal, their uptime can be below par, but they still offer one of the most affordable long-term plans.
As part of their Basic Plan, you get one domain, five parked domains, 25 subdomains, 50 GB SSD storage, and standard performance features.
Total Cost: $142.20 (interestingly enough, that's the same price as HostGator)
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows websites to host resources on the internet and make them available globally. Servers are purchased or leased from data centers connected to the Internet and sold for space.
Normally, web servers in data centers host multiple websites. Operating system settings differ depending on whether you have shared hosting, dedicated hosting, or a virtual private server.
Websites are just a collection of static files – HTML files, CSS files, images, and so on. The data is stored on a computer connected to the Internet in a folder. A “server” is a computer that lets users access files when they visit it, i.e., serves the files.
To go live on the web, you must have a domain name and a hosting account to build a website. You can purchase an add-on domain if you don't already own one.
The domain registrar and hosting company can be different entities. By editing the DNS records, you would point your domain to your web host. Should you purchase your domain name and website hosting from the same provider, you will not need to change the domain settings.
Every time you move to a new host, you will need to update the domain registrar so that your domain (e.g., metagameguides.com) will point to your new server’s IP. This is a straightforward process.
What is the Fastest Website Hosting?
Your website's speed is a major factor to consider when choosing a hosting plan. Your hosting service might handle your regular traffic well, but what if you hit your favorite day and your traffic spikes? Some plans can't cope with that level of stress. Picking the fastest hosting requires consideration of several factors.
The following are my recommendations for the fastest hosting services, but always conduct an in-depth analysis before selecting one that will be fast for both your site and your audience:
- A2 Hosting Turbo & Turbo Max
- Liquid Web
- InMotion Hosting
- WP Engine
Do I need a CDN?
Another factor that affects speed is the server location. Often overlooked, CDNs ensure that the server you choose is near your audience's location, reducing latency and page load speed.
They also allow you to run JS asynchronously or even defer its execution to eliminate render-blocking code elements.
A fast website typically relies on three things; good web hosting, good CDN performance, and good caching plugins.
What Are the Different Types of Web Hosting?
1. Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is the latest trend in web hosting. It uses virtual servers in data centers of large cloud platforms to store your files in the cloud rather than on a single server. This type of hosting is great for security and reliability, as your website won't go down if one server goes down. At the same time, cloud platforms (Amazon, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, VULTR, Linode) set the industry standards in terms of security.
Cloud hosting plans stand out as they are pay-as-you-go; you only pay for the resources you actually use.
The other huge advantage of cloud hosting is vertical scalability. You can upscale your site with more virtual server resources as your traffic grows – usually with one click.
This flexibility that comes with cloud hosting allows you to increase bandwidth as your online business scales incrementally or even handle temporary traffic spikes. However, note that you cannot upscale to infinity, so eventually, you may end up needing a custom solution.
2. Shared Web Hosting
In shared web hosting, multiple websites coexist on the same server, sharing resources, making it a very cost-effective type of hosting for both the web hosting providers and clients. Consequently, it is one of the most popular and affordable hosting options available.
Performance may suffer since this hosting is on a server with other websites, and you share limited resources. This type of hosting is good for starters as low-traffic websites won’t notice that much performance hit unless the server goes down. However, there are cases in which web hosting providers stuff too many sites in one server, and that's where things can go really wrong.
3. VPS Hosting
A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine sold by an Internet hosting service. The virtual dedicated server (VDS) also works in a virtualized environment, but some CPU cores are dedicated, unlike VPS.
Customers have supervisory access to their own copy of an operating system (OS) in a virtual private server. They can install almost any software that the OS supports, as everything runs on a virtual machine.
You can think of it as the software counterpart of a dedicated physical server and, being software-defined, can be created and configured much more easily.
A virtual server costs much less than an equivalent physical server. However, as virtual servers share the underlying physical hardware with other VPSes, performance may be lower, depending on the workload of any other executing virtual machines. So you get your piece of server space, and there are fewer other websites sharing resources.
VPS hosting is a bit pricier than shared hosting, but you get more resources and the option to scale your website as your traffic grows. Moreover, your website won't be affected by traffic spikes others encounter as much as you would with shared hosting. Finally, the isolated environment for each VPS server is more secure than shared web hosting.
You can consider VPS hosting the middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
4. WordPress Hosting
Web hosting optimized for WordPress is known as WordPress hosting.
Using a WordPress host will receive many tools and services specifically designed for WordPress sites. WP hosting services differ in their features but often include one-click installation, automatic updates, and support staff specializing in WordPress.
5. Dedicated Server Hosting
With dedicated server hosting, you lease an entire server and manage web hosting yourself. This is a premium option ideal for companies and organizations that want full control over their hosting.
One drawback is that you may run into issues if you don't have the technical knowledge to manage and run your server. You'll either have to suffer website downtime or hire an expert to fix your problems. In general, this is oriented toward tech-savvy individuals or businesses with administration teams.
6. Reseller Web Hosting
Developers and digital agencies can resell white-labeled hosting on plans that they own through reseller web hosting. You can resell hosting to your clients at a fixed price each month by purchasing a high-tier hosting plan.
Siteground and WP Engine offer reseller plans with a management panel, billing software, and automated reports.
7. Ecommerce Hosting
With e-commerce hosting, self-hosted eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify will host your entire site for you. Additionally, if you're using WordPress, you could pay for an official hosting site like Hostinger and then add an e-commerce plugin like WooCommerce or BigCommerce for WordPress.
8. Colocation Web Hosting.
Colocation hosting refers to a type of service offered by a data center. The data center leases physical space and houses servers while caring for the physical housing infrastructure, involving cooling and an uninterrupted power supply. The clients own all hardware and software, and they claim full control over the servers. Security for the server environment is the responsibility of the storage facility and the data center.
Web Hosting FAQ
What is web hosting used for?
Web hosting is a service that stores assets on a server while providing online access to them. These assets can be a website, file storage, photo or video storage (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion), emails, among many other resources.
What is the most secure web hosting?
The most secure types of web hosting are VPS hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated server hosting, with VPS hosting being the less secure of the three options. Cloud platforms offer a high-security standard while running your website on a single server exclusively can be the most secure option with the appropriate provider.
Is WordPress a web host?
No, WordPress (WordPress.org) is a content management system that allows the easy creation of websites and blogs. WordPress.com, however, is a web hosting provider (a shady but smart practice).
How many types of hosting are there?
There are six types of popular web hosting at the moment:
- Shared Hosting: Ideal for websites with low traffic.
- Managed Hosting: A good alternative for users who want to delegate more technical tasks to experts.
- VPS Hosting: Quite simply, this is the best option for websites that have outgrown shared hosting.
- Cloud Hosting: Ideal for websites that are growing rapidly and need scalability.
- Dedicated Hosting: Useful when you need complete control of a large website.
- Colocation Hosting: This is the most expensive option, which provides complete control over the hardware and software for your business.
Can I host my own website?
You must use a Windows or Linux computer to host your website. Towards that, you must add your static HTML and CSS files into a folder, and upload them using an SSH or SFTP tool like FileZilla. However, you should not take this route as it brings many security and performance challenges and requires expertise.
What are hostnames and IP addresses?
A hostname identifies a device connected to a computer network on the worldwide web. Separated from a host label by a “dot” or a period, they are part of the DNS system. Hostnames are defined by Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which are the numerical value of the device. These two work together to serve up and manage all websites online.
What is the difference between domain and hosting?
Web hosting is an account on a server that stores website files on the Internet. In contrast, a top-level domain (TLD) is a leased readable word (for example, Google.com). The TLD sends users to an IP address using a DNS server to match the TLD to the corresponding server IP.
What is the difference between a server and a host?
The server is a hardware device (a computer) that stores and manages files in a network. A host is a service provider that provides the technology and infrastructure needed for server files to be viewed on a computer through the Internet.
What does “localhost” mean?
The term “localhost” refers to the local computer on which a program runs. A local computer has an IP address of 127.0.0.1 – it is a “loopback” address that routes information back to the local machine.
Can Google host my website?
No. Google is a search engine, not a web hosting company. On the other hand, you can host your website on the Google Cloud Platform directly or via managed cloud hosting providers such as Cloudways, Kinsta, or WP Engine.
What is the cost of using WordPress?
The WordPress software is free and open-source.
The WordPress.com hosting provider offers free hosting, but you will have to use a wordpress.com subdomain, and they have much more control over your content than you want them to.
Can I pay someone to maintain my hosting?
Websites need routine maintenance and software updates. Many web development companies offer this service. Fiverr is my go-to place for this type of service.
Is Bluehost CodeGuard worth it?
No. You can use a freemium WordPress plugin for custom backups.
Should I use SiteLock?
In short, not really. SiteLock is a cloud-based security tool that works as a malware scanner, but you can find cheaper or even free alternatives like Wordfence in the WordPress plugin directory.
Is domain privacy worth the cost?
Domain privacy is beneficial if you want to avoid identity theft. You're risking exposing all of your sensitive information like your name, address, and phone number to anyone who looks at it without it. When you register your site with a host, you should select privacy protection if you do not want that information to be visible online.
Are Google Domains good?
Generally, Google Domains is a good registrar to work with. It is only available in a few countries, so it isn't likely to dominate the market anytime soon. However, the interface is excellent, and the domain registration process itself is very straightforward. Regardless, domain registrars offer a specific product, so you shouldn’t expect anything groundbreaking under the current technology.
Can you upgrade your hosting at any time?
Yes, at least that's the case with most hosting companies. My best advice is to avoid pre optimizing and to avoid overspending unless you can really afford it. Pay as you go, but plan.
How much does it cost to host a website for a year?
You need a domain name and hosting to run a website. On the low end, a domain name could cost just $10 per year, and you could get a low-cost plan for $2.75/month. This total cost for the year would be $43.
On the high end, if you pay for an expensive domain and a high-end hosting package, your price could be in the thousands.
Should I pay for web hosting?
Investing in your hosting service makes sense as free options are minimal and offer fewer features. Unless you pay-as-you-go for bandwidth and uptime, you may experience service interruptions.
There are many inexpensive alternatives for building your website, so investing in it and taking it seriously is vital.
Which domain is best?
Most domain and SEO experts agree that a long .com domain name is better, more memorable, and less confusing for consumers than a short domain name with a lesser-known extension.
Is shared hosting secure?
Taking the proper precautions can make shared hosting secure enough. However, if attacks on other websites impact your server, they will affect your website as well. Your site must be secured using security tools and plugins. Dedicated hosting is the best choice if you're concerned about running into issues, while VPS hosting is a good, more affordable middle ground between the two.
Can I host a website without a domain?
If you don't have a domain name, you can create a website on a free host. Generally, however, you will need to use their subdomains. For instance, if you use the free version of WordPress.com, your website will be mywebsitename.wordpress.com.
Also, WordPress.com will essentially own your content.
If you want full control over your domain and website, you should choose a paid provider. You will also avoid the risk of losing your content.
Does Google host personal websites for free?
The company does not offer a free hosting solution, but they offer a Platform As A Service (PAAS). Google's hosting platform is known as Google App Engine (GAE), which you can use to launch your own personal page at mywebsitename.appspot.com.