Finding and choosing from the best web hosting services for your website should be one of the first few steps you take when planning a new presence online. It's integral to modern business to have a website, and via the leasing of part of a web host's server resources, you can have your site hosted online, allowing you to take full advantage of the business opportunities the internet has to offer.
There are many high-quality providers, however, and there's not one single, ideal service for all business or individual needs, because what we need varies from one use case to the next. The multitude of different hosting packages available from these providers can make it even more difficult for those unfamiliar with the market to know which host, and which type of hosting, is best for them.
Deciding upon the best web hosting service will depend entirely on a series of key elements, including: the type of hosting needed; the nature of your business or individual needs; how much hosting scalability is required; and what type of ongoing support you'll need from the provider.
In this guide, we aim to help you make this important choice, and have analyzed and compared the best web hosting services and providers, as well as their hosting packages, in order for you to be confident when selecting the right host and package for you.
Bluehost's birthday sale: Shared hosting for $2.75 a month
As part of Bluehost's birthday celebrations, it's given us an exclusive deal, cutting its shared plan from $8.99 a month to just $2.75 a month (for the first term only). You get $175 in offers, 24/7 support, a free domain and website builder, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, while you can also get up to 65% off shared hosting plans too (offer ends August 2nd 2021).
The top three best web hosting services right now
Bluehost: Excellent features and inexpensive shared hosting
Shared hosting with Bluehost starts at just $3.95 a month (for a 24-month plan) with 50GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth. Sites are hosted on high-performance servers, so load speed is never an issue, and the provider's wide range of hosting packages mean it's top of our list of web hosting services.
Hostinger: The best for small and medium-sized businesses
Recommended for its excellent performance, large support knowledgebase, and easy-to-use auto installer for one-click installation of web apps, Hostinger is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses in the market for hosting. If you opt for a business hosting plan, you get a lot for your money with this provider.
InMotion Hosting: Top support and full-featured plans
Excellent customer support and well-specced plans make InMotion Hosting a top web hosting choice for both SMBs and larger businesses expecting serious web traffic volumes. Monthly, annual, or bi-annual plan pricing in turn provides a discount of around 20% for longer terms, elevating InMotion into our top three.
What makes for the best web hosting?
From our perspective, Bluehost provides the best web hosting service across features, reliability, support, and pricing right now. Its shared hosting plans start at just $3.95 a month, and managed WordPress hosting begins at $9.95 a month, while its other hosting packages are competitively priced too.
The company offers excellent scalability and multiple added features, but when specifically considering WordPress hosting, its automatic installation and ongoing support are totally worth the price.
Hostinger and InMotion easily take second and third places in our ranking, thanks to their high caliber of support, feature-stuffed pricing plans, and their focus on SMBs. They're closely followed by DreamHost, SiteGround, Namecheap, GreenGeeks, GoDaddy, and Hostwinds.
We've also included both Wix and Weebly, if you're looking for a web hosting service that doubles as a website builder, as they provide excellent value and quality across website building and web hosting.
The best web hosting services you can buy today
Bluehost has over two decades of experience in the hosting sector, and continues to maintain a stellar reputation among a crowded field. It offers shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated hosting , and managed WordPress hosting, with shared hosting plans offering unmetered bandwidth usage. Bluehost’s prices are not only reasonable, but are in alignment with the competition and reflect its excellent offerings.
It also comes with 24/7 support through phone and live chat, in the unforeseen event that you should run into a problem. While it's not the most customizable service in the market, its feature-packed plans are well configured and well supported. Its strongest selling points are speed and uptime, which are primary for any growing website, while it offers advanced and simple dashboard use for all levels of competence.
For WordPress hosting, it's absolutely top-notch, offering the most support out of the box for WordPress and WooCommerce sites, and rated as one of only three hosting companies the former has officially recommended. This instils a great deal of confidence, while its features include automatic WordPress updates, custom themes, a free domain for the first year, a free SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, and a free content delivery network.
Read our full Bluehost review to learn why we ranked it as the best web hosting service available right now.
Hostinger is home to more than 30 million customers, and it's easy to see why: its extensive online support base and 24/7 help service complement competitive pricing. Its basic shared hosting plan costs $0.99 a month for the first year, and offers 30GB of storage space. While that isn’t a lot, it’s still good for single-page websites and small businesses.
For those who want more, Hostinger offers plans across shared hosting, VPS, cloud, and email hosting, ranging from $2.19 a month to $69.99 a month. The business plans come with more resources and day-to-day backups for your site. It’s worth noting, however, that these prices increase greatly after the first year, sometimes by up to 100%.
Hostinger comes with a one-click auto installer for all your favorite web apps, including WordPress. This makes it supremely easy for novice users to start building their first website, and it also features the Zyro website builder that's powerful enough to compete with leading website builders.
A simple and uncluttered user interface is user-friendly for all levels of competence, though it's worth noting that Hostinger favors those who can undertake their own administrative functions, or take the time to take advantage of the comprehensive support materials online.
Read our full Hostinger review to find out more about the web host and its services.
InMotion Hosting is a US-based web host offering shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated server solutions, with a specific focus on managed solutions. It advertises its services by stating that no support agent can handle chat, phone, or support email tickets without completing a rigorous internal training program first.
This means that the friendly, responsive customer support is highly knowledgeable, while pricing sees shared hosting start from $5.99 a month. This is significantly higher than the industry average, but with support for two sites, 10 email addresses, lots of storage space and unlimited bandwidth, the features more than make up for the extra price.
Beyond shared hosting, InMotion also offers VPS and dedicated servers for $17.99 and $57.50 a month respectively, while managed WordPress hosting starts at $6.99 a month. Higher prices are backed by additional features and great support, with a website builder from BoldGrid also available for those looking to have their site built and hosted all in one.
InMotion's hardware and software offerings are better than those of many rivals, and this is reflected in the higher pricing. If you don’t mind paying extra, their service is absolutely worth it.
To learn more about this web hosting service, make sure to read our full InMotion Hosting review.
DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosts in the market. Founded in 1996, its customer base of over 1.5 million enjoys great performance, with zero downtime and good speeds across a range of hosting services, from shared to dedicated and managed to unmanaged WordPress hosting.
Shared hosting starts at $2.59 a month, with unmetered bandwidth for one site: a better deal is perhaps the Shared Unlimited plan for $3.95 a month, which offers unmetered bandwidth and unmetered storage. Technical support is well-versed on a range of subjects and is available via phone, chat, and a ticket system, though live chat is not available 24/7.
There is also a very useful online knowledge base with answers to frequently asked questions. In terms of features, its internal control panel wins plaudits for ease of use, while it also offers a full domain registration portal, allowing you to manage every aspect of your site from one central dashboard.
A standout however is DreamHost’s excellent 97-day money-back guarantee, which essentially means you can request a full refund at any time in the first three months of your subscription. Very few competitors offer anything coming close to this.
For WordPress specifically, it also offers a free automatic website migration plugin to transfer an existing WordPress site to your new account, with no technical knowledge required and no concerns over downtime. If you're looking for one of the best web hosting services for WordPress, DreamHost is highly recommended.
You can read our full DreamHost review to find out more about its services, packages and pricing.
SiteGround specializes in shared hosting and cloud hosting, with its three shared hosting plans among the best on the market. Starting at $6.99 a month, the basic plan quickly skyrockets after the first year to $14.99 a month. While that may seem a disadvantage, SiteGround’s shared hosting plans are all managed, meaning you can expect quality support for any problems.
It also offers WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, and many features are included in the prices that competitors usually charge for, such as managed WordPress installations, migrator tools, daily backups, and staging areas. Its solid performance is reflected in great speeds and constant uptime across plans, while it also uses a native control panel.
SiteGround isn't as good for enterprise-scale clients though, given its lack of VPS and dedicated hosting options. However, its security features are high-level, with free SSL certificates alongside two-factor authentication and DDoS protection.
You can read our full SiteGround review for more information on the platform.
Namecheap is known primarily for its domain registration service, but also offers a range of paid hosting services at attractive prices. It not only offers shared hosting, but also hosting plans for WordPress, reseller hosting, and VPS and dedicated servers.
Its cheapest shared hosting plan, at just $1.58 a month, gives you 20GB of space, 30 email accounts, one free domain, and 24/7 support. The plan also comes with unmetered bandwidth and a free website builder. If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is, a little.
The $1.58 a month introductory pricing jumps to $2.88 from the second year. While free domain name registration is a lucrative plus, you can't opt for a .com or .net domain with a starter plan, and are restricted to store, .online, .site, etc.
Namecheap’s biggest downside however is its low speeds and poor performance. While uptime is indeed 100%, response times are unusually slow. Thankfully, 30 days of free trial provides ample time to judge performance on a case-by-case basis, while live chat and online support means issues are easy enough to resolve.
Read our full Namecheap review to learn more about the service.
Data centers are responsible for enough global carbon emissions to rival the airlines industry: GreenGeeks, as its name suggests, is an eco-friendly web hosting service that invests in renewable energy to keep its operations carbon neutral.
With its great shared hosting plans, GreenGeeks doesn’t force you to choose between hosting quality and environmental benefit. All plans come with unmetered traffic count and storage space, while other top features include free website migration, domain registration, and auto installation.
It also offers hosting packages for WordPress as well as VPS and resellers. In fact, the tradeoff with GreenGeeks comes in the form of after-sales phone support, which isn’t 24/7. However, a round-the-clock live chat is available, as well as email support, and an online suite of resources can help with less complex issues.
Read our full GreenGeeks review to discover more about the eco-minded web host.
Famous for its domain registration service, GoDaddy offers feature-packed personal and business web hosting services at very affordable prices. Currently home to over 20 million customers and 80 million domains, GoDaddy offers a range of hosting solutions, both managed and unmanaged.
These include shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and even standalone email hosting across both Windows and Linux operating systems. For just $2.99 a month, the cheapest shared hosting deal provides 100GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth, as well as a free domain name and Microsoft 365 email: but this price is for the first three years, after which it increases to $8.99 a month.
The biggest complaints from users used to be about after-sales support, but that has improved greatly in the last few years to 24/7 coverage and a comprehensive online support center. However, security features included as standard with other providers are charged for, like SSL certificates, while backups have to be manually undertaken, alongside the manual installation of content delivery networks.
To learn more about the company and its hosting services, make sure you read our full GoDaddy hosting review. You can also read about its website building capabilities in our GoDaddy website builder review.
For only $5.24 a month, Hostwinds offers a shared hosting deal complete with unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases, emails, and subdomains. There’s a range of additional features on offer too, including a free domain name, web app auto installer, regular backups, and Weebly's website builder.
Because this base plan is so powerful, the only advantage of upgrading your shared hosting plan is to be able to host more websites, though there are business hosting and managed hosting options alongside VPS (for both Linux and Windows), cloud, and dedicated hosting services, available for those who want more resources.
Hostwinds’ support website does a poor job of helping customers, with broken links, thought its customer support staff are responsive across email, tickets, and live chat. The pricing structure overall is questionable, but the company's hosting solutions do a fine job of serving its existing customers.
Read our full Hostwinds review for more information on the host's pricing plans, features, and other elements including support and security.
Wix isn’t just a website builder: it's also a hosting service. The services we've covered so far merely provide resources for storing your site on their servers, but Wix goes that extra mile with a comprehensive website-designing application and content delivery system that's ideal for novice users.
As a consequence, Wix’s base plans cost a lot more than your typical shared hosting, starting at $14 a month. For this price, you have you access to 3GB of storage space, 30 minutes of video storage per clip, a free domain and SSL certificate, 500 free design templates, and an image editor with over 50 Instagram-style filters.
Apart from the expensive pricing structure, there is not a lot to complain about with Wix. While the website builder can prove to be a little complicated for beginners, it's very easy to follow, and more complex editors are available for more experienced designers and users.
To find out more about Wix's website builder, read our comprehensive Wix review.
Weebly is a website builder that, like Wix, also offers hosting. While its features and website editor may appear a bit plain compared to the slick editor and extravagant list of features Wix offers, a quick look under the hood proves this is not actually the case. It's also a really great option for starting an online store, given it's underpinned by online payment giant Square.
Weebly's free plan serves as a great way of evaluating the service. Beyond that, there are three paid plans, including a Personal plan at $6 a month, whereas the Pro and Performance plans cost $12 and $26 a month respectively. All include ecommerce capability, including the free plan, and while the base plan only allows you 500MB of storage space and displays Weebly ads, Pro and Performance offer unlimited storage to all users with no adverts.
Weebly’s website builder may not be as feature-rich as those produced by other providers, but it offers ample space to create a basic site or ecommerce store, while its unlimited hosting plan takes care of your growing website needs.
To find out more about Weebly's website builder, read our full Weebly website builder review.
What is the best web hosting service available today?
The best all-around web hosting provider is Bluehost. It offers a selection of hosting solutions, including beginner-friendly shared hosting, managed and unmanaged VPS hosting, and managed and unmanaged dedicated servers.
On top of this, Bluehost is affordable, one of the most popular choices for those seeking hosting for the first time, and backed by an excellent reputation. Its customer service is excellent, and there are numerous impressive features to help you get the most out of your new site.
What is the cheapest web hosting service right now?
The cheapest reliable web hosting service comes from Hostinger, another industry leader. Its budget shared hosting plans are a little basic, but they come with excellent security integrations, great customer service, and beginner-friendly management tools.
With prices starting at just $0.99 a month, you won’t find cheaper comparable hosting services anywhere else in the world. Make sure you also check out the best deals currently available, by taking a look at our monthly round-up of the best web hosting for cheap.
What is web hosting, and why do I need it?
Web hosting refers to the servers and other infrastructure that are used to store a site’s files and deliver them when people navigate to a website. This can be a little complicated to understand, though, so we’ve broken it down into simpler terms.
To start with, you need to understand that a website is basically a composition of files. Think text files, code files, image files, and so on. When linked together appropriately, these combine to create an attractive, highly functional site.
However, these files need to be stored somewhere, so that people can access them when they click through to your site. This is where web hosting comes into the equation.
Hosting providers offer various solutions that enable you to store and access your site’s files. Usually, your site will be stored on what’s known as a server, which is basically a specialized computer.
Servers are connected to the internet, and when someone loads your site, the relevant information is delivered straight to their device. The bottom line: web hosting is a must if you want to create a new website, online store, blog, or anything else of the sort.
What types of hosting are available?
Traditionally, the three main types of hosting were shared, VPS, and dedicated servers. However, options like cloud hosting have entered the market, offering increased flexibility and scalability.
Shared hosting is the simplest, and involves your site being hosted on a server with numerous others. This tends to be cheap, but performance and security can suffer.
More advanced VPS hosting also involves multiple sites on the same server. However, you're allocated a pre-defined amount of server resources, which reduces the impacts other sites might have on yours. Check out our guide to the best VPS hosting providers to see who we rated highest.
Dedicated servers are exactly what their name suggests—an entire server dedicated to you and your business.
Finally, cloud hosting is highly scalable, offering flexible solutions for businesses of all sizes. You can purchase the exact amount of storage, bandwidth, RAM, and other resources you need. As your business grows, simply add more to maintain optimal performance. See our guide to the best cloud hosting services to find out which providers we recommend.
There are also options for WordPress, Windows-specific and Linux: learn more about the best providers for each by reading our guides to the best WordPress hosting, the best Windows hosting providers, and the best Linux web hosting services.
How do I choose a web hosting provider?
Without industry experience, choosing the best web hosting service for your needs can seem impossible. Along with the popular options covered above, there are countless others, with many attractive in their own right. Most offer various hosting options: so how do you select the right host for you or your business?
The best web hosting is fast and secure, offers sufficient scalability to allow your site to grow as your business expands, and provides decent support to help you navigate potentially difficult situations as and when they arise. Good hosting providers also offer plenty of additional features and functions.
To start with, identify your budget. There’s no point looking for a high-end hosting option if you only plan to spend a few dollars per month, because you simply won’t find one. Pay careful attention to price structures, as some providers advertise very low introductory prices, but you'll often have to pay for two or three years in advance. You'll also often be faced with significantly higher prices when renewing your contract.
Next, pay careful attention to the features and security integrations included. In some cases, you'll have a website builder that will make it extremely easy to create your site, with many ranking among the best website builders. Automatic backups, proactive malware scanning, and a free domain name are worth looking for.
Finally, think about how much storage and bandwidth you need. These are the two most important parameters when choosing a hosting service: storage referring to the amount of space your site needs to exist online, and bandwidth the total amount of resources used, based on file size and traffic.
A good hosting provider offers ample bandwidth and storage, while leaving room for expansion as your site grows. Some come with quite limited server resources, which can be constraining for those who want to build a large site with a lot of content.
Should I use free web hosting?
Although there are a few decent options out there, no free hosting service even comes close to the cheapest paid service in terms of features. Usually, you will be faced with major storage and resource limitations, non-existent security integrations, adverts imposed on your sites, and basic customer support at best.
However, if you're focused on looking for free hosting, view our guide to the best free web hosting services to find out more about the services we recommend.
How to choose the best web hosting for you
The best web hosting for your requirements will depend greatly on your needs as a business: from the amount of traffic you expect, to the levels of after-sales support you need. There’s a range of hosting plans to choose from, starting with shared hosting services—where you rent a part of a server housing thousands of other websites—all the way to dedicated servers exclusive to your business.
A personal or small business website could probably do with a shared hosting service, but larger organizations and serious professionals would want to opt for VPS or dedicated hosting for more resources and better support.
Finally, consider your own technical know-how. Website managers with advanced technical knowledge can opt for unmanaged hosting and take care of day-to-day maintenance themselves, whereas novice users would probably want to go with managed hosting for a content management system like WordPress.