When building a website (opens in new tab), the best web hosting is integral. You need hosting for your site to have an online base and source of content, much as you need one of the best website builders (opens in new tab): your site can't exist without it.
Knowing what to look for when choosing a web hosting service (opens in new tab) can be challenging, so make it easier by knowing what type of hosting you require before you search. We've outlined these in our frequently-asked-questions section, and it pays to know, because you could lose time, money, and performance if you choose incorrectly.
Our top tips for finding the best web hosting provider include bearing your budget in mind, and knowing your intentions for your site. We recommend planning for scalability, in case your site grows in future; and, whether you're a beginner or an expert, take note of customer support and service levels you'll require.
To test a host, we build a test site, trial response times and uptimes over a two-week period, and analyze user interfaces, features, and tools, investigating how easy it is to set up or import an SSL certificate, and seeing how responsive customer service and support are, while also evaluating pricing plans in depth.
Read on, and see which leading hosts we recommend.
The top three best web hosting services right now
Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Bluehost: excellent features and inexpensive hosting (opens in new tab)
Bluehost is the best web hosting service thanks to high-quality plans and top-performing servers that make load speed no issue. Its shared hosting plans start at $2.75 a month (for a 36-month plan), offering 50GB storage and unmetered bandwidth.
Hostinger: best for small and medium-sized businesses (opens in new tab)
Hostinger is highly recommended for excellent performance, a large support knowledgebase, and an easy-to-use, one-click auto installer. Ideal for SMBs, we've got an exclusive deal on Premium Shared Hosting at $1.79 a month (opens in new tab), for 100 sites, 100GB storage, and unlimited bandwidth.
InMotion Hosting: leading support and packed plans (opens in new tab)
InMotion Hosting ranks highly thanks to exceptional technical support, a wide range of plans packed with top features, and reliable and powerful performance. It's a great choice for SMEs as well as for larger businesses.
What are the best web hosting services?
• Learn how to host a website (opens in new tab)
• Avoid common hosting mistakes (opens in new tab)
• Learn about hosting security (opens in new tab)
• Discover anonymous website hosting (opens in new tab)
• Find a leading website builder (opens in new tab)
• Choose a domain name (opens in new tab)
• Register your domain (opens in new tab)
• See how hosting can affect SEO (opens in new tab)
Bluehost is our pick of the best web hosting services (opens in new tab), thanks to excellent tools and features across competitively-priced packages. High reliability, excellent scalability, knowledgeable and responsive customer service and support, and a 60-day money-back guarantee all ensure that it ranks first.
Hostinger runs it a close second on scalability and tools, with its SMB focus offering strong security integrations and high-caliber customer service. InMotion Hosting offers exceptional technical support, a feature-packed range of plans across hosting types, and reliably powerful performance.
GreenGeeks, SiteGround, Cloudways, DreamHost, Namecheap, GoDaddy, and Hostwinds are all worth considering, as they offer strong performance, diverse features and tools, and competitive pricing across hosting types.
|Web hosting service||Lowest-priced shared hosting plan||Storage||Bandwidth||24/7 customer support?||SSL certificate?|
|InMotion Hosting||$2.49 (Lite)||50GB||Unlimited||✔||✔|
|SiteGround||$4.99 (StartUp)||10GB||Unmetered (~10,000 visits monthly)||✔||✔|
|Cloudways||N/A (cheapest plan is $10 for cloud hosting)||25GB||1TB||✔||✔|
|DreamHost||$2.95 (Shared Starter)||50GB||Unlimited||✔ (except live chat)||✔|
The best web hosting services you can buy today
Bluehost maintains a stellar reputation in a crowded field, and is not only our pick for the best web hosting service, but also the best VPS hosting (opens in new tab) and the best unlimited web hosting (opens in new tab).
It offers shared, dedicated, and managed and unmanaged WordPress (opens in new tab) hosting, with shared offering unmetered bandwidth at reasonable prices. Its cheapest plan comes in at $2.75 a month for 36 months, and includes 50GB storage, five email accounts, and a free domain.
Bluehost provides 24/7 support through phone and live chat, and while not the most customizable, we found its feature-packed plans to be well-configured and supported. Its strongest selling points are speed and uptime, key for any growing site, and an advanced yet simple dashboard for all levels of competence.
For WordPress hosting (opens in new tab), it offers the most support out of the box for WordPress and WooCommerce (opens in new tab) sites, and is one of only three hosts officially recommended by WordPress. This instils a great deal of confidence, alongside extra features including automatic updates, custom themes, a free domain for the first year, a free SSL certificate, and a free CDN.
Finally, it has its own website builder for WordPress (opens in new tab), the Bluehost WordPress website builder (opens in new tab), which allows you to utilize drag-and-drop (opens in new tab) functionality.
Read our full Bluehost review (opens in new tab).
|Cost per month/year||$2.75* / $71.40*||$5.45* / $95.40*||$5.45* / $107.40*||$13.95* / $203.40*|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)|
*Monthly payments aren’t available, so prices shown are derived from the price of a one-year subscription term: prices will increase significantly after this initial subscription
Hostinger has over 30m customers, and it's easy to see why: its extensive online support base and 24/7 help service complement competitive pricing. Basic shared hosting costs $1.39 a month for the first year, with 30GB storage. While that isn’t a lot, it’s great for single-page sites and small businesses, and the Premium shared hosting plan is currently available for an exclusive monthly price of $1.79 (opens in new tab).
For those wanting more, there's VPS and cloud hosting, ranging from $2.19 to $69.99 a month. Business plans come with more resources and day-to-day backups. It’s worth noting, however, that prices increase greatly after the first year, sometimes by up to 100%.
Whichever plan you choose, check our Hostinger coupon codes to see if we can save you on those plan costs.
Hostinger comes with a one-click auto installer for all your favorite web apps, including WordPress. We found this makes it supremely easy for those starting to build their first website, and it also includes the Zyro (opens in new tab) website builder, which competes with leading builders across the market.
We found that the simple, uncluttered interface is user-friendly for all levels of competence, though it's worth noting Hostinger favors those who can undertake their own administrative functions, or have the time to take advantage of its comprehensive range of online support materials.
Read our full Hostinger review (opens in new tab).
|Single Shared||Premium Shared||Business Shared|
|Cost per month/year||$9.49 / $16.68*||$10.25 / $31.05*||$15.99 / $47.88*|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)|
*This is the annual cost of a four-year subscription: expect to pay significantly more per year for shorter terms
InMotion Hosting offers a range of solutions, but specifically focuses on managed hosting. Shared hosting starts at $2.49 a month, with support for two sites, 10 email addresses, lots of storage, and unlimited bandwidth. InMotion also offers VPS and dedicated servers for $17.99 and $57.50 a month respectively, while managed WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) starts at $6.99 a month.
Higher prices are backed by additional features and great support, with a site builder from BoldGrid also available for those looking to build and host a site all-in-one. We found that hardware and software offerings are better than those of many rivals, and this is reflected in higher pricing at upper levels.
InMotion states that customer support agents can only handle chat, phone, or support email tickets after completing a rigorous internal training program. This means that friendly, responsive staff are highly knowledgeable should you run into any issues. If you don’t mind paying extra for hosting, we found that this top-level customer service is absolutely worth it.
Read our full InMotion Hosting review (opens in new tab).
|Cost per month*/year*||N/A / $143.88||N/A / $191.88||$27.99 / $299.88|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (90 days)||✔ (90 days)||✔ (90 days)|
*After introductory offers expire
Data centers are responsible for enough global carbon emissions to rival airlines: GreenGeeks, as its name suggests, is an eco-friendly web host that invests in renewable energy (opens in new tab) to keep operations carbon neutral.
With its great shared hosting plans, GreenGeeks doesn’t force you to choose between hosting quality and environmental benefit. It also offers WordPress, VPS, and reseller hosting.
We found that all plans come with unmetered traffic count and storage space, alongside top features such as free site migration, domain registration, and auto installation. A Weebly (opens in new tab) website builder is also available, with plans starting from $2.49 a month.
The trade-off comes in the form of after-sales phone support, which isn’t 24/7. However, 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 (opens in new tab).
|Cost per month/year||$10.95* / $59.40*||$15.95* / $83.40*||$25.95* / $131.40*|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)|
*GreenGeeks offers monthly, annual, biannual, and triannual billing with its shared hosting: monthly prices decrease with longer subscription terms
SiteGround specializes in shared and cloud hosting, with its three shared plans among the best on the market. Starting at $4.99 a month, the basic plan quickly rockets after the first year to $14.99 a month. While that may seem a disadvantage, all plans are managed, meaning you can expect quality support.
It also offers managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, including many features that competitors usually charge for, like managed WordPress installations, migrator tools, daily backups, and staging areas. We found this solid performance is reflected in great speeds and constant uptime, 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, security features are high-level, including free SSL certificates, 2FA, and DDoS protection. And if you're looking to build a website (opens in new tab), SiteGround packages a Weebly builder with every plan.
Read our full SiteGround review (opens in new tab).
|Cost per month/per year||$3.99 / $47.88||$6.69 / $80.28||$10.69 / $128.28|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)|
Cloudways, our pick for the best cloud hosting (opens in new tab), combines affordable, reliable, and scalable managed hosting with flexible, pay-as-you-go plans and enterprise-focused tools.
It utilizes cloud infrastructure networks, including DigitalOcean (opens in new tab), Linode, VULTR, Amazon Web Services (AWS) (opens in new tab), and Google Cloud (opens in new tab). Top features we explored include a strong security focus, including dedicated firewalls and DDoS attack protection, alongside two-factor authentication, automatic patching, and advanced bot detection.
It also integrates with WooCommerce and WordPress, with its Breeze WordPress caching plugin helping reduce page load times. All plans offer 24/7 real-time monitoring, free SSL certificates and site migrations, 24/7 customer support, automatic backups, and unlimited app installations.
Pricing is more complex, via hourly and monthly payments. It offers a free trial, and the ability to cancel at any time given there are no long-term subscriptions. Prices start at $10 a month ($0.0139 an hour) for 1GB RAM, a one core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
With industry-leading performance, highly-configurable hosting, and scalable value-for-money, Cloudways serves as a great middle-ground between beginner-friendly hosts and technically-complex providers. It's ideal for users looking for more power.
Read our comprehensive Cloudways review (opens in new tab).
|Cost per month/year||From $10 / From $120||From $12 / From $144||From $11 / From $132||From $36.51 / From $438.12||From $33.18 / From $398.16|
*Significant discounts are available with longer-term subscriptions, and you may be required to pay more on renewal
DreamHost is a veteran in the hosting market, and its customers enjoy great performance, zero downtime, and good speeds across shared, dedicated, cloud, VPS, and managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting.
Shared hosting starts at $2.95 a month, with unmetered bandwidth for one site: a better deal is perhaps Shared Unlimited for $3.95 a month, offering unmetered bandwidth and storage. For WordPress, it offers a free automatic site migration plugin requiring no technical knowledge. A drag-and-drop WordPress builder starts from $2.59 a month, if you want to keep everything in-house.
Technical support is well-versed on a range of subjects, and available via phone, chat, and a ticket system, though live chat is not available 24/7. There's also a very useful online knowledge base with answers to frequently-asked questions.
In terms of features, its internal control panel wins plaudits from us for ease-of-use, while its full domain registration portal allows you to manage every aspect from one central dashboard. DreamHost’s excellent 97-day money-back guarantee, which means you can request a full refund at any time in the first three months, is an absolute standout, however. Very few competitors offer anything close.
Read our full DreamHost review (opens in new tab).
|Shared Starter||Shared Unlimited|
|Cost per month*/per year**||$7.99 / $83.88||$13.99 / $155.88|
|Customer support||Live chat and email||Live chat and email|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)|
* Undiscounted monthly rates
** Undiscounted one-year rates
Namecheap is known primarily for domain registration, but also offers paid hosting at hugely-attractive prices. It offers shared, WordPress, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting, and its cheapest shared hosting plan, at just $0.82 a month, provides 20GB storage, 30 email accounts, one free domain, and 24/7 support.
This also comes with unmetered bandwidth and a free website builder (opens in new tab). If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is, a little: the price jumps to $2.88 a month 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. For those looking for a more advanced builder, we found that one is available for simpler sites on monthly and annual plans.
Namecheap’s biggest downside however is its low speeds and poor performance. While uptime is indeed 100%, response times are unusually slow. Thankfully, a 30-day free trial provides ample time to judge performance on a case-by-case basis, while live chat and online support mean issues are easy enough to resolve.
Read our full Namecheap review (opens in new tab).
|Stellar||Stellar Plus||Stellar Business|
|Cost per month/year||$1.88 / $21.88*||$2.98 / $35.44*||$4.98 / $58.88*|
|Customer support||24/7 (live chat and email)||24/7 (live chat and email)||24/7 (live chat and email)|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)|
*This price only applies to the first year of your subscription, and renewal prices will be significantly higher
Famous for domain registration, GoDaddy offers feature-packed personal and business hosting at very affordable prices, both managed and unmanaged. These include shared, VPS, dedicated, WordPress, and even standalone email hosting across Windows (opens in new tab) and Linux (opens in new tab).
For just $5.99 a month, the cheapest shared hosting provides 100GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free domain name, and Microsoft 365 email: this 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, we did establish that security features included as standard with other providers are charged for by GoDaddy, like SSL certificates, while backups and CDN installations have to be manually undertaken.
|Cost per month/year||$5.99 / $83.88||$7.99 / $119.88||$12.99 / $179.88||$19.99 / $275.88|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (14 days)||✔ (14 days)||✔ (14 days)||✔ (14 days)|
For only $6.74 a month, Hostwinds offers shared hosting with unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases, emails, and subdomains. We noted 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 is being able to host more sites, though it also offers business, VPS (for both Linux and Windows, managed and unmanaged), cloud, and dedicated hosting, for those who want more resources.
Hostwinds’ customer support staff are responsive across email, tickets, and live chat. The pricing structure overall is questionable, but the hosting solutions do a fine job of serving existing customers.
Read our full Hostwinds review (opens in new tab).
|Basic Shared||Advanced Shared||Ultimate Shared|
|Cost per month/year||$8.99* / $83.88*||$10.99* / $107.88*||$12.99* / $131.88*|
|Money-back guarantee||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)||✔ (30 days)|
*We’ve listed the standard prices here: expect to receive a discount of up to 50% for your first billing cycle
Benefits of the best web hosting
Web hosting FAQs
If you’re looking to find out more about web hosting, take a look at our frequently-asked-questions below. We’ve tackled common queries and misconceptions, to try and help you understand what to expect from hosting for your website.
What is web hosting, and why do I need it?
Web hosting (opens in new tab) refers to servers and infrastructure that store website files and deliver them to visitors. A site is basically a composition of files: text, code, images, and more. When linked together, these create an attractive, highly-functional website.
However, files need to be stored somewhere, so that people can access them when they visit. Web hosts offer storage for and access to files, on a server connected to the internet. When someone loads your site, the files are delivered to their device.
What types of hosting are available?
Shared hosting is the simplest form, and sees your site hosted on a server with others. This tends to be cheap, but performance and security can suffer, as you need to share the resources on the server with the other websites.
VPS hosting (opens in new tab) (virtual private servers) also stores multiple sites on the same server. However, you're allocated a pre-defined amount of resources, which reduces the impacts other sites might have on yours.
Dedicated servers (opens in new tab) are exactly what their name suggests—an entire server dedicated to you and your business's website, and accordingly all of the resources on that server. A variant of these is bare metal servers (opens in new tab), which are aimed at and designed for technically-expert users.
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, and add more as your business grows to maintain optimal performance.
Managed web hosting (opens in new tab) is available across all hosting types. It allows you to hand over administration and complex, day-to-day tasks to your host; when comparing managed vs unmanaged hosting (opens in new tab), the latter is best left to those with technical expertise and knowledge.
WordPress hosting focuses mainly on providing managed WordPress hosting for WordPress websites, with all technical updates and technical elements automatically taken care of, and sites often migrated too.
What is the best web hosting service available today?
Bluehost is the best web hosting provider, thanks to its selection of solutions, ranging from beginner-friendly shared to managed and unmanaged VPS and dedicated hosting. Its excellent customer service is matched by top features; it's very affordable across packages; and is one of the most popular choices for beginners, backed by an excellent reputation.
How much does the best web hosting cost?
Prices for web hosting depend entirely on what type you require. Shared hosting is more than adequate for most basic sites that aren’t expecting high levels of traffic, and starts at a very low average monthly rate of around $2.49.
As requirements become more specialized, costs rise. VPS is slightly more expensive; cloud hosting is priced via pay-as-you-use plans; and dedicated servers, designed for high traffic and performance, are most expensive: you can expect to pay more than $80 a month.
It’s important to remember that cheap web hosting can seem ideal, but discounted introductory rates are often only for the first year. We recommend you read the fine print, as many services increase rates substantially after the first year or term.
What is the cheapest web hosting service right now?
The cheapest web hosting comes from Namecheap, whose budget shared hosting plans come with 20GB storage, 30 email accounts, one free domain, and 24/7 support, as well as unmetered bandwidth and a free website builder. Prices start at just $0.82 a month, which you won’t find anywhere else.
Should I use free web hosting?
Although there are a few decent options out there (opens in new tab), no free hosting service comes close to the cheapest paid option. Usually, you'll be faced with major storage and resource limitations, non-existent security, adverts imposed on your sites, and basic customer support at best.
Choosing a web host
How do I choose a web hosting provider?
To start with, identify your budget: don't look at high-end hosting if you can only spend a few dollars a month. Some hosts advertise low introductory prices, which mean you pay for two or three years in advance; check if you'll face significantly higher renewal prices.
Next, look at features and web hosting security (opens in new tab). Often, you'll have access to one of the best website builders, making it extremely easy to create a site. Look for automatic backups, proactive malware scanning, and a free domain name.
A good hosting provider offers ample storage and bandwidth, with room for expansion. These are important parameters: storage refers to space your site needs to exist online, and bandwidth the resources used, based on file size and traffic.
Finally, consider your own technical knowledge. Website managers can opt for unmanaged hosting and take care of day-to-day maintenance, whereas novices would need managed hosting for content management systems like WordPress.
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.
How we review the best web hosting services
When reviewing web hosts, we build a test site with the provider, or with a separate platform if they don't offer a built-in builder. We then trial response times and uptimes over a two-week period: these indicators are key to site performance. An unresponsive or offline site can cost you both custom and revenue fast.
We analyze and test user interfaces, features, and tools, to make sure where they land on a scale from easy-to-use to complex. With security and site safety integral, we test how easy it is to set up or import an SSL certificate, as well as exploring any other security features a host might offer.
You'll want to know how well supported you'll be in the event of a problem: as such, we test customer service and support responsiveness, establishing not only how quickly a host responds to help requests, but how knowledgeable and reliable they are as well.
As so many hosting packages can be confusingly-priced, we study and research pricing plans in detail, outlining for you whether monthly costs might increase for you after your first, cheaper initial contract period elapses.
Take a look at some of our other reviews of leading hosts, including:
- HostGator (opens in new tab)
- Liquid Web (opens in new tab)
- Microsoft Azure (opens in new tab)
- Google Cloud (opens in new tab)
- AT&T (opens in new tab)
- iPage (opens in new tab)
Are you now ready to purchase web hosting? Check out our regularly updated round-up of the best web hosting for cheap (opens in new tab), and get top hosting for less.
Your next steps when it comes to web hosting
You might be wondering about the differences, if any, between web hosting and WordPress hosting (opens in new tab); it's also worth looking at five myths that have been busted about WordPress (opens in new tab), if you're considering its different approach.
All hosts offer control panels, and most use cPanel (opens in new tab): find out more about this leading interface software. If you're considering cloud hosting, it's wise to learn why regional cloud hosting (opens in new tab) matters when it comes to the location of your provider's servers, and how that might affect your business or customers.