What makes for the best Windows hosting? Many of the best web hosting services offer plans designed for use with Windows machines, while some specialize in offering the best Linux hosting services. While that type of hosting is ideal given many hosts use Linux servers, there are sometimes advantages of using Microsoft and Windows over Linux when it comes to web hosting.
Among these are that Windows is ideal for websites based on ASP.NET, .NET, or other Microsoft technologies, and are also best for those planning to use Microsoft stack products. In such specific cases, the best Windows hosting is what you should be aiming for, and fortunately, it doesn't commit you to using Microsoft apps.
In fact, as you'll see below, many of the best Windows hosting providers support common apps and CMSs like PrestaShop, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla across their hosting services. In addition, should you not have cPanel, similar apps like Plesk enable email account creation, site status checks, remote desktop features, and more.
There are some notable issues for top Windows hosting services, such as license fees, a smaller app selection, and limited options when it comes to troubleshooting. However, despite these, the best Windows hosting services are still the top choice in many situations. We've tested and ranked the best based on their features, pricing, speeds, and ease of use. Read on to see which Windows hosts we ranked top.
The quick list
These are our top choices for Windows hosting in 2024. Have a look at the full reviews for more details.
The best Windows hosting service
An ideal choice for businesses seeking robust Windows hosting solutions. Known for its remarkable flexibility, responsive support, and seamless integration with Windows products.
The most versatile Windows hosting service
A highly versatile Windows hosting provider with a broad range of plans to suit varied needs. Excellent customer support, impressive 99.999% uptime guarantee, and competitive pricing.
Best for latest software
The Windows hosting service with the latest software
HostGator offers a range of plans with minimal restrictions, making it a flexible choice for individuals to large enterprises. It has an extremely affordable entry-level plan.
The top 3 Windows hosting providers right now
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Liquid Web: top for cloud VPS and quality features
Liquid Web is a powerful option, as its cloud VPS tools provide scalability and performance. All plans feature unlimited sites, DDoS attack protection, and Cloudflare CDN. Private servers are available, while top customer support is matched by a 100% uptime guarantee.
Hostwinds: best for dedicated hosting
Hostwinds is top for dedicated hosting, thanks to its strong configurations for both general and high-demand users. It offers highly-customizable hosting and is an attractive choice for anyone looking to scale a site, while cheaper packages come complete with strong tools.
HostGator: competitively-priced Windows hosting HostGator's highly flexible hosting for Windows includes plans for all user types, ranging from shared hosting up to dedicated servers. With relatively few restrictions, especially with higher-priced plans, it's a leading choice when it comes to unlimited hosting.
The best Windows hosting of 2024 in full
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
A popular web hosting provider for businesses, Liquid Web is one of the most powerful options for companies looking for Windows hosting. Its cloud VPS tools enable users to host across devices for optimal scalability and performance. In fact, Liquid Web describes itself as the “fastest managed VPS hosting on the planet”.
Furthermore, plans include features that are often considered add-ons by competing services. For example, all subscriptions come with Gigabit transfer, unlimited sites, protection from DDoS attacks, Cloudflare CDN, and hosting in either the EU or the US.
Liquid Web has three plans for Windows Server 2019, starting at $65 a month for 4 vCPUs, 100GB of storage, and 10TB of bandwidth. To get this low price, you'll need to pay for two years in advance. Paying monthly costs $163 a month for the same plan. Two other plans build on the amount of RAM and processing power you get.
Liquid Web also provides private cloud servers for organizations interested in dedicated servers.
Private cloud server plans enable subscribers to create, use, and manage multiple virtual servers, including both Linux and Windows VPS instances. You may be charged a Windows licensing fee on top of the cost of your subscription, but these are only charged a single time for each cloud server. You can also avoid this fee by removing Windows instances.
The platform also comes with excellent support options including live chat, phone, and email help. The knowledge base and blog provide detailed responses to common questions and technical issues, so make sure to check these resources before contacting the support team.
Liquid Web backs up its pricing with a service level agreement guaranteeing 100% uptime for its users. This kind of guarantee is unusual among hosting services, and providers that do offer guarantees typically don’t commit to 100% uptime. While Liquid Web targets larger businesses than some of the competitors on this list, it’s the top Windows hosting provider for many use cases.
Read our Liquid Web review.
Best for versatility
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Pricing is obviously one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a hosting provider. That said, many people who are looking for the best Windows hosting solution require functionality and speed beyond what most budget options can provide.
With 10 managed and 10 unmanaged Windows hosting plans available, Hostwinds has a subscription for virtually every use case. In contrast, most hosting providers are limited to a few subscriptions, forcing users to pay for features they don’t need or save money while losing access to critical tools.
While each plan is different in notable ways, every subscription provides free migration, SSD storage, and network connectivity at 1Gbps. The platform is compatible with Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2019.
Additionally, Hostwinds provides excellent customer support, with response times of roughly 30 seconds for live chat and phone inquiries, and just five minutes for support tickets. The platform guarantees an incredible 99.999% uptime, which works out to around five minutes of downtime per year.
The Hostwinds Tier 1 managed subscription includes 1GB RAM, a single CPU core, 1TB bandwidth a month, and up to 30GB storage. It currently costs $12.74 for the first month, followed by $16.99 a month upon renewal. Unlike some other providers, Hostwinds bills monthly without any annual contracts.
Of course, upgrading to a more expensive plan significantly increases those limits. Tier 5, for example, comes with a total of four CPU cores plus 8GB RAM, 3TB bandwidth, and up to 150GB storage. For the first month, the Tier 5 subscription costs $68.99, going up to $91.99 a month following renewal.
If you prefer an unmanaged Windows server solution, Hostwinds has those too, starting at $10.99 a month.
Along with its range of subscription tiers, Hostwinds also provides some optional add-ons at an additional charge. Cloud backups are available for $1 a month, while you can get basic server monitoring services for just $5.
With incredible flexibility and strong hosting plans for a variety of use cases, Hostwinds is worth considering for any user with robust Windows hosting needs. The service also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee to all new subscribers, so you can test it out risk-free for roughly two months before committing to a subscription.
Read our full Hostwinds review.
Best for latest software
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
HostGator is another highly flexible hosting service for Windows users, with subscriptions available for all user types, from individuals to large businesses that require dedicated servers. Its flexibility is a major benefit compared to providers that only offer limited support for Windows.
With HostGator, you can find everything from Windows shared hosting plans for individual users to dedicated servers with substantially more power. Furthermore, HostGator imposes relatively few restrictions on its subscribers, particularly at more expensive tiers.
The Personal plan, for example, costs $4.76 a month when you commit to a three-year contract. The price increases when you renew. While Personal users only get one website, they can create an unlimited number of emails, subdomains, and Microsoft SQL and MySQL databases while accessing unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
HostGator generally charges affordable rates for dedicated Windows hosting, with Value Server subscriptions available from $89.98 a month. Keep in mind that HostGator prices represent the monthly cost of a three-year contract and can increase substantially upon renewal.
Read our HostGator review.
Best budget option
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
High prices are one of the most common downsides of Windows hosting compared to Linux. IONOS provides excellent hosting services at affordable rates.
The base IONOS subscription starts at $6 a month for the first six months, followed by an increase to $12 a month. It comes with one site (including a free domain and SSL certificate), unlimited bandwidth, 100GB storage, daily backups, 24/7 help via email or phone, and up to 25 email addresses, each of which includes 2GB of additional SSD storage.
A second plan, Pro, costs $7 a month for the first six months and $14 a month ongoing. It supports up to 5 sites and 250GB of storage.
Users can also upgrade to the IONOS Expert Windows plan for a number of notable features. Expert subscribers get up to 500 databases and email addresses plus malware scanning, a dedicated IP, and a Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network). This subscription costs $11 a month for the first six months followed by a permanent increase to $22 a month.
IONOS Windows hosting supports Windows Server 2022, ASP.NET 4.8, and .NET 6.0.
Along with shared subscriptions, IONOS also provides dedicated plans and versatile VPS at surprisingly affordable prices. You can host via Windows rather than Linux for an additional $14 a month. Considering its features, pricing, and one-month free trial for new users, IONOS is a great place to start for anyone interested in the best Windows hosting.
Read our full IONOS MyWebsite website builder review.
The best Windows hosting services, compared
Windows hosting FAQs
What is Windows hosting?
Web hosting is the process where servers and infrastructure owned by web hosts store site files, delivering them to visitors. Any website comprises a wide range of files including text, code, images, and more, which when linked together create a functional site.
However, files must be stored somewhere for visitors to access when loading the page. Web hosts provide the storage for and access to website files, with the data stored on a web-connected server. As a visitor loads your homepage, all of the files are delivered to their device of choice.
When it comes to the best Windows hosting, providers will often offer managed web hosting. This is available across all hosting types, but specifically for both Linux and Windows-specific hosting requirements, meaning that you can hand over the administration of your site, and any complex or day-to-day tasks, to the web host. Many compare managed vs unmanaged hosting, but the latter is only ideal for those with the requisite knowledge and technical experience.
How to choose the best Windows hosting service for you
Selecting the best Windows hosting for you involves considering several critical factors. First, identify whether the host supports the most recent versions of Windows Server. The server version will impact your website’s functionality and compatibility with specific applications.
Pay close attention to the .NET framework and MS SQL database support, as these are essential for many Windows-based applications. The host should offer robust support for ASP.NET, MVC, AJAX, and other Windows-related technologies to facilitate smooth operation of your site.
The user interface matters too; Plesk, an intuitive and widely used control panel, is favored for managing Windows hosting environments. Make sure your host provides it or a similarly user-friendly alternative.
Windows hosting can be more susceptible to security threats than other operating systems, making robust security measures vital. Look for hosts offering regular server backups, updated firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.
Lastly, customer support skilled in Windows-specific issues can be a lifesaver, and clear, fair pricing is important. Some Windows hosting services may charge more due to licensing fees, so ensure you're aware of potential cost hikes down the line.
How we review the best Windows hosting services
In reviewing any web hosting service, we assess response times and uptimes over a two-week period, because both figures are integral to site performance. To do this, we build a test site with the host, or with a separate platform if a built-in builder isn't included.
With this site, we test, analyze, and evaluate user interfaces, features, and tools, in order to ensure these are easy to use and not too complex. Security elements and customer service and support response are also focused on because we want to make sure that your chosen host keeps your site safe, and fixes any issues encountered as soon as possible.
To do this, we test out how easy it is to import or set up an SSL certificate, alongside interrogating and testing other relevant security tools offered. We test customer support by seeing how quickly they respond to issues, and how reliable and knowledgeable the staff is when responding.
Finally, we undertake an in-depth interrogation of pricing plans, in order to make you aware if there are any increasing monthly costs after an initial period. Many hosting packages can be confusingly priced, so we outline for you how costs might change down the line.
See our testing methodology page for more information.
Next steps with web hosting and website builders
Finally, ensure that you've chosen a domain name and registered your domain. It's also worth looking into how hosting can affect SEO, especially if you're looking to create a site that competes with rivals for business on search engines.
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Richard is a technology writer with over 20 years experience in website development, marketing, and SEO. A graduate in Computer Science, he has lectured in Java programming and built software for companies including Samsung and Walmart. Richard writ