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Best web hosting services in 2022

man and woman stood in office by data center
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best web hosting is key when building a website. Once you've got one of the best website builders in place to build a website, you'll need hosting, as it provides an online base and content source, and your site won't exist without it.

It can be hard to know what to look for when choosing a web hosting service, but you can make this process simpler by knowing what type of hosting you need before you look. If you don't know the different types, educate yourself via our frequently-asked-questions section. Not knowing could lose you time, money, and performance should you make the wrong decision.

Our top tips for finding the best web hosting provider include keeping a budget in mind, and establishing your intentions for the site. We recommend understanding whether you require scalability, for potential future expansion; and whether you're a novice or experienced meanwhile, be aware of the level of customer support and service you'll require. Read on to see who we recommend.

The top three best web hosting services right now

Bluehost: excellent features and inexpensive hosting
Bluehost is our pick for the best web hosting service thanks to high-quality plans and top-performing servers, with load speed no issue. Its shared hosting plans start at just $2.75 a month (for a 36-month plan), offering 50GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth.

Hostinger: best for small and medium-sized businesses
Hostinger is highly recommended for its excellent performance, a large support knowledgebase, and an easy-to-use, one-click auto installer. Ideal for SMBs, we have an exclusive deal on its Premium Shared Hosting at $1.79 a month, for 100 sites, 100GB storage, and unlimited bandwidth.

InMotion Hosting: leading support and packed plans
InMotion Hosting ranks highly for us thanks to its exceptional technical support, wide range of hosting plans packed full with top features, and its reliable and powerful performance levels. It's a great hosting choice for SMEs as well as larger businesses.

What are the best web hosting services?

Bluehost is our choice when it comes to the best web hosting services, thanks to an excellent range of tools and features across competitively-priced plans. High levels of reliability, excellent scalability, knowledgeable and responsive customer service and support, and a 60-day money-back guarantee all ensure it ranks first.

Hostinger is a close second when it comes to scalability and tools, with its focus on SMBs offering strong security integrations and high-caliber customer service. InMotion Hosting meanwhile offers exceptional technical support, a feature-packed range of hosting plans across types, and reliable and powerful performance.

GreenGeeks, SiteGround, Namecheap, Cloudways, DreamHost, GoDaddy, and Hostwinds are all worth considering too, as they all offer strong performance, diverse sets of features and tools, and competitive pricing across hosting types. 

While most hosts offer a site builder with plans, we included Wix and Weebly due to both providing excellent-value, quality hosting across their website builder plans.

Our pick of the best web hosting services, compared
Web hosting serviceLowest-priced shared hosting planStorageBandwidth
Bluehost$2.75 (Basic)50GBUnlimited
Hostinger$1.39 (Single)30GB100GB
InMotion Hosting$2.49 (Lite)50GBUnlimited
GreenGeeks$2.49 (Lite)50GBUnlimited
SiteGround$4.99 (StartUp)10GBUnmetered (~10,000 visits monthly)
Namecheap$0.82 (Stellar)20GBUnlimited
CloudwaysN/A (cheapest plan is $10 for cloud hosting)25GB1TB
DreamHost$2.95 (Shared Starter)50GBUnlimited
GoDaddy$5.99 (Economy)100GBUnlimited
Hostwinds$6.74 (Basic)UnlimitedUnlimited
Wix$14 (Combo)3GB2GB
Weebly$6 (Connect)500MBUnlimited

The best web hosting services you can buy today

Bluehost logo

(Image credit: Bluehost)
The best web hosting service available

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $2.95 a month
Storage: 50GB
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Feature-rich plans and unlimited bandwidth
+
24-hour support through phone and chat
+
Great performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Plans lack customizability
-
Basic website builder
-
Steep price hike after first year

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 and the best unlimited web hosting platform.

It offers shared, dedicated, and managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting, with shared hosting 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 to get you started.

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 well-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, it offers the most support out of the box for WordPress and WooCommerce 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, which allows you to utilize drag-and-drop functionality. 

Read our full Bluehost review.

Bluehost's shared hosting plans
BasicPlusChoice PlusPro
Cost per month/year$2.75* / $71.40*$5.45* / $95.40*$5.45* / $107.40*$13.95* / $203.40*
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)
Free domain

*Monthly payments aren’t available, so monthly prices shown are derived from the price of a subscription with a one-year term. Prices will increase significantly after your initial subscription.

Hostinger web hosting logo

(Image credit: Hostinger)
The best web hosting provider for small businesses

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $1.39 a month
Storage: 30GB
Bandwidth: 100GB

Reasons to buy

+
Auto installer for your favorite web apps
+
Huge knowledge base 
+
Solid performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited base plans offer low storage and bandwidth
-
Slow customer support
-
Extra features available at cost

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.

For those wanting more, Hostinger offers 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%. 

Hostinger comes with a one-click auto installer for all your favorite web apps, including WordPress. This makes it supremely easy for novices to start building their first website, and it also features the Zyro website builder, which is powerful enough to compete with leading builders. 

We found that the simple, uncluttered 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 have the time to take advantage of its comprehensive range of online support materials.

Read our full Hostinger review.

Hostinger's shared hosting plans
Single SharedPremium SharedBusiness Shared
Cost per month/year$9.49 / $16.68*$10.25 / $31.05*$15.99 / $47.88*
SSL certificate
Customer support24/7/36524/7/36524/7/365
Money-back guarantee✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)
Free domain

*This is the annual cost of a four-year subscription. Expect to pay significantly more per year for shorter subscription terms.

InMotion Hosting web hosting logo

(Image credit: InMotion Hosting)
Expensive hosting, but premium hardware

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $2.49 a month
Storage: 50GB
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Supports multiple websites on the base plan
+
Great tech support
+
Sound hardware configuration

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher-than-average prices
-
Average performance in testing
-
Expensive after introductory discount

InMotion Hosting offers a range of solutions, but has a specific focus on managed hosting. Shared hosting starts at $2.49 a month, with support for two sites, 10 email addresses, lots of storage space, and unlimited bandwidth. 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. Hardware and software offerings are better than those of many rivals, and this is reflected in the higher pricing at upper levels.

It advertises its services by stating that support agents can only handle chat, phone, or support email tickets after completing a rigorous internal training program. This means that friendly, responsive customer support staff are highly knowledgeable should you run into any issues. If you don’t mind paying extra for your hosting, we found that this top-level customer service is absolutely worth it. 

Read our full InMotion Hosting review.

InMotion Hosting's shared hosting plans
LaunchPowerPro
Cost per month*/year*N/A / $143.88N/A / $191.88$27.99 / $299.88
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee✔ (90 days)✔ (90 days)✔ (90 days)
Free domain

*After introductory offers expire

GreenGeeks web hosting logo

(Image credit: GreenGeeks)
Eco-friendly web hosting for businesses

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $2.49 a month
Storage: 50GB
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Eco-friendly renewable energy plan
+
Unmetered bandwidth and storage
+
Decent value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
No 24/7 support via phone
-
Poorly configured enterprise plans
-
Underpowered VPS and dedicated plans

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 to keep operations carbon neutral.

With its great shared hosting plans, GreenGeeks doesn’t force you to choose between hosting quality and environmental benefit. 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 website builder is also available, with plans starting from $2.49 a month.

It also offers WordPress, VPS, and reseller hosting. 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.

GreenGeek's shared hosting plans
LiteProEcoSite Premium
Cost per month/year$10.95* / $59.40*$15.95* / $83.40*$25.95* / $131.40*
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)
Free domain

*GreenGeeks offers monthly, annual, biannual, and triannual billing with its shared hosting products. Monthly prices decrease with longer subscription terms.

GreenGeeks web hosting logo

(Image credit: GreenGeeks)
Fine-quality shared hosting

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $4.99 a month
Storage: 10GB
Bandwidth: Unmetered (~10,000 visits monthly)

Reasons to buy

+
Unmetered bandwidth
+
Feature-packed shared hosting
+
Lets you choose server locations

Reasons to avoid

-
No dedicated or VPS hosting
-
Prices are relatively higher
-
Expensive shared hosting plans

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, SiteGround’s plans are all 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 that 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 for a website builder, SiteGround packages a Weebly builder with every plan.

Read our full SiteGround review.

SiteGround's shared hosting plans
StartUpGrowBigGoGeek
Cost per month*/per year**$3.99 / $47.88$6.69 / $80.28$10.69 / $128.28
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)
Free domain

Namecheap web hosting logo

(Image credit: Namecheap)
Attractive prices, with a few caveats

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $0.82 a month
Storage: 20GB
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Low prices
+
30 free email accounts
+
Auto-installer and website builder

Reasons to avoid

-
Inconsistent performance
-
Weak managed hosting
-
Restrictive base plan

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.

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. 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. A more advanced builder 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.

Namecheap's shared hosting plans
StellarStellar PlusStellar Business
Cost per month/year$1.88 / $21.88*$2.98 / $35.44*$4.98 / $58.88*
SSL certificate
Customer support24/7 (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)
Free domain

*This price only applies to the first year of your subscription, and renewal prices will be significantly higher.

Cloudways logo

(Image credit: Cloudways)
The best cloud web hosting provider

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: N/A ($10 for cheapest cloud hosting plan)
Storage: 25GB
Bandwidth: 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to set up
+
Free trial with no credit card
+
Selection of platforms

Reasons to avoid

-
No domain names
-
Email not included
-
Unfamiliar control panel

Cloudways, our pick for the best cloud hosting, offers affordable, reliable, and scalable managed hosting across flexible, pay-as-you-go plans. Combining competitive pricing with more enterprise-focused tools, it bridges the gap between shared and cloud hosting.

It utilizes cloud infrastructure networks, including DigitalOcean, Linode, VULTR, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud. 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 provide access to 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 of bandwidth. 

With industry-leading performance, highly-configurable hosting plans, 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 than standard shared hosting.

Read our comprehensive Cloudways review.

Cloudways’ cloud hosting plans
DigitalOceanLinodeVULTRAWSGoogle Cloud
Cost per month/yearFrom $10 / From $120From $12 / From $144From $11 / From $132From $36.51 / From $438.12From $33.18 / From $398.16
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee
Free domain

*Significant discounts are available with longer-term subscriptions, and you may be required to pay more on renewal.

DreamHost web hosting logo

(Image credit: DreamHost)
Perfect for WordPress users

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $2.95 a month
Storage: 50GB
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Unlimited bandwidth
+
Technically knowledgeable customer support 
+
Awesome performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited one-click installations
-
Base plan lacks free email
-
Live support not 24/7

DreamHost is a veteran in the hosting market, and its customer base enjoys great performance, zero downtime, and good speeds across a range of services, including 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 website migration plugin requiring no technical knowledge. A drag-and-drop WordPress site 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 is 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 essentially 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. 

If you're looking for one of the best web hosting services for WordPress, DreamHost is highly recommended. 

Read our full DreamHost review.

DreamHost's shared hosting plans
Shared StarterShared Unlimited
Cost per month*/per year**$7.99 / $83.88$13.99 / $155.88
SSL certificate
Customer supportLive chat and emailLive chat and email
Money-back guarantee✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)
Free domain

* Undiscounted monthly rates
** Undiscounted one-year rates

GoDaddy web hosting logo

(Image credit: GoDaddy)
Cheap domain registration and hosting service

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $5.99 a month
Storage: 100GB
Bandwidth: Unmetered

Reasons to buy

+
Unmetered bandwidth
+
Lots of storage space
+
One-click WordPress installation

Reasons to avoid

-
Daily backups cost extra
-
No cloud hosting
-
SSL certificate not included

Famous for domain registration, GoDaddy offers feature-packed personal and business web hosting at very affordable prices, both managed and unmanaged. These include shared, VPS, dedicated, WordPress, and even standalone email hosting across both Windows and Linux. 

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, security features included as standard with other providers are charged for, like SSL certificates, while backups have to be manually undertaken, alongside installation of CDNs.

Read our GoDaddy hosting review and our GoDaddy website builder review.

GoDaddy's shared hosting plans
EconomyDeluxeUltimateMaximum
Cost per month/year$5.99 / $83.88$7.99 / $119.88$12.99 / $179.88$19.99 / $275.88
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)
Free domain

Hostwinds web hosting logo

(Image credit: Hostwinds)
Solid but underrated hosting provider

Specifications

Lowest-priced shared hosting: $6.74 a month
Storage: Unlimited
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Solid performance
+
Unlimited everything
+
Lots of free goodies

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricing isn’t very transparent
-
Knowledge base average at best
-
SSL installation can be confusing

For only $6.74 a month, Hostwinds offers shared hosting 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 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.

Hostwinds' shared hosting plans
Basic SharedAdvanced SharedUltimate Shared
Cost per month/year$8.99* / $83.88*$10.99* / $107.88*$12.99* / $131.88*
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)
Free domain

*We’ve listed the standard prices here. Expect to receive a discount of up to 50% for your first billing cycle.


The best website builders with web hosting

Wix logo

(Image credit: Wix)
Web hosting and website building in one package

Specifications

Lowest-priced builder plan: $14 a month
Storage: 3GB
Bandwidth: Unmetered

Reasons to buy

+
Intuitive website builder
+
Free templates and image editor
+
Free domain name and SSL certificate

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive pricing
-
Low on storage space
-
Poor customer support

Wix is, for us, not only the best website builder, but the best small business website builder, the best ecommerce website builder, and the best free blogging site. However, it isn’t just a builder: it's also a hosting service. 

All of the services covered so far merely provide resources for storing your site on their servers, but Wix goes that extra mile with a comprehensive site-designing application and CDN that's ideal for novice users. As a consequence, Wix’s base plans cost a lot more than typical shared hosting, starting at $14 a month.

For this, you have access to 3GB storage, 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. While the 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. 

Read our comprehensive Wix review.

Wix's pricing plans
ComboUnlimitedProVIPBusiness BasicBusiness UnlimitedBusiness VIP
Cost per month/year$14 / $168$18 / $216$23 / $276$39 / $468$23 / $276$27 / $324$49 / $588
SSL certificate
Customer support24/724/724/7Priority24/724/7Priority
Money-back guarantee✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)✔ (14 days)
Free domain

Weebly logo

(Image credit: Weebly)
Perfect for ecommerce websites

Specifications

Lowest-priced builder plan: $6 a month
Storage: 500MB
Bandwidth: Unmetered

Reasons to buy

+
Intuitive website builder
+
Free templates and image editor
+
Free domain name and SSL certificate

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive pricing
-
Low on storage space
-
Limited design flexibility

Weebly is a builder that, like Wix, offers hosting. While its features and editor may appear plain compared to Wix's slick, extravagant offerings, a quick look under the hood proves this is not actually the case. It's also a really great option for starting an ecommerce website or online store, given it's underpinned by payment giant Square Online.

Weebly's free plan is a great way of evaluating the service. Beyond that, there are three paid plans, including Personal at $6 a month, and Pro and Performance at $12 and $26 a month respectively. All include ecommerce capability, and while Personal only allows 500MB storage and displays ads, Pro and Performance offer unlimited storage with no adverts. 

Weebly’s 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. Long-term, a pivot to Square's own ecommerce store builder is in the works, with new customers funnelled to it. Existing customers will still receive functionality and feature support.

Read our full Weebly website builder review.

Weebly's pricing plans
PersonalProfessionalPerformanceProBusinessBusiness Plus
Cost per month/year$9 / $72$16 / $144$29 / $312$18 / $216$35 / $420$46 / $552
SSL certificate
Customer supportEmail and forums24/724/724/724/724/7
Money-back guarantee✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)✔ (30 days)
Free domain

Benefits of the best web hosting

If you’ve chosen the right host, your site can achieve top performance. This means quicker loading times, so you can catch and keep the attention of any visitors, before potentially converting them to customers. Search engine rankings are also boosted for sites with faster loading speeds. 

Performance also means improved reliability and uptime. If your chosen host has a generous uptime pledge, you’ve got that insurance of knowing that your site should remain online, and that your provider is reliable enough to keep it responsive and live.

The best web hosts provide market-leading technical support, so you’ve got experts on call for help with issues or problems that you just can’t deal with, regardless of your experience levels. 

Hosts often provide domain-associated email addresses (such as tom@yourdomain.com as opposed to a Gmail or iCloud address), and also provide site backups, so you can quickly resume site operations without losing anything significant should the worst happen. 

Hosting offers improved security for your site, as hosts’ data centers are highly secure, while the top providers offer excellent extra precautions and measures including firewalls, automatic installations of anti-malware, virus, and spam software, and security plugins


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 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 (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 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, 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 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, 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.

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. 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.

Should I use free web hosting?

Although there are a few decent options out there, 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. 

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:

Are you now ready to purchase web hosting? Check out our regularly updated round-up of the best web hosting for cheap, 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; it's also worth looking at five myths that have been busted about WordPress, if you're considering its different approach. 

All hosts offer control panels, and most use cPanel: find out more about this leading interface software. If you're considering cloud hosting, it's wise to learn why regional cloud hosting matters when it comes to the location of your provider's servers, and how that might affect your business or customers.

Ritoban Mukherjee is a freelance journalist from West Bengal, India. His work has been published on Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Creative Bloq, IT Pro Portal, Gizmodo, Medium, and Mental Floss. Ritoban is also a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

With contributions from
  • PhillyPhotog50
    I would reconsider the recommendation of Hostwinds. They place limits on their shared plans that are reprehensible, and kill connectivity to your site when limits are exceeded. Operations as simple as wordpress updates tend to trigger their limits.

    We're here to help!


    Alex W.

    Alex W.
    Support Agent



    Alex W. 11:57
    Hey, Is there anything I can help you with today?
    Anthony Weiss 11:57
    my website is in an error state

    Resource Limit Is Reached

    The website is temporarily unable to service your request as it exceeded resource limit. Please try again later.

    Can this be explained?
    Alex W. 11:58
    You may have caped out a resource on your hosting plan. Just one moment while I investigate further into that for you.

    https://hw-screenshots.sea-proxy.windystorage.com/screenshots/2021-03-28_15-58-38-96c677a8-f771-4600-bf5e-c9b208821338.png One of you sites may have peaked a few times either from a drastic increase in traffic, a plugin, or a configuration error.

    I'll create a ticket to investigate further.

    Thank you for your patience. I have filed a ticket for you so that your issue can be resolved in the most efficient way possible. Please reply to the ticket either in the client area here https://clients.hostwinds.com/supporttickets.php or through your email.
    Anthony Weiss 12:02
    where can I view the data in the screenshot you provided for myself?
    Alex W. 12:02
    https://hw-screenshots.sea-proxy.windystorage.com/screenshots/2021-03-28_16-02-30-181f6d02-cfbb-4e42-8e5c-899b61ac7d68.pngAnthony Weiss 12:02
    where can I pull that up?

    in my dashboard
    Alex W. 12:03
    In your cpanel
    Anthony Weiss 12:03
    got it
    Alex W. 12:03
    Let me know if you have any further questions.
    Anthony Weiss 12:04
    what are the resource limits on my plan?
    Alex W. 12:05
    You can view them in your Cpanel to the right. https://hw-screenshots.sea-proxy.windystorage.com/screenshots/2021-03-28_16-05-48-1aa66482-8deb-4554-9853-7136ca370922.pngAnthony Weiss 12:06
    Why is the entry process limit so low?
    Alex W. 12:08
    Because its our most cost effective plan ideally meant for static mom and pop sites
    Anthony Weiss 12:09
    That is not how it is advertised

    I mean, it can't handle a simple wordpress site and a single security scan / update

    There are no limits listed on the website

    https://www.hostwinds.com/hosting/sharedAlex W. 12:11
    You are always welcome to send us your feedback about Hostwinds services and support by emailing our Senior Management team at feedback@hostwinds.com.
    Anthony Weiss 12:12
    what is the termination policy for return of unused funds, I feel like there was a bit of snake oil here
    Alex W. 12:12
    They would be refunded as account credit as a prorated refund.
    Anthony Weiss 12:12
    is that policy in writing somewhere?
    Alex W. 12:13
    https://www.hostwinds.com/guide/refunds/Anthony Weiss 12:14
    This policy sounds like you can only cancel within 72 hours of payments

    which is it, I can cancel now for a refund of unused time, or I am out of luck?
    Alex W. 12:16
    I'm asking a manager now since this change is new.

    We do as an Account credit. If they are a client that has been with us some time, we may show some lenience to the exact time, but typically it needs to be with 72 hours.

    You have a triannual plan and have been here awhile so you should be fine.
    Anthony Weiss 12:17
    So, No refund, but an account credit.
    Alex W. 12:17
    Correct
    Anthony Weiss 12:17
    can that account credit be put towards the purchase price of another plan?
    Alex W. 12:18
    Yes, It would be able to be used for anything we sell. Ideally, you would cancel the service first then request the refund via billing ticket

    We can provide you with a downloadable backup
    Anthony Weiss 12:19
    but if I cancel, I lose my website, looking to convert my current plan to something that isn't so anemic
    Alex W. 12:20
    We can't refund a service that you still are using. So at best we could provide you with a downloadable backup for another service and once the billing team approves your refund you would be able to get a higher tier service.
    Anthony Weiss 12:23
    Would a Business Basic have the same issues that I am experiencing on an advanced shared?
    Alex W. 12:23
    We offer this comparison article to elaborate on the exact differences between the two plans: https://www.hostwinds.com/guide/difference-shared-business-hosting/ Shared hosting: Entry Processes (10) I/O Usage (1 MB/s) Number Of Processes (15) Business hosting: Entry Processes (20) I/O Usage (4 MB/s) Number Of Processes (25)
    Anthony Weiss 12:24
    ok, this article indicates that there is an upgrade path to Buisness

    Excessive Resource Suspension Yes, after five (5) warnings you will need to upgrade to Business None

    How does that get arranged?
    Alex W. 12:28
    You would need to purchase the plan in question, migrate, cancel/refund the previous.

    There isn't a real upgrade "path", you would moreso be forced to get a more ideal plan to prevent the constant resource issues.
    Anthony Weiss 12:31
    Can someone call me during the week to figure this out. this seems kind of backwards.

    not sure if this is sales or tech, but there has to be a better answer here
    Alex W. 12:31
    We don't support phone services but if you email sales they would be able to guide you with ease.
    Anthony Weiss 12:32
    for the level of effort and cash I am going to outlay here, I am looking at the easier solution of just abandoning HostWinds and going to someone that is a bit more upfront about their capabilities
    Read
    Alex W. 12:33
    Understandable, you should do what is best for you. I'm just trying to offer solutions.
    Reply
  • Lex90
    admin said:
    Ready to take your business online? Here’s everything you need to know to find yourself the best web hosting service in 2021.

    Best web hosting services for your website in 2021 : Read more


    Well, as an experianced developer, its obvious Toms Guide -- are either affiliate sell outs, or anti-consumer.

    PC Gamer does this, they push all the highest paying affiliate hosting (Which is crap and tons and tons of issues) to make money at the expense of their customers, business and reputations.

    NONE of the hosts in that list are anywhere in a top position.

    This is "opinion" based journalism, and its a fake review. Based on not experienced but an opinion driven by profits. Its actually shocking, to see not a single editor picks one acceptable host, besides siteground which is the only one on that list useable.

    To place bluehost #1, is an admittance of pure corruption -- and your review corruption doesnt end with hosting -- it only shows that this isnt a credible site. Your editor, writer and whoever made this back door deal should seriously start considering putting the reader, honesty and customer service first.

    Bluehost, which is in a lawsuit for locking and shutting down customer sites for "malware" is being sued and losing for this practice.Their historically the worst in speed, service and features. Recommending them only hurts the people who use them.

    Hostinger has been caught endlessly for lying and spamming how amazing their service is, when it isnt according to real world data and testing.

    Honestly, Tom's Guide, during a time when everyone is struggling -- why are you exploiting your customers for back end deals /affiliate profits?

    Unreal.
    Shame on you.

    Advice, Retract the article, and hire someone to give you actual hosting advice to checkout. Stop the affiliate sellouts on hosting, since this harms businesses directly and is extremely damaging to companies who might already be struggling. You have a good enough readership that you should set an example for hosting reviews to follow -- not contiune the trend of massive review corruption.

    Until then, Reviewsignal is the only real place to get acceptable feedback on hosting.
    Reply