The best web hosting services and best website builders should be your starting point when creating a website. Without hosting, your site won't exist on the internet, and so you won't be able to reach your audience. However, with so many platforms, choosing the right web hosting provider can be a challenge.
We've outlined the various types of web hosting available, if you're new to the sector: if you don't know the difference, it can make a tough decision tougher. Our guide aims to guide you towards the top web hosting service for your requirements and budget, reviewing the best web hosting services and examining their performance against tried-and-tested criteria.
Below, we evaluate each service's prices, bandwidth limits, customer support, and more, to help you choose the best web hosting quickly and easily. Bear some other factors in mind too, including the type of hosting you'll require (once you've established what's best for your site); any scalability planned in for future growth; and the customer service and support levels you'll need. Let's get started!
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. Providers 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.
The top three best web hosting services right now
Bluehost: excellent features and inexpensive hosting
Bluehost is our pick of the best web hosting due to its high-quality packages. Top-performing servers mean load speed is never an issue, and shared hosting starts at just $4.95 a month (for a 36-month plan), with 50GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth.
Hostinger: best for small and medium-sized businesses
Hostinger is highly recommended for excellent performance, a large support knowledgebase, and an easy-to-use, one-click auto installer. It's ideal for SMBs, and if you opt for business hosting, you get a lot of features for your money.
InMotion Hosting: top support and full-featured plans
InMotion Hosting is a top choice for SMBs and larger businesses expecting serious web traffic volumes, providing excellent customer support and well-specified monthly, annual, or bi-annual plans with discounts of around 20% for longer terms.
Check out this exclusive Hostinger deal:
Get Hostinger's Premium Shared Hosting for $2.19 a month
We currently have an exclusive deal from Hostinger for its Premium Shared Hosting plan, currently available for an exclusive monthly price of $2.19 (down from $2.59). This includes 100 sites, 100GB SSD storage, and unlimited bandwidth and MySQL databases.
What are the best web hosting services?
Bluehost is our pick of the best web hosting services, thanks to its top range of features across competitively-priced packages. It also offers high-level reliability, knowledgeable and responsive customer service and support, excellent scalability, and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Hostinger rivals Bluehost for scalability and features, and its SMB focus offers strong security integrations alongside high-caliber customer service. InMotion's well-specified plans, top-tier customer support, and industry-leading 90-day money back guarantee also help it stand out from the crowd.
DreamHost, SiteGround, Namecheap, GreenGeeks, GoDaddy, and Hostwinds are all worth considering too for their performance, feature sets, and cost-effective pricing across different hosting types. Although most hosts offer a website builder with packages, we've included Wix and Weebly in our list, as they provide excellent value and quality web hosting across their website builder plans.
|Web hosting service||Lowest-priced shared hosting plan||Storage||Bandwidth|
|InMotion Hosting||$2.49 (Lite)||50GB||Unlimited|
|DreamHost||$2.95 (Shared Starter)||50GB||Unlimited|
|SiteGround||$4.99 (StartUp)||10GB||Unmetered (~10,000 visits monthly)|
The best web hosting services you can buy today
Bluehost has over two decades of experience, and continues to maintain a stellar reputation in a crowded field. It's also top of our rankings for the best VPS hosting, the best WordPress hosting, and the best unlimited web hosting, too.
It offers shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting plans, with shared hosting plans offering unmetered bandwidth at reasonable prices. It provides 24/7 support through phone and live chat, and while not the most customizable, feature-packed plans are well configured and well supported.
Its strongest selling points are speed and uptime, key for any growing website, 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 rated as one of only three hosts officially recommended by WordPress.
This instils a great deal of confidence, and extra features include automatic updates, custom themes, a free domain for the first year, a free SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, and a free content delivery network (CDN). Finally, it has its own website builder for WordPress, which allows you to utilize drag-and-drop functionality.
Hostinger has over 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 costs $1.39 a month for the first year, and offers 30GB of storage. While that isn’t a lot, it’s great for single-page websites and small businesses, and its Premium Shared Hosting plan is currently available for an exclusive monthly price of $2.19.
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 website builders.
A 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.
InMotion Hosting offers a range of hosting solutions, but has a specific focus on managed hosting. Shared hosting starts from $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 its friendly, responsive customer support staff are highly knowledgeable should you run into any issues. If you don’t mind paying extra for your hosting, this top-level customer service is absolutely worth it.
Read our full InMotion Hosting review.
DreamHost is one of the oldest hosts in the market. Its customer base of over 1.5 million enjoys great performance, zero downtime, and good speeds across a range of hosting 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 that requires no technical knowledge. A drag-and-drop WordPress website 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 for ease of use, while it also offers a full domain registration portal, allowing you to manage every aspect 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. Very few competitors offer anything close to this.
If you're looking for one of the best web hosting services for WordPress, DreamHost is highly recommended.
Read our full DreamHost review.
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 shared hosting plans are all managed, meaning you can expect quality support for any problems.
It also offers managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, including many features 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, including free SSL certificates, two-factor authentication, and DDoS protection. And if you're looking for a website builder, SiteGround packages a free Weebly builder with every plan.
Read our full SiteGround review.
Namecheap is known primarily for domain registration, but also offers a range of paid hosting services at attractive prices. It not only offers shared hosting, but also WordPress, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting.
Its cheapest shared hosting, at just $0.82 a month, gives you 20GB of space, 30 email accounts, one free domain, and 24/7 support. This 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 initial price 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. A more advanced builder, Site Maker, 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.
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. All plans come with unmetered traffic count and storage space, alongside other top features such as free website 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.
Famous for domain registration, GoDaddy offers feature-packed personal and business web hosting at very affordable prices. Currently home to over 20 million customers and 80 million domains, GoDaddy offers a range of solutions, both managed and unmanaged.
These include shared, VPS, dedicated, managed WordPress, and even standalone email hosting across both Windows and Linux. For just $5.99 a month, the cheapest shared hosting provides 100GB of 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 manual installation of CDNs.
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 websites, 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.
The best website builders with web hosting
Wix isn’t just a website builder: it's also a hosting service. All of 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 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 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 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.
Weebly is a website builder that, like Wix, offers hosting. While its features and editor may appear plain compared to Wix's slick and 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 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 Personal at $6 a month, and Pro and Performance at $12 and $26 a month respectively. All include ecommerce capability, including the free plan, and while the Personal plan only allows 500MB storage and displays ads, Pro and Performance offer unlimited storage 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.
Read our full Weebly website builder review.
Web hosting FAQs
What types of hosting are available?
Shared hosting is the simplest, and sees your site hosted on a server with others. This tends to be cheap, but performance and security can suffer.
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.
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, as well as for Linux and Windows-specific hosting. 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.
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.
What is the cheapest web hosting service right now?
The cheapest web hosting comes from Namecheap, whose budget shared hosting plans come with 20GB of space, 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'll pay for two or three years in advance; check if you might 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. Automatic backups, proactive malware scanning, and a free domain name are worth looking for.
A good hosting provider offers ample storage and bandwidth, with room for expansion. These are important parameters: storage refers to the 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 in terms of features. 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. If you're on a budget, take a look at our monthly round-up of the best web hosting for cheap.
How we review the best web hosting services
When reviewing web hosts, we trial response times and uptimes, as these are key to performance. We also analyze and test out user interfaces, features, and tools, to make sure that they're easy to use but not too complex.
Other areas we study include security features and customer support response times, as you want to make sure your site is safe, and that any issues you encounter can be fixed promptly. We also research pricing in-depth, so as to be aware of increasing monthly costs after an initial cheaper period.
Further reading on web hosting
Read our comparison pitting web hosting vs WordPress hosting, if you're unsure about the differences; learn more about whether web hosting affects SEO and what web hosting factors affect SEO; why regional cloud hosting matters;