Businesses and website creators need the best web hosting services to boost the performance of their sites, and because we know this, we’ve combed through over 160 hosts to find the best of the best.
During our web hosting service tests, we analyze product ranges, compare control panels, explore their tools, build a site or two, try out each customer support option, and run some in-depth uptime and speed tests.
We know that’s a little time consuming, that’s why our team of expert reviewers have done all of the hard work already. We’ve also tried and tested each web host on features such as ease of use, price, trustworthiness, and more, by buying domain names and setting up test websites to host on each web hosting platform listed below.
From the over 160 web hosting and website builder providers we’ve reviewed extensively on our site, we’ve carefully picked the eleven best web hosting providers, compared their strengths, weaknesses, pricing, in order for you to make a more informed decision on which host is best for your online needs.
What are web hosting services?
If you’ve found yourself asking “What is a web hosting service and how does it work?” we’ve written a detailed explanation with all the information you need to help you understand the service before picking the right one for your website needs.
In a nutshell, web hosting is a service that makes your site or web application accessible on the internet – and is generally considered as one of the most important elements needed when building a website of any sort.
Web hosts maintain and run physical servers that house websites, and there’s lots to choose from depending on your website’s needs and your budget.
From shared hosting, to VPS and WordPress hosting – the type of server space that you rent to store your website’s data can be specifically tailored depending on the web hosting service you choose and what package you select from the provider.
Shared hosting is a simple scheme where multiple websites are stored on the same web server (a type of computer.)
Sign up for a shared hosting plan and your provider allocates you some space on the server. You can then access that space to install WordPress, WooCommerce or some other app, or just upload a site of your own. Buy a domain like MySite.com, set it up to point to the web space, and your site becomes available to the outside world.
One benefit of shared hosting is its simplicity. You don’t have to spend any time maintaining the server, because your provider does that. All you need to do is work on your own site.
Sharing a web server means sharing the costs, too, and with sometimes hundreds of websites on the same server, that usually means rock-bottom prices.
The big problem with shared hosting is you’re also sharing your server’s system resources: CPU time, RAM, storage and network connection. There’s only so much to go around, and the more sites on your server, the slower and less dependable your own website is likely to be.
Shared hosting is still the best choice in many situations. If you’re creating a simple blog, a site for family, a local club, anything with very light traffic where no-one will care much if the site is a little slow occasionally, the shared option is ideal. It’s very easy to use, and you can get decent plans from many providers for around $2 to $4 a month.
But if this is something more important, a web store, maybe a business site, then a slow or unreliable website will drive visitors away. It’s well worth upgrading to something more powerful.
What is VPS hosting?
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a clever technology which divides a single physical server into multiple server environments.
Log onto a VPS and you’ll have access to what looks like the full server. This is far more complex than shared hosting, but it also gives you much more control. You can install any apps, tweak any server settings, even replace the entire operating system if you like.
There will be other VPS environments on the same physical server (though not as many other accounts as with shared hosting), reducing your performance a little. But you’ll have your own allocation of network bandwidth, RAM, storage and CPU time. These won’t be shared with other customers, which means your site should see higher and more consistent speeds than you’ll get with shared hosting.
Upgrading is often very easy, too. If website traffic grows and you need additional resources – more CPU time, extra RAM, a higher bandwidth allowance – then you can typically add them to your plan in a click or two, and they’ll be available almost immediately.
This extra power comes at a price, but it might be much less than you think. Hostinger’s cheapest shared hosting plan is $1.99 a month on the four-year plan; its cheapest VPS plan is just $2.99, again over four years. It’s a very basic plan, but at $8.99 for a one-off month, it’s not expensive to see if a VPS could work for you.
What is dedicated hosting?
As the name suggests, dedicated hosting is a plan where a physical server is dedicated to a single client. That means no more speed issues because you’re sharing bandwidth, RAM or CPU time with other accounts: the entire system is yours alone.
As you’re renting the entire physical server, most providers allow you to build it with whatever hardware you need. You can typically choose your CPU, storage drives and type (cheap and high capacity HDDs, smaller but faster SSDs), operating system, bandwidth allowance and more. If you’ve the cash, you’re often able to build some hugely powerful systems (Hostwinds’ top-of-the-range dedicated server supports up to ten hard drives, for instance, if you can think of a reason to use them.)
This can be expensive. Even budget providers like Namecheap charge a monthly $50-$60 for their most basic dedicated servers, and Liquid Web’s top-of-the-range enterprise models might cost $500 or more (although they’re aimed at huge sites which might have a million page views a month.)
There’s more work involved in managing a dedicated server, too. With shared hosting, if your server crashes, the provider support team should notice and fix or reboot it. But if you’re running the server, all that is up to you, unless you pay even more to the provider to handle it for you (see ‘What is managed hosting?’)
If you absolutely need top performance and complete control of your server, though, a dedicated plan is probably the way to go.
What is WordPress hosting?
WordPress is a popular free platform which makes it easy to build all kinds of websites, from a simple one-page offering, to a blog, a professional business site, even a full web store.
Many web hosting providers offer WordPress plans which simplify the process of setting up your site, and often include tools to boost speeds and keep the site running more smoothly.
Buy a plan and WordPress usually comes pre-installed, for example, so you won’t have to set it up yourself. WP Engine throws in some stylish WordPress themes, allowing you to create a gorgeous-looking site even if you’ve zero design skills. And most plans make at least some effort to automatically update WordPress with new patches as they arrive, reducing your site maintenance hassles.
If your WordPress needs are very simple, you may not need a specialist WordPress hosting plan. Most shared hosting plans have easy WordPress installation and a handful of other relevant features, and Hostinger’s All-In-One shared hosting product gives you all kinds of valuable extras – automated updates, a WordPress site-building wizards, performance accelerators, more – from as little as $2.99 a month.
What is managed hosting?
Shared hosting accounts are generally very simple to operate, but higher end products – WordPress, VPS hosting, dedicated servers – often require running all kinds of maintenance tasks. You might need to test and update WordPress plugins, install operating system patches, spot and troubleshoot server errors, maybe reboot a server if it locks up or crashes.
Buy a managed web hosting plan and some or all of these tasks will be carried out by your hosting provider’s regular support team. You’ll potentially save real time and hassle, and if problems do crop up, they’ll be speedily addressed by the people best qualified to fix them.
Sounds great– so why would anyone do anything else? Cost, mostly. Hostwinds’ 4-core 8GB RAM VPS costs $59.99 fully managed, for instance, but only $38.99 for the unmanaged DIY version, a big drop in price.
One key message here is to keep this in mind when comparing WordPress, VPS or dedicated plans between hosting providers. Host A may look seriously cheap, but are you comparing a managed with an unmanaged plan? Be sure to check the small print.
There’s no precise definition of ‘managed’, either, so don’t simply assume a managed plan means you’ll have absolutely no maintenance to do. Every provider has its own definition of what’s covered and what isn’t, so check it out, make sure you understand exactly what’s covered before you buy.
What is email hosting?
One of the big advantages of registering a domain is you can have your own custom email address ([email protected] is far more impressive and business-like than builder[email protected].) But it’s not always as easy as you might expect.
You probably won’t get email when you register a domain, for instance. Most hosting plans include some email support, but it may not be as powerful as you need, especially for business use. You’ll often see strict limits on Inbox size, the number of accounts you can create, even the number of emails you can send a day.
Email hosting is a service which allows you to send and receive emails via a custom domain. You don’t have to buy email hosting from the same provider as your web hosting, and in fact you don’t need web hosting at all: just register a domain, buy an email hosting plan and you’re ready to start creating and using all those [email protected] email accounts.
1. Webhost 365 – Best WordPress and cloud hosting
Webhost 365 is an expert provider of high-end managed hosting solutions for everything from email to WordPress, WooCommerce, VPS, dedicated and assorted other cloud products.
Unlike the more consumer-oriented competition, Webhost 365 focusing on cutting corners to hit some spectacular headline price. And build fast and top-quality products first.
The service quality is obvious, everywhere you look. Most providers claim 99.9% uptime; Webhost 365 quotes 99.999%. The company doesn’t just make vague promises about speedy support; its Service Level Agreement guarantees a live chat or telephone response time of under 59 seconds, with hosting credits if this doesn’t happen.
Take Webhost 365 VPS plans, for instance. They’re crammed with high-end features like Linux or Windows hosting, Plesk and cPanel management, root access, DDoS protection, Cloudflare CDN, and more, and the website claims they’re also faster than AWS, Rackspace or Digital Ocean. Would you expect them to be cheaper than everyone else? Of course not, but believe it or not they are.
Liquid Web’s 10 site, 10GB managed Hosting plan is $1.49 a month, for instance, almost half the price of Hostinger’s starter WordPress product. But it’s also faster, more capable and with way more professional features, and if that’s more important to you than price, Webhost 365 plans might be the real bargain.
In addition to all these features, they also provides free hosting if you are just starting out and don’t need much resources, there free plan can manage 500 visitor a month, it’s good for beginners. You can upgrade the plan at any time when you grow, its just one click game.
2. Bluehost – Best web hosting overall
Bluehost has been rated the top web host by WordPress.org, the organization that oversees the development of the world’s most popular CMS (Image credit: Bluehost)
Bluehost tops our web hosting provider scoreboard for its vast range of feature-packed plans, easy setup, reliable network and great live chat support to help keep your site running smoothly.
We tested its 10GB single-site shared hosting plan, which we recommend for hosting newbies as it costs $2.75 a month billed annually ($9.99 on renewal), and offers a website builder, WordPress integration, free CDN, and a free domain and SSL for the first year. Upgrading gets you unlimited sites and storage, automated backups and assorted other extras (depending on the plan.)
Bluehost’s starter WordPress plans are priced the same, but with important feature tweaks. WordPress comes preinstalled, so you can start right away. We used the Bluehost Marketplace to find gorgeous themes, feature-packed plugins and more. We were able to manage multiple WordPress sites from an easy-to-use web dashboard, although the expert live chat support agents were not the fastest to respond, we got the help we needed once they were active. Another downside to note is that Bluehost has no monthly billing options and you can only commit to a minimum of one year for its hosting plans.
If you’re looking for something a little simpler, Bluehost’s Website Builder (priced from $2.95 a month billed annually) enables building good-looking sites by little more than dragging and dropping. It’s super-easy to use, yet so powerful that the top plans ($24.95 a month billed annually) can even build feature-packed web stores.
There’s plenty to like here for experts, too, from value VPS and configurable dedicated hosting, to hosted WooCommerce plans, business-friendly Google Workspace hosting, domain registration, and even migration support to easily move an existing site to your Bluehost account.
3. Hostinger – Best WordPress hosting
Hostinger has one of the cheapest starting prices of all the mainstream web hosting companies (Image credit: Hostinger)
Hostinger sells itself on value, and two or three seconds into checking it out, the service specs reveal why. Its starter All-In-One package is only $2.99 billed annually ($8.99 on renewal), but gets you 100GB storage, unmetered traffic, free SSL, a free domain for year one, support for 100 websites, a choice of six data centers, automatic backups, managed WordPress, 1GB email storage, a virus scanner, spam filter and more.
Hostinger doesn’t bury a host of hidden catches in the small print, either. SSL won’t cost you extra after year one, for instance: it’s free for the lifetime of your account.
Hostinger’s WordPress support is a major highlight. If you’re just looking to run a small blog, the baseline account supports a single site, 30GB of storage, 100GB of monthly bandwidth and free SSL from as little as $1.99 a month on the four-year account (a bargain $95.52 up-front), rising to $3.99 on renewal.
Three further WordPress plans add more features, but even the business-friendly WordPress Pro account (with support for 300 websites, 200GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, daily backups, Cloudflare CDN and more) is still only $11.59 a month on the four-year plan, $19.99 on renewal.
Although, unlike Bluehost, Hostinger doesn’t offer dedicated hosting plans, which is perhaps an issue for business users who need the fastest possible speeds. But its cloud hosting plans give you dedicated system resources, which the company claims can deliver 4x times great speeds.
And a wide range of VPS plans get close to dedicated servers in power, with the $77.99 a month high-end plan offering an 8-core, 16GB RAM monster with an enterprise-level 12TB of monthly bandwidth. Our test proved this web host to be a top quality provider.
With 20+ years in the business, HostGator has grown into a top-notch web hosting provider with products for every level of user.
Similar to both Bluehost and Hostinger, shared hosting is a highlight for HostGator, with even the cheapest Hatching plan offering unlimited bandwidth and disk space, a free domain for a year, free SSL for the lifetime of your plan, one-click WordPress installation and a bundled website builder. There’s a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, and HostGator will even move a simple website from your existing site to your new space, for free.
Prices are good too, at $2.75 a month on the three-year plan, $3.95 billed annually (both renew at $6.95.)
HostGator’s WordPress plans are a little more expensive, with prices starting from $5.95 a month over three years ($9.95 on renewal), but they also add essential features such as backups and malware protection, which are often paid extras elsewhere.
More demanding users can choose from three VPS and three dedicated hosting plans, and if you’re the ambitious type, you could even start your own hosting business via HostGator’s reseller plans.
Their high-end products aren’t as configurable as we’ve seen elsewhere, and starting prices are relatively high, but specs are good, and you’ll likely have more than enough power for most sites. HostGator also only guarantees 99.9% uptime on cloud hosting plans.
Nevertheless, whatever type of hosting you’re after, the industry-standard cPanel combined with HostGator’s own feature-packed web dashboard, did a good job of helping manage our web space and account. And if you do run into trouble, no problem: HostGator’s phone and live chat support has solved most of our problems within minutes.
5. GoDaddy – Best multilingual support web host
US-based GoDaddy is a web hosting giant with an absolutely huge range of products. There’s shared, VPS and dedicated hosting; WordPress support covering everything from simple personal blogs to full-featured WooCommerce-powered web stores; an easy-to-use website builder, email and Microsoft 365 hosting, digital marketing tools, domain registration, payment processing, point-of-sale systems, and the list goes on (and on, and on.)
GoDaddy has a decent range of four shared hosting plans. All include a choice of data centers in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific; daily backups, and unusual extras such as free Microsoft 365 mailboxes for the first year. But they look a little underpowered in other areas: the lower two plans have no free SSL, and the cheapest paid SSL certificate is $94.99 a year.
Shared hosting prices are higher than most, too, with the single site 100GB Economy plan costing $5.99 a month on the three-year plan, $8.99 on renewal. But GoDaddy’s billing is surprisingly flexible, and if you’re confident you’ll like the service, you can lock in those savings with a five and even a ten-year plan. We found the shared hosting has below-par server response times, which was not the best experience during our tests because it took longer to solve the hosting issue we encountered.
We found GoDaddy delivers a high quality service for your money, too. The well-designed web dashboard is easy to use; an automated installer sets up WordPress and 150+ other top web apps in a click or two; and the industry-standard cPanel has every tool you’ll need to manage your web space.
This all worked well for us, but if you do need help, GoDaddy more than delivers with its detailed knowledge base, and multilingual live chat and phone support available in a very impressive 15+ languages.
6. GreenGeeks – Best green hosting service
Founded in California back in 2008, GreenGeeks proudly claims to be the ‘world’s #1 green energy web hosting provider’, and this isn’t just marketing speak: the company takes real action to back it up.
This doesn’t just involve designing its platform to be as energy-efficient as possible; GreenGeeks also promises that for every amperage it uses, it invests three times that in renewable energy, helping to reduce future carbon emissions.
GreenGeeks’ star products are its powerful shared hosting plans. Even the cheapest offers unmetered bandwidth, a free domain for a year, nightly backups, 50 email accounts, multi-user access, and free SSL for the lifetime of the account. Prices start low at $2.95 a month on the three-year plan, although they jump to an above-average $10.95 on renewal.
GreenGeeks’ VPS and dedicated server plans are available for high traffic sites. These look a little more expensive than most providers, but that’s largely because they don’t have any ‘70% off for the first year’-type introductory offer. But they’re well specified – even the baseline $39.95 a month 2GB plan includes 10TB of monthly traffic – and deliver far better performance than the shared offerings. Similar to GoDaddy, we also experienced delayed responses when testing GreenGeeks.
During our test, we found that GreenGeeks didn’t quite match the top hosting providers in every area. There are multiple data centers, for instance, but only in North America and Europe. Phone support is limited to 9am-12am EST Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm at weekends. But on balance this is a likable service which shows that green hosting isn’t just about making eco-friendly gestures: you can find some capable products, too.
7. InMotion Hosting – Best reseller web hosting
InMotion Hosting is a popular provider with 20+ years of hosting experience, and an impressive array of plans covering all kinds of applications.
This starts with capable shared, website builder and WordPress products. There’s free SSL and prices start from only $2.49 a month for three years’ service ($8.99 on renewal.)
But InMotion offers plenty more, from configurable VPS plans, to powerful dedicated servers, and enterprise-level hosted private cloud solutions. However demanding your website might be, InMotion Hosting has the power to help.
InMotion’s reseller hosting should appeal to anyone who wants to take a stab at becoming a web hosting provider. 80GB of SSD storage and 800GB of bandwidth can be yours from only $15.39 a month on the two-year plan. We were able to divide this between up to 25 customers. Everyone gets cPanel to help manage their web space, and the bundled WHMCS manages all the accounts and billing for you.
If you’re feeling ambitious, upgrading gets you more storage, bandwidth and cPanel accounts. You can resell more powerful VPS plans from $39.99 a month, and WordPress VPS hosting gets you a 4GB RAM, 2 CPU VPS with five cPanel licenses for only $19.99 a month.
Whatever your preference, InMotion works harder than most to help keep your site running smoothly. There’s 24/7 phone, email and live chat support, tickets, a support website, even a community forum to chat with others. And if it still doesn’t work out, most plans are protected by a market-leading 90 day money-back guarantee period.
8. Namecheap – Best unlimited web hosting
Namecheap was founded way back in 2000 as a domain registrar, but over the years it’s grown to offer a vast range of products and services. We’re not just talking ‘domains with some basic shared hosting on the side’: Namecheap also has WordPress, VPS, dedicated and reseller accounts, business email hosting, spam filtering, premium DNS, cloud storage, a CDN, even a VPN. There’s a good chance you could find all the web-related products you need on Namecheap’s site.
Plans are generally good value, with low starting prices and some unexpected features. Shared hosting is priced from $2.18 a month billed annually ($4.48 on renewal), for instance. The catch is SSL comes free for the first year only. But pluses include free site migration, a CDN, a domain for a year with website privacy, twice weekly backups, and support for hosting up to three websites (many budget plans limit you to one.)
It’s a similar story of value products with unexpected features in Namecheap’s WordPress hosting. Even the company’s most expensive plan (EasyWP Supersonic) is only $4.57 a month billed annually ($9.07 on renewal), but that gets you a site capable of 500K visitors a month, with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a free CDN for the best possible performance.
We found that Namecheap’s VPS and dedicated products aren’t quite as competitive. Prices are reasonable and there are plenty of configuration options, but they don’t cover every need (there’s no Windows hosting, for instance.) But even here, Namecheap generally does a good job, and overall it’s a great hosting provider for those on a tight budget.
9. Hostwinds – Best dedicated web hosting
Hostwinds is a capable web hosting provider with some very configurable products which work for home and more demanding business users.
Shared hosting is priced from only $3.74 a month on the three-year plan, for instance (renewing at $4.99.) But a decent set of features includes free SSL, a free dedicated IP, a website builder, and easy WordPress installation. And optional extras include Hostwinds Monitoring, where the company monitors your site, and automatically opens a ticket if the site is down. (That’s $24 a year, but if it gets your site back up more quickly, that could be a price worth paying.) When it comes to keeping our website secure, we found Hostwinds plans come with free SSL, which is used to verify the identity of a website and to encrypt information sent to and from the site.
Hostwinds plans become even more configurable as you head up the range. VPS hosting is available in both Linux and Windows flavors, for example, and in managed (Hostwinds maintains the server for you) and cheaper unmanaged (you handle the technical stuff yourself) forms. One downside that we think you should be aware of is the fact that Hostwinds offers a very short two-day refund period for subscriptions under 12 months.
Hostwinds really excels with its dedicated server range. Prices start at $122 a month for a single CPU, four cores, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD system with 10TB of outbound traffic. That’s already enough for many tasks, but Hostwinds has much more: you can choose from 13 base servers, then add up to ten SSD or HDD storage devices, use from 8 to 32GB RAM, opt for your favorite Linux distro (or Windows server), and set your bandwidth allowance to anything from 10TB to unmetered.
Add one or two optional extras (backups are $1 a month plus storage costs, Hostwinds Monitoring is just $2 a month) and you’ll have a capable system ready for even the most business-critical tasks.
10. Dreamhost – Best email hosting provider
Some web hosts target the consumer market, others go for businesses, but DreamHost is a little more ambitious: its range of plans are designed to appeal to just about everybody.
WordPress hosting starts at just $2.59 a month on the three year plan, for instance ($5.99 on renewal), yet still includes free SSL and unlimited traffic. But if you need more, there’s a smooth upgrade path through a WordPress Unlimited plan (unlimited websites and email for $3.95 a month), managed WordPress plans for extra speed and reliability, even WordPress VPS plans for maximum performance.
It’s much the same with DreamHost’s stand-alone VPS plans. Prices start at $10 a month for a decent feature set (free SSL, unlimited websites and traffic), but you can also upgrade to $20, $40 and $80 a month plans to get more system resources and support more heavy-duty sites.
DreamHost also offers capable email hosting. You might think you have email already with other providers, but that isn’t necessarily true. This doesn’t necessarily come with all domain registrations or shared hosting packages, and even if you get email, it may be more basic than you think (a 1GB or 2GB inbox, for instance.)
DreamHost’s email package goes beyond the basics with a spacious 25GB Inbox. It’s IMAP-powered, so you can view the same incoming and outgoing messages from all your devices. Built-in spam filtering blocks junk mail, malware and phishing attacks, and the whole package can be yours for only $1.99 a month billed monthly, or $1.67 if you pay for a year up-front, although, with the lack of phone support, you might find it a tad bit slower to get your site up and running should you run into some complications along the way.
11. WP Engine – Best Managed WordPress hosting
WP Engine ‘s plans are built for WordPress from the bottom up, with easier setup and migration, reliable and automatic WordPress updates, extra security features, specialist performance optimizations, valuable troubleshooting features and more.
The difference is obvious. Lesser providers may give you free themes, but they’re often basic offerings you’ll never want to use. WP Engine throws in 10 gorgeous StudioPress themes, premium products with real value (StudioPress asks $360 a year to access all its themes.)
Staging is another WP Engine benefit. We found that when we were changing themes, adding site features or just making a few updates, the Staging area allows safely testing these on a copy of our site, before we put them live. Other advantages include safer WordPress updates, while integrated performance tests run checks on your website and offer useful speedup tips.
If you don’t need all this functionality, it could be a little overwhelming. The WP Engine interface is well laid out, but it’s stuffed with tools and options, and this is likely to mean a steep learning curve for inexperienced users.
Prices are above average, too, with even the most basic WP Engine plan costing $25 a month billed annually, around three times the cost of the budget competition. But if you’re looking for an optimized environment, with quality tools and excellent support, this could be a price worth paying.