Best Web Hosting Comparison Guide & Reviews
For this ultimate web hosting comparison, we tested out over 30 web hosting providers and compared them on the basis of factors like support, features, uptime, reliability, and price. We used real-time data collected over 12 months and then chose the 10+ best web hosting services.
What We Did in Order to Find The Best
Choosing the best web hosting services from among so many operating today was definitely hard and involved extensive research and testing. We took our time and thoroughly analyzed all the competitors to comb out the best options available. When making the list, we used key metrics, including features, customer support, uptime, speed and price and then rated them on a scale of 1 to 10. Then, we took out the average of all the metrics and made the final rankings of each provider. This makes it easy to compare web hosting providers.
Web Hosting Comparison Chart (Editorial Ratings)
The following table shows how each web host performed and the rating we gave for each key metric. This makes it easy to compare web hosting providers so you can choose the right one without a problem! Google Spreadsheet Web Hosting Comparison [Full Report & Methodology]
|2. A2 Hosting||8.4/10||4.1/5||$2.99||9/10||10/10||7/10||9/10||7/10|
|3. AccuWeb Hosting||8.4/10||4.0/5||$3.09||10/10||9/10||9/10||7/10||7/10|
|6. Liquid Web||7.6/10||4.6/10||$35||10/10||10/10||3/10||8/10||7/10|
|8. 1&1 IONOS||7.2/10||4.1/5||$4||10/10||6/10||7/10||5/10||8/10|
|10. WP Engine||7.2/10||4.4/5||$25||10/10||9/10||3/10||7/10||7/10|
Top 15 Best Web Hosting Services of 2021
With the plethora of services available today, it’s no surprise that picking out the best one becomes very difficult. Even if you are well-versed in technology and the kind of host you require, comparing the hundreds of products and plans can be troublesome. To save you from all that hard work, we’ve done the research on your behalf. Check out our 15 best web hosting of 2021.
Web Hosting Comparison Chart (Uptime, Load Time, Price, Support)
For the purpose of this, we monitored 15 of the most famous services for 12 months. Then, we collected data, including support, price, speed, uptime, and summarized everything in the table below.
|Provider||Uptime, %||Speed, ms||Pingdom Grade||Special Price, $ / years||Renewal Price (1 year), $||1 Month Price, $||Money Back, days||Response Time||BBB.org Rating||TrustPilot Rating|
|1. SiteGround||99.98%||530 ms||B 84||$6.99 / 1 year||$14.99||$19.99||30||3 min||A+||4.8|
|2. A2 Hosting||99.98%||299 ms||A 94||$2.99 / 3 years||$6.99||$10.99||30||5 min||A+||4.1|
|3. AccuWeb Hosting||99.99%||410 ms||A 91||$3.09 / 3 years||$4.95||–||30||4 min||A+||4.0|
|4. Hostinger||99.95%||354 ms||A 91||$0.99 / 4 years||$2.99||$9.99||30||5 min||–||4.4|
|5. HostPapa||99.99%||576 ms||B 87||$3.95 / 3 years||$7.99||$7.99||90||9 min||A+||3.8|
|6. Liquid Web||99.99%||343 ms||A 91||$19 / 1 year||–||$19||30||5 min||–||4.6|
|7. GreenGeeks||99.95%||462 ms||B 83||$2.95 / 3 years||$4.95||$9.95||30||7 min||A+||4.4|
|8. 1&1 IONOS||99.99%||746 ms||A 96||$4 / 1 years||$6||$6||30||30 min||A+||4.1|
|9. BlueHost||99.96%||617 ms||B 83||$3.95 / 3 years||$5.95||–||30||5 min||A+||2.1|
|10. WP Engine||99.99%||488 ms||A 91||$25 / 1 years||–||$30||60||4 min||A||4.4|
|11. DigitalOcean||99.98%||277 ms||A 94||$5 / 1 years||–||$5||30||1 day||B-||2.1|
|12. InMotion||99.94%||509 ms||A 94||$5.99 / 2 years||$10.99||–||90||10 min||A+||2.5|
|13. GoDaddy||99.95%||522 ms||B 85||$5.99 / 3 years||$8.99||–||30||10 min||A+||4.1|
|14. DreamHost||99.66%||1116 ms||A 93||$2.59 / 3 years||$3.95||$4.95||97||7 min||A+||4.7|
|15. HostGator||99.92%||1023 ms||B 85||$3.75 / 3 years||$3.95||$10.95||45||5 min||A+||2.8|
Web Hosting Comparison Chart (Key Features Between Shared Plans)
We compared the shared plans by all 15 of our top providers, along with the features they offer and presented a detailed review of each. The following table summarizes the started plans from different web hosts.
|Hosting Name||Control Panel||Web Space, gb||Bandwidth, gb||Free Domain, $||Domain Protection, $||SSL, $||SiteLock Security||Didicated IP, $||Domain Email, $||WordPress 1 Click||Website Builder / Month, $||Migration||SEO Tools / Year, $||Automatic Backups, $||Free Nighty Backups|
|2. A2 Hosting||cPanel||100||Unlimited||14.95||✓||Free||✓||71.88||✓||✓||6||✓||X||23.88||✓|
|3. AccuWeb Hosting||cPanel||10||500||14.99||X||Free||X||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||X||✓||✓|
|6. Liquid Web||WHM/cPanel||15||2 TB||X||X||X||X||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||X||X||✓|
|8. 1&1 IONOS||Custom-Built||10||Unlimited||✓||X||Free||X||X||✓||✓||✓||✓||X||X||✓|
|10. WP Engine||Custom-Built||10||50||X||X||X||X||X||X||✓||X||X||X||X||✓|
|11. DigitalOcean||–||25||1 TB||X||X||Free||X||✓||✓||✓||X||✓||X||X||✓|
How to Choose The Best Web Hosting (10 Useful Tips)
1. Look at load time and uptime
Both load time and uptime are of great importance because they help to determine your site’s performance quality. The two metrics also affect traffic and have an influence on the overall revenue of your website too.
Uptime is essentially the total time for which your site runs without facing any problems. On the contrary, downtime is the time for which your site is unavailable to customers. So, the longer your website stays down, the more money you lose.
Meanwhile, with slow load time, your site’s bounce rate will increase exponentially. No one wants to wait for more than a few seconds for the page to load, especially if they’re using a mobile device. Therefore, you need to ensure that both uptime and load times are good.
2. Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks
A lot of services have a low starting price, but to be able to avail of that, you must prepay for up to three years. And after the introductory time ends, they increase the pricing. Similarly, the renewal price can be up to four times greater than the initial price. So while the pricing, in the beginning, might look great, the total cost, in the end, can stack up to be quite high, so one must be careful about that.
3. Credibility of the provider
You need to look at the trustworthiness of the provider. Anyone can pose as a real web host and resell products offered by someone else. To make sure you choose a genuine provider, look for how long they have been in business, their contact address, their website, etc. We monitor both negative and positive reviews on the web and keep a close eye on BBB.org and TrustPilot rating and reviews to ensure credibility.
4. Check if unlimited actually means unlimited
The majority of services state that they offer unmetered or unlimited disk storage and bandwidth; however, there’s still some limit they’ve set, which might also be mentioned in the fine print in the company’s terms of service.
So, if you have only a basic website, you don’t need to worry about unlimited means. However, if you have something excessive, then you might have to spend more for more bandwidth and storage.
5. Transfer services may have some issues
Most hosts offer migration services either for free or at a very reasonable price. With these services, you can move your existing website to the new provider, thereby saving hassle.
However, one problem you might face is that the migration process is usually automated and might not meet your needs. For instance, everything might not be transferred, or the migrated site might be harder to maintain.
6. Will you require specialized hosting?
If you plan to use a CMS like Joomla or WordPress down the road, then it’s better to choose a company that provides such specialized hosting plans. This way, you can start off with only the basic plan and then change the plan later on.
7. Location of your target audience
You must ensure that you choose a data center that is pretty close to the geographical location of your potential audience. This way, end-users will be able to enjoy better loading speed. In turn, your site will be able to rank better on search engines.
For example, what’s ideal for a company in the UK is not the best option for a business setup in America. So, make sure you host your website in a data center that’s on the same continent as most of your visitors.
8. Number of hosted domains
The number of sites you want to launch is important, too. However, it’s not as straightforward as it seems. You must also check things like bandwidth, RAM, CPU, and databases per plan. In most cases, these metrics are more restrictive as compared to the number of hosted domains.
9. Number of daily visitors
A few providers explicitly state how many visitors their service can support. Meanwhile, for others, you’ll have to search a bit more. Regardless, if you’re only expecting daily visitors in hundreds, then there’s no need to pay for a plan that allows up to 100,000 users. Plus, most companies make it quite easy to upgrade the plan if needed later on.
10. Are you setting up an online store?
If you plan to sell products on your site, you will need a PCI-compliant host, an advanced SSL certificate, and support for eCommerce systems like OpenCart or PayPal.
PCI is short for Payment Card Industry and is the security standard for organizations that process payments made via credit cards. Moreover, when it comes to SSL certificates, some include it in the price of their plans, while in other cases, you will have to pay extra for it.
Main Web Hosting Features & Reliability
Bandwidth / TrafficThe bandwidth dictates the amount of load that your site can handle. In other words, it is the amount of data it can transfer to visitors. Basically, your data is stored on a server, and those who come to your website use the bandwidth. So, the amount you required depends on the number of visitors as well as the content you have on your site.
SSL CertificateIt’s imperative for your site to have a valid SSL certificate to ensure data security and safety. Most browsers, including Chrome, won’t open a website if it doesn’t have a secure connection. The majority of web hosts offer free SSL certificates, especially if you go for their premium plans. However, some might charge a separate fee of about $27 per year.
Disk Space (SSD/HDD)You should have enough space to contain all the content you have. As the content you upload increases, so does the need for space. Also, remember that the price of the hosting plan varies according to the space you opt for.
CPUs & RAMBoth of these are also important to look for, especially if you’re going for dedicated or VPS hosting. Most providers list the CPUs available in each of their packages. The higher the number, the faster the server.
Free Domain NameBuying a domain name is quite easy, and you can get one for about $10. In fact, you can even find one for as low as $1 for the first year. Some hosting companies also provide a free domain name if you opt for their hosting packages, so you can consider those, too.
Dedicated IPDedicated IPs have a number of benefits, which include lower downtime and better stability. Reports also suggest that sites with dedicated IP addressed rank well on search engines like Google. So, if you have the resources, it’s better to opt for a company offering it.
BackUpsRegardless of how reliable the provider is, 100% uptime is never fully guaranteed. At any time, things can go wrong, especially given the increased frequency of cyber-attacks now. For this reason, it’s better to opt for a company that offers backups and also lets you download them whenever you need them.
Migration ServiceUsers tend to change their providers as their website grows. Therefore, we recommend you choose a company that makes migration from one provider to the other easy. Some companies might be customer-friendly, while others might make things more difficult, so make sure you choose wisely.
Types of Web Hosting (Shared, Cloud, WordPress & Dedicated) Infographic
The following infographic summarizes the different types of web hosting along with the benefits and drawbacks of each. This can help you understand which type you should choose.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Web Hosting?
Before you understand hosting, you must first know what exactly a website is. Think of it as an address over the internet where people can learn about you in the form of images, videos, text, etc. Anyone can see the content. For that, it must be uploaded somewhere; you can’t just expect people to access it if you have it only on your computer. This is where web hosting comes in - it keeps your data and lets users access it, based on the contract you have with the provider.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
To understand how web hosting works, think of it as uploading all your files on your computer and allowing people to access it. With web hosting, the only thing different is that the computer doesn’t belong to you; rather, it belongs to the hosting provider who provides you limited space on their server to host your data. Visitors can then get access to the uploaded files by typing the link. They will be able to consume the content if they have the necessary permissions.
What Is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is perhaps the most cost-effective way of getting your website up and running. A number of customers share the resources on one server, which splits the cost between them. Such a kind of hosting is ideal for smaller sites that get limited traffic.
What Is WordPress Hosting?
As the term suggests, WordPress hosting is made specifically for use with WP with tailored security and performance features. It also comes with features like one-click installation of the plugins. With this kind of hosting, you also get an automatic update service.
What Is VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting?
A VPS is basically the combination of dedicated and shared hosting. Unlike shared hosting, it offers dedicated resources that only you get to use. It also allows users to rent out a virtual operating system on a server. Its benefits are very similar to those provided by a dedicated server, but only at a more affordable cost. With VPS hosting, you can expect benefits, such as more control and customization and significant improvement in performance.
What Is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting essentially takes its resources from virtual servers. When compared to traditional shared hosting, you get to enjoy better speed, stability, security, and performance. With this kind of hosting, it’s quite easy to scale your package according to your use. Some cloud hosting providers also have a pay-as-you-go plan, which only charges you for the resources you use.
What Is Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated hosting can be best understood as a VPS service. Instead of renting just the operating system, you can rent out the entire server. This type of hosting is best for websites that receive a lot of traffic. However, it costs more than VPS, cloud, and shared hosting.
What Is Reseller Hosting?
With reseller hosting, you basically purchase bandwidth and storage from a hosting provider. You can then sell them to other companies. In other words, reseller hosting allows you to become a web host provider.
How Does Entry-Level Pricing Work?
The majority of web hosts today offer a promo or entry-level pricing. With this, you will be charged at around 50-80% off for the initial payment period that can last from one to three years. After that, you will have to pay the regular price to get the plan renewed. This results in an exponential increase in the cost.
Do I Get a Domain Name as Well?
Some companies give you a domain name for free for only the first year, while others do not. Rarely will you find a free domain for longer than a year. Once that time period is over, you will be charged an annual amount of $15 to keep the site up and running.
What Else Do I Need Before I Can Launch a Site?
It’s essential to have a web hosting setup. In addition to that, you will require a domain name as well as a CMS (content management system) to build your site.
How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service?
To make sure you end with the best web hosting service, here’s what you must do:
- Determine your needs
- Figure out your budget
- Check the speed provided by the hosting
- Also, check the uptime to see if it is reliable enough
- Take a look at the extra features (SSL, CDN, Backups, Dedicated IP, etc.)
- Make sure to not be swayed by attempts of upselling
- Finally, take a look at the availability of customer support
Web Hosting: Paid or Free?
There’s no one that doesn’t enjoy free stuff, and the same is the case with free web hosting services, which is also why they are so popular. However, unless you plan to use the web host only to run a personal site or learn coding, it’s best to stay away from free services. Using them for your business website can post a lot of issues.
Services like VPN and web hosting cost money. For this reason, web hosts use a freemium business model, and they try to sway you to opt for a low-cost paid service. With free hosting, you can expect limitations on both bandwidth and disk space. Along with that, you won’t get an SSL certificate, too, which is essential for running a business site. You also won’t have daily backups, and your site might be down for certain hours on a daily basis.