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The best web hosting services in 2021

When it comes to choosing the best web hosting service for your needs, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. This is because web hosting services come in many different forms and provide a wide range of features and solutions. From shared hosting and VPS, to managed hosting, SSL certificates, server cores and more - the variety is endless.

Finding the right web hosting service for your website can take a lot of research, time and money. We’ve conducted hours of our own analysis and compared popular web hosting providers in this article. We’ve narrowed this list down to 10 top web hosting providers.

Table of Contents

Top 10 best web hosting service providers

In this review, we’ll take you through the 10 best web hosting service providers that are currently on the market. Taking pride of place at the top of our list is Hostinger, closely followed by 9 strong competitors.

  1. Hostinger – Best overall web hosting service
  2. Bluehost – Best for beginners
  3. GoDaddy – Best for web building options
  4. A2Hosting – Best for tools and features
  5. Hostgator – Best for storage and bandwidth

We’ll go through each provider in detail in the next section.

1. Hostinger - Best overall web hosting service

Hostinger interface in smart devices
Hosting type:VPS, cloud and shared hosting
Features:Website builder, Logo maker, WordPress & Windows VPS hosting
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:SEO tools, AI tools, powerful integrations
Support:24/7/365 live chat, large Q+A forum

Hostinger offers affordable web hosting plans without compromising on the performance and quality of the service. The service provides a variety of hosting plans that come with an easy website builder, free SSL certificate, 99.9% uptime guarantee, round the clock support and a variety of features.

Hostinger has a free website builder for users, called Zyro. Features include a wide selection of templates, which are based on industry niche and theme. The point-and-click functionality is user-friendly, and Hostinger will also populate a site for you. All you need to do is make adjustments and add your own content, images, headings, and so on. Users don’t need any coding experience to host a brilliant website.

Hostinger promises fast loading times, which is very important to your site’s user-experience. Indeed, studies have shown that users tend to click off a page if it fails to load within a few seconds. With Hostinger, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Hostinger is an undeniably strong option for anyone on a budget. Databases and bandwidth are always unlimited on the platform, unless you opt for the Single Web Hosting plan (limited to 10GB of disc space and 100GB of bandwidth).

Hostinger offers great customer service, too. The platform allows you to speak to an agent through live chat in multiple languages. You will also have the support of a substantial Q&A database, which can save you a lot of time if you’re looking for a specific solution.

Finally, Hostinger offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can try your luck without risk.

If you want to learn more, read our detailed Hostinger review.

Pros

  • Cheap pricing
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Fast load time
  • User-friendly dashboard
  • Integrated web builder

Cons

  • Limited bandwidth on cheaper plan
  • No free domain
  • No free site migration
  • High renewal fees

2. BlueHost - Best for beginners

Bluehost interface in smart devices
Hosting type:VPS, shared, dedicated, WordPress
Features:Website builder, large app store
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Instant activation, SEO tools
Support:24/7 chat and phone

BlueHost has been around for a long time. It is one of the most popular, low-cost hosting options for new websites. The platform now hosts more than 2 million websites around the world.

With a 99.96% uptime and a super-fast load speed, it’s no surprise that BlueHost is such a popular choice. It provides free email accounts, 24/7 live customer support, and SSL security on all plans.

BlueHost offers users a website builder, alongside a one-click install for WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. The web hosting service also provides unlimited bandwidth and 50GB of storage in the basic plan.

Overall, BlueHost is considered easy to use, making it a good option for beginners. Alongside traditional shared hosting, BlueHost offers dedicated, VPS and managed WordPress hosting plans for websites with higher traffic. The service is officially recommended by WordPress.org.

BlueHost makes it easy to build, manage and customize your website. When creating your site, you can use the WordPress content management platform, the goMobi mobile web builder, or the Weebly web builder. You can also upload files using FTP or File Manager. Through the control panel, you get one-click access to thousands of apps to improve the functionality of your site.

BlueHost comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. Thanks to instant activation, you can get started using the service straight away. Want to know more? Read our Bluehost review.

Pros

  • Cheap starter pricing
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Free domain name for 1 year
  • Easy to use
  • Responsive support

Cons

  • High domain renewal price
  • Upselling add-on costs
  • Speed could be faster
  • Poor back-up solutions

3. GoDaddy - Best for web building options

GoDaddy interface in smart devices
Hosting type:Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud, Dedicated
Features:Unmetered bandwidth, website builder, one-click app installation
Free SSL:No
Solutions:First year free for Office 365 email & domain name, SEO tools
Support:24/7 live chat and phone

GoDaddy powers over 44 million websites and is one of the leading hosting solutions available on the market. It offers web hosting services suited to websites of all sizes. Notably, GoDaddy has partnered with Amazon and rents servers from AWS.

Unfortunately, GoDaddy comes with many additional costs that could result in you paying more. SSL certificates, email accounts and site backups are not included in its cheapest plan.

The company has an impressive uptime of 99.95%, as well as fast page speed. Thanks to its simple drag-and-drop website builder, GoDaddy is a strong solution for beginners looking to build custom websites. It also features many developer-friendly tools such as cPanel, Python, CloudLinux and several versions of PHP.

Users will have access to GoDaddy’s website builder, GoDaddy GoCentral with all hosting plans. This tool allows you to build an online shop, use imagery and design a blog.

GoDaddy uses Google Analytics to help you track visitor behavior. This means you have access to free and reliable SEO analysis at all times, as well as detailed site statistics.

GoDaddy offers 24/7 support. Their yearly and multi-year plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support
  • User-friendly
  • Intuitive interface
  • Cheap pricing plans
  • One-click WordPress installation

Cons

  • High domain renewal price
  • Upselling add-on costs
  • No free SSL certificate
  • Website builder has some limitations
  • Support response not always fast

4. A2 Hosting - Best for tools and features

A2 Hosting interface in smart devices
Hosting type:Shared, VPS, WordPress, Dedicated, Reselling
Features:1 click installation for CMS tools, unlimited bandwidth
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Web migration service, security tools
Support:24/7 phone, live chat & contact-us forms

A2 Hosting is a popular web hosting choice thanks to its impressive loading speed and comparatively low prices. It pretty much knocks all competitors out of the park when it comes to page loading speed - and that’s across all available hosting price plans.

A2 Hosting offers WordPress, VPS, reselling, and dedicated server hosting. The monthly costs include SSL certificate, a website builder, database backups and one free domain.

Users can rest assured that their site will be stable, as A2 Hosting provides unlimited bandwidth and a 99.835% average uptime. Free site migration also makes it really easy to convert to this service, if you’ve set up your site on a bad host and want to migrate. This will save you hours of valuable time getting your site rebuilt.

The service is compatible with Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, OpenCart and Magento. Users will benefit from one-click installation functionality for all of these popular CMS tools. It specializes in WordPress hosting with Plesk or cPanel control panels.

When it comes to security, A2 Hosting uses Cloudflare for most of its hosting plans. This provides a broad range of performance protection and security measures that let you deliver content quickly and without risk. You will also receive a security option called Patchman for each shared SSD account. This tool identifies outdated software versions and infected files.

A2 Hosting offers an anytime money-back guarantee for users who are not satisfied with their services. You also have access to 24/7 customer support via a contact form, phone and live chat. There is an extensive online resource section for self-serve troubleshooting.

Pros

  • Fast loading speeds
  • E-commerce support and features
  • Advanced featurest
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Anytime money-back guarantee
  • Reliable uptime

Cons

  • Higher renewal rates
  • Clunky sign-up process
  • Slow customer support
  • Restrictions on cheapest plan
  • Check out process can be confusing

5. HostGator - Best for storage and bandwidth

HostGator interface in smart devices
Hosting type:WordPress, VPS, Dedicated
Features:Unmetered bandwidth, website builder
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Free site migration, database backups
Support:24/7 phone, live chat & online contact form

HostGator is a popular web hosting service for businesses and individuals. All plans come with one free domain, an SSL certificate, access to website building tools, and database backups.

The platform is really easy to use thanks to its drag-and-drop customization functionality. Other services include unmetered bandwidth and impressive uptimes of 99.932%. HostGator offers a one-month credit if uptime happens to drop below a certain level.

HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee for users, alongside 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and an online contact form. There is also an extensive list of how-to guides available for technical support. Support is included in all of HostGator’s hosting plans.

Users will benefit from unlimited storage and a single free site transfer service. Alongside a free single email account for each user, HostGator provides a free cPanel for users.

The company provides over 4,000 mobile-friendly themes to choose from when building your website. And, thanks to the native apps, it’s easy to get WordPress up and running quickly through the cPanel dashboard.

HostGator has a custom firewall to protect users from hacker attacks. Other security measures include SSH access. You can even choose to add Sitelock, an external paid app, if you want extra security. This tool monitors and scans your files to uncover security issues.

Pros

  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Flexible hosting plans
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Good service and uptime
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • Comparatively low loading speed
  • Expensive renewal costs
  • Expensive in-house domains
  • First-tier support could be better

6. DreamHost - Best for stable website hosting

DreamHost interface in smart devices
Hosting type:Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud, Dedicated
Features:Website builder, free domain
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Free migration, 1 click WordPress installation, automated backups
Support:24/7 email support, live chat during business hours

For users who don’t want a long-term contract, DreamHost offers some great month-to-month prices. All plans come with unlimited traffic and a free SSL certificate.

Instead of using the standard cPanel used by most web hosting services, DreamHost offers a totally different custom control panel to manage your website. This is ideal for users or developers who want more control over their website. The downside here is that it is harder to migrate off DreamHost.

Thanks to the free migration plugin, it’s really easy to migrate to DreamHost in just a few steps. It also makes it simple to scale your hosting as your site grows.

WordPress recommends DreamHost as one of its top three recommended hosts. DreamHost includes some managed WordPress hosting in its basic shared plans, and more sophisticated options with its DreamPress plan.

A standout feature of DreamHost is its 97-day money-back guarantee. It also has a transparent pricing system that doesn’t increase after your initial contract. This makes it one of the cheapest options out there. If you run a non-profit business, DreamHost is a brilliant option as it offers a free unlimited shared hosting plan for 501(c)(3) organizations.

When it comes to customer service, DreamHost provides an average service. Email support is available 24/7, but live chat only operates during business hours. You will only be able to access technical support over the phone if you’re signed up to one of the higher pricing plans.

Pros

  • Recommended by WordPress
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Low costs
  • Custom control panel
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Limited support
  • ENo email account in starter plan
  • Confusing pricing structure
  • Control panel not always intuitive
  • Live chat response can be a little slow

7. InMotion - Best for tech support

InMotion interface in smart devices
Hosting type:VPS, WordPress, Shared, Dedicated, Reseller
Features:Website building service, Built-in SSD
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Automated daily backups, WordPress integration
Customer support:24/7 phone, online and live chat

InMotion is one of the few web hosting services that will build your website for you. Building WordPress sites guarantees completion in just two days. It provides several hosting services, including VPS, WordPress, dedicated and shared hosting. The basic shared hosting package comes with one free domain, 40GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth and two websites.

Alongside a wide assortment of plans, InMotion boasts 99.9% uptime and free SSL certificates. Users will also benefit from automatic database backups and a variety of website building tools.

InMotion users will have access to brilliant Google App integration. This means there is a lot of e-commerce support and application integration available. The company also offers a unique service for WordPress integration, which includes the pre-installation of WordPress when you sign up for the hosting service.

Customers can access 24/7 support for hosting via phone, online support center or live chat. A huge help section is available to users that covers all the frequently asked questions and topics.

InMotion offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, which means you have plenty of time to test out all the features and support team before committing to the service. The various plans available are super straightforward - as you upgrade, you’ll get faster servers and extra websites, subdomains, and databases.

Pros

  • 90-day free trial period
  • 99.9% uptime
  • Good support
  • No bandwidth limitation
  • Strong web builder

Cons

  • Slow account setup
  • No free backups
  • Limited storage
  • Missing some advanced features
  • Could be faster

8. HostWinds - Best for value and consistent performance

HostWinds interface in smart devices
Hosting type:Shared, Dedicated, VPS, Cloud, Reseller, Business
Features:Web builder, unlimited email accounts & subdomains
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Free website transfers, automatic cloud backups
Support:24/7 chat and phone, tickets

Named best of the year by PC Magazine, Hostwinds is revered for its flexibility of service and brilliant uptime. Its hosting services include cloud, reseller, shared, business, dedicated and VPS. And it also offers white label services for an added level of support.

Hostwinds boasts an average uptime of 99.722%, alongside faster than average page loading speeds. Users will also benefit from a range of web building tools, database backups and SSL certificates. It’s easy to set up an online store through Hostwinds thanks to the Magento e-commerce app.

The web builder included with Hostwinds is Weebly. This provides hundreds of themes, drag-and-drop site elements and automatic mobile optimization. It’s easy to design a website through Hostwinds. Hostwinds also offers website monitoring for its shared and reseller plans, which automatically submits a help ticket if your site experiences downtime.

Hostwinds’ email offering is one of the best around, as users can set up unlimited email accounts.

When it comes to support, you can access 24/7 chat and phone services. There is also a support ticket process available. Unfortunately, the company now only offers refunds within 72 hours of an order purchase. This falls short when compared to most web hosting services on the market, which tend to offer a minimum of 30 days.

Pros

  • Fast page load speeds
  • Strong uptime
  • Flexible hosting options
  • Good customer support
  • Strong reseller and VPS hosting plans

Cons

  • Short money-back guarantee window
  • No free SEO tools
  • Limited dedicated server plans

9. GreenGeeks - Best for the planet

GreenGeeks interface in smart devices
Hosting type:WordPress, WooCommerce, VPS, Reseller, Shared
Features:Advanced security, website control panel, free domain for first year
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Automatic updates, free website transfers, 1 click WordPress installer
Customer support:24/7 phone, chat or a ticket system

GreenGeeks is an eco-friendly web hosting service. For over a decade, the company has used renewable energy to power its web services. Alongside being kind to our planet, GreekGeeks offers high-quality web hosting services, including strong uptime and fast loading speeds.

GreenGeeks provides hosting services for WordPress, WooCommerce, Virtual Private Servers, Reseller, and Shared hosting. The company provides advanced security features and daily backups to keep your site and data secure.

Thanks to the latest technology (such as SSD, CDN, PHP7), GreekGeeks ensures that your website is always safe and fast. The company boasts a stable uptime of 99.95% alongside a good load time.

All plans come with a free domain for one year. You also get access to a website control panel, free Wildcard SSL, unlimited SSD storage and unlimited data transfer. Users will also have unlimited email accounts and unlimited domain names.

With an automatic one-click WordPress installer and auto-updates functionality, GreenGeeks is a solid choice for anyone looking to use WordPress. Users will also have access to free site transfers, along with unlimited bandwidth and storage.

Users will benefit from 24/7 support via phone, chat and a ticket system. The support system is generally fast to respond. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Fast page load speeds
  • Free site transfer
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Eco-friendly
  • User-friendly interface
  • Reliable uptime

Cons

  • High renewal costs
  • Refunds don’t include setup and domain fees
  • Price points can be misleading

10. LiquidWeb - Best for uptime guarantee

LiquidWeb interface in smart devices
Hosting type:VPS, Dedicated, Cloud, WordPress, Managed WooCommerce
Features:Control panel, app store
Free SSL:Yes
Solutions:Automatic WordPress installation, automated backups, free site migration
Support:24/7 phone, live chat & email

Liquid Web has 45,000+ customers worldwide. The company offers powerful managed hosting products that are largely aimed at professional and business users. LiquidWeb prides itself on providing highly configurable cloud hosting, along with high performance and managed applications.

The prices are high compared to other web hosting services. However, users get a lot for their money, including full access to the database and server, alongside automatic daily backups and high-end speedup technologies (such as Nginx and PHP7).

The prices are higher because the company doesn’t offer any underpowered products. There are no hidden costs and charges, just high-quality services and support. For instance, LiquidWeb guarantees 99.999% network and power uptime.

LiquidWeb takes care of WordPress and plugin updates for you. Choosing the managed WordPress account is the simplest option, as it comes preinstalled and a free site migration is included. Likewise, the VPS or dedicated server hosting plans come with a control panel that gives access to hundreds of high-quality apps and automatic WordPress installation.

The company does not offer a website builder. You can install a site builder of your own through an online service like Weebly.

There is also a brilliant 24/7 in-house support team available to users over the phone, live chat and email. The company promises a 59-second response time for phone and live chat, along with 59-minute response times for the help desk. Once a problem is identified, LiquidWeb replaces the faulty hardware within 30 minutes. If the service falls short, you will be credited for 10 times the amount of the length of your outage.

Pros

  • 100% network/power uptime guarantee
  • Advanced features
  • Strong customer service
  • Solid security measures
  • Automatic daily backups
  • Backed by large clients
  • Premium tools included

Cons

  • No free trial
  • High costs
  • No shared hosting

What factors were used to create this list of web hosting services?

We looked at loads of factors when crafting this list of web hosting services. They are as follows:

Site uptime

There is little point to running a website if it can’t be accessed online. For this reason, you need a web host with great uptime. This means that your site never goes down and is always available.

Most web hosting services provide a guarantee of at least 99.9% uptime. This basically just means your bill can be discounted in the event of unplanned downtime. Regardless, it’s always best to go with a service that has a reputation for a strong uptime. We only included web hosting services that tick this box.

Customer support

Accessible and dependable customer support will make all the difference to your experience of running a website. If you have a technical issue or your site goes down, it’s important that you can resolve the matter quickly. That’s why we analyzed the level of customer support available with each individual web hosting service.

Be sure to pick a service that guarantees round-the-clock support. It’s worth finding a host that has a variety of communication methods available, so that you can contact them in a way that suits you.

Migration services

The ability to quickly and easily migrate an existing site will save you a lot of time. Some hosts will offer a one-click migration service, which makes the whole process a lot simpler.

If you’re switching hosts and handling the migration yourself, we advise that you look for a web hosting service that has an easy migration feature. This is a useful way to narrow down your final decision. And it’s an element that we prioritized when creating this list.

Site speed

Site speed has a huge impact on everything related to your site. From your conversion rate, to your customer experience and search rankings, every element of your business is affected by the speed of your site.

So, we analyzed the site speed for each web hosting service. You need to pay close attention to what each company offers, and remember that the bigger your site gets, the faster you’ll want to be. This means that, if you’re planning on building a high-traffic site, you’ll want a host that can accommodate it.

Security

Security should always be a top concern, especially for businesses with an e-commerce website. Most reputable website hosting services will have SSL encryption and some form of site backup.

If you need extra security it’s worth looking beyond these basics. Many hosting services provide premium features like DDoS protection and advanced encryption levels. These are often outlined in higher priced hosting plans.

Money-back guarantee

Finally, we looked at the money-back guarantees that each web hosting service had on offer. This window of time is vital, as it gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the service and make sure it meets all your needs. A good web hosting service should provide you with at least a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What is web hosting?

Every website needs a web host or space on a physical server to store the files that make up the website. This is the case regardless of purpose, traffic or size.

A server is a powerful computer with enough space and speed to store all the data needed for websites. It also ensures that websites are consistently accessible to visitors.

Operating a server can be expensive and requires a lot of technical knowledge. Web hosting makes this process simple by letting businesses and individuals rent space on servers (or entire servers, if you’re using dedicated hosting) where their website can live. Essentially, when a visitor types in the address of your website, they are connecting to the server where they can then view and interact with your site.

How does web hosting work?

Web hosting companies employ teams of technical experts that handle all necessary hardware and software maintenance for web hosting. They ensure that servers operate smoothly.

These experts also provide customers with technical support needed to address any website issues. They help to manage matters like support, bandwidth, security and page load speed.

If you have the right resources and knowledge, you may opt to manage your own server. If not, you can choose a managed hosting package that leaves the responsibility with the web host.

We’ll take a look at the different types of web hosting available in the next section.

Different types of web hosting

By now, you’ll have a pretty clear idea of the variety available when it comes to picking a web hosting service. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of the most common types on the market.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is web hosting where the provider houses numerous sites on a single server. This means that multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally a cheaper option.

When multiple sites share a single server, they can be impacted by one another. For instance, a traffic spike on one site could affect a neighboring site's performance, or vice versa. One site could even take down the shared server, if it were to crash completely.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is a powerful and more expensive option. It’s generally reserved for sites that require a large amount of server resources. Unlike shared hosting, dedicated web hosting makes your website the sole site on a server.

With dedicated hosting, your website taps into the full power of the server. So, if you’re looking for a high-powered site, then dedicated hosting is the option for you.

VPS hosting

VPS hosting is somewhat similar to shared hosting as multiple sites share the same server. In this instance, however, the web host houses fewer sites per server than in shared hosting - and each site has its own individual resources.

With VPS hosting, you are less impacted by other sites on the server - but there is still the potential that your site will be affected. Unsurprisingly, VPS hosting costs more than shared hosting, but less than dedicated hosting.

Cloud hosting

Instead of hosting your website on a single server, cloud hosting lets you spread your data across multiple, interconnected servers. These servers exist in a virtual environment and can be ‘located’ across several geographical areas.

Cloud hosting utilizes the computing power of multiple machines. This means you have access to the services that all these various machines offer, and you have a lot more potential than through traditional hosting services.

Managed hosting

Managed hosting is when a web hosting company handles the setup, admin, support, and server management. Management services vary from host to host but they typically involve 24/7 support, automatic updates, network infrastructure management, basic security measures, monitoring and hardware management.

With managed hosting, it is the responsibility of the host company to maintain your website. This involves keeping it up and running at all times.

WordPress hosting

As the name suggests, WordPress hosting is for users who want to build their sites on the back of the WordPress CMS from WordPress.org. This typically involves transferring the free WordPress CMA to a server or signing up for a web host’s optimized WordPress plan.

With an optimized WordPress plan, the host handles back-end logistics, so you don't need to worry about updates and maintenance. Generally speaking, the WordPress environment comes preinstalled on the server in these instances.

Features you should expect from your web hosting provider

There are a vast number of features and functionalities that you should expect from your web hosting provider. We’ve outlined three important elements to keep in mind when choosing the best service for your website.

Email accounts

Email is a convenient way for clients and customers to get in touch with you. It’s also an important means of communication for your business. Fortunately, most web host services include email in their hosting plans. Some offer unlimited email account creation, which is beneficial for future growth, while others have a capped amount.

It’s worth noting, however, that not all web hosts offer email. In some cases, you are required to sign up for email accounts from a different company. This usually comes at an extra cost. We generally recommend that you look for a web hosting service whereby unlimited email is included.

FTP access

FTP stands for ‘File Transfer Protocol’. FTP essentially outlines how to upload your website files and folders from your local machine to your server/hosting account.

You need an FTP program in order to upload and download files. There are lots of options available; some are free and some are paid. Ideally, you should expect FTP access to be included with your web hosting provider service.

WordPress support

WordPress is a super popular choice for websites around the world. Unsurprisingly, WordPress works best when it’s in a rich hosting environment. As such, it’s important to pick a provider that supports WordPress, if that’s the route you want to go down.

Not only will choosing a web hosting service with WordPress support help you to run your WordPress website effectively, it can also improve your SEO and your sales. If your host doesn’t support WordPress, your site will suffer, both in user experience and search engine rankings.

Do you need web hosting services?

Long story short, you can’t have a website live on the internet without web hosting. If you want to build a website for yourself or your business, then you will need to invest in a host. Reliable web hosting is crucial to any successful website, and neglecting to choose the right host can have a catastrophic impact on your site and business.

It is technically possible for an individual or business to purchase and maintain their own private web server. This option is expensive and impractical as servers require extensive maintenance and advanced skills to manage.

In addition, the amount of bandwidth needed to host your own website on a server will take you way beyond what most internet plans allow for. Bandwidth plays a vital role in your loading speed and uptime. If you don’t have enough, your website will not be accessible to visitors. Picking a good web hosting service is the smart route to take.

How to choose the best web hosting services for you

When choosing a web hosting service, it’s easy to get distracted by style and aesthetic. Whilst this is important, there are other elements that need serious consideration. In this section, we’ll cover a range of elements that should help you identify the best web hosting service for your needs.

Storage space

Web hosting companies all offer at least one plan with unlimited storage. This refers to the amount of data that can be stored on your server. It will usually come in the form of:

  • Unlimited number of websites
  • Unlimited amount of email addresses
  • Upload unlimited files

It’s worth noting that ‘unlimited’ is rarely a literal term. It’s always wise to check out the small print, as ‘unlimited’ usage tends to mean that there is no limit on the number of resources you can use - just so long as you don’t abuse the service or cause an interruption for other users. Regardless, it’s worth looking for a provider with a decent storage guarantee.

The web hosting provider you choose should also be able to move you easily to the next plan or storage space capacity option. Don’t overlook scalability. It’s really important that you can both upgrade and downgrade depending on the needs of your website. Make sure you pick a provider that gives you the freedom to move plans if needed.

Bandwidth

It’s easy to overlook bandwidth as a technical term that only applies to the experts. However, understanding bandwidth and how it applies to your own network means you can tweak your set up, get a faster internet connection when needed, and pick the best service for your needs.

In a nutshell, bandwidth is the measure of maximum data that can be transferred in a given time. This is usually measured in seconds. So, your bandwidth is an indicator of how fast your data can be transferred.

To pick the right web host in terms of bandwidth, you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much traffic do I expect?
  • Will my site include lots of videos and graphics?
  • Will I be streaming content on my site?

The amount of bandwidth that a web hosting company offers can serve as a strong indicator of that host’s capabilities. The higher the bandwidth, the better the speed, connectivity, network, and systems.

Control

How much help will you need when setting up your site? Are you a complete beginner, or are you a tech-savvy web building expert? Your answer here will determine how user-friendly you need the platform to be, and how much control you’d like to have.

For instance, if a web hosting service has a control panel, you’ll be able to more easily manage your own hosting. And, if you want complete control over the running of your server, we recommend that you opt for a dedicated server hosting plan.

Most web hosts offer a control panel or interface that serves to simplify administration and website management. Whichever company you choose, be sure to check that these features are suited to your specific needs.

Uptime

Uptime simply refers to the amount of time that a hosting system is operational. This is really important when choosing your website hosting service because it greatly affects your website's reliability. The last thing you want is for someone to visit your site and find that it is offline.

You need to pick a web hosting service with great uptime, so that your site is always available and never goes down. Most website hosts provide a guarantee of at least 99% uptime. Some even promise to provide a discount in the event of any unplanned downtime. Be sure to check out the small print to figure out how protected you will be.

Backup services

It goes without saying that security is a crucial element to consider when looking for the right web hosting service. The last thing you want is to lose all of your data due to a security breach. To avoid this nightmare, you need to ensure that the web host service you choose offers daily backups.

The best web hosting services offer regular backups and one-click restore. Daily backups mean that you can retrieve almost all of your information if your site is compromised or hacked. This could be the difference between an hour-long outage or one that lasts for weeks as you recreate your content.

24/7 support

Web hosting customer support is one of the most important features that your provider can offer. Whilst some services may promise 24/7 support options, these are sometimes only available in higher pricing plans. This is worth finding out before you commit to a company.

While we hope that you always have a smooth experience with running your site, errors can and do occur from time to time. It’s vital that you have a robust support system, so that your website doesn’t suffer for longer than needed. As such, we recommend only picking a website hosting service that guarantees 24/7/365 access to a support team.

We believe that one of the best ways to truly test out customer support's effectiveness is through a free trial. Most web host companies offer a money-back guarantee, which means you can set up a website and get a feel for the service before committing long-term. During the trial period, it’s worth testing out the live chat, phone line and open tickets as much as possible to see if the support really lives up to the hype.

Related services and solutions

Alongside providing general hosting services to their customers, lots of website hosting companies offer a selection of extra services. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Marketing services (SEO tools, PPC bonuses, ad campaign manager)
  • Professional web design
  • Free site transfers and setups from other hosting providers
  • Free site builders for users of all technical ability
  • Additional security services
  • Domain name registration
  • Graphic design services, like logo creation

If any (or all) of these appeal to you, it’s definitely worth checking out how your web hosting providers measure up. This is a big investment, so you want to ensure that all your requirements are met.

Should you consider free web hosting services?

If you’re on a tight budget, you can get a free hosting plan. This can be a good option for startups that are yet to make profit. However, we would generally advise against choosing a free service for the following reasons:

  • Usually no uptime guarantees. This puts your user experience and revenue at risk.
  • Your domain name will include the hosting provider’s name. This makes your site appear less professional and is bad for branding opportunities.
  • Limited storage and bandwidth, with no option to upgrade.
  • Free web hosting services often display unrelated ads on your website, which will have a negative impact on your SEO (and look unprofessional)
  • There is often no customer service or support team. This could be critical, particularly if you are new to the web hosting scene.

Of course, free web hosts don’t tie you into contracts in the same way that premium companies do. It can be hard to argue with a completely free service sometimes, but we’d still strongly advise that you invest in a more reliable paid provider.

Can you switch web hosting companies?

In an ideal world, you would never feel the need to switch web hosting companies. However, if you find that you need to switch, it is totally possible. The move can be slightly tricky, but if you follow the right steps then there’s no reason why the process can’t be relatively painless.

When moving your website to a new web host, you need to:

  1. Purchase and activate a new hosting account. Do not cancel with your old hosting provider until the entire process is complete.
  2. Migrate your entire site from the old host to the new one.
  3. Backup any databases on the old host and upload the backup files to the new host. You can then restore your databases from those backup files.
  4. Transfer your entire site, including databases and files, over to your new hosting service. Some companies provide this service for free.
  5. Change your domain name’s DNS - you may need to contact the new host to find out what settings are needed for your domain name.
  6. There may now be a wait time while your site is loaded from the new host.
  7. Once everything has been set up with your new host, you can contact your old host and cancel your account with them. Be sure to keep your domain registration if you originally bought your domain name from the old host.

FAQ

What is the best web hosting service?

Hostinger. It offers affordable web hosting plans without compromising on the performance and quality of the service. It has an easy web builder, free SSL, 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support and many premium features.

How much does it cost to host a website?

Shared hosting can range from $2.49-$15 per month, while dedicated hosting costs between $80 and $750 per month. There are lots of options in between, so there's something for every budget.

Can I host my own website?

Technically yes. An individual or business can purchase and maintain their own private web server and host their own website. This option is expensive and impractical, as servers require extensive maintenance and advanced skills to manage.

Are paid web hosting services better than free?

Yes, paid web hosting services are better. We would generally advise against using a free service, as they tend to lack many of the features and assurances that are critical to your website's running.

Comments 1
  1. Hostwinds Review says:

    I like your blog. keep on posting.

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