Best Linux hosting: 5 tried and tested hosting providers
Are you looking for a Linux web hosting provider and don’t know which one to pick? Well, you’re in luck! This article will go through the best Linux hosting providers out there and advise on how to choose the one suitable for you.
What you have to understand right from the start is that pretty much all hosting is Linux hosting. Whether you need shared or VPS hosting, they’re all based on this operating system. Of course, some providers go the extra mile and offer Windows hosting too, but that’s not what you came here looking for, is it?
Linux hosting is the type of hosting most people go for. It’s the go-to type of hosting for web design, for instance. Most people use cPanel to manage their hosting platform, which makes the Linux platform easier to handle. It puts everything together so that you can access all the necessary tasks in one place.
Now, the not-so-good news is that there are too many options. More often than not, too many choices confuse people – but that’s why I’m here. I tested several providers searching for the best Linux hosting, with the main focus on primary features and performance.
So, without keeping you any longer, here are my choices.
Best Linux hosting: ranked
- Hostinger – best Linux hosting provider overall
- Bluehost – Linux hosting for beginners
- HostGator – affordable yet reliable Linux hosting
- DreamHost – best WordPress-focused Linux hosting
- GoDaddy – best Linux hosting provider for business
If you’re having trouble choosing, just skip to the end of this article for a short guide on how to make the right choice.
|Features||Free SSL, automatic backups, SSD storage, LiteSpeed webserver|
|Best for||Fast and affordable web hosting|
Hostinger is the cheapest Linux hosting provider you can go for without forfeiting your website’s performance. Hostinger’s shared plans start at just $2.59/month. If you look around the market, you’ll notice that you rarely find such prices. And if you do, performance is questionable at best. That leads me to the second feature Hostinger is best known for – its reliable performance.
Although Hostinger doesn’t cost you much, performance doesn’t suffer at all – this provider has 7 server locations worldwide. You can pick the location that’s closest to your visitors. The closer it is, the better the performance of your site will be to your audience.
Plus, for even more enhanced performance, Hostinger uses a technology called LiteSpeed WebServer. It’s one of the fastest web server technologies available. This software also delivers caching solutions so that your site is speedy. Combining LiteSpeed with the ability to choose the best location for your audience results in the best possible performance.
Now, let’s take a closer look at Hostinger’s prices. The provider offers 3 shared hosting plans. Single starts at $2.59/month, Premium is $2.59/month, and Business is just $3.99/month.
All plans include a free SSL certificate, email accounts, automatic backups, GIT access, and LiteSpeed Cache. A free domain is included in Premium and Business plans. As for the specifics:
- Single – comes with 1 website limit, has 30GB SSD storage, allows up to 10k visits/month, lets you connect 1 email account, and offers 100GB bandwidth. The plan is more than enough if you’re just starting out.
- Premium – allows to connect up to 100 websites, has 100GB SSD storage, allows up to 25k visits/month, offers free email and a free domain for a year, gives Google ads credit and unlimited bandwidth.
- Business – everything from Premium, except it offers 200GB SSD storage and allows up to 100k visits/month + adds daily backups instead of weekly. For a small business, this plan is more than enough.
Of course, if shared hosting is not enough for your projects, you can scale it up. VPS hosting starts at only $2.99/month, and cloud hosting starts at $9.99/month. Both options are suitable for large-scale projects.
Premium is the best plan you can start with. The initial purchase saves you 75% of the cost, and you get almost as many resources as you would get if you went for the Business plan.
Performance is that one factor that can make or break a provider. Hostinger doesn’t have any issues in this department. With an uptime of 100% and an average response time of 511ms, this is one of the most reliable hosting providers on the market.
Considering the fact that 600ms response time is the average shared hosting time, Hostinger did a tiny bit above average. However, this provider showed a 100% uptime, which largely surpasses the regular 99.9% uptime guarantee.
If you would like to see detailed performance testing results, visit the full Hostinger review.
All in all, Hostinger shows admirable performance results, making it way harder for competitors to beat the low prices.
Hostinger is great for Linux because it’s affordable, the plans are inclusive, and you have enough scalability options to satisfy your needs even if you take on large-scale projects.
- Affordable – prices start at just $2.59 a month
- Many scalability options
- LiteSpeed technology
- Perfect 100% uptime
- No dedicated servers
- Free domain not included in the entry-level plan
|Features||Free domain and SSL, automatic setup, WordPress staging|
|Best for||WordPress hosting and ease of use|
Bluehost is known in the hosting world as a beginner-friendly provider. It mainly focuses on WordPress hosting and provides user-centered tools to make its management a walk in the park.
First things first, Bluehost understands just how easy it is to screw up when creating and optimizing a website. Well, when you choose Bluehost, you get access to a staging area. In short, a staging area is a duplicate of your live website. It enables you to test any changes or major new features that you plan to implement without having to show them to your site visitors.
Another thing you should know about Bluehost is that it’s easy to use. Bluehost offers a simple native management panel alongside cPanel integration. The main management area is easy to navigate, and you can add your domain name, install WordPress, and manage your sites from there. cPanel allows for more advanced changes like changing PHP versions or accessing databases, but don’t be intimidated – it’s still just as easy to navigate as the main area.
Leaving what Bluehost has to offer behind, let’s talk money. When it comes to shared hosting, Bluehost comes forward with 4 plans. Basic costs $2.95/month, Plus and Choice Plus both have an initial price of $4.95/month, and Pro is $13.95/month.
All four plans include unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificates, 1 domain free for one year, and free CDN (Content Delivery Network). Of course, all of them come with their own particularities:
- Basic – offers hosting for 1 website with 50GB SSD storage. You can also connect up to 5 email accounts. This plan is great if you're just starting out.
- Plus – same as Basic, except that you can connect unlimited websites and get unlimited SSD storage. The plan also comes with Office 365 free for 30 days. You can work with this plan if you want to create multiple websites and need more resources.
- Choice Plus – this plan is pretty much the same as the previous one, except that you also get domain privacy and automated backups free for one year. You can opt for this plan if you need privacy.
- Pro – what makes this plan different from the previous one is that you get free automated backups and domain privacy for the whole term. It’s also hosted on servers with fewer accounts on them –suitable for those who require better performance.
When your project(s) exceeds the resources shared hosting can offer, feel free to upgrade. Bluehost has multiple scalability options. VPS hosting starts at $19.99/month, and it’s ideal for larger websites. You can also go for dedicated servers, for which the prices start at $79.99/month. It’s a solution suitable for heavy projects.
While the Basic plan would work great if you’re just testing the waters, the best value for money lies with the Plus plan. Plus gives you the freedom of hosting more than 1 website and more storage without having to sell your kidney for hosting.
Bluehost doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance. When I performed my tests, I got an average response time of 361ms and an uptime of 99.99%.
Bluehost is among the very few hosting providers that don’t have an uptime guarantee. However, 11 minutes of downtime in 2 months is nothing anyone can complain about.
Furthermore, Bluehost’s average response time came up to only 361ms, far from the market’s average of 600ms. if it wasn’t for a massive jump mid-examination (max resp. time 703ms), this would’ve been even better.
Additionally, Bluehost has servers only in the US (Provo and Orem in Utah), so it’s more suitable for US-based audiences. Keep that in mind if you’re looking into this provider.
If you’d like to see the performance testing results in greater detail, our Bluehost review has you covered.
All in all, Bluehost showed great performance results. And while it does not have an uptime guarantee, it left me with a great impression.
Overall, I’d say that Bluehost is an excellent Linux hosting provider. It’s easy to use, the prices are okay, and the performance is reliable.
- Staging area
- Reliable performance
- Beginner-friendly native dashboard and cPanel
- VPS and dedicated hosting are available
- Servers only in the US
- Higher renewal rates
|Features||Free domain, SSL, cPanel, unlimited storage and bandwidth|
|Best for||Beginner users and small business sites|
When looking for the best Linux hosting provider, HostGator might just do the trick for you. It’s cheap and easy to use. Plus, HostGator uses the intuitive cPanel, and the performance is up to good standards.
A very appealing feature of HostGator is its ease of use, making it ideal for beginners. The dashboard includes the primary cPanel shortcuts for some of the most significant actions you need to undertake when setting up your website – WordPress installation, creating and accessing email accounts, and setting up a domain. Plus, the cPanel itself is available with one click.
HostGator is an excellent choice for a provider since it has affordable prices with all essentials included – domain, SSL, and email accounts. The entry-level plan costs only $2.75/month, and the most expensive shared hosting plan doesn’t exceed $5.25/month.
There are 3 shared hosting plans. Hatchling costs only $2.75/month, Baby is $3.50/month, while Business costs $5.25/month. For a high-end plan, it’s pretty cheap.
No matter which of the plans you choose to go for, you get access to unmetered bandwidth, unlimited SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, email accounts, and a domain free for one year. As for what’s particular to each of them:
- Hatchling – you can connect one website. It’s more than enough if you’re just starting out.
- Baby – this is pretty much Hatchling, except that you can connect an unlimited number of websites.
- Business – apart from all the features from the previous plans, you also get a free upgrade to Positive SSL, SEO tools, and a dedicated IP. I’d recommend this plan for a small business.
Since we all know that unlimited is not actually unlimited, HostGator has a couple of scalability options. VPS hosting starts at $19.95/month, and it’s perfect for larger websites. For heavy websites, HostGator’s dedicated servers will suffice. Prices start at $89.98/month.
If I were to purchase a HostGator plan for the first time, I’d go with the Baby plan. It’s only 75 cents more expensive than Hatchling, but for those 75 cents, you can host as many websites as you need.
Even though HostGator is a big name in the industry, it gets a lot of hate due to some past mishaps. Even so, the provider managed to give me an uptime of >99.99% and an average response time of 525ms. It’s definitely better than what it was 2 years ago.
HostGator’s official uptime guarantee is 99.9%, but the real uptime was >99.99%. I’m always happy when a provider sticks to its uptime guarantee, and HostGator exceeded my expectations.
The average response time was very… average. It’s better than the industry standard of 600ms, but not the most ideal.
Side note, HostGator has servers only in the US, so, once again, we’re talking about a provider ideal for websites with US-based audiences.
And if you’re looking for all the details of the HostGator performance test, visit the full review.
Overall, HostGator showed itself to be extremely reliable, but its speed could be better.
In general, HostGator is a pretty good choice for a hosting provider. The performance is reliable, it’s easy to use, and you don’t have to break the bank for decent Linux hosting.
- Near-perfect 99.99% uptime
- Affordable prices
- Easy cPanel-based management
- VPS and dedicated hosting are available
- Servers only in the US
- Higher renewal pricing
|Features||Free domain, SSL, website builder, domain privacy, automatic backups|
|Best for||Both personal and business websites on WordPress|
In the hosting community, DreamHost is seen as that one provider with excellent WordPress capabilities. Its 1-click WordPress installation is truly 1-click and a WordPress-based web builder is helpful. Other than that, DreamHost is affordable and the performance is outstanding.
One reason why users flock to DreamHost is that it delivers ease of use. Even a beginner should do just fine with its native control panel. From there, you have access to the one-click installs, WP website builder, emails, backup and restore tool, as well as domain management
Additionally, security is one of DreamHost’s main concerns. When it comes to protection measures, you’ll get domain privacy, Web Application Firewall, and automated backups to help you defend against the most common threats.
Now, as far as prices are concerned, DreamHost offers only 2 plans. Starter costs $2.59/month, and Unlimited goes for $3.95/month. The plan prices apply to 3-year subscriptions, but even the monthly plans are cheap. They cost $1.99/month and $2.99/month.
DreamHost’s shared hosting plans are pretty similar. They include a free domain for a year, unlimited traffic, domain privacy, automated backups, free automated WordPress migrations, a website builder, and free SSL certificates. However, there are a few differences:
- Starter – you can host one website, the SSD storage is limited to 50GB, and the email accounts go for $1.67/month per account. It’s a good plan when you’re starting out.
- Unlimited – you can host unlimited websites, the SSD storage is unlimited, and you can create as many email accounts as you want at no extra charge.
DreamHost also offers a few scalability options. VPS hosting starts at just $10/month. It’s not the cheapest, but it still falls under affordable. Cloud hosting is available as well – you can run your own cloud server for $4.50/month. And lastly, dedicated hosting is the most expensive, with prices starting at $149/month.
One of the best things about DreamHost – money-related – is that it has one of the best money-back guarantee policies on the market – 97 days. You’ll rarely find that in this industry.
When you choose DreamHost as your Linux hosting provider, I recommend you go for the Unlimited plan. It’s just a little over $1 more than Starter, but that $1 gets you more than it’s actually worth.
While DreamHost has a lot of resources on its hands and promises a 100% uptime guarantee, I received >99.99% uptime. The average response time was incredible, though, at 231ms.
While the uptime was lower than the promised 100%, it was just a single outage that lasted 1 minute. I can’t really complain.
Server response time was wonderful, averaging at 231ms. While the shared hosting industry is known to average at around 600ms, this is really good.
Additionally, DreamHost is yet another provider that decided to have servers only in the US. Of course, we don’t care as long as we get fast-loading pages for our target audience, now do we?
Furthermore, if you’re curious, you can also check the full DreamHost performance testing in its review.
Overall, DreamHost’s performance is good. The uptime is reliable, and the response time is as speedy as it gets, honestly.
DreamHost is a good choice when you’re looking for Linux hosting. It performs beautifully, it’s easy to use, and your bank account won’t get crippled.
- Affordable, even monthly subscriptions
- Easy to use
- Available scalability options
- Reliable performance
- 97-day money-back guarantee
- Expensive dedicated servers
- Servers only in the US
|Features||Free domain, cPanel|
|Best for||Business-focused hosting|
GoDaddy is a solid choice when looking for Linux hosting. It caters to businesses but is easy to use, and the performance is as good as one might expect from such a name of the industry.
First things first, GoDaddy is incredibly easy to use. From signing up to having a WordPress website up and going, it takes mere minutes. Every essential feature can be set up directly from the dashboard.
Additionally, GoDaddy is faithful to cPanel. You can easily add emails, subdomains, and manage on-demand backups from a familiar interface.
As far as prices are concerned, they’re mid-range. There are 3 shared hosting plans. Economy is $1.99/month, Deluxe is $7.99/month, and Ultimate costs $12.99/month.
All plans come with unmetered bandwidth, a free domain for one year, and Microsoft 365 email free for one year. As for particularities:
- Economy – allows to connect 1 website, offers 100GB storage, and 10 databases. It’s more than enough for a small website.
- Deluxe – allows to connect an unlimited number of websites, offers unlimited storage, and 25 databases.
- Ultimate – everything from Deluxe plus it gives you unlimited databases, increased processing power, and an SSL certificate free for one year. It’s ideal for a small to medium business.
Now, if you need more than shared hosting can offer, GoDaddy provides two other options. You can go for VPS hosting, whose prices start at $4.99/month. Just remember that you need some experience here since the servers are self-managed. Hence the low rates. Or you can choose dedicated hosting, whose prices start at $129.99/month, which is perfect for corporate websites.
If I were you, I’d start with Deluxe. The resources are generous, and you can create as many websites as you need. With a 12 month plan, you’ll spend $7.99/month.
With such a name comes great responsibility, especially when it comes to performance. Luckily, GoDaddy didn’t disappoint in this department. With an uptime of 99.98% and an average response time of 341ms, I was delighted.
This hosting provider exceeded all my expectations – it showed an uptime of 99.98% with just two small outages, even though its uptime guarantee is only 99.9%.
The average response time was also incredible, averaging at 341ms – way better than the industry standard.
It’s also worth mentioning that, unlike all the other providers I talked about, GoDaddy has data centers on three continents. As a result, users can target audiences in the US, Europe, or Asia.
GoDaddy proved its worth in other performance tests too. You’ll find them in the full review.
So when it comes to performance, GoDaddy proved to be a very worthy hosting provider – great uptime and speedy response time make it great for Linux hosting.
All in all, GoDaddy does an excellent job as a hosting provider. Its performance is reliable, ease of use is guaranteed, and you get access to many tools to make the whole web development process a whole lot easier.
- Easy to use cPanel
- Reliable performance
- Great business tools
- A bit expensive
- SSL certificates are not included in its entry-level plans
Best Linux hosting: final recommendations
When it comes to Linux web hosting, there are more than enough. And one of them is bound to suit your needs.
Now, to refresh your memory and help you pick the best provider here’s a quick recap of each:
- Hostinger is the cheapest Linux hosting provider that offers great performance for an incredible price.
- Bluehost is incredibly beginner-friendly and has some cool WordPress features that will help you out.
- HostGator is a Linux underdog that delivers great ease of use, low prices, and reliable performance.
- DreamHost is best known for its WordPress features, money-back guarantee, and great performance.
- GoDaddy caters to businesses, but even beginners won't have any trouble because of its ease of use.
Of course, if none of the options above appeal to you, you can pick your own provider. The short guide below should help with the how.
How to pick the best Linux hosting provider
Choosing a reliable Linux hosting provider should not be a complicated task. However, if you haven’t been in this position before, there are a few things you need to consider. For instance, what resources will you need? Or what type of hosting?
First things first, Linux hosting is one of the most popular types of hosting in the industry. It’s more affordable, flexible, and more secure. Plus, Linux is compatible with PHP and MySQL, which support WordPress, Zen Cart, and other popular scripts. Windows is more commercial, which makes it less secure and more prone to hacking. We don’t want that, now do we?
So what you have to understand is that Linux hosting is basically all hosting. Some providers also offer Windows hosting, but when we refer to hosting, in general, we usually mean Linux.
Now, what about the type of hosting you need? There are four primary types of hosting:
- Shared hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Dedicated servers
Let’s take a look at them in detail.
The most commonly used type of hosting. When you purchase a subscription, you share a server with other users. The resources are more limited than with any other option, and performance might suffer a bit too. Even so, it’s the cheapest solution you have at hand.
Shared hosting plans are the most popular choice for beginners looking to host their first sites.
The middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. You don’t purchase the resources of an entire server. However, this time, you get an allotted number of resources depending on what you need. VPS hosting is a highly customizable solution. Basically, you get all the pros of dedicated hosting at lower prices.
This type of hosting is mainly used by people who have outgrown shared hosting and need more powerful servers for business websites and applications. VPS allows installing custom modules or applications that aren't supported by your shared host.
This is a type of hosting that, instead of using one server to host your app or website, uses multiple, interconnected servers. Apart from spreading your data across different machines, cloud hosting harnesses their power too, meaning that this type of hosting is incredibly potent compared to the other options.
Cloud hosting can be great for larger organisations that must have near-perfect uptime and want to scale their servers as they see fit.
You rent an entire server for yourself. All resources from one server belong to you, so it’s pretty obvious why this option is the most expensive.
This type of hosting is best if you have a large organization and you’re looking for improved security, optimal performance, and a high level of customizability.
At the end of the day, it all depends on what you need. Do you want a small website for yourself? Then shared hosting will do. Or perhaps you have a big business that requires a heavy website. Then VPS hosting might do the trick. No matter the case, remember that you can always ask for help. Nobody said you have to decide on your own.
Best Linux hosting: FAQ
Is Linux hosting good?
Most of the hosting is Linux hosting, so yes, Linux hosting is good. In fact, it’s more affordable, more flexible, and more secure than its Windows counterpart.
Do I need Linux web hosting?
Linux is an excellent choice for web hosting. It supports virtually everything you may want to do – from WordPress blogs to online shops. You don’t even need to know Linux to use Linux hosting.
What’s the cheapest Linux hosting?
The cheapest Linux hosting is Hostinger, but only as long as you commit for 48 months – it costs just $2.59/month. However, if you want to pay on a month-to-month basis, you can go for DreamHost.