Web hosting for developers: in search of the best provider
In this article, I will present you with the 6 best web hosting for developers options. More so, I’ll briefly discuss the main factors that helped to come up with this list.
When I say developers, I mean everyone from coding enthusiasts and solo-entrepreneurs to freelancers and even agencies. Whether you’re working for a client or for yourself, the struggles of choosing a hosting plan are universal.
You just can’t know which option is the best before you start using it.
Thankfully, my job is to test and review hosting providers. That’s exactly what I did for this post - I tested a bunch of options and found providers that are the most suitable for technical people. That is you.
With that in mind, here are the 6 best providers for developers.
6 best web hosting for developers: ranked
- Liquid Web – best VPS hosting for developers overall
- Hostinger – very cheap and performance-focused hosting
- SiteGround – best business-oriented hosting for developers
- InMotion Hosting – flexible hosting supporting multiple languages
- InterServer – no-nonsense web hosting for developers
- WP Engine – premium WordPress-only web hosting
If you're interested to know what factors were taken into consideration when preparing this list, feel free to jump to the end of this article.
By the way, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 are coming! Get ready to save with some big developer web hosting Black Friday deals.
1. Liquid Web
|Features||Fully managed, free SSL, automated backups, GIT, and native control panel|
|Best for||Bigger sites looking for a more powerful hosting solution|
Liquid Web is one of the best options when it comes to web hosting for developers. Interestingly enough, the provider does not offer any shared hosting plans and is known for its Cloud and VPS hosting, which are very secure, reliable, and highly functional. So, if you’re looking for great performance and scalability options, Liquid Web might be exactly what you need.
Sounds like a really good option, right? Well, let’s explore what kind of tools does Liquid Web offer for developers:
- To begin with, the provider allows you to choose a control panel that you’re most comfortable with. You can either go with InterWorx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Admin. However, keep in mind that InterWorx is a very functional one that’s already included in the plan.
- To make your job just a little easier, the provider offers Git support with all its plans. Git is a widely used control system that helps you to track changes made to the site and allows you to restore any particular version of it if there’s ever a need to.
- The provider also includes WP-CLI. It is a command-line interface form where you can manage a WordPress site. By using a set of commands, you’ll be able to update, backup, and simply administrate your site.
- Liquid Web is very confident in its ability to keep your site alive and well all the time. It’s so confident that you get a 100% SLA guarantee in place. More so, if the site happens to be down at any time, you’ll be compensated 10 times the amount of downtime.
- Lastly, if you’d like to sell hosting services to your clients, Liquid Web offers 3 reseller plans priced from $99/mo up to $259/mo.
In short, Liquid Web has many useful tools that can help you run and perfect your site easier.
Now looking at the options, Liquid Web offers 4 standard VPS plans priced from $15/mo to $95/mo. However, you can also get the “bundle” option of each plan by paying a little extra. This gets you additional features like a premium business email, a free 100GB backup quota, and web server protection.
Back to the standard plans. Regardless of which one you choose, all of them include 10TB of bandwidth, DDoS protection, a firewall, and monitoring. You also get to choose which control panel you’d like to use.
Now talking about the differences, each plan has a different amount of RAM, storage, and vCPU. As there is no one-size-fits-all, the decision on which plan brings the best value for money depends on you. However, the provider has great scalability options, so I’d suggest you start with the cheapest plan and work your way up.
If you’re looking for a simple yet well-equipped plan, 2GB RAM might be the one for you. By opting for a 24-month billing, the total upfront price will round up to $360 for the first 2 years.
Liquid Web performance
To say that Liquid Web provides reliable service is to say nothing. It leaves most competitors far behind, both in terms of uptime and response time.
Throughout almost 3 weeks, the servers were available 100% of the time. And it’s no surprise as the provider has a 100% uptime guarantee backed up by SLA. This simply means that you’ll be compensated for every 30 minutes of downtime.
Now, if we’d look at the response time, it averaged at 521ms. As VPS is a bare server without any optimizations, this time is very good. Just imagine the performance when a few optimization tools come into play.
Lastly, the provider’s data centers are located in 3 locations - Lansing (US,) Phoenix (US,) and Amsterdam (EU.) This way, you can fight latency by choosing the server closes to your audience.
In sum, Liquid Web might be the best web hosting for developers when it comes to performance. You get a 100% uptime guarantee and quite speedy services, which can be improved even further.
Overall, Liquid Web is fast, secure, and highly functional. More so, GIT integration makes the workflow much simpler and quicker to manage.
- Affordable VPS hosting
- 100% SLA uptime guarantee
- 3 control panel options
- High prices for short billing periods
- No pre-installed staging
|Features||Free SSL, GIT, weekly backups, and hPanel|
|Best for||Cheap shared hosting for smaller performance-oriented sites|
Hostinger is a very cheap, easy-to-use, and performance-oriented hosting provider. Easy management and the number of features make it a very attractive option when it comes to web hosting for developers.
But what is there really to satisfy the developer’s needs?
- Hostinger uses a native management panel called hPanel. The functionality is similar to cPanel. It’s easy to navigate and looks modern.
- Hostinger has integrated GIT access with all its plans. This tool allows you to handle all projects more effectively by tracking changes and saving copies of each version, which you can later reset, edit or download.
- All provider’s shared hosting plans include an access manager. If you’re working with multiple people on a project, this way, you can allocate specific roles and access options to others.
- All plans include weekly backups, with the priciest shared hosting plan being backed up on a daily basis, too.
- The provider is highly performance-oriented. All its hardware and software are kept up to date. To give your site that extra speed boost, you can choose a data center (US, UK, Lithuania, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia, and Brazil) closest to your audience.
Simply put, Hostinger is a powerful and easy to manage provider. Tools like hPanel, GIT access, and backups make sure that your experience with the provider is smooth as butter.
Looking at the plans now, it appears that Hostinger has 3 shared hosting options with prices between $1.39/mo and $4.99/mo. However, if these seem to be what you’re looking for, Hostinger also has VPS hosting for as little as $3.95/mo, which is easier to scale.
Getting back to shared hosting plans, all of them include free SSL, DNS management, email account, GIT access, and access management.
- The Single plan ($1.39/mo) allows for one website, one email, and limited bandwidth (100GB.) As this plan is quite limited, it will be best for a small personal project.
- Upon upgrade to the Premium or Business plans, bandwidth and emails become unlimited (or rather, reasonably unlimited.) You will also get SSH access and a free domain, making it a great pick for small-to-medium projects.
- The simplest VPS plan ($3.95/mo) offers 1 virtual CPU, 1GB of RAM, 20GB of SSD storage, and 1000GB of bandwidth. With each VPS plan, you will get full root access and OS templates for easy installs. This option is great for small-to-medium web applications that require a specific programming language.
If you’d like the most for the least, consider the Premium plan. It offers 100GB storage, GIT, and SSH access, as well as a free domain. With this plan, you won’t have any extra expenses, and by committing for 4 years, the total will only be $124.32.
When it comes to performance, Hostinger is not the one to disappoint.
Over two months, the provider managed to maintain a perfect 100% uptime. This is well appreciated, especially knowing that the official uptime guarantee is only for 99.9%.
Looking at the response time, we find it averaging 511ms. While this time is very good and very few providers manage to top that, it is still a little too close to the market’s average of 600ms.
What makes the provider so much more tempting is its server infrastructure. To guarantee the best possible performance for your audience, you can choose 1 out of 7 locations closest to your visitors - US, UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Brazil, Singapore, and Indonesia.
Briefly, Hostinger’s performance is very solid. The uptime is perfect, and the response time is still better than the average.
Overall, Hostinger is an affordable and functional provider. The offers are generous in terms of features, allowing for effective customizability without any unnecessary effort.
- Some of the cheapest pricing for shared and VPS
- Functional hPanel control panel
- Very good performance
- Only the priciest plan includes daily backups
- No staging
|Features||Free SSL, daily backups, staging, collaborators, and native user management interface|
|Best for||Business-oriented hosting for developers|
SiteGround can be seen as a premium hosting provider when it comes to shared hosting. However, you truly get your money’s worth as the host delivers impressive speed and extra tools like staging, collaborations, and the white-label control panel feature. All that comes down to how this provider made into the list of options on web hosting for developers.
While the price is slightly above the average for shared hosting, it’s understandable why. The provider is feature-rich, but what do you get for that premium price specifically?
- SiteGround has a native user management interface that is very easy to use. While there is no cPanel option, I can promise that you won’t miss it. SiteGround’s Site Tools panel is just as functional and can even be customized a little to access the most frequently used tools quicker.
- The provider also includes a staging environment in its two pricier plans. If you’re planning on experimenting with the site, you can do so in a safe environment without impacting the “live” version. This is available for WordPress websites.
- If you’re planning on working with other people on the same project, SiteGround allows adding collaborators with its two pricier plans. This way, your peers get individual logins to your Site Tools, and you can track the changes made to the site. You can also restrict other people from accessing the billing section.
- While this is included with only the priciest plan, it’s good to know that SiteGround allows you to register your clients as users in your account and get them a white-label panel. Additionally, it’s also the only plan that has a pre-installed GIT control system.
To sum it up, SiteGround has many business-oriented features like staging, collaborators, and clients that could improve your hosting experience as a developer.
If we look at shared hosting options, we’ll find 3 plans ranging from $3.99/mo to $10.69/mo.
While plans are noticeably different, you’ll still get free SSL, email accounts, caching, unmetered traffic, and daily backups with each plan.
Talking about differences, each plan differs in the number of websites hosted and the amount of storage. However, more importantly, extra features differ too.
StartUp plan has no additional tools, which means that the best value hides with GrowBig and GoGeek. Both have staging, Ultrafast PHP, and collaborators feature while GoGeek also allows you to function as a reseller and give white-label panels to clients.
The best value for money lies with the GrowBig plan. If you choose this option, you get to enjoy tools like staging and collaborators, as well as the Ultrafast PHP setup. If you choose annual billing, the first year will cost you only $80.28. However, SiteGround is no stranger when it comes to discounts, so keep an eye out for one.
Talking about performance, SiteGround is among the fastest and most reliable providers in the market.
In 2 months, the host kept a 99.99% uptime which is significantly higher than the official uptime guarantee of 99.9%.
While uptime is very good, SiteGround’s response time is what truly leaves a lasting impression. The average response time is barely 217ms, only a ⅓ of the market’s average. You could say such time definitely places SiteGround among the fastest providers out there.
Lastly, SiteGround has its data centers in 3 continents - North America, Europe, and Australia. You can simply choose the one closest to your audience. By doing so, you make sure that there is no latency due to the distance.
In short, SiteGround’s performance is very good. The uptime is significantly higher than promised, and the response time is very impressive.
In summary, SiteGround is very reliable, fast, and well equipped. With a bunch of tools for management and sharing access, it’s among the best options if you are developing sites for clients.
- Very fast server response time
- Data centers in 3 continents
- 100% white-label control panel feature available
- The storage is relatively small with each plan
- Premium-level prices
4. InMotion Hosting
|Features||Free SSL, GIT, and cPanel|
|Best for||Affordable reseller hosting option|
InMotion Hosting is among the platforms that aim to provide quality service above all. That motto resulted in a diverse and fully-featured hosting provider. The options are plenty, especially when it comes to web hosting for developers.
But what are those options that could help you build and run a professional-looking site?
- InMotion uses the widely known and mass favorite cPanel. If you have experience in website hosting, you most likely will know your way around it, and if not, it won’t take long before you do. The panel is simple and easy to navigate.
- If you’d like to work with a different coding language than PHP, InMotion has quite a few options. The provider allows you to deploy web applications in Ruby, Perl, and Python. Such versatility is quite rare with shared hosting plans.
- If you’re thinking about working with a few people on your project, InMotion allows you to add additional users to the site. They will get a personal login to your panel. More so, you can slightly limit their actions on your account.
- Just like most providers on this list, InMotion also has GIT integrated with all its plans. With the help of this tool, you get to track and manage your files, as well as restore any previous versions if worse comes to worst.
- Lastly, the host is one of the best providers when it comes to reseller hosting. You can get a plan for as low as $15.39/mo. More so, it is completely white-label, so you get to use your logo if you wish.
In sum, InMotion is very generous when it comes to features. It is also the only one on this list to offer such a variety of coding languages with its shared hosting plans.
Jumping to plans and prices, we see 4 shared hosting options for as low as $2.49/mo to as high as $12.99/mo. Yet, if shared hosting is not exactly what you’re looking for, the provider also has VPS plans starting at $17.99/mo.
But if we’re talking about shared hosting, all plans include a free SSL, emails, SSH access, and unlimited bandwidth. All plans apart from the entry include a free domain too, however, automated backups come for an extra $24 per year.
Turning to differences, the most significant ones can be found in the number of websites that can be hosted on the plan and the storage size. As the options are quite broad, choosing the best plan is entirely up to you and your personal needs. If you need more power and storage, opt for pricier plans, while little projects can be easily handled by cheaper options.
If you wish to have more storage and enjoy a powerful plan with all its perks, choose Power. If you go with a 3 year billing period, the price upfront will come up to $179.64 in total. Alternatively, a long-term value is better with the Launch plan as its renewal rates are noticeably lower than Power.
InMotion Hosting performance
Examining InMotion’s performance, it seems that the host is reliable but slightly lacks speed.
In 2 months, the host kept a trustworthy 99.98% uptime. It's a very good result when the uptime guarantee outlines 99.9%. Response time, on the other hand, is slightly less pleasing.
While an average response time sitting at 759ms is quite reasonable, I must point out that it is below the market’s average of 600ms. Simply put, InMotion might not knock you off your feet with its speed, but it’s far from being bad.
On that note, the provider allows you to choose the server location… But there are only two, and both in the US, which means it’ll perform best in the States too.
To sum up, the performance is very reliable, but speed is not InMotion’s hook. However, if you’re not super fussed about fast response time, the provider is good.
All in all, InMotion Hosting offers advanced features for a price that might raise some eyebrows. It provides great features like staging and GIT. Moreover, it supports quite a variety of coding languages. However, the response time might be hard to ignore.
- Supports a variety of coding languages
- cPanel control panel
- GIT integration with all plans
- Below average response time
- Automated backups come for an extra charge
|Features||Free SSL, automatic backups, staging, and cPanel|
|Best for||Affordable month-to-month website hosting for developers|
InterServer is reliable, affordable, and highly configurable. Although it mostly targets experienced users, it still provides diverse options for any website’s objective. No-fuss, no funny business - you get exactly what you pay for, and that’s resources and security tools.
So what kind of tools can a developer expect?
- InterServer provides you with a typical cPanel. This panel is considered to be one of the easiest to use out there. And the most functional. If you’re a beginner, you’ll find it very intuitive, and if you’re an expert, chances are you’re very familiar with it already.
- It is very easy to scale with InterServer. The provider lives by a no-nonsense policy, meaning you don’t pay for anything you don’t need. With each plan, you get just a bigger “slice” of server resources and its power.
- When it comes to versatility in coding languages, InterServer has quite a variety of options. The provider not only supports PHP but also languages like Python and Ruby on Rails.
- If you wish to perfect and continuously improve your site but want to do it in a safe environment without impacting the “live” site, InterServer has a staging option. You can reach it through the Softaculous App Installer.
Simply put, InterServer is a straightforward hosting service. You are not being marketed flashy tools that you might never use. The provider simply supplies you with server resources and few additional features to make your web hosting experience as simple as possible.
Now jumping to InterServer’s options, the provider has 3 plans with prices from $2.50/mo (with a discount) to $19.95/mo.
Boost 2 and Boost 4 are basically an upgrade of the Standard plan, so it is not surprising that all plans include the same base resources like unlimited storage, bandwidth, emails, as well as free SSL and CDN.
So what differs all these plans from each other? Simply put, each plan offers slightly more “server space,” making a plan more powerful than the latter. Considering this, it is down to you and your needs to choose a plan best suited for you. However, since InterServer makes scaling very easy, I suggest you start with Standard.
The best price for the highest quality hides with the Standard plan. By choosing an annual billing option, the first year will cost you only $30. Additionally, you can opt for a month-to-month billing option. Either way, the monthly fee will be $2.50. After the renewal, it’ll rise up to $7/mo.
InterServer appears to be highly reliable yet slower than an average provider.
In more than 3 months, InterServer had only 13 minutes of downtime, resulting in a near-perfect 99.99% uptime. It’s always nice to know that the provider delivers better services than promised. The official uptime guarantee only promises 99.9%.
While this provider is not the slowest on the list, its average response time of 662ms falls below the market’s average. Is it something you should worry about? No, but could it be better? 100%!
Moreover, because the servers are located in the US, your audience should reside there too. This way you’ll be sure that your visitors are getting only the best performance.
The performance is solid, but with an asterisk. Even though the uptime is undeniably great, it is unlikely that you will get really low response times unless you are from the US.
InterServer is a no-nonsense hosting platform focused on providing reliable and highly functional services. Most importantly, the prices are great for both low- and high-end plans.
- Affordable prices with all billing terms
- cPanel control panel
- Supports a variety of coding languages
- Dated design
- Below average response time
6. WP Engine
|Features||Free SSL, 3 staging environments, GIT, and native control panel|
|Best for||Premium WordPress-only hosting for small-to-medium sites|
The last, but certainly not the least on this list is WP Engine. The provider offers premium WordPress-exclusive hosting services. Even though the prices are much higher than the average shared hosting plan retails for, the host is everything from powerful to reliable. Great performance, strong security, and extra features are what earned its place among the best web hosting solutions for developers.
So what are those features that you, as a developer, might make use of?
- WP Engine uses its native user portal to manage your website and hosting services. It’s a functional custom-made tool for WordPress sites exclusively.
- WP Engine goes above and beyond when it comes to staging. The host is the only provider on this list that has 3 environments - development, staging, and production. Each of these environments has its separate management menu. This way you, get to separate the environments and experiment with your site as you please, creating your own workflow.
- To help you track all changes made to your site, WP Engine has GIT integrated with all its plans.
- If you wish to work with other people on a project, you can set user permissions, assign specific roles and even track each user’s activities.
- One great thing about WP Engine is how all its plans can function as reseller hosting. You can easily transfer the site’s ownership and its billing to your client.
In summary, WP Engine is very functional and business-oriented. Many tools like 3 different environments and reseller options make it very appealing to developers.
Talking about WP Engine’s plans, the provider has 4 options with prices starting at $22.50/mo and going up to $217.50/mo with a 1-years billing period.
All plans come with a free SSL, SSH, daily backups, and staging environment, while a free domain is lacking with all too.
While quite a few things are the same, there are some differences too. The main ones come down to the number of websites you can host, how much storage space you get, and how much traffic the plan can handle.
Based on that, you can either go with the cheapest plan if a single website for personal use is what you’re after. Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell web hosting services to your clients, you can choose a pricier plan according to the number of clients you have.
If a single website is all you need, the Startup plan is the one to look at. With an annual billing option, the plan will round up to $270 in total. Alternatively, the best option for reseller hosting is with Scale. If you use the plan to the limit, the price per site falls down to only $7/mo.
WP Engine performance
WP Engine’s performance is very reliable and speedy.
In 2 months of examination, the provider maintained a perfect 100% uptime. WP Engine is also one out of very few who give a higher than 99.9% uptime guarantee, 99.95% to be specific.
Looking at the response time, we find it averaging at 489ms. A very reasonable time that is noticeably faster than the market’s average of 600ms. Plus, it’s very stable – no higher peaks were recorded.
More so, WP Engine allows you to choose from 20 server locations. Such a wide spectrum of options guarantees that you’ll be able to find a server location that’s closest to your audience. It is the universal truth - the shorter the distance, the better the performance.
All in all, WP Engine delivers very reliable and speedy performance. The uptime is nothing short of perfect, and the response time won’t leave you questioning the provider’s speed.
In summary, WP Engine is a premium provider that delivers premium solutions like 3 staging environments and GIT integration. Moreover, it makes it very easy to resell hosting solutions for your customers.
- 3 environments - development, staging, and production
- Very reliable uptime
- Permission and activity management option
- Premium prices
- Domains are not included
Web hosting for developers: final recommendations
Some of the providers mentioned shared some similarities, while others focused on their own little niche. Depending on your project requirements, there is likely to be a good fit for your specific needs.
Here’s a concise summary of each provider:
- Liquid Web is a very reliable, powerful, and well-featured hosting for developers.
- Hostinger is the cheapest and highly performance-oriented hosting provider.
- SiteGorund is a business-oriented option for freelancers and agencies alike.
- InMotion Hosting supports a variety of coding languages and is a great option for reseller hosting.
- InterServer is a classic unlimited web hosting with a variety of coding languages and cPanel.
- WP Engine is a premium, highly reliable WordPress-only web hosting for developers.
What factors were considered when picking the best web hosting for developers
- Price is an integral part of the process when choosing the best provider and plan for your or your clients’ website. Is the price reasonable for the number of websites? Is there enough storage, bandwidth, RAM, and CPU for the project you have in mind? Some providers are cheaper than others, but do they deliver just as much?
- Scalability is very important when you’re running many different-sized projects. Having the ability to increase your resources whenever you need to makes the provider so much more appealing as it gives you flexibility.
- Performance is an inseparable part of a successful website. You want to make sure that the uptime is no lower than 99.9% and the response time is no higher than 600ms. Additionally, having an uptime guarantee backed by a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is well appreciated as it compensates you if the uptime is below what’s promised.
- Extra tools can make or break a provider. Chances are that you, as a developer, will greatly benefit from tools like staging, ownership transfers, and GIT integration. Make sure that the provider includes any features you might think you need. Sometimes they also come for an extra cost.
Web hosting for developers FAQs
Is free web hosting for developers available?
Technically, free web hosting for developers is available. There are some providers offering free services. However, neither their reputation nor the reliability of the services can justify risking the integrity of your business. Pick them only for learning purposes.
Should I choose shared or VPS hosting for development projects?
For smaller-scale websites and applications, choose shared hosting. If your project involves high-load situations or just generally demands more resources, pick VPS hosting. Corporate-grade applications and huge websites might require dedicated server hosting.
What are the most important things when choosing web hosting for developers?
The most important things when choosing a web hosting for developers are: knowing the needs of your project, picking the appropriate plan with enough server resources, and choosing a provider with good uptime and response time. Other things to consider: the number of websites, bandwidth, email accounts, SSH access, programming languages, and GIT integration.
Can I use web hosting to host my clients’ websites?
Yes, you can use web hosting to host your clients’ websites. Moreover, some providers will even include separate payment options and charge your client instead of you.