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Best web hosting providers for beginners – 5 top picks in 2022


This article is a roundup of the best web hosting for beginners. You will also find pointers on the key factors you should consider before signing up to a provider.

When you’re setting up a website for the first time, it can be overwhelming to find the right hosting provider for you. After all, web hosting is what brings your website to life on the World Wide Web, so you want to pick a reliable service.

If you’re a beginner looking for the easiest way to start hosting a website, simplicity is key. You want web hosting with an easy to navigate control panel. Plans that come with hosting essentials like a domain and SSL certificate straight out of the box will also make your life easier.

Because not everyone has the time or patience to review the whole hosting service market, I decided to test dozens of providers to identify which ones deliver the most excellent and fuss-free experience. After careful analysis, I’ve narrowed it down to the 5 best web hosting providers for beginners.

Best web hosting for beginners: ranked

  1. Hostinger – best web hosting for beginners overall
  2. Bluehost – best easy WordPress hosting for beginners
  3. HostGator – best easy to setup and affordable web hosting
  4. DreamHost – best for pocket-friendly WordPress hosting
  5. HostPapa – best host for a beginner personal website

If you’re not quite sure what to look at when picking a beginner-friendly web hosting provider, you can jump to the list of essential factors to keep in mind that I provided at the end of this post.

1. Hostinger

hostinger
FeaturesFree SSL, weekly backups, SSD storage, LiteSpeed web server
Uptime100%
Speed511ms
Best forCheap performance-focused hosting for beginners

Hostinger dominates as one of the best web hosting providers for beginners not only for its simplicity but also because of its affordability. This combination of being inexpensive and easy to use makes Hostinger one of the best providers for virtually any purpose. What’s more, it doesn’t scrimp on excellent features and performance despite its pocket-friendly price tag.

Here are Hostinger’s highlights for beginners:

  • Hostinger has its own custom control panel called hPanel. It’s powerful and functional without being intimidating – perfect panel for beginners! You will get to enjoy 1-click installations and a dedicated WordPress management tool.
  • There’s an impressive variety of customer support options available: 24/7 live chat, email, a ticketing system, and a comprehensive knowledge base. Based on personal experience, their agents are particularly skilled and very friendly.
  • The host uses the latest tech to ensure fast and reliable performance results. LiteSpeed web server technology, caching, and the latest PHP are just some examples of the performance-boosting features it offers.

Hostinger ticks all the most important boxes: price, ease of use, customer service, and performance. I’ll admit that while I was a bit sceptical at first, the results quelled my doubts.

Hostinger performance

When testing Hostinger’s performance, the host proved to be both speedy and dependable. I monitored its performance for over 2 months, during which it sustained a 100% uptime. What’s more, the fully-built websites loaded in less than a second and even the cheapest entry plan handled high levels of traffic quite remarkably.

These results are an outcome of the LiteSpeed web servers that Hostinger has implemented, which comes with built-in caching. Also, if you’re gunning for an international site, you’ll be pleased to know that Hostinger has servers in the UK, US, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia, and Lithuania.

Overall, Hostinger turned out to be a very reliable host that won’t let beginners down with a slow hosting experience. You can find all performance tests in our detailed Hostinger review.

Hostinger pricing

Hostinger offers 3 shared hosting plans. Their prices vary from $2.59/mo to $3.99/mo. For a provider that offers simplicity and great performance, that’s very cheap.

All of the shared hosting plans include WordPress management tool, SSL certificate, and daily/weekly backups.

Here’s how the plans differ from each other:

  • Single ($2.59/mo) – 1 website, 30GB storage, 1 email account, and 100GB bandwidth that’s enough for 10,000 monthly visitors.
  • Premium ($1.99/mo) – 100 websites, 100GB storage, unlimited bandwidth for 25,000 monthly visits, 100 emails, and 1 domain included free of charge.
  • Business ($3.99/mo) – 100 websites, 200GB storage, unlimited bandwidth for up to 100,000 monthly visitors, 100 emails, free domain, CDN (content delivery network), and daily backups.
Best Value

For beginners, the Premium shared plan is a perfect starting point. You get 3 times more storage than the basic plan, 100 websites, a free domain, and unlimited bandwidth for just an extra of 60 cents per month – an irresistible deal.

2. Bluehost

Bluehost
FeaturesFunctional interface, cPanel, WordPress staging
Uptime99.99%
Speed361ms
Best forBeginner-focused WordPress hosting

Bluehost is one of the biggest names when it comes to beginner web hosting, and for a good reason. It offers a beginner-friendly and functional panel, plus it comes with automatic WordPress setup, and management tools.

Here’s why Bluehost is a solid pick for web hosting beginners:

  • Bluehost offers an easy setup process. It launches a WordPress setup tool upon your first login and immediately starts the domain and SSL activation process. The host is one of the best WordPress hosting solutions out there.
  • It has a user-friendly dashboard and cPanel for painless server and website management.
  • Bluehost comes with an AI-based website builder that generates a site based on a few questions. You can then add customization later on using WordPress or, if you’re happy with the result, you can leave it as is.

If you’re looking for the best host for personal website use, Bluehost’s easy management, WordPress tools, and website builder make it a formidable contender.

Bluehost performance

Bluehost is a fast hosting solution but not too powerful. Over the 2-month testing period, the host managed to score a 99.99% uptime result and it took less than 2 seconds to load a sample website. However, Bluehost wasn’t the best at handling huge levels of traffic, but it can surely keep great performance results on a small website.

The host has servers located in the US and nowhere else. It means that if you’re interested in targeting the US audience, the provider might be one of the top picks for you.

All in all, Bluehost is a solid choice for websites that don’t receive high levels of traffic. You can also check how the provider performed in all of the tests in our in-depth Bluehost review.

Bluehost pricing

Bluehost has 4 shared hosting plans from $2.95/mo to $13.95/mo. Compared to other providers, the prices are satisfactory as the plans offer a few freebies as a cherry on top.

With every plan, you get a free domain, free SSL, email accounts, and unlimited bandwidth. Here’s how the subscriptions differ:

  • Basic ($2.95/mo) – 1 website, and 50GB storage.
  • Plus ($4.95/mo) – unlimited sites and unmetered storage.
  • Choice Plus ($4.95/mo) – everything in the Plus plan, domain privacy, and automated backups for a year.
  • Pro ($13.95/mo) – everything in the Choice Plus plan, except the automated backups last the whole subscription. You also get a dedicated IP and optimized CPU resources to improve website performance during high-traffic occasions.
Best Value

The Plus plan is the best deal for beginners who want to get a hand in the website-building world without having to contend with the limitations of the entry plan. Unlimited sites and unmetered storage – all that for only $4.95/mo.

3. HostGator

Hostgator
FeaturescPanel hosting, free website builder
Uptime99.99%
Speed525ms
Best forAffordable and easy to use hosting

HostGator is one of the most beginner-friendly shared website hosting providers. It offers a hassle-free hosting experience with an intuitive cPanel and a great customer support team – all this with competitive prices.

Here are HostGator’s key strengths:

  • You’ll have a beginner-friendly cPanel and a native interface for effortless hosting management. All of the website setup fundamentals, including domain, email, SSL certificate, and WordPress, are accessible from the main dashboard.
  • You get a free domain, SSL certificate, and email regardless of which plan you buy.
  • If you need some hand-holding through your first experience, HostGator has many customer support options, video tutorials, and an extensive knowledge base.

Having lots of resources, cheap hosting plans, and an intuitive hosting management panel to offer, HostGator ensures that your beginner experience is as fuss-free as possible.

HostGator performance

HostGator proved to deliver some admirable performance results. It scored a whopping >99.99% uptime and it took slightly more than 1 second for the largest content element to fully load. The results of the 50-virtual-users stress test were celebratory as well. You could barely see a difference in performance and HostGator passed the test with flying colors.

Keep in mind that HostGator’s physical servers are all located within the US. It means that for an international audience, this might not be ideal, but if you’re planning to target North American visitors, it’s a great option.

Altogether, for setting up a US-based small-to-medium-sized website that can handle the occasional influx of traffic, HostGator is worth looking into. Check our full HostGator review to see all its performance test results.

HostGator pricing

HostGator offers 3 shared plans with prices ranging from $2.75 to $5.25 per month. The subscriptions are affordable if you’re searching for an inclusive service.

All 3 plans offer a free domain, SSL certificate, email, unmetered bandwidth, and unlimited storage.

However, there are some differences between them:

  • Hatchling ($2.75/mo) – 1 website, making it a good option for portfolio websites and personal blogs.
  • Baby ($3.50/mo) – unlimited websites, allowing you to host bigger websites that require more resources, such as medium-sized blogs or small businesses.
  • Business ($5.25/mo) – everything in the Baby plan, plus a dedicated IP, SEO tools, and a free upgrade to Positive SSL. It’s a great fit for big business websites that require higher security.
Best Value

I recommend settling for the Baby plan. You can create unlimited websites for an additional $0.75 per month than the entry plan. Even if you’re a beginner, having to restrict yourself to a single website can be incredibly limiting.

4. DreamHost

DreamHost
FeaturesCustom control panel, WordPress website builder, automated migration
Uptime99.99%
Speed231ms
Best forFlexible billing options and great performance

DreamHost is known for its cheap and easy to manage shared hosting. With a beginner-friendly control panel, affordable prices, and a built-in WordPress website builder, DreamHost is one of the best hosting solutions for beginners that you can find.

Let’s take a glimpse at DreamHost’s highlights:

  • DreamHost has a control panel that is organized and intuitive, while the setup process is effortless. WordPress installation can be done in just a single click and, if you already have a website built, site migration is quick and painless because of a dedicated plugin.
  • There are only 2 shared hosting plans and both are inclusive. They’re relatively cheap and come with a free domain, SSL certificate, daily backups, and domain privacy protection.
  • You get a functional DreamHost’s website builder (BoldGrid), which makes website design and development on WordPress much easier.

Such strong factors make DreamHost look like an excellent WordPress hosting solution for beginners and smaller businesses. Easy installation of WordPress and an included website builder make it a highly tempting option.

DreamHost performance

DreamHost produced impressive results and turned out to be extremely reliable and fast. With a >99.99% uptime, there was only 1 outage in a few months and the sample website took only 1.6 seconds to load. On top of that, DreamHost is not the one to stress during exams. It handled 50-user traffic without any problems.

However, all its data centers are in the USA, which is an advantage if your intended audience is located in North America.

Overall, I think DreamHost’s performance is more than enough for most users, and especially for beginner websites. If you want to find all of the tests of this provider, I encourage you to visit our full DreamHost review.

DreamHost pricing

DreamHost offers 2 affordable shared hosting plans, priced at $2.59/mo and $3.95/mo, respectively. I’d say the costs are pretty competitive, considering that the more expensive plan has unlimited resources.

Whichever plan you choose, a free domain, SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, automatic daily backups, and domain privacy is included. Here’s the difference between the 2:

  • Shared Starter ($2.59/mo) – 1 website and 50GB storage.
  • Shared Unlimited ($3.95/mo) – unlimited resources, including websites, storage, and email accounts.
Best Value

Shared Unlimited is the top hosting plan for beginners. For just $1.36 extra than the Starter plan, you’ll be able to enjoy the perks of having unlimited websites, emails, and storage – perfect for when you’re ready to expand or experiment with business websites.

5. HostPapa

FeaturescPanel interface, free domain, free SSL certificate
Uptime100%
Speed1.19s
Best forsmall businesses and easy cPanel management

Although not as well-known as the other options mentioned here, HostPapa makes the list of best web hosting solutions for beginners. It’s affordable (starting at $3.16/mo) and offers standard cPanel management. Beginners will also enjoy excellent customer service with a free 1-on-1 training session for any topic.

Here are HostPapa’s main selling points:

  • If you want a service provider that offers standard cPanel management, HostPapa is a good choice. For total newbies, the original cPanel is easy to get familiar with and intuitive to use.
  • Should you run into any issues, it’s nice to know that HostPapa’s customer service is fast and skilled. All support channels are available round-the-clock, and their knowledge base is robust.
  • If you’re the type who prefers having a mentor when learning something new, I’m sure you’ll appreciate that HostPapa offers free 1-on-1 training sessions. What you’ll be trained for depends on your level and specific needs.

HostPapa proves that it’s great for newbies by flaunting a great mix of beginner-friendly features.

HostPapa performance

HostPapa is speedy but could improve handling traffic surges. It coasted through the testing period with a 100% uptime result, which is a rare catch. The loading time was also great as the fully-built website took 1.5 seconds to load. Regarding the stress test, the cheapest plan could handle only 15 visitors at the same time frame, but, on the bright side, that sums up to approximately 15,000 monthly visits.

What’s great about HostPapa is that it has servers located in the US, Canada, and Europe. That makes it a great candidate for when you want to host a website for an international audience.

That said, I would recommend this hosting service only for websites that don’t typically see significant spikes in web traffic, such as small businesses or personal websites. You can check out how the provider performed in all of the tests in our detailed HostPapa review.

HostPapa pricing

HostPapa’s inclusive hosting plans come in 3 tiers ranging from $3.16 to $10.36/mo – not the cheapest but still relatively affordable.

All plans come with a domain, email accounts, SSL certificate, and unmetered bandwidth. Let’s see how the plans differentiate:

  • Starter($3.16/mo) – 1 website with 100GB storage, standard SSL, and 100 emails.
  • Business ($3.16/mo) – unlimited websites, standard SSL, unmetered storage, and unlimited emails.
  • Business Pro ($10.36/mo) – everything the Business plan, plus Wildcard SSL and additional features for extra security, such as daily malware scan, DDoS protection, automated website backup (1GB), and domain privacy. For better performance, you get a CDN, speed boost, and more.
Best Value

I recommend the Business plan not only for beginners but for everyone. For only $3.16/mo, you get unlimited resources to host functional and content-rich websites, which makes it a great value for money.

Best web hosting for beginners: final recommendations

Many web hosting options claim to be beginner-friendly, but only a handful stay true to their word. A simple dashboard isn’t enough to make it easy for newbies. Hosts should also offer dependable customer support and plans that include hosting essentials, such as a free domain and SSL certificate.

Here’s a quick recap of the best web hosting for beginners that I mentioned above:

  • Hostinger makes the list with the cheapest plans and impressive performance.
  • Bluehost provides a seamless experience and WordPress-focused cPanel hosting.
  • HostGator offers a beginner-friendly setup and competitive pricing.
  • DreamHost excels at WordPress hosting at pocket-friendly prices.
  • HostPapa is a solid cPanel-based option offering an entry plan with generous resources.

Choosing beginner-friendly web hosting: essentials

It’s easy to get lost in the hosting market when there’s so many of them. It’s even easier when you don’t know how to recognize a beginner-friendly host. That’s why in this section, you’ll find a summary of the key features you should consider when choosing a provider, including ease of use, customer support, performance, and more.

Ease of management and extra features

It’s better to not waste time fumbling around with poorly designed control panels. For starters, cPanel-based management is always a good choice because of its simple and intuitive approach. Extra features, such as website builders also make the website creation process so much easier for those with little to no experience. If you’re looking for a site building tool together with hosting services, check out Bluehost and DreamHost.

Hosting essentials

Choosing the most affordable option is always tempting, however, you need to be aware of what the plan includes. If there’s no free domain, SSL certificate, or other important freebies, you might end up paying more when buying them separately. For inclusive plans, check out HostGator which offers a free domain, SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth and storage resources.

Customer support

As a beginner who is only starting to get around a new service, you want your hosting provider to be there for you at any time. That’s why you should look for hosts that offer a few customer support options for you to choose from. Providers that go the extra mile could come in handy whenever you’re in a pickle. If you’re looking for just that, HostPapa provides its users with some free 1-on-1 training.

Performance

Even if you’re only beginning your hosting journey, you want your site to handle whatever comes its way. Here are things you should look into when assessing a provider’s performance:

  • Uptime – although 100% uptimes are rare, providers that offer a >99.9% guarantee are not that hard to find. The higher the result is, the less downtime you’ll have.
  • Response time – fast response times lead to better experiences for your audience. For context, DreamHost’s 231ms is considered blazing fast. However, anything faster than 600ms is considered above-average.
  • Loading time – the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is the time it takes for the largest element of the web page to load. For example, the service provider should always be above the maximum recommended LCP of 2.5 seconds.
  • Server locations – If your audience is going to be international, you should consider checking out Hostinger or HostPapa, which have more server locations. However, if your audience is US-based, then you don’t have to worry about your site’s performance for people outside the country. For audiences in North America, you can look at Bluehost, HostGator, and DreamHost.

In brief, you want a service provider that can bring you a positive experience, so make sure to keep these things in mind before purchasing a plan.

As a whole, it should be easier to find the right host for you with these factors at hand. Just make sure the service provider can handle your vision, and start hosting.

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