While it may not be the most exciting and creative part of running a business or setting up a personal blog, finding the best website hosting for your needs is absolutely essential. You need hosting that’s reliable, robust, and gets the job done.
Because of how many options there actually are out there, it can be tough finding web hosting companies that supply the type of hosting you need. The sheer amount of options can be confusing for newcomers, or those that have never handled it before.
To help you make your decision and find the best web host, we’ve put together an easy-to-understand list of our top choices. We’ve cut straight through the jargon and broken down what each of these top hosting companies can offer you.
Whether you’re an IT expert or you don’t even know how to buy a website, you’ll be able to understand our simple spec breakdowns and explanation of the benefits each of these web hosts offers.
Because there is such a rich variety of options in domain hosting, we decided to make this list as accessible as possible. You won’t find any complicated terms or niche phrases - just the raw facts you need to decide which host suits you and your needs best.
Some hosts offer up a much more varied wealth of features, with access to mailing lists, control panels, e-commerce compatibility, website building tools, and much more. We’ve tried to include as many of the accessible features provided by each web host as possible so that you can make the most informed decision.
Winner - DreamHost
First up on our list is the overall winner - the site we think offers up the most. This web host is, in our opinion, one of the absolute best web hosting sites out there today. They have a startling range of features and perks and a brilliant money-back guarantee.
If you’re searching for a web host that offers up excellent value for money and a rich bank of features, then DreamHost might just be your ideal option. It topped the list for us because of how customizable it is and the quality support you can access around the clock.
They offer up shared, WordPress, VPS, web, and dedicated hosting. Many of their features fall outside the expected scope of a hosting site and that really blew our minds. There is so much to take in, so let’s take a look at what features you can expect:
It’s plain to see that DreamHost takes the “more is better” approach as much of what they offer is unlimited. This kind of dedication to customers and recognition of the varying amount of guidance they might need is brilliant.
In terms of pricing, DreamHost is surprisingly affordable. You can expect most plans to start out from around $3 a month for shared hosting and $8 a month for the unlimited plans - which is actually shockingly inexpensive considering how much is on offer from them.
If you think that you’ll be able to make use of the vast amount of features, then DreamHost seems like the obvious choice for all your web hosting needs!
Runner Up - Wix
Our runner up is still an amazing option and only barely lost out on the top spot. This is a web hosting service that has been slowly gaining popularity over the last few years and it’s not hard to see why so many users opt to choose them over the competitors.
Wix is our runner up out of all the top web hosting companies. If you’re hunting for a site that provides an amazingly intuitive and simple website builder, then Wix is perfect for you. It’s gained an enormous amount of steam lately, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
There is a wide range of packages up for offer if you opt for Wix. You can go for a Connect Domain for just a few dollars a month or you can get an Unlimited Package for between $10 and $15.
The main pull of Wix is the extremely powerful and user-friendly website builder that you can use to design your new site. There are a number of beautiful templates (over 500) which can be customized and tweaked until they meet your exact needs. You can truly fine-tune the templates to look exactly how you like.
Here are the highlight features of Wix (although remember that some packages don’t include everything listed here):
There is a range of other features included with Wix, including an integrated image editor with a raft of Instagram-style filters, and a whole host of e-commerce templates for you to use in your business.
Wix even offers a free package for you to use. However, the bandwidth is extremely limited and storage space is quite low (500MB). For someone creating a personal blog, though, this could be an ideal option. The free option also puts branding and advertising on your site that you can’t control.
These next three web hosting companies are our final bunch. These didn’t quite make the cut (to reach winner or runner up) but they’re still immensely powerful hosts that offer up a huge number of features and benefits.
HostGator provides possibly one of the cheapest web hosting services around, considering their love for all things unlimited. If you’re in need of a host with a range of inexpensive packages and generous offers, this is a site you need to visit.
The packages range from around $3 to $5 per month - which is ideal for new websites and those only just beginning to dive into owning their own site. To get an idea of just how generous HostGator packages are, here are some of the features you can expect to find.:
HostGator also allow access to cPanel-based management of your website, making customization and managing your site super simple. They even provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Other amazing benefits include stellar 24/7 customer support and around $200 worth of Google and Bing Ads credits. This is great because it means even new websites can start off with a bang!
Sadly, HostGator doesn’t provide you with a free domain name for the year, like many of the competitors. Also, you can only operate one website on their lowest price plan. Although they have such a cheap plan (with extremely beneficial bandwidth and storage), it’s these restrictions which means HostGator doesn’t make the top two.
SiteGround offer up easy web hosting and management and is the perfect option for those of you who run a small to a medium-sized website. They provide a host of tools and services to their users and have quite a wide range of features.
The basic features offered by SiteGround are as follows:
Like many of the other options on this list, SiteGround provides basic website building tools for those of you that don’t know where to start. They’re a friendly and reliable hosting service and will even offer services like automated migration and integration.
Prices range from between around $5 to $15, with the highest options coming with unlimited websites, 30GB of storage space, and 100,000 monthly visitors. It’s these last points that put SiteGround towards the bottom of the list as the limitations on storage space and bandwidth really take off a few points for them (although unlimited websites is a nice touch for such an inexpensive price).
If you’re setting up a website on WordPress, BlueHost is one of the most accessible and beneficial web hosting services you can get your hands on. Plans start from around $3 to $20 and they offer a wide host of features, including:
For the price you pay, BlueHost does offer a decent amount of features. It doesn’t live up to the high standards of some of the other hosting services we’ve listed, though. The website builder is Weebly-based, so it’s fairly basic. Only six pages are supported at any one time and there are no extras (like site templates) included.
They do offer good 24/7 customer support, however, and they have many user-friendly aspects. They’d make a good beginner hosting service for those who don’t know how to build a website and only need a moderate amount of power and customization.
What To Pay Attention To When Choosing Web Hosting
When you’re looking for the best web hosting services and the top web hosting companies, it can be all too easy to get lost in the swamp of mediocre products and websites out there. That’s why we’ve put together this quick and easy guide to hunting down the best deals and products.
There are so many aspects you have to consider before aligning yourself with a web host and this section is going to be all about what points need to be looked at and what decisions need to be made before you make your choice.
One of the first points you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing a new web host is what your budget is. Some people are in a position where the price is inconsequential, but for many of us, it’s something we have to delve into and work out if it’s viable.
Like many online services, you definitely get what you pay for. If your website is being run purely as a hobby (or it’s just a small personal blog) then a cheap web hosting service might work out well for you. If you’re not planning on receiving much traffic, you don’t have to worry about it too much.
However, if your website will be essential to you and your business and it’s something you want to keep running immaculately, then you certainly shouldn’t be choosing the cheapest option available. Many business owners fall into the trap of hunting for deals or looking for free hosting. This can end in tears when you find your customers can no longer access your site and you’re locked out.
Something else you need to consider and watch out for is the fact that some web hosting companies will word their contracts and agreements in a way that you don’t realize what you’re paying. The vast majority of web hosting services will charge a low introductory offer for the first period and then jack up the pricing afterwards.
Sometimes, this is obvious, and it’s something you’ll be aware of when signing up. Watch out for the web hosting sites that hide this information away in the fine print, though, and always be willing to read through any agreements before signing up.
One of the most desirable features of a web hosting service and something that you need to look for when deciding what to go with is what kind of level of support they are willing to offer to their customers. Knowing how much you can rely on them and their product is ESSENTIAL.
The very best web hosting services will offer out round-the-clock, 24/7 customer support. If at all possible, look for sites that offer multiple ways for you to communicate with them and resolve any and all issues you might be having. For example:
The more ways you have to contact them, the better the chance of receiving a higher level of customer service. You never know when you’ll need help with your website, so always try and find web hosts that offer 24/7 access to customer support.
If you’re expecting to receive a lot of visitors to your site, the bandwidth limitations imposed by certain web hosting companies is something you need to pay particular attention to. You don’t want your visitors to be throttled or timed out when they check out your site, so pay attention to what kind of bandwidth limits are in place.
Nowadays, many packages actually come with unlimited bandwidth, which is perfect for businesses that plan on securing their income through online customers. Make sure you nail down all of the numbers and know what you’re getting into before deciding on web hosting service.
If you’re offering an image-heavy website with a lot of embedded videos and hosted content, you’re going to want to find out what your storage limits are. It’s so important to research this before you make any decisions as you don’t want to sign up with a new host for several years and then find out their deal was so cheap because you have extremely limited storage space.
Thankfully, if this were to occur, a lot of web hosts allow you to upgrade your storage during your contract and increase the amount of content and data you can store. Keep an eye out for upgradable options and limits that may be imposed if you’re unsure about what kind of numbers you’re looking for.
Type Of Storage
As well as the storage limits put in place by a web hosting service, you also have to understand and research the specific types of storage which are offered. Here’s our quick list of the six most common storage options:
Is usually the cheapest option and it basically means your website will be stored on the same server as other websites (it could be hundreds or thousands of others, depending on the server and the host). Perfect for entry-level businesses, but not for those that require more capacity.
Virtual private server is a hosting service which mimics a dedicated server but is actually located in a shared hosting environment. This is for businesses that need a little more control and security, but don’t feel ready to invest in a dedicated server of their own.
Dedicated server hosting
Is the option that gives you probably the most control over your website and the server it’s stored on. You rent the server exclusively and only your website is stored on it. This costs more than the options out there and requires a high level of expertise in the area. It’s essential for extremely high-traffic sites, though.
Is basically just multiple computers working together and running applications through combined resources. It works as a hosting solution via a network much like the internet and allows top web hosting companies to properly scale your site over time (as your needs grow).
Refers to the vast majority of hosting services and it basically just means that an external company is looking after the day-to-day management of the servers for you. Sites like WordPress offer up popular managed hosting services and they’re perfect for those who aren’t technologically inclined.
provides a much higher level of bandwidth than normal servers at a lower cost. It basically means you rent space in a colocation centre and your server(s) are stored there and taken care of by them.
As you can see, there are plenty of storage type options and it’s worthwhile having a brief understanding of the various options available to you.
DDoS Protection / Mitigation
If you’re not already aware of what a DDOS is, it stands for distributed denial-of-service. This is a type of malicious attack that people can mount on a website. It involves:
A DDoS, in particular, can be especially harmful to a business website as it involves an attacker using hundreds (if not thousands) of individual IP addresses to flood the network. This can be devastating to a company which relies on legitimate traffic to earn money.
The best web hosting services will have advanced security features in place to mitigate (or stop entirely) these types of attack. A hybrid solution that combines on-premise filtering with cloud-based filtering are usually the best types of security for these kinds of attack.
Whatever security systems are in place with the hosting you’re researching, it’s important to ensure that the DDoS mitigation and protection services they offer have both anti-DDoS technology and anti-DDoS emergency response services.
All but the cheapest and most basic web hosting services will usually come with a variety of preinstalled software and scripts. This could be easy access to cPanel management systems or various site templates and website building basics.
If you’re just starting off and you need all the help you can get, looking for a hosting service that offers a wide range of preinstalled software with their packages is a great idea.
That’s the end of our huge guide to the best web hosting companies you can find online. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with more than enough information for you to make an informed decision about which top hosting company to register with.
Best of luck if you’re hoping to use the buying guide we provided to search for a web hosting service. However, if you’re hoping for an easy experience and the best possible hosting capabilities, we suggest you go with one of our choices.
You’ll be more than happy with ANY of the web hosting companies we’ve reviewed. If you want the perfect host, though, we’d definitely suggest going for our overall winner, DreamHost. We were smitten with the sheer amount and variety of features they offer at such an inexpensive price.