Best Web Hosting 2018

Last updated on 21 May 2018

 

WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) publishes fair and unbiased web hosting reviews.

The hosting market is crowded with thousands of providers and brands – each with different options. Our aim is to clear the smoke screens and get you to the core of the quality and value these companies offer.

To date we have signed up, tested, and reviewed more than 60 hosting companies.

See: Full list of web hosts we reviewed.

 

How to use WHSR to find hosting service that fits you the best.

 

 

* Disclaimer: WHSR is affiliated to some of the companies listed on this page. However, rankings and listings of our reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please check out our review policy page.

 


 

Find the Best Web Host for ...

To evaluate a web host, we use a 80-point rating checklist and look into six main aspects of its service: host performance, features, after sales support, user friendliness, company reputation & customer care policy, and price.

Understand that the top web host is not always the right hosting choice for you. This is one key lesson we have learned after being in business for more than a decade.

Different kind of websites have different needs.

Remember – When you are looking at these web hosts, keep in mind that you are here to pick a web host that suits your needs.

Base on our reviews and experience, here are some of the best hosting services, each caters for different types of websites, you should check out.

 

Best WordPress Hosting

 


 

Best Business Hosting 

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting has more than 15 years of business track record. The web host offers three shared hosting plans for small-to-medium size websites; as well as VPS and dedicated hosting for larger sites.

I personally pay InMotion Hosting hundreds of dollars every year to host this site you are reading.

Read my in-depth InMotion Hosting review here.

Pros

What makes InMotion Hosting tick:

  • Solid server performance: Average uptime 99.95%, response time ~400ms.
  • 90-day risks-free trial with full money back guarantee (industry top).
  • Good after sales service via 24x7 live chat and telephone support.
  • Free site migration for all first time customers (big time saver).
  • Big discount (exclusive – save 57%) when you order via our link.

Cons

  • Hosting prices increase increase after first term.
  • Does not allow instant account activation.

 

Order InMotion Hosting at special price

Click: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/business-hosting/

 

 

 

InMotion - Best Hosting for businesses
Special discount: Save up to 57% on your first bill by ordering via WHSR promo link (click here). Prices go down to $2.95/4.49/7.49 per months.
Speed test on website hosted at InMotion
InMotion Hosting TTFB: 431ms.

 

SiteGround

SiteGround - Alternative for Best Business Hosting

SiteGround is a solid hosting company with innovative server features and top class live chat support. Their price is a little steep at renewal but you get what you paid for. We think SiteGround is suitable for business owners who want a worry-free hosting solution.

Read full SiteGround review here.

  • Load time: ~750ms
  • Average uptime: 99.99%
  • Signup price: Start at $5.95/mo

 

 

Hostgator Cloud

Hostgator Cloud - Alternative for Best Business Hosting

HostGator was founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley and was sold to EIG in 2012. The Gator reinvented themselves as a budget cloud hosting provider. The new cloud hosting plan (which we started testing in 2017) is reliable, reasonable priced, and relatively simple to setup.

Read full Hostgator review here.

  • Load time: ~450ms
  • Average uptime: 99.99%
  • Signup price: Start at $8.95/mo

 

 

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting - Alternative for Best Business Hosting

The company A2 Hosting has been around since 2001. The best thing about A2 Hosting is speed. By introducing SSD storage, Railgun Optimizer, and pre-configured server caching to its shared hosting users, A2 is raising the speed standard of the entire shared hosting industry.

Read full A2 Hosting review here.

  • Load time: ~530ms
  • Average uptime: 99.95%
  • Signup price: Start at $4.90/mo

 

 

 


 

Best Budget Hosting

 

Hostinger

Hostinger was first bootstrapped in 2004 under the name Hosting Media. The company claims that they have achieved 29 million of users with average 20,000 new user signups daily worldwide in 2017.

The best thing about Hostinger is that you get tons of premium hosting features at a very low price (one of the cheapest in market, see table).

Read full Hostinger review here.

Pros

Why Hostinger rocks?

  • Free domain name and easy-to-use Website Builder.
  • Innovative features: Curl, Cron Jobs, MariaDB and InnoDB, SSH Access for Budget Plans.
  • Free site migration for all first time customers (big time saver).
  • Server optimized for best WordPress site performance.
  • Up to 61% discount on signup, plans start at $2.15/mo.

Cons

  • Hosting prices increase increase after first term.
  • Limited database for Single Web Hosting Plan.

 

Check out Hostinger Budget Plans: 

Click: https://www.hostinger.com

 

Other Notable Budget Hosting Providers 

The following table compares 5-year hosting costs among popular budget hosting providers.

Web Hosting Signup Renewal Domain 5-Year Cost *
Hostinger $2.15/mo $3.99/mo $15 x 4 $397.80
iPage $1.99/mo $8.99/mo $15 x 4 $347.40
WebHostFace $1.09/mo $10.90/mo $15 x 5 $375.84
InterServer $5.00/mo $5.00/mo $15 x 4 $375.00
GreenGeeks $3.95/mo $9.95/mo $15 x 4 $441.00
HostPapa * $3.95/mo $12.99/mo $15 x 5 $528.00

 

** Note [1]: Total 5 year hosting cost = (36 x Signup) + (24 x Renewal) + Domain

* Note [2]: Hostpapa, InterServer, and A2 Hosting do not offer free domain.

iPage

iPage - Notable Budget Hosting Choice

Our test site at iPage recorded strong uptime (~99.95%) but we are not happy with its slow server responses and customer service. That said, iPage is ultra cheap (signup at $1.99/mo), which makes them a possible fit for newbies who are starting with minimum budget.

Read full iPage review here.

  • Load time: ~500ms
  • Average uptime: 99.95%
  • Signup price: Start at $1.99/mo

 

 

WebHostFace

WebHostFace - Notable Budget Hosting Choice

The mainstream has yet to discover WebHostFace, making this an amazing hidden gem. WebHostFace goes as low as $59 for three years (exclusive discount for WHSR). They are one of the few budget web hosts that get above 4-star rating here in WHSR and cost .

Read full WebHostFace review here.

  • Load time: ~350ms
  • Average uptime: 99.99%
  • Signup price: Start at $8.95/mo

 

 

InterServer

InterServer - Notable Budget Hosting Choice

InterServer is less mainstream but itís hard to look past them once you get to know the company. InterServer offers solid hosting service at great bargain (shared hosting at life-long rate $5/mo). Users get the flexibility to upgrade to VPS and dedicated hosting as their site grows.

Read full InterServer review here.

  • Load time: ~220ms
  • Average uptime: 99.97%
  • Signup price: Start at $5/mo

 

 

 


 

Best Managed WordPress Hosting

Kinsta

Founded by Mark Gavalda in 2013, Kinsta has risen to become one of the top managed WordPress hosting today.

Kinsta platform offers innovative server technology (NGINX, PHP7, HHVM) and hosts a number of global-recognized brands such as Ricoh, Ubisoft, General Electric, and ASOS.

Read full Kinsta review here.

PROS

  • Reliable – server uptime at 99.98%
  • Speedy server – TTFB below 200ms in all hosting speed tests
  • Developer friendly – Long list of useful features at MyKinsta control panel
  • Auto malware scanning and minimum 14 auto backup files at time
  • Reasonably priced – you are paying a premium for first class services

CONS

  • No telephone support
  • Not for users running multiple low traffic WordPress sites

 

 

 

Legit user feedback on Kinsta hosting.

 

WP Engine

WP Engine is funded by a large group of investors including Automattic (the folks behind WordPress.com). Many bloggers and WordPress experts regard them as one of the best managed WordPress hosting.

WP Engine announced its new plans on February 28th, 2018. The original plans – Personal, Professional, and Business, are replaced by slightly pricier plans named StartUp, Growth, and Scale.

Read full WP Engine review here.

PROS

  • Solid server performance, average uptime 100%, TTFB ~220ms
  • 60-day risk free money back guarantee.
  • Helpful 24 x 7 live chat and telephone support.

CONS

  • New plans (announced Feb 2018) slightly pricier than other managed WP hosts.
  • Self-help site migration – unlike its peers, WP Engine does not provide site migration.

 

 

WP Engine speed test
Test site hosted at WP Engine loaded first byte in 224ms.
WP Engine recent uptime
WP Engine uptime (Feb 2018): 100%. Test site has not gone down for the last 1038 hours.

 


 

How WHSR Hosting Reviews Work?

Web hosting assessment form
WHSR web host assessment form.

At WHSR, we only publish reviews on hosting services we have used before and use a 80-point checklist to rate them.

Only a handful made it through our stringent review process and obtained rating above four stars.

We rarely use users input as our rating signal unless their identity and account ownership are proven. This is to avoid getting stuck in the marketing war between hosting companies.

Methogology

How we review our host

Our review begins with setting up a test site, normally built in WordPress or Ghost, with a web host.

Several third part tools are pulled in to test and track the test site performance.

The review writing process, usually done by myself or our tech writer, start at least a month after the test site is setup.

 We ask consumer questions such as:

  • What is the average 30 days server uptime?
  • How quick / slow is the server loading?
  • Is the user control panel comprehensive and easy to use?
  • What are the limitations written in company ToS?
  • Is the support staff friendly and knowledgeable?
  • Is the host value for money in *long term*?

The process is slow and very manual – but I believe this is necessary to give an accurate picture of the quality of the hosting company.

Also – learn how our star rating works.

 


 

Understand Your Hosting Needs

No best hosting list or reviews can help you if you do not know what you need.

Our hosting guide and reviews are like a map. But a map is useless unless you know where you are going.

 Questions to ask yourself

So – if you are unclear with your hosting needs, key questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the core objective of your website: to grow a business, to share information, to build a community, or?
  • Does your website need special software, ie. PHP 7.02, Tom Cat, etc?
  • Is your site using custom application program?
  • What is your web traffic growth forecast?
  • How  much are you willing to spend on web hosting?
  • Where are your primary targeted audience located at?

For newbies

For newbies, the no-brainer rule is to always start small with a trustworthy shared hosting plan.

A shared web host is cheap, easy to maintain, and powerful enough for most new sites or blogs. It also lets you focus on building your site without having to worry about other server-end tasks like database maintenance and server firewall configuration.

Remember, you always have the option to scale up and upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting at a later stage when your site grows bigger.

For advanced bloggers or business owners –

Your site / blog usability is crucial. This means a stable and fast-loading server is utmost crucial. Track your site uptime and measure server response rate.

Monitor your blog memory usage and know your limit – once your blog hits 80% of the allocated memory (this the usual bottleneck you’ll first bump into with shared hosting), then it is time to consider upgrading to VPS hosting.

 


 

The state of web hosting industry

The web hosting market was very different back when WHSR first started its operations.

The rise of small hosting companies

Back in 2000's, most small- and medium-sized hosting companies were bootstrapped and led by their founders. There were a lot of smaller brands and there wasn't really a standard price reference for hosting services at the time.

Hence web hosting forums - like Web Hosting Talk and hosting review sites like WHSR are there to make hosting shoppers' life easier.

Type of web hosting

Type of hosting servers available for individual users in today's market:

Shared hosting

The pros and cons of shared hosting

Shared hosting is often the best choice for beginners, bloggers, and personal website owners since it's the cheapest form of web hosting, costing around $5 - $10 per month.

With shared hosting plans, you'll be sharing your server resources with other users, which means you pay less for the hosting since the cost of it is shared among other users.

Generally, if you're getting less than 5,000 visitors per month, then it's better to go for shared hosting. When your website grows bigger and you're getting more visitors, you might want to move to a more powerful server.

VPS hosting

The pros and cons of VPS hosting

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is similar to shared hosting in that it shares one physical server. The difference is that you have your own server resources that's separate from other users.

With VPS hosting, it's basically a step up from shared hosting in terms of power and speed but is still cheaper than getting your own dedicated server. Depending on the CPU and memory (RAM) that you get, VPS hosting can cost anywhere between $50 to $200 per month.

Cloud hosting

The pros and cons of cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is a fairly new hosting technology that combines hundreds of individual servers together to function as one giant server. The idea with cloud-based web hosting is that you can easily scale up and upgrade your server needs when necessary.

For example, if you're suddenly faced with an unusually large amount of web traffic, you don't have to worry about being shut down since the hosting company can easily accommodate the surge of traffic by adding more server resources.

The pricing for cloud hosting tends to vary as they normally use a form of a pay-for-what-you-use pricing structure.

Dedicated hosting

The pros and cons of dedicated hosting

Dedicated server hosting is when you have an entire physical server that's dedicated to your website. Not only do you have full control of your server resources, you also don't have to worry about other websites taking up your resources and slowing your website down.

For websites that are larger and have a bigger presence, a dedicated server is generally recommended in order to handle the high amount of traffic. The cost of a dedicated server is significantly higher than shared hosting and you can expect to pay from $100 and above per month.

However, if you are considering dedicated servers, you also need to consider the costs of hiring system administrators to take care of the technical details.

 


 

The reality of unlimited hosting

You might have come across the term “Unlimited Hosting” on some of the popular web hosting providers. Unlimited hosting is a buzzword that's been used on many shared hosting providers to describe their ability to deliver unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Unfortunately, most unlimited hosting solutions are much more limited than you think.

Unlimited Hosting vs All-you-Can-Eat buffet

Here's the thing, an “Unlimited Hosting” plan is only “ unlimited” when you're using less than the server resources available to you. Now, contrary to popular belief, bandwidth and storage space are not the ones that tends to be limited by companies. Instead, it's the CPU and memory that are imposed with limits.

For example, a website with 5,000 visitors per day might not be able to handle the traffic if there's a limit to the memory and CPU power, despite having enough server bandwidth.

It's not uncommon for companies to include limitations on concurrent database connection or the amount of CPU cycles that an account can use, on their ToS.

It's basically similar to an all-you-can-eat buffet, in that, the hosting provider assumes that you have unlimited resources but you're only going to use a reasonable amount.

While there are limits to “ unlimited” plans, it is still quite high. Reading the fine print on a company's Terms of Service (ToS) will give you a clearer definition of the limits they impose for unlimited hosting services.

 


 

Industry consolidation and mergers

The hosting industry has grown mature over the years and this has lead to many of the companies going through mergers and consolidations.

You can see companies such as GoDaddy acquiring domain hosting brands such as Media Temple to expand its business. Endurance International Group is another company that has acquired a number of popular hosting brands such as BlueHost, HostMonster, Fast Domain, Arvixe, Hostgator, A Small Orange, and more.

As a user, having smaller hosting brands joining up together under one company ensures that will be a standard for all web host providers. Of course, with all the mergers and acquisitions, this led to many of the companies founders stepping down from their leadership role and exiting the business, such as Matt Heaton, the founder of Bluehost.

Rise of Website Builders

The advancement of computer technology and internet speed has made it easier for people to start a website. Because of this, hosting companies are shifting their focus and are aiming to become a one-stop solution for all users with hosting needs.

Website Builders are companies that allow users to register a domain, create your website, manage it, and host the site, all in one place.

Advantages of Website Builders

Different from the traditional hosting services, a hosting company that brand itself as “ Website Builder” offer a number of benefits that are quite useful for a beginner. Among them are:

  • The ability to create and main a website without any coding experience.
  • The ability to work on your website from anywhere with an Internet connection.
  • Not needing to manage your web server and software
  • Have everything done (and billed) in one place.

A number of Website Builders has been gaining popularity and is often recommended for the those want to create a website but have no technical experience.

 

Wix Site Builders - Alternative to traditional hosting services

Website Builder: Wix

Starting price: $4.50/mo
Suitable for: Business & personal site, blog, portfolios.

 www.wix.com

Weebly Site Builders - Alternative to traditional hosting services

Website Builder: Weebly

Starting price: $8/mo
Suitable for: Personal site, simple online store, portfolios.

 www.weebly.com

Big Commerce Online Store Builders - Alternative to traditional hosting services

Store Builder: BigCommerce

Starting price: $4.50/mo
Suitable for: eCommerce site, complex online store (sell on FB, eBay, Amazon, etc).

 bigcommerce.com

 

Wix and Weebly are probably two big names that you've heard of. They've been the best Website Builders for first-time website owners or busy businesses since they provide a one-stop-solution for creating a website and are easy-to-use.

If you're focusing on eCommerce, then Shopify and BigCommerce are recommended since they provide key features that are useful for an online store. Some of those features include the ability to create a store without coding, inventory management, multiple payment gateway and so much more.

Plus, all of the have been reviewed quite highly by us, so you can't go wrong with any of them.