The Best Web Hosting Provider allows you to put up your website easily and grow without much headache in server capability and configuration. But there are so many web hosting companies that choosing the right one can be confusing.
For those wanting an easier choice, this page features our top recommendations. We have tested and reviewed more than 70 web hosting companies over the past 20 years. The selected hosting providers below are the most highly rated in terms of server performance and security, server features, user-friendliness, value for money, and company reputation.
Established in 2004, Hostinger is a budget hosting company running on multiple data centers worldwide.
Hostinger went through rampant growth and expansion over the years. They achieve a huge milestone of having 1 million users, just 6 years from the day that they started. Today, the company manages over 29 million users and has established worldwide localized offices with 150 people working across 39 countries worldwide.
Key Plans & Highlights
- Single Shared: $1.99 per month (discounted price)
- Premium Shared: $2.99 per month (discounted price)
- Business Shared: $3.99 per month (discounted price)
- Key Features: Free domain, newbies-friendly site builder, cheap .xyz domain, cheapest shared hosting plan.
Key features in Hostinger's basic Single Shared Hosting package include:
- Support PHP 8, HTTP/3, IPv6, LiteSpeed Caching by default – Great feature for better website speed, available in all shared packages
- Hostinger Website Builder – The website builder (used to be Zyro) that helps design a website with built-in templates, available in all shared plans
- WordPress Acceleration – Optimization for best WordPress performance, available in all shared plans
For those who don't mind paying more (Business Shared Hosting – signup at $4.99 per month), you'll also get:
- GitHub Integration – Convenient for web development and versioning
- Free domain – Save cost (not much, but everyone loves freebies)
- Unlimited Databases – Do more with your shared hosting account
- Unlimited Cronjobs – For site automation and easy management
- SSH access – For better security and easy website management
My Thoughts on Hostinger Hosting Services
Hostinger isn’t just one of the cheapest hosting providers around but it offers excellent bang for the buck.
You’ll find what you pay for to be more than competitive; integrated caching even on basic plans and support for over 10,000 visits even on most entry-level. Top that up a little more and you get SSH and GIT access for higher tier Shared Hosting Packages.
This value-packed goodness is what makes it one of the most worthwhile hosting solutions for newbie website owners. It’s simply the best launch point. In short, Hostinger is worth a check if you want as many hosting features as possible without needing to blow out your budget.
Hostinger Server Performance
To learn more about Hostinger's performance, I have set up a test site on the Hostinger server and tracked its uptime and speed regularly. Hostinger isn't the fastest around but response times are reasonable for what you pay. Overall I’d say that performance is actually above par for the price range it falls under.
Learn more in our full Hostinger review.
Hostinger Speed Test Results
Hostinger Pros & Cons
- Value pack: Cheap hosting with great features.
- Solid performance.
- Flexible hosting options.
- Hostinger Website Builder included in all shared plans.
- Choices of data centers in three continents.
- Free & very cheap domain prices.
- Wide range of payment options
- Hosting prices increase after the first term.
Who Should Host at Hostinger?
Newbies, individual bloggers, small-to-medium businesses, budget users, freelancers, and non-profit organizations.
Migrating Your Website to Hostinger
Hostinger offers white-glove website migration assistance to all customers. If you wish to transfer your website to Hostinger, their migration team will do it for you. To request a new migration, all you need is an active Hostinger account and a domain name added to it. For new users, you can request for migration during the setup; for users with an existing account, you can access the Migration Page to initiate the transfer.
To order, visit Hostinger online
Founded in 2008 by Hristo Rusev and Vlad G, ScalaHosting provides hosting that empowers web professionals around the world.
Their hosting service is powered by their three data centers in the United States and Bulgaria, and integrated data centers operated by Digital Ocean. Managing more than 700,000 websites from approximately 120 countries on their servers, ScalaHosting is one of the fastest-growing, high-quality web hosts you shouldn't overlook.
ScalaHosting Plans & Pricing
- Mini: $3.95 per month
- Start: $5.95 per month
- Advanced: $9.95 per month
- Managed VPS: $14.95 per month
- Key features: Free domain, unlimited storage, Spanel hosting control panel, SShield cyber security, Digital Ocean-powered cloud hosting package.
My Take on ScalaHosting
ScalaHosting is a hosting provider that I can personally vouch for. A few things that make Scala stand out as one of the best web hostings are their excellent server performance, features-rich shared hosting plan including free SSL and security protection, as well as helpful 24×7 technical support.
ScalaHosting SPanel – Alternatives to cPanel
The strongest part of their offering though is that they offer users an opportunity to use their in-house built sPanel WHCP (a server management software) instead of cPanel. This comes at a very opportune time as:
- Both Plesk and cPanel are now owned by the same parent organization, leading to a near monopoly on the web hosting control panel (WHCP) market; and
- cPanel changed its pricing model and raised its licensing fees recently, impacting many users.
SPanel offers users an alternative that is excellent for many reasons. The key one being that it is fully compatible with cPanel. This means that cPanel users have an easy way out of the ecosystem should they wish to migrate to SPanel.
It also offers a much more cost-effective licensing structure compared to cPanel and is more agile and resource-friendly. Overall, SPanel was designed to be a one-stop control panel for users’ convenience.
That’s not all though. There are also increased benefits in security, website handling, guarantees in email delivery, and more.
Read our full review on ScalaHosting.
ScalaHosting Pros & Cons
- Solid hosting uptime & speed.
- 24×7 live chat and telephone support.
- Upgrade to manage cloud servers.
- Free web hosting control panels for Resellers
- Slightly higher shared hosting price.
Who Should Use ScalaHosting?
Scala's basic Managed VPS Hosting Plan starts at $14.95 per month is suitable for shoppers searching for an affordable VPS hosting solution. For online stores and websites with larger traffic – we recommend Scala Business VPS ($72.95 per month) or AWS 4GB ($41.95/mo).
Moving Your Websites to ScalaHosting
Unfortunately, migration to ScalaHosting server has to be done manually. The hosting provider does offer a comprehensive site transfer guide but the process might be confusing for newbies.
Starting in 2011 in Malta, Cloudways is a provider of managed Cloud hosting solutions. It acts as a systems integrator, providing access to various services from Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and more.
As far as web hosting companies go, Cloudways is considerably young. It entered the market in 2011 but since then has grown significantly. A large part of that growth is perhaps due to the relatively niche market space it occupies, as a systems integrator providing convenience for a bump in price.
Cloudways Special Discount – Promo Code “WHSR10”
If you signup to Cloudways using our exclusive coupon “WHSR10”, you'll get $10 credited to your account instantly. The lowest Cloudways plan costs $12 per month – so basically you can test them at (almost) zero risk for 30 days.
Click here to claim this Cloudways deal now
Cloudways Plans & Features
Because Cloudways is not the infrastructure provider, your Cloudways bill prices (as well as everything else) vary depending on your choice. There is a choice of five main infrastructure platforms – Digital Ocean, Linode, VULTR, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud.
In raw pricing alone Digital Ocean comes with the cheapest stepping-off plan at $12 per month with 1GB of RAM, a single processor core, 25GB storage, and 1TB of bandwidth. However, because these are all Cloud Servers the sky is virtually the limit of what you can scale up to.
Cloudways Hosting Plans & Pricing
- Digital Ocean: from $12 per month
- Linode: from $12 per month
- VULTR: from $13 per month
- AWS: from $36.51/mo
- Google Cloud: from $33.18 per month
Regardless of which Cloud platform you select under the Cloudways umbrella, most benefits come across the board:
- Built-in server management software
- Powerful servers with HTTP/2 support, automated backups, team management, staging environments, and more
- Provision for almost any type of website with unlimited application installations and pay-as-you-go usage models
- Fast performance with advanced optimized caching on all plans
My Personal Experience with Cloudways Hosting
Cloudways is not a “budget” hosting provider. Hosting with them costs more than if you were to head directly to one of its partners like Linode.
However, managing Cloud hosting isn’t something everyone can easily handle.
In this, Cloudways shines, and it provides enough value in extra features to make the premium prices worthwhile. There’s much to love about this one-stop shop, especially if you’re a business user that wants to focus on making money instead of tinkering with servers.
Learn more in my Cloudways review.
Cloudways Server Performance
While it is true that I have so far encountered excellent performance from Cloudways servers this is more a result of the infrastructure providers themselves. Each of them is bound to have its own performance advantages (and maybe quirks too!) so again, it is very provider-dependent.
In my case – I am using Digital Ocean infrastructure and managing it via Cloudways platform.
Cloudways Hosting Uptime
Cloudways Pros & Cons
- Ultra scalable web hosting plans
- Good range of service providers
- HTTP/2 servers
- Managed security with auto-healing features
- Excellent support options
- Free migration services
- Powerful add-ons available
- Less direct control over your server
- Slightly expensive
- Does not support email hosting
Who Should Host at Cloudways?
Cloudways is highly recommended to those who are looking for easy scalability and reliability in hosting. Their primary customers include online stores, large business websites, high-volume blogs, and SaaS companies.
Transferring your web host to Cloudways
Cloudways offers one free site migration to all new users. To initiate your website transfer, simply reach out to their customer support via Live Chat after purchase. Alternatively, you can use their WordPress Migrator Plugin to transfer your WordPress or WooCommerce websites.
Click here to visit Cloudways online
TMDHosting first emerged in 2007 as a provider of open-source web hosting. Since then, it's grown through various milestones and won multiple awards. The company was an early adopter of CloudLinux in 2010, provided global data center access by 2016, and made Let's Encrypt available on all plans by 2017.
Over the years, TMDHosting has become a recommended host for many web applications. That includes Drupal, OS Commerce, and PrestaShop. It gained these achievements even before celebrating ten years of success in 2017.
TMDHosting Special Discount – Promo Code “WHSR7”
You can now get an additional 7% discount on top of the discounted signup price with coupon code “WHSR” or “WHSR7”. Shared hosting starts at $2.74 per month instead of the usual $2.95.
Click here to order TMDHosting now
TMDHosting Plans & pricing
TMD Shared Hosting Plans
- Starter: $2.95 per month
- Business: $4.95 per month
- Enterprise: $7.95 per month
- Drag-and-drop builder powered by Weebly
- 99.99% uptime guarantee
- All-SSD storage
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Cloud-based VPS
My Take on TMDHosting
There are many reasons why TMDHosting stands out from the competition. Amidst a sea of standard offerings, this host offers several critical advantages in vital areas. I've tested its performance, and my test project eventually became an account I used daily.
60 Days Risk-Free Trial
For new users, the 60-day money-back guarantee is an absolute advantage. Even if you are still deciding about using this host, that long trial duration means you get more time to evaluate the service without risking any money.
Their entry-level hosting plans are well-priced, with a choice of data centers that span the globe, from Chicago and Phoenix in the US to Sydney, Australia. If you're looking for more power, you can move up to anything from Managed VPS plans to Cloud and Dedicated Servers.
Those signing up for TMDHosting also have the advantage of using the Weebly website builder. If you aren't using a web app like WordPress, Weebly offers a reliable way to build and deploy a website within minutes.
Read our full review on TMDHosting.
TMDHosting Server Performance
In terms of server performances, TMDHosting can go toe-to-toe with some of the best in the industry. Not only do they have strong uptime rates, but they also have blazing-fast speed with fast server response time.
TMD Hosting Pros & Cons
- Great server performance
- Easy-to-use user dashboard
- Clear guidelines on server limitation
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Big discount for new signups
- Selection of six hosting locations
- Weebly Site Builder included
- Excellent customer supports
- Free website migration assistance.
- The auto backup feature can be better
- Price hikes after the first term
Who Should Use TMDHosting?
Thanks to its broad range of web hosting plans, TMDHosting is suitable for a broad audience. Thanks to features like the website builder and relatively cheap plans for new users, even the greenest novices will do OK here. You can migrate to their more robust hosting options anytime.
Transferring Your Sites to TMDHosting
As with most competitors, TMDHosting offers all new customers free migration services to their platform. All you need to do is submit a ticket to their support staff, and they'll handle everything once you provide them with the necessary details.
GreenGeeks has been in the web hosting business for over 14 years now. Helmed by Trey Gardner and Kaumil Patel, the company specializes in eco-friendly web hosting services. It's one of the pioneers in this area and something they still proudly do today.
Though its history GreenGeeks has won numerous awards and gained global recognition. That success sees them now hosting over half a million websites. Most notably, the company has replaced over 615,000 KWH/Year in energy consumed.
GreenGeeks Plans & Pricing
- GreenGeeks Lite: $2.95 per month
- GreenGeeks Pro: $4.95 per month
- GreenGeeks Premium: $8.95 per month
- 300% Green energy matching
- Trees planted for each new customer
- Nightly backups
- Full-SSD storage configuration
- HTTP/3 and PHP8 ready
My Take on GreenGeeks Hosting Services
The most apparent advantage of getting your hosting from GreenGeeks is its environmentally-friendly attitude. These guys are serious about going green and matching all energy consumption with three times in renewable energy credits. They'll even plant a tree for all new customers who join them.
Beyond the green, GreenGeeks isn't a slouch regarding its web hosting plans. You get top-of-the-line performance with built-in caching, compatibility with the latest technologies, free SSL and CDN, plus lots more.
Their data centers are mainly in the US and Canada, with another option in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. These data centers power almost all plan types, from regular shared hosting to robust VPS plans.
Read our full review on GreenGeeks.
GreenGeeks Hosting Performance
Running the usual gamut of our performance tests, GreenGeeks lights up green across the board.
With our test server located in Europe, I’ve decided to throw in an additional test from London as well, just to observe if there’s any noticeable impact on hosting performance.
Not surprisingly, GreenGeeks performance tests showed the best speeds from EU-based tests since our server is in the Netherlands. However, it also managed to show excellent page loading speed across the board as well – from Asia to North America.
GreenGeeks Recent Speed Test Result
GreenGeeks Hosting Pros & Cons
- Eco-friendly: 300% green hosting
- Excellent server performance
- Choice of different server locations
- Convenient & newbies friendly
- Helpful customer support and user knowledgebase
- Price increase during renewal
Who Should Use GreenGeeks?
While GreenGeeks is suitable for most audiences, we highly recommend them to companies that need to comply with eco-regulations. These guys are certified in the business, and their web hosting plans can meet regulatory needs.
Moving Your Websites to GreenGeeks
GreenGeeks will help all customer migrate their websites for free. All you need to do is to open a site migration request from your GreenGeeks customer control panel. Even if you're on a VPS plan, they can help migrate an entire cPanel account if that's what you want.
6. A2 Hosting
About A2 Hosting
Led by CEO Bryan Muthig, A2 Hosting was established back in 2001 in Ann Arbor, Michigan and was known as Iniquinet back then.
Since then, the independently-owned hosting provider changed their name and went on to host thousands of prominent sites through their shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting packages.
Key Plans & Highlights
- Startup: $2.99 per month (discounted price)
- Drive: $5.99 per month (discounted price)
- Turbo Boost: $6.99 per month (discounted price)
- Turbo Max: $12.99 per month (discounted price)
- Key features: Built-in CMS caching, unlimited NVMe storage for Turbo plans, free SSL certificate, and anytime money-back guarantee.
My Experience with A2 Hosting
I first started off on A2 Hosting in 2013 with what was then known as the A2 Prime Plan. This would be the rough equivalent of what's offered under A2's Drive Plan today.
After almost 10 years of hosting and testing with A2 – I remain as one of their happy customers today.
Reasonable cost, reliable hosting uptime, excellent speed performance, and powerful server features – A2 checks all the right boxes that are necessary for a stable and fast website. A2 Hosting is a great choice for most users who are looking for a high-quality, mid-price range hosting solution.
More details in my full A2 Hosting review.
Specialized Developer Environment
A2 Hosting is one of the extremely rare hosting companies that offer some very specialized developer environments on their shared hosting packages. Examples of this include Node.js, a Java-based open-source server environment.
A2 Hosting Speed Performance
“Server Speed” is A2's top unique selling point. With a built-in caching tool called the A2 Optimized Tool, sites that are hosted on A2's server have a much faster load time compared to others.
A2 Drive Plans offer full SSD storage along with a guaranteed 1GB RAM and 2 x 2.1 GHz CPU Cores. It also has pre-configured Cloudflare CDN – which helps load your webpage 200% faster. For higher shared hosting plans (Turbo & Turbo Max) – users get even better speed features with a powerful server with AMD EPYC CPU, NVMe storage, and LiteSpeed support.
A2 Hosting Pros & Cons
- Excellent hosting uptime
- Servers are well-optimized for speed.
- Specialized Shared Developer Environment.
- Anytime money-back guarantee – zero risk for new users.
- Choice of server locations in four locations.
- Free website migration assistance.
- Site migration is chargeable during downgrade.
- Turbo Plan doesn't support Ruby / Python.
Who Should Use A2 Hosting for Their Websites
A2 Hosting is recommended for: Online stores, eCommerce, personal website, small-to-medium business websites, web developers, as well marketing agencies. If site speed is important to you, then A2 Hosting is definitely worth checking out.
Migrating a Website to A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting offers free site migration supports to all new customers. Simply signup for an account and fill out the migration request form from your dashboard. Usual site migrations will be done by the A2's migration team within 24-48 hours.
Mark Gavalda, CEO and founder of Kinsta, established the company back in 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. While still relatively new, they have since grown rapidly with offices located in both London and Budapest.
Comprising of veteran WordPress developers, Kinsta is focused on providing a premium Managed WordPress Hosting for all types of customers, be it big or small-to-medium businesses.
Key Plans & Highlights
- Starter: $35 per month
- Pro: $70 per month
- Business: $115 per month
- Key features: Free SSL Certificate, auto daily backup, white-labeled cache plugin, full-managed WordPress environment, multi-user environment, multisite support.
My Thoughts on Kinsta – Best Managed WordPress Hosting
One of the top names in managed WordPress hosting, Kinsta has gained tremendous success and recognition ever since the company began its journey in 2013.
What really sets Kinsta apart from other similar players in the managed WordPress hosting market is its ability to provide a super fast, super innovative, and slick user control panel. That, along with their innovative server technology (NGINX, latest version of PHP, HHVM) and solid server uptime / speed performance makes them a great choice for both businesses and individuals.
They have since gone on to host a number of global-recognized brands such as Ricoh, Ubisoft, General Electric, and ASOS.
Find out more in my full review on Kinsta.
Kinsta Hosting Uptime & Speed Performance
WHSR's sister site HostScore is also hosted at Kinsta. Based on multiple speed tests in the past – our site is stable and always able to achieve fast load time is fast. Based on our record – the average aggregate response speed, measured from 10 locations, for Kinsta in January 2022 is 5.33ms.
Kinsta Hosting Pros & Cons
- Excellent server reliability.
- Choice of 15 hosting locations across the globe.
- Free host migration for first-time users.
- Good reputation – raving fans and positive reviews everywhere.
- Comprehensive support knowledgebase.
- Developer-friendly staging area with auto daily backups.
- Expensive for users with multiple low traffic sites.
- Does not support email hosting.
Who Should Use Kinsta WordPress Hosting?
Kinsta is the best web hosting for professional WordPress developers, web development & marketing Agencies, medium / large online stores (WooCommerce), and advanced WordPress users.
Transferring Your WordPress Sites to Kinsta
Site migration at Kinsta's platform can be done by yourself or Kinsta Support Team. To initiate the supported-migration process, make sure you have an open spot for the new site in your account and then submit your migration request at MyKinsta (Kinsta Ticketing Support System).
Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri founded InterServer back in 1999 when they were both high-school students. Their vision for the company was to provide data services at affordable prices while still maintaining a level of service and support.
The hosting provider currently owns two data centers that are located in Secaucus, NJ and Los Angeles, CA; and offers a wide range of hosting services such as Shared, Cloud, and Dedicated Server hosting, among others.
Interserver Hosting Packages & Highlights
- Shared Hosting: $2.50 per month (discounted price)
- VPS Hosting packages: Start at $6 per month
- Dedicated Hosting packages: Start at $49 per month
- Key features: Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, free site migration, 100% in-house support, flexible hosting packages.
My User Experience with InterServer
Interserver has been included in my “List of Best Web Hosting” for years. While not necessarily a mainstream name in the hosting industry, InterServer manages to grab our attention once I got to know the company better.
At this point of writing, I have got multiple websites hosted at InterServer – and they have been all performing great. While most hosting sites shoot for a 99.9% uptime (and many fall short of that), InterServer managed to keep my site up 100% most of the time. The uptime history is published in my review – go check it out.
No Lock-in Virtual Private Server Hosting
InterServer is a rather unique choice in the VPS space since they have very cheap plans but don’t tie you down with extended contracts.
The normal modus operandi for hosting companies is to lure you into extended contracts with discounted prices and free Google Adwords marketing credit; then hit you with massive renewals. That is not the case with Interserver.
Despite the low prices, you get an interestingly broad range of choices here. For instance, in Operating System (OS) alone, InterServer has a stunning spread of 16 for you to choose between.
More in my full InterServer review.
InterServer Server Uptime & Speed
Both InterServer Hosting Uptime and Speed Performance exceed our expectation for a budget web host.
My test site hosted on Interserver is running on 99.95% server uptime. My recent speed tests show that InterServer is one of the fastest budget hosting solutions around. We checked site speed from 10 locations using Bitcatcha Speed Test Tool and compare the server response times with other websites. The rating we get is “A+” with an average server speed reading of 121ms.
Interserver Pros & Cons
- Solid performance.
- Price lock guarantee for VPS hosting.
- Free site migration for first-time users.
- 100% in-house customer support.
- In-house developed virus and malware scanner.
- Server location in the United States only.
- VPS hosting is not suitable for non-techies.
Who Should Host Their Websites at Interserver?
InterServer Shared Hosting Plan is great for small businesses and individual bloggers who want a cheap hosting solution. Although InterServer does increase their price during renewal, the features they offer are a great bargain. InterServer VPS Hosting Services, on the other hand, is highly scalable and best for advanced users who are not afraid of handling their own server.
Migrating to Interserver Hosting
Interserver offers free migration assistance to all new customers. To begin your site migration process, simply contact their support after signing up for an account.
More Choices – Other Web Hosting Services We Reviewed
Full List of Our Web Hosting Reviews
Planning Your Purchase
Selecting a good web hosting can lead to a lifetime of bliss, but the wrong one can end up costing you much more money than you expected. If you are buying a web host for the first time, this section is for you.
What is a Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is the service of providing resources such as storage space and network infrastructure for users to operate a website.
To run a website – you need storage space to store your web files and network infrastructure to let your users access your website. A web host helps set up and manage these infrastructures so you can focus on developing and growing your website.
What is a Domain Name?
A Domain Name is like an address book – it provides users the information about a website's physical location. The domain name and web hosting are two very different things – to learn more, read: Domain Name vs Web Hosting.
What Kind of Web Host Does Your Website Need?
Different websites have different needs – your ultimate goal as a website owner should be choosing the one web host that works best for your website. You need to first understand what you actually need for your website.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Web Host
So before you go any further – put everything aside and think about the following questions:
- What kind of website are you building?
- Do you want something common (a WordPress blog, perhaps)?
- Do you need Windows applications?
- Do you need support for a specific script (e.g. PHP)?
- Does your website need special software?
- How big (or small) can your web traffic volume go?
Picture in your mind what you want your website to be now, then build on that idea until you're roughly 12 months ahead of that. Don't just consider what you want to offer, but also what may want or need.
This ultimately boils down to one very simple fact: How much server resources will your website need?
If you are running a personal blog or small-to-medium website, it is unlikely that you will require the extra capabilities of a VPS host. If you are running a large business server or carrying out a lot of eCommerce activities, then a VPS or dedicated server may be needed to manage a larger volume of traffic as well as for extra reliability.
At the end of the day, each choice has its own cost level and features, even among the two categories of web hosting I've described here. Attention needs to be paid to detail and matched with the requirements of your website.
What Are the Different Types of Hosting You Can Choose From?
In general, there are four different types of web hosting:
- Shared Server Hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
- Dedicated Server Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
While all types of servers will act as a storage center for your website, they differ in the amount of storage capacity, control, technical knowledge requirement, server speed, and reliability.
There is a stark contrast between web hosting types and what plans are suitable for which purpose.
In shared hosting, one’s web site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU.
A shared hosting is cheap, easy to manage, and newbies-friendly. However, it offers no root access and has very limited ability to handle high traffic levels or spikes. Also, website performance can be easily affected by other sites on the same server.
A virtual private server hosting divides a server into virtual servers, where each websites is like hosted on their own dedicated server, but they’re actually sharing a server with a few different other users.
VPS hosting offers fixed amount of server resources, hence websites hosted on VPS hosting might have trouble handling sudden traffic spikes.
Dedicated Server Hosting
A dedicated server offers the maximum control over the web server your website is stored on – You exclusively rent an entire server. Your website(s) is the only website stored on the server.
However, with great power comes greater cost. Dedicated server hosting is very expensive and it’s only recommended to those who need the maximum control and better server performance.
Cloud Hosting / Clustered Server Hosting
Cloud hosting offers unlimited ability to handle high traffic or traffic spikes. Here’s how it works: A team of servers (called a cloud) work together to host a group of websites. This allows multiple computers to work together to handle high traffic levels or spikes for any particular website.
Many cloud hosting setup do not offers root access (required to change server settings and install some software); expert IT skills needed to manage true cloud servers.
What About Website Builders?
Traditionally, a web hosting provider is only involved in leasing out the servers with basic software and technical support. Hosting your website with a traditional hosting provider is usually cheaper and more flexible; but require a little bit of extra work for you to setup a website.
Nowadays, companies are bundling different services together and allow users to build, host, and manage websites all from one service provider. We usually call these companies Website Builders or Online Store Builders.
Website Builders are easy to use, features-rich, and usually well-supported by a team of experts.
However, as good as it sounds – it might not be suitable for everyone. For programmers or expert tech user, you might find website builder to be somewhat limiting and not suitable for big websites.
Also, when hosting with one of these “bundle” platforms, your website will be very dependent on the platform provider. If the provider closes down (though very unlikely), then your site goes down with it.
Learn More: 20+ Website Builders for Creating Your Own Websites
How Much to Pay for a Web Host?
The cost you pay for your web host depends mainly on the types of web hosting for which you sign up.
Generally speaking – shared hosting is the cheapest but with the lowest server capacity; dedicated hosting is the most expensive and most powerful; while VPS hosting stands somewhere in between shared and dedicated hosting.
Based on our market study of more than 1,000 hosting plans:
- For Shared Hosting, expect to pay $3 – $10 per month,
- For VPS Hosting (mid-range), expect to pay $30 – $55 per month,
- For Dedicated Hosting (mid-range), expect to pay $150 – $600 per month (excluding I.T. personnel cost), and
- For Cloud Hosting – The pricing models are usually complex and vary for different providers so it's difficult to summarize the details in one sentence.
Frequent Asked Questions
Web hosting is the service of providing resources such as storage space and network infrastructure for users to operate a website.
A domain name is the human-friendly address of a website. It is typed into an Internet browser address bar by visitors to access a site.
To run a website – you need storage space to store your web files and network infrastructure to let your users access your website. A web hosting company helps set up and manage these infrastructures so you can focus on developing and growing your website.
The core types of web hosting include Shared, VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated Hosting. The main differences are normally in performance, security, and reliability.
We think Hostinger has one of the best and cheapest hosting plans in today's market. At just $1.99/mo, their Single Shared Hosting package offers 30GB SSD storage, 100GB data transfer, and a built-in website builder. For higher tiers – users get to host more websites plus a free domain, Google Adwords marketing credit, GIT and SSH access, and unlimited databases.
Web Hosting Providers are like virtual landlords – they rent out their computer/servers to store customers' websites and provides Internet connectivity so that other users can access to the websites. Usually, hosting providers also offer value-added services and features such as domain name registration, email hosting, as well as web marketing / SEO / website development services.
A WordPress Hosting is a web host that accommodates blogs (or sites) that are built with WordPress. Technically there's no such thing as “WordPress Hosting”. Any server that supports PHP 5.2.4 (or higher) and MySQL 5.0 (or higher) can host a WordPress site. Occasionally the term “WordPress Hosting” is used to describe Managed WordPress Hosting – where the web host is responsible for the technical upkeep of your WordPress websites. It generally covers all updates for related applications and in some cases may include performance optimization.
A domain name gives you a location for a website, whereas web hosting is the service that handles how the site is delivered to visitors.
A Website Builder offers a one-stop solution to build and host your website in one place. Popular site builders like Weebly and Zyro offer users the ability to create and maintain a website without any coding experience.
During its Speed Update in 2018, Google clearly stated that they are using Page Speed as one of the search ranking factors. As website loading speed is affected by your hosting performance – web hosting now plays a part in SEO.
Some people will buy web hosting in bulk and sub-divide the resources to rent out. This is called reseller hosting.
There are two types of servers – consumer and commercial grade. Consumer-grade servers look like normal desktop PC boxes while commercial servers look like large boxes with racks in them.
For users looking for low-cost hosting solutions, we recommend Hostinger ($1.99/mo) and TMD Hosting ($2.74/mo). Some hosting providers offer steep sign-on discounts which are hard to resist but jack up their prices significantly when it’s time to renew your plan. Keep this in mind when you are choosing and counting the potential cost of a web host.
GreenGeeks Lite ($2.95/mo) and Hostinger Single ($1.99/mo) are the best hosting plans for beginners. If you are just getting started, you need an affordable and user-friendly hosting solution – Instant account activation, an easy-to-use control panel, a comprehensive user guide, and helpful technical support are the most important requirements.
We recommend both A2 and InMotion Hosting for teachers or students. A2 LMS Hosting ($2.99/mo) offers wide support in different learning management systems including Omeka, Chamilo, and Claroline eLearning platforms. InMotion Hosting, on the other hand, runs an EDU program to provide professional teachers with free hosting and students with 50% discount.
For users running a website with worldwide traffic, the best solution is to pick a hosting company with a data center that is close to your primary audience – which is why we recommend ScalaHosting Managed VPS ($14.95/mo). Their data centers cover all major cities around the world including the United states, Bulgaria, India, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Holland, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, France, and more.
If your website pulls in visitors from different countries worldwide, then – Yes, it is very likely that you need a content delivery network (CDN).