Home / The Best Web Hosting in 2021 (Based on Real Data & Use Cases)
The Best Web Hosting in 2021 (Based on Real Data & Use Cases)
Updated: Apr 29, 2021 / Article by: Jerry Low
A great hosting service allows you to put up your site easily and grow without much headache in server capability and configuration.
But because different websites have different needs – what’s best for me might not be right for you. An introductory page of 20 “best web hosting providers” may be useful for those who are just browsing around; serious hosting buyers need more details.
InMotion Hosting was founded by Sunil Saxena and Todd Robinson in 2001. The company currently holds three offices in Los Angeles, CA, Virginia Beach, VA and Denver CO, with data centers in both Los Angeles, CA, and Ashburn, VA.
They also own and manage Web Hosting Hub and currently employs over 300 employees in their company.
InMotion Hosting is a web host that I can personally vouch for – My new project HostScore is hosted at InMotion VPS and I am very happy with their performance.
InMotion Hosting has been in the hosting game for almost 20 years – their long business track record proved that they are one of the best hosting providers in market.
A few things that make InMotion Hosting stand out is their stable servers (which always gets >99.98% uptime) and their excellent customer support. If you have any troubles or inquiries, their customer support is always quick to respond.
The company offers three shared hosting plans that are great for small-to-medium size websites; as well as VPS and dedicated hosting for larger sites.
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 web 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 hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated servers, among others.
While not necessarily a mainstream name in the hosting industry, InterServer manages to grab our attention once I got to know the company better.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that they offer a solid hosting service at a great bargain and the flexibility to upgrade your plan to VPS and dedicated hosting once your site starts to grow.
What’s truly unique about InterServer is their promise to provide an affordable hosting plan to its customers. Their shared plan starts at $2.50/month.
Interserver shared hosting is great for individual bloggers and small businesses. For larger enterprises and websites with heavy traffic – their VPS and N.J.-based collocation servers offer a very flexible solution.
Founded in 2004 by a group of university friends. Offices in Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
SiteGround was founded in 2004 by a group of university friends in Sofia, Bulgaria. Today, the company is headed by Tenko Nikolov, Reneta Tsankova, and Nikolay Todorov.
The company has since grown to employ over 400 people with offices located in Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. They currently own 6 major data centers located in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and in Singapore.
Another solid hosting company, SiteGround is one of the few companies that strives for providing reliable hosting service with innovative features.
One such feature is the Super Cacher, which is a built-in caching tool that can make websites load faster. Another feature is the ability to install Let’s Encrypt SSL with just a few clicks, making it extremely convenient for users to secure their website.
While their pricing for renewals might be considered a little steep, it's definitely worth it for the quality of hosting you get in return. I think SiteGround is suitable for business owners and professional bloggers who want a worry-free hosting solution.
Founded in 2006 by Trey Gardner, the company has benefited from his extensive experience in several large hosting companies. Today, Trey and his experienced core team of professionals have built GreenGeeks into a healthy, stable and competitive company.
The company’s roots lie in North America and has served over 35,000 customers with more than 300,000 websites. As an eco-friendly company, it has dedicated itself to leaving a positive energy footprint and replaces used energy with triple the energy credits that are used.
GreekGeeks is a little of a mixed bag of tricks to us.
On one hand, as a technology geek who still hopes to have Earth (and the life on it) around for quite some time more, I appreciate the eco-friendliness. On the other hand, I remain a little leery of their one-plan-fits-all tactic.
There seems to be a mismatch in balance here and I am sure that I have not caught everything. However, also keep in mind the excellent speed performance that GreenGeeks servers have shown in our tests.
On a personal level, I feel that this is a host which would do admirably with anything from a blog all the way even to a small business. In fact, I think it’s an ideal place for a beginner to host their site, given the facilities, pricing and resources available.
Currently headed by CEO Arnas Stuopelis, Hostinger was first established in 2004 as a bootstrapped “Hosting media” company in Kaunas, Lithuania. A few years later, they also launched 000Webhost, a free web hosting services with no advertising.
Despite being a budget hosting company, Hostinger has 7 data centers located across the globe with Singapore being their latest addition. They are also localized in 39 countries and is a fully ICANN certified registrar.
Since their inception, Hostinger has grown into a well-known hosting company that boasts 29 million users with an average of 20,000 new user signups daily worldwide in 2017.
The key to their success? Offering a ton of premium hosting features at a competitively low price (one of the cheapest in the market, see table) for its users.
Hostinger is worth a check if you want as many hosting features as possible without needing to blow out your budget.
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 web hosting provider changed their name and went on to host thousands of prominent sites through their shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated plans.
A2 Hosting has been around a long time, and they've managed to stay around this long by focusing on what they do best: being the fastest web host.
With a built-in caching tool called the A2 Optimized Tool, sites that are hosted on A2 Hosting loads much faster than most web hosts. Plus, you don’t have any technical knowledge or do any host configuration to enable it. With features and technology such as SSD storage, Railgun Optimizer, and pre-configured caching to its shared hosting customers, they continue to raise the standard for shared hosting speed.
If speed is important to you, then A2 Hosting is definitely worth checking out.
TMD Hosting has been around for over 10 years and has been considered as a reliable choice for those in need of a quality web hosting provider.
With four data centers spread across the United States and an overseas data center in Amsterdam, TMD Hosting is awarded with the PC Editor’s Choice.
TMD Hosting offers different hosting plans, including shared, reseller, VPS, cloud, WordPress managed, and dedicated hosting services.
TMDHosting is not perfect but I do recommend TMD Hosting for bloggers or small-to-mid size business in need of a reliable web hosting solution. Not only do they offer stable server performances and tons of useful features, but they also have some of the best customer support team in the industry.
If you’re considering the Shared Hosting plan, I’d recommend you go for the Business Plan tier as the long term costs is more or less the same ($4.95/mo vs $7.95/mo) but you’ll have much better server performance and capacity.
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 services for all types of users, be it big companies or small-to-medium businesses.
One of the top names in managed WordPress hosting, Kinsta has gained tremendous success and recognition ever since the company began their journey in 2013.
What really sets Kinsta apart from other similar players in the managed WordPress hosting market is their ability to provide a super fast, super innovative, and slick user control panel. That, along with their innovative server technology (NGINX, PHP7, HHVM) and solid server 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.
Wholly owned by Southeast Asia hosting company Exabytes, WPWebHost began their journey in 2007 and aims to provide users with the essential communication tools and information technology solutions for WordPress websites.
They currently own two data centers located in Denver, Co, and in Singapore to provide fast loading speed in both the U.S. and the Asia Pacific.
WPWebHost is one of the leading web hosting companies in Southeast Asia and while they’ve been in business since 2007, they continue to provide affordable and competitive pricing for their managed WordPress hosting.
The super affordable pricing makes WPWebHost a worthy consideration for newbies who want a cheap managed WordPress hosting but have a smaller budget.
However, their mixed server response speed and lacklustre customer service are major drawbacks that you might want to consider before signing up.
Founded in 1997 by Matthew Hill, the Lansing, Michigan-based company provides web hosting services that empower web professionals around the world.
The company wholly owns and manages five data centers. With more than 32,000 customers in approximately 130 countries, LiquidWeb has to ensure it has the power to provide the many solutions that have turned it into a $90 million company with over 600 employees.
LiquidWeb is sold to investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners in 2015.
LiquidWeb is excellent in many aspects but they might not be for everyone, especially given the relatively high entry price of their managed WordPress plans.
They are the hosting company for many well-known international brands, including Ducati, Hitachi, Red Bull, MTV, FedEx, Home Depot, as well as Chevy Volt.
The web host has reasonable priced enterprise-level hosting service, strong business track record, and excellent hosting performance – which make them a good choice of cooperates and enterprise hosting users.
Not all web hosting companies cater to the same market. Some web hosts focus on specific areas, while others may carry an entire range of products. Choosing the right one will depend on not just your current needs, but consideration for long-term scalability as well.
A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting, InterServer, and TMD Hosting are great choices for those who want to start small (below $5/mo) and upgrade later.
Kinsta is a special case of a host that specializes in Managed WordPress Cloud only. This means that despite it’s limited application type, it is also able to scale with needs. WP Engine is another popular names in the same niche (but didn't make it to my list), you can compare the two side-by-side using this tool.
In the case of shared web hosting, you are usually limited in the number of websites you can host per account depending on plan. VPS hosting accounts don’t have domain limitations but are segregated by the amount of resources that each plan has.
Note – VPS hosting plans (approximately) specifications: Entry level – 2 GB RAM, 40 GB storage; Mid level – 6 GB RAM, 150 GB storage; Advanced – 8 GB RAM, 250 GB storage. InterServer has the most flexible server setup as they own / manage their data center and offer collocation hosting solution.
There are various features that web hosts can offer to help your website’s performance. Many things affect the overall performance of your site and knowing the availability of these features can help you make a better choice.
At the end of the day, do stay focused on server response speed, as that it the one factor you have limited control over.
If you’re a developer and need specific development environments to deploy and test scripts of applications, then you’ll need to focus closely. Here's how you can host Django, Node.js, Python, or Windows (ASP.net) websites with the 10 hosting providers I picked.
Tip: Want special development environment on shared hosting?
Most web hosts don’t offer much in the way of developer tools for shared hosting account. A2 Hosting and Interserver are the rare exceptions that do. For those looking towards VPS hosting, most environments are configurable.
Websites that are business oriented or conduct business online will have special needs as well. This includes enhanced security requirements and the applications to support the business. Popular eCommerce web applications include Magento, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce.
Most good web hosts will also offer some form of free SSL (AutoSSL for cPanel, Let’s Encrypt for Plesk) but do not that in special cases, some may offer more a powerful option – the Let’s Encrypt Wildcard certificate.
There are many levels of WordPress users, from the first-time amateurs to those so expert they can code their own WordPress functions. Knowing this, web hosts also offer varying types of plans and WordPress-specific features such as optimizer plugins. Managed WordPress plans are a good choice for those seeking a guided hand. There are some hosts that also have WordPress experts as support staff.
Tip: Do you actually need a managed WordPress hosting?
During your search, you might came across numerous managed WordPress (WP) hosting plans and found that in some cases, prices of these WP hosting is quite higher (some goes up to 30x pricier) than the average shared hosting.
Such big price difference is mainly due to a number of WP-focused features, including specialised caching mechanism, WP developer-friendly platform, and WP expert supports. These features may be a necessity for users operating high-traffic WP sites, development / marketing agencies, or mid-size businesses. Starters and new bloggers, however, are unlikely to need many of the features offered yet.
For writers, choosing a web host that saves time is top priority. An easy-to-use site builder (to put up and maintain a site quickly), webmail (to communicate with clients and publishers), and affordable pricing (your core business is writing) are your three most important requirements.
For beginners, choosing a web host is affordable and easy to start with is most critical. Instant account activation, an easy-to-use control panel, and good support that's always ready to help are three important requirements.
For beginners who are just starting out – InMotion Hosting and GreenGeeks come with an easy-to-use control panel (cPanel) and good support at very affordable price.
GreenGeeks' new custom-built user dashboard makes thing right for beginners in many ways. Installing a free SSL, for example, is super easy on their platform. On the other hand, “Money Back Guarantee” trial period goes up to 90 days at InMotion – which makes them a risk-free choice for newbies.
Website owners know that the initial investment is only part of their overall cost. This is due to varying factors such as the cost of hosting. Most web hosting providers offer steep sign-on discounts which are hard to resist. However, prices go up significantly when it’s time to renew your plan. When counting the potential cost of a web host, do keep this in mind as part of your planning.
^ Note – Prices based on 2-year subscription period.
Tip: What is the right price to pay?
There are many types of hosting services, all at different price points and offering different features and options. You need to find not only the best rated and price, but also choose one that fits your website needs.
My team looked at 400 hosting deals and published this hosting pricing guide recently. Generally speaking, expect to pay $3 – $10 per month for a reliable shared hosting, $30 – $55 per month for a mid-range VPS hosting.
Like hosting for writers, a personal website hosting should be affordable and easy-to-use. Regardless of whether it's to publish your CV or promote your “personal brand” – An easy-to-use site builder, built-in webmail features, and affordable pricing are most vital in a personal website host.
For those who are hosting just one personal website, Hostinger offers the cheapest solution ($0.80/mo on signup). TMD Hosting and GreenGeeks offer something pricier but they host unlimited websites and provide good customer support.
To understand what makes a web host best for a specific location, we need to discuss about latency.
What is latency?
Latency is the time span of a server receiving and processing a user-made request.
Consider it like a flight – When an English users access a website hosted in the Australia, his requests fly from England – Middle East – Asia – Australia – Asia – Middle East – England to return a result. The flight time is the latency of that website.
If that particular website is hosted in England, the requests would have flown inside England only, minimizing the travel time.
To see how latency happens in real life, here's an example.
Years ago this site you are reading was hosted at a data center in United States. Below is the site speed tested from 10 locations using Bitcatcha.
From the screenshot, you can see that the server response time differed from location to location. The site loaded quickly (8ms) for test node in United States and loaded slower for test nodes in Japan and Australia (367ms and 414 ms).
The closer your audience location is to your server, the lower latency it is.
Why latency matters?
Latency is a certain part of your website loading time. By improving the latency (choosing to host closer to your audience), your website loading time will improve significantly.
In other words, if majority of your audience is located in the same country or region, it's best to host your website closer to them.
This explains why latency is an important factor when you are choosing a web host.
So which web host is best for U.K. websites?
My team member did a latency analysis on some hosting companies with data centers located in UK and rank them based on price, features, and latency. Base on his test results, SiteGround – with a London-based server location, was among the hosts with top speed. Kinsta, on the other hand, is running on servers powered by Google Cloud at London(which the speed quality has been well-proven).
P/S: Links pointing to hosting companies are affiliate links – if you subscribe to a hosting service via these links, I will be credited as your referrer and make money. This is how I keep this site alive (domain, servers, testing costs, etc) and pay my team members salaries. Buying via my affiliate link doesn’t cost you more – please support us if you find our hosting guide is helpful.
P/P/S: It takes great effort to gather, compile, and update these data (last checked March 2021). Please let me know if you find any errors or outdated info in the following tables.
About Jerry Low
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.