Looking for a web hosting service that’s reliable, fast and secure for your website? We’ve tried the best options out there
You’ve made a conscious decision to build an online presence after a period of planning and maybe even a hint of procrastination, but where do you begin? Choosing the best web hosting provider is a great place to start, which doesn’t have to be an overly time consuming task.
A whole bunch of questions might be buzzing around your head: Do you need shared hosting, or some other type? Might you best be served by a simple website builder? How much storage do you really require? What about an SSL certificate?
As of May 2021, we have reviewed (and are continuously re-reviewing) more than 160 web hosting providers, a number that includes best website builders (as well as static site generators and landing page creators).
So, in short, we know what stuff the absolute top website hosting companies are made of.
We’ve provided detailed summaries for each web hosting provider and highlighted their respective strengths and features, things that may be important for your choice, plus information on pricing and why each particular web host may be ideal for you.
In our conclusion section we will offer our opinion on the top picks in order to help you pick the right option for your web hosting although all the web hosting providers detailed below are a good fit but in every situation there will be the f.nest fits.
Best web hosting services in 2021
While the competition is cut-throat, Bluehost continues to impress in almost every aspect, delivering the complete package of speed, security, versatility, and most importantly, superb reliability for just $2.75 per month.VIEW DEAL
Hostgator has surprised us with an exclusive offer that delivers some of the best shared hosting features we’ve seen for a very long time, with a slew of freebies like domain names, an SSL certificate and marketing money from only $2.43 per month.
Cloud hosting is a new buzzing category and Hostinger is top of the list with its advanced solution. The cheapest plan provides unlimited bandwidth, hosting for up to 300 websites, and up to 100 email accounts per domain, plus a plethora of other features. It’s keenly priced as well at $9.99 per month.
Taking the top spot in our web hosting provider leaderboard is Bluehost . This Utah-based company is almost two-decades old and is owned by web giant Newfold Digital, powering over two million websites globally.
It offers basic shared hosting from $2.75 monthly (on a three-year contract), with WordPress plans starting at $20 per month (although that’s also a discounted introductory rate).
For the money, you get automated setup for WordPress, not to mention other popular apps via a Mojo Marketplace-powered system. There’s also a cPanel-based area to allow expert users to tweak things.
Furthermore, Bluehost provides a Weebly-based website builder. This is a basic browser-based affair that lets you create a website of up to six pages, and there are no extras like site templates included. But still, it’s better than nothing, and more functionality is in the pipeline – plus you get this builder with the basic account.
There’s also good customer support on offer, a free site migration tool, and the end result is a mix of user-friendly aspects alongside a good amount of power, and potential tweaking for more advanced users.
A fantastic bargain for TechRadar readers, Bluehost has cut the price of its Shared Plan (regularly $7.99 p/m) down to a mere $2.75 per month for the first term only (up to four years). You get $175 in offers, 24/7 expert support, plus a free domain and site builder and 30-day money-back guarantee.VIEW DEAL
Also part of Newfold Digital, Hostgator delivers an impressive range of hosting services, ranging from domains to dedicated servers at very competitive prices and backed by a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This applies as much to their specialist hosting as any of their other hosting options.
Hostgator offers three specific shared hosting plans, starting with the Hatchling subscription, which comes with unmetered bandwidth, free WordPress/cPanel website transfer and a free SSL certificate. The allocations are generous and should easily accommodate the requirements of a single domain.
An upgrade from that, if required, is the Baby plan, which delivers the same list of features but for unlimited domains (that is, you can host as many websites as you want) for $2.98 per month.
For more demanding sites that don’t yet require their own server, you can opt for the Business plan which comes with its own dedicated IP, a free upgrade to Positive SSL and a set of free SEO tools.
Additional benefits include a 45-day money-back guarantee, not to mention free transfers for new accounts within the first month after you’ve signed up. There’s lots to like here considering the minimal impact on your wallet, if you’re happy to commit.
- Hostgator Business Plan – $4.48/month
- Hostgator Baby Plan – $2.98/month
- Hostgator Hatchling Plan – $2.43/month
Vultr is one of the biggest providers of cloud web hosting . Thanks to the latter, it has amassed over 30 million users, and offers some of the lowest prices thanks to low running costs and overheads.
Vultr prefers to use its own technology (for example, it has many customizable platforms control panels to choose from based on you needs with simple installation and server setup instead of the options provided by many hosting companies and sometimes controversial – cPanel), so that it can better deliver performance and features at a much lower cost.
There are three cloud hosting plans available, Cloud compute, Cloud High frequency, and Cloud Bare metal and Dedicated cloud, all of which offer options to easily configure the cloud server for your account. The set up is the easiest we have come across compare to all cloud server providers including Amazon Web services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure,Linode and Cloudways and the pricing to simply state it is much cheaper than any other cloudserver.
The Cloud Startup plan comes with 25GB of of SSD storage, 1GB of RAM, and 1CPU cores. You can compare all plans since they have several
InMotion Hosting is a popular web host that’s been in business for over 15 years, with an impressive array of plans on offer including reseller hosting.
All plans include assisted setup and migration, especially useful for those coming from other web hosts. Additionally, you won’t need to worry about the server side of things as InMotion takes care of all that for you.
For those looking to try being a web host themselves, InMotion’s reseller plans come with a free WHMCS license, which allows for the automated setup and billing of clients.
InMotion provides both cPanel and Softaculous panels, and another strong suit is some excellent technical support should you get stuck with anything. In our testing, we found that this firm’s overall performance levels were well above average, which is good news for those who want to see fast-loading websites.
The Beginner reseller plan comes with 80GB of storage, 800GB of bandwidth, and can host up to 25 accounts. Pricing for this is $26.59 on a per monthly basis, but this is discounted the longer you commit, with the cheapest option being $15.39 a month if you go for a 2-year contract.
Other plans increase limits and pricing accordingly, and there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee should you not be satisfied with the service.
InMotion Lite Plan
For TechRadar readers, this top-rated web hosting service is offering its Lite plan at $2.49 per month rather than the full asking price of $7.49. That’s quite the bargain.
Hostwinds offers a range of dedicated server hosting with powerful configuration options for anything from general to heavy-duty use, which makes them ideal for hosting everything from company websites to gaming servers.
There are multiple base options to select, which you can then customize according to your preferences. The cheapest models have a quad-core single processor and start with at least 8GB of RAM, which would make them ideal for most typical users.
There are a good set of additional options available for customization, with different RAID configurations and a number of operating systems available, including standard CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, or Fedora options, as well as a Windows Server option.
A 1Gbps network link means that whichever bandwidth option you choose (all of which are generous) you shouldn’t need to worry about traffic being throttled at your end.
Full server management is provided, which will be handy for those not wanting to get overwhelmed by sys admin duties, with server monitoring and nightly backups also provided as part of the service.
If there’s one criticism we have, it’s that a control panel such as CPanel, Plesk, or Exim isn’t provided as standard, which can simplify a lot of server operations for users; however, if you contact Hostwinds they’ll be happy to advise on the best option as an addon, if you don’t feel comfortable with setting up one yourself.
- You can sign up to Hostwinds dedicated hosting here
Dreamhost offers standalone email hosting among the range of different packages that this established web hosting services provider offers.
Dreamhost’s email hosting offers 25GB of storage by default, with the ability to sync emails between desktop and mobile devices. Additionally, there’s an ad-free webmail software platform included.
Another key feature is a smart anti-spam filter, which ensures the filtering of spam messages, but also viruses, malware, and phishing attacks. The filter is adaptive to emerging threats, ensuring that you remain protected.
There are a couple of key advantages in having your own hosted email account. The first is that it remains connected to your company domain name, which looks far more professional than a free email account.
Additionally, it also means you have complete control over your own data, and that your emails won’t be automatically scanned to provide advertising at you, something free email providers do all too commonly.
Pricing is relatively inexpensive, and depends on whether you wish to pay on a monthly basis or commit to annual payments. Monthly plans cost just $1.99 a month, while a yearly commitment reduces this to the equivalent of $1.67 a month.
- You can sign up to Dreamhost email hosting here
Founded in California back in 2008, GreenGeeks proudly claims to be the ‘world’s #1 green energy web hosting provider’, not surprising given that it is dedicated entirely to green causes.
That’s a big statement, but there is some substance behind it. The company doesn’t just say that its platform has been designed for maximum energy efficiency, it also promises that “for every amperage we pull from the grid, we invest three times that in the form of renewable energy via Bonneville Environmental Foundation.” So in theory at least, your hosting isn’t just carbon-neutral, it’s carbon-reducing.
GreenGeeks’ hosting range isn’t quite as impressive. There are the usual set of plans – shared products, application hosting, VPS, dedicated – but there isn’t much choice, and what you do get is mostly very average.
There is one exception in GreenGeeks powerful shared hosting plan. This offers unlimited websites, emails, databases, web space and bandwidth, and throws in a free domain, shared SSL, Cloudflare CDN integration, nightly backups, the Softaculous one-click app installer, a simple website builder and support via email, chat and telephone.
Pay for three years upfront and you can get everything for an equivalent $2.49 per month on its Lite plan – $10.95 on renewal – and a 30-day money-back guarantee represents a risk-free way to test the service for yourself. It’s a good deal, and shows that green hosting isn’t just about making eco-friendly gestures: you can find some capable products, too.
Domain.com is better known as a good domain provider but their hosting plans are worth a look too, offering powerful and reliable hosting on a stable and secure platform.
Hosting plans are generous, with even the most basic plan offering unlimited storage and scalable bandwidth. 10 databases are available as well as five FTP accounts, and there’s also a free SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt provided.
The Deluxe plan offers 25 databases and 25 FTP accounts, while the Ultra account drops all restrictions entirely.
The Basic plan costs just $3.75 a month when billed yearly, the Deluxe costs $6.75, while the Ultra plan costs $13.75.
The one point to note is that Domain.com does not offer monthly plans, but instead only contracts for one, two, or three years and doesn’t charge extra depending on the length of the contract.
Liquid Web is an expert provider of high-end managed hosting solutions for everything from email to WordPress, WooCommerce, VPS, dedicated and assorted other cloud products.
Most plans deliver far more than you might expect. Liquid Web doesn’t just automatically update WordPress, for instance: it also updates your plugins in a separate, isolated environment to check for any issues before sending them live on your production site.
Liquid Web’s VPS and dedicated server plans add even more managed hosting features covering many areas. The company has its own data centers with fully managed hardware and network infrastructure. Key software is installed, updated and supported, there are free external migrations, virus and spam protection keep threats at bay, and system monitoring enables speedy notification of problems.
Liquid Web won’t appeal to bargain hunters, and its baseline prices can be much higher than some of the competition. However, what you are paying for is the highest quality support and high end hardware, so you’re getting what you pay for.
If you want to do web hosting on a budget, then as this provider’s name suggests, it aims to be inexpensive. You get some impressive value-for-money with Namecheap, particularly with an initial discount for the first year, and there are some heavyweight plans here.
However, note the starter ‘value’ plan only gives you 20GB of hard drive space and 30 email accounts, but you get that at the price of just $2.88 per month.
Namecheap offers a 99.9% connectivity guarantee, and is a very easy service to set up, with an initial welcome email that points you in the right direction for everything you might need (backed up by some impressive FAQs). It also plays host to an excellent searchable knowledge base.
To round things off, testing proved that this company generally offers above average speeds compared to rivals, making this a great hosting provider for those who aren’t keen on doing too much damage to their wallet.
WP Engine offers a comprehensive managed WordPress service that can help you with setup, updates, security, performance optimization, troubleshooting and a whole lot more.
Much of this is invisible to the end user, as a good managed service should be. No need to worry about WordPress updates, for instance – WP Engine handles these for you. Not blindly, simply when they’re released, like many other hosts: the company tests them carefully, first, to make sure they don’t cause problems.
The powerful WP Engine platform adds many useful extras. A Staging area allows you to work on a copy of your site, which is perfect for testing new themes, plugins or anything else, without affecting the production site. In another highlight, integrated performance tests can benchmark your website and offer useful speedup tips.
This level of power isn’t cheap. Even the most basic WP Engine plan costs $30 a month ($22.50 a month initially), more than three times the price of the budget competition. But if you’re looking for an optimized environment, with quality tools and excellent support, this could be a price worth paying.
Wix is a website building service that offers an attractive range of plans, and boasts some truly impressive depth when it comes to tailoring your site to best match your needs. The service has a user-friendly editor that bristles with content and functionality, allowing you to fine-tune your site in a wide variety of ways.
And there’s depth across the board; so for example, when it comes to templates, you don’t just get a scattering of predefined sites, but more than 500 of them. You’ll often find that you’re spoilt for choice with Wix.
Other powerful features include an integrated image editor with tons of Instagram-style filters, and a raft of ecommerce templates to boot (note that Wix doesn’t levy transactions fees on your sales, either, unlike some rivals).
Wix even has a free plan, although that limits bandwidth and storage space (to 500MB) and puts branding on your site. Step up to the Unlimited plan, which is the most popular subscription, and you get 10GB of storage plus a free domain, unlimited bandwidth (as the name suggests), plus $75 worth of Google Ad vouchers.
- Most popular Wix Unlimited plan (unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage)
- Wix VIP plan (Professional site review, Email campaigns)
- Wix eCommerce plan (online store, 20GB storage)
Like Wix, Weebly is another giant in the website building arena, and it also gives you the option of a free plan – albeit one that’s similarly limited to 500MB of storage. You’ll also get adverts on your site, so if you want to be free of Weebly-imposed ads you’ll need to move up to the entry-level paid plan, which costs $6.80 per month.
The Starter package has no ads or storage limits, and you also get a free domain. Furthermore, what’s quite nifty for those thinking of selling stuff online is that there’s also support for a web store (albeit a basic one containing a maximum of 10 products).
The chunkier plans give you a ton of features, allowing you to build a high-end web store with support for coupons, customer reviews, and inventory management – and the top-of-the-range Performance plan also caters for gift cards, abandoned carts and email campaigns (this costs $35 per month).
Weebly’s range of stylish website templates are a real boon, but there are a few niggles here with the editor interface, such as the lack of a general undo function. Still, the slight downsides don’t detract from this well-featured website-building service.
5 must know tips about buying a web hosting service
What is the best web hosting service in 2021?
What is web hosting?
How to explain web hosting in very simple terms
What are the different types of hosting services?
How to choose the best web hosting service
Which web hosting is better? Paid or free?
What are the biggest web hosting companies in the world
Credit: Source link