providers-image

Are you wondering what
host to choose for your website?

Author logo Nick Galov — August 7th, 2019

Cast your doubts aside!

We subscribed, tested and evaluated 15 web hosting providers!

We tracked 33 website hosting services to date. To be exact, we subscribed, tested, and evaluated:

  • 14 shared hosting companies
  • 8 managed WordPress hosts
  • 11 VPS

What’s more, we’ll add more as we test them.

evaluation methodology

Our Evaluation Methodology :

  1. First, we sign up for the most popular shared hosting plan offered
  2. We set up a basic WordPress site
  3. Then, we start monitoring uptime & speed in real-time
  4. We also submit support tickets to test customer service
  5. Finally, we rank hosts based on our experience, real-time data, and user reviews

If you wish to learn more about the methodology, here are the details. If you are
interested in the results of the evaluation, here is a
spreadsheet with the metrics.

Show More Show Less

Top 15 Web Hosting Providers

Hosting Providers
Ratings
Price from
Key Features
Link
User Rating: 3.9 (15)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
99.9% Uptime Guarantee 24/7 Live Support 30-Days Money-Back Guarantee
User Rating: 4 (7)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Excellent uptime (100%) Excellent speed (1.00s Top support
User Rating: 4.4 (5)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Strong uptime Fast servers Optimized for WordPress
User Rating: 4.3 (4)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Impeccable uptime (100%) Affordable Excellent customer portal
User Rating: 3.1 (3)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Faster Scalable Eco-friendly
User Rating: 3.4 (5)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Excellent support Spectacular knowledge base Secure hosting
User Rating: 3.1 (5)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Incredible speed 400+ business apps Drag & drop website builder
User Rating: 3.4 (5)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Excellent uptime (100%) Superb support Optimized for WordPres
User Rating: 3.3 (3)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
35+ StudioPress Themes Free Award-winning support (4th award) Enterprise performance
User Rating: 3.4 (4)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Impeccable uptime (100%) Excellent under load Scalable plans
User Rating: 2.9 (2)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Impeccable uptime (100%) Great speed (0.73s) Superb support
User Rating: 3.6 (4)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Very good uptime Lightning fast servers Excellent security
User Rating: 3 (4)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Very affordable Free backups Free migrations
User Rating: 3.6 (4)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Fast servers Very strong security Free domain for life
User Rating: 3.2 (4)
Expert Review You already rated this hosting
Good speed Excellent speed under loa Low introductory price

The Process: How and Why We Create Web Hosting Ratings

For a more detailed view on how we measure, what characteristics we measure and why we measure them in our website hosting reviews, click here.

Go to the actual plans of any web hosting provider, and you will see tens, if not hundreds of services being offered. If you are a first-timer, you’d be outright mesmerized by the functional opulence, the abundance of tools you can get for your web presence for, like, $3 per month.

The fierce competition in the field dictates that marketing must be top-notch to stay relevant.

However, the main factors for each and every web hosting service – shared, VPS, managed dedicated – are three:
factors image
UPTIME

When your site is offline, even
the best hosting package
accounts for nothing

factors image
SPEED

Loading time has a direct
impact on user experience and
Google ranking

factors image
SUPPORT

All things technical break
occasionally, such is their
nature; having a support team

main factors image

These three factors are the cornerstones for any meaningful web hosting
comparison. It cannot be any other way because a site that loads fast and is
always online trumps everything else. At the end of the day, the reason to
purchase a web hosting service is to have your page easily accessible at all times.

The technical support factors in heavily because a well-trained and responsive
team does not only resolve issues quickly but also prevents them from happening.

Of course, we consider the financial aspect of hosting and take into account the
initial and renewal fees of the hosting packages.
Very often, the two are quite
different things. Tied to the price are the features offered. The best hosting
companies offer a stunning variety of tools for new and experienced users alike.

We also consider the scalability, whether upgrading to a bigger plan is justified and
whether the bigger packages are truly suitable for sites with greater demands for
space, bandwidth and programming tools.

Here is how we go about checking the best website hosting services:

  1. SiteGround– Best value web hosting
  2. Hostinger– Very quick and extremely affordable host with excellent support
  3. Bluehost– The friendly behemoth
  4. FastComet– Hosting for designers and newbies
  5. DreamHost– Innovative and reliable hosting
  6. A2 Hosting– Fast and scalable hosting
  7. InsterServer– Very fast under moderate loads
  8. HostGator Cloud– Simple and reliable hosting
  9. InMotion Hosting– Excellent support and numerous features
  10. Namecheap– Great domain deals, reasonable hosting
  11. iPageGreat speed but limited plans and support
  12. GoDaddy– Reasonable service, unreasonable support, and many upsells
best companies image

SiteGround

Best value web hosting
Logo
icon Uptime:
99.99%
icon Loading speed:
0.97s
icon Support:
Awesome live chat, excellent knowledge base
icon Cost:
$3.95/mo

Nick’s Verdict
Arguably the best support team in the industry, powerful backend, and a bunch of features make SiteGround a top choice for shared hosting that is optimized for WordPress and Joomla. Throw in the mix dedicated server resources and you get yourself a premium service.

Pros

Good speed

Handles traffic perfectly

Feature-rich plans

Top support

Optimized for WordPress and Joomla

Cons

All plans have limited disk space

If you opt for a monthly billing cycle, a setup fee is applicable

Click Here For In-depth SiteGround Review READ MORE

Hostinger

Logo

Nick’s Verdict
Hostinger is a very affordable host that displays excellent frontend speed and decently working backend. With proprietary control panel and regular backups, it is a very solid choice for small to medium sites that don’t need overly advanced features.

Pros

Strong uptime

Very fast servers

Optimized for WordPress

Extremely affordable

Cons

Support could be better

Lacks advanced features

Click Here For In-depth Hostinger Review READ MORE

Bluehost

The resurgent behemoth
Logo
icon Uptime:
99.99%
icon Loading speed:
0.96s
icon Support:
Good support, good knowledge base
icon Cost:
$3.95/mo

Nick’s Verdict

Bluehost is back on the way to hosting excellence. Upgraded infrastructure and tempting prices promise a lot. The technical support could be better, but it seems to be improving constantly, which adds value to the service.

Pros

Strong uptime

Fast servers

Solid support

Optimized for WordPress

Proponent of open source

Cons

Paid inbound site migrations

Higher renewal fees

Click Here For In-depth Bluehost Review READ MORE

DreamHost

Innovative and reliable hosting
Logo
icon Uptime:
100%
icon Loading speed:
0.76s
icon Support:
Stellar support, excellent knowledge base
icon Cost:
$3.92/mo

Nick’s Verdict
Excellent value that combines price, performance, and support bundled together into a stellar package that is suitable for beginners and expert webmasters alike. DreamHost is a superb hosting provider that has it all.

Pros

Impeccable uptime (100%)

Great speed, quick response times

Superb support

WordPress optimized

97-day money back guarantee

Cons

No free migration service

Few 1-click installs

Click Here For In-depth DreamHost Review READ MORE

FastComet

Hosting for designers and newbies
Logo
icon Uptime:
99.99%
icon Loading speed:
1.27s
icon Support:
Excellent support, excellent knowledge base
icon Cost:
$2.95/mo

Nick’s Verdict

Quick and stable servers, nicely scaling plans, and excellent support can see your site grow from zero to hero with FastComet. The shared hosting plans of the company are packed with features for the tech-minded, making it an excellent option for advanced users.

Pros

Strong uptime

Fast servers

Solid support

Very strong security

Free domain registration for life

Cons

Misleading marketing

Proprietary CDN doesn’t work very well

Click Here For In-depth FastComet Review READ MORE

InterServer

Very fast under moderate loads
Logo
icon Uptime:
99.96%
icon Loading speed:
0.74s
icon Support:
Could be better, reasonable knowledge base
icon Cost:
$2.95/mo

Nick’s Verdict

InterServer is the best choice for sites with moderate traffic, as its servers are blazing fast but struggle when many concurrent users swarm them. The price lock feature is another fine touch, as it guarantees that your hosting fee will remain forever unchanged.

Pros

Very good uptime

Lightning fast servers

Excellent security

Top-notch infrastructure

Price lock

Cons

Backend struggles with more than 30 concurrent users

A single shared plan available

Click Here For In-depth InterServer Review READ MORE

A2 Hosting

Fast and scalable hosting
Logo
icon Uptime:
100%
icon Loading speed:
1.15s
icon Support:
Stellar support, excellent knowledge base
icon Cost:
$3.92/mo

Nick’s Verdict
Solid performance, superb support, and feature-rich plans make this geeky company a prime hosting provider. Dedicated resources, many 1-click installers, and a good knowledge base make A2 Hosting an excellent place to start and grow your online presence.

Pros

Impeccable uptime (100%)

Superb support

Excellent knowledge ba

Free backups

Optimized for WordPress

Cons

Smallest plan quite limited

Somewhat slow control panel

Click Here For In-depth A2 Hosting Review READ MORE

HostGator

Simple and reliable hosting
Logo
icon Uptime:
100%
icon Loading speed:
1.28s
icon Support:
Good support, good knowledge base
icon Cost:
$5.95/mo

Nick’s Verdict

HostGator is an extremely reliable host, with a good knowledge base, great user interface, and a broad selection of hosting solutions. The support team is knowledgeable, albeit somewhat slow on occasion. In terms of speed, HostGator Cloud could be faster but still qualifies in top 10 as long as the traffic is not excessive.

If you want versatility, read our HostGator review and see why it is the right choice: shared, cloud and specialized hosting packages are waiting for you.

Pros

Impeccable uptime (100%)

Excellent customer portal

Free backups

Affordable

Cons

Support could be faster

Servers struggle with large traffic

If you opt for a shorter billing cycle, the fees grow

Click Here For In-depth HostGator Review READ MORE

InMotion

Excellent support and numerous features
Logo
icon Uptime:
99.95%
icon Loading speed:
1.33s
icon Support:
Stellar support, the best knowledge base
icon Cost:
$6.39/mo

Nick’s Verdict

The best knowledge center and great support promise a lot, but sites hosted over at InMotion need a solid amount of optimization to perform really well. The latter can be achieved easily because the support is superb, but the base speed of the InMotion Hosting servers is not the greatest.

Pros

Excellent support

Spectacular knowledge base

Secure hosting

Advanced hosting features

Over 400 free apps

Cons

Starting fees not that low

Cap of 50,000 files on all shared plans

Click Here For In-depth InMotion Review READ MORE

Namecheap

Great domain deals, reasonable hosting
Logo
icon Uptime:
99.86%
icon Loading speed:
1.00s
icon Support:
Excellent support and decent knowledge base
icon Cost:
$1.28/mo

Nick’s Verdict

Affordable and with decent support, Namecheap is an OK option that needs to boost its uptime. The company has created a very user-friendly customer area and offers good deals on domain names, but the hosting solution is not particularly advanced.

Pros

Excellent value for money

Free backups

Free migrations

Intuitive user area interface

Cons

Questionable support

Unimpressive speed

Click Here For In-depth Namecheap Review READ MORE

iPage

Great speed but limited plans and support
Logo
icon Uptime:
99.98%
icon Loading speed:
0.93s
icon Support:
Responsive but doesn’t go beyond the line of service
icon Cost:
$1.99/mo

Nick’s Verdict

iPage impresses with speed but lacks severely in support and advanced features. The vDeck control panel, while nice in itself, can hardly compete with cPanel. Additionally, there are way too many upsells for my liking.

Pros

Good speed

Very good speed under load

Extremely low introductory price

Free domain name for the first year

Cons

Unreliable support

Hefty charge for backup

vDeck Control Panel

Click Here For In-depth iPage Review READ MORE

GoDaddy

Strong marketing, mediocre service
Logo
icon Uptime:
100%
icon Loading speed:
1.30s
icon Support:
Could be better, reasonable knowledge base
icon Cost:
$2.49/mo

Nick’s Verdict
Strong uptime and speed make a good impression, which is ruined by the poor support team and the massive amount of upsells. Introductory prices grow several times upon renewal. There are no advanced hosting features either; what you get is a basic cPanel hosting.GoDaddy is the largest hosting company out there, but it is some distance away from the best web hosts. See why here.

Pros

Impeccable uptime (100%)

Excellent under load

Scalable plans

Good speed

High renewal fees

Cons

Support is slow

No automatic backups

No migration service

Click Here For In-depth GoDaddy Review READ MORE

Common Types of Web Hosting: Shared v Cloud Hosting Solutions

Shared and cloud hosting are the two most widely known web hosting
services, even though cloud hosting is a very broad term.

Shared hosting has been around for many years now, and it is the “entry” level hosting, so to speak. It is the best web hosting for small business owners or for starting bloggers, as it requires no technical knowledge, very limited maintenance and costs a few dollars per month. The smallest shared hosting plans range between $3 and $5, typically, while the most expensive ones rarely exceed $20 per month.

These low fees are not a marketing trick but a reality because the end user pays only for a portion of the web server and its resources. The cost for running a Linux server 24/7/365 is distributed among all users – often several hundred per server – who pay for chunks of the server space. That’s why the solution is called “shared hosting”; all users share the resources of a single machine.

Neat arrangement, eh?

The main tradeoff is the somewhat limited control. Since the server is used by many people, no single user has root (administrator) access with the possibility to alter the server configuration.

Another intrinsic downside, which the reliable web hosting providers mitigate well, is the presence of other users. Sometimes it takes a single poorly coded site to hog a lot of server resources and slow down the performance of all websites hosted on the same machine.

Additionally, poor maintenance and bad security practices can lead to security hazards. Website owners forget to update their CMSs on time, get their insecure passwords stolen, use a bad plugin or have a poorly coded page. All these can lead to a relatively easy security breach, be that a malware injection or something else.

If not contained on time, the hackers could gain access to other sites hosted on the same server.

These limitations and potential threats go unnoticed in 99% of the cases, though. A well-configured server with proper account segmentation and defenses is largely immune to the risks. The top hosting companies are well aware of these risks and take serious measures to prevent them from ever happening.

If you want to learn more about shared web hosting, click here. Note that when we say “website hosting reviews” here, we mean shared hosting, unless specified otherwise.

If you want to learn more about shared web hosting

CLICK HERE!

Note that when we say “website hosting reviews” here, we mean shared hosting, unless specified otherwise.

In some cases, it is not much more than a glorified shared environment, with technical characteristics well-aligned with standard shared solutions. Very often, cloud plans also include limited access and inability to tweak the server configuration. Typically, the main advantages are:

  • Possibility to allocate more resources easily – Allocating additional disk space or processing power should be easier
  • Distributed load – In case the performance of the hosting server deteriorates, your site can be moved automatically to another server to avoid disturbance of service.
  • Better defense against DDoS (potentially) – Theoretically, well-built cloud infrastructure can handle DDoS attacks better, but that depends on many, many factors

Keep in mind that these are very general characteristics, as cloud solutions differ from one company to the next. Inevitably, they are developed in-house and have certain specifications that make them unique. To illustrate the differences, with Dreamhost DreamCompute, the service is akin to a virtual private server (VPS), whereas in the case of HostGator Cloud we have a better (and pricier) version of the basic hosting plans.

A catchy marketing phrase at its finest.

What is hidden behind it varies a lot.

If you want to learn more about cloud web hosting

CLICK HERE!

Note that when we say “website hosting reviews” here, we mean shared hosting, unless specified otherwise.

If you want to learn more about WordPress hosting

CLICK HERE!

To put it simply, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are general-purpose content management systems (CMS). They are easy to install on virtually any kind of Linux web hosting server and relatively easy to use. They provide a website building environment that can be utilized by people with practically no coding knowledge, even though Drupal is far from simple.

Once the site is built, it can be updated, modified, tweaked and maintained through the administrative interface of the respective CMS.

Magento isn’t in the same group as the other three because it is an e-commerce hosting solution. It shares similar characteristics – website building interface, content management – and is an extremely potent tool.

Among these four applications, WordPress is by far the most popular. It is best suited for blogging but thanks to myriad extensions (plugins, as they are known) it can create any type of website.

Joomla is slightly more complex than WordPress but also offers impressive functionality. It is a very solid choice for e-commerce activities.

Drupal is probably the most powerful of all thanks to its unique architecture. It is a flexible framework rather than a classic CMS and boasts excellent security and functionality, but using it requires certain technical acumen.

These are the four most popular tools for website creation at the moment. Together, they power nearly 40% of all websites in existence.

Their immense popularity – especially that of WordPress, which powers over 30% of the internet – is something many web hosting companies embrace giddily.

Today, you can find many hosting products tailored specifically to suit one CMS. Some of them, like the offerings of SiteGround, are very affordable while others, like the Bluehost, managed WordPress hosting, lean toward the expensive solutions.

In the future, we are going to review those specialized solutions, but don’t forget that any of these four CMSs can work on a regular shared Linux server quite well.

The smallest hosting packages might not be powerful enough to deliver smooth performance to Drupal or Magento, as these systems need resources to unleash their full potential, but most big plans should do the trick.

The main selling point of shared plans is its low entry level. It is ideal for most, as it is cheap hosting with very easy to set up.

However, people and organizations with large sites that need a lot of backend customization and drive loads of traffic would be much better off on a separate server, with firmly allocated resources and a great degree of control over the server configuration.

A virtual server is a virtual image of a server installed on an actual physical server. Typically, one real server has several virtual instances sitting on top of it, using its resources.

Unlike shared hosting environment, each virtual machine has a dedicated amount of computing power – CPU, RAM, hard disk – and provides a much greater degree of control to the end user, who can tweak the very configuration of the VPS.

When a VPS is not enough – online casinos, gaming servers, huge websites – an entire physical server must be rented. This is known as dedicated hosting, and it comes in two variations: managed and unmanaged. Managed means that the support team (normally, the system administrators and not the first line of support) of the web hosting provider help with the initial configuration, consecutive updates and even regular maintenance.

Unmanaged dedicated server means that the end user receives the hardware and can do with it whatever she or he pleases.

Now, low-end VPS might have slightly less computing power than the largest shared plans, but, in general, both virtual and real servers come with some serious resources.

The thing is that with great power comes great geekiness, as both solutions require sysadmin knowledge. And being a system administrator is anything but easy.

If you want to learn more about VPS hosting

CLICK HERE!
process

Reseller Hosting

Many web hosting companies offer special packages for people who wish to start
their own hosting business but lack the necessary infrastructure

There are many ways to make money online. Reselling the services of a top web
hosting company is one of them.

You can get a white-labeled hosting package with a remarkable degree of control
tailor your own hosting plans and sell them as if you are the one running the data
center and the servers.

Not bad, right?

It can be quite profitable if you have a knack for business and some technical
orientation.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What is domain name?

Domain name is the address of the website we type in the browser, i.e. HostingTribunal.com.
This is our domain name.

What is DNS?

DNS stands for domain name system, and it is crucial for the smooth functioning of the global network. One of its responsibilities is to translates domain names to IP addresses, as IPs are the language the machines comprising the global network speak. Because of the DNS we can type HostingTribunal.com and reach the site; without DNS we would need to memorize the IP address of the server.

What is a web server?

Web server is a powerful computer, configured to handle incoming and outgoing traffic to and from local and global networks.

What is DDoS?

Distributed denial of service is an attack on a network that comes from thousands (or hundreds of thousands) sources. The idea is to consume the entire bandwidth of a certain network segment, thus blocking all meaningful traffic and halting the service that normally uses the attacked network.

What is website migration?

Migration is the transfer of a website or entire web hosting account – databases and emails included – from one hosting provider to another. It is highly recommended to be handled by the migration team of the receiving host, as they are familiar with the specifics of their hosting environment and can troubleshoot potential issues in a timely and more adequate manner. Mostly all of the best web hosting providers have dedicated migration teams and offer free site transfers. Usually, site migrations take a few days of testing and troubleshooting on the receiving end but don’t entail any downtime. Keep in mind that companies like HostGator migrate sites for free only for a limited period of time after the initial account registration. We try to keep all information up-to-date in our web hosting reviews, but it is always a good idea to check with the companies you consider the migration conditions.

Do I need a database?

In all likelihood, yes, you do. Sites created solely on HTML could work without one, but modern web design usually deploys a database or two. Practically all web hosting plans include databases.