The Best Web Hosting Companies - 2019

Reviews & Expert Ratings

We subscribed, hosted and evaluated each web hosting company listed on this website.

Nick Galov — May 10th, 2019 — 0 Comments

Are you wondering who are the best web hosting providers?

You can cast your doubts aside!

We tracked 21 website hosting services to date. To be exact, we subscribed, tested, and evaluated:

  • 11 shared hosting companies
  • 10 managed WordPress hosts
  • 10 VPS ( currently testing )

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

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.

Based on the analysis and comparison, we ranked
the top 15 web hosting providers in descending order.

Excellent uptime (100%)
Excellent speed (1.00s)
Top support
Incredible speed
400+ business apps
Drag & drop website builder
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
24/7 Live Support
30-Days Money-Back Guarantee
Impeccable uptime (100%)
Great speed (0.73s)
Superb support
Excellent uptime (100%)
Superb support
Optimized for WordPress
Strong uptime
Fast servers
Optimized for WordPress
Impeccable uptime (100%)
Affordable
Excellent customer portal
35+ StudioPress Themes Free
Award-winning support (4th award)
Enterprise performance
Faster
Scalable
Eco-friendly
Impeccable uptime (100%)
Excellent under load
Scalable plans
Excellent support
Spectacular knowledge base
Secure hosting
Very good uptime
Lightning fast servers
Excellent security
Good value for money
Free backups
Free migrations
Fast servers
Very strong security
Free domain for life
Good speed
Excellent speed under load
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:

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:

  • We buy a shared web hosting plan and set up a default WordPress installation without any add-ons enabled.
  • We hook up the site to a live monitoring provided by StatusCake to track uptime and server response times.
  • Once a month, we test the site by putting the server under simulated test, sending a load of 50 concurrent users through Load Impact.
  • Besides the three main factors, we check plan features and limitations, pricing, payment schemes, scalability.
  • We accumulate end-user reviews to help us complete the picture
  • Finally, we compare the data to find the best shared web hosting services, the best web hosting for WordPress, the best Joomla hosting providers, the best options for Drupal, the most reliable VPS hosting solutions, and the most powerful dedicated servers.

11 Best Website Hosting Companies – 2019

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

DreamHost – Innovative and reliable hosting

  • Uptime: 100%
  • Loading speed: 0.76s
  • Support: Stellar support, excellent knowledge base
  • 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 to read the in-depth review on DreamHost.

SiteGround – Best value web hosting

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Loading speed: 0.97s
  • Support: Awesome live chat, excellent knowledge base
  • 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

Here you’ll find full review on SiteGround.

A2 Hosting – Fast and scalable hosting

  • Uptime: 100%
  • Loading speed: 1.15s
  • Support: Stellar support, excellent knowledge base
  • 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 base
  • Free backups
  • Optimized for WordPress

Cons

  • Smallest plan quite limited
  • Somewhat slow control panel

Click to read our expert review on A2 Hosting.

Bluehost – The resurgent behemoth

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Loading speed: 0.96s
  • Support: Good support, good knowledge base
  • 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 to read our review on Bluehost.

FastComet – Hosting for designers and newbies

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Loading speed: 1.27s
  • Support: Excellent support, excellent knowledge base
  • 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

Read our expert review on FastComet

InsterServer – Fast servers, good value for small sites

  • Uptime: 99.96%
  • Loading speed: 0.74s
  • Support: Could be better, reasonable knowledge base
  • 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

InterServer is a relatively unknown host with lightning fast servers with impressive real-time performance and unique perks.

Read our experts take on InterServer

HostGator Cloud – Simple and reliable hosting

  • Uptime: 100%
  • Loading speed: 1.28s
  • Support: Good support, good knowledge base
  • Cost: $5.95/mo

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

InMotion Hosting – Great support, questionable speed

  • Uptime: 99.95%
  • Loading speed: 1.33s
  • Support: Stellar support, the best knowledge base
  • 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

Namecheap – Great for domains, average for hosting

  • Uptime: 99.86%
  • Loading speed: 1.00s
  • Support: Excellent support and decent knowledge base
  • Cost: $2.07/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

  • Good value for money
  • Free backups
  • Free migrations
  • Intuitive user area interface

Cons

  • Questionable support
  • Unimpressive speed

Namecheap is a company of many virtues, but is shared hosting one of them? Check out what the numbers say.

iPage – Very fast, very salesy, not very reliable

  • Uptime: 99.98%
  • Loading speed: 0.93s
  • Support: Responsive but doesn’t go beyond the line of service
  • 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

iPage is an extremely affordable shared suite with many site building options. Learn more in our in-depth iPage review.

GoDaddy – Strong marketing, mediocre service

  • Uptime: 100%
  • Loading speed: 1.30s
  • Support: Could be better, reasonable knowledge base
  • 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.

Pros

  • Impeccable uptime (100%)
  • Excellent under load
  • Scalable plans
  • Good speed

Cons

  • Support is slow
  • No automatic backups
  • No migration service
  • High renewal fees

GoDaddy is the largest hosting company out there, but it is some distance away from the best web hosts. See why here.

How to Choose a Web Hosting Service

If you have no idea what hosting is and how it works, just read on. We explain in brief some key elements. If you have a clue but still don’t know what to pick, check out this section.

Choosing a web hosting plan is easy, as long as you have a concept in mind. Here are several strategic pointers to consider:

  • Is web hosting something you are planning to profit from or simply want to have some online presence? – If you aim for the latter, a free website hosting probably is a better option. There are plenty of site builders with free plans for that can put your name online with minimum fuss.
  • How much effort are you going to put in your site? – Effort is a more important factor than money here, as hosting plans can be downgraded and upgraded relatively easily, adjusting the monthly expenditure accordingly. If you have a strategy in mind and have an idea how to grow your site, check what options to scale up the hosts you consider provide. This way, the moment you need more bandwidth and computing resources, you wouldn’t need to start reading web hosting reviews again, searching for a new hosting company.
  • How many sites do you want to launch? – The number of hosted domains tells only half the story. Best check things like allocated CPU, RAM and bandwidth per plan as they can be, realistically, much more restrictive than the number of hosted domain names.
  • Where is your target audience located? – Choosing a data center close to the potential audience you wish to reach translates into faster loading speed for the end users, which is very advantageous when it comes to ranking with search engines like Google. The best web hosting for UK located business is not the same as for one located in Australia. Always pick a data center located on the same piece of land the bulk of your visitors walks upon.
  • Do you need specialized hosting? – Are you planning on using WordPress or Joomla? If so, something optimized for the respective CMS could be a good idea, at least further down the road. Consider a company that provides it. You can start with basic shared plan and upgrade seamlessly to a specialized plan when the time is right.
  • What do your developers need? – If you are paying for a custom-coded website, always ask the developers if they have a preferred hosting option. They would have, usually, but if they don’t, ask what technical requirements they have.

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

Shared hosting is the absolute king of hosting in terms of popularity. It has the largest user base for two main reasons: unmatched affordability and unparalleled ease of use.

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.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is, more than anything, a catchy marketing phrase, as cloud computing is all the rage for a few years now. In the realm of web hosting, the term “cloud” can refer to many things.

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.

Specialized Platforms – WordPress, Joomla, Drupa, and Magento Hosting

Going for specialized hosting is worth considering when you have a certain budget and clear-cut growth strategy. Experience as webmaster and site manager is clearly an advantage.

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.

Advanced Hosting Solutions

Suitable for businesses and traffic-heavy sites, virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated servers are a whole different story.

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.

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.

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.

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.