27+ BEST WEB HOSTING SERVICES OF 2020 (PROVIDERS RANKED)
When picking the best web hosting, there are thousands of service providers to compare.
And all provide different levels of features, performance, ease of use, and price ranges – not to mention their discounts and savings at checkout.
With all of the noise out there from both hosting companies jockeying for your attention, these web hosting reviews will give you two simple takeaways:
1. How to pick the best host for you.
2. How to save the most money at checkout with the most significant discounts (up to 90%).
I’ve been in digital marketing for over ten years and have set up sites, done site migrations, and managed more hosting providers than I can count.
And the truth is: unless you’re a large site with thousands of pages and massive levels of traffic, plenty of hosts will work out for you just fine. It’s 2019, and hosting technology, performance, and site speed keep getting better.
Whether you’re starting a blog, an online store, local business, or enterprise brand, let’s pick the best host and save money in the process.
Let’s get started.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is the Best Web Hosting?
- What is the Best Cheap Web Hosting?
- What is the Best Free Web Hosting?
- What is the Best Web Hosting for Small Business?
- What is Web Hosting?
- What Are the Different Types of Web Hosting?
- Can You Start Hosting on AWS?
- What is the Fastest Website Hosting?
- Web Hosting FAQ.
- Web Hosting Comparison (Summary)
WHAT IS THE BEST WEB HOSTING?
The best web hosting services provide reliable site speed, security features, uptime, ease of use, and integrations that your website needs. My top picks are Bluehost, Hostinger, GreenGeeks, WP Engine, HostGator, Siteground, Cloudways, Dreamhost, iPage, and HostPapa.
Most hosting companies give you steep introductory discounts and make it easy to get started. My hosting reviews will show you the companies that match exactly what you need while saving you money in the process.
Here are my top picks for the best web hosting in 2020.
BEST WEB HOSTING SERVICE POWERING OVER 2 MILLION WEBSITES WORLDWIDE ($2.95/MONTH)
Bluehost is my #1 hosting platform recommendation, with a free domain, free SSL included, 1-click WordPress install, FTP, and 24/7 customer support. Their plans start at $2.95/month (63% off), and they have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
They are an all-encompassing platform tailor-made for WordPress and powering over 2 million websites. Their easy-to-use interface allows you to sign in, choose your domain, one-click install WordPress, choose your themes, and create your site.
They launched in 1996, and they now have a staff of over 750 employees. They have a 99.99% uptime, making them a very reliable option.
With average load times under half a second, site speed won’t be an issue. With my WordPress site and their cheapest plan, I leveraged a few easy plugins and was able to get my desktop site speed to 100.
One of the most significant selling points for me was their security and integration with Cloudflare – a content delivery network (CDN). This CDN prevents DDoS attacks and fake traffic from all kinds of different sources.
Using a CDN also increases site speed by allowing you to host your web files on their worldwide network of servers. This service shortens the time it takes to fetch data from your server based on a visitor’s location.
If you’re reading other web hosting comparisons and looking for extra features, Bluehost also integrates with different software in their MOJO Marketplace. For example, if a customer needs shopping cart software or e-commerce functionality, installing software is easy.
Finally, they are the “official” WordPress.org recommended web hosting platform and you can read my full review here.
Here’s how to get started:
- Go to Bluehost.com and click Get Started
- Choose the plan you want ($2.95/month is cheapest)
- Either enter a new name or select one you own
- Enter your account information, account plan, and billing information
- I would uncheck the add-ons Sitelock Security and Codeguard Basic
- Click Submit and you’re ready to go!
I recommend you get started with their Basic Plan for $2.95/month, which is 63% off their regular price.
How to Save the Most:
- Plan: Basic Plan at $2.95/month
- Term: 36 months
- Total cost at checkout: $106.20
- Savings: $181.44
FAST AND AFFORDABLE AT A 90% DISCOUNT ($0.99/MONTH)
Hostinger is my #2 web hosting company because of its speed and price. They’re currently offering a massive 90% discount on paid plans with prices starting at $0.99/month. You can get four years of web hosting for $47.52.
Using Hostinger allows developers to learn to code and experiment with PHP, FTP, cPanel, and MySQL without the added cost. By using free hosting sites and learning PHP, you can learn to build free WordPress sites and hone your skills at the same time.
Hostinger is excellent for beginners. You can learn to build free WordPress sites and hone your skills at the same time.
They have a super knowledgeable 24/7 multilingual (20+ language) Customer Success Team and are known to pick up a live chat in less than two minutes.
They are also of the fastest web hosting providers with an average page load speed under 200 ms and guaranteed uptime of 99.9%.
Hostinger has a custom, easy-to-use dashboard – hPanel. The design is clean and straightforward, which is what you need when building a site. Additionally, they are running a massive sale offering free SSL certificates and domains.
Hostinger provides a free WordPress site with 1-click installation so that you can start your blog free of charge in minutes. They also have their Zyro website builder with 1000’s of templates.
The steps to get up and running with their services are easy:
- Go to hostinger.com and click get started.
- Choose your hosting plan – the best savings are with the $0.99/month plan for 48 months.
- Enter your email and create a password.
- Choose either WordPress or build your site.
- Edit and publish your site.
If you want a powerful host on a budget with one of the fastest loading times and an incredible 90% discount, I recommend you get started with Hostinger for $0.99/month ($47.52 for four full years of hosting).
How to Save the Most:
- Plan: Single Shared Hosting at $0.99/month
- Term: 48 months
- Total cost at checkout: $47.52
- Savings: $432
BEST GREEN WEB HOST ($2.95/MO)
GreenGeeks is an environmentally friendly web host with over ten years of experience. They boast both a 99.95% uninterrupted time and feature load times under 500ms.
They have data centers in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands – specifically Chicago, Phoenix, Toronto, Montreal, and Amsterdam, which is a strong international setup.
They’re an interesting choice if you’re looking for an environmentally-conscious web host.
GreenGeeks confirms that they buy 3x the amount of wind energy credits to account for the energy used to power their platform. They’re a Green Power Partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
If you sign up for their services, you get unlimited file storage, bandwidth, and email accounts, and get to enjoy their strong performance – and get a free domain.
And they don’t just slap WHM/cPanel on a dedicated server and call it a day like some other hosts – they go deeper than that.
They have a cool feature called their hosting account isolation setup. Using a VPS, container-based approach, they provision accounts with dedicated computing resources and secured virtual file system (Secure vFS). Secure vFS ensures accounts are unable to access other accounts, protecting your site against malware and other malicious activity.
They do have slightly higher $9.95 renewal fees than their $2.95 Eco-Site Lite introductory price, but you can lock in the pricing for three years.
Ultimately, you’ll pay $116.15 at checkout, and save $252.00 (70% off) with their promo code 10YEARSGREEN.
How to Save the Most:
- Plan: EcoSite Lite at $2.95/month
- Term: 36 months
- Total cost at checkout: $116.15
- Savings: $225.85
4. WP ENGINE.
BEST PROFESSIONAL AND ENTERPRISE HOSTING ($31.50/MONTH)
WP Engine is a managed hosting company based in my town of Austin, TX. They primarily focus on speed, security, and scalability. Their Managed hosting is specifically built for WordPress sites and comes at a higher price. It’s not precisely hosting, but dedicated services to keep your WordPress site live.
Site speed is where WP Engine excels.
While other providers may include customized servers, you can still get bogged down by installing a lot of WordPress plugins. But with WP Engine, they have a network of servers with more aggressive caching than other providers. You’re not allowed to install other caching plugins in WordPress because their caching is so personalized.
WP Engine provides daily backups of your files so you can keep your peace of mind. They also have reliable customer service and high-end custom plans for the enterprise. However, if your needs aren’t as advanced, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
Their startup plan starts at $31.50/month and includes 25k visits/month, 50GB of bandwidth, CDN and SSLs, and robust performance tools. Each program comes with a content delivery network (CDN) for faster load times and staging environments so you can test things out before going live with changes.
If you are looking for one of the best premium managed web hosting companies, give WP Engine a test run and get 10% off your first payment.
How to Save:
- Plan: Startup at $31.50/month
- Term: Monthly
- Total cost at checkout: $31.50
- Savings: $3.50
BEST CHEAP WEB HOSTING SERVICE ($2.78/MONTH)
HostGator is a well-known hosting provider based in Houston and hosts over 9 million websites. They are one of the cheapest options out there, with plans starting at $2.78/month on 36-month plans and savings from 30-60%. Make sure to check their renewal rates, as they are slightly higher than their introductory rates.
To dive deeper, you can read my full comparison to Bluehost and review vs. GoDaddy. As you can see below, they stack up well against GoDaddy and website builders like Squarespace in both price and feature set:
To get started, their speed clocks in barely under one second, so they aren’t the fastest option but better than average. They also hit a 99.98% uptime, which is better than the industry average of 99.94%.
They make the website building process easy, with simple drag and drop functionality and the ability to add unlimited domains. They’ll also assist with free migrations within the first 30 days of your sign-up.
They also offer 24/7 customer support through live chat, email, and phone, and they have pretty good response times.
They offer three main plans, including Hatchling, Baby, and Business. The higher-tier plans include dedicated IP addresses and SEO tools to grow your online presence. Additionally, they have a 45-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
Overall, they are one of the best web hosting sites on the market and #2 on my list.
Here’s how to get started:
- Go to HostGator.com and click Get Started.
- Choose a domain (or add one you own).
- Pick your billing cycle. For the most savings, select the $2.78/month plan for 36 months.
- Enter your billing info.
- Click Checkout and you’re all set!
Plus, you can get 30-60% off with promo code Naughty Blogger . I recommend you try the Hatchling plan and get started for $2.78/month.
How to Save:
- Plan: Hatchling at $2.78/month
- Term: 36 months
- Total cost at checkout: $100.08
- Savings: $150.12
BEST CLIENT SATISFACTION ($3.95/MONTH)
SiteGround has offered hosting software since 2014, and they pride themselves on fantastic customer support. They had a 98% client satisfaction rate in 2018 and respond to phone calls in seconds, reply to support tickets within 10 minutes on average, and are available 24/7 via chat.
In addition to customer service, performance is a significant benefit for SiteGround users, as they had an average 99.99% uptime in 2018. They built their platform on Linux containers that are very stable, even with random traffic spikes. They also have excellent page load times under 750ms.
They boast the most significant discounts on one-year terms if you don’t want to pay for 3+ years. Basic plans start at $3.95/month (plus a $14.95 setup fee), which includes a free Let’s Encrypt SSL, daily auto backups, unmetered traffic, and up to 10,000 visitors/month.
If your someone sick and tired of lousy service and want to work with the industry’s best customer support team, give SiteGround a try today. You can also read my full review of SiteGround vs Bluehost to compare these two web hosting giants.
How to Save:
- Plan: StartUp at $3.95/month + $14.95 setup fee
- Term: 12 months
- Total cost at checkout: $62.35
- Savings: $81.53
BEST MANAGED HOSTING FOR EXPERIENCED USERS ($10/MONTH)
As their name suggests, Cloudways uses a scalable cloud platform built for speed and simplicity. Unlike shared web hosting, cloud servers give you more dedicated resources, which can help with speed and stability.
It’s a robust hosting service for web developers, as it allows PHP developers to deploy containerized applications and other advanced features. Besides, to support PHP7, Cloudways supports many other high-performance technologies like HTTP/2, Nginx, and Redis.
All Cloudways customers can add cloud servers to their accounts at any time. You can also set up a virtual cloud server in under a minute. WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) used with Cloudways (not surprising), followed by Drupal, and Magento.
Pricing is tiered based on the server specs you choose and the cloud provider. It starts as low as $10/month, and there is a free 3-day trial. It seems like a short trial, but it gives you enough time to dive into the platform and test its functionality. And if you’re looking for security, they provide SSL certificates with domain mapping.
If you’re an experience developer and want more control, Cloudways is a good option.
FAST, SECURE WEB HOSTING WITH PURPOSE ($2.59/MONTH)
DreamHost is a host that manages over 1.5 million sites use worldwide. They offer a 100% uptime guarantee and an impressive 97-day money-back guarantee.
All sites come pre-installed with a free SSL certificate and WordPress firewall for added security. VPS Basic provides two virtual private servers to each customer to increase speed, scalability, and performance.
They also have multiple caching layers, auto-scaled memory, and these isolated servers to improve speed further.
Additionally, every customer of their DreamPress platform gets built-in server caching and a static IP. These servers are super quick to respond to web requests as a proxy with the Apache and PHP WordPress stack.
You can get started with the DreamHost Shared Starter plan for just $2.59 per month.
First, sign up and enter your domain information. Next, you’ll also want to deselect Dreamshield Protection and 1 Mailbox if you don’t need email yet.
How to Save the Most:
- Plan: Shared Starter at $2.59/mo
- Term: 36 months
- Total cost at checkout:$93.24
- Savings: $99.91
ONE-SIZE FITS ALL HOSTING BEST FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES ($1.99/MONTH)
iPage is an excellent platform to build, market, and grow your small business website because of its low-cost offerings and easy website tools. It’s a decent choice for local businesses on a budget because it includes a website builder, and access to WordPress or Weebly, which allows anyone to build an e-commerce site.
I don’t recommend using iPage or Weebly for e-commerce if you’re looking for one of the cheapest options on the market. With an entry-level set of tools and stable performance, iPage gives you everything you need to get set up online quickly. You get a free online store, PayPal integration, and six different options for shopping cart software.
Their website builder is limited to just six pages. However, they have hundreds of templates and themes and integrate with content management systems (CMS) like Joomla and WordPress.
They also offer a free custom website, email address, and $200 worth of free ad credits for search engines like Google and Bing.
Plus, with the link below, you can claim 70% off hosting and get a free domain registration at the super-low price of $1.99/month.
How to Save:
- Plan: Web hosting plan at $1.99/month
- Term: 36 months
- Total cost at checkout: $71.64
- Savings: $216
POWERFUL WEB HOSTING TO GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE ($3.95/MONTH)
HostPapa entered the dedicated hosting space in 2002 and expanded to full-service web hosting in 2005. They quickly became a leader in the web hosting for small business, as they offer everything a small business would need to run their site.
These services include hosting, domain registration, 400+ business apps to connect to, and both the option of an easy drag-and-drop website builder or WordPress installation depending on your interest.
HostPapa has three main plans ranging from $3.95 to $12.95/month. However, they also charge for add-ons like SSL certificates. You’ll also want to make sure you turn off their other extras at checkout, which would add $39.90/year.
Their most popular plan is the Business Plan, which is ideal for small business owners and includes unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, and unlimited bandwidth.
How to Save:
- Plan: Business at $3.95/month
- Term: 36 months
- Total cost at checkout: $142.20
- Savings: $325.44
|1. Bluehost||A+||$2.95 (63% off)|
|2. Hostinger||A+||$0.99 (90% off)|
|3. GreenGeeks||A||$2.95 (70% off)|
|4. WP Engine||A+||$31.50 (10% off)|
|5. HostGator||A||$2.59 (47% off)|
|6. Siteground||A||$2.78 (60% off)|
|7. Cloudwaysd||A||$3.95 (67% off)|
|8. DreamHost||A+||$10 (no discount)|
|9. iPage||A+||$1.99 (75% off)|
|10. HostPapa||A+||$3.95 (70% off)|
WHAT IS THE BEST CHEAP WEB HOSTING?
Our best cheap web hosting comparisons include plans from $0.80 to $3.95 per month. These affordable plans provide high discounts and different term lengths. For example, you may get the $1.99 pricing but must sign up for three years – if you only want to pay for 12 months, the price goes up. Also, renewal prices are usually higher than the discounted rate, so watch out for that.
Here are my top picks for cheap web hosting:
1. HOSTINGER SINGLE SHARED HOSTING.
$0.80/Month for 4 Years.
Hostinger comes in at #1 on this list as the cheapest web host because of its 90% discount and $0.80/month hosting for 48 months.
Most of the time, cheap options offer lower site performance – that’s not the case here. They’re one of the fastest hosts, with page load times clocking in under 380 ms. With their $0.80 plan, you get one website, one email address, 1 MySQL database, 10GB of disk space, and tech support.
Total cost: $38.40 for 48 months
2. THE IPAGE GO PLAN.
$1.99/Month for 36 Months.
iPage has been running its cheap $1.99 introductory plans for years now. They do have higher renewal fees at $7.99 to $9.99/month, so keep that in mind if you sign up.
iPage doesn’t match the speed of other options, with page load times more than double those of Hostinger. Overall, they have a good feature set for a cheap host, with unlimited disk space, unlimited MySQL databases, and unmetered bandwidth.
Total cost: $71.64 for 36 months
3. DREAMHOST SHARED STARTER.
$2.59/Month for 36 Months.
Dreamhost stands out from the other cheap choices because their renewal fees are the same as your intro offer. They also just upgraded this plan to include a free domain name, which used to cost $9.95/year.
You also get unlimited traffic and bandwidth, SSD storage, and WordPress pre-installed. Their site speed is also better than average, coming in under 750 ms.
Total cost: $93.24 for 36 months
4. HOSTGATOR CLOUD HATCHLING PLAN.
$2.78/Month for 36 Months.
This plan has excellent performance for a cheaper host, with 99.98% operational time and load times under 450 ms. By purchasing their Hatchling Plan, you get one website, unmetered bandwidth and disk space, technical support, and a $100 Google/Bing Ads credit.
This plan renews at $6.95/month, which is a vast improvement over their previous renewal rates of $10.95 – $19.95/month.
To get these discounts, make sure to use promo code Naughty Blogger at checkout.
Total cost: $100.08 for 36 months
5. BLUEHOST BASIC SHARED HOSTING.
$3.95/Month for 36 Months.
This plan is a good, all-around cheap web hosting option, with a good mix of features, security, and support.
With their Basic Plan, you get one domain, five parked domains, 25 subdomains, 50 GB SSD storage, and standard performance features. They also have some of the best speed at under 420 ms. This plan is currently 50% off and renews at its regular rate of $7.99/month.
Total cost: $142.20 for 36 months
While some companies provide free hosting, I don’t recommend it as you lose out on performance. If you sign up for free website hosting and realize it’s a bad experience, you either need expensive add-ons or must migrate to a legitimate paid option.
It’s not worth the extra work.
While these alternatives may not be the best fit when building your website, if you’re a developer, you can learn a lot by diving into these free tools.
Ultimately, I recommend avoiding these free providers and going with a high-quality option like Hostinger with their 90% discount.
Here is an overview of the best free web hosting with the most popular platforms compared and reviewed.
- Google Cloud Web Hosting.
000webhost is a version of Hostinger free of charge, and they’ve been around since 2007. They don’t force any ads on their users like some other services, and they also offer paid plans. They provide up to two websites, 1,000 MB of storage, an impressive 10GB of bandwidth, and a free control panel.
In their dashboard, you can control things like redirects, phpMyAdmin, a web-based file manager, a free website builder, and password protected directories.
One major downside of 000webhost is that there is a required one hour of downtime per day, so your site is up around 95.8% per day- if everything else runs perfectly.
InfinityFree is one of the most popular free tools out there and has a ton of excellent features. They have been around for over six years, boast over 200,000 users, a script installer, and an impressive 50,000 daily hits.
You can have as many domains as you want and gain access to 10 email accounts. Surprisingly, they include a free DNS service, SSL, and Cloudflare CDN too. However, the “unlimited bandwidth” that they promise comes with some rules and regulations that can affect the types of files you’re allowed to upload.
If these features aren’t strong enough for you, they have a cheap plan for $5.90/month, which reduces the page load time, a small complaint from InfinityFree users.
x10Hosting has been in the free hosting world for over ten years. They offer “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth. However, they also have a High Resource Usage Policy, which allows them to throttle or suspend sites that are taking up too many resources.
However, they have excellent average server response times under 350 ms and strong speed metrics.
AwardSpace.com offers both free and premium web hosting to over 2.5 million users. With their open plan, you get 100% ad-free hosting, one-click CMS, and 24/7 tech support. However, the free plans only give you 1 GB of disk space and 5GB of bandwidth, forcing users to sign up for one of their premium plans.
In the end, the biggest drawback of AwardSpace is their inadequate load times of over 1.5 seconds.
Freehostia offers users free plans that include 250MB of disk space, 6GB of monthly bandwidth, app installers, three email accounts, and MySQL and PHP compatibility. They also provide 24/7 support for their users and guarantee a 99.9% uptime – not bad for a free service.
Freehostia features a load-balanced cluster platform, which provides stronger server speeds than many one-server hosting solutions. If you are looking for a more robust solution, they have virtual private servers from $14/month, semi-dedicated servers from $29.95/month and dedicated servers from $65/month.
Their free hosting plans have some pretty restrictive limitations. A paltry 250mb of storage space is not enough for most developers to add the images and text they need.
FreeHosting.com is one of the best free hosts out there because of their unmetered bandwidth. They give users 10GB of server space, one free email account, one MySQL database, and one domain (that you must already own). They offer free subdomains too.
They also have a simple drag and drop site builder with over 170 pre-designed templates. A powerful app installer also allows you to add-on over 350 applications.
If their free plans don’t cover everything you need, you can opt for their paid plan at $7.99/month. With the paid hosting option, you can add a multi-site, have multiple emails, and unlimited disk space.
One big downside to FreeHosting is their site speed – coming in at around two seconds on average. With site speed being a ranking factor on Google, I would look elsewhere for a free host.
7. GOOGLE CLOUD WEB HOSTING.
Google offers free hosting for small businesses with a pay per use model, so you only start paying once your site is active. Their Google Cloud Platform is a private network that is available in over 200 countries.
With the cloud computing market set to hit $258 billion in 2019, Google is heavily investing in the future of its cloud hosting, spending $30 billion to date.
One user said, “I tried out the WordPress and Google combo, and the results were amazing. Our test site could handle over 70,000 requests per second without the users noticing a thing.”
This performance is impressive and one worth looking into, although they’re not technically free and are a pay-per-use model.
SHOULD I AVOID FREE WEBSITE HOSTING?
I believe you shouldn’t use free options and go with a reputable paid host like Hostinger, especially when their services are only $0.80 per month.
Plus, free web hosts typically start as free, severely restrict your settings, and then push you to upgrade to a paid plan. I would avoid the headache altogether and choose a cheap web host or premium one depending on your needs.
While 000webhost is the best host on this list, you don’t want to skimp on your hosting by choosing a free or cheap plan. If you’re serious about your website, hosting is one of the essential choices you’ll make. It affects everything like site speed, uptime, security, and features. Don’t go cheap – make a small investment and secure your website’s future success.
WHAT IS THE BEST WEB HOSTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS?
When you run your own company, there are a few top priorities to consider when choosing the best hosting for your small business website. If you pick a less-than-reputable provider, your site might go down, get hacked, or you run into server issues. You don’t want to feel a real effect on your bottom line. And now that 84% of communication with customers is visual, your website and hosting need to be top-notch.
That’s why choosing the best option for your small business is crucial and should focus on three key areas: security, reliability, and price.
Here are my picks for the best web hosting for small businesses.
This is the best overall plan for small businesses because it’s a perfect all-encompassing package that works best with WordPress and is secure, reliable, and reasonably priced.
If you’re starting, you can opt for their basic package.
As your company scales, you can choose their Plus plan. This package gives you unlimited domains, SPAM support, and an SSL certificate all for $11/month.
If you run a larger enterprise and need their top of the line offerings, you can choose their Cloud and VPS plans. With these plans, you can have more storage, unlimited bandwidth, and faster load times.
With uptime guarantees of 99.9% and over 8 million domains, this plan is the runner-up for the best choice for small businesses. They are super reliable, have an easy control panel, and offer a money-back guarantee if they don’t meet their uptime benchmarks.
Their three paid plans (Hatchling, Baby, and Business) scale up as your needs grow. The Hatchling plan is $2.75/month and has pretty basic features — next, their Baby plan $3.95/month.
If you’re looking for the best hosting option, I recommend their highest-tier plan. This Business plan is $9.95/month and gives you free SSL certificates, a dedicated IP address, and free SEO tools.
iPage is my #3 choice because of its website builder, Weebly access, and free ad credits for Google and Bing PPC ads.
Growing companies, including those in e-commerce, should avoid iPage. However, it’s a great option if you’re a local shop that wants to get up quickly.
Between the free domain and website, email address, and ad credits, you can’t go wrong at this price point. However, I have heard complaints about a lack of promptness from their customer service team. Although they have cheap plans, I recommend other options.
WHAT IS WEB HOSTING?
Web hosting is a service that allows websites to serve resources on the internet with the ability to be accessible anywhere on the World Wide Web. These companies buy or lease servers in data centers connected to the Internet, and sell space on these servers. A web server in a data center can contain one or more websites. The operating system settings are different if you have shared hosting, dedicated hosting, or VPS hosting.
Websites are just a bunch of files – HTML files, CSS files, images, and photos, etc. All data live in a folder on a computer connected to the Internet. That computer is a “server” because it serves up files when people come to visit.
When Internet users want to view a website, all they do is type in the web address into their browser. Their computer then connects to the server and webpages (files) are delivered through the browser.
To build a website, you need both a domain and a hosting account. If you don’t have a domain, you can purchase one as an add-on.
You can perform domain registration and host separately. However, you’d have to point your domain to your web host by editing the DNS records. If you purchase the domain name and website hosting from the same company, you will not have to change your domain settings.
But for example, if you already have a website with GoDaddy and want to host with another provider, you’ll have to change your DNS records.
Here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing a provider:
- Know your hosting needs
- Look into server reliability and uptime guarantees
- Investigate hosting upgrade options if scalability is important
- Look into signup prices vs. renewal prices, as they may be very different
- Research the control panel for ease of use
- Make sure the hosting platform has essential features: a one-click installer, FTP and STFP Access, .htaccess files, disk space, and data transfer capacity
- Research sites speed, page loads times, and if they integrate with a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WEB HOSTING?
1. CLOUD HOSTING.
Cloud hosting is a new type of hosting that uses a network of virtual servers that store your files in the cloud rather than on one server. This type of hosting is great for security and to mitigate DDoS attacks, as multiple servers and entry points are much harder to hack than a single server.
Cloud hosting plans are pay-as-you-go – since they’re virtual when they’re not in use they aren’t taking up resources. Another benefit to this pay-as-you-go model is that you can easily upgrade your services over a specific time if you expect a boost in traffic.
One advantage of cloud hosting is that you can add more virtual server resources to your website as your traffic grows. This flexibility allows you to increase bandwidth as your online business scales incrementally.
For example, if you use shared hosting and your server goes down, your website is entirely out of luck. However, with cloud hosting across multiple servers, your site won’t go down if one server fails.
Cloud hosting can cost between $40 and $100 per month or higher.
2. SHARED WEB HOSTING.
Shared web hosting is when multiple websites live on one server. This form of hosting is one of the most popular and cheap options out there, as many sites can share server resources owned by the web host.
One downside to shared hosting is sharing resources. A website on the same server as you getting a ton of traffic and overloading the server can slow your site down. A server can’t have unlimited websites – there are safeguards in place against this, but still, it’s one of the slower options because of shared resources.
This type of hosting is great for new websites that don’t have a ton of content.
Since this hosting is on a server with other websites, and you share limited resources, performance may suffer. However, you shouldn’t notice much of an improvement decline as a new site.
Shared hosting can cost anywhere from $2 to 30 per month.
3. VPS HOSTING.
VPS hosting refers to virtual private servers.
When leveraging VPS hosting, one server acts like a series of separate servers. With VPS, you get a dedicated segment of shared server resources, so your hosting isn’t impacted by other sites on your server. So you get your piece of server space, and there are fewer other websites sharing resources.
VPS hosting is a little bit pricier than shared, but you get more resources and the option to scale your website as your traffic grows. In other words, you won’t be held back by slow speed if you’re generating more traffic and your online business is growing.
This hosting typically costs between $20 to 150 per month.
4. WORDPRESS HOSTING.
WordPress offers its hosting, and you can set up your website and domain on WordPress.com. However, this is a stripped-down version of WordPress, without the ability to add specific plugins, themes, or more in-depth settings that you need to create a great website.
WordPress sites are typically faster than shared hosting because of their native integrations and expert support teams.
WordPress is also teaming up with other platforms like BigCommerce to bring deeper e-commerce functionality to its offerings. 39% of e-commerce merchants reported they recently lost money due to performance or stability problems. Combining the front end functionality of WordPress with the backend power of an e-commerce platform is an excellent option for scaling growth.
WordPress hosting can cost anywhere from $5 to 100 per month.
5. DEDICATED SERVER HOSTING.
Dedicated server hosting is the process of leasing an entire server and managing all of your web hosting yourself. If you have a significant website for a large organization, this higher cost option gives you the most control over your hosting.
With complete control over your server, you can install highly complex programs, scripts, and applications that aren’t possible with shared hosting. One drawback is that if you don’t have the technical knowledge to manage and run your server, you may run into issues. You’ll either have to suffer website downtime or hire an expert to fix your problems for you.
Dedicated server hosting costs $120 per month or above.
6. RESELLER WEB HOSTING.
Reseller programs allow developers or digital agencies to resell white-labeled hosting on the plans that they own. For example, if you have ten clients, you can buy a high-tier hosting package, and then resell hosting to your customers at a monthly fixed cost.
The price for reseller hosting is around $20-75 depending on features and bandwidth.
7. COLOCATION WEB HOSTING.
When you colocate, you rent space from data centers. You need to provide your server hardware, and they provide security, cooling, power, and an Internet connection. In addition to paying for rack space, you also pay for your bandwidth usage each month.
Because of the technical knowledge needed, the possibility of website downtime if something goes wrong, and high costs, colocation web hosting is not recommended for beginners or small businesses.
8. ECOMMERCE HOSTING.
These separate self-hosted platforms will host your entire site for you. Additionally, if you’re using WordPress, you could pay for an official hosting site like Hostinger and then add an e-commerce plugin like WooCommerce or BigCommerce for WordPress.
Ecommerce hosting is an option offered by hosts like WP Engine that gives your site the ability to sell online.
Here’s what to look for when choosing an e-commerce host:
- Shopping cart software
- PCI compliant servers
- SSL and security to handle transactions
- Customer databases
- Low downtime, as you never want to lose out on revenue
- Fast server response times
CAN YOU START HOSTING ON AWS?
Amazon is known for being one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world, but were you aware that it offers one of the best web services in the world today? Well, Amazon Web Services is a secure cloud services platform that provides computing power and other functionalities to help businesses scale up. Out of all these services, we will be more interested in their hosting services and whether you can start hosting WordPress on AWS.
You can host your site on AWS as it is known for its top-notch reliability and uptime. Almost all of its data center locations have close to 100% uptime, and websites hosted there never go down. It is fast becoming a popular cloud hosting option for businesses owing to how giants such as Facebook host most of their business infrastructure on their cloud.
It is worth noting that setting up your site on AWS is not easy. You will have to learn complex codes to set up and manage the site. However, they also have a managed option which reduces the technical work you need to do. The security services provided by AWS are awe-inspiring, and your site will always be safe from attacks.
AWS charges for their hosting service on a pay as you go basis. You will be billed based on your traffic and spikes will increase your bill.
WHAT IS THE FASTEST WEBSITE HOSTING?
Speed is an essential factor when picking your preferred hosting plan. You might find an averagely fast hosting service that handles your regular traffic well, but what happens if you hit a favorite day and your traffic spikes? Not all plans can handle that well. This way, it helps to look at some factors when picking the fastest hosting.
Your audience is a vital determinant as they have a direct impact on the speed. Traffic spikes can make your site go down if the server capacity cannot handle the numbers. This way, always pick a hosting plan that can handle your traffic even at peak traffic levels.
The server location is another thing that affects speed. Often overlooked, a CDN makes sure that the server you select is close to the audience’s general location. Going for a cheaper option that is on the other side of the globe will affect your site’s speed.
Here are my picks for the fastest hosting services, but always conduct an in-depth analysis before picking one that will be fast for your site and audience:
- A2 Turbo
- InMotion Hosting
- Liquid Web
WEB HOSTING FAQ.
What is web hosting used for?
Web hosting is a service that provides shared or dedicated hosting most commonly used to build websites. The software also can store and host files, email addresses, and other content.
What is the most secure web hosting?
If you’re looking to keep your site safe from malicious attacks and potential threats, my picks for the best secure web hosting are WP Engine, SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator, and InMotion Hosting. These services offer great security and excellent customer support.
What is the difference between domain and hosting?
Web hosting is an account on a server that stores website files on the Internet, whereas a top-level-domain (TLD) is a leased readable word (for example, Google.com) that sends users to an IP address.
What is the difference between a server and a host?
The difference between a server and host is that the server is a hardware device that stores and manages files in a network and a host is a service provider that provides the technology needed for server files to be viewed on a computer.
Is WordPress a web host?
WordPress is one of the top content management systems in the world and allows users to create custom websites online. However, you need to have a separate web host in order to use your own custom domain name and run your website.
How many types of hosting are there?
There are six main types of web hosting, including shared, virtual private server, dedicated, cloud, managed, and colocation.
Can I host a website without a domain?
You can use a free host to create a website without one. However, you typically have to use a subdomain on their servers – i.e. “mywebsitename.wordpress.com”. It is a better choice to choose a paid provider so that you can fully manage your domain and website.
Can I host my own website?
Hosting your own website requires you to use a Windows or Linux computer and put HMTL and CSS files into a folder and then use a tool to post them online. I don’t recommend you go this route as it comes with a lot of security and performance issues.
What are hostnames and IP addresses?
A hostname is a word label used to identify a device connected to a computer network on the world wide web. They are part of the DNS system separated from a host-label by a “dot” or period. Hostnames are sent to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which are the numerical value of the device. These two work together to serve up and manage all websites online.
What does “localhost” mean?
“Localhost” is a term that refers to the local computer a program runs on. A local computer has an IP address of 127.0.0.1 – a “loopback” address that routes information back to the local machine.
Can Google host my website?
Google doesn’t directly provide hosting services, but it does provide options for maintaining a website presence. You can use a third-party provider and link to a Google Domain. You can also use their web forwarding feature to redirect traffic to your existing website.
What is the cost of using WordPress?
You can use WordPress’s .com site for and run your website with a free subdomain. However, the best option to own your own site is to use a third-party web host at a low price of around $2.95/month.
Can I pay someone to maintain my hosting?
Every website needs routine maintenance and software updates. Many web development companies offer this service to website owners. Prices vary based on the size and complexity of the site but typically range from $30 on the low end to $1,000 on the high-end for large, custom sites.
Is Bluehost CodeGuard worth it?
Bluehost backs up your site on their cheapest plan. With their Choice Plus plan, you get CodeGuard included for free, which is a more customized, advanced backup tool. There are also plenty of other backup plugins you can use for websites like UpDraftPlus, VaultPress, and BackupBuddy. In the end, CodeGuard is not worth increasing your monthly cost and you can find better alternatives.
Do I really need SiteLock?
SiteLock is a cloud-based security tool that works as a malware scanner. There are a lot of other high-quality security plugins like Wordfence and BulletProof Security. Ultimately, you don’t need the SiteLock Security up-sell and you can find better and cheaper options.
Is domain privacy worth the cost?
If you want to avoid identity theft, then domain privacy is worth it. Without it, anyone can look up your WHOIS data and expose all of your sensitive information like your name and contact information like your address and phone number. If you don’t want that information available to anyone online, you should select privacy protection when you register your site through a host.
Can you upgrade your hosting at any time?
Yes, with most hosting services, you are allowed to upgrade your plan at any time. You can either do this in the dashboard yourself or contact support to help you. I recommend you get your plan right from day one so that you don’t need to upgrade your plan in the future.
How much does it cost to host a website for a year?
To run a website, you need to invest in hosting and a name. On the low end, your name could cost just $10 per year and you could get a low-cost plan for $2.75/month. This total cost for the year would be $43. On the high end, if you pay for an expensive website name and high-end hosting package, your price could be in the thousands.
Should I pay for web hosting?
Yes, you should invest in your hosting service as free options are very limited and offer reduced services. This could include interruptions in service unless you “pay-as-you-go” for bandwidth and uptime. With so many cheap options, it’s vital to invest in your website and take it seriously.
Is shared hosting secure?
Shared hosting is not the most secure type of hosting, but can be secure if you take the right precautions. Since you’re sharing server space with other websites, attacks on other sites can impact your own. It’s important to use security tools and plugins for your site. If you’re concerned about running into issues, choose dedicated hosting.
WEB HOSTING COMPARISON (SUMMARY)
When choosing a website hosting provider: focus on security, reliability, speed, and technical support. I hope this guide gave you some context around which hosting companies fit your exact situation.
If you’re looking for the best web hosting platform, I recommend Bluehost and you can get started for just $2.95/month (63% off).
Ultimately, a host provides site speed, security, and ease of use, allowing you to focus on growing your business, not dealing with issues.
Give these recommendations a try and happy hosting!