Say goodbye to endless downtimes and listening to God-awful elevator music while waiting for the worst possible service you’ve experienced. We’ve hashed out the best web hosting services for 2020.
Admit it! You feel like the world has gone sideways this year. Everything – your social life, your freedom, and your business have gone the way of the dodo. You’re worried about what the future holds. And what the coronavirus means for your business.
You think you need to scale back and wait for things to blow over. But here’s the thing… you’ll be allowing more proactive competitors to swoop in and take your customers. Not good, huh?
But my customers are holed up in their homes, you say. Well, you bet they are. And here's something else you can bet on – they’re still buying.
Now, more than ever, you need a website for your business. It will allow you to reach your customers and drive new leads and sales amidst the lockdowns. You see, if your customers are still buying, you want them to buy from … err… you. And this is where good web hosting services come in. You want a web hosting company that stands by you during these perilous times. No drama, just results.Today, we’ve assembled the best web hosting service providers. They include:
- Namecheap Web Hosting
- GoDaddy web hosting
- InMotion Hosting
- A2 Hosting
- GreenGeeks web hosting
Before we dive in, you need to understand what web hosting is and how to go about choosing a provider. You see, choosing a web host is not as simple as picking one out from a list. The best host for you depends on the purpose of your website and a host of other things.
Lucky for you, today we have made time to help you sift through the murk and uncertainty with a web hosting comparison. Grab some popcorn and let’s get right to it.
What Is Web Hosting and How Does It Work?
Picture this – you type in a web address into your browser. Suddenly, you have some multi-media content displayed on your screen. So, what just happened?
When you connect to a website, your device requests for certain files from the website. These files are transferred to your machine, decoded by your browser, and then displayed on your screen. Pretty neat, huh? Now, for your browser to locate and display these files, it must connect to a server. This is where web hosting comes in.
A web hosting provider stores and serves these website files. They operate data centers that are tailored to achieve this as flawlessly as possible.
In short: a web host stores and serves your website. Easy-peasy!
What is The Best Web Hosting Service?
We’ve covered the essentials of hosting. Now, let’s get down to the meat and potatoes of this review. We’ll be honest with you; choosing a hosting provider isn’t a straightforward affair.
At face value, they all look like they’re providing the same service. But you’ll quickly realize that you’re barely scratching the surface if you look at a web hosting company’s sales page. The devil is in the detail.
So, what’s my point?
You need to dig deeper. Today, we’ve hushed out a list of the best web hosting sites, so you don’t have to do all the leg work.
HostGator is one of the most popular website hosting providers. It is simple to use and comes with an array of useful plans for small businesses and other customers. With average uptimes of more than 99.98%, it is one of the best hosting providers out there. And get this – the uptimes come with a guarantee. You receive one month of credit on your account if they fail to honor the end of the bargain.
Hostgator comes with excellent support. It has a knowledge base, and you can reach them via live chat support, email, and phone. They also have a 45-day money-back guarantee that applies to all reseller shared and VPS hosting packages.
The company's shared hosting plans are cheap. They come with an introductory price of $2.75 per month for the first 36 months.
- Great uptimes
- Excellent support
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Uptime guarantee
- Free migration
- Charge for backups
- Poor average load times of 1191ms
- The pricing structure is not clear
With an uptime of up to 99.99%, Bluehost has one of the best times in the industry. Bluehost offers a range of products and services to help you get started with your website. This includes hosting and Website Builder tools.
Value-priced packages come with SSL certificates, free global CDN, and unmetered bandwidth. You also get free daily, weekly, and monthly backups.
Pricing starts at $2.75 per month. The company provides the best web hosting for WordPress that comes recommended by WordPress.org.
- Excellent uptime of 99.99%
- Super-fast loading speeds of 405ms
- Great customer service
- Affordable introductory costs
- Charges for website transfers
3. Namecheap Web Hosting
Founded back in the year 2000, Namecheap is one of the oldest web hosting providers on our list. The company is mostly known for its domain registration and management service. Today, the company has over 3 million plans and manages more than 11 million domains.
The cheapest web hosting plan comes with unmetered bandwidth, cPanel access, useful apps such as WordPress, a free SSL certificate for one year, twice-a-week backups, and 50 MySQL databases. You can host up to three websites on this plan. You also get 50 email addresses right off the bat.
Namecheap averages an uptime of 99.87%. It has a decent page load speed of 687 milliseconds. The service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Plans start at $1.44 per month for the first year.
- Free domain
- Great value for money
- Fee migration
- Good page load speeds of 687ms
- Plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Great reviews
- Poor customer service
With more than 19 million customers, GoDaddy is undeniably a hosting Titan. But this is not a popularity contest. So, let's take a look under the hood to find out whether it's worthwhile.
GoDaddy provides a stable uptime of 99.97% and fast loading speeds of an average of 554ms. The base plan comes with up to 100 GB storage and unlimited bandwidth.
And that's not all. The hosting provider integrates with more than 125 third-party services that you can install with a single click.
It also has a website builder that allows you to build your website with a simple drag and drop experience. No technical skills needed. Sweet, huh?
Plans start at $8.99 per month.
- Easy to use.
- Advanced hosting with room for growth.
- 24/7 live support via telephone and chat.
- Solid reputation
- Limited lowest plan
- Confusing money-back guarantee
- Upsells a lot
- High Renewal Fees
5. InMotion Hosting
InMotion is one of the biggest names in the web hosting industry. The company provides hosting for beginners, bloggers, small business owners, and large companies. It's known for its reliable hosting quality, customer service, and a broad range of services.
InMotion performs well in three significant areas – support, speed, and uptime. You can integrate up to 310 applications into your website with one click. They have active partnerships with PrestaShop and other leading eCommerce services.
Plans start at $3.99 per month and come with a 90-day money-back guarantee.
- Average uptime of 99.95%
- Excellent customer support
- Free site transfers
- Verification takes too long
- Average website loading speeds of 824ms
- Lower-tier plans come with limitations
Hostinger is one of the cheapest hosting providers on the market. The company was started in 2007 as 000webhost.com. Since then, it has grown to a user base of more than 29 million people. The company gets up to 15,000 signups per day.
Hostinger has an impressive uptime of 99.95% and loading speeds of about 350 milliseconds. Upon signup, you get great customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their plans. You also get a free website builder with tons of templates to choose from.
The company offers an easy to use modern interface where you can find everything you need in one location. Plans start at $0.99 per month for the first 48 months. Hostinger is the best web hosting for small businesses on our list.
- Great uptimes
- Some of the best load times in the industry (350ms)
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Excellent multi-lingual customer support
- Easy to use
- Free domain for one year
- No cPanel
- Peculiar payment terms
7. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting was founded in 2001. Since then, it has become one of the best under-the-radar web hosting companies in the world. The company delivers some of the fastest speeds in the industry, with an average of 317ms. Uptimes stand at an average of 99.93%, which is decent.
A2 Hosting has efficient customer service and comes with developer-friendly plans. Plans come with an “anytime” money-back guarantee, which is unique in the industry. The company is an excellent option if you’re looking for a relatively cheap provider at an affordable price. Plans start at $2.96 per month.
- Very fast average speeds of 317ms
- Great customer support
- Average uptimes of 99.93%
- Free site migrations
- Cheaper plans come with restrictions
- High renewal prices
Looking for a powerful and flexible web hosting provider? Then you must consider Hostwinds. The company offers an array or VPS (virtual private server), shared, dedicated, reseller, WordPress, and cloud hosting packages designed for both big and small businesses.
Hostwinds was founded in 2010 and provides a number of services in addition to the hosting packages. Subscribers also get access to the Weebly Website builder, unlimited email accounts, and a free domain. Hostwinds has hands down the best uptimes on our list, standing at an average of 99.999%. But the loading speeds are somewhat disappointing with an average of 1,1151ms.
The company has three shared web hosting plans that are super affordable. And they get even cheaper with 24- or 36-months commitment. Pricing starts at $3.29 per month.
- Free website migrations
- Great customer service
- Free SSL
- Unlimited Email accounts
- Access to Weebly website builder
- Unlimited Disk Space
- Great uptimes
- Access to Control Panel
- You'll pay extra for backups
- Limited server locations
9. GreenGeeks Web Hosting
GreenGeeks prides itself on being an environmentally friendly web host. The company offsets 300% of the carbon from the energy they use. While that has no bearing on the kind of service you’ll receive, it shows that they care about the environment.
GreenGeeks has a solid selection of budget-friendly web hosting plans. The company has an average uptime of 99.98%. This is impressive for a little-known company that was founded only 12 years ago by Trey Gardner. The company has decent average page load speeds of 445ms.
Customer Support is impressive and is available round the clock. You also get access to an extensive knowledge base where you can search for answers to your questions. This is perfect for those who prefer to solve their own problems.
GreenGeeks provides free domain registration for the first year and free site transfer. Plans start at 2.95 per month. The company comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Great uptimes
- Good page load times
- Great support
- Free domain name and site migration
- The company is environmentally friendly
- Renewal price is higher than the sticker price
- Sketchy refund policy.
DreamHost was founded in 1996. It’s one of the oldest web hosting providers in the world. The company hosts more than 1.5 million websites in more than 100 countries.
The company has an average uptime of 99.94% and page loading speeds of 648ms.
DreamHost is reliable, and pricing starts at $4.95 per month. If you commit to a 3-year plan, you’ll pay $2.59 per month renewable at $4.95.
The basic plan comes with a free domain, unlimited bandwidth, and 50GB storage. For an additional $1.67 per month, you also get the DreamHost drag-and-drop website builder and an extra email.
- Fast server loading times
- Excellent support
- Great uptimes of 99.94%
- 97-days money-back guarantee
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No cPanel
- Live chat support is limited
- Paid migrations
How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service Provider?
First, some good news – you don't need to be a technical person to do this. Choosing a web host is a fairly simple process. But you have to get it right. So, how do you get the perfect web host for your needs? Let's find out.
Most times, you'll get what you pay for. Going for cheap web hosting or free web hosting isn't always the best strategy. Instead of price-shopping, focus on getting value for your money by looking at your website's fundamental needs.
Watch out for the renewal rates. Most providers double or triple their price once it's time to renew your plan. For instance, a plan that costs you $3 per month can jump to $10 a month.
Find out whether site transfers and migrations are free. You might find that a provider doesn't deliver acceptable performance and you may have to move. The migration fees can be a bottleneck.
Account Specifications and Limitations
Check "under the hood." The thing is, most web hosting providers make the same promises. You need to take a closer look to determine whether they're a great fit for you. Find out whether they're in control of their own hardware.
Next, determine whether they have enough RAM, disk storage space, and processing power to meet the needs of your website. Also, make sure you're comfortable with the limitations, particularly bandwidth, storage, and emails.
Support is the big one. You see, you will experience problems at one point. Even the best hosts have their moments. You want a provider with excellent customer support to get you up and running as soon as possible if you're experiencing issues with your hosting. Please note that you’re unlikely to get great support with free web hosting sites.
Your hosting provider should have a control panel that's easy to use and understand. Find out whether you can get a demo account to test their platform before signing up. You’ll need to fork out some cash to use a cPanel. You’re unlikely to get cPanel access even with the best free web hosting.
Check out the features the host is offering. These include regular backups, free domain names, SSL certificates, up-to-date tools, easy upgrades, and others. If you’re looking to host a blog, you might want to look out for WordPress web hosting providers. If you’re not a technical person and you need a website, you can check out our list of hosts with website builders.
Web Hosting FAQs
Why may I need to use web hosting?
Web hosting is essentially renting space for your website on a web server so your audience can access it. Your website needs to be stored in a secure, climate-controlled environment to receive the best performance.
What is shared hosting?
This is a type of hosting where a physical server hosts many sites.
What's the average cost of hosting a website?
Entry-level hosting plans average $2.91 per month at entry. Generally, hosting can cost anywhere from free to several hundred dollars, depending on the features you need.
What is the best web hosting for small business?
The best web host is one that meets all your website needs. This might include storage space, speeds, website builders, email, and other features.
What is the difference between shared and dedicated hosting?
Shared hosting, as described above, means that your website is sharing server resources such as disk space and bandwidth with other customers' websites. In dedicated hosting, your website is the only site hosted on the server.
Looking for the perfect web hosting company? We'll be the first to admit, it's no walk in the park. After all, there are so many options to choose from and countless horror stories from disappointed customers. We've come up with this list to help make the process much easier.