Choosing from the best web hosting services can be a confusing and time-intensive task. There are so many web hosting providers out there – free web hosting, cheap options, enterprise level packages – you need to know which is best for you. I want to provide information to help you choose the best features and compare them across different hosting providers.
These web hosting reviews are based on price, reliability, technical support, features, the control panel experience, ease of use, and more.
Whether you want to start a WordPress blog or build a new website for your company, the first decision is web hosting. These service providers will host your files on their servers, allow you to 1-click install WordPress and other content management systems (CMS), and affect your site speed.
This guide will provide the 7 best web hosting services, including why Bluehost is my top choice, the 6 best free web hosting providers, cheap options, the best web hosting for small business, and other tips to use when choosing from the top web hosting providers.
Let’s get started.
Please note, I may receive affiliate compensation for a few of the links below. However, these are tools that I have used and personally recommend when starting a website.
Web Hosting Table of Contents
What Are the Best Web Hosting Services?
To choose from the best hosting services, you have to consider many options, like how much space do you need? How much do you want to spend? Do you need a domain and email address? Is reliability and uptime crucial to the success of your website?
Here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing a web hosting 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, like 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)
Here are my picks for the best web hosting services in 2019.
Best Hosting Service Powering Over 2 Million Websites Worldwide ($2.75/month)
I currently use Bluehost for my web hosting and can’t recommend them enough. Bluehost is my #1 hosting platform recommendation, with a free domain, free SSL included, 1-click WordPress install, FTP, and 24/7 support. Their plans start at $2.95/month and they have a 30-day money back guarantee.
They are an all-encompassing hosting service 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 or templates, and create your site – it’s that easy. I currently use their basic hosting plan and still have excellent site speed.
Bluehost was founded in 1996 and they now have a staff of over 750 employees to ensure they are the best web hosting site overall. They have a 99.99% uptime (topping the list), making them the most reliable option.
They have pretty fast page load times, with an average load time under half a second. With my WordPress site and their cheap web hosting plan, I leveraged a few easy plugins and was able to get my site speed to 100.
One of the biggest 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 greatly increases site speed by allowing you to host your web files on their worldwide network of servers, speeding up the time that your site loads for uses based on their geographic 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 ecommerce functionality, one-click installing software is easy.
They also boast a popular affiliate program and pay up to$130 per sale.
Finally, Bluehost is the “official” WordPress.org recommended web hosting platform. Need I say more?
Bluehost comes with my highest recommendation.
2. WP Engine
Best Managed WordPress Hosting ($35/month)
WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting service based in my town of Austin, TX. They offer enterprise hosting performance with speed, security, and scalability. Their Managed WordPress hosting is specifically for WordPress sites and comes at a higher price – it’s not exactly hosting, but dedicated services to keep your WordPress site live.
Site speed is where WP Engine really excels. While other web hosting 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. In fact, 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 piece of mind. They also have excellent uptime, reliable customer service, and high-end custom plans for enterprise. However, if your needs aren’t as advanced, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
Their startup plan starts at $35/month and includes 25k visits/month, 50GB of bandwidth, CDN and SSLs, and powerful performance tools. All plans come with a content delivery network (CDN) for faster load times and staging environments so you can test things out before going live with changes.
Best Cheap Web Hosting ($2.75/month)
HostGator is a well known web hosting provider that’s based in Houston and hosts over 9 million domain names. They are one of the cheapest web hosting options out there, with plans starting at $2.75/month on a 36 month plan. Make sure to check their renewal rates, as they are slightly higher than their introductory rates.
Their web hosting speed clocks in barely under one second, so they aren’t as fast as Bluehost, but their performance is pretty reliable. They also hit a 99.98% uptime, which is better than the industry average of 99.94%.
They make building a website and web hosting easy, with simple drag and drop functionality and the ability to add unlimited domains. They’ll also assist with free web hosting migration within the first 30 days of your sign-up.
HostGator offers 24/7 support through live chat, email, and phone, which is very convenient. However, it’s been reported that there can be delays when using their live chat services.
While many of the cheapest hosting services have a 15 or 30-day money back guarantee, HostGator increases this number to 45 days. If you’re a customer, pay via credit though, as payments made with a bank transfer, check or money order aren’t eligible for the money back guarantee.
They also offer two higher tier plans which include dedicated IP addresses and SEO tools to grow your online presence. But if you’re just starting out, they are very user-friendly and super easy for beginners.
Overall, HostGator is one of the best cheap web hosting companies on the market.
Best Managed Cloud Hosting for Experienced Users ($10/month)
As their name suggests, Cloudways is built on a scalable cloud hosting platform that is 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 strong hosting service for web developers, as it allows PHP developers to deploy containerized applications and other advanced features. In addition to support for PHP7, Cloudways supports a number of other high-performance technology like HTTP/2, Nginx, and Redis.
All Cloudways customers can add cloud servers to their web hosting account 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 one-click SSL certificates with domain mapping.
Web Hosting for Easier Web Management ($3.95/month)
SiteGround has offered hosting services since 2014 and they’re located in Bulgaria. They are best known as a cheap web hosting option with FTP, cPanel control panel, and unlimited bandwidth.
High uptime is a strong benefit SiteGround clients, as it had an average of 99.99% in 2018. Their platform is built on Linux containers that are very stable, even with random traffic spikes.
They have pretty strong page load times under 750ms (not as strong as Bluehost), but they are faster than the average. In addition to speed, if you’re looking for help they have a great customer support team of over 300 people and they had a 98% client satisfaction rate in 2018.
Their plans start at $3.95/month (plus an additional $14.95 setup fee) and include a free website builder, free Let’s Encrypt SSL, auto daily backups, and unlimited email accounts.
Cheapest Web Hosting Runner-Up with Frequent Discounts ($1.99/month)
iPage is one of the best web hosting platforms to build, market, and grow your website because of it’s low-cost web hosting options and full range of features. iPage is a good choice for businesses because it includes a website builder, and access to Weebly, which allows anyone to build an ecommerce site.
While I don’t recommend you use Weebly for ecommerce, if you’re looking for the cheapest web hosting, iPage gives you everything you need to easily get set up online.
They also offer a free domain name, email address, and $200 of worth of free ad credits for search engines like Google and Bing. Their plans start at the super low price of $1.99/month and they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
7. Inmotion Hosting
Best Shared Hosting Plans ($3.99/month)
Inmotion Hosting is a hosting platform you can trust, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and is 15-year CNET-certified. They offer shared, dedicated, reseller, virtual private server (VPS), cPanel, and WordPress hosting, and a number of free tools that help you sell online.
They are fast and reliable with secure servers, hacking protections, custom firewalls, and DDoS protection. Plus, a generous 90-day money back guarantee tops our list.
Their shared web hosting plans start at $3.99/month and they often provide discounts of 20%. With their WordPress web hosting plan starting at $8.99/month, you receive up to 20,000 monthly visitors, 40GB of solid-state storage, one website, and unlimited emails.
On the downside, not all plans have month-to-month payment options, so you may have to be locked in for a full year. They also lack Windows servers and cloud hosting as they’re configured on Linux.
Overall they are a good choice if you’re looking for a variety of web hosting options.
What is the Best Free Web Hosting?
The cost of setting up and maintaining a website can add up rather quickly, so it’s important to pick from the best free web hosting options. With a free web hosting and domain, you can set up your website in little time, but typically get less bandwidth and server space.
Although free web hosting may not be the best fit for everyone, there are still a number of free providers out there that you can easily give a test run for no cost. This list of website hosting providers isn’t all encompassing – there are a few honorable mentions like Awardspace not included on this list.
Here are my picks for the best free web hosting in 2019.
Best Free Web Hosting Service
Hostinger tops my list as the best free web hosting platforms 000webhost, powered by Hostinger cloud provides uptime of 99.9%, reliable servers, and no ads on your site.
Using a free website hosting service allows developers to learn to code and experiment with PHP, FTP, cPanel control panel, and MySQL without 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 provices free WordPress hosting with 1-click installation so that you can start your blog free of charge in minutes. They also have their own WYSIWYG website builder with 1000’s of templates to choose from.
The steps to get up and running with their free web hosting services is easy:
- Go to hostinger.com and navigate to 000webhost
- Create a free web hosting account and enter your email and password
- Choose either WordPress or their free website builder tool
- Edit and publish your site
With some of the fastest loading times among free web hosts, Hostinger is my top pick for free hosting.
Easy Site Builder and cPanel Integration
FreeHosting.com is one of the best free website 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). If you don’t have a domain, free subdomains are provided.
They also have a simple drag and drop site builder with over 170 pre-designed templates to choose from. A powerful app installer also allows you to one-click install over 350 applications.
If their free plans don’t cover everything you need, you can opt for their paid hosting plan at $7.99/month. With the paid hosting option, you can add a multi-site, have multiple email accounts, 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.
Best Free Website Hosting Server Speeds
Freehostia offers users free plans that includes 250MB of disk space, 6GB of monthly bandwidth, one-click app installers, 3 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 web hosting 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 powerful 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 including a paltry 250mb of storage space – not enough for most developers to add the images and text they need. They also have pretty unreliable uptime guarantees and slow site speed.
Great free hosting features and Cloudflare CDN
Infinityfree is one of the most popular free website hosting services out there and has a ton of excellent features. They have been around for over 6 years, boast over 200,000 users, 99.9% uptime, a script installer, control panel, and an impressive 50,000 daily hits.
You can have as many domains as you want and are given access to 10 email accounts. Surprisingly, a free DNS service, SSL, and Cloudflare CDN are also included. 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 web hosting plan for $5.90/month which reduces page load time, a small complaint from Infinityfree users.
000Webhost is a free website host that has been around since 2007. They don’t force any ads on their users like some other services, and they also offer paid plans.
One major downside of 000Webhost is that there is a required one hour of downtime per day, so your uptime automatically starts at 95.8% – if everything else runs perfectly.
6. Google Web Hosting
Google Web Hosting offers free web hosting for small business 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.
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 is an impressive new host and one worth looking into, although they’re not technically free.
Should I Avoid Free Website Hosting?
Yes, I personally think you should go with a reputable paid host like Bluehost, especially when their service is only $4 per month. Plus, free web hosts typically start off 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 Hostinger is the best free website host on the list, you don’t want to skimp on your hosting by choose a free or cheap plan. If you’re serious about your website, hosting is one of the most important choices you’ll make – and can affect your site speed, uptime, security, and features. Don’t go cheap with website hosting and make an investment to secure your website’s future.
What Are Some Cheap Web Hosting Options?
The best cheap web hosts typically have hosting plans between $2 and 5 per month, and can still get you a lot of great features.
My pick for the best cheap website hosting is Bluehost. With an affordable host, you need a strong uptimes, fast load times, and great 24/7 support.
Here are my top picks for cheap web hosting:
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 service. If you pick a less than reputable provider or your site goes down, gets hacked, or you run into server issues, you could feel a real effect on your bottom line. That’s why choosing the best web hosting 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.
Bluehost is the best overall web hosting for small business because it’s a perfect all-encompassing package that works best with WordPress and is secure, reliable, and fairly priced.
If you’re just starting out, you can opt for their shared hosting package. Their very competitive pricing and steep discounts are great for new users.
As your company scales, you can choose their Plus plan, where you get unlimited domains, email accounts, plus SPAM support, and an SSL certificate all for $11/month.
If you run a larger enterprise and need their top of the line web hosting offerings, you can choose their Cloud and VPS plans. With these hosting plans, you can more storage, unlimited bandwidth, and faster load times.
With uptime guarantees of 99.9% and over 8 million domains, HostGator is the runner-up for the best web hosting for small business. They are super reliable, have an easy control panel, and offer a 30-day 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 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.
While growing companies and those that want top notch ecommerce functionality shouldn’t use iPage because of some limitations, it’s a great option if you’re a local shop and just want to get up and running quickly.
Between the free domain, website builder, email address, SSL certificate, 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 web hosting plans, I recommend other options.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service which allows websites to be published to the internet and accessible around the world on the World Wide Web. Web hosting companies buy or lease servers in data centers which are connected to the Internet, and sell space on these servers.
Websites are just a bunch of files – HTML files, CSS files, images and photos, etc. All of these files must be stored in a folder on a computer that is connected to the Internet. That computer is called 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 name and web hosting account. If you don’t have a domain, the hosting company will help you purchase one.
You can buy your domain name and web hosting separately, however you’d have to point your domain name to your web host by editing the DNS records. If you purchase the domain name and website hosting services from the same company, you will not have to change the domain name settings.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is using a network of virtual servers that store your files in the cloud rather than one server. This is great for security, as multiple servers and entry points are much harder to hack than a single server.
Cloud hosting plans are usually 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 period if you expect a boost in traffic.
Shared hosting is when multiple websites are hosted on one server. This is one of the most popular and cheap options out there, as many websites can share server resources owned by the web host.
One downside to shared hosting is that every server also have memory and RAM like a computer, so a website on the same server as you that is getting a ton of traffic and overloading the server can slow your site down. There are usually safeguards in place against this, but still, shared hosting is one of the slower forms of website hosting because of the shared resources.
What is WordPress Hosting?
While it’s easy to use managed WordPress hosting with paid and free web hosts, they also offer their own 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 deeper settings that you need to create a great website.
WordPress hosted sites are typically faster than shared hosting plans because of their native integrations and expert support teams. Ultimately, it’s worth using a reputable paid host or transfer your domain to a hosting company like Bluehost.
WordPress is also teaming up with other platforms like BigCommerce to bring deeper ecommerce functionality to its offerings. Since 39% of ecommerce merchants reported they’ve recently lost money due to performance or stability problems, combining the front end functionality of WordPress with the backend power of an ecommerce platform is an excellent option for scaling growth.
Best Web Hosting Services 2019 – Summary
Well there you have it – the best web hosting services of 2019. When choosing a website hosting provider, remember to focus on security, reliability, technical support, price, and how each of their individual features can meet your unique needs.
First, if you’re looking for the best overall platform, I recommend Bluehost. But there are plenty of other options out there based on your individual website’s needs.
If you want free website hosting, I recommend Hostinger.
And if you have the budget for a powerful web hosting solution, I recommend WP Engine.
Feel free to give these web hosting recommendations a try, and happy hosting!