10 Best Web Hosting Services: Tested by Experts in 2020
How do you choose the right web hosting service in an industry where every single provider claims to be the absolute best? Every host has “blazing fast loading speeds” and “expert 24/7 support”, can you still take their word for it? Not if you ask me.
You could put these claims to the test by trying out each service yourself, but this would take a great deal of time and money. Plus, your business is important to you. You don’t want to stake its online reputation on a web host that might or might not deliver the performance and reliability they initially promised.
That’s why, at Mambo Server, we’ve already done all the research for you. We’ve tested and retested dozens of industry-leading providers to find the best web hosting services currently out there. In what follows, I want to share our results, and list the top eight web hosts that have passed our tests with flying colors.
But before I do that, I’ll let you in on a little secret: regardless of their claims, no web host is perfect. That said, some of them do come close. The providers on our list might have a couple of drawbacks of their own, but they offer an outstanding service overall, and for a great price.
To make the right choice, you have to understand what each web host does best, and where they might let you down. If you do, you can opt for the service that is most likely to meet your specific needs on a budget you can afford.
With that in mind, let’s jump straight to it.
- Great deals for long-term plans
- Excellent loading speeds and uptime
- Officially recommended by WordPress.org
- The best solution for beginners
- Free SSL certificates on all plans
- High renewal fees
- You have to pay extra for proper website security
Bluehost is an industry giant with millions of served websites in its portfolio. Why do so many people like Bluehost? For one, its shared hosting plans are super affordable, which makes it a great option for webmasters who are just getting started with their first site.
In fact, Bluehost is a service entirely built around ease of use. Even if you have no prior experience with web development, Bluehost makes it easy to create and launch a website: no coding needed. As soon as you log into your account, a setup wizard helps you quickly install WordPress, connect a domain, and start working on a site.
You also get a neat checklist with all the steps you have to take to build the actual website. If you ever run into trouble on the way, there’s 24/7 support to help you out. Alternatively, you can dive into Bluehost’s extensive knowledge base and find the solution on your own. The provider’s guides cover pretty much any hosting-related topic you can think of, and there’s video tutorials too.
It's also worth noting that Bluehost is one of the few web hosting services recommended by WordPress.org. Should you want to build your website using the most popular CMS out there, Bluehost offers some of the most affordable managed WordPress hosting plans.
Not only are the WP Pro plans pretty cheap, but they are also packed with useful features. Even the entry-level, WP Build plan comes with the Jetpack plugin (a must-have for WordPress websites), an integrated marketing and SEO center, premium WordPress themes, built-in security, and automated backups. It doesn’t get much better than this.
However, Bluehost’s premium managed WordPress plans are not the cheapest in its portfolio. To keep costs as low as possible, aim for one of the shared hosting plans instead. With unlimited websites, storage, bandwidth, and email, you still get plenty of value, but at a significantly lower price.
You won’t have the same advanced features for WordPress, but Bluehost makes it easy to configure even a shared hosting plan for this CMS. The WordPress installation is automated, and you can always add things like automated backups from cPanel, a powerful control panel included on all plans.
The downside with Bluehost’s shared hosting plans is that you have to buy the SiteLock Basic add-on if you want proper security for your website. You get a free version of the plugin by default, but if you want a malware scanning and removal tool, it’ll cost you extra.
Also bear in mind that Bluehost’s headline prices are a one-time only deal. Once the first term is over, renewals can be pretty steep. That said, this is not something specific to Bluehost, but rather a widespread practice in web hosting. Even after renewal, the entry-level plans are still fairly cheap compared to the industry average.
Finally, while Bluehost does focus on shared hosting, you don’t have to worry about migrating to a different service once your website outgrows its limitations. Instead, you can switch to one of Bluehost’s VPS or dedicated hosting plans to have more control over your resources and server.
For more details, jump to our extensive Bluehost review.
- Cheap unlimited shared hosting
- Free domain included for the first year
- Free website transfer
- Free advertising credits worth $200
- Free premium website builder from HostGator
- Advanced features like CloudFlare CDN or built-in caching are not included in shared hosting
- The best deals are only available for three-year plans
HostGator is an excellent option for people or small businesses looking to get online quickly. Not only are its shared hosting plans super cheap for the first term, but they also come with an impressive range of freebies that can save you a lot of money. Best of all? HostGator’s plans have unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email.
Now, you might be thinking: what’s the catch? If HostGator is this advantageous price-wise, is there a trade-off in performance or reliability? Well, we’ve actually tested HostGator over a period of several years. Looking over the results, I have to say that while its loading speeds and uptime are not necessarily top 3, they are nevertheless impressive.
In fact, the website we hosted with HostGator had a rough average of 99.98% uptime at the end of our testing period, which is well above the industry average. In terms of performance, our website consistently loaded in under one second for visitors from across the world. Not bad at all.
Given that HostGator’s shared hosting plans are so affordable, I’m more than comfortable with the performance we got for our website during testing. In addition, HostGator has several outstanding managed WordPress plans that you can switch to for faster loading speeds. And if you ever need your own resources, there’s also VPS and dedicated hosting.
The only real drawback with HostGator’s shared hosting plans is that advanced features such as a CDN or cache plugin are not included by default. Even so, you can always install the free version of CloudFlare CDN using cPanel. There’s even a guide in HostGator’s knowledge base that can help you complete all the necessary steps.
As for caching, it’s certainly more convenient when the plugins are built directly into your dashboard, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t set them up yourself with HostGator. Based on the CMS of your choice, there are several free plugins you can use to speed up your website. If you’re using WordPress, for example, you can install the free version of Jetpack, which comes with built-in security, caching, and site stats.
Then there’s the awesome tools that HostGator does include, especially on its higher-tier plans. For instance, the Business plan comes with free SEO tools worth $50 per year. You even get an SEO audit and a step-by-step plan for improving your rankings in SERPs (search engine results pages).
Plus, if you use HostGator’s website builder (which is included for free in all plans), your site will be preoptimized for search engines from the get-go. You can use the builder to design only a limited number of pages for free, but it’s more than enough to get a beautiful and effective website going.
All in all, HostGator is a great option for beginners who need a budget-friendly solution to get started. There’s no reason to pay extra for advanced features you don’t even need to begin with.
To see more of what HostGator has to offer, check out our detailed HostGator review.
- Shared and cloud WordPress hosting solutions
- Free website builder for WordPress
- Officially recommended by WordPress.org
- Email hosting and domain registration are included in most plans
- Best Jetpack license
- Email is a paid add-on for the Shared Starter plan
- You have to pay extra for a decent website security package
DreamHost is one our top picks for WordPress hosting, and one of the three web hosts officially recommended by WordPress.org. Since its foundation, the DreamHost team has made consistent contributions to the WordPress CMS, and focused on creating the perfect service for WordPress websites.
Compared to Bluehost, DreamHost is slightly more expensive at first, but not in the long run. With Bluehost, you have to commit to several years of hosting in order to get a good deal, whereas with DreamHost, you can pay on a monthly basis and still get an advantageous rate. In addition, once renewal fees kick in, DreamHost actually becomes cheaper than Bluehost because its renewals are fairly low compared to the industry standard.
DreamHost has two viable options for WordPress – shared and cloud hosting. With the two simple shared hosting plans, you get an easy-to-use one-click installer for WordPress, an effective website builder, and a good amount of storage space. WordPress updates and backups are automated even if you go with the entry-level, Shared Starter plan.
That said, there are a few clear advantages to going with a DreamPress (or managed cloud WordPress) plan. For one, your website is no longer hosted on a shared environment. Instead, you get to host your site in the cloud, and your resources are yours alone. This translates into improved performance, as well as more stability and better security.
You also get a few advanced WordPress features that are not included in the shared hosting packages. For example, DreamPress comes with one-click website staging, which lets you safely test new changes to your site before pushing them to live.
With the Plus and Pro plans, DreamHost offers a Jetpack Professional license, which is the very best you can get for a WordPress website. The license includes a CDN, site statistics, social media integrations, daily and real-time backups, enhanced security, easy-to-use site monetization features, unlimited premium WordPress themes, and more.
The value you get from the Jetpack license alone makes both the Plus and the Pro plans worth the extra cost. In fact, the obvious disadvantage with DreamHost is that its entry-level plans don’t pack as much value. With the basic DreamPress plan, for example, you only get the free version of Jetpack, no CDN, and fairly limited storage space.
Similarly, the Shared Starter plan is limited to a single website, and it doesn’t include any email accounts @your domain. If you want to create a professional email for your business, you have to pay a monthly fee. And if you need several accounts, the price can get out of hand quickly.
Nevertheless, DreamHost remains a fantastic option for affordable WordPress hosting, especially if you aim for the Shared Unlimited or the DreamPress Pro plans.
And to show you just how serious DreamHost is about its hosting platform, the company offers a 100% uptime guarantee on all plans. You really can’t ask for much better than this, and it’s not just empty words, either. For every hour of downtime that you record during the month, DreamHost gives you compensation in the form of one free day of hosting.
To get all the details, check out our expert DreamHost review.
- By far the cheapest long-term shared hosting plans in the industry
- Equally affordable cloud hosting plans for websites that grow quickly
- LiteSpeed web servers with built-in caching
- A simple, but powerful control panel
- Plenty of freebies for higher-tier plans
- The Single shared hosting plan has some important limitations
- Headline prices are only available if you’re willing to pay for four years of hosting upfront
If you’re on a tight budget, Hostinger is the way to go. In fact, you won’t find any other provider that offers similar features for such incredibly low prices. How low am I talking? How about less than $1 per month of hosting? That’s a great deal if I’ve ever seen one.
Can a web host really be this cheap and still maintain a standard of quality? Well, we’ve been testing Hostinger for several months, and so far, we’ve had a thoroughly positive experience. We actually got pretty decent speeds too, and the uptime was consistently high. It seems that Hostinger is exactly what it claims to be: great web hosting on a budget.
That said, there are a few limitations on the Single shared hosting plan that you should know about. For one, you can only host one website, and your bandwidth is restricted to a maximum of 100GB per month. What does this mean? For an average website, it translates into about 10,000 visitors per month. Not bad at all, especially if you’re building a personal or small business site.
You get one email address, which is nice, and up to 10GB of storage space. This might seem little, especially when compared to the “unlimited” space you get with other hosts. However, 10GB is, in fact, more than enough to host a fairly large site. Unless you intend to create hundreds of pages, you’ll likely end up using just under half of that, at most.
The only real downside with the Single plan is that it doesn’t include a free domain, which can increase the cost of your first year of hosting by quite a bit. If I were you, I’d go with the Premium shared hosting package from the start.
The Premium plan includes a free domain registration, as well as automated weekly backups, twice the amount of storage, and unlimited bandwidth. You can also create as many websites as you want, which is great news if you plan to host multiple, low-traffic sites.
Renewal fees can almost double the initial cost of hosting (depending on your plan), but let’s be honest here: it means that you’ll be paying just over $3 per month for the Premium plan. Given its features, the price is still far lower than the market average even after renewal.
If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful, there is the option of cloud hosting. Hostinger’s cloud plans are just as affordable compared to the industry average, and they come packed with useful features like a dedicated IP, daily backups, a cache manager, and built-in caching for WordPress.
Even if this is your first time using the cloud, you don’t need to worry. Hostinger uses a proprietary control panel called hPanel, rather than the more traditional cPanel. hPanel is actually far simpler to navigate, and the interface is more user-friendly. You’ll be able to handle all server-related tasks from the dashboard, where you’ll find essential features like domain and website management, SSL certificates, caching, and more.
All in all, Hostinger is a reliable option for web hosting on a budget. If you’re looking for a low-cost host that you can actually trust, this one should be at the top of your list. To find out more, read our in-depth Hostinger review.
- One website with unlimited storage and bandwidth on the Lite plan
- Low-cost managed WordPress features
- Outstanding 24/7 customer support
- Scalable computing resources
- 300% Green hosting
- Renewal fees are almost triple the initial cost
- You have to pay for three years upfront to get the best prices
Web hosting consumes more energy than you’d think. When put together, all the data centers in the world emit more CO2 than the global airline industry. Most hosting platforms are doing their best to address the issue, but GreenGeeks is taking these efforts one step further.
How? For one, GreenGeeks uses renewable energy to return three times the amount of energy that it pulls from the grid. In other words, when you use GreenGeeks, your website is not only carbon-neutral, but actually carbon-reducing. This might not seem like you’re making a big difference, but in the current global climate crisis, every small step counts.
Secondly, GreenGeeks is doing its part for the environment by demonstrating that green hosting doesn’t have to be expensive or compromised in terms of quality. You can get high-performance hosting for a decent price while also lowering your overall carbon footprint. That’s the GreenGeeks proposition.
So are there any drawbacks? Not really. GreenGeeks has a set of very generous shared hosting plans, starting with the entry-level Lite package. Despite its low cost, the Lite plan comes with unlimited storage space, bandwidth, databases, and email, plus some impressive freebies.
For example, GreenGeeks offers managed WordPress services with no added cost, even on the Lite plan. You get a one-click installer for WordPress in addition to automated updates, daily backups, and specialized WordPress support. You won’t see any advanced tools like site staging or preinstalled Git, but if you want a simple WordPress website, you won’t need them, either.
You also get a free domain name for the first year, a free SSL certificate, a free website transfer (if you want to migrate an existing site), and built-in caching. You can’t really ask for more on a low-cost, entry-level plan.
If, at any point, you need additional computing resources to handle a period of intense traffic, you can add more CPU power and RAM from the dashboard. The process is super simple and it allows you to handle fluctuating traffic without having to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
But perhaps the most impressive feature with GreenGeeks is its customer support. We’ve tested the live chat feature again and again while building our website, and we were never disappointed. GreenGeeks advertises its tech support as “above and beyond”, and we have to agree. The agents were consistently prompt and efficient, and they always went the extra mile to offer a helping hand.
That said, we weren’t too fond of GreenGeeks’ renewal fees. It’s true that steep renewals are more or less the industry standard, but in the case of GreenGeeks, you can end up paying three times the initial cost once your first term is over. That’s a pretty big spike in pricing.
Don’t get me wrong: GreenGeeks is definitely worth the asking price, especially since you’re basically getting a managed WordPress service even on the entry-level plan. But don’t go into a contract with this provider thinking that the cost of hosting will stay the same. At the end of the day, you have to be able to pay the renewal price or you might find yourself looking for a transfer.
To read the full story, you’ll have to find it in our extensive GreenGeeks review.
6. A2 Hosting
- High performance shared hosting for a relatively low cost
- A2 optimized applications
- Advanced caching for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and more
- Managed website security
- Anytime money-back guarantee
- A2’s best features are locked behind the Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans
- Customer support could be improved
For website owners who prioritize speed and reliability over everything else, A2 Hosting is the best solution in terms of low-cost, shared hosting. Although its plans are pretty much in line with the industry average when it comes to pricing, you can get significantly better performance than with most other hosts in the same range.
Why? Mainly because the A2 platform is built around performance. Servers are all configured with fast SSD storage, and the features included in each plan are designed to help websites load quickly across the globe. The best part? You don’t have to put any extra effort into optimizing your account. As soon as you log in, everything is done for you, so that you can simply start working on your site.
For instance, when you select your favorite framework during checkout, you can opt for the A2 Optimized version. If you want a WordPress website, getting your WordPress installation to be optimized for speed and security is as simple as selecting the right option before you pay for hosting. Once the checkout is complete, you’re ready to go.
If you can afford it, my recommendation is that you choose the Turbo Boost plan because this is A2 Hosting’s highest value package. When you’re on a Turbo plan, your website is hosted on a server with more resources, fewer neighbors, and better server-side caching. You also gain access to the A2 Site Accelerator, a plugin that uses several caching tools to improve your site’s loading speeds even further.
To find out whether this setup is worth its asking price, we built the same website on both the Drive and the Turbo Boost plan. After weeks of testing, we discovered that even though our website didn’t load 20 times faster on the Turbo server (as A2 ostentatiously promises), it did load about two to three times faster, which is still very good.
Overall, the Turbo Boost plan isn’t quite as extraordinary as A2 claims, but I’ll say it again: the improvement we saw in performance is most definitely worth the difference in cost if speed is important to you.
Plus, the package includes A2 Hosting’s complete security suite, which makes it very unlikely that your website will ever get hacked. Perpetual Security, as A2 calls it, comes with reinforced DDoS protection, brute force defense, a dual firewall, the Patchman security tool, and a virus scanner. The suite is included for free, which is a big plus if you compare it to what other popular hosts offer in terms of security.
The downside with A2 Hosting is customer support, which we found to be pretty disappointing. It’s not that we couldn’t get in touch with support – which we did, on many occasions – but the agents were always more willing to send us links, rather than help us out directly.
That said, if you don’t mind working with A2’s extensive knowledge base to fix most issues yourself, this shouldn’t be a problem. You have to remember that A2 is, after all, a budget host. The platform gives you exceptional performance for a low price, but this comes at the cost of mediocre tech support.
To learn more about A2 Hosting’s strengths and weaknesses, read our comprehensive A2 Hosting review.
- Some of the most affordable managed WordPress hosting solutions in the industry
- An excellent set of tools for web developers
- Built on Google Cloud Platform, arguably the fastest cloud infrastructure in the world
- Outstanding 24/7 tech support for WordPress websites
- Easy-to-use WordPress Starter plugin for newbies
- More expensive than other shared hosting providers
- Storage space is fairly limited on most plans
SiteGround started out as a developer-oriented service, but has since made several changes to appeal to newbies as well. At present, I’d recommend SiteGround to anyone looking for a great managed WordPress service, regardless of their level of experience with building websites.
On the one hand, SiteGround has introduced several tools that make it very easy for beginners to launch their first site. For example, the provider has replaced the more traditional cPanel with its proprietary control panel, Site Tools. The latter comes with a clean dashboard that is much simpler to navigate, but that has kept all the essential functions of cPanel.
In addition, SiteGround is now known for its awesome WordPress Starter wizard, a plugin that helps you build a WordPress website one step at a time. As soon as you log into your account, the wizard lets you know what you should do next. From connecting your domain to setting up WordPress, choosing one of the dozens of premium themes included for free, and adding functionalities like a portfolio or online store, SiteGround’s tutorial has you covered.
Overall, it’s really easy to build a website with SiteGround, especially since most performance and security tools are integrated straight into the dashboard. Want to improve your site’s loading speed with caching? No problem. You’ll find the right plugins already installed and ready to go. The same is true for Cloudflare CDN, and a wide range of other useful tools.
Need SSL certificates to encrypt data on your website and boost your ranking in SERPs? It only takes a few clicks to set up an SSL using Site Tools. SiteGround offers free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt, but you don’t have to set these up every three months, like with other hosts. The SSL is fully managed, so it will automatically renew when needed.
If you’re a developer, rest assured that SiteGround has a lot to offer for you. You’ll have to go for one of the more expensive GrowBig or GoGeek plans, but if you can afford it, you’ll get features such as one-click website staging and collaborative tools included for free.
SiteGround is also super convenient for web developers and designers who handle multiple client websites at the same time. The Site Tools dashboard is specifically designed for this purpose, so you can easily manage all of your websites (and their resource allocations) in one place.
If, at any point, you want to transfer ownership of a website to one of your clients, you can do this with a couple of clicks. You’ll stay on board as a collaborator, so you can make further changes whenever needed, while your client handles billing for themselves.
But perhaps the best thing about SiteGround is its outstanding customer support. Not only are the tech agents polite, helpful, and quick to respond, but they are also available for more specific questions related to WordPress issues and debugging. Most web hosts claim that these problems fall outside of the scope of their support, so this is actually a big plus with SiteGround.
Of course, SiteGround’s services don’t come cheap. Although the provider is one of the cheapest managed WordPress services with premium features, it’s still fairly expensive compared to the likes of Bluehost and Hostinger. That said, if you’re serious about your WordPress website, I think SiteGround is well worth the difference.
For more details, feel free to consult our expert SiteGround review.
- An all-in-one web hosting solution
- Generous storage space and bandwidth even on entry-level plans
- Built on AWS, one of the world’s fastest and most reliable cloud infrastructures
- Easy one-click installer for the most popular content management systems (CMS)
- Plenty of room for your website to grow
- Some essential features, such as email hosting and SSL certificates, come with an added fee
- You have to dodge a lot of upsells
GoDaddy is a staple name in the web hosting industry, and its reputation is well earned. If you want to conveniently manage all of your web hosting services in one place, this provider is the way to make that happen.
According to our tests, GoDaddy is fully reliable in terms of uptime and performance, while its portfolio includes pretty much every service you can think of. From shared hosting to managed WordPress, Windows hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, and reseller hosting, GoDaddy is likely to have a plan that suits your needs.
You’ll also find a complete portfolio of add-on services, including domain registration, email hosting, a website builder, web security, SEO services, and a digital marketing suite. In short, everything you need to built and promote your website, all packed into a single dashboard.
Unlike other big players in web hosting, GoDaddy is fairly generous with its plans. For example, the entry-level Economy shared hosting package includes one website, 100GB of storage, and unmetered bandwidth. If you’re willing to commit to several years of hosting up front, you can get an even better deal.
That said, GoDaddy is rather notorious for its upsells, and you might have to dodge quite a few of them if you want to keep your costs low. For example, although DDoS protection is included in the Economy plan, you don’t get SSL certificates or automatic backups unless you pay extra.
In fact, several add-ons are automatically added to your cart on checkout, so you have to pay close attention to what you’re actually buying. If you know exactly what you need and you’re careful to remove everything else from your cart, you should have no problem scoring a super cheap web hosting deal.
That’s the thing with GoDaddy: it’s a highly affordable, beginner-friendly service with plenty of tools to help you get started, but it can get expensive quickly if you’re not cautious.
So why would you go with it in the first place? There are several good reasons. For one, GoDaddy has recently partnered up with AWS for all of its web hosting services. This means that your website will be hosted on one of the fastest and most reliable cloud infrastructures in the world. You can expect excellent website loading speeds, as well as pristine uptime.
Then there’s the fact that GoDaddy is super convenient to use. Its dashboard is clean and user-friendly, and if you ever need an extra service, you can quickly add it to your account without having to upgrade to a more expensive plan. If, for instance, you want an easy way to create a beautiful website, you can buy the GoDaddy website builder and jump straight to it.
If you already have a website, but you’re not happy with its visibility, you can opt for the GoDaddy SEO Tools package, which comes with several useful features and free consultation to boot.
In short, GoDaddy might not be the cheapest service overall, but it’s certainly one of the most reliable. To find out more, check out our in-depth GoDaddy review.
9. InMotion Hosting
- Fantastic loading speeds for US websites
- Suitable for ecommerce and PCI compliance
- Affordable managed WordPress plans with an optimized server stack
- Free website builder for WordPress
- Free private SSL certificate
- Only two, US-based data centers to choose from
- All services are provided in English only
If your audience is primarily US-based, InMotion Hosting should be at the top of your list. It’s not as cheap as some of the other low-cost options on our list, but if you’re looking for top loading speeds in the US region, it’s definitely worth the difference.
With one data center on each coast, InMotion uses a world-class peering network to avoid unnecessary routing and help your website load up to six times faster than with other providers. There is an obvious drawback in that there are no European or Asian data centers, but according to our tests, even non-US visitors can get decent loading speeds.
As for US visitors, InMotion offers some of the best site loading speeds in the industry. This is also due to the fact that the provider’s servers are optimized for performance. Your website is hosted on an Nginx web server with SSD storage, and a free CDN is included to improve performance in other regions of the world.
Given its speedy delivery, InMotion Hosting is perfect for ecommerce stores that address a US audience. Whether you intend to build your website with WordPress, PrestaShop, Magento, or any other CMS, you can use InMotion’s one-click installer to quickly set it up. You’ll also be able to use the provider’s built-in caching to speed up your website further.
And speaking of WordPress, InMotion has some of the cheapest managed WordPress plans out there. Starting with the WP-2000S, all plans come with a Jetpack Personal (or better) license, which includes website stats, added security, improved caching, free premium themes, and more.
One downside with InMotion’s WP plans is that the number of websites you can host is fairly limited. In fact, you can only host a maximum of 6 websites on the top tier plan, which means that if you’re a web developer with over a dozen clients, this might not be a suitable option for you.
Fortunately, InMotion does have several WordPress VPS plans that you can use to host an unlimited number of sites. Although these are quite expensive compared to the shared hosting packages, they come with dedicated resources, several dedicated IP addresses, and a generous amount of storage space.
If you want to process payments directly on your website, this isn’t an issue with InMotion Hosting. The tech support team will actually help you obtain your PCI compliance, and make any necessary changes in case your initial application is rejected.
All InMotion plans come with a free private SSL, rather than a public SSL from Let’s Encrypt, which is another big plus. Private SSLs are issued for your domain only, so your website won’t be affected if other sites on the same server are blacklisted. This is especially important for online stores because it helps create an environment that users can trust for their shopping.
Overall, InMotion Hosting is not the cheapest web host out there, but it’s a great solution for high-traffic, US websites and ecommerce platforms, in particular.
10. WP Engine
- High-end WordPress hosting for growing businesses
- The Genesis Framework in included in all plans
- 30+ Premium StudioPress themes
- An impressive kit of developer-friendly tools
- Easy ownership transfer
- Significantly more expensive than other providers
- Limited bandwidth on all plans
If you own a high-traffic WordPress website, WP Engine is the right hosting platform for you. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that it’s last on our list. This isn’t because it performs worse than other hosts. On the contrary, it’s one of the fastest providers for WordPress in the world. However, it’s also fairly expensive, which makes it a niche solution for specific cases.
If you want to host a personal blog or a small business website, you’re better off with a more affordable provider like Bluehost, DreamHost, or SiteGround. On the other hand, if you have a website or ecommerce platform that sees over 20,000 monthly visitors, WP Engine is worth serious consideration.
What about WP Engine makes it worth the cost? For starters, all of its plans are built on Google Cloud Platform and AWS, two of the world’s most impressive cloud infrastructures. In addition, its server stack is perfectly optimized for WordPress, so you can expect to see lightning-fast speeds for your website without any added effort on your part.
Aside from the Nginx web server, WP Engine uses multiple cache plugins to create the ideal hosting environment for WordPress websites. If, at any point, you find that your site is underperforming, you can get in touch with tech support and ask for advice. The agents can then help you with the optimization of your site or, if needed, recommend a more powerful plan.
Another big advantage with WP Engine is that your website will rarely (if ever) go offline. Not only is the infrastructure reliable, but the provider proactively monitors traffic in order to predict periods of intense usage.
If your account needs more computing resources to handle a spike in traffic, you can quickly add them straight from the dashboard. When you no longer need these resources, you can remove them just as easily. At the end of the month, you only pay for what you’ve used.
As a web developer or agency, you’ll fall in love with WP Engine’s platform. All plans come with the Genesis Framework and dozens of premium StudioPress themes, so you can quickly create beautiful websites for your clients. Tools such as site staging and Git make it easier to work with others in a team, and you can easily transfer ownership of a website to your client.
All WP Engine plans are built equal in terms of features. In other words, even if you opt for entry-level Startup plan, you get the full strength of the WP Engine platform working for your business. The only reason you’ll ever need to upgrade to a more expensive plan is if you have to expand your bandwidth once you start getting more visitors on a monthly basis. Otherwise, you can expect your hosting costs to stay more or less the same over the years.
Unlike most other hosts, WP Engine lets you pay on a monthly basis without upping the price. But before you try their service, make sure to look over our extensive WP Engine review.
How Do We Review Web Hosts?
We never recommend a web hosting service that we haven’t first tested ourselves. To keep our reviews up to date, we run websites using dozens of hosts, and consistently check for things like loading speeds and uptime. We also keep an eye on changes that these providers make to their plans over the years in order to give you the best possible recommendations.
To rate each provider, we keep in mind the following aspects of their services:
- Performance. If your website doesn’t load quickly enough, visitors won’t stick around for the content. You need a web host that can deliver great loading speeds on a consistent basis, regardless of whether you’re building a personal site or a large ecommerce platform.
- Reliability. Web hosts make a lot of promises when it comes to uptime, but without a real uptime history, you can’t know which provider will actually deliver on their claims. We maintain websites with all of the best web hosting services, and keep thorough records of our uptime.
- Scalability. If this is your first time building a website, you can start small with an entry-level shared hosting plan. However, once your website outgrows the limitations of shared hosting, you need to know that your provider can scale with you. Cloud, VPS, and even dedicated servers are all good options.
- Features. Storage space and bandwidth are essential factors to consider, but they don’t tell you the full story. For instance, some web hosts might offer less storage space, but extra useful features like a website builder, free email, SSL certificate, CDN, caching, and more.
- Ease of use. Navigating your account and building a website should be easy. The days when you needed to hire a web developer to get online are long gone, and many web hosts have adapted to the times by offering better control panels and website starter wizards.
- Customer support. Even experts will sometimes need to get in touch with tech support to resolve a hosting-related issue. Before you commit to a provider, you need to know that you can get prompt and effective help no matter the time of the day.
- Security. You put a lot of work into your website, so you want to have the peace of mind that it won’t fall prey to malicious attacks. Some web hosts will ask you to pay extra for security and site backups, while others will include them for free.
- Pricing. The web hosting industry has become extremely competitive over the years, especially when it comes to low-cost shared hosting. However, you have to be careful. Some hosts have dirtcheap headline prices, but they surprise you with steep renewal fees or expensive features later down the line.
No web host stays exactly the same over long periods of time. As technologies change and new providers join the market, we test and retest all the top competitors to keep our rankings up to date.
Final Thoughts: Which Is the Best Web Host for You?
Together with my colleagues, we’ve scoured the web hosting industry to find the best providers out there. You won’t find any mediocre or disappointing host on this list. Each provider that made the cut has demonstrated high performance and great value over extensive periods of testing.
That said, you still have to decide which of these options is best for you:
- Bluehost – best value overall
- HostGator – excellent for small, low-cost websites
- Dreamhost – cheap WordPress hosting
- Hostinger – the cheapest shared hosting plans in the industry
- GreenGeeks – best for beginners who want reliable customer support
- A2 Hosting – high performance on a budget
- SiteGround – managed WordPress hosting with beginner-friendly tools
- GoDaddy – a one-stop-shop for all things hosting
- InMotion – best for websites with a US-based audience
- WP Engine – premium WordPress hosting for high-traffic sites
Still not sure who to pick? Why not check out our web hosting comparison chart for a side-by-side breakdown of our list? You’ll find ratings for each host based on plans and pricing, performance, features, customer support, and more, so you can quickly compare your favorite hosts with one another.