The Best Web Hosting Providers of 2017

Browse Hosting Reviews by Provider

Top 10 Web Hosting Services of 2017

Rank Provider Avg. User Rating User Reviews Would
Recommend
Price From Link
1 SiteGround
10/10
343 95% $3.95 Visit Website
2 InMotion Hosting
9/10
1120 94% $3.49 Visit Website
3 Web Hosting Hub
9/10
311 92% $3.99 Visit Website
4 Bluehost
8/10
208 78% $3.49 Visit Website
5 HostMonster
8/10
93 80% $3.95 Visit Website
6 JustHost.com
6/10
28 54% $2.95 Visit Website
7 GoDaddy
5/10
30 40% $3.99 Visit Website
8 1and1.com
3/10
45 20% $3.99 Visit Website
9 iPage
2/10
103 16% $1.68 Visit Website

Recent Shared Hosting Reviews

  • A2 Hosting website screenshot
    A2 Hosting User Reviews

    A2 Hosting

    "I wish i had switched years ago. I have been with another hosting company for 15 years. The support staff is awesome. When i contacted my original hosting company ..."

  • DailyRazor website screenshot
    DailyRazor User Reviews

    DailyRazor

    "It turns out that Dailyrazor.com have been simply a pleasure to deal with as I know anyone who needs help appreciates the relief one feels when they can readily contact ..."

  • iPage website screenshot
    iPage User Reviews

    IPage

    "They will automatically put you on auto-renew and you cannot stop it, even when the service is terminated. They provide nothing in writing or confirmations etc. ..."

  • SiteGround website screenshot
    SiteGround User Reviews

    SiteGround

    "Every interaction with siteground tech support has been stellar. I want to give a shout out to Teodora T. and Nayden for answering my questions perfectly. I feel ..."

  • A2 Hosting website screenshot
    A2 Hosting User Reviews

    A2 Hosting

    "Jeff W. was amazing and he went above and beyond what may be required but he understood my situation and lack of knowledge. Jeff is really professional and gave ..."

  • Arvixe website screenshot
    Arvixe User Reviews

    Arvixe

    "No Service Level Agreements in place: that simply means you will not get any of your issues fixed! Incompetent Staff: these guys don't have a clue what they are ..."

  • SiteGround website screenshot
    SiteGround User Reviews

    SiteGround

    "They are very friendly and responsive, I just felt confident with SiteGround and I can do everything, anytime with their extraordinary support. Thank you SiteGround ..."

  • SiteGround website screenshot
    SiteGround User Reviews

    SiteGround

    "Great tech support. He never made me feel stupid. And we fixed the problem quickly"

  • KnownHost website screenshot
    KnownHost User Reviews

    KnownHost

    "I've been with knownhost for about 10 years, and I just can't say enough good things. The servers are solid and reliable, but where they really shine is the service. ..."

Web Hosting Buying Guide

So you want to create your own website - that's great! But where do you start, and what are you supposed to purchase exactly? How do you go from nothing, to a fully functional webpage complete with your URL of choice? Moreover when shopping for web hosting, you're inundated with various terminologies that may not have been clearly defined.

This short tutorial will serve as a 101 crash course in the basics of web hosting so that you are able to intelligently make a decision about what you want to buy and from whom.

What is a Domain Name?

tld-domain-namesA domain name is nothing but a stripped down URL of your website minus the starting extensions "http://", "https://", and www. For example, the domain name of this website is webhostinghero.com.

As you can see, it's almost the same as the URL you see in the address bar of your browser. Each website has a distinct domain name that doesn't change as long as you stay on the same site.

Buying a domain name gives you the legal rights to use it for your own websites. It's like purchasing a trademark or logo. Companies which sell domain names are called Domain Name Registrars.

What is Web Hosting?

Just as merely registering a company doesn't automatically grant you office space in a city, merely purchasing a domain name isn't enough to bring your website into existence. To do that, your site has to be hosted on an actual machine somewhere called a Web server. This server will provide you with hard disk space to keep all your pages and images, and bandwidth so that users can access your website.

Renting space on a Web server is known as Web Hosting. When you're getting started, you can most often purchase the domain name as well as web hosting services from the same company since most web hosting companies are also domain name registrars. But there's nothing stopping you from buying a domain name from one company and hosting your website on the servers of another.

Web Hosting Terminology

  • Disk Space: The actual hard disk space available to you for storing your website pages, files, and images.
  • Bandwidth / Transfer: This is the size of the pipe which connects your website visitors to your site. If your pipe is too narrow and there are too many visitors to your site, your users will experience slow loading pages and that isn't good for anyone!
  • PHP: This is a dynamic web programming language that controls what a webpage will display in real time.
  • Perl: Like PHP, Perl is simply another programming language that is often used for webpages. The choice of which programming language to use can be very complicated and usually comes down to a matter of taste.
  • MySQL: This is the name of a free database solution. While the hard disk provides you with space for your files and other data, MySQL allows you to structure the data in a way that makes it easy for you to retrieve. It is most often the backbone of any moderately complex webpage.
  • SSH: This technology allows you to access your Web server remotely using a text based commandline. It's used by experienced server administrators to quickly perform complex tasks.

Control Panels

A control panel allows you to manage your web hosting service. Via the GUI interface, you can create and delete databases, install software on the server, manage your files to configure SSH access and much more. There are two very commonly used control panels:

1. cPanel 

For Linux-based Web servers, this is the most commonly used control panel. Because cPanel is so widely used, finding help and tutorials about how to perform various actions is easy.

cPanel Control Panel

2. Plesk

Plesk is the control panel of choice for Windows-based Web servers. cPanel used to have a Windows compatible version, but that's been long abandoned.

plesk-screenshot

Software Installers

Most web hosts give you easy ways to install software on your server. For example, Fantastico is a popular script library that provides "One Click" installations for many popular applications such as WordPress, Drupal, MediaWiki etc. It's a great way for you to quickly get started with installing applications on your Web server without too many hassles. Other popular software installers include Softaculous and cPanel Site Software.

Choosing the Best Location

When deciding which web hosting company to go with, try and find out where their servers are located. Why is this important? The reason is that data transfers are not instantaneous. So if your target audience is located in a country far away from the actual physical location of the servers, they will experience slower loading times compared to users located closer to them.

For this reason, many large web hosting companies have subsidiaries in individual countries with their own servers targeted towards the local audience. Make sure you know who is visiting and from where.

Unlimited Hosting - Is it Really Unlimited?

Remember the "Disk Space" and "Bandwidth Usage" terminologies I described above? Well these days, many web hosting companies are offering "Unlimited" plans at a pittance. But don't be fooled! If your site grows too large, it will start consuming an inordinate amount of CPU and disk I/O resources. This will result in your site becoming unacceptably slow, or even shutting down.

In the web hosting world, "Unlimited" doesn't really mean what it says. Think about it – if a hosting plan was truly "Unlimited", wouldn't every major company be able to run off it? Heck, Google can just give up its vast infrastructure and run out of your $7/month hosting plan!

Technical Support

This is the big one. No matter how smoothly your site seems to run at first, there will come a time when something goes wrong. Trust me on this – it's going to happen sooner or later. Whether your site encounters strange errors, or your server is unreachable, or you accidentally messed up something in a database, sometimes the only way to fix it is by getting in touch with technical support.

Most general web hosting services won't help you out with application-specific problems. So if you have a corrupted .htaccess file on your WordPress installation, you have to most likely fix that yourself unless you have a WordPress focused web hosting plan. So keep that in mind if all you're interested in is running a single application – you might be better off with a specialized web hosting service instead.

But specific applications aside, your web host needs to be responsive and reachable in a variety of ways including live chat and email. Having a nonfunctioning website can be nerve-racking and when you want help now, they'd better be there for you.

Moneyback Guarantee

As mentioned on the sticker, many web hosts provide "Moneyback Guarantees" within a certain timeframe for specific plans. For example, you may have a two-month moneyback guarantee for a shared hosting plan. Dedicated and VPS servers tend to have shorter moneyback guarantees since they are much more resource intensive.

Keep in mind that this doesn't apply to any transactional fees such as domain registration or site migration costs you may have signed up for. But as far as such things go, it's a great way to test out a web hosting service before committing to it full-time.

Disclosure: We receive a compensation from some of the companies whose products are presented on our website.