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In a hurry? The best web hosting providers overall in October 2021 is Bluehost. We love its useful set of features (not to mention its affordable price points and our exclusive offer) and this provider really excels when it comes to WordPress hosting in particular.
THE BEST WEB HOSTING COMPANIES AT A GLANCE
1. Bluehost : Overall best web host
2. Hostgator : Best VPS hosting
3. Hostinger : Best cloud hosting
4. Inmotion Hosting : Best image hosting
5. Hostwinds : Best Linux hosting
I’ve reviewed (and re-reviewed) over 100 web hosting providers, so we know what stuff the absolute top website hosting services are made of.
Certainly from the outside, it might seem like picking which web host to go with is a daunting task with so many technical terms to grasp. Should you go for a shared hosting provider? Or just a landing page? How much bandwidth or transfer rate do you need? Should you get an email account as well? How much should you pay for your website?
The answer, as any web hosting expert will tell you, is “it depends”. After all, we have different needs depending on our circumstances. Business requirements, for example, are different from an individual website.
An exceptional WordPress web host provider taking top honors in our web hosting provider charts, Bluehost is a company based in Utah which is owned by web giant Endurance International Group (EIG). It offers basic shared hosting from $2.95 monthly (on a three-year contract), with WordPress plans starting at $20 per month (although that’s also a discounted introductory rate).
For the money, you get automated setup for WordPress, not to mention other popular apps via a Mojo Marketplace-powered system. There’s also a cPanel-based area to allow expert users to tweak things.
Furthermore, Bluehost provides a Weebly-based website builder. This is a basic browser-based affair that lets you create a website of up to six pages, and there are no extras like site templates included. But still, it’s better than nothing, and more functionality is in the pipeline – plus you get this builder with the basic account.
There’s also good customer support on offer, a free WordPress site migration tool and the end result is a mix of user-friendly aspects alongside a good amount of power, and potential tweaking for more advanced users.
Hostgator delivers an impressive range of hosting services, ranging from domains to dedicated servers at very competitive prices and backed by a 99.9% up time guarantee. This applies as much to their VPS hosting as any of their other hosting options.
Hostgator offer three specific VPS hosting plans, starting with the Snappy 2000, which comes with 2GB RAM, 2 cores of CPU, and 120GB of disk space. The allocations are generous and should accommodate all but the most demanding websites.
An upgrade from that, if required, is the Snappy 4000, which upgrades RAM to 4GB and storage to 165GB. For more demanding sites that don’t yet require their own server, you can opt for the Snappy 8000, which comes with 8GB RAM, 4 cores CPU, and 240 GB storage.
Pricing depends on whether you pay monthly or commit to one of their annual plans. For example, the Snappy 2000 VPS hosting plan costs $29.95 if you only want to pay from month to month, but if you commit to a 3-year contract it comes down as low as $19.95 a month.
Additional benefits include a 45-day money-back guarantee, not to mention free transfers for new accounts within the first month after you’ve signed up. There’s lots to like here considering the minimal impact on your wallet, if you’re happy to commit.
Hostinger is one of the biggest providers of free web hosting via its 000webhosting brand. It has well over 30 million users, and some of the lowest prices thanks to low running costs and overheads. Hostinger prefers to use its own technology (for example, it has its own customized control panel instead of the ubiquitous Cpanel), so that it can better control performance and features.
There are three plans available, Cloud Startup, Cloud Professional, and Cloud Global, all of which offer unlimited websites and unlimited bandwidth for your account.
The Cloud Startup plan comes with 100GB of of SSD storage, 3GB of RAM, and 2 CPU cores. The Cloud Professional plan increases these to 140GB storage, 6GB RAM, and 4 CPU cores, the Cloud Global plan extends these further to 200GB storage, 16GB RAM, and 8CPU cores. All plans come with a free SSL certificate.
Pricing depends on how long you commit to the service. For the Cloud Startup plan, it costs $29.99 on a month to month basis. However, if you commit for a year the monthly cost falls to $12.95 a month. For a two-year contract, it drops to $9.95 a month, and for a four-year contract it falls to $7.45 a month.
If you want to do web hosting on a budget, then as this provider’s name suggests, it aims to be inexpensive. You get some impressive value-for-money with Namecheap, particularly with an initial discount for the first year, and there are some heavyweight plans here.
However, note the starter ‘value’ plan only gives you 20GB of hard drive space and 30 email accounts, but you get that at the price of just $2.88 per month.
Namecheap offers a 99.9% connectivity guarantee, and is a very easy service to set up, with an initial welcome email that points you in the right direction for everything you might need (backed up by some impressive FAQs). It also plays host to an excellent searchable knowledge base.To round things off, testing proved that this company generally offers above average speeds compared to rivals, making this a great hosting provider for those who aren’t keen on doing too much damage to their wallet.
Much of this is invisible to the end user, as a good managed service should be. No need to worry about WordPress updates, for instance – WP Engine handles these for you. Not blindly, simply when they’re released, like many other hosts: the company tests them carefully, first, to make sure they don’t cause problems.
The powerful WP Engine platform adds many useful extras. A Staging area allows you to work on a copy of your site, which is perfect for testing new themes, plugins or anything else, without affecting the production site. In another highlight, integrated performance tests can benchmark your website and offer useful speedup tips.
This level of power isn’t cheap. Even the most basic WP Engine plan costs $30 a month ($22.5 a month initially), more than three times the price of the budget competition. But if you’re looking for an optimized environment, with quality tools and excellent support, this could be a price worth paying.
Lastly, as the cloud has made a major impact right across the business environment, business web hosting has also embraced the cloud, and now offers an alternative to the traditional hosting methods. The power of cloud hosting is the flexibility it offers: in effect, your business can buy just the space and hosting services it needs now, and expand at anytime with no disruption to business.