Best Web Hosting - 2020 Buyer's GuideUpdated April, 2020

Get the best web hosting for your website. We've rated and reviewed the best website hosting options to help you find the most fitting option for your website. Compare the top 10 web hosting companies and start a website today!

Best Web Hosting - 2020 Buyer's Guide

Get the best web hosting for your website. We've rated and reviewed the best website hosting options to help you find the most fitting option for your website. Compare the top 10 web hosting companies and start a website today!

Compare the top 10 web hosting companies and start a website today!



HostGator

9.9
131 people chose HostGator this week!
$6.95
$2.75
More
  • Plans for businesses of all sizes
  • Tiered pricing for all services
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support

Hostinger

9.7
$9.99
$0.99
More
  • Plans for businesses of all sizes
  • Tiered pricing for all services
  • Free domain
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7 customer support

GoDaddy.com

9.6
$7.99
$3.99
More
  • Full root access with VPS plans
  • Linux & Windows plans
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Free 1-year SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support

Bluehost

9.2
$7.99
$3.95
More
  • Plans for businesses of all sizes
  • Tiered pricing for all services
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 24/7 customer support

Network Solutions

9.1
$5.69
More
  • Ideal for freelancers & small businesses
  • 4 tiers of hosting plans
  • 15GB+ of disk space 
  • Live technical support
  • 99.9% website uptime

Domain.com

9.0
$3.95
More
  • Plans for websites of all sizes
  • Tiered pricing 
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Scalable bandwidth
  • 24/7 technical support

Yahoo Small Business

8.8
$2.95
More
  • Perfect for small businesses
  • Choose from three different plans
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Around-the-clock security monitoring
  • 24/7 phone, chat, and online support

iPage

8.5
$7.99
$1.99
More
  • 75% off all hosting plans
  • Free domain registration for 1 year
  • Scalable bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • 24/7 phone and chat support

Our Top Choice




HostGator

9.9
131 people chose HostGator this week!
$6.95
$2.75
More
  • Plans for businesses of all sizes
  • Tiered pricing for all services
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 customer support
Trusted, Safe & Secure

Helping Millions of Users Make Smarter Purchases Online.

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Choosing The Best Option

What goes into being the best, you may ask. The criteria we've looked at include:

Satisfaction guarantee. Satisfaction guarantee
Extra Costs. Extra costs
Selection. Selection
Potential Savings. Potential Savings
Coupon Codes. Coupon codes
Reputation. Reputation

What is Web Hosting?

Thinking about starting up your website for your business? Before you can get your products online, your shopping cart set up, or even your store's biography on the page, you need to purchase a domain where your website will live. What will your website name be? How will people access it? And, where does it live on the internet? 

Think of web hosting as setting up a virtual store. First, you need to pick a location, then you pay rent to lease the space, and finally, you decide what goes inside the store and how it’s going to look. When you’re on the web, your domain (or website name) is your location – it’s like a street address so people know how to get to your site. You sign up with a hosting service to lease server space.

You decide how much space you need, and they provide the hardware that stores all of your content on the web so anyone with an internet connection can access it. Your homepage is essentially the business's storefront. It’s the first thing people will see when they visit your website.

Two women look at computer screen

Different Types of Hosting

You may have noticed that there are different types of hosting out there, and the prices vary greatly. Web hosting itself is where your website lives in the world in a server, so the way companies set up this server space looks a little different. 

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most affordable type of hosting because you’re sharing server space with several (sometimes hundreds) other websites. The upside is that the cost of the server usage is split between many customers, so you each only pay a small monthly fee. Also, you’re not responsible for any server maintenance and little technical knowledge is required for shared hosting plans. The hosting company provides a secure connection, giving you a much more hands-off approach to setting up your own website.  

The downside? Shared hosting plans often have storage limits because you’re sharing the resources, and they typically can’t accommodate high traffic websites. Think about where your website will be in a few years — you'll want a hosting service that can grow and scale up with your business if needed. Along with this, site performance could become sluggish if there's a sudden uptick of traffic. Since you're sharing bandwidth with other websites on the same server, an influx of hits to your website could cause your site to move slower. 

Virtual Private Server Hosting

For site owners who expect their website to drastically expand and grow in the coming years, you can look at VPS hosting options. With VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting, you’re still sharing a server, but usually with far fewer customers. You get a piece of the server that is a bit more dedicated to your site, and that comes in the form of bandwidth, features, and more.

The server has been broken up into individual sections, giving each customer their own “virtual” piece of the server. A VPS is more expensive but can handle much higher volumes of traffic. You get a lot more storage space, and your website's performance isn't affected by other websites on the server. You also have more freedom to customize and configure the server to meet your needs. Some technical knowledge is required to make the most of a VPS hosting plan.

Photo of open concept office

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting uses the benefits of multiple servers to host your website. When one server becomes overwhelmed or even dysfunctional, you don't lose the layers of files that go into your website. Instead, your website is secured on multiple servers. This also allows for traffic increase and better performance, incorporating the benefits of VPS Hosting into your website. Cloud hosting is generally seen as a great option for a high-traffic site, but it does come at a cost and is usually harder on the budget than a simple shared hosting service. 

Dedicated Hosting 

Dedicated hosting is by far the most expensive option, but you also get access to your very own dedicated server and all of its computing resources. This is the best option for high-traffic websites with feature-rich pages. You will definitely need to be technically savvy (or hire an IT administrator) to use a dedicated hosting plan. Although you’re just leasing the server, you have full control over the operating system, applications, and scripts. Dedicated hosting services are generally scalable to suit the needs of your growing business. 

WordPress & Content Management Systems

You can’t get very far into website hosting without hearing about WordPress. WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, WordPress blogs...you get the idea. WordPress is an open-source content management system that you can use for anything from a personal blog to an enterprise-sized business. "Open source" means that any developer around the world can access and contribute to the code used in WordPress. You can use WordPress with just about any hosting plan, but you’ll have to have a good deal of coding experience to do it on your own.

Computer screen with Wordpress open

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that helps you organize your files and build your website. There are plenty of other CMS out there, but WordPress is the most popular, has a huge community following, and has created a massive forum for website creators. This makes it one of the most accessible systems out there, making it easy to start creating your own website once you have your domain and web hosting service set up. 

Why does this matter when looking for web hosting services? You want to make sure that your web hosting service is compatible with WordPress or whichever CMS you choose to use for your website building. Most hosting companies have gone all in with managed WordPress hosting plans that are built from the ground up specifically for WordPress sites, making it easy to integrate WordPress into your website creation. Wordpress hosting services may be more expensive, but all of the nitty-gritty aspects of WordPress are taken care of for you with the help of premium technical support.

How Do I Set Up My Website?

You might have a vision of what your website looks like, or you want a template to get started. Either way, hosting services offer website designs and templates as part of their services. This makes it much easier to get started, especially for anyone who isn't a web developer. In most cases, you don’t need to know how to write code to set up a professional and easy to use website. 

If you find yourself in need of website design help, make sure that the web hosting service you're choosing provides a website building service as part of their services. Also, look for the services that offer available technical support in case you're in a jam or just need some extra assistance.

Control Panel

For anyone busy creating their own business, you might not have all the website jargon that comes with web development. Web hosting might be brand-new, and you're just learning the maze of how to get your site up and running. The web hosting services that we've pointed out as our top picks all have easy-to-use control panels, which serve as the dashboard for you, the website owner. This is where you can access the guts of your domain, site, and more. If your control panel isn't clear-cut, organized, and intuitive to use, then your website build will just become more and more convoluted. Along with security features, bandwidth, and website performance, this is also what you're paying for: control of your domain. 

Photo of Control Panel Icons

SSL Certification

Just recently, Google Chrome announced that all "unsecured" websites would be marked more prominently as soon as someone entered their website. What this meant was that any website without their SSL certification would be deemed "Not Secure," and that mark would show up next to the website search bar. For small business owners conducting business and completing transactions, this can deter potential customers from trusting their financial information on your site. For non-profits, this can turn away future donors. Without a trustworthy site, you can easily lose sales or donations. 

An SSL Certification means that your website is secure. It enables an encrypted connection and authenticates a website, ensuring the consumer that their financial information and personal data is safe and secure. 

Web hosting services will bundle this into their packages, simplifying your site's security. You can easily check on whether or not your web hosting service offers this — top services usually bundle this in at no extra cost since their servers are expected to be equipped with added security. 

Which Hosting Provider is the Best for Me?

If you’re choosing a basic shared hosting plan, be sure to compare storage and resource limits. Several companies offer unlimited and unmetered bandwidth and free email accounts, even with their starter plans. Others provide intuitive and drag-and-drop website builders that let you set up your website in just a few minutes. You'll see the top hosting services lead the industry with a long money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to get set up and see how you like their services. Most companies offer either 30- or 45-day trial periods, so no matter which provider you choose, you’ll have at least a few weeks to make sure that the hosting service is right for you.

Before you pick your web hosting provider there are a few more things you should keep in mind. Consider the following factors when comparing one web host versus another:

  • Price: Make note of both monthly fees, how they change after the intro period, and what extra services cost.
  • Speed: Take load time and speed reputation into account, since Google uses these when searching for your site.
  • Customer Service: These days some hosting companies are available 24/7 should you need any support.

    Consider what's best for your business. Some hosting companies are better for WordPress hosting, versus others that specialize in Drupal or Joomla. Read our web hosting reviews before you make your decision, and sleep easy knowing that your online presence has maximum uptime.
  • Computer with charts and graphs on the screen

    Trusting our top pick

    Navigating the many choices for every consumer purchase can be challenging. Our team spends hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading consumer reviews on even the most basic of household items, and we summarize that information in clear, precise comparisons.

    Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We help our readers spend their money wisely and find the right product to suit their specific needs. Our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations empower you to find the web hosting service that's right for you.

    What sets us apart?

    We leverage user data to understand decision-making and put the best products in front of each user. We tailor our comparisons to what matters to our user's needs, specific or broad. We keep our content up to date, we are constantly looking for new merchants and products to compare, and we are quick to remove any that are outdated or no longer meeting our standards.

    Our rankings change day-to-day based on our proprietary algorithms that crunch data to identify top-performing products and tailor recommendations to exactly what our readers are looking for.

    Have a question or want to make a recommendation? We love to hear from our readers and are always looking for new products to include on our site. Get in touch!