We know it can be hard to pick the best web host for your website. This article will lay out the 3 best hosting providers on the market, giving you insights into key areas such as pricing, features, uptime, and help and support.
The 3 best web hosting providers of 2021 are:
- GoDaddy Hosting
This list was carefully based directly on our extensive study. To determine our ratings, each web host was tested and analyzed using the following criteria:
- Pricing and value for money – number of plans, price range, money-back guarantees.
- Features – bandwidth, backups, RAM, domains, SSL, email accounts, number of sites, control panel etc.
- Disk space – amount of server storage available on each plan.
- Uptime – the amount of time that your website is live and accessible to visitors, expressed as a percentage.
- Help and support – what support channels are available, and are they any good?
Whether you’re looking for a new web host, or you want to switch providers, this article will help you move forwards. Browse the best web hosts by industry, features, CMS, or type – read reviews for each one, or compare them side-by-side in our comparison chart.
Scroll down to discover the best providers, and for bonus advice on how to choose the best one for you!
Note: Heads up: promotional prices Every web hosting provider advertises low introductory prices, which usually last for the first year or so of each plan. After that, you’ll be paying steeper renewal prices. The price jump will vary by provider and hosting type, but it’s something that every web host does, and we want to make sure you avoid any unwanted surprises! We’ll cover both introductory and renewal prices here.
Good question! Before we take a closer look at each provider, here’s an overview of the main types of web hosting that you’ll encounter:
Shared hosting: Multiple websites are housed on one physical server, and share its resources.
VPS hosting: One physical server is partitioned into multiple virtual servers, so that each website gets more resources and space without committing to a dedicated server.
Dedicated hosting: An entire physical server, along with all of its resources, is used to house one website.
Cloud hosting: Similar to shared hosting, except that a network of multiple servers is used to pool resources and maximize uptime.
Reseller hosting: The owner of a reseller hosting plan can effectively lease out server space to third parties. In other words, you would be the middleman between a hosting provider and a website.
Best Web Hosting Services Reviews
Dependable server uptime
Superb WordPress integration
Less storage on basic plan compared to competitors
Potential CPU throttling
Bluehost’s three shared hosting plans are Basic, Plus, and Prime, all of which come with 100GB of disk space and 99.98% uptime. Signing up gets you a free domain, free backups, and access to cPanel, which is very handy for managing your site hosting. It’s fully optimized for WordPress websites, and has been recommended by WordPress itself since 2005!
In you’re running an online store, then Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting plans are hard to beat. They automatically install an ecommerce theme for you, are optimized specifically for selling online via WordPress’ WooCommerce plugin, and come with one-click installations of payment processing tools.
Bluehost also offers 24/7 phone, live chat, and email support. We tested it ourselves, and found that the live chat assistants were quick to respond with the information we needed.
Bluehost excelled in our customer service research, surpassing our expectations by 9% and beating out HostGator, A2 Hosting, and InMotion.
The live chat team’s quick, informative responses helped Bluehost stand out from the competition, surpassing our expectations the most compared to the three other providers we tested. Bluehost is a strong option if help and support are a priority for you.
Bluehost is a fantastic option if you’re looking to integrate with a WordPress site – especially with its free WordPress migration service.
Once you’ve signed up to a plan, Bluehost’s in-house team review your site, and if it meets their criteria then they’ll transfer your existing WordPress site to Bluehost for you, free of charge!
Bluehost is ideal for new WordPress sites, too. It’s been optimized for WordPress since 2014, and offers one-click setup. Our guide will show you just how simple setup is!
Bluehost offers excellent value for money, though that’s partially because you can only sign on for long-term contracts (the shortest contract is 12 months). As with many providers, the cheapest rate requires signing up for at least 36 months.
Check out the cheapest introductory price for each hosting type, compared to the cheapest renewal price, below:
- Shared hosting: $2.95 per month, renews at $7.99 per month
- Shared WordPress hosting: $2.95 per month, renews at $7.99 per month
- WooCommerce hosting: $12.95 per month, renews at $24.95 per month
- VPS hosting: $18.99 per month, renews at $29.99 per month
- Managed WordPress hosting: $19.95 per month, renews at $29.99 per month
- Dedicated hosting: $79.99 per month, renews at $119.99 per month
Bluehost’s Basic shared plan can be a bit restrictive to larger sites, but for most, it’s a great option. SSL, unlimited bandwidth, and 99.98% uptime come with each plan, so it’s really just a question of how much scalability you need.
Excellent uptime guarantee of 99.99%
Tons of features for shared hosts, including email marketing
Best all-rounder in our hosting ranking
Administration interfaces could do with modernization
No free domain offering
HostGator has three shared web hosting plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business. Although features obviously ramp up with each, the baseline offerings are strong. All plans come with unlimited disk space, 99.99% uptime (the best guarantee of any provider), and 24/7 support. HostGator takes these commitments seriously: if it falls short on uptime, you’ll get one month of credit added to your account.
The Business plan comes with free SSL, but for Hatchling and Baby, you’ll need to select SSL as an add-on (or not deselect it, to be more accurate). The variety of top-level domains (.com, .org, .tech, etc.) you can acquire as part of signing up is also impressive, though for more niche domains like .art or .coffee, you’ll need to go to a registrar like Domain.com and register the domain separately.
Like most web hosting services, HostGator gets cheaper the more time you commit to it. Check out the cheapest introductory and renewal prices below:
- Shared hosting: $2.75 per month, renews at $6.95 per month
- Cloud hosting: $4.95 per month, renews at $8.95 per month
- WordPress hosting: $5.95 per month, renews at $9.95 per month
- Reseller hosting: $19.95 per month, renews at $29.95 per month
- VPS hosting: $29.95 per month, renews at $89.95 per month
- Dedicated hosting: $89.98 per month, renews at $189 per month
A sound approach is to sign on for a month and see how the service holds up to your needs. If you’re impressed, you can renew on a longer-term contract. If not, you’re in a position to look elsewhere, and won’t be out of pocket. Just know that HostGator is no different from other web hosting services in terms of pricing commitments – and with this provider, you can rest assured that you’re committing to a great service.
#3: GoDaddy Hosting
Excellent website builder
Free Office 365 email with shared hosting
Pricing is higher than other major website host companies
GoDaddy’s unlimited offerings require a close reading of the fine print
Although its support has improved in recent years, GoDaddy is still lagging behind its competitors in this area. Its live chat feature isn’t available around-the-clock, but GoDaddy’s 24/7 phone support is very good.
GoDaddy also offers a free domain for one year, even on its basic plan, plus a one year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for email. Unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage are also major benefits of GoDaddy’s hosting plans.
GoDaddy’s cheapest introductory and renewal prices are as follows:
- Shared hosting: $3.99 per month, renews at $7.99 per month
- WordPress hosting: $6.99 per month, renews at $9.99 per month
- Reseller hosting: $39.99 per month, renews at $54.99 per month
- VPS hosting: $4.99 per month, renews at $7.99 per month*
- Dedicated hosting: $129.99 per month, renews at $169.99 per month
*This is GoDaddy’s cheapest VPS hosting plan, which only offers 1 vCPU and 1GB RAM, which is not sufficient to run a control panel. The second-cheapest plan, which comes with 2 vCPU, is more reflective of VPS capabilities and prices. It starts at $19.99 per month, and renews at $29.99 per month.
GoDaddy is also one of the few providers that doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, which can be frustrating when you’re testing the waters.
That being said, GoDaddy’s ability to provide domains, hosting, and website building tools all in one place make it a strong option. But if value for money is your top priority, you’ll be better off with Bluehost or HostGator.