The best web hosting in 2021 is fast, secure, reliable, and has dedicated customer support to assist you.
Understanding web hosting is often confusing, especially if you’re new to creating a website or blog. You must choose between shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS, managed hosting, server cores, different RAMs, CDNs, and SSL certificates. For many people, it’s a seemingly endless, complicated process.
We’ve managed hundreds of websites over our careers, from large projects to small ones. Backed by our first-hand experience, we carefully evaluate all available hosting options to determine the best web hosting providers and match users to the best options for their needs.
To learn more about the best web hosting providers and some essential details about selecting one for your website, consult the guide below.Back to Table of Contents
The following are some of the best hosting options for a variety of circumstances. We’ve included a list of definitions of hosting types at the bottom of the post for ease of use.
Best Shared Web Hosting
For many people, shared web hosting is the ideal option. With shared web hosting, your website exists on one server with other sites. Most of the sites are too small to have an entire server on their own, so web hosts bundle multiple websites together on a single server. Because several websites share space on a server, the service price is usually low compared to other options, making it an excellent deal for internet newcomers.
Unfortunately, the shared space on the server does have disadvantages. If one site goes down from excessive traffic or hacking, the other sites on the server will also go down. As a result, you could do everything right to manage your website, and it could still go down.
This issue is a rare occurrence, but it is a possibility you should consider. For smaller sites that will not be affected by occasional downtime, shared hosting is a decent trade-off for a smaller monthly expense bill. It’s a fantastic option for people who are just getting started with their first website.
The three best shared hosting companies are:
Best WordPress Hosting
Blogs are an effective way to build traffic and reach a target audience. We’ve managed multiple blog sites, ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of hits. When it comes to blogs, WordPress is by far the best choice.
We always get managed WordPress hosting for high-traffic blog sites. Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting package centered entirely around the WordPress platform.
Using specialized WordPress hosting comes with many benefits, including:
The cost is perhaps the most significant downside to managed WordPress hosting because it tends to be expensive. If you’re building a site that will generate substantial traffic exceeding 50,000+ visitors a month, this service is highly beneficial. Even if you don’t have that amount of traffic when you first build your site, this service will come in handy as you grow your page.
Smaller sites that will not have lots of hits every month won’t need managed WordPress hosting. The premium features don’t provide enough value to justify the extra cost. Just about every other host available allows users to install WordPress quickly and without issue.
Our favorite WordPress host:
Best Small Business Hosting
All small businesses have to manage many aspects of their work that cost money, such as marketing, managing service or product deliveries, and back-office operations. With limited resources, it’s imperative for business owners to effectively manage their expenses and reduce costs wherever possible to make a profit.
The best web hosts for small businesses are incredibly reliable, affordable, and have world-class customer support when a problem arises. These features help business owners get the best service for their company while keeping expenses low, and they can count on a skilled support team to fix problems as quickly and stress-free as possible.
These are the best two small business web hosts in terms of price, reliability, and support:
Best Cheap Hosting
Web hosting services charge their customers every month, so the cost of using a host will add up over time. There are ways to save money on your hosting bills, which is sometimes necessary during times of financial difficulty.
Unfortunately, cheaply priced web hosts are not ideal choices. If you use a cheap web host, at some point, it will severely impact the quality of the service you receive. Some of the experiences you may have with a cut-rate web host are frequent shutdowns of your site, little to no access to competent customer support for assistance, and limited resources and capabilities for your website.
We have found the best affordable web hosts. While their services are not as exceptional as the others we recommend, they are sufficient for casual use at a low cost. We suggest not searching for web hosts with a lower price point than those featured here because your service and experience will likely suffer.
We recommend these two hosts if you are trying to get your hosting costs as low as possible:
These options are also worthwhile for side projects or ideas that you are testing. Then, if your site becomes more serious, receives more traffic, or becomes a business, you can switch to one of the better hosts when your finances increase.
Best Cloud Hosting
If you’re building a larger site or want to guarantee your uptime, you’ll want to find a cloud for hosting. This service is different from shared hosting. Instead of one server grouping multiple sites on its platform, the host will spread each site across multiple servers.
Cloud hosting has several significant advantages:
All these benefits come with a large price tag. No matter which cloud host you select, it will be significantly more expensive than a shared hosting package.
We prefer the 50,000 visitors rule, which states that if your site receives more than 50,000 hits per month or will reach this baseline in the foreseeable future, you should move it to cloud hosting. Because you will have more uptime and will not be affected by other sites’ downtime, this option is ideal for anyone planning to build a large website or business.
These are the two best cloud hosting companies:
Before diving into all the criteria for evaluating web hosts, here are some simple rules to consider when choosing your web host.
So, how should you evaluate web hosts? Here are all the key factors.
There is no reason to have a website if no one can access it. You want a web host with excellent uptime, meaning your site will always be available and never go down.
Some companies will advertise a “just trust us” promise of near-perfect uptime of around 99.9%. Unfortunately, this guarantee is sometimes misleading because it could mean that you simply get a discount on your bill in the event of any unplanned downtime. It does not always mean your site will never go down.
Uptime guarantees come with many buried terms and conditions, such as not accepting self-reported or third-party uptime data and not providing refunds for downtime that was out of the host’s control, such as outages from hurricanes. Always ensure your web host has clearly defined expectations for site uptime, and be sure to read the fine print.
When researching various web hosts, make sure you’re choosing a host that can serve every page quickly. Site speed impacts everything about your website, including:
There is some nuance with site speed. Years ago, website developers only needed a host that had a reasonable pace. It did not need to produce instantaneous results, but neither could it force visitors to wait long while using the site.
An example of this is Amazon. In its earliest days, when it was primarily an online bookstore, their site needed to be quick but not instant. Now that millions of consumers use the site to buy books and other goods, Amazon’s website must be rapid to keep up with demand.
If you plan to build a high-traffic website, you’ll need a host that can maintain incredibly fast speeds on large sites.
When running your site, the web host’s customer support is one of the most important considerations a service can offer. You might assume digging through reviews online will give you a conclusive answer about the quality of the support staff working for a particular web host, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Sometimes there is a discrepancy between reviews and quality. For example, technology publications tend to rank HostGator products highly; it has a score of four and a half stars out of five on both CNET and PCMag. However, it has one and a half stars on Trustpilot and four and a half stars on WhoIsHostingThis.com.
Nearly all of the negative comments on these sites pertain to customer service or lack thereof. Be cautious with glowing reviews in top publications because they do not always reflect reality.
There is a way to assess any web host’s customer support quality: the free trial customer support test.
Nearly all web hosts have their version of a money-back guarantee for shared hosting plans, meaning you can set up your website and test out the service with relatively low stakes. It primarily requires your time and costs for any add-on fees you opt into, such as paying for domain registration. We recommend using this trial period to test out the customer support by using the online live chat, opening service tickets, and speaking to a live agent as much as possible to ensure your satisfaction with the service.
Your host’s customer support is essentially its knowledge center, so if you want to understand their efficiency and effectiveness without relying on online reviews and potentially biased publications, use the customer support test.
The amount of monthly traffic your website receives has a significant impact on the hosting you should use. For a site that gets 300 visitors each month, almost any standard hosting package will be sufficient. As long as your chosen web host has strong customer support, it will be enough.
When your site grows and gets more hits, the smaller details about your web host will matter more. For instance, you will need to know whether:
Whenever we build a larger site, we look for premium hosting that takes care of all of these details. If we expect the site to get a substantial amount of hits over 50,000 per month, we look for a web host that can quickly scale to millions of visitors monthly with ease. We will gladly pay a premium price to guarantee simple upgrades in the future.
If you’re expecting to go big, you will need to pay for the appropriate service. Sites with less than 50,000 hits a month don’t need to worry about the advanced details.
While you don’t want to overpay for hosting, you certainly don’t want to underpay, either. It’s best not to focus solely on price when choosing a web host.
The most basic web hosting plans fall between $10-20 per month. You can find lower-priced options, such as selecting one with an exceptionally cheap promotion that goes away when users renew their service. These deals are acceptable, but other web hosts with low prices that don’t come as part of a special usually have inadequate support and uptime.
If the price sounds too good to be true, there’s probably a catch.
We usually don’t worry about chasing promotional offers to save a few dollars on our web hosting budget. We used our host for years without ever switching for every site we’ve managed if we were happy with the service. Promotional offers come and go relatively quickly.
The ability to easily and quickly migrate an existing site will save you valuable time, sometimes exceeding several weeks. Even a simple WordPress site can be a hassle to migrate. First, you must set up a new WordPress install on your new host, then expert the database of content from your old site and import it into your new one. Finally, you have to re-configure everything in WordPress, including the site’s theme, plugins, and settings.
It is possible to skip these complicated steps. Some hosts will offer a 1-click migration for popular site builders like WordPress.
If you’re switching hosts and handling the migration yourself, look for an easy migration feature. This option is an excellent way to make a final decision once you’ve narrowed your web hosting options to a few possible choices.
Here is a brief overview of how a typical host works:
You can also consider managed web hosts that customize the hosting environment and do a lot more on your behalf. WP Engine—a managed host for WordPress—is the best example. Instead of getting a cPanel login that lets you do whatever you want, WP Engine provides you with a login to their custom interface built to manage WordPress sites specifically.
When a web host is optimized exclusively for WordPress, three key things happen:
Though we give up some flexibility for not having a basic web server like other hosts, a managed host will take care of much of the ongoing tasks we would typically handle ourselves. If you have a small business site, a typical host is OK, but a managed host will save a more prominent website a substantial amount of time long-term, making it worth the cost.Back to Table of Contents
This term refers to sharing space with other sites on one server. The advantage of shared hosting is lower costs, but its downside is that other sites can impact your site’s performance. If someone else gets a massive traffic surge, it could affect everyone on the server before the web host throttles their traffic.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A VPS also has multiple sites on the same server, but the sites have a dedicated space managed by software. You get many of the benefits of a dedicated server, such as a personal IP address and less volatility in uptime, without having an entire server to yourself. However, the performance quality is not as high as using a server you own.
Cloud hosting is similar to a VPS, but you have space across multiple servers instead of single server limitations. This option is resilient against traffic spikes from other sites. If a website on your primary server goes down, your host will move your site to another server.
This option is also scalable for your site. You can add more resources to your website with ease because your host only needs to increase the total server resources that you can consume at any time. These advantages tend to make cloud hosting more expensive than other web hosts.
This type of hosting provides a server only for your website. No one else gets any space on the server. You will have complete control and can configure it however you want.Back to Table of Contents
Here are some tips to help you determine which web host you should pick:
One type of web hosting we have yet to mention is free hosting, and for a good reason: it’s worthless for almost everyone. If you have budget concerns, web hosting is not the area to save money. If you don’t like the price of the service, it may be best to generate traffic and revenue instead of reducing your site’s performance and ease of use for the sake of saving a few dollars.
A free host is only beneficial for insignificant projects like a one-page site for an event or a tiny, low traffic site. If your site falls into either of these categories, it is better to skip the free host route and move straight into a free website builder that will allow you to link your site to a custom domain for free, such as UCraft or Google Sites. These options are highly limited builders, but they’re more manageable than a free web host when it comes to getting your site up and running
There is an exception to this rule. There are some worthwhile free and discounted web hosting plans for nonprofits and educators. To learn more about these options, check out our best free web hosts review, where we go into more detail.Back to Table of Contents
Choosing a web host for your site can be confusing, but you can certainly narrow down your options by understanding how many hits you expect for your site, how hands-on you plan on being with your site, and how much you are willing to pay each month. There are also more intricate factors to consider, such as site speed and customer support.
Whether you’re searching for the lowest price, the highest-quality services, or something in between, you can find the best web hosts for your needs from these top-rated companies:
✔ 99.95% Uptime
✔ Money-Back Guarantee For 90 Days
✔ Website Transfers Are Free
Disclosure: When you click on a link, in some cases we earn a commission from the hosts.
Easy Hosting Guide is a consortium of Developers, Designers, SEOs, and Marketers with hosting needs for our businesses. We required hosting provider services that were proficient in total uptime, server speed, how simple the hosting is to setup, value, and, most importantly, how effective it works for our business. We went searching for hosting guides and provider analysis. We noticed the current review sites lacked the information WE needed. So we decided to build a hosting review site that gives you all the details you will need when considering hosting providers and services for your website or business.