Best Web Hosting Services 2021

How to Find a Reliable Hosting Company for Your Website

Artem Minaev
Updated: November 22nd, 2021
15 min read
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Best Web Hosting Services 2021

Choosing the best web hosting service is one of the most important decisions that you can make to run a successful website.

Hi there, my name is Artem. I’ve been working within the hosting industry since 2008 – and I know a thing or two about it. To save you time, I’ve created this tutorial so that you don’t have to spend hours searching on the web to discover which hosting provider is better to use.

I’ve reviewed over 20 website hosting services (basic plans) and selected the 10 best ones. Each web host has its own unique features and strengths that may work best for a variety of specific uses.

Disclosure: FirstSiteGuide is supported by our readers. When you purchase web hosting products through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission (it comes at no extra cost for you). This compensation does not affect the order and/or placement of the companies below.

The 10 best web hosting services (reviewed and compared)

This guide has a simple goal, and that is to help you choose a solid hosting provider that fits your needs perfectly. These website hosts are hand-picked based on our in-depth research.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 web hosting companies on the list:

There are dozens of options when it comes to cheap web hosting services. For as low as few dollars a month (depending on the plan and term you select), you can get space on a server to host your new website.


Bluehost — Best hosting solution for WordPress

bluehost black friday

Bluehost has grown up alongside the Internet. The company was founded in 1996, today hosts millions of websites and blogs worldwide.

service icon Bluehost
Powering over 2 million websites
As low as $2.65 per month
65% off discount available
  • Easy step-by-step set up
  • Free 24/7 lifetime support
  • WordPress website with 1-click

It is one of the most popular companies out there due to its affordable yet highly efficient shared hosting packages, as well as a variety of other options. Bluehost provides everything you need to get your website up and running.

Bluehost is one of the top choices and recommended as one of the best hosting for WordPress on the official WordPress.org website.  

Bluehost offers general hosting and a ton of add-ons. Features offered include a dedicated IP address, Weebly website builder, professional email address, and free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. You can test and try their web hosting services with a 30-day money-back guarantee period.

Key hosting features

  • Free domain for the first year
  • 24/7 Expert support (phone and chat)
  • WordPress made easy (one-click install)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate included
  • Unlimited disk space

Additionally, Bluehost offers excellent customer service to make its services more user-friendly.

For advanced users, Bluehost gives access to a cPanel where you can manage your website’s files through FTP, enter databases, create email accounts, check metrics, perform security checks, and add additional software.

Plans and pricing

All Bluehost plans are offered in one, two, and three years subscription periods.

Basic plan
  • $2.65 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $31.80
  • $4.95 per month
    3 years plan billed as one payment of $178.20

Basic plan includes all of the key features and lets you host one website. With this plan, you get to use 50GB of SSD storage space.

Bluehost shared hosting is available in three more packages – Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. → Visit Bluehost to see more plans

Renewal pricing and add-ons from Bluehost

Additional services and products

Bluehost also offers different types of hosting solutions that include: WordPress hosting, VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server), Managed WordPress hosting, eCommerce, Reseller, and Dedicated hosting.

You can also register an additional domain name and create a custom email address. In addition, Bluehost offers professional services, such as marketing, SEO, free site migration, and more.

To see the results of Bluehost server performance and reliability testing, read this in-depth Bluehost review.

Visit Bluehost for additional information


DreamHost — Best month-to-month plans

DreamHost homepage

Founded in 1997 in a dorm room, DreamHost web hosting provider is now one of the online giants today. They claim to serve over 400,000 customers and host over 1.5 million websites, blogs, and applications.

service icon DreamHost
Hosts over 1.5 million websites
As low as $2.59 per month
67% off discount available
  • 1-Click instant WordPress install
  • 97-Day money-back guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate

DreamHost’s hosting service provides excellent value for price, performance, and customer support. These essential components are combined into an attractive package suitable for users of any expertise level. It is one of the three companies officially recommended by the WordPress.org platform. Other available services range from Shared and WordPress hosting to VPS hosting options, and more.

You can test run their web hosting service for 97 days. This is enough time to test their speed, control panel, site builder, and numerous other technologies.

Key hosting features

  • Free domain name
  • WordPress software with 1-click install
  • Fast, Secure, and 100% uptime guarantee
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Award-winning support
  • Free SSL certificate

Plans and pricing

DreamHost shared web hosting is available in two packages – Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited.

Starter plan
  • $4.95 per month
    monthly billed payment of $4.95
  • $3.95 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $47.40
  • $2.59 per month
    3 years plan billed as one payment of $93.24

With the Starter plan, you can only host one website, and you will have to pay separately for a custom email if you need one, which can cost as low as $1.67/month for one account.

Renewal pricing and add-ons Dreamhost

More services and products

DreamHost also offers different types of hosting solutions that include: WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, WP builder, Cloud hosting, and Dedicated servers. The company offers robust and reliable solutions for WordPress software including Managed hosting and VPS for WordPress.

To see the results on DreamHost server performance and reliability testing read this in-depth DreamHost review

Visit DreamHost for additional information


Hostinger — Cheapest web hosting plans

Hostinger homepage

Hostinger was founded in 2004. Today, it’s one of the most affordable hosting providers around. The company claims to have over 29 million users in 178 countries.

service icon Hostinger
Hosting platform to over 29 million users
As low as $1.39 per month
85% off discount available
  • Optimized for WordPress
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free SSL and Cloudflare

Hostinger started with a simple idea to let people create a website for free. They grew their customer base by providing free web hosting services. Today, the company lets you start a website with minimal running costs and overhead. These types of hosting plans are the best option for people with a low budget who are willing to commit for a longer signup period. 

Hostinger offers a customized admin panel that gives you unprecedented control over the performance and features of your site. They have a nice selection of plans that can be optimized for WordPress.

If for any reason, you decide to discontinue Hostinger, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Key hosting features

  • Easy website setup
  • 24/7 chat customer support
  • User-friendly control panel
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Automatic 1-click WordPress installation

Pricing and plans

Hostinger shared hosting is available in four packages – Single, Premium, and Business shared plans.

Single shared plan
  • $9.49 per month + $4.99 setup
    monthly billed payment of $9.49
  • $2.99 per month
    1 year plan billed as one payment of $35.88
  • $1.99 per month
    2 years plan billed as one payment of $47.76
  • $1.39 per month
    4 years plan billed as one payment of $66.72

With the Single plan, you can only host one website and have one custom email. Plus, you will have to pay separately for a domain name. The cost is $8.99 for the first year and $10.99/year after that (plus you are charged $0.18/year ICANN free).

Renewal pricing and add-ons from Hostinger

More services and products

Hostinger also offers different types of hosting solutions that include: WordPress hosting, Email hosting, VPS, Cloud hosting, Windows, and Minecraft servers. You can register an additional domain name and transfer an existing domain to Hostinger. In addition, the company offers a web builder that anyone can use when purchasing a hosting account.

Visit Hostinger for additional information


HostGator — Easy scalable hosting service

HostGator homepage

HostGator is a Houston-based company founded by Brent Oxley in 2002 when he was a student.

service icon Hostgator
Two decades and 2.5+ million hosted websites
As low as $2.71 per month
65% off discount available
  • One-click WordPress installs 
  • Free domain included
  • Free SSL certificate

Today, it’s one of the top ten web hosting companies in the world, with more than 8 million websites on board. HostGator has several pricing plans for every budget or project profile. It offers an array of tools including a free site builder, unmatched support, and email addresses to help you to build a website easily.

All of their hosting plans come with a cPanel, which is the most popular control panel in the world. Also, if you are not satisfied, you can cancel your account within a 45-day money-back period (for a full refund).

Key hosting features

  • Unmetered disk space and support
  • Unlimited email addresses
  • Free WordPress blog tools
  • Easy to use cPanel
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 technical support

Plans and pricing

HostGator shared web hosting plan is available in three packages – Hatchling, Baby, and Business plans.

Hatchling plan
  • $7.66 per month
    monthly billed $7.66, 1 to 6 months term
  • $4.03 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $48.36
  • $3.42 per month
    2 years plan billed as one payment of $82.08
  • $2.71 per month
    3 years plan billed as one payment of $97.56

Hatchling plan comes with a free domain and you can host one website.

Renewal pricing and add-ons from Hostgator

More services and products

HostGator is known for its wide variety of hosting options. These solutions include a Site builder tool, Optimized WordPress, VPS, Dedicated servers, Windows, Reseller hosting, and Cloud hosting. You can also register extra domain names through Hostgator. In addition, the company offers professional web design, free site migration, search engine optimization, and PPC advertising services.

To see the results of HostGator server performance and reliability testing read this in-depth HostGator review.

Visit HostGator for additional information


GoDaddy — Best beginner-friendly hosting

GoDaddy homepage

Founded in 1997, GoDaddy began as a domain registrar. They eventually added web hosting services and much more. Today, it is the single largest domain registrar, serving more than 12 million customers. This web host is also famous for its Super Bowl and NASCAR commercials (sometimes called out as “raunchy and sexist” due to their portrayal of women) featuring celebrity spokespeople.

service icon GoDaddy
Worldwide community of 20+ million customers
As low as $1.00 per month
88% off discount available
  • 1-click domain name setup
  • 24/7 network security
  • Free domain with annual plan

GoDaddy is known for its extensive list of products. The company provides numerous services to small businesses or internet entrepreneurs who require a one-stop-shop website. It has proven to be a good choice for both personal and commercial purposes. GoDaddy is the most popular hosting solution in our 2020 blogging industry survey.

GoDaddy has an easy-to-use panel (cPanel) with an intuitive interface where you can access all of the features and settings. You can create and manage unlimited email accounts, or install popular apps such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, all with a click of a button. With GoDaddy hosting, you can get your website online in under an hour using their free web builder or popular content management systems.

The company manages an ever-growing network of users by offering fast loading times, excellent security and support, and a free domain name for year-long plans.

Key hosting features

  • Award-winning 24/7 US-based support
  • Over 150 Free Apps with the 1-click install (eg. WordPress)
  • Easy-to-use control panel (cPanel)
  • 99.9% uptime and industry-leading load times
  • Resources on-demand to scale fast
  • 24/7 network security and DDoS attacks protection
  • The fast domain name and website setup

Plans and pricing

GoDaddy shared web hosting is available in four packages – Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Maximum plans.

Economy plan
  • $10.99 per month
    monthly billed $10.99, 1 to 6 months term
  • $1.00 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $12.00
  • $3.50 per month
    2 years plan billed as one payment of $83.88
  • $4.33 per month
    3 years plan billed as one payment of $155.76

The Economy plan comes with a domain included for annual plans. You are only allowed to host one website. The Economy provides all of the basic resources for starter sites, along with 100GB of storage space.

Renewal pricing and add-ons from GoDaddy

More services and products

GoDaddy is more than just a hosting and domain name provider. It’s a service platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs that helps them to grow. GoDaddy offers different products such as domain names, site builder, online store, digital marketing, graphic design, security tools, and photo numbers. It’s an all-in-one hub for business solutions.

To see the results of GoDaddy server performance and reliability testing to see how it compares with other hosting companies read this in-depth GoDaddy review.

Visit GoDaddy for additional information


InMotion Hosting — Best VPS hosting

Inmotion Hosting homepage

Founded in 2001, InMotion Hosting is a reliable and trustworthy company. IMH is employee-owned and employee-operated. Their US-based customer support is located in Virginia and California.

service icon InMotion
Located in more than 175 countries across the globe
As low as $2.49 per month
25% off discount available
  • Free website builder
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate

InMotion is a streamlined company with excellent web hosting technology, a variety of plans, and a strong customer base. We use their VPS hosting services to keep our website (FirstSiteGuide.com) up and running for our audience 24/7/365.

Their plans for new users offer extra features like faster servers, databases, websites, and domains. If you want a service with excellent customer support, InMotion is the best option for you. Also, it is the best pick for small business hosting because it provides all kinds of extra services and customer service help for businesses.

In this section, I will describe what InMotion’s shared hosting plans offer.

Key hosting features

  • Free domain and SSL certificate
  • Free and unlimited email
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Free website builder
  • Data backups and restores

Plans and pricing

Inmotion Hosting shared server hosting is available in four packages – Lite, Launch, Power and Pro plans.

Lite plan
  • $4.99 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $59.88
  • $3.99 per month
    2 years plan billed as one payment of $95.79
  • $2.49 per month
    3 years plan billed as one payment of $89.64

The Lite plan includes a domain name and hosting best for one website. You also receive one email account with 100MB storage, and 10GB SSD storage for your website.

Renewal pricing and add-ons from Inmotion Hosting

More services and products

InMotion, like other web hosts, also offers a combination of solutions and different hosting plans including WordPress, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated hosting services. They also provide professional services including custom website design and a free WordPress based website builder (BoldGrid).

To see the results of InMotion Hosting server performance and reliability testing read this in-depth IMH review.

Visit InMotion Hosting for additional information


SiteGround — Excellent customer support

SiteGround homepage

Founded in 2004, this privately-owned company was started by a group of university tech wizards in a dorm room. Truly a global player, SiteGround is headquartered in Bulgaria (which has been called the Silicon Valley of the Eastern Bloc countries) and has data centers in Chicago, Amsterdam and Singapore.

service icon SiteGround
Trusted by the owners of 2,000,000 domains
As low as $3.99 per month
65% off discount available
  • Free CDN
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate

SiteGround is one of WordPress’s three recommended web hosts and includes managed WordPress hosting in all of its shared plans. These plans come with excellent 24/7 support and a dedicated customer service team, a powerful backend, and proactive server monitoring with automated daily backups.

SiteGround is considered to be an industry leader and provides one of the best shared hosting and best WordPress hosting services on the web. Its servers are fast and extra secure. Moreover, SiteGround is constantly coming up with upgrades to maintain the quality of its service.

Key hosting features

  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • WordPress integration and support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • The easy site and domain management
  • Managed WordPress with site-building wizard
  • Affordable domain registration and transfer services
  • Credible email service

Plans and pricing

Siteground shared hosting is available in three packages – StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans.

StartUp plan
  • $19.99 per month
    monthly billed $19.99 per month term
  • $3.99 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $47.88
  • $9.99 per month
    2 years plan billed as one payment of $239.76
  • $10.49 per month
    3 years plan billed as one payment of $377.64

The StartUp plan doesn’t come with a free domain. There is an additional fee of $17.99 per year for domain registration. However, this plan does offer hosting for one website and a limited storage space of 10GB.

Renewal pricing and add-ons from SiteGround

More services and products

SiteGround sells different types of products like most of the best web hosting services, such as managed WordPress hosting, VPS, WoCommerce, and Cloud hosting. They have integrated the Weebly website builder into their platform for setting up websites. Customers can easily migrate existing sites to their servers. In addition, SiteGround has Collaboration Tools for companies, providing professional design services and working with clients.

Visit SiteGround for additional information


WP Engine — Best managed WordPress hosting

wp engine managed wordpress

WordPress is a building block that supports millions of websites. Many web hosting services focus on hosting management systems like WordPress, and WP Engine falls into this category.

service icon WP Engine
1.5M+ active websites
As low as $23 per month
Save $90 if paid annually
  • Free SSL
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • 1-click staging & backup

WP Engine is a top-rated host that offers daily backups, excellent uptime, WordPress-specific security, cloud platform flexibility, real-time threat detection, and many other excellent features.

Overall, WP Engine is the Editors’ Choice for WordPress plans that the enterprise-class managing system supports, and it can get your website up and running within minutes. However, you’ll need to search for domain names and email creations elsewhere.

Key hosting features

  • Daily backups
  • Excellent uptime
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Threat detection in real-time
  • Useful staging area
  • A choice between Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services for cloud hosting

Plans and pricing

WP Engine offers five basic plans – Startup, Professional, Growth, Scale, and Custom plan. You can choose to pay monthly or annually. Get 3 months free on annual Startup, Professional, Growth, and Scale plans when you use our coupon code WPE3FREE.

Startup
  • $27 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $270.00

The Startup plan supports one installation on WordPress, 50GB data transfers per month, 10GB of storage, and 25,000 visitors monthly.

More services and products

WP Engine includes an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. You’ll need this if you want to sell products on your website. WP Engine offers SSL free of charge. Also, WP Engine has a firewall and performs scans for malware daily. This web host has threat detection in real-time, enterprise-grade firewalls, and hacking remediation for free. 

Visit WP Engine for additional information


Cloudways — Best managed cloud hosting

cloudways managed cloud hosting

Web hosting cloud-based services are common today, but several notable features make Cloudways stand out from the rest in this evolving field.

service icon Cloudways
600,000+ websites hosted
As low as $10 per month
Free 3-day trial
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Pay as you go
  • 24/7/365 support

Cloudways lets you choose from five platforms, two of which are the Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services. Cloudways also offers pay-as-you-go and wallet-friendly plans. You can also sign up for a trial version without using your credit card.

The drawback to Cloudways is its lack of valuable amenities such as email services and domain registration. However, it’s still an excellent cloud-based hosting service worth your consideration.

Key hosting features

  • Site cloning
  • Easy set-up
  • Excellent uptime
  • Support for numerous apps
  • Several fairly flexible account tiers
  • Free trial
  • Pay-as-you-go plans

Plans and pricing

Cloudways hosting plans start at $10 monthly, offering 25GB of storage, 1GB RAM, 1TB data transfer per month, and a processor with a single core.

The plans scale upward all of the way to $1,035, where you receive 3,840GB storage, 192GB RAM, 12TB monthly data transfers, and a processor with 32 cores.

Cloudways add-ons

More services and products

Cloudways offers numerous eCommerce tools in their app library, such as Photoshop and Magento. Cloudways also offers SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates, which are essential for data protection when you want to sell a product online. Also, your Rackspace email will come with SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) for increased security.

Visit Cloudways for additional information


Liquid Web — Best dedicated server hosting

liquid web dedicated hosting

Liquid Web excels in hosting management, which is why it’s the Editors’ Choice. With great hosting management, servers don’t have to be hosted onsite by businesses. Instead, they can be hosted at the data center of the web host.

service icon Liquid Web
500,000+ sites under management
As low as $169 per month
25% off for 12 months
  • Free migrations
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Automatic daily backups

Though this may sound common, Liquid Web goes a little above and beyond because it can serve up files remotely. The company handles all of the administrative duties of the site as well as its support tasks, regardless of scale and complexity. 

This service is primarily designed for big businesses. Do note that Liquid Web is also a bit pricey (ranking among the most expensive cloud services), but the services and features that come with their prices are worth every penny.

Key hosting features

  • Excellent uptime
  • Automatic daily backups
  • Outstanding 24/7 customer service
  • High-end and powerful server specs
  • VPS, robust dedicated, reseller, and cloud packages

Plans and pricing

Liquid Web offers three basic plans, including Intel Xeon 1230v6, Intel Xeon Gold 6226R – Single, and Intel Xeon Gold 6226R – Dual. You have the option to pay for 1, 6, or 12 months.

Intel Xeon 1230v6
  • $199 per month
    1-year plan billed as one payment of $2,028

The Intel Xeon 1230v6 plan offers 4 cores @ 3.9 GHz max, 16 GB RAM, 2 x 240 GB SSD primary disk, 1 x 1 TB SATA backup disk, 5 TB bandwidth, 250 GB Acronis Cyber backups, cPanel included.

Liquid Web add-ons

More services and products

Liquid Web hosting offers SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and firewalls, a VPN (Virtual Private Network), malware scanning, malware removal, and many other services. Some features are included with specific packages and services in a bundle. Liquid Web also offers nightly backups, which are your website safety plan. Nightly backups ensure that your site never suffers from any major damage. 

Visit Liquid Web for additional information

How much does it cost to host a website (price comparison)?

For your convenience, I selected and compared the most popular hosting solutions: Bluehost, DreamHost, Hostinger, Hostgator, and GoDaddy.

Below is a 1-year starter plan pricing comparison table of the 5 best web hosting services including a custom domain name and a custom professional email account.

Basic plans pricing comparison table

The prices presented in the table below are special deals that we have negotiated with these providers for our readers only.

BluehostDreamHostGoDaddyHostGatorHostinger
Hosting services discount price45% off
$4.95 per month (billed for 1 year)
No discount
$3.95 per month (billed for 1 year)
33% off
$5.99 per month (billed for 1 year)
55% off
$4.03 per month (billed for 1 year)
55% off
$4.03 per month (billed for 1 year)
Domain name registration (.com)First year free, $17.99 per year renewal priceFirst year free, $15.99 per year renewal priceFirst year free, $17.99 per year renewal priceFirst year free, $17.99 per year renewal price$8.99 per year, $10.99 per year renewal price
SSL certificateFreeFree$6.67 per month (billed for 1 year)FreeFree
Custom professional emailFree (4 email accounts)$19.99 per year (per email account)Free (unlimited email accounts)Free (unlimited email accounts)Free (1 email account)
Storage space*50 GBUnlimited100 GBUnlimited10GB
Bandwidth*UnmeteredUnlimitedUnmeteredUnmetered100GB
Total price 1-year plans$59.40$47.40
+$19.99 per email account (optional)
$83.88
+ $79.99 SSL certificate (optional)
$48.33$44.87
* Storage space shows you how much space you can use for your blog and media files. Bandwidth is the amount of data your blog can transfer to visitors. These two parameters are important when your blog starts to grow and get more traffic. ** Most hosting companies offer special discount pricing for new customers to sign up for their services. After the end of the initial terms, you will have to start paying full price.

The review method we used to create this web hosting guide

Why did I put this guide together? 

Because I know how important web hosting is for running a successful online business.

A website hosting provider acts as a foundation for your site. You wouldn’t build your house on a weak foundation, so why would you create a website using unreliable hosting providers?

Selecting the wrong web hosting company can ruin your plans for setting up a website or starting a blog successfully.

I have reviewed every service, and compared their features and pricing plans so that you don’t have to! Plus, our team has conducted in-depth credibility research to select the top 10 web hosts that you can count on.

Here is the process that I used to select the best web hosting providers:

  • Reviewed and compared all hosting features.
  • Checked prices, discount offers, and billing practices.
  • Tested customer support via all available channels.
  • Credibility checks by collecting user reviews on 50+ sites.
  • Monitored uptimes and load times for each hosting company.*
* Uptime monitoring and load tests details

How to choose the best web hosting provider (DIY)

Web hosting providers you select should be affordable and offer great site speed, support, and security. Also, you need a solution that allows you to rapidly scale your website to handle higher traffic as your audience grows.

With the help of trusted service, you can develop a virtual presence through a professional website for your company or online business. The best hosting service for you must have all of the features and tools (such as CMSes or website builders) that you need to build an amazing website.

A checklist for evaluating service

You might think that all web hosting companies provide the same services, but that’s far from the truth. Choosing a proper website host requires a great deal of consideration and evaluation. Some of the most important features for web hosting comparison before selecting a company are:

1. Check if it is trustworthy

The right firm must be reliable and trustworthy in its guarantees of customer care, follow-up service, quality, and performance. Although measuring trust can be a challenge, you can gather web hosting reviews from users, along with data analytics, and combine them to find reliable web hosting.

2. Read the terms and conditions

You should not just skim through the terms and conditions but read them carefully. The terms of service usually include the refund policy which is important to know before signing up for a service.

3. Price and payment options

The most important detail to consider is the price and payment options for a company’s hosting plans. Many web hosts offer basic features at a reasonable price while some will charge more for additional services beyond the basic levels.

Therefore, it’s essential to view all of the pricing plans and determine if all of the features that you require are available in any plan you are considering. Moreover, you should also view all payment options for easy and secure payment transfers.

4. Money-back guarantee

A good web hosting company must offer strong refund policies paired with uptime guarantees to give site owners an option for a way out in case the plan does not meet their requirements. These policies are an important feature that differentiates brands and allows them to stand out from the crowd.

5. Technical support

This is one of the most important factors to evaluate when choosing the best website hosting service. Whether it is a simple query about the website setup or fixing a website when it crashes, prompt customer support is extremely important. You can make a test call or start a live chat with the company you are considering, just to get an idea of the quality of their support if an issue arises.

6. Reliability and uptime

If your website is inaccessible or slow, you will lose sales opportunities and productivity. You need a web host that promises a certain amount of uptime and reimburses when any unplanned outages occur. The uptime guarantee usually ranges from 100% to as low as 99%.

7. Backup security

Security breaches happen all of the time, no matter the type or size of the business. Make sure that your hosting company provides backup security to protect your customer’s private information. Providing customers with the security of safe transactions is an essential feature. Top hosting should provide firewalls, data monitoring, and other security tools to protect against any vulnerabilities.

8. SSL (secure server)

This is particularly important as plenty of web hosting companies offer free SSL certificates now. Even if you are just starting to build a website, getting SSL protection in place will help you to encrypt the data that your site exchanges with users and visitors.

9. Room to grow

You need a solution that is equipped to successfully manage a large influx of clients without compromising their online experience. Many companies experience growth quickly but they don’t have the resources to handle it. This can create problems like slow page loads, site downtime, and even impact search rankings.

What types of web hosting exist out there?

If you are not sure about the kind of service that is right for you, here is an explanation of the different types:

  • Shared hosting – With this option, you share hosting space with other users on the server. This plan is for small and medium-sized businesses that require basic websites or blogs. It provides all of the fundamental features at a low cost. Usually, these plans start from $4 to $10 a month. 
  • Virtual private server (VPS) – This is an intermediate plan between a shared and a dedicated server. With VPS, the server is divided into virtual sections and each website resides within its assigned section. It is ideal for bigger websites and owners who require more control. Pricing plans start from $10+ a month.  
  • Dedicated server – A dedicated hosting option offers the most control to website owners over their server space. The server is exclusively rented by you and it stores your website only. Pricing plans start from $100 per month and up.  
  • WordPress hosting – This solution is optimized to align with WordPress’s performance and security requirements. It usually includes one-click WordPress installations, which is the best option for people looking for web hosting for blogs. Similar to the shared type, plans start from $4 to $10 a month.   
  • Cloud hosting – Cloud hosting is similar to VPS, but instead of one physical server, your website is hosted on a network using combined computing resources. 
  • Managed hosting – Managed service comes with an added level of technical support. The hosting provider will manage your operating systems, hardware, software setup and configuration, maintenance, and monitoring.
  • Reseller hosting – Reseller is a type of service that involves one company renting hard drive space and bandwidth to another company that will then rent it to other smaller businesses.

FAQs before buying web hosting

What is web hosting and how does it work?


Web hosting is a B2C or a B2B service, provided by a hosting company that allocates storage space to individuals or organizations so that their websites can be accessible online. 

Any blog or other website on the World Wide Web is stored on a server/computer that is connected to the Internet. 

The website host could be anywhere in the world, but it has to have three things: 

Power source;
Internet connection; and
IP addresses.

Web hosting is a very virtual concept. Most people will never visit a data center to see what is going on behind closed doors. To make things easier to envision, we’ll look at each function of a web host through the analogy of opening and running a real business. 

Just like opening a new business, when creating a website you will need: 

Business name = Domain name
Location = Web server space
Staff = You or your webmaster
Product = Website content
Decor = Design of your website 
Office = Hosting account control panel


What type of hosting is right for me?


If you are still not sure what type of hosting plan is right for you, here are some final recommendations for different cases based on my own experience: 

For a personal website or a blog, choose a shared hosting plan. You can check the plans and pricing offered by these reliable hosting providers – GoDaddy, DreamHost, or Hostinger.  
For WordPress hosting-specific services, go with one of the popular choices. For smaller WP websites and blogs check out Bluehost, but if you are looking for more powerful WP solutions, check out WP Engine. 
For a small business website, you can also go with shared solutions. I recommend checking InMotion Hosting that offers excellent 24/7 customer support and focuses on helping small business owners to launch their websites.  
For a site with lots of content and traffic volumes, select VPS. We use the InMotion VPS plan for FirstSiteGuide. If you are not sure how much traffic or content you will be getting to begin with, go with a shared plan and you can always upgrade to VPS later on. 
For a startup that needs fast scaling, find a cloud hosting provider. Cloudways provides an excellent cloud product for growing startups, agencies and eCommerce businesses.   

P.S. In 90% of cases, for simple personal use you will be fine with shared hosting. Just make sure to choose a reliable service.


What does a web hosting service include?


Web hosting services include server storage, open-source software, support, and access to data centers. They also provide domain names, website builders, email platforms, storage capacity, and unlimited bandwidth.

To put it simply, your host is your landlord. Hosting companies are responsible for the power, server space, internet connection, providing tools to make a website, and making sure that your website is available online all of the time. If one of these areas is malfunctioning, it is their obligation to repair it. 

If you are having problems with your website, it is your responsibility to take care of it. Usually, web host support will work with you to determine the issue and fix the problem.


What is the difference between a shared and VPS server?

A shared server involves sharing your resources and server space with other websites. Shared hosting is ideal for basic personal websites or blogs. 


Shared hosting = Living in an apartment building 

VPS hosting offers dedicated server space for a website, but it still shares a physical server with other sites. VPS is best for bigger websites or online stores.

VPS = Living in a townhouse development

Watch this explanatory video if you are still confused.


How do I transfer an existing website to a new host?


If you choose to move your website to a different company, I recommend doing the following: 

To transfer your existing website to another web hosting provider, find a new company that offers free site migrations (all web hosts on our list offer that type of service). You can request a site migration by filling out the necessary forms or by contacting support. Usually, they will ask you to provide the login data for your existing web host, and the new service will take care of the rest.

If you want to learn more about the process of transferring a website, please read our in-depth guide.

Conclusion

There are countless web hosting services available online, but you need to carefully consider your requirements and the service’s features to choose the best web hosting for you.

Whether you are searching for the cheapest hosting plan or the most robust services or something specific that suits your small business, I hope this guide helped you to find the best website hosting company for your needs.

5 comments on “Best Web Hosting Services 2021”

  1. James

    I would personally recommend people to avoid free forms of hosting. These provide poor service and at the same time have some deep security concerns which can make things quite difficult.

  2. creativeON

    Enough to understand, this looks so good. Quite useful info thanks for this wonderful share.

  3. Adam

    Wasn’t aware that WordPress’ share is 60% of the global CMS market. Thanks for your info.

  4. Jim Morr

    From the list of web hosting providers you suggested, I spotted two of them which I personally used – WPEngine and Bluehost. For beginners who are just starting with their very first website, my vote goes to Bluehost company. The guys are very approachable when it comes to solving problems and needless to say, very affordable for the starters – especially if your budget is tight.

  5. Vish

    Nice Graphic!
    Well said, web hosting isn’t difficult.

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