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A web hosting server is responsible for keeping your site up and running at all times. Some providers offer practically nothing except low-cost access to a server while others offer a variety of bells and whistles.
The trick is to find the features you’ll actually use at a price which won’t bust your budget. Don’t know where to start looking for the best web hosting sites? I’m here to help!
I’ve reviewed five top hosting services below. Find out which service is the perfect choice for your specific needs!
Comparison chart breakdown
Best web hosting providers (in order)
Is SiteGround the best hosting server? Well, they’re certainly one of the most popular.
SiteGround is one of the most widely-used hosting companies in the world. Not too bad considering they were founded by a group of college students back in 2004. Today they host over 450,000 domains for both individuals and businesses.
One major reason for their popularity is due to their easy-to-use platform. Even if you have very little web experience, SiteGround will walk you through the hosting process. They even offer WordPress-specific integration.
They offer three payment plans with different levels of storage capacity and monthly visitor limits. Additionally, they also offer a one-month trial period for $24.95. This is a great way to get a feel for the site before committing to an annual subscription.
SiteGround excels at keeping your site online, also known as “uptime.” The industry standard for uptime among all cloud storage providers is 99.90%. SiteGround goes beyond that with an industry standard of 99.98%!
They also offer fast speeds. On average, web pages load at 700ms. I personally clocked pages loading at a zippy 456ms on SiteGround. This just isn’t fast – it’s some of the fastest speeds I’ve ever seen!
WordPress integration is another area where they excel. If you build your site with WordPress, SiteGround will automatically close security holes, perform maintenance at the server level and provide automatic monthly backups.
SiteGround doesn’t offer you a ton of storage space. Their top plan has a 30 GB storage limit. While that’s not great, it’s also not unlimited.
If you run a small business, this storage limit won’t impact you. But as your business grows, you might want unlimited storage space.
You also need an annual commitment. SiteGround doesn’t offer any month-to-month plans. However, they do offer a one-month trial.
Overall, SiteGround offers fast speeds, reliable service and accessible customer support. Their storage limits are their biggest drawback, but that issue isn’t going to be a huge problem for bloggers and small businesses.
You’ve probably seen their Super Bowl commercials, which are often purposefully scandalous. But marketing aside, is GoDaddy the best hosting server?
Over 13 million people use GoDaddy services. The platform hosts over 60 million websites.
There’s a lot to like about GoDaddy. They offer reliable hosting at a competitive price, and you don’t need a ton of technical know-how.
A drag-and-drop interface lets you choose from over 300 unique templates to create a custom look for your site. You simply insert your content into your chosen design and you’re good to go!
Customer support is another area where GoDaddy excels. They offer live chat, support tickets and phone support.
Even better, their phone support connects you to a real person. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, GoDaddy’s customer support network is a huge plus.
But GoDaddy has some cons to consider, too. Due to their template design system, websites created in GoDaddy can’t be transferred to other hosting companies. Once you commit to GoDaddy, you’re stuck with them as long as you want to keep your existing website.
Lack of both e-commerce and mobile support are two other negatives you should be aware of. GoDaddy is great if you want to create a blog or other site which doesn’t directly sell products. But if you’re running a virtual store, GoDaddy isn’t the best choice. They offer no online retail tools. Plus, their mobile optimization options are automated and limited.
Overall, GoDaddy is an easy, reliable choice but does offer limited options for any serious e-commerce store.
They’re great if you want to get a basic site online quickly but I can’t recommend them for more advanced sites.
When searching for the best web hosting sites, one issue becomes clear very quickly: internet marketing can get pretty wild. Take Gandi.net. The basis of their entire company can be summed up in their official company slogan of “No Bull***t.”
I admit that at first I wasn’t thrilled. Much like GoDaddy’s risqué Super Bowl commercials, I’m always wary of a company which tries too hard to create an edgy marketing campaign. Do they actually offer a quality hosting service or are they only interested in attracting new customers for a short-term sale?
Turns out, there’s a lot to like about Gandi. Their company slogan isn’t just a motto. It actually represents their core company philosophy, which I found to be a nice change of pace.
First off, they’re committed to no hidden fees or upsells. You won’t find any of those “$1 for the first month of web hosting” deals which are so common among platforms like GoDaddy and 1&1. While those price breaks can be nice at the start, I’d rather just know the price I’ll be paying most of the time.
Also, Gandi offers a variety of free features with every domain. You get two free hosted pages, a free blog, free e-mail services and an entire year of SSL certification.
Another major selling point of Gandi is their commitment to customer privacy. They’ll keep your personal and professional info out of the hands of any third-party vendors.
Their prices are a bit on the high side. Plus, they don’t offer many consistent deals for news users. This is a sharp contrast to a platform such as GoDaddy which offers new users deals with near-constant regularity.
Instead, Gandi emphasizes short-term sales on many lesser-used domain names. For instance, at the time of this review, they’re offering a sale on .cam domains. While that might be a useful domain for some users, I doubt .cam has wide appeal.
Finally, Gandi isn’t very well known. I personally like the hosting platform quite a bit, but I understand if other users are wary. After all, Gandi has practically no marketing budget. Plus, they have profanity right on their front page.
Overall, they don’t project a very professional image. Potential customers who just stumble across their website are likely to form the wrong impression about the quality of the service.
If you’re already reasonably familiar with web hosting and similar technical issues, you can do a ton with the features offered by HostGator.
This Linux-based platform has servers located around the world. Shared hosting is their most common offering, but you can also choose dedicated and VPS.
Scalability and flexibility are the main draws with HostGator. As your site grows, you can easily scale up your hosting needs to match your expanding customer base. At the same time, you can also downscale in order to prevent paying for hosting features you don’t need.
Technically proficient or at least interested in learning more? HostGator lets every user install and customize whatever software they like thanks to providing full root access. VPS includes cPanel and MySQL databases.
Don’t worry if extensive customization isn’t your thing. In addition to their semi-managed plans, they also offer fully managed options. While this service is passable, it does cost extra. Plus, you’re not going to get the personal touch you would if you optimized the site yourself or hired an SEO pro to do so for you.
Overall, HostGator offers a lot of customization options at a reasonable price. While they do have semi-managed plans, you’re really only to get the most out of this platform if you have a fair amount of technical expertise.
Bluehost is one of the largest web hosts around. Located in Provo, Utah, they host over two million websites. Their team consists of 750 people who provide support around-the-clock all year long. Bluehost was founded by Danny Ashworth and Matt Heaton.
Bluehost is relatively well-known for their affiliate program. Users are encouraged to recommend the service to their friends. Each referral earns money from Bluehost. Last year the platform paid out over $5 million.
Bluehost is secure, reliable and straight-forward. Even if this is your first time using a web hosting server, you should be able to navigate the menus and get your site online fairly easily.
Bluehost is especially easy if you built your site with WordPress. They offer full WordPress support. In fact, Bluehost is one of only three web hosts officially recommended by WordPress. Here’s a video from Bluehost which offers more details:
Another thing I like about Bluehost is their commitment to security. They use:
- CloudFlare: keeps your site online even during traffic attacks
- SSH access: helps keep browsing secure
- IP address blacklists: helps ban trolls and stop harassment
- Hotlink protection: helps stop content theft
Bluehost is verrrry slow. They’re actually one of the slowest hosts I’ve ever tested! The average load time is around 700ms. Slow load times can really hurt your bottom line, so Bluehost might not be the best choice if you’re looking to host an online business.
Bluehost also doesn’t get high marks for customer service. While the individuals I dealt with were all knowledgeable, there were almost always long wait times. I understand that Bluehost is popular, but long wait times can still affect my bottom line if my site is down and I need help.
The best web hosting sites will make customer service a top priority, no matter how many customers they have. Even though Bluehost has tons of customers, I wish their customer support response times were quicker.
Our conclusion on the best hosting server reviews
So, what are the best web hosting sites? Well, there’s no one simple answer. The best web hosting service is the one which provides the features you need at the price you can afford.
My list above shows five of the best website providers. They all have different strengths, and none of them are free from flaws, but overall you should be happy using any of them for hosting.
Personally, I feel that the best web hosting provider is SiteGround. They offer a great mix of service, features and price. Plus, they also offer a trial period, which is a great option for anyone new to the world of web hosting.
Their dedication to providing above average functionality in the widest range of factors is a smart move. The fact that they have specific options to cater to all kinds of websites puts them ahead of the competition and makes them the go-to for anyone looking to host a site.