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Today, your website address is as expected as having a phone number—especially if you run a business. A web presence is a must. The top hosting services have responded to the surge in demand by offering more value-added services which is good news for customers. It means more choices with a premium on good quality service and reliability.
Your choice of provider may be one of the most important business decisions you make. Who is the best web hosting company? A great deal depends on how you use your website. The needs of an online seller vary from a portfolio site. You should begin with a budget and a list of features you need and want to establish your online presence.
Top hosting services 2019
Here are our picks for the top web hosting sites. The criteria used to judge the top hosting providers focused on performance and reliability.
A hosting service can offer all kinds of bells and whistles. But it matters little without a site being available to users and potential customers 24/7. We considered regular pricing rather than promotional first-term costs.
However, it pays to look for actual costs carefully. Web hosting services know this is a primary consideration. So, what you'll see is their best price, but not necessarily at the entry level you're considering. If you prefer a month-to-month billing cycle, you will pay more. If you want to commit to an annual term, you'll save money in the long run and more often than not, get some perks for doing it.
Security also figured into the mix—especially since this factor plays directly into consumer confidence. From a webmaster point-of-view, we considered the ease of setup as it applies to different users.
While new users may need some hand holding, this criterion may not matter too much to experienced users. And while some features like website building tools may be important for some, unlimited websites may not. Keep these things in mind when considering your choice.
Top hosting services compared: breakdown chart
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Here are the best web hosting providers
HostGator has been one of the top hosting sites and an Editors’ Choice by PC Mag. It offers a solid service for beginners with a variety of plans. It is the web hosting service of choice for both Google and Yahoo. It has made its reputation as one of the top web hosting sites offering affordable products. NCM Online recognized it for offering the Best Web Hosting Coupon Codes.
The service offers three web hosting plans starting at $5.56 a month for the first term with a 45-day money back guarantee. All include unmetered bandwidth. The ability to pay month-to-month is a welcome feature. Users have their choice of three webmail services with the anti-spam service, SpamAssassin. Users will also appreciate security features such as the IP Deny Manager and hotlink protection.
They offer website-building tools as well as your choice of over 4,500 free website templates to get your site up quick. Hostgator has several other tools and add-ons to customize your site, including several e-commerce packages and email marketing tools. In addition to WordPress, you can also install Drupal and Joomla CMS platforms.
Since we love HostGator so much, we have negotiated an exclusive offer for you! Instead of paying full price, you can get over 60% off the regular rate and only pay $2.64/month here.
As one of the older web hosting services around, 1&1 bills itself as the one-stop solution for both domain registration and hosting. The service provides a stable and reliable product. Like a few others on this list, it has a 100-percent Uptime Rate by NCM Online. This fact alone makes it a smart choice for business sites.
The service offers four tiers, starting with its Starter Plan at $0.99 a month, the least expensive of all considered. That's for the first year. Afterward, the price jumps to $7.99 a month. Plans vary by the amount of products you can sell as well as added features. It's worth noting that all plans are optimized for mobile devices and include an SSL certificate.
While 1&1 doesn't offer as many web applications, you will get unlimited websites and disk space along with 20 MySQL databases. The service clearly is focused on e-commerce. Upgraded tiers offer some valuable features, such as Paypal Checkout, Facebook Store, eBay, and Amazon Marketplace.
Online sellers will appreciate the large amount of customization options for selling including delivery methods and payment types.
3. A2 Hosting
Launched in 2003, A2 Hosting has gained a solid reputation as one of the top hosting providers. Its mission is to provide fast, reliable service with a 24/7/365 support team. A2 Hosting led the list of NCM Online’s top web hosting sites and the Fastest Web Hosting Provider in the United States. It is also one of only 36 hosting services with a 100-percent Uptime Award.
The service offers three tiers, based on services and speed, beginning at $2.64 a month based on the current discount. All plans include unlimited storage and transfers. But for less than a dollar more, you get unlimited websites and databases. A notable feature is its Anytime Money Back Guarantee. Options range from the one site with the Lite Plan to the unlimited resources with the Swift Plan and finally to the top speed with the Turbo Plan.
Regarding cyber security, A2 Hosting offers a free HackScan Protection as well as brute force defense, and a dual firewall. The service includes the CloudFlare Free CDN for faster and safer browsing.
You’ll also get a free Universal SSL available with all pricing tiers. Backups are also included with all tiers for added protection against data loss. With all of these measures in place, you can feel confident that your site is safe.
A lot can be said by a web hosting provider by its customers. Bluehost counts Paypal and Verisign among its many clients which say a lot about how seriously the company takes cyber security. Like A2 Hosting, it provides CloudFlare CDN free as well as three email spam tools including Spam Assassin. Having three choices shows their emphasis on keeping you safe. Bluehost is geared toward beginners, offering website-building tools and a 1-Click WordPress install.
The service offers four pricing tiers, starting at $3.95 a month for its current discount. All plans include unlimited network bandwidth, a nice feature for sites with heavy traffic. On the downside, Bluehost doesn’t offer month-to-month shared hosting plans. Rather you have to pay the upfront cost for the entire year. However, the longer you commit to its hosting service, the greater the discount you get.
If you use WordPress for your blog or CMS, you may like to know that Bluehost is the recommended web hosting of choice by WordPress.org. Each plan comes with a one-year free domain registration as well as a generous amount of subdomains. The Basic Plan includes 25 subdomains, which can serve the needs of most users. A nice feature of the higher-tier plans is the WordPress-specific security and hotlink protection. Also, administrators can implement other security features like password-protected directories and an IP address blacklist.
Not sure where to start? ODi Productions explains how to set up a WordPress website from domain name to finished site.
5. Total Server Solutions
Right away, Total Server Solutions stood out as a provider with the experienced user in mind with its three plans appropriately named Dork, Geek, and Nerd. The web hosting service makes it easy for you to consider it with a no-contract policy and anytime money back guarantee. It offers many of the features that other web hosting services provide such as free website transfer and website building tools.
Certified Hosting also offers some unique perks that make it stand out from the competition. For example, displaying the Certified Pride button on your website gets you 10 percent off of your bill. Users on the Nerd Plan, get a free Dedicated IP and private SSL. Most providers charge for those services. You can pay monthly or annually with a discount, starting at $3.95 a month.
Certified Hosting is among NCM Online’s Top 10 Web Hosts and a recipient of its 100-Percent Uptime Award. For a shared hosting provider, it does a decent job of providing a fast and reliable service. It has the expected security features like SpamAssasin, IP deny manager, and hotlink protection. Like several sites reviewed here, Certified Hosting has 24/7 North American support.
DreamHost also has its followers, including users like Intuit, The Salvation Army, and Any.Do. It has several prestigious awards to make it a serious contender. It was the Winner of Business Choice Awards 2015 from PC Mag and the Fastest Web Hosting Provider Worldwide by NCM Online. The latter also gave it the 100-Percent Uptime Award in 2015. It stands behind its 100-percent uptime guarantee with one day of free service for every hour your site is down.
The provider offers a few perks that make it stand out from other web services, such as a 97-day guarantee. And if you register your domain with DreamHost, you'll receive free Whois privacy protection. It also puts security first with Multi-Factor Authentication and free secure hosting with Let's Encrypt. Uptime also ranks high with the provider with a 100-Percent Uptime Award from NCM Online. However, DreamHost does not have a website builder, making it a better choice for experienced users.
DreamHost offers different plans based on the service, starting at $7.95 per month. The service offers several payment options, including month-to-month. You can opt for annual, biennial, and triennial plans with substantial discounts. It offers free domain registration for the first year with no setup costs.
Of all the sites reviewed, Host Rocket was the one provider that was the most transparent about its costs. Right out of the gate, you know hosting costs range from $11.98 for a monthly plan to $5.99 for a biennial plan. The annual plan includes three months free and the biennial, six months. However, you can avoid a setup fee if you opt for an annual or biennial plan.
All plans include unlimited email accounts, websites, bandwidth, and disk space. Domain registrations and transfers are not free. It offers the usual applications available with most hosting providers, including Microsoft Expression Web support that experienced users will like. For the beginner, the service includes the RVSiteBuilder with pre-designed templates to get your site up quickly.
While remote backups are not free, you can still backup your data through cPanel. Add-on features include a dedicated IP address at a monthly rate, and a 256-bit SSL certificate offered on a biennial basis. While not as big of a company like Hostgator, the provider provides reliable service, having received NCM Online's 100-Percent Uptime Award. And like many of the other providers reviewed here, it has earned a place among its Top 10 Web Hosts.
8. Web Hosting Hub
If you had to describe Hub, also known as Web Hosting Hub, in one word, it would be unlimited. All of its three pricing tiers, which start at $4.99 a month, include unlimited email accounts, bandwidth, and disk space. With the upgraded tiers, you get unlimited websites, MySQL databases, subdomains, and parked domains. Its generous offerings are underscored by Hub’s place in the NCM Online’s top 10 web hosts.
Hub's team will set up your site with pre-installed WordPress or shopping cart, a perk for beginning users who will also appreciate the free website building tools. Experienced users will like the Free Zero-downtime Website Transfer. It also offers a US-based tech support staff. Regarding performance, the web service boasts the 100-Percent Uptime Award from NCM Online Award.
The service includes a generous $250 in ad credits with its 90-day money back guarantee for upgraded tiers. It also includes spam protection for email. Unfortunately, backups come at a monthly cost instead of as an added feature. On the plus side, it supports e-commerce sites with firewall protection, suPHP Encryption, and unlimited products.
InMotion has a lot to offer new clients with unlimited disk space, email accounts, and bandwidth on all sites across the board. While it offers many of the same features as other top hosting companies, it has some additional perks that make it worth a look. It includes free domain registration or transfer with its 90-day money back guarantee. The provider has three tiers that differ based on the number of parked domains, subdomains, websites, and MySQL databases.
Prices start at $2.95 per month with the current discount. Instead of one website, the Launch Plan allows you to add up to two websites at its lowest tier. If you have an existing site, you can take advantage of its No-Downtime Website Transfer. And you can get WordPress, PrestaShop, or Joomla pre-installed on your site. You can also install any of over 400 free applications to give you lots of options for customization.
InMotion offers several security features to keep your site safely and running. Hosting includes real-time spam scanning and data encryption. Support is available 24/7/365 with a US-based staff. You’ll receive free data backups with maximum speeds enabled on all plans, something that other hosting providers offer for a charge. InMotion ranked second among the top reviews
given by NCM Online.
The test of the top web hosting services is what the market thinks. IPage stands unique among the providers because of its pattern of steadily adding customers at a rate of 364 customers in last 60 days, according to Siftery.com. This surge is significant when compared to an established service like HostGator which added 113 customers during the same time period.
IPage differs from other top web hosting companies in that they have a single all-in-one plan that is $3.25 a month with its current promotion. All-in-one is a perfect description. It includes unlimited email accounts, bandwidth, and disk space like Hub as well as MySQL databases. It is new-user friendly with website building tools and a mobile optimized site builder. Considering how much people use a smartphone for Internet access, this feature offers a huge advantage.
Like 1&1, iPage focuses on e-commerce with a free online store, Paypal integration, and your choice of one of six shopping carts with a shared SSL. Security features include an advanced security suite and backups. In terms of performance, NCM Online selected it as one of the Top 10 Web Hosts and gave it its 100-Percent Uptime Award. The goal of iPage is getting your website up quickly and easily.
Among the top hosting services, you’ll find several standard features like one-click install and website building tools. What sets the different providers apart are the perks and costs. If you are new to the game, most providers will help you through the process with the notable exception of DreamHost which doesn’t offer web building tools.
If you want to host an online store, 1&1 and iPage are e-commerce-focused options that you will get you up and running quickly. If speed is your concern, A2 Hosting and DreamHost stand out. And if security ranks high on your list, A2 Hosting and Bluehost with their CloudFlare CDN free feature have you covered.The free Whois privacy protection offered by DreamHost is a unique offering among the web hosts considered.
Selecting a web hosting service can be a daunting task with the hundreds of providers available. One of the best ways to hone in on the best choice for you is to stick with facts and numbers. They don’t lie. The solid performance of each of these 10 hosting providers will give you a good start for finding the right fit for you or your business.