Web Hosting Reviews: Shared, WordPress & VPS Hosts
If your domain is your digital address - hosting is your digital real estate. Your hosting server is where your website will live online. Good hosting is critical to building a successful project online.
But choosing the right web hosting company is tough. There are dozens if not hundreds of providers. And choosing one to host your website - your digital presence is a big deal. Oh - you also want them to be affordable and convenient.
There is no such thing as an overall "best" option for everyone. There is no "best web hosting" - there is only the best option for you based on your goals, expertise, resources & situation.
Highlights from Web Hosting Reviews
Here are the companies that are usually a good fit for most based on my experience.
|Name||Best if you want...||Plans!|
|InMotion||…high-performance & independent-owned w/ great support.||Explore!|
|HostGator||…overall value w/ good pricing, support & unmetered features.||Explore!|
|SiteGround||...good support & advanced features w/ plans to grow.||Explore!|
|GreenGeeks||...good support, high performance & runs on clean energy.||Explore!|
|Bluehost||...name-brand hosting w/ good support, pricing & interface.||Explore!|
I've also reviewed larger brands such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, 1&1 Hosting and DreamHost in addition to up and coming brands such as Web Hosting Hub and HostPapa. I've written guides/quizzes to help sort & choose the best shared, WordPress, email, blog, and VPS hosting.
Factors in Web Hosting Reviews
I've been able to look at a range of web hosting companies as part of my or my clients' projects. There's a lot of factors that go into my web hosting reviews, but the main factors are:
Price - How competitive is their short-term pricing? What about their long-term pricing? Are they offering real value or just a short-term "bait" type pricing?
Features - What do they offer beyond core hosting features (aka the "3 D's - domains, database and disk space)? Do they package bonus features (such as backups) or charge separately?
Ease of Use - How do they make the sign-up and setup process less daunting? Do they make it worse with upsells?
Support - How much does the company invest in support? Individual experiences can be anecdotal, but it's usually possible to tell if a company views support as an investment rather than a cost.
Performance - How well do their servers perform? Are they going to be a speed bottleneck?
Culture - What does the company value? Are they all about lock-ins and upsells or do they value long-term relationships?
Customer Focus - What's the company's ideal customer? Are they looking for WordPress developers or beginners?
Browse my web hosting reviews below (based on how recently they were published). Or -
Take my shared hosting quiz which will generate the best web hosting company for you based on your goals & preferences.
A2 Hosting is an independent web hosting company founded in 2003. They are based in Ann Arbor Michigan but serve hosting markets globally. A2 Hosting positions themselves as a high performance, speed-focused hosting company with excellent support.[Read more…] about A2 Hosting Pros & Cons for Hosting
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting provider based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress.[Read more…] about WP Engine Review: 9+ Pros & Cons of WP Engine WordPress Hosting
iPage Hosting is an established hosting company targeting the entry-level and budget-conscious end of the market. They’re one of Endurance International’s (a large hosting brand holding company) brands, along with Bluehost and HostGator.[Read more…] about iPage Hosting Review: Pros & Cons of Using iPage
HostGator is one of the most well-known brands in the hosting world. They are one of the two flagship brands of Endurance International, the world’s largest web services corporation.[Read more…] about HostGator Review: 11+ Pros & Cons
Bluehost is one of the most established and well-known hosting brands on the internet. It’s a brand owned by the Endurance corporation.[Read more…] about Bluehost Review: 9+ Pros & Cons of Using Bluehost Hosting
NameCheap is an independent (ie, not owned by a big holding corporation) ICANN-accredited web services company founded in 2000. They were founded as a domain registrar, but have expanded to offer a complementary spectrum of hosting services in addition to other services.[Read more…] about NameCheap Hosting Review w/ Pros & Cons
HostPapa is an independent (ie, not owned by a big holding corporation) web hosting provider from Toronto, Canada. They offer a spectrum of hosting services from shared hosting to VPS servers with a focus on small business owners (rather than bloggers or online-only operators).[Read more…] about HostPapa Review: Pros & Cons of Using HostPapa
GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest “web services” companies. Although they were founded as a domain registrar, they provide a whole range of services from web hosting to website builders to accounting to email to digital storage to online security and much more.[Read more…] about GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Review: Pros & Cons of Using GoDaddy
InMotion Hosting is one of the largest independent web hosting companies in the world. They’ve been around since 2001, and have developed a brand around being a transparent, reliable web hosting service for businesses and organizations.[Read more…] about InMotion Hosting Review: 6 Pros & 3 Cons of InMotion Hosting
SiteGround Hosting is an independent web hosting company founded in 2004.
They are based in Bulgaria but serve hosting markets globally. SiteGround positions themselves as a company offering high-quality, “well-crafted” hosting solutions.[Read more…] about SiteGround Hosting Review: Pros & Cons of Using SiteGround
Liquid Web is one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They were founded in 1997 and have data centers in Michigan, Arizona, and The Netherlands.
They have traditionally focused on dedicated, VPS, and cloud hosting. However, in their recent growth push, they have expanded to offer a wide variety of products, including Managed WordPress Hosting.[Read more…] about Liquid Web Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives
Kinsta Hosting is a rapidly growing, independent hosting company founded in 2013. Kinsta is focused exclusively on managed WordPress hosting with reliable customer support and Google Cloud-driven performance.[Read more…] about Kinsta Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives
GreenGeeks is an independent, rapidly growing hosting company based in California, but with data centers across the US and Europe. GreenGeeks positions itself as a more environmentally friendly host with a focus on customer support.[Read more…] about 10+ GreenGeeks Pros and Cons for Web Hosting
WPMU Dev is a long-time member of the premium WordPress software community. While they are best known for their plugins, they recently launched a new WordPress hosting product.
I’m currently a WPMU Dev member and had free access to the new hosting product. The WordPress & web hosting world is constantly evolving with new & interesting products.
Given that I use & love some of their plugins, I tried out the hosting product as well. Here are the pros, cons, use cases & alternatives for WPMU Dev hosting.[Read more…] about WPMU Dev Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives
1&1 IONOS is one of the largest brands in the Internet services industry, and I get a lot of reader questions about what their hosting product is like. I’ve worked with 1&1 IONOS web hosting several times for clients, and recently bought a hosting package for a separate project I’m running. Here’s my first 1&1 web hosting review in a series that looks at their hosting product overall & in comparison with other top hosts.
1&1 IONOS offers a wide range of products from domain names to hosting to website builder packages. 1&1 IONOS is actually one of the oldest web hosting companies – founded in 1988. And they are also one of the more aggressive advertisers with full-page ads in magazines and TV spots. Anecdotally, I think only GoDaddy rivals 1&1 in terms of mass-market advertising and brand awareness.
They recently merged with one of Europe’s largest cloud providers to create a new company. They’ve redesigned a lot of their products, and restructured their products.
But big brand doesn’t always mean a good product – and that’s one thing I wanted to look into with a full 1&1 IONOS web hosting review.[Read more…] about 1&1 IONOS Web Hosting Review: 4 Pros & 4 Cons of 1&1 Hosting
So you’re looking into using Cloudways as your hosting provider, and you’re wondering how they stack up against the competition.
But hold on one second.
I tested out Cloudways for a client project because they have gotten really good press for creating a truly unique product in a pretty staid industry.
As with any unique product, they’ll need a bit of background on the web hosting spectrum.
Usually your website files live on a part of a server that you rent from a hosting company (hence “shared” hosting). A cloud is an entire network of data centers that host website files in a distributed & decentralized fashion. Your files are deployed “everywhere” in a way of speaking. You just rent the resources on the network needed to host & deliver your files.
Imagine real-world housing for a second. Traditional hosting is like buying a house, townhouse or condominium. You buy it and you can do whatever you want. It’s cheap and predictable. But if your entire extended family shows up one day – you might have some issues hosting everyone. Cloud hosting is like having access to any house anywhere in the world whenever and wherever – you just have to pay per night for whatever house you use. It’s more expensive day to day, but when your entire extended family shows up one day – it’s a pretty simple, quick fix. You just get the 12 bedroom house for the night and no one is the wiser.
The actual cloud is built by the biggest tech companies in the world. There are not that many. Amazon is the biggest. They are closely followed by Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM along with a few smaller ones like Digital Ocean.
With cloud hosting, you have more access to guaranteed resources than on shared hosting.
On shared hosting, you have a set amount of resources on a specific server that also has a set amount of resources. For example, you might have 1GB of Memory dedicated to you on a server that has 10GB of memory in total.
But suppose there are 10 customers on that shared server, each with 1GB of memory. 9 of those customers start using a full 1GB of their allocation – sometimes a little bit over. Well, now, you can’t actually use your 1GB of memory without bringing the server done. In that case, you might get throttled or one customer’s site might get taken down. Now, a good shared hosting will have network engineers who have built out ways of balancing, but it’s the core tradeoff with the setup.
On cloud hosting, you pay per use of resources on a distributed network of servers that has basically infinite resources. Your data doesn’t live on a single server. Instead, it’s copied on a whole network all around the world. If a single server gets overloaded, another server starts returning the the data.
This is the reason why NetFlix runs on Amazon’s cloud and why Twitter runs on Google’s Cloud. Those are extreme but illustrative examples. They see huge spikes at random times during the day that only a cloud can handle.
This makes cloud hosting a great option for websites that have spiky traffic (like viral news sites or a site that goes through regular launches) and doesn’t want to commit to a set amount of resources that may or may not be guaranteed.
But cloud hosting is traditionally expensive and very technical to set up, which can make it not make sense for a lot of DIYers and small businesses. The time & money to get it configured *just* right is out of reach for most businesses.
And that’s where Cloudways comes in.[Read more…] about Cloudways Pros and Cons for Hosting
Hostwinds is an independent, US-based web hosting company who’s been around since 2010. They boast inexpensive pricing and excellent customer service, and like most hosting companies, also provide email, website builders, and domain services in addition to basic web hosting.
I’ve had several readers email to ask my opinion about Hostwinds, so I decided to give them a shot for a small project.
Here’s my Hostwinds review — structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer.[Read more…] about Hostwinds Hosting Review: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives
HostMonster is a web hosting brand owned by Endurance International. They offer shared Linux hosting (what nearly all starter website owners need) in three plans in addition to VPS and Managed servers. Like most hosting companies, HostMonster also provides email, a website builder, and various complementary services to web hosting.
One of my oldest clients uses HostMonster, but until now I’ve never written anything about them. Here’s my HostMonster Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience both as a customer and consultant to a customer.[Read more…] about HostMonster Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Comparisons
Hostinger is an independent, European web hosting company who has grown rapidly in just over a decade. They are also the parent company of the 000Webhost, Niagahoster and Weblink brands. In 2017, Hostinger reported 29 million users.
Like most hosting companies, Hostinger also provides email, a website builder, and various complementary services with 24-hour support and a 30-day money back guarantee.
I’ve had several readers email to ask my opinion about Hostinger, so I decided to give them a shot for a small project.
Here’s my Hostinger review — structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer.[Read more…] about Hostinger Hosting Review: Pros, Cons, & Alternatives
Just Host is a web hosting brand owned by Endurance International. They offer a standard selection of Linux-based web hosting solutions from shared hosting to VPS to reseller servers, though they focus on marketing their shared hosting solution (which is what most website owners need/want).
Their datacenter is located in Provo, Utah within (what appears to be) the same facilities as their sister brand Bluehost. Like most shared hosting companies, Just Host also provides email and various complementary services to web hosting.
I have a marketing client who uses Just Host, and I also gave them a try myself while shopping for a discount home for a WordPress-based side project.
Here’s my Just Host Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer (and consultant to a customer of Just Host).[Read more…] about Just Host Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Comparisons
DreamHost is one of the largest and most established hosting companies online. They have been operating since 1997 (positively ancient by digital standards) and have grown to serve more than 1.5 million websites and 400,000 customers across the globe.
They are independent and employee owned (ie, they aren’t another Endurance International or GoDaddy brand). They are also one of the longest supporters of open source and community built software (ie, WordPress, etc).
DreamHost offers a full-spectrum of hosting solutions from Shared (most common) to VPS to Cloud – and even a specialized WordPress offering along with complementary services like email and domain management.
But older and employee-owned doesn’t mean they are a best fit for everyone. While moving one of my side projects off an old HostGator VPS, I took the opportunity to give DreamHost’s shared hosting plan a try.
Here’s my DreamHost Hosting review – structured with the pros, cons and direct comparisons to competitors based on my experience as a customer.[Read more…] about DreamHost Pros and Cons for Web Hosting
FastComet is a 9 year old independent web hosting company headquartered in San Francisco, USA. Their team and services span the entire globe. They focus on shared & cloud hosting services with a focus on predictable pricing & fast customer support.
FastComet has been in the hosting business for over 9 years, first providing professional services to private and business clients before launching their own public cloud hosting service in 2013. Their core offering is an SSD Cloud Hosting solution that is “one of the most accessible and affordable on the Web Hosting Market”, and are backed by a 24/7 support team of real people.
Due to their pricing and rapid growth, I’ve had a few readers asking what I thought of them, so while shopping for a new budget host for a side project, I decided to sign up and give them a try.
Here’s my FastComet Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer.[Read more…] about FastComet Hosting Review: Pros and Cons of Using FastComet
Web.com is a web hosting & website builder brand owned by the Web.com Group. They are one of the largest and oldest brands in the industry. The Web.com Group also owns brands like Network Solutions, Register.com and 1ShoppingCart.
Along with Bluehost and GoDaddy, they have some of the highest brand recognition in the general public due to their huge investment TV, radio, billboard and traditional advertising. In Atlanta, I’m pretty sure they’ve bought a significant portion of the bus stop ads. They also sponsor the 2nd tier professional golf league in America.
That kind of offline advertising plays to their core marketing message as the one place to get your website, online marketing and everything to go with it. Though technically speaking, Web.com offers only entry-level hosting & a DIY website builder application with upsell marketing services.
Due to my skepticism from their offline ads, I’ve never previously tried Web.com. But after a friend asked about them, I decided to give them a try with a small trial website.
Here’s my Web.com Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my recent experience as a customer.[Read more…] about Web.com Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives
eHost is a web hosting brand owned by Endurance International. They offer shared Linux hosting (what nearly all starter website owners need) in the form of single unlimited plan. They have been around for a while, but were only recently relaunched by their parent company.
Their datacenter is located in Houston, TX within (what appears to be) the same facilities as their sister brand HostGator. Like most shared hosting companies, eHost also provides email, a website builder, and various complementary services to web hosting.
I’ve had several readers email to ask my opinion about eHost, so I decided to give them a shot in my recent shopping tour of entry-level web hosts.
Here’s my eHost Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer.[Read more…] about eHost Hosting Review: Pros, Cons & Comparisons