Almost everyone has their own top list of Web hosting companies. Some are editor-driven, others are user-driven; some are based on popularity, others are based on reviews. However, they all tend to focus on larger, better-known companies that are widely respected in the field.
With that in mind, I’ve visited half a dozen different sites with top Web host lists, including this one and sought out companies that were consistently in the top 15-20 of Web hosting companies listed.
What I found was surprising. Though the exact order of the companies often varied wildly, there was actually a great deal of consistency in which companies were listed.
So, to help you speed up the creation of your own hosting short list, I’ve decided to list, in alphabetical order, the seven hosting companies that routinely appear on such lists, making them all a great place to start your own hosting search.
List of Seven Web Hosts
Please remember that this list is in alphabetical order and is not based on any average ranking. Since many of the lists used update daily or even hourly such an average would have been almost impossible to create, especially considering that different methods were used to score the hosts.
This list is only meant to reflect those companies that have scored consistently well across a wide variety of top web hosting lists.
- BlueHost: BlueHost is probably one of the largest hosting companies almost no one has ever heard of. At $6.95 per month for an unlimited account, the company also offers toll-free phone support.
- FatCow: FatCow has been a rapid up and comer in the hosting field for some time, known for being reliable, low-cost (at just $3.67 per month for an unlimited account currently) and good for the environment.
- Hostmonster: Hostmonster seems to be a divisive host. Though consistently in any top list, some lists put Hostmonster at the top while others toward the bottom. At $5.95 for an unlimited account, it still may be a solid option.
- InMotion: Inmotion targets businesses, not individuals, with its hosting offering. However, at $5.95 for a basic account with two domains, it may be approachable by all.
- IX Web Hosting: At only $3.95 per month for an unlimited account, IX Web hosting is another somewhat divisive host with some reviewers reporting issues but most editors and users alike reporting great experiences.
- JustHost: JustHost has proved to be a very fast-growing Web hosting company with very low prices, including a $3.45 per month plan offered currently.
- Web Hosting Pad: Easily the cheapest host on the list, with an unlimited account available for just $1.99 per month, WHP seems to be divisive among reviewers, getting mixed reviews on this site, but a hit among editors in the field and a rapidly-growing Web host.
Observations from the Host List
One thing I noticed very quickly as I went through the top lists is that the stalwarts of the industry, GoDaddy, Hostgator, Dreamhost, etc. rarely made appearances on such lists. GoDaddy was on most lists, but usually toward the bottom, and the others were only on one or two.
Also, nearly all of the hosts that were consistently on the lists were at the extreme low-end in terms of cost. Bluehost was easily the most expensive but, at $6.95 per month, is actually only average for shared hosting accounts. It seems, overall, that price was much more important than features or service in determining which of the hosts was the most popular.
Finally, nearly all of the hosts offered just one account, an unlimited shared one, and were laser-targeted at the personal hosting audience. InMotion does target small businesses, but with an account structure that is similar to any traditional shared host.
This also leads me to the great limitation of this list, there are no VPS, dedicated or other higher-end hosting providers. All of the companies listed are exclusively, or almost exclusively, low-end shared hosting providers. Part of this is because fewer users require VPS or dedicated hosting, but it is also because such sites don’t have as much competition for customers, so they don’t promote themselves on these kinds of top lists or use other sites dedicate to their kind of hosting.
This list is not meant to be an end-all of good hosting companies. Rather, these are just companies that have consistently done well on top hosts lists, there are many other great hosting companies out there to be found.
Still, this list might serve as a good starting point for any hosting search, letting you see what the popular hosting providers are offering and then branch out from there.
In short, this isn’t meant to be the end of your hosting search, but a new beginning for it. A chance to see what’s out there and what kinds of hosting companies/deals you should be aware of.
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