We test dozens of the biggest & best known hosts in the world before making our recommendations. Below you'll find our top ten reviewed & rated, as well as the scores from our users and links for you to do your own research.
"I would recommend Siteground without reservation."
Mark Barnes - emw.org.uk
I have worked with two other hosts and can say without reservation that SiteGround has the best Customer Service to be found. It is responsive, understandable, and yields results. I would recommend SiteGround without reservation. Other services are superb also, uptime, new services etc.
InMotion is an independently owned LA-based hosting company with shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting options.
Stand out features include fast SSD servers, free backups, and 24/7 support from WordPress experts. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and glowing customers reviews, it's easy to see why so many small businesses choose InMotion for their hosting needs
Includes a free domain, advertising credits, and an incredible 90-day money back guarantee.
Founded in 2010, WP Engine focuses solely on managed WordPress hosting.
Though their service is slightly more expensive than other options, they provide value with highly-secure and optimized WordPress hosting. WP Engine takes care of updates, patches, and they engage in real-time security threat detection.
Make your choice of server location from countries all over the world. And, enjoy their highly-scalable architecture that can handle large traffic spikes.
A2 Hosting puts the customer first with their solid 24/7 customer support and shocking anytime money-back guarantee. With an easy-to-use control panel, it’s clear the company wants to make your life easier.
They have super-fast Turbo Servers available which give you 20x the speed of regular shared hosting. Great for bloggers and e-commerce, all shared plans are optimized to host WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
In addition, A2 offers Windows hosting with all the included software installs needed for application development.
HostPapa is an independently owned company powering over 500,000 websites. Their hosting includes a free domain name, easy-to-use control panel, and free website building software. HostPapa allows your business to grow without limiting disk space and bandwidth.
Their award-winning, multilingual PapaSquad Support Team is available at all hours. And, every new account owner gets a free 30-minute training session with one of their experts. They’ll also throw in free website migration with any sign-up.
With a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s no reason not to give them a try.
HostGator provides some of the best value for your money. Their affordable plans include all the bells and whistles that you would expect. Such as one-click app installs, 24/7 customer support, and an included website builder.
Great for individuals and small businesses, HostGator offers speedy cloud hosting at extremely affordable prices. They use this same cloud architecture to power their optimized WordPress plans as well.
Support is available in different languages, localized to different countries. Anyone will be able to set up a website in no time with HostGator.
FatCow’s web hosting is straightforward, simple, and cheap. Their optimized WordPress hosting includes a customized control panel, as well as pre-installed themes and plug-ins.
WordPress users have the option of enhanced security and super-speed hosting on their SSD architecture for a slightly higher price. FatCow even provides a team of WordPress experts to help you out with anything you need.
Transfer your website to FatCow for free or get a new domain name included with any plan. They’ll also throw in hundreds of dollars in Ad credits.
The web hosting reviews racket is broken - and we want to fix it.
You're here because you're smart. That's why we want you on our side. You're not duped by other pay-for-placement 'hosting comparison' sites or the astro-turfed hosting reviews you read elsewhere.
We see our integrity as a win-win. You get straightforward, honest and reliable hosting reviews; we earn your respect and, hopefully, your loyalty. Our aim is that, one day, you'll buy hosting via our referral links to help fund our good work.
Why Does Your Choice of Web Hosts Matter?
Some people take a scattershot approach and pluck a random web host for their website. Maybe they saw an ad or picked the first search result. We can't do much to help impulse-buyers.
We know you're not like that because you're on our site, researching your options. You know that making the wrong choice of web hosts now could have lasting implications down the road, for better or worse.
There are obvious benefits of getting the right web host: pricing within your budget and getting the features you need for your website. But there are also hidden considerations that you shouldn't overlook. We answer the questions you might not have considered asking, like:
Does a host offer reliable tech support in your language?
How does their money-back guarantee work?
What happens when your site outgrows your initial plan?
Why Does Hosting Support Matter?
Another often overlooked factor in choosing a web host is the quality of their tech support and customer support. Support has wide-ranging implications from app installations and troubleshooting to guarantees, billing questions, and available upgrades.
We don't just accept what a web host says about their support. We get the details on how customers are treated from the patrons themselves. Our experts put in tech support tickets and interact with web hosts across different channels like live chat and email.
What Other ServicesCan Web Hosts Offer?
Another thing you might not automatically think of when choosing a web host is the services they offer above the minimum web hosting features.
Some hosts provide significant added value by bundling up their plans with additional services like free site migration, professionally designed themes, and unlimited email addresses. On the other hand, some hosts may try to entice you with "free services" that you'll never need.
We've done the research to see if extra services are something you might benefit from.
Why Our Hosting Reviews Are Different
Before giving us your respect or loyalty, we earn your trust. Here are the key reasons why our hosting reviews are different from other review sites:
#1. Power to the People
Review websites are meant to help you research and choose your perfect web hosting plan. This means you need the ability to objectively compare hosts across lots of different requirements - from cost to customer support to packages offered.
Many hosting review sites try and steer you towards just a handful of hosts in order to earn more money. They'll deliberately only review the companies that pay big, and hide or even remove what may well have been the best deal for you.
Our Approach: The idea is simple: with our hosting comparison tool and database you can search, slice, dice and filter to your heart's content. And we're not just talking 'price' or 'ratings'. At the time of writing, we track over 600+ web hosting companies & thousands of hosting plans and packages.
More than review ratings and price: Using our comparison tools you can quickly compare hosts based on any feature you like, including:
Specialist features like Green hosting or Podcast hosting
Content Management Systems like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and more
Disk space and bandwidth
Easy installs of over 70 platforms, like Drupal and Moodle.
Operating systems, like Linux, Windows, Debian, Ubuntu, and Red Hat
Control Panels, like cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin and OpenVZ
Support for scripting and languages (30 options to use as filters)
Need a host that offers Tomcat JSP in Europe that, supports Django or accepts bitcoin payments? We got you covered.
Want to compare only a few features? We've got you covered there too. Simply select the "Top Features" you need and adjust the slider for desired disk space. Easy!
#2. Our Opinions Are Honest & Real
Most hosting review websites suck big time. They're not just poor quality, they deliberately attempt to misinform and mislead users. We're all about the long-term relationships, so it's important that you don't get duped when you're on our site. Here's how we achieve that:
Hosting review sites will 'endorse' a particular host by praising its services as loudly as possible. The review site gets a payoff when a customer is duped by the endorsement and parts with their cash. More often than not, bear little or no resemblance to reality.
Our Approach: Any host profiles published on our site are by writers who have no explicit knowledge of our relationship with the host they are writing about. They could find it out if they wanted to - but frankly, there's no reason they should care. In short: that's because our writers have absolutely no financial incentive to lie about a host.
One thing that's different about our reviews is that they're not based on researching other review websites.
We have test accounts for the many hosting companies for our writers and editors to use. Allowing us to log in, create websites, break things, contact customer support, etc -- and compare this experience against other hosts. We also track uptime and page speed.
If our reviewers have personal experience with a host, we encourage them to share their opinions -- good or bad, as we aim to play hosting plan matchmaker (romantic!) for our readers.
Our Experts Know Their Stuff
Our team is based all over the world, but they have at least one thing in common: a passion for the internet and helping others make sense of its dizzying complexity.
Our experts may be super-nerds, but they don't limit themselves to assessing tech for its own sake. They also strive to convey how to put new technologies to practical use -- for everything from programming to design and marketing.
#3 Real User Reviews
The more reputable a hosting company appears, the more money hosting review sites typically earn from that host. This leads to some web hosts & review sites cooking the books with user reviews.
It's cheap enough for companies to pay a few dollars on Mechanical Turk to use of 'sock-puppets' - fake users - paid to write positive reviews ('astroturfing'). Contrary to popular belief, astroturfing is a criminal offence in both Europe and the United States.
Our Approach: Reviewers are in complete control of what they say. We use incentives (eg, a free domain name) to encourage visitors to review their web hosts.
All reviews submitted to us have to jump through several hoops before publication:
Every review is moderated. Our team can smell out an inauthentic review at fifty paces.
Reviewers must supply a full (real) name for publication.
As you can imagine, it's a challenge to publish only genuine user reviews - but we do everything we can to keep it that way.
One of the Most Experienced Review Sites on the Web
Over ten years. Over 10,000 real customer reviews.
That's how long we've been helping people pick a web host and how many customers have chosen to put their reviews on our site.
To put those numbers in perspective, think about what you were doing 10 years ago -- and how much smarter you are now than you were then. (Also, think about those embarrassing clothes you wore. We do.)
Customer Reviews Must Meet a Standard of Quality
We've given away over 10,000 free domain names for qualifying customer reviews since 2013. Since we reward excellent reviews with a real, monetary incentive like free domains, we are pretty picky about accepting reviews.
We've all seen Amazon reviews that amount to one-word: "Awesome!" or, "Terrible!" Pretty useless in helping you decide what to buy, right? That's why we only accept high quality reviews. No trolling or puff reviews allowed. No one gets a free domain from us unless they pass muster.
The most common reasons we reject reviews:
Pseudonyms. We don't allow handles or anonymous reviews. Reviewers must stand by their statements with real names.
Animosity. Swearing, libel, or other very distasteful speech will get a review canned.
Bogus reviews. Astroturfing, spamming, sock-puppet accounts, fake users, or paid reviews aren't allowed on our site.
Plagiarized or duplicate reviews. We only publish reviews that are unique to our site.
It takes a lot of time to weed out bad reviews, but we're laser-focused on getting the best information on our site so we think it's worth the effort.
We've talked elsewhere about how sleazy many 'hosting reviews' sites are: shill reviews, pay-for-placement, outright lies etc. However, as well as the obvious moral implications, this approach just doesn't make good business sense.
We believe that honest reviews & useful information to help you choose a host mean a more profitable business for us in the long run. If you can't find honest, useful information now - why the hell would you ever come back?
Our hope is that you'll use our site time and again - like if you choose to upgrade from shared hosting plan to a VPS.
We could play the fly-by-night game that many hosting reviews sites choose. But, in the long term, we'd lose out big time and. And, frankly, we'd also lose sleep at night.
How You Can Help...
The referral fees we receive are how we survive as a business (more on that on our 'full disclosure' page). It doesn't cost you anything extra and it means we can keep delivering the same high-quality service.
Here's how it works. When you click through to a web host via one of the links on our pages, we get a bit of referral revenue. You pay nothing.
Clicking through our links to a web host can get you a steep discount. (Photo by rawpixel.com via Unsplash).
Why are referral links good - fantastic, even? Lots of reasons:
We don't subject you to more annoying forms of advertising.
We don't spam you with umpteen newsletters selling products.
We don't require a subscription to use our site.
This revenue helps fund our other awesome features, like our infographics and resources.
So, if you learn something while you're here, give us a boost by clicking one of our links when you make your decision on hosting. It won't cost you anything (in fact, it could get you a nice hosting discount) and it will keep our nerds team fed so they can keep fighting the good fight.
Our Dream Scenario
You want to create a website. You use our tools and reviews and you find the perfect host or website builder. All goes well and your business starts to take off.
You'll remember how useful we were and will visit us again. You'll leave a review and let our visitors read your experiences, and help them make better purchasing decisions.
Then you'll go and recommend us on your 50,000 subscriber blog (hey, this is our dream, remember?)
Did we help you with your website needs? Great! We'd love to be mentioned in your blog. (Photo by Andrew Neel via Unsplash.)
And if you did actually blog about us? Well, endorsements like that count for so much, so you'd directly be supporting us in our efforts to make the hosting industry an all round better place.
It's the second best thing you can do for us after buying via our site. See our 'spread the word' page for some of the wonderful things our users have said about us (and be sure to contact us if you've something we ought to add there).
If you're just starting up, shared hosting is probably sufficient. The only limiting factors for most beginners are the number of sites you can host, the scripting languages you can use, and the availability of good quality support from your host.
If you upgrade to VPS hosting, you'll get more control over your hosting environment, and you'll enjoy disk space and memory that's reserved just for you. That means there's less chance of a rogue shared hosting customer slowing down the server for everyone else.
If you aren't sure which type of hosting to choose, sign up for a shared account with monthly billing (HostGator is a good choice for this). That way, you can move to a VPS plan elsewhere without penalty, if you quickly outgrow your shared hosting space.
Should I get Windows or Linux hosting?
It doesn't matter if the computer you use is Windows, Mac, or Linux based: you can choose any operating system for hosting.
Choosing is simple: select hosting that will support the script, platform, or CMS you want to use. And if you aren't sure, go for Linux hosting. For example, WordPress will run on Linux and Windows, but hosts generally recommend that you run it on Linux. However, if you want to use a Windows-specific technology like ASP.NET, you'll need a Windows host.
Will my new host help me to transfer my data?
Some hosts offer a free migration service; such as SiteGround and HostPapa. Others will assess your site and provide a quote for the move. Check with a host's sales rep before signing up if you require assistance moving your website from the old host to new.
Keep in mind that hosts generally set limits on how many websites are covered under a free migration service for new customers.
How can I pay for web hosting?
All of the hosts we have reviewed accept credit cards. Many also accept PayPal, Skrill, and other online payment methods.
A handful of hosting companies accept cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and some even accept **gasp**... cheques. Payment methods offered to you may vary according to your location.
How often will I be billed?
Yearly and monthly billing is the most common. Most hosts reduce their prices for a long-term commitment. But check the host's money-back guarantee and refund policy before you commit.
What is an uptime guarantee?
An uptime guarantee is a service level agreement between the hosting company and you, the customer. If the host advertises 99% uptime, for example, it may provide a credit on your account if uptime falls below that.
Uptime figures can be misleading; a 99% uptime guarantee allows for more than 7 hours of downtime a month, which is quite a lot for a business-critical website. In contrast, a 99.9% uptime guarantee means that the host can only get away with 44 minutes of downtime before you're compensated.
Check how the host measures downtime (month to month, or over the full year), and check the claims process to find out how you'll be compensated.