John Stevens  —

best web hostingTo date, we’ve tracked over 30 different web hosting companies over a period of 12 to 41-months.

Including many ‘popular’ hosts, such as Bluehost, HostGator and iPage.

Here’s what we did in order to find out the best web hosting provider:

  1. Signed up with 31+ most popular web hosts.
  2. Set up a blank (WordPress) website.
  3. Started to monitor their uptime and speed (still monitoring).
  4. Published reviews (and still accepting user reviews).

The current ranking formula is based on the following: average uptime and average speed (2017 December to 2018 September) and cost for 6 to 12-month plans.

If you’re into more detailed (last months data), check this live statistics page or this Google spreadsheet.

 

10 Best Web Hosting Services in 2018

HERE’S A LIST OF THE 10 BEST PERFORMING WEB HOSTING SERVICES BY UPTIME, SPEED and COST (according to our tests):

 

1. Bluehost: Highest Reliability ($2.75/mo)


Bluehost reviewLoad time: 425ms (5th in speed)
Uptime: 99.99% (1st in uptime)
Cost: $2.75/mo (3-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~5min)

Host with Bluehost Hosting

One of the most popular web hosts, hosting more than 2,000,000 websites and blogs since 2003. Officially recommended by WordPress.org.

Read why we rated Bluehost #1st in our reviews

 

2. HostGator Cloud: Best Cloud Hosting ($2.99/mo)


HostGator Cloud ReviewLoad time: 419ms (4th in speed)
Uptime: 99.97% (12th in uptime)
Cost: $2.99/mo (1, 3 and 6-month plans)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~3min)

Activate HostGator Cloud Discount

Founded in 2002, hosting 600,000+ websites. Most reliable web host by an average uptime and load time on our test sites.

Read why we rated HostGator Cloud #2nd in our reviews

 

3. SiteGround: Best WordPress Host ($3.95/mo)


SiteGround reviewLoad time: 714ms (12th in speed)
Uptime: 99.99% (2nd in uptime)
Cost: $3.95/mo (1-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~2min)

Host with SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround.com is officially recommended by WordPress.org. Founded in 2004, hosts 800,000 websites worldwide. BBB Rating of “A”.

Read why we rated SiteGround #3rd in our reviews

 

4. Hostinger: Best Cheap Hosting ($0.80/mo)


Hostinger pricingLoad time: 385ms (2nd in speed)
Uptime: 99.87% (25th in uptime)
Cost: $0.80/mo (4-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~10min)

Host with Hostinger Hosting

Hostinger was founded in November 2004, and they’ve become a web hosting powerhouse ever since. They’ve shot up to over 29 million clients in 178 countries.

Read why we rated Hostinger #4th in our reviews

 

5. iPage: Best for Small Website ($1.99/mo)


iPage hosting reviewLoad time: 821ms (17th in speed)
Uptime: 99.98% (8th in uptime)
Cost: $1.99/mo (3-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~12min)

Host with iPage Hosting

iPage Hosting is an Endurance International Group (EIG) brand, acquired in 2010 from founder Thomas Gorny.

Read why we rated iPage #5th in our reviews

 

6. A Small Orange: Expensive but Reliable ($5.92/mo)


A Small Orange review

Load time: 700ms (10th in speed)
Uptime: 99.99% (5th in uptime)
Cost: $5.92/mo (1-3 year plans)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~6min) 

Host with A Small Orange Hosting

Originally launched back in 2003 by Tim Dorr, A Small Orange, despite their small status and whimsical name, has been in this business for a while.

Read why we rated A Small Orange Hosting #6th in our reviews

 

7. Dreamhost: Good for Small Sites ($2.59/mo)


dreamhost review

Load time: 710ms (11th in speed)
Uptime: 99.95% (18th in uptime)
Cost: $2.59/mo (3-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~6 min)

Host with Dreamhost

Founded way back in 1996 by a few undergrad students at Claremont College in California. And it’s well respected, bringing home PCMag’s ‘Best Web Hosting Service’ award for the second year in a row.

Read why we rated Dreamhost #7th in our reviews

 

8. A2 Hosting: Fastest Shared Hosting ($3.92/mo)


A2 Hosting Review

Load time: 376ms (1st in speed)
Uptime: 99.90% (23rd in uptime)
Cost: $3.92/mo (3-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~8min) 

Host with A2 Hosting

Founded in 2002 (USA) and currently hosting 200,000+ websites. Fastest page load time among our WordPress test sites.

Read why we rated A2 Hosting #8th in our reviews

 

9. WestHost: Average Host With Affordable Pricing ($1.99/mo)


Westhost reviewLoad time: 893ms (19th in speed)
Uptime: 99.93% (20th in uptime)
Cost: $1.99/mo (1-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~14 min)

Host with WestHost

WestHost was founded in 1998 by Chris Russell, and they merged with UK2 Group in 2008. WestHost is one of the cheapest web hosts out there.

Read why we rated WestHost #9th in our reviews

 

10. Midphase: Slightly Slow, But Good Uptime ($3.95/mo)


MidPhase reviewLoad time: 1093ms (27th in speed)
Uptime: 99.99% (3rd in uptime)
Cost: $3.95/mo (1-year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~3min)

Host with Midphase Hosting

They’ve been around since ’98, have teams in the UK, Ukraine, and India. Since then, they’ve merged with the UK2 Group in ’07. 

Read why we rated Midphase #10th in our reviews

 

All 31 Hosting Services We’ve Reviewed…


RANK WEB HOST COST SUPPORT UPTIME LOAD TIME OUR RATING
1 Bluehost $2.75/mo 10/10 >99.99% 425ms ★★★★★
2 HostGator Cloud $2.99/mo 10/10 99.97% 419ms ★★★★★
3 SiteGround $3.95/mo 10/10 99.99% 714ms ★★★★
4 Hostinger $0.80/mo 10/10 99.87% 385ms ★★★★
5 iPage $1.99/mo 9/10 99.98% 820ms ★★★★
6 A Small Orange $5.92/mo 10/10 99.99% 700ms ★★★★
7 DreamHost $2.59/mo 9/10 99.95% 709ms ★★★★
8  A2 Hosting $3.92/mo 10/10 99.91% 377ms ★★★
9 WestHost
$1.99/mo 8/10 99.94% 893ms ★★★
10 Midphase $3.95/mo 9/10 99.99% 1093ms ★★★
11 LunarPages $3.95/mo 7/10 99.97% 822ms ★★★
12 JustHost $3.95/mo 6/10 99.98% 789ms ★★★
13 Web Hosting Buzz $4.95/mo 10/10 99.96% 521ms ★★★
14 Site5 Hosting
$6.95/mo 9/10 99.99% 693ms ★★★
15 MDDHosting $4.00/mo 9/10 99.81% 393ms ★★★
16 HostPapa $3.95/mo 10/10 99.98% 912ms ★★★
17 Hosting24 $2.59/mo 9/10 99.93% 941ms ★★
18 GreenGeeks $3.95/mo 9/10 99.92% 530ms ★★
19 NameCheap $2.88/mo 7/10 99.88% 942ms ★★
20 GoDaddy
$7.99/mo 7/10 99.96% 455ms ★★
21 FastComet
$2.95/mo 9/10 99.97% 955ms ★★
22 WebHostingHub
$4.99/mo 7/10 99.95% 716ms ★★
23 HostGator(Shared) $2.75/mo 9/10 99.98% 984ms
24 InMotion Hosting $6.39/mo 10/10 99.94% 808ms
25 HostRocket $5.99/mo 8/10 99.98% 1057ms
26 HostMonster $4.95/mo 8/10 99.96% 998ms
27 HostNine
$6.99/mo 7/10 99.86% 731ms
28 FatCow
$4.08/mo 8/10 99.80% 1274ms
29 WebHostingPad
$1.99/mo 9/10 99.73% 1423ms
30 HostMetro $2.95/mo 8/10 99.82% 1511ms
31  Arvixe $7.00/mo 6/10 99.72% 5679ms

 

About Our Web Hosting Review Process

Unlike other sites, we actually sign up and pay for web hosting.

We break down information about available packages and services, hidden fees, payment methods, and more. When we look at a web host, we start by reading over their terms of agreement to find out if there are any hidden, unfair terms that consumers should know about.

Then, we take a look at what kind of customer support they offer, whether it’s a live chat, phone, ticket, or email. Once we get a test site up and running, we evaluate the user interface of the host’s control panel and the total activation time.

We also monitor our site performance by plugging our domain names into Pingdom to look at speed and uptime.

Pingdom speed and uptime tracking

We look at how fast sites load in certain countries and across certain devices. Our reviews also look at the quality of customer support for each host. We actually contact each host to see how long they take to respond and whether or not they are friendly and helpful.

Based on everything we look over, we assign a total rating for each host that ranges from 0 to 10

If you wish to submit your own web hosting review, click here.

 

Why Uptime and Load Time Matters

Uptime and load time matter because they affect traffic, which in turn, most likely will affect your overall revenue.

You’ve got to keep an eye on both of these metrics because they indicate your site’s quality of performance. Uptime refers to the total time that your website is up and running without problems. Downtime refers to the time when your website is offline and unavailable to visitors and potential customers.

website uptime is important

The time your website isn’t running, you’re losing money.

At the same time, if you have a slow load time, your bounce rate will be off the charts. People don’t want to wait forever for web pages to load. In fact, they won’t wait longer than 3 seconds if they’re using a mobile device to browse. Today, more page views happen on mobile than on desktop.

That’s why you should make sure that your load times are fast and that your uptime is high.

 

What is Shared Hosting?

how shared hosting works

Shared hosting consists of multiple websites on the same web server owned by the web host.

This is easily the most popular (and cheapest) method of web hosting. If your site has high traffic, you might not want to go with shared hosting. Sometimes, resources aren’t shared equally when it comes to this hosting method.

Remember how I told you that a server provides resources for storing files? Well, these resources, like hard drive space and RAM, can slow down if a site you’re sharing the server with is receiving tons of visitors or has incorrect coding.

This can lead to your website going down or experiencing super slow load times, therefore only go with shared hosting if your revenue doesn’t depend on your site’s performance (or if you’re not receiving gobs of traffic).

 

What is Cloud Hosting?

how cloud hosting worksUnlike shared hosting that relies on one server, cloud hosting uses a cluster of servers that work together to store your website’s files and data.

Cloud-based hosting is great because it’s more efficient and secure than other hosting methods. These cloud systems protect your site against attacks better than traditional hosting systems because all the resources of multiple servers are in one virtual network.

Since the servers are virtual, clients only pay for what they need and use. When a physical server connected to the cloud goes offline or malfunctions, the virtual servers won’t be affected.

Think of it as a pay-as-you-go cell phone plan: You’ll never pay for resources you don’t need. And, if you need more to cover a jump in traffic, all you’ve got to do is pay a bit more money for that period of time.

 

What is WordPress Hosting?

WordPress hosting is for WordPress websites only. It’s fast because every aspect of WordPress servers has been optimized for setting up WordPress.

Your loading speeds will be much faster on WordPress in comparison to some other shared hosting sites. This is also true for your uptime. It’s also more secure because you’ve got a support team of WordPress experts to back you up if your website is attacked. Plus, your server will always be up to date.

WordPress is a bit less customizable than other hosts, though. For example, certain plugins aren’t permitted, and some plugins can’t be altered. Also, if you choose WordPress as your host, then you will also have to use WordPress as your CMS; it won’t allow you to use other CMS providers.

 

Site Transfers (FREE or Not?)

What if you pick a web host only to discover that you don’t like it? Site transfers allow you to move your website to another host.

Moving to another website consists of transferring the website’s files and databases, configuring your site with the new host, and directing your domain’s DNS to the new host. Once you pick a new site host, they can usually help you out with this process. The cost will depend on the host you’re switching to, but it will probably be anywhere from $150-$400.

But some web hosts on our list, like GreenGeeks and HostGator, offer free web transfers.

GreenGeeks web transfer

For paid transfers, you can usually transfer more than one site. It’s only $149.99 to migrate as many as five websites and 20 email accounts to Bluehost.

Bluehost site transfer

The site transfer will usually take a few days.

For a host like HostPapa, it will take 5 to 7 days to complete a site transfer. They recommend modifying DNS entries before starting the transfer so that it takes less time.

They can also update your DNS entries, but this service will add 24 to 72 hours before your site becomes live. With A2 Hosting, it’ll take anywhere from 2 to 4 days.