John Stevens  —

Best web hostingLast Updated: 8 December, 2017

To date, we’ve tracked over 30 different web hosting companies over a period of 35-months.

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

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

  1. Signed up with 30 most popular web hosts.
  2. Set up blank (WordPress) website.
  3. Tried out their customer support.
  4. Started to monitor their uptime and speed (since June, 2015).
  5. Published reviews (and still accepting user reviews).

Full comparison table (uptime, load time, support quality, cost and more) can be found on Google Spreadsheet here. If you’re into more detailed (last months data), check this live statistics page.

 

10 Best Web Hosting Services in 2017

Earnings disclosure: Some of the web hosting services listed on this page contain affiliate links. This helps us to cover the expenses of testing and analyzing each web host. Thanks for your support.

HERE’S A LIST OF 10 BEST PERFORMING WEB HOSTING SERVICES BY UPTIME, LOAD TIME AND SUPPORT:

 

1. HostGator Cloud: Best Host Overall ($2.99/mo)


HostGator Cloud ReviewLoad time: 521ms (3rd in speed)
Uptime: 99.99% (1st in uptime)
Cost: $2.99/mo (monthly plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~3min)

Activate HostGator Cloud Discount

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

Read why we rated HostGator Cloud #1st in our reviews

 

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


SiteGround reviewLoad time: 483ms (2nd in speed)
Uptime: 99.98% (4th in uptime)
Cost: $3.95/mo 
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~2min)

Host with SiteGround Hosting

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

Read why we rated SiteGround #2nd in our reviews

 

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


A2 Hosting Review

Load time: 392ms (1st in speed)
Uptime: 99.94% (11th in uptime)
Cost: $3.92/mo
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~8min) 

Host with A2 Hosting

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

Read why we rated A2 Hosting #3rd in our reviews

 

4. InMotion: Best for Small Business ($2.95/mo)


InMotion ReviewLoad time: 644ms (6th out of 30)
Uptime: 99.97% (6th out of 30)
Cost: $2.95/mo (3 year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~7min)

Host with InMotion Hosting

Founded in 2001 and hosting 300,000+ domains. US based company with a fairly knowledgable customer support.

Read why we rated InMotion #4th in our reviews

 

5. Bluehost: Best for Bloggers ($2.95/mo)


Bluehost reviewLoad time: 510ms (4th out of 30)
Uptime: 99.98% (6th out of 30)
Cost: $2.95/mo (3 year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~9min)

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 #5th in our reviews

 

6. Hostinger: Best Cheap Host ($2.15/mo)


Hostinger ReviewLoad time: 540ms (5th out of 30)
Uptime: 99.98% (7th out of 30)
Cost: $2.15/mo (3 year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~10min)

Host with Hostinger Hosting

Read why we rated Hostinger #6th in our reviews

 

7. A Small Orange: Best New Host ($5.92/mo)


A Small Orange ReviewLoad time: 679ms (7th out of 30)
Uptime: 99.94% (12th out of 30)
Cost: $5.92/mo (1 year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~14 min)

Host with A Small Orange Hosting

Read why we rated ASO #7th in our reviews

 

8. Site5: Best for Web Designers ($6.95/mo)


Site5 ReviewLoad time: 730ms (10th out of 30)
Uptime: 99.95% (9th out of 30)
Cost: $6.95/mo (2 year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~8min)

Host with Site5 Hosting

Read why we rated Site5 Hosting #8th in our reviews

 

9. GreenGeeks: Best Green Host ($3.95/mo)


GreenGeeks reviewLoad time: 1032ms (18th out of 30)
Uptime: 99.95% (10th out of 30)
Cost: $3.95/mo (3 year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~12min)

Host with GreenGeeks Hosting

Read why we rated GreenGeeks #9th in our reviews

 

10. HostPapa: Good for Small Sites ($3.95/mo)


HostPapa reviewLoad time: 1047ms (19th out of 30)
Uptime: 99.97% (8th out of 30)
Cost: $3.95/mo (3 year plan)
SupportLive Chat (avg. response ~4min)

Host with HostPapa Hosting

Read why we rated HotPapa #10th in our reviews

 

 

All 30 hosting services we’ve reviewed..


RANKWEB HOSTCOSTSUPPORTUPTIMELOAD TIMERATING
1HostGator Cloud$2.99/mo10/1099.99%504ms★★★★★
2SiteGround$3.95/mo10/1099.98%483ms★★★★★
3A2 Hosting$3.92/mo10/1099.94%392ms★★★★
4InMotion Hosting$2.95/mo10/1099.97%644ms★★★★
5BlueHost$2.95/mo10/1099.98%510ms★★★★
6Hostinger$2.15/mo9/1099.98%540ms★★★★
7ASmallOrange$5.92/mo9/1099.94%679ms★★★★
8Site5 Hosting$6.95/mo9/1099.95%730ms★★★
9GreenGeeks$3.95/mo8/1099.95%1032ms★★★
10HostPapa$3.95/mo9/1099.97%1047ms★★★
11DreamHost$4.95/mo8/1099.76%870ms★★★
12MDD Hosting$3.00/mo8/1099.95%635ms★★★
13LunarPages$3.95/mo7/1099.99%721ms★★★
14WebHostingHub$2.99/mo7/1099.90%773ms★★★
15iPage$1.99/mo8/1099.94%881ms★★★
16HostGator shared$3.95/mo7/1099.99%846ms★★★
17MidPhase$4.17/mo8/1099.99%1214ms★★
18WestHost$4.80/mo7/1099.90%902ms★★
19HostMonster$4.95/mo8/1099.91%1095ms★★
20HostNine$6.99/mo8/1099.68%705ms★★
21HostRocket$5.99/mo8/1099.62%922ms★★
22JustHost$3.95/mo7/1099.82%1384ms★★
23IX Web Hosting$3.95/mo7/1099.70%938ms
24Hosting24$3.99/mo7/1099.94%1557ms
25TsoHost$2.99/mo7/1099.90%1688ms
26FatCow$4.01/mo9/1099.75%1441ms
27Arvixe$7.00/mo6/1099.89%3312ms
28WebHostingBuzz$4.95/mo10/1098.74%1971ms
29WebHostingPad$1.99/mo9/1095.99%1907ms
30HostMetro$2.95/mo8/1099.30%2199ms

 

About Our Web Hosting Review Process

Unlike other sites, we actually pay for and sign up 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 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 can, in turn, 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 with no problems. Downtime refers to when the time when your website is offline and unavailable to visitors and potential customers.

website uptime is important

Any 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, and more pageviews 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. However, 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, so only go with shared hosting if your revenue doesn’t depend on your site’s performance (or if you don’t receive 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. And if 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 an outside CMS.

 

Site Transfers (FREE or Not?)

What if you pick a web host only to find 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.