August 14, 2022

Best Web Hosting Providers

DreamHost 

  • Shared hosting starting at  $2.59/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at  $2.59/mo.
  • VPS hosting starting at $10/mo.
  • Dedicated servers starting at $149/mo.
  • Cloud hosting starting at $4.50/mo.

Web hosting is, no doubt, as much a cutthroat business as any other. But that’s why the fact that DreamHost’s ongoing offer to provide a free shared website to 501(c)(3) nonprofits is so notable. (Full disclosure: A nonprofit I was affiliated with once took advantage of this offer.)

Beyond that, DreamHost is a top hosting company for many reasons. They operate their own control panel, which is convenient and easy to understand. While phone customer support isn’t available 24/7, they are responsive to live chat and tickets. The company uses super-fast SSDs for all their storage, has a free SSL certificate (for more secured web browsing), and provides SSH access for those plans that are intended for more technical users.

Other things we like about Dreamhost: First, the company’s pricing is pretty transparent. There are no hidden gotchas in the rates. Plus, DreamHost provides a 97-day money back guarantee. There’s quite literally zero risk in giving them a try.


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Bluehost 

  • Shared hosting starting at $2.95/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at $2.95/mo.
  • VPS hosting starting at $18.99/mo.
  • Dedicated hosting starting at $79.99/mo.

When you sign up to Bluehost, you’ll get a free domain name for the first year, along with a free SSL certificate (allowing you to operate a secure website for your personal use or business).

If you’re a WordPress user, Bluehost is definitely a web hosting provider to consider. While its managed WordPress hosting is a little more pricey than basic shared hosting, the company has both specific WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans available (along with management support). It also offers a site migration service for an additional fee.

The web hosting provider got bonus points for its policy of performing regular daily backups, even on the lowest-priced shared hosting accounts. Be aware, though, that the promotional price on the low-cost shared hosting does go up after the promotional period. That said, Bluehost offers 24/7 phone support, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and SSH access for certain plan options.


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A2 Hosting

  • Shared hosting starting at $2.96/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at $2.96/mo.
  • Reseller hosting starting at $9.80/mo.
  • VPS hosting starting at $5/mo.
  • Dedicated servers starting at $99.59/mo.

A2 Hosting does a lot of things right. They offer Linux and Windows-based servers, SSD, caching, CDN, and SSL for all plans. While some plans offer uptime monitoring and regular backups, all plans offer malware scanning and automatic patching and updates.

The hosting provider offers a managed hosting service called HostGuard. Subscribers of this service have access to a 24/7/365 “Guru Crew” support team that manages network, hardware, software, and security. Managed hosting for WordPress customers begins at $9.78/mo, and for VPS customers at $25/mo.

The web hosting provider offers solid plans with a good selection of features. The one area we’re concerned about is how they present their offers. Like many hosting providers, their published pricing is a bit misleading. You’re not getting hosting for $2.96/mo unless you pay $71 for two years of service. Renewals are generally at a higher rate, although a salesperson we spoke to advised you ask for a “loyalty discount.”

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that, like other hosting providers, A2 Hosting’s unlimited plans aren’t actually unlimited. They expect you to use their service like “similarly situated customers.” This is like being on a highway. If everyone is going a few miles above the speed limit, you’re probably okay, but if you’re barreling down the fast lane past everyone else, you’re probably going to be asked to slow down.

The company offers a solid 30-day money back guarantee they call an “Anytime” money back guarantee. Yeah…kind of. You can ask for your money back at any time, but after your first 30 days, how much you get back will depend on a painfully complex pro-rating system.

But, again, operationally they’re quite strong. 24/7/365 customer support is available not only by live chat and email, but by phone. They offer free site migrations with some dedicated attention paid to making a transfer as smooth as possible. And, if you’re willing to go for one of the higher-end plans, the company has put some serious attention into performance and caching.


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Hostinger

  • Shared hosting starting at $0.99/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at $0.99/mo.
  • VPS hosting starting at $3.95/mo.
  • Cloud hosting starting at $9.99/mo.

Note: On August 25, 2019, Hostinger revealed that up to 14 million users might have been impacted by a security breach. The company reset passwords for all impacted accounts.

Hostinger, a hosting provider based out of Lithuania, boasts it signs up a new client every five seconds. With 29 million users in 178 countries and subsidiaries in the US, Indonesia, and Brazil, the company has been in operation since 2004.

See also: Hostinger in-depth review and hands-on testing

Hostinger has a nice selection of plans, all of which can be optimized for WordPress. We particularly liked that even the least expensive plans offered some level of SSH access for those who need it. The company gained points for its offering of SSD performance, dedicated IP, and regular backups for some plans.

What sets the company apart is their first-year hosting price of less than a buck a month. The company’s least expensive plan is a startlingly-low 80 cents a month. This is the least expensive hosting program we’ve seen, although the price does go up after that first year. In fact, most of the company’s plans increase after their promotional price expires.

Hostinger offers a 30-day money back guarantee with wording we wish more providers would use: “If for any reason you decide not to continue with Hostinger, we will offer a full refund on your purchase, no questions asked.” If you have any questions, the company has customer support with live chat lines available 24/7.