When searching for a web hosting provider, you should consider what type of hosting will best suit your business whether that’s shared hosting, managed hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, cloud hosting, or dedicated hosting.
The best web hosting companies will offer most of these different types of hosting, but read our guide on Types of Web Hosting to learn more about what you’ll need for your business.
While a provider should make it easy for you to host a site built using the WordPress content management system (CMS), you also must ensure your website loads quickly and rarely experiences downtime. A reputable hosting provider also should have a content delivery network (CDN). This is vital if you want a fast website — especially if you have users scattered around the globe.
Despite the various options, you don’t need to choose the most expensive solution from the start. Instead, aim to find the best option you can afford that also provides flexibility and scalability.
The Top 5 Web Hosting Providers
While you can find hundreds of thousands of web hosting providers worldwide, only a few stand out for both their popularity and interesting features.
Because the largest isn’t always the best, here’s a comparison of the five most popular, top-rated web hosting providers:
Bluehost (All-Out Best Option)
GoDaddy (Best for Quick Website Building at the Best Price)
HostGator (Best Value for Scalability Options)
A2 Hosting (Best for Fast, Reliable Shared Hosting)
DreamHost (Best for Cloud Hosting)
Bluehost: The All-Out Best Web Hosting Provider
Bluehost is not only one of the biggest web hosting providers worldwide, but also continues to gain popularity because of its added features and competitive prices.
Owned by the web giant Endurance International Group (EIG), Bluehost is based in Utah. It has affordable shared hosting plans and also meets the needs of clients with heavy traffic from VPS hosting and dedicated servers.
Bluehost is one of the top hosting providers for WordPress and is very scalable. Even if you start with a standard hosting plan from this provider, you can install WordPress with just one click. Bluehost also makes it easy to move to a managed WordPress hosting plan if you need more security and faster website speeds.
On a three-year plan, basic shared WordPress hosting starts at $2.95 per month. Bluehost also has an introductory offer for managed WordPress hosting that starts at $19.95 per month, which includes 50 GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage with unmetered bandwidth, a free domain name, and a website builder. It also comes with one-click installation through cPanel for WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal.
Bluehost includes a Weebly website builder with its basic account. Even though it’s very basic and has no templates, you can use it to create a website of up to six pages.
- Great hosting at a good price
- Free site builder
- Excellent, 24/7 customer support with all plans
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tools to track your website’s ranking for specific keywords
- Scalable hosting for growing businesses
- Simple path to switch between hosting plans
- A 99.99 percent average uptime
- A free domain name and secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate with all plans
- User-friendly cPanel plus a customized hosting dashboard for easy website management
- Recommended by WordPress
- Free WordPress site migration tool
- A 30-day, money-back guarantee
From those just starting their first business to more experienced entrepreneurs, Bluehost can cover all of your web hosting needs. It’s easy to see why this provider hosts more than 3 million websites.
GoDaddy: The Best Option for Quick Website Building at the Best Price
Best known as a domain registry, GoDaddy also offers excellent web hosting plans. Its wide selection of hosting plans can accommodate all budgets and website needs, including an Economy plan that starts at $5.99 per month.
Whether you want shared or VPS hosting, you can rely on GoDaddy. If you need a dedicated server for some serious website traffic, GoDaddy can provide that as well. It’s also one of the fastest hosting providers with exceptional page loading speeds and a 99.97 percent uptime.
If you don’t feel like spending days building your website, GoDaddy will enable you to have a site ready to use in a matter of minutes.
- A fast, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop website builder called GoCentral
- A basic hosting plan that comes with 100 GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, security monitoring, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection
- Developer-friendly tools (e.g., MySQL, cPanel, CloudLinux, Python, and multiple versions of PHP)
- Many additional features available for an extra fee (e.g., site backups, SSL certificates, and email accounts)
- A 99.97 percent average uptime
- A 24/7 customer support service
- A 30-day, money-back guarantee on annual and multiyear plans
With 14 facilities supporting 44 million websites around the globe, GoDaddy is the biggest web hosting provider. While it doesn’t own its server parks, GoDaddy instead partners with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and rents its servers from AWS.
Unfortunately, because of its size, GoDaddy customer support can prove very difficult to reach during peak hours.
HostGator: The Best Value for Scalability Options
With an impressive range of hosting services, HostGator also offers very competitive prices and one of the best VPS hosting services so it’s no surprise it hosts more than 2 million websites.
HostGator’s three shared hosting plans provide scalability through a variety of upgrade options. You can get the Hatchling Plan for $2.75 per month or upgrade to either the Baby Plan for $3.95 per month or the Business Plan for $5.95 per month.
If you need VPS hosting, HostGator offers three plans. The most basic of them— the Snappy 2000 plan — will cover the needs of most businesses for $19.95 per month with a three-year commitment. The Snappy 2000 plan comes with 2 GB of RAM, two CPU cores, and 120 GB of disk space. The same package costs $29.95 per month without a multiyear contract.
If needed, you can upgrade to the Snappy 4000 plan. It includes 4 GB of RAM and 165 GB of disk space. If your business demands even more, but you don’t need a dedicated server, you can scale to the Snappy 8000 plan. It provides 8 GB of RAM, 240 GB of storage, and four CPU cores.
Besides Windows and Linux hosting, HostGator offers upgrades to all the other types of hosting. These include cloud, VPS, dedicated server, and managed WordPress hosting.
HostGator provides flexible features, including unlimited email accounts, an easy-to-use cPanel, and a drag-and-drop website builder that allows users to build custom websites and eCommerce-friendly stores.
- A free domain name for one year with multiyear plans
- A free SSL certificate
- A 24/7 live chat service or phone support with all plans
- A 99.99 percent average uptime
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Free migration for new accounts
- A 45-day, money-back guarantee
While HostGator offers technical support with all of its plans as well as extensive guides, it has no email support. That means you’ll have to contact the company by phone or live chat.
A2 Hosting: The Best Provider for Fast, Reliable Shared Hosting
If you want a shared hosting service with fast speeds, then A2 Hosting is one of the fastest hosting providers with a CDN. Its average load time is an impressive 317 milliseconds. A2 Hosting attributes its fast speeds to its WordPress-optimized servers and the use of the LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress plug-in.
Its cheapest plan — called “Startup” — starts at $2.99 per month for one website at a current discount of 66 percent. It includes a 99.9 percent uptime commitment, unlimited email addresses, and a free SSL certificate.
If you plan to host multiple websites, then you may prefer A2 Hosting’s most popular package: the “Turbo Boost” plan. It’s currently offered at $9.99 per month at a current discount of 50 percent. This plan includes all the benefits of the “Startup” plan, but also has “turbo” features like an up to 20 times faster page load rate. This means your site can handle up to nine times more traffic, which will improve your conversion rates, boost your SEO ranking, and lower your bounce rate.
A2 Hosting offers the Cloudflare CDN as well as unlimited bandwidth and storage. All of its hosting packages also come with free site migrations. If you’re unhappy with your current hosting provider and want to migrate, you can transfer your files directly to A2 Hosting without needing to rebuild your site.
- The fastest loading time at 317 milliseconds
- WordPress-optimized servers
- A 24/7 customer support service
- A 99.93 percent average uptime
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- A free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate with all hosting plans
- Free site migration
- A 30-day, money-back guarantee
Based in the United States, A2 Hosting serves 500,000 websites. It not only works seamlessly with WordPress, but also with all the other popular CMS software like Joomla!, Drupal, Magento, and OpenCart.
DreamHost: The Best Provider of Cloud Hosting
Founded in 1996, DreamHost is one of the most established web hosting providers around. It has a variety of hosting packages, but also offers standalone email hosting with 25 GB of storage. This standalone offering includes an ad-free, webmail software platform that syncs your email messages across desktop and mobile devices.
As one of the best cloud hosting providers, DreamHost offers three tiers of cloud hosting plans. Each tier comes in Linux and Windows, and you can choose between a server with 512 MB of RAM, 2 GB of RAM, or 8 GB of RAM.
DreamHost also has its own intuitive, customized control panel for your website management. Many customers find this control panel — and its user interface — easier to use than cPanel. This comes with one drawback: it makes it more difficult to migrate from DreamHost to another web hosting provider.
Yet, the introduction of a free plug-in makes it very easy to migrate to DreamHost. You can move your WordPress account to DreamHost — one of WordPress’ recommended hosting providers — with five simple steps.
DreamHost offers shared and managed WordPress hosting as well as low-cost upgrades to VPS and cloud hosting with dedicated servers if you have a huge enterprise.
You can start using a DreamHost account immediately with a WordPress Starter plan for $2.59 per month with a three-year commitment. The WordPress Unlimited Plan costs $4.95 per month with a three-year commitment.
- A WordPress-recommended hosting provider
- Strong security with a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
- Unlimited monthly data transfers
- A variety of domain management tools
- A 99.94 percent average uptime
- A 24/7 customer support service via live, online chat within the United States
- A 97-day, money-back guarantee
It’s also worth noting that DreamHost offers nonprofits a free and unlimited shared hosting plan. This outstanding offer — aimed at 501(c)(3) organizations — includes unlimited storage, bandwidth, websites, and email hosting. Nonprofits also receive a 35 percent discount for this provider’s DreamPress-managed WordPress hosting plans.
Choosing the Best Web Hosting Service
If you have a small business and little or no experience with web hosting, then a shared hosting service might work best for you. This type of web hosting will keep your costs low because you’ll share a server with others. But, if needed, you can always upgrade to VPS or cloud hosting.
If you want your business to own its web hosting server, then you should consider a dedicated hosting option. You’ll need some technical know-how for this type of hosting, but you won’t encounter the problems that can arise from a shared server.
The cloud offers an alternative to traditional hosting methods along with the most hosting flexibility. You pay for the hosting services you need and can expand those services as often as your business requires.
Web Hosting Mistakes To Avoid
- Don’t choose a free offer or the cheapest plan you can find when selecting a web hosting provider for your business website.
- Be careful what you sign up for because seemingly excellent prices can sometimes be part of an introductory offer and rise dramatically after the initial period ends.
- Start by researching a wide range of web hosting providers and don’t trust everyone. Some people simply resell other companies’ products.
- If you aren’t comfortable creating your own website or don’t know the technical details regarding what you need in a web hosting provider, ask someone who does or get help from a web builder. Read our extensive guide on How To Get High-Quality Web Design and Development: A Buyer’s Guide.
Next Steps: Compare Before You Buy
If you’re looking for the all-out best option and you’re not particularly concerned with niche features, then Bluehost is the go-to provider. If you’re in the market for cloud hosting, then DreamHost may be just the provider you need. But, A2 Hosting remains the best provider for fast and dependable shared hosting.
If you're working on a tight time schedule and need to create a website as soon as possible, GoDaddy is the answer. On the other hand, HostGator makes an ideal choice for anyone working with a tight budget that still needs flexibility regarding the type of web hosting and included features.