Spec-wise, GlowHost and FastComet are pretty neck-and-neck, but GlowHost does provide a few additional server locations in Australia and the US. Theoretically, this means GlowHost is more flexible in how quickly it can serve websites up to customers across the globe, but this benefit is primarily for its higher service tiers: If you’re signing up for shared hosting, our rep told us that you’ll most likely be assigned a server based in Salt Lake City or Phoenix.
For beginners, FastComet offers two website builder tools to help you get up and running. A simple site publisher with nine templates — choose the one you like, fill it out, and you instantly have a one-page website displaying basic information. Plus, a more involved website-building tool includes 300 templates featuring drag-and-drop design. If you don’t know anything about HTML or CSS, this tool makes it easy to build a professional website without hiring a web developer.
The availability of a website is measured by the percentage of a year in which the website is publicly accessible and reachable via the Internet. This is different from measuring the uptime of a system. Uptime refers to the system itself being online. Uptime does not take into account being able to reach it as in the event of a network outage. A hosting provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a certain amount of scheduled downtime per year in order to perform maintenance on the systems. This scheduled downtime is often excluded from the SLA timeframe, and needs to be subtracted from the Total Time when availability is calculated. Depending on the wording of an SLA, if the availability of a system drops below that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider often will provide a partial refund for time lost. How downtime is determined changes from provider to provider, therefore reading the SLA is imperative. Not all providers release uptime statistics. Most hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will allow for 43m of downtime per month, or 8h 45m of downtime per year.
InMotion is the only one of our picks without any international servers: this means if you know your site will be getting traffic from around the world, it might be a better idea to go with another provider. InMotion’s servers are based in Los Angeles, CA and Ashburn, VA, so if your intended audience is based in the US, these two servers on each coast should cover your bases.
Hostinger is a VPS and cloud hosting provider that focuses on three key aspects: server stability, fast performance, and great customer support, all of which are available at a budget price. Both its shared hosting and VPS services are optimized for WordPress, with its powerful SSD storage capable of boosting your website speeds. Its yearly plans comes with daily/weekly backups to keep your data safe and sound at all times.
Whether you’re a website beginner or an expert, you need the right set of tools to get started. For beginners, we prioritized companies that didn’t charge exorbitant fees for WordPress or daily backups. Wordpress is one of the easiest ways to get a blog up and running without requiring you to design one from scratch. All of our finalists offered a Wordpress installation button, but we preferred hosts who didn’t upcharge for it. Website backups ensure that, if your site does go down, you’ll still be able to recover your data. If you’re running your website solo, the easiest way to ensure you’re backed up is to go through your web host.
InMotion Hosting not only has a great service offering, it was also one of the most transparent companies we reviewed. It's been providing hosting services for 15 years. It offers shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, WordPress hosting, reseller hosting and managed hosting. Its wide-range of service offerings and plans mean there's an option for any small business, regardless of the type. It's shared hosting plans also come with a solid security offering. For these reasons, InMotion earned our best pick for best web hosting service for small business in 2018.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.