The best web hosting company provides the tools to launch your website and the support to help it grow. We rounded up 49 web hosts known for their reliability and evaluated them based on user resources and customer service. Then we signed up for the top 11 to figure out which company offered the most useful features for new website owners, whether you're a tech pro or an absolute beginner.

We researched the web hosting industry and found companies that we think provide the best services for small businesses. We prioritized each company's storage, bandwidth and security features, as well as their pricing and customer service. If you're just starting a business, or running a small operation, a shared hosting plan is the best place to start. Larger businesses and developed e-commerce platforms may need more powerful options, like VPS or cloud hosting.

VPS hosting is one step up. It uses a single server, but makes virtual copies of it — even though lots websites live on the same server (just like with shared hosting) each one gets its own personal copy. You get your own IP address, root access to your individual space, increased security, and stabilized site performance. VPS hosts are still designed to handle low-to-moderate traffic levels, but if you don’t want your site’s performance to be impacted by anyone else’s, it’s worth it.

You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.

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