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.
We regularly examine customer bandwidth and disk space utilization data in a series of statistical analyses and use the results to define "normal". Although these tests vary from month to month, one thing remains constant: 99.95% of our customers fall into "normal" range. If your account's bandwidth or disk space utilization causes any concern, you will receive an email asking you to reduce usage. We strive to provide at least 48 hours notice to allow customers to make adjustments before we take any corrective action.
With that in mind, all of our following tips are going to be aimed at shared hosting accounts. However, that doesn’t mean some of these aspects can’t be the frameworks for your more serious hosting search later in life. In other words, stick to our tips for a traditional budget account, but internalize their deeper meaning for a more professional search as your site expands. Now that word of warning is out of the way, let’s get cracking!
Another popular type of hosting that uses various resources of several clustered servers is a Cloud Hosting. Most of such hosting have a free trial period, which helps you experience all the pros and cons they have. As a rule, in such hosting you pay per space used, which saves you lots of money and, therefore, you may be sure you don't get overcharged. Cloud web hosting is widely used by those who have exceeded the space of their initial hosting and need to get a bit more. One of the greatest examples of cloud hosting are digital giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft etc.
1&1 is an ultra popular web hosting provider that routinely shows up on lists in both the US and Europe — and it's not surprising how it got there. It's well priced, offers plenty of features, and is pretty straight forward. When it comes to shared hosting, the Basic package starts at only 99 cents per month for a year with that price rising to $7.99 per month after the first year. For that tiny sum, you get 100GB of storage, one website, 25 databases, 500 email accounts, a free domain name, SSL certification, and 24/7 customer support.
Regarding business hosting, Cloudways is also able to handle business class web servers and even announced today staging capabilities that business, publishing, agencies and more app critical firms require for performance and testing. Support chat is also a big plus for wpengine who also has staging and good backup capabilities. Support response time is critical for business sites and the pricing is typically 3x per instance higher plus companies should always retain a specialists even with managed hosting partners.
Signing up for a web hosting service is like signing up for cable or Internet: We selected the package we wanted then gave them our credit card information and waited. A few companies let us into the backend of our nascent websites so that we could play around while they worked on building the infrastructure, but most didn’t. Expect a wait time between four and twelve hours.
A2 Hosting is one of the most popular web hosting companies in the world with web developers due to their strong support for PHP, open source projects, and the WordPress CMS. A2 Hosting offers shared Linux hosting, VPS plans, reseller accounts, cloud hosting, and dedicated servers with a managed approach to platform security including server stack software maintenance. A2 Hosting has data centers located in Michigan and internationally for building geo-location solutions with faster local pageload speeds. A2 Hosting's SwiftServer platform runs on CloudLinux with CloudFlare CDN, Railgun, and HTTP/2 support. Read More
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.
Shared hosting is the most basic form of web hosting, and is best for websites with low to moderate traffic — small businesses and new websites will benefit from the low cost and relative simplicity of using a common server. Your website will be located on the same server as other sites, and will share the common resources of that one server (which usually means sharing an IP address, too). Your site will be allocated a certain amount of the collective bandwidth, and it may be impacted by other sites on that same server since the server’s abilities will be affected if any one of its websites — yours or someone else’s — experiences unusually high traffic. If someone else’s site has excessive usage, your site may slow. If your site has a spike, it may be shut off by your host and you might be charged for exceeding your allotted bandwidth.
However, this can be a great way to start your online journey. Especially if the domain you’re purchasing already has a strong backlink profile to give you a boost in the search engines. Once you purchase a domain from Flippa you’ll need to register the domain with a new registrar and choose a host as well. Depending upon the details of the sale and where the current domain is registered and hosted.
Before we discuss the cheapest hosting solutions of 2018, it’s best to properly understand how to find the right hosting provider. Selecting the right web hosting plans and provider is not as simple window shopping. Impulsive purchasing based on the cheapest plans is also ill-advised, as you have to factor in whether their offerings and features match your needs while sparing you with enough room for growth. Here are a few things to consider:
We got answers when we posed our questions to BlueHost’s customer service reps, but it wasn’t as easy as with some other companies: our questions in the live chat were answered vaguely (“We have servers around the US”), and we had to prompt the representative to answer our questions more thoroughly after they suggested we check the homepage for more information about pricing. Granted, quality may vary between reps, and BlueHost’s were very responsive, just not the most forthcoming with their advice and expertise.
Awardspace: This fully-featured web host almost made it to our final contender list, but lost points for poor customer service. Awardspace’s free tier offers the same 99.9 percent server uptime as its paid plans, packs in a web-based email client, and even includes one-click installation for WordPress and Joomla blogs. However, 1GB storage and 5GB bandwidth limits for free accounts mean you won’t be able to host large files, like videos, or sustain more than a few thousand visits a month. Awardspace will also relentlessly try to upsell you to its paid packages.
One.com has garnered a considerable amount of recognition and awards over the course of the past several years. It was named the UK’s best budget web hosting provider by the UK Web Host Directory in 2009, was awarded the Editor’s Choice award by PC Magazine Netherlands & Belgium in 2009, and was named the best web host provider in Netzsieger’s comparison of web hosts in 2013.
Bluehost was also one of the top performers in our original server performance benchmarks, outpacing every other shared service we tested. It boasted a near-perfect verified 99.99 percent server uptime rating, which means that it’s safe to assume website crashes will be few and far between. Bluehost also offers decent storage and speeds for a bargain price: shared hosting plans start at $3.45 with 50GB of storage space and unmetered bandwidth. For growing websites, Bluehost also offers a clear upgrade path for users who may need to move to a VPS or dedicated server in the future.
Ranking 10th on our top 20 cheapest web hosting sites list is PlotHost. This provider mainly offers shared hosting and reseller hosting plans, with the company aiming to serve VPS hosting and dedicated packages in the future. With this platform, users have access to cPanel, making it easy to navigate and manage your data. Users can create as many cPanel accounts as they please with the hosting reseller plans. Its cPanel and WHM comes included with a Softaculous add-on, allowing you to one-click install over 400 scripts needed for your website operations.
Support. This is tricky to evaluate. Because the quality of support sometimes varies from one support representative to the next, we kindly ask you to share your experience in the comments section for your host. Unfortunately this also attracts fake comments (sometimes from competitors, sometimes from the hosts themselves). We try to moderate but we reckon this is not 100% failsafe.
Promotional pricing: Another common tactic web hosting companies use is providing promotional pricing on their website. They often depict the current prices as slashed amounts – sometimes at rates up to 50 percent off. Usually this promotional pricing comes with some conditions. Some companies will only give you the rate if you commit to a long-term contract of three years, for example. Others will provide you with the promotional pricing for the first year only.
The best companies will provide a full suite of features for your business and solid customer support. These features include hosting multiple domains and subdomains, MySQL database integration, open-source coding platforms like Ruby on Rails, Perl or PHP 5, and business email hosting. You should also look out for customer support in the form of live chat, phone and email support. Overall, the web hosting industry provides way more than just a server to host your website on. Treat each web hosting solution as a full-scale service with multiple different features and plans.
Many web hosts offer limited features in their starter packages and then expand the offerings (sometimes tremendously) for higher-tier plans. Read the small print to make sure the plan you are selecting offers what you need. If you need a site builder application to design your website, make sure that the low-cost web host you are picking actually comes with a site builder. Many of them require you to pay for the builder as a separate add-on. Website builders usually don't cost a lot of money, but if you can find a web host that includes one for free, that's money in your pocket. And, if it's integrated with your hosting service, you're more likely to have a smooth, supported experience.