A website is essential to build and grow a business today, and web hosting is a crucial part of building a quality website. With so many different providers and plans on the market, choosing a web host can be daunting. To make your decision easier, we narrowed down the 10 best web hosting services based on key features that matter most. We selected these services based on detourworld.com price, performance, security, and extras such as a free domain name and free business email.
The 10 Best Web Hosting Services of 2023
IONOS: Best for startups
HostGator: Best perks
Bluehost: Best for new websites
DreamHost: Best for WordPress beginners
InMotion Hosting: Best for reliability
MochaHost: Best for lifetime SSL certificates
GoDaddy: Best for easy site setup
Hostwinds: Best for content-heavy sites
InterServer: Best for website security
TMDHosting: Best for fast-growing businesses
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The Forbes Advisor Small Business team is committed to bringing you unbiased rankings and information with full editorial independence. We use product data, strategic methodologies and expert insights to inform all of our content and guide you in making the best decisions for your business journey.
We reviewed 16 web hosts using a detailed methodology to help you find the 10 web hosting platforms. Our ratings consider factors that included pricing, general features, additional features and a review by our panel of experts. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows anyone to essentially rent space on the internet, and websites must have web hosting to be accessible online. Some content management systems (CMS), such as Squarespace and Wix, include web hosting as part of their monthly fee, whereas if you’re building a site on WordPress, you’ll need to purchase web hosting from a web hosting provider, such as MochaHost or IONOS. Learn more about what web hosting is.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
Think of web hosting as the process of finding your website a home. The contents of your website—the domain name, HTML code, images, text and so on—all need a place to live. Web hosting provides a place for this content to live on a server.
In short, a server is a computer that connects users to your website. In other words, the server is like a large condo building or office building and web hosting is the process of renting office space or buying a condo in that building.
Web Hosting vs. Domain Hosting
Before you can find a home for your website via web hosting, you first need a domain name. While related, web hosting and domain hosting are very different services. Web hosting is the process of connecting your website to a server, whereas domain hosting is the process of securing a domain name or web address for your website.
Following our earlier analogy, if web hosting is akin to renting space in a building then domain hosting is like putting a nameplate outside your door with your name and address. The domain is what people use to navigate to your address on the Internet.
Many service providers provide both domain hosting and web hosting, which can provide one-stop-shop convenience but, depending on your needs, you may want to consider separating the services. Regardless, before you can even consider web hosting, you first need a domain name via a domain registrar.
How To Choose the Best Web Hosting Service for You
When choosing the best web hosting service, consider factors such as pricing, storage space and bandwidth limits, customer service, server location options, security features and whether it has automatic backups. Another thing you need to consider is its scalability. Migrating a website, even when a web hosting service does it for you, isn’t an easy task. Does the host offer a wide range of options that will scale with your site? Additionally, how easy is your web host to use?
Essential Web Hosting Features
We recommend that you look for a web hosting provider with the following key features, regardless of your specific website needs:
Reliability and performance: Look for a hosting provider with good uptime, preferably 99.9% or higher so your site won’t experience outages. Most hosts provide a contractual guarantee where they’ll reimburse you part of your premium for outages.
Security: Make sure your web host has DDoS protection, SSL certificates and other security features so your site is safe from malicious attacks.
Customer service: Look for a host with 24/7 customer support, so you can easily get help if something goes wrong. What support options are available? Chat, phone, ticket and email support are typical for web hosts.
Storage and bandwidth: Storage and unmetered bandwidth are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a web host. The more storage you have, the more content you can store, such as videos and images. Bandwidth affects how quickly your website loads and how much data is transferred when visitors view your site. Look for a host that provides unlimited storage and bandwidth.
Backups: It’s important to have regular backups of your website, so make sure the web host you choose offers automatic backups. If a hosting provider doesn’t automatically back up your website, consider investing in a third-party backup service.
Ease of Use
Look for a web hosting provider with an intuitive user interface and control panel. This will save you time in the long run if you need to make changes or updates to your website. A good web host should offer one-click installations for popular content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress or Drupal, and a drag-and-drop website builder if you’re not comfortable with coding.
Finally, it’s important to consider scalability when choosing a web hosting service. How will you grow your website in the future? Will your host’s services be able to keep up with your growth? Does the host offer an easy way to scale up, such as offering VPS and dedicated hosting options? A good web host should be able to handle the growth of your website. Similarly, if you’re taking a break for a while, can you drop to a lower-tiered plan?
Types of Web Hosting
There are several different types of web hosting available. While there may be a tendency to favor the cheapest option, depending on your needs, this can lead to problems down the road. For this reason, it’s important to look not just at cost but customer service, security, speed and customization options as well.
Shared hosting is most popular with small businesses and websites that don’t need a lot of customization or expect a lot of traffic. Shared hosting provides space for several websites—dozens, hundreds or thousands—on one server.
Because the costs are relatively low, it is an economical option, but there could be service disruptions or slower connection speeds because several clients/websites are all accessing the same server’s resources, including disk space, RAM and central processing unit (CPU) power.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
A step up from shared hosting is VPS hosting. Similar to shared hosting, various websites are all housed on the same server, but each website’s files and content are housed in its own dedicated space on the server. You will pay a little more than with shared hosting, but you also have your own section of the server isolated from other clients on the server. For this reason, VPS hosting is more secure. Additionally, VPS hosting is scalable to your needs and you’ll be able to modify the server and install any software that you need.
VPS hosting can be managed or unmanaged. If you choose managed VPS hosting, the host will provide all maintenance and services necessary to keep the website and server up and running. You’ll pay a little more for managed VPS hosting but you won’t be responsible for maintenance.
Conversely, using unmanaged VPS hosting will mean you are responsible for configuring and maintaining the server yourself, monitoring security threats, installing software upgrades and backing up your data. Unmanaged VPS hosting is a good option for website developers, businesses with a dedicated IT department and individuals with a technology background.
WordPress Managed Hosting
Because WordPress is such a popular content management system, many web hosting providers offer WordPress-specific hosting. In addition to web hosting, these providers also offer services such as technical support and software updates specific to WordPress. It offers advantages like scalability, speed and security but it comes at a price with a cost of about $2 to $30 per month. Additionally, there are fewer customization options since it is limited to WordPress features.
Cloud hosting houses your website on multiple servers for maximum performance and connection speeds. It is more expensive than shared hosting but it will minimize any connection or speed issues because it can handle traffic surges with ease. Cloud hosting also offers scalability, backups and disaster recovery. These additional services come with a price, however, and the pricing models of cloud hosting providers can be confusing, depending on customization of the plan.
Dedicated web hosting is when a website has sole use of the entire server. Because you have your own dedicated server, you minimize security and connection issues. But it comes at a price.
The costs may be justified, however, in a few situations. For instance, if you expect your website traffic to increase significantly, service disruptions and slow connection speeds could be detrimental to your business. In this case, the cost of a dedicated server would be worth it because it will provide uninterrupted service and quick connection speeds. A dedicated server will also provide additional security, which will be helpful if you are dealing with personal information like credit card information.
Web Hosting Cost
Web hosting can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars a month, so it’s important to find a plan that fits your budget. Consider the renewal cost of the hosting plan as well since some providers offer a lower rate for the first term and then significantly increase the price when it’s time to renew. Additionally, keep in mind that there may be some hosting features that you don’t need or can live without, so look for a plan that offers the best value.
For example, a cheaper plan doesn’t usually include a domain name and often includes just one website. A more expensive plan may include multiple domains, more storage and bandwidth and other features.
Average Cost By Hosting Type
Pricing varies significantly between various types of web hosting services. Even within each type, there can be price differences between service providers depending on the level of customer service and the length of service plan chosen. In general, prices range as follows:
Shared web hosting: up to $15 per month
VPS web hosting: $18 to $85 per month
WordPress managed hosting: $2 to $30 per month
Cloud hosting: $5 to $50 per month
Dedicated server hosting: $80 to several hundred dollars per month
Website Hosting Cost Factors
There are several factors that go into the cost of website hosting. These include:
Storage: The amount of data storage your hosting plan allows.
Bandwidth: How much traffic you can have on your website without interruption or slow speeds.
Number of websites: Depending on the plan, you may be able to host multiple websites with one account.
IP addresses: If you need a static IP address with your hosting plan, you may have to pay an additional cost.
SSL certificate: An SSL certificate keeps your website secure and safe from hackers. Some hosting plans offer a free SSL certificate but others may require you to purchase one in addition to the hosting plan.
Customer service: Some hosting companies offer 24/7 customer service while others may only provide limited support. Others will charge a premium but will walk you through fixing things that break on your site.
Customization options: Hosting plans that allow for rajabacklink.co and add-ons, such as databases or web servers, will usually cost more.
Fees & Add-Ons
Your web hosting provider may also charge additional fees, such as setup fees (often waived when signing a contract and paying up-front), domain registration fees or monthly support fees. Additionally, there may be add-on services you can purchase to enhance your website, such as SEO optimization or extra security features. Be sure to read the fine print of your contract and thoroughly understand what is included in your hosting plan before signing up.