The Top 7 Web Hosting Services for 2021

Credit. Pexels

Having an online presence isn’t for bloggers alone. If you own a business of any kind and size, having an online presence is key. The world has become a global village thanks to the internet era and this demands that businesses have websites, even if the pages simply detail locations and hours of operation. People discover new businesses—even local business—via Bing, Google, and Yahoo!

One way to build an online presence is to find the right web hosting services – this can make your life a lot easier. A web host is a company that stores your website’s files on its servers and deliver them to your readers’ and customers’ browsers. Bluehost, Goodsworth’s choice, is a reader-recommended option.

One of our readers’ frequently asked questions is ‘What web hosting service we use?’ Because of this, we decided to do a feature on the best hosting services, their performances, prices, and perks.

8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Service

Since choosing a web host for your website is a big decision, considering it is an important foundation to ensure the success of your business, there are some common yet highly essential factors you must consider before committing to a service provider. With the right web host, you can greatly improve and boost your website performance. Choose wrongly and you’ll end up causing all kinds of headaches as well as unnecessary expenses.

  • Website Needs

The first step towards choosing the right web host is to identify what your needs are for your website. Ask yourself questions such as “what type of website am I building?”, “Do I want to use WordPress?”, or “How much traffic am I expecting?”.

Now, these questions might seem basic, but are actually important. Because the more detailed you can be, the easier it will be for deciding which hosting provider will be right for the job. Going for WordPress? Consider a managed WordPress hosting provider. Building an online store? Look at hosting providers that specialize in e-commerce.

If you’re a complete beginner, always go for a shared hosting plan with a trusted company. A shared hosting is web hosting in which the provider houses multiple sites on a single server. For example, Site A shares the same server with Site B, Site C, Site D, and Site E. The upside is that the multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally very inexpensive. It’s cheap web hosting. In fact, you can find an option for less than $10 per month.

Since shared hosting is cheap and easy to maintain, they are the perfect choice for new and smaller sites. Plus, they free you from worrying about backend issues such as maintenance and security and lets you focus on building your website.

  • Server Reliability, Uptime Scores and Security

Weak servers and unstable network connections can often push your site offline. This not only denies you possible viewership or sales for an e-commerce store but also leads to low rankings on search engines like Google and Yahoo. Banking on a hosting company with reputable uptime scores, preferably above 99.5 percent is, therefore, key to your site’s success. Avoid companies that report an annual uptime score below 99 percent.

In addition to making sure your site and data are accessible at all times, it’s also important to make sure you have a trusted and secure hosting solution as well.

  • Availability of Site Backups

The current wave of cyber threats like ransomware is no longer solely directed to finance websites. It has seen an increased number of general websites being targeted by these online extortionists. Such acts often result in irreparable damages like the destruction or replacement of your site’s index.php file. Similarly, you might also experience severe server or local hard disk failures. It, therefore, becomes important that you only engage a host service provider that offers regular web data backup.

  • Signup and Renewal Price

There are 2 different prices that you need to know with web hosts – the signup price and the renewal price.

In most cases, what you pay initially for a plan might not be what you pay when you renew. More often than not, the renewal price will be significantly higher depending on how much offers/discounts you were given.

Unfortunately, it’s standard practice for hosting companies to hike up their renewal pricing and unless you intend to change your web host every 2 to 3 years, there’s no way to avoid it.

Instead, try to go for web hosts that are reasonable with their price jumps (nothing above 100%). For example, if the signup cost was $5/mo, then it shouldn’t go above $10/mo when you renew.

For beginners, always take a look at the ToS (Terms of Service) of the web host on their policy for renewal rates. You can find their ToS usually at the homepage and a quick keyword search (renew or renewal) should help you find it.

Customer Support

How effective and speedy is the company in providing support for technical problems? Try to choose a host that offers live support to their clients, 24/7. Also look for those who offer chat support, as well as social media visibility as opposed to email and support tickets. Give priority to companies with an in-house customer support department. They have a better grasp of the company operation compared to outsourced customer support service.

  • Ability to Add Domains

With growth comes diversification. While you may be starting with a single website and domain name, you will soon realize the need for multiple websites, domains and subdomains in popularizing your site. Therefore, before signing up with a particular service provider, consider their different packages, paying keen attention to whether they allow for running of multiple websites on a single web hosting account.

  • Accessibility of Essential Features

While most hosting companies do offer all the basic necessities for a website, you should always check if they offer other essential features such as one-click installer, file manager, and DNS management.

One-click installer: A one-click installer is a great tool to help you install applications such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc., in an easy manner. This is especially useful if you’re not good with the technical aspects of web creation.

.htaccess File Access: If you want to make site-wide administrative changes, you will to be able to access the .htaccess file. With it, you can edit and modify all sorts of parameters including password authentication and management.

FTP/SFTP Access: Most hosting provider will offer some form of file manager which tends to be quite limited. With FTP/SFTP access, you will be able to handle and move large amounts of files on server safely.

Beginners are advised to ignore Disk Space and Data Transfer Capacity when they’re just starting out. Most shared hosting plans offer server resources (RAM and processing power) that’s more than enough for smaller websites. But when it comes to storage and bandwidth, you can easily use third-party platforms such as Imgur, YouTube, Google Doc, to handle your images, videos, and documents.

  • Refund Policy or Free Trial Options

Using a web host can be a costly venture. Especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have a big budget to work with.

That’s why a hosting company that offers some form of refund policy and/or free trial period can greatly help reduce your costs.

With free trials, you can safely test out the hosting plan and opt out if it doesn’t fit your website’s needs. Should things go wrong, choosing a hosting provider with good refund policies will make sure that you don’t lose too much money.

  • E-Commerce and Email Options

You stand to receive more feedback and even subscriber conversions if you have your email linked to your websites domain name. In this case, when looking for the right web hosting company, chose one that provides email hosting for your website’s primary email.

In the past, most individuals identified the right hosting company with the amount of disk space and bandwidth that it provided. The perception of what is more important has now shifted to affordability. However, if you seek to run and continuously grow your site into the foreseeable future, consider adopting a comprehensive approach to identifying a suitable web host provider by looking at all the factors acting upon the optimal functionality of your website.

6 Best Web Hosting Services and Why

Credit. Pexels

Let’s take a look at some of the finest web hosting services available and their perks. We need to state that we didn’t explicitly “test” the web hosting provider options on this list. Instead, we compiled a competitive overview based on a variety of factors, including third-party ratings and features offered by each web hosting company and shared hosting provider.

Bluehost – Flexible and Affordable

Powering over 2 million websites worldwide, Bluehost is a recognized brand name in bargain web hosting. By doing a large volume of business they’re able to offer steep price discounts.

In addition to offering a full range of web hosting services, Bluehost provides marketing training, SEO services, social media marketing, content creation, graphic design services, email, domain names, and local business listings to grow traffic.

Bluehost caters to everyone: from beginning bloggers to established e-commerce and more.

Ratings: 9.9/10

* Extremely fast and reliable WordPress hosting with plenty of advanced security add-ons
* Powers 2M+ websites worldwide
* Automatic WordPress installation
* Free domain and website migration
* 30-day money-back guarantee

Bluehost offers a wide range of plans designed to support every user, from first-time bloggers to major enterprises. The 3 central plans, however, cater to beginners, regular bloggers, and SMBs respectively. All plans come with a free domain for a year, and unlimited bandwidth. This can be measured by a database size of 10GB max and 5GB of database usage. And if you already have a domain name purchased from a different registrar, Bluehost domain transfers are easy to initiate and confirm.

Plans and Pricing

Hosting TypeTier 1Tier 2Tier 3
Basic$2.95/month$5.45/month$13.95/month
Choice Plus$18.99/month$29.99/month$59.99/month
Pro$79.99/month$99.99/month$199.99/month

Bluehost’s cloud service offers a 99.96% uptime guarantee and lags only a fraction of milliseconds behind. If you aren’t very up to speed on computer technologies, you’re going to appreciate Bluehost’s easy to use format that’s been designed to be user-friendly and intuitive.

HostGator – Best for Shared Hosting

The feature-packed HostGator is a top choice, boasting quality cloud, reseller, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated server packages, but it’s the company’s shared plans that really stand out from the very crowded web hosting pack. It’s also got a 99.98% uptime guarantee (they’re often running at 100%). Not only that, HostGator’s packages are competitively priced, offer great customer support, and deliver an overall terrific user experience. 

Rating: 9.5/10

* Easy and affordable web hosting with intuitive site building tools
* Easy-to-use control panel
* Unmetered disk space and bandwidth
* Drag-and-drop website templates

Plans and Pricing

As detailed above, HostGator has plenty of plans and plans to choose from. Which is right for you will depend on your business and its needs.

Plans/monthDedicated ServersVPS HostingWordPress Cloud
Hosting
Shared Web
Hosting
Website Builder
Plan 1$118.99 $29.95 $5.95 $27.55 $3.84
Plan 2$138.99 $39.95 $7.95 $3.95 $5.99
Plan 3$148.99 $49.95 $9.95 $5.95 $9.22

HostGator is an excellent web hosting service that’s simple to use and offers an array of useful plans for consumers and small businesses.

GoDaddy – Best for Integrating Microsoft Apps

GoDaddy has an A+ rating from the BBB and 4 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot. While the site is perhaps best known for purchasing domain names, it also offers a variety of web hosting services, including WordPress, WordPress ecommerce and reseller hosting. However, it does not offer cloud hosting. 

The service’s most basic shared hosting plan includes unmetered bandwidth, one-click WordPress install, a domain and Office 365 email (for the first year).

GoDaddy offers 24/7 phone support and live chat support as well. 

Ratings: 9.2/10

* Complete hosting solutions for any website
* One-click installation of 125+ apps
* Guaranteed 99.9% uptime
* Free domain with annual plan

This robust web hosting service offers well-integrated Microsoft Office email features and excellent customer service support. That said, it lacks cloud hosting and has skimpy default email.

Plans and Pricing

PlansPricing
Shared HostingStarting at $6/month
WordPress Hosting Starting at $7/month
WordPress e-Commerce Hosting Starting at $16/month
Unmanaged Virtual Private Server Hosting Starting at $5/month
Dedicated ServersStarting at $130/month
Business HostingStarting at $20/month
Reseller HostingStarting at $40/month

DreamHost – Best Cloud Hosting Service

DreamHost is one of the most recommended web hosting providers for several reasons. First, it offers a custom control panel, which allows you to more easily manage your own hosting. While live phone customer support isn’t available 24/7, the provider is responsive to live chat and tickets. DreamHost also uses superfast SSDs for all its storage, has a free SSL certificate (for more secure web browsing) and provides SSH access for those plans that are intended for more technical users.

Rating: 8.7/10

* Flexible hosting solutions to ensure your success 
* Free domain name
* 100% uptime guaranteed
* 24/7 support

Plans and Pricing

Dreamhost offers a variety of hosting packages at different price points. The service offers

PlansPricesDuration
Shared Hosting
WordPress Hosting
$2.59/month3 years
WordPress Unlimited $4.95/month 3 years
Managed Virtual Private
Server Hosting
$10/month
Shared Unlimited $4.96/month 3 years

The service also offers other packages including

Dedicated servers starting at $149 a month

Cloud hosting starting at $4.50 a month

Email hosting starting a $1.67 a month

SiteGround – A Feature-rich Web Hosting Service

SiteGround has an A+ rating from the BBB and 4.7 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot. It sits in the middle ground between a consumer web hosting provider and one that caters to enterprise businesses. If you’ve got a small business with more complex web needs than a typical small business, SiteGround is an ideal solution — and if your business ends up expanding, the service has options to grow with you.

Although offerings start as low as $7 a month, if you go up to its GoGeek plan you’ll get several other useful features, including access to a staging server and one-click Git repo creation. All of its plans include SSL, daily backup, CDN, email, unmetered traffic and unlimited databases. It also differs from some other services in that it sets limits on bandwidth and storage up front, whereas most others claim to be unlimited bandwidth or unmetered bandwidth but have rules in the fine print (more on that below). You’ll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 100% renewable energy match.

Ratings: 8.5/10

* Good uptime in testing
* Monthly and annual hosting plans
* Free SSL certificate with all plans
* Many useful free services included
* Lets customers choose server locations
* Excellent customer service

Plans and Pricing

As is the case with most other services, if you want to get the lowest price, you’ll have to pay for a year of service in advance. After that year, the price will go up. Support includes 24/7 live chat and phone access, and tickets that are answered in an average of 15 minutes.

PlansPricing
Shared HostingStarting at $7/month
WordPress Hosting Starting at $7/month
e-Commerce Hosting Starting at $7/month
Managed Cloud Hosting Starting at $110/month
Reseller Hosting Starting at $10/month
Enterprise Hosting Options

SiteGround offers strong uptime and customer support, though you’ll need to look elsewhere for dedicated, VPS, or Windows servers.

A2 Hosting – Best for Customer Service

A2 Hosting has a strong foundation, with a host of excellent features. If you’re keen on using WordPress as your website’s foundation, this is the place to start.

The company does a lot of things right: With every plan, the web hosting service includes SSD, site migration, an SSL certificate and CloudFlare CDN (a group of servers worldwide that automatically determines the best route to connect visitors to your site for increased speed and security). Its Anycast DNS solution duplicates DNS records across its global network, increasing site performance, according to the site.

Ratings: 8/10

* Robust hosting packages, particularly WordPress
* Excellent customer service
* Terrific uptime
* Good money-back refund plan

Customer support is also strong: A2 Hosting’s Guru Grew support team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by phone, email, online chat or ticket.

Plans and Pricing

Like most web hosting providers, the published pricing is a bit misleading: The shared cheap web hosting price tag of $3 a month is only available if you sign up for the three-year plan and pay upfront. It offers a 30-day money back guarantee or a prorated refund for unused service after that point. 

PlansPricing
Shared Hosting Starting at $3/month
WordPress Hosting Starting at $3/month
Unmanaged Virtual Private Server Hosting Starting at $5/month
Managed Virtual Private Server Hosting Starting at $47/month
Dedicated Servers Starting at $99.59/month
Cloud Hosting Starting at $8/month
Reseller HostingStarting at $19/month
Email HostingStarting at $3/month

A2 has nearly everything you’d expected from a top-tier web host, including terrific uptime and knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives. The company’s hosting packages are notably robust too, especially its WordPress plans, which makes it a top pick if you’re building a WordPress-based site.

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