Best Web Hosting Companies for 2020 (No. 1 is our favourite) - Hostingpill

Best Web Hosting Companies for 2020 (No. 1 is our favourite)

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BlueHost

Based on our extensive testing and experience, the best web hosting is BlueHost.

From the title, you may think: What does Best Web Hosting really mean?

  • Is it affordable pricing?
  • Is it a 99.9% uptime guarantee?
  • Or is it great security and customer support?

Our answer: A bit of everything

There are so many web hosting services out there that choosing is risky. You can find a web host that is very inexpensive, but does a terrible job keeping your site up.

You may also find an expensive web hosting package that looks like it will provide premium service, but doesn’t have the features you need.

No need to worry:

We have tried and tested over 100 web hosting services, (and counting) have helped 2,158+ bloggers and businesses select their suitable choice of hosting service.

Based on that experience, and taking into account crucial factors like performance, price, features, support, and more, we’ve found five great hosts stand at the top.

Best Web Hosting Services

Without further ado, let’s dive into a detailed review of each Web hosting.

1. Bluehost (Best Overall)

bluehost homepage

Bluehost Pros
  • Uptime has been excellent lately.
  • Generally good allocation of resources.
  • Bluehost is very easy to use, and is great for beginners.
  • Uniquely good customer support.
Bluehost Cons
  • Uptime was a tad poorer prior to a year, and response times aren’t special.
  • Yes, features and resources are overall good, but some things could be added to the second or third tier, in my opinion, to keep up feature-heavy competitors.
Why we recommend Bluehost?

Of all the names on this list, Bluehost is likely the most popular.

It’s one of the most popular hosts around, in the big leagues of hosting: around since 2003, Bluehost powers over 2 million websites and has hundreds of support staff ready to go.

I see Bluehost’s main appeal in being an overall great web host that is user-friendly. It performs well, its pricing is overall standard, and it has great ease of use and customer support.bluehost plan

Although the storage space isn’t unlimited, as it is with GreenGeeks, I’d like to remind you of the aforementioned apartment analogy: if everyone on a shared hosting account decided to use up as much storage as they possibly could because it’s “unlimited,” the whole shared hosting platform wouldn’t work.

So yeah, Bluehost does limit you technically, but practically speaking the storage allowances are quite generous, especially for an entry level account. Plus, it’s SSD storage, not HD storage.

Besides that, you get unmetered bandwidth, basic SSL, an included domain, some parked domains, and one website. Higher tiers get more of everything, plus marketing offers and some site backup.

These features are honestly generous enough for most users, even if it doesn’t look so impressive on paper. Having said that, I do think Bluehost could be a little more generous to keep up with some of its smaller competitors, like GreenGeeks or FastComet (which is coming up next!).

For example, including backups or more websites for entry level accounts would be nice.

Something Bluehost does especially well is user-friendliness. While all the hosts on this list are fundamentally easy to use, Bluehost is particularly strong here.

The website builder is intuitive and Bluehost is confident enough with it that you can try it for free on their website.

The overall layout and account management is very streamlined and easy to use. The customer support is excellent: representatives are very helpful and the knowledge base is expansive.bluehost support resources

As far as uptime goes, Bluehost isn’t number one. However, throughout 2018-2019 Bluehost was usually at 99.99% or 100% uptime.

Unfortunately, some months were poorer:

bluehost old uptime

But more recently, Bluehost has been better. Take a look at the last year:bluehost uptime

That’s nearly 99.99% over the course of a whole YEAR straight. That means that the uptime has been VERY consistently high lately.

Unfortunately, the response times aren’t as good as the uptime, historically or recently. They’re not super slow, but about average or on the higher side of average.

For being an overall great host with decent pricing, good performance, solid features, and great ease of use and support, Bluehost has earned our first place on our GoDaddy Alternatives.

On the off chance that if you’re already on the other side with GoDaddy then we have a comprehensive guide that’ll get you over from GoDaddy to BlueHost easily.

Still curious about Bluehost? We’ve got you covered.

2. FastComet

fastcomet homepage

FastComet Pros
  • Excellent budget option for those who want many features for low cost (for the first term).
  • The entry-level option in particular is one of the most well-featured first tier web hosting packages I’ve seen.
  • The second and third tier have advanced features that are uncommon even for other companies’ higher tiers.
FastComet Cons
  • Uptime and response times aren’t as good as some of the other options here.
  • Some storage limits even on higher tiers.
  • Used to not have higher renewal prices, but changed its pricing model. So it’s less of a bargain than it used to be.
Why we recommend FastComet?

FastComet starts at $2.95, which is on the lower end of average, and extends along three tiers to $5.95.fastcomet plan

You get pretty much every feature that is common on other hosts:fastcomet features

But you also get some features that are less common on other hosting companies, especially for the price points.

For example, the first tier has unlimited email accounts, unlimited databases, unlimited FTP accounts, BitNinja Server Security, free CloudFlare CDN, SSL, and daily backups:fastcomet important features

These are strong features for a first tier. There’s also a website builder included.

The second and third tiers pile on even more features, especially ones related to performance. For example, the second tier and third tier include this:fastcomet advanced features

And the third tier comes with this:fastcomet rocket booster features

Plus all the other stuff I showed you.

So FastComet is clearly loaded with features, and is in fact one of the strongest candidates on this list if you’re prioritizing features and performance boosts on higher tiers.

It makes the prices very reasonable. The first term prices are excellent bargains/value purchases given the features.

Unfortunately, they do renew at higher (but reasonable) cost. FastComet didn’t use to have higher renewals, so the change is unfortunate.

Nonetheless, it’s a very solid set of hosting packages.

Plus, in my experience, FastComet is easy to use, has great customer support, and good security.

So what’s the problem? For people who want shared hosting options, isn’t FastComet the pinnacle? After all, it is easily a great bargain in terms of features and price.

While FastComet is a great deal, it falls short on the most important item in hosting: the actual hosting!

FastComet is overall fine, but in my experience, historically the uptime was a bit worse than some of the others here, and the response time was too. .

More recently (in the last year or so) this trend has held up:fastcomet uptime

There are many days where uptime drops below 99.95%, and below 99.9%. Most of the days are good, but the drops happen often enough.

So even the last three months have also been at the 99% mark overall.

While the response time and uptime aren’t the end of the world, it does make me think FastComet isn’t the best for those who are strongly prioritizing performance.

But for anyone willing to risk these numbers, and looking for a very cost-effective solution, FastComet is probably going to be your number one pick.

If you want to know more first, our FastComet review has more information, plus an even longer uptime record to check out.

3. TMDHosting

TMDhosting homapage

TMDHosting Pros
  • Great speeds, consistently
  • Choice of Linux or Windows based hosting
  • Low renewal/regular prices
  • Pretty good feature set, especially Weebly’s website builder.
  • Detailed tutorials for a range of open source software and content management systems.
TMDHosting Cons
  • Uptime suffers a bit
  • Knowledge base is weak, as it’s basically a forum and thus less organized, and with less official input.
Why we recommend TMDHosting?

If you like to pay attention to underdog and lesser-known hosting companies, you’ll want to pay extra-close attention to this one.

TMDHosting has built a strong reputation, and since its founding in 2007, it’s received many impressive accolades.

TMDHosting is also a bit unique for its focus on hosting open-source software. It’s been credited by several content management systems (CMS) for being a great host through the years.

But now? Let’s take a look.

The first thing you might notice is that TMDHosting offers both Linux and Windows-based options. This is less common for shared web hosting, but it’s a welcome choice.

Windows hosting is a bit more expensive, but proportionately has more generous features. To keep things simple, I’ll focus on the Linux shared hosting.

TMDhoating plan

The promotional/first-term prices are pretty normal. Good, but normal. But take a look at those regular prices:

They’re noticeably cheaper than most regular prices. So in the long term. TMDHosting is actually cheaper than many competing hosts.

And as for the features:

TMDhosting features

They’re pretty generous, as neither storage nor bandwidth has caps at any tier.

Most of the other stuff is basic at the first tier, but the money-back guarantee is longer (which shows confidence on TMDHosting’s part) and basic caching speeds things up.

But the Weebly website builder is great. Several options here include their own website builders for free.

That’s great, but many hosting companies’ native website builders are a bit sub-par. Weebly is a company wholly dedicated to making a great website builder. So its inclusion here is extra impressive.

Anyway, the second and third tiers are also impressive for adding performance-enhancing features.

Lastly, the shared plans come with free daily backups, and are more isolated than traditional shared hosting.

So just looking at prices and features, TMD looks excellent.

But let’s take a look at the performance. We’ve been testing TMD Hosting since early 2019 (full details here).

Through half of 2019, TMD’s month-to-month uptime was kind of shoddy. Three months were well-below 99.9% uptime.

But the last year has been a bit better:

TMDhosting uptime

Typically, most days will be at 100%, but then a few days will consistently fall below the 99.9% mark.

The last three months, for example, has averaged 99.92%.

So that’s not ideal. But there IS good news:

The response times have been GREAT. In fact, they have been, without fail, among the lowest of all the hosts we’ve tested, and have been so consistently since early 2019.

You can check out our full analysis of TMDHosting here if this caught your eye.

4. DreamHost

dreamhost homepage

DreamHost Pros
  • Uptime guarantee will credit you for downtime
  • For the most part, good uptime
  • Flexible pricing allows for monthly payments instead of commitments for a year or 3 years
  • Very WordPress friendly, especially for beginners: WordPress is pre-installed, a free migration plugin is included, and a WP website builder is included for free
  • Also, automatic backups for WordPress sites
  • One of the longest money-back guarantees I’ve seen, at 97 days
DreamHost Cons
  • Email isn’t free for the first tier
  • Uses a custom control panel instead of the more common cPanel, which may throw off some users (but this is a very minor point)
  • Only two pricing plans, which isn’t as good if you want to have a lot of options
  • In general, while DreamHost is great if you want cheap hosting for WordPress, it’s more ordinary when it comes to general shared hosting
  • Downtime is rare but CAN be pretty bad when it happens
Why we recommend DreamHost?

DreamHost is another major name in the world of web hosting, for good reason.

As you can see from the picture above, DreamHost powers over 1.5 MILLION websites—putting it in the big leagues of shared web hosting, along with Bluehost and GoDaddy.

DreamHost is overall solid for those who want an affordable, high-performing web host with solid features.

Just so we’re clear, these are the basic features and prices we’re looking at:dreamhost plan

People looking into WordPress will feel right at home. DreamHost is 2nd place in our Best Wordpress Hosting Services. Like Bluehost, DreamHost is one of the three major hosts that WordPress.Org itself recommends.

As you can see, DreamHost has quite a few features designed to make things easier for WordPress users—such as a free migration plugin for people using WordPress on a previous host, a free site builder for WordPress, and pre-installation of WordPress.

On top of that, DreamHost has decent pricing, in the general range of what most web hosts offer but a bit on the lower side.

And as an added bonus, DreamHost has monthly payment plans for those who don’t want to commit to a year up-front.

As far as performance goes, DreamHost is pretty good. They guarantee 100% uptime and will credit you for certain amounts of downtime.

But DreamHost’s ACTUAL uptime? A little more complicated. Check it out:

dreamhost 12 months uptime

Usually DreamHost does indeed offer 100% uptime. But there was one day in February and a day in January that threw off our average..

There was also one day in late August where uptime dipped to about 96%. But aside from those days, almost EVERY day has been at 100%.

So, DreamHost still has pretty solid uptime. As you’d guess, days like that are rare.

You can see our full DreamHost uptime stats here. And you can read my full evaluation of DreamHost here for more overall information.

5. SiteGround

Banner Image

SiteGround Pros
  • A strong uptime history since we started testing in late 2017.
  • Overall strong response times.
  • Strong on features...among the best on this list, next to A2 Hosting
  • Recommended by WordPress (for good reason).
  • Energy consumed under your plan is fully matched by renewables
  • Strong customer support: representatives are helpful and plenty of informational support (tutorials, knowledge base, etc).
SiteGround Cons
  • Uptime in the last year has been a bit less than ideal
  • No free domain included
  • Expensive at both first-term AND regular prices
  • Limited storage
Why we recommend SiteGround?

SiteGround powers over 2 MILLION domains, so it’s in the big leagues with Bluehost, GoDaddy, and HostGator.

In particular, it’s a competitor with Bluehost. Both are recommended by WordPress, both are among the most popular hosting companies after GoDaddy, and they have similarly strong reputations.

The short version is that SiteGround provides top-tier shared hosting, but it’s a bit pricey...and thus not as good as a “value” or budget option.

You can read my intense comparison of Bluehost and SiteGround here for more on that.

SiteGround planBut in the meantime, let’s look at the basics:

If you’re like me, your eyes go to price first.

Yes, SiteGround is expensive in web hosting terms, no way around it. The starting prices are higher than average. And the normal/base prices are also higher than average.

SiteGround’s first tier price looks like a second or even third tier price on many other hosts, for example.

But, if you look at what you get for those prices, the numbers look much more reasonable.

Just the first tier alone is packed with features. CDN boosts performance, databases are unlimited, and there’s a free daily backup...on top of all the normal features.

Extra-impressive is the “managed WordPress,” part. It’s not exactly managed WordPress hosting, but it refers to a set of tools given to users that makes installing and managing WordPress much easier.

Meanwhile, the second and third tiers bring in super useful features that aren’t common to web hosting:

Collaborators are great for team projects and businesses; website staging lets you make a clone of your site to experiment with big changes before the real site goes live; plus better backups, performance boosters, and more.

Admittedly, the storage is limited compared to what competitors offer, but realistically it’ll be enough for the vast majority of customers at that plan’s level.

The third tier could be more generous, given its price, however.

But if features don’t justify the price for you, performance is the thing you’ll need to see:SiteGround 12month uptime

Under 99.95% over the course of a year isn’t ideal, but it looks worse than it is.

For starters, most months are easily in the 99.99% or 100% range. The last three months are decent:SiteGround 3month uptime

Moreover, we’ve actually been measuring SiteGround’s performance for over THREE YEARS. And in that time, EVERY month has seen at least 99.99% uptime, with two exceptions: 99.98% in July 2019 and 99.96% in January 2019.

You can check our test site for more details, but the history shows very strong performance.

As for the speed? The response times are consistently pretty good, in the 500-600ms range.

So overall, price is the main issue for most of you—SiteGround does well on everything else.

If you want to find out more, we’ve got you—check out our in-depth SiteGround review here.

6. A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting homepage

A2 Hosting Pros
  • Consistently good uptime
  • Perhaps the best feature set of all the items here
  • First-term prices are decent, making the features even more impressive
  • Good customer support: representatives are responsive and helpful, and knowledge base has good articles for getting started
A2 Hosting Cons
  • Renewal/regular prices are on the higher side of average
  • Doesn’t cater as strongly to ease of use or simplicity as some other options here
  • Domains not included for free, and if you purchase them on A2, they’re more expensive than usual anyway
Why we recommend A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting isn’t a super famous host, but it’s got a well-established reputation in the hosting industry, and it’s been around for a little while (2001).

It offers a range of hosting products, but its shared hosting is especially good.

There are four web hosting options offered by A2:

A2 Hosting plan

The price range is pretty standard, but a bit higher at regular rates/upon renewal.

The resources and features are pretty impressive. For example, just the first plan gets 100GB of storage—that’s a lot for just one website at a few bucks a month.

But there’s more. ALL tiers (including the first tier) comes with all this:A2 Hosting features

That’s pretty good. To be specific, website staging (which lets you create a clone site to experiment with big changes) is usually for advanced plans.

Additionally, CloudFlare CDN (boosting performance), choice of data center location, and a website builder—all included for free—are great adds. All these features make the first tier loaded.

But the remaining tiers have even more features:

The second plan onwards has free automatic backups, plus no limits on storage or sites. Plus this:

A2 Hosting growth features

Meanwhile, the third and fourth tier get another extra set of features:A2 Hosting turbo features

And that’s on top of the basic features/resource upgrades that come with the plans, which I already showed you.

So A2 is absolutely loaded with features, more than most hosts, and the cost is only a bit higher than a lot of the competition long term. And about the same at first buy!

Performance is key now.

We’ve been testing out A2 Hosting for a long time. Some months in 2017-2018 had sub-average uptime (the lower side of 99.9%).

But it’s been a long time since such issues have come up.

In particular, the last year has been pretty good:

A2 Hosting uptime

And the last three months have been even better, at 99.984% uptime.

That’s a pretty strong uptime record, and the best part is that it’s from consistently good uptime.

Some other hosts (including some options here) might not have bad average uptime over a long period, but they fluctuate with some days having a lot of downtime.

The speed isn’t fantastic, but it’s decent. And, while it fluctuates some, it’s relatively consistent overall.

So not only is the performance good, but you can rely on it.

You can check out our A2 hosting test site for uptime records that go as far back as July 2017, or our A2 review for a holistic look at the company.

7. GoDaddy

GoDaddy homepageYou probably know this, but GoDaddy is a big name in the hosting (and domain) world.

GoDaddy Pros
  • Very good uptime over the course of two years.
  • Similarly good speeds.
  • Promotional prices are low (when they happen)
  • Ability to purchase more resources as needed
  • choice of Windows or Linux hosting
GoDaddy Cons
  • Non-promotional prices are higher than average for the first term.
  • A lot of upselling, pushiness to buy add-ons
  • GoDaddy’s live chat is often busy
  • Some included free features renew at cost after the first term
  • Especially: SSL not included for free at first two tiers, and renews at cost for the third tier
Why we recommend GoDaddy?

In fact, it’s almost certainly the biggest hosting company on this list. To put a number on it, GoDaddy services over 20 MILLION customers.

That’s a level above the other big names here (Bluehost, SiteGround, and HostGator).

Yet GoDaddy is also infamous for untransparent pricing and a very corporate approach. That’s also what holds it back on this list.

But it’s been so successful for a reason...it’s good. Check out our full breakdown of GoDaddy here for more on that.

Anyway, let’s look at the web hosting plans:GoDaddy plan

The first-term prices are higher than average. But the renewal prices are overall normal (if a bit higher than average as well).

However, GoDaddy frequently has big promotions that drop the prices to dirt-cheap levels for the first term.

As for the features...the resources are pretty generous. 100GB of storage (SSD by the way) is more than enough for the vast majority of people hosting just one website, and it only gets higher after that.

A cool feature is that you can easily buy more resources—not just storage, but also CPU or RAM—very easily as you need to.

But aside from the good news on resources, that’s about it for features.

Yes, you get a domain with annual plans, but it renews at cost after the first year. To be fair, that’s a common deal. But it renews at a higher cost than average.

Plus, the email has only 5GB of storage and is free for the first year only, but renews at cost.

The SSL? The feature that’s crucial to having a trustworthy site, which is included for free in almost all hosting plans? It’s not included for free for the first two tiers, and renews at cost for the third tier.

Also, GoDaddy is constantly upselling. You’re always pushed to purchase add-ons or higher-priced packages.

The website builder is one of those add-ons. Sometimes GoDaddy will even include it for free (for a year) during promotions.

It’s great when hosting companies include their own website builders for free. But many of them are sub-par compared to the popular website building software.

GoDaddy is a bit different. It’s a big company, and has invested into its website builder to be a more mainstream offering.

You can check out our investigation of GoDaddy’s website builder here for more info. But the short version is that yes, it’s pretty good.

But overall, GoDaddy is on the weaker side for features and price.

As for the uptime:

We’ve been measuring GoDaddy through a test site for two years (starting August 2018).

During that time, GoDaddy basically always had great performance. Most months have at least 99.99% uptime, and it’s rare when they don’t.

Overall GoDaddy has done well for the last year. But some instances of downtime have lowered the average:

godaddy uptime

Most of the time, it’s 100%, but there are consistently days just over 99.9% that lower the average.

In the last three months, however, uptime has been closer to 99.98%, which is good.

Not to mention, the response times have also consistently been low since we started measuring.

So overall, while not perfect, GoDaddy is a pretty good performer and has been such for two years.

8. HostGator

HostGator homepage

HostGator Pros
  • Overall, good uptime, particularly recently
  • Generally good features (including a website builder, unlimited email, etc)
  • Generous resources
  • Lower starting prices and lower renewal prices compared to competitors
  • Solid customer support (both representatives and knowledge base)
HostGator Cons
  • Slower response times
  • May be a bit risky for highly important sites/projects that need excellent uptime
  • Some upselling and add-ons that can be frustrating and build cost
Why we recommend HostGator?

HostGator is a very well-established name in the hosting industry. It claims to have hosted over 8 MILLION domains and has hundreds of employees, putting it in the big leagues.

HostGator’s plans are mostly low-cost, and have generous resources:HostGator plan

The main impetus to upgrade would be for more domains, and/or stronger SSL and a dedicated IP.

HostGator has a decent set of features available for all plans:HostGator features

So proportionately to price, HostGator definitely seems to be on top of things.

And on that note, HostGator has both lower starting prices AND renews at a lower cost than many of its competitors (though you’d have to commit for a long period of time to get those lower prices).

Anyway HostGator seems pretty solid thus far. The key factor now is performance.

Over the last year, HostGator has overall done well:

HostGator uptime

It’s been keeping its uptime guarantee of 99.9%. In fact, most of the time it’s easily at 100% uptime or pretty close—there were just a few days where uptime dipped to the lower side of 99.9% that took down the average.

If you look at the last 3 months in particular, it’s pretty good:HostGator 3months uptime

Unfortunately, the response times are on the slower side both overall and recently.

You can check out fully detailed uptime records for our HostGator test site here, going all the way back three years.

Also, you can read our HostGator review for a full run-down of the hosting company.

9. TurnKey Internet

TurnKey Internet homepage

TurnKey Internet Pros
  • Very good uptime, especially lately
  • Consistently great speeds
  • Choice of Windows or Linux hosting
  • Good three-year prices and yearly prices
  • Generous resources
  • Independently owns its data center, which is also a green data center
TurnKey Internet Cons
  • Domain name not included
  • Not loaded with features compared to some options here.
  • Particularly, not a lot of features that would appeal to beginners.
  • Knowledge base/informational support a bit limited
Why we recommend TurnKey Internet?

TurnKey’s a less famous host, but it’s been around for quite a while—since 1999, in fact.

Its history is also a little unusual. Unlike just about all the other names here, TurnKey didn’t start as a host.

It first was a consultant for ISPs, and then transitioned to hosting. But its transition has resulted in a pretty impressive hosting company.

TurnKey gives you a choice of Linux hosting (which comes with cPanel) or Windows hosting (which comes with the Plesk control panel).

As is usually the case, the Windows hosting is more expensive:

TurnKey Internet plan

These are pretty friendly to developers and those hosting more dynamic projects.

As for the Linux plans:TurnKey Internet cpanel hosting plan

There are just two options, and they’re pretty low-priced but with generous resources.

However, the price tag for those Linux plans only applies to a three-year pre-payment. This is often the case with hosts.

BUT: even if you pay on a yearly or monthly basis, the prices are still good. This is for the first tier:

TurnKey Internet billing cycle 1

The month-to-month price is pretty standard, but just 5 bucks a month for a year of service is still on the lower side.

So all in all these prices are still good even when you don’t buy three years in bulk.

Moreover, the Windows plans do not have this same disconnect. The price tags shown for Windows here are what you pay month-to-month. If you pay on a yearly basis, it’s marginally cheaper:TurnKey Internet billing cycle 2

So all in all it’s a well-priced set-up.

The features available tend to be more about resources and support for various scripts.

That’s great, but it does matter a little less to people looking for an “easy” and simple host (such people may want website builders included, for example).

But ultimately, the cheapest plan (Linux) can support up to 10 domains and doesn’t cap storage, which is a lot better than most hosts. That’s great value. Uptime will make or break TurnKey now:

So let’s examine the performance. TurnKey’s uptime, over the course of a year, is pretty impressive:TurnKey Internet uptime 12months

There was basically one day with poor uptime, but other than that, it’s been 100% almost every day with minimal exceptions.

To prove it, take a look at the last 3 months, which have a nearly perfect uptime score:TurnKey Internet 3 months uptime

And the speed? The average response time is among the lowest we’ve seen of the hosting companies we’ve measured.

We’ve been measuring TurnKey since March 2019, and the performance was a bit worse in the middle part of 2019. A couple months were below 99.95%, but not much.

But that hasn’t been an issue for a while, with performance overall looking quite strong (especially lately).

Let’s get to a summary of the pros and cons. But if you’re already really curious, you may as well learn some more about TurnKey with our full review of it.

10. InterServer

interserver homepage

InterServer Pros
  • Very good performance for the last year
  • One-size-fits-all price means great features proportionate to price
  • No exaggerated renewal prices
  • Specifically, good default features for site security
  • Solid customer support
  • Shared servers run just 50% of capacity, allowing for growth. This is less common for shared servers.
  • Good uptime and response times RECENTLY.
InterServer Cons
  • Domain is not free, though it is cheap at $1.99
  • While I personally like the single pricing plan, some people may want more options
  • Spottier record on uptime and response times longer term (mostly before August 2019).
Why we recommend Interserver?

InterServer isn’t the most famous web host, but it’s still pretty well known. And it should be:

InterServer has been around since 1999 and has managed to uphold a solid reputation the whole time.

On price, InterServer is very simple. Most web hosts, as you’ve probably noticed by now, offer quite a few tiered options. The features and performance increase the more you pay.

Additionally, each pricing tier typically renews at a higher rate after the first term, and the low price advertised is dependent on you signing up for a certain period of time.

With InterServer, there is precisely ONE web hosting package. Ordinarily it’s $4 a month if you commit to 3 years, or $5 per month regularly. As you can see, there is a discount at the time of writing.

This is a one-size-fits-all hosting package, which makes sense given its features (more on that in a sec).

It’s still a good deal for the price, though. $4-$5 a month is a tad higher than the cheapest entry-level hosting, but it’s cheaper than high-tiered hosting with other companies.

Proportionately speaking, it’s a great price. So let’s get into what it offers:

One of the best things about InterServer is that it offers a lot of features. I mean, just take a look at these basics:

interserver features

Some of these you probably expect, like free migration, SSL, and SSD storage.

But you also get a free website builder, and email isn’t even limited for the first tier. Heck, storage isn’t even limited.

Plus, InterServer’s default security features—known as Intershield Protection—go above the norm for shared hosting:

interserver intershield security

They also have something called “Inter-Insurance,” which means they’ll clean up hacked or infected accounts—especially WordPress sites—for free.

That’s part of InterServer’s generally great customer support. It’s a feature in itself.

Finally, one of the more unique and nice points about InterServer is its resource allocation. I already told you that you’re getting unlimited SSD storage. But this is why:

interserver server capacity

Spacing out customers on shared plans like this is less common, because of course it’s less profitable. It makes more sense to cram low-consuming customers together.

But by making sure each server is running at half-capacity, InterServer lets its customers make the most of shared hosting—with other companies, they’d be forced to upgrade to a higher plan if they consumed too many resources.

Now, at this point InterServer probably sounds like the undisputed first option. Not so fast:

One of the things that keeps InterServer from moving up higher on this list is performance, a crucial component.

We’ve been testing InterServer for a while. The newer results are better, but some of the older results still affect the evaluation.

These are the older results, from about a year ago:

interserver old uptime

As you can see, about a year ago uptime COULD be great, but it was often frequently pretty low. Anything below 99.95% is on the poorer side of average, with May and March of 2019 standing out.

Also, response times were quite slow in late summer 2019.

These are newer results:

interserver uptime

As you can see, the response times have been very fast.

And the uptime has been closer to 99.99% or 100% month to month (99.977% uptime is pretty decent over the course of a whole year).

The uptime and response times have been good for the last year, but earlier in 2019 things have been spottier.

You can view our full uptime records here, spanning more than a year and up until the present.

Anyway, that’s the deal with InterServer’s performance.

Ultimately InterServer is a great bargain for many looking for affordable hosting that provides good features and still performs very well.

But if your absolute bottom line is having performance as close to perfect as possible, something else on this list may be better.

You can read more about InterServer here if you’re still unsure.

Are other kinds of web hosting better for me?

If you’ve been reading this article ‘till now, and had the sneaking suspicion that none of these are the best option for you or your business…

You MAY be right. Web hosting is great for a lot of people, which is why it’s so popular, but there are other types of hosting.

Best web hosting for small businesses

Let’s start with web hosting for businesses. Now basically, this is still shared web hosting. And regular shared hosting can and IS used by businesses often.

But, many hosts offer web hosting that’s better for businesses. And many hosts offer special web hosting plans for businesses—take Hostwinds for example.

The main benefit is that you get a better compromise: more resources, better performance, but still the cost-effectiveness and ease of web hosting. To see more, check out my list of the best web hosting for businesses.

Some of those options:

Best WordPress hosting providers

Another type of hosting that overlaps with shared hosting is WordPress hosting.

Some WordPress hosting is basically shared web hosting with extra features. Some WordPress hosting is VPS or cloud hosting—more money, but also better security and performance.

The short version is that WordPress hosting can refer to different types of hosting, with the underlying component being, of course, that the packages are optimized for WordPress.

So if you really want a good host for WordPress in general, some of the options on this list are good—but there are still others out there, and they’re worth looking into.

Here are some of the best WordPress hosting providers, at a glance:

Best Drupal hosting providers:

WordPress is the most popular content management system, or CMS, around, which is why you’ve heard of it already.

But there ARE other content management systems that are very powerful. Drupal is one such CMS: it’s also open-source and can be used on most hosts.

However, Drupal is oriented towards more advanced site management. As such, some hosts are better suited for Drupal.

Here are some of those best hosts:

Best Magento hosting providers:

Another popular CMS is Magento. Magento is for managing ecommerce sites, and is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world.

A key point here, of course, is that you can have an ecommerce site with any of the web hosts listed here, or WordPress or even Drupal.

But Magento is for those who want to take the management of their ecommerce site to the next level, in which the whole CMS is about online business. Naturally, some hosts are better for Magento.

Best Moodle hosting providers:

And if you’re trying to build an educational site, you can use more than a simple but expensive course-builder—there’s even a CMS just for flexibly building educational sites.

For that, you’ll need to use Moodle, and hosts that are especially great for Moodle.

Here are some of the best hosts for Moodle:

Best cloud hosting providers:

Now aside from hosts that are good for certain popular CMS software, you can search for a provider based on the technical nature of the hosting itself.

Of course, there’s also cloud hosting. Cloud hosting essentially gives you a DEDICATED slice of server resources, through virtual servers linked together.

Because your resources are private, you can use them more freely without worrying about affecting the overall server. And they’re more secure.

But one of the best things about cloud hosting is that it's scalable: because you’re not as limited by physical hardware, you can start with a smaller amount of higher-quality resources and then scale up to larger and larger amounts as your site grows.

It’s naturally more expensive than regular web hosting, but much less expensive than dedicated hosting.

Here are some great cloud hosting providers:

Best dedicated hosting providers:

On that note: dedicated hosts are great if you have a larger business and need the most premium hosting you can get your hands on.

Dedicated servers are what they sound like: they’re entire servers dedicated solely to the paying customer, and shared with no one else.

But be careful: even if you’re willing to pay up for premium service, you want to make sure you’re investing in the best dedicated server for you.

At a glance, here are some of the best providers of dedicated servers:

Best PHP hosting providers:

Now, aside from looking at different types of hosting, or at hosts that are better for certain content management systems, you can look at hosts that are better at certain types of languages.

PHP is a very powerful scripting language used to build some of the most visited sites in the world, and certain hosts provide great features and support for developing sites in PHP.

Some of the best providers of PHP hosting are right here:

Best Java hosting providers:

Alternatively, you can look at hosts that are great for Java. Java is one of the most popular web development languages aside from PHP, and is often used as an alternative to it. It’s especially good for interactive content and mobile apps.

You guessed it. Here are some of the best hosts for Java:

Best ASP.NET hosting providers:

Lastly, there’s ASP.NET. It’s not exactly a language, but a web application framework (that uses the .NET language) and especially great for dynamic projects.

ASP.NET hosting is a little more niche, but there definitely are hosts better suited for it than others, and even hosts that are great for ASP.NET hosting specifically.

Some of those hosts:

Clearly, there are a ton of different kinds of hosting out there—but if all of these sounded too overwhelming for you, then you probably should return your attention to shared web hosting.

It can still provide the best combination of affordability and functionality, and that’s why it’s the most sought-after type of hosting plan.

And on that note…

How to choose the best web hosting service?

Despite the info-dump on the other types of web hosting up there, even just normal web hosting has a wide range.

You can see some of it from the items covered: some prioritize WordPress more. Others prioritize simplicity. And others are better at features.

What we prioritize while reviewing a hosting service are the following paradigms:

Pricing and Features

Budget while selecting a hosting service is essential to your motive. The features usually go hand-in-hand to what you pay.

There’s also the theory that if you pay more, you get more but there’s also a difference between what you want and what you require.

Ease of Use

Newcomers are always welcome in the hosting community but innovation happens so fast that the learning curve keeps getting steeper. Which is why we test to find out how the average guy figures things out.

Security

An underrated aspect of a hosting service. Most companies get it done with an SSL. Others offer an entirely custom solution. After all, you need to know what works best for you.

Customer Support

When you get tired of figuring stuff out yourself or get into some kind of trouble, customer support is your best chance. Whether it is guides, chat or email support, it can be measured.

If you’re brand-new or a hobbyist, it may be worth prioritizing “ease of use features” like website builders, site metrics, etc.

And if your bottom line is cost, go for whatever host is cheapest but has decent uptime. You can install WordPress on it for free, or another CMS, and manage a site with little extra payment.

If you need more advice, I recommend you read our guide to how we review web hosting companies—there’s a lot of good overlap that will help you choose.

Recap: The Best Web Hosting for 2020

Although finding the best web hosting might have been daunting at first, hopefully this list helped simplify things.

It should go without saying that you need to do your own research on which host is best for you.

And while I stand by this ranking as a good OVERALL ranking, it’s not going to be the best fit for everyone.

Some of you may prioritize the low cost of feature sets on InterServer or DreamHost. Others may like the simplicity and effectiveness of Bluehost, and so on, and so on.

As this list stands now, I think it’s a pretty good start. All these hosts are great web hosting options, but each has their own strengths.

Bluehost is probably the best simple-but-reliable host: pricing and features are okay, performance is very good, and it excels with user-friendliness and customer support.

FastComet is a unique host that has just ONE plan with a ton of features. It’s also a great all-rounder, but especially good for the bargain or value customer.

You can try all of these for at least thirty days, and in some cases longer—so don’t wait. Happy hosting!