Find Best 2017 Web Hosting providers using price comparisons and
reviews from our expert hosting editor. You can also find
hosting for different needs like e-commerce, enterprise,
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InMotion is our top-rated 5-out-of-5 listee. We particularly
like that the company offers free backups and SSH access, even
on their lower-end plans. WordPress support with integrated
WP-CLI is also available.
Here are some of the reasons the company gets a full 5 rating.
They offer an all-SSD infrastructure. They have 24-7 telephone
support in addition to the ticket/email/chat support options.
They offer a basic site migration, in that they'll unpack a site
saved from another cPanel instance. They offer free SSL and free
Rounding out the wins, InMotion
offers a full 90-day money-back guarantee. On top of that,
here's a special money-saving hint. In a chat session confirming
pricing and offerings, the operator offered me some special
prices and deals that reduced the published price by a few
bucks. I was also told that while promotional pricing does go up
at the end of the offer period, if you contact customer service,
InMotion has a "loyal customer discount" that may bring the
price back down.
Media Temple was acquired by Internet giant GoDaddy back in
2013, but continues to operate as a separate unit. Media Temple
fits in a hosting space above the many super low-cost consumer
hosting providers, ranging all the way up to managed
enterprise-level hosting. Essentially, if you want a
professional hosting environment and are willing to pay a few
more bucks for it, Media Temple is a go-to solution.
We also like that Media
Temple has plans that provide managed hosting on top of
Amazon's Web Services. AWS has an enormously powerful
infrastructure, but can be confusing. By providing managed
hosting on top of AWS, Media Temple provides the power of AWS,
without the technical challenge. Going along with the theme of
more robust hosting services, the company provides an access
panel that allows an at-a-glance view of the status of all their
Temple does sell dedicated SSL certificates, for those who
want an easy and free (and quite secure) solution, they also
enable the installation and management of Let's Encrypt SSL
certificates. We also like that they offer a dedicated security
panel in their dashboard, allowing for management of a variety
of security scans, including malware, vulnerabilities, and spam.
It's the prevalence of excellent management tools and managed
support that truly led to Media Temple's 5-out-of-5 rating.
Media Temple is running a contest called Made Like It Matters, a
celebration of projects with passion and precision. While the
contest is likely to be over by the time you're reading this, we
applaud any company that encourages and supports the creative
process and the pursuit of creative excellence.
Dreamhost holds a special place in my heart. The company, in
addition to its commercial services, offers a free shared
website to nonprofits. They provided a free website to a
nonprofit I was affiliated with, which at the time, was a huge
help for the cause. That offering is still available to
501(c)(3) nonprofits to this day.
Beyond that, Dreamhost is
a 5-of-5 hosting company for many reasons. They operate their
own control panel, which is convenient and easy to understand.
While phone support isn't available 24-7, they are responsive to
chat and tickets. The company uses superfast SSDs for all their
storage, has a free SSL certificate (for more secured web
browsing), and provides SSH access for those plans that are
intended for more technical users.
There are two other factors that led to the nearly perfect score
earned by Dreamhost. First, the company's pricing is pretty
transparent. There are no hidden gotchas in the rates. Plus --
and this is the best we've seen across all our hosting providers
-- Dreamhost provides a 97-day money back guarantee. There's
quite literally zero risk in giving them a try.
1&1 Hosting provides a wide range of hosting services, along
with a full e-commerce stack, domain name registration, Office
365 solutions, and online marketing programs. What sets the
company apart is their first-year hosting price of less than a
buck a month. This is the least expensive hosting program we've
seen, although the price does go up after that first year.
The company also offers higher-end Windows and Linux servers,
available with Plesk and cPanel respectively. We were very
intrigued to see that the company offers low-end Atom-based
dedicated servers as well as the more traditional Xeon-based
machines. One great resource for those doing some basic
experimentation, or site development, is that they have a free,
three-month trial for one of their lightly-equipped Atom
The company does loose some points for its hefty price increase
after the first year for most plans, although we do commend 1&1
for making that price increase clear, visible, and easy to
understand on their site.
At the very bottom of their home page is a link called "show
fineprints." Clicking it expands out a list of details on the
restrictions and renewal pricing for many of their promotions.
We liked that this level of detail was easily available to
Good phone, email, and chat tech support, along with SSD-based
hosting for faster performance, and a free SSL certificate round
out the offerings, and earn 1&1 Hosting it's well-deserved 4.6
out of five stars.
Probably the first thing most folks will notice about iPage is
the incredibly low price for shared hosting service. At less
than two bucks a month for the 36-month plan, you can buy three
full years of hosting for under $75, a jaw-dropping deal no
matter how you look at it.
Yes, that price will go up after your 36 months are over, but
can you blame them? The company does not claim to offer
unlimited bandwidth, but low-end hosting plans generally don't
require a tremendous amount of traffic capacity. If you do
sustain a big surge, contact the company and they'll work with
We like how iPage offers 24-7 telephone support and a 30-day
guarantee on top of its ridiculously low price. If you're on a
budget and want to try out Web hosting, we haven't found a
better starting price than what iPage is offering.
A2 Hosting scores a top rating of 5 out of 5. That's because it
does a lot right and almost nothing wrong. The company offers
much-faster SSD drives for all its plans, which can shorten
site-loading time tremendously. It also has a semi-dedicated
hosting offering, which is similar to a VPS, except that
everything is controlled by cPanel or Plesk, which doesn't
require root-level knowledge.
The company offers both Windows- and Linux-based plans for those
with more technical requirements, 24-7 phone support, a free
site migration service, SSH access for geek-level access, and a
solid 30-day money-back guarantee.
Multacom is another pro-oriented service provider. As you
can see, they're upfront with their offering of a full rack
that's rentable in their facility. You can also rent half a
rack, a quarter of a cabinet, or even co-locate just one server
in their facility. They provide a full 20 amps of power to each
cabinet, initial setup, and free IPKVM and remote reboot on
So, with all that, you'd think they wouldn't pay much attention
to the lower-end entry-level plans. But you'd be wrong. One of
the things that sets Multacom apart is that the company offers shared
Windows hosting starting at $7.95. If you want to run
Windows (or, more likely, IIS and various .ASP capabilities),
this is a great way to get a start, or set up a testing or
staging server for development.
The company offers SSD speeds on some plans, but has the option
of increasing storage capacity measurably in return for using
somewhat slower spinning platters. 24-7 telephone support is
available, as is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
These folks are all about the co-lo and dedicated server
offerings. They operate 22 data centers in the United States, in
eight locations. Co-location is the practice of running your own
machines out of a provider's data center. It's a great solution
for enterprises and larger site operators.
The company didn't earn a 5 rating primarily because it doesn't
offer the consumer-level services provided by other hosting
providers that reach a broader market. It also lost points
because the sales chat agent couldn't tell us whether or not a
money-back guarantee was available. That said, if you're serious
about your web presence, and know and appreciate what co-lo
means, Colocation America should be one of your first stops on
your journey to hosting your servers or renting dedicated
machines. The company also offers 24-7 phone support.
If you're a WordPress user, Bluehost is definitely a provider to
consider. While its managed WordPress hosting is a little more
pricey than basic shared hosting, the company has both specific
WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans available (along with
management support). It also offers a site migration service for
an additional fee.
The company got bonus points for its policy of performing
regular daily backups, even on the lowest-priced shared hosting
accounts. It lost points because its promotional price on the
low-cost shared hosting does go up after the promotional period.
That said, Bluehost also gained points for offering 24-7 phone
support and SSH access for certain plans.
Web Hosting Hub has an entry-level starting price, but some
surprisingly valuable benefits for such a low-price entrant.
In particular, Web Hosting Hub uses BoldGrid as a site builder.
BoldGrid is actually an add-on to WordPress, so there's no
lock-in. This overcomes the major problem of most site builders:
you're locked into that host and that tool, often requiring you
to completely rebuild your site if you want to expand. By using
a WordPress-based solution, all of the rather considerable power
of WordPress is available for future expansion.
We liked how Web
Hosting Hub describes its new customer process. They tell
new customers, "We walk you through setting up your account in a
personal on-boarding call." The company has a few other wins as
well. They offer an all-SSD infrastructure, automatic
vulnerability patches and a custom firewall, SSH access for
certain plans, and an excellent 90-day money-back guarantee.
You may have thought the days of getting a website for free were
over, but with SiteBuilder, they still exist. SiteBuilder
generously provides a service where you can host up to five
pages, use their website builder application, and even choose
from a variety of templates -- all for free. There will be ads
placed on your site, but that's a small price to pay for no
If you'd prefer to avoid the ads, you can jump up to plans
ranging from $4.99 to $11.99 a month. As you work your way
up the pricing ladder, you add on free email, priority support,
SEO tools and even an e-commerce store.
The company does offer email support and ticket support, even
for its least expensive plans. We did take a point off for the
relatively short 14-day money-back guarantee and a slight price
increase after the initial promotional period ends. That said,
you can certainly set up a small, free site and get a feel for
the service, with absolutely no time limit to check things out.
If you're a web pro, you'll like LiquidWeb. LiquidWeb specializes
in offering beefy servers to users who know what they need. If
you're just getting started, and want to create a website with
just a few pages, LiquidWeb isn't your best choice. But if you
want to set up systems exactly the way you want, either with a
VPS, a dedicated server or cloud hosting, LiquidWeb may be your
The company earned points with its all-SSD infrastructure and
24-7phone support. It also earned points due to the freedom
provided to web professionals when setting up servers. However,
there is one issue that cost LiquidWeb a
top rating: the company does not offer
a money-back guarantee.
Omnis Network bills itself as "everything hosting," and the
company does seem to offer something for everyone. The company
has services ranging from competitive shared hosting plans all
the way up to co-location services located in its secure Tempe,
We liked seeing the quality support offered by the company and
the 30-day money-back guarantee. We also really liked reading
the company's blog, which contains meaty advice about hosting,
domain usage, cloud services and more. It's quite well done.
Website Builder offers a strong selection of
business-oriented services, including a free suite of SEO tools.
These tools are designed to help you tune your site so it can
rank well in web searches. The higher your site ranks, the more
traffic you'll get.
Website Builder also offers business email, with your own
domain. You'll look a lot more professional using a business
email account than one that's derived from one of those
commodity email services everyone else is using.
Support is email only, unless you invest in a higher-priced
plan. The company also only provides a 14-day money-back
guarantee. That said, you can set up a small site on the service
for free, which gives you the opportunity to get to know their
services. If you keep your site to under five pages and you
don't mind third-party ads on your content, you'll never have to
pay anything for a fully functioning custom web site.
Web Hosting Pad has a strong international presence. The
company has servers in US, Hong Kong, Mainland China and Korea,
and you can specify which server and location you want when you
In terms of what many vendors call unlimited service, Web
Hosting Pad's terms of service indicate that their definition of
unlimited is what they call "incremental." Basically, as you
need more capability, they want to discuss that with you, both
to help you get the most out of their services, and to make sure
you're using their systems without abusing them.
The company's entry-point pricing is extremely low, and while
this will buy you up to three years of very low-cost hosting, do
be aware that its post-promotion price will increase
substantially, putting its subsequent year pricing more in line
with the rest of its competitors. That said, we liked its 24-7
phone support, SSD support on some plans, and 30-day money-back
If you've ever been worried about the tremendous amount of power
large data centers consume, you might want to sign up with Green
Geeks. The "green" in the company's name reflects the Green
Geeks' commitment to the environment. It purchases three times
the energy it actually uses in wind energy credits, essentially
putting energy back into the economy. The company does this
through a form of renewable
energy certificates, which, while a bit complicated, means
that it's not just energy neutral, i's actually helping fuel the
green energy economy.
Just because it's green doesn't mean it limits your power to do
what you need with your Web sites. Rather surprisingly, its
low-end account provides both SSH and WP-CLI (useful for
automated WordPress deployments) access, along with Git
preinstalled. It's also possible to customize PHP and PHP.INI, a
capability unheard of on a low-end plan.
The company gained additional points for its all-SSD
infrastructure, 24-7 phone support, 30-day money-back guarantee,
free site migration and malware detection. The only concern we
had is that after your discounted purchase period expires, basic
shared hosting jumps to $9.95 per month.
What we liked most about HostMetro was
its guarantee that the price is locked in. It gets major points
for clarity. Unlike some other vendors, after your purchase
period ends, you're not going to be hit with a surprising new
rate. While the company makes no mention of an SSD
infrastructure, they do offer 24-7 telephone support, a 30-day
money back guarantee, free site migration, and very clear terms
HostGator is a full-service hosting company, with plans for
almost any need. Whether you're starting out and need a very
basic shared site, or need to be able to operate your own
machine dedicated solely to your company, HostGator has a
service that can help.
We like how HostGator not only allows more sophisticated site
builders to customize their dedicated or virtual server, but
also to choose Linux or Windows hosting. While HostGator doesn't
support SSDs on all plans, many of its servers can be equipped
with the faster drives.
HostGator gained points for uptime monitoring and regular
backups, along with free cPanel or Plesk. We liked that SSH is
available for the more technically inclined site operators, and
that dedicated IP addresses could be purchased. We did take
points off because it's sometimes difficult to tell what the
price is once promotional plans run their course. That said,
with a generous 45-day money back guarantee, there's a solution
for almost everyone at HostGator.
GlowHost offers a wide variety of plans for those with very
different hosting needs. We were particularly impressed with
their media hosting plans, which include offerings for FFmpeg,
SHOUTcast, and podcast hosting.
The company doesn't list a virtual private server offering, but
they bill their Elastic Sites service as a VPS alternative,
offering the ease of use of a simple shared hosting plan and the
performance and scalability of a VPS. GlowHost also offers a
number of different cloud hosting plans, with special attention
to providing enterprise-grade services.
GlowHost picked up major points for their 91-day money-back
guarantee. They were six days short of DreamHost's 97-day
guarantee, but with these numbers, who's quibbling over a few
days? The company also picked up points for their 24/7/365 phone
support option and free cPanel offering for most plans. The
company operates 18 datacenters worldwide. Finally, the company
gains major points by driving all its hosting services with wind
You may also find other hosting services more appropriate
depending on your needs. Hosting services such as cloud hosting,
e-commerce hosting, reseller hosting and WordPress hosting are
providing customers with a lot of flexibility.
Cloud hostingis a great option if you want to make
sure you have a lot of storage space and allows you to utilize
cloud computing to do so. There are many advantages to selecting
cloud hosting, such as guaranteed server resources, redundant
data storage and unlimited website growth.
E-commerce hostingis a popular option for many
online businesses. In addition to providing customers with
ecommerce functionality, many web-hosting service providers are
also capable of providing you with a web server to host your
website, along with an email server and other standard
Reseller hostingis ideal for users who are
interested in using his or her allotted hard drive space and
bandwidth to host websites on behalf of third-parties. To do
this, the reseller will need to purchase the host's services
wholesale and then sell them to customers separately for a
potential profit at retail prices.
WordPress hostingis an ideal platform for
customers who are interested in creating a custom-built website.
WordPress is popular among customers because it lets you build a
professional custom website using a variety of templates,
plug-ins and widgets.
What about after picking a provider?
Once you choose your provider, it's time for you to open an
account with the monthly plan that fits your needs. If you still
have questions about which plan is suitable for you, call their
customer support staff and have them assist you through the
registration process. Companies will generally charge a credit
card on a monthly basis, however, some companies will also offer
discounts for paying a yearly payment at once.
After selecting a provider, it's highly recommended that you
test your internet speed to ensure that the data is being
processed in a timely manner. You can visit CNET's Internet
Speed Testto instantly assess your current
How to speed up your website? Finding the fastest hosting
People often think that a web host is the main cause of a slow
website but, this is often not the case. When picking a
provider, it's important for find a hosting provider that is
close to your users and has a good amount of RAM and fast CPU
power. Beyond that, it's often the way the website is set up
that slows it down for users. To ensure that your website speed
is optimal for users you need to make sure you pay attention to
There are many other ways to increase
website speed but, these are the items that will have the
biggest impact. You can visit CNET's Internet
Speed Test to instantly assess your current internet speed
and find a new provider if need be.