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The Best Web Hosting Companies

Who Provides the Best Web Hosting Service?

If you're a business owner, a writer, or a hobbyist, sooner or later you're going to want a website. To have a website, you'll need a web hosting service. There are hundreds of web hosting companies available to host your site, but which one do you choose? And, how do you know what to look for?

The first step in choosing a web host is figuring out how much you want to spend per month in hosting costs. While some web hosts are nearly free when you sign up, there is often some fine print involved. Many web hosting companies will lure you in with cheap pricing at the outset, but then will raise the monthly subscription cost when you renew at the end of a month or a year.

Thursday, July 29th

2021 Web Hosting Company Reviews

Interserver Review Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 5 Star Rating

Interserver

5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

InterServer is the best little hosting company you never knew about. Started in 1999 by a pair of high school students who were reselling another company's hosting, InterServer has a happy community of users, short support response time, and their own server data centers. They earn our highest rating.

Host Papa Review 4.5 Star Rating

Host Papa

4.5 Star Rating

HostPapa had a meteoric rise to greatness as a hosting company and enjoys good reliability. However, despite its greater-than-average positive online comments from customers, it seems to suffer the same customer service problems that most hosting companies have when they become popular.

Liquid Web Review 4 Star Rating

Liquid Web

4 Star Rating

LiquidWeb is a well-established hosting company that focuses on more corporate web endeavors. The prices of their services start at just under $50 per month.

Go Daddy Review 4 Star Rating

Go Daddy

4 Star Rating

GoDaddy has a huge market presence in the website hosting arena. However, it suffers from poor site speed at scale as well as numerous customer service and tech support complaints from reviewers who are using the service.

Host Gator Review 3.5 Star Rating

Host Gator

3.5 Star Rating

HostGator is a Houston, USA-based company with over 9 million domain names and counting. It has been quite popular for new website owners who want inexpensive shared hosting.

Fat Cow Review 3 Star Rating

Fat Cow

3 Star Rating

FatCow is a hosting brand that doesn't take itself too seriously. It has moderately-priced plans to meet a variety of individual and small business hosting needs. Customer service is okay but not great. However, the downsides are its slow speeds, lower-than-average uptime, annoying upsells at registration, fees for daily backups, and cancellation fees.

iPage Review 3 Star Rating

iPage

3 Star Rating

iPage has very inexpensive hosting for brand new website owners just getting their feet wet. iPage is owned by Endurance International Group, which is a conglomerate that owns several hosting companies. The unfortunate trend with small hosting companies being subsumed by larger ones is that there are often declines in quality. As with almost all EIG companies iPage has some issues in the area of performance and customer support.

Blue Host Review 2.5 Star Rating

Blue Host

2.5 Star Rating

BlueHost is a good web hosting option for people just getting started with their static website or blog. However, due to its performance and availability problems, as well as poor customer service, it is not a good option for very long or for people who rely on their websites for eCommerce or high-trafficked content. BlueHost's pricing plans are difficult to follow. You may pay a small upfront cost but end up with a hosting plan that locks you into a longer term than you want to be in.

One Review 2 Star Rating

One

2 Star Rating

One is simple and cheap to start, having website builder software and other helper applications to add features and online storage. However, their customer service seems to be lacking, with numerous customer complaints and access to help available only by online form or live chat.

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Some web hosting companies will offer you a lower overall cost if you choose to pay up front for multiple years. While some web hosts will seem really expensive compared to other, that's because they're usually offering more value for your dollar in more advanced or innovative features their cheaper competitors aren't covering. Whether you choose a more expensive host will depend on whether those features improve convenience or lead to a better return on investment (ROI).

That leads us to the next decision to make: features. You'll want to decide which features you genuinely need versus which ones you don't really need at all. Aside from the core service of hosting the actual website will be offerings such as web design, do-it-yourself site theme implementation, domain registration, email, eCommerce tools and setup, online advertising to promote your website, website development tools, and search engine optimization (SEO) help. Some of these will be important to you and others will not be necessary.

Security and performance are considerations that often get overlooked in the drive to find the cheapest web hosting available. Cheaper cost to you means the web host is cutting corners somewhere in how they host your site. Often that means "shared hosting", which means your site is put on the same web server as hundreds of others. There are security and site speed implications to this that often are not in your best interests.

Reputation can also be a key factor - web hosts with bad reputations or "fly by night" business practices can hurt your business or position in search results.

Finally, you want to know how reliable and supportive each web host is from the perspective of its customers. How many people are complaining about hacked sites, slow page load times, poor support, and price hikes over time? There will be many, many complaints across all web hosting options, so you'll want to narrow the list of things that are important to you and focus primarily on those as you evaluate options.

Once you have an idea of which web host you want to subscribe to, shopping online will make it easier than ever to find it. To summarize, as you decide which web host should get your business, keep in mind these criteria:

  • Features. Which features does the web host offer and do you need all the features or just some of them?
  • Cost. How are the hosting costs structured? Will there be monthly subscription cost hikes after a certain period of time?
  • Reputation. What are people saying about the web host online? Is the web host going to shut down or change names soon, and are they engaging in shady practices that can hurt your brand?
  • Security. How many security incidents has the web hosting company experienced? Are there widespread complaints of site outages? If so, how quickly and to what extent were those issues addressed?
  • Performance. Are websites generally faster or slower on one web hosting service compared to its competitors? Does the web host offer plans that handle increasing numbers of visitors or sudden traffic spikes with more ease?
  • Customer Service. If you experience problems with your website, what are the contact options for getting support, and how responsive are they? Are support representatives courteous and helpful, or are they rude and condescending? How long does it take to fix problems?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best web hosting companies available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the right web host to make your website appealing, secure, and affordable!

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Web Hosting Company FAQ

Web hosting is a service that provides a computer (called a server) that delivers web page content to your website visitors. Rather than learning how to build and connect your own server to the Internet, web hosting companies provide all of these services for a fee so you can just focus on your website.
Web hosting can be very inexpensive if your needs are basic. But there is also a trade-off of lesser quality availability, security, and performance with lower-cost hosting. It is highly recommended that you prioritize your web hosting budget to balance obtaining the highest quality for a reasonable price. As your website's traffic grows, you'll be happier if you purchased hosting that can grow with it.
All reputable web hosting companies provide some kind of money-back guarantee. Avoid those companies that do not allow you to back out of a plan without penalty if it doesn't initially meet your needs. Choose a company that provides a guarantee that you will love their hosting or they'll refund at least your first payment.
Most web hosts do not require that you sign a contract for their services. Rather, they provide monthly pricing plans or yearly pricing plans that discount the monthly service cost if you pay for a year of hosting up front. It is not advisable to sign a contract or purchase a hosting plan for more than a year of service. Your needs, and the quality of the web host, could change in that time - leaving you out of pocket for the difference if you have to move to another web hosting provider.
Having good web hosting will enable you to get the most out of your website. A fast website is typically hosted on a fast server. Fast websites get and keep more visitors than slow websites. Additionally, the more secure your web hosting company is, the more secure your website will be from the attacks of hackers. And, you'll want a web host that will provide the best features, even if it costs more than some of the cheaper competitors.
Some key features to look for in a web host include:
  • Fast Time to First Byte (the time it takes for the web server to deliver the first byte of data in a request)
  • Free SSL certificates that automatically renew
  • Focus on security and performance so that an attack or spike in traffic on another unrelated site on the same server will not adversely affect your site
  • Included Content Delivery Network (CDN) to duplicate your content closer to the geographical location of your visitors for faster content delivery
  • High availability (typically 99.99% uptime) so that you have as little downtime as possible
  • Backup and restore capabilities, preferably included at no additional cost
  • Maintenance package if your site uses a content management service like WordPress
  • Easy access to support via chat, email, and phone in case of problems or questions
It doesn't matter where your domain is registered, so choosing a hosting provider that doesn't provide domain registration is not a problem. You can always select a different domain registrar service and simply point it to your hosting provider's name servers. Sometimes this is a better option in case your hosting provider decides to cancel your account for any reason. If they do, your domain name will not be jeopardized.
In general you can get some value from most hosting providers. However, there is a practice of very large holding companies buying up popular hosting providers and consolidating their services under one "roof" . Users of these consolidated companies often complain about poor customer service and very low performance and security. Seek out reviews for each company you're considering and ensure that they are not part of a larger consolidation.
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