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The Best Web Hosting Companies

Which Web Hosting Service is the Best?

Having a website is a necessity for anyone who wants to communicate with a regional, national, or global audience. Whether it's a website for brand awareness, eCommerce, media, services, writing, or a hobby, every site needs to be hosted somewhere. Since the web began, thousands of hosting companies have arisen, flourished, and disappeared. How do you know which companies available today will be around as long as you plan to have your website online? And, how do you know what features to look for?

For starters, be aware of your budget and what hosting companies charge. Don't be lured in by apparently low-priced plans without first reading the fine print. Many companies attract website owners with seemingly impossibly low fees only to jack up the rate at the time the hosting plan is renewed. Some offer a single rate regardless of the billing period. Others offer discounts based on whether you pay monthly, yearly or multiple years in advance. Yet others offer more advanced capabilities depending on the size and needs of your website and audience.

Friday, August 12th

2022 Web Hosting Company Reviews

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

ScalaHosting

5 Star Rating
  • Free migration
  • Free domain
  • Free SSL
  • Free CDN
  • Unlimited emails, database, and bandwidth
  • 7 backups for the last 7 days
  • 24/7 support via live chat (30-second response) or ticket (15-minute response)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 100% customer satisfaction
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

ScalaHosting is an award-winning company with 14 years in the business of hosting websites. It enjoys an unprecedentedly high rating among all of the hosting companies we've reviewed to date. That statement is based on widespread user feedback and the Better Business Bureau, where it is accredited with an "A+" rating and zero complaints.

More Power in Hosting

There's something for every type of website owner with ScalaHosting. Their entry-level plans are very affordable, starting at an introductory price of $3.95 and going to $14.95 per month. Upon renewal, the prices are between $6.95 and $31.95 per month depending on the plan. Each of the entry-level plan tiers has plenty of storage and CPU power for most lower-traffic websites.

Lots of Freebies

Included in every entry-level plan are free site migration, a free domain, free SSL, a free CDN, unlimited emails, data, and bandwidth, and 7 backups for the last 7 days. Plus, every plan enjoys 24/7 support with the guarantee that live chat responds within 30 seconds and ticket-based support within 15 minutes.

Great Security

The security features are very strong, with their SShield Security guard providing 24/7 real-time protection that blocks 99.998% of attacks, notifies you if your site is hacked, and uses built-in artificial intelligence to detect malicious behavior.

Best Web Hosting

ScalaHosting costs

ScalaHosting offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Web Hosting and WordPress Hosting
    • $3.95 - $14.95 per month
  • Self-managed Cloud VPS
    • Varies from $708 to $5,604 annually depending on CPU/RAM/SSD configurations
  • Managed Cluster
    • Call for customized pricing
  • Managed Cloud VPS - ScalaHosting Data Centers
    • $14.95 - $152.95 per month
  • AWS Data Centers
    • $61.95 - $249.95 per month
  • Digital Ocean Data Centers
    • $61.95 - $149.95 per month

Mix Your Own Server

If you need to build a more customized and robust server for one or multiple websites, ScalaHosting includes a very intuitive "Build Your Own Cloud VPS" user interface. Simply move three sliders to designate the right mix of CPU cores, RAM, and SSD space for your needs, choose a datacenter, OS, bandwidth, cPanel, backup, and your LiteSpeed option, and then see your price per billing cycle. This is the simplest pricing selection tool we've seen on all the hosting sites we've reviewed. And if you're still not sure what you need, you can immediately chat with an expert.

ScalaHosting's all-in-one control panel replaces cPanel with something more secure and flexible. It is included free for anyone on a cloud VPS site hosting plan.

ScalaHosting Garners Highest Praise

As an example of what you might expect of your site's potential performance, the performance of the home page for Scala was an excellent 409 milliseconds to load the first byte of data as the page loaded. Users of ScalaHosting give it a solid thumbs up. Everywhere you look, this service receives a nearly perfect rating from thousands of satisfied clients. The Better Business Bureau listing has an impressive zero complaints and an "A+" and accredited rating. With this much good feedback going for it, plus the impressive array of capabilities and customer-centric offerings, we're giving ScalaHosting our highest ranking among web hosting companies.

A2 Hosting  Review 4.5 Star Rating

A2 Hosting

4.5 Star Rating
  • Free domain with 1-year hosting purchase
  • Free account migration
  • 99.9% uptime commitment
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7/365 support via phone, chat, or support ticket

A2 Hosting has long had a good reputation in the hosting industry. Since 2001, when it began in a small office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, A2 has grown to be a large and influential hosting company with over 200 employees and 100,000+ hosting customers across the world and in multiple data centers.

Pricing is Not Low, But Based on Value

A2's hosting pricing is reasonable and it doesn't include renewal "gotchas" like so many other hosting brands do. Their prices for shared hosting range from $10.99 per month to $22.09 per month. The prices drop to $6.99-$16.99 per month billed annually and $2.99-$12.99 per month if you make a 36-month commitment.

Managed WordPress hosting is $23.99-$49.99 per month, $17.99-$47.99 per month billed annually, and $11.99-$41.99 per month for 36 months.

For VPS hosting, the cost is $65.99-$98.99 per month dropping to $55.00-$82.99 per month billed annually and $43.99-$65.99 per month billed every 3 years.

For dedicated hosting, the price ranges from $149.99-$219.99 per month, $110.00-$139.99 per month annually, and $105.99-$135.99 per month for 24 months. There is no 36-month option for dedicated hosting.

If you want to resell A2 hosting, taking a marginal profit from the sale and management hosting at a higher price than you paid for reseller hosting, you can start at $34.99-$65.99 per month, $24.99-$59.99 per month billed annually, or $18.99-$52.99 per month billed every 36 months.

Good Guarantees and Support

The money-back guarantee A2 offers is within the first 30 days with no questions asked and a full refund. Even better, you can receive a prorated refund of unused service if you decide after 30 days (but before 90 days) that the service still doesn't meet your needs. After the 90-day period has passed, any refunds are offered only at A2's discretion. Other conditions do apply, so be sure to read their guarantee policy details.

Support is available at A2 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can submit a support ticket, call their phone number, or use live chat. They guarantee 99.9% uptime of their own servers outside of larger issues with the Internet in general, DDoS or other attacks on their servers, problems with your own ISP, and browser or DNS caching issues, all of which are not within their control. If, due to their own maintenance issues, your site is down for an hour or more, A2 will provide a service credit of 5% of the monthly paid fee for each A2-confirmed hour it is down.

Best Web Hosting

A2 Hosting costs

A2 Hosting offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Shared Web Hosting
    • $10.99 - $22.09 per month
    • $6.99 - $16.99 per month for 12 months
    • $2.99 - $12.99 per month for 36 months
  • Managed WordPress Hosting
    • $23.99 - $49.99 per month
    • $17.99 - $47.99 per month for 12 months
    • $11.99 - $41.99 per month for 36 months
  • VPS Hosting
    • $65.99 - $98.99 per month
    • $55.00 - $82.99 per month for 12 months
    • $43.99 - $65.99 per month for 36 months
  • Dedicated Hosting
    • $149.99 - $219.99 per month
    • $110.00 - $139.99 per month for 12 months
    • $105.99 - $135.99 per month for 24 months
  • Reseller Hosting
    • $34.99 - $65.99 per month
    • $24.99 - $59.99 per month for 12 months
    • $18.99 - $52.99 per month for 36 months

Good Attention to Detail... Mostly

One of the nice things about A2 is that they pay attention to the details for their shared hosting customers. In an area of hosting where most people expect to get the lowest common denominator, A2 adds "boost" features to improve the value of shared hosting through speed and server resources enhancements. This allows even shared hosting customers to grow within their hosting without having to upgrade by default.

Great Performance and Reputation

As an indicator of your site's potential performance on A2, the A2 home page was a very quick 200 milliseconds to load the first byte of data as the page loaded. The Better Business Bureau rating for A2 is "A+" , accredited, and shows attention being paid to user complaints through responses and closures of issues. Customer reviews of A2 are very positive, with only a small minority of users having had problems. There was only one pattern we noticed in the complaints which centered around customers having issues when moving from shared hosting to dedicated or VPS hosting. The attention to detail in those setups was a bit lacking.

Web Hosting You Should Consider

Overall, A2 provides an excellent platform for hosting your website. You've got numerous plans to choose from, all which offer fantastic value for the money. Support is readily accessed whenever you need it, and the vast majority of clients say positive things about their experience using A2. While the issue with moving from shared hosting to dedicated/VPS hosting may be an issue - and it keeps A2 from receiving our highest rating - this is still one of our top picks in the industry.

Liquid Web Review 4.5 Star Rating

Liquid Web

4.5 Star Rating
  • Dedicated, Cloud, VPS, CMS & eCommerce, and Enterprise hosting
  • Choice of server operating system
  • Quick setup time
  • Free white-glove site transfers done for you
  • 1-click scaling and autoscaling
  • Integrated backups
  • HIPAA-compliant hosting for the healthcare industry
  • 14-day free trial for some offerings
  • 30-day money-back guarantee for Cloud VPS, Cloud Dedicated, and Private VPS Parent hosting
  • 99.999% uptime
  • 24/7 support via phone, chat or support ticket

LiquidWeb was started in 1997 to provide hosting services to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with offerings that went beyond the entry-level shared hosting that other companies offered. They have grown strong in this niche and are a good contender for your business if you're seeking a hosting company with a robust presence and capabilities.

Cadillac Hosting Plans

LiquidWeb's products include dedicated servers, VPS hosting, cloud dedicated hosting, private VPS parent hosting, cloud sites, server clusters, managed WordPress, Managed WooCommerce, and VMware private cloud hosting. They also have enterprise-level hosting with choices of high-performance and high availability for websites and databases. You can even obtain reseller and HIPAA compliant hosting as well as hosting specifically secured for payment card industry (PCI) compliance, which is crucial for anyone handling sensitive payment information.

Cadillac Hosting Plans

Managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting starts at $13.30 per month and goes up to $699.30 per month, or $15.83-$832.50 per month paid annually. Dedicated hosting is $199-$669 per month or $169-$669 per month annually.

Server Clusters are $743-$2149 per month. Cloud hosting and Private VPS Parent hosting both come in at $149-$699 per month. HIPAA Compliant hosting is priced at $384-$687 per month.

For LiquidWeb's Managed VPS hosting, you can pay $59-$219 per month, $45-$168 per month billed annually, or $25-$145 per month billed every two years.

Unbeatable Uptime and Guarantee

One thing we saw LiquidWeb offer that impressed us, because we didn't see it with any other host, was their 100% uptime guarantee with 1,000% compensation for downtime. In other words, they guarantee your server will never go down. And if it does, they'll compensate you up to 1000% of the cost of the downtime. Ticket, phone, and live chat response times are also guaranteed at 59 minutes, 59 seconds, and 59 seconds respectively.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for Cloud VPS, Cloud Dedicated, and Private VPS Parent hosting plans.

Best Web Hosting

Liquid Web hosting costs

Liquid Web offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Managed WordPress and WooCommerce Hosting
    • $13.30 - $699.30 per month
    • $15.83 - $832.50 per month for 12 months
  • Dedicated Hosting
    • $199 - $669 per month
    • $169 - $669 per month for 12 months
  • Server Clusters
    • $743 - $2,149 per month
  • HIPAA Compliant Hosting
    • $384 - $687 per month
  • Cloud Hosting
    • $149 - $699 per month
  • Managed VPS Hosting
    • $59 - $219 per month
    • $45 - $168 per month for 12 months
    • $25 - $145 per month for 24 months
  • Private VPS Parent Hosting
    • $149 - $699 per month

Full-Service Onboarding

All of the hosting plans have generous amounts of hardware and software options to help you keep your web application running smoothly, securely, and responsive to visitor requests. And if you need the "white glove" treatment of moving your site to their hosting, in most cases your migration is free of charge and done in 3-5 days for small sites or 7-14 days for large sites.

Good Customer Service and Happy Clients

For a possible measure of the expectations a typical LiquidWeb customer could have for their own website performance, we measured LiquidWeb's home page as loading its first byte of data at 268 milliseconds. (That's a very good number.) LiquidWeb has an accredited "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau and all complaints against it are answered and closed. In other places, the vast majority of customers rate LiquidWeb as excellent. Those who like LiquidWeb stated that they appreciate fast and cordial customer service. The few who didn't like the company and complained were answered promptly with an offer to resolve their issues.

Highly Recommended for More Experienced Businesses

Even though LiquidWeb is a bit much to handle for people new to web hosting, we can definitely recommend LiquidWeb for all SMB- and enterprise-level hosting. You'll get an attention to service that you won't find with some of the hosting services more geared to the everyday site owner. Your hosting budget will be well-spent with LiquidWeb.

DreamHost  Review 4 Star Rating

DreamHost

4 Star Rating
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Free automated WordPress migration
  • 24/7 support
  • Access to professional website design, development, and marketing services
  • 100% uptime guarantee

DreamHost has become a favorite of digital marketers, developers, and web designers since it was founded in 1996. DreamHost's user base of 400,000 customers has 1.5 million websites hosted on the service. They even show up on the list of hosts that the WordPress community deems as worthy of recommendation.

Lots of Features and Benefits

DreamHost offers shared hosting, WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting. There is also a website builder.

If you need a domain, they offer over 400 top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, .net, .co, and .io with free domain privacy protection.

For email, you can choose between regular email for your domain or the increasingly popular Google Workspace option.

DreamHost has a ton of professional services on offer including web design, marketing services, website management, custom web development, SEO, and social media marketing. If you want to do it yourself, you can learn how through the free DreamHost academy learning option.

Pricing Structures Could Use a Little Cleanup

The pricing pages were a little difficult to decipher in comparison to other hosting services we've reviewed. Some of the introductory pricing structures seemed to increase in per-month cost with the purchase of longer terms. With most hosting companies, it's usually less expensive per month the more months or years you purchase in advance. However, on DreamHost's website, when we hovered the mouse over the information icon for each introductory price, in contrast to the introductory price, the per-month renewal price didn't decrease as expected when the billing term increased.

The DreamHost pricing rubric is also too complex to fully portray here in this review, depending on what you need and where you are in the purchase cycle. But in general, WordPress plan introductory pricing ranges from $1.99-$2.99 per month for basic Wordpress and $12.00-$79.95.00 per month, or $16.99-$71.95 per month for 12 months, for managed WordPress. VPS WordPress plans are between $15.00-$120.00 per month depending on your site size.

Shared hosting introductory pricing also starts at $1.99 and goes to $2.99 per month.

Great Support and Generous Money-back Guarantee

Support is available 24/7/365 through chat or email. DreamHost's money-back guarantee is a whopping (and oddly specific) 97 days between signup and the last day you can request a refund. But be sure to read the terms and conditions as there are much more of these with DreamHost than any of the other hosting providers we reviewed.

Best Web Hosting

DreamHost hosting costs

DreamHost offers the following web hosting plans:

  • WordPress
    • $1.99 - $30.00 per month
    • $1.99 - $27.50 per month for 12 months
  • Shared Hosting
    • $1.99 - $2.99 per month
    • $2.95 per month for 12 months
    • $2.59 - $3.95 per month for 36 months
  • VPS Hosting
    • $15.00 - $120.00 per month
    • $13.75 - $110.00 per month for 12 months
    • $10.00 - $80.00 per month for 36 months
  • Dedicated Server Hosting
    • $169.00 - $299.00 per month
    • $149.00 - $279.00 per month for 12 months

Good uptime guarantee but performance declining slightly

The uptime guarantee DreamHost provides is 100% through multiple datacenter locations, redundant cooling, emergency generators, and monitoring. However, their actual yearly average uptime has been steadily decreasing from 100% to 99.96% over the last few years. We'd like to see that trend and the number of non-U.S. data centers improve before offering a higher ranking.

Good Performance and Feedback

Our proxy measurement of DreamHost's ability to deliver web pages quickly for its customers clocked in at 134 milliseconds for the first byte of data from their home page to hit the browser. That is a very fast time. Reviews were also quite positive, though even with an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, we'd have liked to see DreamHost accredited just for good measure.

Solid Web Hosting Choice

Overall, DreamHost is a strong hosting provider with good features and service. However, our ranking reflects our wish that their pricing rubric wasn't so complex and that their uptime hadn't been on a downward trend for a number of years.

Host Papa Review 4 Star Rating

Host Papa

4 Star Rating
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Standard web hosting
  • Optimized WordPress hosting
  • Managed WordPress hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • Website builder
  • eCommerce
  • Free Migration
  • Do-It-For-Me setup help

HostPapa, in business since 2007, provides shared, VPS, managed WordPress, optimized WordPress, and reseller hosting as well as a premium website builder. The company hosts 200,000 customers with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 email support, and live telephone and chat support in multiple languages. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee on shared web hosting and reseller hosting. There are specific conditions to qualifying for the money-back guarantee, so be sure to read the fine print.

Green Hosting"We Think?

HostPapa has a link to "Green Hosting" but the page didn't contain any details other than to state that they are a "leader in green hosting" . So if you're looking for a host that specifically provides environmentally responsible hosting, we can only assume that they are compliant in that arena.

Competitive Pricing

Pricing plans, billed annually, for shared hosting are introductory rates of $3.95 per month for Starter or Business plans. The introductory rate for the Business Pro plan is $12.95 per month. At renewal, Starter and Business jump to $11.99 per month and $16.99 per month, respectively. The Business Pro plan jumps to $27.99 per month. There are $1-$2 per month discounts when paying for 24 or 36 months at a time. Plans for managed WordPress, optimized WordPress, and VPS are similarly increased or structured at renewal time. The monthly pricing, billed annually, for the website builder doesn't have a renewal rate.

Versatile Website Builder Tool

The website builder HostPapa offers is mobile-responsive and is a separate offering that includes 2 pages for the Starter plan and up to 1,000 pages for the Business, Premium, and Enterprise plans. You also get free domain registration with each plan. With the Premium and Enterprise plans, you get advanced HTML and CSS editing as well as header and footer code injection, which is useful for add-on scripting and analytics. With the Enterprise plan, you get eCommerce features, over 45 different payment gateways, no additional transaction fees, digital goods features, inventory management, and being able to sell on Facebook.

Best Web Hosting

HostPapa hosting costs

HostPapa offers the following web hosting plans:

  • $3.95 per month for Starter or Business plans
  • $12.95 for the Business Pro plan

Support and Services

For customer support, you'll have access to a knowledge base, videos, live chat, phone, and email. Additional services such as SiteLock, SSL, protection from hackers, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, advanced business email, backups, done-for-you, and domain name registration are all sold separately.

Responsive Customer Support

HostPapa's server speed at producing the first byte to the web browser is 187 milliseconds for their home page. That's a great number to see, assuming that most hosting customers have that same experience. HostPapa has an "A+" accredited rating with the Better Business Bureau. It has fairly good reviews there and the complaints registered are all responded to. Elsewhere, HostPapa receives mostly positive reviews. People like the helpfulness of customer service representatives, ease of use, and competitive pricing compared to other hosts. Complaints included issues with customer service representatives, trouble getting refunds for unexpected renewals, and high prices.

Trusted Web Hosting with a Long History

HostPapa is a solid hosting company with longevity in a shifting industry. It would be better if their offerings were more comprehensive and not so much a la carte. But we still recommend HostPapa as a serious contender in your list of choices.

GoDaddy Review 3.5 Star Rating

GoDaddy

3.5 Star Rating
  • Domain registration
  • Website builder
  • WordPress hosting
  • WooCommerce hosting
  • Web design services

When people think of creating a website, they usually think of GoDaddy for hosting because they've heard about them "somewhere" . GoDaddy has been around since the beginning of the web in one form or another, becoming a household name when its infamous Superbowl ads aired in the early 2000s. The Scottsdale, AZ-based company has $3.8 billion in revenues and over 6,000 employees.

Lots of Options for Every Business Size

GoDaddy handles all of the pieces and parts that go into hosting a website, from domains, hosting, the website itself, security, online marketing, email, and even the Microsoft 365 office suite. It has long catered to the first-time website owner but also does well among the seasoned veterans who host dozens or even hundreds of websites.

GoDaddy has professionals who will design your website, your logo, and other branding, set up your eCommerce, provide phone numbers (including toll-free numbers), and handle your SEO and social media.

Priced to Sell

However, despite all the extras that it offers, GoDaddy mainly competes on hosting price. As a juggernaut in the industry, they can afford to undercut almost every competitor with super-low introductory hosting rates for all their services, from startup to advanced.

Prices for GoDaddy plans start with the free 7-day trial for the Ecommerce tier of the Websites + Marketing service. After the 7-day trial is over, and depending on the features you need, you'll pay an introductory price of $2.99 to $12.99 per month for web hosting and a free domain, or between $6.99 and $29.99 per month for GoDaddy Websites & Online Store. At renewal, the price range increases to between $11.99 and $44.99 per month. For WordPress hosting, you start out at between $8.99 to $20.99 per month, which jumps to between $9.99 to $24.99 per month at renewal. As is the case with most hosts, you save when you pay annually.

And Sell"and Sell

GoDaddy also has a business model of selling a base package of hosting without including essentials like SSL certificates or hardened security. Many users, not knowing the importance of SSL and security, have complained that their websites end up getting hacked or blocked by major browsers that now require websites to have SSL to display them safely. So, if you buy a GoDaddy plan, make sure to start with one that includes SSL and any extra security features or you'll need to purchase them separately.

Even though GoDaddy is very well-known, that doesn't mean it is necessarily the best hosting. Users who reviewed it negatively couldn't tolerate the constant upselling that occurred when they called in with a problem they wanted help with. GoDaddy's approach seems to be to sell upgrades to plans as an ad hoc attempt at a fix before digging into the root causes of issues. This has caused frustration that has led people to switch to other hosts.

Best Web Hosting

GoDaddy hosting costs

GoDaddy offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Free 7-day trial for the Ecommerce tier of the Websites + Marketing service
  • $2.99 - $12.99 per month for Web Hosting with Free Domain
  • $6.99 - $29.99 per month for GoDaddy Websites & Online Store
  • $8.99 - $20.99 per month for WordPress hosting

Privacy Issues Continue

As we noted in previous reviews of GoDaddy, users complain about their information being sold to third parties almost immediately upon signing up for a plan as evidenced by the barrage of unsolicited offers they receive from companies they hadn't heard of. Often this is due to the user not knowing why it is important to purchase domain privacy at the time of registration to protect their contact information. GoDaddy representatives will then gladly sell it to them. But by that point, it is too late.

Subpar Performance

GoDaddy's lower-tier plans continue to load websites slower than similar sites on some rival hosts' comparable tiers. And, the user interface to access products, DNS settings, cPanels, and other necessary functions seems to get more complicated and confusing the more GoDaddy redesigns it.

Be Aware of What You're Buying

GoDaddy hosting can be what you want it to be. It can be beneficial to your business if you know what you're getting into. Be sure to research all the stipulations and conditions, ask a lot of questions of the GoDaddy Guides, and make sure you get all the things you need upfront to avoid upsells later.

Pantheon  Review 3.5 Star Rating

Pantheon

3.5 Star Rating
  • One-click WordPress core updates
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Included development, test, and live environment for smooth site launches
  • Most secure against website takeovers and defacements
  • Containerized to prevent problems for your site when other sites have issues
  • Fastest performance among web hosts with specially-tuned WordPress and Drupal
  • SSL included
  • CDN included
  • Varnish caching included

Pantheon is a hosting company that not a lot of people know about, but that still has a lot to contribute in the industry. Founded in 2012, Pantheon was built on the idea of reinventing, from the ground up, how websites are hosted by prioritizing performance and security. While they have certainly succeeded in making a reputation for hosting the fastest, most secure and optimized WordPress and Drupal websites, it came at the cost of higher prices and more difficulty for the average user.

Opinionated Workflow with DevOps and WebOps

Pantheon's unique approach to following an opinionated workflow for publishing a website's code, database, and content is one of its major strengths. For one, it allows developers and designers to work independently of each other, as well as independently of the marketing organization that commissions their work. In contrast, with traditional hosting, marketers have to wait until developers and designers have a "maintenance window" in which they can make changes before rolling out new content and campaigns.

With the "WebOps" and "DevOps" approach of Pantheon, however, content and design changes can happen much more quickly. While marketers update the live site content (not code) to their hearts' content, developers can write their code on a "Dev" instance of the site, deploy it to a live-like "Test" instance for testing in a real-world environment, and then deploy those changes live instantly without downtime. Dev teams can even create different versions of the website in a "Multidev" instance where multiple developers can have their own "feature branch" of the main website that later gets combined or "merged" with the "Dev" instance to all go live together.

Another huge strength of Pantheon comes from the fact that the live site's files are "locked" as read only. This means that the majority of hacking attempts that most other sites have problems with just aren't possible on Pantheon-hosted sites. For this reason alone, if you have a website that is frequently the target of content defacement attempts, you would do well to move to Pantheon. Many developers report that on Pantheon, none of their sites have ever been hacked.

Nearly Instant Page Loads

Along with the above advantages of an opinionated but flexible workflow, plus a huge investment in Varnish, the Fastly CDN, and edge caching, comes the added advantage of performance. Pantheon's speed for loading its own home page is blazing fast. In fact, at 31 milliseconds to load the first byte from the server, it's the fastest time, by far, of all the hosting companies we reviewed. In practice, it is very possible for any website, even on the Basic plan, to get the same speed for the first byte if they follow Pantheon's configuration and coding instructions closely.

A Weakness That Can Also Be a Strength

That brings us to the Achilles Heel of Pantheon. With the great power of the locked-down and optimized WordPress environment comes the trade-off of many WordPress plugins and themes not being able to operate with their default assumptions about WordPress. But even this is a core strength from the perspective that those assumptions are often indicators that the plugins and themes themselves are not secure or stable according to best practices. There are workarounds for the vast majority of popular plugins that make them work on the platform. Pantheon can still be a winning proposition here if your team understands the tradeoffs and benefits and is willing to learn about and accommodate them.

If the Pantheon workflow and constraints sound confusing compared to the relatively simple WordPress world you're used to, that's understandable. But it's not meant to be. It's meant to provide a ton of flexibility and agility of content publishing to any organization that has a lot of work going on with their website at once.

Best Web Hosting

Pantheon hosting costs

Pantheon offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Basic plan
    • $50 per month paid monthly
    • $41 per month paid annually
  • Performance plan
    • $175 - $1,000 per month paid monthly
    • $160 - $916 per month paid annually
  • Preferred Pricing Basic Plan (when using a Partner Agency as a support organization)
    • $35 per month paid monthly
    • $29 per month paid annually
  • Preferred Pricing Performance plan
    • $125 - $750 per month paid monthly
    • $114 - $687 per month paid annually
  • Elite tier pricing is obtained by contacting Pantheon

Let's Talk About Price

If you noticed, like we did, that Pantheon's pricing puts it into a league of its own compared to competitors, you are correct. They've invested a lot of time, tools, hardware, development, and money to achieve the high availability and strong security and performance that is their core offering.

The list price for the Basic plan is $41 per month paid annually or $50 per month paid monthly. With that, and other higher plans, you get free SSL, free heightened security for WordPress or Drupal, a free Fastly CDN, Varnish caching, and plenty of space for your site's media files. Performance plans are $160-$916 per month paid annually or $175-$1000 per month paid monthly.

If you sign up through a Pantheon Partner Agency, the price comes down to $29 per month paid annually or $35 per month paid monthly for Basic and $114-$687 per month paid annually or $125-$750 per month paid monthly.

What the Users Say

Reviews from users who love Pantheon laud its opinionated and powerful workflow, the ease-of-use of the hosting dashboard interface, the emphasis on security and performance, the extras like the built-in CDN and advanced caching, and the helpfulness of the support team. Reviewers who don't like Pantheon complain about the price and that the workflow is too complicated or rigid and out of the norm for most WordPress and Drupal users. They also don't like the fact that they have to do workarounds for some common themes and plugins that need write access to the file system. Others state that they have had problems working with the customer support team.

Not Ideal for Beginners But Amazing Otherwise

If you're looking for a fast and secure WordPress or Drupal hosting system that lets your development, design, and marketing teams produce content faster and more efficiently, Pantheon is a sure bet. Just know that it is not traditional hosting, is more expensive, and has a steep learning curve to invest in at the outset. If Pantheon had a better balance of those factors for beginners, we would have given it a higher rating.

Hostinger Review 3 Star Rating

Hostinger

3 Star Rating
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free SSL
  • Free migration
  • Backups
  • 24/7/365 tech support
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • eCommerce optimization

Kaunas, Lithuania-based Hostinger was founded in 2011 (or 2004, depending on where you look for their information). Hostinger is an employee-owned parent company of several other web hosting companies, including 000webhost, Hosting24, Zyro, Niagahoster, and Weblink. They have data centers in seven countries.

Lots of Great Options

Hostinger provides a lot of help getting you started with their web hosting programs, and their pricing is very reasonable as well. They offer four types of hosting services: web hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and hosting for agencies.

Web hosting

Web hosting starts at $1.99 per month on a 12-month billing cycle (renewed at $3.99 per month) and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, free domain, and free SSL. You can upgrade and get up to 100 websites, more space, and more monthly visits along with unlimited bandwidth and databases for $4.99 per month (renewed at $8.99 per month).

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting goes for between $9.99 and $29.99 per month (renewable at $19.99 to $54.99 per month). It includes 300 websites, free email, free SSL, a free domain, Cloudflare, and unlimited bandwidth and databases.

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Hostinger hosting costs

Hostinger offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Web Hosting
    • $1.99 - $4.99 per month
  • Cloud Hosting
    • $9.99 - $29.99 per month
  • WordPress Hosting
    • $1.99 - $11.59 per month
  • VPS Hosting
    • $1.99 - $77.99 per month
  • CyberPanel VPS Hosting
    • $3.95 - $77.99 per month
  • Minecraft Server Hosting
    • $6.95 - $77.99 per month

Wordpress hosting

If you're into WordPress as your content management system, your choices include a range of prices from $1.99 per month to $11.59 per month, going up to between $3.99 per month and $19.99 per month at renewal. With the exception of the smallest plan, you'll get 100-300 websites, free email, free SSL, a free domain, and unlimited bandwidth.

Agency hosting

Agency hosting starts at $4.99 ($8.99 at renewal) per month and goes up to $29.99 ($54.99 at renewal) per month. The agency plans are pretty generous, with free email, SSL, domain, unlimited bandwidth, and plenty of storage. Plus, they add valued services such as eCommerce optimization and free migration.

A Bit on the Slow Side

Hostinger's own website took 796 milliseconds, a bit longer than we liked, to load its first byte into our web browser. You'll want to run your own tests to see if their hosting speed is worth it. Hostinger enjoys a really good reputation with the people who have reviewed it. Those rating it positively like the customer service, seamlessness, and ease of use. Those rating it poorly were frustrated with elements of customer service, VPS problems, and bad migration capabilities. Their Better Business Bureau rating is an unaccredited "D-" , which put a significant ding in our overall rating for Hostinger. You may want to look at our higher-ranked web hosting services before settling for this one.

One Review 3 Star Rating

One

3 Star Rating
  • Free 14-day trial
  • Free domain for 1 year
  • Free website builder
  • Free Google Ads credit
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Web Stats
  • 24/7 support via chat and email

One is based in Denmark and was started in 2002 as B-One, but later changed its name to One. They have offices in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, India, Dubai, France, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. One is the hosting company for over 1.5 million websites in 140+ countries worldwide. Their focus is on selling domains, hosting, and add-ons to support website owners.

Hosting Plans for Beginning Website Owners

There are five hosting plans ranging from $4.99 to $19.99 per month billed annually with renewals jumping to between $6.99 and $26.99 per month billed annually.

Each plan has unlimited mail accounts and daily backup. Only three of the higher-tier plans include restoration of backups and only two have premium features added to the mail accounts. With each plan increase, you get progressively more SSD storage (up to 750GB) and with three of the upper-tier plans, you get increasingly more websites supported (up to 10). The starter plan doesn't include WordPress.

Free Offerings

Free site security protection, SEO tools, and advanced WordPress tools are only available in the top three tiers at One. All plans include 1 free domain for 1 year, a free website builder, free Google Ads credit, a free SSL certificate, and website statistics.

Help Options, But No Phone Number

For support options, you have access to an online knowledge base, 24/7 chat, and email response within 24 hours. There is no phone number to call for help if you have an emergency, but the live chat is available via a "Help" icon at the bottom right of every page of the site. In the footer of the site is a status link to check the overall status of One's hosting operations in case you suspect they're having system-wide problems.

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One hosting costs

One offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Web Hosting
    • Starts at $4.99 per month
  • Wordpress Hosting
    • Starts at $7.99 per month
  • Email Hosting
    • Starts at $5.49 per month

Confusing Information About the Website Builder

In case you want a website builder, One offers a point-and-click solution that requires no code. You just choose a template, add your own design touches, and publish your site. During our review research, there was a 14-day trial button to sign up for the website builder. That was confusing in contrast to the fact that on the main Plans and Pricing page, the advertised plans say the website builder is included free with all plans. But on the website builder page, the advertised plans say "Free" (for the Starter plan) and free for the first year of the Premium and Business + Ecommerce plans. It could be that this button was referring to the overall 14-day trial, but it only appeared on the website builder page, which caused doubt.

Lack of Information About Downgrading

If you decide to upgrade or downgrade your hosting plan, you can do so without loss of data. However, the website doesn't make it immediately clear how preservation of data happens if you downgrade to a plan with a smaller amount of disk space or a smaller quantity of other features, such as the number of websites.

Average Hosting Recommendation

As a barometer of your site's potential performance, the performance of the home page for One hosting was not great at 1.2 seconds to load the first byte of data as the page loaded. There were not enough positive reviews and too many negative reviews for One to be considered as anything but average. It might work for you as a good starter hosting company, but it might not. If you do choose One, keep an eye out for a web hosting service with better prices and features to jump to when your site comes up for renewal after a year.

Host Gator Review 2 Star Rating

Host Gator

2 Star Rating
  • Website builder
  • Free domain
  • Free site transfers
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • 24/7/365 support via chat, phone, or social media
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

HostGator has been in the hosting business since 1997, offering domains, web hosting, WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated hosting, and reselling. They were acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012, making them part of a large group of hosting companies owned by EIG.

Owned by Endurance International Group

One thing to know about hosting through any EIG company is that they have made a practice of moving all the technical expertise for their hosting offerings to offshore IT contractors and employees. So, if you value hosting operations and support personnel being within the Americas, you may find it desirable to look at other hosting providers.

Low Cost at the Cost of Long Term Billing

All the lowest prices for HostGator hosting plans are introductory rates billed in 36-month increments that renew at higher amounts after the initial term completes. If you want shorter terms, you'll pay more per month. This feels a bit predatory because it's often impossible to know whether a website will be in business three years from when it starts. It's nice to be able to start with such low pricing, but if you shut down your site because it fails to live up to its promise after year one, you're out the money for years two and three.

That said, you can begin as an entry-level user with the $2.75 to $5.25 per month shared hosting plans. That's without any website builder or installed WordPress. If you need the website builder, that's a range of $3.85-$9.22 per month, or if you want to have WordPress already installed, migrated, and managed, that's in the $5.95-$9.95 per month range.

Free Features and Guarantees

HostGator provides free domains and free SSL certificates with its hosting plans and free site transfer within 30 days of initial purchase. If you do decide HostGator is not for you, there is a 45-day money-back guarantee you can take advantage of, within certain conditions. As with most hosting companies' money-back guarantees, refunds aren't valid for things like dedicated hosting, administrative or installation fees, custom software, domain name purchases, or add-on services like SiteLock that come from third-party vendors.

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HostGator hosting costs

HostGator offers the following web hosting plans:

  • $2.75 - $5.25 per month for Shared hosting
  • $3.84 - $9.22 per month for Website Builder
  • $5.95 - $9.95 per month for WordPress hosting
  • $89.98 - $139.99 per month for Dedicated hosting
  • $23.95 - $59.95 per month for VPS hosting
  • $19.95 - $24.95 per month for Reseller hosting

Disappointing Performance

At the time of this review, HostGator server performance as measured via GTMetrix and Pingdom showed a lot of room for improvement. Time to First Byte numbers were all above one second and page load times were over 3 seconds on average.

Reputational Stresses

Of concern is the fact that HostGator is not Better Business Bureau accredited. There is also an administrative note on their BBB entry since 2017 about a problematic pattern of complaints regarding HostGator customers paying for services not received, cancellations not being processed quickly, and not adhering to the contract agreement and/or website advertisements as well as a failure to honor their 45-day money-back guarantee.

Reviews outside of the BBB are also not encouraging for HostGator. Lots of complaints center around slow or ineffective support, poor quality hosting service, and billing problems.

Many Better Alternatives Exist

Even though HostGator is in the top five hosting companies as far as popularity goes, it's not a good idea to host with them when there are alternatives that can offer better service and hosting. Why not get more for your money, with superior customer support and better performance?

Bluehost Review 2 Star Rating

Bluehost

2 Star Rating
  • Free domain name for a year
  • Free SSL certificate included
  • 1-click WordPress install
  • 24/7 support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Powering over two million websites across the globe, Bluehost has become one of the largest hosting companies. Bluehost, a Utah company, got its start in 1997 under another name and became Bluehost in 2003. In 2010 it was acquired by hosting giant Endurance International Group (EIG). A high-paying affiliate program has helped them to keep positive review blog backlinks sending new customers to their service.

Low Cost With All the Usual Offerings

Bluehost provides a website builder, shared hosting, WordPress and WordPress Pro hosting, WooCommerce-tuned hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting. Prices for the website builder, WordPress, and shared hosting offerings are just below $3 per month (billed annually) to start, with renewal jumping to $9.99 per month.

Freebies Included, But Only on the Top Tiers

The WordPress plans all include a free domain, a free Content Delivery Network (CDN), and free SSL. The free domain and free SSL are only for the first year. The CDN is for helping your website load faster by positioning a copy of your site geographically closer to the user trying to access it. Free domain privacy, however, only is offered in the top two tiers of WordPress plans. So be sure to opt in for the paid privacy if you buy a lower plan so that you don't get inundated with spam.

Too Many Negative Reviews

Bluehost is having problems with negative reviews of its customer support, problems with overbilling, the website builder malfunctioning with known issues that never get fixed, support reps not being able to find a user's account even with a screenshot sent from the user, and many more issues.

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Bluehost hosting costs

Bluehost offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Website Builder
    • $2.95 - $24.95 per month for 12 months
    • $4.95 - $32.95 per month for 36 months
  • WordPress
    • $2.95 - $13.95 per month for 12 months
    • $4.95 - $18.95 per month for 36 months
  • WordPress Pro
    • $19.95 - $49.95 per month
  • WooCommerce
    • $19.95 - $24.95 per month
    • $12.95 - $24.95 per month for 12 months
    • $15.95 - $32.95 per month for 36 months
  • Shared Hosting
    • $2.95 - $13.95 per month for 12 months
    • $4.95 - $18.95 per month for 36 months
  • Dedicated Hosting
    • $79.99 - $119.99 per month
  • VPS Hosting
    • $19.99 - $59.99 per month

Not Enough Data Centers = Poor Performance

From a performance standpoint, Bluehost falls down in that it only has a single data center. This is made evident also by their poor time-to-first-byte performance in the browser of 701 milliseconds. This can be a big problem when heavy internet traffic slows down through a "bottleneck" of only being able to access servers at one location. If Bluehost had more data centers, the load and bandwidth would be distributed geographically so that more users could load more websites faster. And it's also better for overall redundancy, reliability, and fault tolerance. This is called out in user reviews by frustrated customers.

Another Letdown from an EIG-Owned Web Hosting Company

Again, the trend we see is that another EIG host has trouble delivering on the promise it gave to its hosting customers. You can offer guarantees and features and free things all day long, but in the final accounting if your users are unhappy, it's going to be bad for everyone. We recommend skipping Bluehost in favor of better alternatives.

iPage Review 1 Star Rating

iPage

1 Star Rating
  • Free domain for a year
  • SSL certificate included
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 24/7 support
  • 99.9% uptime

iPage, originally founded in 1998, has over 1 million websites on its platform. It is a very entry-level hosting company that offers everything you need to get online. They include a free domain for a year, an SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, and 99.9% uptime. Plus, they provide easy WordPress installation, eCommerce features, unlimited email addresses, search engine ad credits, analytics, and unlimited domains you can host.

Low Availability Through Too Few Data Centers

iPage has only two data centers. This is rather sparse compared to other hosting companies offering the same services and is too thin for today's demanding global visitor traffic considerations. You will want to look at a hosting company that has at least three - and preferably more - data centers worldwide to help geographically distribute traffic for your website visitors. This results in faster page load times for users.

Another EIG Company With Trouble

As with most hosting companies owned by Endurance Group International (EIG), iPage is affordable. In fact, if you're looking for a cheap hosting solution, iPage is probably the lowest price you'll pay. They have consistently come in at $1.99 per month for many years now. But understand that this is an introductory price and be prepared to pay for 36 months to get that low price. After your initial term is up, your cost will jump up to $7.99 per month paid over that same 36-month term.

Money-back Guarantee

If you're not happy within the first 30 days of using iPage, you can get your money back on everything but the add-on services. Be aware that the refund also doesn't include the non-refundable $15 domain fee if you registered one through iPage. But that also ensures that you can take your domain elsewhere after you cash in on the money-back guarantee.

Customers Are Divided On iPage's Value

The cost-to-value tradeoff is pretty dismal here, according to the many angry customers iPage is disappointing on the regular. Every hosting company has some troubles that result in some negative reviews. However, the sign of a healthy hosting company is the majority of reviews are positive. Therefore, it is not encouraging to find that the reviews of iPage's services, from shared hosting to the website builder to WordPress hosting, are evenly split between happy and outraged.

A sampling of the latest complaints about iPage included references to site outages, ignored or rejected requests for refunds, problems with the web page builder, issues attaching files to emails through the email service, malware, and slow response times from support representatives.

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iPage hosting costs

iPage offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Web Hosting
    • $1.99 per month billed at $71.64 for 36 months
    • $2.49 per month billed at $59.76 for 24 months
    • $2.99 per month billed at $35.88 for 12 months
  • WordPress Hosting Starter Plan
    • $45.00 for 12 months
    • $90.00 for 24 months
    • $135.00 for 36 months
  • WordPress Essential Plan
    • $83.40 for 12 months
    • $166.80 for 24 months
    • $250.20 for 36 months
  • Web Builder
    • Free with Starter hosting
    • $6.99 - $251.64 for between 1 and 36 months for Business plan
    • $12.99 - $467.64 for between 1 and 36 months for eCommerce plan

Not Able to Communicate Its Value

We tried to find more reasons why someone would want to buy an iPage hosting plan by clicking on the "Why iPage?" link found on the money-back guarantee page, but we were met with a "404 not found" error message. This didn't bode well for a service that is already struggling to communicate its value through the noise (or is it signal?) of so many conflicting positive and negative reviews. The one positive: the speed with which iPage serves its own home page was actually ok at 483 milliseconds for the first byte of data.

Avoid This Web Hosting Service

It may be that iPage is intending to improve its standing among its peers, but, for the time being, we are going to warn people to stay away from iPage. It's almost a guarantee that you'll be let down, sooner (with poor performance and lack of customer support) or later (with drastic increases in pricing over introductory rates).

Interserver Review 1 Star Rating

Interserver

1 Star Rating
  • cPanel hosting
  • eCommerce
  • Free website builder
  • Cloud apps
  • Non-profit hosting
  • Student hosting
  • Domains
  • Private email hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Storage
  • Dedicated hosting and co-location

We were, unfortunately, unable to fully review InterServer because the website seems to be broken and lacking crucial information. For a company founded in 1999, with BBB accreditation and an "A+" rating, this is a bit of a jarring experience.

Missing Price Details

For example, we found it impossible to scope out the details of the renewal pricing on their Standard plan. The asterisk next to the price on the home page led us to believe there would be renewal pricing increases. But the asterisk didn't have corresponding clarification information further down the page or anywhere else that we could easily find.

Forced signup

After an unfruitful search for this information, we were forced to go through a signup process in an attempt to see what the renewal price would be. This was not buyer-friendly as it required us to go through extra steps for basic data. We also were forced to choose whether we wanted to register a domain or if we had a domain already.

Be careful what information you share

It's usually not a good idea to let a prospective hosting company know what URL you intend to register unless you're prepared to follow through with it on the spot. That's because some hosting companies have been known to monitor this information and, if the domain isn't already registered, and you don't happen to register it right away, they'll register it and sell it to you at a higher price when you do come back to it. It's a way for less scrupulous hosting companies to make money from the perceived value of the domain.

Broken Signup Process

Furthermore, the "Register a new domain" option didn't work at all. When we clicked the "Continue" button, nothing happened. And we were using popular and updated browsers in our tests.

It was only when we chose the "I already have a domain" option that we were able to proceed. But we were still forced into a transaction we weren't ready to commit to when it asked for us to register for a new account before revealing full pricing details.

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Interserver hosting costs

Interserver offers the following web hosting plans:

  • $2.50 per month for Standard
  • $8.00 per month for ASP.NET
  • $9.95 - $19.95 per month for Boost plans
  • $19.95 - $69.95 per month for Reseller plans

No Pricing Without Completing Sign-Up

This is a pretty bizarre turn for a company we once rated our highest pick because of its pricing packages being simple, affordable and without any "gotchas" at renewal time. We can't even tell now whether the price we saw on the home page would be the same price at renewal without fully signing up and paying for the plan.

Poor Performance All Around

The performance of loading Interserver's own home page was pretty poor at 755 milliseconds for the first byte to load in the browser. Add that to the nightmarish process of trying to get reliable information on costs, and you'll see why we recommend that you avoid InterServer at this time and look at other choices in the hosting industry instead.

Network Solutions  Review 1 Star Rating

Network Solutions

1 Star Rating
  • Free domain with annual cloud hosting package
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Live technical support

Network Solutions is the longest-lasting hosting provider in our entire lineup, having had its start as a government contractor doling out top-level domain (TLD) names since 1991 and eventually becoming the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it came to providing domain registration and hosting for the earliest companies on the Internet. However, this fact also accounts for decades of anti-Network Solutions controversy, customer dissatisfaction, anti-trust lawsuits, hacking incidents, and resulting competition that defines the hosting management field today.

Network Solutions Domain is"Domains

The products and services Network Solutions provides include domains, websites and eCommerce, hosting, security, email and productivity, online marketing, and IT services.

As Network Solutions was one of the first domain providers, it stands to reason that they offer the most products and services in that area. You can get domain name searches, transfers, forwarding, registration, trademark protection, management, and domain extensions at Network Solutions.

They Also Provide Some Hosting

For websites, you can "do it yourself" with a website builder, eCommerce website builder, and accept online payments. If you need website design and copywriting, they can provide that as well.

Hosting comes in traditional hosting (no WordPress) and Wordpress hosting.

For regular hosting, you pay between $5.69 per month and $21.62 per month for a 1-year term. These prices are not introductory and will remain the same for additional terms. You also get free business LLC formation with each traditional hosting plan.

For WordPress hosting, you don't get the LLC formation, but you do get pre-installed Wordpress, a domain name, and on-demand cloud backup for between $7.99 and $18.98 per month billed monthly.

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Network Solutions hosting costs

Network Solutions offers the following web hosting plans:

  • Web Hosting
    • $5.69 - $21.62 per month for 12 months
  • WordPress Hosting
    • $7.99 - $18.98 per month
  • eCommerce Website Builder
    • $7.95 - $19.95 per month

Speedy Servers...

Testing the Network Solutions website speed as a proxy for what its hosting customers might expect for server response times, we clocked them in at an impressive 162 milliseconds to receive the first byte of data from the server. However, that fact doesn't save the company from lots of very negative reviews from its customers.

...but Slow and Incompetent Customer Service

Clients complained of problems with customer service not being able to resolve issues that should have been simple, lots of layers of bureaucracyfor quick changes, slowness to respond, poor English skills among operators, fixed problems reoccurring, and poor follow-up. The list of grievances is unimaginably long and has caused countless hours of frustration, lost productivity, and lost revenue for a large number of online businesses.

Worst Web Hosting in Our Review

It's best to avoid Network Solutions altogether. They may be the oldest company in our evaluation, but they are very far from being a web hosting service we'd recommend. Network Solutions has been surpassed quite easily by a number of companies who will give you and your business much more bang for the buck.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

When considering features, make a list of what you really need, what would be good to have, and what isn't very necessary. For example, do you need a plethora of themes to choose from in a do-it-yourself direction, or would you rather have a web designer create a custom design for you? Do you need a high-availability, supercharged dedicated server or just a bit of space on a shared server? Do you plan to develop your own code or do you need a professional developer for that? If you don't have a domain, will the host sell you one? If you do have a domain, how hard is it for the host to transfer it and also migrate your existing site? If you need email, eCommerce, advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO), be sure to list those as well.

Something people almost never think about is security and performance. Most like to assume that all hosts are secure and provide fast page load speeds. But that isn't always the case! This is especially a problem when a host charges very low prices for marginally capable plans. Those services are not likely to be secure or fast. Beware of shared hosting, which means your site is among hundreds or even thousands of others housed on the same server. In a shared server, when someone else's site is compromised or has a problem, it puts your site at risk.

Finally, look at a hosting company's reputation. This is not just about how many years they have in business. It's a combination of longevity, how they treat customers, how many complaints are logged, and how many of those complaints are directly answered by a representative of the company. Ask other website owners, web designers, and developers if they like or dislike a hosting company you're considering. Most of them will be able to share good and bad stories about any hosting company.

When evaluating your list and narrowing down your choices, consider these factors:

  • 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 created a list of the most popular or prominent website hosting providers to guide you in your research. We hope this information makes it easier for you to choose the best web host for your business that will make your website engaging, performant, affordable, and secure.

The Best Web Hosting Companies Compare Web Hosting Companies Compare Web Hosting Company Reviews What are the best Web Hosting Companies Best Web Hosting Company Reviews

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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  • ScalaHosting
  • A2 Hosting
  • Liquid Web
  • DreamHost
  • Host Papa
  • GoDaddy
  • Pantheon
  • Hostinger
  • One
  • Host Gator
  • Bluehost
  • iPage
  • Interserver
  • Network Solutions
ScalaHosting vs A2 Hosting ScalaHosting vs Liquid Web ScalaHosting vs DreamHost ScalaHosting vs Host Papa ScalaHosting vs GoDaddy ScalaHosting vs Pantheon ScalaHosting vs Hostinger ScalaHosting vs One ScalaHosting vs Host Gator ScalaHosting vs Bluehost ScalaHosting vs iPage ScalaHosting vs Interserver ScalaHosting vs Network Solutions A2 Hosting vs Liquid Web A2 Hosting vs DreamHost A2 Hosting vs Host Papa A2 Hosting vs GoDaddy A2 Hosting vs Pantheon A2 Hosting vs Hostinger A2 Hosting vs One A2 Hosting vs Host Gator A2 Hosting vs Bluehost A2 Hosting vs iPage A2 Hosting vs Interserver A2 Hosting vs Network Solutions Liquid Web vs DreamHost Liquid Web vs Host Papa Liquid Web vs GoDaddy Liquid Web vs Pantheon Liquid Web vs Hostinger Liquid Web vs One Liquid Web vs Host Gator Liquid Web vs Bluehost Liquid Web vs iPage Liquid Web vs Interserver Liquid Web vs Network Solutions DreamHost vs Host Papa DreamHost vs GoDaddy DreamHost vs Pantheon DreamHost vs Hostinger DreamHost vs One DreamHost vs Host Gator DreamHost vs Bluehost DreamHost vs iPage DreamHost vs Interserver DreamHost vs Network Solutions Host Papa vs GoDaddy Host Papa vs Pantheon Host Papa vs Hostinger Host Papa vs One Host Papa vs Host Gator Host Papa vs Bluehost Host Papa vs iPage Host Papa vs Interserver Host Papa vs Network Solutions GoDaddy vs Pantheon GoDaddy vs Hostinger GoDaddy vs One GoDaddy vs Host Gator GoDaddy vs Bluehost GoDaddy vs iPage GoDaddy vs Interserver GoDaddy vs Network Solutions Pantheon vs Hostinger Pantheon vs One Pantheon vs Host Gator Pantheon vs Bluehost Pantheon vs iPage Pantheon vs Interserver Pantheon vs Network Solutions Hostinger vs One Hostinger vs Host Gator Hostinger vs Bluehost Hostinger vs iPage Hostinger vs Interserver Hostinger vs Network Solutions One vs Host Gator One vs Bluehost One vs iPage One vs Interserver One vs Network Solutions Host Gator vs Bluehost Host Gator vs iPage Host Gator vs Interserver Host Gator vs Network Solutions Bluehost vs iPage Bluehost vs Interserver Bluehost vs Network Solutions iPage vs Interserver iPage vs Network Solutions Interserver vs Network Solutions
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