Shared web hosting means exactly what it says – you share a server with other users who are running their own websites from that hardware. Every customer gets a portion of that physical server for their own use.
The main strength here is that this is a cost-effective solution, and because you’re prepared to share hardware with other folks, you’ll naturally be paying less than the outlay for dedicated hosting.
By the same token, however, you’re also sharing resources with others, and that means that the performance you’ll get will likely be a fair bit slower (and indeed generally less consistent).
That might be fine for sites which don’t have a lot of traffic, but it could be a problem if your bandwidth needs are greater, or reliable and consistent performance is a priority for your website.
So, obviously bear all that in mind, but if you do want to go the shared hosting route in an effort to make some serious savings, which are the best providers to plump for? Read on and find out.
- Also check out our complete list of the best web hosting providers
Hostinger’s Premium shared hosting
Look no further for the best price on Premium shared hosting. Hostinger is giving TechRadar Pro readers the opportunity to get shared hosting for as little is $2.59 per month, which includes 100 GB SSD storage, a free domain, free SSL and a free email.View Deal
Best shared web hosting overall
Reasons to buy
+Good performance levels+High-quality control panel+Impressive freebies on basic plan
Domain.com is a veteran hosting provider which has been around for nearly two decades, offering a range of services – across Linux and Windows servers – including shared hosting.
The basic shared hosting plan is priced at $3.75 per month on an annual contract (unusually, you don’t get cheaper prices for longer terms here), and delivers plenty for the money. That includes unlimited storage (for a single website), as well as free Let’s Encrypt SSL (you also get a free domain name for a year into the bargain – the latter is courtesy of an offer running at the time of writing).
Domain.com’s customized vDeck control panel is clearly laid out and offers a range of powerful features, and experienced users in particular will have plenty to get their teeth into.
You only get a single website with the basic plan as mentioned, and for unlimited sites, you need to step up to the Deluxe plan which starts at $6.75 monthly (and premium tech support only comes with the tier above that, the Ultra plan).
Still, even basic support is good – with a high-quality online knowledgebase on tap – and in our review, we found that Domain.com offered impressive performance levels. While this web host isn’t the cheapest out there by any means, what you get is definitely worth paying for, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to back up the service too.
Best shared web hosting for beginners
Reasons to buy
+Quite affordable+SSL included+Lots of disk space
A popular provider, Hostinger has some really affordable plans, both for individual users and businesses. Starting at just $1.39 (£0.99 in the UK) per month for a single website, 100GB bandwidth, 30GB disk space, and $3.99 (£2.9) for 100 websites, unlimited bandwidth, and 200GB disk space. The $3.99 plan also delivers four times the processing power and memory.
All plans also come with additional features. A free SSL certificate is included in all plans (you are notified in the shopping cart), and Cloudflare protection. Higher tier subscriptions, like the Business plan, comes with daily backups, free domain registration, SSH access and more.
Hostinger is definitely a capable provider, although some might be bothered by the disk space limitation compared to some rivals. Nevertheless, you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always ask for a refund if you are not satisfied with the service.
Best shared web hosting for power at a fair price
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of choice+Marked lack of annoying limits+cPanel hosting management
This web host caters for the more budget-minded, and of course, that’s never a bad thing. Although do note that you only get the really cheap prices when signing up for longer term lengths with HostGator, so something of a commitment is required for the best savings here.
For example, the cheapest shared hosting plan is $2.64 per month if you sign up for 36 months, but $3.58 per month if you sign up for one year.
The good news is that you get plenty for your money, and no annoying limitations, so even the basic plan allows for unlimited bandwidth, web space, email accounts and more. A 99.9% uptime guarantee is also good to see.
Customer support is generally pretty good – although it falls down in a few areas, for example the web help forums aren’t moderated by the company itself – and we found performance was better than average in terms of site loading times.
Best shared web hosting for those with multiple sites
Reasons to buy
+Unlimited web space, domains, databases+Simple website builder is provided+Neat live chat support
This is a premium outfit with a well-featured ‘Essentials’ plan which offers a great deal of functionality, and is ideal for those looking to host multiple websites (or those who want plenty of room to grow).
With prices starting from as little as $1.99 per month for the shared hosting basic plan (via an offer at the time of writing), iPage gives you unlimited web space and bandwidth, unlimited email addresses, MySQL databases and even domains.
Not only that, iPage incorporates some very smart extras like a drag-and-drop page builder, with a basic shared SSL certificate thrown in for good measure. This provider also offers good quality tech support via live chat and email (although other support avenues aren’t as strong).
Performance levels seems solid, and this is certainly a web host to bear in mind for experienced users who are dealing with large numbers of sites.
Best shared web hosting for user-friendliness and smart freebies
Reasons to buy
+Wallet-friendly hosting+Easy-to-use+SSL included across-the-board
1&1 IONOS (note that in October 2018, 1&1 changed its name to 1&1 IONOS) is a big web hosting player, vying with GoDaddy for world domination, and is the biggest such outfit in Europe. Located in Germany, it offers a bewildering array of services with prices starting from $1 per month (for the first year) excluding VAT.
On top of that, this shared hosting provider boasts some smart freebies. They include a free domain, SSL certificates across all plans, free web design software (NetObjects Fusion 2013), 24/7 phone and email support, a graphics archive, a 30-day money-back guarantee, transparent replication (the company calls it geo-redundancy) and a whopping 300Gbps network connectivity. Also, you get a personal consultant, free of charge, which is a neat touch.
Best shared web hosting for an expansive feature-set
Reasons to buy
+Excellent performance+Great tech support+90-day money-back guarantee
Don’t fret that the plans from InMotion are marketed as ‘business’ products, because this popular web host is applicable to individual users as well as companies. There’s a good range of choice here, and shared hosting starts from just $2.49 per month (on the 3-year plan).
What’s also good to see is that InMotion incorporates features into its shared hosting plans which other providers charge extra for – like hack and DDoS protection, a system of basic backups, and a WordPress-based website builder.
Another strong suit here is the way that this web host provides full details of all its services at-a-glance on the website, and makes it easy to compare features, and make your decision when taking the plunge with a subscription.
You also get cPanel and Softaculous-powered hosting, a sterling level of technical support, and in our testing, we found this provider delivered some impressive performance levels when it came to site loading speeds. All in all, there are lots of reasons to go with InMotion, and a 90-day money-back guarantee doesn’t hurt, either.
Best shared web hosting for budget needs
Reasons to buy
+Temptingly low prices+Helpful support+Softaculous application installer
If you want to do web hosting on a budget, then as this provider’s name suggests, it aims to be inexpensive. You get some impressive value-for-money with Namecheap, particularly with an initial discount for the first year, and there are some heavyweight plans here.
However, note the starter ‘value’ plan only gives you 20GB of drive space and 30 email accounts, but you can get that at a price as cheap as $1.44 per month (over a 2-year contract).
Namecheap offers a 99.9% connectivity guarantee, and is a very easy service to set up, with an initial welcome email that points you in the right direction for everything you might need (backed up by some impressive FAQs). It also plays host to an excellent searchable knowledgebase.
To round things off, testing proved that this company generally offers above average speeds compared to rivals, making this a great hosting provider for those who aren’t keen on doing too much damage to their wallet.
Best shared web hosting all-rounder
Reasons to buy
+Diverse range of plans+Above average performance+High quality support
Based in London, bang in the middle of startup territory (Shoreditch), UK2 offers starting shared hosting package at around $1.35 (£1) for the first month, then $5.5 (£4) per month, excluding VAT. It also offers affordable unlimited packages with unlimited emails, bandwidth, a free SSL certificate (great for improved security and search visibility), a free domain and a dedicated IP.
Prospective customers will appreciate the lack of setup fees or hidden charges, the 30-day money-back guarantee, plus 24/7 UK-based phone support on a freephone number and UK-based data centers.
Best shared web hosting for demanding users
Reasons to buy
+Lots of nifty features+Speedy tech support
Reasons to avoid
–Limited amount of web space
SiteGround offers some low-end shared hosting plans which may cost a little bit more than some budget rivals you’ll find on this page, but the upside is that they include all the core features that you’ll likely need.
The firm’s StartUp account is $3.99 a month initially, and $14.99 for renewal. With that you get unlimited traffic, email accounts and databases, not to mention one-click installation of apps like WordPress. It also bundles features that rival firms often charge for as extras like daily backups or CDN capabilities (Cloudflare).
Another nifty touch is the provider’s SuperCacher system which caches frequently-accessed data in RAM, aiming to improve site performance. This could certainly help busy websites.
Not everything is rosy here, though – for example the basic account limits you to 10GB of web space. Also, website support via the company’s knowledgebase is a rather shoddy experience, but there are other avenues of tech support which perform much better.
Best shared web hosting for flexibility
Reasons to buy
+Flexible plans and options+Transparent pricing+Free daily backups
This is another UK-based provider, and Tsohost also plays the value card, with an entry-level Economy shared hosting plan which starts at $5.30 (£3.99) per month (£0.99/mo for the first year) That plan limits you to 100GB storage and you do get unlimited bandwidth, Let’s Encrypt SSL and a hundred mailboxes.
Tsohost’s technical support may not be the fastest out there in terms of response times, at least in our experience, but it did provide clear and accurate answers to queries. Performance levels are also solid, and the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- We discuss the merits of shared hosting vs dedicated hosting
You might also want to check out our other website hosting buying guides:
- Best WordPress hosting providers
- Best cloud hosting providers
- Best Linux web hosting services
- Best e-commerce hosting
- Best dedicated server hosting
- Best small business web hosting
- Best Windows hosting services
- Best managed web hosting
- Best business web hosting
- Best colocation hosting
- Best email hosting providers
- Best web hosting resellers
- Best VPS hosting providers
- Best shared web hosting
- Best cheap web hosting
- Best website builder
- Best website hosting
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro
Désiré has been musing and writing about technology in a career spanning four decades. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.