Best Shared Web Hosting Services 2021 – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

Best Shared Web Hosting Services in 2021: Forbes Advisor’s Top 5 Picks

We compared several hosting providers based on price, reliability, security, ease of use, support quality and responsiveness and storage and bandwidth limitations. We also listened to what actual customers are saying about their website hosts.

The five shared hosting services below made it to Forbes Advisor’s list of the best of the best.

  • DreamHost
  • HostGator
  • A2
  • GoDaddy Hosting
  • HostWinds

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

DreamHost

DreamHost

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

DreamHost

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

Why We Picked It

There are several reasons why DreamHost is the best-rated hosting solution on this list. Shared hosting plans with DreamHost come with a 97-day money-back guarantee. That’s one of the best guarantees we found among hosting providers.

There are no commitments or contracts required with a monthly DreamHost shared hosting plan; you can discontinue service at any time. Most hosting providers lock you into an annual contract. DreamHost makes it attractive to go with an annual hosting plan, though, offering savings of up to 63%.

DreamHost’s unlimited traffic allowance—even on the starter plan—means you won’t be soaked with additional fees when your website traffic soars. Some providers require an expensive upgrade with growing website traffic, but not DreamHost.

If you happen to be building a WordPress site, DreamHost makes it easy with their free WP Website Builder. DreamHost also offers free automated WordPress migrations.

All these features plus affordable pricing means DreamHost delivers exceptional value.

Pros & Cons

  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • Unlimited site visitors
  • Automated daily backups
  • Fast website loading
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Email accounts require an additional fee
  • Live support hours limited to 5:30 am to 9:30 pm PT

Extra Details

Who Should Use It: DreamHost is an all-around solid hosting provider for bloggers, business websites, and just about any other type of website imaginable.

Free Domain Included: On annual and three-year plans

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

HostGator

HostGator

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

HostGator

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

Why We Picked It

HostGator offers extremely low monthly fees for hosting services. With unlimited storage, unmetered bandwidth and a free domain, HostGator delivers the top features you need for your website.

All shared hosting plans with HostGator include free email. HostGator also comes with SpamAssassin, which will minimize spam on your site. You will also receive a $150 Google Ads spend match credit and a $100 Microsoft Advertising credit when you sign up for HostGator.

You can test HostGator services with confidence knowing there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee. Customer support is available via phone and live chat—or by tweeting @HGSupport. The HostGator KnowledgeBase and blog are also packed with helpful support information.

Pros & Cons

  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Free email
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Unlimited storage
  • 24/7/365 live chat and phone support
  • Fee for automated backups (starts at $2.00/mo)
  • HostGator’s navigation is not intuitive for non-technical users
  • Reports of slow response to support requests

Extra Details

Who Should Use It: HostGator is best for people with at least a modest level of technical proficiency, as its navigation can be confusing for those just starting out.

Free Domain Included: Yes

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

A2 Hosting

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

Why We Picked It

A2 Hosting specializes in offering its clients lightning-fast website speeds, which A2 states are up to 20 times faster than what you get with other hosting providers. Faster sites mean an improved website visitor experience as well as an SEO advantage.

A2 Hosting offers four different shared hosting plans: the Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max plans. To tap into A2’s fastest servers, you’ll need to go with either the Turbo Boost or Turbo Max plan.

A2 Hosting offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. What’s unique about A2, though, is that it provides a prorated guarantee after 30 days. That means you can get a refund for any unused service at any time.

You’ll also find it easy to add useful applications to your website thanks to the Softaculous auto-installer. Click on the Softaculous icon within the A2 hosting control panel for easy application installs, including WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Drupal and Magento.

Customers speak favorably about A2’s customer service. A2’s Guru Crew support is available 24/7/365, and you can contact the Crew via phone, live chat or email.

Pros & Cons

  • 99.9% uptime commitment
  • 30-day full refund guarantee and a prorated refund guarantee for unused service after 30 days
  • Easy-to-use
  • Free website migration service
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Expensive Turbo server plans
  • Automatic backups not included in the Startup plan

Extra Details

Who Should Use It: A2 Hosting is ideal for those who are willing to invest a little more in their websites to reap the benefits of a high-performance hosting provider. Because the A2 hosting interface is intuitive and customer support is superb, A2 is a smart choice for both beginners and experienced users.

Free Domain Included: No

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

GoDaddy Hosting

GoDaddy Hosting

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

SSL Certificate Included

Only on the Ultimate and Maximum plans

GoDaddy Hosting

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

SSL Certificate Included

Only on the Ultimate and Maximum plans

Why We Picked It

GoDaddy offers four different shared hosting plans. Each plan comes with GoDaddy’s intuitive control panel, 24/7 network security, and access to global data centers in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

When you’re just starting out, GoDaddy’s Economy plan is an affordable way to launch your single website. You can host unlimited websites with the Deluxe plan.

If you have high traffic on a single site or multiple sites, you’ll want to go with either the GoDaddy Ultimate or Maximum plan. The Ultimate plan comes with two times the CPU for more power, and the Maximum plan includes two times the CPU and four times the memory, which translates into considerably faster website loading times.

Pros & Cons

  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free Microsoft 365 email
  • Easy to use
  • More expensive than others shared hosting solutions
  • Inconsistent customer support

Extra Details

Who Should Use It: GoDaddy is a popular hosting solution of choice for beginners and non-technically-oriented users.

Free Domain Included: Yes

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

Hostwinds

Hostwinds

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

Hostwinds

Shared Hosting Plan Price Range

Why We Picked It

Hostwinds isn’t the cheapest shared hosting provider on the market, but it offers high-quality, secure hosting solutions that are worth a closer look.

Hostwinds offers three shared hosting plans. The key difference between the plans is how many domains you’re allowed. With Hostwinds’ Basic plan, you can host one domain, the Advanced plan includes up to four domains, and the Ultimate plan allows unlimited domains.

All shared plans include the free drag-and-drop Weebly Website Builder. Even tech-challenged beginners will find the Weebly Builder easy to use.

Hostwinds’ customer support is available 24/7/365 via chat or support ticket. Customer reviews for Hostwinds support are generally quite favorable.

Transferring an existing site over to a new hosting provider can be a daunting proposition. Hostwinds will have its support team perform your website migration for you at no additional cost.

Pros & Cons

  • 99.9999% uptime guarantee
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Free website transfers
  • Free drag-and-drop Weebly Website Builder
  • Only a 72-hour money-back guarantee
  • Upcharge for nightly backup service

Extra Details

Who Should Use It: HostWinds is a solid shared hosting solution for beginners and non-technical people. The hosting service is perfect for all types of websites, including blogs and high-traffic e-commerce sites.

Free Domain Included: No

Our Methodology

Our goal at Forbes Advisor is to provide you with the essentials required to make a well-informed purchase decision. There are many hosting providers on the market, and frankly, figuring out which one is best can be difficult. We’ve done your homework for you.

Here’s what we considered to compile the rankings for our list of top shared hosting providers:

  • Price: Since price is such an important factor in making a hosting decision, we combed the marketplace to find solutions that offer exceptional value.
  • Ease of use: We took a look at how easy it is to launch a new website, navigate the provider’s interface and install various applications and plugins.
  • Uptime: You need your website to be up all the time, which is why we considered uptime stats and guarantees for each provider.
  • Features: We evaluated the variety and quality of features each provider offers, such as bandwidth, SSL certificates, storage and extra perks like a free domain and email.
  • Guarantee: The best providers minimize purchase anxiety for new customers by offering a generous, iron-clad guarantee of satisfaction.
  • Customer Support: A true must for any hosting provider is a solid track record of timely, helpful, no-hassle customer support.

What You Need to Know About Hosting Services

There are a couple of things you need to know about shared hosting services before you make your final decision on which provider is best for you.

As a general rule, you’ll pay the least when you commit to a longer contract. You’ll typically find the lowest average per-month prices with providers that offer a three-year commitment. In most cases, expect to pay upfront for annual and multi-year contracts.

The good news is that a multi-year commitment locks in low prices for an extended period of time. Introductory fees are always the lowest, around 25% to 75% off standard hosting prices. That means that you can expect your hosting costs to spike dramatically once your account comes up for renewal.

Note that we limited our discussion here to shared hosting services. All of the hosting providers on this list also offer managed and VPS hosting services for additional fees. If you anticipate considerable spikes in traffic or feel you need a high-performance hosting solution, be sure to explore VPS hosting options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

With shared hosting, a hosting provider includes multiple websites on a single server simultaneously. Fees for shared hosting are generally far less expensive than dedicated solutions that host only a single website on the same server.

Which web hosting is best for beginners?

As a beginner, you’ll want to choose a web hosting service that makes your life easy. DreamHost and A2 Hosting are ideal for those just starting out. Both hosting providers offer great support, intuitive site navigation and affordable site hosting plans.

The main advantage of shared website hosting services is how affordable they are. Providers that offer shared hosting will host your website for as little as $2.75 per month. Shared hosting services are typically reliable and reasonably secure but don’t necessarily deliver the speed and versatility you get with dedicated or Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting services.