Best web hosting services in 2021 – Tom’s Guide

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Without experience, you might ask: how do I choose a web hosting service? Finding the best web hosting should be the first step if you’re building a site, though it comes packaged with the best website builders. An online presence is vital to business success, and hosts provide you with a leased section of server resources.

Choosing a web hosting provider can seem impossible, thanks to a diverse range of high-quality services. The sheer number of packages can be overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with hosting, as you’ll likely not know which type is best for you. We aim to help make this easier and simpler.

Your choice must depend on certain integral factors: your needs as a business or individual, the type of hosting that your type of site will necessitate, any scalability required, and the level of ongoing customer service needed.

We’ve compared, analyzed, and reviewed the best web hosting services, to help you confidently find the right provider, plan, and features for your requirements.


The top three best web hosting services right now

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Bluehost: Excellent features and inexpensive shared hosting

Bluehostcomes out top in our list of the best web hosting services thanks to its high-performance, varied range of hosting packages, with top-performing servers meaning load speed is never an issue. Shared hosting starts at just $3.95 a month (for a 24-month plan) with 50GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth.

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What are the best web hosting services?

The best web hosting service is Bluehost, which offers the top range of features across hosting types, alongside high-level reliability, support, pricing, excellent scalability, multiple added features, and a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. 

Hostinger and InMotion Hosting follow closely behind, due to their high caliber of support, focus on SMBs, and feature-stuffed plans. Hostinger offers excellent scalability and top features including strong security integrations. InMotion’s well-specified plans, top-tier customer support and 90-day money back guarantee help it stand out from the crowd.

DreamHost, SiteGround, Namecheap, GreenGeeks, GoDaddy, and Hostwinds are all worth considering, and are the cream of the crop for different hosting types, unique features, and competitive pricing. While most hosts offer a website builder as part of packages, we’ve included  Wix and Weebly as they’re industry-leading builders that include web hosting at excellent value, and are quality providers across both areas.

Our pick of the best web hosting services, compared
Web hosting service Lowest-priced shared hosting plan Storage Bandwidth
Bluehost $2.75 (Basic) 50GB Unlimited
Hostinger $1.39 (Single) 30GB 100GB
InMotion Hosting $2.49 (Lite) 50GB Unlimited
DreamHost $2.95 (Shared Starter) 50GB Unlimited
SiteGround $4.99 (StartUp) 10GB Unmetered (~10,000 visits monthly)
Namecheap $0.82 (Stellar) 20GB Unlimited
GreenGeeks $2.49 (Lite) 50GB Unlimited
GoDaddy $5.99 (Economy) 100GB Unlimited
Hostwinds $6.74 (Basic) Unlimited Unlimited
Wix $14 (Combo) 3GB 2GB
Weebly $6 (Connect) 500MB Unlimited


The best web hosting services you can buy today

Bluehost's homepage

Bluehost’s web hosting maintains a high reputation after two decades in the sector (Image credit: Bluehost)

1. Bluehost

Superfast web hosting with great uptime

Specifications

Price: $2.95 a month

Storage: 50GB

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+Feature-rich plans and unlimited bandwidth+24-hour support through phone and chat+Great performance

Reasons to avoid

Plans lack in customizabilityBasic website builderSteep price hike after first year

Bluehost has over two decades of experience in the hosting sector, and continues to maintain a stellar reputation among a crowded field. It offers shared hosting, virtual private servers  (VPS), dedicated hosting , and managed WordPress hosting, with shared hosting plans offering unmetered bandwidth usage. Bluehost’s prices are not only reasonable, but are in alignment with the competition and reflect its excellent offerings.

It also comes with 24/7 support through phone and live chat, in the unforeseen event that you should run into a problem. While it’s not the most customizable service in the market, its feature-packed plans are well configured and well supported. Its strongest selling points are speed and uptime, which are primary for any growing website, while it offers advanced and simple dashboard use for all levels of competence.

For WordPress hosting, it’s absolutely top-notch, offering the most support out of the box for WordPress and WooCommerce sites, and rated as one of only three hosting companies the former has officially recommended. This instils a great deal of confidence, while its features include automatic WordPress updates, custom themes, a free domain for the first year, a free SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, and a free content delivery network.

Read our full Bluehost review to learn why we ranked it as the best web hosting service available right now.

Hostinger's homepage

Hostinger is headquartered in Lithuania and has more than 30 million customers (Image credit: Hostinger)

2. Hostinger

Web hosting for small businesses

Specifications

Price: $1.39 a month

Storage: 30GB

Bandwidth: 100GB

Reasons to buy

+Auto installer for your favorite web apps+Huge knowledge base +Solid performance

Reasons to avoid

Limited base plans offer low storage and bandwidthSlow customer supportExtra features available at cost

Hostinger is home to more than 30 million customers, and it’s easy to see why: its extensive online support base and 24/7 help service complement competitive pricing. Its basic shared hosting plan costs $1.39 a month for the first year, and offers 30GB of storage space. While that isn’t a lot, it’s still good for single-page websites and small businesses. 

For those who want more, Hostinger offers plans across shared hosting, VPS, cloud, and email hosting, ranging from $2.19 a month to $69.99 a month. The business plans come with more resources and day-to-day backups for your site. It’s worth noting, however, that these prices increase greatly after the first year, sometimes by up to 100%. 

Hostinger comes with a one-click auto installer for all your favorite web apps, including WordPress. This makes it supremely easy for novice users to start building their first website, and it also features the Zyro website builder that’s powerful enough to compete with leading website builders. 

A simple and uncluttered user interface is user-friendly for all levels of competence, though it’s worth noting that Hostinger favors those who can undertake their own administrative functions, or take the time to take advantage of the comprehensive support materials online.

Read our full Hostinger review to find out more about the web host and its services.

InMotion Hosting's homepage

InMotion offers all kinds of hosting services starting from $2.49 a month (Image credit: InMotion Hosting)

3. InMotion Hosting

Expensive hosting, but premium hardware

Specifications

Price: $2.49 a month

Storage: 50GB

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+Supports multiple websites on the base plan+Great tech support+Sound hardware configuration

Reasons to avoid

Higher-than-average pricesAverage performance in testingExpensive after introductory discount

InMotion Hosting is a US-based web host offering shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated server solutions, with a specific focus on managed solutions. It advertises its services by stating that no support agent can handle chat, phone, or support email tickets without completing a rigorous internal training program first. 

This means that the friendly, responsive customer support is highly knowledgeable, while pricing sees shared hosting start from $2.49 a month. With support for two sites, 10 email addresses, lots of storage space and unlimited bandwidth, the features are worth the price. 

Beyond shared hosting, InMotion also offers VPS and dedicated servers for $17.99 and $57.50 a month respectively, while managed WordPress hosting starts at $6.99 a month. Higher prices are backed by additional features and great support, with a website builder from BoldGrid also available for those looking to have their site built and hosted all in one.

InMotion’s hardware and software offerings are better than those of many rivals, and this is reflected in the higher pricing. If you don’t mind paying extra, their service is absolutely worth it.

To learn more about this web hosting service, make sure to read our full InMotion Hosting review.

DreamHost's homepage

DreamHost offers one of the best managed hosting services for WordPress in the market (Image credit: DreamHost)

4. DreamHost

Perfect for WordPress users

Specifications

Price: $2.95 a month

Storage: 50GB

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+Unlimited bandwidth+Technically knowledgeable customer support +Awesome performance

Reasons to avoid

Limited one-click installationsBase plan lacks free emailLive support not 24/7

DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosts in the market. Founded in 1996, its customer base of over 1.5 million enjoys great performance, with zero downtime and good speeds across a range of hosting services, from shared to dedicated and managed to unmanaged WordPress hosting. 

Shared hosting starts at $2.95 a month, with unmetered bandwidth for one site: a better deal is perhaps the Shared Unlimited plan for $3.95 a month, which offers unmetered bandwidth and unmetered storage. Technical support is well-versed on a range of subjects and is available via phone, chat, and a ticket system, though live chat is not available 24/7. 

There is also a very useful online knowledge base with answers to frequently asked questions. In terms of features, its internal control panel wins plaudits for ease of use, while it also offers a full domain registration portal, allowing you to manage every aspect of your site from one central dashboard. 

A standout however is DreamHost’s excellent 97-day money-back guarantee, which essentially means you can request a full refund at any time in the first three months of your subscription. Very few competitors offer anything coming close to this. 

For WordPress specifically, it also offers a free automatic website migration plugin  to transfer an existing WordPress site to your new account, with no technical knowledge required and no concerns over downtime. If you’re looking for one of the best web hosting services for WordPress, DreamHost is highly recommended.

You can read our full DreamHost review to find out more about its services, packages and pricing.

SiteGround's homepage

SiteGround’s prices are on the higher side, but quality support makes them worth it (Image credit: SiteGround)

5. SiteGround

Fine-quality shared hosting

Specifications

Price: $4.99 a month

Storage: 10GB

Bandwidth: Unmetered (~10,000 visits monthly)

Reasons to buy

+Unmetered bandwidth+Feature-packed shared hosting+Lets you choose server locations

Reasons to avoid

No dedicated or VPS hostingPrices are relatively higherExpensive shared hosting plans

SiteGround specializes in shared hosting and cloud hosting, with its three shared hosting plans among the best on the market. Starting at $4.99 a month, the basic plan quickly skyrockets after the first year to $14.99 a month. While that may seem a disadvantage, SiteGround’s shared hosting plans are all managed, meaning you can expect quality support for any problems. 

It also offers WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, and many features are included in the prices that competitors usually charge for, such as managed WordPress installations, migrator tools, daily backups, and staging areas. Its solid performance is reflected in great speeds and constant uptime across plans, while it also uses a native control panel.

SiteGround isn’t as good for enterprise-scale clients though, given its lack of VPS and dedicated hosting options. However, its security features are high-level, with free SSL certificates alongside two-factor authentication and DDoS protection.

You can read our full SiteGround review for more information on the platform.

Namecheap's homepage

Namecheap provides an affordable hosting service marred by low speeds and poor performance (Image credit: Namecheap)

6. Namecheap

Attractive prices, with a few caveats

Specifications

Price: $0.82 a month

Storage: 20GB

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+Low prices+30 free email accounts+Auto-installer and website builder

Reasons to avoid

Inconsistent performanceWeak managed hostingRestrictive base plan

Namecheap is known primarily for its domain registration service, but also offers a range of paid hosting services at attractive prices. It not only offers shared hosting, but also hosting plans for WordPress, reseller hosting, and VPS and dedicated servers.

Its cheapest shared hosting plan, at just $0.82 a month, gives you 20GB of space, 30 email accounts, one free domain, and 24/7 support. The plan also comes with unmetered bandwidth and a free website builder. If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is, a little. 

The introductory pricing jumps to $2.88 from the second year. While free domain name registration is a lucrative plus, you can’t opt for a .com or .net domain with a starter plan, and are restricted to store, .online, .site, etc.

Namecheap’s biggest downside however is its low speeds and poor performance. While uptime is indeed 100%, response times are unusually slow. Thankfully, 30 days of free trial provides ample time to judge performance on a case-by-case basis, while live chat and online support means issues are easy enough to resolve.

Read our full Namecheap review to learn more about the service.

GreenGeeks' homepage

GreenGeeks offers eco-friendly hosting services by investing in renewable energy (Image credit: GreenGeeks)

7. GreenGeeks

Eco-friendly web hosting for businesses

Specifications

Price: $2.49 a month

Storage: 50GB

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+Eco-friendly renewable energy plan+Unmetered bandwidth and storage+Decent value for money

Reasons to avoid

No 24/7 support via phonePoorly configured enterprise plansUnderpowered VPS and dedicated plans

Data centers are responsible for enough global carbon emissions to rival the airlines industry: GreenGeeks, as its name suggests, is an eco-friendly web hosting service that invests in renewable energy to keep its operations carbon neutral.

With its great shared hosting plans, GreenGeeks doesn’t force you to choose between hosting quality and environmental benefit. All plans come with unmetered traffic count and storage space, while other top features include free website migration, domain registration, and auto installation.

It also offers hosting packages for WordPress as well as VPS and resellers. In fact, the tradeoff with GreenGeeks comes in the form of after-sales phone support, which isn’t 24/7. However, a round-the-clock live chat is available, as well as email support, and an online suite of resources can help with less complex issues.

Read our full GreenGeeks review to discover more about the eco-minded web host.

GoDaddy's homepage

GoDaddy offers cheap hosting and domain registration services, but support isn’t 24/7 (Image credit: GoDaddy)

8. GoDaddy

Cheap domain registration and hosting service

Specifications

Price: $5.99 a month

Storage: 100GB

Bandwidth: Unmetered

Reasons to buy

+Unmetered bandwidth+Lots of storage space+One-click WordPress installation

Reasons to avoid

Daily backups cost extraNo cloud hostingSSL certificate not included

Famous for its domain registration service, GoDaddy offers feature-packed personal and business web hosting services at very affordable prices. Currently home to over 20 million customers and 80 million domains, GoDaddy offers a range of hosting solutions, both managed and unmanaged. 

These include shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and even standalone email hosting across both Windows and Linux operating systems. For just $5.99 a month, the cheapest shared hosting deal provides 100GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth, as well as a free domain name and Microsoft 365 email: but this price is for the first three years, after which it increases to $8.99 a month.

The biggest complaints from users used to be about after-sales support, but that has improved greatly in the last few years to 24/7 coverage and a comprehensive online support center. However, security features included as standard with other providers are charged for, like SSL certificates, while backups have to be manually undertaken, alongside the manual installation of content delivery networks.

To learn more about the company and its hosting services, make sure you read our full GoDaddy hosting review, and our comparison feature pitting Bluehost vs GoDaddy. You can also read about its website building capabilities in our GoDaddy website builder review.

Hostwinds' homepage

Hostwinds’ offers solid performance and a great entry-level plan (Image credit: Hostwinds)

9. Hostwinds

Solid but underrated hosting provider

Specifications

Price: $6.74 a month

Storage: Unlimited

Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+Solid performance+Unlimited everything+Lots of free goodies

Reasons to avoid

Pricing isn’t very transparentKnowledge base average at best

For only $6.74 a month, Hostwinds offers a shared hosting deal complete with unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases, emails, and subdomains. There’s a range of additional features on offer too, including a free domain name, web app auto installer, regular backups, and Weebly’s website builder. 

Because this base plan is so powerful, the only advantage of upgrading your shared hosting plan is to be able to host more websites, though there are business hosting and managed hosting options alongside VPS (for both Linux and Windows), cloud, and dedicated hosting services, available for those who want more resources. 

Hostwinds’ customer support staff are responsive across email, tickets, and live chat. The pricing structure overall is questionable, but the company’s hosting solutions do a fine job of serving its existing customers. Read our full Hostwinds review for more information on the host’s pricing plans, features, and other elements including support and security.


The best website builders with web hosting

Wix's homepage

Wix is a web hosting service and a website builder wrapped in a single package (Image credit: Wix)

Wix

Web hosting and website building in one package

Specifications

Price: $14 a month

Storage: 3GB

Bandwidth: Unmetered

Reasons to buy

+Intuitive website builder+Free templates and image editor+Free domain name and SSL certificate

Reasons to avoid

Expensive pricingLow on storage spacePoor customer support

Wix isn’t just a website builder: it’s also a hosting service. The services we’ve covered so far merely provide resources for storing your site on their servers, but Wix goes that extra mile with a comprehensive website-designing application and content delivery system that’s ideal for novice users.

As a consequence, Wix’s base plans cost a lot more than your typical shared hosting, starting at $14 a month. For this price, you have you access to 3GB of storage space, 30 minutes of video storage per clip, a free domain and SSL certificate, 500 free design templates, and an image editor with over 50 Instagram-style filters. 

Apart from the expensive pricing structure, there is not a lot to complain about with Wix. While the website builder can prove to be a little complicated for beginners, it’s very easy to follow, and more complex editors are available for more experienced designers and users. To find out more about Wix’s website builder, read our comprehensive Wix review.

Weebly's homepage

Weebly’s website builder isn’t as glamorous as others, but there are lots of good features under the hood (Image credit: Weebly)

Weebly

Perfect for ecommerce websites

Specifications

Price: $6 a month

Storage: 500MB

Bandwidth: Unmetered

Reasons to buy

+Intuitive website builder+Free templates and image editor+Free domain name and SSL certificate

Reasons to avoid

Expensive pricingLow on storage spaceLimited design flexibility

Weebly is a website builder that, like Wix, also offers hosting. While its features and website editor may appear a bit plain compared to the slick editor and extravagant list of features Wix offers, a quick look under the hood proves this is not actually the case. It’s also a really great option for starting an online store, given it’s underpinned by online payment giant Square.

Weebly’s free plan serves as a great way of evaluating the service. Beyond that, there are three paid plans, including a Personal plan at $6 a month, whereas the Pro and Performance plans cost $12 and $26 a month respectively. All include ecommerce capability, including the free plan, and while the base plan only allows you 500MB of storage space and displays Weebly ads, Pro and Performance offer unlimited storage to all users with no adverts. 

Weebly’s website builder may not be as feature-rich as those produced by other providers, but it offers ample space to create a basic site or ecommerce store, while its unlimited hosting plan takes care of your growing website needs.

To find out more about Weebly’s website builder, read our full Weebly website builder review.


What is the best web hosting service available today?

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Bluehost is the best web hosting provider right now, thanks to its selection of hosting solutions. These range from beginner-friendly shared hosting to managed and unmanaged VPS hosting, as well as managed and unmanaged dedicated servers, and its excellent customer service is matched by top-notch features.

It’s very affordable across packages too, and is one of the most popular choices for beginners, backed by an excellent reputation.

What is the cheapest web hosting service right now? 

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The cheapest web hosting comes from Namecheap, whose budget shared hosting plans come with 20GB of space, 30 email accounts, one free domain, and 24/7 support, as well as unmetered bandwidth and a free website builder. Prices start at just $0.82 a month, which you won’t find anywhere else.


What is web hosting, and why do I need it? 

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Web hosting refers to servers and infrastructure that store website files and deliver them to visitors. A site is basically a composition of files: text, code, images, and more. When linked together, these create an attractive, highly functional site. 

However, files need to be stored somewhere, so that people can access them when they visit. Web hosting providers offer storage for and access to files, on a server connected to the internet. When someone loads your site, the files are delivered to their device.

What types of hosting are available? 

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Shared hosting is the simplest, and sees your site hosted on a server with others. This tends to be cheap, but performance and security can suffer. 

VPS hosting also stores multiple sites on the same server. However, you’re allocated a pre-defined amount of resources, which reduces the impacts other sites might have on yours.

Dedicated servers are exactly what their name suggests—an entire server dedicated to you and your business. 

Cloud hosting is highly scalable, offering flexible solutions for businesses of all sizes. You can purchase the exact amount of storage, bandwidth, RAM, and other resources you need, and add more as your business grows to maintain optimal performance.

There are also specific WordPress, Windows and Linux packages, while managed web hosting allows you to hand over administration and complex, day-to-day tasks to your host; unmanaged hosting is best left to those with technical expertise and knowledge. 

How do I choose a web hosting provider? 

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To start with, identify your budget, as there’s no point looking for high-end hosting if you can only spend a few dollars a month. Some hosts advertise low introductory prices, which mean you’ll pay for two or three years in advance; check to see if you might face significantly higher renewal prices too.   

Next, look at features and web hosting security. Often, you’ll have access to one of the best website builders, making it extremely easy to create a site. Automatic backups, proactive malware scanning, and a free domain name are worth looking for.

A good host offers ample storage and bandwidth, with room for expansion. These are important parameters: storage refers to the space your site needs to exist online, and bandwidth the resources used, based on file size and traffic.

Finally, consider your own technical knowledge. Website managers can opt for unmanaged hosting and take care of day-to-day maintenance, whereas novices would need managed hosting for content management systems like WordPress.

The best web hosting is fast and secure, offers sufficient scalability to allow your site to grow as your business expands, and provides decent support to help you navigate potentially difficult situations as and when they arise.

Should I use free web hosting?

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Although there are a few decent options out there, no free hosting service comes close to the cheapest paid service in terms of features. Usually, you’ll be faced with major storage and resource limitations, non-existent security integrations, adverts imposed on your sites, and basic customer support at best. 

How we review the best web hosting services

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When reviewing web hosts, we trial the host’s response and uptimes, as these are key to their performance. We also analyze and test out user interfaces, features, and tools, to make sure that they’re easy to use but not too complex.

Other areas we study include web hosting security features and customer support response times, as you want to make sure your site is safe, and that any issues you encounter can be fixed promptly. We also research pricing in depth, so as to  aware of increasing monthly costs after an initial cheaper period.

Alongside our raft of hosting reviews, we also compared various hosts against one another, including Bluehost vs HostGator and Bluehost vs GoDaddy.

Learn more about web hosting

We’ve got a range of buying guides covering various hosting types, including guides for the best VPS hosting, the best cloud hosting, the best WordPress hosting, the best Windows hosting, and the best Linux web hosting. We also compared managed vs unmanaged hosting, and covered why it’s best to choose managed WordPress hosting over unmanaged.

If you wanted more information on how web hosting and WordPress hosting differ, we compared web hosting vs WordPress hosting. We also did the same in comparing web hosting vs WordPress vs website builder, for those entering the world of websites and looking for more detail on how the three elements differ.

We don’t advise you go for free web hosting, but if you’re focused on this for a small site, view our guide to the best free web hosting to find out which services we recommend. Finally, check out our monthly deals round-up of the best web hosting for cheap, to see what deals are currently available.

Ritoban Mukherjee

Ritoban Mukherjee is a freelance journalist from West Bengal, India. His work has been published on Tom’s Guide, TechRadar, Creative Bloq, IT Pro Portal, Gizmodo, Medium, and Mental Floss. Ritoban is also a member of the National Association of Science Writers.