In this article, I’m going to spotlight the best web hosting providers out there. Plus, you’ll find a
checklist to help you pick the right option for your site.
Every website needs web hosting. But, first, let’s address what exactly it is. Web hosting is a service that
manages and maintains the physical servers on which all of your website files are stored. Servers communicate
with browsers, making your site visible online.
But lately, this service has become so much more than just a bare server-browser communication.
That’s what we now expect from all hosting providers:
- We expect hosting to be easy to manage.
- Extra functionalities such as staging environments and website builders are expected.
- We want the providers to take care of speed optimizations.
- Without proper security, we don’t even consider the hosts.
- 24/7 customer support is now a must.
And these are just a few main things that hosting providers are expected to take care of.
It’s a win-win situation for us users. We can get an all-inclusive service and forget about technicalities. Well,
apart from building a site itself.
So when testing and reviewing the hosts, I take every little detail into consideration. The providers go through
rigorous performance tests, security and ease of use review, as well as customer support and pricing
analysis. Only the worthy reach this website, not to mention this list.
This article shortlists all of the best web hosting providers and the key findings of them. Strengths and
shortcomings included, so you know what you’re getting exactly.
Best web hosting 2022: ranked
- Hostinger – best web hosting overall
- DreamHost – best flexible plans
- InMotion Hosting – classic cPanel hosting
- WP Engine is a premium WordPress hosting option with tools to make management easy.
- HostGator – cheap and easy hosting
- ScalaHosting – best managed VPS option and ease of use.
- Liquid Web – powerful premium cloud VPS provider.
- Cloudways – a beginner-friendly cloud hosting solution.
- Flywheel is a fully managed WordPress hosting solution on a cloud infrastructure aiming to ease the work of creatives.
- Hostwinds very affordable solutions,Beginners friendly,generous resources,eager-to-help support
Use the list to quickly navigate through providers that interest you the most. Also, don’t forget that there’s a
quick checklist at the end of this article to help you pick. You can jump straight to
it, if you’d like.
|Features||Free SSL, weekly backups, SSD storage, LiteSpeed web server|
|Best for||Cheap performance-focused hosting|
It’s a surprising fact that the cheapest provider on the list offers the best service overall.
Hostinger’s prices start at just $2.59/mo with generous features, speedy performance, intuitive control panel,
and helpful customer support included.
Despite its cheapest plan costing just a bit more than a dollar, Hostinger has a lot to offer.
- Performance excels in reliability (100% uptime), speed (0.8s website load time), and power (50VUs). It features performance-boosting technology such as LiteSpeed web server and caching. Plus, you can pick one of its 7 server locations worldwide.
- Hostinger uses an easy to use custom control panel that it calls hPanel. It’s functional and features a couple of additional perks you won’t see in the classic cPanel such as WordPress and Access Manager.
- Customer support is available 24/7 via live chat. Response times are sometimes slower, but agents make up with their friendly attitudes and expert knowledge.
It all sounds almost too good to be true, but we did thorough tests for Hostinger review. And it proved to be
very much capable.
Hostinger has 3 shared hosting plans: Single ($1.99/month), Premium ($2.99/month), and Business ($4.99/month).
The plans come with a free SSL certificate and weekly/daily backups. Each plan has different server resources and features for various needs:
- Single is a great plan for both first-time users and businesses that need only 1 website. It comes with 1 site limit, 30GB SSD storage, and 100GB bandwidth for 10 000 monthly visits. Unfortunately, the domain is not included.
- Premium is the most universal plan with generous resources for both personal and business sites. It comes with 100GB storage for 100 websites and bandwidth for 25 000 monthly visitors. Free domain counted in.
- Business adds 200GB storage and bandwidth for up to 100 000 monthly visits. Plus, you get daily backups and a free domain. It’s a great plan for smaller eCommerce stores and other heavy websites.
While the features and prices are great, there’s one catch – the lowest prices come with a 48-month billing
subscription, meaning that prepayment is needed.
The cheapest Single plan will cost just $95.522 for 4 years of hosting. That’s a long time to forget
about the next bill altogether! If 1-site is not enough for you, Premium offers amazing value for money too.
To check what Hostinger is capable of, we monitored it for over 2 months and stress-tested the server. It showed
great reliability and server power in both tests.
Hostinger remained up 100% of the time throughout the testing months. That’s surprising
considering its 99.9% uptime agreement. At the same time, only praises right here.
As for the server response time, it averaged at 511ms. This makes it slightly better than an
average shared host.
Where Hostinger impressed me the most was stress testing. I’ve sent 50 bots to put significant pressure on the
server, and it handled the test perfectly fine.
Look at the blue line representing server response times. It’s mostly flat with a couple of bumps, while the grey
line (bots) increases. This means that it’s powerful enough to handle such load with no issues such as slowing
Overall, Hostinger shows A++ performance results, making it hard for competitors to beat.
To sum up, Hostinger is the best web hosting service overall, excelling in all the major categories:
pricing, performance, ease of use, and support. It will suit both personal sites such as portfolios and
businesses with eCommerce projects.
- Cheapest pricing available with well-equipped plans
- Servers in 7 different locations
- Speedy performance and 100% uptime
- Friendly 24/7 live chat support
- Support response times are sometimes delayed
- Requires to pay for the full term in advance
|Features||Custom control panel, WordPress website builder, automated migration|
|Best for||Flexible billing options|
A huge name in hosting, DreamHost focuses on WordPress and is even endorsed by the platform. Part of its attraction is that all of DreamHost’s plans have heaps of useful features designed for easy WordPress management. You also get some of the most attractive prices available.
- DreamHost uses its own custom control panel. It’s a modern-looking and functional interface. What’s surprising is that the provider made WordPress installation actually one click. While others use it as a buzzword and require you to click around some, it’s really as simple as 1 click with DreamHost.
- If you already have a website and look for a better place to host it, one of DreamHost’s more notable features is its migration plugin. The plugin helps you to easily migrate your WordPress site to DreamHost. With this plugin, no technical know-how is necessary as the process is automated.
- Besides that, you can also use premium BoldGrid website builder to design your site on WordPress. It has a selection of modern templates as well as additional tools to design your own pages.
To sum it up, DreamHost offers quite a range of features and tools. In fact, it has all the essentials you need to manage a website.
DreamHost has 2 shared hosting plans: Starter ($2.59/month) and Unlimited ($3.95/month). So the choice is very simple.
Both plans will get you a bunch of stuff – free domain and its privacy, daily backups, unmetered bandwidth, and free SSL certificate.
- Starter comes with 1 website limit and 50GB storage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include email accounts.
- Unlimited limits neither website number nor storage that you can use. Email accounts are also available for free. Overall, it’s a much better option as for a little more than $1, you get a plan that you might not ever need to upgrade.
Just like many hosts, DreamHost expects you to purchase the longest 36-mo subscription – it features the best prices, but yearly and even monthly options are available. And they are not too pricey compared to other hosts.
- Starter 1-year subscription costs just $2.95/mo, while the monthly rate increases to $4.95 without commitments or contracts.
- Unlimited 1-year subscription costs $2.95/mo just like Starter, but renewal will be higher. The monthly rate is $8.95 without a contract.
Overall, choosing the Unlimited plan is the best value if you need hosting for 1-year. At the same time, a monthly rate without renewal increases is also a budget-friendly way to get hosting.
DreamHost comes out as one of the top web hosting providers, performance matters considered. It keeps a close uptime to its 100% guarantee and manages to handle a big traffic spike.
In 2 months of monitoring, DreamHost had just one 1-minute outage. That’s >99.99% uptime. And while it doesn’t reach the guaranteed 100%, you simply cannot be disappointed with this result. DreamHost Full Review
The 231ms average response time is nothing short of impressive either. Plus, it remained quite stable throughout the monitoring period.
It’s just worth mentioning that such good results are visible from the US where DreamHost has its servers. Other locations might experience more latency.
As for stress testing, DreamHost doesn’t disappoint either. It handles the full 50 virtual users’ load.
The response time (blue) is a little bumpy, but it doesn’t follow the number of visitors line (grey). This means that you can expect DreamHost to remain fast even when under pressure (with dozens of users on your website simultaneously).
In the end, DreamHost’s performance is almost ideal – speedy, reliable, and powerful.
To sum up, DreamHost is a good option when it comes to WordPress hosting. It’s quite universal – you get good performance and ease of use for a cheap price. At the same time, it’s not a simplified version – business users and beginners will find it equally good.
- 99.99% uptime result
- Affordable month-to-month rates
- Easy to use interface
- Servers only in the US
3. InMotion Hosting
|Features||cPanel control panel, free SSLs, DDoS protection|
|Best for||Web hosting for business|
One of the more well-known providers around, InMotion offers a range of hosting solutions. For the most part, the provider caters to larger websites and businesses. But, its abundance of features at a low entry price for shared hosting ($2.29/mo) makes it attractive for smaller projects, too.
- For hosting management, you’ll get to use the classic cPanel, making InMotion one of the few contenders left that offer purely cPanel-based management.
- What’s more, InMotion includes a series of free extra features in its plans. Among them are free BoldGrid (a drag-and-drop website builder for WordPress), themes, advertising credits, and visitor statistics.
- Plus, InMotion is no slouch in the security department, too. All of its plans come with a range of security measures. This includes a free SSL certificate, hack protection, and DDoS protection.
All in all, InMotion Hosting offers an extensive list of features covering multiple aspects of hosting. It’s secure and equipped to handle business needs.
InMotion has 3 main shared hosting plans: Launch ($4.99/month), Power ($4.99/month), and Pro ($12.99/month). But, by clicking on one of our links, you’ll unlock the 4th one – Core, lowering the price to $2.29/mo.
The 4 plans all feature free SSL certificates, unlimited bandwidth, free emails, a security suite, and marketing tools.
- Core comes with 2 website limit and 100GB SSD storage – it’s best for smaller websites.
- Launch allows hosting unlimited websites. It comes with unlimited disk space and email accounts, as well as a free domain. If you’re a beginner or a casual user, this plan should be more than sufficient.
- Power also comes with unlimited websites, storage, and email accounts. You’ll also get caching and a free domain included. For small businesses, you can give this plan a go.
- Pro plan is hosted on a server with fewer users on it, meaning more resources and better performance. You can host unlimited websites using unlimited storage and bandwidth on it.
You know the drill by now: there’s always a catch. In this case, you can only enjoy the lower prices if you commit to InMotion for 2 years. Besides that, the plans will also renew at more than 2X their initial prices. InMotion Hosting Full Rivew
For testing out the hosting waters, the Core plan is an affordable option. However, the Launch plan should suit the majority of users’ needs.
InMotion Hosting performance
InMotion Hosting proved to be a strong competitor, delivering reliable uptime. And while it cannot brag about server speed, the power behind them is enough to withstand a small army.
During the 2-month-long testing, my site was available 99.98% of the time and saw an average response time of 759ms.
Staying true to its 99.9% uptime guarantee, my InMotion site saw 3 outages and a total of 16 minutes of downtime. That’s a very good result.
A bit disappointingly, InMotion didn’t perform as well speed-wise. Instead, my site’s average response time landed on a rather mediocre 759ms. Not quite terrible, but definitely not ideal, either. Plus, I also find InMotion’s lack of data centers outside of the US pretty disheartening.
The stress testing results were definitely more impressive. InMotion Hosting handled all 50 Virtual Users.
It’s also nice to see that the server response time (blue) was not dependent on the number of visitors (grey covered by purple). There were quite a few bums that lasted just a moment each, but the provider stayed fast throughout the test.
So performance considered, InMotion signals are a little bit mixed – it’s reliable and powerful, but speed could be improved.
Altogether, InMotion Hosting is not the cheapest provider out there, but it does have a lot to offer: inclusive plans, cPanel, reliability, and quite some power under its servers.
- cPanel hosting management
- Inclusive plans with strong security features
- Powerful servers
- Servers are only in the US
- Speed results could be better
- Advanced custom control panel
- Hosted on high-end cloud infrastructure
- Top-tier security measures
- Helpful customer support
- Free WooCommerce store theme and templates.
- Daily backups
- Premium prices
WP Engine pricing
WP Engine has a variety of managed WordPress hosting plans, with prices starting at $22.50/mo. Not so long ago, 4 plans and a custom enterprise solution were all that the provider got. Now the host offers 3 more types of hosting solutions
|Hosting type||Best for|
|Managed Hosting||Starting and growing a website. Get up to 25% OFF WP Engine + 3 months free!|
|Managed Hosting Plus||An additional ease of use. Adds automatic plugin updates with AI testing.|
|Secure Hosting||Extre security. Additional DDoS protection and Web Application Firewall with automatic plugin updates.|
|eCommerce Hosting||eCommerce hosting. Free WooCommerce store theme and templates.|
I’ll be focusing on the standard Managed Hosting option as it covers all the basics that websites need.
WP Engine has 4 plans that all include: free SSL certificates, daily backups, free automated migrations, and 3-level staging environments. Additionally, 30+ premium themes, caching, and global CDN (content delivery network) are at your disposal.
|Startup plan||1 site, 10GB storage, 50GB bandwidth, and up to 25,000 visits per month.||$22.50/mo|
|Professional plan||3 site, 15GB storage, 200GB bandwidth, and up to 75,000 visits per month.||$44.25/mo|
|Growth plan||10 site, 20GB storage, 200GB bandwidth, and up to 100,000 visits per month.||$86.25/mo|
|Scale plan||30 site, 50GB storage, 500GB bandwidth, and up to 400,000 visits per month.||$217.50/mo|
|Custom plan||This solution is, according to the host, for large businesses and mission-critical sites.||N/A|
Performance – is WP Engine fast?
For this WP Engine hosting review, I’ve put the provider through 3 tests – reliability, speed, and stability. In all 3 categories, the provider proved its worth – it was 100% up, showed great load time, and handled a big spike in traffic.
Let’s get into the detail.
WP Engine uptime and response time
WP Engine’s reliability is absolutely remarkable. When observed for 2 months, the provider returned an outstanding 100% uptime. Server response time is also good, averaging at 489ms.
Staying up 100% with no outages over 2 months is impressive. This shows that WP Engine has its servers well maintained. Nonetheless, don’t be surprised if you do see a minute or two of yearly downtime – for maintenance purposes, it’s simply unavoidable.
Besides that, WP Engine’s server speed is equally as good. The provider’s response times averaged at 489ms, which is significantly better than the shared hosting average of 600ms.
On top of that, I must praise WP Engine’s stability, too. The difference between the maximum and minimum response times was just a mere 49ms. That is as stable as hosting can get.
Another topic – speed.
WP Engine stress testing
I’ve sent 50 virtual visitors (bots) to see how well WP Engine can handle a traffic spike. To put it in perspective, 50 visitors at all times on the website could easily add up to at least 40 000 monthly visitors. Meanwhile, the plan I’m on is supposed to support up to 25 000 monthly visitors.
And the last fact was proven. 50 bots was a little bit too much for WP Engine.
In this graph, we need to look at the blue line (speed), the red line (failures), and the grey one (visitors).
As the number reached 35, WP Engine started failing. It didn’t go down completely and even kept speed levels fast, but more than a third of the bots’ requests failed to go through.
By reducing the number by 5 with each failed test, I figured out that WP Engine’s cheapest plan confidently handles 30 VUs at the same time.
In this graph, the red line disappeared. Meanwhile, the blue speed line is as flat as you can expect. This means it can stay fast no matter if just one or a dozen visitors are browsing through the website.
Should we be disappointed that WP Engine couldn’t handle the maximum?
Not at all. We just proved that WP Engine’s cheapest plan can handle as much as promised, if not more. Why push it over the limit?
In the end, WP Engine performance is great. With 100% uptime and fast loading speed, it’s one of the leading providers right now. Plus, it can easily handle as much traffic as it promises to. WP Engine Full Rivew
|Features||cPanel hosting, free website builder|
|Best for||Affordable and easy to use hosting|
- Cheap and simple, HostGator is a popular option among first-time users. The plans are equipped with unlimited
resources and all the essentials, so no extra expenses are needed. You’ll also get to use cPanel, which is the
most standard web hosting management panel available.
- HostGator is really among the most
beginner-friendly options available. Trust me, it took no more than 5 minutes after the purchase to
get a website running, set up a professional email, and check if SSL was working.
- That’s thanks to the HostGator interface setup.
- It has a nice user interface with shortcuts to the most important cPanel management modules. That’s WordPress
installation, email setup, and so on. You don’t even need to navigate the panel to have your website launched.
- This is very beginner-friendly because as functional and standard cPanel might be, it can still look intimidating
the first time you see it.
- All in all, HostGator’s user-friendly interface and generous resources catapult the provider into this list of
best web hosting.
- HostGator pricing
- HostGator has 3 shared hosting plans: Hatchling ($2.75/month), Baby ($3.50/month), and Business ($5.25/month).
- All 3 plans include unmetered bandwidth and disk space. Plus, there is free site migration, SSL certificate, and domain, too.
- Hatchling is a hosting plan for 1 website. It’s best for a portfolio, personal blog, or testing out the waters with new business ventures.
- Baby is great for small businesses or if you have multiple websites since it comes with unlimited domains.
- Business additionally adds an upgrade to Positive SSL certificate, dedicated IP, and search engine optimization (SEO) tools. Unless you are sure that you need these features, there’s no need to choose this plan.
- As with many hosts, you got to stick with HostGator for 36 months to get the cheapest price. At the same time, it
has a lengthy 45-day money-back period, so not much risk here.
- The Baby plan is the most universal option. Just $0.75 more expensive than Hatchling, it doesn’t limit the number of websites you can create.
- For a cheap price, HostGator surprised me with excellent performance results. It was very reliable with >99.99% uptime, speedy response times, and the ability to handle the traffic.
- Over more than 2 months, HostGator was up and online >99.99% of the time. Just 3 outages and 5 minutes of downtime in total.
- As for response time, it was quite average at 525ms. Considering that the industry averages at around 600ms, it’s
a good result.
- Most impressive of all was the ability to handle 50 virtual users stress test. HostGator Full Review
- HostGator’s server response times (blue) remained flat when more and more visitors (grey) were sent to the website.
- That’s a very exciting result to see on some of the cheapest hosting available.
- Altogether, HostGator is an impressive host, and I’m not surprised why it is so popular. It’s cheap and performs really well, not to mention the ease of use and features included, A perfect option to start a website, really.
- Cheap all-inclusive plans with SSL and domain
- Great performance results
- Easy to use interface
- Servers are based only in the US
- Unclear storage limits
|Features||Full server management, SPanel, server security|
|Best for||Affordable and easy VPS hosting|
- ScalaHosting aims to make managed VPS hosting affordable and easy enough for beginners to use, starting at $29.95/mo. I must admit, it succeeds – I didn’t have a single question regarding server and hosting management during the testing.
- The provider offers managed VPS plans, which means that all server-level tasks are the responsibility of the host. Of course, you get all the needed access for your own configurations, but only if you want that.
- This makes the provider great for users that outgrown shared hosting. Or if you’re building a site from scratch that’s meant to attract high levels of traffic.
- It won’t be much more difficult than any shared hosting, as the provider includes its own control panel SPanel.
- SPanel really is inspired by our well-known cPanel. So all the familiar management options are there. WordPress can be installed in a couple of clicks, same for adding domains or reaching file manager.
- You’ll also get access to the server management dashboard. It’s a bonus, honestly, as you can do your own custom configurations if you want to work with different frameworks or set up speed configurations.
- Altogether, ScalaHosting succeeds in making VPS an option not just for tech geeks but also regular folks like me (and maybe you?).
ScalaHosting Web Hosting start $3.95
Shared Web Hosting is a popular, inexpensive choice for hosting used by a variety of small and medium businesses, blogs, and other websites with moderate amounts of traffic.
7Backups for last 7 days.
- ScalaHosting managed VPS servers start at $29.95/mo and can be scaled as much as needed.
- What’s interesting is that all packages are equipped with some generous features:
- Free domain
- Free SSL
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Daily backups
- Server security package
- Free migration
- When you’re starting out, that’s all the essentials covered. You shouldn’t have any extra expenses.
- At the same time, it’s worth mentioning that the advertised price is with the introductory discount. When it
comes time to renew, the bill can be 2 times higher.
- I recommend choosing the cheapest $29.95/mo plan with a 3-year subscription, so you can take advantage of the introductory discount for longer. The monthly option is available too if pre-paying doesn’t fit your budget.
- ScalaHosting performance
- Talking about performance, ScalaHosting, as expected, outperformed many of its competitors in the shared hosting
sector. With 100% uptime, speedy response times, and dedicated resources, it proved to be very powerful.
- Monitored over 2 weeks, ScalaHosting stayed 100% up and running, no comments needed.
- Server response time started really good but quickly peaked and settled at around 550ms, bringing the average to
443ms. That’s a very good time, considering that no optimizations are in place.
- Scala also nailed the stress test, welcoming all 50 virtual users.
- On the other hand, the response time (blue) was dependent on the number of visitors (grey). The server slowed
down when more visitors were sent its way. Not a huge issue, but good to know beforehand. ScalaHosting Full Review
- ScalaHosting results on the cheapest server are really good. It’s reliable and capable of handling traffic
- Overall, ScalaHosting really can be a good beginner-friendly VPS option. It’s best to use if you have a
website that requires more power than shared hosting can provide.
- Affordable managed VPS plans
- All-inclusive packages with domain, SSL, and control panel
- 100% uptime result
- Significantly higher renewals
- The learning curve is expected
7. Liquid Web
|Features||Fully managed, free SSL, automated backups, native control panel|
|Best for||Fully managed cloud VPS for a reliable and powerful hosting|
While Liquid Web offers actual cloud hosting, the prices are a little… wild. However, the provider has great offers on fully managed cloud VPS, which is just as impressive. With competitive prices and feature-rich plans, Liquid Web delivers reliable performance and efficient management.
Here are the must-knows about Liquid Web:
- Multiple available control panels – Liquid Web gives you the opportunity to choose a control panel depending on what you find easier to use. Or what you’re accustomed to. cPanel, InterWorx, and Plesk are all available.
- Fast customer support – Liquid Web comes with a guarantee to respond in 59 seconds if you contact customer support via phone or live chat. If you open a ticket, the host will respond within 59 minutes. I went with live chat, and someone was available to answer my question in less than 59 seconds. Hats off to Liquid Web for that.
- Liquid Web is one out of the few providers that give a 100% uptime guarantee. While this is hard to achieve, the provider aims to establish its trustworthiness. If you do experience any downtime, you will be compensated.
- The provider also excels when it comes to security. All plans come with a variety of security tools like automatic daily backups, DDoS protection, SSL certificate, server monitoring, and firewalls.
In short, Liquid Web is a highly secure and reliable option for any project. While cloud hosting plans are a little too much in all sense of the term, fully managed cloud VPS earns Liquid Web a place among the best cloud hosting options.
Liquid Web pricing
Liquid Web came up with 4 plans with prices of $25.00, $35.00, $45.00, and $105.00 per month. The company didn’t bother to give them names. They’re simply called after the number of GB of RAM.
No matter which plan you’ll opt for, all of them include Cloudflare CDN, standard security features, a dedicated IP, and 10TB of bandwidth.
As for the plan-specific resources, they range between 2 and 16GB of RAM, 2 TO 8vCPU cores, and 40 to 200GB SSD storage space.
Apart from the 4 plans mentioned above, Liquid Web also offers 4 Bundle&Save packages. They’re basically the same 4 plans I listed above, but they come with some additional features, such as a web protection package, premium business email, daily backup quota, etc.
A suitable entry-level cloud hosting plan is the 2GB Value Bundle. There are plenty of resources to go around, and for just an additional $15 (compared to the simple 2GB RAM), you get premium business email, web protection, and 100GB of daily backup quota. I’d say that that’s $15 well spent.
Liquid Web performance
When it comes to performance, Liquid Web sure gives you what you came for – reliability and speed.
Throughout my examination time, the host did not experience any downtime, which brought the uptime to a perfect 100%. Yes, the host does give a 100% uptime guarantee. It’s a brave promise, but Liquid Web managed, no problem.
If we’d look at the response time, we would find it averaging at 521ms. While this on its own is a pretty good result, this is a bare server. What this means is that you can install optimization tools to further enhance the speed. Make it Husain Bolt fast!
Now talking about data centers, Liquid Web has 3, where 2 of them are located in the US and 1 in Europe.
Liquid Web delivers no downtime, an adequate response time, and quite a few server locations to choose from. Reliable and fast indeed.
Overall, Liquid Web is a solid choice for cloud web hosting. Its plans are inclusive and not very expensive, you can choose whatever control panel you’re comfortable with, and the performance is on point.
- Fully managed cloud VPS hosting
- 3 available control panels – cPanel/WHM, InterWorx, and Plesk
- 100% uptime guarantee
- Expensive cloud servers
|Features||Free SSL, domain, website builder, and CDN|
|Best for||Beginner-friendly and fast cloud hosting|
Cloudways may be a little less known hosting provider compared to other big names in the industry. However, the provider’s main area of expertise is cloud hosting. What’s so unique about this provider is that it doesn’t only sell cloud hosting, it also includes ease of use. Cloudways takes the most popular unmanaged cloud provider and resells them as managed solutions.
Cloudways is a solid choice of cloud web hosting for several reasons, but mostly for:
- There are no long-term commitments – Cloudways only offers monthly billing. This means that you won’t have to opt for the longest period to get the best price. More so, there are no increased renewal rates, so each month, the price point remains the same.
- Scalability is very simple – you can increase and decrease your resources as you see fit. Have a big campaign coming up and are expecting increased traffic? Increase your resources for that period and pay for what you’ve used at the end of the month.
- Multiple data centers – the fact that you have to choose between 5 cloud hosting providers gives you several data center choices all over the world. Depending on the server provider, you can choose from 8 up to 20 server locations.
- Security is basic but reliable – when you purchase cloud hosting from Cloudways, you get the basics such as free SSL, managed backups, a dedicated firewall, and two-factor authentication. While this is more than enough for most people, you might want to look into purchasing other security features if your project needs more (like an eCommerce).
In summary, Cloudways is an affordable, no-commitment option that is easily scalable and very simple to manage.
As far as prices go, Cloudways can be affordable or really expensive. It depends on which provider you opt for, and there are 5 to choose from. However, to give you a better idea, the plans can cost as little as $7.50/mo or as much as hundreds of dollars per month.
As there are numerous plans under each provider, the image above shows only the cheapest plan of every provider. This gives a better idea of which tier each provider falls under (AWS and Google Cloud seem to be playing in a different league altogether).
Yet if you’d open the original provider’s website, for example, DigitalOcean, you’d find the price at only $5.00/mo. Why? Well, Cloudways doesn’t only sell hosting services, it sells simplicity. With the original provider, you get unmanaged cloud hosting. The whole server setup and management are up to you. Cloudways takes that off of your shoulder by offering managed cloud hosting. You get an easy-to-use control panel, and stuff like server maintenance, installation, and many others are taken care of for you.
The best plan you can start with is Digital Ocean’s $7.50/month plan. It has enough, to begin with, and you can always scale it up or down, depending on your particular needs
To be honest, there is not much to say here other than the fact that the host had a very good uptime score and even better speed. Like speed from capitals S.
I went with DigitalOcean, and after examining it for almost half a year, I had only 2 outages. However, those outages had my site down for 41 minutes. Might seem like a lot, but it isn’t. Overall the uptime came up to a very pleasing 99.98%.
If the uptime was good, well… the response time is great. Cloudways showed the speediest average response time on this list – just 229ms. Very, very impressive, especially on a bare server.
Talking about data center locations, there’s a lot. Since you can 1 out of 5 server providers, each has a different number of data center locations available. Just know that the servers are spread out all around the world, and location options vary from 8 to 20 (depending on the provider).
In short, Cloudways’ performance is top-notch. The provider truly demonstrates what cloud hosting is all about – trustworthiness and speed.
Overall, Cloudways seems to excel in the resource and performance departments. As one might expect, the prices are not the lowest with some providers, but you’re paying for the added ease of
- Managed cloud hosting
- Numerous data centers
- Very fast server response time
- Prices are higher than with the original providers
|Features||Workflow tools, staging, managed security, caching, CDN|
|Best for||Fully managed platform for creatives and agencies|
A WordPress-exclusive managed cloud hosting provider, Flywheel has quite a reputation in the industry. For the most part, Flywheel sets itself apart by offering powerful features to enhance the WordPress experience. This includes various tools for development, collaboration, performance, as well as excellent perks.
One of Flywheel’s top offerings is its set of collaboration tools. As part of an effort to streamline workflow, Flywheel offers:
- Invitation to collaborate – allows you to give others access to a site without password-sharing.
- Organizations – all team members are on the same dashboard and have access to the organization’s websites.
- Billing transfer – enables you to create a website on your account and then transfer the site along with its billing over to the client.
Besides that, Flywheel also doubles down with some speed-related tools. For starters, it’s powered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP). That’s great as GCP has some of the best infrastructures around that deliver low latency and high reliability.
Plus, Flywheel also uses its proprietary caching technology, FlyCache, to minimize load times for coming-back visitors. Additionally, it utilizes a CDN powered by Fastly to speed up page load for global audiences by serving cached content from the server closest to your visitor
Overall, Flywheel offers some of the most comprehensive features seen in managed WordPress plans.
Flywheel managed WordPress pricing
Flywheel offers 4 plans that start at a pretty affordable $13.00/mo. There’s also an option to get a custom plan that matches your needs.
The 4 plans have some common features. Among them are free SSL certificates, StudioPress themes, auto-healing technology, and development tools.
- Tiny comes with one website limit, 5GB storage, and 20GB bandwidth. It can receive up to 5 000 monthly visits. Go with it if you have smaller projects like personal blogs and portfolios.
- Meanwhile, Starter offers a website, 10GB storage, and 50GB bandwidth. It can support up to 25 000 monthly visits. If you’ve outgrown Tiny, Starter is for you.
- Freelance is perfect for high-traffic websites. It can host 10 websites with 20GB storage, 200GB bandwidth, and can receive up to 100 000 monthly visits.
- Finally, larger businesses and enterprises would suit the Agency plan, as it can support up to 400 000 monthly visitors. It comes with a 30 websites limit, 50GB of storage, and 500GB of bandwidth.
Unfortunately, you can only access these deals if you sign up to be billed annually. If you’re paying monthly, the prices are a fair bit higher.
On the bright side, Flywheel has a 30-day money-back policy for hosting plans. However, if you have a monthly subscription, you only have a 72-hours window to cancel.
The value depends on your needs as all plans have the same features. For personal use, I’d suggest Starter. Meanwhile, Agency offers the best cost-per-site ratios for agencies and businesses.
Flywheel is based on the same Cloud infrastructure as WP Engine, and we can see the trend – steady and reliable performance at all times.
I only had a chance of monitoring Flywheel for 2 weeks, but it remained online 100% of the time.
The response time had a bump when all the testing was done, yet still managed to average at a very good 371ms.
Page loading time was even more impressive; Flywheel delivered a WordPress site in 881ms. That’s the best result on the list.
Other metrics were impressive too:
- TTFB is just 68ms. Fastest on the list as well.
- Largest Contetful Pain was the same 881ms. So absolutely no delay till the website loaded.
One thing that allows such good performance is that Flywheel is a completely managed WordPress platform. You don’t get access to many advanced settings yourself, so the provider works to optimize everything to the fullest.
All in all, if you have no interest in technical details but want the best possible results – Flywheel is the best provider for you. You do lose some degree of control, though.
- Top-tier performance
- Cloud infrastructure with multiple server locations
- Workflow and collaboration tools
- Premium-level prices
- Less control over the server
|Features||Marketing faux pas aside, All 3 plans are furnished with cPanel, Weebly site builder, free SSL, dedicated IP address, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, as well as unlimited email accounts.|
|Best for||For those seeking very affordable solutions, Hostwinds web hosting is a good option. Beginners, hobbyists, and those building basic websites will appreciate its generous resources, eager-to-help support, and ease of use.|
A high-powered hosting option for both performance and affordability, Hostwinds offers a full slate of services backed by modern infrastructure and 24/7 support. Given the wide range of complicated server configurations available, the company’s superb uptime guarantee and reliable customer service make web hosting with Hostwinds a breeze.
Pros and Cons of Hostwinds
|Budget-friendly plans from $5.24/mo
Very generous with unlimited resources
Intuitive dashboard with latest cPanel integration
|Short refund period of only 72-hours|
As with most providers, Hostwinds’ most in-demand solution is shared hosting, where plans start from $5.24/mo. Beyond that, it also offers a range of other hosting packages, including VPS, cloud, and dedicated.Hostwinds Full Review
- Tried and tested, each hosting provider on this best web hosting list proved to be a reliable option. At the same
time, different hosts suit different needs. For a recap, here’s what each provider does best:
- Hostinger is the best provider overall delivering the cheapest prices and strong performance.
- DreamHost is an affordable yet high-quality provider with flexible billing options,the most functional and easy to use provider focusing on WordPress.
- InMotion Hosting sports extensive features in its web hosting plans for business,offers extensive tools and features for all aspects of WordPress .
- WP Engine is a premium WordPress hosting option with tools to make management easy,is a premium WordPress-exclusive hosting provider operating on the cloud infrastructure.
- HostGator is a beginner-friendly option with the classic cPanel interface and affordable prices.
- ScalaHosting is a managed VPS option offering affordable prices and ease of use.
- Liquid Web – powerful premium cloud VPS provider,offers premium managed WordPress hosting for large projects that require the highest level of reliability.
- Cloudways – a beginner-friendly cloud hosting solution
- Flywheel is a fully managed WordPress hosting solution on a cloud infrastructure aiming to ease the work of creatives.
- Hostwinds very affordable solutions,Beginners friendly,generous resources,eager-to-help support
Best web hosting providers compared
- Best hosting by category
- We did cover the best website hosting overall, but you might be looking at hosting for a very specific purpose. If that’s the case, here’s some of what we’ve covered so far:
- Picking the best hosting provider: checklist
- When picking the hosts for this best web hosting rankings, we went through huge testing and analysis. All the
details including pricing, performance, customer support, security, and interfaces were scrutinized. No kidding,
our team had heated arguments when discussing which provider is best for what kind of user and if they are even
worth being listed. So technical details are already taken care of – only the best-performing providers
are on the list.
- But now, it’s time for you to make a decision.
- So I prepared a quick checklist to help you pick the right option. That includes considering:
- Personal needs, so you can pick the option that matches your skill level and budget.
- Website needs, so it gets enough server resources and power.
- Your audience needs, so they are not left waiting minutes till the site loads.
- Below, you’ll find a checklist on how to work around these needs. Considering all the details, not only you’ll be
satisfied with the choice, but it will pay dividends later.
- Considering personal hosting needs
- Hosting a website is similar to choosing a place to live – you can get a dorm room, rent a flat, or build a house. Well, and all of the in-betweens. Each comes at different price points and maintenance needs. If you’re:
- First-time user – choose a DreamHost. That’s shared hosting offering all-in-one packages: check if SSL, domain, intuitive control panel, and 24/7 customer support are included. The price should also be low, up to $3/mo.
- Business user, look at more advanced shared hosting options. Tools for marketing, speed optimizations, and enhanced security are important right here. At the same time, they’ll add a small learning curve. Prices can get up to $10/mo, although cheap options like Hostinger are available.
- Experienced pro, you probably know what you’re looking for. But VPS is definitely offering the most control for custom solutions. You can get it as low as $4 and scale as needed.
- Your website requirements
- The majority of the websites are not needy. On average, they take around 1-2GB of space. Dang, photos alone take
more than 30GB of space on my phone! So this one here is not about getting enough. This one here is about not
overpaying for the resources you don’t use.
- Small websites such as one-pagers, portfolios, or blogs easily fit on the entry plans. They offer from 10GB to 100GB of storage and can support up to 30 000 monthly visitors, which is more than enough. The catch, though, is that you usually can host only 1 website on such a plan. So consider if you’re going to add a second website in a year or so.
- For small business websites that might sell online – mid-range plans are the best bet. They come with more than 1 website allowance, 30-100GB storage space, and can support around 50 000 to 80 000 monthly visits. More server resources also mean better performance, so websites will load fast.
- Big commercial projects require either performance-focused shared hosting or managed VPS. Look at high-end plans that can support more than 100 000 monthly visits, include speed optimization features, security for malware and DDoS, daily backups, and reliable uptime.
- Knowing your audience
- Some visitors are pickier than others, but one thing is certain – all of them want a good user experience. For
example, 3 seconds is around that time when a visitor notices issues with page loading speed. A pickier one
might leave immediately, causing your bounce rates to skyrocket. That results in worse places on search engine
listings as well as loss in revenue.
- One way to ensure optimal performance is to pick a provider that has servers close to your target
audience. Check that before purchasing. Some options with global data centers include Hostinger,WP Engine, and HostGator.
- Other than this, consider:
- Are your visitors looking for you specifically? Maybe you only show your site to potential clients, or they already know your brand – in this case, no need for an expensive performance-driven plan. They have a goal in mind, and that’s looking at your site – no matter if it loads in a second or 5.
- Are you competing for search engine rankings or using paid advertisement? 3 seconds is all you have to impress the visitors. Look at all the best hardware and newest software to stay on top of your game. That includes technology like caching, content delivery network, and even load balancers in the case of VPS. It’s better to pay more for hosting and get your visitors buzzing on the site, ordering services, and purchasing your production than give this easy win for the competitors.
- Choosing the best hosting option is really as easy as this. Take a minute or two to consider what kind of website
you’re building. Be critical about your skills and budget – there’s no need to overpay or choose an advanced
option for the very start. Last but not least, get to know your audience.
- Best web hosting FAQs
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that puts your website online. Web hosting providers operate servers on which the files of your site are stored. But it’s more than that. Providers also take care of the software, maintenance, security, and support. Choosing a reliable provider, your only responsibility will be to create a website.
Can I host my website for free?
Yes, you can host a website for free by using one of the services that offer free hosting. But I don’t recommend doing that. More often than not, you’ll face unreliable service that doesn’t work properly, not to mention the risks of getting your data leaked. If your budget is tight, there are cheap alternatives that will ensure high-quality service.
Can I switch web hosting companies?
Yes, you can easily switch a web hosting company. That’s even advised, if your current one doesn’t meet the expectations. The majority of the hosts actually provide free or even automated website migration, so the transfer is effortless.
Can I host my own website?
Yes, you can host your own website, but that only works in theory. To host your own website, you’d need a server (a personal computer can be used) that’s always connected to the internet. You’d need to take care of software setups too, but that’s the easy part. Keeping that server online is a different story – if you have an electricity outage, your server and website will go down.
How much does it cost to host a website?
Website hosting can cost anywhere from $1 to $999+ a month depending on the service you choose. The cheapest and most popular option is shared hosting that should cost up to $15/mo. To get the best deal, always check for available web hosting coupons and promo codes.