The best web hosting services of 2016

HostAuthority has searched far and wide to compile the top hosting providers to help you choose which one to use for your website or blog.

Next, we have created a detailed guide to help you pick the best hosting company for your particular needs. The guide includes all of the potential features, options, and guarantees you should look at before making your final decision.

Best Overall: SiteGround

Overview: With excellent hardware for the fastest speed, incredible customer service, and a very affordable rate; SiteGround is our number one hosting provider.

Summary:

SiteGround is one of the most coveted hosts on the internet.

Their excellent customer service and a wide range of options make it the perfect host for small businesses and bloggers. Those who use web applications like WordPress, Joomla, or Magento will enjoy the speed of your site.

The SSD servers are spread across the globe in the U.S.A., Europe, and Asia to help users access your files fast. The company was founded by professionals who understand the need for the best tech. SiteGround also offers a personal touch, with customer support that is genuinely enjoyed by many. The programs they offer appeal to almost anyone who needs hosting with generous guarantees and free backups for your data. As one of the most highly-rated hosts online, most of their customers have only good things to say about them.

All of these factors add together to make them our overall best hosting platform available.

Unique Features:

  • 99.99% Uptime
  • CMS Friendly
  • Linux SSD Servers
  • Free Daily Backup

Pricing:

StartUp: $3.95/mo for shared hosting.

GrowBig: $7.95/mo for shared hosting.

GoGeek: $14.95/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit SiteGround

Number Two: Bluehost

Overview: Bluehost is the perfect platform for bloggers, internet marketers and WordPress fans due to their affordable and powerful shared plans.

Summary: 

Bluehost has become one of the best options for small businesses, bloggers, and niche site webmasters.

Their plans give an all-inclusive solution for anyone looking for one place for their hosting. Their 100% U.S. based customer phone support team can help you any time of day and night if you have any problems. If you use WordPress for your sites, you’ll be happy to know that Bluehost was the first hosting company recommended by WordPress themselves.

Due to their early adoption of the WP platform, Bluehost has been adopted by many affiliate marketers and has a very well known an easy to use affiliate program. There are so many reasons to choose Bluehost, which is why they’re one of our top choices.

Unique Features:

  • Free Domain
  • U.S. Based Support
  • Blogger Friendly
  • Unlimited Traffic

Pricing:

Basic: $3.49/mo for shared hosting.

Plus: $5.95/mo for shared hosting.

WordPress Blogger: $28.53/mo for WP hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit Bluehost

Number Three: HostGator

Overview: HostGator is a favorite among bloggers and small business owners due to the upfront options and clear pricing structure.

Summary:

HostGator is one of the best entry level hosts on the market.

A great option for beginners who need a blog or a business site. Their plans are robust, easy to understand and affordable. They are so beginner friendly that the least expensive plan is called, “Hatchling” to signify the birth of your new site. E-commerce stores and entrepreneurs can benefit from the free 1-800 number that is given to all “business” plan customers.

HostGator also offers one of the most generous affiliate programs with an increasing payment system that tops off at $125/sale. The environmentally conscious will enjoy that the company has no carbon footprint because they purchase renewable energy credits equal to 130% of their emissions.

With a significant portion of the entire internet’s traffic running through their servers, this host is one of the most popular online.

Unique Features:

  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • WordPress Friendly
  • Affordable
  • 24/7 Phone Support

Pricing:

Hatchling: $5.56/mo for shared hosting.

Baby: $7.96/mo for shared hosting.

Business: $11.96/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit HostGator

Number Four: iPage

Overview: As one of the most affordable options online, iPage offers versatile and reliable shared hosting for really low prices.

Summary:

iPage has some impressive sign on bonuses and free gifts to entice new customers to host with them. When you pair these benefits with some of the cheapest prices, this company is hard to pass up. If you need a shared hosting plan on a budget, you will definitely want to take a closer look. However, if you want something with a few more resources, there may be better options even though iPage offers all types of hosting for great prices.

Unique Features:

  • Free Domain
  • Daily Backups
  • 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Free Security Options

Pricing:

Essential: $3.25/mo for shared hosting.

WordPress Starter: $3.75/mo for WP hosting.

Basic VPS: $19.99/mo for VPS hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit iPage

Number Five: Arvixe

Overview: Arvixe is a great all around provider that has a ton of versatile hosting options for just about anyone who needs a website.

Summary:

Many hosting companies try to focus on one type of hosting or even a specific type of customer (like small businesses). Arvixe uses their expertise in the hosting industry to provide plans and options for everyone including, beginner bloggers, business owners, developers, and agencies. A great reason to go with a host that has so many options is the scalability. If you outgrow the plan you start with, Arvixe makes it incredibly easy to move up to the next plan, or even the next hosting type. The number of options may intimidate less experienced webmasters, but will be appreciated by many for the flexible and scalable plans.

Unique Features:

  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Free Domain
  • Free Site Transfer
  • One Click Installs

Pricing:

Personal Class: $3.27/mo for shared hosting.

Personal Class ASP: $5.00/mo for shared hosting.

Personal Class Pro: $7.00/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit Arvixe

Number Six: Web Hosting Hub

Overview: Web Hosting Hub specializes in providing shared hosting to small businesses with top notch service.

Summary:

This is an excellent hosting option for small business owners who need a site and want to work with a company that understands the needs of a company. Web Hosting Hub understands that you’re busy running your company, so many of their options help you get started quickly with minimal legwork on your part. Some of these features include an open community, tutorials, and a premium website builder that makes creating your new site a breeze.

Unique Features:

  • Free Domain
  • 90 Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Generous Ad Credits
  • Tempory Domain for Transfers

Pricing:

Hosting Plan: $3.99/mo for shared hosting.

Spark: $6.99/mo for shared hosting.

Nitro: $8.99/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit Web Hosting Hub

Number Seven: InMotion

Overview: InMotion is all about speed and service, and their customers are some of the most satisfied webmasters on the internet.

Summary:

Providing the best customer service is one of the primary goals that InMotion strives for with every user. Although, their most appealing selling point may be the ability to make your site fast. With page load speed becoming a more important factor in search rankings and bounce rate, InMotion helps make your files load quickly. With SSD hardware, advanced routing, and premium bandwidth your site will be faster than many other shared plans on the market.

Unique Features:

  • Free Data Backups
  • SSD Hard Drives
  • 90 Money-Back Guarantee
  • 24/7 Tech Support

Pricing:

Launch SSD: $4.89/mo for shared hosting.

Business Launch: $4.89/mo for shared hosting.

Power SSD: $6.29/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit InMotion

Number Eight: DreamHost

Overview: DreamHost has become one of the most reliable hosting providers trusted by startups and businesses to keep their sites running.

Summary:

If you start any website, the goal is to keep it available for people to see what you are saying or buying what you are selling. Uptime is more important for startups and e-commerce sites that need constant traffic for exposure and sales. Dreamhost has a 100% uptime guarantee. While it’s not the cheapest hosting you can find, it is a reasonable price for all of the features offered and should impress most looking for a quality option. Anyone willing to pay a little more to have top notch managed hosting will appreciate what DreamHost can bring to the table.

Unique Features:

  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Free Daily Backups
  • 97 Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Custom Control Panel

Pricing:

Web: $5.95/mo for shared hosting.

VPS: $15.00/mo for VPS hosting.

DreamPress: $19.95/mo for VPS hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit Dreamhost

Number Nine: FatCow

Overview: FatCow’s biggest benefit is simplicity and it’s great for anyone looking for an easy to understand shared hosting plan.

Summary:

With one of the most straightforward plans available, FatCow seeks to help those who don’t know much about having a website. Their original FatCow plan is their only shared hosting option that they claim is “Simply Smart Web Hosting”. It’s the only plan that individuals and business owners will need to get a site up and going. This won’t be a host for developers or anyone who wants a host with a lot of options, but if you want a basic site for an affordable price, FatCow is right up your alley.

Unique Features:

  • Runs on Green Energy
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Free Domain
  • Free Ad Credits

Pricing:

FatCow: $4.08/mo for shared hosting.

Basic VPS: $19.99/mo for VPS hosting.

Business VPS: $47.99/mo for VPS hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit FatCow

Number Ten: A Small Orange 

Overview: A Small Orange is an upfront host that is clear about what you get with each of their plans.

Summary:

There are so many hosting companies that offer “unlimited” bandwidth and disk space, but when your site reaches a certain traffic level or your files take up so much space you often hit what hosts call a “soft cap”. This term means that your site may run slow or even shut down depending on how many resources you’re using. A Small Orange doesn’t have any unlimited plans and clearly labels all the resources that you get. You’ll know your limits and have a site that will never run poorly due to invisible limits. The host offers shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated plans at very reasonable prices.

Unique Features:

  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Free Data Backups
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Simple Hosting Plans

Pricing:

Tiny: $2.92/mo for shared hosting.

Small: $5.00/mo for shared hosting.

Medium: $10.00/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit A Small Orange

Number Eleven: A2

Overview: A2 is an incredibly advanced and versatile hosting platform that provides developers and programmers a place to build powerful applications and websites.

Summary:

A2 is a host that was started by developers to create a place for other coders and developers to build awesome sites. You’ll find almost every web programming language available, including the latest version of PHP. There is also a unique feature to switch between different versions of a few of the languages they offer to make it easier to create robust programs. Any developer will appreciate the options that are provided by A2, but if you just need simple hosting it won’t be for you.

Unique Features:

  • SSD Hardware
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Free Backup Tool
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Pricing:

Lite: $3.92/mo for shared hosting.

Swift: $4.90/mo for shared hosting.

Turbo: $9.31/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit A2

Number Twelve: GoDaddy

Overview: GoDaddy is one of the best-known web hosts online, and is a trusted choice for domains and business sites.

Summary:

GoDaddy is mainly a domain registrar and manages over 53 million domains on their servers. Their site also has a domain marketplace where anyone can buy and sell their domains in an auction style. While domains are the primary focus, GoDaddy has made themselves a name in the small business hosting market as well. Their website builder plan can help just about anyone create a professional-looking website no matter what your experience level. Their hosting options aren’t the most robust, but the prices are reasonable and it’s an awesome place to snag a great new or old domain name.

Unique Features:

  • DDoS Protection
  • Generous Ad Credits
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Custom Control Panel

Pricing:

Starter WordPress : $2.99/mo for shared hosting.

WordPress Economy: $3.49/mo for shared hosting.

WordPress Deluxe: $4.49/mo for shared hosting.

Our Full Review
Visit GoDaddy

Our Guide to Picking Out the Perfect Web Host

Now that we’ve given you our top 12 global hosting providers you’re a step closer to finding the right choice for your new website or application. In this detailed guide, we’ll go over many of the features, guarantees, and fees that you’ll need to look into when choosing a hosting solution.

Start by Figuring Out What You Need

Budget: Obviously, you’ll want to set a budget. The typical host will want you to pay a year’s worth of fees to get the discounts offered. Month to month hosting can be found, but it is usually at a steeper price point.

If you’re on a tight budget, take a look at our top 5 cheap hosts.

Resources: Figuring out how much data will your site use, how much traffic you expect to have within the first year, and how fast you want your site to be (factoring in your budget) will go a long way in helping you figure out the best type of hosting.

If you need more resources than a shared plan take a look at our top 5 VPS and Dedicated hosts.

Type of Hosting: If you are just starting a small business site or blog, you may need a shared plan. If you have an e-commerce store or larger site, a VPS or cloud may be the best option. If you have a large, high traffic website or application, then you may need a dedicated server. If you are a developer or agency, you may want to resell hosting to your clients.

Here are our top 5 shared and reseller hosting companies.

Essential Features and Guarantees

Uptime Statistics

This one is both a feature that you’re looking for and a guarantee which many hosts offer.

Uptime is simply the average percentage of time that all of the files hosted by the company are accessible online. A typical uptime for a particular server is usually around 99%. Most hosts offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and if your site is down for any reason, you’ll be reimbursed (usually with free hosting time).

Keeping your site online is the reason you need hosting, so uptime is important.

Look For: Surprisingly, some hosts don’t track or guarantee uptime. Look for a guarantee and a way to see if uptime can be monitored.

Multiple Domains/Websites

If you choose the perfect domain name, chances are you’ll think of another (maybe for an entirely different project). With all the new TLD’s and inexpensive registrars, it can be easy to have several websites under your belt.

If starting more than one site is something you want to do, you’ll have to check if your plan allows for multiple subdomains.

Many hosts limit the number of websites and domains on their plans. For instance, the least expensive plan will only allow for one website, the next level allows up to five, etc.

If you intend to use your plan to host several websites make sure you check the features before buying.

Look For: A hosting company that allows a least a few sites on your plan. This will give you the option to grow into other locations in the future.

Upgrade Process

A good shared plan can take a new website a long way before you have to consider upgrading to VPS, cloud, or dedicated plans. Although, if your site reaches a high level of disk space or bandwidth usage, you will have to make a change. Figuring out how easy a host is to work with on transferring your site is important. Downtime can have a lasting effect on your traffic levels.

If you’re a developer, you may want to look for a company that has a lot of resource flexibility to help you handle the ever-changing needs of your business. Being able to purchase extra space from one month to the next is budget friendly and useful.

Look For: Specific features considering the transfer and upgrade process (if you intend on moving within a year or two).

Pricing

Your budget isn’t just your initial hosting costs. If you are a new customer to the host, you’ll get an introductory rate. This rate will increase if you continue with the company past the initial term (typically a year or two).

You can choose a different host before your term is up and transfer your site (many hosts move your site for free), or you can decide if their “real” rate is competitive enough for you to stick with it.

Look For: The price you will be expected to pay after the intro rate, all hosts have it listed in a place that is usually easy to see.

Refund Policy

There are so many hosting companies on the internet that you don’t have to stick with an option that doesn’t fit your needs. Unfortunately, even if you look at hosts close you may end up with something you don’t like.

The good news is, most hosting companies offer money-back guarantees. The majority range from 30-60 days, but there are several with a 90-day policy, a considerable amount of time to see if you like a host.

Look For: The length and terms of a money-back guarantee.

Install Options and Other Features

If you want a CMS, like WordPress, or to develop your site using various programming languages (PHP, Python, etc.) you will want to look to see the software and languages that are available. Another thing to consider is the control panel(s) offered by the host. Some companies provide their own and don’t offer traditional options like cPanel or Plesk.

Look For: All software, programming, and control panel options to see if they meet your standards.

Backups

Your data is important to you, but sometimes it’s not as important to your hosting company. There are third party backup systems you can purchase (and are often recommended by hosts), but there are several businesses that offer daily backups for your files. This is a great benefit for anyone who doesn’t want to have an extra monthly fee on top of hosting, and some companies will even back them up more than once per day for free.

Look For: If a host has a backup program, how often and extensive the backup is, and how easy it is to recover the data from your host.

Other Important Factors

Here are a few other “rapid-fire” things to consider when looking for a hosting provider.

TOS: Look at the service terms to see the limits of what you can do with each supplier.

Email: Some hosts restrict the number of email accounts, and some don’t.

Support: Most hosts offer 24/7 phone, chat, and email support, but there some that offer far less.

Some of these items are going to be more important than others depending on your needs. If you start with your hosting goals and needs, you can figure out the most important features you need. It’s not likely that a single host will be “perfect” in all these categories, so you’ll have to priortize. Although, after careful consideration you’ll be a lot closer.

Good luck, and happy mating.

 

 

Meet the hosting addict

JP Smooth

"JP Smooth" is a tech entrepreneur and owner of too many websites lol. He swears he's used over 50 different hosts but nobody believes him. He also enjoys plunging into the Boise River every morning in the summer months.

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