Hosting Advice

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Hosting Advice

In today’s business landscape, having a website is indispensable for establishing and expanding a company, and the selection of a reliable web hosting service plays a pivotal role in crafting a high-quality website. The abundance of providers and plans available can be overwhelming, making the decision-making process challenging. To simplify your choice, we have identified the top 10 web hosting services, considering critical features such as price, performance, security, and additional perks like a complimentary domain name and business email.
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Featured Partners

$2.95On's Website
  • Starting Price: $2.95 per month
  • Storage Limit: Unmetered bandwidth, SSD storage starts at 10GB

  • Standout Features: Free domain name & SSL for a year

$2.75 On HostGator's Website
  • Starting Price: $2.75 per month (for first 36 months)
  • Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
  • Standout Features: Free SSL certificate, free website transfer
$1.95On's Website
  • Starting Price: $1.95 per month
  • Website Building Yes
  • Standout Features: Customizable templates, Easy drag-and-drop technology, SSL certificate
$1.99On's Website
  • Starting Price: $1.99 per month

  • Storage Limit: Unmetered bandwidth, SSD storage starts at 10GB

  • Standout Features: Free domain name & SSL for a year

$2.75 On HostGator's Website
  • Starting Price: $2.75 per month (for first 36 months)
  • Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
  • Standout Features: Free SSL certificate, free website transfer
$1.95On's Website
  • Starting Price: $1.95 per month
  • Website Building Yes
  • Standout Features: Customizable templates, Easy drag-and-drop technology, SSL certificate

The 12 Best Web Hosting Services of 2024

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Small Business

The Small Business team at Forbes Advisor is dedicated to providing you with impartial rankings and information, maintaining complete editorial independence. Employing product data, strategic methodologies, and expert insights, we shape our content to guide you in making informed decisions for your business endeavors.

In our evaluation, we thoroughly assessed 16 web hosts using a detailed methodology, ultimately presenting you with the top 10 web hosting platforms. Our ratings take into account various factors such as pricing, general features, additional features, and reviews by our panel of experts. It’s important to note that all ratings are exclusively determined by our editorial team.



Starting price

$1 per month (billed annually; renews at $10 per month)

Storage and bandwidth

10GB of storage and unlimited traffic

Extras and inclusions

Free domain, free SSL certificate, daily backups, one email account
On IONOS’ Website
IONOS stands out as a premier web hosting provider, offering an extensive range of hosting plans tailored to suit the needs of businesses at various stages of development. Each plan comes with a complimentary domain name for the first year, a free SSL certificate, and round-the-clock customer support. Benefit from a remarkable 99.99% uptime, DDoS protection, flexible plans, geographically redundant infrastructure, as well as unlimited storage and websites.
IONOS's pricing structure is designed to cater to cash-strapped startups, featuring an exceptionally low initial cost of $1 per month for the first year. Subsequent to the introductory period, the pricing adjusts to $10 per month. Even at the $10 per month rate, the inclusion of optimized CPU and MEM resources makes IONOS a compelling choice well beyond the initial term.
If you find yourself uncertain about which plan to select, IONOS provides expert recommendations based on your specific needs, whether you're starting an online store or seeking a superior hosting solution for your WordPress website.
Discover more about IONOS by delving into our comprehensive review.
This web hosting service is particularly well-suited for cash-strapped startups, given its incredibly low introductory pricing. It presents an ideal opportunity for those seeking a high-quality web host without a substantial initial investment.
Pros Cons
User-friendly interface Monthly plan costs increase significantly after first year
Daily backups and data recovery Limited storage in entry-level plan
DDoS protection Domain only free the first year
Geo-redundant infrastructure Includes just one email account
24/7 customer service
30-day money-back guarantee



Starting price

$2.75 per month (three-year term)

Storage and bandwidth


Extras and inclusions

Receive a complimentary domain registration for the first year, enjoy free website and domain transfer services, and benefit from a free SSL certificate. Additionally, seize the opportunity with $500 in Google Ads spend match credit, take advantage of a $100 Microsoft Advertising credit, and access free email services.
On HostGator’s Website

HostGator stands out as a top choice for the best web hosting service, thanks to its exceptional value, dependable performance, and extensive features tailored to the needs of small and medium businesses across various industries. Hosting solutions encompass shared, WordPress, website builder, dedicated, virtual private server (VPS), and reseller hosting. With offerings such as unmetered disk space, unmetered bandwidth, and a 99% uptime guarantee, HostGator ensures a reliable online presence. Additionally, users benefit from 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

HostGator's pricing structure begins at $2.75 per month for the initial term, featuring one-click WordPress installation, unmetered bandwidth, a complimentary SSL certificate, a free domain name, and free WordPress/cPanel website transfers. For the mid-tier shared hosting plan, you can enjoy the flexibility of hosting unlimited websites for $3.50 per month during the initial term.

For a more in-depth understanding, explore our comprehensive HostGator review.

HostGator's shared hosting plans are particularly well-suited for individuals and small businesses seeking an affordable solution with versatile hosting options.

Pros Cons
Unmetered disk space and bandwidth on all plans Pricing reflects a three-year commitment
Free domain name Domain privacy costs extra
Free SSL certificate Automated backups cost extra
Free website transfer service
$500 in Google Ads spend match credit
Support available 24/7/365 via phone, chat, tweet, knowledge base, and blog



Starting price

$2.95 a month (billed annually, renews at $11.99 per month)

Storage and bandwidth

Unmetered bandwidth and SSD storage starts at 10GB

Extras and inclusions

Free domain name and SSL for a year, free CDN, Google Ads/Bing credits for higher-tiered plans
On’s Website

Bluehost is widely recognized as one of the leading web hosting platforms, and its popularity is well-founded. The platform offers an extensive range of features at competitive prices, making it an ideal choice for individuals who are just embarking on their journey into web hosting.

Bluehost Features:

The Basic plan, for instance, provides users with 10GB of storage, unmetered bandwidth, a complimentary domain for the first year, and support for up to 25 subdomains. If you opt for the Plus plan, your storage is doubled, and you receive $200 in Google Ads/Bing credits. Moreover, this plan grants you the flexibility of unlimited primary domains, parked domains, and subdomains.

Bluehost Pricing:

When it comes to pricing, Bluehost plans start at $11.99 per month. However, the Basic plan is available at a particularly attractive rate of $2.95 per month for the initial term. The Choice Plus plan, originally priced at $21.99 per month, is offered at a discounted rate of $5.45 per month during the first term. The Online Store plan is priced at $9.95 per month for the initial term, with a renewal rate of $26.99 per month. The Pro plan, which represents Bluehost's premium offering, is priced at $28.99 per month, though the first term is available at a reduced rate of $13.95 per month.

Learn more:

For a comprehensive review of Bluehost's features and offerings, we recommend reading our detailed Bluehost review.

Who Should Opt for Bluehost:

Bluehost is a highly suitable option for website owners in need of a reliable and cost-effective hosting service. Its feature-rich environment and diverse tools make it an excellent choice for effectively managing and maintaining websites.

Pros Cons
Free domain name Price triples upon renewal
Free SSL certificate Limited storage
Free business email Must pay for automated backups
Includes a CDN No phone support on its Basic plan
Higher-tiered plans include pro features such as client invoicing, staging, and insights
24/7 support

Hosting Solutions For Fast Websites


Starting price

$ 2.49 /month

Storage and bandwidth

100 GB SSD Storage, Standard Performance

Extras and inclusions

Free Domain, Free Website Migration, 24/7 Customer Support
On Hostinger’s Website
Hostinger stands out as a top-notch website hosting platform, catering to professionals with a robust set of features. The entry-level plan, tailored for small businesses or solo entrepreneurs, delivers quality service at an affordable rate. Their customer support, available round the clock, is not only friendly but also ready to assist you in resolving any issues that may crop up. At an economical cost, Hostinger provides a stellar hosting experience, making it a wise choice. Additionally, if you're seeking enhanced features, the more advanced plans offer a plethora of value for your investment.
Pros Cons
Top-quality shared hosting Basic plan has limited bandwidth
Optimized for WordPress Renewal price is a big jump for some plans
Unlimited websites and MySQL databases



Starting price

$2.59 per month (three-year term)

Storage and bandwidth

50GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth

Extras and inclusions

Free domain, free SSL certificate, one-click WordPress installation, great support
On DreamHost’s Website

Rapidly emerging as a premier web hosting provider, DreamHost has garnered acclaim for its reliability, affordability, and feature-rich plans. These comprehensive packages encompass all essential elements for creating a new website, ranging from domain registration and SSL certificates to hassle-free one-click WordPress installation. Beyond its competitive pricing, DreamHost stands out for its user-friendly site builder and, notably, a responsive support system capable of addressing a variety of hosting or site-related issues.

DreamHost Pricing:

DreamHost's pricing structure begins at a budget-friendly $2.59 per month for the basic package. The Shared Starter plan, renewing at $6.99 per month, features a single website, unmetered bandwidth, 50GB of storage, up to five subdomains, six MySQL databases, free domain name privacy, and round-the-clock support via ticket.

The most advantageous offering is the Shared Unlimited plan, available at $2.95 per month with a 36-month commitment. Post the promotional period, the renewal rate adjusts to $12.99 per month. This plan boasts unlimited websites, domain email, storage, and MySQL databases.

Learn more:

For a comprehensive understanding of DreamHost's features and offerings, delve into our detailed DreamHost review.

Who Should Use It:

DreamHost stands as a reliable choice for web hosting, catering to the diverse needs of most businesses. However, its standout feature lies in its exceptional support, making it particularly well-suited for WordPress beginners seeking expert assistance at their fingertips.

Pros Cons
Affordable plans starting at $2.59 per month Pricing increases upon renewal
Free domain name and SSL certificate Lots of upsells in checkout
One-, three-, 12- and 36-month contract lengths available Cheapest plan doesn’t include a custom domain
Long 97-day money-back guarantee Must pay for its unlimited plan for email
100% uptime guarantee
Top-notch support


InMotion Hosting

Starting price

$2.49 per month with a 36-month contract or $3.49 per month with a 12-month contract

Storage and bandwidth

50 GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth

Extras and inclusions

90-day money-back guarantee, automatic backups (for a fee), DDoS protection
On InMotion Hosting’s Website

InMotion Hosting, a prominent web hosting provider, distinguishes itself through its exceptionally low pricing, unwavering reliability, and robust security measures. The platform ensures a secure online environment by offering an extensive range of features, including a generous 90-day money-back guarantee, automatic backups, DDoS protection, and malware protection. These features contribute to safeguarding your website and securing sensitive information, such as payment details and user data.

InMotion Hosting Pricing:

The pricing structure for InMotion Hosting is designed to cater to various preferences. Plans commence at $2.49 per month with a 36-month commitment, $2.99 with a 24-month commitment, $3.49 with a 12-month commitment, or $19.99 on a month-to-month basis (available exclusively for the Pro plan). These plans encompass 100GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage, unlimited bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, support for up to 10 business email addresses, and additional security features.

Learn more:

For an in-depth analysis of InMotion Hosting's features and performance, we recommend reading our comprehensive InMotion Hosting review.

Who Should Use It:

InMotion Hosting emerges as an excellent choice for businesses prioritizing reliability, peace of mind, and exceptional value for their investment. The extended 90-day money-back guarantee and consistently high uptimes make it an ideal solution for those seeking a trustworthy hosting service.

Pros Cons
Ultra-low long-term pricing Minimum 12-month contract on most plans
Automatic backups available (for a fee) Pricing increases upon renewal
Comes with many security features Domain name not included with its base plan
Known for reliability Month-to-month billing only available in highest-tier plan
90-day money-back guarantee
Highly rated 24/7 tech support



Starting price

$2.29 per month (three-year term)

Storage and bandwidth

Unlimited disk space and traffic

Extras and inclusions

100% uptime guarantee, free website transfer assistance, website builder
On MochaHost’s Website

MochaHost emerges as an excellent choice for businesses across the spectrum, offering highly competitive prices coupled with feature-rich plans. Starting at a mere $2.29 per month, MochaHost provides exceptional value with unlimited storage and bandwidth. This makes it an ideal solution for businesses aiming to establish content-heavy or high-traffic websites. The package includes a comprehensive set of features, from a money-back guarantee to a user-friendly website builder, and extras like a complimentary domain name, SSL certificate, and unlimited business email with Webmail.

The hosting provider goes beyond the basics by offering industry-low prices for high-value features. Users can enjoy peace of mind with unlimited SSL certificates for life, 24/7 tech support, and a hassle-free website transfer service for those transitioning between web hosts. MochaHost further distinguishes itself with the Mocha Lightning Fast Guarantee, pledging faster site loading than any other cloud hosting service, all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

MochaHost Pricing:

MochaHost stands out as one of the most competitively priced web hosting providers, presenting three main hosting plans priced between $2.29 and $3.81 per month with a long-term contract. Each plan offers unlimited disk space, making it particularly cost-effective for content-heavy sites. Additionally, the inclusion of unlimited traffic positions MochaHost as a preferred choice for websites with a substantial volume of visitors.

Who Should Use It:

Given MochaHost's extensive feature set at an affordable price point, it proves valuable for a wide range of businesses. The unlimited storage and bandwidth make it especially well-suited for enterprises focused on content-heavy websites, including portfolios, large e-commerce catalogs, or any site experiencing high traffic volumes.

Read More: MochaHost Review.

Pros Cons
Ultra-low-cost plans for under $3 per month Does not offer the industry-standard one-click WordPress installation
Lock in your price forever Free domain name is not included with the entry-level plan
Unlimited storage and bandwidth Dated interface
Fast site load speeds
Free SSL certificate
24/7 live chat support
30-day money-back guarantee



Starting price

$5.99 per month (three-year term)

Storage and bandwidth

10GB storage, unmetered bandwidth

Extras and inclusions

Daily backups, one-click WordPress installation, free SSL certificate
On GoDaddy’s Website

GoDaddy stands out as the premier web hosting service tailored for businesses seeking a hassle-free setup without extensive storage needs. It particularly excels in facilitating the effortless creation of WordPress websites, offering convenient one-click installations and daily backups. Notably, GoDaddy's plans come equipped with a complimentary SSL certificate, enhancing site security. The inclusion of DDoS protection adds an additional layer of defense against malicious attacks.

GoDaddy Pricing:

GoDaddy's pricing structure starts at $5.99 per month with a three-year contract, subsequently renewing at $9.99 per month. The Web Hosting Deluxe plan is available at $7.99 per month for a three-year term, with a renewal rate of $13.99 per month. For high-traffic websites, the Web Hosting Ultimate plan proves ideal, priced at $12.99 per month with a three-year contract and renewing at $17.99 per month. Additionally, there is a Web Hosting Maximum plan catering to up to 50 sites, initially priced at $17.99 per month for the first three years and later renewing at $24.99 per month.

Learn more:

For a comprehensive understanding of GoDaddy's features and performance, delve into our detailed GoDaddy review.

Who Should Use It:

GoDaddy is a perfect fit for small businesses seeking the simplicity of setting up WordPress websites with one-click installations. Its appeal extends to those looking to secure low pricing without the concern of increases upon renewal.

Pros Cons
Pricing doesn’t increase upon renewal Limited storage
One-click setup of more than 150 apps Storage limits
Includes daily backups
Beginner-friendly website builder
Has data centers in North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe



Starting price

$5.24 per month (renews at $6.99 per month)

Storage and bandwidth


Extras and inclusions

Unlimited storage, free dedicated IP address, unlimited business email, free site migration
Read Forbes’ Review

Hostwinds distinguishes itself among web hosting providers by offering unlimited storage and bandwidth with every plan, positioning it as the optimal choice for content-heavy sites. The service caters to diverse needs with additional perks like unlimited business email, a complimentary SSL certificate, a dedicated IP address, free site migration, effortless WordPress auto-installation, and 24/7 support. Hostwinds further sets itself apart by providing users the flexibility to select from three server locations—Dallas, Seattle, or Amsterdam—for enhanced control.

Hostwinds Pricing:

Starting at $3.74 per month with a 36-month contract, $5.24 per month with a 12-month contract, or $6.74 per month with a month-to-month contract, Hostwinds offers feature-rich plans. While these plans include unique features like a free dedicated IP address and location customization, it's noteworthy that domain names are not incorporated.

Learn more:

For a comprehensive evaluation of Hostwinds' features and performance, explore our detailed Hostwinds review.

Who Should Use It:

Hostwinds proves ideal for businesses seeking increased storage without exorbitant costs, making it a practical choice for those outgrowing their current web hosting provider. It is also well-suited for new businesses establishing content-heavy sites, such as portfolio websites.

Pros Cons
Low-cost plans start at $3.74 per month (with 36-month contract) Does not include a domain name
Multiple contract lengths available (one month to 36 months) Backups cost an extra $3 per month
Unlimited storage and bandwidth on all plans
Free SSL certificate
Unlimited business email included



Starting price

$2.50 per month (no contract)

Storage and bandwidth


Extras and inclusions

Unlimited business email, free website migration, free SSL certificate, website builder, 30-day money-back guarantee
On InterServer’s Website

InterServer stands out as an affordable web hosting solution that offers a plethora of tools and valuable features to enhance website security. Notably, its plans are equipped with InterShield Security, a robust defense mechanism against web attacks. The platform boasts an in-house malware database, a machine learning firewall, and an automatic virus scanner, providing continuous vigilance to ensure the health and integrity of your site. This makes it particularly advantageous for businesses dealing with sensitive information, such as customer contact details.

InterServer Pricing:

InterServer simplifies its offerings with a single web hosting plan priced at $2.50 per month, with no contractual obligations. This plan includes unlimited storage and bandwidth, making it a cost-effective choice. Notably, InterServer incorporates industry-leading security features, including Inter-Insurance, designed to clean up any aftermath of security breach attacks. The comprehensive plan further includes 24/7 managed support, free site migration, unlimited business email, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Learn more:

For an in-depth exploration of InterServer's features and performance, refer to our detailed InterServer review.

Who Should Use It:

InterServer emerges as the optimal web hosting service for budget-conscious businesses prioritizing website security. This includes entities handling sensitive information and processing online payments, such as online stores, medical practices, or financial services providers.

Pros Cons
Unlimited storage on all plans Does not include a free domain name
Free Cloudflare CDN Dated cPanel
Includes InterShield Security Live chat can be slow to respond
Weekly backups included
Free unlimited business email
Includes a WordPress installer
Free website migration service
99.9% uptime guarantee

Powerful, User-Friendly Hosting

123 Reg

Starting price

£4.99 /month

Storage and bandwidth

25GB Storage, Unmetered Bandwidth

Extras and inclusions

Daily Backups, 5 FTP Users, 512MB RAM (shared), 1 Website,10 x 1GB MySQL Databases
On 123-Reg’s Website
123 Reg Hosting stands out for its user-friendly interface and reliable performance. The platform offers an intuitive and easy-to-navigate environment, making it particularly suitable for users, especially beginners, who seek simplicity in managing their hosting services. Additionally, 123 Reg Hosting has earned a reputation for providing stable servers, ensuring consistent and reliable performance for hosted websites. This reliability contributes to a positive user experience by minimizing downtime and ensuring that websites remain accessible and responsive to visitors.
Choice of Linux or Windows host Expensive
Easy to configure email No phone customer service outside of the U.K.
Robust dedicated hosting plans Base plan is too limited for most use; less expensive plans are restrictive
Skimpy 15-day money-back guarantee

Most Trusted WordPress Platform


Starting price

From $20.00/month

Storage and bandwidth

Storage 10GB, Bandwidth 50GB

Extras and inclusions

24/7 live support,
On WP Engine’s Website
WP Engine is a leading managed WordPress hosting provider renowned for its commitment to delivering top-tier performance, robust security, and exceptional support. Specializing exclusively in WordPress, their infrastructure is finely tuned to optimize the platform's capabilities. The hosting service prioritizes speed and efficiency, employing a global content delivery network to ensure swift loading times for websites. With a focus on security, WP Engine provides daily backups, automated updates, and proactive measures to safeguard against potential threats. Offering staging environments, users can test changes before deploying them live, enhancing the reliability of their websites. WP Engine's reputation for excellent customer support, developer-friendly features, and scalability make it a preferred choice for individuals and businesses seeking a reliable and tailored hosting solution for their WordPress sites.
Pros Cons
Terrific uptime in testing Email isn't included with hosting plans
Outstanding customer service Doesn't sell domains
Daily backups
Real-time threat detection
Useful staging area
Choice of either Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform cloud hosting
Custom plans available


Best for Startups$1 per month (billed annually; renews at $10 per month)10GB of storage and unlimited traffic

On Ionos' Website


Best perks$2.75 per month (three-year term)Unmetered

On HostGator's Website


Best for new websites$2.95 per month (billed annually, renews at $10.99 per month)Unmetered bandwidth and SSD storage starts at 10GB

On's Website


Hosting Solutions For Fast Websites$ 2.49 /month100 GB SSD Storage, Standard Performance

Read Forbes' Review


Best for WordPress Beginners$2.95 per month (three-year term)50 GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth

On DreamHost's Website

InMotion Hosting

Best for Reliability$2.49 per month with a 36-month contract

or $3.49 per month with a 12-month contract
100GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth

On InMotion Hosting's Website


Best for lifetime SSL certificates$2.29 per month (three-year term)Unlimited disk space and traffic

On MochaHost's Website


Best for easy site setup$5.99 per month (three-year term)10GB storage, unmetered bandwidth

On GoDaddy's Website


Best for content-heavy sites$5.24 per month (renews at $6.99 per month)Unlimited

Read Forbes' Review


Best for website security$2.50 per month (no contract)Unlimited

On InterServer's Website

WP Engine

Most Trusted WordPress PlatformFrom $20.00/monthStorage 10GB, Bandwidth 50GB

On WP Engine's Website

Scala Hosting

Best cloud hosting$2.95 /monthUnmetered Bandwidth, 10GB Fixed NVMe SSD

On Scala Hosting's Website

What Is Web Hosting?

The Small Business team at Forbes Advisor is dedicated to providing you with impartial rankings and information, maintaining complete editorial independence. Employing product data, strategic methodologies, and expert insights, we shape our content to guide you in making informed decisions for your business endeavors.

Web hosting is a service that enables individuals to lease space on the internet, and websites require web hosting for online accessibility. While certain content management systems (CMS) like Squarespace and Wix provide web hosting as an integral part of their monthly subscription, if you’re constructing a website on WordPress, you’ll have to acquire web hosting separately from providers like MochaHost or IONOS.

Learn more about what web hosting is.

How Does Web Hosting Work?

Consider web hosting as the process of securing a residence for your website. All the elements of your website, including the domain name, HTML code, images, and text, require a designated space to exist. Web hosting facilitates this by providing a location for your website’s content on a server.

In essence, a server acts as a computer connecting users to your website. Think of the server as a large condo or office building, and web hosting as the process of either renting office space or purchasing a condo within that building.

Web Hosting vs. Domain Hosting

It’s essential to differentiate between web hosting and domain hosting. Before finding a home for your website through web hosting, you first need a domain name. While interconnected, web hosting involves connecting your website to a server, whereas domain hosting is about securing a domain name or web address for your site.

Using our earlier analogy, if web hosting is like renting space in a building, domain hosting is akin to placing a nameplate outside your door with your name and address. The domain serves as the means for people to navigate to your address on the Internet.

Many service providers offer both domain hosting and web hosting, providing all-in-one convenience. However, depending on your requirements, you might consider separating these services. Regardless, obtaining a domain name through a domain registrar is the initial step before delving into web hosting considerations.

How To Choose the Best Web Hosting Service for You

Considerations for Optimal Web Hosting When selecting the best web hosting service for your needs, it’s crucial to evaluate various factors that impact performance, reliability, and ease of use. Here are key elements to consider:
  1. Pricing, Storage, and Bandwidth Limits: Assess the pricing structure, storage space, and bandwidth limits to ensure they align with your website’s requirements. Look for hosts offering sufficient storage and unmetered bandwidth to accommodate your content needs.
  2. Customer Service: Prioritize a hosting provider with 24/7 customer support through various channels like chat, phone, ticket, and email. Accessibility to prompt assistance is vital for addressing issues promptly.
  3. Server Location Options and Security Features: Evaluate the server location options and security measures provided by the hosting service. Ensure they offer DDoS protection, SSL certificates, and other security features to safeguard your site from malicious attacks.
  4. Automatic Backups: Confirm whether the hosting service provides automatic backups. Regular backups are crucial for website security, and a reliable host should offer this feature to protect your data.
  5. Reliability and Performance: Look for a hosting provider with a high uptime percentage, preferably 99.9% or higher. A contractual guarantee for reimbursement in case of outages adds an extra layer of assurance.
  6. Essential Features for All Websites: Regardless of your website’s specifics, seek a hosting provider with these essential features:
    • Reliability and Performance: Aiming for uptime guarantees and reimbursement for outages.
    • Security: DDoS protection, SSL certificates, and robust security measures.
    • Customer Service: 24/7 support through various channels.
    • Storage and Bandwidth: Adequate storage and unmetered bandwidth for your content.
    • Backups: Automatic backup options for regular data protection.
  7. Ease of Use: Choose a web hosting provider with an intuitive user interface and control panel. This ensures a user-friendly experience and facilitates easy management of your website.
  8. Scalability: Evaluate the scalability options provided by the hosting service. Consider how the host accommodates future growth and whether they offer scalable solutions like VPS and dedicated hosting. Additionally, assess whether downgrading to a lower-tiered plan is a viable option during periods of reduced activity.
In summary, a comprehensive assessment of these factors will guide you in selecting a web hosting service that aligns with your website’s needs and future growth plans.

Featured Partners

$1.99On's Website
  • Starting Price: $1.99 per month

  • Storage Limit: Unmetered bandwidth, SSD storage starts at 10GB

  • Standout Features: Free domain name & SSL for a year

$2.75 On HostGator's Website
  • Starting Price: $2.75 per month (for first 36 months)
  • Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
  • Standout Features: Free SSL certificate, free website transfer
$1.95On's Website
  • Starting Price: $1.95 per month
  • Website Building Yes
  • Standout Features: Customizable templates, Easy drag-and-drop technology, SSL certificate

Types of Web Hosting

Various types of web hosting services are accessible, and while opting for the most economical choice may seem tempting, it can potentially result in future complications. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider not only the cost but also prioritize factors such as customer service, security, speed, and customization options based on your specific needs.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is widely preferred by small businesses and websites with minimal customization requirements or lower expected traffic volumes. In shared hosting, multiple websites—ranging from dozens to thousands—share space on a single server.

This option is cost-effective due to its lower expenses. However, it comes with the potential drawbacks of service disruptions or reduced connection speeds. This is because multiple clients and websites are utilizing the same server resources, including disk space, RAM, and central processing unit (CPU) power.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

An advancement from shared hosting is VPS hosting, where multiple websites share the same server, but each site has its dedicated space for files and content. Although it comes at a slightly higher cost than shared hosting, VPS hosting provides an isolated section on the server for enhanced security. It offers scalability, allowing modifications to the server and installation of required software.
VPS hosting comes in two forms: managed and unmanaged. Opting for managed VPS hosting means the host takes care of all maintenance and necessary services to ensure the website and server’s continuous operation. While this comes at a higher price, you are relieved of maintenance responsibilities.
On the other hand, with unmanaged VPS hosting, you are tasked with configuring and maintaining the server, monitoring security threats, installing software upgrades, and backing up your data. This option is suitable for website developers, businesses with dedicated IT departments, and individuals with a background in technology. This option is cost-effective due to its lower expenses. However, it comes with the potential drawbacks of service disruptions or reduced connection speeds. This is because multiple clients and websites are utilizing the same server resources, including disk space, RAM, and central processing unit (CPU) power.

WordPress Managed Hosting

Due to the widespread use of WordPress as a content management system, numerous web hosting providers now specialize in WordPress-specific hosting. These services not only include web hosting but also offer tailored support and software updates specifically designed for WordPress users. While such hosting options provide benefits like scalability, speed, and enhanced security, they do come with a price ranging from approximately $2 to $30 per month. However, it’s important to note that there are fewer customization options available, as the features are limited to those offered by WordPress.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting involves hosting your website across multiple servers to optimize performance and connection speeds. Although it comes at a higher cost compared to shared hosting, cloud hosting significantly reduces the likelihood of connection or speed issues by efficiently managing traffic surges. This hosting solution provides not only scalability but also features such as backups and disaster recovery.
While these additional services offer valuable benefits, it’s important to note that the pricing structure of cloud hosting providers can be intricate, depending on the level of plan customization.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated web hosting entails exclusive use of an entire server for a single website. This arrangement significantly reduces security and connection concerns since you have sole control over the server. However, this level of dedicated hosting comes at a higher cost.
In specific scenarios, the costs associated with dedicated hosting may be justified. For example, if there’s an anticipation of a substantial increase in website traffic, the potential impact of service disruptions and slow connection speeds on your business could be detrimental. In such instances, investing in a dedicated server becomes worthwhile as it ensures uninterrupted service and rapid connection speeds. Moreover, a dedicated server offers enhanced security, which proves beneficial when handling sensitive information such as credit card details.
Type of Web HostingProsConsAppropriate For
Shared HostingEconomicalIncreased potential for service disruption and slower connection speedsSmall websites Personal blogs Startup websites
VPS HostingAdditional security and customization, while still being relatively economicalMore expensive than shared hostingMedium-sized businesses Professional blogs
WordPress Managed HostingSecurity and speed Ease of useMore expensive than shared hosting Lack of customizationMedium-sized businesses Professional blogs
Cloud HostingMinimizes service disruptions Maintains quick connection speedsCan be confusing to set upHigh-traffic websites
Dedicated HostingMinimizes service disruptions Maintains quick connection speeds Offers additional securityMost expensiveWebsites that maintain personally identifiable information

Web Hosting Cost

Selecting a web hosting plan requires careful consideration of your budget, as costs can vary from a few dollars to several hundred dollars monthly. It’s essential to not only assess the initial price but also take into account the renewal cost, as some providers may offer a lower rate for the first term but substantially increase it upon renewal. Furthermore, it’s important to recognize that certain hosting features may be unnecessary, so prioritize plans that offer the best value.
For instance, lower-cost plans often exclude a domain name and may only support a single website. On the other hand, pricier plans may encompass multiple domains, increased storage and bandwidth, and additional features. Evaluating these factors ensures that you choose a plan that aligns with your needs and provides optimal value.

Average Cost By Hosting Type

Costs differ substantially among different types of web hosting services. Within each category, variations in pricing exist among service providers based on the quality of customer service and the duration of the selected service plan. Broadly speaking, pricing falls within the following ranges: For instance, lower-cost plans often exclude a domain name and may only support a single website. On the other hand, pricier plans may encompass multiple domains, increased storage and bandwidth, and additional features. Evaluating these factors ensures that you choose a plan that aligns with your needs and provides optimal value.
  • Shared web hosting: up to $15 per month
  • VPS web hosting: $18 to $85 per month
  • WordPress managed hosting: $2 to $30 per month
  • Cloud hosting: $5 to $50 per month
  • Dedicated server hosting: $80 to several hundred dollars per month

Website Hosting Cost Factors

There are several factors that go into the cost of website hosting. These include
  • Storage: The amount of data storage your hosting plan allows.
  • Bandwidth: How much traffic you can have on your website without interruption or slow speeds.
  • Number of websites: Depending on the plan, you may be able to host multiple websites with one account.
  • IP addresses: If you need a static IP address with your hosting plan, you may have to pay an additional cost.
  • SSL certificate: An SSL certificate keeps your website secure and safe from hackers. Some hosting plans offer a free SSL certificate, but others may require you to purchase one in addition to the hosting plan.
  • Customer service: Some hosting companies offer 24/7 customer service, while others may only provide limited support. Others will charge a premium but will walk you through fixing things that break on your site.
  • Customization options: Hosting plans that allow for customization and add-ons, such as databases or web servers, will usually cost more.

Fees & Add-Ons

Additional charges from your web hosting provider could include setup fees, which are frequently waived with an upfront payment or contract commitment, domain registration fees, or monthly support fees. Moreover, there might be supplementary services available for purchase to improve your website, such as SEO optimization or additional security features. It is essential to carefully review the terms of your contract and have a clear understanding of the inclusions within your hosting plan before making a commitment.

Do I Need A Web Host?

In the contemporary digital landscape, having a website is imperative for both personal and business purposes. The decision lies between constructing and hosting the site independently or selecting an all-in-one website builder encompassing hosting services. Nevertheless, for those seeking heightened control over their website and desiring access to advanced features, opting for a distinct web hosting service might prove to be the superior choice.
Website BuildersOffers Hosting As Part of Their Plans
ShopifyYes, plans start at $29 per month
WixYes, plans start at $16 per month
SquarespaceYes, plans start at $16 per month
WeeblyYes, offers a free plan
GoDaddyYes, plans start at $9.99 per month

Low-Quality Web Hosting Affects Customer Loyalty

Effective web hosting is crucial for businesses as it directly influences customer experience and loyalty. Our examination of 2,000 participants demonstrated the significant impact of web hosting on customer loyalty, providing statistics that highlight the reactions of site visitors when confronted with underperforming websites.

Website Users Will Wait an Average of 8 Seconds for a Website to Load

According to our survey, the typical site visitor expressed a willingness to wait for up to eight seconds for a website to load. Nevertheless, approximately one-third of respondents identified a more stringent threshold, with expectations set between three to six seconds. This underscores the critical importance of every second in terms of site speed—a key aspect of website performance largely attributed to the responsibility of web hosting.

The Majority of Website Users Find a Slow or Unresponsive Website to be Frustrating

Merely two percent of participants indicated that they don’t perceive a slow website as frustrating, highlighting the overwhelming majority who do find it bothersome. Conversely, 97 percent of respondents expressed frustration with an unresponsive website. While multiple factors contribute to a site’s speed and responsiveness, the quality of its web hosting service stands out as a significant aspect—one that a business can promptly alter to enhance the user experience.

43% of Website Users Will Go to a Competitor if a Business’ Website Doesn’t Load or is Unresponsive

A particularly alarming statistic related to website performance reveals that nearly half of all visitors will opt for a competitor’s site if yours is slow or unresponsive. This not only poses a considerable risk to customer retention but also translates to potential wastage of marketing budget for those investing in driving traffic to their website.

66% Will Not Visit Websites if They Don’t Have “HTTPS” Security

Although businesses frequently prioritize web design, rightfully recognizing its significance, a mere 21 percent of respondents indicated that they would refrain from using an unattractive website. Conversely, almost 7 in 10 respondents asserted that they would not engage with a website lacking security through an HTTPS protocol. While online payment platforms mandate the use of HTTPS, obtaining it is straightforward by installing a freely available SSL certificate from web hosting providers. This statistic underscores the crucial role of securing your site to foster trust among your visitors.

Survey Methodology

This online survey of 2,000 U.S. adults was commissioned by Forbes Advisor and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 points with 95% confidence. This survey was overseen by the OnePoll research team, which is a member of the MRS and has corporate membership with the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

Beyond Hosting: Other Website Setup Considerations

Apart from hosting, there are several other factors to take into account when establishing your website. These factors encompass website builders, domain registration, email hosting, and incorporating ecommerce functionality.

Website Builder

Website builders are software or applications that empower you to construct a website without the necessity for coding. They furnish an array of drag-and-drop templates and frequently incorporate hosting, eliminating the need for a separate plan purchase.

Domain Registration

Your domain name serves as the URL or web address that users enter to reach your website. Typically, you can acquire and register a domain name when enrolling in hosting services, although some web hosting providers may charge an extra fee for domain registration. For businesses, a domain name holds significance as it contributes to establishing a professional online presence.

Email Hosting

Establishing a dedicated email address is crucial for cultivating customer trust. Typically, you have the option to procure email hosting directly from your web host or opt for a separate service, such as Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite). Some web hosts may also incorporate email hosting for free within their hosting plans.

Ecommerce Functionality

If your intention is to sell products or services online, it’s essential to seek out a hosting plan that provides ecommerce functionality. Hosting providers typically furnish ecommerce tools, including payment gateways, shopping carts, and secure checkout pages, facilitating the initiation of your online business.


Forbes Advisor conducted extensive research within the industry, examining numerous web hosting providers and plans. The evaluation involved scoring each provider across five categories of features, assessing 23 different metrics. The weighting favored features deemed valuable by small business owners in a web host.


We did a deep dive into each provider’s pricing options. Focusing on shared hosting, we looked at the starting price of each one’s lowest-priced plan to see what it cost per month, how long of a contract (if any) was required, and what features come with that plan. Then, we looked at each provider’s high-tiered plans with the same scrutiny as well as how much the price increased for each plan upon renewal. We also looked at how many sites each provider covered for hosting under each plan as well as its money-back guarantee. Pricing accounted for 10% of our weighted scoring.


Our expectations for web hosting features were elevated, encompassing not only fundamental aspects that we deemed indispensable for each platform but also additional features that could distinguish a provider from the competition. We evaluated many of these features based on whether they were inclusive in the original plan or available as a paid add-on. Essential features included criteria such as unlimited storage and bandwidth, a free SSL certificate and domain name, one-click WordPress installation, uptime guarantee, and 24/7 support in some form.
Moreover, we assigned weight to distinctive features, including the provision of a Content Delivery Network (CDN), a free business email address, a website builder, automatic backups, and free domain name privacy protection. Collectively, these features constituted 50% of our overall scoring criteria.

Third-party reviews

To gain insights into user experiences with various web hosting platforms, we examined reviews posted by actual users on Trustpilot. Our assessment began by considering the quantity of reviews for each provider, assigning a higher rating to those with positive reviews of 3.5 or higher from a substantial user base of 300 or more. This criterion contributed to 10% of the total score in our evaluation.

Expert analysis

Revisiting customer reviews, our team of experts examined specific criteria that hold significance for users of web hosting platforms. These criteria encompassed factors such as ease of use, value for money, stand-out features, and popularity. The evaluation conducted by our experts contributed to 30% of the overall score in our assessment.

2024 Web Hosting Trends

As the internet undergoes rapid growth and development, the web hosting industry has evolved to meet heightened demands and evolving expectations. The notable shifts in the landscape are evident in the significant web hosting trends for 2024 that are emerging as we transition into the new year.

Fewer On-site Data Centers

Similarly, in the web hosting industry, the cloud is rapidly emerging as the top preference for consumers. Organizations are shifting away from dedicated on-site servers and opting for operations based on third-party, cloud-hosted servers.
Cloud-based servers offer numerous advantages, such as enhanced scaling potential, increased flexibility, cost-effectiveness, the capacity to create backups, heightened security, regular maintenance, and improved software capability. The trend toward cloud computing is anticipated to persist, with the expectation that more entities will transition their operations to the cloud in 2024.

Multicloud Hosting

Multicloud hosting, a practice involving the distribution of a website’s computing tasks across two or more distinct cloud computing platforms, has gained significant popularity in recent years. This model allows certain functions of a site to be executed by one vendor and others by a different one.
The appeal of multicloud hosting lies in its ability to liberate companies from dependency on a single vendor, enabling them to leverage the distinctive benefits and strengths offered by each hosting provider. Anticipated as a strategy to enhance competitiveness in the virtual landscape, multicloud hosting is expected to gain even more popularity in 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you're in search of a web hosting provider to support and propel your business website, IONOS emerges as an ideal solution. Across all their plans, you'll benefit from one year of complimentary domain name registration, a free SSL certificate, and round-the-clock customer service for any unexpected issues.

Earning its place among the best web hosting services, HostGator is distinguished by its exceptional value for money, reliable performance, and a plethora of features designed specifically for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It offers unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and a robust 99% uptime guarantee.

Bluehost has secured its position as one of the most popular web hosting solutions, and for good reason. It presents users with an impressive array of features at budget-friendly prices, making it an excellent choice for beginners in need of dependable web hosting.

If you're considering moving your website from one hosting provider to another, the procedure is generally uncomplicated, although it can differ based on your current web hosting service. Typically, you'll need to generate a backup of your website, retrieve it from your existing host, and subsequently upload it to the new hosting provider. Additionally, it's essential to update your domain name record to direct it to the new server. Your web hosting provider might offer guidance or assistance in this process to facilitate a smooth transition.
To guarantee the efficiency and reliability of your website, it's crucial to opt for a web hosting plan that provides sufficient bandwidth. Bandwidth is the metric that gauges the data transmission capacity between your site and its visitors, usually measured in megabytes or gigabytes per second. A higher bandwidth allows you to accommodate more visitors on your page without experiencing lagging speeds. With many hosts offering various bandwidth levels, it's essential to choose one that aligns with all the requirements of your website.
Web hosting is a service that enables individuals to essentially lease space on the internet, and it is essential for websites to be accessible online. Certain content management systems (CMS), like Squarespace and Wix, incorporate web hosting as part of their monthly subscription. However, if you're constructing a website using WordPress, you'll have to procure web hosting separately from a provider such as IONOS or HostGator.
Various web hosting services are available, with the most common options being shared, VPS (virtual private server), and dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is widely preferred due to its affordability. Nevertheless, VPS and dedicated hosting are favored for their heightened site security and enhanced website performance, particularly among large and well-established websites.
When selecting the optimal web hosting services for your business, you should take into account several factors. Crucial considerations include your website's size, traffic, and goals. Additionally, you'll need to determine the type of hosting that suits your needs—whether it's shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting. Lastly, factors like the inclusion of necessary extras (e.g., domain name or business email) and support through your preferred contact method, such as live chat, phone, or email, should play a role in influencing your decision.
There are some web hosts offering free hosting and domain names but you shouldn’t use them as a business. This is because you’ll have the web host’s domain after yours ( Shared hosting is your cheapest option, and we have a list of the best cheap web hosting services to consider.
Website hosting tends to incur costs due to the competitive nature of the market. Given that many web hosts provide similar features and resources, the key to distinguishing themselves is often by offering additional features, albeit at an extra expense. Moreover, web hosts bear expenses for the servers and infrastructure supporting their websites, along with the provision of round-the-clock customer support.
While it's possible to host your own website, for the majority, this is not the most practical choice. Managing your own servers and software, along with the required expertise to maintain them, can result in higher costs and consume more time compared to using a web hosting company.
Among web hosting options, shared hosting stands out as the most budget-friendly type. It involves hosting multiple websites on the same server, thereby sharing resources and cutting down costs. On the other hand, VPS hosting is characterized by heightened security since each website resides on a virtual private server with dedicated resources. This configuration provides greater control over the server, making it well-suited for larger and more established websites. However, it's important to note that VPS hosting comes with a higher price tag compared to shared hosting.

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