The best web hosting providers for your needs tried and tested
Wondering how to find the best web hosting provider? It’s easy! All you have to do is check out 160+ hosts, analyze product ranges, compare control panels, explore their tools, build a site or two, try out support and run some in-depth uptime and speed tests.
If that sounds a little time-consuming, you’d be right, but fortunately our team of expert reviewers has done the hard work already. We’ve tried and tested them on features such as ease of use, speed, uptime, price, trustworthiness, and more, by setting up a test website to host on each provider.
All you have to do is scroll down and you’ll find everything you need on our twelve best web hosting providers: their strengths, weaknesses, pricing, and how they could be the best choice for your web hosting needs.
In this article we’re focusing on general consumer and small business web hosting providers, but if that’s not quite what you need, we also have specialist guides on the
Best web hosting services – our top 3
While the competition is cut-throat, Bluehost continues to impress in almost every aspect, delivering the complete package of speed, security, versatility, and most importantly, superb reliability for just $2.75 per month.
Hostinger gives TechRadar Pro readers the chance to get an additional discount on Premium shared hosting, at just $2.59 per month for a 12-month subscription. It includes 100 GB SSD storage, a free domain, free SSL and a free email.
3. Hostgator has the best shared hosting service
Hostgator has surprised us with an exclusive offer that delivers some of the best shared hosting features we’ve seen for a very long time, with a slew of freebies like domain names, an SSL certificate and marketing money from only $2.64 per month.
The best web hosting services of 2022
Bluehost (opens in new tab) has been rated the top web host by WordPress.org, the organization that oversees the development of the world’s most popular CMS (Image credit: Bluehost)
Bluehost (opens in new tab) tops our web hosting provider scoreboard for its vast range of feature-packed plans, easy setup, reliable network and great live chat support to help keep your site running smoothly.We tested its 10GB single-site shared hosting plan, which we recommend for hosting newbies as it costs $2.75 a month billed annually ($9.99 on renewal), and offers a website builder, WordPress integration, free CDN, and a free domain and SSL for the first year. Upgrading gets you unlimited sites and storage, automated backups and assorted other extras (depending on the plan.)
Bluehost’s starter WordPress plans are priced the same, but with important feature tweaks. WordPress comes preinstalled, so you can start right away. We used the Bluehost Marketplace to find gorgeous themes, feature-packed plugins and more. You can manage multiple WordPress sites from an easy-to-use web dashboard, and expert live chat support agents can help you with WordPress and regular hosting questions.
If you’re looking for something a little simpler, Bluehost’s Website Builder (priced from $2.95 a month billed annually) enables building good-looking sites by little more than dragging and dropping. It’s super-easy to use, yet so powerful that the top plans ($24.95 a month billed annually) can even build feature-packed web stores.
There’s plenty to like here for experts, too, from value VPS and configurable dedicated hosting, to hosted WooCommerce plans, business-friendly Google Workspace hosting, domain registration, and even migration support to easily move an existing site to your Bluehost account
Hostinger (opens in new tab) sells itself on value, and two or three seconds into checking it out, the service specs reveal why. Its starter All-In-One package is only $2.99 billed annually ($8.99 on renewal), but gets you 100GB storage, unmetered traffic, free SSL, a free domain for year one, support for 100 websites, a choice of six data centers, automatic backups, managed WordPress, 1GB email storage, a virus scanner, spam filter and more.
Hostinger doesn’t bury a host of hidden catches in the small print, either. SSL won’t cost you extra after year one, for instance: it’s free for the lifetime of your account.
Hostinger’s WordPress support is a major highlight. If you’re just looking to run a small blog, the baseline account supports a single site, 30GB of storage, 100GB of monthly bandwidth and free SSL from as little as $1.99 a month on the four-year account (a bargain $95.52 up-front), rising to $3.99 on renewal.
Three further WordPress plans add more features, but even the business-friendly WordPress Pro account (with support for 300 websites, 200GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, daily backups, Cloudflare CDN and more) is still only $11.59 a month on the four-year plan, $19.99 on renewal.
Although, unlike Bluehost, Hostinger doesn’t offer dedicated hosting plans, which is perhaps an issue for business users who need the fastest possible speeds. But its cloud hosting plans give you dedicated system resources, which the company claims can deliver 4x times great speeds.
And a wide range of VPS plans get close to dedicated servers in power, with the $77.99 a month high-end plan offering an 8-core, 16GB RAM monster with an enterprise-level 12TB of monthly bandwidth. Our test proved this web host to be a top quality provider.
With 20+ years in the business, HostGator (opens in new tab) has grown into a top-notch web hosting provider with products for every level of user.
Similar to both Bluehost and Hostinger, shared hosting is a highlight for HostGator, with even the cheapest Hatching plan offering unlimited bandwidth and disk space, a free domain for a year, free SSL for the lifetime of your plan, one-click WordPress installation and a bundled website builder. There’s a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, and HostGator will even move a simple website from your existing site to your new space, for free.
Prices are good too, at $2.75 a month on the three-year plan, $3.95 billed annually (both renew at $6.95.)
HostGator’s WordPress plans are a little more expensive, with prices starting from $5.95 a month over three years ($9.95 on renewal), but they also add essential features such as backups and malware protection, which are often paid extras elsewhere.
More demanding users can choose from three VPS and three dedicated hosting plans, and if you’re the ambitious type, you could even start your own hosting business via HostGator’s reseller plans.
Their high-end products aren’t as configurable as we’ve seen elsewhere, and starting prices are relatively high, but specs are good, and you’ll likely have more than enough power for most sites.
Whatever type of hosting you’re after, the industry-standard cPanel combined with HostGator’s own feature-packed web dashboard, did a good job of helping manage our web space and account. And if you do run into trouble, no problem: HostGator’s phone and live chat support has solved most of our problems within minutes.
(Image credit: GoDaddy)
US-based GoDaddy (opens in new tab) is a web hosting giant with an absolutely huge range of products. There’s shared, VPS and dedicated hosting; WordPress support covering everything from simple personal blogs to full-featured WooCommerce-powered web stores; an easy-to-use website builder, email and Microsoft 365 hosting, digital marketing tools, domain registration, payment processing, point-of-sale systems, and the list goes on (and on, and on.)
GoDaddy has a decent range of four shared hosting plans. All include a choice of data centers in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific; daily backups, and unusual extras such as free Microsoft 365 mailboxes for the first year. But they look a little underpowered in other areas: the lower two plans have no free SSL, and the cheapest paid SSL certificate is $94.99 a year.
Shared hosting prices are higher than most, too, with the single site 100GB Economy plan costing $5.99 a month on the three-year plan, $8.99 on renewal. But GoDaddy’s billing is surprisingly flexible, and if you’re confident you’ll like the service, you can lock in those savings with a five and even a ten-year plan.
We found GoDaddy delivers a high quality service for your money, too. The well-designed web dashboard is easy to use; an automated installer sets up WordPress and 150+ other top web apps in a click or two; and the industry-standard cPanel has every tool you’ll need to manage your web space.
This all worked well for us, but if you do need help, GoDaddy more than delivers with its detailed knowledge base, and multilingual live chat and phone support available in a very impressive 15+ languages.
Founded in California back in 2008, GreenGeeks (opens in new tab) proudly claims to be the ‘world’s #1 green energy web hosting provider’, and this isn’t just marketing speak: the company takes real action to back it up.
This doesn’t just involve designing its platform to be as energy-efficient as possible; GreenGeeks also promises that for every amperage it uses, it invests three times that in renewable energy, helping to reduce future carbon emissions.
GreenGeeks’ star products are its powerful shared hosting plans. Even the cheapest offers unmetered bandwidth, a free domain for a year, nightly backups, 50 email accounts, multi-user access, and free SSL for the lifetime of the account. Prices start low at $2.95 a month on the three-year plan, although they jump to an above-average $10.95 on renewal.
GreenGeeks’ VPS and dedicated server plans are available for high traffic sites. These look a little more expensive than most providers, but that’s largely because they don’t have any ‘70% off for the first year’-type introductory offer. But they’re well specified – even the baseline $39.95 a month 2GB plan includes 10TB of monthly traffic – and deliver far better performance than the shared offerings.
During our test, we found that GreenGeeks didn’t quite match the top hosting providers in every area. There are multiple data centers, for instance, but only in North America and Europe. Phone support is limited to 9am-12am EST Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm at weekends. But on balance this is a likable service which shows that green hosting isn’t just about making eco-friendly gestures: you can find some capable products, too.
InMotion Hosting (opens in new tab) is a popular provider with 20+ years of hosting experience, and an impressive array of plans covering all kinds of applications.
This starts with capable shared, website builder and WordPress products. There’s free SSL and prices start from only $2.49 a month for three years’ service ($8.99 on renewal.)
But InMotion offers plenty more, from configurable VPS plans, to powerful dedicated servers, and enterprise-level hosted private cloud solutions. However demanding your website might be, InMotion Hosting has the power to help.
InMotion’s reseller hosting should appeal to anyone who wants to take a stab at becoming a web hosting provider. 80GB of SSD storage and 800GB of bandwidth can be yours from only $15.39 a month on the two-year plan. We were able to divide this between up to 25 customers. Everyone gets cPanel to help manage their web space, and the bundled WHMCS manages all the accounts and billing for you.
If you’re feeling ambitious, upgrading gets you more storage, bandwidth and cPanel accounts. You can resell more powerful VPS plans from $39.99 a month, and WordPress VPS hosting gets you a 4GB RAM, 2 CPU VPS with five cPanel licenses for only $19.99 a month.
Whatever your preference, InMotion works harder than most to help keep your site running smoothly. There’s 24/7 phone, email and live chat support, tickets, a support website, even a community forum to chat with others. And if it still doesn’t work out, most plans are protected by a market-leading 90 day money-back guarantee period.
Domain.com (opens in new tab) may be best known as a domain registrar, but it also offers surprisingly capable shared hosting, and one or two more powerful services than you might expect.
Its easy-to-use website builder is ideal for web design newbies, in our opinion. Drag and drop pre-built sections and page layouts to construct your site, and add a blog, contact form, social media sharing tools and more. Every site gets free SSL for the lifetime of the account. Prices start at a tiny $1.99 a month ($4.99 on renewal) for a simple six-page site, while the eCommerce plan supports unlimited pages and building some professional web stores for only $12.99 ($14.99 on renewal.)
Shared hosting is fair value, with prices starting at $3.75 a month billed annually (there’s no monthly option), $4.99 on renewal, for a single website, with free SSL and unlimited storage. Your web space is managed via a very limited dashboard, not even close to matching cPanel, but it covers the basics and you should have your site up and running fairly quickly.
Domain.com’s starter WordPress hosting is short on features, but still delivers unlimited storage, free SSL, and pre-installed plugins and themes from only $3.75 billed annually. What’s most interesting is Domain.com’s WP Live, which gives you specialist WordPress support and design guidance from $29 a month, while the $149 a month WP Live Pro gets you help optimizing content, your landing page, mobile performance and more. Even if you only sign up for a one-off month, getting professional advice on your initial website design could be a huge plus.
8. LIQUID WEB
Unlike the more consumer-oriented competition, Liquid Web doesn’t focus on cutting corners to hit some spectacular headline price. Instead, it builds fast and top-quality products first, and then just charges you whatever they happen to be worth.
Take Liquid Web’s VPS plans, for instance. They’re crammed with high-end features (Linux or Windows hosting, Plesk and cPanel management, root access, DDoS protection, Cloudflare CDN, and more), and the website claims they’re also faster than AWS, Rackspace or Digital Ocean. Would you expect them to be cheaper than everyone else? Of course not.
The service quality is obvious, everywhere you look. Your host has three or four data centers? Liquid Web has ten. Most providers claim 99.9% uptime; Liquid Web quotes 99.999%. The company doesn’t just make vague promises about speedy support; its Service Level Agreement guarantees a live chat or telephone response time of under 59 seconds, with hosting credits if this doesn’t happen.
All this power comes at a cost, and Liquid Web’s baseline prices are higher than most competitors. But they’re also fair value for the quality of the service, and still very affordable.
Liquid Web’s one site, 15GB managed WordPress plan is $15.83 a month billed annually, for instance, almost eight times the price of Hostinger’s starter WordPress product. But it’s also faster, more capable and with way more professional features, and if that’s more important to you than price, Liquid Web’s plan might be the real bargain.
Namecheap (opens in new tab) was founded way back in 2000 as a domain registrar, but over the years it’s grown to offer a vast range of products and services. We’re not just talking ‘domains with some basic shared hosting on the side’: Namecheap also has WordPress, VPS, dedicated and reseller accounts, business email hosting, spam filtering, premium DNS, cloud storage, a CDN, even a VPN. There’s a good chance you could find all the web-related products you need on Namecheap’s site.
Plans are generally good value, with low starting prices and some unexpected features. Shared hosting is priced from $2.18 a month billed annually ($4.48 on renewal), for instance. The catch is SSL comes free for the first year only. But pluses include free site migration, a CDN, a domain for a year with website privacy, twice weekly backups, and support for hosting up to three websites (many budget plans limit you to one.)
It’s a similar story of value products with unexpected features in Namecheap’s WordPress hosting. Even the company’s most expensive plan (EasyWP Supersonic) is only $4.57 a month billed annually ($9.07 on renewal), but that gets you a site capable of 500K visitors a month, with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a free CDN for the best possible performance.
We found that Namecheap’s VPS and dedicated products aren’t quite as competitive. Prices are reasonable and there are plenty of configuration options, but they don’t cover every need (there’s no Windows hosting, for instance.) But even here, Namecheap generally does a good job, and overall it’s a great hosting provider for those on a tight budget.
Hostwinds (opens in new tab) is a capable web hosting provider with some very configurable products which work for home and more demanding business users.
Shared hosting is priced from only $3.74 a month on the three-year plan, for instance (renewing at $4.99.) But a decent set of features includes free SSL, a free dedicated IP, a website builder, and easy WordPress installation. And optional extras include Hostwinds Monitoring, where the company monitors your site, and automatically opens a ticket if the site is down. (That’s $24 a year, but if it gets your site back up more quickly, that could be a price worth paying.)
Plans become even more configurable as you head up the range. VPS hosting is available in both Linux and Windows flavors, for example, and in managed (Hostwinds maintains the server for you) and cheaper unmanaged (you handle the technical stuff yourself) forms.
Hostwinds really excels with its dedicated server range. Prices start at $122 a month for a single CPU, four cores, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD system with 10TB of outbound traffic. That’s already enough for many tasks, but Hostwinds has much more: you can choose from 13 base servers, then add up to ten SSD or HDD storage devices, use from 8 to 32GB RAM, opt for your favorite Linux distro (or Windows server), and set your bandwidth allowance to anything from 10TB to unmetered.
Add one or two optional extras (backups are $1 a month plus storage costs, Hostwinds Monitoring is just $2 a month) and you’ll have a capable system ready for even the most business-critical tasks.