5 Best Web Hosting Companies The Top Ones to Host Your Website

Cai EllisRobert Brandl

By Cai & Robert

Tooltester is supported by readers like yourself. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through our links, which enables us to offer our research for free.

Web hosting is the foundation for your website and it is important to choose the best web hosting company that will serve your website quickly and reliably every time to your visitors.

In this article, we’ll cover the top 5 best web hosting companies for self-hosting your own small business website or blog. This list is essentially for anyone who needs shared web hosting.

We’ve been reviewing web hosts since 2012 and have handpicked these companies from over 20 of the most popular shared web hosts. We narrowed the results down to our top 5 list by rating and reviewing these factors:

  • Speed/Performance
  • Security Features
  • General features
  • Price
  • Customer Support
  • Hosting type (all shared hosting in this case)

Finding the best web host for your website – regardless of whether it’s for business, a blog, or just personal use – is an important task and an integral component for your success.

Listed below, we have provided a variety of choices suitable for more than just small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Be sure to read our full review on each one as not all web hosts are the same and some may be better suited for different purposes than others.

The Best Web Hosts at a Glance

A quick overview of the top 5 choices for best web hosting listing the different purposes we would recommend each one for:

Web HostStarts at:Recommended for:Learn more
InMotion Hosting$9.99/moReliable & quality web hosting for businesses of all sizesView Plans
HostGator$8.95/moAll-purpose web hosting great for blogging & small businessesView Plans
Cloudways$10/moManaged cloud hosting solutions ideal for eCommerce sitesView Plans
iPage$8.99/moCheap hosting for personal use or new sites on a low budgetView Plans
A2 Hosting$10.99/moFast, customizable hosting for developers & businessesView Plans

This table shows the renewal prices. Usually, you will be able to get a reduction for the first term.

InMotion Hosting

Best for Business Websites of All Sizes

Best web hosting company #1 - InMotion Hosting
90 Day Money-Back Guarantee
Starts at: $9.99/mo

InMotion Hosting is one of our top favorites that offers high performance web hosting for thousands of professional businesses worldwide.

InMotion Hosting has the highest level of customer satisfaction between webmasters & web hosting review websites.

Their hosting is suitable for websites of all types and sizes and they offer a wide variety of Linux based plans to choose from—including shared, VPS, & dedicated.

They also offer exceptional reseller plans for web designers & developers.

This web host has higher performance and is more reliable than many of the brand name companies and their leading competitors. InMotion Hosting is recommended for those who manage a business website large or small, and are searching for a strong mix of performance, features, and affordability.

Read our full InMotion review.

Key Features:

  • Linux hosting w/ cPanel
  • Various plans for all sizes
  • Softaculous 1-click installs
  • Business grade hosting
  • Free SSL, SSD, & domain
  • Affordable & reliable
  • A+ customer support
  • Awesome w/ WordPress
  • Great 4 web designers/devs
  • Honest, reputable company

Get started woth InMotion today

HostGator

Best for Blogging & Small Business Hosting

Best web hosting company #2 - HostGator
45 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Starts at: $8.95/mo

HostGator is a well-known web host with years of experience & recognition in the web hosting industry. As one of the top 10 largest web hosts in the world, they have a large base of loyal customers and are trusted by millions.

HostGator offers a wide variety of shared, VPS, cloud, dedicated, and reseller hosting plans suitable for virtually any website. They even offer Windows based servers for those that need it.

Mostly Linux though, you’ll get access to cPanel, 1-click installs via Mojo QuickInstall (not our favorite installer, but it works), and solid performance/uptime.

We highly recommend their cloud plans, which offer better performance than their shared ones and come with a minimal cost increase.

It is a great choice for bloggers and small businesses. Although HostGator is a bit pricey in general, you can get lower pricing when you sign up with longer term (36 month) plans.

All in all, HostGator is a premium web hosting service and another great choice on our list. Read our full HostGator review.

Key Features:

  • Linux hosting w/ cPanel
  • Windows hosting w/ Plesk
  • Various plans for all sizes
  • Cloud hosting available
  • High performance & uptime
  • Mojo 1-click installs
  • Awesome w/ WordPress
  • Great for bloggers
  • Brand name in web hosting

Get started with HostGator today

Cloudways

Best for larger sites & eCommerce

Best web hosting company #3 - Cloudways
Pro-rated refunds

Starts at: $10/mo

Cloudways is a managed hosting platform that offers powerful cloud web hosting from 5 major providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Vultr, and Linode.

These cloud services offer exceptional performance yet are more advanced and complicated to setup (compared to traditional shared hosting plans). Fortunately, Cloudways takes care of the setup for you and makes it easy to launch your site.

We’ve hosted WordPress sites on several accounts with them and they are indeed blazing fast. Customer support is also amazing and they can help you with any requests you may have.

There is no default email hosting with them, but it can be purchased as an addon – although you will need to pay for each email address. If you require many accounts, we’d recommend simply purchasing a separate cPanel shared hosting plan for your email hosting.

All in all, Cloudways is a great choice for WordPress and Drupal sites that need powerful cloud hosting performance.

Key Features:

  • Powerful & affordable
  • Easily scalable
  • Cloud hosting
  • Great performance
  • WordPress & Drupal
  • Ideal 4 large sites
  • Server locations
  • A+ customer support

Get started with Cloudways today

iPage

Best for Personal Use & Cheap Hosting for Starting Out

Best web hosting company #4 - iPage
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Starts at: $8.99/mo

www.ipage.com is a very popular web host known for its low cost (introductory pricing only) and feature-rich shared web hosting plan.

iPage is often awarded highly on independent review websites as they are well suited for webmasters on a tight budget looking for a quick, cheap, and convenient place to host a website.

They have had some bad rep in the past with poor customer support and uptime, but recent data center & hardware improvements have actually boosted performance and customers should now see solid speeds and reliability.

We’ve found customer support is still hit or miss though.

With one of the easiest and most user-friendly control panels (vDeck), iPage contains a variety of tools for customers to easily modify and maintain their web hosting account. They also offer VPS & Dedicated plans along with a variety of add-ons for larger sites.

With numerous web hosting features at such a low introductory cost, iPage is a great choice for those starting out.

One complaint though is that they do renew at a much higher price, so be sure to take advantage of the low introductory price by purchasing their longest term. Read our full iPage review.

Key Features:

  • Super-cheap entry plan
  • Renews at a high price
  • Linux hosting w/ vDeck
  • VPS & Dedicated w/ cPanel
  • Great 4 cheap hosting
  • MOJO 1-click installs
  • WordPress optimized plans
  • Recently improved speeds

View iPage hosting plans

A2 Hosting

Best for Web Developers & Professionals

Best web hosting company #5 - A2 Hosting
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Starts at: $10.99/mo

A2 Hosting is last, but not least on our list. A good alternative to InMotion Hosting, they offer very fast, high performance web hosting services suitable for websites of all sizes.

We highly recommend A2 Hosting as it is one of our personal favorites and is a great choice for web developers, small & medium size businesses, & ecommerce sites.

A2 Hosting is especially popular among web developers due to their quick support & implementation of the latest versions of popular development software and for having customizable, unmanaged plans.

A2 Hosting also has a “Developer Access” solution to help the account owner grant permissions to their web developer for accessing the hosting account without having to share their master login details. This is a very convenient & safer feature for both the account owner and their developers.

They are also well optimized for WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. They are a bit pricey with add-ons, but you get what you pay for – high performance & premium features.

Read our full A2 Hosting review.

Key Features:

  • Linux hosting w/ cPanel
  • Various plans for all sizes
  • Great 4 web designers/devs
  • Softaculous 1-click installs
  • Unmanaged plans available
  • Fast, reliable performance
  • A2 Optimized WordPress
  • A+ customer support
  • New, improved site staging

Get started with A2 Hosting today

Jay Douglas at the InMotion Hosting data center in Los Angeles, CA

A picture of Jay Douglas, a former web hosting reviewer, at InMotion Hosting’s data center in Los Angeles, CA., reviewing server specs.

SEND US FEEDBACK!

Have you used any of the companies above? Please leave a comment with any particular pros or cons of the host. We would love to hear what particular features (or lack of features) it had (or didn’t have) to support your needs.

What Makes These Web Hosts the Best?

We’ve been reviewing and rating web hosts for a long time now. As we mentioned above, these companies on our list do vary and are best suited for small business websites with different purposes and needs.

There will always be specific requirements your website may need. However, in general, there are 5 key factors to consider with any web host:

1. Performance

Your website’s uptime and speed is vital for your success and it’s important to go with a web hosting company that continually utilizes the latest technologies and trends to increase both the speed and reliability of your website.

Whether it be implementing NGINX with PHP 7.1, Memcached, and HHVM or adding dual-city grid power feeds for redundancy, it is important for a web hosting company to continually implement the latest performance & reliability optimizations within their infrastructure.

We continually test and monitor the speeds of popular web hosts and have a dedicated page with a list of the fastest web hosts, which is based purely off speed and uptime.

On your end of things, you should also make sure your website is optimally configured for speed. We have a guide detailing different steps you can take to improve your website’s loading speed.

Furthermore, you can monitor and test it using Dotcom-Tools’ speed test checker.

2. Security

Security is a fundamental aspect that is vital for any web host. Hosting companies must use security standards and should be SAS 70 Type 1 certified and ISO 27001/PCI DSS compliant.

While it is your responsibility to implement security on your physical website’s end, your web host must keep the server and datacenter it is hosted within secure and safe from threats, such as mitigating DDoS attacks.

Although many web hosts nowadays do also offer basic security and hardening for your website as well.

3. Features

Specific features that a web host supports can also be very import and a critical factor to consider. While most web hosts support all the features a typical small business owner may need, web developers with specific development requirements should carefully check the web host in question to ensure it can meet their needs.

4. Price

Price is naturally a factor every consumer considers before purchasing. Online businesses both large and small must budget their resources appropriately.

It is important to allocate enough of your budget for web hosting as it is a necessary expense of managing your website. That being said, some small business websites with low traffic can get by with cheaper hosting plans and limited features.

We do have a dedicated page with a list of the best cheap web hosting and the best cheap WordPress hosting.

5. Hosting Type

Not only are there numerous web hosting companies to choose from, but there are a variety of hosting types with different hosting plans out there as well.

For example, most small businesses and individuals require a type of web hosting called shared web hosting.

Midsize businesses may require a type called VPS web hosting and large businesses may require a type called dedicated web hosting.

Each type offers a different level of performance, security, & features for a multitude of different websites. It is important to understand the type of web hosting you’ll need.

We’ve outlined the 3 most popular types, which you can learn more about in detail by clicking the links below:

Shared Hosting

Shared web hosting
A shared web hosting plan is the most popular type for hosting a website. It’s very practical and affordable, which makes it a perfect choice for small business owners & individuals. We don’t want to get too technical, but a shared hosting account is basically hosted on a server that shares its resources (CPU, RAM, etc) among many different clients.

VPS Hosting

VPS web hosting
VPS web hosting is an intermediary option between shared and dedicated hosting. It essentially offers better performance for larger websites that have outgrown a shared hosting account. It also offers better security, root access, and various other benefits since a VPS server is partitioned into independent “virtual” servers given to each customer.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated web hosting
Dedicated web hosting is primarily meant for large businesses and organizations that require the full power, security, and customizability of an entire server. Some large websites may even require multiple servers. This is the most expensive option typically meant for very large, resource intensive websites with massive amounts of traffic.

In addition to web hosting, you will also need to register a domain name, which can usually be done through your web host or a domain name registrar. Although your web host may offer a free domain with purchase of a hosting plan, it’s recommended that you keep your domain name separate in case you ever need to migrate.

QUICK TIP

Most web hosts offer a 30-day money back guarantee. You have a whole month to try it, test it, and see if you like it!

Cai Ellis

SEO Manager

Hi! My name is Cai. Over the years, I've used countless hosting providers, built innumerable ecommerce stores and picked up a bit of SEO know-how too. If you've got questions about these or any related subjects, I'll be happy to help!

Robert Brandl

Founder and CEO

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl, and I am the founder of Tooltester. I used to work in a digital marketing agency where I managed website and email marketing projects. To optimize my client's campaigns, I always had to find the optimal web tools. Tooltester (founded in 2010) opens this knowledge to you, hopefully saving you endless hours of research. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. You can also find me on LinkedIn.

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