Want to jump straight to my top-pick? The best web hosting provider overall is, without a doubt, CloudWays. That’s my host!
Choosing the right web hosting service is critical to your online success.
A good web host will give you lightning-quick loading times and great security for your visitors, making them eager to come back for more. A bad web host will do the opposite: driving your visitors away for giving them a bad experience.
Suffice it to say, you must get this right.
What Makes a Good Web Host?
There are thousands of web hosting providers out there competing for your subscription. In addition, several influencers will tell you how supposedly excellent a given host is without letting you know they’re just paid to say that — and don’t actually believe in the product.
That can make it hard to make the right decision. To pick the right one, we’ve got to look for:
- Fast Server Speeds
- Great Customer Support
- Good deals
- Solid Security
- Proven Track Records
I’ve been working for years in the web industry, and I have worked with countless different web hosting services. From my rich experience, I’ll give you a truly unbiased ranking of the best hosts out there.
I had to go through several hosts before I found one I really loved. In this guide, I’ll help you skip through sifting through garbage and bring you right to the best of the best. There are a lot of hosts out there that straight-up manufacture fake reviews and suppress negative feedback. All of these are 100% legit.
Let’s dig in.
Who Are The Best Web Hosts?
The best web hosts will provide you with fast loading times, solid security features, an intuitive UI, extensive integrations, and a greater than 99% uptime.
My top three picks are CloudWays, Kinsta, and DreamHost, based on meeting those criteria. CloudWays is the service I use for my own hosting needs.
Any web host worth its salt will be looking to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible price. In case those three don’t meet your needs for whatever reason, here’s my complete list of the top web hosts for you to choose from:
- CloudWays: #1 Best Overall Web Host
- Kinsta: Amazing All-In-One WordPress Solution
- DreamHost: Best for Value and Affordability
- SiteGround: Fast Provider With Great Customer Support
- NameHero: Lighting-Quick Host Top-Rated for Customer Care
#1 Best Overall Web Host
Way back when I launched my first website on WordPress, I used a host that was highly recommended to me by several very high-profile influencers in this space.
I had read their glowing reviews, and naturally — in my newbie ignorance — I took their word for it, expecting an amazing experience when I used them.
Boy, was I wrong.
That host was terrible — and I mean it. The loading speed was horrendous, the UI was dated, and the support system was highly suspect (I couldn’t even upload screenshots).
I realized I was completely betrayed by the people I thought I could trust! It turns out they only recommended that web host due to their especially generous affiliate program — they didn’t even use the host themselves.
I scoured forums, comment sections, tech websites, and more to find out who the real best host was. After combing through a few of the best candidates, I finally found CloudWays.
Their website was beautiful. The customer support was articulate and extremely knowledgeable. The servers were lightning-quick, and the UI was world-class.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that I found the one. If web hosts were cars, CloudWays would be a Rolls Royce.
Best Web Host for Customization
When it comes to how much you can customize your server — the applications, server providers, coding, and more — there is no contest to CloudWays.
I don’t know of any other web hosts who allows you to pick from five of the world’s best server providers like CloudWays does:
The overwhelming majority of web hosts simply use one server provider and that’s that.
It may not necessarily be a bad server provider, but why gamble when you can choose exactly what you’re getting with CloudWays?
Great For All Experience Levels
I’ve seen CloudWays described as “the best web host for experienced users.” While I certainly believe that’s true, it’s not bad for beginners either.
First of all, their UI is so intuitive that anyone can understand it. They also have extensive tutorials available for newcomers. If that’s not enough, their world-class customer care is ready to help 24/7.
My first web host tried to use my inexperience to trick me into paying for add-ons that I didn’t need. I bought a few of them and found out later that my website was full of bloat plug-ins — all of which had free (and better) alternatives!
CloudWays never attempted any of that sort of grifting. That’s another reason I actually consider it to be the best choice for beginners and professionals alike.
Oh, and if you are a professional — believe me, you will be more than satisfied. The customizability you get with CloudWays is second to none.
CloudWays’ incredible speeds can largely be attributed to their Thunderstack, which they describe as “a PHP stack packed with the world’s best server software, installed on the world’s best cloud providers.”
I can personally attest to the massive boost in speed I experienced immediately after switching to CloudWays. Their crazy loading times are one of the main reasons I think they’re the best web hosting service.
Free Site Migration
If you are in the same position I was with a bad host, CloudWays makes it extremely easy to migrate your website over to them.
Before I did, I was so worried that it would be a complicated process! Turns out, all I had to do was install a plug-in and they took care of the rest.
I was running my migrated website lightning-quick on CloudWays the very same hour I signed up!
CloudWays Is My Web Host!
If you want an example of a website hosted by CloudWays, you’re looking at one right now!
My server runs on Digital Ocean servers hosted by CloudWays, and I’ve had nothing but great experiences.
When I was doing my research, I read one user exclaim that “there is no perfect host.” I’m a little skeptical though because CloudWays has been pretty perfect to me.
Because of the broad customizability, pricing for CloudWays can vary massively. Here I’ll include pricing for standard Digital Ocean servers, their most popular choice:
While they don’t have a 30-day money-back guarantee, they DO have a three-day free trial that will give plenty of time to evaluate their hosting services. Oh, and you get a free SSL certificate too 🙂
Premium Managed WordPress Hosting
If you’re not looking for WordPress web hosting, you can gloss over this one. That said, the vast majority of readers will be — so let’s continue.
Kinsta’s goal is to be the single-greatest WordPress platform on the planet, and they’ve done a darn good job working towards that goal. If the category is JUST WordPress hosting, they’re easily in the top two.
Once you’re set up in Kinsta, it’s easy to manage your website from their oh-so-intuitive MyKinsta dashboard.
From MyKinsta, it’s extremely easy to troubleshoot, collaborate, get support, and more. It truly is the ultimate WordPress solution. You can actually demo the MyKinsta dashboard free for 60 days.
Kinsta uses cutting-edge technology like LXD software containers, PHP 8.0, Nginx, MariaDB, and computer-optimized VMs — all powered by Google Cloud — to make sure your website loads lightning-quick.
This all comes with the peace of mind of their high-security network. It’s the ultimate managed hosting service.
A WordPress Solution for Everyone
Kinsta has set out to be the ultimate host for everyone seeking to host a WordPress site — no matter where they come from or what their goals are.
They have custom-tailored WordPress hosting solutions for:
- Small Businesses
- Membership Sites
No matter what you’re aiming to achieve with WordPress, you can’t go wrong with Kinsta.
Amazing WordPress Solution
As I mentioned before, Kinsta’s goal is to be the ultimate solution in WordPress, and they’re doing an amazing job working towards that goal.
If you need to host a WordPress website, Kinsta should absolutely be one of your top choices for consideration. I can practically guarantee you’ll be satisfied with them.
Kinsta’s a little expensive and doesn’t offer as much value-for-money as CloudWays. However, it is still without a doubt an incredible product and WordPress solution (it wouldn’t be here otherwise!).
For yearly plans, you can get a better deal in exchange for your commitment.
Fast and Secure Web Host
DreamHost satisfies over 1.5 million active customers with its award-winning web hosting service.
You can rely on them for fast, secure hosting for any of your websites. Their service is super easy to use, ever-reliable, and full-featured with 24/7 support to guide you along each step of the way.
They have a huge assortment of presets for any kind of customer, such as:
- WordPress hosting
- Website hosting
- Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
You can’t really go wrong here. They even offer a 100% uptime guarantee on their servers.
WP Website Builder
If you’re coming to DreamHost looking to start a WordPress website, you’re in the right place.
DreamHost has developed an industry-leading free website builder that allows users to easily create stunning WordPress websites. This will allow you to get your ideas online quickly and hit the ground running.
Even coming from nothing, it’s incredibly easy to start a WordPress website with DreamHost. If you already have a website, they offer free and easy site migration.
DreamHost has a crack team of web developers at your service to solve any web problem you might have. If it needs doing, they can do it.
Their services include:
- Web design
- Web marketing
- Site management
- Web development
They can also help grow your website’s audience with marketing services, SEO marketing, and social media marketing.
A Very Solid Web Hosting Choice
DreamHost is an all-around great option for web hosting and you can absolutely trust them to get the job done right. Their plethora of hosting options — all powered by Google Cloud — score them major points with me.
Their additional services focused on helping you grow your website are also available to help you expand. You can absolutely trust DreamHost to get the job done.
Pricing on DreamHost varies a lot due to the multitude of server options I discussed before. That said, I’ll list show the monthly pricing for their most popular plans here:
They also offer a free domain name and a free SSL certificate with their hosting services.
Host Famous for Client Happiness
SiteGround has been hosting WordPress websites since 2014 and since has become famous for its client satisfaction rate. They’ve invested tremendous resources in their customer support, meaning it will always be easy for you to get the help you need.
In addition to great customer support, they also pride themselves on server performance. With SiteGround, you can expect fast loadings times for your website in addition to 99% uptime. It’s all-around a very solid choice, hence its placement on my list.
World-Class Customer Support
The importance of having a quality customer support system available isn’t something that can be stressed enough. You never know what issues you’ll run into with hosting your website, so it’s critical you have the help you need.
Fortunately, SiteGround makes itself an easy choice in this regard.
If you need a quick answer, their chat function will always yield a real person from your own time zone ready to help. If you prefer phone or email, that’s absolutely an option too.
SiteGround has a unique, hand-crafted tech stack running on Google Cloud to deliver you maximum performance.
If you’re hosting a WordPress website, they also have a unique plug-in to further enhance performance. If performance is a concern for you, then SiteGround should be one of your top candidates.
Multiple Hosting Options
SiteGround offers a multitude of hosting options for whatever you need, including:
- Web Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- WooCommerce Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Reseller Hosting
They’re striving to be a be-all, end-all destination for whatever hosting you need. I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job.
An Excellent Host All-Around
SiteGround is a proven host with an amazing 99.7% client happiness rate. Whether you’re hosting WordPress or anything else, SiteGround has got you covered.
If you’re worried switching to SiteGround may be a headache, don’t be. The website transfer process is incredibly easy, and their world-class customer support is always there to help.
Here’s the pricing for SiteGround’s most popular hosting plans:
Again, they also offer different types of hosting — such as cloud. Those prices will be different.
Fast and Easy Web Hosting
NameHero is a breath of fresh air in so many regards. Lightning-quick speeds? Quality customer care? Solid security? Supreme reliability? It has all that, and at a great price.
If you’re just starting out, NameHero has a great website builder to help you hit the ground running. If you’re moving over from a new host, NameHero offers free, fast, and easy website migration.
“WordPress on Steroids”
If you’re looking for a home for your WordPress website, NameHero is a fantastic choice. NameHero will provide you with complete power over your WordPress website and give you the speed and security needed for success.
Their one-click management system enables you to control all essential functions from their dashboard. In regards to speed, their LiteSpeed native optimization will mean incredible loading times for your website. All of this comes secured by their AI-powered Security Shield that will automatically stop malicious login attempts and patch holes in your security.
They want to be the ultimate WordPress hosting solution, hence their “WordPress on steroids” moniker. I’d say they’re doing a very good job.
Beautiful Website Templates
If you’re just starting your website, NameHero has stunning website templates available for you to use. Whether you’re starting an eCommerce website, hotel landing page, food review blog, or anything else — they have you covered.
It’s super easy to select one of their wonderful templates and modify it to your pleasure with their drag-and-drop editor. It’s really everything you need to get a really professional look.
A Simple, Fast, and Effective Host
NameHero is an all-around wonderful host (they wouldn’t be here if they weren’t!). I chose them for this list because of their fast speeds, great customer support, beginning-friendly experience, and advanced tools.
That’s not even the best part, though: you can try this all out for free with their free trial.
Here’s the annual pricing for NameHero’s most popular cloud hosting plans. While purchasing hosting for a year or longer can require some commitment and trust, NameHero has earned it.
What Types of Web Hosting Are There?
There are several different types of web hosts that you should consider very carefully based on what your exact needs are.
The general rule to follow is that the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. You may only need a very casual website that a few people visit per month, and a shared hosting plan is fine for that.
On the other hand, you may be a big ecommerce business that needs a dedicated host. Together, we’ll explore the options and let you make the decision.
Shared hosting is when multiple websites are hosted alongside each other on the same server.
Server Graphics Credit: SiteSaga
The main benefit of shared hosting is cost-effectiveness, which makes it one of the cheapest and most popular options available.
As I mentioned before, the cheapest option is obviously going to have some performance drawbacks. The fact that you’re sharing resources is going to mean your website can draw the short straw in terms of loading speed.
Moving to shared hosting from any other type of host is going to be a downgrade.
However, shared hosting may be perfectly fine for you if you’re hosting a casual website or simply can’t afford anything else.
When we refer to VPS servers, we’re talking about Virtual Private Hosting.
VPS servers are kind of like shared hosting, where you share a web server with other websites. However, the difference is that your partitioned resources are dedicated and strictly defined.
With this kind of hosting, you don’t have to worry about another neighbor’s website hogging all the server’s resources and slowing you down.
Keep in mind VPS hosting still falls short of the performance of other more powerful types of hosting. This creates a nice balance of affordability and functionality.
Cloud hosting uses a network of virtual servers to run your website in the cloud instead of one single server.
This is a pretty amazing advancement in hosting technology for a few reasons:
Firstly, because it provides the user with unprecedented flexibility in scaling their resources, cloud hosting makes it possible to combine the resources of several virtual servers into a single platform.
Secondly, it makes it substantially more difficult to try and DDoS. Why? Simply because it’s not in one place — cloud-hosted servers have multiple locations and entry points.
Thirdly, the inherent redundancy of cloud hosting means it’s much more difficult for your website to go offline at all.
With a regular hosting solution — such as shared hosting — your server going down means your website going down. With cloud hosting, a single outage won’t hurt your website thanks to being spread out to multiple servers.
In my opinion, the best cloud web host is CloudWays.
Dedicated server hosting is when you lease an entire server dedicated solely to your website.
This gives you maximum control over your operation and is traditionally the ultimate enterprise solution (though cloud hosting is fast becoming one as well).
To be clear, there are different kinds of dedicated server hosting too.
If someone says, “We run our website on a dedicated server,” they could mean that they literally run a server out of their office themselves or that they pay another company to do that for them.
That said, you get a general idea, and going into too much nuance would be out of the scope of this article.
Web Hosting FAQs
This section will quickly answer a few questions I’ve often received about web hosting. These should clear up the majority of questions you may have.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the service that allows people like you or me to own space on the World Wide Web.
This is done with servers, which is where all the parts of your website — code, images, and everything else — live, and are broadcast across the world.
There are different kinds of hosting, such as shared, cloud, dedicated, and VPS, which we talked about above.
How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?
How much your web host will cost varies tremendously based on precisely what you need.
That said, pricing for web hosts is highly competitive across the board — meaning you’ll generally always be getting a good deal. Most hosts are going to throw super-amazing deals in your face — the only thing you’ve got to be wary of is hidden costs.
The host I most highly recommend for both cost-effectiveness and honest pricing is CloudWays, without a doubt.
What is the Cheapest Type of Hosting?
The cheapest type of web hosting is definitely going to be shared hosting, where it’s not uncommon to find plans at less than $3 a month.
The primary advantage of shared hosting is definitely going to be the price. While it’s not necessarily going to be terrible, you’ll be dealing with lower-than-optimal server performance.
If you’re running a very casual site — such as a personal web portfolio or a resume — that may be completely fine. However, if you’re running a business that you plan on growing, I recommend other options.
What Does “Server Uptime” Mean?
The term “server uptime” refers to the amount of time your web server is online and functioning as intended.
When you’re server is down, it’s not doing its job, you’re losing money, and you’re looking bad in front of your customers. Therefore, it’s pretty critical that you pick a web host that guarantees over 99% uptime.
Now to be clear, any web host that wants to stay in business is going to have downtime be as nonexistent as possible. However, some web hosts — such as DreamHost — go beyond the call of duty and offer 100% uptime.
Can I Run My Own Server?
Can you? Absolutely. Should you? Probably not.
Hosting your website — on your own server — is an extremely intensive process in the modern era. You would have to purchase an expensive server computer, install the software, set up the files, and then post them online manually.
We haven’t even talked about security and performance optimization. Hosting on your own would be an extremely expensive and technically difficult process. Even if you’re the world’s best full-stack developer, it would require way too much of your time.
It simply makes no sense to do so in an era of cheap and secure online hosting.
Do I Need Domain Privacy?
Without domain privacy, anyone can know your name, number, and address with your WHOIS data.
Unless you want endless harassment from scammers and identity thieves, it is my highest recommendation you pay the extra fee for full privacy.
What is the Best Web Hosting Company for an Online Store?
Online stores need the utmost in security, speed, and scalability. If you’re using WordPress for your online store (rather than something like Shopify), I highly recommend you use Cloudways.
Their cloud hosting technology and excellent service make them the best choice in business web hosting.
Choosing a website host is a huge deal and can make or break your online success. I dearly hope this guide has made that journey much easier for you. Slow sites can hurt your ranks in a bad way, and ignoring this issue is considered a big SEO error.
As I said, my #1 most highly recommended host will be Cloudways. This is due to my own wonderful experience with them after switching from a bad host.
Whoever you choose, you need a host that will allow you to spend the minimal amount of time on technicals — and the maximum amount on developing your business.
My recommendations come from years of experience, so I highly recommend you give them a try. Good luck out there!