I’d like to discuss what I believe to be the best web hosting providers of 2021. There’s a TON of web hosting companies out there but not all are created equally. I’ve been doing a lot of researching; reading through forums such as Reddit and scouring the internet for information. That in conjunction with my experience running, and managing multiple websites (exclusively running WordPress), I have here the most highly recommended web hosting providers perfect for: the average Joe, entrepreneurs, and even web developers.
For those of you short on time, here’s the TL;DR list:
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I firmly believe, in order to be considered one of the best web hosts you must have all of these qualities:
- Consistent Server Uptime
- Fast Server Speeds
- Affordable Pricing
- Great Customer Support
- Functional, and Easy User Interface
#1 SiteGround – Top Recommended
Siteground is my most highly recommended web hosting provider and it’s what I use to host this website! Siteground is especially great for people who are building their first website because the set-up process is straight forward, and their customer support is readily available for questions at any time of the day.
Why Choose Siteground?
- #1 best web host in multiple community polls
- Officially recommended by WordPress
- Reddit’s favorite web host
- Very fast!
- Free SSL
- 1-click WP Installation
- 1-click CloudFlare Activation
- Great customer support
- Very affordable
Get Started with Siteground
I’ve got an in-depth guide on how to get a website set up with Siteground. Be sure to check it out!
My Siteground Tutorial Includes:
- How to Save $$$ Before Purchasing Siteground Web Hosting
- WordPress Installation Guide
- Free SSL Installation Guide
- How to Enable Siteground SuperCacher
#2 Digital Ocean – Best for Developers
If you’re a software developer, computer science major, or consider yourself to be a tech savvy person. Digital ocean is perfect for you.
Digital ocean offers virtual private servers (referred to as droplets) starting as low as $5/mo. Perfect for hosting a website or running a server. Personally, I use Digital Ocean to host my Minecraft servers.
Here’s some of the pre-installed applications you can get on a droplet.
The great thing about Digital Ocean is that you get your own dedicated server as opposed to getting a slice of a shared server. This grants you complete control over the server. The downside being that managing your own server can be technically challenging especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is why I primarily recommend Digital Ocean to developers and Siteground to people building a website for the first time.
You should be comfortable working in a console, operating an FTP application like FileZilla, as well as troubleshooting via Google when something doesn’t seem to be working properly.
If you’re looking to install WordPress on your Digital Ocean server, be sure to check out my Digital Ocean WordPress installation tutorial.
#3 WPEngine – Best for Agencies
My third and final web hosting recommendation is WPEngine. WPEngine is short for WordPress Engine, they are a company that specializes in hosting websites running WordPress. This means everything they do is geared towards ensuring your WordPress experience is top notch.
This level of service and commitment comes at a price though, with their lowest plan starting at $35/mo.
This is why I specifically recommend WPEngine to web agencies looking to build client websites solely with WordPress. The support is top-notch and the staff are WordPress experts. Larger plans allow you to host multiple websites (which would ideally be your client’s sites) and as you acquire more clients you can always scale up to a larger plan.
I used to work at a web design agency and WPEngine is what we used to host all our client’s sites. If we acquired a client who wasn’t on WPEngine, we’d migrate them over for security reasons.
We were running off a custom plan which sounds ridiculously expensive, but we also charged each client a monthly hosting/service fee of ~$50/mo which allowed the hosting to pay for itself (with a extra profit in the end).
Web Hosting Alternatives
Some web hosting alternatives include: Bluehost, Hostgator, ASmallOrange. I generally advise against these companies because they are apart of Endurance International Group (EIG), a web hosting behemoth known for their lack of quality and service. For more information, I have a full article on EIG (and why they’re bad).
Qualities of a Great Web Host
Consistent Server Uptime
Consistent server uptime is one of (if not the most) important quality of a web host. A web host who cannot keep your website up and running is not worth investing in. It’s as simple as that.
As a website owner, I expect at minimum 99% server uptime, and while no hosting company can guarantee 100% uptime, I’d like it to be as close as humanly possible to that.
Fast Server Speeds
Server speed in part will determine how fast your website runs so it’s important to host with a provider who is using not acceptable, but exceptional sever hardware. Server speeds can also differ based on if you are hosing your website on a dedicated server or sharing the server’s processing power with multiple different people (shared hosting).
Having a dedicated server is a good way to ensure consistent server performance. This isn’t to say a dedicated host will always be faster than a shared host. It largely depends on how many websites a hosting provider decides to lump together on a server.
Poorly managed web hosting providers will lump together more people on a server than it can handle causing everybody to suffer. A good web host will properly allocate the server’s resources to each host and cut of users who are using too much allowing optimal server speeds for everyone.
Nobody wants to pay an absurd amount of money for a service that shouldn’t cost that much or that doesn’t fit their needs. The current market for web hosting shows that ~$2.99/mo is about as cheap as web hosting gets but can reach as high as ~$299/mo for a premium service and experience.
It’s up to you to determine how much you’re willing to spend on web hosting. I believe the majority of you who are reading this post are leaning towards the affordable side. In that case, I’d recommend Siteground. For those of you who need to migrate a large site with a high amount of visitors and need highly exceptional service, WPEngine is the way to go.
Great Customer Support
Great customer support is absolutely a necessity. If you have issues or questions regarding yours or a client’s website, you need your web hosting provider to be there to respond and resolve the issue as fast as possible. Any customer service tickets that take longer than 30 minutes to respond to is unacceptable.
The web hosting providers I’ve listed are all known for their great customer service. Out of all these providers WPEngine is probably the best when it comes to customer service, of course that service comes at an extraordinarily high price.
Functional, and Easy User Interface
I believe a functional and easy use interface is often overlooked by web hosting consumers when in reality, it absolutely should be factored in. A beautiful UI shows that a company really cares. What you see on the surface gives you some insight into what company is like internally in the same way the first impression of a person will define how you think of them as an individual.
A company that definitely shines bright in this regard is Digital Ocean. They have one of the best UI’s I’ve seen in the web hosting space.
Finding a good web hosting provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a website owner. Failure to do so could mean, a slow website, your website being compromised by malware, and an overall poor experience for you, your customers, and visitors.
Based off my research, these are the best web hosting providers of 2020 and even if you don’t end up choosing any of my recommendations, I hope this guide or any of the resources available on my
website were of use to you.
Thanks for reading!